Aldo reads DC's New 52 (So you don't have to)

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OK, you've got three months of this, guys, before the wholesale cutting of books.

Justice League #1

"Five Years ago" reads the caption and this is not, and can never be, a good start. It's still 5 years ago by the end of the book too, which had originally guessed was Geoff John's hamfisted way of establishing the overall continuity so that Action (and I think Detective) happen 5 years previously to the other books, but a bit of googling tells me is so there can be a Hal Jordan book as well as all the other Lantern books, so JL is 5 years behind the other continuity as well. They're not all going to start like this, are they? With lumbering explanations of the immediate post-Flashpoint scenario? "There was a time when the world didn't know what a superhero was." Top way to summarise how Flashpoint ended, however, since I haven't touched that piece of crap I'm reliant on Wikipedia which tells me Barry Allen has Mommy Issues and recreated the universe before Flashpoint started by saving her and recreates it again at the end by letting her die.* So to summarise the New 52 then, it's Flashpoint rolled out against the whole DC Universe and not just a limited attempt to cash in on your traditional summer crossover sales-fest (one main book, 20 spin off titles and several big crossovers such as Flash and Booster Gold). Keeping on milking it while you can, I guess.

So, the book itself. Well it's kind of an inconsequential thing about nothing. Batman is chasing what turns out to be a parademon under fire from Gotham cops, Green Lantern turns up and explains to the reader who he is, what the GLC is (kind of) and a little bit about Batman. He's pretty stupid, although this might just be Johns trying to write howz da yung kidz speek 2day innit. The parademon blows itself up, leaving behind a Mother Box and the dynamic duo take it away to see Superman. On the way, they buzz a football field where the Not-Yet-Cyborg is being Good At Sports and he fills us in about his dad's work at STAR Labs in a VERY SUBTLE way. Arriving in Metropolis, we then get GJ's version of this:

And this is the heart of the problem with the book. It doesn't know what the target market is. ** The dialogue seems to be for new starters, but we're really going to have Apokolips in the first storyline? Some of the best writers of the Bronze Age failed to explain fully over 20 years what Darkseid was all about, so I struggle to see how it's going to work for people without 40 years of DCU in their brains. Also, you're going up against Final Crisis this soon after it? Are the New Gods inside or outside of the Flashpoint? I'm already beginning not to care.

At the back we get some extra draft sketches and things which try hard to convince me Jim Lee should have his pencils taken away, but also that this could have been worse. Then I notice Superman has kneepads. WTF? Are his knees suddenly vulnerable? Unless they're MacFarlane Pouches for the keys to his flat I'm going to be upset.

"It combusted into fire."

Lets's say that again. "It combusted into fire." Welcome to the new universe.

*It also lets me know about things Geoff Johns has written that no sane adult should ever know, like this:

Hot Pursuit

First Appearance: Flash v.3 #6 (January 2011) Created by writer Geoff Johns and artist Francis Manapul

Hot Pursuit's full origin and point of origin is unknown, currently, he claims to be a superhero from a parallel universe, who built the Cosmic Motorcycle. The motorcycle transforms into a high-tech nightstick which can steal speed, store information, and project holograms. This motorcycle also needs to be charged constantly with mass amounts of electricity in order for it to continue to be able to access the Speed Force, thus it is unable to naturally access the Speed Force like Barry Allen or the rest of the Flash Family.

With the help of his nephew Wally West he became Hot Pursuit, the Fastest Man Alive. Just after Barry Allen acquits himself of the murder of the 25th century Renegade's Mirror Monarch, a futuristic version of Mirror Master, Hot Pursuit braves the Bleed between universes and appears in the 21st century on his cosmic motorcycle, rushing to find Allen, in order to warn him about a grave event that leads to Flashpoint (comics), a 2011 DC Comics event.

After time traveling, Hot Pursuit desperately searches through Central City for energy that will allow his motorcycle to continue to function. After causing a black out as well as wrecking the Central City Police Department's crime lab, he attracts the attention of Allen, who gives chase. Stopping to speak with Allen, he tells The Flash that they're on the same time line, revealing to him that he is also Barry Allen, from the future, there to warn him of the "single greatest time anomaly to ever threaten reality."

He thought that Bart Allen was the cause of the anomaly, but later learned that it was, in fact, Professor Zoom (Eobard Thawne), also known simply as the Reverse-Flash. He tried to save Flash and Kid Flash by using his Speed Force draining nightstick. This proved futile as the Reverse-Flash was able to negate the nightstick's abilities and age Hot Pursuit to death, fufilling Thwane's desire to kill Barry Allen.

Hot Pursuit's mission is to protect the timestream from historical anomalies

Seriously? Cosmic motorcycle that turns into a nightstick? I'm guessing he saw the new Tron film before sitting down and writing that. Oh, and in Flashpoint she's a woman. And hawt. GEDDIT?

** This is the same problem I have with Russell T Davies' Award Winning Doctor Who tm (not kidding btw, he did once try and get that registered and he used to force people to call it that on internal memos). You keep on giving nods to the old fans - the Macra in the one that rips off 200AD, badly, for example - but then dismiss them if they don't fawn all over you or criticise what you do. Well do you want to appeal to them or not? If you value their opinion then fill your boots, but if you don't then why try and please them?

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 3 September 2011 08:52 (eight years ago) link

I didn't thank you enough for doing this in the other thread. Thank you!

I did spend the 2 minutes it took to read Justice League, shook my head, and moved on to the end of Greg Pak's Incredible Hulk run. I hate Geoff Johns, which makes me afraid I'm going to loathe much of this pointless reboot.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 3 September 2011 11:16 (eight years ago) link

how did Johns wear those holes in the brim of his baseball cap?

challopian rubes (sic), Saturday, 3 September 2011 16:28 (eight years ago) link

He bought it like that. That's how.

Yeah, let that one roll around in your head.

To all reports, Mr Johns is an incredibly nice guy whose writing I will never ever enjoy reading.

Matt M., Saturday, 3 September 2011 18:10 (eight years ago) link

God bless and keep you, Aldo.
At this point, I'm not even sure I'll be able to read Action because I have a hard time seeing anything other than sadface in RM's art.

like working at a jewelry store and not knowing about bracelets (Dr. Superman), Saturday, 3 September 2011 19:14 (eight years ago) link

Aldo, nice work--I salute you. Much more fun to read than the comic itself

not bulimic, just a cat (James Morrison), Sunday, 4 September 2011 13:19 (eight years ago) link

Good luck, Aldo, I hope you come through the other side of this with your sanity.

Halal Spaceboy (WmC), Sunday, 4 September 2011 13:20 (eight years ago) link

Thanks for all the kind words, but having read JL#1 I think this is going to be more of a challenge than re-reading Latter Days.

It'll probably be weekends when new things go up btw - Thursdays are Comics Day in the UK, and Fridays tend to be winding down from the week beer type affairs.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 4 September 2011 13:55 (eight years ago) link

I wouldn't worry about Action Comics sadface as they will have changed the artist by issue 3.

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 5 September 2011 08:20 (eight years ago) link

This is great, keep it going!

Nhex, Monday, 5 September 2011 17:22 (eight years ago) link

superman ACTION comics #1

Week one proper and we start with a GMoz book, so that's bound to be the highlight of the reboot, yes? RONG.

Another week, another book that doesn't know what it wants to be. It starts off reminding me of GMoz's Marvel Boy, but then turns into The Hulk. The first page with General Lane and the un-named Lex Luthor could be out of any Green Hulk book from the 70s onwards to be honest, and even has the added frisson of the General's daughter being the love interest. Stopping the train would have been good had everyone not immediately thought of the first Spider-man film. The confrontation between Supes and the cops at the beginning is mediocre Bat-book fare. And robocopters?

And yet there's something more to this. The pacing is excellent and it doesn't really feel like an origin book despite the fact it clearly is. There's lots of twists on things we thought we knew are rewritten - Lois and Jimmy work for a different newspaper, for example - and there's a real groundedness with Clark and Jimmy ACTUALLY USING MOBILE PHONES which bizarrely makes this one of the most modern-feeling comic books in modern memory.

Foreshadowing is similarly very well handled. We get told Superman is getting stronger. Luthor talks about something approaching through space, which might turn out to be the maguffin that enables the books that aren't in the past. We meet his landlady, Mrs Nxyly. Now, I'm not an expert on American surnames but not only does it seem uncommon I would guess it points this way:

The most intruiging foreshadow, however, is this:

There's something about the way he looks, and the way he speaks, and whatever it is he's doing with his tie that implies to me he's a big deal. And I'm on board to find out.

Because I'm a mug and bought so many books I get a variant cover with Superman wearing a different costume to the one he does in Action. Go me.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 10 September 2011 11:31 (eight years ago) link

Animal Man #1

One of the strangest choices possible for the relaunch, a remarkably minor character resurrected by a great GMoz run then devolved back into self-prophesising obscurity, coming in and out of Vertigo continuity and at one point becoming essentially a villain back when he was spending his life as a giant bird. No, really, he was. He also probably died more than any character except Lobo, I even think it was 4 or 5 times in the same book towards the end.

So, what do we have here? A book written by Vertigo's hottest property about a boy with antlers, and drawn by the improbably named Travel Foreman who's most famous for Doctor Spectrum (no, me neither). The family unit is the same as previous continuity before they all dies, then were broght back to life again, then died again or something and has the Cliff & Maxine from GMoz continuity, the black costume from after the first time the family were killed off and the whole vegan thing going on.

First off, this looks horrible. I mean, seriously, what's going on here?

It's not just that, later on it looks like everybody has really bad skin complaints. Still, at least the characters are distinct and you don't get them mixed up which is a novelty these days. Anyway, on to the plot. There's some soap opera stuff and a marital argument, then Buddy punches out an ordinary member of the public who has a gun in a hospital. He then starts having some physical issues that you've all seen the promo pictures for but is SUBTLY introduced in the book with this panel:

I'm glad he pointed to them, because somehow I had got to this age without knowing where my eyes were. That probably explains why I don't wear contact lenses.

So, we end up with Buddy and Maxine sharing a dream with Buddy walking around like Doctor Manhattan when he comes back as a disembodied nervous system, introduces the baddies, and leads into what looks like the Maxine's 'The Red' arc from the Children's Crusade era. It ends with a splash page as have all the other books thus far. Is this a 'thing'? I like it.

Ultimately, this is a Vertigo book in the wrong continuity and is far more adult than I'd expect. It's very well written, but it hurts my eyes. It needs to save itself from being cut, and quickly, but I'm not sure how it can without changing artist. Shame.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 10 September 2011 15:16 (eight years ago) link

I kinda dig Foreman's art on Animal Man, but can see how YMMV.

Halal Spaceboy (WmC), Saturday, 10 September 2011 15:44 (eight years ago) link

It works really well in the dream world, the real world not so much.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 10 September 2011 16:30 (eight years ago) link

Action Comics #1: I had the same thought about Mrs. Nxyly as you; the name is far too weird not to be important. Though the way she disparages artists and bohemians doesn't sound like Mxytzptlk at all.

Funnily enough, at first I thought the guy with the tie was Mxytzptlk, since he's very short and looks impish. You're right that there certainly a heavy foreshadowing of him being important. In the first two panels, when he's making a deal with Mr. Glenmorgan, he looks kinda devilish... And we never found out what exactly the deal is, so it could actually be some kind of a deal with Devil. Does Superman have other classic villains who are of short stature and impish besides Mxytzptlk?

I agree with you about the genericness of the action sequences, but all in all I thought this issue did a fine job in introducing this particular version of Superman (and to a lesser degree, Luthor). Lets just hope Morrison and DC have the guts to stick to the idea of Superman as a proper social crusader and not water it down, because it's an interesting take on Siegel's and Shuster's original character. (Though apparently this is supposed to be the "past" version of Superman, and someone else will write the current version? So probably he'll be watered down from the get-go.)

And I gotta say that the final page of this issue certainly packed a punch. What a great, classic cliffhanger.

Tuomas, Saturday, 10 September 2011 23:12 (eight years ago) link

Opening ANIMAL MAN #1 with a text page is a tactical error of the similar magnitude to trying to win a land war in Asia. I wanted it to improve from there and it never did. Maybe if it had started on page 7 or something. Feels like it kinda wants to be a Vertigo book, but there's no Vertigo for it to be in anymore. The art in the dream sequences looked great, in the waking world it was...Not great. I was hoping that I'd turn a page and it would magically turn into any of the hundred Filipino or Spanish artists that DC recruited in the 70s and that just never happened. Tough to justify continuing.

Wanted to get OMAC, but it was sold out.

Matt M., Saturday, 10 September 2011 23:46 (eight years ago) link

I haven't read AM yet, but the new Swamp Thing series has a pretty good start. The writer (Scott Snyder, who've I've never heard of before) had interesting way to reboot Swamp Thing: apparently most of the stuff that happened in ST's history really did happen, but as per Moore's famous retcon, it happened to a sentient plant life form, not to Alec Holland. So in this issue we get to meet the real Alec Holland for the first time since he had his lab accident (from which he has somehow healed, I guess this'll be explained later on). OTOH this doesn't make issue #1 particularly easy for a new reader, as stuff in ST's past is referred to, but not always explained properly.

Yanick Pacqutte's art looks really neat here, his clean, detailed line fits the plant theme nicely. Looks like Snyder is aiming for old school horror comic vibes, which makes me wonder why this series has to be in the main DC continuity? The Superman appearance in issue #1 is totally superfluous.

Feels like it kinda wants to be a Vertigo book, but there's no Vertigo for it to be in anymore.

Are you saying DC has completely deleted the Vertigo imprint? What about all the Vertigo titles? Will they just continuity as regular, non-continuity DC comic books now?

Tuomas, Sunday, 11 September 2011 00:10 (eight years ago) link

Not sure, Tuomas. But there's no DCU superheroes in Vertigo now; all of them back in the DCU in the 52 books.

Matt M., Sunday, 11 September 2011 00:14 (eight years ago) link

Were there even that many DC superheroes in Vertigo at the moment? Animal Man's and Swamp Thing's and Shade's series were cancelled, and Doom Patrol already emigrated back to the main DC universe some time ago. I think Hellblazer is the only Vertigo title left where the character originally started in the DCU.

Tuomas, Sunday, 11 September 2011 00:27 (eight years ago) link

IIRC Justice League Dark is going to be all of the Vertigo title characters on a team

Tal Berkowitz - Vaccine advocate (DJP), Sunday, 11 September 2011 00:29 (eight years ago) link

Hmm, doesn't quite look like that: only Constantine and Shade have (had) their own Vertigo titles, all the others are main DCU characters. But it's really called Justice League Dark?! Is it the nineties again? On the other hand this does sound like an early 90s Vertigo title, and since Milligan's writing it, I'm probably gonna check it out. Also, I love Zatanna!

Tuomas, Sunday, 11 September 2011 00:52 (eight years ago) link

tbf I have no idea who the DC heroes are, even though I own a Zatanna miniseries I couldn't tell you much about her beyond "ludicrous costume"

Tal Berkowitz - Vaccine advocate (DJP), Sunday, 11 September 2011 01:50 (eight years ago) link

she casts magic spells by saying words backwards

Mordy, Sunday, 11 September 2011 02:53 (eight years ago) link

Is Zatanna DC's first second generation hero*?
*Her father, Zatara, first appeared in a single-digit issue of Action, maybe #1?

like working at a jewelry store and not knowing about bracelets (Dr. Superman), Sunday, 11 September 2011 04:06 (eight years ago) link

(confirmed, Action#1)

like working at a jewelry store and not knowing about bracelets (Dr. Superman), Sunday, 11 September 2011 04:08 (eight years ago) link

I can't think of another, much less an earlier instance.

Antonio Carlos Broheem (WmC), Sunday, 11 September 2011 04:10 (eight years ago) link

Is it too spoilery to talk about the Flashpoint Mystery Woman?

Antonio Carlos Broheem (WmC), Sunday, 11 September 2011 05:22 (eight years ago) link


like working at a jewelry store and not knowing about bracelets (Dr. Superman), Sunday, 11 September 2011 06:00 (eight years ago) link

Batgirl #1

So Gail Simone was arguably the most successful writer of female heroes before the reboot, including having worked with Barbara Gordon before, and it gives DC a way of extending Adam Hughes' contract* so this is bound to be AWESOMES, right?

Well, for the most part it is. We get a new villain who seems to show people the worst bits of their lives then kills them imaginatively in an appropriate way (AND NOT LIKE THE SPECTRE AT ALL) and then we get Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. Then a splashpage that I just can't work out at all:

Where's she coming from? Where's she going? Where's the rope connected? Why are there no buildings behind her? WHAT'S UP WITH THAT FOOT?**

We have a fight with a small time gang of weird kids and then a flashback to The Killing Joke. And so it begins, as previous continuity begins to creep in. Although that needn't matter because it gets handwaved away on the next page as "a miracle happened".

We then get the usual attempt by Gail to pretend she's still a teenager with a lolworthy room-mate, but it's redeemed by a great closing sequence where Babs is unable to act because of Killing Joke memories (unfortunately not Jaz Coleman, so no Honouring of The Fire here) and people hate her.

I'm staying with this I think "but just fair warning, okay?"

* The man responsible for one of the most pointless and exploitative bits of DC promo material in years:

Which is for what, exactly? It just appeared standalone with no context - I particularly like how it fails to sexy up the wheelchair.

** Noticing feet in Book three of a week that has a Rob Liefeld book in it cannot be a good sign. I might melt down later.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 11 September 2011 09:19 (eight years ago) link

Batwing #1

WING, not WANG. I should be excited because this is a brand new hero for the reboot, but frankly it's all too WINICKY.

Actually, that's not fair. I actually quite like this despite it being a 30 second read. It's very, very pretty and establishes that GMoz's Batman Inc is in continuity as well (having happened just before the continuity 'present day') and references another hero group (The Kingdom) who also existed in the Gap. The new villain, Massacre, doesn't really make any sense though and this might have been better as an Unknown Soldier book (which it could still turn into given the final splash page).

It's so slight there really isn't anything else to say about it, so let's just look at how lovely the art is for a bit.


50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 11 September 2011 09:39 (eight years ago) link

batman DETECTIVE comics

Tony S Daniel was obviously sleeping when the DCU got rebooted because this is basically his Batman book from before the jump. Hey ho, I liked it then and I like it now. It doesn't even really pretend it's anything new either, as Bats knows all about The Joker already (which he would if this is in present day, but I thought it was 5 years ago like Action and Justice League?) and there's a Batsignal and all sorts. It's neither up nor down, really. The dialogue is sometimes crappy:

I'm not exactly in love with the art either because for every great panel there's one that looks like this:

The background of it is really nice, but what's up with his JOKERFACE HIS JO-JOKERFACE JO-JO-JO-JOKERFACE HIS JO-JOKERFACE?

The best thing about this book* is the lettering though, which is some of the best I've seen in a mainstream hero book in ages. Seriously, this panel reminds me of Cerebus:

And frankly that's enough to keep me onboard, although I might have to bail if Batman starts rewriting the Torah.** There's not enough good lettering out there any more and I don't care how anal that makes me sound.

* This is a lie. The best thing is the final splash page but I can't show you that as it's far too spoilery. It's also what's really keeping me buying it. But hey, it's another splash page as the final one - that makes Batgirl the only one so far that isn't.

** This is obviously another lie. How cool would that be?

In the beginning I created the heaven and the earth. I'm the me-damn God. And the Earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. Darkness. My old ally. I am a creature of the dark. And the Spirit of Me moved upon the face of the waters. Like a symbol. That's it - I shall become a me. And I said, let there be light: and there was light. Stupid. Stupid stupid stupid. Never learn.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 11 September 2011 10:23 (eight years ago) link

Green Arrow #1

Hoo boy. Written by a guy most famous for his work on the GGA series Fathom can't a good sign and guess what. IT ISN'T.*

For starters, Green Arrow is Steve Jobs - although to be honest that seems an easy mistake to make.

Anyway, this is the very definition of filler. We get a pointless fight with three minor villains that are so hackneyed it's almost unbelievable (a strong guy, one that controls electricity and a woman with two faces and four arms, that look like they've wandered in by accident from a lazy mid-80s X-Franchise) and some loose references to YouTube, nightclubs and happyslapping** to make it "current" and "edgy", I have visions of J.T. Krul sitting at home in a Global HyperColour t-shirt thinking how AWESOME he looks.

Getting to #3 will be a struggle, but going past there will be a mistake.

* This gives me the PH34R about Captain Atom too, because he's writing it too. Boo.

** For our American friends, Happyslapping was a media outrage in Britain in 2005, when cameraphones that did video were a new thing. It didn't really last long, despite the attempts of the Daily Mail amongst others to portray it as evidence of BROKEN BRITAIN.

Quite why it's in here I have no idea, but for evidence that it is:

It's also the splash page too. Wait, it can't be just HIS BUSINESS IS COMPUTERS SO HE IS FUTURISTIC LET'S TURN HIS DOWNFALL ONTO HIS Q-PAD DO YOU SEE, can it? Is anybody that stupid?

No, don't answer that.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 11 September 2011 10:57 (eight years ago) link

Hawk & Dove #1

Oh, Liefeldpaws.

No, wait, go back. I was almost excited about this because I have ridiculously fond memories of the Karl & Barbara Kesel run on it back in the 80s, but couldn't see why it was part of the new line, or written by a guy who hasn't done anything of note other than a few issues of Supergirl. Luckily Wikipedia gave me the answer:

Gates lives in Los Angeles, where he is good friends with fellow writers and collaborators James Robinson and Geoff Johns.

If you can't beat them, make friends with them and beg them for a job, eh?

Anyway, the writing is best summed up by ANGST! SHOUTING! SHOUTING! ANGST! DADDY ISSUES! INTERNAL CONFLICT! ANGST! and could have come exactly from that same book nearly 25 years ago. It has a long dialogue which lays out all the history and ends with a two-page splash which is CLASSIC Liefeld fodder but also implies CoIE is part of the new continuity too (but hang on, Barry Allen died during that, so doesn't that make a mess of everything?):

I do have to draw attention to this stunning bit of dialogue though:

Seriously, "You smell like.. Hawk & Dove"? Wtf does that even mean?

I've spent too long laughing at the writer though, and not enough laughing at Rob Liefeld. Have a montage, and remember - all these were drawn independently and I haven't included any of them twice.

There, now you don't need to read it.

Any other books will have to go a long, long way to be as bad as this. I will only make it to #3 because I love you.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 11 September 2011 12:22 (eight years ago) link


wait, Barry Allen never died in this reboot universe? but Batman's gone through four different Robins in five years?

challopian rubes (sic), Sunday, 11 September 2011 12:43 (eight years ago) link

Essentially, yes. It's the post-Final Crisis Barry Allen that Flashpoint happens to, during which time it was revealed (IIRC) that he didn't die in CoIE he was always just chasing back Darkseid's God Bullet, or something.

After reading all this week's books I don't think I know any more.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 11 September 2011 12:51 (eight years ago) link

Justice League International #1

You know, I don't have too much to say about this other than I'm sure it'll be a grower. It wants to be like the Giffen/de Matteis book but doesn't have the balls to do that much comedy so soon, so settles for being vaguely amusing although probably not amusing enough. I'm sure it'll get there once Booster Gold stops worrying about how good he is and is less emo, which can't be far off.

Nothing much happens. The group forms and goes off to investigate an incident in Peru, and it all ends in a splash for which the reference is clearly a Kirby work for Marvel but I can't decide which one. It's something like this

but it isn't. Is it Galactus? A Sentinel? Don't know. Happy for someone else to pick it out.

Anyway, this is OK, but isn't actually good either which is probably why I can't muster up the enthusiasm to say anything about it.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 11 September 2011 13:09 (eight years ago) link

Enjoying these so far. Stay strong.

Number None, Sunday, 11 September 2011 13:14 (eight years ago) link

Men of War #1

This is a two part book, the first of which is the new 52 version of Sgt Rock. All we can pretty much tell from it is that he's in an un-named foreign country conducting a covert assassination and one or maybe two superheroes royally fuck it up for him. Since this is not written by Bob Haney, Robert Kanigher or Garth Ennis it is not very good. If it's going to be set in a universe where there are heroes I can't see how it's going to work - or will end up like Qurac from 80s continuity where plots get inceasingly more ridiculous to justify the heroes not preventing the war or just defeating America's enemies.

The second part is Navy SEALs, which is military enthusiast level crazy, obsessed with acronyms that needed spelled out in sidebars. It's dreadful though, mainly because it doesn't have a plot. It also has the worst foot of the entire week, no small claim when there is an entire Liefeld book out.

Or closer:

Seriously, wtf? Has he got a joint in the middle of his foot that makes his toes point at 45 degrees to where they should be? I would say this spoils the book, but in fact it does the opposite and creates the only think worth talking about in it.

Getting to #3 will be easier than other books, but I can'tsee me going any further.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 11 September 2011 13:30 (eight years ago) link



This is Kirby's original OMAC premise, with only a very small element of the Rucka era. Look, just buy it, OK? Best thing all week.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 11 September 2011 13:44 (eight years ago) link

Static Shock #1

This completely passed me by. I knew nothing about the original so had no attachment to it, but this is the most out of place book thus far in the relaunch. Nothing of note happens and to be honest I can't remember a thing about it. Even reading through it again prompts no response about the first time. The whole thing smacks of 90s affirmative action product, even down to the cover story where he gets set up as a juvenile criminal but we all know he's not. DO YOU SEE? YOU THOUGHT HE MIGHT BE SO YOU ARE A RACIST BADDIE!

So, it ends with a cliffhanger where Static gets his arm cut off and may die. I'm willing to bet that he doesn't die and his arm is back by the end of the next book. You can take over doing this from me if I'm wrong.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 11 September 2011 14:11 (eight years ago) link

Thanks again Aldo. These recaps are great.

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 11 September 2011 14:27 (eight years ago) link

Stormwatch #1

This, however, is the book which should be the most out of place. It featured substitutes for Superman, Batman, Captain Atom etc because they couldn't use them and featured the spaces out of the universe as run-off between worlds using a ship too big for any universe as the maguffin. In the reboot we have a ship in "hyperspace", which looks like an attempt to rationalise The Carrier, but thee's no context for how they got out there. There's a flashback to previous Stormwatches through history, mention of a "Shadow Cabinet" and a giant eye inside the Moon.

I wonder if the incoming thing it refers to is what Luthor notices in Action? (There's also a reference to Superman #1, not yet published.) Anyway, The Engineer and Jack Hawksmoor are still there, they're trying to recruit Apollo and it looks like The Midnighter is on the other side. Jenny Quantum is in the book, but doesn't look like she's in Stormwatch yet, whereas the Martian Manhunter is.

I'm not really sure it's worth trying to rationalise this, but I'm sure it'll make sense eventually. I guess I have faith in Paul Cornell to get it right eventually, but this is pretty slow going even if it does seem to be about the Moon turning into a monster.

One for the fans, I think.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 11 September 2011 14:33 (eight years ago) link

Swamp Thing #1

Having been a massive Swamp Thing stan at one point, I somehow missed everything that was happening around Brightest Day and only read one issue of the Search For.. book so I've had to fill in the gaps. Which, frankly, seem like a load of old bollocks. Anyway, Alec Holland is now just a man, but has connections to the plant world he can't explain. There's something weird happening with bones as well (which most likely tie into The Red as I noted in Animal Man and Jeff Lemire confirms the two books will cross over soon). He has a bio-restorative formula again, but nobody except Superman wants him to use it.

Some obvious nods to the old fans in here - the cover is reminiscent of the last panel of Rite of Spring and Totleben's Motel is a nice touch - but as with Animal Man this is a Vertigo book in all but name and some of the pages are amongst the best I've seen in a DC horror book for some time. This is my favourite page:

A sleeper title maybe, but one you should be reading. I will be.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 11 September 2011 14:49 (eight years ago) link

So Gail Simone was arguably the most successful writer of female heroes before the reboot, including having worked with Barbara Gordon before, and it gives DC a way of extending Adam Hughes' contract* so this is bound to be AWESOMES, right?

* The man responsible for one of the most pointless and exploitative bits of DC promo material in years:

But Batgirl isn't drawn by Adam Hughes, it's by someone called Ardian Syaf (never heard of him before). I was actually surprised how little beefcake there was in Batgirl #1, even Babs' breast size was not the mandatory superheroine D cup, she actually looks like someone who has trained her upper body a lot. I agree that the leg spread splash page looks a bit silly, but on the other hand it was probably supposed to emphasize how great she feels being able to use her legs again. Other than that I thought this Syaf fellow is a very solid artist and good at drawing action, there were some nice kinetic panels in the fight between Batgirl and the masked gang.

Tuomas, Sunday, 11 September 2011 15:36 (eight years ago) link

Sorry, by "beefcake" I meant cheesecake, obviously.

Tuomas, Sunday, 11 September 2011 15:39 (eight years ago) link

Adam Hughes did the cover.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 11 September 2011 15:44 (eight years ago) link

Look, just buy it, OK? Best thing all week.


challopian rubes (sic), Sunday, 11 September 2011 21:57 (eight years ago) link

but it isn't. Is it Galactus? A Sentinel? Don't know. Happy for someone else to pick it out.

Possibly a callback to:

Which turned out to be misplaced giant robot belonging to...

like working at a jewelry store and not knowing about bracelets (Dr. Superman), Sunday, 11 September 2011 22:06 (eight years ago) link

man, that Workman fill-in looks so wrong

challopian rubes (sic), Sunday, 11 September 2011 23:31 (eight years ago) link

So Best thing all week is by DiDio? My world is crumbling!

Aldo, these are great. That Hawk&Dove montage alone was wonderful. You've made me buy some books I wasn't going to.

not bulimic, just a cat (James Morrison), Monday, 12 September 2011 00:32 (eight years ago) link

what do yall have against the Hughes pinup?

Nhex, Monday, 12 September 2011 03:28 (eight years ago) link

I don't really have anything against the Hughes pinup (hell, I might have bought more than one Frank Cho book in my life), but the Women of DC thing was utterly pointless cheesecake which iirc appeared for the first time in three segments as inside back covers. No context, nothing. I think there's something funny as well about his sexying up Barbara Goredon then realising composition means he has to have another character sitting down for no reason at the other side.

As for the JLI splash, no, it's definitely a Kirby thing I'm thinking of. Look at the Action Poses!

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Monday, 12 September 2011 06:52 (eight years ago) link

Barbara Goredon

don't give Geoff Johns ideas

challopian rubes (sic), Monday, 12 September 2011 06:56 (eight years ago) link

I kinda dig Foreman's art on Animal Man, but can see how YMMV.

I liked it too... I think maybe the online reproduction of it is losing some of the detail.

The New Dirty Vicar, Monday, 12 September 2011 15:17 (eight years ago) link

one thing I don't like about all this nu-52 shite is the way all the issue 1s are swamping the new comics space in my local shop.

The New Dirty Vicar, Wednesday, 14 September 2011 14:02 (eight years ago) link

Batman and Robin #1

Woohoo! A book by Rolo Tomassi! \m/ \m/

Oh. Peter Tomasi.

WELL THAT'S HARDLY THE SAME THING NOW, IS IT? I mean seriously, you think a Geoff Johns Sadface collaborator is a substitute for Nottingham Mathcore?

To be fair to the book, it's not bad. A universe's worth of BatHistory is tied up and rejected in about 10 pages, and it's really clear that Barry Allen's Cosmic Brane remembers all of Batman Inc even though the rest of us can't. But from the double page centre splash onwards it's good knockabout generic BatFun, even if it took me five goes to work out what was going on in this panel and how it connects to the panels before and after:

The last page, however, redeems pretty much any failings even if it's probably the most brutal thing in any of the new books to date. I'm staying for now, but not wedded to continuing to buy this yet.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 10:07 (eight years ago) link

Batwoman #1

All Hail Geoff Johns! He has managed to get JH Williams to get an issue of Batwoman out on time! NB I am not taking bets against this being the only one...

Anyway, the reasoning why is well known - Williams was so late this has been rescheduled multiple times since the original Feb solicit and boy does it show. This comes straight out of the Detective feature, barely even acknowledging the whole Brightest Day/Blackest Night bollocks.

Accordingly, this probably needs no selling to you. It's absolutely beautiful, as you'd expect. I mean, LOOK AT THIS (no apologies for HUGENESS):

One complaint? Continuity. BRA ON:


I mean, you could argue there's too much GAY AGENDAR, but you must have known you were buying a book about a lesbian crimefighter. I can't see any possible way you could sell this to kids because the plot is just too complicated, but as long as they keep publishing it I'll keep buying it.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 10:53 (eight years ago) link

Deathstroke #1

Bleh. No interest in the character and the artist comes from the Draw Characters Like Rob Liefeld Draws Captain America And/Or Cable school.

Luckily he took evening classes in MacFarlane Pouches.

The worst thing about this was the teen sidekicks though, and it's only Deathstroke's reaction to them in the closing pages that makes me remotely interested in reading any more of these.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 11:08 (eight years ago) link

Demon Knights #1

Damn the consequences, I really quite liked this. There, I said it.

I have absolutely NO idea how this ties into the modern DCU, but what's not to like about a comic that stars Jason Blood, Madame Xanadu, The Shining Knight and Vandal Savage?

Does it deliver kind of mystic action with added FITES?

This sort of thing just makes me feel all benevolent.

This won't be for everyone. It might not actually be for anyone other than me. But I'm sticking with this for now.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 11:24 (eight years ago) link

The bra-off shot is several weeks after the bra-on shot, not minutes later. If that's a continuty error, I'm glad I don't have to wash your smalls.

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Sunday, 18 September 2011 11:36 (eight years ago) link

btw is it just me or was Mr Bones not rhyming at all? I know Johnson and Williams hid them in Chase, but I didn't spot a sneaky rhyme scheme in this.

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Sunday, 18 September 2011 11:38 (eight years ago) link

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1

You know, I really, really want to like this but it's such a B.P.R.D. rip-off it's nigh-on impossible.

You took the words right out of my mouth, Frankie. Look, they even have a new character (? I think) that rips off Abe Sapien!

This must be able to be made good, but I have no idea how. Putting Ray Palmer in it, presumably to allow The Atom later, doesn't cut it. Me and Jeff Lemire, last night:

I'm Frankie, if you hadn't guessed. Anybody who wants to read this sort of thing done well should buy the FrankenCastle run on The Punisher instead.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 11:42 (eight years ago) link

Just re-read that bit of Batwoman and there's nothing anywhere to suggest that they're not continuous - we see the characters dress and go out, then come back and undress while talking about one fight (which is intercut in the undressing art). I agree it makes far more sense for it to reflect several weeks but that's not what the comic itself says at all; and since this is supposed to be part of attracting a new comics audience who are not necessarily comics literate, asking them to read implicit textual changes is a bit of a low blow.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 11:49 (eight years ago) link

"You're not being fair, Kate. I HAVE been working really hard."
"You still scare me out there."

This dialogue indicates clearly that they have been out on patrol on multiple occasions over a moderately extended period of time.

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Sunday, 18 September 2011 11:53 (eight years ago) link

Green Lantern #1


A book so mired in continuity it makes no sense if you haven't read every GL book ever like what Geoff has.

Ok, I'm exaggerating slightly, but how is a new reader supposed to know or care about Star Sapphire? Or the Sinestro Corps War?

Reading something else. What I'm not doing is having dinner with Geoff Johns and Sterling Gates.

Impenetrable bollocks for the casual reader. A searing indictment of the real state of DC for the rest of us. This, unfortunately, is the future.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 12:06 (eight years ago) link

I take your point sic, but the new reader would struggle with that and that's who these books are supposed to be for.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 12:07 (eight years ago) link

aldo you are performing a great service to humanity w these reviews, just one thing, cld you possibly give us full creator credits at the start of em, ty

Ward Fowler, Sunday, 18 September 2011 12:21 (eight years ago) link

I can think of many things that might scare new readers off these books, but somehow I don't think a magical bra-swap in one panel is gonna be among those.

Tuomas, Sunday, 18 September 2011 12:23 (eight years ago) link

Attracting new readers oughtn't mean dumbing everything down for a punch-and-biff lowest common denominator, though. And it's not fair to hold a JH Williams comic from late 2009 to a March 2011 idea by Dan DiDio.

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Sunday, 18 September 2011 12:23 (eight years ago) link

And let's face it, this book was always going to bring non-regular-DC-readers to it, reboot or no reboot - and they were going to largely be comics-literate people who are here FOR the JHW3 storytelling. (Hi there!)

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Sunday, 18 September 2011 12:25 (eight years ago) link

Equally Tuomas they're not going to be put off by boob size either, yet the GRITTY REALISM of that seems to be the primary thing you got out of Batgirl.

sic, violently agree with you but unfortunately we are living in a Didio world, and Kate Kane is a DiDio girl.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 12:29 (eight years ago) link

Equally Tuomas they're not going to be put off by boob size either, yet the GRITTY REALISM of that seems to be the primary thing you got out of Batgirl.

It wasn't! I just wanted to mention that one detail, because I thought it was a positive thing compared to most other superhero comics. Though I'm pretty sure there are actually many potential readers who are put off by the constant objectification of female characters in superhero comics (off which the "everyone has D cups" phenomenon is just a part of).

Tuomas, Sunday, 18 September 2011 12:36 (eight years ago) link

For Ward, creator run-down to date (writer/pencils/inks unless noted)

Justice League: Geoff Johns/Jim Lee/Scott Williams
Action: GMoz/Rags Morales/Rick Bryant
Animal Man: Jeff Lemire/Travel Foreman/Dan Green
Batwang: Judd Winick/Ben Oliver (all art)
Batgirl: Gail Simone/Ardian Syaf/Vincente Cifuentes
Detective: Tony S Daniel/Ryan Winn (all art)
Green Arrow: JT Krul/Dan Jurgens/George Perez
Hawk & Dove: Sterling Gates/Rob Liefeld (all art)
Justice League International: Dan Jugens/Aaron Lopresti/Matt Ryan
Men Of War: Ivan Brandon (Rock writer)/Tom Derenik (Rock artist)/Jonathon Vankin (SEALS writer)/Phil Winslade (SEALS artist)
OMAC: Dan DiDio/Keith Giffen/Scott Koblish
Static Shock: Scott McDaniel and John Rozum/Jonathon Glapion/LeBeau Underwood
Stormwatch: Paul Cornell/Miguel Sepulveda (all art)
Swamp Thing: Scott Snyder/Yanick Paquette (all art)
B&R: Peter J Tomasi/Patrick Gleason/Mick Gray
Batwoman: JH Williams (everything)/W Haden Blackman (co-writer)
Deathstroke: Kyle Higgins/Joe Bennett/Art Thibert
Demon Knights: Paul Cornell/Diogenes Neves/Oclair Albert
Frankie: Jeff Lemire/Alberto Ponticelli (all art)
GL: Geoff Johns/Doug Mahnke/Christian Alamy

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 12:42 (eight years ago) link

Also, the Geoff Johns universe does not have people put off by BEWBS or women in refigerators. That is the law. (In fact, maybe every single book has been dominated by female characters - when they appear - being portrayed in better light than the male ones. IT'S A POLITICAL CORRECTNESS CONSPIRACY. Maybe now all the old fans will have to stop reading comics now their illusions are shattered and they can't see past their close minded view of gender politics.)

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 12:50 (eight years ago) link

Grifter #1 W: Nathan Edmondson P: Cafu (presumably not the Brazilian footballer. Or Alan Hutton.) I: Jason Gorder

Um. I was never enough of a Wildstorm fan for this to mean anything to me really, but it chugs along at a steady enough pace and generates enough interest to get me reading the next couple without complaint. The art's nice enough, and doesn't lean nearly as heavily on Josh Holloway as you'd expect it to have for a model. What confuses me the most though is whether it's seventeen minutes, hours or days as it appears as all three in the text. And ends up back where it began.

The real value of the book is it captures some candid shots of me round Dan DiDio's house.


50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 13:30 (eight years ago) link

Legion Lost #1: Fabien Nicieza and Pete Woods (no sub-credits)

So, I'm a sucker for LoSH. I always knew it, but how much of a kick I get out of it is best summed up by this picture of you and me reading it together.

It's really good, I think. Chasing a super-villain through time, the Time Bubble blows up leading to the titular scenario. There's a bit of a fight and WHOA

Some fairly crappy dialogue, another couple of explosions with some character deaths thrown in and we're at the end with me eagerly waiting the next installment. Don't expect more detail because there isn't any - this is a fast-paced flipper (with a bit of exposition).

I don't know, but if I go down I'm taking you with me.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 13:51 (eight years ago) link

so these comix i've never heard of are all wildstorm things right?

Mordy, Sunday, 18 September 2011 13:54 (eight years ago) link

Some are, some are just unlikely titles.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 14:00 (eight years ago) link

the last two?

Mordy, Sunday, 18 September 2011 14:05 (eight years ago) link

You've never heard of the Legion of Super Heroes?

Nhex, Sunday, 18 September 2011 14:24 (eight years ago) link

Legion Lost?

Mordy, Sunday, 18 September 2011 15:09 (eight years ago) link

It's a new Legion of Super Heroes spinoff.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 15:18 (eight years ago) link

oh cool, didn't realize. is Brainiac 5 still in continuity somewhere?

Mordy, Sunday, 18 September 2011 15:20 (eight years ago) link

Guessing he's going to be in the main LoSH title. Big names in this one were TimberWolf and Wildfire.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 15:22 (eight years ago) link

It's a new Legion of Super Heroes spinoff.

also an old Legion of Super Heroes spinoff.

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Sunday, 18 September 2011 16:07 (eight years ago) link

Mister Terrific #1 W: Eric Wallace P: Gianluca Gugliotta I: Wayne Faucher

Another day, another character I know nothing about. A Golden Age hero who was brought into the Justice Society of America, quite why he's been catapulted into one of the only 52 books remaining is really unclear since it reads like second string throughout. It's competent enough, but never exciting at any point and has a real identity crisis - it starts in the present day London and appears to have been written by somebody who has never been there, before skipping far into the past for a bit of character establishing and then back to the present day for a plot completely unrelated to the London sequence. It's easy enough to find yourself swept along liking it enough, but two panels stand out for me:

Ummm. Wow. Race complex, much? Self-identifying as "black guy"? "Black woman" who is genetically different to a white one solely on the basis of colour? Wow again.

I really have no idea who thinks stuff like this is a good idea. But it's weird enough to make me think about not taking this beyond #1.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 16:33 (eight years ago) link

Red Lanterns #1 W: Peter Milligan P: Ed Benes I: Rob Hunter


This is complete torture/violence porn, but there's almost something that resembles a plot in there. I'm struggling to write about it because it's more of a FEELING that it's good - the internalised dialogue is good, the art is clean and distinct and it feels like it's going somewhere (unlike most of the other books this week). But I'm still conflicted. The final page sums up how I felt when I finished it:

Happy to stick with it for the time being but I'm not sure how long I can sustain the levels of hate required to enjoy this. And as one of the most misanthropic people on the planet, that's some claim.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 16:44 (eight years ago) link

Resurrection Man #1 W: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning Art: Fernando Dagnino

OK, there's obscure and there's Resurrection Man. Around for two years in the late 90s and that's pretty much it, the creators of the character have been given a second chance with him; which is kind of fitting as his powers are that he dies and comes back to life with a new power (that he doesn't know what it is).

This ends up working maybe the best of any of the 52 books then just because of this, primarily because it hasn't got any huge amount of history it has to cram in or ignore and nothing to be inconsistent with. And although I enjoyed it I wasn't engaged at any point, plus the whole "fixed events and you can't prevent them because you cause them" part of the plot reminded me of everything I hate about modern Doctor Who.

The art is the thing though. It reminds me of the last attempt to bring back Marvel's New Universe, or lower tier Marvel supernatural books of the 80s/90s like Druid. And it features the worst piece of art this week, coupled with one of the weirdest bits of dialogue:

"A GaGa kind of way". Plus the hands. Ignoring his giant hand at the front of the panel, we have this behind:

Uh. It's her hand that's behind that doesn't work, as that inexplicable bit of width makes it look like it's her thumb and not his. Still, a decent first issue and I'm sticking with it.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 17:05 (eight years ago) link

Kind of looks like she has a case of toethumb

mh, Sunday, 18 September 2011 17:09 (eight years ago) link

That scene hopefully takes place in the waiting room of Resurrection Man's dentist's office, which just happens to have an interesting painting of Resurrection Man scowling out a window. Does "a gaga kind of way" mean like Lady Gaga (who belongs in Red Lantern or Demon Knights) or as in Freudian/Oedipal hoochie-wawa?
"I need Red Lanterns in my shorts"

like working at a jewelry store and not knowing about bracelets (Dr. Superman), Sunday, 18 September 2011 18:45 (eight years ago) link

I think the former. I'd prefer the latter. (Actually, yr whole post has put "Metal Fingers In My Body" on my IJ which is no bad thing and somewhat appropriate for the first half of this book.)

