Two Guys Talking About Comics: Action Comics #1, Batgirl #1, Static Shock #1, Stormwatch #1, JLI #1

AARON GLAZER:
After a week hiatus, I was proved right, Justice League isn’t what they should have lead the line with it’s time for 2-guys! Let’s kick off with the best book DC is publishing, guaranteed, Action Comics #1!

GREY SCHERL:
I hate to give you gloating rights. Yes everyone, last weeks hiatus was due to just how bad our argument got over Justice League, but I believe we’ve come to a compromise on it all.

 

GREY SCHERL:
There is a lot of good that can come out of the Relaunch, but Action Comics should be the core title.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Action Comics, well, I think I may have freaked out enough on it, but it sets up a Superman that should appeal to everyone and he IS the world’s most prominent superhero, so it should lead the line.  What did this book do right Grey?

 

GREY SCHERL:
Can I say everything?

 

AARON GLAZER:
Well, break it down a bit.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Because really, Morrison got to the core of Superman’s character while at the same time letting him feel human enough to be related to.

 

GREY SCHERL:
One of my favorite little additions is that Jimmy Olsen is Clark’s best friend, not Superman’s. Clark hasn’t had a best guy friend since Pete Ross, and when was the last time anyone saw him?

 

AARON GLAZER:
You could feel the wonder coming off the page. Superman is both sympathetic and awesome.
Clark is likable and flawed! When’s the last time Clark was really flawed?

 

GREY SCHERL:
Then you have the fact that Superman may be about truth and justice, but he’s not exactly on the right side of the law. That’s a nice little change in the character, and it makes sense, he’s a proactive hero, not the guy to sit idly around. He’s young and he’s trying to make a difference.
Clark hasn’t been flawed since he was two people.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Morrison proves that you don’t need him to walk across the country to relate to people, you just need to make him feel like an actual human being.

 

AARON GLAZER:
And the antagonists?  Luthor and Sam Lane are great opening choices given the way the world is in DCnU

 

GREY SCHERL:
I like the way Sam Lane’s profile has been raised over the past few years, but I have to say that this is the second most I’ve liked him. I really liked his character in Snyder’s Project: Superman.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Luthor is an obvious, and I absolutely loved how he was used in just the first issue. He’s ruthless and calculating, and if you give him a job, it gets done.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Did you like Rags Morales’ art?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I’ve been a fan of Rags for a while; Identity Crisis was gorgeous, and I loved his Hawkman. I expected a lot out of him with this, and he didn’t fail to deliver.

 

AARON GLAZER: 2:08 am
His energy matched the writing, which is never easy or a given when Morrison is the writer.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Many have tried, few have succeeded.

 

AARON GLAZER:
A rating?

 

GREY SCHERL:
It’s far and away the best single issue of a mainstream (i.e. not All Star or Elseworlds) Superman in well over ten years. 10/10.
And I say this as someone who REALLY enjoyed Geoff Johns brief run on Action Comics several years ago.

 

AARON GLAZER:
It’s an easy 10/10 and Johns work was great, but this is all-time classic level.

 

GREY SCHERL:
….wait, was that run brief or was it two years?

 

AARON GLAZER:
I honestly mostly remember it for the great Legion story, though I suppose he did kill Pa among other things.

 

GREY SCHERL:
This is the first instant classic issue of Superman since he died.
There was the Zod arc, the Legion, Bizarro, Brainiac…Johns did at least a year and a half.
Oh, and the One Year Later arc too.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I really loved the Brainiac one, the others, besides the aforementioned Legion, were good, not amazing.  I hate the 18 different Zods.

 

GREY SCHERL:
The Zod arc was the weakest.
Up, Up, And Away, Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes, and Brainiac were all excellent. I also recommend Superman: Secret Origin, even if it isn’t canon anymore.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I haven’t read it. And hey, another note on this Superman – he’s almost the anti-Batman.  Batman deals with freaks and street crime… Superman is refusing to do that. It’s a really cool dichotomy I hope is brought up more.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Superman is about big change for everyone, Batman is about protecting people without rooting out the source.
You should check it out, Johns writing Superman, and Gary Frank on arc.

 

AARON GLAZER:
It fits really well. Also, do you see what I mean about the Justice League pacing and the investment for $4?  Didn’t this just feel like more bang for your buck?

 

GREY SCHERL:
It really did, but at the same time, it had a much smaller cast to try and put over. JL could have used an Aquaman cameo.

 

AARON GLAZER:
And Wonder Woman, and so on.  JL introduced 3 characters and had a Superman cameo.  This introduced Superman, General Lane, Lois, Jimmy, and Lex Luthor.  Hell, we got as much from Clark’s landlady as we did from Vic Stone.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Justice League was doubling as an intro to the League and the DCnU as a whole, and we could have used 48 pages.

