Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Rest Of My Week One DCnU Purchases

I figured I would comment on my pull list/purchasing decisions for at least the first month of the 'new 52'. Things are in flux and I have to decide who stays on the long haul', the 'short term' and the 'better grab me' lists. These won't be in depth reviews, more broad strokes.

As I said before, I was a fan of the Morrison, Milligan, and Delano runs on the old Animal Man book. I also enjoyed Jeff Lemire's weird take on Superboy. When I read that this new Animal Man would be something of a horror book, I put it on my 'short term' list.

While I don't know if this issue really floored me, it certainly showed a lot of promise, laying down a lot of mystery while showcasing who Buddy Baker is, who his family is. There is enough weirdness going on that I think this book stays on the 'short term' list. I definitely want to read the next issues to see where all this is going.

The one thing that I thought was lacking here was the art. Travel Foreman's work is so sparse in places it looks unfinished. The lack of backgrounds at times was jarring. While there is some interesting panel construction (like above), I thought the art sort of detracted from the book.

Initial placement: 'short term'
Verdict: On board for now

The beauty of a 'buy 4 DC #1's get one free' promotion at my local comic store was that I was able to pick a book I wasn't intending on reading and give it a shot.

As someone who thinks that the loss of Oracle is the biggest travesty of the DCnU (as well as someone who thought Miller's Steph Brown Batgirl was a fantastic comic), I was planning on staying as far away from Batgirl as possible.

Then I read on line some positive comments and since it was 'free' I figured I'd give it a shot.

Gail Simone has a nice understanding of the Barbara Gordon character and her comments of feeling alive again and feeling lucky in combat ring true. But the other aspects of the book, the PTSD piece of Babs persona now, the goofy roommate, the inconsistent caption boxes (sometimes dialogue, sometimes internal monologue) took away from the book.

Some of the dialogue is a bit heavy handed, like here where Babs comments 'he pointed his gun at my spine and I froze!'

The art from Ardian Syaf really is slick, detailed and dramatic, it was the best thing of the book.

Initial placement: Not buying
Verdict: I think I am going to buy one more issue and make a decision. My gut tells me I am going to drop it.

Justice League International was really the comic I was on the fence of buying. As I said before, I am not a big Booster fan. It was really going to take something special by Aaron Lopresti to get me to keep coming.

And Lopresti's art is as beautiful as I thought it was going to be.

But this first issue didn't do much more than that to grab me. We see how the UN has decided to form their own super-hero team, not necessarily based on power or chemistry. Instead, it seems like the team was picked to appease political pressures as well as to heroes easily controlled.

Guy isn't happy. Booster wants to be leader but doesn't seem in control. And Godiva is a saucy lass.

Despite Lopresti' work, nothing about this team or their dynamics interested me. I am not surprised.

Initial placement: 'Better grab me'
Verdict: Not grabbed. One and done.

Other people have recommended other titles I didn't try: OMAC, Swamp Thing, and Detective (long sold out at my LCS). We'll see if I decide to pick anything else up from last week.


Gear said...

Thanks for the quick reviews ANJ!

I didn’t get Animal Man, but Batgirl and JLI were on my list.

I’m picking up Batgirl as a shelf-grab, only because of Gail. I love her writing, but the twin losses of Oracle and the Stephanie Batgirl have combined to wash out all of my enthusiasm. I know Gail likes to set things up over time, so I’m going to give it awhile, but I suspect it’s not going to last. I bought Batgirl partly because it was fun and this looks to be an un-fun grim and gritty Bat book. I’m giving it three issues, but only because of Gail Simone. I’ll give her the chance to win me over.

I agree about JLI. I can see that this might turn out to be fun eventually, but it’s still in set up stage and so everyone seems to be a bit of a comic stereotype. I hope Godiva isn’t used too much for flirty innuendo, though I understand comedy superhero teams need a saucy flirt character to go along with the leading man, the grump, the big guy, and the hot head. With only 20 pages to work with spending a lot of time squeezing a character-type line out of each one every issue will get tiresome. But it’s staying on my pull list for now because they’re planning on making it fun. The DCnU isn’t much fun, I’ll take it where I can find it.

Anonymous said...

Me, I"m liking Batgirl, I feel Steph and Oracle's loss, but Gail is one of the best writer's that DC has right now. I'm gonna give her all the time she needs to get this book up to speed. Besides she writes the best cliffhangers in the business, on that basis alone I'll be back next month.