DC News & Views: Reviews Edition

Running behind this week so only reviews for you!

Opinions on the Work of People Far More Talented Than I

52 Week 48

Darick Robertson’s art is SO awful here that it took me completely out of the experience. Everything is so muddy and scratchy that I can’t help but think that either Robertson only had a week to draw the whole thing or someone broke his hands just before he sat down to draw it. This cannot be the same man who did such nice work on the Ralph Dibny send off issue a month or so back. I cannot accept that.

D

All New Atom #10

Zombies! Zombies that I don’t hate! That is impressive.

Actually this storyline is probably the best the book has been since it started. The characterization is strong without being interruptive to story flow. The ideas are interesting and different without screaming, “look at us, look at how interesting and different we are”. Simone, somehow, is still able to make shrinking seem like a cool/useful superpower without resorting to “Journey into the Human Body” style stories. Barrows’ art has either grown on me or he’s just improved leaps and bounds since last issue. Either way, this appears to be the moment where this series graduates from “having lots of potential” to simply being “very good”.

A-

Detective Comics #831

Dini proves yet again that he LOVES him some Harley Quinn by providing what is probably the best in-continuity story featuring her since he formally introduced the character. It is very reminiscent of the B:TAS episode that saw Harley having one very bad day just after being paroled. This time out, she doesn’t get the parole but does get snagged by the all-new Ventriloquist.

The really great trick here is that Harley and the old Ventriloquist are simultaneously humanized by a simple scene. But you’ve probably heard all about that. What you haven’t heard is the absolutely heartbreaking moment that follows where the poor Ventriloquist is drawn back to Scarface, hand bleeding from “committing” to his earlier show. It is a scene that perfectly encompassing the simultaneously silly, dangerous, and truly sad elements that are necessary to some of the greatest rogues in Batman’s gallery.

This is another solid installment of Detective, a book that has consistently delivered since Dini took over. If you’re a Batman fan of any kind, there is no reason not to buy this book.

A-

Justice League of America #7

I’ve decided to stop worrying about who’s choosing who for the League (for the record, it appears the big 3 were going to choose the team and instead, now, Black Lightning, Black Canary, and Hal Jordan are and the Big 3 are pretending like they were never going to choose the team in the first place. Isn’t lies and deception what broke up the League in the first place? Oh who cares? Like I said, it is better just to not worry about it). And with that decision comes a new sort of freedom.

Things I liked: 1.) The cheesy group shot- dumb as can be and yet, perfectly fitting
2.) The team- Let’s here it for something approaching diversity!
3.) Roy giving props to Canary over Hal or Ollie in his internal monologue

Things I didn’t like: 1.) Red Arrow- as pointed out somewhere it makes no sense to have simultaneously come into his own and regress further into his mentor’s shadow all at the same time.
2.) Hal crying- that’s an emotional moment unearned!
3.) The Roy-Hawkgirl interactions- their flirting feels awkward and strained, not fun.

Overall, it’s a fine issue. Not bad, not great. Meltzer can do better and, 7 issues in, should be.

C+

American Virgin #13

Finally, one secret I’ve called for months comes to the surface. How everyone “in story” was so daft as to miss it is beyond me, but the reveal was well timed, funny, and quite a bit scary. Thus, despite occasionally feeling the need to scream, “don’t you get it,” during this character’s past appearances (thanks to Seagle’s sledgehammer like grasp of foreshadowing) the moment still worked.

As for the rest of the book, American Virgin continues to cook since it returned to the United States. In this issue, Adam delivers a baby, meets his own (personal) savior, and shows off some self defense moves. He also continues to show an endless capacity to inspire as his step father finally steps up and does the right thing by his family.

To think, an arc ago I was ready to ditch the whole thing as an intriguing idea poorly executed.

A-