 

AARON GLAZER:
But we didn’t get it and still got charged $4.  From one controversial book to another, we got to Batgirl #1.

GREY SCHERL:
Gail did not disappoint with this issue, but it’s not a homerun either.

 

AARON GLAZER:
So the Killing Joke happened three years ago and Barbara can walk, though we don’t know how, and she’s still traumatized a bit by guns.  Know what’s missing here?

 

GREY SCHERL:
She did mention that there was a ‘miracle cure’ that’s still fairly recent.
And I imagine is the subject of an upcoming story arc.

 

GREY SCHERL:
And as for what’s missing…well, anytime someone asks me that question about Babs I have the same answer.
She still hasn’t married Dick Grayson.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I didn’t see Oracle mentioned once.

 

GREY SCHERL:
This is true, they avoided that.

 

AARON GLAZER:
So, was she still Oracle?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I imagine she was, but at the same time, we have no idea what the scope of her operation would have been in the DCnU.
She easily could have been Bruce’s personal info hub without a special name.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Right, I don’t think she was, but I’m unsure.  This book felt like it had more holes than anything else in the relaunch, I think. It was good, and Barbara getting over her fear of guns is interesting, but it was missing something.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I think Gail leaves open one too many open plots to return to later.
Because the issue does a nice job of foreshadowing revelations for future issues.
It just doesn’t really feel like you got a full issue of content before it ends.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I also think I wanted more energy out of this.  Gail sounded more excited by the idea than came through on the page.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I imagine it will hit it’s stride a few issues in, but really, that’s just me judging Gail on past experiences. She rarely hits the instant classic homerun with the first issue, but by the end of the first arc you’re hooked.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I trust her enough to give her the arc. Rating?

 

GREY SCHERL:
Me too, in Gail I trust. I’m giving it a 7/10 and would also like to add that Ardian Syaf looks a lot better here than he did in Brightest Day.

 

AARON GLAZER:
It’s a 6/10 for me, and yes, I liked the art as well.  It’s getting the full arc before I draw conclusions – Gail has earned that with this character.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Gail has earned that in general, which I trust will come up when we get to Firestorm later in the month.

 

AARON GLAZER:
From here, let’s go to Static Shock #1.  I really dug the writing besides one minor foible that pulled me out of the issue.

GREY SCHERL:
The drivers license thing?

 

AARON GLAZER:
Yes, he says all his classmates have it and damnit, the age to drive in NYC is 18 not 16!

 

GREY SCHERL:
Hahahaha.
I had a minor issue with it as well.
Not that, because it’s 16 in Missouri, but something that pulled me out of the issue just the same.

 

AARON GLAZER:
In NY, you’re easily 20ish before you even worry about your liscence.  It just isn’t an issue.  Beyond that, Static is going to be DC’s Spider-Man. I’ll call that right now.
Though I did have 1 other issue with the book.

 

GREY SCHERL:
He totally is.
Want to do yours or mine first?

 

AARON GLAZER:
Yours first.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Alright, so Static is a hero in Dakota, and now he’s in New York, and his family doesn’t wonder why the teenaged superhero who looks not unlike Virgil followed them to New York, nor does anyone else look to see the only family moving from Dakota to New York and look and go “STATIC!”

 

AARON GLAZER:
Ha, that’s a really good point, and also why I hate the childhood Superboy-Lex friendship.  Clark and Superboy both move to Metropolis and Lex still can’t figure it out.
There was a bit too much telling and a bit too little showing in this one.  We don’t get to see Virgil at school or his job – that’s going to play hell with the supporting cast.

 

GREY SCHERL:
With that you can at least have Lex in his ego believe that the Clark Kent he knew could never be Superman.
The issue felt like a lot of setup, like the first episode of a TV show before you bother to debut all the supporting characters.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I can agree to that.  I don’t like the art at all.
It felt too 90s.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Well, it was Scott McDaniel, what did you expect? He’s got a style he does to perfection and it rarely gets altered. It reminded me of his Nightwing.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Is he a fast worker?

 

GREY SCHERL:
Did you ever read Dixon’s run on Nightwing?

 

AARON GLAZER:
I did, it was fine.  Nowhere near as good as Tomasi’s.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Eh, I won’t agree with that since Dixon’s Nightwing is why I’m a Dick Grayson fan. But Scott McDaniel did a LOT of that book, and I don’t think he had many fill-ins.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Ah, I was kind of hoping he’d be gone.  He wasn’t terrible, but I disliked the fit.
Rating?