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 19:02 (eight years ago) link

I know I have two books left btw, they'll turn up tomorrow. One of them was my favourite thing this week. OOH THE TENSION.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 19:08 (eight years ago) link

the current Mr. Terrific as works better as a DC Reed Richards type IMO

Nhex, Sunday, 18 September 2011 21:17 (eight years ago) link

re: JLI image, vaguely resembles:
Is Jurgens doing layouts on JLI? Because that splash was very deliberately composed to evoke classic iconography of team books. I've always liked Jurgens as a penciller (though not really as a stylist, if that makes sense), got no opinion of him as a writer, have no idea what his comics values are. He seems to turn out consistently MOR work. His art never gets in the way of the story, but it doesn't really enhance it either.

like working at a jewelry store and not knowing about bracelets (Dr. Superman), Sunday, 18 September 2011 21:41 (eight years ago) link

That's a really good effort but not what I was thinking of. It'll come to me, I'm sure.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2011 21:47 (eight years ago) link

I just read OMAC. And while its heart was in the right place, I guess, I had to wonder why this book even got made. Doing a Kirby thing (and OMAC is incredibly Kirby, perhaps the Kirbyest, or within spitting distance of it) without the King just doesn't make any sense. In the meantime, I'll just pull the old HC off the shelf and flip through it again, since it will be everything that this series is shooting for, and more.

Matt M., Monday, 19 September 2011 00:41 (eight years ago) link

prob DiDio got excited about the good reviews for Paul Pope’s cover version of Omac #1 in Solo and went “gissa job, I can do that”

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Monday, 19 September 2011 01:29 (eight years ago) link

and the boss said “alright then”

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Monday, 19 September 2011 01:29 (eight years ago) link

the boss:

Mordy, Monday, 19 September 2011 01:32 (eight years ago) link


Matt M., Monday, 19 September 2011 03:33 (eight years ago) link

Suicide Squad #1 W: Adam Glass Art: Federico Dallocchio/Ransom Getty/Scott Hanna

Different Universe, same Suicide Squad. Supervillains get let out of jail in return for pulling off covert missions as part of Task Force X, the catch being that it's unlikely they'll all make it. This can be kind of predictable, as it's usually the small-time villains you've never heard of that buy the farm, but whatevs.

This is an establishing book, with a bit of history on Task Force X and a bit of history of the current members, but this is a blast from start to finish. Members in #1 are Deadshot, Harley Quinn, King Shark, Black Spider, el Diablo, Voltaic and Savant and guess what? Not all of them get to the end of the issue, where we get a brief Amanda Waller cameo (boy, has she been working out in the Johns Universe...) and the next mission, which looks like a doozy.

But putting all that aside, FUN FUN FUN

King Shark is the best thing about this issue by a country mile.

And I defy anyone not to love the contrast between him and everybody else here.

Welcome back. I've missed you not being about.

Aldo's winner of the week. Guaranteed to contain no Sadface.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Monday, 19 September 2011 11:15 (eight years ago) link

Is this Deadshot supposed to be someone else than Floyd Lawton? If not, what happened to his cool mask and moustache? Why mess with a great character design?

Tuomas, Monday, 19 September 2011 11:36 (eight years ago) link

Superboy #1 W: Scott Lobdell P: RB Silva I: Rob Lean

And after that, a let-down. For starters, this is not Superboy as in Young Clark Kent. It's kind of Superboy as in Kon-El. But the fact I've mis-typed Superboy as Superbot several times is a bit of a giveaway - this is Superboy as in Astro Boy:

There's an awful lot of setup in this, and I'm not sure I followed it fully to be honest. I mean, what's this even about?

And there are words. Lots of words. Lots and lots of words. Neal Adams Batman levels of words. LOOK AT THEM!

But then it all happens in the last page. Is this a hint towards Universe Punching? If so I'm up for it, if not I'm out.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Monday, 19 September 2011 11:39 (eight years ago) link

Yes, Deadshot is Floyd Lawton. His mask is broken here, he has the full thing elsewhere in the book. He doesn't have a moustache because he isn't in his 60, Scandanavian or living in the 1970s.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Monday, 19 September 2011 11:42 (eight years ago) link

In a stunning twist of fate, I have managed to last longer on the books than one of the creative teams - John Rozum has announced he's left Static Shock.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Monday, 19 September 2011 11:45 (eight years ago) link


Nhex, Monday, 19 September 2011 11:50 (eight years ago) link

I think the obsolete moustache was a great part of his character... Even if he was occasionally portrayed sympathetically, you knew he was never gonna make a full turn into being a good guy, because he had such an obvious old-school Evil Moustache. So I would assume the lack of moustache means he's now gonna become a Usually Moral Anti-Hero instead of a Usually Amoral one.

Tuomas, Monday, 19 September 2011 11:52 (eight years ago) link


Tuomas, Monday, 19 September 2011 11:52 (eight years ago) link

Also, in Secret Six Gail Simone made it clear that his fashion sense in general is a relic of the 1970s.

Tuomas, Monday, 19 September 2011 11:55 (eight years ago) link

In a stunning twist of fate, I have managed to last longer on the books than one of the creative teams

Haven't several of them lost their artists before or during the first issues already? And Action #2 and #3 have both been solicited with fill-in artists doing substantial chunks of the pages.

you knew he was never gonna make a full turn into being a good guy, because he had such an obvious old-school Evil Moustache. So I would assume the lack of moustache means he's now gonna become a Usually Moral Anti-Hero instead of a Usually Amoral one.

^booming post

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Monday, 19 September 2011 12:10 (eight years ago) link

One of the funniest moments in Invincible (SPOILERS if you haven't read it) was related to that... The main bad guys in the series are this race of Evil Fascist Aliens who have conquered half the galaxy, and all of the men of that race sport a 70s style Evil Moustache. Now, the main opponent of Evil Empire is an interplanetary alliance lead by an old dude with a Gandalf beard. In a SHOCKING TWIST the old dude reveals to the good guys that he is actually a reformed member of the Evil Alien Race. How does he do that? By pulling of his fake beard, revealing that the only real facial hair he has is a 70s moustache.

Tuomas, Monday, 19 September 2011 12:32 (eight years ago) link

i don't know why the world needs another punisher, but i guess the world didn't need lobo either and now here we are

Mordy, Monday, 19 September 2011 13:20 (eight years ago) link

oops i mean

Mordy, Monday, 19 September 2011 13:22 (eight years ago) link

Are you talking about Deadshot? He's not like The Punisher at all.

Tuomas, Monday, 19 September 2011 13:25 (eight years ago) link

u know, i was actually thinking of deathstroke whose new incarnation is kinda punisher-esque. i haven't read the new Suicide Squad yet

Mordy, Monday, 19 September 2011 13:29 (eight years ago) link

Deadshot is older than the Punisher AFAIK, Deathstroke was always 'inspired' by him AAFAIK

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Monday, 19 September 2011 13:42 (eight years ago) link

Only one mustache allowed in this brave new universe.

like working at a jewelry store and not knowing about bracelets (Dr. Superman), Monday, 19 September 2011 18:07 (eight years ago) link

is it wrong that I'm still giggling that someone thought Batwing was a good title for a comic book

sick yr finger up his butt (DJP), Monday, 19 September 2011 18:22 (eight years ago) link

It just means you go outside to do things other than go to a comic store, imo.

mh, Monday, 19 September 2011 18:33 (eight years ago) link

What is this outside you speak of?

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Monday, 19 September 2011 18:36 (eight years ago) link

I think it has something to do with where Superman flies, or jumps, or whatever it is he does now.

mh, Monday, 19 September 2011 18:39 (eight years ago) link

at first I thought you were talking about batwing, not outside

sick yr finger up his butt (DJP), Monday, 19 September 2011 18:41 (eight years ago) link

And now JT Krul is off Green Arrow and Keith Giffen is in. How is that supposed to help me shed titles after #3?

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Tuesday, 20 September 2011 08:55 (eight years ago) link

Action #4 has also been solicited with a fill-in artist, AND a back-up story by another writer and artist "spinning off from the events of #2!"

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Tuesday, 20 September 2011 09:06 (eight years ago) link

So after a month where it looked like the ACTUALLY MIGHT HAVE PULLED THIS OFF, DC seem determined to fuck it all up. Where does the fault lie. DiDio?

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Tuesday, 20 September 2011 09:36 (eight years ago) link

If by "pulling this off" you mean "making the rebooted titles accessible to new readers", I don't think they ever pulled it off. Out of the titles I've read so far, only OMAC and possibly Action Comics haven't required the reader to know previous continuity in order to fully understand the plot.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 20 September 2011 10:18 (eight years ago) link

Take Swamp Thing, for example: I mentioned above that I thought Alec Holland being alive again was some kind of a mystery that would be explained in later issues, but it turns out this was something that actually happened in Blackest Night, which I haven't read. So even you if are aware of Moore's classic Swamp Thing (like I was) in order to get the stuff that Holland is talking about troughout the issue, you still have to read a big superhero crossover to understand what happened to Holland and the previous Swamp Thing. Why can't superhero comics have those little "see Blackest Night #8 for more details - your helpful editor" boxes anymore?

Tuomas, Tuesday, 20 September 2011 10:25 (eight years ago) link

No, by "pulling it off" I meant actually making money from publishing funnybooks which afaik they hadn't been for some time. And tbh only a small handful of the books have required you to know previous continuity - Batwing and Batman & Robin being the most obvious examples - and even then I suspect all it does is produces a different reading. I've shown them to someone who doesn't do the whole continuity thing and we've pretty much liked the same books (though sometimes for different reasons).

Suicide Squad has one of those little boxes, as does at least one other of this week's books (memory says it's Superman related?).

I get what you say about Alec Holland, but does it actually matter to a new reader? If you don't have the level of continuity that you already have in your brain, would you care what the answer is?

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Tuesday, 20 September 2011 10:28 (eight years ago) link

Well, let's assume I would be a totally new reader who's never read any Swamp Thing related comics. If I was, for me the plot of SW #1 would be something like this:

* There's a botanist named Alec Holland. He developed some super-growth plant serum, then died in an accident. While he was dead something unexplained happened, which is why he has some memories that don't belong to him. Then he was resurrected for unexplained reasons. He monnologues about weird things that are not explained, like "Swamp Thing" and "the Green".

* He meets Superman (presumably even this new reader knows who Superman is), who tells him that various forms of fauna are inexplicably dying in masses. Then they have an oblique discussion about some unexplained things that happened in the recent past.

* Creepy stuff happens in the desert. This is actually pretty cool!

* Holland has further monologues about unexplained things, and he keeps repeating he's not this "Swamp Thing".

* The issue ends with him meeting a monster made of plants. Maybe this is the "Swamp Thing"?

I'd say that the basic requirement for a successful issue #1 would be to establish the protagonist(s): who is he, what does he do, what drives him to do what do what he does? Unless you know the previous continuity, Swamp Thing #1 has none of that. More than half of the issue is about some mysterious guy mulling over past events that are not really explained at all.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 20 September 2011 11:03 (eight years ago) link

Or, you know, you could explain that as a slow build.

Trying deconstructing OMAC in the same way, and see what that looks like.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Tuesday, 20 September 2011 11:07 (eight years ago) link

Well yeah, I guess if all these mysterious past events are explained in later issues, then the title might get accessible to new readers. But since all these events have already happened in previous comics, I'm not sure if they ever bother to do that.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 20 September 2011 11:15 (eight years ago) link

Trying deconstructing OMAC in the same way, and see what that looks like.

This is actually interesting, because I've never read any OMAC related comics before, so I was actually the "new reader" here, as I knew nothing about the characters involved. So, what I got out of it:

* There's a secret high-tech lab underneath a regular lab, and the secret lab is involved in some shady business.

* A superpowered creature named OMAC is sent to infiltrate it by his boss.

* The secret lab is ran by some villainous non-human character who sends his minions to fight OMAC.

* We find out that OMAC's boss wants to merge with a supersecret computer network inside the secret lab, and that he once inhabited this network. So presumably he's some kind of an AI who wants to get some data out of the network.

* OMAC beats the minions and manages to connect to the network, thus giving his boss access to it.

* OMAC exits the lab, and it turns out he's one of the workers of the regular lab, who's been changed without his knowledge into this creature by the AI.

* The AI is shown to be occupying a satellite in the sky, and he has some further plans.

So yeah, there still are some unexplained questions left (what exactly did the AI want from the network? what are its further plans for OMAC?), but there's definitely much more for the new reader to grasp than in ST #1.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 20 September 2011 11:29 (eight years ago) link

don't think these mythical 'new readers' exist any more, or exist in this state of divine ignorance, or ever set foot in a comic bk store, or buy comics without first reading their relevant wiki entry or the comic book news sites, tbh

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 20 September 2011 11:50 (eight years ago) link

or ever set foot in a comic bk store,

hence day-and-date,in theory

but none of them are going to pay $3.99 for 24 .jpgs

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Tuesday, 20 September 2011 12:09 (eight years ago) link

Back when I was (much) younger, being (initially) confused was actually quite appealing for me as a first-time reader on a given title.

Chuck_Tatum, Tuesday, 20 September 2011 13:04 (eight years ago) link

Great thread! I have to admit this marketing gimmick did the trick for me, I picked up three new comics for the first time in nearly a decade last night. Unfortunately it was only at a local bookstore, not a comic shop, so all they had was Justic League, Action Comics, and Swamp Thing.

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Tuesday, 20 September 2011 13:15 (eight years ago) link

Back when I was (much) younger, being (initially) confused was actually quite appealing for me as a first-time reader on a given title.

Me too, but at least back then comic books heavily positioned in continuity used to

A) provide you with some kind of synopsis of what has happened before,


B) tell you which previous issues the current events refer to.

Sadly, both of these practices seem to have fallen out of flavour, at least with Marvel and DC. I'm sure there are many other reasons for it, but I can't help but think this newbie-unfriendliness is one explanation why the readership for superhero comics has dwindled and why new readers aren't getting on board, despite superheroes themselves being more popular than in ages due to various movies and TV series.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 20 September 2011 13:25 (eight years ago) link

Yeah my inner nerd always loved the astericked "- issue #52" notes at the bottom of panels.

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Tuesday, 20 September 2011 13:28 (eight years ago) link

Let’s do a rundown – I’m sure this is going to be incomplete, anyone who has more please add below.

Action Comics: #1 - OK, #2 - maybe OK? #3 - art fill-ins by Brent Anderson, #4 - art fill-ins by Gene Ha, back-up fill-ins by writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Matt Camp

Mr Terrific: #1 - Roger Robinson solicited, replaced by Gianluca Gugliotta. #2 - solicited as by Gianluca Gugliotta, TBC. #3 - solicited as Scott Clark and Dave Beaty. #4 – Gugliotta back, with fill-in inker added.

Static Shock: #2 - two-man inking team replaced. #3 - co-writer drops back to just pencilling. #5 - remaining writer quits.

Suicide Squad: #2 - artist Marco Rudy dropped, replaced by Federico Dallochio and Ransom Getty. THEN #1 released without Rudy, despite solicitation.

Green Arrow: #1 - inker replaced. #4 - horrible writer JT Krul dropped. Another writer offered book, turned it down. Didio tags regular shrugging sidekick Giffen to step in alongside penciller Dan Jurgens as co-writing team.

Swamp Thing: #3 - inker added. #4 - artist drops out altogether, inker takes over.

Demon Knights: #4 - fill-in artist added, also draws cover – sign of future takeover?

Green Lantern Corps: #3 - artist replaced. #4 - artist returns.

Voodoo: #3 - inker added.

Blackhawks: #2 - artist replaced with fill-in art team. #3 - art team replaced with still another new artist. New artist claims he turned down offer, and is still under exclusive contract to Marvel, so probably knows what he’s talking about. Fuck knows who’s actually going to draw it. #4 – fill-in artist from #2 returns, with new fill-in inker.

Batwing: #4 - artist replaced.

Stormwatch: #2 - fill-in artist added.

Men Of War: #2 - back-up fill-in added by Jonathan Vankin and Phil Winslade. #4 – back-up fill-in team replaced by B Clay Moore and Paul McAffrey.

All-Star Western: #2 - back-up fill-in by Jordi Bernet. #4 – dropped from Men Of War, Phil Winslade becomes fill-in artist over here.

Red Hood And The Outlaws: #2 - fill-in artist added.

Green Lantern New Guardians: #2 - inker replaced.

Animal Man: #2 - inker replaced.

Legion Secret Origin: #2 - inker replaced.

Detective Comics: #4 - inker replaced.

Blue Beetle: #4 – inker replaced.

Red Lanterns: #4 - fill-in artist added.

Grifter: #4 - new art team replace previous artist.

Nightwang: #4 – artist replaced. Writer considers leaving due to editorial difficulties. Writer staying for now, artist expecting to be back for #5 but who knows.

The Dark Knight: let’s include the pre-reboot run of this here, so we can see why Didio, Johns & Lee had such faith in this dude to be a strong monthly lynchpin of their new no-delays universe.

DAVID FINCH’S THE DARK KNIGHT #1: solicited for November 24th 2010. Published December 29th, after #2 was supposed to be out. By David Finch.

DAVID FINCH’S THE DARK KNIGHT #2: published 23rd March, four months after #1’s intended date. Finch replaced on inks by Scott Williams. Finch replaced on colours by some dude. Script had not been written when #1 was due to print.

DAVID FINCH’S THE DARK KNIGHT #3: was not solicited to appear two months after #1. Published 13th July, SEVEN months after #1. Finch failed to ink or colour the issue in this time, a second fill-in inker has been added, and a second fill-in colourist has been added.

DAVID FINCH’S THE DARK KNIGHT #4: Published July 27th, just two weeks after #3. Unsurprisingly, Finch has failed to draw or colour any of this issue. It has a new fill-in penciller, two new fill-in inkers, and two new fill-in colourists.
I repeat, on just the fourth issue of a book ENTIRELY CREATED for one author to write and draw monthly, no issues have come out on time, the entire thing is five months late, and it is taking NINE extra people to manage to get two issues done in a timeframe faster than four months.

DAVID FINCH’S THE DARK KNIGHT #5: Published August 24th. This is the only time an issue has come out one month after the previous one. Finch has again failed to draw, paint, ink, or colour his solo title. The same fill-in penciller as last issue remains.
ONE of the fill-in inkers from last issue remains, but an additional FOUR fill-in inkers, none of whom have worked on any previous issue, are added. One of the new fill-in colourists from last issue remains, but needs another fill-in colourist to get the job done.
This is the last issue before the reboot. In order to have just ONE (1) MONTH out of TEN (10) in which an issue was published monthly, the creator needed to have FIFTEEN (15) fill-in artists help out that month.

Note that he is not actually a professional writer, and has given several interviews saying he knows that's the weakest part of the book, and he's finding it really hard.

So! With this standard set, and his title rebooted after five issues, only one of which he completed himself, and none on time, he was given the exact same job again. Solicitations say...

The Dark Knight: (redux)
#1 - he’s getting it done OK, but with an inker. Fair enough, learnt his lesson, let’s assume that’s the new model. No word on colours, so let’s assume he’s given up that as well.
#2 – uh. He’s added an inker for the cover, had to call back the fill-in penciller from the last two, and added Paul Jenkins as co- writer.
#3 – Finch has dropped out of writing altogether, with Jenkins now a fill-in writer, and the fill-in penciller retained.
#4 – solicited with Finch back as co-writer, and as sole penciller. Let’s see what actually comes out!

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Thursday, 22 September 2011 02:41 (eight years ago) link

Hoo boy.

Best (?) news for me there is that with a different art team on Batwing I don't think I need to keep buying it. Worst news is that list implies JT Krul will still be writing a book (Captain Atom).

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Thursday, 22 September 2011 06:19 (eight years ago) link

Oh man, sometimes I wonder how artists back in the day managed to produce art for superhero comics in schedule, month after month. Shouldn't it be easier to do now than back then, now that hey have computers to help? So what has changed? Has the artists' work ethic lowered? Have Marvel's and DC's employer policies become less strict?

Tuomas, Thursday, 22 September 2011 06:22 (eight years ago) link

I think this might become the reboot's biggest legacy. DC is taking no shit from creative freelancers. Everyone is replaceable. You want to work on Blackhawk, THE LEGENDARY BLACKHAWK THE KIDS CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF? You play by our rules, buddy. Over the last few years "talent" has become the key draw on most books, and DC is obviously trying to wrest that back and create some kind of loyalty to character or IP or whatever. And in a way, I can get behind that. Have a line of adventure stories where the most important thing is the shipping date, go for it. They're going to have to loosen some of the editorial constraints on storytelling, but a lot of great stories have been told in TV, radio, magazines, because YOU GOT TO HIT YOUR DEADLINE (full stop). And then, yeah, have your All Star or Earth One or OGN line where people create "works of art" at their own pace, but I think DC's hardline on delivery dates could revolutionize mainstream superhero comics.

like working at a jewelry store and not knowing about bracelets (Dr. Superman), Thursday, 22 September 2011 06:52 (eight years ago) link

The big problem here isn't artists slacking, it's that DC didn’t start this with planning a year ahead to get everyone with three months in the tank before launch; they were still commissioning artists two months before launch and expecting them to get three issues finished by the end of the week. Several titles have already had inventory stories commissioned, too, which you can bet will be used sooner rather than later, regardless of continuity, because as everything’s returnable until December, it won’t hurt DC to run an unsolicited creative team up until then.

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Thursday, 22 September 2011 06:58 (eight years ago) link

Over-rendering takes a lot more time than under-rendering. And if you're under-rendering, you have to switch things up at the layout level to keep things interesting. Artists now seem to worry about the textures and details because LOOK AT THOSE RIVETS ON BATMAN'S BOOTS MAN THAT'S SO COOL and not the storytelling. Consequently, they spend more time doing work that's harder to read.

My take. Most people don't agree.

People overlooked it because the monthly comic wasn't the object of record, the trade was. Make it look good for the trade and nobody will care how late it was as a single issue. Nobody but some malcontents...

Matt M., Thursday, 22 September 2011 15:18 (eight years ago) link

There actually was a golden age character Deadshot is based upon who was more of a cowboy trick shot guy. Steve Englehart knew the character and updated him with the classic Marshall Rogers designed costume in their classic run back in the late 70s. He appeared a few times, but really it was John Ostrander and his use of Deadshot in Suicide Squad and a mini-series that really established the character. I don't think he really fits into the whole Executioner/Mac Bolan thing that the Punisher was based upon other than maybe Deadshot was a gun for hire, which kind of tangentially ties into the whole "Soldier of Fortune" magazine kind of badass that was also popular around the same time.

Deathstroke from the New Teen Titans is pretty much George Perez not letting a good character design go to waste as he pretty much just re-used at the time many elements from The Taskmaster that he had created for Marvel in his Avengers run.

Oddly enough a few years later, Rob Liefield pretty much nicked a version of Deathstroke (down to the Wilson last name in the alter ego) in creating Deadpool. Funny enough a few years back in a Superman/Batman Annual you had Superman, Batman and Deathstroke fighting alternate universe versions of themselves and there was a alternate-Deathstroke which was a nod back to Deadpool. It's actually a fun issue.

earlnash, Thursday, 22 September 2011 23:14 (eight years ago) link

"Oh man, sometimes I wonder how artists back in the day managed to produce art for superhero comics in schedule, month after month. Shouldn't it be easier to do now than back then, now that hey have computers to help? So what has changed? Has the artists' work ethic lowered? Have Marvel's and DC's employer policies become less strict?"

I think in the old days they got paid by the page, so they just sat down and blasted the stuff out and had the will to make it happen. I think those golden age guys were also tempered by living through the depression and WWII, so they had a real blue collar, I got to get this done for the family mentality. And I think some of them, because they just did so much volume over the years got to the point they could layout and do pages at speeds many of these modern guys can't comprehend as they haven't put out 30-80 pages a month on and off for years.

I'd bet Joe Kubert in his prime probably did more pages in a couple of months than his sons do in a year. It isn't nearly as flashy in the backgrounds but the reproduction values have changed since then, so that doing all that extra detail would just get lost anyway, so they never got much.

One thing that is different is I don't think you have as many studios with assistants going now. I think alot of things that were inked that have one guy on them back in the day was probably one main guy doing the characters and a couple of employees that would do backgrounds and other items. I'm not sure you have that going on as much now as you would in the old days, maybe more overseas perhaps.

earlnash, Thursday, 22 September 2011 23:23 (eight years ago) link

I think in the old days they got paid by the page

as opposed to?

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Thursday, 22 September 2011 23:37 (eight years ago) link

Batman #1 W: Scott Snyder P: Greg Capullo I: Jonathon Glapion

No pics as I can't find a working t0rr3nt

Another week, another Bat-book, and this is probably the weakest yet. I guess the heart of the problem is a very basic one - when this many established books are running it isn't a problem as all their stories are different and their plots are in different places, but when you start the same book multiple times with different people telling THE SAME ORIGIN STORY it's inevitable you'll want to compare them.

So, why is this worse? It's hard to put your finger on, but maybe the centre panel of Page 14 goes some of the way to explain it: it features Dick, Bruce, Damian and Tim standing together. Dick, let's not forget, is Nightwang WHO HAS HIS OWN BOOK IN THE RELAUNCH. His physique is roughly like Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter. I can't wait to read that book (also this week) and see him standing at about 5'6" tall and weighing about 10st. OH NO WAIT. I think it's down, in part, to the manga-lite art style but I could just be burning out through putting myself through this.

Maybe I'm being to hard on this and misremembering just how mediocre Batman & Robin was, as flipping back through the plot is actually pretty engaging in the last four or 5 pages after Harvey Dent turns up. I think I probably need a re-read comparison of all the Batbooks once Month One is over as the final pages have actually got me keen to read #2 and this might be the first time I can say it about a non-FUN book in the relaunch (or at least the first time it's specifically because of the plot).

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 24 September 2011 11:50 (eight years ago) link

Birds Of Prey #1 W: Duane Swierczynski A: Jesus Saiz

Title promises a team title, but by the end we still only have a pairing. Now there's a slow build or there's the glacial pace this seems to be constructed at. Nothing much seems to happen except a WOW KEWL WOW kerfuffle in a church which seems to exist mainly to delivery zingy dialogue like this:

And you know, it's pretty much all that clunky. The image above is really the first in which everybody changes places and perspective in a car to suit the composition (including one panel where I can't get to grips with the perspective at all) but really exists to segue into Starling in the same position, in a diner (and/or a bar) at a different time. Now this might have been a nice effect (albeit the second time they pull it in this issue) but this one os spoiled by an advert being in the middle - not the best planning really. And when I said clunky, I did mean it - there's some real confusion about the effect the bad guys have had on Black Canary during the FITE, but her power is worse:

So the power level has been re-baselined in the Johns Universe, but if it's that good then why only use it once? She walks out of this panel into a room with more bad guys in it - so why not use it again? Not doing so makes the pages smack of filler as they just run through the same thing again, and surely in #1 of a title filler is a CRAZY thing to do?

The best thing about the book is this panel, which captures perfectly how I feel about the Johns Universe by now.

Why, that I won't be so keen next time. This could arguably be saveable as I don't hate it, but it's hovering over the cut list at the moment.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 24 September 2011 12:34 (eight years ago) link

Blue Beetle W: Tony Bedard P: Ig Guara I: Ruy Jose

Is this racist? I can't tell. If a Puerto Rican guy writes a comic book character who is Puerto Rican for non-Hispanics (as we must assume this is to a degree - something I will touch further on when I get to Red Hood) as a ridiculous stereotype, what does that make him, an Uncle Tom of sorts? Oh and it's not just Hispanic, there's some comedy writing of French and German speakers too in a sub-Batroc style.

Anyway, this is plotted in the Johns Universe as follows: The Reach are foes of the GLC from since BEFORE TIME and massively powerful - planet-wiping-out powerful. But the GLC are too stupid to find, control or destroy them.

The great and mighty Abin Sur didn't find that then, did he. So, this is going to become yet another Green Lantern book, of sorts. On the second last page our hero gets turned into Blue Beetle and it's impossible to read the dialogue on the final splash as anything more than a triumphant "TA-DA!" (except we know it's not from earlier).

ETHNICS gets would back (this isn't, and never will be, Love & Rockets) but I miss Ted Kord. I want him back. BACK, DO YOU HEAR ME?

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 24 September 2011 13:15 (eight years ago) link

Captain Atom W: JT Krul A: Freddie Williams II

JT Krul again. What have I done to deserve this?

I'd love to be able to tell you this is better than Green Arrow (which he's already been kicked off, remember). Unfortunately, I can't.

I mean, look at this dialogue:

Despite that, I think I hate the art more than I hate the writing. Let's watch Captain Atom run though the gamut of facial emotions (a couple of which I'll leave the explanation in for):

Centre top, for reference, is anger. Yes, anger. Not vacant.

The back end of the plot begins to look like it's going down the route of War of the Elementals from the end of the John Ostrander run on Firestorm, but really I couldn't care less. Vile vile vile vile vile. Already on the cut list and have absolutely no desire to get beyond #1 (but I'll go to #3, obviously).

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 24 September 2011 14:05 (eight years ago) link

Catwoman #1 W: Judd Winick A: Guillem March

You know what? I'm not going to focus on any of the sexism in this book that other people have focused on for two reasons. Firstly, I'll save it all for Red Hood. Secondly, Winick ALMOST manages to make it enough of a plot point that it's justifiable. Yes, we could argue about the presentation - particularly the last panel of page 2 which is quite frankly pornographic - but it's nowhere near the worst thing about this book so I'm not going to dwell on it.

Winick's writing is, dare I say it, not horrible. I was a fan of the Brubaker and Pfeifer runs on the book though, so it's still the worst Catwoman book in modern memory. What is wrong with this is the art.

And the worst thing about the art isn't even the faces. It's the feet. At least twice they're reversed where the left foot is the right foot and vice versa (top left has a bonus knee bending the wrong way). Have some examples:

The worst Winicking and worst art come togther at the end. Catwoman and Batman doing the nasty is an established trope, I guess, but this astonishingly ineptly handled and featured a final panel which is worse than 80% of fanart on the same topic.

Holy Bat-Cock, Batman! My eyes need bleach. Wtf is happening with bat-torso? And nothing has been good yet this week. FUCK YOU DIDIO.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 24 September 2011 14:56 (eight years ago) link

so i don't really want to read that but i am curious about

Yes, we could argue about the presentation - particularly the last panel of page 2 which is quite frankly pornographic - but it's nowhere near the worst thing about this book so I'm not going to dwell on it.

Mordy, Saturday, 24 September 2011 14:57 (eight years ago) link

Ok, since I still have the rar live:

I mean, seriously? Without going nsfw, there isn't a comparison pic but this is classic 'fuck me from behind' porn stylings. Do we really need to see her pudenda? If we going for physical accuracy at this point to justify it, why not go the whole hog and show her vagina lips? It's just wrong in so many ways.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 24 September 2011 15:03 (eight years ago) link

tbh, i think the most egregious thing about that panel is that human beings don't look/move like that. it looks like she has two balloons in the back pockets of her pants.

Mordy, Saturday, 24 September 2011 15:08 (eight years ago) link

DC Universe Presents: Deadman #1 Collective credit: Paul Juankins and Bernard Chang

The best thing so far in this rundown, which is no great claim. It kind of works as a Deadman establishing story, however, the character has already been in Hawk & Dove by now as the post-Brightest Day version so we know this book must happen at some time in the past - what's the beeting it doesn't? ARG CONTINUITY IS CRISIS

It's tidily enough written I suppose and is a clear enough Secret Origin for people who aren't familiar with the origin of Deadman. I also don't hate the art. Both of them give me reason to though - I feel bruised by the strength with which the DO YOU SEE from this panel hits me.

Ultimately though there's nothing to really complain about. The lack of anything actually good will have to wait, but this week I'm taking whatever I can get.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 24 September 2011 15:24 (eight years ago) link

Mordy, if I told you that was in fact one of the most realistic depictions of human form and motion in that issue you wouldn't believe me, but you should. Because it's true.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 24 September 2011 15:25 (eight years ago) link

based on your review i wasn't going to bother checking out Batman #1 but then i read hannibal tabu's glowing words about it and tho i almost always disagree w/ him (he tends to severely underrate Grant Morrison + X-titles and he likes a lot of shit and encyclopedia type bullshit I'm not interested in) when someone writes the following, no matter who the someone is, I'm interested:

"There's no place like home..." Batman wistfully whispers these words as he faces off against virtually the entire populace of Arkham Asylum, feeling so comfortable in his work that he almost makes it look easy. The extended Bat family is introduced very smartly and this, quite honestly, is an almost perfect comic book. New readers? Covered. Long time fans? Tons of in jokes, just for you. Art? Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion and FCO Plascencia are on freaking fire. Scott Snyder's script purrs like an Italian performance sportscar -- when you toss in the wonderful back and forth between "the boys" and Bruce Wayne's inspirational speech (combined with his underhanded plan to expand the reach of the Bat), reading this is a delight. In a word: wow. This is the Batman you want to read. Just... wow.

Mordy, Sunday, 25 September 2011 04:47 (eight years ago) link

As I kind of talked myself around to, it's actually much better than I thought it was while I was writing - I think. Still think the art sucks though ymmv but there is no excuse for the Nightwang looks like he's a skinny 15 year old thing.

Otoh, this may be because nearly everything this week was an absolute sack of shit and it just glistens like a bit of sweetcorn that a dog ate once.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 25 September 2011 09:10 (eight years ago) link

Green Lantern Corps #1 W: Peter J Tomasi A: Fernando Pasarin I: Scott Hanna

A Foamasi wrote this book? Cool! Let's all head off for Argolis!

No, it's our old friend Peter Tomasi again. Don't worry, I can't think of any other comical mispronunciations of his name so this will probably be the last one.

MAHNKELIPS COVER WARNING - actual comics contains no Doug Mahnke and only four of the characters on the cover. Which is nice.

I actually quite like this. It's by far the most traditional book of the relaunch (GLs turn up on planet where random genocide has taken place to attract their attention must have been done dozens of times before) but is pulled off pretty well. The establishing stuff with Guy Gardner and his interview (or rather the sequence in the waiting room before it) is, dare I say it, a joy and really lifts the book in a way most others in the relaunch (particularly this week) fail to.

Nothing really to say about it other than you should give this a shot, as on this evidence it's worth sticking with.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 25 September 2011 12:10 (eight years ago) link

Legion of Super-Heroes W: Paul Levitz A: Francis Portela

I'll stan for LoSH any day, but seriously, this could have been published at any point from 1980 onwards. If you like LoSH you'll like this. If you don't then WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU. It's got crap jokes, a great team dynamic and a vaguely engaging plot. Vaguely engaging doesn't sound like a good thing but in LoSH it kind of is. As in Legion Lost you just get carried along with the swing of the thing and go with it.

Am I a fanboy?

Yes, yes I am a fanboy. I suspect if you're not you won't like this. I DON'T CARE.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 25 September 2011 12:28 (eight years ago) link

Nightwing #1 W: Kyle Higgins P: Eddy Barrows I: JP Mayer

Oh, KyleHigginspaws. So let me get this straight - in the five years since Batman appeared (according to Justice League) Dick's parents have died, he's become Bruce's ward and been both Robin and Batman? This new continuity thing isn't really working for you, is it. Also, get one Urban Dictionary:


Quibbles apart, this is a really solid Batbook. The scripting is sound while being slightly GRITTY and the art has a real fluidity to it that you need for the sort of motion that's trying to be captured here. Yes, it pulls the old 'repeat the image in the same panel to show movement' trick but is that really a problem? Worth reading, worth staying with for now.

I'm apprehensive to, because I know what's up next. But here we go...

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 25 September 2011 12:59 (eight years ago) link

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 W: Scott Lobdell A: Kenneth Rocafort

Oh boy. This is the post where I admit that although I think his whole schtick about the way women are portrayed in comics is far too broadbrush and simplistic, just this once I ABSOLUTELY see where he's coming from.

This is a horrible, HORRIBLE piece of misogynistic crap. Starfire is in it for no reason other than to provide a teenage boy's wank fantasy on every page she appears, and is contorted into ridiculous poses to push her tits or arse into the reader's face - because let's face it, she has to be posing for somebody, right? I mean, wtf is this about?

I tell a lie, she is there for another reason - to have sex with the main characters.

In fact, it's established she's had sex with nearly everybody in the DCU, but that's OK because "Tamaraneans don't see humans as much humans as much more than sights and smells." So basically, casual sex is the order of the day and you're just a conquest she can't recall as part of an animal process. "You don't remember anyone named Dick?" "No."

Lobdell has gone for Deadpool Max with the script and very nearly pulls it off, but I just feel dirty and appalled by the whole thing. I really don't want to touch any of the rest of these, but know I'll be drawn back like a car crash. You all NEED to read this, just to show you how wrong it's possible to get things.

No, you're confusing that with you being a giant bell-end, Scott Lobdell. I want lettuce in my refrigerator, not women.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 25 September 2011 13:31 (eight years ago) link

Just to ram the above point home (as it were), Scott Lobdell is interviewed in the back of every book published this week. He's asked what his favourite page is in the issue and this is his choice:

Not one with snappy dialogue, not one that drives the plot forward, not one with a good joke, but one you can have a nice relaxing wank over.

"Kori just stepping out of the ocean, just basking in the sunshine. I love the joy on her face. The people of this planet may not want here here.. but God, how she loves this place." Joy? Where? Go and wash your hands, you pervert.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 25 September 2011 13:38 (eight years ago) link

Supergirl #1 W: Michael Green/Mike Johnson P: Mahmud Asrar I: "Dan Green with Asrar"

There have been some weird costumes in the reboot, but none to compare to this. Seriously, wtf if going on with these boots?

In a world where Superman now has kneepads (presumably because he needs them), Supergirl's boots deliberately avoid knee protection? It's probably something to do with female Kryptonian skin being toghter than the men's in various places, and when it's revealed that Superman also wears a chest-plate then Power Girl's costume will finally make sense.

I guess this is a typical LOST ALIUM DOESN'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON OH NOES intro story and I don't hate it. I don't particularly like it either, but there isn't anything individual enough about the story to judge it as yet.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 25 September 2011 13:52 (eight years ago) link

holy shit how many boobs, DC? how many boobs??

Mordy, Sunday, 25 September 2011 13:54 (eight years ago) link

Wonder Woman #1 W: Brian Azzarello A: Cliff Chiang

Aldo's book of the week, in an admittedly pretty shitty week but that doesn't mean this isn't any good

I read an interview with Brian Azzarello before this started where he said we had to think of his version of Wonder Woman as a horror book and not a hero book. Now I was no fan of his Hellblazer run, so this worried me, but you know what? I GET IT completely.

Show me a regular hero book where people cut the heads off horses to make centaurs. YOU CAN'T, CAN YOU?

This is a fantastically worked piece of fiction, reconstructing the Gods of Olympus as the fantastic creatures they SHOULD be - I mean, Zeus convinced Leda to have sex with him by disguising himself as a swan. A SWAN, FOR FUCK'S SAKE. So in this book we have Hermes looking more like a winged messenger than anyone's ever captured him before, and expressions of raw, unbridled power.

I didn't like the cover, thought it was too stylised, but over the course of the book the art really grows on you. Yes, there are arguably similarities with Guy Arcudi and some of the other Hellboy universe artists but Cliff Chiang pulls it off really well.

BUY THIS BOOK. I can't stress it enough. The highlight of the relaunch. Bet it gets cancelled soon.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 25 September 2011 14:14 (eight years ago) link

"I love the joy on his face. The people of this planet may not want him here..."

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 25 September 2011 14:16 (eight years ago) link

Comic Book Resources has a good recap of the thing, including the Catwoman softcore

but it's best summed up in this webcomic

on one hand it is kinda gross, especially for books that are supposed to be for kids and mainstream audiences. otoh, i find it kinda hilarious

Nhex, Monday, 26 September 2011 04:48 (eight years ago) link

apparently this was the original illustration before, i guess, DC forced them to change it

um, is her nipple shaped like a heart?

Mordy, Monday, 26 September 2011 05:01 (eight years ago) link

haha, clever way to "deflect" i guess..

Nhex, Monday, 26 September 2011 05:05 (eight years ago) link

i can't make my nipple into a heart

Dudley Daigle: Tugboat Captain (forksclovetofu), Monday, 26 September 2011 05:11 (eight years ago) link

Haha, that's awesome.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Monday, 26 September 2011 06:48 (eight years ago) link

wtf is wrong with these people?

so i had sex with a piñata (mh), Monday, 26 September 2011 13:54 (eight years ago) link

If you want to write good superhero comics, please do more than read superhero comics and play videogames.

Matt M., Monday, 26 September 2011 17:43 (eight years ago) link

So very otm.

so i had sex with a piñata (mh), Monday, 26 September 2011 17:44 (eight years ago) link

Given this new information, I have to express some disappointment at the relative dearth of characters turning one another into babies in Geoff Johns books.

SNEEZED GOING DOWN STEPS, PAIN WHEN PUTTING SOCKS ON (Deric W. Haircare), Tuesday, 27 September 2011 02:01 (eight years ago) link

Thank you for the OMAC rec, I wasn't going to get it originally and ended up enjoying it--a good romp! I hope you survive this week, there were some real pieces of poop. :(

teeny, Thursday, 29 September 2011 15:39 (eight years ago) link


David Finch failed to get even the first issue of The Dark Knight out with the solicited credits, and Paul Jenkins is writing.*

George Perez gone from Superman as writer/layouts with issue #7, replaced by the Giffen/Jurgens writing/pencilling team that also replaced the Green Arrow writer.

*I actually remembered to pick it up and check the credits for this thread, while in the shop buying Love & Rockets, Roger Langridge's Snarked, and Simpsons comics by Evan Dorkin and Ty Templeton

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Saturday, 1 October 2011 03:37 (eight years ago) link

I fully expect Giffen/Jurgens to be producing 80% of DC Comics by next summer.

like working at a jewelry store and not knowing about bracelets (Dr. Superman), Saturday, 1 October 2011 06:56 (eight years ago) link

All Star Western #1 W: Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti A: Moritat

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I was buying Jonah Hex up till the end, and for one simple reason - it was the most consistently good books that DC were publishing. And so it is with All Star Western, which is the same book retitled, for better or worse. As before, the artists rotate with each minor storyline but the writing core is constant.

So, to the plot.

I'm being unfair. But it's not hard to draw comparisons, especially (arguably) as Gotham By Gaslight was retconned out of Elseworlds and into the DCU during Countdown.

Putting that aside, this is as well written as ever and is thoroughly recommended to all. The relationship between Amadeus Arkham and Jonah is superbly done and if this panel isn't leading up to a Lovecraftian reveal in future weeks I will be really disappointed:

It's not all future seeding either, the plot actually in the issue in hand bowls along splendidly and damn, if this isn't the most thrilling panel all week:

See you next time. You should be reading this book (but then you should have been reading it before).

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 1 October 2011 11:55 (eight years ago) link

Aquaman #1 W: Geoff Johns P: Ivan Reis I: Joe Prado

In an amazing twist of fate, not only is Aquaman my MUST BUY book this week but a fucking GEOFF JOHNS BOOK is my Must Buy book this week

No pictures, t0rr3nt is fuxored.

Seriously, I'm not kidding. This is great. There's an extended story running through the middle about how Aquaman is the laughing stock of, basically, the world and the whole sequence with Aquaman in the fish restraurant is frankly hilarious. I'm not sure about how good The Trench will be as a Big Bad, as they look all a bit too Johnsy, but (and this is a big shout) the middle 2/3 of the book is as good as this:

Stranger things have happened, but I'm struggling to think of one. Superb.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 1 October 2011 12:27 (eight years ago) link

David Finch's Batman The Dark Knight#1 W: Paul Jenkins P: David Finch I: Richard Friend


And talking of coming out...

Holy Dancehall Slang, Batman! The Gay Agendar strikes again! Is there some kind of subversive plot at DC to play up the homosexual subtext in all the Batbooks? I really can't tell any more.

Anyway, the last Batbook of the relaunch is pretty standard fare although the conclusion is pretty great. What isn't so great, or indeed understandable, is why DiDio (and we must presume Johns) place so much faith in the talents of David Finch's Batman The Dark Knight's David Finch to produce work on time or even why they rate him. I mean he's not so much touched by the hand of Jim Lee as rubbed all over by the hand of Jim Lee sufficiently hard that the fingerprints have disappeared and they share DNA. Take this as an example:

But that isn't even the worst of it. This page shows some of the worst anatomy since the relaunch. HIS CALF IS BIGGER THAN HIS THIGH.

Yes. Yes that's exactly the quality of artist that you should make the focus of the New DC. FUCK YOU DIDIO.

(Despite the art, I liked this.)

