Scott Reviews The New 52: Week 8
So we’re at the end of month #2, with nothing I was dying to read, but a lot of decent comics this week.
Green Lantern: The New Guardians #2
I’m kind of intrigued by this one, even if nothing really happened again. Kyle got chosen by the entire rainbow of rings last issue (aside from the orange one) and the former holders are not terribly pleased at losing their source of power. After the requisite battle scene, Kyle decides to retreat to Oa and see if the Guardians know what’s going on. I kind of wish they’d make more effort to explain the goofy mythology behind the Rainbow Corps for people who haven’t read everything Geoff Johns has ever written (at one point, a Blue Lantern shows up and Kyle’s green ring gets supercharged, and he goes “Oh, of course”. WHAT? It’s not often I say this, but I wish they’d dumb it down a little bit because I wasn’t paying that much attention to all the Green Lantern stuff during Blackest Night. That being said, I like Kyle Rayner, I like Ganthet, and the new rainbow corps members are enough of a blank slate that I can probably learn about them too, so I’m sticking with it. For the moment.
Speaking of Geoff Johns and his comic book empire, I give this issue my highest compliment: It was over too soon. Just a good fun superhero book with man-eating monsters coming from the depths, and the authorities calling in Aquaman and Aquawoman (“Her name is Mera.”) to deal with it. And then just as things get exciting, it’s over. Damn you, decompressed storytelling. Lots of good dialogue in this one, with Aquaman talking about his childhood to build some backstory, clarifying his powers for a dumbass deputy, and beating up the vicious monsters who have apparently sucked the ocean dry of sea life. I love the clean art style of Ivan Reis here, keeping it very accessible. Johns doesn’t do anything wacky here, and the result is an easy read and one of my favourite surprises of the reboot thus far. Thumbs up!
I find it kind of depressing that Supes is supposed to be their flagship character, but he only has two books and one of them isn’t very good. This was definitely better than the first issue, although I still hate the new costume. It’s a clever conceit, as Superman gets attacked by an alien creature who is only invisible to him but is easily seen by everyone else. However, much like the first issue, there’s a lot of internal dialogue telling us things that we could probably figure out from the story itself. Luckily this can be read either as a standalone story or a part of a larger arc, so you’re not needing any backstory. In fact, they recap #1 with a couple of sentences (“Superman fought a big fire creature” pretty much sums it up) and you’re off. They’ve already announced Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen as the new creative team in a few issues, so this is all just treading water until that starts anyway. That pairing should be awesome, this is just kind of there. I’ll hang in because it’s Superman, I guess, and you know they’re never gonna let the mothership stray too far.
All-Star Western #2
“What do we do?”
“We kill them all.”
If this comic isn’t worth your $3.99 to watch Jonah Hex shoot the crap out of 12 men out for his head, you have no reason to ever pick up a Western comic. Hex and Dr. Arkham continue their search for a serial killer in old Gotham, discovering a link to the organization known as the Religion of Crime. That of course would torment Batman in the future, too. The corrupt old white men are once again the root of all evil in the old West, and Hex has to work his way up the murder ladder to bring justice to them. This is all, of course, completely awesome. Plus there’s an 8 page El Diablo revival backup story. All we need is Bat Lash and this is the greatest book ever. If you enjoyed the previous Hex series, there’s no reason not to pick this up too.
The Flash #2
This definitely feels like a total reboot now, as Barry Allen talks about the Speed Force like it’s a new thing to him, and he’s kind of feeling out his power levels. I’m thinking this is gonna mean that he never died and there’s no Wally West out there now. Anyway, this is another pleasant outing from the talented Francis Manapul, as the story centers on Flash learning to “speed think” in addition to his usual speed running, so that he can now figure out all the angles and outcomes before acting on anything. The artwork does a great job of conveying how he just plain moves fast, and I loved the little touches like the different color scheme for the flashbacks. Artwork aside, I just don’t find the actual relationship with Manual and his army of clones to be that interesting. This will probably be a drop soon if it doesn’t get awesome.
Teen Titans #2
More info dumped here about the new universe, as Bart “Kid Flash” Allen has only been in action for an hour according to the exposition…and yet Tim Drake was apparently Robin for a while before this. My head hurts. The main thread of this one sees Red Robin chasing a mysterious creature named Skitter through the sewers, while fighting agents from NOWHERE who can teleport at will in annoying manner. I’m not so pumped about the bevy of X-TREME new Titans to be introduced (Bunker!) but I guess they have to try new characters sometime. Good light-hearted tone here, although the Liefeld-ish art is a bit of a turnoff for me. This title screams out for someone like Tom Grummett. Or the guy who did Young Justice, he was fun too.
Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #2
This feels like an extended Elseworlds series thus far, as all the previous pieces of the Firestorm universe (Ron Raymond, Martin Stein, The Hyena, Cliff Carmichael) are present and accounted for here, but shuffled around into totally new and different combinations. I kind of wish they had just started fresh with certain elements and started with a blank slate, because I find it totally distracting after knowing for so long who and what Cliff Carmichael was and then having the character become someone totally different and unrelated. Anyway, we discovered last issue that Firestorm Jason + Firestorm Ronnie = FURY, the big giant Firestorm killing machine. The mysterious government agency behind everything attempts to take him out, and that goes about as well as you’d expect. Ronnie and Jason continue their bickering while wielding all-powerful nuclear forces, and now have to fight off the Hyena agents. I’m hanging in there out of my love of the previous incarnations of the character, but this really wouldn’t be grabbing my attention if I picked it up off the shelf cold.
Batman: The Dark Knight #2
So, um, a bunch of villains are running around like pumped up Image characters, and Batman…uh, forget it, I’m done with this one. And what’s up with Joker’s face being fine again? This comic SUCKS.
Big recommendations for All Star Western and Aquaman this week, the rest are very hit-or-miss. Next week: The #3 issues!
Tags: Aquaman, Batman, Firestorm, Flash (Barry Allen), Geoff Johns, Green Lantern: New Guardians, SmarK Rant, SmarK Rants, Superman, Teen Titans