 

GREY SCHERL:
He’s co-writing the book.
I’ll give it a 6.5/10, it was good, not great, and I enjoyed the art more than you did. I’m looking forward to the next issue.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I give it a 7/10.  It made me like Static as a person, which means I’m in on this for a good while.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I’m really amazed it’s taken this many years for him to get an ongoing.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Hey Booster, let’s talk Justice League International #1.

GREY SCHERL:
Easily one of my most anticipated books of the relaunch, and one I enjoyed tremendously, though I do have one big question.
Did Generation Lost happen?

 

AARON GLAZER:
It doesn’t seem like it at all.  These guys are all meeting for the first time and the League is already well-established.

 

GREY SCHERL:
There has never been a JLI, but Batman and Booster seem to maintain their relationship from Booster’s solo title, which means Booster may be retaining his status quo of Time Cop.

 

AARON GLAZER:
But Booster clearly doesn’t remember the old DCU.

 

GREY SCHERL:
We watched him forget Flashpoint at the end of his series, he could have forgotten that as well.

 

AARON GLAZER:
There we are.  Booster was, in no way, as inept as he was portrayed in the old JLI days.  He’s a real hero who just understands marketing.

 

GREY SCHERL:
He’s not a goof, he’s just a shill, and that’s just fine.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Still, he and the Russian are the only one’s really developed.  And who’s the new girl?

 

GREY SCHERL:
Gavril was one of my favorite parts of Generation Lost.
Godiva was in Flashpoint as part of the Resistance, and obviously she’s not the Donna Troy we saw on the original covers.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Right… so who the heck?

 

GREY SCHERL:
Just looked her up, and really, Flashpoint is the first time Godiva has had a role worth noting since…ever.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Well, that’s nice.  Is the cast too big here?

 

GREY SCHERL:
Possibly, but at the same time, it could easily be much bigger so I’m happy with the size it has. It has yet to reach JSA numbers.

 

GREY SCHERL:
If Godiva means Booster finally gets a steady, I’m fine with her presence. Booster is long overdue for a love interest.

 

AARON GLAZER:
What was Beetle?

 

GREY SCHERL:
Bromance.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Sure it was.  But we’re discussing characters – what happens in the issue?

 

GREY SCHERL:
The uncontrolled nature of the Justice League finally leads to the UN sanctioning their own Justice League, and while several members are shot down (Plastic Man, Blue Beetle, Green Arrow, Batman), the core starting roster is agreed on.
Guy Gardner storms off rather than join a team led by Booster, but Batman is there and tells him to trust Booster, and then later is piloting the jet. Nobody questions this. I love it.
Batman is awesome in this book.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Batman is absolutely great. He joins the team and the UN has no idea.

 

GREY SCHERL:
And nobody on the team has any issue with it, they’re just like “Batman can fly the jet”

 

AARON GLAZER:
Well, by now he’s know, right? Who would argue with Batman.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I hope we get a “One punch!” moment in the coming issues.

 

AARON GLAZER:
It’s been a bit overdone for me.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Yeah, but it’s a JLI thing.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I guess – the last issue of GL: Emerald Warriors was enough of a callback to it.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Godiva flirts with Booster, Ice tests well with Scandanavians, and August General in Iron and Rocket Red can’t stand each other.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I think Godiva is going to turn on the team.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Vixen is really the most tacked on part of this roster.
Oh, totally.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I didn’t like the random generic threat, either.

 

GREY SCHERL:
It was a last page debut, it has next issue to no longer be random or generic.

 

AARON GLAZER:
They fought it for a couple of pages, but, yes, it needs developing.
This entire issue felt like a generic team book with nothing really standing out but a decent set up for why they’re together.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I’m glad that Jurgens spent the issue developing his team instead of the threat, it wasn’t a perfect issue, but he sets up the dynamic.
You know what this issue could have used?

 

GREY SCHERL:
Andre Briggs should have been Jackson King, who could also be part of Stormwatch.
Because, damnit, we need Jackson King!

 

AARON GLAZER:
I’d agree with that… and that leaves me wanting to talk our next book so… rating?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I’m giving it an 8, though I’ll acknowledge that it didn’t truly feel like anything overly special, it still was a fun first issue and did a nice job creating the team and giving them a reason to exist. Booster’s costume will need time to grow on me though, I didn’t realize that he had no gold below the chest, and he really needs different boots.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I’m giving it a 6.  It had a good Booster, Batman and set up, but it left me with no real true reason to care.  I’d drop it if I didn’t trust Jurgens, but luckily I do, because comics like this are a dime a dozen.

 

AARON GLAZER:
And we wrap our all DC week with Stormwatch #1.