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 1 October 2011 12:49 (eight years ago) link

Blackhawks #1 W: Mike Costa Layouts: Graham Nolan Finisher: Ken Lashley

This is far and away the most traditional 'modern' book of the relaunch - it could be any one of dozens of mid-90s team books - but it's as entertaining now as it would have been at the time.

It's kind of odd though, it feels old and still quite new. There's a kind of clumsy feel to the updating that's gone on, and it wants to be a Cold War plot in places.

They have spies everywhere though - they can even see me doing this!

I can't really think of anything to add as this is such a nothing book. We'll wait and see how the next couple of months pan out, but this is hovering over the precipice of being cut.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 1 October 2011 13:30 (eight years ago) link

The Flash #1 W: Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato A: Francis Manapul

In a bizarre turn of events, more than one book this month has made me think of the two Bizarro hardbacks, and for this one it's this story:

OK, there's more JRJr in this book, but am I the only one that sees it in the layouts?

Given that this is supposed to be the Barry Allen Universe I kind of expected something different, like for him to have remembered himself to be fantastically rich or something as well as being the Flash because that's kind of what we'd all do I think. And part of it feels ripped off from Portal: No Escape:

Anyhoo, the setup is good, the plot rattles along and the cliffhanger leaves you wanting to read the next issue straight away - which can't be a bad thing.

Nothing to criticise here really although perhaps not that memorable. But then he is the FASTEST MAN ALIVE so maybe we shouldn't be surprised that it's a speedy read.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 1 October 2011 17:12 (eight years ago) link

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #1 W: Ethan van Sciver & Gail Simone A: Yildiray Cinar

I used to love Firestorm back when I was younger and held high hopes for this, given it's being written by the closest they have to A-list talent, but the reality doesn't nearly meet up to expectations. The terrorist plot is far too violent for the rest of the book, and the whole idea of having two of them seems to just be to encourage childish taunts


So whereas it's not as awful as, say, either of the JT Krul books it's not actually much cop either. I think we need to see where the Fury plot goes in #2 before making judgement.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 1 October 2011 17:42 (eight years ago) link

Green Lantern New Guardians #1 W: Tony Bedard P: Tyler Kirkham I: Batt

I don't know what Tony Bedard has done to deserve this, but he has the unenviable task of INTRODUCING Kyle Rayner as a new character and integrating him into the Johns GL Universe. I mean, how does that even work? Everything from GL over the past 10 years or so all happened EXCEPT Kyle Rayner being a Lantern? GEOFF JOHNS I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU (except when you're writing Aquaman) but I HATE DIDIO MORE (except when he's writing OMAC).

So, we're now in the position where we're supposed to remember everything from recent continuity, even the stuff Barry Allen could never have known about, except when we're not. OR ARE WE? What we really need here is some kind of editor, preferably somebody who has a lot of experience as one - maybe they're Executive Editor of a company or something - to oversee the whole thing and make sure it makes sense... OH WAIT. So fair play to Tony Bedard then, who sends a firm message to Johns and DiDio:

He even takes time out to slag off the bag of shit he's been given.

DESPITE THIS, HE HAS PROBABLY PRODUCED THE BEST GL BOOK OF THE REBOOT. It's cute and funny and has a plot and is FUN although the art really does bite JRJr:

Still, A for effort, one and a half thumbs up.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 1 October 2011 18:30 (eight years ago) link

So there's no Green Lantern Corps comic in the rebooted universe? Fuck that shit, the only reason I cared about the new Green Lantern stuff was GLC. The alien Green Lanterns were much more interesting than the human ones, except for Guy Gardner (who was prominent in GLC).

Tuomas, Saturday, 1 October 2011 18:41 (eight years ago) link

Yes, there's a Green Lantern Corps comic, it was published last week and see what I said about it upthread.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 1 October 2011 18:47 (eight years ago) link

I, Vampire #1 W: Joshua Hale Fialkov A: Andrea Sorrentino

Obscure? A character who ran for 24 issues as a third backup story in an anthology book?

Well, from what history exists it's pretty clear this is entirely within the established continuity of I, Vampire just rebooted into (possibly) the current day. But that and daft names aside (Mary Queen of Blood is just STUPID) this is a lovely, lovely piece of work.

The story tells the interlinked story of Andrew (the titular hero) and Mary and Andrew's fight against the army of vampires. It arguably doesn't move nearly fast enough for your bog standard hero comic, or indeed for a Buffy or Twilight reader/viewer if it was hoping to bring them in, but the pace is just fine for me thanks and is sufficiently plotted that panels like this work perfectly:

As you might have guessed from the above, this book is gorgeous. It guess it's most reminiscent of Moonshadow, but I think I can see P Craig Russell in there as well. And Mignola and/or Guy Davis to a degree. But a triumph nonetheless.

This is exactly the sort of venture we should be rewarding DC for. Just buy it.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 2 October 2011 10:52 (eight years ago) link

Justice League Dark #1 W: Peter Milligan A: Mikel Janin

Yes, the title of this book is stupid. But if DC want to call their supernatural line 'Dark' then it's up to them and so the title is what it is. What we should instead be considering is how good it is - which is pretty good. It's the most successful of the Justice League titles, probably not least because it lets Peter Milligan play with Shade The Changing Man again.

But it's not all about Shade. We establish why the regular Justice League can't do it:

then it's in with the NOT QUITE VERTIGO League.

I think that's maybe the biggest problem this book has is that it's a big team and they're all essentially 'new' characters in that non-Vertigo readers won't be that familiar with them - without even going near the fact that Vertigo is still sort of ongoing so we have two Constantines running about (or do we?). And because of the size of the team the book doesn't really get going.

In its favour though, it still gets going much better than the other JL books - especially Justice League - and pulls off what it tries to with an appropriate level of Vertigo quirkiness.

So a curate's egg then and one that maybe only gets credit for being better than its peers, but worth buying for the moment.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 2 October 2011 11:31 (eight years ago) link

The Savage Hawkman #1 W: Tony S Daniel A: Philip Tan

New Universe, New Old Hawkman. Carter Hall dons the wings of Nth Metal once more, although for the vast majority of this book he seems to be desperate to forget it all and just get on with his regular job.

I was prepared to give Tony Daniel some latitude, because I enjoyed the writing on Detective, but this is pretty much a mess. Firstly, it features an 'enemy from the dawn of time' (which, as people might have read on other threads, is exactly what I hated the most one of the things I found particularly objectionable about Russell T Davies' Award Winning Doctor Who tm) and secondly because the dialogue is this bad:

Even Philip Tan's artwork, which I've liked in the past, is reduced to a smear on these pages with little more than expressions of colour and motion which although it could conceivably be A THING is not his intention I'm sure.

I'd rather be reading this Hawkman:

I'll see it to #3, but it's not much better than either of the JT Krul books.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 2 October 2011 11:59 (eight years ago) link

Superman #1 Writer & Breakdowns: George Perez Pencils & Inks: Jesus Merino

Words. So many words. And more words. And exposition. And words.

It's no real wonder Perez has to do breakdowns on this because it's just so cluttered with dialogue and explanation. I would show you, but my t0rr3nt hasn't worked for this either which is probably just as well as the weight of text would most likely crash the ILX server.

And that's why the book isn't any good. It's too wordy and too cluttered and just doesn't work. George Perez will be on this longer than me, and he's announced #6 is his last.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 2 October 2011 13:01 (eight years ago) link

Teen Titans #1 W: Scott Lobdell P: Brett Booth I: Norm Rapmund

Another formation story, but with added brattiness. I'm getting totally sick of origin stories but this just about pulls it off by virtue of the sheer likability of the characters - or at least Kid Flash and Red Robin - against clunky dialogue and tortured breakdowns, specifically once Wonder Girl turns up.

This is much better than Red Hood, but that's not exactly setting it a challenge. But is it better than Batfink?


But there's enough good will generated in the Kid Flash section to keep me reading for now. A solid C.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 2 October 2011 13:35 (eight years ago) link

Voodoo #1 W: Ron Marz A: Sami Basri

Hooray! Another female exploitation comic!

Except I don't, because although the setting of this (a strip club) is kind of badly chosen there's no evidence it's going to continue beyond this issue. And purely on that basis I'm going to give it a free ride. Let's just call this the Cheesecake Issue and get over it. Because the investigator plot and panels like this make me want to believe this can be good:

Let's just forget 80% of this existed and move forward.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 2 October 2011 13:56 (eight years ago) link

So, at the end of month 1 the tally is as follows:

The Good

Animal Man
Justice League International
Swamp Thing
Demon Knights
Legion Lost
Suicide Squad
Batman - yes, I know I have changed my mind about this
Legion of Super Heroes
Wonder Woman
All Star Western
I, Vampire
Justice League Dark

The Undecided

Justice League
Men of War
Batman & Robin
Red Lanterns
Birds of Prey
DCU Presents
Green Lantern Corps
David Finch's Batman The Dark Knight
Green Lantern New Guardians
Savage Hawkman
Teen Titans

The Cut Already

Green Arrow
Static Shock
Green Lantern
Mister Terrific
Resurrection Man
Blue Beetle

The Car Crash

Hawk & Dove
Captain Atom
Red Hood and the Outlaws

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 2 October 2011 14:31 (eight years ago) link

The thing about Voodoo is that the character was a stripper before she got pulled into WildCATs so they're just working with the source material there.

the tax avocado (DJP), Sunday, 2 October 2011 16:18 (eight years ago) link

In which case, no problems with it. Still not completely engaging though.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 2 October 2011 16:21 (eight years ago) link

Is there an upper tier of "goods" that rate as must reads just yet?

Dudley Daigle: Tugboat Captain (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 2 October 2011 16:24 (eight years ago) link

OMAC, Batwoman, Suicide Squad, Batman, Wonder Woman, All Star Western, Aquaman, I Vampire IMO.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 2 October 2011 16:28 (eight years ago) link

I think in Voodoo's solo series she was a mystery-solving stripper, so it may not be going away? I never read it tbh, I was always a Stormwatch/Authority dude rather than WildCATs/Gen13

the tax avocado (DJP), Sunday, 2 October 2011 17:06 (eight years ago) link

The last page implies, to me at least, that the stripper plot is done.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 2 October 2011 17:22 (eight years ago) link

Interesting to hear about I, Vampire - lame title, I wouldn't have even thought about it.

Nhex, Sunday, 2 October 2011 21:38 (eight years ago) link

i couldn't finish it. was too boring.

Mordy, Sunday, 2 October 2011 21:48 (eight years ago) link

Jonah Hex in Gotham! Amadeus Arkham!

so i had sex with a piñata (mh), Monday, 3 October 2011 00:45 (eight years ago) link


Didio says on Facebook that none of the Crises ever happened.


After it is pointed out that several of the already-published #1s alone refer to prior Crises, such as Bruce Wayne being thrown back in time at the end of FC, Didio announces that, fuck, I dunno, maybe some of them have happened, we'll figure it out as we go along, I haven't read them, just because we said we were planning this for a year doesn't mean we actually worked anything out in advance, I guess the writers can decide what did or didn't happen as they need to in writing their individual books, JESUS this is what I get for answering a question on Facebook BEFORE I'D HAD MY FUCKING DINNER you JACKALS


The grotesquely pandering promo guff in the back of new issues, written to their intended 18-35yo male audience as through they're infinitely dumber than the actual 8-15yo audience that Dick Giordano's columns were in 1984, announces a new JUSTICE SOCIETY series by James Robinson and Nicola Scott that TAKES PLACE ON EARTH-2, starring Earth-2 Huntress. That's the daughter of Retired Earth-2 Batman and Evening Gown Earth-2 Catwoman. Who was created in 1977 and erased from history in 1985. AHOY, NEW READERS!!! They also breathlessly suggest that you study the new Huntress miniseries, by original 1977 creator Paul Levitz, for exciting clues about how this retroactive coil of insular arse-inspection is going to tie into the exciting all-new rebooted universe, true believers!

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Thursday, 6 October 2011 01:12 (eight years ago) link

Oh god this is the clusterfuck of all clusterfucks

ɥɯ ︵ (°□°) (mh), Thursday, 6 October 2011 02:28 (eight years ago) link

I can't even make a joke about how stupid that is.

Matt M., Thursday, 6 October 2011 05:15 (eight years ago) link

wait, this really happened? seriously?

Nhex, Thursday, 6 October 2011 05:18 (eight years ago) link


unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 6 October 2011 23:45 (eight years ago) link


Action Comics: #1 - OK, #2 - maybe OK? #3 - art fill-ins by Brent Anderson, #4 - art fill-ins by Gene Ha, back-up fill-ins by writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Matt Camp

#2 is now out, and has, I dunno, a third of its pages drawn by Brent Anderson. Oddly, they look like the opening ones, not a desperate rush at the end.

DC have now announced that Andy Kubert will be drawing all of #5 and #6.

That makes ONE issue out of every SIX that the artist assigned to THE ICONIC FLAGSHIP TITLE OF THE ENTIRE COMPANY has managed to complete. Or will, according to current re-re-re-re-vised projections. Given Didio and Lee's claims that they were planning this for about a year before launch, that ends up being ONE ISSUE IN EIGHTEEN MONTHS.

“When Editor Matt Idelson asked if I would be interested and/or able to fit into my schedule two upcoming issues of Action Comics with Grant, I couldn’t say no,” said Kubert. “I don’t know of any other artist that would have."

Here's three: Rags Morales, Brent Anderson and Gene Ha.

oh I forgot! #2 was also meant to be, I guess, 28 or 30 pages because of the $3.99 PRINT AND DIGITAL pricetag? Only 20 pages of story here. HOLDING THE LINE AT TWENTY CENTS A PAGE! THE NEW DC: THERE'S NO SHAMING US NOW.

(There's some "bonus" sketches and notes by Morrison, Morales and Ha of character designs for future issues, strongly indicating that this was not intended to be the content for this issue.

Morrison also alluded to the smooth reading experience we can expect from the Kubert issues in this interview:

...suddenly came this dictat that now everything had to be monthly and they want to keep to that so it’s just the case that if your artist can’t meet that then somebody else will finish up the pages. So it’s kinda, for me it hits the long term collections of it to have things done like that but at the same time it brings back a lot of the freshness and improvisation of doing comics again and just responding to that and also sometimes you know they’ll be like we need a two part filler here – okay I’ll just come up with something, and it might not necessarily fit it in to the middle of this but okay, you need a filler.


loads of personality, loved to chase chickens (forksclovetofu), Monday, 10 October 2011 04:47 (eight years ago) link

I started the reviews yesterday but after ILX ate my post on Action for the third time I gave up. I guess I'll try again tonight.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Monday, 10 October 2011 06:49 (eight years ago) link

Superman Action Comics W: Grant Morrison P: Rags Morales & Brent Anderson I: Rick Bryant & Brent Anderson

GMoz is the best writer involved anywhere in the Nu DCU. He knows this. Dan DiDio knows this. How do we know Dan DiDio knows this? This:

WTF? Has Superman had a stroke? And how come his head is tiny?

But you know, the writing in this is brilliant. I mean seriously great and never less than captivating. Even if the art does rip off the Invisibles (as the original Invisibles page with Mr Quimper that looks like this is on my wall I'd like to think I know what I'm talking about here).

The whole sequence with Superman in chains and, most tellingly, Lex's behaviour - his insistence on referring to Supes as "it" in particular - is stunning and some of the best comics being written just now. But the most exciting this about the issue is the proof GMoz reads ILX:
L-R: Tuomas, Deadshot.

Don't miss out on this book.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Monday, 10 October 2011 20:06 (eight years ago) link

you'd think that if you're going to have grant morrison relaunch your flagship comic with your most important iconic character, you'd get a great artist to work with him. but (as with Batman RIP) I'm constantly shocked by the shitty caliber of art they give him. i have to imagine at this point that it's intentional, like maybe they figure they should save their great artists to sell the shitty written books and use morrison to help sell a poorly drawn book.

Mordy, Monday, 10 October 2011 20:27 (eight years ago) link

I think Morrison's too big a name to be "used" that way.

Antonio Carlos Broheem (WmC), Monday, 10 October 2011 20:34 (eight years ago) link

how else do you explain DC's consistent pairing of him with terrible artists? (with the obv exception of Quitely)

Mordy, Monday, 10 October 2011 20:43 (eight years ago) link

I thought most of the RoBW artists were pretty ok! What other titles has he had specifically bad ones one? iirc there were some sketchy ones in the early part of his Batman run

( ) (mh), Monday, 10 October 2011 20:45 (eight years ago) link

Morrison's name pre-sells a book, so they can (foolishly imo) play Musical Art Chairs in an attempt to keep it on schedule. But it's not a case of "here's a title with a volatile unpredictable artist or art team -- let's put GM on it so it will sell better." Morrison is the horse, not the cart.

Antonio Carlos Broheem (WmC), Monday, 10 October 2011 20:50 (eight years ago) link

Oh, ok. I didn't quite mean it like that. More like, "Well, GM is writing this book so we don't have to bother with great artists since he'll sell it on his name alone"

Mordy, Monday, 10 October 2011 20:53 (eight years ago) link

I thought that was it -- we're pretty much in agreement then.

Antonio Carlos Broheem (WmC), Monday, 10 October 2011 20:58 (eight years ago) link

Animal Man W: Jeff Lemire A: Travel Foreman

You know what? It's not just GMoz that gets stiffed with artists I can't stand, Jeff Lemire does to. I know people said last month that ymmv and they liked him but for me

I mean seriously?

WTF is this shit?

The writing is pretty great though, even if it is a rewrite of the post-GMoz A-Man plot. The Red is back, and has some mentallist avatars in the real world. Meanwhile, Buddy and Maxine are off looking for a giant hidden tree to eat them.

You heard me. I just wish I could get over the art.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Monday, 10 October 2011 21:09 (eight years ago) link

one of the major problems for DC since abt 1970 is their generally 2nd-rate artists, once you get beyond the few big name dudes like j.h.williams - ie marvel's second and third string guys are generally way way better than DC's second and third string guys (ts: sal buscema vs dick dillin!) in part, it's just institutionalised intertia/idiocy/corporate arrogance: back in the 60s, DC really did think that marvel were outselling them because marvel's comics had 'bad art' compared to the sleeker, more sophisticated and exceptionally BORING post-Dan Barry style of the DC mainstay guys (kirby, romita and colan, to name 3 key silver age marvel artists, were never allowed anywhere near DC's major superhero titles when they worked for DC in the 50s and 60s. gil kane, another guy who switched from dc to marvel, always moaned about the inking he received at DC from ppl like joe giella and bernie sachs, which robbed his pencils of so much of their expressive power.)

Ward Fowler, Monday, 10 October 2011 21:22 (eight years ago) link

I always thought of DC as having art that was generally poorer than Marvel's, but I was never really able to pin it down.

( ) (mh), Monday, 10 October 2011 21:40 (eight years ago) link

I think the problem with pairing Morrison with a "name" artist is that Morrison is known for turning his scripts in late, and most of the biggest artists at the moment do the same with their art, so the combination of the two is too volatile for a flagship title like Action Comics or Batman. Just look at what happened with the last two issues of Final Crisis, with Seven Soldiers #1, with New X-Men, etc. The last time Morrison managed to produce an monthly title with a truly good regular artist was with Phil Jimenez on The Invisibles, 15 years ago.

Tuomas, Monday, 10 October 2011 21:47 (eight years ago) link

Just look at what happened with the last two issues of Final Crisis, with Seven Soldiers #1, with New X-Men, etc.

Those were all late-script problems?

Antonio Carlos Broheem (WmC), Monday, 10 October 2011 21:51 (eight years ago) link

I think FC and SS were a combination of late script and slow artist. New X-Men might've been solely because of Quitely... But the point remains: marrying Morrison and any of the name superhero artists of today does not result in a comic that would run on schedule, at least not without fill-in artists.

Tuomas, Monday, 10 October 2011 21:59 (eight years ago) link

You don't need to be a "name superhero artist" to not be shit.

Morrison is known for turning his scripts in late

Is this true? I mean, I have heard this about a number of writers, and possibly Morrison, but it's not coming to mind at the minute.

( ) (mh), Tuesday, 11 October 2011 01:51 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, I don't really buy this yet, especially since Tuomas immediately qualified it when I asked. Maybe he could cite some sources?

Antonio Carlos Broheem (WmC), Tuesday, 11 October 2011 01:55 (eight years ago) link

It's definitely a thing, and has been going back to The Invisibles - Phil Jiminez actually left because Morrison wasn't able to keep monthly, therefore reducing Jiminez' income. However, the fact that it sometimes happens means people immediately blame any and all delays on GM being late, rather than the artist being late, or the publisher dicking with things, etc.

On DC’s historical second-rate artists – to some degree this has a strong argument behind it, but there’s also a definite taste counterarg (as a kid I found Kirby weird and repellent, but generally loved the entire tone of Weisinger-era reprints, down to the sedate storytelling and non-dynamics of Swan and Mooney. And to this day the first year of Spider-Man is the only Stan Lee I’ve ever rly been able to bear reading. [I’ll try Fantastic Four sometime, maybe.]). But who are the avatars of DC who really did think that marvel were outselling them because marvel's comics had 'bad art'? Most of the heads of depts. were old farts who’d never known whether anything was good or not, they just knew their jobsworth and how to buckle their belts above their navels iirc.

But the time period Ward’s citing was when Cinfa was EIC or publisher, and out of anyone who’d been promoted from artist to exec from the DC ranks, you’d think he would have a good grasp on dynamic anatomy and exciting panel layouts being a positive in superhero comics? And Adams had revitalised Batman by here, I think?

Anyway, I’m reading Ostrander’s Suicide Squad for the first time at the moment, and oh man does this fit in with Ward’s endemic theory – the artist is just awful, basically, but you can pretty much tell who people are and where they’re standing, and by god he cranks it out monthly. 20 issues in and he’s had no fill-ins yet, I think. (though the inkers have changed, and he inked one issue himself, to his advantage.) The other DC ongoing of the time I’m familiar with (JL/I) had needed about five fill-ins from three different artists by now. Admittedly, all four were good to excellent, so.

Marvel art isn't necessarily much better from the period once you get off the first tier though - I once recklessly bought a pile of books from ebay in a Warren Ellis Completist frenzy (I may have been drunk) like Hellstorm and Druid and by Christ they looked terrible.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Tuesday, 11 October 2011 06:56 (eight years ago) link

sic, i'll try and find a bit more of a concrete reference for all this when i'm not at work, hurriedly tapping this out - my memory tells me that it's something i've picked up from mark evanier, somewhere. again, evanier may also be the 'source' for my gut feeling that infantino never really liked or understood the kirby aesthetic - although yeah, he clearly LOVED adams and made him the unofficial style template for his era as EIC. in general, i would say that infantino's tastes still ran to the illustrative - nestor rendondo! - and the elegantly designed over and above the dynamic and powerful (although again, kirby and ditko were, in their own ways, just as much masters of design as infa...) as you say, it's also a matter of taste - my perference has always been for the artist-led 'marvel style' over the editor-led 'full script' DC method.

i also wanted to introduce the subject of MONEY into all this, but then i realised that i know almost nothing about modern-day contractual rewards at marvel and dc for their corporate-comic bks - is there even a royalty system still in place? back when the royalty system was first introduced in the 80s, the fact that most marvel comics outsold most dc comics certainly helped marvel to attract or keep the 'better' artists, and my suspicion is still that marvel prob pays better than dc, on the whole.

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 11 October 2011 08:14 (eight years ago) link

Anyway, I’m reading Ostrander’s Suicide Squad for the first time at the moment, and oh man does this fit in with Ward’s endemic theory – the artist is just awful, basically, but you can pretty much tell who people are and where they’re standing, and by god he cranks it out monthly. 20 issues in and he’s had no fill-ins yet, I think.

When I first read scanned copies of SS I too thought McDonnell's art was awful... But when the first trade came out and I reread it on paper for the first time, it didn't look so awful anymore (possibly because the colours look much better than on the low-quality scans). Sure, McDonnell's character work is totally generic, but at least he has a solid grasp of anatomy, perspective, and visual storytelling in general. By the time 1990s came, all that was often missing even from flagship Marvel and DC titles. IIRC the final issues of SS suffer from this kind of Leifeldian art that makes McDonnell look like Kirby.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 11 October 2011 11:26 (eight years ago) link

I'm reading the originals! (picked up half the run for 50c each at lunch one day, then got drunk a week or three later and bought almost all the rest at 60% off and free int'l shipping from Mile High.) I would substitute "insecure but just barely evident" for "solid," I think. But we should probably find a better thread. (It's definitely hugely preferable to, say, dude from Morrison's JLA, the sort of thing you're talking about. But even then, you had eg JH Williams on Chase, and John McCrea being allowed to half-underground, half-bigfoot monthly on DCU stuff for about seven years straight...)

Can definitely see Infantino not comprehending Kirby - brute power vs elegance!

I was about to say - the period of "Grant Morrison can write a flagship title" started with JLA and terrible Howard Porter art - I can definitely imagine the takeaway lesson being "GM's writing sells by itself".

(also on the subject of DC vs Marvel I was thinking the other day that although I have a lot of issues with Bendis, there really is no comparison between him and DiDio/Johns as regards having a coherent plan for how to shake things up rather than just wanking dead superheroes back to life)

Andrew Farrell, Tuesday, 11 October 2011 20:01 (eight years ago) link

Okay, _apart_ from the fact that he hasn't written a crossover since Siege :)

Andrew Farrell, Tuesday, 11 October 2011 20:07 (eight years ago) link

I get the impression he exerts plenty of influence on long-range planning of the whole MU, not just the Avengers titles.

Antonio Carlos Broheem (WmC), Tuesday, 11 October 2011 20:11 (eight years ago) link

And the Ultimate universe, really.

( ) (mh), Tuesday, 11 October 2011 20:14 (eight years ago) link

is there even a royalty system still in place?

IIRC: DC pays royalties, though they had to revise their thresholds when the market slipped below where they used to actually kick in for almost everyone. Marvel pays "incentives" when they feel like it, and as a rule pay nothing at all for foreign licenses - ie if your big successful Marvel books get reprinted in the UK and Spain and Italy and France, you're probably not getting a reprint fee or bonus or royalty of any kind. They're starting to extend this to domestic now - the big pretty magazine-size reprints of Roger Langridge's Muppets comics (without Langridge art on the cover, or any creator credit whatsoever) are not paying him anything, nor did they even tell him they were doing them.

from Jim Shooter's hugely untrustworthy blog:

"Jim, there's an old story that there was an editorial meeting at DC and someone said that the secret to Marvel's success was "bad art". In an Alter-Ego article George Kashdan didn't recall such an event but said he might have agreed with such a statement. Your recollection here would seem to validate the idea that the Marvel material was looked down upon by the old timers."

I wasn't at the alleged meeting in question, but I was in several smaller-scale discussions at DC that echoed the sentiments allegedly expressed at said meeting. DC editors thought Marvel's art, especially Kirby, Ditko and Ayers', was "crude" and child-like. Mort mused that maybe kids related to it because it was like their own scribbles in their school notebooks. I never actually heard anyone tell an artist "draw worse," but that was the implication.

Evanier, writing about the go-go checks period, says:

In later years, some of them would deny it but others say it was true; that the DC execs thought the Marvel books were horrible — bad art, bad stories, bad characters, bad everything. DC artist Mike Sekowsky used to do an impression of the company's publisher throwing down a Marvel book and gasping, "This is garbage! The readers have no taste!" At some point, an explanation began to emerge for the ghastly sales trends. Obviously, it went, readers were getting confused and were buying non-DC books thinking they were DCs.

Count me as one of the people who think these are so much better than what actually came out. I have some issues (Lantern having no ring, Supes' 'alien form') but I would actually buy and read the DC reboots if they were nearly as clever (I am digging Action though). Reminds me of Tom Strong, which I love.

Brakhage, Thursday, 13 October 2011 17:05 (eight years ago) link

Actually, as far as Marvel's long-term planning goes, I feel like they're "pulling a DC" at the moment -- i.e. crossovers and continuity fanwankery, no jumping on points. (Loving Daredevil, though.)

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 13 October 2011 18:00 (eight years ago) link

actually X-Men just reached an excellent jumping on point (Cyke/Wolvie ideological fallout where Cyke continues running a separatist paramilitary team on Utopia and Wolvie goes back to Westchester to rebuild the school with the major X-Men splitting along interesting and sometimes unexpected lines behind them)

do not wake the dragon (DJP), Thursday, 13 October 2011 18:03 (eight years ago) link


Green Arrow: #1 - inker replaced. #4 - horrible writer JT Krul dropped. Another writer offered book, turned it down. Didio tags regular shrugging sidekick Giffen to step in alongside penciller Dan Jurgens as co-writing team.

Giffen/Jurgens out as writers with #7, to be replaced by ANN NOCENTI. Yes, three months after challenging those complaints about gender imbalance at SDCC, Didio has reconsidered, racked his brains, and boldly brought into the fold The Only Woman Superhero Comics Writer He's Ever Heard Of.

at this rate, I'm guessing we can expect Gerry Conway to take over from issue #10.

This must be due to Giffen replacing Perez on Superman, no?

Brakhage, Friday, 14 October 2011 01:38 (eight years ago) link

Luke McDonnell's art does look better when he inked himself. I'd think with as much black he liked to use, those Suicide Squads would have looked pretty good in a black and white Showcase.

If you are a fan of that run of Suicide Squad, be sure to check out the Deadshot mini-series that Ostrander, Kim Yale and McDonnell did when the series was going That's one of the best of the lot.

earlnash, Friday, 14 October 2011 02:17 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, I realised after my noting his reliable monthliness upthread that he also did a four-issue spin-off miniseries at the same time. Take that, Rags Morales!

He also did 12 consecutive issues of The Phantom around that time.

There's actually a couple-ish jumping on points at Marvel now, particularly in THUNDERBOLTS and THE HULK, but I'd be the first to admit that they're "blink and you miss 'em."

But overall, Marvel is where DC was just a couple years ago: Line Architects, Too Many Crossovers, Fanservice 101.

A book like DD is completely unexpected and wonderful, and honestly, it's simply bog-standard superheroics. But it's bog-standard superheroics that have largely jettisoned the baggage that the character has been stuck with since one F. Miller took over the book in NINETEEN EIGHTY ONE. It should not have taken this long, and yet it did.

I really do wonder what the DC line is going to look like in a year. How many number twelves will there be?

Matt M., Friday, 14 October 2011 15:10 (eight years ago) link


do not wake the dragon (DJP), Friday, 14 October 2011 15:11 (eight years ago) link


Martyr McFly (WmC), Friday, 14 October 2011 15:16 (eight years ago) link

$1 office pool, anyone?

Martyr McFly (WmC), Friday, 14 October 2011 15:18 (eight years ago) link

I'll chuck one in.

I was gonna say 23, but I'm going with 17.

Ewige blumenkraft!

Matt M., Friday, 14 October 2011 15:30 (eight years ago) link

30, although they may not all be from the launch 52.

My LCS had their order sent to the wrong place this week, so I will be catching up on last week's titles this weekend.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Friday, 14 October 2011 15:55 (eight years ago) link

We might want to put caveats in there. I was basing my number off of the original 52.

Matt M., Friday, 14 October 2011 15:59 (eight years ago) link

I was assuming that everything would be so delayed that by the end of the first year something that hasn't been published yet might manage to cram 12 issues in.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Friday, 14 October 2011 16:02 (eight years ago) link

I've only been hitting the comic shop once every 2-4 weeks and this is the first time there was more than a couple of the titles on the shelves, as my local store got stocked up with a bunch of the reprints.

I have liked everything I have read so far, even though there is a whole lot of 'this is so and so' and this is how it is going on. But I really dug how all of the epic back story is kind of swept away and it's a new start, it really made some of the old ideas seem kind of fresh like OMAC which is definitely Kirby as genre and welcome now that Godland is almost done.

Action 1-2
Frankenstein Agent of SHADE 1-2
Animal-man 1-2
Stormfront 1-2
OMAC 1-2

Sad thing is that I know I am going to love some of the weird titles and they are just going to run 8 issues.

Still to read-
Swamp Thing 1-2
Superman 1
Batman 1
Detective 1
Batwoman 1

On the Marvel tip, Thunderbolts is quite a bit of fun even the tie in to Fear Itself which was actually used as a good way to shake things up and change the status quo.

Then again it does often seem the better comics at Marvel and DC are the one's furthest from the major characters.

earlnash, Saturday, 15 October 2011 00:40 (eight years ago) link

"one of the major problems for DC since abt 1970 is their generally 2nd-rate artists"

DC seemed to be run so different than Marvel back in those days, as you would have editors that worked almost with their own lines and seemed to have regular artists that stayed on their titles.

Oddly enough many of the the better artists DC would have outside of Jim Aparo would regularly not be doing the super hero comics instead could be found on the war or western or mystery horror titles. And some others like Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez or Neal Adams would do quite a bit of work for DC in the 70s, but often generally doing advertising or artwork used outside the comics for toys etc.

Outside of Swan on Superman and say Aparo on Brave and the Bold, you also got a quite a bit of artist change up all the time and I think it goes back to the editorial difference on comics with DC in that it was much more rare to ever have a story go beyond a single issue or even sometimes fill up a whole issue, as DC continued to use the shorter format stories so much more so than Marvel in the 70s, especially in the comics that were not super hero books. They kind of used their back stock a bit different than Marvel, as even in the mid to later 70s you see occasional drop in issues that are reprints- which became a big no-no at Marvel after a certain point in the early 70s. DC's lines always had a ton of reprints going too with the 80 and 100 page giants.

earlnash, Saturday, 15 October 2011 01:32 (eight years ago) link

come back, aldo!

not bulimic, just a cat (James Morrison), Monday, 24 October 2011 23:02 (eight years ago) link

another casualty of the new 52

Mordy, Monday, 24 October 2011 23:07 (eight years ago) link

Aldo has changed writers.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 24 October 2011 23:09 (eight years ago) link

too many pouches, couldn't have his feet drawn right, etc

loads of personality, loved to chase chickens (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 25 October 2011 01:18 (eight years ago) link

ILX downtime, comic shop fuckup, me being away last weekend: I'll summarise the Week 2s when I have actually read them (before the end of the week I guess) but it is unlikely to be picture heavy just because of the time that takes.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Tuesday, 25 October 2011 06:43 (eight years ago) link

Feel free to commission some fill-in artists, Aldo

Chuck_Tatum, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 10:22 (eight years ago) link

OK, catch-up. Week one of month 2 i.e. the ones I have read thus far:

Batwing #2: Still lovely to look at, still Winicky, still not buying it past #3. The cliffhanger from the last issue is resolved by "he got better", although in a true Batman way it takes two weeks, during which the bad guy has advanced his plot NOT ONE IOTA. Once we've established the hero is well enough again then he continues. Actually, I quite like the new character that gets introduced and could have been on the fence for getting this if the same team was sticking to it, but no.

Detective Comics #2: Blimey, Bruce Wayne is a right dirty shagger in the new DCU, isn't he? The awesome climax of the last issue gets forgotten so he can have possibly non-plot related sex, but when we actually get into it this is still pretty good. Dollmaker has the makings of a pretty good Bat-villain, even if I don't like his retinue very much.

Green Arrow #2: JT Krul just goes from bad to worse. This is truly appalling stuff, with crap youthspeak peppered throughout and the characters are plain ridiculous - Lime and Light, for example, are attention-seeking criminals. Light's power is light, so Lime's power is... not being a lemon? Making cuts sting? No idea. Anyway, we get the murder of a young kid just so it can get filmed and put on the Internets, following the happyslapping theme of the first issue, which is a trap to get GA to FITE. Which is going to be streamed live on the internets. My head hurts with the amount of DO YOU SEE in this comic. Dreadful stuff.

Hawk & Dove #2: Oh my. I thought #1 was bad, but this takes the biscuit. We start with the introduction of the new villains of the piece, Condor and Swan. Don't laugh. Actually, this throws away some of the basic premises of the history of the characters - firstly, Hawk and Dove makes sense because they are birds we would associate with war and peace and it makes sense for their avatars to be called that. But what are Condor and Swan? The gods of getting trapped in valleys and appearing serene while frantically moving your legs? To make it worse (as if it could be) Swan becomes Swan after killing Osprey. Now as above, does the god of catching fish really need an avatar? But also how does he then change what he's the god of? As we saw after the death of Don and Dove transferring into Dawn, it doesn't change what the avatar is. The writing is possibly worse than the first issue but it's a close run thing. In other news, this is as Liefeld-tastic as the first issue. I may do another montage.

Justice League International #2: After a good first issue, this dips back to being a pretty standard hero book with not much to offer. The one thing that is clear is Dan Jurgens seems to have lost his ability to write - do we really need lines like "...and that looks like my native Africa!"? We also learn that Dan has no idea what menage a trois actually means. Not a winner, but this issue might just be a blip.

Men of War #2: The Rock part of this book is better than last month, the SEALS part worse. Tbh I don't get what the flying woman with the red scarf for clothes has to do with any of it, but it kind of works and at least shows the book is going somewhere. The SEALS thing is still going nowhere though, and takes 8 pages to move the plot on about 3 panels. And the artist still can't draw feet or ankles.

OMAC #2: See notes for #1. This is just really more of the same, although the Brother Eye plot is beginning to expand. This issue kind of reminds me of RASL, of all things. Probably the most all-out fun of any of the 52 books. You should still all be getting it.

Red Lanterns #2: After the first issue, this is more philosophical musing on the nature of rage and anger barely held within the confines of a funnybook. I think if this was an indie we'd all be raving about it but I'm not entirely convinced it works in this context. I'm prepared to stick around and see. We are teased at the end that Atrocitus will make one of his Red Lanterns more than the vegetative state they currently are. Who will it be? MAYBE THE ONE THAT'S ALREADY BEEN IN ANOTHER BOOK?

Static Shock #2: Putting the boot in with yet another shitty book, this is at least slightly better than #1. I can't really explain why, as flipping through it to remind myself while I write this there's so much to hate I'd forgotten about - Dakota being the nexus of America for street gangs, for example. Somebody should tell Scott McDaniel there's a black Spider-Man now, so we don't need this one.

Stormwatch #2: This is more like it. The plot of the first issue is developed at pace and we get some proper thrill power. Yes, it's still kind of sub-GMoz, but let's go with it. I'm genuinely looking froward to #3, for nothing else than to see the teased villain reveal.

Swamp Thing #2: As Tuomas asked for it last month, this issue explains a lot of the history he wanted. That done, the second half is a rollercoaster ride through the threat to our hero with a whole pile of artistic nods to the Moore/Bissette/Totleben era and a final splash page sure to have you buying #3. A triumph.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Thursday, 27 October 2011 12:10 (eight years ago) link

Batgirl #2: Stop trying so hard. This is so tied up in trying to work the Killing Joke and crippled Babs into the reality of the current book that it gets in the way of the storytelling. There are times (the fight in the cemetery, for example) when the book is an absolute joy and times (the policemen in the hospital) when it's a complete mess. It's so frustrating, but Gail Simone's a good enough writer to work past it. I just wish she would, and quickly.

Batman #2: If the first issue of this was some people's highlight of the #1s, this may well be the standout #2 for most. An utter pleasure, and the fight between Bats and NOT NITE OWL is quite superb. Buy this book.

Batman and Robin #2: If this was issue 217 and not issue 2 I suspect I would be enjoying this book far more than I am. It's kind of a mid-paced filler book and the problem is that it has to stand on its own merits, which it fails to do against the other batbooks. It's not bad as such (the "Yes, that's exactly where you are tonight!" splash is the closest it gets to that) but it feels bloated and could be far tighter. Maybe the introduction of BatDog will help? Good job that's the direction Peter Tomasi appears to be going.

Batwoman #2: Find a dictionary and open it. Look up the word awesome. If it doesn't have a picture of Batwoman #2 in lieu of a definition then throw it out and get a better one. I have no doubts that this won't keep up the quality (not least if all the rumours of the issues being in the bank because of the slow pace JH Williams works at) but enjoy it while it's here.

Birds of Prey #2: I'm pretty sure I have already cut this book, which on the evidence of this issue might have been a little hasty. It definitely seems to be going somewhere, even if it is a bit Sadface in places. On the other hand, it just isn't distinctive enough to be worth it - I finished it about 10 minutes ago and the diversion of making a cup of tea has meant I don't remember a single thing about it. Something that slight isn't worth your money.

Blue Beetle #2: I definitely cut this after #1, but #2 is not without its charms. The 'kid trapped in a suit he can't control and doesn't understand' trope is an old reliable one and well done here, especially once they get to the party, but then OH NOES A DESTROYER OF WORLDS IS COMING TO EARTH TO GET THE SCARAB BACK. We're all doomed (although probably we're not).

Captain Atom #2: Hoo boy. If JT Krul ever works in comics again then there's something wrong with the world. A complete stinker. Over-written rubbish of the highest order. Don't even think about reading this out of curiosity.

Catwoman #2: The things people hated about the first issue are back in this one. So are the things people liked about it. This issue isn't going to change anyone's opinions about it, but I think it's okay. It's annoying inconsistent though, primarily with the ease in which Catwoman is smeared across the walls of her apartment, and that's probably the main reson why I'm not going to be sticking with it. And the post-coital stuff at the beginning with Batman is just weird. Sorry.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Thursday, 27 October 2011 15:13 (eight years ago) link

DCU Presents: Deadman #2: Is this even the same book as the first one? The two issues seem almost completely unconnected and despite seemingly being sequential (the climax of the first leads directly into this) Boston Brand is a completely different character and understands far more about himself and the Supernatural DCU than he did last month. Maybe it's all that hanging out with Dove. Maybe his real name is Vulture. Maybe this will be more readable next month.

Demon Knights #2: SLEEPER BOOK OF THE RELAUNCH. I wouldn't be surprised if nobody was picking this up, but they're all missing out. This is a hoot from start to finish, and Vandal Savage is a damn fine comedy creation. Who knew? If the editorship is letting people write books like this then more power to them.

Frankenstein #2: Up until this is cancelled people will be calling it a poor man's BPRD , and with good reason because it is. I guess it's entertaining enough but it always feels like it's ripping off other material and the constant comparison detracts massively. A shame, because the writing is quite good, but inescapable.

Green Lantern Corps #2: This comic will never get better than the panel where John Stewart goes "RRARR!" and Guy Gardner goes "YARRH!". After praise for the last one, this is far more prosaic and to be truthful much less of a good read. I'm not sure I like it, it's pointlessly violent in a TINY STOMPING FEET way and has OH SNAP a villain who is immune to Green Lantern constructs and rings. WHO CAN GUESS HOW THIS WILL END? I bet I can, and it's with me quitting the book.

Grifter #2: I really can't bring myself to care about this. In issue 1 the lead character was confused about what was going on and in issue 2 the reader is. Bizarrely, this covers a whole pile of the same ground as OMAC #2 but is in no way engaging. A waste of ink and paper.

Justice League #2: Parademons! For Darkseid! I don't know what's more surprising, their appearance or the fact I actually like a Geoff Johns book. This is far superior to the first issue and actually goes some way to establishing the relationship between all the characters - the interplay between Hal and Barry is pretty great. I repeat, A GOOD GEOFF JOHNS BOOK.

Legion of Super Heroes #2: This has about 5 different plots going on and works on distraction. If you keep moving from the main Daxamite plot to one of the sub-soap opera plots about the internal relationships between Legionnaires fast enough then it stops all the Legion fanboys realising nothing's actually going on. Which I don't mind, but I could see people hating. Really not recommended for anyone who isn't a LoSH fan.

Legion Lost #2: Conversely, this is much less WOW KEWL than the previous issue and is far more enjoyable. The characterisation of several of the cast is brilliant (specifically Timber Wolf) and Wildfire's difficulties in understanding exactly what's happening with the Doctor and how it relates to his own life. Excellent stuff.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Thursday, 27 October 2011 17:59 (eight years ago) link

Mister Terrific #2: Better than the first one, but that's not saying much. I can't think of a single reason why anyone would want to buy or read this, and absolutely none of it stands out or sticks in the memory. Really, why?

Nightwing #2: Maintaining the high standard of the first issue is very much order of the day here and it just about achieves it, although I couldn't care less about Dick's relationship with Circus Girl and really don't need to see them joining the Mile High Club. (Trousersnakes on a plane!) At the end we get some kind of really weird reveal about the circus he grew up in - given the tone of many of the New 52 books I won't be surprised if it's a paedophile ring - which has me dying to read the next issue, which is always a good sign.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #2: I've been dreading this one. Yet, somewhat bizarrely, it barely has any of the faults which bedevilled the first issue and is actually quite a good read (although, like the first, in a sub-Deadpool Max kind of way). The Jason and Talia stuff is, dare I say it, actually pretty good. The sexism is never too fara away though and I'm sure it'll be business as usual next month, which is when I leave it.

Resurrection Man #2: Well, we have a plot this month. Unfortunately it's not a very good one. We also have some SEXEY KILLER GURLS who can get drawn in stylised poses, one of whom is wearing what I believe passes in American pr0n for school uniform. That's bound to help things. Neither of the above make me want to keep reading this, so thankfully I only have one to go. Very poor.

