Sunday, September 18, 2011

Comic Break (New DC comics week 2)

Batman and Robin

How I felt before picking it up: Batman and Robin first launched as a book for Grant Morrison to have his own Batman title to play with. Since he left the title it became a book pushed to the background with no real reason to be around. I was actually hoping it was not going to be relaunched, and instead having a Robin solo comic book. I like the team working on this book, Peter J Tomasi (writer) and Patrick Gleason (artist), I just had not interest in this book.

How it read: This book was better than I was expecting. I liked the Batman and Robin dynamic (which better be well done or the title of the book has no meaning). A new villain is introduced, The NoBody, and he seemed like a interesting new addition to the Batman universe. All around it was a solid comic that was nicely crafted.

Will I continue to read it: I feel like this first story line is interesting enough for me to follow through reading it to its conclusion. I hope the book can create a place for itself again.


How I felt before picking it up: Batwoman had a really good run in Detective comics by writer Greg Rucka and artist J.H. Williams III, that everyone enjoyed. Now J.H.Williams is taking over the writing duties as well (with some help from W. Haden Blackman who I have no idea about). I was looking forward to the art knowing that J.H. Williams is by far one of the best artists in the business making every page worthy of something that could be in a museum. However, he has been paired with equally strong writers in the past and I was afraid his writing abilities might not be as great as his art.

How it read: This was a good issue that did a great job of reintroducing the character. The art was amazing and probably the best drawn comic I have seen in a while. It did suffer a little from the lose of Greg Rucka writing the book, as it no longer had the depth in the story. It is hard to tell but I wonder if the art really was the only thing that made me like thins book.

Will I continue to read it: The first story line is set to be 5 issues long so I think I can stay on that long and see if J.H. Williams matures as a writer. His art alone is worth looking forward to at least.


How I felt before picking it up: I have very little knowledge of the title character only knowing that he is traditionally a villain and has a history fighting the Teen Titans (a series I never got into fully). I was expecting this to be a somewhat ani-hero title that was going to be high on violence. I probably would not have been looking forward to this book in the slightest until I learned that Kyle Higgins was a very good writer (he recently co-wrote Batman: Gates of Gotham, which was a fantastic book).

How it read: This is a book that seemed to be very predictable and kind of boring for the first 80% of the book. I was ready to no longer care about the title and forget about this book. Then the ending of the book changed not only my outlook on the series but made the first part interesting. It started as a by-the-numbers book that copied 100% of espionage movies/TV shows/books out there introducing the main character (Deathstroke) and a colourful cast of background characters who each have a specialty working in the background without getting their hands dirty. However, Deathstroke kills his own team at the end of the book stating that his real mission was to remove the competition, signalling that this book is not going to follow the expected.

Will I continue to read it: I was ready to hate this book but it made me love it. I will continue to follow what is happening.

Demon Knights

How I felt before picking it up: I have already talked about how I read anything that Paul Cornell writes and this book was going to be no exception. However, I am not usually a fan of things set in Camelot (sure this book takes place after the fall of Camelot but the setting is similar enough). I was worried that even though I like the writer the setting would turn me off of the book.

How it read: This was the best book this week. It was really fun to read and the Demon Knights are a really well rounded group of characters. Paul Cornell introduced this concept in a single issue and I needed no prior knowledge of any of the characters. The art by Diogenes Neves was fantastic and everything just came to life on the page.

Will I continue to read it: I don't see myself stopping this book anytime soon. I am very surprised of how much I love this book.

Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E.

How I felt before picking it up: Jeff Lemire proves time and time again his is one of the best writers working today, and I had total faith in this book. Also I am a sucker for things featuring classic movie monsters. Frankenstein was given a new and definitive version in the DC universe by writer Grant Morrison, and since then he has barely been used. I was really looking forward to be able to read more about him.

How it read: After Demon Knights this book is a close second place for best thing I read this week. How could I not love a book that teams up Frankenstein, a vampire, a werewolf, a mummy, and some black-lagoon type creature that go on missions to figure out paranormal activities. Not only does this book have a really interesting high concept, but it is also pretty funny. I have never read a comic that is like this and it is nice to see some new ideas coming forward.

Will I continue to read it: I can't wait to read more of this. I am really excited to see more. This book seems like it will just be endless fun that will always put a smile on my face.

Green Lantern

How I felt before picking it up: Geoff Johns has been writing Green Lantern for a long time now. The series before this had 67 issues and I have read every single one of them. He made Green lantern a great comic book. Doug Mahnke is a great artist who I have always liked. This book was a known quantity to me since I have already been reading Green Lantern books by this exact same team.

How it read: If you read this as issue one and had no background with the previous series, this book fails. Even though it says Green Lantern #1 on the cover, it might as well say #68. But I have read everything before hand and loved all of it. This was a great continuation of the series. Now that Sinetro is the main Green Lantern in this book and Hal Jordan is a nobody (he might even become homeless) it does put an interesting twist on things.

Will I continue to read it: I have been reading this book for 67 issues I have no reason to stop now. This team has been dependable on this title.


How I felt before picking it up: I know nothing about Grifter other than he looks kinda cool. I also know nothing about the creative team behind this book. All I was expecting was for Grifter to shoot guns at blue monsters while falling down a skyscraper.

How it read: I would have never guessed this book's story if I tried. This book was very confusing and I had to read it twice to completely get what happened in it. Grifter was basically a schizophrenic version of Sawyer from LOST who is trying to fight these invisible monsters. He does not dawn the mask until the last panel of the last page. I really don't know where this book is going. The upside is this ground zero approach made this book fine for those who have no idea who Grifter is, since the character is still finding himself.

