Check back right here all week to see Entertainment Reporter Charly Shelton’s blog of the reviews of each issue as they are released.
Justice League- a good intro to the new DC Universe, but leaves you wanting. In the 22 page comic, there is about 4 pages worth of story. The rest is just fluff.
Action Comics-I hate Superman, but this comic I love. It is starring Superman, but if Superman had the mentality of Batman. New Supes will extract justice whether we like it or not. He drops a guy like 30 floors to extract a confession from a mobster. For those who love the classic invincible, do-gooder, arrogant Supes, this may not be for you. But if you love mean, sarcastic jerk Supes, definitely pick it up.
Animal Man- Surprisingly good. Dark, and good. Animal Man is a stunt man turned super hero turned actor turned activist turned super hero again who can take the abilities of any animal in the world. He wrestles with the personal issues of being a super hero and family man.
Batgirl- Batgirl is not the best comic of the bunch. She is Police Commissioner Gordon’s daughter and she is back out on the Gotham streets patrolling as Batwoman after being laid up from a bullet wound to the spine she recieved when the Joker attacked her in her apartment. DC is piggy backing on Batman’s success and making several Bat-varieties, but the best one is the original. Bruce Wayne deals with fear and loss of his parents, and since that angle is taken, they give Batgirl an injury to deal with. Not as powerful. Although she is drawn as a super busty chick kicking butt and it is very well drawn by Ardian Syaf, one of the best artists working on the new 52, the story by Gail Simone can use some work.
Batwing- When I read that this is Batman in the African variety, I thought the same as Batgirl- just trying out the brand in a new way, but this time in war torn Africa. I thought it was going to be lame. And the first time I read it, it was. Just preachy with no crazy villain battles, just investigating crimes. But for some reason, I was called back to read it again. After a second read, it really is interesting. With the Bat-varieties that we have seen so far, they are always in a metropolitan are, usually Gotham City, and they fight some costumed crazy guy who gets sent to Arkham Asylum and breaks out next month for another issue. But with the war crimes in Africa an entire villages being murdered for fun, it is a very different kind of fight for Batwing to tackle. He still has a bat cave and bat toys, but he fights in a very different way. He is like the mist of Africa, rolling in, snatching his prey, and returning to the heart of darkness before the bad guys can catch him. And Batman is there to help him and give him guidance. Really a great concept and a well done issue.
Detective Comics- Lame. Buy it as a collectors item, but don’t bother reading it. Seriously. Its 22 pages of your life you won’t get back. Wait for The Dark Knight comic or Batman comic for some good Batman storylines.
Green Arrow- Really good. Ollie Queen is the Iron Man of the DC ‘verse. He is a super smart weapons maker who found the ways of peace and now uses his skills to fight crime with weaponry for himself in the form of arrows that do different things like freezing people or flashbombs. Really worth the read.
Hawk and Dove- Washington, D.C. is full of crooks. Not only politicians, but classic villains too. And Hawk and Dove are on the case. Hawk is the spirit of War and Dove is the spirit of Peace, the fine line that our nation’s capitol walks to ensure that we remain strong. Hawk has anger issues, and Dove needs to get some. They are two sides of the same coin. And they are protecting us from an evil scientist who plans to use “Science Terrorism” t0 affect change in the government. Not a bad book. Pick it up if it sounds like your cup of tea. It is very political.
Justice League International- Booster Gold leads an international super hero team including Rocket Red, the Russian super suit soldier, and Guy Gardner, Green Lantern of sector 2814.2. Batman is along for the ride to make sure their mission goes along smoothly. Its a pretty good comic and it shows Booster as the headstrong yet whiny publicity monger that he is. Also, the women on the JLI are some of the hottest in the DC ‘verse- Fire, the Brazilian super heroine who posesses powers of the flame, Ice, the Norwegian frost queen, and Godiva, the British super hero who as of yet, has only been seen to control her long beautiful blonde hair. Not much of a power, but as she is an all new hero, she has room to expand.
Men of War- Since about 2002, when comics realized the middle east situation is a gold mine for modern day heroes, we have been inundated with Iraq war comics, most of which are not about winning any battles against evil doers, but just surviving among the atrocities of war. At least in Vietnam we had Captain America fighting some awesome battles before he was killed. This has a super hero, maybe, but it is all about sadness. When transitioning from comic to comic where leoetards abound and goofy villains have corny catchphrases, it is not easy to go straight into such a dark piece. But throughout the whole comic, a super being is zipping in and out fighting the soldiers, so maybe there will be super hero battles later in the comic. We shall see.