Suicide Squad #2: The trouble with reading too many of these in one go, or writing as you go along, is that you end up contradicting yourself. This is the genuine sleeper hit of the relaunch, a fantastic book which makes you wonder why the creators weren't employed before this. BUY THIS. "Relax. I have a giant hammer."

Supergirl #2: I think this is secretly the best Superman Family book of the relaunch. Kara's failure to comprehend the reality of her situation, which forms the centrepiece of this issue, is excellently written and only generates further mystery - how did she leave Krypton well after it was destroyed? Why is someone using her as a trap for Superman? ALL THIS AND MORE WILL BE REVEALED, TRUE BELIEVERS.

Wonder Woman #2: Boo, hiss etc. Not a patch on issue 1. You promised us this was a horror book, Azzarello, so make it one. The first issue hinted you could do it, so DO IT. (Confession time; I actually did like this but it's a plain WW book and could have been written at any point, possibly most identifiably during the George Perez comeback run.) Disappointed.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Thursday, 27 October 2011 19:38 (eight years ago) link

The one thing that is clear is Dan Jurgens seems to have lost his ability to write - do we really need lines like "...and that looks like my native Africa!"? We also learn that Dan has no idea what menage a trois actually means.

lol that he ever could write - that said, post the page that prompted the last sentence!

the men who glare at stoats (sic), Thursday, 27 October 2011 20:42 (eight years ago) link

eh, I'll allow it, there's three of them and it's just some blond chick having a cheap perv

more lol at Batman pledging to follow Jurgens' pet character tbh

the men who glare at stoats (sic), Thursday, 27 October 2011 21:19 (eight years ago) link

dan jurgens never had the ability to draw, never mind write

Ward Fowler, Friday, 28 October 2011 06:15 (eight years ago) link

it's a hard competition as to which he's worse at tbh

though I just also remembered making small talk to be polite at a convention table in high school, bcz I was looking at preview pages and he was standing behind it, and getting shudders at his weird nerdery

the men who glare at stoats (sic), Friday, 28 October 2011 12:04 (eight years ago) link

erm sorry, drunk, shouldn't have said that!

the men who glare at stoats (sic), Friday, 28 October 2011 12:06 (eight years ago) link

lol go for it! he always been esp despised by brit comic fans of a certain age after he named ronald reagan as his hero in a convention booklet

Ward Fowler, Friday, 28 October 2011 13:12 (eight years ago) link

It is really odd that this relaunch has killed all of my interest in Stormwatch/The Authority but has made me interested in Grifter and Voodoo.

he carried yellow flowers (DJP), Friday, 28 October 2011 13:38 (eight years ago) link

So far, Action Comics and Batwoman are the only keepers for me, but the Lemire, Cornell and Snyder titles are all decent. The rest I'm too broke to buy. Hopefully there'll be some digital deal in the next year: if there was a 5 for $5 weekly deal, I'd probably spend, well, $260 more every year than I do now.

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 28 October 2011 15:51 (eight years ago) link

eh, I'll allow it, there's three of them and it's just some blond chick having a cheap perv

Maybe she's saying "who gives a shit about Booster Gold, why don't you two come over here and party with me"? Seems like it would go with the female voices presented in half of the other books.

he carried yellow flowers (DJP), Friday, 28 October 2011 15:57 (eight years ago) link

aquaman #2 felt like it was 8 pages long and sucked. i almost worked up a little bit of respect (or less-hatred) for geoff johns w/ the 1st issue then, boom, $2.99 for a bunch of splash pages of aquaman spearing dagons.

adam, Friday, 28 October 2011 16:45 (eight years ago) link

loving batman, swamp thing, demon knights, i vampire.

adam, Friday, 28 October 2011 16:46 (eight years ago) link

and action obv

adam, Friday, 28 October 2011 16:46 (eight years ago) link

I am getting into Justice League? Which is shocking to me as I've never cared about that book before.

he carried yellow flowers (DJP), Friday, 28 October 2011 16:47 (eight years ago) link

All-Star Western #2: This builds on the success of the first issue by continuing to be the Jonah Hex book it replaced. Yes, it weaves in Bat-elements like the Crime Bible but this only adds to how great it is. I appreciate (given that I was buying it until the reboot) I might be predisposed to the title, but it really is brilliant. Buy it.

Aquaman #2: FUCK YOU GEOFF JOHNS. I liked the last issue but this is Johns Sadface bollocks. Miserable shite.

Batman The Dark Knight #2: Amazingly, for the second issue on the trot there actually is David Finch content in this issue. And it's sort of OK I suppose, but it barely goes anywhere. It's almost a circular story with the conclusion of this issue the same as the last one, with very little happening of note in between. I get the feeling if Finch drops out altogether this could be all right, but I'm not sure I've got either the patience or inclination to find out.

Blackhawks #2: Insubstantial might well be the middle name of Mike Costa. This does nothing and goes nowhere and is not worth your time. Remember the way Nick Fury strips read in the late 80s? No? Exactly. And that's why this is so unmemorable.

Deathstroke #2: Can this be redeemed after the first issue? Simple answer: No. Slightly more detailed answer: Fuck, no. This is poor quality violence pr0n and plotless. I could have done something useful in the time it took me to read this like, I don't know, peeled a banana.

Firestorm #2: Who are Terror Grunt and what do they sound like? That's what inquiring minds really want to know having read this slice of 80s nostalgia. Blah blah nuclear winter blah blah emergency broadcasts blah THIS ISN'T THREADS. "Think I'm scared? I'm from Belfast, monster!"

Flash #2: Barry gets to grips with being Flash and pushes what he can do. It doesn't need any more of a description than that to be honest as this just develops what we saw last month and adds enough to the mystery to keep you reading next month, which I will be. Seeing how Barry sees the world is kind of marvellous.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Friday, 28 October 2011 17:57 (eight years ago) link

Green Lantern New Guardians #2: Oh, this went from a fun issue 1 to impenetrable Johnsy GL bullshit. Wake me up whe you're finished. The comic itself makes no sense either, with Kyle INCREASING the amount of casualties from "Red Lanterns and their napalm blood puke" and X Factor arithmetic (i.e. things being >100% of themselves). Also, unless I'm mistaken, quite some years appear to have passed between the end of the last issue and this one, as Kyle reminisces about the Guardian who chose him and how he's come to think of him as his "fairy godfather" despite only meeting him the day before. No.

I, Vampire #2: I can't believe for a minute this is going to run past 6 issues. If it does, there will be one like this every 10 or so. It's a trap/escape/spread the legend vampire story, with about as much backstory as last time. It looks beautiful, but then so does Batwing and this doesn't have the legs of, say, 30 Days Of Night or The Walking Dead. I'll enjoy it while it's being published, but I don't expect that to be much longer.

Justice League Dark #2: This is a step backwards from last month, with pointless setup and an unhealthy fascination with Deadman having a shag. Yes, sex again. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, DIDIO? Not every book in the DCU has to have sex on every page, don't make it editorially mandated. He gets this >< close to having a fake lesbian scene in it too (fake in that one of the women is a man, kind of). This is going to turn into a complete abortion of a book, isn't it?

Savage Hawkman #2: "INCREDIBLE. THE SYMBOLS ARE BECOMING EASIER FOR ME TO READ!" And the symbols appear to be saying THIS BOOK IS SHIT, DO NOT READ IT. This is just muddled twaddle, with the big bad from number one thrown away for a bigger (maybe) bad and some minor plot related shit in the background. There's a girlfriend now, possibly, and something something something don't care.

Superboy #2: In which Astro Boy tries to punch the universe but his neural inhibitors stop him. It turns out he's some kind of weapon which it turns out comes in very handy when some giant shark monsters from Sector 3 turn up. Maybe less so when SHIT BLOWS UP, as it inevitably does. This is a whole pile of fun, but I have no idea where it's going. A bit like canoeing blindfold.

Superman #2: WORDS AGAIN. Last month was wordy, but this is full of them straight out of the gate. THERE'S A THIRTY-TWO WORD SENTENCE ON THE FOURTH PAGE! This is such a hackneyed idea I can't possibly believe it hasn't been done a hundred times before in Superman/Action/whatever and similarly I can't believe it wasn't done better on the previous occasions. I can't wait for this to be crossing over with Action and turning it to shit, which is happening soon. Hitting my cut list, right now.

Teen Titans #2: Kid Flash, I like. The rest of this book, not so much. MAKE IT MORE ABOUT HIM. Anyway, this is still a 'build the team' issue but is starting to get towards an actual storyline. Although yet again we have some tiresome sexism with chat about Wonder Girl's boobage, and I'm beginning to get tired of it all. I'm prepared to go with it for a while but only because Kid Flash is so great. Give him his own book and I can stop buying this?

Voodoo #2: Last month I gave this the benefit of the doubt. This month I'm taking it back. Next month has Kyle Rayner. CUT!

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Friday, 28 October 2011 19:35 (eight years ago) link

I've heard numbers on VAMPIRE have held steady as of last round of orders, so it might not go away that quickly. My store never got it, so I have yet to give it a read.

The only book that's got any real excitement for me so far is ACTION. HEX is decent but hasn't been as great as the first series (which I was reading for the art as much as anything else. Jordi Bernet, yay!) But still, ACTION feels pretty thin for a monthly book, as opposed to ALL-STAR, which was substantial issue-in, issue-out. Trade arcs sap so much out of the monthlies, it's painful to read most of them.

Matt M., Monday, 31 October 2011 18:41 (eight years ago) link


Action #3 is now out, and advertised fill-in artist Brent Anderson is not present; the first seven pages here are drawn by Gene Ha.

This issue is again 20 pages for $3.99.

Given the huge media buzz and sales success of this giant line-wide relaunch, here is a full and complete breakdown of the ads they have thus been able to sell on non-cover pages of this book:

1p: The Big Bang Theory is now in syndicated repeats on basic cable!

That's it.

There are 18 (EIGHTEEN) pages of unpaid ads for DC's The New 52, and the standard page of content-free house advertorial in the back.

٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ (sic), Friday, 4 November 2011 14:46 (eight years ago) link


Wonder if that means a tacit admission that they're not able to wring much ad revenue from these books and the value is in the IP, not the audience?

Matt M., Friday, 4 November 2011 16:40 (eight years ago) link

It seems weird that Time Warner wouldn't have it at least to the point where DC would be selling their own products in the comics.

earlnash, Saturday, 5 November 2011 06:53 (eight years ago) link

Green Lantern #2: This is Geoff Johns wank fantasy made flesh. Basically Sinestro turns up and gives Hal his ring back if he agrees to admit he's great. He then withdraws it more than once to prove HIS ULTIMATE POWER OVER GREEN LANTERN. This couldn't get more Johnsy if it was printed in his spunk. The very fact I'm writing this is probably setting off his Johns-sense and he's getting wood as I type.

I feel dirty.

Action Comics #3: You know what I think? GMoz should put as much distance between himself and people who are linked to Alan Moore as he should. The entire Krypton sequence looks and feels like offcuts from Top Ten and that ends up colouring the entire book. The Metropolis stuff is nice and the Big Bad looks fun but nothing that hasn't been done before. I'm looking forward to sseing how GMoz gets out of it, but since the 5 year gap is consumed by #7 I'

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 6 November 2011 23:09 (eight years ago) link

m assuming that's as long as he's on the book and DC just aren't announcing it yet. (PS Gossip says Dan Jurgens is writing both)

{Continuing the previous post which got posted G_d knows why)

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 6 November 2011 23:11 (eight years ago) link

Animal Man #3: Do I like this? I'm really not sure any more. This seems confused at times, but then Buddy realises he is slave to his daughter and it kicks off into a level of awesomeness. I don't care at all for the Ellen and Cliff stuff and I'm not sure at all how the 'real world' pans into the Red at all but I'm not really bothered. I guess the big problem is this is all based on Old Universe DCU stuff so I'm reading it for the second time. Hmm.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 6 November 2011 23:29 (eight years ago) link

but since the 5 year gap is consumed by #7 I'm assuming that's as long as he's on the book and DC just aren't announcing it yet.

god I hope so, the pricing makes me actually angry

٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ (sic), Monday, 7 November 2011 01:13 (eight years ago) link

Batwing #3: This almost does enough. Really nearly makes me want to keep on buying it. Then I remember Ben Oliver is off it with this issue and I'm convinced the other way. Arguably not enough happens during the issue, but the hints of The Kingdom being a big thing which fucked up really badly and sold out a continent could be a great thing. But Ben Oliver is what makes the book and this is the end of his involvement and also mine. I might torrent the next couple to see where the plot goes. SO HOW'S THAT STRATEGY WORKING, DIDIO?

Detective Comics #3: I actually kind of love the writing on this. Ultimately, The Dollmaker isn't nearly as good as I thought he would be last month but I can put up with it because the characterisation of Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock is the best in the reboot. Still not sold on the art but this is the New DC - I might not even have to put up with it till the end of the next issue! Still onboard and will stay that way.

Green Arrow #3: I'd love to be able to say the writing on this became competent with my last issue. I'd love to say the art doesn't look like the worst kind of 80s throwback. I'd love to be able to say what has passed to date for a plot is resolved satisfactorily. I'd love to be able to say the fake Steve Jobs characterisation becomes realistic. Unfortunately this is still the same bag of shite it has been since the first issue. Maybe even worse. If JT Krul ever works again it will be too soon.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Monday, 7 November 2011 22:42 (eight years ago) link

Hawk & Dove #3: This ends with the phrase "He's not too old to answer some questions though... and I've got plenty." I only have 2: "How is Sterling Gates in work?" and "How is Rob Liefeld in work?" The answer to the first appears to be that he is good mates with Geoff Johns. The second is a challenge up there with Fermat's Last Theorem. Every line is delivered between gritted teeth. Barack Obama looks like a chocolate popsicle. There's a panel with Swan and Dove where they have the same face. Not similar faces, IDENTICAL ones. Woeful.

Justice League International #3: EIGHTIES. I'M LIVING IN THE EIGHTIES. You know what the highlight of this is? Vixen uses the powers of a badger. Some people would say this is damning with faint praise. I'm characterising it as reaching to find anything worth enjoying. Average is a compliment.

Men of War #3: What was the Rock section of this has turned to shit. Absolutely nothing happens in it. It's a completely failed attempt at a Two Fisted Tales type effort and totally worthless. Can it be save by the completion of the SEALS backup story? No. It's shite as well. Deserves to be cut andhas been.

OMAC #3: The writing in this really isn't that great is it? And I'm beginning to think the art isn't either. I hate this reboot. Still entertaining enough, but that probably says more about the other books than this one. I'm already looking forward to next month when I am reading less new comics.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Monday, 7 November 2011 23:03 (eight years ago) link

Red Lanterns #3: WHAT A SURPRISE. The character I predicted last month is made clevererer is the one that is made clevererer. Unfortunately, because she is A WOMANG she has to be better than 'the hero'. This doesn't work at all. The issue ends with a gratuitous arse picture. One that makes Red Hood #1 look like Andrea Dworkin. You're better than this, Pete Milligan.

Static Shock #3: No. No. No. Static Shite. Features a piss-poor joke about someone not knowing what The Joker looks like. Losing the will to live here.

Stormwatch #3: So we don't get the villain reveal the last issue promised... I can put up with that because this is still a pretty servicable comic. Filler, yes, but servicable. Plot doesn't get advanced much and Jack's foot/ankle about halfway through is one of the worst pieces of art in the reboot (I know, a huge claim) but NOT AWFUL.

Swamp Thing #3: In which our hero compresses over 70 issues of a comic into a VERY short narrative. But the ACTUAL PLOT is great when it kicks in, even if it does rip off SoST 23-26 (the Floronic Man/JLA issues). LET'S GO WITH BRILLIANT mainly because we don't have any competition.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Monday, 7 November 2011 23:16 (eight years ago) link

You can't reference the worst panel in the reboot and not share a bad scan!

Otherwise, kudos.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 7 November 2011 23:59 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, I'll find the panel tonight. I realised as I was typing it I would need to. Also, two Liefeld montages to do.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Tuesday, 8 November 2011 07:34 (eight years ago) link

have you dropped wonder woman aldo? my roommate & i are subscribed to omac, wonder woman, action comics, animal man thru a joint reservation account, should be caught up in a week or so

flopson, Tuesday, 8 November 2011 23:09 (eight years ago) link

The first WW was great, the second smacked massively of the Perez 80s run. Am sticking with it until #4 at the moment but I know where it needs to go.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Tuesday, 8 November 2011 23:16 (eight years ago) link

is there even a royalty system still in place?

now less than ever

٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ (sic), Thursday, 10 November 2011 01:15 (eight years ago) link

okay I broke down and bought Suicide Squad

this is so exactly my type of shit

also Harley is hilarious

sex-poodle Al Gore (DJP), Thursday, 10 November 2011 01:25 (eight years ago) link

Fabian Nicieza discusses the valuable creative input of DC editorial into New 52 plotting:

Nrama: You know, Fabian, a lot of people picked up the first issue and got the idea that this book was going to be all about action and character peril, but you seem to be doing a lot more with this comic now. As a writer, were you planning from the start that the first issue should be fast-moving to grab readers with the perilous situation and confusion of the characters?

Nicieza: Actually, as a writer, I wasn't. This is the first time I'm even talking about it, so I have to be diplomatic about it. It was not my original intention to break the story down that way. After we did a six-issue outline, we had lunch and a meeting editorially, and we all talked about it. There were aspects of my original six-issue outline that they didn't want to do yet. They thought it was too soon, too fast. They wanted a slower burn for some of the things, like the spread of the disease and the Legionnaires themselves having options available to them.

So I had to go back reconfigure my six-issue plans to kind of create more of a slow burning fuse to their presence here on Earth.

Part of that meant that, instead of opening it the way that I'd envisioned, which was them here for a few days already, them contacting Superman for help, and clearly putting out on the table exactly what's going on within the first eight pages of the book -- that changed.

What they wanted, and I understand why they wanted it, they wanted the first 20 minutes of the Lost TV pilot.

Nrama: Ah, yeah. The peril is similar, with the crashed airplane.

Nicieza: Exactly. They wanted a sense of frantic, chaotic turmoil and uncertainty. That, in and of itself, is twisting the usual "Legion in the past" story. And they wanted a twist on the usual "Legion in the past" story. And I get that.

So I turned the dial on my head a little bit and reconfigured it, and this is what we got.

There's a lot of good to that, but there's some bad to that too. And I do think clarity is one of the things that got sacrificed in that first issue, which is a bit frustrating, because I felt that it was an important aspect that we needed in that first issue.

٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ (sic), Thursday, 10 November 2011 23:30 (eight years ago) link

So, by publishing solicitation details for the first New 52 collections, DC have not only given more hints into their focus but also spoilered some more as-yet-unannounced team changes.

Dig through to note what's being given hardcover prestige, how worthy-of-colllection every single title appears to be considered even before they're written or drawn, and how evidently everyone's stories must be no less than 6 issues and no more than 8.

The pricing disparity on Action gets tilted the other way on the collection - while buying the floppies costs $8 more than any other series for the same number of pages, the collection gives you 40 pages more than any other HC for only $2 extra. SURE, THAT MAKES SENSE, WHATEVER.

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Rags Morales, Rick Bryant, Brent Anderson, Gene Ha, Andy Kubert and Jesse Delperdang

Obviously Kubert isn’t so excited about drawing those two last-minute story-derailing issues that he can do them by himself. This shows amazing confidence that Morales will have his shit together enough to draw #7 and #8 though!

Writers: J.T. Krul, Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens
Artists: Dan Jurgens, George Pérez, Ignacio Calero and Ray McCarthy

Let’s see if it manages to hold to a mere four artists in six issues.

Writers: J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman
Artist: J.H. Williams III
Collects: BATWOMAN #0-5
$22.99 US, 144 pg

Sure, don’t bother looking inside those comics to see if anyone else, say Amy Reeder, may have drawn half of every page of one of them. Or reading the cover. More evidence of Dan DiDio’s frenzied campaign to drive out all female creators from the halls of DC!*

Also, this means that the three issues of Detective Batwoman by Rucka and Jock that go in between BATWOMAN VOL. 1 HC and, er, BATWOMAN VOL. 1 HC (well done, there) are being completely orphaned. YOU NO WORK FOR US NO MORE, YOUR COMICS NEVER EXISTED.

*actually holy fuck, this may be more accurate than my mockery intended: DC paid for and scrapped EIGHT covers by Reeder this year, including VARIANTS FOR EVERY ISSUE OF BATWOMAN.

And I guess DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS was always meant to be rotating teams, but with #1-5 still coming out, this solicitation is a sneak reveal of what an amazing team they were able to line up by working five months ahead of the rest of the entire line!:

Writers: Paul Jenkins, Dan DiDio and Jerry Ordway
Artists: Bernard Chang and Jerry Ordway


And my favourite one to track the creators on...

Writer: Paul Jenkins and David Finch
Artists: David Finch and Richard Friend

So either the solicited fill-in penciller from #2 and #3 wasn’t needed (!) or Finch managed to have him wrestled back to proper, uncredited ghosting by the time the issues came out. Or the people in the trades department don’t know what the fuck they’re doing, which is not implausible at this stage I'll grant you.

٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ (sic), Friday, 11 November 2011 07:58 (eight years ago) link

i love the updates in this thread, DC sounds utterly out of control

Don't attack when he is black. (forksclovetofu), Friday, 11 November 2011 14:48 (eight years ago) link

I checked BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT #2 in the shop and Jay Fabok is not credited inside. I'm putting my money on 'ghost'.

٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ (sic), Friday, 11 November 2011 23:38 (eight years ago) link

i love the updates in this thread, DC sounds utterly out of control

Me too. THis whole thread is hugely fun to read.

Not only dermatologists hate her (James Morrison), Saturday, 12 November 2011 06:32 (eight years ago) link

Batgirl #3: The biggest problem about this issue is contained within the spread page internal DC advert and the MTV quote therein: "DC is actually delivering what they promised... these books give you everything you need to know, right there, in the first issue." So why do I spend all this issue wondering when the "how Babs left her wheelchair" is going to get resolved? The book spends the entire time CULTIVATING mystery about what happened prior to the reboot, not resolving it. And it just isn't that good at it - I enjoyed #1, disliked #2 and have no real opinion on this so I'm going to read the next one (which apparently finishes this storyline) then cut it. Good work, DC.

Batman and Robin #3: Umm... what? I have read this three times now and it still makes very little sense. Damian is bad at chess and disobedient. The guy from the last issue has a cool costume. Batman doesn't know the Green Cross Code. BatDog is a cutesy dopey love. Yes he is. Who's a cutesy dopey love then? It's you, isn't it? Yes it is. What is the film going to be in the next issue? FIND OUT IN A MONTH. I hope it's The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Claus.

Batwoman #3: KEEP FOCUSING ON THE ART. The first half of this is maybe some of the most beautiful stuff JH Williams has done. The second half, the part that's more like a regular book, not so much. The first half flows perfectly, the second half is stilted and awkward. But it looks so lovely I can forgive it all of this. I'm so shallow.

Deathstroke #3: HOORAY! MY LAST ISSUE! And it's possibly the worst of the three, with no plot to speak of and confusing art that presumably to even up the gender issues in some of the #1s has a load of upskirt style shots of MANLY MEN BEING MANLY AND KILLING EACH OTHER WITH KNIVES. Anyway, now we're at the end I can summarise the first three issues as follows: blah FITE blah FITE FITE blah blah FITE FITE FITE FITE HEAD IN A BOX.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 12 November 2011 13:43 (eight years ago) link

Demon Knights #3: What is this, severed head month at DC? Anyway, this doesn't quite live it to the first two issues but the plot barrels on with a near-death Madame Xanadu, a Jason Blood returned from Hell, a priest Etrigan has put there, some joke about the Seven Soldiers version of the Shining Knight and Vandal Savage, Leader Of Men. Somehow this has become the book I look forward to reading most every month. I have no idea how this took place.

Frankenstein #3: Another month on, another month of low quality BPRD rip-off. It's no use ramping up the excitement with TWO (count 'em) new threats at the end of the story, you're still a poor man's Dark Horse product. I think I'll stick with this as it puts me in the price break that my LCS give me as it keeps them in Diamond's sale-or-return bracket, but I'd much rather be reading something by Mike Mignola or Guy Davis.

Green Lantern #3: I don't EVER want to see Doug Mahnke drawing Sinestro laughing again. Is he secretly having sex with Geoff Johns or something? How does this man hold a job down? Although he's not the worst thing about this book, Geoff Johns is. You know what his plan is now? The Guardians have decided that after creating the Green Lanterns (plus all the other colours that make up the Lantern Pride Alliance) and the Manhunters they now need to create a Third Army (I guess answering the question about whether Millenium/New Guardians exists in the the new DCU with a resounding NO). And he has a paradox in this issue that Hal Jordan points out and has a fight with Sinestro about. And a character called Arsona. Can anybody actually want to read this? I don't think I could even muster the enthusiasm to t0rr3nt it in future.

Grifter #3: Inexplicable. This cannot be explained. Next month it involves a Green Arrow team up. There is no way this can make it better. GRifter shouts a Platoon-style NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO in the middle of this. It's how I feel about the title too.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 12 November 2011 14:23 (eight years ago) link

Legion Lost #3: It's like watching the footage from Bottom Live 3: Hooligan's Island - OH WE'VE GOT A PLOT THIS YEAR, HAVE WE? After the slight disappointment of last month this is really going somewhere, and the revelation at the end is cracking. Yes, the second half of the issue is a lengthy Timber Wolf fight but SO WHAT. Fabien Nicieza might not like the pacing of this, but I think it's just fine. #1 set up the scenario and introduced the characters, #2 brought in the real bad guy, #3 developed it all further and gave you something to make you really care about. All while bringing the THRILLPOWER. Give us more of this sort of thing.

Mister Terrific #3: This features a bad guy called Brainstorm who was a computer scientist and is now a blue bloke with a WiFi symbol on his head. He can shoot USB cables - sorry, 'Intelligence Spikes' out of his arm to hard wire himself to people and download the things they know. Some kids film Mister Terrific beating him up on their iPhones because it turns out he was having mental sex with the satnav in her car which caused her crash and subsequent death. I really wish I was making this shit up. I'm done with this.

Resurrection Man #3: The weird sexualisation of the previous issue continues in new, even more bizarre ways (I mean was there really any reason to show us those heart-covered panties?) and despite the whole Limbo bit of dialogue nothing is actually progressed. It feels like a filler issue, which for only the third is a horrible accusation. If this gets to #10 I'll be amazed, as I would guess will the writers because it doesn't feel like it's supposed to.

Suicide Squad #3: I love Harley Quinn and the way she's written here. Can you guess what may or may not be happening when she says "This reminds me of a joke about a clown car..."? Between this and King Shark "keeping a low profile" this is hands down the most FUN in anything DC are publishing for the third month in a row. And at the end? Two words. CAPTAIN BOOMERANG. This just keeps getting better. MORE FUN COMICS (not More Fun Comics though).

Superboy #3: "I am so not following any of this." You and me both, Superboy. I think I like this but I have no idea why. Apparently next month Superboy destroys a Christmas tree. Doesn't that sound worth your money?

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 12 November 2011 17:15 (eight years ago) link

I can't wait for all the six-month postmortems. And the one-year should be HILARIOUS.

Matt M., Saturday, 12 November 2011 20:30 (eight years ago) link

I am on board for buying about 25 #4s at the moment. That doesn't mean I won't keep up by t0rr3nt with the rest just for you lot.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 12 November 2011 20:35 (eight years ago) link

The panels from last week that wound me up:

I know in relation to some of the other things you see this doesn't seem that bad, but THESE ARE HIS ACTUAL FEET AND ANKLES. You know, there isn't a boot or something in the way that changes the shape, this is just poor drawing skills.

You see what I mean about it being hard to credit this was Pete Milligan's direction? I have also realised in the week since that the two text boxes make it look like she's been holding a lottery for who gets to give her anal. WHY DOES MY BRAIN WORK THIS WAY?

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 12 November 2011 21:20 (eight years ago) link


50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 12 November 2011 22:33 (eight years ago) link

Ask if you want it biggerer.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 12 November 2011 22:33 (eight years ago) link

lol i don't know from comics but this is god's work yr doing

zvookster, Saturday, 12 November 2011 22:37 (eight years ago) link

That Stormwatch panel is all kinds of twenty colors of crap.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 12 November 2011 22:39 (eight years ago) link

And from H&D#3:

Yes, that black gentleman is Barack Obama.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 12 November 2011 23:24 (eight years ago) link
so had any formal art training?

Don't attack when he is black. (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 13 November 2011 03:19 (eight years ago) link

To be fair maybe he twisted his ankle and it's gone all swollen

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 13 November 2011 13:26 (eight years ago) link

re Batwoman #3: Maggie Sawyer is meant to be a tough cop, and not a sook in matters of romance, I take it from her other appearances in this series? So why is she such a marshmallow pushover for Kate's bullshit? This is the only thing that bothers me about the writing so far.

٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ (sic), Monday, 14 November 2011 12:17 (eight years ago) link

Wish it was still Rucka writing, tbh

mh, Monday, 14 November 2011 16:24 (eight years ago) link

happy for him that he fled the sinking ship before getting dicked around even more, if I have any opinion

٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ (sic), Monday, 14 November 2011 23:28 (eight years ago) link

I'm not completely familiar with what was done to him, but I applaud anyone who felt it a good time to bail before this relaunch business.

mh, Tuesday, 15 November 2011 01:01 (eight years ago) link

me neither, Batwomang was prob the first thing I'd read by him in ten years, but he made hints and allusions at the time. that now seem more illuminated, yeah.

٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ (sic), Tuesday, 15 November 2011 01:39 (eight years ago) link

I liked Gotham Central, although I read it after publication

mh, Tuesday, 15 November 2011 01:47 (eight years ago) link

I fully intend to read it if they ever do a complete TPB series.

٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ (sic), Tuesday, 15 November 2011 01:49 (eight years ago) link

Ty Templeton, back in launch month:

٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ (sic), Tuesday, 15 November 2011 05:12 (eight years ago) link


Birds Of Prey #s 1-4 were all solicited with Duane Swierczunski as writer and Jesus Saiz as sole artist. Once #5 is solicited with Saiz needing an inker to help out, a fill-in issue is promptly commissioned from George Perez and Writer TK.

Tonight, as I get closer to finishing my run on SUPERMAN and prepare for my next project (still only in the negotiation stage right now) I am starting to pencil an inventory issue of BIRDS OF PREY-- just so I can draw some nice looking babes!

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Wednesday, 16 November 2011 03:09 (eight years ago) link

so had any formal art training?

this guy is totally a real-life Liefield drawing

The Uncanny Frankie Valley (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 16 November 2011 20:21 (eight years ago) link

I saw a changed teams list for #6s but I can't remember where. Basically there's barely half of the original line-up doing the same jobs iirc. I kind of fail to see how that encourages anybody to buy the books.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 19 November 2011 10:32 (eight years ago) link

Batman #3: Hot damn. Yes, this introduces another OH NOES GOTHAM HAS ALWAYS EVER ALWAYS HAD DARK SEKRITS mythology, and I'm still not completely sold on the art, but this is quite brilliantly written. The history of the Owls and the ties to Alan Wayne AND THEN THE DENOUEMENT, holy crap. Read this at all costs.

Birds of Prey #3: This is very nearly good enough to make me reconsider cutting it. Poison Ivy is re-cast in the Johnsiverse as a superpowered Earth First activist and the plot threads laid down in the first two issues begin to come to fruition. The issue ends with a BLACK CANARY IS ABOUT TO DIE cliffhanger which, as we've learned from the Johnsiverse (or in fact basic comics theory) means it won't happen but the nagging reality doesn't prevent you getting swept up in it. Apparently the inclusion of Batgirl as the lead character is imminent, which can also only mean return of The Simone. Shame, as the writer here is starting to find his feet.

Blue Beetle #3: After one of the least surprising reveals of the reboot (I mean, really? You think we didn't know it was the Auntie all along?) this rumbles along trying to find its feet. The Hispanic histrionics in dialogue make me grateful for all that time I put in with Amor Y Cohetes and the possibility of the Scarab Lanterns or whatever the fuck they are destroying Earth might be a thing, but ridiculous poses and HANDS DOWN THE WORST NEW CHARACTER DESIGN I HAVE SEEN IN MANY YEARS (seriously, this Silverback dude is like the worst excesses of the 90s. He's Cable invented on crystal meth.) makes this a dung beetle.

Captain Atom #3: The moment we all waited for - JT Krul writes the Flash. No, wait, the moment we were waiting for was Captain Atom and the Flash solving the conflict in Libya. Until Gadaffi sets off a nuclear bomb to destroy the country. Captain Atom sucks in the energy and Flash outruns the blast picking people up on the way. Did I mention Captain Atom turned himself into God in the first couple of pages? It makes me pine for the good old days of Qurac. Please don't let any of this make you think you should look at the book because it's really not worth your time.

Catwoman #3: Torture porn! Strippers! Visible labia! At one point Catwoman's thighs are bigger than her waist! Holy BatSnogging! Awful, awful, awful.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 19 November 2011 12:23 (eight years ago) link

DCU Presents Deadman #3: I really wish this was ready to move on to the next story. Basically this issue rehashes the last one and doesn't advance the plot apart from the first and last pages. Consequently, it does nothing for me. I can't help thinking it's a wasted opportunity but I can't offer any suggestions as to how it could be improved as it's just a whole pile of nothing.

Green Lantern Corps #3: "Beware the Ring Slayers!" Sounds like a porn film to me. Yadda yadda ring fites (although since inventiveness was always supposed to be a thing, why they all will guns into existence doesn't show much imagination) and it turns out the titular Ring Slayers are in fact an unknown species comprising vast reserves of raw willpower. Glad that's all cleared up. The best dialogue on the first page is "RRAGHH!" and comes from the dinosaur GL that had his arms and legs cut off in the last issue. Presumably he can only say RRAGHH because he is wearing his ring on his tongue now he is limbless. I wish I was making this up. I might start putting in some fake details from now on.

Justice League #3: "Steve, this place, your home, is filled with so many wonderful things. Ice cream and Rock and Roll and... many wonderful things." FUCK YOU GEOFF JOHNS. How can you have the gall to write this shit? Wait, Superman's just managed to cleanly slice off a Parademon's arm with a car tyre. Hal Jordan's just claimed shagging rights on Wonder Woman. This could be a triumph but instead is a disaster. Vic Stone's heart races up his spinal cord (according to the dialogue, but that can't be right) then he screams one of the most epic pieces of dialogue from the reboot - "AAHH01010101000010111". And finally Aquaman turns up. I don't think I can look away.

LoSH #3: Yes! The return of the Dominators! How to subdue Daxamites! This is pointless crap for the rest of you. It's still a fanboy's book. I wish I could actually judge the quality of this title.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 19 November 2011 13:37 (eight years ago) link

DCU Presents Deadman #3: I really wish this was ready to move on to the next story.

note this folks, aldo now CANNOT WAIT to read a Dan Didio comic sight unseen. IS THIS WHAT WE'VE DONE TO HIM?

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Saturday, 19 November 2011 15:07 (eight years ago) link

I just wanted to say that I don't give a shit that its moving at a snail's pace and is predictable as hell, I love Red Lanterns!

Great Fushigi Master (Viceroy), Sunday, 20 November 2011 04:22 (eight years ago) link

Catwoman #3: ... Visible labia!

Waitaminute, surely not?

Not only dermatologists hate her (James Morrison), Sunday, 20 November 2011 07:24 (eight years ago) link

Maybe a slight exaggeration, but there's one panel where you can see exactly what Catwoman's packing down there, if you see what I'm saying. Every contour.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 20 November 2011 08:46 (eight years ago) link

Nightwing #3: This book just keeps getting better and better. A new bad guy (although, it has to be said, one that Dick appears to completely have the better of after their first encounter, so probably no staying power there) and great pacing as the storyline builds and Dick's life - the one that he never had, since he was with Bruce - is laid out for all to see. Maybe this always happened in the Nightwing book? All I remember about it was that city got destroyed when Chemo got dropped on it. Plus Dick gets to make the sex with the hawt redhead. UNLEASH THE NIGHTWANG! What could possibly make this book better? "Next issue: Batgirl". Because she's only in about half a dozen books already next month. Babs is going to have a busy old time of it.

Red Hood & The Outlaws #3: WHY DID #1 OF THIS COME OUT.

Obviously this is a rhetorical question, since if #1 hadn't come out then neither could #2 or #3. Fact-checkin' Ed.
This expands on the promise I spoke of last month and damn it if this isn't a rollercoaster 20 pages of FUN FUN FUN. If you like Deadpool MAX you will like this. If you like GMoz Himalayan trans-dimensional mysticism you will like this. If you like people blowing up monsters from the inside and dialogue like "Untongue me, creature!" you will like this. If you are me you will like this. Dare I even go as far as to secretly love it? I think I might. It's definitely going back on my pull list.

Supergirl #3: We get plot development (but not anything we haven't seen before). We get a new bad guy (who is basically Kara's version of Lex Luthor, which makes you wonder how he existed for so long with nobody noticing). We get a new artist (who isn't as good as the previous one). We get a real sense of deja vu (and a slight sense of boredom).

Wonder Woman :3 I have no idea why crab claws are so important, or what they're a metaphor for, but they feature really heavily in this issue. And they're really tasty, which is presumably a subliminal message to get me to like this. Luckily I like it anyway. It's still more Perez than Lovecraft (which was what we were promised) and OH LOOK, SOME SEXING but it feels like it's going somewhere and next month seems to see us back of Paradise Island which might improve it. A slow burner.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 20 November 2011 10:16 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...


All Star Western #3: The Gotham Butcher plot concludes just as the cover promises, with guns and gore. This has been the best Hex storyline in a number of years - Doctor Arkham mans up and we see a whole pile of retribution but the sides appear able to co-exist after the resolution. But just when it looks like Hex is leaving (and his interplay with Arkham and Gotham itself as he tries to get out is really well done) he gets sucked into something else... I guess he may be sticking around the city for a bit longer. The backup El Diablo strip is neither here nor there, to be honest, but it's nice to see some second (third?) string Western characters get a run out. I still can't decde whether this is one of the highlights of the reboot or not, since it's still pretty much the same book it was before the reboot.

Aquaman #3: Arthur Curry is a dick, everyone knows it and his powers are so shit everyone laughs at him. That's pretty much all you need to know about Geoff Johns' take on him. There's a fight with last month's new baddies and a bit of development for them where we find out some genetic stuff about them (with another cast-iron opportunity for Aquaman to be a dick and show off his new power of flight) but there's not really enough in this to make it endearing - there's always the hint of Johnsiness about it to put you off - but maybe the mystery of whose trident it is might be worth keeping up with.

Batman The Dark Knight #3: Disappointingly, the Joker elements of this (which have been the most entertaining parts) are wrapped up in the opening pages which leaves us with David Finch trying to puff up his own new David Finch character, the White Rabbit. Who, surprise, surprise, is an sexey womang in an impractical and ridiculous outfit. Flash appears and is immediately sidelined so he plays no further part in the story, and we get one of the most bizarre lines of dialogue in the Johnsiverse: "Thank God for small mercies and lace panties." Is this really something people say? Google suggests it's only ever appeared in amateur pr0n fiction and I think I believe them. The Bat-stuff in this is good, the rest not so much. I'm sure the actual David Finch content in David Finch's own book will soon dwindle to nothing. Will this improve it? Who knows. Or possibly cares.

Blackhawks #3: I like the talking dogs. I don't care about the rest of it. It has the heart of a decent espionage book but it just tries too hard, throwing ideas at the wall to see what sticks - the only propblem is that when you get to the end you realise it's ALL supposed to have stuck which just makes it a confused mess. Still, talking dogs, eh?

Firestorm #3: OH NOES, THE TRAGEDY OF A SUPER-SOLDIER! Oh noes, the tragedy of this book, more like. Helix could have been pretty good, and the world through his eyes is the one memorable thing about this, but we get minor plot development and a HUGE fight which at times appears to have been blown up to make it fill the page more. This is really going nowhere.

― aldo, Friday, 2 December 2011 12:31 (3 weeks ago) Bookmark Permalink

Flash #3: I hate to bring the ghost of Eisner into this, but from the title page onwards this reminds me of nothing more than The Spirit. Has the Flash ever landed a plane that way before? I'm not sure. But the cliffhanger! THRILLING!

Green Lantern New Guardians #3: What's that you say? Kyle Rayner is the most powerful bestest Lantern ever? Careful now, Hal Jordan will covet his ring... Bleez has clearly been through the process from Red Lanterns, but has degraded back to being a typical Red Lantern, it looks like. Really, you'd think there should be an editor in charge of the whole thing to ensure continuity, or something. In top JRJr-biting, some panels of this could have been in Kick-Ass. Anyway, it turns out the whole plot WHICH WAS GOOD ENOUGH TO TRICK EVERYBODY IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE, INCLUDING EVERYONE ON OA was just a construct of the Orange Lantern (no, me neither) Glomulus. Or maybe Larfleeze. Who may also be called Agent Orange. OH WAIT, IT A GEOFF JOHNS CHARACTER.* Kyle says "God, this just keeps getting worse..." and I know how he feels.

* Amongst other appearances, there is this. My head hurts.

Larfleeze Christmas Special

On Christmas Day, Larfleeze is outraged to discover that Santa Claus hasn't brought him anything that he asked for. He attacks every costumed Santa in the nearby town, and tries to melt the North Pole, only to be stopped by Hal Jordan. Jordan tells Larfleeze of Christmas spirit, and how it comes from giving. On Hal's suggestion, Larfleeze gives away every item in his mountain of possessions, but afterwards declares that he doesn't like Christmas spirit. Jordan then suggests that he look over his Christmas list and see if he actually needed anything there. That night, Larfleeze stares at a part of his list, on which he had written "my family".

I, Vampire #3: This is still beautiful but I'm not sure why it's being shoehorned into crossovers. Next month sees us in Gotham City, and features John Constantine (presumably the Johnsiverse Constantine from Justice League Dark and not the Vertigo one). I'm finding less reasons to stay with this month on month, but staying for now.

Justice League Dark #3: Constantine and Zatanna have the sex! Deadman desperately tries to get his end away with June Moon! The M-Vest tries to make a new Kathy for Shade to have the sex with! There's almost a plot! GET ON WITH IT! (NB this review only has slightly more exclamation marks than the cover of this book)

― aldo, Friday, 2 December 2011 13:23 (3 weeks ago) Bookmark Permalink

Savage Hawkman #3: No no no no no. A confused mess again. The muddy art doesn't help one jot, but Morphicus seems to be alive, then dead, then cut up, then never have existed, then alive again. And Hawkman? Fuck knows. Anyway, next issue promises "The Final Showdown". Pity I won't be there to see it.

Superman #3: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR ACTION COMICS. I mean, seriously, why print what happens in Action #4 onwards as part of this issue? IF ONLY THERE WAS A JOHNSIVERSE EDITOR. Anyway, back to the comic itself and this still has lots and lots and lots of words. Far too many. Yet again, this book concentrates about half the page-count to a fight which is part of a bigger overarching plot and still overlays it with so many text boxes you can't see it properly. This will convert nobody.

Teen Titans #3: This is still a joy from front to back. As I've said before, Kid Flash is the undisputed star of the book but Red Robin begins to come into his own in this as well and the team looks mostly complete. I'm still not absolutely sold on the Jim Lee-lite art (especially Wonder Girl in the hospital, which just looks... odd...) but I can get over it. I'm very pleasantly surprised how much I'm getting out of it and very happy that I am.

Voodoo #3: This doesn't really go anywhere. There's a whole load of plot (which doesn't actually make anything much clearer) and some kind of distinction between whatever Voodoo is and whatever the other aliums are which is good enough to get one over on Kyle Rayner (who, let's not forget, is shown elsewhere this month to be the bestest Lantern ever). And then somebody dies in the end. Oh well.

― aldo, Friday, 2 December 2011 13:45 (3 weeks ago) Bookmark Permalink

Thanks aldo! I'll take your word on Titans - I dislike the characters and the art so can't even try it.

Flash is so good it overcomes my natural anti-Flash bias (I've never liked the character (or the derivatives) except in his Golden Age incarnation).

― EZ Snappin, Friday, 2 December 2011 14:45 (3 weeks ago) Bookmark Permalink

So, we reach the end of 3 months and I start cutting books. I'm down to just under half, from memory, but my observations on the experiment thus far:

I had really fallen out of the habit of reading comics. I know we'd discussed it before in ILC, about how we'd cut down to 4 or 5 floppies a week, but the sheer volume overwhelmed me to start with. I ended up having to read them alphabetically because any other way would have been detrimental to the books I was enjoying less - otherwise I would have read the ones I liked and then just left with a pile of dross to plod through (which, truth to tell, was the case some weeks anyway). But then in order to get these reviews out, I was having to read them straight away so I could find the time to do this at the weekend. Discipline was very much the order of the day, and this may have made me less tolerant of the lesser quality books to be honest.