 

GREY SCHERL:
DC pulled the big guns out this week, because Stormwatch was phenomenal.
They took one of the biggest Wildstorm franchises and found a way to make it work in the DC Universe without feeling shoehorned.

 

AARON GLAZER:
It really was an absolutely excellent issue… I just wish we had Superman 1 since it leads directly into it.  Whose genius idea that was, I’d love to know.

 

GREY SCHERL:
When I first heard it would happen I imagined it would be more of a pain in the ass then it wound up being.

 

AARON GLAZER:
It wasn’t a game breaker, but as that was one of only 2 minor issues in the book…

 

GREY SCHERL:
I assume Superman just fights something in public that Stormwatch typically would fight without anyone ever knowing about.
I know, you hated Midnighter’s costume with a fiery passion.

 

AARON GLAZER:
It felt bigger. And yes, Midnghter looked absurd.  Given he’s one of the two or three best character designs from Wildstorm, he should not have been messed with. I mean, really, it’s he, Grifter and MAYBE Backlash.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Grifter is a hard design to screw with, green coat and and the red mask.
Midnighter they tried way too hard to make into a 90’s badass.
And Sepulveda, for as awesome as his work is, could not make it look cool.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Trenchcoat, black mask, spiked gloves. At least he still was seemingly a badass, though no one should be sneaking up on Hawksmoor in a city.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Cornell nailed Jack’s voice.

 

AARON GLAZER:
He really did.  Jenny Quantum, although younger, was pretty good too.  I still miss Jenny Sparks.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Jenny Sparks thankfully stays dead, Ellis gave her a great story that needs not be tampered with.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Yes, but now who will electrocute God?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I imagine that already happened.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I dig all the new characters, as well. Adam, especially, seems cool.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I mean, Stormwatch is hundreds of years old, so what’s to say that Jack and Jenny didn’t do crazy shit before her death?

 

AARON GLAZER:
Right, fair enough.  And who would be in charge of Stormwatch?  Obviously not the UN, right?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I imagine the Weatherman.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I don’t think they’re UN controlled, that’s the JLI gimmick.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Right, but clearly we aren’t doing Henry Bendix, mostly because they don’t want me to shit my spleen, but I see no sign of Jackson either… who was that in charge?

 

GREY SCHERL:
It looked like Angie was coordinating and then either Jack or that guy Adam was in charge.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I wonder if we get a Doctor.  I loved this issue. Okay okay, break it down for the readers.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Jack takes a few people to go and recruit Apollo, who is ultra violent and ultra secret Superman, while meanwhile Jenny and Adam find some giant horned beast in the Himalayas, and the sword guy fights the moon. Which is evil now.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Sword guy, Harry, is a new character right?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I have no idea, I’m treating him like he is.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I think he becomes a version of Damocles, but we’ll see.  At any rate, this is a great … it’s not a superhero book.  It’s a great spy? soldier? superhero inversion?  It’s great comics.

 

GREY SCHERL:
It’s whatever it needs to be.
And hey look, J’onn is there!
J’onn who is a former Justice League member, and who gets a minor redesign of his head that I liked quite a bit.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Well, with the Manhunter there, why do we need another Superman level character?

 

GREY SCHERL:
Apollo is stronger?
Maybe he’s that kind of power you’d rather lock up on your side then leave to the open market.
Or maybe J’onn knows that evil moons are out of his range of things he can do.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Yeah, that makes sense.  I could also do with a de-powered Manhunter.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Focus on everything else he does so well.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Let him be a shape shifting detective telepath.  Does he really need more?

 

GREY SCHERL:
intangibility

 

AARON GLAZER:
Fine, fine, but we can stop short of the Superman powers.
Rating?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I don’t see them going away, but I do see them drawing less focus.
9/10

 

AARON GLAZER:
It’s a 9/10 for me too, and 95% of the time would be my book of the week.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Did you notice how DC stacked this week?
And how Marvel countered it with….the New Avengers Annual of averageness?

 

AARON GLAZER:
I can live with it.  I bought more DC than I have in a long while.

 

GREY SCHERL:
And it was all pretty good too.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Not all – I didn’t like Green Arrow – but nothing was terrible.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Animal Man was pretty cool.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I didn’t get to it yet.  Or Detective, which I only bought on assurances from you and Babos that it’s good.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I bought it expecting to feel as ‘meh’ about it as I did with the rest of Daniel’s run, but with that little hope that maybe…just maybe, it would be good.

 

AARON GLAZER:
So on week 1, I was upset with the direction, but as of this week, even the lesser books were readable! Good job DC and Good day dear readers!

 

GREY SCHERL:
Have a good one everyone, see you next week with Green Lantern!

Tags: , , , , , ,