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DC Comics Reboot Week 2
September 15, 2011 - Amy Phelps
As DC Comics continues to release its new 52 issues and buzz builds, what do long-time fans think? Will this bring new fans to comic book stores to try these new books? Does everyone love a reboot? Who is the mysterious cloaked woman in the background of every issue? All questions that will be answered in time.
Here's a look at this week's offering:
"Batman and Robin" (written by Peter J. Tomasi with art by Patrick Gleason) - This book really brings about my confusion about this reboot/relaunch/whatever. I thought this was supposed to be an entire do-over across the board, but this book shows Batman has already been through several Robins - Tim, Jason and Dick - and is currently training his son, Damian (I assume still from Ra's al Ghul's daughter's Talia.) So we're keeping some of the previous continuity, but not all of it? Anyway, Bruce is trying to get Damian to honor his grandparents' memory, while Damian is displaying an even colder emotional state than Bruce, which says something. They are interrupted by a situation at Gotham University and take the time to fight some quarreling bad guys, while still fighting themselves. And a mysterious bad guy doesn't like Batman's "global circus act" and intends to kill off his worldwide partners. So I guess look out, Batwing! I just didn't like the dynamic between Bruce and Damian, and found Damian annoying, so I wouldn't be back for more of this, though I'm interested in who that villian was.
"Mister Terrific" (written by Eric Wallace with art by Gianluca Gugliotta) - A wealthy and intelligent scientist also goes around fighting crime in this book. When his wife died, Michael Holt thought his world was over. When science failed him, he tried to kill himself, until a visit from another dimension's version of his son told him the whole world would be changed by his work if he only kept at it. So Michael has. When he gets a call from the police about a man named Edgar Molowitz that suddenly went crazy and writing strange mathmatical symbols, Michael is on the case...but is he opening himself up to outside interference? While his storyline might be interesting, will the fans want another wealthy super-intelligent playboy superhero fighting crime with his expensive toys?
"Suicide Squad" (written by Adam Glass with art by Federico Dallocchio and Ransom Getty and Scott Hanna) - Supervillains are given the choice of going on life-threatening black ops missions for the government in exchange for a reduced sentence. Harley Quinn, Deadshot, El Diablo, Voltaic, King Shark, are injected with a microbomb that can detonate is they get out of line and are sent on a mission to extract a rogue agent - or so they think. Have the tough guys gotten more than even they can handle? The team looks interesting, and at least one of them didn't make it out alive, which does lead you to believe anyone could go at any minute. I might read this one again, just to see where the story goes. The one thing I absolutely hate is the "revamp" of Harley Quinn's outfit - why must every female character in comics be wearing lingerie?
"Batwoman" (co-written and drawn by J.H. Williams III and co-written by W. Haden Blackman) - A young woman fights crime in Gotham with the help of her young cousin while being targeted by the shady Department of Extranormal Operations. While Kate hasn't forgiven her father for lying to her about her sister's death, she's no longer interested in having him help her fight crime. And she's got a strange case of disappearing children and a "Weeping Woman" to investigate along with her possible new girlfriend, Gotham P.D. Detective Sawyer. I really enjoyed the last trade paperback I got of Batwoman and was glad to see the storyline continuing, albeit a bit confused as I thought everything was starting over. But Batwoman's spooky case looks good, I love the art, and I'd come back to this one too.
"Legion Lost" (written by Fabian Nicieza with art by Pete Woods) - A group of superheroes from different planets in the future all end up in the present time thanks to the crazed timestream after flashpoint. They are chasing a villain who may have released a pathogen to destroy all of humanity. Can they catch him? Has he changed the future? This one definitely felt like I was jumping in on the middle of a story and it didn't leave me interested enough to find out what happened.
"Grifter" (written by Nathan Edmonson with art by Cafu) - A con man named Cole is running his usual scheme and intends to meet up with his lovely partner Gretchen, later when he is grabbed by a strange alien-looking creature. He wakes up and manages to escape the creature trying to transfer itself into him, but he now has a side effect of telepathy, at least with the creatures. Fighting one of the creatures in human form, he flees to the airport, only to find several more there, in the guise as humans, and ends up looking like a crazed terrorist. Now the creatures are chasing him and so are the government. I may just have a weakness for blond-haired con men that apparently haven't met a razor, but I'd come back for more of this.