It's important to pick up comics every week. The week of the Diamond fuck-up with my LCS caused me great pain. I was finding one week hard going, now I had to do two in the same timeframe. That almost killed me. I have no idea now how I would have done this on the month I'm on holiday next year.

This process has made me far more judgemental. I had written off Red Hood after the first issue, yet it turns out I actually really quite like it. I proclaimed the first issue of Aquaman to be brilliant, but it fell off a massive cliff edge. And I ended up comparing books to the other ones out that week, probably unfairly.

Three months isn't long enough to judge comics on. See the above. But also see complaints through the process about pacing. They've been uneven but that's only through comparison to each other - since they all started at the same time you'd expect them to be consistent, however, some have raced forward with plot with no hints of backstory, some have concentrated in minutae over things past which may or may not have happened and some are just glacial. It's the change that's jarring though, as some of these books were at #2-300 when this started and the pacing would have been fine on them. So I would have welcomed the opportunity to do this for longer but Diamond set their sale or return at that level. Was this within DC's influence? Probably.

This hasn't really been a success for existing customers. Looking round the internet, it seems people have generally reverted to type. People who were buying Batbooks are still buying Batbooks (irrespective of quality). People who were buying Superfamily books are still buying Superfamily books (irrespective of quality). People who were buying Geoff Johns books are still mad. Nobody is more inclined to pick up Jonah Hex than they were. I'm even aware of one online trend to deliberately cut to only 8 books by month 4. A failure then.

This hasn't exactly been a success for new customers either. OK, so Justice League #1 is on the 5th printing. You don't get sales across the line, you haven't brought in new readers. And in the week James Robinson notes that his Shade mini-series will probably be cancelled before #12 because of sales* it seems like general interest in the new line hasn't transferred into curiosity about things they don't already know about.

Comics professionals aren't what they used to be. I know it looks like I'm being picky, but some of the artwork in the reboot has been exceptionally shoddy. I'm currently reading Prince Valiant Vol 4 and the gulf in quality is amazing, but even in comparison to some of the dailies (Dick Tracy for example) the gulf in quality is astonishing. And what is it with the staying power of these people? The sheer volume of creative changes is overwhelming, and then you remember this was PLANNED. And then you remember David Finch and what's happened with David Finch's Batman The Dark Knight. That's sitcom territory.

Rob Liefeld is exactly what he used to be. Seriously, how is he still employed?

The Johnsiverse is all about the sex. I mean we all know the controversy about Catwoman and the first Red Hood, but really, they've been like rabbits across the line. Is this what it's come to?

I'll keep going with this via t0rr3nt for the titles I'm not sticking with, but it may well be more sporadic (and some may just say "still shit").

* I mean OK, a Golden Age Flash villain might not be the best of choices but it sort of spins off out of Robinson's Starman series and is probably better than 80-90% of the Johnsiverse. You're in the shop already, why not buy something good when you're in there?

― aldo, Friday, 2 December 2011 15:52 (3 weeks ago) Bookmark Permalink

I don't know why Grifter and Voodoo are resonating so hard with me, esp. considering I never was a WildC.A.T.S. fan, but the direction they're talking the whole Kherubim/Daemonite conflict and how it seems both sides are now leaning anti-human is very interesting to me. Also, I can't believe how much I disliked that first issue of Stormwatch (possibly because it was The Authority with all of the minorities associated with Stormwatch/The Authority removed)

― OH NOES, Friday, 2 December 2011 16:07 (3 weeks ago) Bookmark Permalink

I mean, I'm not screaming for token representation; Battalion and Fuji have been associated with the team since its inception and Flint and Swift have been mainstays since '96.

― OH NOES, Friday, 2 December 2011 16:13 (3 weeks ago) Bookmark Permalink

And after DC inexplicably take a week off...

Action #4: The premise of this is great - Earth is being harvested by the same guy who put Kandor in a bottle last month - but the execution not so much. The main part of the comic is a fun read (although it does smack slightly of Disco Dad at times; "your favourite band is the Red Hot Chili Peppers"? Really?) but the worst part is undoubtedly that GMoz can't even be arsed writing it all himself.

"So, Steel's turned up to fight the Terminaut. At the end I want Steel there, but I don't care about any of the rest of it. I'm not bothered who writes it either. Sholly Fisch? Who he? He writes DC kids' books, huh?"

Is it just me who finds that lazy and slack? Oh and the next two issues are a different story before we come back to this one. Except that takes us to #7, where DC have already said Action and Superman are in the same time. So 6 years elapse between this issue and the next part. Hmm.

Animal Man #4: This continues to be a confounding read. The art is still sketchy - I love it when it's doing wilding impressionistic swathes of... weird... but don't get on with it when it's supposed to be real. In terms of plot, basically Maxine could have meant the last issue didn't need to exist, there's a sentient cat from The Red living with the Bakers now and Cliff might be dead having been eaten by Mr Potato Head. I already feel the groan for next month when Maxine makes it so it didn't happen. Poor Cliff. I hope he becomes the Kenny McCormack or Rory Williams of the Johnsiverse.

Batwing #4: I thought I had cut this but it appears the LCS still want me to take it, which isn't really a problem since the story has got better now the art has got worse. That said, you or I could write a SEKRIT ORIGIN OF AN ARFRICAN BOY GROWING UP WITH GUNS AND STUFF and it would look pretty much like this, except we wouldn't be getting paid thousands of bucks to do it. This is now not doing anything the recent run of Unknown Soldier by Josh Dysart wasn't, which was cancelled through lack of readers. HOLY BAT-FRANCHISE! It's the only explanation.

Detective Comics #4: The previous issues of this have been great, but this is a mess of ACTION shots and JUMPING and GRIMACING. Jim Gordon looks and acts like a stoner. The issue ends pretty much exactly where we were at the end of #1, which makes it feel like it's been kind of a waste of time. Looks like the Penguin next. My curiosity will keep me reading but this is a book on the brink of being dropped after this issue. Oh fickle me.

OMAC #4: In which Didio and Giffen embrace the fact they're doing nothing clever here and go all out for the Kirby. GIANT ALLIGATORS WITH ROBOT NUCLEAR HEADS! It looks like Frankenstein shows up next month and the books cross over. This seems to be a trend in the first of the #4s, setting up crossover events early. I suspect this is all pointing to a giant X-Over event next summer (the traditional point for EVENTs) during which the Johnsiverse will be re-integrated back into the 52niverse. Maybe. This is a blast in the meantime, as usual.

Red Lanterns #4: Atrocitus finds out about Bleez' possible deception that's been apparent from the start, given she's been in other books and it's been mentioned in the editorial, but being a creature of RAGE GRRRR reacts by throwing three other Red Lanterns in the sea like he did with Bleez to have more smarter ones. No, I don't understand how having more smart ones will help him if they were plotting against him even when they were stupid either. (He finds this out, by the way, in the time-honoured telepathic manner of biting their necks. Anyway, since the three he chooses aren't SEXEY RED ALIUMS (they are, in fact, a goat, a floating brane and MODOK the rubber ball aliums) they don't get nearly as much character development as Bleez does. In the end Atrocitus' nemesis and confidant Krona appears to have risen from the dead in a stunning cliffhanger. Or at least it would have been if Pete Milligan hadn't said it in the interview in the back of every book this month. You'd think they'd learn by now.

Stormwatch #4: Blah blah blah blah blah. The villain turns out not to be "The Dark Side" after all, but a city swallowed by an alien force which means Jack Hawksmoor can solve it in a page. Then Apollo gets blasted by the power of the sun and frees everyone by punching a hole in its stomach. All that plot takes about 2 pages, so G_d knows what fills the rest. Ho hum.

Swamp Thing #4: This trundles along being entertaining and pulling all the strands together, neatly tying up pretty much all Rick Veitch's writing on the book in a page. It's going somewhere, definitely, but the fact this issue has THREE different inkers can make you wonder whether you want to go there with it. There's a big Animal Man crossover soon, you know. That might be where it gets into fanboy only territory.

― aldo, Sunday, 11 December 2011 14:02 (1 week ago) Bookmark Permalink

And the books I am only reading on CBR...

Green Arrow #4: Giffen and Jurgens don't make this much better. There's a character called Blood Rose, who seems to have become Asian since her cameo at the end of last month and her boss (who in one panel seems to have had the lower half od his body replaced by a chair) who tells her he is ABSOLUTELY 100% CERTAIN there is no link between Green Arrow and Ollie. She appears not to think so either, even after virtually watching him change into his costume in front of her. She also has super-strength, which she doesn't use until after GA's escape - which confuses him as much as it confuses us. In other news, Steve Jobs Ollie is setting up a games company. It's all go round these parts.

Hawk & Dove #4: This just doesn't get any better. Liefeld arguably gets worse. There's now something called the War Circle which may have something to do with all the avatars' owners ganging up on each other. Dawn might have eaten Swan off-page in the last issue. Swan returns the favour in this issue by pulling Deadman's face back like in gonzo pr0n, or on the cover of Gnaw Their Tongues' "All the dread magnificence of perversity". Then a helicopter turns up and they all go home, apart from Dawn who starts acting like Jackie Chan. Oh dear.

JLI #4: A couple of notable things happen in this issue. First, Godiva wanks off Batman with her hair. Second, they are all trapped in mud which absorbs their powers, however, not when it's cold so Ice freezes it and they escape. So why didn't she do that to start with? They then get beaten again and the robots from the previous issues start to work while our heroes are attacked by mud and midgets - in other words back where we were at the start of #3. So the only different thing that happened this month was Godiva wanking off Batman with her hair. I'll leave you with that thought of how far the Johnsiverse has taken us.

Men of War #4: "Next issue: Who is the enemy?" Aldo sez: who gives a fuck? This is dreadful hackneyed war writing, full of cliche tech speak and two separate strands just so we can see Rock dressed up in two different outfits, like some kind of 2D Action Man. Oh and what a surprise, there's magic/superpowers involved animating the dead, maybe. The backups this month is Skull Bots which would be less mature if written by the kid from Axe Cop. Ridiculous stuff.

Static Shock #4: Not even worth writing about. The mid-80s have so much to answer for, and this looks pedestrian compared to the worst excesses of that era. Flabby villain of the week nonsense.

― aldo, Sunday, 11 December 2011 14:57 (1 week ago) Bookmark Permalink

Is the mysterious hooded woman still showing up in every book?

― William (C), Sunday, 11 December 2011 15:02 (1 week ago) Bookmark Permalink

Haven't seen her, but then I missed her in most of the #1s. I think Geoff Johns has said she's only going to show up in Justice League (possibly because she may be a Jim Lee character from the Wildstorm universe, apparently).

― aldo, Sunday, 11 December 2011 15:08 (1 week ago) Bookmark Permalink

aw man I missed that this fill-in thread existed! there has been SO MUCH amazing creator turnover in the last week that has made me twitchy to not be able to post about ;_;

how we'd cut down to 4 or 5 floppies a week

4 or 5 a week* has always seemed a monumental intake to me!

*every week, that is. leaving the shop with five comics I like is obviously great and desirable, but I usually go once a month

― The Larry Sandbox Show (sic), Monday, 12 December 2011 04:35 (1 week ago) Bookmark Permalink

Batgirl #4: This is a solid enough close out to the Mirror storyline. Babs works out the motivation and plot at about the same time as the reader, despite having much more information than we do, and we also get a whole pile of Babs Backstory including finding out she got out of the chair because of "a clinic in South Africa". Hmm. Babs' mum turning up at the end is a bit of a shocker though. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a bit of Dad Dancing from Gail Simone, and this month's is that bad guys have an app for their iPhones that lets them know where Batman is. I know, right? This story arc was good enough to keep me on board for the next one, I guess.

Batman & Robin #4: To be honest, I think most people had been sleeping on this Batbook and a lot might have cut it. This issue, particularly the final pages, shows they were wrong. Yes, it's a bit wordy but Nobody has turned by stealth into a great character. The next few issues are going to be the making of Damian, it looks like.

Batwoman #4: In contrast, this has got an easy ride because of how good it was. And it spectacularly fails to drop the ball here, with the strongest issue yet. Kate Kane's world teeters on the brink of complete collapse and I have no idea how it's going to pan out. And just to show all the SEXEY TIMES FUN doesn't just happen in other books, this has probably the most graphic and explicit sex of the Johnsiverse to date but will pass without comment because it's sapphic shenanigans. Oh, and it's intercut with a graphic fight, torture and bloody slashing. Still immune from comment? It seems so. If this was Catwoman the blogverse would be calling for everyone involved to be sacked.

Demon Knights #4: You know what the most under-rated book of the Johnsiverse is? It's this one. An absolute pleasure from start to finish as ever, and as usual Vandal Savage is the best thing about it. "Wake up!It is your comrades! Vandal Savage! Jason Blood! That tall woman!" This is the origin story of this version of the Shining Knight and comes close to out GMoz-ing Gmoz' take on it. Can we have more books like this please?

Frankenstein #4: The other Seven Soldiers character pulled through into the Johnsiverse still feels like an inferior BPRD but this is most accomplished issue so far, and makes me glad I hadn't cut it. Aquaman gets slagged off and giant monsters get killed. What's not to like? I'm hoping Ray Palmer is going to start playing a bigger part in this because he's the part which makes it work the best.

Legion Lost #4: You know what? Even I'm coming round to the idea that this book isn't really that great. We push the idea that the alien is partly Chameleon Girl and the main baddie becomes massively powerful at the end. But not much else happens really. Even this summary is boring.

Suicide Squad #4: Here's the thing. Without going into specifics, the Squad core team regularises and not in the way you'd expect. Also, King Shark actually gets clear-headed at one point. You really should still all be reading this book.

― aldo, Sunday, 18 December 2011 13:01 (6 days ago) Bookmark Permalink

CBR-only books:

Deathstroke #4: Deathstroke gets out of prison. Deathstroke kills some people. Deathstroke's mate gets offed. Reading this text is marginally less boring than reading the comic.

Green Lantern #4: Hal didn't die and is still in WUB with Carol. Sinestro gets tortured for a bit. The rest of the issue is clearly about some OBVIOUSLY HISTORIC Geoff Johns GL thing I never read about which gives us a pile of Sinestro backstory. Then Hal manages to fuck it up for him (by accident, OBVIOUSLY). BLAH BLAH WHO CARES.

Grifter #4: What the fuck has this got to do with the previous issues? They were all about the mystery of who Cole was. Now it's a gun-for-hire book that almost succeeds to be the worst Johnsiverse book that's had Green Arrow in it, and that's some claim. It looks like the daemonites are behind it all, probably. Woohoo, we're off into the Wildstorm universe again. Who cares.

Mister Terrific #4: Big brains are really useful in space. Still, the artist got to draw some cool aliens. Well not really because they don't actually look that cool. Michael uses his intellect once and mostly the aliens do things with each other that he's not that involved with. Dreadful stuff that goes nowhere and, again, seems unlinked to the previous issues.

Resurrection Man #4: Huh? OH LOOK BEWBS! The plot actually moves slightly forward in this, but only by essentially writing the previous two issues out (or at least making their content irrelevant). Thumb-woman from #1 turns out to be an angel, who (it appears) permanently kills our titular hero. Might be for the best.

Superboy #4: Superboy burns a Christmas tree with his heat vision and scares some carollers. Makes a change from punching the universe, I suppose. Anyway, the previous 3 issues may just have been a ruse to capture Fairchild. Superboy seems resigned to his lot and decides to work for the people who are the bad guysin Teen Titans. CROSSOVER ALERT. Again.

― aldo, Wednesday, 21 December 2011 19:57 (3 days ago) Bookmark Permalink

I can definitely believe there's a "where is Batman?" app - written by Waynetech, with Alfred putting plausible sightings in when he's not ironing the Batsuits.

― Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 21 December 2011 22:42 (3 days ago) Bookmark Permalink

No, it's being done by villains - and low rent ones at that as 5 of them are shaking down a couple for a fake fur.

― aldo, Wednesday, 21 December 2011 23:02 (3 days ago) Bookmark Permalink

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Sunday, 1 January 2012 22:24 (eight years ago) link

I missed all of these in the crash/sandbox stuff. Wonderful read, as usual, and unlike the most of the comics described

Not only dermatologists hate her (James Morrison), Tuesday, 3 January 2012 02:38 (eight years ago) link

Aldo, do you write about comics (or anything else) somewhere online? Because I would read the hell out of it.

Not only dermatologists hate her (James Morrison), Tuesday, 3 January 2012 02:39 (eight years ago) link

Action Comics finally decides to stop being 20pp for $4 by adding an eight-page back-up story by Joshua Hale Fialkov, not Grant Morrison!
Joshua Hale Fialkov replaced by Sholly Fisch, not Grant Morrison, before anything sees print.
#4 ships, and the 8-page story turns out to not only not be by Grant Morrison, but actually be an eight-page fight scene that Morrison specifically left out of his pages because it would have been tedious, pointless, redundant and a waste of pages. And money, I guess, if anyone had ever told him that this was a 30 page book, not a 20pp one, at any point in the process of creating any of these issues.

Early-90s (Jamie Delano era) Animal Man artist Steve Pugh added to Travel Foreman as Animal Man artist from #7.

Fernando Pasarin replaced as Green Lantern Corps artist by Acclaim-era Giffen inker Claude St. Aubin from #7

Jesus Saiz replaced as Birds Of Prey artist by Javier Pina halfway through #5
Javier Pina replaced as Birds Of Prey artist by Jesus Saiz halfway through #7

Yanick Paquette, having managed a gruelling two issues of Swamp Thing in a row, is partially filled-in-for by Victor Ibanez on #3.
With the breather allowed by not having to do a full issue, Paquette fails to catch up, and is completely replaced by Ibanez for #4.
Before publication, but after solicitation, writer Scott Snyder says that Ibanez has been replaced by Marco Rudy as fill-in artist on #4.
Back with a vengeance, Paquette storms back to draw all of #5 by himself! Nothing can stop him now!
Marco Rudy is filling in for Paquette on #6. Unless he gets replaced by Victor Ibanez.
Pow! Fully refreshed and ready to roll, Yanick Paquette is drawing the living fuck out of Swamp Thing #7 and #8! There’s really no stopping him now!
An unannounced fill-in artist will draw the second half of Swamp Thing #9. Hopefully Marco Rudy. Does anyone have Victor Ibanez’ phone number?

The artist on Mr Terrific #1-2 is Gianluca Gugliotta.
#3 has a fill-in by Jim Lee inker Scott Clark, being inked by Dave Beaty.
Gugliotta returns for #4-5, but now inked by Wayne Faucher.
#6 has a fill-in by Oliver Nome.
The team of Gugliotta and Faucher returns for #7.

The classic beloved super-villain team-up property SUICIDE SQUAD returns to stands as part of THE NEW 52 in a series written by Adam Glass and drawn by Marco Rudy! Get in on the ground floor!
Exciting news kids! Marco Rudy couldn’t handle the heavy-handed editorial fiddling, from #2 Suicide Squad will be drawn by Federico Dellocchio, with a helping hand on his first issue by Ransom Getty!
Wow kids, great news! Federicho Dellocchio will be replaced by Wildstorm superstar Tom Raney for issues 6 and 7 – make sure you pick up Stormwatch #6 for the crossover with that issue’s explosive events!
Hey kids, we can barely contain our excitement to tell you that Tom Raney got jack of the heavy-handed editorial fiddling, or couldn’t keep pace with it, or something, so has been replaced on ishes 6 and 7, without drawing anything, by Clayton Henry! #6 is now thrillingly returnable, retail minutia fans!

SEPTEMBER 28th: Hotheaded hero FIRESTORM returns to stands as part of THE NEW 52 in a series written by right-wing X-Men penciller Ethan Van Sciver and the only female creator on any New 52 comic, Gail Simone!
OCTOBER 12th: The only female creator on any New 52 comic, Gail Simone, is reported to have walked off Firestorm due to frustration with the heavy-handed editorial meddling and micro-management. DC is reported to be all, like, “psssch, what? That’s crazy, you’re crazy. Everything’s chill.”
OCTOBER 17th: Yildiray Cinar, artist on Firestorm, is to be assisted by an inker from issue #5, quite possibly unable to keep up with repeated changes demanded by editorial.
DECEMBER 6th: Now one of a vast two female creators on The New 52, Gail Simone is confirmed to have walked off Firestorm.
From issue #7, Van Sciver will be joined by co-plotter and scripter Joe Harris, writer of a film about the Tooth Fairy being evil. The team of Yilidray Cinar and Norm Rapmund will also be filled in for on issues 7 & 8 by Sciver.

Writer Sterling Gates is OFF Hawk And Dove with issue #6, replaced by the continuing artist on the book. That’s right, it’s 2011 and the single most consistent and reliable creator on DC’s The NEW 52 is Rob Liefeld.
Gates was actually sacked mid-story, with his completed script for #6 being spiked, and Liefeld co-re-writing #5 with Gates post-sacking.

Writer JT Krul replaced on Green Arrow from #4 with penciller Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen.
Finisher George Perez replaced from #5 with inker Ray McCarthy.
Writer/penciller Dan Jurgens replaced as penciller on #6 with Ignacio Calero.
Co-writers Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens replaced from #7 with Ann Nocenti.
Artists Dan Jurgens, George Perez, Ray McCarthy and Ignacio Calero replaced from #7 with Harvey Tolibao.
- That’s right, in just seven months this series has turned over FIVE separate creative teams.

Ivan Brandon is reported to have walked off Men Of War after #6 due to due to frustration with the heavy-handed editorial meddling and micro-management. DC is like “pfft what? That’s silly, everything’s totes chill over here, everything’s under control".
Men Of War #7 will contain not one but TWO separate fill-in stories, by James Robinson and HEROIC MAN OF THE HOUR J.T. Krul!

Ron Marz’ script for Voodoo #5, as accepted, paid for, and solicited, will now not be used; Marz has been replaced on the series by some dude who writes a video-game adaptation comic.
Marz has no idea what DC wanted differently, having only a 10-minute conversation with the editor about his boning, but the editor had also quit and was leaving the next day, so probably didn’t a) know or b) give a shit.

DC announce Paul Jenkins as fill-in-writer on Stormwatch #7 and #8.
Regular Paul Cornell allows that, actually, he’s walked off the book altogether.
HEY KIDS! Follow the ending of Stormwatch #6 in upcoming issues of Grifter and Voodoo! And don’t forget that Cornell’s Demon Knights is actually Ancient Stormwatch – you can’t afford to miss an issue!

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Tuesday, 3 January 2012 06:28 (eight years ago) link

There was way more of this by the way, but somewhere along the way, the will to track it seeped completely out of my fingertips.

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Tuesday, 3 January 2012 06:33 (eight years ago) link


Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Tuesday, 3 January 2012 06:36 (eight years ago) link

Bridwell would be proud.

do you want me to share what i know w/ you or not? (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 3 January 2012 12:38 (eight years ago) link

holy waht

that is an implosion of epic proportions

also stop making me want to buy Hawk and Dove

Much Ado About Nuttin (DJP), Tuesday, 3 January 2012 14:33 (eight years ago) link

There was a piece about it on CBR the other day. 21% of art teams and 17% of creative teams as a whole have changed by the end of month 4.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Tuesday, 3 January 2012 15:46 (eight years ago) link

Mystery Hooded Woman has been revealed to be called Pandora. I'm hoping beyond hope she turns out to be the unused Len Wein/Ross Andru 1981 creation Pandora Parr. I'm not holding my breath.

50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Tuesday, 3 January 2012 15:50 (eight years ago) link

I kind of hope she's a mysterious link to the old universe and they will magically revert all the series that aren't selling well or have shitty creative teams

mh, Wednesday, 4 January 2012 00:18 (eight years ago) link

Batman #4: This is maybe the most prosaic issue of this book to date, but that's OK because it's quite nice not to be so thrill-powered for a change. We get a lot of dialogue about Young Bruce and some family history leading to BIFF! BANG! POW! Another great cliffhanger! Best BatBook of the bunch.

Birds of Prey #4: Eh? So knocking people out solves the walking bomb problems and handily resolves the DINAH MUST DIE! cliffhanger from the last issue. But it also makes her entirely redundant as a character as the plot is resolved without her and told to her in flashback. Anyway, the people blowing up thing is supposedly because of a new experimental anti-stroke drug (here's a hint, I suspect most stroke victims would rather have had the stroke than ended up spread across the tarmac and taken to the morgue in a couple of carrier bags) which is cured by new Doctor McHandsome. We end back up in the lair of the invisible robots (and Doctor McHandsome's handy new Invisible Robot Uninvisibling Machine) where they show off their new power of teleporting people (although they're not that good at it because Batgirl goes missing - someone more cynical might suggest this is just a normal DC art error though). Maybe somebody new will join next month? Maybe somebody else will read it next month?

Blue Beetle #4: Hooray! The crap villain from last month's reveal is just as crap as I thought he'd be! More sterotypical hispanic nonsense with marginal plot advancement (but maybe that's fine after last month's revelations about the baddie), although Jaime is more in control of the suit... until it skewers his best mate at the very end. Oops. Maybe it's got some magic make-better rays that haven't been shown yet.

Captain Atom #4: Find a copy of Watchmen. Read the Doctor Manhattan sections. It obviously must have been massively influenced by this issue then taken back in time by Rip Hunter or Booster Gold or somebody. I mean, what are the chances that two people could write something so similar? Even bits of the art are the same. I don't know who this Moore fellow is, but he's clearly a nobody compared to the giant of comics that is JT Krul. The villain for the next issue appears to have been a huge influence on Krang from the TMNT animated show (and taken back in time by Rip Hunter/Booster Gold etc). Hoo boy.

Catwoman #4: Mmm. Winicky. Selina meets an old friend, lots of people talk to each other, I still hate the art. This looks like the most unsurvivable cliffhanger in the who Johnsiverse thus far, and it's got some competition (Static Shock having his arm cut off, for one). This could be a really good book, but it just... isn't. Maybe it can pick it up, I don't know.

DC Presents #4: The 90s are back! Back! Back! This is like a third or fourth tier Vertigo book from the very early days (like Vamps or something like that) in an OOOOOOOOOH MYSTICAL SPOOKINESS LOOK THE PICTURE IS STRETCHED way. I just wish this Deadman story would be over, because it's not nearly as clever as it thinks it is. Actually, I did think it was over last month. Apparently not, and there is at least one to go. Wonderful.

Green Lantern Corps #4: OK, this is just stupid. We start off with a Lantern getting a mind-sword through the head JUST BECAUSE. It turns out the swords are a green, glowing, transparent sort of a thing keyed to individual people "just like your rings". ENOUGH HINTS YET? The captive Lanterns are walked across the Emerald Plains where there are hundreds of Lantern shaped indents. GOT IT FINALLY? Jonn Jonn'z turns up eventually and after slagging Guy Gardner off for not saving Mars interrogates the captive bad guy from the last issue. It turns out (DUH!) that they were the people who used to look after the power batteries before the Guardians were dicks about it, and are now just annoyed enough about it to commit genocide on random planets. Or something. They also patently did it on a planet that has the same atmosphere as every other planet in the universe simultaneously, as a pile of Lanterns manage to survive on it with completely exhausted rings (and therefore no life support system). Lantern Tongue has become Lantern Tail in the course of an issue. I just don't know what to think any more, it's like my whole life's fallen apart.

Justice League #4: CHOOOOOOOMM One of the worst kept secrets in the Johnsiverse comes to pass as Darkseid turns up. And this is a pretty good book outside of this, even if the majority of the fun elsewhere is laughing at Hal Jordan. Even Aquaman gets in on the act, and you've got to be pretty shit for him to take the piss out of you. I could almost get to like Cyborg out of this. There, I said it. I'll leave the last word to Aquaman's Amazing Parademon-Eathing Non-pathetic Sharks - OM NOM NOM.

Legion of Super Heroes #4: A thrilling end to the Dominators storyline, though it does sort of come out of nowhere. One minute Cham is wondering how to signal the Legion, a couple of pages later they just turn up. As a special Brucie Bonus, Braniac works out how Glorith's powers work. What's not to like?

Nightwing #4: Dick's conquest from last month gets all huffy when Babs Gordon turns up, with her big city hair and her big city clothes and her big city acrobatic abilities. They defeat Spinebender by electrifying him until he turns into glass (give me a break, I didn't write it). There's lots of rooftops and ropes and everything else that makes Batbooks good and this is definitely a solid enough title - just not a very popular one and might not be unique enough to survive future line-slashing by DiDio. A mysterious book turns up in the end, bringing the total for the Johnsiverse to about 6. This might be becoming A Thing.

Red Hood #4: This genuinely is just getting better and better. Starfire gets some character development and then mistakenly flies into the giant green glowing ring that couldn't be more obvious not to fly through if it had a giant sign marked DO NOT FLY INTO THIS GIANT GREEN GLOWING RING on it. Jason and Roy try to put the moves on girls in a bar and end up fighting a Bewbs Cop Alium with half a head (after Roy shot arrows through it). In his defence, I don't think he knew she was a alium before he shot her. I can't explain how I got to like this as much as I do. It's just FUN. Remember that, kids?

Supergirl #4: In contrast, Supergirl gets objectively worse. It's not awful, but it just doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Supergirl escapes and the bad guy is almost killed but gets saved with the technology of the bad guy from a couple of issues ago and not like Cyborg or somebody like that, honest. This needs to start improving.

Wonder Woman #4: This is more like it. Diana, Hermes and Zola go to an awesome metal show in London. Fortunately they do not pass go and go directly to Chaki's bed to wait for him, but have a squabble instead. Apollo and Ares plot something very carefully - so carefully that Ares is accused of being Greek's Obtusest God. Hera visits Hippolyta to have it out with her over Zeus shagging her (although why she isn't having the conversation with him or, say, Leda isn't mentioned) and ends up forgiving her by turning her into a statue and all her friends into snakes. Given that it looked like they were going to lez up at one point, it's a disappointing ending for all parties to be honest - but at least Azzarello is taking us back in the horror direction he promised.

Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Thursday, 5 January 2012 17:16 (eight years ago) link

All-Star Western #4: Just when you thought he was leaving, Amadeus Arkham is back after all and pair go off looking for a missing kid (although Jonah almost certainly hasn't told him about the money) but how can this be bad? It's a detective comic set in Gotham City. It ends with Jonah taunted for not being Superman by a guy possibly uglier than him. The new backup is a brand new character, The Barbary Ghost, and is about as good as the EL Diablo one was previously i.e. not that hot. I hate how few people buy this, but hats off to DC for sticking with it.

Aquaman #4: This just in: Aquaman is still a dick. He kills an entire species (the one that all 4 issues of the Johnsiverse series have been about) because he can't speak to them with his mind control powers thing - although to be fair they are trying to eat him at the time. He then gets a dog. That can't swim. Jeez, I would have felt irresponsible if I got a dog and had to leave it in the house while I went to work. Still, Geoff Johns is going to tell us who sank Atlantis soon. That'll bring in the readers, huh?

Batman The Dark Knight #4: In which Batman explains to Wonder Woman that Flash is outrunning some poison, then has a nice ice cream. Alfred has a crying wank about the woman in the rabbit suit from the last issue, Bruce stands up the pretty girl from previous months and Deathstroke chops the batplane in half before the Scarecrow shows up (and is possibly revealed as the guy who's been making violent people violent) and quotes Neil Gaiman. Yes, I'm aware of how stupid that all looks but it's a really good read. Honest. You can trust this face.

Blackhawks #4: Is this sort of going anywhere? The past issues have made so little impression the plot read as follows: somebody I don't recognise has stolen something I don't recognise and fights him after being given a knife by somebody I don't recognise. She then hits him with a plane and is congratulated by somebody I don't recognise. In the mean time two people I don't recognise hit someone I don't recognise with a toolbox and steal a different plane which flies off into space. I'm sure they'll all be back next month and I won't know who they are then either.

Flash #4: This is still as gorgeous to look at as ever, and the plot seems to be racing towards a conclusion. We even have enough time for a flashback (no pun intended) to Barry's mum, reminding us that BARRY ALLEN IS TO BLAME FOR THE WHOLE DAMN JOHNSIVERSE IN THE FIRST PLACE. It turns out Barry is not faster than a speeding bullet, but his brain is. We find out why there seemed to be so many Manuels in previous issues. Iris smashes some ice. Are all my favourite comics secretly retarded when you actually explain them?

Green Lantern New Guardians #4: Speaking of which (and I don't mean favourite comics)... it turns out Larfleeze is so obviously confident because he has a pet Guardian, who may turn out to be female based on the descriptions. And a bit pervy, as she tries to fight all the other Guardians by attacking them with anal love beads while saying she's going to spit roast them. Kyle decides Ganthet, who he only met the other day but is "like a father" to him, isn't for him and decides to betray him and hang out with the cool kids like Bleez (who obviously doesn't share the sentiment as she buggers off as soon as she can), Arkillo and Munk. He's so clever.

I, Vampire #4: Absolutely beautiful, as ever. This is a really nice, almost self-contained story although Constantine's presence in it is utterly redundant. It does raise the question though of how all this vampiring has been going on in the mainstream Johnsiverse without the Justice League or, at a pinch, Static Shock getting involved and killing them. Still, this and Batwoman might be worth springing for oversized collections of in the future just to revel in them.

Justice League Dark #4: Is this Watchmen month? Dawn comes into her apartment and meets a sinister man in a trenchcoat eating cold baked beans directly from the tin. Anyway, all the sub-threads of this seems to be coming together and the team should actually form next issue, but I think we might also see another lover's tiff as Deadman's still trying to get into June Moon's pants and maybe Shade will have a crack at Zatanna while he's at it. I do like this, but I'm not sure why.

Superman #4: The villain is revealed; IT WAS SUPERMAN ALL ALONG! Presumably it was the other Superman that we see briefly while Clark is on the phone to Lois. Anyway, aside from the cop-out ending this is still far too wordy - although it's been cut back so at least you can see some of the art this time round. Really, this is just boring nonsense.

Teen Titans #4: The two halves of the team finally get together, although quite how the random street in the snow from last month gets you into a penthouse flat I have no idea (and to his credit, Scott Lobdell says he has no idea how it happened either). Wonder Girl and Superboy have a slugfest in Times Square (meaning we now have Gotham, Metropolis and New York in the Johnsiverse) and then everybody else turns up to join in. Kid Flash is still the best thing in it.

Firestorm #4: Wait, what? Qurac is back! It is the 80s after all! And now they have nuculer weapons! And now Russia has a Firestorm as well we can have a Cold War! Can we please get back to normal?

Hawkman #4: On page three of this there is a green woman who flies with blobs on her feet and talks through her arse. Is it just bad art? Probably, but nothing would surprise me any more. A complete mess, again.

Voodoo #4: Inconsequential stuff, as Voodoo breaks into a top secret faciltity (possibly to find out about Superman) then breaks back out again. She changes shape an awful lot of times including at the last into a dog. That's about as much as you need to know, frankly. Glad I'm not paying for it.

Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Thursday, 5 January 2012 20:18 (eight years ago) link

I don't know, the idea of the Daemonite/Kherubim war co-opting some of the mainstream DC heroes is kind of enthralling to me

Bam! Orgasm explosion in your facehole. (DJP), Thursday, 5 January 2012 20:22 (eight years ago) link

I was never a Wildstorm kid, I guess.

Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Thursday, 5 January 2012 20:26 (eight years ago) link

I never cared about the Daemonites/Kherubim until now, lol!

I was always about Stormwatch/The Authority but the relaunch has been actively repellent to me.

Bam! Orgasm explosion in your facehole. (DJP), Thursday, 5 January 2012 20:32 (eight years ago) link

...what exactly is the Johnsiverse for the purpose of this discussion?

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 5 January 2012 22:59 (eight years ago) link

the DC Universe

Bam! Orgasm explosion in your facehole. (DJP), Thursday, 5 January 2012 23:00 (eight years ago) link

Wait, does the Johnsiverse extend to say...DARKEST NIGHT as well? This is an important hair to split.

Matt M., Friday, 6 January 2012 01:05 (eight years ago) link

dym Blackest Night? if so I would split the hair into proto-Johnsiverse, as Aldo is using it (since all his GL stuff is apparently still in continuity).

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Friday, 6 January 2012 01:34 (eight years ago) link

although I think Johnsiverse is unfair - I find his entire ouevre repellent, but get the impression that he genuinely does have a good grasp on broad-range plotting and making bits of continuity fit together in a coherent enough manner, if you like his style. if he and Morrison had been able to draw up a forward plan for the reboot, it could well have made sense; instead, the Didioverse/Leeiverse/Nelsoniverse plainly would have struggled to be fucked up any worse if they'd aimed to do so from the start.

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Friday, 6 January 2012 01:38 (eight years ago) link

That Batman bit with the owls is going pretty well, imo

mh, Friday, 6 January 2012 01:43 (eight years ago) link

I feel like a dork for saying so, even in this context, but Superman's new costume is still creeping me out.

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 6 January 2012 12:23 (eight years ago) link

All the titles I'm reading out of the reboot now feel like they're moving too slowly, but maybe for ACTION and HEX. I suspect I'm not cut out to read serials anymore.

Matt M., Friday, 6 January 2012 16:25 (eight years ago) link


(btw I use Johnsiverse because it's post-Flashpoint universe, which implies the concepts and what's in/what's out is his doing - or else we have to assume somebody else came up with the resolution for Flashpoint and he was just writing to order, which you would have thought might have been credited somewhere.)

Action Comics #5: GMoz fails to disappoint once more, but you know what? This all feels a bit unnecessary. Nothing is substantially different in the origin to John Byrne's established continuity (apart from the Kents being younger, I guess) and the BRAND NEW GMOZ BAD GUYS are kind of GMoz by numbers. I would reckon we will continue to get a couple of pages of this plot every issue until a 6 part CONCLUDING EPIC YOU SHOULD NOT MISS. After the unrestrained 60s joy of ASS this seems to be treading water, but since it's better written than 90% of the other books out there I can put up with it. Scholly Fisch's bank balance says thanks for another utterly redundant backup script though.

Animal Man #5: Boo Hiss Cliff is not dead. I was really hoping he was going to be. Ellen gets her nose cleaned by a tentacle, the talking cat turns out to be a complete twat and Maxine fucks up SPECTACULARLY. This book is absolutely revelling in being allowed to be a horror book (pushing the envelope about as far as post-code, pre-Vertigo SoST ever went) and to be honest makes a mockery of Vertigo being considered the adult arm of DC's publishing. I'm still not in love with the art, but the more out-there the imagery gets the better it suits it which makes it a good job Jeff Lemire is taking it that way.

Detective Comics #5: Two separate but linked stories in this issue, the first of which is the one contributing to the main storyline. But as Matt identifies above, the pace of this is pretty slow appears not to be going anywhere. It clearly is - and the Penguin reveal would have been excellent had it not been spoiled on the cover - and in a way the speed of it after so many of the titles raced through trying to set up continuity it's kind of refreshing. Solid stuff.

OMAC #5: Is this just a big fight scene? Yes. It is enormous fun? Yes. It even admits as much itself, with Brother Eye teleporting OMAC out because he's getting bored. Careful with that arm, Frankenstein! The Eye/SHADE rivalry is kind of interesting, even if it does appear that the whoel thing might instead be part of (or will become) part of Darkseid's plan. You know what I took away most from this though? That if Frankenstein's own book is BPRD, when you put him in another book to punch the crap out of someone else he becomes a cut-price Hellboy instead. Now just maybe, with Hellboy dead, there's room for another one; but I'm not so sure there's a need for one.

Red Lanterns #5: Peter Milligan, you are British. There is, therefore, no excuse for the last four pages of this. Not a single one. THAT IS NOT BRITAIN. As if that wasn't enough, the book itself has entirely lost its direction, and just rehashing the stuff it's done already in the run. Blah blah RRRRRAAAAARGH blah blah. The goat, the brane and the rubber ball are all now clever, as if you care. I'm not paying for this any more.

Stormwatch #5: ? There are no words. I might have paid for one too many of these. Half of this is kind of entertaining, the other half pointless except to set up the biggest continuity event yet in the Johnsiverse. And possibly finish this book off. Oh well.

Swamp Thing #5: This is the ideal companion book to Animal Man, mainly because it takes all the good bits from that and makes them better - and then has none of the bad bits either. I'm going to stick my neck out and say this might be as good as American Gothic i.e. possibly the best run of all time on Swamp Thing. There are certainly elements of it pandering to old fans, but come on - reanimated pigs being choked to death with roots?How can you not love it? "Why the peaches?" "They're your favourite Abby... I remember you told me." Book of the week.

Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Sunday, 8 January 2012 14:29 (eight years ago) link

you know the effect of this may be to make me start reading comics again, which probably is not yr aim

thomp, Sunday, 8 January 2012 15:07 (eight years ago) link

effect of this is that i'm torrenting comics again

Thug Luftwaffle (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:23 (eight years ago) link

yes well. 'reading'

thomp, Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:25 (eight years ago) link

man, peter milligan is really phoning it in these days

thomp, Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:41 (eight years ago) link

also, justice league dark gives you enough context to work out who constantine, zatanna are, almost does so with deadman, totally fails to explain 'enchantress' and 'madame xanadu'

also enchantress is drawn to look like a corpse except for her rack, which is miraculously preserved

time to stop reading comics again, that did not last long

thomp, Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:43 (eight years ago) link

But if she didn't have such a great rack then Deadman wouldn't want to fuck her then there would be no romantic tension in Rob Liefeld's Hawk & Dove!

Maybe I should stop reading comics now...

Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:46 (eight years ago) link

i was wondering why the dove in JLD didn't square with the one i remembered and then i realised i was actually thinking of marvel's 'cloak and dagger'

superhero duos who did not need to exist i. hawk and dove ii. cloak and dagger

thomp, Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:55 (eight years ago) link

I thought Abby liked limes.

Yes, I'm totally serious.

Haven't read #5, but ST is just not giving me enough each issue to really justify it any longer. I'm supposed to care that this little boy is the Avatar of All That Is Bad, but it's just not scary in the least (which at least American Gothic succeeded in).

Matt M., Sunday, 8 January 2012 19:05 (eight years ago) link

The Abby thing is from SoST 23-24 I think?

I can see why people don't like it, maybe I'm poisoned by the last run on the book.

Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Sunday, 8 January 2012 19:21 (eight years ago) link

I actually liked Dysart's run on the book, but I'm in the vast, screaming minority on it.

Pretty sure the limes thing is from whenever Swampy and Abby consummated their relationship, which means the "Rites of Spring" storyline, whatever issues those were.

Matt M., Sunday, 8 January 2012 19:46 (eight years ago) link

I think that's where limes come from (#29?) but I'm positive she talks about peaches while she's working in the children's home that becomes the Monkey King - "Selina has already decided she doesn't want the lawn chairs" is the standout line, obviously.

Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Sunday, 8 January 2012 20:17 (eight years ago) link

lime/consummation = #34

Steamtable Willie (WmC), Sunday, 8 January 2012 20:23 (eight years ago) link

wow, it took a long time to work out what you were talking about there

thomp, Sunday, 8 January 2012 21:09 (eight years ago) link

haha, personal shorthand. I'm not even posting from a phone, which is what brief gibberish can usually be attributed to around here.

Steamtable Willie (WmC), Sunday, 8 January 2012 21:20 (eight years ago) link


Batwing #5: OOOH, gender conflict. Truly, it is BECAUSE OF THE WANG. And then lol at people who have no idea about African geography, politics, geo-politics or in fact anything outside their own continent. Seriously, what does Egypt matter to any Africans who aren't from Egypt? Without these two utter wtf parts the rest of the book is actually pretty good, but indebted to GMoz' Batman Inc in more than just the origin of the hero, more in the overall faceless bad-guy-terrorist-organisation-The-Base level. I just don't get why anybody would buy this, which is probably explained by the sales levels.

Green Arrow #5: So the bad guy from a couple of issues ago has now become unbelievably stupid and wants to undo everything from those episodes (presumably because he doesn't remember it). Plus he sees Ollie walking off-page as a civvy and coming back onpage as GA and makes no connection. That was the most intelligent thing written either in this issue or in connection to it. Mid-80s fourth rate crap hero book, nothing more.

Hawk & Dove #5: ROB LIEFELD TAKES OVER! THE FUTURE STARTS HERE! But wait, Rob needs help. So who does he bring in? MARAT FUCKING MICHAELS. Sub-porno shitty Avatar standby of the first water. But seriously, page 10 is maybe the most ridiculous page in a mainstream bok maybe EVER. Dawn's "normal clothes" are a good start, and the levitating foot is a stroke of genius, but kicking down the chimney is laugh-out-loud hysterical. And that is better than the following 10 pages. Reading this shot is barely tolerable any more. Anyway, Dawn and Deadman have split up which fucks up the continuity (and a huge chunk of plot) in two other ongoing books which in <6 months is a pretty spectacular collapse. Nearly as good as changing 20% of your staff.

