Saturday, September 10, 2011

Comic Break

I have been having a bit of writers block lately. So rather than having a dying blog I have decided to take a break to talk about something other than video games. As you know my other hobby is reading comic books (sorry for the dead images I am working on that too) so I thought I would take some time to review what I am reading.

I read comics from every publisher but it seems that DC is what I end up reading the most every week. This week in particular since DC has relaunched its entire line with new #1 issues and brand new story lines. I am going to break down how the new DC line up looks to me.

Justice League

How I felt before picking it up: I like Geoff Johns a lot, and Jim Lee is not a bad artist at all (I am not the biggest fan of his but lots of people love him). Also a book with this much history and big name super heroes is always worth a look.

How it read: Out of all the new comics DC has put out since the relaunch, this one feels the most decompressed (I think it will take at least 4 issues to see the Justice League even together). In fact the cover is very misleading as only Batman and Green Lantern are the focus of the book. Cyborg is hinted at (before he is even a Cyborg) and Superman shows up at the very end. Really I think this book will read better as a collection than in single issues. I can't really pass judgment on it yet.

Will I continue to read it: Yes for two reasons, the fact that Geoff Johns has had a proven track record of pulling off long plots that pay off, and the promise of Darkseid eventually showing up (I am a sucker for anything to do with the New Gods).

Action Comics

How I felt before picking it up: It is Grant Morrison writing so I wanted to love this book when I heard about it. Grant Morrison is by far my favourite writer currently working in comics and I have not read a single bad thing by him. Also the artist Rags Morales has always been very dependable on turning out some great Superhero work.

How it read: Well it this blew my expectations out of the water. Superman has returned to his roots of being a social justice crime fighter and it was a lot of fun. He is much younger, more brash, and less boy scout. We also get to see Lex Luthor who proves that this Superman may not be "Stronger than a locomotive." Grant Morrison created a script that at the same time feels completely new and different, while at the same time keeping the essence of what make Superman so fun.

Will I continue to read it: I don't see stopping reading this book anytime soon.

Animal Man

How I felt before picking it up: I pick up anything Jeff Lemire writes. He is a real up and coming writer that I think has the talent to be in the same league as Grant Morrison. The Animal Man series the Grant wrote in the late 80s is one of my favourite books every written, so any follow up has a lot to live up to.

How it read: Animal Man is by far the best book DC is putting out right now. Not only did Jeff Lemire successfully live up to the expectations of the book, but he did so and still made the story his own. The art by Travel Foreman is really stylistic and helps add to the books horror atmosphere. The last page really made me want issue 2, more so than any other book.

Will I continue to read it: The last page really made me want issue 2, more so than any other book.


How I felt before picking it up: Gail Simone is a pretty popular writer but nothing she has done has really stuck with me. I always try books she writes hoping that it will be the one that makes me a fan, and I always am left disappointed. I don't think this is a fault of the writer and more of my tastes not matching up. For the record I am not someone who got angry with the idea as Barbara Gordon as Batgirl again.

How it read: This read a little better than I though it would. It had some fun moments, and the new super villain seems like he might be pretty cool. I like what Gail did with the "Killing Joke" and am interested to see how that story line ties in. But many parts of the book just seem mediocre to me and I wasn't left with any excitement.

Will I continue to read it: This was fun enough to look at issue 2 but I am not sure how long I can be interested in this book.


How I felt before picking it up: I love Batman but I always have a real problem following any other "Bat" title books, other than the main ones. I had no expectations for Batwing. Judd Winick can either write a pretty fun book or a really awful one and I had no idead which one I would get.

How it read: I got the fun book. Batwing is basically Batman in Africa, throwing in all the social issues that go along with that. Judd seems to be able to write a superhero book that can at the same time be everything we expect from the genre and also closely tied to our real world. The only think I didn't like about the book was the art. Ben Oliver's art looks a little too much like it should be airbrushed on the side of a van.

Will I continue to read it: I am really interested to see how this book goes. A very happy surprise.

Detective Comics

How I felt before picking it up: Tony Daniel is both writing and drawing this book (something he has done on the Batman books many times). His drawing is almost always good, but his writing has always been pretty bad. I stopped picking up any Batman book that he was writing. Tony Daniel just can't tell a good story.

How it read: Where was this version of Tony Daniel before? Why hasn't he written like this other times? I have read hundreds of Batman vs Joker stories and very few writers can pull it off anymore to make them stand out. Somehow Tony Daniel did it, he took that tired plot and made me excited to see what is next. This comic had the best final page of anything I have read in a while.

Will I continue to read it: I will continue to read this, and I really hope Tony Daniel doesn't change into an awful writer again. If he keeps this up I have no reason not to read.

Green Arrow

How I felt before picking it up: J.T. Krul is just a bad writer. I don't know how he gets work. Anything I have read from him seems like it would have been popular in the 90s, when foil covers, and silly eXtreme story lines were all the rage. I picked up this book thinking I would give him another chance, especially since Tony Daniel on Detective proved me wrong.

How it read: I don't know what to think of this book. It has only been a day since I read it and hardly anything has stuck with me. I didn't like how Green Arrow is now basically Steve jobs getting the whole world to buy qPads and qPhones. It came off very silly, too silly for a book that features a grown man playing Robin Hood with funny arrows.

Will I continue to read it: I really want to love a Green Arrow book I really do. But this is not the one. Thankfully Superman and Batwing can fill the "social justice" comic book need. I can't continue to read this book.

That is half of them check back soon to find out how I felt about the other half.

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