The New 52 Review. Week 1.

•September 9, 2011 • 1 Comment

So, if you guys read my blog, you may have noticed that there was no review for Justice League #1 last week. The issue has been sold out twice already, selling out the second print and going on to a third print. I couldn’t get my hands on one. Until yesterday.

I recently moved, again, and had to find a new Comic book store. Thankfully they did have a Justice League #1 available, so I was able to pick it up and read it, along with 4 other titles that were on my pull list. Man, am I glad that I got there in time to put down my pull list for the rest of the month. And it only cost me a dollar to sign up for the membership!

Just because I’m also really lazy, I’m going to quickly review the titles that I picked up, in ascending order of how I felt about them. I will also mention how each of them stack up to what they’re supposed to do, which is welcome new readers to the medium. So, let’s get to it.

Justice League #1

That’s surprising. It was my most anticipated title of the New 52, and out of my five picks this week it was the most disappointing. I’m not saying it wasn’t good, I just expected a little more out of it, I guess.

The main gist is that Batman is chasing a weird alien type guy through Gotham City, while he is being chased by the GCPD. At the end of the chase, Green Lantern comes to the “rescue” of Batman. The rest of the issue is both of them yammering ( is that even a word?) back and forth, following the trail of the guy Batman was chasing.

Not much happens in the issue, and only have of the Justice League appears, and half of that in a cameo appearance. The issue actually plays out like Lethal Weapon almost, but with superheroes, and I found that a bit fun to read. I am picking this book up next month, but since it’s coming out over 6 weeks after the first one, maybe we can get a bit more action going on.

As a book designed to get as many first time readers into it, I think that it does its job well. Not excellent, but good enough as to not confuse readers. I didn’t have to look up anything online after reading it to find out who was who and stuff like that.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Detective Comics #1

This is only a bit less disappointing than JL #1. To be fair, I am a total Batman fan, so I’m going to pick this book up next week, and not just because of the cliffhanger.

That cliffhanger was actually hyped a bit this week before I read the book, and didn’t really feel all that big. I know it is a big deal, but I guess I just expected a lot more from what I read.

What I really liked about the issue was the interaction between Batman and  Gordon. It really shows how those two should be the main stars of the book, I thought.

Again, this book is accessible, mainly because you don’t need to know anything about anybody other than who Batman and the Joker are, but most people already know that, so it’s not a big deal. Also, one particular choice that Batman takes tells you everything you need to know about the character in only two pages, without dealing with any kind of history or prior knowledge. It also shows the new DCU Batman as not that invincible anymore. Some, like me, are used to seeing Batman be the unbeatable badass that he should be, but I think it’s interesting to follow this more naive Batman.

Grade: 3.5 out 5

Action Comics #1

Another surprise. This one wasn’t even on my Countdown list, so I was surprised to actually pick it up. I think I’ve talked about how I’m not a big Superman guy. I’m not against him, I just prefer Batman or Green Lantern. But, as soon as I heard that the issue had been sold out at the distributor level, I had to step in and buy it, just in case.

Overall, it was a pretty good issue. I like this Superman. He is feared in Metropolis and that gives him a bit more depth than usual, I think. I also like how he actually changes his appearance from Superman to Clark Kent. I actually think that they looked completely different.

I actually don’t mind the look Superman is sporting in Action Comics. I think that it makes total sense, in fact. I am probably going to pick up the book next month, but I just wish that it would tie into the main DC present timeline, but that aspect also gives it a more accessible read.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Justice League International #1

This book is really fun. You may have read that already on different review sites, but it’s true. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve only read about the original run of Justice League International back in the 80s, and it always seemed like an 80s sitcom. this one feels more like one of those single camera sitcoms, just with superheroes. That’s not a bad thing, as the feel of the book is more realistic in terms of how the characters would react if they had to work together but come from different backgrounds.

What made this one better than Justice League #1 was the fact that you actually get the whole Justice League International team here, or at least a big part of it. It also deals with the themes of the rest of the New 52, in which humans now fear Superheroes, but with the emergence of huge threats as well, the world is ill-equipped to deal with them. And that’s where the UN sponsored Justice League International comes into play.

This book actually does a good job of presenting each of its members to the new audience by way of a proposal to the higher-ups at the UN, right at the beginning of the book. If you didn’t know who Guy Gardner was or who Ice is, now you have and idea.

And there is a very good in-joke in there, that people who watched the Justice League Unlimited Animated Series back in the day will instantly get.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Static Shock #1

This is probably the most surprising out of my list. I wasn’t expecting to like this book the best, but as of week 1, Static Shock is my favorite New 52 book.

As I’ve mentioned before, Teen sidekicks are not my thing, and that extends to teen superheroes. But, I just had a soft spot for Static since I used to watch the cartoon when I was a kid, so I gave it a shot. Man, am I glad I did!

I don’t want to spoil anything, but there is a huge cliffhanger at the end that just makes me want to build a time machine and jump forward in time just to read the next chapter. Is that good. Way better than Detective Comics.