JLI #5: "She puts the diva in Godiva." That is genuinely the best thing about this book, and even that doesn't work in terms of pronunciation. 'dEEva' vs 'godEYEva'. Anyway, this is all about INTERNAL TENSION. Vixen vs Batman = optimist vs pessimist. Booster and Guy Gardner fighting for who's the best. Me fighting the bile rising as I read this bollocks. Booster and Godiva are fucking right now, off page. That's a comforting though, isn't it?

Men of War #5: YES, YES THAT'S TRUE. BEING FROM ONE OF THE QUARTERS OF NEW YORK MAKES YOU NATURALLY BETTER THAN A RESSURECTED HERO OF WATERLOO.Gung-ho is one thing, this is something else. The backup story is maybe even worse, a cross between a Brangelina action film and an overly romanticised pair of Cold War soldiers. In a week of shit 'shit books' this is maybe the worst.

Static Shock #5: Last issue cliffhanger dealt with in two pages. Check. Multiple references to Wildstorm property. Check. New character introduced in lieu of plot. Check. Racist NOT RACIST REALLY language. Check. Implication everybody who is not in this book is racist? Check. Dreadful comic? Check.

Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Sunday, 8 January 2012 21:39 (eight years ago) link

You know, I might be conflating the ST peach thing with the one near to the end of Moore's run (proving Alec is back after Gotham?) when a room gets filled with peach blossom.

Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Sunday, 8 January 2012 21:45 (eight years ago) link

Peter Milligan, you are British.

So I hear.

There is, therefore, no excuse for the last four pages of this.

What's on them?

Not a single one. THAT IS NOT BRITAIN.

What isn't?

As if that wasn't enough,

What wasn't?


Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Sunday, 8 January 2012 23:10 (eight years ago) link

So do you think the whole "new 52" exercise is already starting to lose it's momentum?

earlnash, Monday, 9 January 2012 04:39 (eight years ago) link

it never had any, they started out running late with no coherent creative vision of the reboot, and by four months in are running multi-title crossovers between Wildstorm titles

given that and the creators hired, Didio's grand vision appears to be "be 90s Image" without the lateness

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 9 January 2012 05:25 (eight years ago) link

dude wonderwoman blows

flopson, Monday, 9 January 2012 05:57 (eight years ago) link

OK, the Pete Milligan thing is a scene where a guy gets pulled out of an American house with an American car outside of it, by three cops in American unifroms driving an American car and then beaten to death with American clubs in the street in front of his brother (who then becomes a Red Lantern. It's set, for no apparent reason in "Little Ockdon, United Kingdom". Which doesn't exist - closest match I can find is Little Ockenden, which is in Essex. And if you want to know what that's like... start googling "The Only Way Is Essex" or TOWIE and prepare to be amazed.

Best case is that it's all the artist and Pete Milligan never bothered to collaborate with him at all, or didn't care to correct where he didn't understand what he was being told to draw - worst case is that Milligan wrote it that way. So why the random location?

by four months in are running multi-title crossovers between Wildstorm titles

New board description.

Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Monday, 9 January 2012 08:17 (eight years ago) link

Best case is that it's all the artist and Pete Milligan never bothered to collaborate with him at all, or didn't care to correct where he didn't understand what he was being told to draw

dude, loooooool at the idea that Milligan gets to see a copy of the art before it's printed, let alone that on the running-late-from-the-start nu52 deadlines that any editor would have time to ask for corrections. not that DC have seemed to have editors capable of seeking corrections at all, generally, in the last 15 years.

IIRC the John Smith issue of Hellblazer had American cop cars in it? And check out the Sydney Opera House in DC's Invasion! mini someday.

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 9 January 2012 13:53 (eight years ago) link

hawk&dove = classic when done by ditko (just the other day i saw in forbidden planet a nice new hardback collecting all the ditko H&Ds - retail price = £45!!)

Ward Fowler, Monday, 9 January 2012 14:03 (eight years ago) link

btw is it just me or was Mr Bones not rhyming at all? I know Johnson and Williams hid them in Chase, but I didn't spot a sneaky rhyme scheme in this.

― robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Sunday, 18 September 2011 21:38 (3 months ago)

now we've got an extended scene of him in Batwomang #5, and maybe I'm looking too much for a rhythm to clue off of, but I can't pick any consistent rhyming.

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Thursday, 12 January 2012 04:22 (eight years ago) link

China Mieville to write a new title based on existing property

Not sure how I feel about that

mh, Thursday, 12 January 2012 14:22 (eight years ago) link

Never heard of China Mieville, who is she?

Tuomas, Thursday, 12 January 2012 14:30 (eight years ago) link

oh that is just perfection

Bam! Orgasm explosion in your facehole. (DJP), Thursday, 12 January 2012 14:33 (eight years ago) link

I feel so proud, I don't think I've ever said anything that resulted in a Tuomas question before.

mh, Thursday, 12 January 2012 14:37 (eight years ago) link

he was supposed to be doing Swamp Thing at one point wasn't he?

Number None, Thursday, 12 January 2012 14:47 (eight years ago) link

oh right, it's Dial H for Hero. With Brian Bolland tho

Number None, Thursday, 12 January 2012 14:49 (eight years ago) link

where did you get that from, i'm curious about this idea / can't work out what kind of dc property i'd want to see him write

xpost oh. what the hell is that

thomp, Thursday, 12 January 2012 14:54 (eight years ago) link

Dial H = 60s DC series, revivied in the 80s. Every issue a teenage boy would use his magical phone to transform into a different superhero that had been designed/suggested by the readers. It was balls.

Is Bolland actually going to be drawing a comic strip again? And if so, what's the publication schedule?

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 12 January 2012 14:59 (eight years ago) link

Just going by google

Number None, Thursday, 12 January 2012 15:12 (eight years ago) link

that does not sound like something i can imagine wanting to see a mieville version of, though i don't know what would be. new gods, maybe.

thomp, Thursday, 12 January 2012 15:37 (eight years ago) link

The irony is so delicious as to be borderline toxic.

I can't imagine having much interest in this, though I do wonder what Mr. Miéville will do without towering edifices of prose.

Matt M., Thursday, 12 January 2012 16:24 (eight years ago) link

He wrote/drew his own web comic on his tumblr site, although it's a single panel per installment and was short-lived:

mh, Thursday, 12 January 2012 16:46 (eight years ago) link

BTW, Mr. Bolland isn't doing interiors, just covers.

And I remember seeing a few of his comics and not being particularly struck by any of them.

Matt M., Thursday, 12 January 2012 17:10 (eight years ago) link

first cancellations announced, all ending with issue 8 (leaving the final two out of the already announced collections - way to go DC!):


sad to see O.M.A.C. go, if only for the art.

EZ Snappin, Thursday, 12 January 2012 18:00 (eight years ago) link

Batgirl #5: This feels like it does less, but achieves more than any of the previous issues. The cliffhanger last time about Babs' mum is almost thrown away as they have a coffee together and Babs tells her she's not that interested (although it'll undoubtedly come back to the plot as she's moving to Gotham - HELLO SOAP OPERA!). Anyway, this new plot deals with a character called Gretel who, to be honest is a bit hackneyed - she has some kind of mind control gun which makes people violent, but she seems to be doing it to complain about Bruce buying a building to do urban renewal. Which makes this probably the least likely campaign against the gentrification of New York since Alex in NYC kept on going round CBGBs taking photos of his kids in front of it. Still, we find out that Babs' recovery from being crippled was down to some 'neural implant surgery' which probably means it was down to Bruce, following Mister Terrific's plans, or something. It ends with Bruce attacking Batgirl with a crowbar under Gretel's power, which presumably means he isn't because I'm not having it that he isn't so much better than her at fighting that he wouldn't win in the first few seconds. But, you know, let's keep up the pretence so we're still excited next month.

Batman & Robin #5: I really wish this was better. Bruce and Alfred find out what we knew last month about Damien going off with the bad guy, then Bruce tells us a lot about him without actually telling us anything. Still, we get to a climax with Robin pointing a gun at the head of a slave trader. Let's see them go another month without advancing this after that.

Batwoman #5: Beautiful as ever, but the writing here feels a bit rushed in order to get the Weeping Woman stuff out of the way and have Bones give Kate the same gig as she should be on. Maybe I've been giving the writing too much of a free pass becasue of how this looks. I mean, if it's been building to this reveal of YET ANOTHER global crime operation running out of Gotham, doesn't this suggest Batman isn't really that effective? Not that I'd say it to his face, but maybe he should stick to shaking down petty thugs after people's fur coats after all. At least he seems able to cope with that.

Demon Knights #5: After last month's trip into GMoz territory this is far simpler but no less fun. The shooting of last week was just to cause pain and teach Exoristos, who in turn is revealed as a precursor to Wonder Woman (and who, secretly, I hope she turns out to be - continuity be damned). Merlin, Mordred and Morgaine all turn up as ghosts to push up the Arthurian content then BAM! Vandal Savage reveals his true colours and people get attcked by a giant stone rhinocerous. I'll just repeat that. A GIANT STONE RHINOCEROUS. You don't get that in your X-Mans now, do you? Eh?

Frankenstein #5: This tells the same story as OMAC#5, yet it's not the one being cancelled. GET BETTER STANDARDS, DC READERS. Still, Ray Palmer becomes The Atom (kind of) and Frankie is clearly going too shag Not Abe Sapien, despite the fact he's married. OOH, CONTROVERSIAL. Why can't this get cut instead?

Legion Lost #5: A fantastic cop-out ending as the bad guy gets shown he's actually done the right thing after all and the plague he was bringing is the next stage of human development to take us to THE FUTURE i.e. Legion-era proper. Then the Martian Manhunter talks up and gives one of those introductions where his name appears in a fancy font like it does on the cover of his own book when he speaks it - except of course he doesn't have his own book so this is the first time anybody sees it, and by G_d it's hideous. On the other hand, SPROCKING HELL, Gates is back! That's worth celebrating, isn't it? We were all supposed to thing he died a couple of issues back. Take your plusses where you find them, I say. Other wise you end up in Sadface territory, mark my words.

Suicide Squad #5: Floyd shoots lots of people, Diablo burns lots of other, King Shark has a light snack that JUST MIGHT extend his sentence. Oops. Amanda Waller has a conversation with her husband that rips off the guy in the power station in The Hand Of Fear, but since that's one of my favourite things ever I don't really care. She's then an absolute bitch to Floyd, mainly because she needs him to go straight back out on the road - it turns out Harley Quinn is much cleverer than she is and set up the whole thing. This undoubtedly links back into her being told the Joker was dead last time round, but it's hard to see how the Squad can do what they do and her remain alive which is kind of a limiting plot as far as the DCU is concerned. Never mind, this is still one of the highlight books of the Johnsiverse and commended to all of you.

Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Saturday, 14 January 2012 17:30 (eight years ago) link

Deathstroke #5: I should love a comic where somebody throws a nuclear submarine at somebody else, right? So why do I hate this? Well, first off they get to the aforementioned submarine throwing appropos of nothing. The thrower turns up on Page 16, then 17-18 and 19-20 are splash pages. Does that seem lazy? The rest is Deathstroke wandering round being GRUFF AND MANLY talking to himself, when he's not criticising trainees. He has an ice bath to show he's old and it's very nearly the most exciting thing that happens. A travesty.

Green Lantern #5: All you need to know about this is that Sinestro decomissions his giant yellow lantern, which means the Sinestro Lanterns don't exist any more. Presumably including the one that's currently in the Kyle Rayner book, but I'm betting not given we have such on-the-ball, continuity-monitoring editors and editors-in-chief. Sinestro them dumps Hal on Earth and lets him keep his ring but doesn't give him a lantern to charge it. Hal has a bit of a rage about it (unfortunately for him he's not sufficiently upset that the Red Lantern recruiting beacon which turns somebody on Earth into one at the same time wasn't looking at him, or maybe he just wasn't RRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH enough) then has a bit of a snog with Carol. For the finale we cut to the Guardians who, in YET ANOTHER UTTERLY DICK MOVE decide they're going to create another army to replace the GLC. Because they Manhunters were such a success at that, obviously. Aw, little blue guys. Will you never learn?

Grifter #5: You know what this reminds me of? An Avatar book, designed to show off the talents of an artist who isn't really all that good. I couldn't care less about the blue ghosty things or the black curate, whoever that is, to be honest. Page 10 typifies what's wrong with the writing on this: Grifter shoots an alium on the last panel of P9 - in panel one he gloats and shouts about it bare-faced and wearing a jacket - in panel two it is shown he's surrounded by them only with the closest only about two feet away and they all spot him, he still is barefaced and wearing a jacket - in panel three he draws a gun out from his underpants, still wearing the jacket - in panel four he puts on his mask, while not wearing the jacket, and with both hands free - in panel five he takes the jacket off - in the first panel of the next page he's firing guns with both hands. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? I thought about saying Rob Liefeld isn't that incompetent, but he clearly is so that isn't a very good example. Any halfway decent artist isn't that incompetent. Does that work? This is an absolute chore to read and is arguably worse than Hawk & Dove. There, I said it.

Mister Terrific #5: Michael thinks his way out of the fight by setting everybody else free, then gets sadfaced about slavery in front of a picture of a panel which implies the 19th C slave traders used to throw their captives overboard in massive numbers for shits & giggles, which of course would have made complete economic sense... he then tries to draw a parallel between being black and being a hermaphrodite... who then blows up a spaceship with a blast of pure hermaphroditism. He then steps through a blue wibbly think and ends up in his lab, having been upstaged in his own book by every other character for the second month on the bounce. The end of this will be a mercy killing, but it's possibly more amazing this ever got the green light in the first place.

Resurrection Man #5: So, last issue's cliffhanger is resolved in that he only got hit so hard so he won't resurrect "on Earth". So how does an angel fix that? She gets on her mobile phone to Heaven and asks them to look for Mitch when he gets admitted to Heaven Hospital. Obviously. Deathstroke shows up and kills some people and a speech bubble saves a REALLY weird piece of art where a woman's arm shrinks by about 50% (and don't try and claim it's perspective, please). The script actually draws attention to it, although it's actually talking about a different character whose arm has ACTUALLY gone. THIS ALL SEEMS TO BE A FLASHBACK TO BEFORE THE BOOK STARTED. Maybe. It turns out in the end that the angel fucked up. So much for infallibility.

Superboy #5: Hmm. It is "impossible" for a superhuman (or a robot mimicking a superhuman) to lift three tons. Which isn't much heavier than most American cars. Do writers read anything these days? This also features a man turns into shadow dogs when he's annoyed, Superboy being Not Magneto and some bedroom antics. OK, that last one is a bit of a blind - some bad guys turn up in Superboy's room and call him names. I want to love this, but this is the most Wildstorm book in the Johnsiverse and I have no affection or nostalgia for it. A shame.

Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Saturday, 14 January 2012 20:00 (eight years ago) link

Hawk & Dove cancelled two issues after Rob Liefeld made writer & artist, before a single one of his authorial issues ships.
Kyle Higgins and Joe Bennett fired off Deathstroke, to be replaced by writer/artist Rob Liefeld!
Artist-turned-writer Tony Daniel fired off The Savage Hawkman, to be replaced by artist-turned-writer Rob Liefeld!
One of (if not the) the only new-to-DC writers on The Nu52, Nathan Edmondson, fired off Grifter, to be replaced with 24-year-DC-veteran-without-ever-showing-one-iota-of-skill-development, Rob Liefeld.

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 16 January 2012 00:10 (eight years ago) link

I love that the answer to a Liefield comic being cancelled for low sales is more Liefeld. Maybe they want those other three to die too.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 16 January 2012 00:17 (eight years ago) link

There are claims online this is an X-Force cover of Cable which has been tracecd and re-drawn.

Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Monday, 16 January 2012 11:16 (eight years ago) link

I like how he incorporated a life jacket into the outfit. Those are nice and soft looking shoulder whatever they ares.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 16 January 2012 12:23 (eight years ago) link

Liefeld, still drawing shoulder pads on comic characters in 2012. You've got to love it.

mh, Monday, 16 January 2012 14:04 (eight years ago) link

DC2012 = Marvel 1992?

Matt M., Monday, 16 January 2012 16:21 (eight years ago) link

Only without the foil embossed covers.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 16 January 2012 16:25 (eight years ago) link


Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Monday, 16 January 2012 16:50 (eight years ago) link

DC2012 = Marvel 1992?

given that and the creators hired, Didio's grand vision appears to be "be 90s Image" without the lateness

― Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 9 January 2012 16:25 (1 week ago)

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 16 January 2012 22:54 (eight years ago) link

Batman #5: Umm. Wow. This is one of the best Batbooks of all time. There are undoubtedly times when people could compare it to GMoz's Batman of Zur-en-arrh, and I'm sure there have been some superb 'trapped Batman gets a bit deranged' stories in the past, but this is never less than brilliant. The raggedy Batman's disorientation leaps off the page, abetted by some good old-fashioned creative pagination, but the payoff has to be a hallucination, right? RIGHT? Why isn't it time for the next issue yet? This is how reading comics is supposed to feel.

DCU Presents Deadman #5: Is it wrong to be glad this is over and we'll (hopefully) get a better story next time round? This is basically a monologue about OOOH MYSTIC AAAH DO YOU SEE with the odd interjection from someone who wants to be a God but isn't up to the job yet. And a largely pointless fight at the end with weird observations from strangers - "Hey! I know that guy! We swapped spit!" might just be the standout. I guess there's an argument which says this is about 30 issues of Cerebus condensed to 20 pages but I'd rather read Dave Sim any day. Not great, but it's the Challs up next. Unfortunately it's written by Dan DiDio. Ho hum.

LoSH #5: After the conclusion of the plot in the last issue we get the semi-traditional 'look at the Legion in downtime' issue where nothing happens and we see personal lives. I don't mind these at all, but is issue 5 not maybe a bit early for one in the run of a series? Oh well. I know I always say 'for the fans' but it's more true than ever this month. NOT FOR YOU.

Nightwing #5: SPOOKYTIMES AT THE CIRCUS. The book we found last time maybe has something to do with demons and shit. This is not the direction I expected the book to go in. For me, this is not a good thing although I can live with it. Part of me wants it to go down the 9PM ON FOX route of it just being about a travelling circus where one of them dresses up to fight crime and fuck a hot chick off camera every week. I would read the shit out of that book. Someone should write it. Maybe I will.

Supergirl #5: Plot, plot and more plot. We get the background story that explains all the Superman stuff from the first couple of issues and we find out just about everything we needto know about Kara. Despite the stuff with Reign at the end this is pretty much all filler no thriller - I guess it's inevitable when you're setting up a new universe you have to explain things eventually, it just feels like this book is doing all the backstory first which instinctively seems wrong. It's still better than most of the Johnsiverse output at the end of the day though.

Wonder Woman #5: The first thing you need to know about this book is that Poseidon is now living in the River Thames. Actually, that's pretty much all you need to know. A giant talking fish and some mer-horses. Throw in a cameo fron Cerberus and you've pretty much got everything you could want. Marvellous. Is it wrong to want Lennox to the one from Animal Man rather than Constantine-lite?

Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Sunday, 22 January 2012 12:58 (eight years ago) link

Birds of Prey #5: Now with added lesbians! So it turns out the events of the previous issues may not now have happened, or if they did then everybody's forgotten about them. In fact, everybody seems to have amnesia in this, and Black Canary may have set up Starling but it'll probably turn out she didn't and it was all set up by our mystery exploding bad guys and nobody will remember anyway so they'll all go for a cup of coffee and a muffin and talk about guys they fancy but are out of their league and the latest ways to accessorise a cape with sexy crime-fighting boots. I think I like the bad books more than the good books these days.

Blue Beetle #5: A summary. The hero gives his best mate a beetle robot to make him better after trying to kill him last month, which turns him into Darth Maul at the end of the issue. The bad woman reveals herself as the bad woman, while simultaneously offending any Indians reading (Did you know they routinely blind orphans in ritualised ceremonies? Neither did I.) and almost but doesn't quite capture our hero. Meanwhile in space, the Older Than The Lanterns good/bad guys who own the scarab forget what they're supposed to be doing because they're going to fight a space elephant in Green Lantern New Guardians #10. Two issues after this title has been cancelled. You couldn't make it up. Although Tony Bedard obviously did.

Captain Atom #5: The good Captain has a dream, which he discusses at length with a terrapin. Then "some kind of organic bile" surrounds a diner. How do you fight organic bile? WITH ATOMS. Unfortunately it has weird mouth/arm things which are better than atoms, it seems according to the final panel. JT Krul gets paid for this, you know.

Catwoman #5: Judd Wimick does not understand physics. Falling half a mile out of the sky then stopping in a matter of feet is going to hurt more than dislocating your shoulder. And I'm not quite convinced it gives you the strength to punch out somebody who might be as powerful as Superman either. Throw in an opportunity to get nekkid and show Selina nekkid trying to get into bed with a masseur and HEY PRESTO that's DC today. So, Catwoman has all the money that bents cops in Gotham ever took which just happens to be in the same bag at the same time? WHO CARES. Just give us more T&A.

Green Lantern Corps #5: Lanterns grow like plants and act as fertiliser. Do you need any more than that? Now wonder the Keepers got pissed off when their World Manure got taken away by the little bald blue guys. Guy Gardner puts together a team of old hard men to go and beat them up. Anyone would think he'd been watching recent Stallone films. It turns out they need guns to do it so they steal them from Space Pirates. This cannot end well.

Red Hood #5: Arsenal shoots a dragon/gargoyle thing with an electric arrow, and then heats Starfire up with one of his special thermal arrows. Meanwhile Red Hood is fighting the half-headed ploice alium woman who seems to have gone all Witchblade on us. Still, he manages to kill her by pretending she's the Joker and Batman combined or something. Which, unsurprisingly since she's the police, doesn't endear himself to the locals. The gargoyle gets blown up with Roy's self-destruct device and we realise Starfire's powers aren't actually much use. "My power isn't a subtle one, Roy. It's pretty much set to "incinerate". I think we need a new plan." Then they all run away to the origin issue. I love that the editor of this book twice refers to the last issue and expresses surprise we don't remember exactly what happened in it. Anybody would think he thought this was a disposable portion of Thrill Power too. Still the biggest guilty pleasure of the Johnsiverse.

Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Sunday, 22 January 2012 14:29 (eight years ago) link

who's Batman by?

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 23 January 2012 01:36 (eight years ago) link

In a stunning twist of fate, I have managed to last longer on the books than one of the creative teams - John Rozum has announced he's left Static Shock.

― 50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Monday, 19 September 2011 21:45 (4 months ago)

John Rozum has now revealed the reason he left the book: it was "garbage" and "a total turd."

(Also the editor was an unsupportive interfering idiot, which I've freely inferred upthread as a reason for creators dropping like flies, but good to have it actually confirmed):

"I went into Static Shock with a lot of high hopes. Among them was showing that Static wasn’t simply an A-list character, but one of the most powerful in the DCnU. I really wanted this series to be fun and exciting and to bring the same degree of creativity to it that I put into Xombi balanced with making Virgil’s personal life at least as engaging as his superhero life. I also saw Static Shock as an excellent gateway through which to pull the rest of the Milestone characters into the DCnU.

"I quickly learned that none of these plans were going to see fruition. I wound up being shunted to the sidelines as the writer while Scott McDaniel’s “high concept” criminal syndicate made up of Power Rangers and a big monosyllabic thug took center stage and Harvey’s [nb: editor] ideas of the 2 Sharons and slicing off Static’s arm were implemented as desperate means of trying to draw attention to the book.

"I tried my best to keep it from being a total turd, but as I said, I was completely sidelined. My main contributions were the Pale Man character, Guillotina, naming the school after Dwayne McDuffie, and including Hardware, along with random lines of dialogue. I decided it was unethical to stick with a title that a) I thought was garbage b) that people were buying because of my involvement, due to Xombi, when really I had nothing to do with it c) because I wasn’t being utilized on the title.

"Frankly, Static deserved a lot better."

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 23 January 2012 02:29 (eight years ago) link


Batman is by Scott Snyder.

Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Monday, 23 January 2012 07:40 (eight years ago) link

He was writing one of the Bat-books before the reboot to some acclaim, yeah? I believe I'm going to borrow the TPB off a friend, after he buys it.

More from Rozum, unfairly excerpted by me:

I've had people announce that due to the low quality of comic that they would no longer buy anything that had my name on it. I've had an editor at a publisher other than DC say they weren't interested in having me write for them because they thought Static Shock was a poor comic book series.

All of my ideas and suggestions were met with disdain, and Scott McDaniel lectured me on how my method for writing was wrong because it wasn't what the Robert McKee screenwriting book he read told him was the way to do things. The man who'd never written anything was suddenly more expert than me and the editor was agreeing with him. Scott had also never read a Static comic book, nor seen the cartoon series, yet was telling me that my dialogue didn't sound true to the character and would "fix it."

One of my scripts was deemed too slow because there were a total of 4 pages where no one was hitting or shooting anything.

Essentially my job was to transcribe Scott's voluminous and often clunky dialogue into a script format. Any efforts I made to try and finesse, edit, or reduce his dialogue or captions, offended him, and everything had to be changed back to how he'd originally written it, while my dialogue always required his improvement. Scott, to be fair, had a lot of great ideas, but did not have the writing skills necessary to make these ideas compelling stories, but was not willing to take any suggestions, or changes that I'd give him.

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Wednesday, 25 January 2012 01:03 (eight years ago) link

All Star Western #5: Gray and Palmiotti LOVE LOVE LOVE being in Gotham. The next stage of the plot has them being terrorised by the Miagani (from Batman: The Cult and retconned during Return of Bruce Wayne). Amadeus shits himself. Hex realises at the end he hates Gotham, but this may be because he's being attacked by a GIANT bat. This book really has taken on a new lease of life since moving to the city and I can easily see it running for years, if sales allow. In the backup which means the book is an extra buck, we get the origin of the Barbary Ghost. I'm not sure I wouldn't have the extra dollar tbh.

Aquaman #5: As this issues#'s joke at the expense of Aquaman makes clear, the Navy save Aquaman's life this month after he gets stuck and almost dies. In the middle of the desert. That must have been done before, no? Anyway, in the ACTUAL plot the Atlantean spaceship discovered down where the Trench live is revealed to be... ummm... an Atlantean spaceship. And the shocking secret behind Atlantis being destroyed is... ummm... Atlantis gets destroyed. If this was anyone other than GJ I'd suggest they were better than this. I'm not sure he is.

Batman The Dark Knight #5: I've reached the point where I'd like to know how much of the plotting is actually done by David Finch, but in this issue it probably doesn't matter much. We get some expansion on the Scarecrow reveal from the end of last month but OH NOES Bats is infected by the poison like Two-Face and the rest were in prior issues. Surprisingly, this makes his strong enough to punch out Superman. Unfortunately Supes isn't the one of the pair that does the detecting and so gets the effects wrong - it doesn't give Bats invincibility YA BIG DUMMY! Have you punche dhim to death? (The answer will be no, obviously, but nice cliffhanger.) Still on the good side of average, but with odd bursts of greatness.

Flash #5: This is still a blinding read, from the notion that Captain Cold's powers are WAY more powerful in the Johnsiverse to the revelation at the end that it's ALL the Flash's fault as the Speed Force (or manipulating it) REALLY fucks up space and time. They could have just read Flashpoint really, as that makes the same point far less well. Barry also seems to be chasing more than one woman - does this make him the Flash of Two Burds? Consistently thrill-powered whatever.

I, Vampire #5: As ever, gorgeous to look at but (and continuingly so) making no sense within the Johnsiverse. Batman turns up in this, so it's clearly in continuity. But how can it possibly be with the content? Boston, Star City, Los Angeles and others have seen horrific outbursts of violence and masses of the population have died and then become a plague of vampires on a Crossed level yet no superheroes noticed until now? One would expect, perhaps, that this will introduce zoning boundaries and no-fly zones for vigilantism and federal super-offences - like the Flash stopping chasing a bad guy because he's 10km outside Central City. I bet it doesn't. Still worth looking at though I'm probably not getting enough out of it to keep paying for it.

Justice League #5: I'm pretty sure "We got this" is the worst superhero cheer of the modern era. This is one of only a couple of minutes levity in a book of unrelenting Sadface. The other is Flash wishing he could fly, but an unintentional contender is Hal Jordan being so vacant and dumb he has no idea who MULTI-MILLIONAIRE AND GENERAL ALL-ROUND IMPORTANT GUY Bruce Wayne is. I'm pretty sure this is just a blip in the story, but this was two weeks late? I'm not really sure how much worse this would actually have been had it come out on time, but probably not much.

Justice League Dark #5: Hooray! The team actually forms! Unfortunately it's only for about a page as Constantine (somewhat inevitably) decides everyone else is crap compared to him. Throw in some low-level sexual behaviour (Zatanna french-kisses Shade to show him what a tongue tastes like), and Deadman desperate to get his end away now Dawn's dumped him and it's more of the same, really. A solid 'C', but probably ripe for cutting from pull lists.

Superman #5: This has about half as many words as the previous issues but the downside of this is that it makes half as much sense. I guess there was a reason for the swathes of text after all then. Supes defeats the aliums from before OR DOES HE, HMM? He speaks like he's reading a script and just kills people when he feels like it - surely this can't be the Man of Steel? Of course not, he's a cinder floating in Spain. (The download code to my Ultimate Spider-Man for the first to get that reference. See? Competitions and everything. Aren't I good to you?) Be here next month if you can be arsed. I'm not sure I can, and George Perez must be getting itchy feet too.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Saturday, 28 January 2012 17:53 (eight years ago) link

This book really has taken on a new lease of life since moving to the city and I can easily see it running for years, if sales allow.

This has been cancelled iirc

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Saturday, 28 January 2012 22:44 (eight years ago) link

or maybe that's another Gray/Palmiotti joint

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Saturday, 28 January 2012 22:45 (eight years ago) link

I hope not! The couple of issues of All Star Western I've read have been some of the best of the new 52.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 28 January 2012 22:47 (eight years ago) link

It's not one of the announced ones, but I won't be that surprised as Jonah Hex always flirted with cancellation.

(Just checked the sales numbers, just under 30k in December - 3 times what Hex sold - which means there are 21 worse sellers in the New 52.)

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Saturday, 28 January 2012 23:02 (eight years ago) link

DC has become the NBC of the comics world...but somehow more incompetent? It makes me wonder if the brass at Time Warner care enough about some of these properties to boot Didio out on his ass before every creator worth a toss refuses to do any further work for them.

SNEEZED GOING DOWN STEPS, PAIN WHEN PUTTING SOCKS ON (Deric W. Haircare), Saturday, 28 January 2012 23:36 (eight years ago) link

I think I was thinking of Men Of War, sorry

The brass at Time Warner plainly don't have any comprehension of "the properties," let alone care

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Sunday, 29 January 2012 22:56 (eight years ago) link

Rob Liefeld inking while driving and filming himself, nbd

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 30 January 2012 00:32 (eight years ago) link

this explains everything really

Wie wol ich bin der vogel has noch den erfret mich das (forksclovetofu), Monday, 30 January 2012 04:13 (eight years ago) link

I sure hope GJ's new Shazam back-up finally injects some much-needed personal tragedy and teeth-gritting into the superhero who fights a genius worm with help from a sharp-dressed talking tiger.

The genius worm was already "grittified" in 53, wasn't it?

Tuomas, Monday, 30 January 2012 10:15 (eight years ago) link

Sorry, I meant 52.

Tuomas, Monday, 30 January 2012 10:16 (eight years ago) link

And then re-appeared in Action ungrittified again, last seen heading off into space.

But none of that matters, post-Flashpoint.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Monday, 30 January 2012 10:35 (eight years ago) link

I obviously haven’t been tracking this one enough, but previously:
Stormwatch: #2 - fill-in artist added.

DC announce Paul Jenkins as fill-in-writer on Stormwatch #7 and #8.
Regular Paul Cornell allows that, actually, he’s walked off the book altogether.
HEY KIDS! Make sure you pick up Suicide Squad issues 6 and 7 for the crossover with Stormwatch #6’s explosive events!
HEY KIDS! Follow the ending of Stormwatch #6 in upcoming issues of Grifter and Voodoo, not in future issues of Stormwatch!
HEY KIDS! Don’t forget that fed-up and fucking-off writer Cornell’s Demon Knights is actually Ancient Stormwatch – you can’t afford to miss an issue!


DECEMBER: Fill-in writer Paul Jenkins publicly announces that he’d like to stay on the book long-term:

Of course, there will be my takes on the characters and this will be a story I want to explore with these characters, so I'll end up putting my own stamp on it. And in fact, I've talked to DC about a couple of new characters. I have a couple in mind. It depends how long term we go.
Newsarama: Yeah, because you're just on the book for a couple issues, right?
Jenkins: That's right. Initially I'm coming to do two issues, and we'll see what happens after that. We'll find out how much we like working with each other, and we'll see if Stormwatch fits me and whether my ideas fit with their editorial vision for the book. And if so, maybe we'll do more. But at the moment, we've got a pretty cool two-issue arc laid out.


Pete Milligan is booted off the stupidly titled Justice League Dark and assigned to Stormwatch.
Jeff Lemire is assigned JL DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE, with the mandate to draw it closer to JUSTICE LEAGUE BRIGHT and work with Geoff Johns on making the two books mesh together.

Note that both Jenkins and Milligan, on their ONE-MONTH-APART Formal Official Newsarama entrance PR interviews, talk extensively about how they don’t want to mess around with the editor’s choice of characters or the editor’s “direction” for the book. Note also that in nine months, the editor has required three different writers to attempt to enact this direction with these characters.

(There’s also a new fill-in artist on Jenkins’ second fill-in issue. This is actually positive, if it means the ongoing creative team get a better chance to gel from the start.)

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Wednesday, 1 February 2012 01:31 (eight years ago) link

after reading the bullshit regarding Static Shock's "editorial direction" I am starting to think the editors are just jerking people around

mh, Wednesday, 1 February 2012 01:40 (eight years ago) link

Blackhawks #5: DEAD BOOK WALKING. This even feels like it was rewritten once cancellation was announced to make it feel like they weren't really bvothered because it was only ever going to be eight books, DO YOU SEE it's there all in the writing DO YOU SEE. The threat from the previous issues is beaten by dropping a penny from the top of the Empire State Building a tungsten rod from space then somebody else goes to rescue the guys in a spaceship BECAUSE HE'S A PILOT. It's not all moustaches and airport hotels, you know. Then at the end the woman who was a living computer before is infected by the just killed baddie. Oh, you said 8 issues and not 6. That explains it.

Green Lantern New Guardians #5: So this whole poltline takes place before Red Lanterns #3? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight... Anyway, this kind of does exactly what you'd expect it to. It turns out the whole plan about them going to get the guy who allegedly stole the rings is all a big Larfleeze revenge idea because he's a prick. Which maybe makes him the most Johnsiverse Lantern of them all. It looks like all the planets in the Giant Celestial Model of Doom are, in fact, planets we (or the characters in the book) know well. And at the end a whole new BEST EVER GIANTEST MOST EVIL MOST GOOD BESTEST LANTERN EMENY EVARR turn up. Ho hum.

Savage Hawkman #5: Is it just me, or did this nearly get good? Hawkman's zombie hallucinations are all linked to the introduction of the Gentleman Ghost who actually looks like an EXCITING CHARACTER this time round after ditching the 60s camp. And the build up to the reveal is pretty exciting to - the pacing is good and somehow the art has actually got readable and clear. The punk computer kid is still a huge mis-step but I'd almost consider buying this again on the evidence of this issue (if I was stupid enough to buy more DC books and not just rob them so I an read the crap ones).

Teen Titans #5: I'm not sure when I cancelled this, but I did. Oh well. As Kid Flash says "it involves a lot of hitting". I'm not sure reading it whether Superboy's mind powers aren't cheating on some way. Does this make him too powerful? (Who am I kidding, this is the guy who previously punched the universe...) There's a knock-down slugfight as the Titans attack Superboy one at a time (including typos such as "this lasso is a GRIFT from the Gods") including him headbutting a GURL but then after a philosophical discussion he decides he doesn't want any of it after all and just flies off leaving them behind. The next issue features "the most unexpected guest star of all" - I don't think they realise what I'm capable of expecting. Doiby Dickles? Comet the Super-Horse? Extrano? I CAN(NOT) WAIT.

Firestorm #5: This is just some kind of weird Cold War throwback at this stage, with a couple of modern concessions such as a non-comedy black character. Oh look, a Quraci suicide bomber. And Russia wants to take over the world. Expect some commentary on the War on Drugs next time, and maybe somebody talking about looking forward to that new TV series The A Team. Nearly unreadable.

Voodoo #5: Clones, half-breeds, big chomping dinosaur mouths, bewbs. This should be fun but isn't. It's just so keyed into Wildstorm history that I can't get into it. The closest I can get is to say it's not awful. There are plenty of worse books than this, but I can see cancellation looming - there's just no way this is anybody's favourite.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Friday, 3 February 2012 15:04 (eight years ago) link

haha I am totally loving Voodoo

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Friday, 3 February 2012 15:37 (eight years ago) link

(including typos such as "this lasso is a GRIFT from the Gods")

morelike amazingly clever wordplay hinting at a Wildstorm character appearance amirite

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Friday, 3 February 2012 15:43 (eight years ago) link

No, I just think it's ineptitude. But it's not like DC's current editors are capable of that, right?

Dan, I completely see how people could love Voodoo. But I guess it's how people who aren't LoSH fans feel when they try and read Legion Lost.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Friday, 3 February 2012 16:26 (eight years ago) link

It's very odd, they decided to go whole hog with the section of the Wildstorm universe that I mostly ignored (I was always way more team Stormwatch/Authority than team WildCATS, with occasional diversions into Gen13/DV8) and my basic verdict is the exact opposite of how I felt about the characters when they were still in the Wildstorm universe, where I thought Voodoo was a wasted character, Grifter was occasionally entertaining and I would devour anything Stormwatch/Authority-related starting with Ellis's run.

I haven't picked up an issue of nu-Stormwatch since #1 but it pissed me off to so much that Cornell's team was basically "the white ppl from The Authority + Martian Manhunter and some nobodies" that I have no interest in seeing if it got better. Swift was a great character mostly because she didn't have a ridiculously flashy power but she was still a badass and credible as a member of The Authority and excising her in favor of some random made-up characters was intensely annoying, particularly when there were a ton of interesting Stormwatch characters to choose from (Battalion, Flint, Fahrenheit, Fuji, Hellstrike, Winter, Rose Tattoo, Synergy) if you wanted to do more than just "The Authority in the DC Universe".

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Friday, 3 February 2012 17:37 (eight years ago) link

lol I googled "grift typo titans" to read the page myself and

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Saturday, 4 February 2012 02:15 (eight years ago) link

Some serious benefit of the doubt being given there imo.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Saturday, 4 February 2012 10:57 (eight years ago) link

Action Comics #6: I accidentally read the review of this on CBR before the comic and can't help agree with what was written there - this could be where a lot of people fall out of love with GMoz. I think the easiest criticism is that it seems to wilfully obscure itself. The villains from the last issue are (potentially) dispensed with in a couple of panels with no explanation of who they ever were; the plot detailed at the beginning of the issue doesn't actually happen; the issue takes place in more than one time zone; the resolution is never explained; the closest thing the issue has to a main character happened previously to Superman in another (untold) story which is explained through telepathy... do you see what I'm getting at? It feels like he's taking the piss, almost. I do actually like it, but I don't know why. Plus we get the least worst Solly Fisch backup to date. So not all bad news.

Animal Man #6: Great stuff, but do we really need a non-plot issue less than six months in? I'm guessing it's to let Swamp Thing do what it needs to do before they run with the same story, but all the same... this is about a film Buddy made back when he was an actor. It's all about a guy who shouldn't really be a hero because it's fucking up his home life but he can't stay away. All a bit DO YOU SEE but well written and with great art (it looks like Daredevil). Just an oddity.

Batwing #6: I definitely cancelled this, but it turned up anyway. Oh well. "Three years ago" "Giza, Egypt" "One year ago" - boy, this flashes back and forward. And ends up in issue 1. It turns out the baddie is one of Batwang's old mates from when he was a mercenary but with some kind of augmentation so he can't feel pain (yes, in the same year as Bane hits the big screen) and is on his way to Gotham to kill some gay African superheroes. Despite this we still don't find out why Massacre is after the members of The Kingdom. C'mon guys, throw us some crumbs here? The final page shows Nightwing and Robin (meaning this is either in another universe from B&R or in another time?) joining in as one big giant Batfamily. Gotta catch 'em all!

Detective Comics #6: Next month, Carlsberg sues DC. Seriously, the logo of the Penguin's casino is a direct rip-off, to the extent it even has the same flourish underneath which makes zero sense if it doesn't start with a C. This is pretty good though, although arguably more of an explanatory book with no real signs of resolving anything. We find out who some of the bad guys are and by the end of the issue Bats has done enough detecting (or just plain beating people up tbh) to be at the same position as we are. Can we wrap this plot up soon? Thanks.

OMAC #6: KIRBY KNOCKDOWN FIGHTY GOODNESS. One of the Furies turns up looking for Mother Box in a restaurant (actually, she's the recruitment consultant from previous issues) and we get a bit more interaction between Maxwell Lord and Brother Eye. Then a Kord Industries employee fails to shoot Lord. Wait a minute, KORD Industries? Ted Kord is in the Johnsiverse? Why have we got such a shitty Blue Beetle then? And this book only has two issues to go. Honestly, it's like DC aren't pandering exactly to me or something. Buck up your ideas chaps.

Red Lanterns #6: Yet more "Britain isn't in America" shouting by me is imminent. Oxford appears to be in Florida and the police here routinely carry billy clubs and tazers which they use whenever they feel like. An awful lot of the dialogue in this is GRAAARRRRRR RARRRRR etc, but Milligan has already undone his own plotting. So the Red Lanterns have conventional thoughts, it's just that they can't speak? How does that square with brainless rage machines that have to get thrown in the sea of blood to be self-aware? We get a bit of a fight between Atrocitus and Bleez, which frankly is only in there as an excuse to show us her arse and then next month is teased with Guy Gardner turning up. So where is this in relation to Green Lantern Corps, where Guy's in space stealing guns to fight lantern farmers? My head hurts trying to keep all these together.

Stormwatch #6: OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE. "To find out why see Superman #7" ON THE FIRST FUCKING PAGE. Oh and that picture of Jenny near the end. SHE'S A CHILD, NOT A FUCKING DWARF. Can we pretend this never happened? It turns out the ship is nanobots held together by a tortured Daemonite, which works because Jack has realised that means it's a city. So he persuades it not blow up. In other news, Midnighter comes out as gay which makes him extra considerate of children, apparently. MAKE IT STOP.

Swamp Thing #6: Impossible to describe without major spoilers, this is the best issue yet. Beautiful and horrible and near-perfect. This is such a good book I may even buy the collection. You should too.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Saturday, 4 February 2012 13:59 (eight years ago) link

Green Arrow #6: So, gun woman can't shoot as she misses Ollie's head from point blank range. But that's all right because it gives him the chance to tell us he's in Justice League #8 while his mate puts a sticking plaster on the graze. It turns out she's an ex-gf of Ollies only she doesn't recognise him and he doesn't recognise her. And then she's a robot. Who gets blown up. Ollie has a beer to celebrate. Ann Nocenti can't make this worse. That's damning with faint praise.

Hawk & Dove #6: Things Rob Liefeld does not understand; a list.

The age of children
Standing upright
The meaning of infinity
Harry Potter
Physical strength

So, not much wrong with this, then. Why not turn over the whole line to him?

(I have just remembered I quite liked the last Hawkman, but Rob's taking that over soon which is a good reason not to put it back on a pull list.)

Justice League International #6: Shit. The team that has existed for the previous 5 issues now actually exists. Godiva defuses a bomb with her hair, which is possibly more useful than wanking Batman off with it (although maybe Bats doesn't agree). There are lots of panels which are just pointless staged shots. IT'S NOT THE EIGHTIES ANY MORE.

Men of War #6: It'll be a mercy killing when this Rock series gets cancelled. Super invincible impossibly old soldiers get beaten by a bloke nobody knew had superpowers shooting light out of his ears, or something. This magically moves the ropes off Rock's mates and ties up the bad guys in an instant, who he then decides just to let go after they've had a nice chat. It actually reads like this is the end of Rock. Dropped from your own book before it gets cancelled. Now that's ignominy. The backup is pretty good though - although the fact it's by John Arcudi and Rich Corben exposes it for the throwaway Hellboy plot it is. Not good enough.

