Wednesday Comments – The New DCU – Week Four: The Finale
by Mathan Erhardt on October 5, 2011

Well, the final week of the DC Comics Relaunch held a few surprises and several strong books. There were hard retcons and soft rectons, as well as some straight up launches. All in all it was a pretty strong week.

Here’s what I read, and as usual it’s in the order that I enjoyed them.

The Flash – I’m a diehard Flash fan, so I was really looking forward to this issue. I was nervous about Francis Manapul being the writer/artist, but he delivered. I love the way that he conveys speed.

I really loved the scene where Barry at his apartment and investigating the case. It’s design, layout and execution were so innovative. It was glorious. And as a first issue it’s got a hook to draw me back. I want to know what’s up with the dupes.

Aquaman – I really enjoyed the meta aspect of the book. Seeing Aquaman address common misconceptions about his character was really pretty fun. I honestly haven’t been this optimistic about an Aquaman title in quite some time.

I feel that the new threat was handled perfectly. We got glimpses of where they’re from and what they’re capable of. I also loved the art. When I look at Reis’ art, I see a ton of Neal Adams, who was just a master. I’d love to see Reis tackle some Ra’s al Ghul. But yeah, Aquaman rocked.

I, Vampire – I didn’t want to like this book. I’m so anti-vampire I might as well be garlic. But this was a really good first issue. The art was Andrea Sorrentino was beautiful. It totally set the mood and got me hooked.

And the story by Fialkov was equally strong. I really liked how casual it was and how it was basically just a conversation between two characters. It was quiet, but totally set the stage for things to come. And the scene with the train was so scary. I’m almost ashamed because of how trendy vampires are, but I quietly loved this book.

Justice League Dark – I love pretty much everything about this book. I loved the twist on the standard Xanadu one page shot, where he’s looking disinterested. I liked seeing how the team was being drawn together.

It was equally fun seeing the League out of their league. Milligan and Janin really captured the creepy and infused this book with hit. Janin’s art was so vibrant that it practically leapt from the page.

Voodoo – I didn’t hear as much backlash about this title, which seems odd considering the majority of it took place in a strip club. It was a pretty strong first issue, it got me interested in finding out more about the book.

It’s great seeing Marz writing for DC again and Sami Basri’s artwork was really strong. I really got a good feel for the characters.

All-Star Western – This book was another surprise for the week for me. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. As someone who was reading The Spirit, it was great to see Moritat’s art again. And setting the story in Gotham didn’t hurt either.

But Gray and Palmiotti did an equally good job of setting the mood in terms of story. The odd couple of Hex and Arkham was pretty smart and you can’t go wrong with a serial killer. But Gray and Palmiotti just seemed to have everyone’s voices perfectly captured. This book was genuine treat.

New Guardians – Bedard did a solid job of crafting a mystery for the first issue. I’m honestly interested in finding out why every Corps’ ring want Kyle to wear it. And seeing who the New Guardians actually are makes for an interesting mix.

The retelling of Kyle’s origin felt unnecessary. Yeah, I noticed the changes, but it still felt a bit like filler. I’m guessing that the changes will come into play later in the series? I’m also glad that Kyle fans finally have a book that’s focusing (for the most part) on him.

Superman – Again, I liked how meta this book was; the acknowledgement of what came before and the celebration of something new as well as the shift in media. I also liked the look at the revamped players in Metropolis. The new status quo between Lois and Clark looks promising.

The villain felt a bit light and inconsequential, but the art was strong. I really liked how Clark is still scooping people with the Superman stories. It’s a nice touch that I’ve always enjoyed.

Teen Titans – I liked seeing Kid Flash and his proto-costume. I liked how the first issue focused on the members of Young Justice (the comic) because those four characters were probably why most of the people were picking the book up in the first place.

I enjoyed the introduction of Tim and Cassie, though Tim seems a bit too tech-y for me. My biggest qualm with the book is that it feels too tied to Superboy. While I enjoy reading both books, I don’t want to have to read both books in order to enjoy one of them.

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men – I don’t think I’m really a Firestorm fan, but I liked the first issue of this book well enough. I liked seeing Ronnie and Jason butt heads and getting a glimpse of their home lives.

I like the mystery angle of the book. But I really like the idea that John Babos might be right with his postulating that there would be multiple Firestorms in this book..

The Dark Knight – I liked this book well enough. I loved the scene with Batman changing into Bruce Wayne on the Gotham rooftops. Actually I liked everything with Bruce Wayne in this book.

The whole stuff with One-Face threw me off. Initially it rubbed me the wrong way, but I’m willing to see where it’s going.

Blackhawks – I didn’t really enjoy this book that much. I liked seeing Lashey’s pencils again. And I liked the plot device of a guest getting a tour. I liked the notion of nanocites and that Nikki might be infected (infested?) but I’m not hooked enough to come back next issue.

The Savage Hawkman – I didn’t like this book. I didn’t like the character of Carter Hall. I didn’t like the reliance on Nth Metal. I just didn’t like the story. This book did nothing for me.

And as an added bonus here are my thoughts on the two books I missed out on last week;

Wonder Woman – Wow, this book was awesome. I loved everything about it. Azzarello’s script and take on the various characters was stellar. I loved seeing the Greek Gods interacting with the modern world. And seeing Diana kick ass.

Cliff Chiang’s art was equally impressive. His lines were crisp and clear. His storytelling was superb as always. And his action was thrilling. Wonder Woman was easily one of my favorite of the new #1’s.

DC Universe Presents – I liked the “Quantum Leap” aspect of the story. I liked seeing the glimpses of the other people Boston had become since becoming Deadman. It was interesting enough to get to come back for a second issue.

Look back at the whole thing, I honestly think that the DC Comics Relaunch was a success. As someone who opted to pick up every title, I can honestly say that I’m only outright dropping six of them. There are several other books that are on thin ice and probably won’t get too much longer to prove themselves. But only dropping six out of fifty-two books is pretty impressive.

Well, it’s been fun looking at the epic DC Comics Relaunch. Next week won’t be mini reviews, but it will be something related to comics. Somehow.



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