Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New 52: Week Four (wave 2)

Blue Beetle #1: I want to like the new Blue Beetle. The character, not just this title. I've enjoyed his appearances in other comics and I liked the one episode I've seen of Brave and the Bold that featured him. For some reason though I've just never connected with him. Unfortunately, that carried over into his new number 1 issue. Adding such a sci-fi feel to the book didn't do the concept any favors though. In fact, now I feel like this is DC's attempt at a Nova-style character, with a whole mass of scarabs out in the cosmos just flying around waiting to bestow power on unsuspecting teenagers.

Tony Bedard does a poor job with the writing of this book. Dialogue is awkward, characterizations seem off and at time even stereotypical and the story is boring and repetitive of other, better books. The art by Ig Guara, whose work I'd never encountered before, was lackluster at best. This was one of the weaker books out this week and I won't be picking it up again.

Captain Atom #1: The comic book science, and old fashioned feel of this book were just what I needed this week. I've always been a Captain Atom fan and though it seems doubtful that this book will have a long life, I'll be onboard until it's end if it maintains this level of fun. I like the Captain Atom in this book. He's stoic and serious as always but philosophical as well. Sort of the New DCs version of Silver Surfer.

This is the first book I've genuinely enjoyed by JT Krul since he wrote the Blackest Night Titans series. He's reeled in his tendency toward writing cloying dialogue and focused more on superheroics. The Freddie Williams II art was great too. I've enjoyed his work before, particularly on Justice Society All Stars. His style here has been changed up enough to separate it from his past pencil work but his characters still emote and "act". This guy is a great visual storyteller.

Again, this book was good. Surprisingly, it will make the jump to my pull list.

Nightwing #1: Nightwing is my favorite member of the extended Batman family. When I first got back into comics in the early 00's his title was one of the ones I got hooked on. This feels like a natural part of those Dick Grayson stories with a new cast, new setting (the old Nightwing title was set in Bludhaven) and a closer tie to the Bat books. It's a solid book, with an interesting story that gives some back story to Dick and his early life in the circus. Unfortunately, it's just "solid". I used to dig the sense of fun and adventure in a Nightwing book and those feel absent here.

However, I'll be adding it to my pulls. Kyle Higgins obviously has a plan for the book and title character and I have enough of an interest in the title character to stick around for a bit. The Eddy Barrows art is, again, solid. His linework is fine, his backgrounds are detailed and he has the ability to draw exciting action. Unfortunately there were some really awkward facial expressions on display here. That's nitpicking, given, but it was something I noticed.

DC Universe Presents Deadman #1: Paul Jenkins is such a spotty writer. Though he's written some great comics, he's also responsible for books like Sentry: Fallen Son. One of the worst comics I've ever read. One of his biggest faults has always been that he writes wordy books. How wordy? It took me at least 25 minutes to read this book. I realize when I'm shelling out 3 bucks for a comic spending more time on it might seem like a plus but, unfortunately, it's a dull book. Very little happened. Not only that but I feel like I've read this book before. It feels like something that Neil Gaiman or Allan Moore would have written far better in the 80's.

On the other hand I was really impressed by Bernard Chang's art and the dynamic cover that Ryan Sook did. Chang rests comfortable in that Darwyn Cooke cartooning camp but without the nostalgic tint that defines most of that ilk. His pencils are perfectly suited to this character, I just wish the writing could stack up to it. I'll be passing on this book unless I'm a fan of the next writer they bring on.

Green Lantern Corps. #1: Falling directly in line with previous continuity, this book doesn't feel like a number one issue at all. Not only does it do a poor job of introducing new readers to the Corps or the lead characters but it's boring to boot. Choosing to focus on Guy Gardner trying to find a job as a football coach, and John Stewart failing to keep a job as an architect rather than a more introductory or action-heavy story seems like a mistake to me.

Peter Tomasi has been working with these characters and concepts almost as long as Geoff Johns has. However, where Johns excels at concepts, character and dialogue Tomasi writes tends to buckle in those areas whenever he's writing these characters. The Fernando Pasarin art is fine, but there's very little to be said about it. He gets the job done.

If you love sci-fi or just the Green Lantern concept this is probably the book for you. After well over five years though, I'm burned out on this type of book. Pass.

Legion of Super-Heroes #1: Why was this book even relaunched? Taking place entirely outside the relaunched timeline (seriously, a character even refers to the Flashpoint time-change and the fact that it hasn't affected these characters or their universe) the story picks right back up where it ended before the new 52. And it's just not my thing. There are way too many characters, the writing is overflowing with exposition and the art is subpar. I've got nothing more to say about this.

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