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DC Comics Reboot Final Week

September 28, 2011 - Amy Phelps
It's the final week of the DC Reboot! There's been good comics, bad comics and controversial comics! And that glowing pink lady showing up in the background of every single comic that coworker Michael Erb and I have taken to calling "Madame Retcon."

So let's take a look at the final issue #1s of the New 52:

"All Star Western" (written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with art by Moritat): Its Gotham City in the 1880s, and a former Civil War soldier by the name of Jonah Hex has come to town to help Doctor Amadeu Arkham with his investigation of "Ripper"-like murders. Arkham may not like Hex's methods but he he can't deny that Hex's arrival doesn't make waves - another murder happens with a warning for him to leave Gotham and they pick up a clue of a man wearing a skull ring. Meanwhile, a charity event at Mayor Cobblepot's house including all of the big movers and shakers, including Alan Wayne, will bring the influential together, but will it also draw out the murderer? I liked the murder mystery aspect of this story and I also like seeing a "different" Gotham. I would definitely want to finish up this storyline to see whodunnit.

"Aquaman" (written by Geoff Johns with art by Ivan Reis): What would you do if you were a superhero who was treated as nothing more than a joke? That seems to be the premise behind Aquaman - everyone makes fun of his powers of "talking to fish," criminals aren't afraid of him and police are embarassed that they were upstaged by him of all people. Arthur makes his way silently throughout the book, taking the abuse with barely a few words. He does a good deed by giving a single mom waitress a large tip to put her kids through college, even as the patrons around them make fun of him. Arthur is trying to make a decision of what life he wants - one on land or one on sea, and neither side really seems to want him. What does he want? I felt really bad for Aquaman throughout the whole issue and I had previously never given Aquaman much thought, so well done Geoff Johns. The new bad guy that shows up at the end was pretty creepy too.

"Batman: The Dark Knight" (written by David Finch and Paul Jenkins with art by Richard Friend): Bruce Wayne is giving a speech on fear to the movers and shakers of Gotham even as he flashes back to his trip there as Batman. An IA agent shows up at the party and believes he is involved at least "funding" a vigilante (Batman) and believes someone inside Gotham P.D. is involved too. Bruce is saved by the lovely Jaina Hudson who is hosting the party and whisks Bruce away. But Bruce is called away by a riot/jailbreak at Arkham Asylum and something has happened to Two Face... This one really was just the beginning of a story, so there isn't much to say about it. I thought the art was good and I was intrigued about who Jaina is and what she will mean to Bruce.

"Black Hawks" (written by Mike Costa with art by Graham Nolan): This is apparently an updated version of a World War II Air Force team made up of international pilots that ran covert missions. In this update, they are more like an international G.I. Joe. There's infighting, romances, etc. but it didn't really hold my interest.

"The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men" (written by Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone with art by Vildiray Chinar): Some terrorists kill a child's family looking for something. Meanwhile, a teen journalist and a high school football player's rivalry seems to be reaching a breaking point. As they are about to come to blows, the terrorists show up at school looing for something. The journalist boy transforms into Firestorm, but the football player is caught up in the crossfire and also transforms. Still fighting each other, they somehow merge into one great being called Fury. This seems like its going to be another teen drama of characters that hate each other and are forced to work together. I was lukewarm toward this one.

"The Flash" (written by Francis Manapul Brian Buccellato with art by Francis Manapul): These two are definitely heavily involved in this story as co-writer Buccellato also is the colorist. Barry Allan is a police scientist trying to go out on a date with a fellow officer at a tech symposium. His date is interrupted by high-tech thugs who break in to steal an invention, causing Barry to turn into the Flash to save the day. He grabs back the invention, but one of the baddies also falls to his death. Barry changes back to his duties with the police and joins his date for the investigation and is shocked to find the villain is an old childhood friend of his, Manuel. Iris West, a reporter who shows up on scene, wants information as to what's gong on. Barry goes into research mode and is surprised to find none other than Manuel breaking into his house. But how is he back from the dead? I like that Barry is a superhero by night and involved with police work by day, but I can't help but miss Wally West. Sorry, Barry.

"Green Lantern: New Guardians" (written by Tony Bedard with art by Tyler Kirkham): Have there always been this many Green Lantern books? This time, the last of the Guardians, (who along with a bunch of other Green Lanterns were all wiped out) sends the last power ring to Kyle Rayner, a struggling artist. Meanwhile, a yellow lantern's ring takes off in the middle of a battle for a replacement. As does a red lantern. And a star sapphire (whose outfit is ridiculous, by the way). The newest Green Lantern is saving the day and fielding off questions as to who he is and why his outfit makes him look like he's wearing a giant green bib (ha!) when suddenly all of the disappeared rings appear to him, selecting him. And a bunch of lanterns show up wanting revenge. I don't know if this book got overhyped or what (it was advertised in every single book) but I felt strangely let down after this one. Bedard is also writing "Blue Beetle" another title I was lukewarm about.