A good enough cliffhanger does not a good book make, so it’s a good thing that the book actually makes you want to read until the end. There should be more superheroes like Static on the shelves.

Like I said, a lot of points are given to accessibility, and this book actually pulls it off. Not a lot of people know who Static is, but after reading this, they will want to know all about him. There are some other Milestone characters in there that I didn’t recognize, but It didn’t affect the main plot. I hope that this book sells well, that way we can get Static Shock released on DVD one of these days.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

What is on my pull list next week?

Demon Knights #1

Green Lantern #1

Red Lanterns #1

Suicide Squad #1

Come back next week to see if I can overcome my lazyness and write you guys a review for these books, and maybe some other ones that I may have missed this week.

The New 52 TV spot and Trailer.

•August 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I had to write another post before my review of Justice League #1 tomorrow. That is if I can get my hands on it. If you look at the number of posts I have it will make sense. A little sense. Anyways check out the commercial and trailer that were released about two weeks ago for the relaunch.

TV Spot

Extended Trailer

A bit generic I guess. A lot of people complained about it not being informative enough. I kinda like it, but I would have wanted to see a trailer for each family like Batman, Superman, Justice League, The dark, The edge, etc.

Make sure to tune in tomorrow as I try to find myself a copy of Justice League #1 and review it for you.

Update for Thursday September 1st:

As you can probably see, there is no review for Justice League #1 on the blog. My Local Comic Book Store ran out of them after less than 2 hours of opening its doors. I guess I should’ve gotten there earlier. Oh, well. I’m not much of a collector that has to have the very first print, so I’ll just wait until the 2nd printing.

I didn’t want to write another post since that would make it my 52nd overall post (see what I did there) so I didn’t want to waste it. I will be back next week and I hope to hell that they don’t run out of Detective Comics or I won’t have anything to read.

As a side note, If your LCS is also out of Justice League #1, you can always head to Comixology.com, as part of the New 52 initiative was to release the books digitally on the same day as the print books.

Bonus Round: The New 52 Countdown.

•August 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

After reviewing a lot of information regarding some of the titles, I found myself a bit interested in a couple of more books that I hadn’t originally considered. While the previous Bonus Rounds were books that I hadn’t counted when I started the Countdown, meaning that I kind of involuntarily miscounted or thought I considered them, this Bonus Round is the books that have turned me around. I hadn’t been interested in them before, but as more and more information becomes available and the creators continue talking about them, I started getting more and more intrigued by them. Here are my 14 bonus pick for the New 52 and my quick thoughts about them. You may notice that my thoughts seem to decrease as I go on.

Continue reading ‘Bonus Round: The New 52 Countdown.’

The New 52 Countdown: Justice League #1

•August 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This is it. The final post in the Countdown leading into tomorrow’s big relaunch.

What is it?

JUSTICE LEAGUE #1
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
1:25 Variant cover by DAVID FINCH
RETROSOLICITED • On sale AUGUST 31 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US RATED T • Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
Comics superstars Geoff Johns and Jim Lee make history! In a universe where super heroes are strange and new, Batman has discovered a dark evil that requires him to unite the World Greatest Heroes!

This spectacular debut issue is also offered as a special combo pack edition, polybagged with a redemption code for a digital download of the issue.

Why am I excited?

Two words: Geoff Johns. How about: Jim Lee. Better yet: Justice League.

Geoff Johns: The guy that brought about the return of the Green Lantern Hal Jordan from the dead and the rebirth of the Green Lantern Corps and all of its mythology. He came up with the concept of the Emotional Spectrum that brought about two of  the best Summer Comics events that I have read in recent years: Sinestro Corps War and Blackest night. He also brought the return of The Silver Age Flash, Barry Allen. Right now he’s heralding the end of the current DC Universe in the pages of Flashpoint. If it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t have a relaunch tomorrow.

Jim Lee: He drew the best selling single comic issue of all time, selling about 8 million copies when it first came out. The book was launched specifically to showcase the man’s talent. He created a whole universe of heroes that are about to be integrated into the DC Universe in this relaunch. He is arguably the most influential artist of the last 30 years, and one of the greatest artists of all time.

Justice League: Cyborg. Aquaman. Flash. Wonder Woman. Green Lantern. Superman. Batman. What else is there to say?

The New 52 Countdown: Batman #1

•August 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

What is it?

BATMAN #1
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art by GREG CAPULLO and JONATHAN GLAPION
Cover by GREG CAPULLO
Variant cover by ETHAN VAN SCIVER
On sale SEPTEMBER 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
Be here for the start of a new era for The Dark Knight from writer Scott Snyder (AMERICAN VAMPIRE, BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM) and artist Greg Capullo (Spawn)! A series of brutal killings hints at an ancient conspiracy, and Batman learns that Gotham City is deadlier than he knew.

Why am I excited?

Mainly, because it’s Batman. That’s pretty much it. There is probably more to it, so let’s see.

