Skitch’s Mini Reviews – Week of October 20, 2011

This column actually started as a series of texts I send back and forth to my brother in law each week about what comics I have read, and what I thought of them. As I’ve been getting back into comics more and more, it started to get a little too long for texts, so I ended up emailing my thoughts last week. Since I typed it anyway, I ended up posting it on the message board for my X-Men role playing game.

Earlier this week, I was harassing Grey to let me review Justice League, when he pointed out that he wanted Justice League’s review posted first thing Wednesday, which is impossible because of my work schedule. So, he had the brilliant idea that I should capture my mini-reviews I had been writing anyway and post them on Nexus.

Caution: I pretty much only read comics digitally these days. Also, I have been reading a lot of back issues lately, and a lot of DC Relaunch I am waiting a month to buy to get the dollar price drop. So you may stumble across a lot of reviews of books that didn’t come out this week.

Justice League #2

Like just about every relaunch issue 2 I have read so far, Justice League #2 took everything I liked about issue 1 and stepped it up a notch. Barry and Hal’s rapport made for great characterization. I do think that the pacing really could be amped up a bit, but on whole, Johns and Lee have created a JL book that is worthy of being DC’s flagship title.

Blue Beetle #2

Really, this comic was fine, though I did find myself getting annoyed about a few small things. The villains never really felt fleshed out, and the second issue had Jamie stuck in costume the entire time, so we missed out on a lot of the high school dynamic that I loved in the first issue. Honestly, these complaints are really petty. It was a very solid issue, and I loved the ending. Jaime is definitely in for some rough times.

DC Universe Presents #2

I really liked this issue a lot. Seeing Deadman’s attempts to infiltrate the Librarian’s stronghold were really well done. I loved watching his plan’s constant evolution and improvisation. It is definitely a cool take on Deadman. I am really curious how this book ties in with Deadman’s appearances in Hawk and Dove.

Arkham City #1- 5, Arkham Unleashed #1

As much as I was looking forward to this game, so far I have found Arkham City to be a bit disappointing. For my tastes, it definitely is not the perfect ten that everyone seems to be saying. Sorry.

That said, the comic series, and digital only stories (including Arkham Unleashed, which came out this week) have been pretty good. At the very least, they do a great job bridging the two games. Some of the elements are a little out there, but for the most part it’s worth checking out.

Ultimate Comics Ultimates #1-2

Considering how much I love Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and X-Men, I had to check out Ultimates. While not as great as the other two, I definitely like it much better than any time I’ve tried Ultimates in the past. The story has a lot of really cool elements and the art is top notch. I wouldn’t pay 4 bucks an issue for this comic, but if it was 3 bucks, I would definitely keep up with it.

Catwoman #1

Anyone who ignored this book because of the “misogyny” claims is missing out on a really great comic. Winick really has been top notch on his Relaunch books. Nightwing, Batwing and Catwoman really make good arguments for the need for Bat-spinoffs. I really think Selina came off as a strong, independent character. I don’t even have problem with her having a quickie with Batman in the end, that has been a long time coming. BTW, by my count, Bruce Wayne has now had sex with two women during Relaunch. Go Bruce!!

Batman #1

I really liked the first two issues of Tec, but I will admit, Batman was far superior. I loved the Capullo art, and the two twists involving Dick Grayson surprised me.

Scott Snyder is another writer who has really been hitting it out of the park during Relaunch. I might actually move this up to getting it week of release.

Green Lantern Corps #1

I really liked this first issue. Really good takes on Guy and John Stewart, which is not a surprise. Tomasi seems to have a great handle on this book. I am a little surprised that nothing at all seemed to have been changed with the Green Lanterns as part of relaunch, but I guess if something is working, why change it.

I do think that they need to stop killing off Green Lanterns though. It really makes the Corps look weak that in every arc, lots of Lanterns die.

Nightwing #1

I’ve always like Dick Grayson a lot, and this might have been the best story I’ve read with him. Kyle Higgins really has a strong handle on the character, and the elements of Haley’s Circus and Dick being happy to get away from his time as Batman really made for a cool comic.  There really is a lot going on in this comic, and I am definitely looking forward to the next issue.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1

Yeah, the Starfire stuff was pretty annoying, but to me, that is just part of why I didn’t like this book. All three characters’ just feel really off to me. It’s never clear why any of them are acting the way they do. Even the mystery with Jason Todd feels really tacked on to the story. I will likely give it another issue to try and change my mind (I didn’t love Superboy #1, but Lobdell won be over with the second issue), but this book is not likely to survive on my pull list all that long.

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