"I, Vampire" (written by Joshua Kale Fialkov with art by Andrea Sorrentino): Vampire break ups are bad! Mary and Andrew are vampires that have come to a disagreement about how to handle the humans. Andrew believes they can coexist, Mary believes they need to take over before the superpowered people wreck everything. Now they are on opposite sides, so Mary decides to make an army and torture Andrew with them, who is determined to put a stake through the heart of every vampire Mary creates. This book intrigued me enough that I'd come back to see what happens next, although Andrew's brooding may get to me at some point. And I like how the cover is equal-opportunity exploitive - there may be a half-naked vampire woman, but there's also a shirtless vampire man. Eye candy for both sides!

"Justice League Dark" (written by Peter Milligan with art by Mikel Janin): Madame Xanadu (as seen in Demon Knights - where's your boyfriend The Demon, Madame?) has looked into the future and doesn't like what she sees. Many simulcrums of a girl named June Moone are running rampant and causing havoc. The Justice League tries to take out the crazed Enchantress and is easily taken down. And an old friend of Batman's, Zatanna (now wearing a more suitable but still sexy outfit, thank you, Mikel Janin!) is ready to enter the fray and doesn't need Batman involved. A scamming magician named John Constantine finds himself pulled into the fray and blames Zatanna. And the strange June Moone goes looking for Deadman's help while the mad Shade is called by Xanadu to form a team to stop the Enchantress. I always liked Constantine and Zatanna, so I was looking forward to this. The story seems to just be gearing up, so I'd definitely come back. And Enchantress or Xanadu are my picks as the possible pink lady always in the background, especially since I don't recall seeing her there...

"The Savage Hawkman" (written by Tony S. Daniel with art by Philip Tan): Carter Hall is tired of being Hawkman. He decides to destroy his suit but did he really? He wakes up later being summoned to translate ancient symbols for a professor, though he thinks the symbols might be alien. Once there, Carter discovers what was salvaged is an alien/human mummified being and when a sample is taken, it attacks them, taking over the professor and killing several people. And when Carter is the only one to stop it, he finds his Hawkman armor back again - coming out of his skin! How? Why? And who or what is Morphicius? I thought the alien thing was kind of neat, but didn't really like Carter.

"Superman" (written by George Perez with art by Jesus Merino): The Daily Planet has been sold to Galaxy Communications, and Superman/Clark Kent isn't too happy about it. He doesn't like the Globe's tactics and he's mad at Lois for "selling out" and becoming the Executive Producer for the Nightly News Division and before that, being a television anchor (Really???) But not matter how mad he is, Superman's always got a world to save. And trying to kiss and make up with Lois may be harder than he he thought... I've never exactly been a Superman fan, and this one didn't really peak my interest anymore than previous incarnations have. It seems like much of the same old, same old for Supes.

"Teen Titans" (written by Scott Lobdell with art by Brett Booth): A secret group, N.O.W.H.E.R.E. is targeting the young superpowered people and Red Robin, a.k.a. Tim Drake, is out to intercept the other young heroes before they get to them. And the rest of the world doesn't seem to keen on young teens with powers either. Kid Flash is shown bungling trying to help firemen (I'm sorry, Bart) and Wonder Girl, a.k.a. Cassie Sandsmark steals a car for some reason. She is almost captured by N.O.W.H.E.R.E. agents and is rescued by Robin. Well, she gets to do some damage to an automated helicopter too. And meanwhile, someone wants to release Superboy... I was a big fan of the Peter David-penned Young Justice so while I like the characters introduced in the book, (don't know who the other three are on the cover and they didn't show up yet) I don't really have confidence in where this book is going to take them, and nothing in the story made me curious enough to find out. I'd rather go back and read old Young Justice issues.

"Voodoo" (written by Ron Marz with art by Sami Basri): A mysterious stripper by the name of Voodoo or is being watched by two agents for some reason. The female agent leaves in a huff after getting tired of watching her partner oogle Voodoo (me too, lady) and the male agent manages to get Voodoo's "real" name - Priscilla. Backstage, Priscilla doesn't bond with the other dancers and makes a cryptic comment about dancing there to learn more about people and men, specifically. She is called for a private dance for a client who turns out to be the male agent, who during the what seems to be extra long "dance" reveals that he knows what she really is - a shapechanging telepathic alien who has been sent to gather information on humans ahead of an invasion. And she's not going quietly... I do like the idea of the hot girl really being an evil alien spy, I'm just not sure the execution worked.

So that's the end of the New 52! What do you think? What titles will you keep getting? When will we find out what the deal is with the glowing pink lady?


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