Wednesday Comments – The New DCU – Week One

Here we are one week into the new DCU. I picked up every #1 issue and for the most part I enjoyed them. It was very refreshing to be in on the ground floor of something this huge.

And since I picked up every debut last week, I figured I’d share my thoughts on all of them individually. In this here column.

(I’ve listed them in order, from what I loved to what I didn’t like.)

Action Comics – What was there not to love about this book? I loved the new status quo. I liked the nod to Clark working at the Daily Star as well as his relationships with Lois and Jimmy.

Seeing Clark in action was cool as well, both in terms of his attitude and him being a relative novice. And I enjoyed the appearance by Lex and his air of superiority and fear mongering.

I also liked the subtle things in the book. Like the nod on the cover to the year Superman made his debut. I also liked the nod to Will Eisner and allusion to the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Animal Man – I’m not going to lie; the text page threw me off. I wasn’t down with all that reading.

But then things got better. So much better. The art was stellar and really drew me in as a reader. The story was very engaging and I loved the character work. As someone who didn’t read his Vertigo adventures, I think I’m glad that she’s been reintroduced into the DCU. This book was probably the biggest surprise for me this week.

Batwing – I had high hopes for book and it didn’t disappoint. First off Ben Oliver’s art was everything I was hoping for. It was dynamic and vibrant. Characters had distinct looks and the storytelling was there.

And Judd Winick actually managed to be subtle. The story didn’t have any hint of heavy-handedness, which his scripts occasionally have. I liked the non-linear approach as well as the early introduction of Batwing’s supporting cast.

Stormwatch – This book made me realize how much I actually missed The Authority and all of it’s glorious characters. Seeing Angie, Jake, Apollo and Midnighter again was a true delight. It instantly made me excited for this book.

The attacking lunar surface was pretty far out, but I’m willing to ride with Paul Cornell on this one. I’m also very intrigued to see how J’onn plays into everything. This book seems to be the one carrying the Wildstorm torch and I’m going along for the ride.

Swamp Thing – This book hands down wins for creepiest of the week. When the antagonist takes over the archeologists and spins their heads around, I was genuinely disturbed. It reminded me of the old Nightwing villain Torque.

I enjoyed what Scott Snyder did with the story. The conversation between Superman and Alec was a joy to read. From Alec explaining the animal deaths to his speech about how violent plants are. And Yanick Paquette’s art matched the script perfectly.

Batgirl – It’s weird, but because of Birds of Prey and Secret Six, I’m used to totally loving a book scripted by Gail Simone. This issue didn’t click with me immediately. I can’t explain it. I liked it, I just didn’t love it.

I like the whole thing about Babs having a roommate. I like the story possibilities there. And her roommate sort of reminded me of Bridget Clancy, Dick Grayson’s ex. I also like the Mirror as a foe and that Babs isn’t quite over The Killing Joke.

Again, I enjoyed this book. I just didn’t fall head over heels in love with it, like I usually do with Gail Simone books.

O.M.A.C. – This book was a total surprise. I didn’t know I had been missing old school super hero action, but apparently I had. And this book was a total throwback, from the art to the story to the characters to the cover.

I really, really enjoyed this book. And I never thought I’d say that about a book scripted by Dan DiDio. But this book was all about the action and Keith Giffen paying tribute to Jack Kirby.

Detective Comics – This was an interesting status quo setting issue, with a cliffhanger designed to bring people back. Tony Daniel crafted a pretty solid first issue. As an artist, I saw some Frank Miller in some of his panels, and I appreciated his art more than I had in the past.

Yeah, that cliffhanger was brutal. It caused quite the furor, which is hard to do when you’ve got Batman facing The Joker for the umpteenth time. I will certainly be back for the second issue.

Hawk & Dove – I really wanted this issue to be so much better than it was. I’ve got fond memories of Rob Liefeld’s original Hawk & Dove mini. I liked the nods to the old Hawk & Dove monthly. I appreciated the acknowledgement of Brightest Day. And I’m intrigued by the guy hunting Hawk & Dove.

But I didn’t really enjoy this book. The art was tolerable, but Sterling Gates’ story left me flat. Maybe it’s because I already knew all of the back-story covered in the issue, so it felt like filler to me. I’ll be back, but I don’t know how long I’m going to stick around.

Justice League International – Wow, talk about a momentum killer. This book seems to have completely squandered all of the good will generated by Generation Lost. I like the characters and the notion of Batman being an overt mole.

But I just don’t like the story. It didn’t move me. I don’t care about this team. Yet. Which is weird because I like Rocket Red, Booster, Guy, Fire, Ice, Vixen and August General in Iron.

Static Shock – This book was the biggest disappointment of the week. I was a fan of the original Static book which is why this book hit me so hard. There was literally nothing I liked about this book.

The villains felt generic. The story of Virgil moving from Dakota to NYC felt forced. The quips felt extremely forced. This book wasn’t fun, which generally books starring Static are. And John Rozum was a Milestone creator! The cliffhanger was decent, but mostly because it meant the end of the book.

Green Arrow – I was hoping I’d enjoy this book, but doubting that I would. I was right. I really wanted to care about Ollie again, but he seems like more of a Batman/Bruce Wayne clone than ever before.

More generic foes show up here. The supporting cast was interesting and it appears Ollie’s going to have his own Oracle. The art was good, but the story was to paint by numbers. The only way I’m coming back for a second issue is if I forget to drop it from my pull list.

Men of War – I knew this book wasn’t going to be up my alley. While I like Ivan Brandon’s work, I’m not a fan of war stories. This book did little to sell me on the genre.

It was yet another book with generic characters. Tom Derenick’s art didn’t really do much for me either. Honestly, I didn’t see a reason to come back for a second issue.

And there you have it; my take on the first thirteen books released on the first week of the new DCU. I’m sure that I’ll do it all again next week this week’s books.

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