This main Batman series is being written by Scott Snyder, who is the creator of American Vampire, of which I hear a lot of good things about. He collaborated with the master of horror, Stephen King himself, on that book. I have only read a little bit from his series, but it is pretty good.

He also just finished his run on Detective Comics, featuring Dick Grayson as Batman. Some people are already saying that his run is one of the greatest runs on Detective Comics of all time. I haven’t read it, but I’m sure to pick it up if and when it comes out on Collected edition. Besides that, he also put out a miniseries detailing the past of Gotham city, again with Dick in the cowl. At least we know he knows how to write Batman.

Recently, he gave his twitter followers a rundown of what his take on the Batman book will be like. Basically he said that he planned for a big story, almost a year-long run, that involved Gotham city itself as a character and how it affected Batman. Honestly what most intrigued me about the book is its proposed length. I am a sucker for long-term story arcs that build up the mythology of something and then having huge payoffs in the end. Let’s hope that he can really deliver on those payoffs at the end of the arc. In the meantime, I guess I’ll have to find some of his trade paperbacks to read.

And hey, he probably has Stephen King’s phone number. Who doesn’t want to read a Stephen King Batman backup story?

Tune in tomorrow for the final book of the countdown, as we get closer to the big release of Justice League #1.

The New 52 Countdown: Suicide Squad #1

•August 28, 2011 • Leave a Comment

What is it?

SUICIDE SQUAD #1
Written by ADAM GLASS
Art by MARCO RUDY
Cover by RYAN BENJAMIN
On sale SEPTEMBER 14 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
They’re a team of death-row super villains recruited by the government to take on missions so dangerous – they’re sheer suicide!
Harley Quinn! Deadshot! King Shark! Defeated and imprisoned, they’re being interrogated about their mission – and about who’s pulling the strings behind this illegal operation. Who will be the first to crack under the pressure?

Why am I excited?

Villains, by definition are evil. Supervillains, by extension, should be super evil. Us, as the readership are supposed to root for their demise. In most books, we want the heroes to defeat the bad guys. We want the supervillains to fail. This is not one of those books.

The concept of the Suicide Squad has been around for a while, since the 80s at least, and it’s the most interesting concept ever in superhero comics. Who doesn’t want to read about Supervillains taking on Black Ops missions from the government in exchange of reduced sentences that are so dangerous, they’re practically suicide. I don’t care where you’re from, that sounds awesome.

Out of all the New 52 books coming out in September, this is probably the most controversial, even more so than Batgirl #1. It mainly has something to do with the design of Harley Quinn. Look at her in that cover, that does not look modest, nor practical. Who knows how it stays on her body. To be fair, though, I’ve seen the original Jim Lee sketch of the revamped Harley Quinn, and she’s not that bad. She looks to be sporting a combination of her original Animated Series outfit and her Arkham Asylum nurse outfit. Thankfully, the cover artist is not the same doing the interiors, so maybe that look is only on the cover.

And maybe if the book continues for enough issues, we could have a different creative team in a couple of years. Maybe have Gail Simone to write it.

Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the countdown as we get closer and closer to the big relaunch.

Bonus Round: The New 52 Countdown: Red Lanterns #1

•August 27, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Yes, another title that I hadn’t considered in my initial count. I guess I’m more excited about this relaunch than I thought.

What is it?

RED LANTERNS #1
Written by PETER MILLIGAN
Art and cover by ED BENES and ROB HUNTER
On sale SEPTEMBER 14 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
Atrocitus and his Red Lantern Corps return in their own series, battling against injustice in the most bloody ways imaginable!

Why am I excited?

Are you kidding? It’s the Red Lanterns!

Let me explain. As you know, or you should know, the Green Lanterns harness the power of Will, represented by the color green. During the prelude to Blackest Night and the War of Light in general, there were a bunch of different colored lanterns popping up, including Blue Lanterns, with the power of Hope, Indigo Lanterns with the power of Compassion, Violet Lanterns, or Star Sapphires, with the power of Love, so you get the idea.

Among these Lanterns there were also the Red Lanterns, harnessing the power of Rage and Hate. The members were chosen based on how much rage they had in their heart. They also spew and spit blood as the Red Power Ring basically replaces their heart while they’re wearing it. They were generally portrayed as villains, being all evil and spewing blood and whatnot, but their leader Atrocitus did have some justifiable motivations. He was the last of a race that was wiped out by the Manhunters, the precursors to the Green Lantern Corps. So he’s upset, understandably, and he has an axe to grind with the Guardians of the Universe.

Apparently, now he’s being upgraded from Villain to Anti-hero. Or at least an Anti-villain. And he has his own Lantern Corps. Imagine if Dirty Harry was more pissed off than usual and he’s basically what I would imagine that Atrocitus will be portrayed as in the book, but with a power ring and a whole army of equally pissed off people. So yeah, this will be a really interesting book.

Tune in tomorrow for more countdown.

 
%d bloggers like this: