Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DC Comics' New 52 - Week 3 and a couple other things

So, week three, and here's what I picked up:

Batman and Robin #1 - $2.99
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art and cover by PATRICK GLEASON

Battling evil with his son, Damian, at his side, Batman now realizes that the hardest part of the job may be trying to work together!

As Batman and Robin try to adjust to their new partnership, a figure emerges from Bruce Wayne's past: His name is NoBody, and he's not happy that Batman Incorporated is shining a light on his own shadowy war against evil...

Decent enough "restart." We get a bit of Bat-history, and then the Dynamic Duo into the breach with some sort of gyroscopic sewer-vehicle. Setting up a big bad who's taking out Batman, Inc. agents. I'm no fan of the Batman, Inc. concept, but the villain seems genuinely creepy.

What I did really like was finally seeing Bruce and Damian work together. Amusing, to me. They're both fallen from the same branch, no doubt. Headstrong, and certain of themselves over all others. I just hope it doesn't turn into a father and son trying to out a-hole each other.

Green Lantern #1 - $2.99
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Variant cover by GREG CAPULLO

The red-hot GREEN LANTERN team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Doug Mahnke introduce an unexpected new Lantern.

Sound like the copy you'd have read before the "New 52?"

It is. Literally, NOTHING has changed here, at all, and it kinda bugs me. I realize that Green Lantern is DC's best selling title right now, and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is always a smart strategy. That said...I mean, they might as well have kept the original numbering.

And Sinestro's a Green Lantern again. Whoop-de-do. You've already set up Jordan coming back on the last page...

Resurrection Man #1 - $2.99

It's the return of Mitch Shelly – and he's still dead.

Resurrection Man can't stay dead for long, though – and with each rebirth comes new and unexpected powers. But his many returns have not gone unnoticed, and forces are gathering to learn what's so special about him – and to see which of them will finally stop Resurrection Man dead.

So, a LOT of people told me I should read Resurrection Man, who's a cult favorite from DC history, brought back as part of the New 52. Decent book, fairly exciting, well-written and drawn, but I'm not seeing the jump-up-and-down awesomeness here.

The way it seems to me is that Mitch Shelly is pretty damn close to a character called "The Sleeper" from the Wild Cards series of mosaic novels edited by George R.R. Martin (yeah, the Game of Thrones guy). The Sleeper would hibernate, and awake with a new power (and appearance), rather than die, but the idea is pretty similar.

The book is well done enough, so I'll likely give it another issue or two to wow me, but...I got a budget, man.

Also out this week was:

Ultimate Spider-Man #1 - $3.99
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Sara Pichelli

A good book, by any way of looking at it. The writing is top-notch Bendis, and I love Pichelli's art.

However, I have a few nits to pick. One, we saw Miles Morales in action as Spider-Man months ago, why are we back to square one. Square one in "plotting-for-the-trade" terms, too. Meaning, no real superhero action, at all.

Two, invisibility? How would you gain that ability from a radioactive (or whatever) spider? Hopefully Bendis will have a garbage science explanation there.

Three, and this is the big one...I really, really don't want Miles to come off as "Peter Parker, but ethnic." Some of the elements on display here felt a little too close to Peter Parker plot elements. I want him to be his own character, and not feel like he's just in the shadow of the "real" Spider-Man. I'm 100% in favor of this move on Marvel's part, but only if they truly create a new character. I'm not saying they've failed yet, but there's a couple of red flags, for me, in this issue.

And just a pitch for a book I've really been enjoying, and I think you might, as well...

Daredevil #3 - $2.99
Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Paolo Rivera

Good, old fashioned Marvel comic booking here. Waid has done a tremendous job of just gleefully accepting the rather dark turn things had been on for Matt Murdock and his alter-ego, then moving on. This is a fun book, and it reminds me of the Marvel comics I read as a kid. Great stuff.

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