"Demon Knights" (written by Paul Cornell with art by Diogenes Neves) - I'm beginning to think I just like Paul Cornell's writing (he's also writing Stormwatch), because I didn't expect to like this one and I really did. During the battle of Camelot, Merlin transfers a demon into the body of a young man, Jason of Norwich. Years later, as the Questing Queen pushes her horde into the quiet town of Little Spring, where two "peaceful pilgrims" have just arrived. The pilgrims in question happen to be Jason O' Th' Blood and Madame Xanadu, immortal characters who aren't looking for trouble, but are bound to find it. They run into Vandal Savage, a giant of a man, also immortal. They meet up over a pint and run into The Shining Knight and possibly Wonder Woman. And that's when the horde descend upon town. All Madame Xanadu wants is a quiet drink, but she's in for a fight as all the immortals spring up, including Jason who transforms himself into her love, Etrigan. And the bar fight is on... I never expected to like this book, as high fantasy-type stories are never my thing, but I loved the dialogue in this, so I'll definitely be back.
"Green Lantern" (written by Geoff Johns with art by Doug Mahnke) - Sinestro is back serving as a Green Lantern and Hal Jordan's having financial problems in this issue. Hal wants to come back to Ferris Air as a pilot since he's no longer Green Lantern (I'm already having problems keeping this continunity/no past continunity thing straight). He asks Carol out for what she thinks is a date/marriage proposal and is actually an impassioned plea for a car loan. Meanwhile Sinestro's having trouble with the yellow lanterns and shows up at Hal Jordan's evicted doorstep. Since Hal's possibly getting his ring back, this may be a good starting point for new fans, but it sounds like there is still plenty of backstory going around.
"Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E."(written by Jeff Lemire with art by Alberto Ponticelli) - This one really seems like D.C.'s version of "Hellboy" - Frankenstein's Monster works at the Ant Farm, a super-secret (and tiny!) base rounding up monsters for Father Time (who is in the form of a little girl for some reason) and Ray Palmer, whose supposed to keep an eye on everyone. Frankenstein's wife is also an agent of the organization and has gone missing after trying to stop an alien/monster invasion and Frank is sent in to find out what's going on, along with a team of other monsters, the Creature Commandos, which includes a Sea Monster, Wolfman, Vampire and Mummy. It was OK, but didn't grab my interest like I thought it would.
"Red Lanterns" (written by Peter Milligan with art by Ed Benes) - The Red Lanterns, who are fueled by rage, are going around doing their thing lead by Atrocitus, who came to his ring when his entire race was destroyed by the Guardians. But lately the hate just hasn't consumed him as much as it used to. What is going on with him? If he no longer hates, can he still be a Red Lantern? And will the rest of the lanterns see his weakness? The one thing I really noticed about this book, and I know it's a strange thing to mention, is all of the red, and I'm not just talking about the costumes. There's blood everywhere, creatures are spilling it, spitting it, wallowing it - maybe I just have a weak stomach, but that's definitely not my thing and made me not want to read the book at all. And I'm someone who likes Lobo, so...
"Resurrection Man" (written by Dan Abnett with art by Andy Lanning) - This is the introduction of Mitch, a man who comes back from the dead with new powers every time. This time he has powers having to do with metal and is drawn to an airport. Looking the other passengers over, he's sure one of them involves something he has to do. He meets a strange woman named Sue on the plane that engages him in what he thinks is a game about where all of the passengers are going until she transforms into a strange creature and proclaims she is there to claim his very overdue soul before the plane goes down. It turns out Mitch is caught in a war between angels and demons, both wanting to collect on his soul's bounty. And there's two strange women looking for him as well. The idea for this story really captured my interest and I'd probably read this one again too, to see where it goes.
"Superboy" (written by Scott Lobdell with art by R.B. Silva) - Somewhere, a group of scientists have created a clone of Superman using his Kryptonian DNA and a human donor's. Watched by "Red," one of the scientists, Superboy is aware that he is a creation and that his life is actually a complex virtual reality. But some of the scientists seem to be having a change of heart, including one who may become a whistleblower for a certain Lois Lane. What are these scientists creating Superboy for? This definitely hearkens back to the 90s Superboy comic and I can see young teen fans of Superman liking this one.
"Deathstroke" (written by Kyle Higgins with art by Joe Bennett) - Slade Wilson, Deathstroke, is the best assassin in the world, taking on all sorts of cases for various clients, even doing bodyguarding. His handler has a new case for him - a four-man gig with some up-and-comers to stop a former German scientist from dealing his arms and putting a stop to him in mid-air. Slade meets his "teammates" April, in charge of weapons and ammo, Quinn who does communications and Hughes who is in charge of transport. And maybe sharpshooting. They're the Alpha Dawgs or Harmory, depending on who you ask, and Deathstroke is less than impressed. But when the mission seems to go awry, Deathstroke learns the mission may have been a message...for him. This is an introduction to the character and while I normally love hitman stories, this didn't hit me right either, which is too bad.
This week's offerings was a mixed bag for me, but there were some one's I definitely would come back to. Can't wait to see what next week holds! And what does everyone else think so far of the New 52?
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