Friday, December 2, 2011

Paul's Picks!

Well, it's that time again folks: Wednesday! And you know what Wednesday is?... Well, of course you do, you're reading a blog about comics, so you obviously know it's New Comics Day, a.k.a. Paul's favorite weekly holiday! And in celebration of this weekly, well, celebration, Paul is here to give you his favorite book of the week.

My Favorites in the DCnU

So I know it's Friday, and there's been no Paul's Picks this week, but don't cry! I'm here now, with your weekly bit of usual comic-loving chit chat. However, in lieu of a very slow comics week, I've decided to go back and talk about my Picks from the DCnU so far. To be fair, it was either that or talk about TMNT #4, which was my only pick up this week... And so, instead lets talk abovut what the New 52 has offered us so far, and which books have risen to the top for me!

So when I tried to pick my favorite book of the new universe, I found out that the task was a lot harder than I anticipated. And so, since this is an abnormal column anyway, why not split my picks into categories? I know, genius, right?... So anyway, get ready to see which books have won my picks in the following categories: Best Written, Best Drawn, Most Potential, and Best Reboot.

Best Written: Batman by Scott Snyder

Man, did I not see this one coming. Sure, Batman books are good, but who would've thought that out of all the Bat books, this was the one? And even more, with powerhouses like JLA and Action Comics going on, who would know that Snyder would come in and steal the show? No disrespect to Scott, who has more than proven that he's worth his salt, but when the New 52 solicitations started, many of us comic readers were no doubt more excited by the prospects of a Morrison Superman, a Johns JLA, or, in my case, anything by Paul Cornell. And yet, Snyder has come in and showed all of us readers why Batman is arguable the best character in DC.

A Joker/Batman team-up? Or is it...

What makes this book so good? Those of us that have been following the Bat for some time now are probably most accustomed to the Grant Morrison's look under the Cowl, especially since Bruce Wayne has only recently returned to the land of the living... well, more like the present. Anyhow, for those of us that idolize the Morrison bat world, Snyder has done the unthinkable: he's converted me. Now don't go grab your pitchforks just yet, I would never turn down a Bat title by Good Ol' Grant, but I haven't been this pumped for a Bat title since Batman & Robin pre-Return of Bruce Wayne. In this tentpole title, Snyder has began something magical. With the Court of Owls, we have a unique and engaging launch story (unlike some of the weaker New 52 titles) that I can see becoming a key part of Bat-lore for years to come. With key characterization (for both Bruce and the Bat),  great arc, and a perfect look inside the head of the Batman, Snyder has deservingly found his way to the top.

Best Drawn: Justice League by Jim Lee

I know what many of you are thinking: "Big shocker." But before you judge me, believe me when I say this was a really hard decision! I looked through my issues over and over just trying to decide from Manupal on Flash, Chang on Wonder Woman, or Reis on Aquaman; this was no easy feat. But in the end, I just couldn't get past these three issues by Lee. When they first announced the Johns/Lee combo on JLA, DC fans everywhere shouted for joy. And while some may have their nitpicks, it's undeniable that Jim Lee is an art powerhouse, and this series is showing off his skills.

Oooooooo... <cold chills>

No doubt helped by the action packed sequences that he and Geoff have given us so far, his panels are astounding. I mean, just looking at Superman break Hal Jordan's chain constructs just never gets old! I know sometimes it's the unconventional art that we readers are looking for, like Scott Kolins or even Yanick Paquette, but Jim Lee is the perfect fit for this story. With all of Apocalypse attacking the earth, the Justice League coming together (often in a skirmish amongst themselves), major explosions and high-speed action, who else could you possibly want? Thank you DC for giving the fans what they asked for.

Best Reboot: Aquaman by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis

Don't mess with that guy...
Was there any doubt? With a nice list of rebooted titles, Johns shows off his love for the character in Aquaman. While I'm typically a fan Johns' work, I'm sure I won't be alone in saying that Brightest Day was a fiasco. It was disconnected, slow, lackluster, and the ending was nothing but "blah." However, if there's one thing we have BD to thank for, it's getting the A man back on the map. Aquaman has always been the but of many jokes, on anything from casual conversation to national television. But when I read that Geoff was taking on the series with his long time coworker Ivan Reis, I couldn't have been more excited. Have these first three issues blown me out of the water? No. Are they good? Absolutely. The art is top notch, as we've come to expect from Reis, and the characterization is handled with the care we know from Geoff.

I love this book, even if I've never been a big Aquaman fan. What better way to address those people that think he's a joke than putting it in the comic? The cops even laugh amongst themselves about him, joking that there's no fish around. With this book, Johns isn't just proving that the King of Atlantis is a force to be reckoned with amongst the people of the DCnU, he's also proving to the readers that Aquaman deserves his place among the top tier characters of the New 52. With 3 solid issues behind us, I can't wait to see what this duo has in store for us going forward.

Most Potential: Action Comics by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales

Anyone who knows me can tell you I'm a long time Superman fan. I love the character, his backstory, his villains, the whole package. And to top it off, Grant Morrison is one of my absolute favorite authors in the business today. What could be better than a revamped origin by Morrison for the Man of Steel? After all, his run on All Star Superman is still one of the best Sups stories out there. And naturally, when issue one arrived, I was fit to burst with excitement.

How can this not be good?

With that being said, after 3 solid issues, I'm still not blown away. I've not been particularly pleased with some of Rags' art (especially on Clark Kent), but it's not necessarily bad, just not amazing. And while the writing is solid as ever, I wouldn't say it's life changing. So then, why is this book my pick with the Most Potential? Because folks, it's Grant Morrison on Superman. I'm a firm believer in what Morrison is capable of doing with this character, and I have no doubt that before this is finished, his run on Action Comics will be one of the best. We're building up to what seems like a Brainiac attack, with a Superman that doesn't even have all his powers. This is a great launch story, and with the way Grant works, I'm certain he's got something awesome lined up for us down the road. We're talking about the guy who gave us the incredible Batman and Robin stuff that connected from 1 to 16. This man is capable of producing something huge out of something that seems small. I have no doubt that this book will soon wow us all, deservingly making its way into all our pick lists for months to come.

And so there you have it friends and readers! My short but comprehensive picks after three solid months of DCnU. I'll be back next week with my first picks of December, you won't wanna miss it.

1 comment:

  1. I really hope I get to pick these up soon. Great pics and im loving some of the artwork I've seen too.