Will I continue to read it: I don't think I liked this book. It was confusing and I am not sure I care about the character enough. I might read issue 2 to see if it turns around, but that is a big maybe.

Legion Lost

How I felt before picking it up: I don't care about the Legion of Superheroes. I have tried many times to read books featuring the teams, but every time I just don't care. The writer, Fabian Nicieza, I am familiar with and have like things he has done in the past. So I was willing to go into this book open minded.

How it read: This was the worst book of the week. Normally I read a Legion of Superheroes book and realize that even though I don't like it I can understand how someone would. This book was just confusing (even more so than Grifter) and badly written. This book just had no real direction and I could not tell you what was happening in it other than the Legion is lost (and that is from the title).

Will I continue to read it: I will not subject myself to this series ever again.

Mister Terrific

How I felt before picking it up: I have been a fan of Mister Terrific and have always thought he could support his own book. The team working on this book is one that I have no opinions on since I have not read a single thing by either of them (Eric Wallace writing and Gianluca Gugliotta artist). I was only semi looking forward to this book.

How it read: This book was in the middle of the road. It was OK and has lots of room for improvement. While it did not blow me away, it also was not bad at any part. The concept of Mister Terrific being a super genius who is also a millionaire, while at the same time NOT being Batman was pretty interesting.

Will I continue to read it: I will read issue two, but if it doesn't improve it really is not worth my time.

Red Lanterns

How I felt before picking it up: I read anything that is in the Green Lantern universe so I was already on board. However, I do not feel like the Red Lanterns are strong enough to support their own book. They are interesting background characters in Green Lantern and I feel like that is their place. The creative team is a really mixed bag. Peter Milligan is a great writer but Ed Benes is an artists I cannot stand. He draws women like they are about to star in porn, which can be very off putting when trying to tell a story.

How it read: This book made me care about Atrocious a little more (the leader of the Red Lanterns and the main character on the cover). I still do not understand how this can become a full series and it read like it could just be a mini-series. I was actually really happy with Ed Benes's art until he starting drawing women in the Red Lanterns. It was just full of females standing around posing unlike they would pose naturally. This book was the mixed bag I was expecting.

Will I continue to read it: I will most likely continue to read this for a while for 2 reasons. 1) Peter Milligan is great and I trust he is going somewhere with this. 2) Green Lantern titles tend to tie together and are stronger when they do, when that happens it could pick this book up.

Resurrection Man

How I felt before picking it up: I loved Resurrection Man and his original series in the 90s got cancelled before its time. He is such a simple concept that has endless potential, a superhero that every time he dies comes back to life with a new power. I also love stories that feature immortals and how they have imprinted themselves on the world through time. Add in the fact that Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, the original creators and fantastic writers, are back on the book and I was really looking forward to this.

How it read: This was another great book this week. Resurrection Man is back and this time both Heaven and Hell are after his soul. This is a concept that has real potential to be a great plot. Also Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have a tradmark ability to not only write deep storylines, but also make them fun and funny. This is another book that just bring a smile to my face when I am reading it.

Will I continue to read it: I have no reason to believe this book will do nothing but get better. I just hope that it doesn't get cancelled again.

Sucide Squad

How I felt before picking it up: The cover of this book looked more like a cover to weird fetish pornography than a comic book. I just hate the new design of Harley Quinn (front and center on the cover wearing something impossible for anyone to fight in). The art and writing team was an unknown quantity to me and therefore could not help me trust that this was going to be a good book.

How it read: The premise of this book is interesting enough, a group of super villains on death row are given their freedom to go on suicide missions for the government. This book does a fairly good job of setting up and selling that premise. I really feel like Adam Glass did a decent job of writing it, but the overall book was butchered by some key flaws. Harley Quinn just looks horrible in that outfit and every panel with her in it makes me feel like they don't get the character. More importantly they changed Amanda Waller, who previously was a short stocky black woman and had the nickname "The Wall." She was an original idea for a comic book female, in the fact that she was a more realistic and strong female character. Now she has been redesigned as a sexy young black diva. A change like that goes beyond aesthetic and drastically changes her appeal.

Will I continue to read it: I don't think I can continue to care about this book and watch the artist completely forget that women are people and not just boobs. I feel bad for Adam Glass since I think his story is getting lost here.


How I felt before picking it up: Again this is a team of creators I have no clue about. But I am very familiar with Superboy. It has been no secret that Superboy comics have actually been better than Superman comics for the last while. Superboy has been built up by writers like Geoff Johns, and Jeff Lemire into a character with real depth and personality and not just a a renewal of a copyright. From the cover it seems that they are reinventing Superboy which I was very scared worried about. He has gone through so much growth over the last bit that it would be a shame to not build on it.

How it read: This was the surprise of the week. I was not expecting to love this book. It was worth reinventing Superboy and redoing his origin. He was always created in a lab to be a clone of Superman, but that was the least interesting thing about him to me. Scott Lobdell has written a story that made his origin really interesting. He is taking Superboy and making him his own, which I applaud him for doing. There is now some mystery and intrigue in this book.

Will I continue to read it: I really want to see where this book is going. Count me in for a least a little while if not longer.

Will Continue reading for a long time
Justice League
Action Comics
Animal Man
Swamp Thing
Demon Knights
Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
Green Lantern
Resurrection Man

Will read but might be dropped
Detective Comics (Loved the first issue but can't trust Tony Daniel yet)
Static Shock
Justice League Unlimited
Batman and Robin
Mister Terrific
Red Lanterns

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

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