Static Shock #6: In which he is joined by his friends Hardware and Technique. And then the all-black X-Men get invented on the last two pages. That's the best thing I can think of to say about it. It's just a chore to read now.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Saturday, 4 February 2012 15:51 (eight years ago) link

It'll be a mercy killing when this Rock series gets cancelled.

already done!

me four weeks ago:

Ivan Brandon is reported to have walked off Men Of War after #6 due to due to frustration with the heavy-handed editorial meddling and micro-management. DC is like “pfft what? That’s silly, everything’s totes chill over here, everything’s under control".
Men Of War #7 will contain not one but TWO separate fill-in stories, by James Robinson and HEROIC MAN OF THE HOUR J.T. Krul!

EZ Snappin three weeks ago:
first cancellations announced, all ending with issue 8 (leaving the final two out of the already announced collections - way to go DC!):


Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Saturday, 4 February 2012 16:04 (eight years ago) link

Yeah I know, but it's not nearly soon enough.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Saturday, 4 February 2012 16:08 (eight years ago) link

are the "black X-Men" the Blood Syndicate, or did they invent pointless new characters?

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Saturday, 4 February 2012 17:51 (eight years ago) link

No, they just all decide to live in Alva House. "It's a special... school. There are others there that know exactly what you've gone through."

Google only offers skyrim answers, so I'm guessing it's new. (NB I think it's in Harlem. The text isn't clear on that though.)

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Saturday, 4 February 2012 17:58 (eight years ago) link

Action 6 was the first Morrison comic (well, besides that Joker all-text issue) that I just couldn't wait to be over. Though I knew I'd read all the previous issues, this made me feel as though I'd missed a whole bunch somehow. And the Legion stuff... fuck the Legion. The Legion is so fucking boring.

Not only dermatologists hate her (James Morrison), Sunday, 5 February 2012 22:59 (eight years ago) link

HEY FUCK YOU on behalf of Siegel, teenage-only Shooter, and Giffen. The rest I can't argue with*

*actually I <3 Levitz' second solo run too, but wouldn't throw someone into its deep, soapy end

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 6 February 2012 00:43 (eight years ago) link

No no, fuck the boring Legion is about right.

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 6 February 2012 00:47 (eight years ago) link


Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 6 February 2012 00:56 (eight years ago) link

To be fair, I haven't read "the good" Legion stuff, it's just they're so shiny and plastic and camp and 1950s-Jetsons-future and dull and dated and stupid that every time they appear in something I actually like my heart sinks. specially when that something, like Action 6, is reduced to gibberish by my lack of assumed knowledge.

Not only dermatologists hate her (James Morrison), Monday, 6 February 2012 02:08 (eight years ago) link

ACTION is just not doing much for me. And I was as big a booster of ALL-STAR as you could get. There have been one or two neat things per issue (which, granted, is better than most of the Big Two line). But this feels like coming back to leftovers. It's just not feeling very inspired, and I'm also getting the feeling that like with FINAL CRISIS, I'm reading about half of what could be a good comic, like every other page or something.

Matt M., Monday, 6 February 2012 02:24 (eight years ago) link

with Morrison not even wanting to write this two-ish fill-in, it's no wonder it's falling so drastically flat. having to have Kubert Minor on it can't help. (I've not even bothered to go and get #6, I'll pick it up when #7 or the next Batwoman or Snarked come out)

since he was only committed for 6 issues to begin with, we should be finding out any week now if he's on past #8. if so and it stays $3.99 for 20pp I'm probably bailing.

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 6 February 2012 02:47 (eight years ago) link

ACTION is just not doing much for me. And I was as big a booster of ALL-STAR as you could get.

Very much so. ALL-STAR was sooooooo good. This has had some fun ideas, but it's really a bit of a mess.

What would have been good would have been to somehow have the All-Star Superman as the new 52 version. Then if Morrison still had Superman stories to tell, he could have done it as a vol 2

Not only dermatologists hate her (James Morrison), Monday, 6 February 2012 07:41 (eight years ago) link

I tend to forgive GM's messiness, because he usually finds a way to tie all his multiple narratives together -- albeit sometimes only several years later -- in a way that retroactively justifies all yr efforts.

But yeah, this, with the random story switcheroos and shitty backups, feels properly messy in a non-redemptive way.

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 6 February 2012 13:38 (eight years ago) link


Universally reviled hack Frank Tieri to script Liefeld's GRIFTER! Writer of Rob Liefeld's Avengelyne and Rob Liefeld's Brigade to script Liefeld's THE UNPLEASANT HAWKMAN! Absolutely EVERYBODY GETS A SWORD!!!

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 05:44 (eight years ago) link

ok Oprah

Nhex, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 05:58 (eight years ago) link

haven't been following Green Lantern over the last five years, can someone tell me why Hal Jordan is wearing a tie?

like working at a jewelry store and not knowing about bracelets (Dr. Superman), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 06:45 (eight years ago) link

That is some dull as dishwater art.

Don't know about the tie, but I see he got the Bomber Jacket memo.

Matt M., Tuesday, 7 February 2012 17:37 (eight years ago) link

Hal Jordan, protector of thieves.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 17:53 (eight years ago) link

wait how did I not hear about him taking over Grifter

maybe I just blocked that from my memory

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 17:56 (eight years ago) link

well, at least it reflects how dull hal jordan is

Nhex, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:57 (eight years ago) link

I have been reading Green Lantern comics for 30+ years and I've never seen him wear a tie. I can't tell if the takeaway from the fight scene is that Hal Jordan wears a clip-on or that he wears cheap, easily ripped ties. Anyway, glad to see a fresh take on the character.

like working at a jewelry store and not knowing about bracelets (Dr. Superman), Wednesday, 8 February 2012 06:07 (eight years ago) link

The script is predictably terrib, but that's the best (or at least most modern-looking) art I've seen in a DC comic for a while.

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 8 February 2012 12:25 (eight years ago) link

yehwha? It looks like something you'd seen in an Avatar comic.

Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 8 February 2012 12:42 (eight years ago) link

yeah, when I saw it I thought "god this artwork is bad even for DC" (kinda sub-sub-sub steve mcniven, based on that sample)

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 8 February 2012 12:53 (eight years ago) link

it was fairly appalling iirc but I don't want to click again

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Wednesday, 8 February 2012 22:55 (eight years ago) link


Scott McDaniel vigorously defends himself against John Rozum's claims that Rozum had no input on Static Shock and the book was subject to idiotic, action-driven editorial over-control... by spending 15,555 words detailing how the editor gave Rozum no input on the book, and insisted on idiotic action being piled into it while multiple levels of higher-up perused every detail of story submissions.

Also resoundingly proves by example what a drastically incompetent writer he is. Also cites God repeatedly, and goes on about NASCAR and NFL on separate occasions for some reason. Also quotes chunks of Rozum's scripts, and reacts to each by saying "This is totally interesting and reads like John Rozum, but it's not BADASS!" Literally has no idea what "literally" means.

Amusingly, the comments are mostly ppl going "fyi dude you sound like a total dickbag in this scenario."

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Thursday, 9 February 2012 00:47 (eight years ago) link

Wow, he really does. I think he needs more WORDS that are CAPITALIZED to really make his POINT though.

valleys of your mind (mh), Thursday, 9 February 2012 01:15 (eight years ago) link

Dude seems completely insane

little clouds of citrus spritz as i peel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 9 February 2012 01:32 (eight years ago) link

Travel Foreman is done as the artist of Animal Man. However, it was not because of DC. His statement (from CBR forums via Jeff Lemire's twitter):

"I just want to chime in briefly, because everyone here has been so supportive of the book and because there's so much behind the scenes stuff that goes on with these books... I read a lot of comics and I too get confused about whats going on in some books and ultimately feel like we're getting a raw deal sometimes.

The change on Animal Man boils down to the reason I was on the book to begin with, which was that I needed to take on a job after my mother died (to deal with the financial end of someone being sick for a while and then passing) and Animal Man was the only thing DC was going to let me do. Which in any other time frame would have been perfect.
But really the context of me dealing with the death of my mom and drawing the kind of content in Animal Man just burned me out sooner than I thought.

I had hoped to stay on the book until at least the spring so that the artist I wanted to replace me was free from his commitments, but I would have ultimately just dragged the book down if I did, because it was becoming harder and harder to concentrate on the work.

Steve was bending over backwards on his fill-ins to keep the book on schedule so you have to keep that in consideration. Really, he won't skip a beat once he's doing the book full time.

Thanks, everyone."

EZ Snappin, Thursday, 9 February 2012 20:30 (eight years ago) link

while Delano-era Animal Man artist Steve Pugh is the permanent replacement for Travel Foreman on ANIMAL MAN, as noted above, Foreman is now drawing BIRDS OF PREY ongoing from #9. Let's see if he lasts more than one issue!

Birds Of Prey artist Jesus Saiz, already been filled-in-for once, having one unpublished fill-in by Perez banked, and having been booted and reinstated once, now moves to RESURRECTION MAN due to being bumped by Foreman.

Resurrection Man artist Fernando Dagnino is bumped by Saiz, while Resurrection Man is crossing over with Suicide Squad, to SUICIDE SQUAD.

Since there were already FIVE artists on Suicide Squad in the first six issues, I have no fucking idea who was drawing Suicide Squad now and where they're going.

Paul Jenkins dropped as writer on DAVID FINCH'S THE DARK KNIGHT BY DAVID FINCH VOLUME 2 from #9, Penguin: Pain & Prejudice writer Gregg Hurwitz to take over.

- Jim Lee and Dan Didio launch the new 52 by stating that late books will absolutely positively not be tolerated under any circumstances, that monthly timeliness is an iron-clad guarantee.
- retailers notice that JUSTICE LEAGUE #5 by Jim Lee is not on shipping lists for its scheduled shipping date, raise this issue on internets.
- DC PR officially reassure readers and customers that: “We can confirm that Justice League #5 from @jimlee and @geoffjohns is indeed hitting shelves next week.”
- DC PR, hours later, tell you you were confused. Or they were confused. Or something: “Sorry for the confusion: Justice League 5 will hit shelves on January 25th.”

- guess what! the second (of two total, ever, for the whole future) allowed late book of The New 52 will be Co-Publisher & Executive Muckamuck Jim Lee's JUSTICE LEAGUE #6, currently scheduled to ship two weeks late, on February 29th.
- since everything in the New 52 is on an immovable iron-clad "100% delivery" schedule, and this is the fifth Wednesday of the month, I'm inferring that this means DC are paying an entire week's shipping for ONE SINGLE FLOPPY, maybe?

- Grand High Poobah and Executive Example-Setter Jim Lee will be absent from JUSTICE LEAGUE #7, to be drawn by Gene Ha instead.

- Elevated Poobah and Example-Setter-In-Chief Jim Lee will be absent from JUSTICE LEAGUE #8, to be drawn by Carlos D'Anda instead.

After drawing all 2/3rds of the solicited Action Comics that was actually published, as already noted, Rags Morales got a bit tuckered out and only managed to draw a little over 1/3 of the solicited pages on issues 2-4, with fill-in artists doing 1/6th of the pages and Nobody At All doing 1/6th on 2-3, fill-in Gene Ha doing 1/6th on #4, and a shithouse backup team pumping out a useless turd that lessens the main story doing another 1/6th.
Then due to Morales continuing exhaustion, the storyline was put on pause for two issues while Morrison was forced to write his own fill-in for issues 5 and 6.
When we left off, Morales was returning to do the proper #5-6 as #7-8, ending Morrison's initial 6-issue run on the title, at which point the series was meant to catch up to the timeframe of The Rest Of The New 52 Except Demon Knights And Justice League.

- Morrison is staying on for at least one issue!
- Morales has quite probably finished those two consecutive issues - his first in the entire ten-issue run of the book - as the poor wee lamb has collapsed in a fever of overwork again and won't be drawing #9.
- ACTION COMICS #9 is another exciting fill-in issue! This time by Grant Morrison and Gene Ha, with the adventures of a parallel universe Superman fighting another, different parallel universe Superman!
- and a sodding backup by cunting Solly Fhisch, with a different adventure of the same parallel universe Superman.

- Morales will be back for #10. No word on whether Morrison will be, or if we will now be at the story point that #7 was originally meant to be.

- I remind you that the FLAGSHIP TITLE OF THE ENTIRE DC LINE has now managed THREE OUT OF NINE issues to be unplanned fill-in stories, and exactly ZERO (0) issues out of nine to be the originally-intended-or-announced number of pages or artist.

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 13 February 2012 06:52 (eight years ago) link

ha, i am SURE these updates are more fun to read than the actual comics.

little clouds of citrus spritz as i peel (forksclovetofu), Monday, 13 February 2012 16:41 (eight years ago) link

I kinda like Carlos D'Anda, but he's no Gene Ha, who's no Jim Lee himself.

like working at a jewelry store and not knowing about bracelets (Dr. Superman), Monday, 13 February 2012 17:21 (eight years ago) link

ha, i am SURE these updates are more fun to read than the actual comics.


Number None, Monday, 13 February 2012 18:28 (eight years ago) link

I'd rank the four new 52 books I'm reading like this:

Justice League Dark
Justice League

JLD is legitimately WEIRD/disorienting and I think the only actual likeable character in it is Zatanna

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Monday, 13 February 2012 18:30 (eight years ago) link

:( Now I think Batwoman is losing me.

For a female artist, Amy Reeder sure does indulge in the "costume so skintight you can see her navel and nipples" cliche a surprising amount

Not only dermatologists hate her (James Morrison), Monday, 13 February 2012 21:58 (eight years ago) link

yeah, the whole "Wow, I hate everyone in this book" was the only thing of interest in JLD.

Of course, the first BULLETPROOF COFFIN smoked the whole run of that book in its grave, so I know where I'm throwing my money.

Matt M., Tuesday, 14 February 2012 18:09 (eight years ago) link

oh wait Greg Capullo is drawing the Snyder Batman? stop trying to trick us by leaving credits off, aldo

It was Capullo's idea in issue 5 to utilize a page-turning effect where the reader felt the same psychological breakdown as Bruce Wayne. (He admits he had to remind his rock-star buddy, Chris Daughtry, that iPads have a lock button when the pages kept flipping around on him.)

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Friday, 17 February 2012 06:24 (eight years ago) link

it is pretty lol how completely obvious Bob Harras being a nu-52 editor is becoming, with all the 90s Marvel hasbeens washing up upon DC 2012's shores.

Did you find it too easy to follow stories in the nu-DC with everything having a clear start point and not crossing over with everything else for about five months? Well, breathe easy, as superstar script-genius HOWARD MACKIE comes to DC with a thrilling new teenage super-team book, spinning off out of a crossover between Superboy, Teen Titans, and coming to the 20th Century for I guess the third time in as many months, whatever remnants of the LSH are in Legion Lost! Prepare yourself for the teen-friendly teen adventures of the amiably-titled THE RAVAGERS!

A teenage girl pictured at front by Ian Churchill.

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Friday, 17 February 2012 06:33 (eight years ago) link

Oh, are they finally bringing back Fairchild?

(thinks and smiles) (DJP), Friday, 17 February 2012 12:43 (eight years ago) link

Oh man, I hope they show her origin as awesomely as it was in the 90s, including her oversized librarian glasses

valleys of your mind (mh), Friday, 17 February 2012 15:02 (eight years ago) link

Ha called it! Not that it's difficult, really; even in the world of comics she has a pretty distinctive look.

Ppl unfamiliar with the character will be thrilled to know that her being a ridiculously busty teenager is actually a plot point in her backstory and tied to how she got her powers. Not kidding.

(thinks and smiles) (DJP), Friday, 17 February 2012 15:06 (eight years ago) link

oh lol one of those is supposed to be Warblade???? Maybe the giant lizard dude?

(thinks and smiles) (DJP), Friday, 17 February 2012 15:08 (eight years ago) link

(Wiki sez:) Rewritten by Gail Simone to be part of an actual attempt to make a hotttt Gen-Active teen.

Cailtin retains her notable traits of intelligence and attractiveness but is continually suspicious and unhappy about her appearance, given the prurient nature of her creators

I am hoping her 'creators' are Jim Choi and Brandon Lee.

Andrew Farrell, Friday, 17 February 2012 15:12 (eight years ago) link

Batgirl #6: WELL OF COURSE BRUCE DOESN'T KILL BABS. With that out of the way, it's difficult to know what else to say about this book since it doesn't actually say anything. We find out how the latest superbaddie got her hypnotic powers and My Two Bats talk her out of fighting, but the story ends with us knowing nothing about her motivation, or why she targeted Bruce, or what she was hoping to get out of anything she was doing. Other than 'rich white men are bad'. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't hoped for a bit more. Still we find out that Babs' mum likes to bake a lot of cakes. YEAH! DEFEAT THAT GENDER STEREOTYPING MYTH! RIGHT ON SISTAH!

Batman & Robin #6: TEARS OF A ROBIN! It turns out Damian was just playing along the whole time so that Bruce can turn up and beat the crap out of the bad guy. Rolo Tomassi does a solid job on it but it's never actually exciting and is, dare I say it, predictable throughout. Except maybe THE SON OF TALIA CRYING because he loves his daddy too much. Hurrrm.

Batwoman #6: Umm. This sucks. JH Williams, your strengths are art over writing. Your writing is OK, all right, but start drawing again please. Let's just pretend this issue never happened.

Demon Knights #6: Put simply, nothing happens this month as it's all just set-up for the next issue in which (presumably) there's going to be a big FITE. That's all very well, but it means nothing has really happened in ANY of the first four of the books I paid for this week. Which doesn't make it look like very good VFM now, does it, eh DiDio? You won't get people continuing to spend money this way, you know.*

*This may be a lie and I will keep on buying books from DC. So sue me.

Frankenstein #6: Ah, NOW IT ALL MAKES SENSE. If you make all the other books suck this week then Frankenstein will look good in comparison and people will like it. I mean, seriously? This has an entire sequence that steals wholesale from Watchmen as it tells the story of Frankie and "Colonel Quantum" in Vietnam. And that's the best part of the book by some way. I don't know why I'm buying this.

Legion Lost #6: "SPEW TEETH, NOT DOGMA!" Obviously no book can recover from opening dialogue as good as that, and this is no exception but it has a brave go and gets most of the way there. After a fair bit of exposition and a lot of help from the Martian Manhunter (with some ridiculous 80s casual racism along the way - I mean really? The best way you can choose to refer to a black guy is "Lenny Kravitz"?) the Legion realise the whole truth about how desperate their situation is and get back to where they were at the very beginning of #1. Hooray! Next plot please (although this is going to get such into the clusterfuck-in-waiting that is The Ravagers, so I reckon it's doomed).

Suicide Squad #6: oh FFS. How could adding Lime & Light from Nu Green Arrow make anything BETTER? Hopefully it telegraphs who dies. Apart from that, this issue is kind of disappointing as it exists to flesh out Nu Harley Quinn and explore her relationship with Nu Joker who may or may not or might or might not be dead or alive or skinless. It's kind of annoying that after 6 months we still haven't resolved this if I'm honest but I guess they're waiting for the Owls to clear out of the batbooks first? Not awful, but doesn't really stand out from anything else, I suppose.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Saturday, 18 February 2012 13:27 (eight years ago) link

The plan for Batwoman has always, for two years or w/e, been five issues of JHW3, five of Reeder. That said I read it today and the two inkers are TERRIBLE and almost certainly a dastardly plan by Didio to force a chick off his awesome book about an asskicking lesbian

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Saturday, 18 February 2012 14:03 (eight years ago) link

Deathstroke #6: WHAT? I'm going to make a bold statement here - Rob Liefeld will not make this book worse. I'm prepared for you all to hold me to this as well. Some people grimace at each other, there are lots of daddy issues and it ends with a big knife and a grin. NOTHING of substance happens. BRING ON THE NEW CREATIVE DIRECTION.

Green Lantern #6: Book Of The Black. Indigo Tribe. Beige Bastards. Pink Puritans. League of Lilac.* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I AM AS GOOD AS YOU, GEOFF JOHNS. How is it possible to actually think this is any good? Hal decides he doesn't want to be GL, having spent the previous 5 issues going on about how he does. Sinestro decides Hal is his secret love after all, and not the fuckbuddy he's shacked up with to replace him, because a woman in Vampirella's costume tells him so. What utter rubbish.

*I have not made all of these up.

Grifter #6: Just fuck off, right? Some of us didn't read all of the Wildstorm and 1) don't care about Daemonites and 2) want/need to know a bit more than OOOOH THESES ARE BAD BAD VERY POWERFUL BAD GUYS. But why do that when you can have unexplained people shouting unexplained things at unexplained monsters, right? The Wildstorm stuff might end with this issue, I think. Liefeld is probably round the corner, that's why.

Mister Terrific #6: This starts with a fight because of a Starbucks opening (with Michael defending Capitalism's right to do what it likes) which concludes with him throwing an icicle through someone's head because he doesn't speak English good like what an American do. He then kills someone by throwing them in lukewarm water, and saves himself by plunging into cold water and letting himself turn into a block of ice because everybody knows that's how you stop freezing to death. Cancelled, you say? Surely not!

Resurrection Man #6: Showing how much of an impact the previous issue must have had on me, I am surprised this issue takes place in Arkham Asylum. In short, Mitch dies and this gets him out. But, much like this book, it/he keeps on coming back even when everybody is hoping it's over. Just think, more people buy this than OMAC.

Superboy #6: Superboy, fresh from headbutting the sparkly Titan in the other book, has a fight with Supergirl and her giant vagina cover which mainly takes place in space. He mopes around for a bit, wishes a helicopter was somewhere else, then goes home to fight with his mum. Part of me wishes the book was as good as that sounds.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Saturday, 18 February 2012 14:19 (eight years ago) link

Batman #6 PENCILLED BY GREG CAPULLO: In which Scott Snyder writes an end to the claustrophobia of the Owl's chambers while setting up the Owl Wars plot. Inevitably, this isn't as good as last month but that's probably because not much is. It's not that much worse though and I'd rather read this than anything from last week. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Wait, that's a different book. Can Batman swim? That's what the kids all need to know.

DCU Presents #6: In which Challengers of the Unknown is reinvented as a reality show like IACGMOOH only in the Himalayas instead of Australia. It threatens to turn into Crossed at one point, and at that moment I realise I would rather be reading Crossed instead. One of the characters thinks he might be in a remake of L O S T by mistake and I secretly wish for DON'T PUDDING SPAZ to telepathically come out of one of their mouths. But no such luck. They escape from a Kirbyesque living rock monster by stabbing it with their Badge For Mathematical Excellence and fly off in a broken helicopter. Crossed Bloke might be back next week. So might a plot. So might I.

LoSH #6: Another month with more sub-plots than a soap opera and it's beginning to get a little wearying. I guess it would be nice to see either the Dragonwing plot or the Dominators plot take centre stage and effectively BE the book for a few months rather than try to maintain interest in EVERYBODY ALL THE TIME. Oh well. Still fun nevertheless.

Nightwing #6: DO NOT WANT. This is sort of a nothing issue, with everybody celebrating the anniversary of Dick's parents dying, Alfred dropping in because he's bored as Bats is missing (making this two months ago, or something) and ending with a villain reveal and an explosion. Near the beginning there is some dialogue which says "Different month, different city. Still the same story." If Kyle Higgins isn't careful that'll be this book's epitaph.

Supergirl #6: Supergirl eventually stops being pinned to the wall by her hair when the ghosts of her parents convince her that she's strong enough to pull the sword from the stone, then she heads back 'home' to Earth to stop the nasty alium from destroying New York, starting with the Washington Square Arch (presumably because it's picturesque). The same New York which is still the inevitable location for every proper Irish citizen as it's their destiny to emigrate there according to the script - although that also has the blooper of taking somebody's picture for them, and your own picture WITH THE SAME CAMERA. It's getting wearying reading this if I'm honest.

Wonder Woman #6: Oh come on, this is great. It's like a pre-code Vertigo book, all big eyes and four colours, and giant sea creatures and wax-headed boys and... and... and... and... and... I could go on listing why you should read this, but just know that you should.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Saturday, 18 February 2012 16:57 (eight years ago) link

Birds of Prey #6: Setup, setup, setup, setup, setup. And yet very little content. So it seems everybody in the world is under the influence of Choke but Dinah Explains It All is promised for next month for the who and why. Just as well because this has been a mystery (and a pretty dull one at that) looking for resolution for 6 months now and I'm getting a bit sick of it.

Blue Beetle #6: Jaime beats Darth Maul by admitting he gets bullied at school, then slaps a woman around for fun. At the end it's revealed that only three days have passed since the beginning of issue 1. How's that coherent Johnsiverse working out for you all? This really is a pretty dreadful title, it spends more time trying to prove it's an authentic teen book, or an authentic Hispanic book, than telling a story about A Bad Evil From The Beginning Of Time And More Powerful Than Everything Even The Wee Blue Guys (tm Geoff Johns) and that's why this is cancellation-bound - it fails to do anything that a hero book should. Awful.

Captain Atom #6: Never lose sight of the following statement: JT KRUL GETS PAID TO DO THIS. Anyway, Captain A gets rid of the thread from the previous issues in a single page by thinking about it, grows a woman a new hand and on the final page appears to blow up the Earth in 20 years time. Although since we don't know when the book is set (since the rules that were supposed to be in place for the reboot have been thrown away) this means nothing and could be next week. NEXT ISSUE = AN ORIGIN STORY. Because that always makes things better, doesn't it.

Catwoman #6: Is this a torture porn book or what? Ears are bitten off, women are beaten half to death by other women, and choken while spreadeagled against a wall. Batman admits he doesn't get Catwoman arrested because she pays him in Sex Dollars and Selina shows somebody her real identity while waiting to watch her go to the toilet. After the rehabilitation of Red Hood, this is far and away the most offensive book in the Johnsiverse and shows no signs of changing. A refrigerator can't be far away, surely.

Green Lantern Corps #6: Um, what? John Stewart kills his mate by breaking his neck rather than let him reveal any of the Wee Blue Guys' secrets? WHAT A HERO. Then Guy Gardner turns up with guns and shoots everyone (out of kindness obviously, because that's what heroes do) before dropping two of the Sinstro Corps on anyone left alive (killing them in the process). All because nobody likes the Space Farmers. This attritional warfare is actually kind of dull, at the end of the day, and I don't know where the book can go from here because everyone in it is a cnut. WELCOME TO THE JOHNSIVERSE.

Red Hood #6: OH GOOD, A FLASHBACK ORIGIN ISSUE. It's not great. In fact, it's barely adequate. It turns out Starfire saved Jason from near certain death. She nurses him back to health and then replaces his leaf speedos with some clothes, during which it APPEARS to be acknowledged she lived pre-Johnsiverse and met Nightwang there. GET OUT OF THAT ONE DIDIO. Still the best book I'm not buying though.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Saturday, 18 February 2012 18:49 (eight years ago) link

Wonder Woman #6: Oh come on, this is great. It's like a pre-code Vertigo book, all big eyes and four colours, and giant sea creatures and wax-headed boys and... and... and... and... and... I could go on listing why you should read this, but just know that you should.

Yeah, it's actually really good--although the fill-in atist on #6 made a couple of plot points a bit hard to work out--what happened to Hera, exactly?

Not only dermatologists hate her (James Morrison), Sunday, 19 February 2012 23:39 (eight years ago) link

Aldo's recaps really are way more fun than almost any of the nu52 books

Still want to know if you write/blog elsewhere, Mr Aldo

Not only dermatologists hate her (James Morrison), Sunday, 19 February 2012 23:41 (eight years ago) link

Hera just got stunned by Diana's awesomeness and got turned into PAUSE





or something like that.

No, I do not write anywhere else. I am sooooooooo lazy that I don't bother.

I know I should consider alternative versions of that universe.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Monday, 20 February 2012 00:05 (eight years ago) link

All Star Western #6: The Arkham story wraps up nicely, with Hex pursuing the bad guy (who, in a SHOCKING TWIST, turned out to be the father of the missing boy from the beginning, although he wasn't actually missing after all) and delivers a clear and concise version of Nu52 Bat-history in the process. I expect to see a lot of hackneyed Nawlins accents next month, but hey ho. Still not feeling this Barbary Ghost backup story, but it's over for now, so whatevs. This is going to be one of the second wave of cancellations though, I have no doubt. It flirted with it continually while it was a Jonah Hex book and although it's doing well, it only has good numbers in relation to the other books being published. Cancel the worse sellers and pretty soon it's the book making the least money.

Aquaman #6: Mera! Feminist hero of the ages! I mean, it happens to us all, doesn't it? You go out to buy dog food and break a crepey guy's arm in the store, then surrender to the police so you can suck the water out of a murderer's body and make his daughter cry. And then you get home to feed the pooch and your fella tells you his mate's found out who sunk Atlantis. It's just an everyday story of everyday things happening to everyday people. Get one imagination, Geoff Johns! I thought this was supposed to be heroic fiction? Actually, the most confusing bits are the flashbacks to Mera and her dad fighting about killing Aquaman because you can't actually work out properly when they're supposed to take place - the earliest ones could almost have passed for off-camera plot - but if you can make nice water sculptures to impress girls and get free groceries then none of that matters, I guess.

Batman The Dark Knight #6: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It was Bane all along... but wait. References to Knightfall? So that's in the Johnsiverse? I'll tell you what then, that was a packed 6 years. I thought that was the point of the whole reboot, to delete awkward continuity and start again from scratch? In other news, the White Rabbit is clearly only for T&A shots and sexy flirting and is explained away as a sub-Harley fantasist. I don't know why I expect more from a character who runs about in a white corset and pink panties, but I did.

I, Vampire #6: That's right, KILL THE LEAD CHARACTER. It still kind of makes no sense that this book is in the mainstream Johnsiverse as Gotham is now overflowing with vampires and corpses that don't appear in, say, Birds of Prey. Apparently Zatanna is going to sort it all out next month, but I think this could be where I bail. The art just isn't enough for me any more. It keeps trying to hold on to being a main universe book and it just doesn't work.

Justice League Dark #6: Well, that's 10 minutes I'll never get back. In this utterly pointless waste of paper and ink, the characters from the first issues all meet up and their mutual loathing of each other makes the M Vest animate some dead skin, or something, and wreck Madame Xanadu's house. She takes this surprisingly well, then gets a nosebleed because the guy from I, Vampire is dead. And that's about it. Deadman resists raping the prone figure of Dove in his dream, which he seems to want some kind of credit for. Can I have my money back?

Savage Hawkman #6: Ah, the MORTIS ORB. Of course. How stupid of me. I'm doubly confused, because I stopped buying this but it ended up in my LCS folder this week and I'd paid for it and taken it home before I noticed. After the Gentleman Ghost looked good last month, he looks crap this month. Corpses, corpses and more corpses and next month Hawkman vs Zombies. I sort of hope it will just rip off a desktop tower defence game. Then THE LIEFELDENING!

Superman #6: Oh good, this takes place after next month's Supergirl and refers to it. Yes, the one that isn't published yet. Oh, and also after Action #7, which is still two weeks away. Anyway, nobody likes Superman because he's beating up Supergirl then Superman turns up and takes away Superman so he can fight him in space because he's read Action #7. I hope this makes sense next month, but then that relies on it staying in my head until then. Even Superman doesn't know and says so near the end. People other than me buy this shit? Really?

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Sunday, 26 February 2012 17:59 (eight years ago) link

LIEFELDÄMMERUNG can't come soon enough for the whole Nu-52.

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 26 February 2012 18:04 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, I kind of think he should just offer Time Warner $500 for the whole DC property and make it a vanity project for himself.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Sunday, 26 February 2012 18:11 (eight years ago) link

Instead of a "pocket universe" his could be in a pouch.

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 26 February 2012 18:12 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, like he'd only have one pouch.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Sunday, 26 February 2012 18:23 (eight years ago) link

It's a pouch in a pouch in a pouch in a pouch on a belt in a pouch in a pouch on a thigh.

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 26 February 2012 18:26 (eight years ago) link

With a sword.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Sunday, 26 February 2012 18:32 (eight years ago) link

The sword is the mysterious image at the start of it all, like that stupid hand in DC mythos.

Or maybe it should be a foot.

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 26 February 2012 18:38 (eight years ago) link


Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Sunday, 26 February 2012 18:42 (eight years ago) link

it is the holiest icon in the LIEFELDVERSE, never to be depicted, discussed or acknowledged.

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 26 February 2012 18:43 (eight years ago) link

This has the feel of a new thread.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Sunday, 26 February 2012 18:49 (eight years ago) link

Blackhawks #6: In which we learn that humans are like Native Americans and superheroes are like The White Man. There's far too much dialogue to go into, or to care about. In the end everything blows up, although it probably doesn't. This has no real connection to any of the issues before this, or at least not in a meaningful way, and yet that doesn't help it despite how bad the previous ones were. The end can't come soon enough for this book.

Flash #6: So, Hawkman #6 was inexplicably in and this was inexplicably out. I hate my LCS sometimes (not really, but YKWIM). Anyway, I love the splash page of this, which rams home the Spirit comparisons I've made previously. Captain Cold has become WAY good at what he does and through a series of flashbacks and flashforwards we get that Barry's dumped Iris (or was possibly never seeing her) we credibly arrive at the correct point in time with all the right things in place and this turns out to be a really tightly scripted 18 pages. I still love it, especially the art, and the addition of explaining the Speed Force, a heads-up display and WAIT, IS THAT A TREADMILL? Aces.

Green Lanterns New Guardians #6: Oh look, the Kyle Rayner one. Kyle works out they all have to team up to beat the good guy, and the pink teletubby says only Bleez can save them. GOOD JOB SHE TURNS UP ON THE LAST PAGE THEN. Kyle drops The Titanic on the good guy at one point. How's that imagination working out for you Kyle?

Teen Titans #6: New York wants to arrest the Titans for the damage following their rumble with Superboy, which probably gives away the plot of Supergirl #8, huh DiDio? Kara vs Judge Judy in small claims? Anyhoo, Kid Flash excites himself nearly to death and they visit Static from Static Shock where they find him playing with his ERECTOR. He seems very proud of it. I turns out Kid Flash is being hunted by someone who speaks Interlac. INTERLAC. This can only end well. This books keeps on stealing victory from defeat.

Firestorm #6: "WHHHYYYYY?" Well, quite. "H2O... it's like cake with these powers." Wait, WHAT? Ron Raymond thinks he's in Red Dawn and wants to teach Gorby a lesson or two. The Firestorms fight each other instead then the Army show up to arrest the black one. Really? Seriously? I wish I was making this up.

Voodoo #6: I'm going with refreshingly simple. Jaaf Smax from Top 10 turns up and busts Voodoo out of prison, helped out by the guy from the first Hellboy film (who might instead be the bad guy from the current B&R run). Kyle Rayner smells bad. This is linked to various other DC books and they are desperately trying to add Blackhawks to the mix. Way to make me hate you again guys.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Tuesday, 28 February 2012 22:30 (eight years ago) link

Blackhawks #6: ... This has no real connection to any of the issues before this, or at least not in a meaningful way, and yet that doesn't help it despite how bad the previous ones were.

Was there a creative team change?

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Tuesday, 28 February 2012 22:56 (eight years ago) link

Not as far as I could make out. Lady Blackhawk is pictured a couple of times, and two of the characters TALK like they were in one of the previous issues, but I'm drawing a blank.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Tuesday, 28 February 2012 22:59 (eight years ago) link


Jay Garrick "stumbling and shrieking through a sewer full of mutant rats is apparently the character's "New 52" redesign, which, in keeping with the theme of "New 52" redesigns, looks completely sarcastic, like a smart-ass artist ironically redesigning a classic comic book superhero costume into something they think an idiot might draw for other idiots to enjoy."

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Friday, 9 March 2012 04:07 (eight years ago) link

Amy Reeder departs Batwoman halfway through her years-in-progress first five-or-six-issue run due to untenable creative differences. I choose to believe this means "hated the shitty macho inking on #6, was told to fuck off by editor," but probably means "was told to look more like JHW3."

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 02:09 (eight years ago) link

Kind of wish the creative team was Rucka/JHW3. The pre-Batwoman-title Batwoman stories were so much better.

mh, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 13:59 (eight years ago) link


I'm sure there's a lot of curiosity about what exactly happened, which is understandable. But I can't get too far into it--in addition to trying to be a professional and not burn bridges, it's complicated enough that I find it difficult (and frustrating) to explain even to friends.

The jist of it, though, was that it was a bad situation, and kept getting worse and more intense until it became impossible. I am a long-term project kinda girl and I was so excited about being on Batwoman...I didn't want to let go of it and fought until it was over.

It was bad enough that now I'd rather just be happy and move forward: I'm honestly very excited by the possibilities. All this has strengthened my resolve to do my own thing again--write, draw, color, letter. My work is, by nature, better as a full experience, and the process makes me so incredibly happy that I can't stop drawing. Which also means more comics for you. Anyway, not saying it's my guaranteed next step, but if there is a way for me to do that and pay the bills, I will.

Also, DC are junking the parts of #9 she'd already drawn. Any bets on whether they'll junk her covers for a SECOND time? The New DC - There's No Gender Parity Now!

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:23 (eight years ago) link

I know I have been remiss btw, I've been away a couple of weekends and not picked up and I'm about to be away again for a month. Will get up to date this weekend.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Thursday, 15 March 2012 07:58 (eight years ago) link

Easy big fella - don't take more than you think you can.

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 15 March 2012 13:00 (eight years ago) link

Guys I finally read some Animal Man and it's actually pretty darn good! How's Swamp Thing going? It looks like they're about to intersect

mh, Thursday, 15 March 2012 13:33 (eight years ago) link

Voodoo #6: I'm going with refreshingly simple. Jaaf Smax from Top 10 turns up and busts Voodoo out of prison,

wow waht

I mean I knew DC bought Wildstorm but just ugh

This thread will be an invaluable document in clearly delineating how DC Comics came to its sad and undistinguished conclusion.

Soggy Cheeseburgers (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 16 March 2012 23:31 (eight years ago) link

It is only a matter of time before DC falls at Liefeld's metaphorical feet.

EZ Snappin, Friday, 16 March 2012 23:33 (eight years ago) link

I didn't realise the Jeff Smax thing was for real. Waaaaaah!

Not only dermatologists hate her (James Morrison), Saturday, 17 March 2012 07:31 (eight years ago) link

hey guys, how long do you think it'll take Liefeld to start swiping blatantly for his covers now that he's one of the star and linchpin creators of DC's entire line? oh never mind:

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Sunday, 18 March 2012 14:15 (eight years ago) link


EZ Snappin, Sunday, 18 March 2012 14:20 (eight years ago) link

Liefeld's continued success in the comics industry is the ultimate refutation of God's existence.

Soggy Cheeseburgers (Deric W. Haircare), Sunday, 18 March 2012 14:48 (eight years ago) link

Why does every Liefeld character, male or female, have a bulging package?

thuggish ruggish Brahms (DJP), Sunday, 18 March 2012 15:23 (eight years ago) link

eh, that's not that bad

Nhex, Sunday, 18 March 2012 16:57 (eight years ago) link

not the bulges, i mean the swiping

Nhex, Sunday, 18 March 2012 16:57 (eight years ago) link

Dove is rather strong, holding herself up there by lightly grabbing not-Kraven by the wrist.

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 18 March 2012 16:59 (eight years ago) link

Right? And yes, it most certainly is that bad. It's pretty damning that Liefeld can't even swipe with any skill. I mean, he clearly doesn't understand what's happening on that ROM cover, which leads to his own cover having a tableau of figures that makes no sense. I sometimes wonder if he might be profoundly brain damaged. There's art featured in Raw Vision that would appear to be the product of clearer faculties than those Liefeld possesses.

Soggy Cheeseburgers (Deric W. Haircare), Sunday, 18 March 2012 17:42 (eight years ago) link

in a weird twist, because it's not as sound as the original, i don't consider it as a bad a rip-off? like, sure, if he was a more competent artist, it would make more sense and be a better "pastiche", but i don't know how much you can criticize poses as swipes

Nhex, Sunday, 18 March 2012 17:59 (eight years ago) link

Like, the least damning thing I can say about it is that it isn't blatantly lightboxed. But it's absolutely a swipe.

Soggy Cheeseburgers (Deric W. Haircare), Sunday, 18 March 2012 18:18 (eight years ago) link

lightly grabbing not-Kraven

eyepatch makes me assume this is Deathstroke or whatever Slade Wilson might be called these days, for some reason dressed as Kraven. (where the reason is probably "Liefeld loves Marvel and is massively uncreative")

typing that first sentence just made me realise: Deadpool aka Wade Wilson is Rob's serial-numbers-filed-off version of Deathstroke aka Slade Wilson, I guess? WTF at a) ripping off a DC character to create a Marvel version, then getting to do the DC character and making him a rip-off of a different Marvel character [!!!?!], and b) one of Marvel's biggest and most profitable over-milked characters of recent years was created as a rip of their competition's IP

I sometimes wonder if he might be profoundly brain damaged.

Aldo reads DC's New 52 (So you don't have to)

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Sunday, 18 March 2012 23:26 (eight years ago) link

Remember that Deathstroke is a rip of Marvel's Taskmaster, whom Perez had helped to create in Avengers not long before starting New Teen Titans.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 19 March 2012 00:05 (eight years ago) link

That depth of Marveliana is a mystery to me. I had a vague idea that Deathstroke might have been inspired by the murder shooty deadliness of the Punisher, though obv wasn't a rip in any further sense

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 19 March 2012 00:49 (eight years ago) link

Taskmaster is an all-time favorite of mine; "photographic reflexes" is one of the best powers ever. Being the Super-Adaptoid of skills instead of powers is a genius concept.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 19 March 2012 00:56 (eight years ago) link

uh, that is not a new superhero series. that is one from 1966, 1981, 1988, and 2003.

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 19 March 2012 01:15 (eight years ago) link

ok to be fair to Mieville, he tells the io9 dude that he is wrong about that, right in the interview, that they still headlined otherwise

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 19 March 2012 01:17 (eight years ago) link

I enjoy that they quote him as saying "ffs"

thomp, Monday, 19 March 2012 02:21 (eight years ago) link

it's still "new" sic. The interviewer is clearly aware of its pedigree

Number None, Monday, 19 March 2012 02:24 (eight years ago) link

Marvel has a sort-of Taskmaster who is female in Echo, now. I think they may have killed her recently? Idk.

That Taskmaster series in the past year was pretty fun.

mh, Monday, 19 March 2012 02:49 (eight years ago) link

the headline is silly, there's nothing at all either weird and new revealed about the mieville iteration of the series in the interview, and mieville consistently a) claims that there isn't and b) refuses to reveal anything about the content anyway. it's straight-up bad 'reporting'.

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 19 March 2012 02:52 (eight years ago) link

eyepatch makes me assume this is Deathstroke or whatever Slade Wilson might be called these days

is that an eyepatch or a shadow (remember, this is a Liefeld drawing)

thuggish ruggish Brahms (DJP), Monday, 19 March 2012 03:03 (eight years ago) link

It could be a foot, for all we know.

Soggy Cheeseburgers (Deric W. Haircare), Monday, 19 March 2012 03:29 (eight years ago) link

it's a Liefeld drawing, the one thing we know for sure is it's NOT a foot

thuggish ruggish Brahms (DJP), Monday, 19 March 2012 03:41 (eight years ago) link

Hmmm. I have to assume, then, that it's a pouch of some kind, given the otherwise troubling dearth thereof.

Soggy Cheeseburgers (Deric W. Haircare), Monday, 19 March 2012 03:48 (eight years ago) link

It's a pouch he keeps his eye in.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 19 March 2012 04:03 (eight years ago) link

wait it's probably not Deathstroke, unless he's been de-aged and gingerised

which is kind of likely now I think about it

Θ ̨Θƪ (sic), Monday, 19 March 2012 04:24 (eight years ago) link


Ok, been away for a couple of weeks (although thankfully one of them was the JL only week) so will try and catch up.

Justice League #6: Unbelievably, Cyborg saves the day for everyone. He has no idea how, and almost does it by accident, mainly because Batman is more of a dad to him than the one that saved his life a few issues ago. Really? That's how you resolve the first plot? When George Bush (which looks nothing like him, and reinforces the point this is supposed to be 5 years ago) calls them the Super-Friends you really wish they stuck with that instead of Justice League. Even the Flash's 'Super Seven' is better, although it does sound like an Enid Blyton title. Five Go Mad on Apokolips? The Pandora backup is pointless rubbish (watch me retract this when it actually develops into a good plot) though. Bring on the next story.

Action #7: There are some things to love about this. Lex's resigned tone when he realises he's been shrunk. The re-appearance of the short man from #1. But there's lots not to like too. Braniac is the internet. The dad dancing of people holding up their iPhones instead of lighters. Solly Fisch gets another paycheck for something GMoz can't be arsed writing. This is better than the last couple of issues but it's treading water badly. You definitely get the impression GMoz just doesn't want to be here - that he lost interest as soon as they asked him to split his story up and write some filler books for his own work - and that's a shame because it should (arguably) be the flagship title of the line and instead isn't any better than some of the mid-level stragglers narrowly avoiding cancellation. I feel let down, but I don't know why I expected any better.

