Sunday, September 11, 2011

Comic Break (New DC comics week 1 continued)

Hawk and Dove

How I felt before picking it up: Sterling Gates has been know to write some good comics. He was solely responsible from turning Supergirl into something worth reading. But his artist on this title is just someone I cannot stand. Rob Liefeld can only draw people one way, gritting their teeth with a bunch of lines all over their face. Everything he draws just looks ugly to me and he is one of the few artists that can distract me from the writers work.

How it read: This was by far the worst thing I read this week (and maybe in a long time). About 3/4 through the book the art was so off putting that I just skimmed the last quarter. The whole book was nothing but people looking angry at each other and have very stilted conversations. The action in this book looked stiff and ugly.

Will I continue to read it: No. I cannot bring myself to care about or read this book again.

Justice League International

How I felt before picking it up: I only have a passing familiarity with the team that is writing and drawing this book (Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti). Both are people I have found decent in the past but I never seek them out, only end up reading their books when either of them are working on a character I like. I have not read any Justice League International before so I am going into this book completely blind.

How it read: Well this book was OK. I found the first half of the book fairly interesting and I really liked the set up. I think Batman was really well done in this comic, and Rocket Red seems like he is going to be the comic relief of the team. The international aspect of the team is something that can be a lot of fun if the writer wants it to be. I did not put this book down blown away, but I was overall satisfied with what I read.

Will I continue to read it: I will read issue 2, but I can see this as a book that I will drop in the future if it doesn't improve.

Men of War

How I felt before picking it up: I don't like war comics, movies, video games, or TV shows. Personally I just can't enjoy something set in a realistic war setting. I have never and will never play any Call of Duty games since they seem very out of touch with what I find "fun." I went into this book expecting to not care about it, but hopefully finding it well written enough that it would satisfy those people who enjoy war stories.

How it read: I liked it a little more than I expected. This is for the sole reason that they seem to be introducing super heroes into a war setting. Removing it from reality a bit and making it a bit more "fantasy" makes this easier to read for me. The first half of this book just was not for me but the confrontation with the super powered villain/hero was entertaining. This book also had a back up story that was about the navy seals, and I really could not care less about that story.

Will I continue to read it: Maybe. It is really hard to say. I am somewhat interested in what happens with the super power element in the plot, but it might not be enough for me to really need to read it.


How I felt before picking it up: A lot of people really do not like the writer, Dan Didio, since they disagreed with a lot of decisions he made as editor in chief of DC. I have always thought he ran the company well. As a writer I only read his Metal Man stories in Wednesday Comics, and those were really good. Kieth Giffen is one of the best artists working right now and I have no reservations about checking out what he is working on. Tie this in together with it being about O.M.A.C., a Jack Kirby creation, and I am pretty excited for this book.

How it read: If this book was written in 1977 and written and drawn by Jack Kirby himself I would not be surprised. That is one of the biggest complements I can give to a title, especially one that is trying to do exactly that. I thought this book was a lot of fun. Also there was a some New God elements in the story that is always a real hook for me.

Will I continue to read it: I am really looking forward to where this book is going. I think it will be one of the most fun books on the stands. Sadly, I see it being cancelled by issue 10 from a lack of people willing to try something new.

Static Shock

How I felt before picking it up: I knew nothing of the team working on this book, and nothing about the character. I had no idea what to think about this book.

c It was enjoyable. It really reminded me of Spider-Man and I think that is what the team was trying to achieve. However, I still am not hooked on needing to know about this character. It was well written but I didn't have enough emotional investment in it.

Will I continue to read it: I will pick up issue 2. Only because I think the team deserves another chance, I would like to see if I can care about this character. However, this book could be dropped fairly easily.


How I felt before picking it up: I love Paul Cornell, if he is writing something I will read it. I love Stormwatch, that team has always been really fun. This is one of the books I was really looking foward to.

How it read: This was a solid comic book. It set up the current team very well, introducing them to new reader while at the same time not feeling very forced. The character Apollo seems to be in a different place in this new universe and I am liking where they are taking him. The introduction of Midnighter (one of my favourite characters) at the end of the book was just icing on the cake. Add in the fact that the moon is coming to life and wants to attack earth and that might be a storyline that is crazy enough to be awesome.

Will I continue to read it: There is no doubt that I will be reading this book for a long time.

Swamp Thing

How I felt before picking it up: The Swamp Thing run by Alan Moore was revolutionary. It made Swamp Thing a character with real depth. Scott Snyder (one of the best writers in the industry right now) has everything going for him to make me believe that he can match what Alan Moore had done before. Add in art from Yanick Paquette and you have a book that has a perfect combination of great writing, art, and character.

How it read: This book was good and it served as a really good introduction. It was slightly hindered by the fact that Swamp Thing just came out of a series "Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search" that really convoluted his story line and was not very good. Thankfully Snyder seems to be pulling him out from the muck (pun intended) and this read as a solid chapter 1 to an great plot. Alos the art was beautiful.

Will I continue to read it: There is no way I am going to drop this book anytime soon. I have complete trust in the team.

So that is all for this week. Next week I will review the next 13 titles and hopefully they continue to impress me overall. For now this is how the books stack up.

Will Continue reading for a long time
Justice League
Action Comics
Animal Man
Swamp Thing

Will read but might be dropped
Detective Comics (Loved the first issue but can't trust Tony Daniel yet)
Static Shock
Justice League Unlimited

Done reading them
Men of War (might be upgraded if there is room)
Green Arrow
Hawk and Dove


  1. Hey Zach!

    Great to see that you're blogging again. Keep up the good work. I was wondering your opinion on comic franchises like Superman, Spiderman and the like. From an artistic perspective, is it less of an art (or is the artist less of an artist) for "serving" a franchise rather than coming up with their own characters/story lines/"vision"? Is there, for example, more art and challenge to writing a Spiderman comic, remaining true to the character and yet progressing, or does it come off as being in Menudo [] with the same title but a revolving door or members?

  2. I really think it comes down to the team. There are countless examples of writer/artist teams just cashing a paycheck and really doing nothing interesting or worthwhile with the character.

    But sometimes you get writers like Johnathan Hickman, Grant Morrison, Ed Brubaker, Jeff Lemire and a few others who take existing characters and tell brilliant story lines using existing characters using the mythology of the super hero universe to convey their message.

    But to answer your question I do think it is harder to work with an existing character rather than build your own universe and make the story "your own." However the sad fact is it is much more financially viable to work on known quantities.