O.M.A.C.- O.M.A.C. is part machine, part man. He can interface with a network, crash through walls and revert back to human form in minutes. This is very cool. It almost reminds me of Tron meets the Hulk with Cortana from Halo as his guide. Really cool. Really REALLY cool.
Static Shock- This is what jocks think comic books are. It is full of physics and corny one liners and some high school kid with amazing super powers and a smart aleck attitude. When we are getting beaten up on the street, this is what the jocks have in mind. This is a horrible comic. It has potential to get better, as the premise of a physics student using his electrical powers and his knowledge of science to defeat his enemies, but it uses such dated lines and situations that if you read it, you ought to have a bucket near by because you will need to puke your guts out. Its so corny and horrible.
Stormwatch- Just another lame super hero team up trying to be the Justice League without any good characters except for the Martian Manhunter. This is the arthouse film playing only in West Hollywood, where the Justice League is the national blockbuster. Really don’t bother.
Swamp Thing- Swamp Thing will always be the best the way Alan Moore did it. But short of that, he is a great character with lots of room to grow (no pun intended). For those old enough to remember Darkwing Duck, Swamp Thing is just like Bushroot, but a good guy. He is a botanist who is accidentally turned into a walking plant monster. Give it a try.
Batman and Robin- With all the Robins who have come before, this Batman and Robin is a disappointment. Dick Grayson, the original Robin had a heart that kept Batman from going bad, and Jason Todd was a troubled youth with amazing skill for the job who eventually became the villain Red Hood. Great legacies. This Robin, Damien Wayne, Bruce’s son, is just a jerk. He complains, he is disrespectful, and the reader gets tired of dealing with him after a while. He is just so bratty, and I don’t know why Batman puts up with him. But it is worth reading if only for Batman’s side of the story.
Batwoman- I think she might be clinically insane. The book is about her backstory and she is training a new recruit while in pursuit of a kidnapper who appears as La Llorona, the Weeping Woman. It is a legend about a woman who drowns her children, and now she is back as a ghost to kidnap other children and drown them. The comic is really weird. The art is strange and set apart from all the other comics, and the main character is almost out of her mind. And she, along with her protege, is almost completely naked numerous times in the first issue alone. The one shining star is that it is insinuated that Batwoman is a lesbian, in which case it is nice to finally see the homosexual community represented in a super hero other than Saturday Night Live’s joke sketch, The Ambiguously Gay Duo. Comics have always pushed boundaries of race and sex, but we still have yet to see a lesbian or gay super hero come to the forefront and become popular. Its about time we did.
Deathstroke- Deathstroke is an angry old mercenary who is a cross between Marvel’s Nick Fury and Deadpool. He is a super soldier gone private industry and he is the best at what he does. When he is paired up with a team of Wunderkinds, he is out of his element but he gets the job done. Definitely buy this one. He is awesome, and if nothing else, you will love to see how adults think young people act and speak.
Demon Knights- Not sure about this one yet. It’s set up is cool, but the plot from there on is odd. Not enough time to explain it all in one issue I guess. But read this one because next moth when they get into the swing of things, its going to be great.
Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E.- Frankenstein, the classic monster from Mary Shelley’s book, leads a team of similar monsters to be super soldiers for S.H.A.D.E. It is good if you are into monster movies, but other than that, skip it. Its nothing to write home about.
Green Lantern- One of the few new 52 comics that doesn’t start from the beginning. When the comic opens, Sinestro, the main bad guy and arch nemesis of hero Hal Jordan, is reciting the Green Lantern oath in chains. He is given the ring back. Meanwhile, his Sinestro Corps, which he has already created apparently, has enslaved his homeworld that they were charged to protect. And Hal Jordan is now a former Green Lantern, the Guardians having taken his ring away for recklessness. But Carol has her star sapphire ring in this new one, so it must be after the war of light stuff because the Red Lantern comic is about a Corps made during that saga and the Sapphires are too. The reboot doesn’t start from page one like so many of the others do, it just allows them to update the period of the comic to exclusively modern day instead of a timeless whenever day. But as i finished the last page, I found myself wanting to read the next issue right away. October seems so far away now.
Birds of Prey
DC Universe Presents
Green Lantern Corps
Legion of Super Heroes
Red Hood and the Outlaws
Batman: The Dark Knight
The Fury of Firestorm
Green Lantern: The New Guardians
Justice League Dark
The Savage Hawkman