And what a mixed bag this week was. Lots of Bat content, not much good content.
Wonder Woman #1. Interesting, I guess, although I have nothing really invested in the character and this didn’t really clarify whether it’s a reboot or if WW is just carrying on from previous continuity. I’m guessing the latter because they don’t make much effort to provide exposition on who characters like Apollo and Hermes actually are. Plus there’s a LOT of surprisingly gory violence in this one. I’ve read a lot of high praise for this, but I don’t get it. This is a one-and-done for me.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #1. Oh my. I think Jason Todd is a pretty cool idea for a character, what with the whole evil Robin deal, but they just can’t decide what his character is and it’s really frustrating as a reader. Last time he was being used, in Batman & Robin, he was full on crazy villain, and now he’s back to being a charming anti-hero again. This is also a case study in confusing continuity, as Jason Todd is part of Bat-continuity and unchanged, but Starfire is now rebooted as a sex-crazed alien supermodel who thinks all humans look alike. And Roy Harper is in there as some sort of badass, but with Green Arrow being reverted to 19 years old or so…well, my head hurts thinking about this mess. I wanted to like it going in, but there’s just nothing interesting going on here. Done here too, and it’ll probably be cancelled quickly.
Batman #1. This was more like it. I finally got a chance to read Batman & Robin #1 beforehand, and it really makes Detective Comics look like a weird aberration, unless ‘Tec and The Dark Knight are going to be the darker side of Batman or something. Anyway, I really liked B&R #1, as they were carrying on the light-hearted Dick and Damian act, and Batman #1 featured a nice bit with Bruce and his three “sons” at the same party. There’s some touches of Se7en and the issue ends with a cool cliffhanger. Keep buying? Hells yeah. Probably gonna go back and check out Scott Snyder’s run with Dick Grayson from pre-reboot as well.
Catwoman #1. Somehow I don’t see this one soothing the nerves of women who are bothered by DC’s recent portrayals of the fairer sex. And speaking of sex, Catwoman has a lot of it, apparently, much of it with Batman in the angry manner while wearing costumes. Love Judd Winnick and softcore pornography? Then this is for you! Not carrying on with this one.
Blue Beetle #1. Ted Kord was one of my all-time favorite characters, so I was somewhat hesitant to get behind Jaime Reyes, but this was a really charming book, even if the character didn’t need a reboot. I liked the added backstory to the scarab, I liked the somewhat cartoony artwork, I liked the dialogue (“Translated from Spanglish”), and I’m curious to see where the adventures of Blue Beetle take him. It’s just a really nice jumping on point for new readers and particularly the younger readers that seem to be latching onto Reyes, and I can’t really hold a little thing like the senseless death of my favorite character against this book. Keep buying? Yup.
Legion of Super-Heroes #1. I picked this one up hoping that it was being rebooted yet again so I could jump on, but unfortunately it wasn’t and I’m not really willing to take the time to follow it. Aside from word balloons introducing the characters, Levitz doesn’t really do much here to make it anything more than a continuation of the previous series, and that’s not my scene given that I haven’t read the Legion since the Zero Hour reboot. One and done here, even though it was a perfectly fine comic book.
Supergirl #1. Well this was definitely a reboot with a capital R. Kara arrives on Earth, thinking that it’s Krypton, with a tone somewhat reminiscent of Supergirl: the Movie, which I just watched again last week for some reason. There’s giant robots getting beat up, so that’s always good, and she doesn’t really have her powers under control yet but they’re definitely there. How this meshes with the interpretation of Superman developing his powers slowly in Action Comics, I don’t know, but I don’t feel like they do either. And of course Superman shows up to remind us that he’s here and his costume is still ugly. I’m probably gonna wait for the trades here.
Nightwing #1. This one makes me saddest, because I loved Dick as Batman and thought he got screwed over by the reboot and stuck back into a role he had outgrown. Not as screwed over as Wally West, but still pretty screwed. And it’s not even that great of a debut, kind of on par with the original Nightwing mini-series back in the 90s, where he goes back to the circus yet again and he’s still having moping inner dialogues and thinking about his parents’ murders. Plus he basically lets people get killed while he’s changing costume, and that’s not cool. Wanted to like it, but it bored me. Another one where I’ll wait for the trade.
Green Lantern Corps #1. Guy Gardner is yet again trying to right his life on Earth, but both he and John Stewart discover that insurance companies dislike the chaos that swirls around superheroes. So it’s back to Oa, where he’s somewhat more liked, and the Corps gets dispatched to deal with another murdering baddie. Same as it ever was in the GL world, but I’m glad that Guy is finally carrying a title that’s selling big. I need a break from ring-slingers for a while, though, although I might pick up the Kyle Rayner series to see what that’s about. Keep buying? Not at this point.
The winners this week? Blue Beetle and Batman! Supergirl and Nightwing were OK, but let’s not speak of Red Hood or Catwoman unless it’s to mock them.
Tags: Batman, Blue Beetle, Catwoman, DC, DC Comics Relaunch, DC Universe, Green Lantern (Guy Gardner), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Jason Todd, New 52 (DC Comics), Nightwing, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Robin, SmarK Rant, SmarK Rants, Wonder Woman