DC’s New 52: Comic Review – Final week

 

As DC 2nd month of new titles get underway, I’m here to review the final week of DC’s no.1 titles and I have to say this week really took me by surprise.

 

For my previous weeks reviews check here –

Week 1 & 2

Week 3

Week 4

And now without further ado here are the reviews:

 

All- Star Western

What was Jonah Hex is now All Star Western. It’s got the same creative team so essentially all is good. This story however see’s Hex out of his natural habitat and investigating a murder in a big city – Gotham. I do wonder whether this title will become a generic western title showcasing other DC characters from this era but whether it does or not this is a great book.

 

Verdict: I’m in

 

Aquaman

This was the 1st book of the week to take me by surprise. Like Wonder Woman, Aquaman is one of those characters I’ve always wanted to see done well. He’s the superhero underdog –he deserves greater regard throughout the superhero pantheon but his character is a difficult one to pin down.  But this title has Geoff Johns at the helm and he’s a miracle worker.  In short, I loved this issue. John’s has decided not to ignore the way he is seen by the world and we see Aquaman trying his best to deal with his perceived inadequacy.  However we also see the powerhouse that he always should have been.  He lives at the bottom of the sea for goodness sake; of course he’s going to be incredibly strong and bulletproof. Together with Ivan Reis superb art this could well be a surprise hit.

Verdict: To my surprise I’m in

 

Batman: The Dark Knight

As I picked up this issue I felt myself sigh inside. Here we go again, the comic companies doing what they do and swamping the market with too many books based on one character. Despite being a fan of Paul Jenkins work, this seemed like just another bat title to me. It wasn’t bad just not good enough to keep me coming back when there are three other Batman titles out there.

 

Verdict: Nope

 

 

Blackhawks

I had no idea what to expect from this but the only resemblance this has to previous incarnations of the Blackhawks apart from the name is that they fly planes.  The Blackhawks are a clandestine covert ops project comprised of a handful of highly skilled specialists with colourful nicknames. The action was great and the behind the scenes plot is interesting. This is my second surprise of the week so I might just give it a go.

 

Verdict: I’m in for this story arc

 

The Flash

I had absolutely no intention of taking this title seriously so my 3rd surprise of the week was how much I enjoyed The Flash. While not at the beginning of his story this title does take place pretty early in The Flash’s career. I enjoyed the story, I enjoyed the art, I enjoyed the characterization of the Flash and I enjoyed the twist.  Hmmm I didn’t see all this enjoyment coming.

 

Verdict: Another one that has me for the first story arc.

 

 

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man

 

And another surprise….mostly. This one goes right back to the beginning and this is essentially an origin story.  It starts with a pretty hardcore and brutal mercenary unit trying to track down the ‘Firestorm Protocol’. It of course has ended up in the hands of high school nerd Jason Rusch.  In invoking the protocol he unwittingly pulls high school jock Ronnie Raymond into the protocol but not in the way long term Firestorm fans might think. Interesting! I was really enjoying it but from that moment on the story just went downhill for me as it just stopped making sense.

Verdict: Sadly no.

 

Green Lantern: New Guardians

And here is another title, which like the Flash I wasn’t that bothered about.  This has Kyle Rayners origin as a Green Lantern in the aftermath of the apparent death of the Green Lantern Corps and their Guardians. But all is not well when the other Corps hunts out Kyle for explanations he cannot give.  I’ve tried to hook you in without giving too much away, which is hard because it is that which is the hook to this book. Suffice to say, it’s another title that has aroused my interest.

 

Verdict: To my surprise I’m in for at least the first story arc.

 

 

I, Vampire

For the love of God ignore the cover of this comic. This is perhaps the biggest disservice DC could have done themselves. The cover gives the impression that we are up for more of the Twilight nonsense school of vampires. But it’s not. This revamping (pun intended) of DC’s incredibly popular vampire from the early 80’s, is beautifully rendered and heartbreakingly written. This is how you write a vampire story with a love affair at its heart.

Verdict: I’m in

 

Justice League Dark

This is the reason that a number of Vertigo characters were brought back into the DC Universe.  When the Justice League can’t handle the magical threat of an Enchantress gone mad, Zatanna and Madam Xanadu start to pull a dark team together.  While this didn’t make me fall out of my seat, it was a good read (it would have been better served as a double issue I think) and I think the potential is huge. I can’t help feel that this kind of story would have suited the Vertigo universe better though.

 

Verdict: I’m in

 

The Savage Hawkman

The art was lovely, the story ok, Hawkman, annoying. I’m curious enough to get a second issue but it’s got some work to do not to seem like standard superhero stuff.

 

Verdict: I’ll give the second issue a look but I don’t think so.

 

Superman

And yet another title that I had no interest in which has sucked me in.  The Daily Planet building is being demolished and a new multimedia headquarters being built. I actually found this issue exciting.  It’s also nice to see Superman not quite as omnipotent as he has been.  It seems that vintage writer George Perez has still got it.

 

Verdict: Despite its quality Supe’s is not one of my faves so I’m in for the first story arc.

 

 

Teen Titans

The surprises just keep on hitting me in the jaw.  Teen Titans have a warm place in my heart but I’d stopped finding them that interesting.  But this all new origin is fantastic.  This is a great way to bring a team together. Much like the Justice League no.1 we only see 2 members in action together but that was no barrier to enjoyment and only served to heighten my curiosity for what comes next.

 

Verdict: Surprisingly I’m in

 

Voodoo

This is a brand new property for DC and it’s a nice feeling to go into a title blind. It follows a stripper who is not all she appears to be.  This title really seems an odd fit for the DCU especially with the level of sexual suggestion in it. On that note, this book probably wouldn’t seem that bad in isolation but in combination with the rest of the sexual stereotyping and sexual vacuity in the rest of the DC titles it really does grate on me. This story does seem intriguing but I’m not sure it has me hooked and the aforementioned gripes have probably pushed me a touch too far away. It’s pretty though.

 

Verdict: I’m afraid not

 

I’m definitely in: 5

I’m tentatively in: 4

I’m not in: 4

 

As I look back at my Verdicts over the last few weeks I realize my bank account cannot possibly sustain everything I want to read so check out my DC New 52 Conclusion in a couple of days where I wrap up my thoughts on the relaunch and definitively decide what stays and what goes.

 

GS Reporter: Monts

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