Animal Man #7: Ellen manages to sum up how I begin to feel about this book - "You do realise you're listening to a talking cat, don't you?" Yes, it's an avatar of the Red but, you know, it's still a talking cat that eats cat food. Cliff tries to pick up girls by telling them who his dad is, while under strict instruction not to draw attention to themselves. So Buddy flies him away. Ellen's mum cries because of what she's seen and not because animals are rampaging everywhere, although she'll no doubt find out soon because she's gone off alone in the dark. The Swamp Thing crossover may or may not be taking place over 10 years in the future, which is somewhat confusing. This feels like the last days of the last Animal Man story, when Buddy was a giant bird travelling up and down the West coast of America. I don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I suspect I'll find out soon.

Batgirl #7: Waking up women in the middle of the night for a fight seems to be Babs' new tactic. I'm not sure it works. Still, in this book that a single artist couldn't be bothered finishing it's maybe the most notable thing about it. It's just very average stuff. And then it turns out the villain is a guy Brian Bolland drew 24 years ago in the background. Ho hum.

Batman & Robin #7: Oooh, the cover is dreadful. Anyway, Bats turns up in Boba Fett's Slave 1 and crashes through the roof so we don't have to read through the torture porn we got promised last month. Bats and the bad guy compare daddy issues and then Batman throws him in a vat of acid but NOT TO KILL HIM. We know that because once he pulls him out of the acid, Robin punches him once which kills him. I know, some days you can't do right for doing wrong. Not the best issue of the run so far, but not the worst either.

Batwoman #7: I don't know what's happened, but this has turned into directionless slop. The book takes places in about 5 different timelines which meet up in the last couple of pages and in the meantime there's some not-so-attractive art. I guess I'll stick with it and see if it can recapture the thrill of the first handful but I'm not holding out that much hope. A shame.

Demon Knights #7: A blast, as ever. By the end the Knights have 'won', however, there's nothing much of anything left to win as it's all been burned or killed or raped or magicked away or something. It feels like a Silver Age book at times, and you know what? I'd love to have seen a Kirby version of it. But in the end we only have the version in my very hands and I'm happy enough to have that instead. It's not a big seller though, I suspect so I don't know how much longer it'll be on the shelves.

Detective Comics #7: The Penguin story concludes with a mass of double crosses and explosions. I hope Combustible survives, as I quite like the idea of a giant light bulb in a top hat and bow tie who speaks like he's from the 20s. Snakeskin's powers don't work until he stops betraying the Penguin it appears. Sometimes it's just not your day.

Frankenstein #7: Woohoo! Ray Palmer uses his Atom power in this issue. It's the undoubted highlight, as the remainder is fairly bland base-under-siege fare in need of a bigger plot. Although as the baddie at the end is revealed to be Frankie's son, this may mean slipper-on-backside action next month. And Frankie only wears clumpy boots, so that could be more violent than it sounds. I have no idea why I'm still buying this.

Legion Lost #7: This is the end of the plot according to the final page but I can't really work out what's finished or where or how as it isn't materially different from the issues that have gone before. It's still fun, but in a fans only way and is about to lead into a giant punch-up with Superboy which will either be great or crap. I know which one my money's on.

Red Lanterns #7: Ragey McRage fights Guy Gardner for a bit, then does that acid blood vomit thing and flies off into space. Bleez has taken the Red Lanterns to beat the crap out of what's left of the Sinestro Corps. Atrocitus wanders about in the jungle thinking about a dolly. And then gets stabbed by a corpse just as Ragey McRage shows up. A regular day in Pete Milligan's head then. Still crap.

Stormwatch #7: Um. What? Wordy confusing rubbish. Time to pull it.

Suicide Squad #7: Hooray! Amanda Waller blows the head off a JT Krul creation! Wishful thinking on Adam Glass' behalf? A metaphor for comics readers everywhere? But the rest of the issue... wow. The retelling of Harley and her pudding is cute fun but I don't think any of us saw the end coming. Best thing in this whole pile by a significant margin.

Swamp Thing #7: Maybe that last entry was an overstatement. This pushes it unbelievably close and might actually be better. It's basically and extended lecture to Alec from the Parliament of Trees surrounded by some gorgeous artwork, but Alec's submission to the inevitable and the retribution show this is a keeper. Scott Snyder is writing nearly all the best books in the Johnsiverse. How does this happen? A triumph, whatever.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 18:43 (eight years ago) link

My guess? He writes a high-profile-ish title co-created by Stephen King and thusly probably doesn't have to deal with the level of editorial dipshittery that the flood of departing creators have had to.

Soggy Cheeseburgers (Deric W. Haircare), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 18:56 (eight years ago) link


Batwing #7: As this story comes to an end, I'm actually enjoying it again. It was never strong enough to be title on its own but it's actually been pretty strong and the revelation of the shame of The Kingdom and the subsequent fallout is pretyt rivetting. It doesn't need the whole Batclub, but they're not really in it enough to matter. As a book, a failure, but probably worth getting as a trade for people who do that sort of thing.

Green Arrow #7: What a difference having an actual writer makes. It's still not any good, but it's a step in the right direction. The annoying triplets feels like it's been done lots of times before but is distracting enough, and the jet crash is (I'm sure) supposed to be reminiscent of the original crash in the sea (yes, I know it was a yacht) in the original original origin. Yes, since this is the New DC then sex and lust have to be the trap but I'm sure Anne Nocenti is good enough to shake off the yoke of DiDiopression. Not going to start buying it, but not painful to read any more - although the art is vile.

JLI #7: Aargh. Mid-80s high-emotion people-angst books. "You take care of her, you hear!" "Lots of people lost good people in the bomb. Yours isn't any more special." Anyway, Rocket Red gets all his armour blown off, Ice and Vixen are crippled and Fire is in a coma. Booster and Guy are angry. Booster is so angry about it, he writes about it on his Facespace page. I think I've been in a coma since 1988 and am reading a brand-new, just out book. Help me.

Men of War #7: The first story is like Garth Ennis' War Stories books, only not any good. The second is by JT Krul. A waste of paper.

OMAC #7: And now, in the second last issue, it throws Kamandi into the mix as well. A misunderstood masterpiece, even if it rips off Kirby in EVERY SINGLE PANEL. Another one where people should buy the trade, as the collected edition of this will be an absolute joy.

Static Shock #7: Conversely, there is nothing to enjoy about this at all. Except maybe "Phayze". That's a hip and happening name for a black teenage villain, I imagine. What's that? It isn't? Oh well.

Deathstroke #7: Do you really need me to tell you? Daddy issues and blokes stabbing each other. As entertaining as you'd imagine it is.

Green Lantern #7: Hal doesn't want to be GL any more. Sinestro tries to convince him he should, so Hal responds by becoming GL in protest. Wtf? Anyway, they have to stop the Indigo Tribe (who may be the Guardians' new pet project) and get transported into space, so Carol becomes Star Sapphire again. Plus some other history from Geoff Johns books you've never read or cared about. What I still don't get is how the GLs avoided Flashpoint, since it was supposed to be Barry Allen changing time everywhere although he did for some Lanterns, just not all of them. Editor!

Grifter #7: A long fight between Grifter and Midnighter, interspersed with them spouting more Wildstorms shite to alleviate the FITEING does not make an entertaining book. I can't work out who wins, but Midnighter now seems to have atomic fists.A waste of time.

Mister Terrific #7: Invisible enemies. Again. I swear half the books in the reboot have had invisible foes at some point. I have decided it is just to save ink. There's no other explanation. And there's no explanation for paying money for this book. Bottom of the barrel stuff. Digitus turns up next month, apparently. I bet you can't wait.

Resurrection Man #7: MAKE IT STOP. In this issue, some police find Mitch and he dies. Then, luckily, he gets a power which helps him in the position he's in. Then the issue's over. I think that's explained every issue to date. It's like The Littlest Hobo without the dog.

Superboy #7: No universe punching, just moping round N.O.W.H.E.R.E. fighting jealous sisters. Fairchild is still alive and Wonder Girl turns up at the end, just before Grunge. Yes, it's 1992. Oh boy. This leads into RAVAGERS, apparently, which can't be a good thing.

Hawk & Dove #7: Liefeld, Liefeld and Marat Michaels. Page 3 implies Dawn has no nipples (or only one). I'm going with none, given her dress is sheer enough to show her navel. "Chicken and waffles? My treat?" "See, that's music I can groove to." Oh, and the foot in Hunter's first panel. Hunter's super-long and, apparently, bisected arm in the panel where Hawk attacks him. An Oriental (?) woman with a massive package turns up and explains the plot to the stars. Entertaining for all the wrong reasons, again.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 23:16 (eight years ago) link

And that's me for four weeks. Until then, MAKE MINE MEDIOCRE!

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 23:16 (eight years ago) link


Rob Liefeld is a bit worried about sales on the three books that he is taking over, and ingeniously reviving by combining them into one "cosmic" crossover storyline (shocked, I say shocked, that dude doesn't have three different ideas in his head for these three comics and is going to write them as one).

Despite the best efforts of the creative teams, sales have fallen off a cliff for these books. In May we provide new jumping on points 4 all

Don't worry Rob, you'll probably be made EIC once these flop: HAWKMAN is currently ranked 103rd and DEATHSTROKE 104th, each selling approx 15% of what Batman does. GRIFTER is 126th, selling 12/BatmanX100.

Liefeld's axed HAWK AND DOVE was in 135th, 11% of a Batman.

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 04:39 (eight years ago) link

Still! The dude obviously has a keen plan for how to revitalise HAWKMAN, seven issues after his convoluted history was finally resolved with the refreshing line-wide Nu-52 reboot:

We are streamlining it all ... brand new myth revealed!

What a head-slappingly elegant solution! Except for in 1961, 1985, 1989, 1990, c. 1991, c. 1992, 1994, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2011, no-one has ever thought to reboot Hawkman's continuity in order to smooth out and streamline all the inconsistencies. This bold new 2012 initiative is proof enough of why Rob's creative vision should be part of the cohesive new, well-planned continuity.

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 05:19 (eight years ago) link

BTW: Twitter reveals Rob to be both wildly enthusiastic:,0.576185269854&chl=With|Without&chtt=Percent+of+Tweets+With+Exclamation+Points&chco=0000FF
(image probably won't show - from

and an illiterate doofus unaware that foreign languages are, you know, a "thing":

Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo

I'll be humming that all night. #madmen

Zoo B Zoo B Zoo

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 05:23 (eight years ago) link

I haven't been following the new Wonder Woman series, but according to the reviews Brian Azzarello has decided to deconstruct the Amazons so that they are horrible rapists and murderers? Which, as Kelly Thompson points out here, is kind of a shitty move, considering that WW and the Amazons are one of the few (and probably the most iconic) positive examples of female empowerment in superhero comics. Despite not having liked Azzarello's previous comics (for the exact reason that they felt overtly dark and "edgy") I was considering of giving his WW run a go, but now I'm not so sure if I want to...

Tuomas, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 09:19 (eight years ago) link

Thompson is going off half-cocked. She keeps pointing out in that piece that she doesn't know this, that or the other but decides to rail against it anyways instead of waiting to see where it leads. She also conveniently skips over huge swathes of the Wonder Woman stories (like her origin as a fetish-perv's dream) to fit her own conceptions of the Amazons and what they stand for. She has a point but not as strong or convincingly argued one as she thinks.

If you skip Wonder Woman you're missing one of the few highlights of the new 52. Just remember it's more of a classic Vertigo comic than an 4-color romp.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 12:28 (eight years ago) link

She also conveniently skips over huge swathes of the Wonder Woman stories (like her origin as a fetish-perv's dream) to fit her own conceptions of the Amazons and what they stand for.

TBH though, I think her criticism is based on how the Amazons were presented in the comics that preceded the new reboot, which doesn't seem like a terribly unfair point of comparison. Gail Simone's recent run especially did a nice job of depicting the Amazons as not-perfect, while still keeping the female empowerment aspect.

If you skip Wonder Woman you're missing one of the few highlights of the new 52. Just remember it's more of a classic Vertigo comic than an 4-color romp.

I guess I might still check the new WW out once it gets collected, but IMO if Azzarello wanted to write a Vertigo comic, he should've done a Vertigo comic with original characters. If you get handed an established, iconic character, you have a certain responsibility towards the history of said character, especially if the character is one of the few feminist icons superhero comics have. Like some of the commenters in the Thompson article point out, I don't think that many readers would want to see a Superhero where Ma and Pa Kent turn out to be racist bigots, or a Spider-Man story where Uncle Ben is a pedophile, even if the story itself was good.

But I accept that still particular arc isn't over yet, so maybe the twist will be overturned or something.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 13:09 (eight years ago) link

Anyway, I realize I'm criticizing a comic I haven't read (except for those few pages quoted in the Thompson article), so I'll try to do that before saying anything more on the subject.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 13:24 (eight years ago) link

What part of reboot is beyond people's understanding? It doesn't matter what Simone or Perez or anyone did with any of the characters. This is a new take, freed from the slavish, nonsensical continuity. Those stories still exist, in the same way s&m Wonder Woman does, and nothing Azzarello does will change that fact.

I should have said Vertigo precursor. This in tone is like Animal Man or Swamp Thing or Shade or Sandman of the late 80s (it's unfamiliar take on the familiar owes much Sandman). The Greek myths are nasty, cruel, vicious, capricious, etc., and his Wonder Woman is both of and apart from that world.

I think Thompson is premature in her fear of non-empowerment. This is the story one God has told her, and the Gods have already proven to be duplicitous and false in the comic. Nothing is as it seems, and Wonder Woman's surety in her actions are continually undercut both from within and without.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 13:39 (eight years ago) link

Justice League #7 had a little bit of water-treading but was great; it's kind of fun seeing the DC big guns be mostly abrasive and somewhat annoying to each other.

Also Batman is hilarious.

THIS TRADE SERVES ZERO FOOTBALL PURPOSE (DJP), Tuesday, 27 March 2012 13:42 (eight years ago) link

The presentation iof the Amazons is very consistent with their Greek muth origins, which is all of a piece with the comic as a whole. Works very well, I think, but I have no fondness and little knowledge of earlier versions of Wonder Woman.

Not only dermatologists hate her (James Morrison), Wednesday, 28 March 2012 23:21 (eight years ago) link

Fair enough, but if you read the article I linked to and the comments, the problem many Wonder Woman fans have with the new series is before it, that DC Amazons were not, and have never been, consistent with the Greek myth. They were, essentially, a feminist reinterpretation of a sexist myth. So I can see why changing them so that they are in accordance with the original myth would upset many people, especially those who have found the female empowerment aspect of the DC Amazons appealing.

Tuomas, Thursday, 29 March 2012 08:07 (eight years ago) link

EZ Snappin is right to suggest that WW's status as a feminist icon or whatevs is not straight-forward or unproblematic, and its further complicated by the character being a corporate comic property that can be rewritten or revised in hundreds of different ways, depending on editorial whim, greed, stupidty etc - i mean, is azzarello (a writer i have never ever cared for tbh) 'betraying' THIS entirely legitimate vision/version of WW?:

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 29 March 2012 08:19 (eight years ago) link

Again, that is from decades ago. I assume the critics of Azzarello's series are contrasting it with the more recent, post-Crisis version of Wonder Woman and the Amazons.

Tuomas, Thursday, 29 March 2012 08:24 (eight years ago) link

Also, Egg Fu has nothing to do with the Amazons, which is what the controversy is about.

Tuomas, Thursday, 29 March 2012 08:26 (eight years ago) link

Egg Fu should be in all New 52 titles.

mh, Thursday, 29 March 2012 14:17 (eight years ago) link

ah was just reading about Egg Fu in an old issue of Ambush Bug

You big bully, why are you hitting that little bully? (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 29 March 2012 23:08 (eight years ago) link

egg fu was pretty crazy to see during the 52 series following IC

Nhex, Thursday, 29 March 2012 23:15 (eight years ago) link

I want original-style egg fu

mh, Thursday, 29 March 2012 23:24 (eight years ago) link

Dan DiDio details the projects he's proudest of over his decade at DC. In a shocking twist, they are universally shit*, except for Batman R.I.P., about which he gets almost all facts incorrect. Also, for a writer and editor, he proves himself generally incapable of fact-checking, using punctuation, constructing sentences, or knowing what words mean.

*OK, 52 might not be shit, I only read two issues**. But his account is a pile of lies, so.

** one with Ambush Bug in it when it came out, one that's mainly Batman written by Morrison, later, when trying to read his run properly.

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Thursday, 29 March 2012 23:45 (eight years ago) link

52 is great, shockingly enough. I think the presence of Morrison made everyone else step up their game. That run of DC Morrison stuff from Seven Soldiers through Batman, Inc. is one of my favorite comic runs of all time.

The Itchy And Scratchy Glowbo Blow (Deric W. Haircare), Thursday, 29 March 2012 23:52 (eight years ago) link

btw jeph loeb sucks

mh, Friday, 30 March 2012 02:57 (eight years ago) link

I also heard that water was wet.

The Itchy And Scratchy Glowbo Blow (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 30 March 2012 02:59 (eight years ago) link

I state this only because I was led to believe that he did something notable or somesuch in his Batman writing and then I read it and it was all so incredibly mediocre

mh, Friday, 30 March 2012 13:43 (eight years ago) link

To be perfectly honest, Jeph Loeb's continued career in the comics field is more mystifying to me than Rob Liefeld's. He is the absolute worst, and the fact that he's being pulled back into the Marvel U proper is enough to keep me away from the Marvel U.

Brock Peuchk (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 30 March 2012 13:55 (eight years ago) link

Jeph Loeb writes self-consciously "important" comics that totally suck basically

Number None, Friday, 30 March 2012 13:56 (eight years ago) link

But we already have Mark Waid!

Andrew Farrell, Friday, 30 March 2012 13:56 (eight years ago) link

Did he invent the Hush character? Not completely horrible, but the intro story and every other bit of it is blaaaah.

mh, Friday, 30 March 2012 14:05 (eight years ago) link

i enjoyed Long Halloween and Hush and the first volume of Superman/Batman, but he kinda had a steep drop-off after that

Nhex, Friday, 30 March 2012 15:20 (eight years ago) link

I don't know, Long Halloween or whatever seemed like a really basic intro to all the villain characters with a thin plot. The animated series had deeper plots!

mh, Friday, 30 March 2012 18:22 (eight years ago) link

in some cases yes, but they were really fun reads to me at the time, even if neither story holds up to any level of examination. like a trashy, geeky tv show that keeps you glued in week to week with a convoluted backstory with endless cliffhangers, but is ultimately disposable. also, both those books for me brought me back to reading Batman after many years away from comics, because of their accessibility and familiarity (Year One in the case of the Long Halloween, Jim Lee's art in the case of Hush). I guess no matter how bad his stuff is now, i'm really glad he made those two books.

the problem with Loeb's later stuff is that basically went too far IMO, and by the time he was writing Ultimates I stopped reading... though the little i read of Red Hulk went so far in the crazy/stupid direction, it almost redeemed itself

Nhex, Friday, 30 March 2012 18:42 (eight years ago) link

Ultimates -> Ultimatum are pretty much the worst comics ever

mh, Friday, 30 March 2012 18:43 (eight years ago) link

To be fair, Red Hulk has been perfectly readable since Jeff Parker took over. The only reason to read the issues by Loeb are for the Ed McGuinness art.

The first arc of BATMAN/SUPERMAN was big goofball fun, but I suspect much of that is sheer novelty, as it was pretty unlike most anything DC was putting out at the time. HUSH was a muddled mess, even discounting the editorial interference that rewrote the ending (think it was actually supposed to be Jason Todd underneath it all but that got scotched.) But everyone loved it because it was parade of Bat-rogues as drawn by Jim Lee.

ULTIMATES has been utterly dire, from what I've seen of it.

Matt M., Saturday, 31 March 2012 00:36 (eight years ago) link

Loeb Ultimates is dreadful, Millar Ultimates is BigScreen Fun, which would be a shame if this was all the comics that there ever were, but it isn't.

Andrew Farrell, Saturday, 31 March 2012 07:22 (eight years ago) link

first Millar Ultimates was big screen fun, second one was dire

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Saturday, 31 March 2012 07:54 (eight years ago) link

Remember reading HUSH a couple of years after it first came out, due to all the hype, didn't like it--especially lolworthy was the way that a new mysterious villain is introduced who KNOWS SECRETS ABOUT BATMAN, and at the same time we are suddenly given another brand new character who was Bruce Wayne's best childhood friend, and somehoe it is supposed to be a surprise that the two are really the same guy (gasp!)

Clive Palmer? 'E barely touched 'er! (James Morrison), Sunday, 1 April 2012 07:32 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, I know quite a few lapsed comics readers who got back into reading them via Long Halloween and Hush. I think they're pretty great entry-level books. I'm a sucker for those sprawling crime-saga-y Batman stories, where he's almost a secondary character.

Dark Victory is absolute shite, though.

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 1 April 2012 21:15 (eight years ago) link

yeah, i don't really know what he was doing with that

Nhex, Monday, 2 April 2012 04:55 (eight years ago) link

one of the most disappointing changes in the new 52 was rectified this week in Secret Six when we were shown the secret origin of Deadshot's mustache.

teeny, Saturday, 14 April 2012 21:36 (eight years ago) link

It's Mr Mind balancing on his upper lip?

seven league bootie (James Morrison), Sunday, 15 April 2012 07:59 (eight years ago) link

Superboy punched him in the mouth?

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 15 April 2012 17:26 (eight years ago) link

Latest ACTION was pretty okay, but then I remind myself that I'm paying three bucks for that much comics and then it feels thin.

Matt M., Wednesday, 18 April 2012 16:48 (eight years ago) link

At least this was the first issue in the run that actually had the page count of (Morrison) comics that DC promise at that price.

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Wednesday, 18 April 2012 22:34 (eight years ago) link

"one of the most disappointing changes in the new 52 was rectified this week in Secret Six when we were shown the secret origin of Deadshot's mustache."

I've been avoiding those as I am such a Deadshot fan and really thought he (and really the current Secret Six) were the kind of things that DC needed to showcase instead of trying to change up. Those characters are great. I think Floyd is about my favorite 'non major' super hero/bad guy character. I loved the old 80s Suicide Squad and Simone Secret Six.

earlnash, Thursday, 19 April 2012 04:35 (eight years ago) link

I mean that for real, Floyd is one of my very favorites too and when he appeared clean-shaven in Suicide Squad (not secret six, oops) I was totally mad. But that one is actually a pretty fun title, not quite as good as Ostrander and Simone but it can sit right next to them.

teeny, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:12 (eight years ago) link

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Rags Morales, Rick Bryant, Brent Anderson, Gene Ha, Andy Kubert and Jesse Delperdang

Obviously Kubert isn’t so excited about drawing those two last-minute story-derailing issues that he can do them by himself. This shows amazing confidence that Morales will have his shit together enough to draw #7 and #8 though!

― ٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ (sic), Friday, 11 November 2011 07:58 (5 months ago)

So after two months off and substitute artists drawing half of each of the three issues before that, Rags Morales DID manage to draw 70% of #7! The remaining 8 pages being one of those unwanted, redundant, insulting back-up stories by Sholly Fisch that DC insist count towards the $3.99 = 28ish pp price tag.

In an amazing advance, #8 is the first issue to actually provide A FULL 30 PAGES OF MORRISON SUPERMAN for the $3.99 cover price. However, despite two months off to catch up and never turning in one single full issue to date (and only one, ever, without partial fill-ins to even make it to the should-be-$2.99 page count), Morales needs two CREDITED partial fill-in artists, and what looks like two more uncredited assistants or ghosts to my eye, to get this issue done.

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Sunday, 22 April 2012 14:18 (eight years ago) link

The worst part is that to my eye, Rags Morales just isn't that good an artist. Competent, yes. But nothing to get excited over.

Matt M., Sunday, 22 April 2012 16:13 (eight years ago) link

Barely this side of competent tbh (I've never read anything else by him)

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Sunday, 22 April 2012 23:48 (eight years ago) link

Perhaps Morrison simply isn't writing to Morales' strengths (extremely sad rubber men)


He was very good on Peyer's Hourman. Mind you that was over a decade ago...

And now he's crap.

"Fourvel - it's like Fievel, but one less." (R Baez), Monday, 23 April 2012 00:05 (eight years ago) link

I've never read those HOURMANS. Actually, missed them altogether as I was mostly out of comics then. Should I seek 'em out?

And I'll admit that IDENTITY CRISIS probably ruined me on Rags Morales' art for all eternity.

Matt M., Monday, 23 April 2012 00:50 (eight years ago) link

Seemed to have a better inker for IC, maybe?

The new costume is still godawful. Like worse than electric mullet Superman.

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 23 April 2012 12:52 (eight years ago) link

Why was Superman's costume completely different for two panels in the middle of Action 8? Made no sense. And Batwoman 8 not much chop either. I think I'm off the new 52 now.

seven league bootie (James Morrison), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 00:29 (eight years ago) link

Superman's costume actually changed several times during that issue, as far as I could tell one time was for a story reason, the others might have been because of all the different artists or might have been for a story reason, who on earth can be expected to know

has replacement artist been announced for Batwoman yet? I can't imagine it won't be a shambles on the short notice

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 01:02 (eight years ago) link

I just assumed it was the mescaline kicking in for me, but yeah, there were costume changes that I suppose might be explained by something else. Maybe.

Matt M., Tuesday, 24 April 2012 02:56 (eight years ago) link

When he gets knocked against Kandor it changes into a Jim-Lee-ised Silver Age Jor-El style

later on his normal Jim Lee style changes pattern and gets red piping on the collar and whatnot

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 03:41 (eight years ago) link

but why?

seven league bootie (James Morrison), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 07:30 (eight years ago) link

i'm no longer reading any of the new 52. i keep thinking about picking up issues of superman and animal man, but...

THE KITTEN TYPE (contenderizer), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:49 (eight years ago) link

I... am still getting Grifter, Voodoo, JLDark and JL

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:54 (eight years ago) link

I like the Batman thing with the owls

mh, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 19:57 (eight years ago) link

I am about to restart on this btw - probably the weekend when things will start going up.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:17 (eight years ago) link

is there any noise about scrapping this abomination yet? is it still actually selling?

"in this super-sexy postracial age" (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:18 (eight years ago) link

what would they publish if they scrap what is, now that Batman: Odyssey is done, 100% of their core line?

(The tops are still selling a little higher than the reboot, the bottoms are selling as low as before)

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 22:38 (eight years ago) link

"What do we do if this goes tits-up?" is a key question that, by all rights, should have been bandied about in the halls of DC editorial before they undertook this gargantuan overhaul, but something tells me that they don't and never did have an exit strategy.

Dr. Buzzard's® Original Banana Bread (Deric W. Haircare), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 23:22 (eight years ago) link

plan b is was and always has been CALL JOHN BYRNE

"in this super-sexy postracial age" (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 26 April 2012 00:24 (eight years ago) link


mh, Thursday, 26 April 2012 00:39 (eight years ago) link

so mad I can't find a photo of the special elevated chair Byrne uses at signings to place him higher than other artists, right now

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Thursday, 26 April 2012 02:03 (eight years ago) link

I thought he didn't go to shows anymore.

That pic did give me cause to bust out laughing for a moment, though. The other one, even moreso.

Matt M., Thursday, 26 April 2012 02:54 (eight years ago) link

used, then, your strange North American world is basically permanently '80s to me

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Thursday, 26 April 2012 04:02 (eight years ago) link

Surely we are discussing Plan C, where Plan B is All Liefeld All The Time?

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 26 April 2012 06:22 (eight years ago) link

He's the ginger Kevin Smith!

If it was permanently 80s, then Spacemen 3 might still be together, which would be weird.

Though I did see JB once at a show in 1988 or 1989. I've told the story here before, about the moment that I lost all respect for him. Will tell it again if needed.

Matt M., Thursday, 26 April 2012 13:36 (eight years ago) link

go for it

Number None, Thursday, 26 April 2012 13:37 (eight years ago) link

reprint stamp?

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Thursday, 26 April 2012 13:42 (eight years ago) link


"in this super-sexy postracial age" (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 26 April 2012 14:52 (eight years ago) link

Not the reprint stamp.

JB would hold court at his table (with a normal-size chair), draw a sketch and hold it up for the clutch of fanboys hovering around. Then he would hold an auction right then and there amongst the gathered fans.

That same show, a friend got a fully inked sketch of the Joker by Bill Sienkiewicz for like ten bucks.

I still enjoy JB's FANTASTIC FOUR run and his UNCANNY, but lost a whole ton of respect for him at that moment.

Matt M., Thursday, 26 April 2012 16:17 (eight years ago) link

Ha, that IS dickish!

"in this super-sexy postracial age" (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 26 April 2012 17:40 (eight years ago) link


Matt M., Thursday, 26 April 2012 17:48 (eight years ago) link

I swear I heard a similar story that involved Byrne dashing off a sketch at the request of some young kid, and then auctioning off the sketch while the kid was still standing there. Now, that's dickish.

Pheeel, Thursday, 26 April 2012 19:21 (eight years ago) link


Matt M., Thursday, 26 April 2012 20:39 (eight years ago) link

Current state of my 52 reading:

Still actually reading and enjoying: Batman

Might catch up on the trades: Swamp Thing/Demon Knights/Wonder Woman

T0rrenting for trainwreck curiosity: Justice League

Dropped: Batwoman

Being sad about: Action Comics

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 27 April 2012 12:11 (eight years ago) link


All Star Western #7: Fairly standard Hex fare. We're still in Arkham and Hex is now undercover in a street fighting arena. There's a couple of fights and a bit of plot development. It's good stuff, but not groundbreaking. The backup is potentially good stuff, but in an attempt to hammer in a BLACK PEOPLE ARE ALL ATHEIST GENII message we find that the captain of a whaler owns either one of the first 3500 British copies of On The Origin Of Species or one of the first 500 American copies. Not impossible I suppose, but not very likely either and if I can look up publication dates on Wikipedia then so can you. But then this is a thing for me, people being lazy while writing. You chose to put the detail in, it could at least be right.

Aquaman #7: Um. Yeah. Black Manta appears and kills some woman - this is all connected to the doctor Aquaman was taking the piss out of a couple of issues ago. Some woman with a big cat pops out of a wormhole and attacks everybody but they might be all mates at the end. I'm sure it'll make sense eventually.

Batman #7: OK, this is big. Batman escapes and we find out the truth about the Court of Owls, or at least the amount we're supposed to know at the moment. Dick makes this very point in the comic, that we're being deliberately drip-fed info to keep us sucked in but the things which we don't know yet (but Bats does) is REALLY IMPORTANT but it's being kept from us. Seriously, everybody should be picking up the trades of this.

Batman The Dark Knight #7: David Finch needs to learn what "final" means. He must have time to read a dictionary, given how little he does on his own book now, so we should tell him to. BATMANG EVEN ADMITS THIS TOO FLASH THAT IT'S WRONG. Anyway, Bane goes for a swim and White Rabbit may well be Bruce's girlfriend, even though he seems to have dumped her. This started well and got worse every issue, truth to tell. Does that mean Finch is actually better than we thought? The more of him in it, the more readable it is. A conundrum for our times.

DCU Presents The Challs #7: Unreadable DiDio nonsense. The guy from last month that dided is alive again, the Challs go off to find some stuff from their brand new SECRET BILLION POUND BASE, some statues come to life and the dead guy kills some people. As you were.

Flash #7: Does nobody have powers under control in this book? Captain Cold's go wrong and Flash's go wrong AGAIN, this time sucking Iris through a wormhole. To get her back we break out the COSMIC TREADMILL. FUCK YEAH. And Gorilla City gets introduced too? In addition to the basic quality of the book, which is high, we're getting Flash Fanboy 101 to boot. Awesome.

I, Vampire #7: Takes place after JLD #7. Reads JLD #7. Reads I, V #7. Is none the wiser. This is very pretty but I can't make head nor tail of it. When the titular hero died he may or not have been reborn as Cain who has started the Vampire Apocalypse. Which is too powerful for all the magic heroes we know about in the Johnsiverse but is being held at bay by Batman and Batgirl. I think. It continues in both #8s anyway. It might make sense later.

Justice League #7: Train wreck. The Shazam backup/teaser is better. But they're both Ultimate Johns Sadface.

Justice League Dark #7: More coherent than I, Vampire but this may just be because the plot almost makes a little sense. They all hate each other, and all of them are crap in their own way. They all end up in different parts of the afterlife at the end. Unfortunately I doubt they'll stay there.

LoSH #7: The lustre is wearing off, if I'm honest. A flipper.

Nightwing #7: So, everything from the earlier issues is now shown to be a lead into the end of Batman #7. I can get with that, and it's well written stuff. This has been worthwhile up till now but I think I'll have had enough after the Owls crossover event.

Supergirl #7: The fight from the last issue sort of peters out into nothing. Now there's a metaphor for this book.

Superman #7: Bored with this. Helspont out of Wildstorm and previous issues of Stormwatch is the bad guy. It looks like they're building to Krypton being a Daemonite outpost, but I don't care to be honest.

Wonder Woman #7: Diana realises she gets things wrong sometimes. This maintains the high standard of previous issues but is moving kind of slowly. It's always a beacon this late in the reading list though, so I need to stick with it regardless or it'll just be depressingly awful.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 12:55 (eight years ago) link

Birds of Prey #7: Do you ever have one of those days? When you cut a man's head off with the sword your dead husband lives in, only for it to turn out you've killed the wrong guy? Exactly. Not that thrilling.

Blue Beetle #7: I have a nagging suspicion this is getting better, but incrementally and it's nigh impossible to tell. It just isn't doing anything that isn't being done 1000x better in Ultimate Spider-Man, for example. I think it should just try and work out what it wants to be and stick with it,which it seems unable to do, and accept that noboby really likes it. It's no wonder this and Captain Atom are the lowest sellers not cancelled.

And speaking of which... Captain Atom #7: A new backstory for a character we don't care about, written by a guy who makes Liefeld look like a genius, which ends with Captain Atom having a crying wank outside a restaurant while the girl he fancies (who he nearly burned to death the other issue, mind) goes on a date. And then an alium comes out of him and wants to have a philosophical chat. Written like that I almost wish I had read it.

Catwoman #7: This is just sort of a nothing book with no plot. Catwoman is stealing cars for a living, she has a snarky fence and a new car thief boyfriend. Her boobs look weird. I don't get why anyone would buy it.

GLC #7: It feels like an obvious trope as there must have been any number of "returning a dead Lantern to his family" issues before, and this is utterly treading water. Oddly, I don't remember the actual plot finishing and I don't think it has, even though Guy Gardner is getting told off for it. I struggled to stay awake while reading this.

Red Hood #7: I thought I liked this. I'm not so sure - there's a fight inside a plane with the ghost of a cavewoman made from smoke and Jason Todd is WAY more complicated than any of us ever thought. I think the simple answer is that it's about in the middle, quality wise. That makes it better than AT LEAST 20 other books DC publish in the Johnsiverse, which is a much worse looking stat than I thought it would be.

Blackhawks #7: ????? I read this and didn't understand a word. A plane crashes into a building two thirds of the way through. I say building, I mean a room in an underground base which it gets directly into. That's a big ventilation shaft. Thank G_d that's nearly over.

GL New Guardians #7: AND IT WAS A DOUBLE TREBLE QUADRUPLE BLUFF BY LARFLEEZE ALL ALONG FEATURING A GENETICALLY MODIFIED DUPLICATE VEGA SYSTEM. I can't believe I didn't spot that. (By the way, Larfleeze is now the worstest baddest GL enemy ever from the dawn of time etc, just like all the previous ones.) It's also revealed the Omega Men aren't in the Johnsiverse. ;_; All of Red Lanterns happened between the last issue of this and the current one, which is maybe the best fate for it. OH NOES KYLE RAYNER HAS TO KILL LARFLEEZE TO LIVE WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?

Teen Titans #7: Much as I'm glad at the reveal that it actually is Danny The Street that's joined the Titans, and Kid Flash is still brilliant, this is going in circles. Month on month the bad guy is revealed to be controlled by the next level bad guy and this issue is no exception. I enjoy this as much as Red Hood. With all that entails.

Savage Hawkman #7: The Gentleman Ghost starts the zombie apocalypse to make himself whole again, and is beaten by a zombie in the process. Static shows up for no reason. Hawkman dumps teh ULTIMATE WEAPON where nobody will find (at the top of a mountain). I SMELL A PLOT POINT. He fights a shape-shifter in the next issue, which might be when Liefeld gets on board. The first thing she'll shift is her feet, I bet.

Firestorm #7: Jason is tortured when he sees his parents and has a little cry. Ronnie is tortured when he sees some Quraqis and has a little arm when they cut his hand off. Hardly seems like a fair deal. This is still so 80s it's ridiculous, and has yet one more new super Firestorm-a-like. I think they've introduced something like 10 now. Let's have a Liefeldening!

Voodoo #7: Huh? Was fun though, almost.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 14:38 (eight years ago) link

Action #8: Off the bus, I think. GMoz wraps the story in a couple of pages but pads heavily with the sort of will-he-won't-he challenge of a hero stuff he's done too many times before (it feels like). And the less said about the violent change in artist for the last half dozen pages the better. Tepid.

All Star Western #8: Bless. Hex, Nighthawk and Cinnamon are off fighting the anarchists so Arkham does what all doctors should - he gets stoned off his tits on opium then arrested. It's all part of a complicated double cross that looks to see our heroes blown up next month anyway, but I'm more concerned about the guy whose mother Arkham doesn't slag off in prison - what happened to him? Backup is irrelevant again, sadly.

Animal Man #8: I hate the artwork all the way through this as blackens my mood as I try and read it. Maxine learns how to control her powers and Buddy forgets that birds fly and ends up pecked to death. This is leading into a crossover where you have to buy annuals and Frankenstein. It makes you wonder where they would have taken the plot if it had been cancelled, really. I'm getting kind of sick of the race to cross everything over as early as possible and would like to see some plot development in isolation.

Aquaman #8: Marital strife as Mera finds out about the super-team Arthur was in behind her back with the woman from the last issue and her big cat. We get a flashback to them being heroic at the same time as Arthur was already in the Justice League - WHAT DO YOU MEAN I WASN'T SUPPOSED TO TAKE YOUR CONTINUITY SERIOUSLY? Like Aquaman, this is middle of the road and vaguely good.

Batgirl #8: So it turns out the bad guy's is one of the henchmen present when the Joker shot Babs. OH WAIT IS THIS MAYBE GAIL SIMONE'S WHOLE PLOT? Mummy Babs gets the blame for everybody James has killed since he was a child. CLANG! Who turns up on the last page to lead into the Owl saga? It's almost like this writes itself.

Batman #8:

Great stuff.

Batman & Robin #8: 20 pages of DADDY ISSUES. Not really what I want from this book.

Batman the Dark Knight #8: David Finch content = the cover, which is at least partially related to the contents. A solid enough minor Batbook but nothing better. Would rather not have paid for it to be honest.

Batwing #8: So, the primary bad guy turns out to be Batwang's mate back from they were child soldiers but in charge is a guy who runs child soldier armies called Kone. HOLY HAM-FISTED CURRENT AFFAIRS! There's no way this will make it beyond the Owls. What was I saying earlier about cancellations?

Batwoman #8: Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I think we know what that means about the writing.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:51 (eight years ago) link

Aldo, you are a prince among men. These reviews have made my day.

seven league bootie (James Morrison), Thursday, 3 May 2012 00:15 (eight years ago) link

I hate the artwork all the way through this as blackens my mood as I try and read it.

you're still not telling us who does the art or writing on any of these!

Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I think we know what that means about the writing.

idk I really like the [IDEA of] multiple overlapping flashbacks of different characters all coming to the "present" at different speeds, but the art makes it painful to be able to figure out if it's ~working~ or not. still no idea who's taking over for the second half of the storyline, so I know whether to brace myself for the same awful 90s inking.

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Thursday, 3 May 2012 00:28 (eight years ago) link

I started listing them but I've been finding it enough typing as it is and with the amount of artistic changes in most of the issues I'd have to put more thought into it than the editorial team.

For Animal Man it's really pages 1-5 I dislike the most, which are by "long-term" AM artist Travel Foreman. Particularly Buddy in the trailer - I don't know what he's trying to get across but it absolutely doesn't work. Steve Pugh does the remaining pages and they're better but I'm not that sold on the layouts or the shading.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Thursday, 3 May 2012 09:09 (eight years ago) link

I think I can sum up my feelings about the new 52 with the following statement:

I keep forgetting that Suicide Squad, my favorite book of the ones I'm reading, exists.

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Thursday, 3 May 2012 13:19 (eight years ago) link

I read a few issues of Animal Man and thought they were pretty good! Is it still decent?

mh, Thursday, 3 May 2012 14:50 (eight years ago) link

I mean, outside of the crossover shit which sounds horrible. Has he met up with Swamp Thing yet?

mh, Thursday, 3 May 2012 14:50 (eight years ago) link

What's the appeal of Suicide Squad exactly? I see you and Aldo have been repping for it, but I think I'm missing something. (I don't like missing things.)

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 3 May 2012 14:53 (eight years ago) link

Shark kill

The world is your urinal. (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 3 May 2012 14:55 (eight years ago) link

I'd buy every issue of SUICIDE SQUAD if I knew they were killing them all by issue #12 only to bring in a new team.

WONDER WOMAN is actually pretty good, but I think that's because of Cliff Chiang far more than Azzarello. It reads kinda like SANDMAN minus the Byron and (Robert) Smith. Otherwise, I'm really not into the reboot stuff at all.

Matt M., Thursday, 3 May 2012 15:18 (eight years ago) link

I enjoy the random mayhem of Suicide Squad. The palpable distrust amongst the various team members and the things they are being put through make for a relatively enjoyable read. Also, as Matt hints, aside from two or three characters there's definitely a sense that the team members are expendable and I enjoy reading to see which one is going to get brutally killed this week.

Also, King Shark is really funny to me.

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Thursday, 3 May 2012 15:34 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, what Dan says. The Deadshot/Harley dynamic has been great fun too.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Thursday, 3 May 2012 16:19 (eight years ago) link

DCU Presents the Challs #8: Jerry Ordway's art looks like an inferior Chris Weston. That feels intrinsically wrong to say, doesn't it? Heretical, almost? So, this starts with one of them being sucked through a historical monument which lets them emote for the purposes of televisual entertainment for a bit. They then sit down and have an omelette and have a chat with a guy who is obviously an evil duplicate sent to steal the talismans (talismen?). I KNEW IT, IT'S DEAD/NOT DEAD HALF FACE MISSING GUY FROM THE OTHER ISSUE. He kills one, is destroyed (luckily) by the power and then, just like that, the series finishes with no real explanation or wrap-up of the storyline. Utterly appalling storytelling, and a wasted opportunity.

Demon Knights #8: The title of this books was misused for Daemonites in another book this month. COULD THIS BE A HINT OR JUST A CRAPPY INJOKE? I can't tell any more. Anyhoo, we begin with a debate about the nature of the DC Universe, or how everybody present can know a different Camelot and not have seen each other in it. We then have a Jason Blood origin story and it turns out Merlin bonded him to Etrigan after two different objects of his affections (Jason and Madame Xanadu) fell for each other. I can go for the idea of him doing it in some kind of hissy fit to be honest, it always seemed like a dick move to me. Etrigan turns out to be a dick because he wants to make the beast with two backs (one scaly, one not) with her too and so burns a village down. Just your run of the mill day.

Detective Comics #8: Batman behaves quite differently to Catwoman that he does is some of the other reboot books, I'll tell you that for nothing. To be fair, the comic even acknowledges this in itself, which is kind of an odd state of affairs. Scarecrow sends Batman off to save Alfred E Neumann but STUPID BATTY MAN it's all a con. D'oh! Good stuff though, and I'm entertained all the way.

Flash #8: SPEED FORCE EXPLAINED! FUNERAL THAT SLAGS OFF GREEN LANTERN! TRYING TO BREAK THROUGH TIME! THE RISE OF GRODD! LOTS OF OTHER THINGS THAT MAKE ME SPEAK IN ALL CAPS! I'm tempted to say this has gradually become my favourite book of the 52. As thrill-powered as it gets.

Frankenstein #8: Franky Baby goes on the rampage back to his spiritual home and is killed by his mum, having been previously killed by his dad. Franky Lady leaves the BPRD and Ranky decides he has to stay with them because he needs to wash the grren stuff off his hands and they have the only hot water in Europe. Franky Writer congratulates himself about how great he is, despite everything in this being ripped off something else - there's a "KILL" "KILL" repeat that eventaully becomes "KILL ME" which Alan Moore did in Miracleman, I think, and various others have done in other places. The nicest thing I can think of to say about it is it's quicker to read than all the things it's stolen from but it's also less fun.

Justice League Dark #8: The "Crystal One" who is the "Power Master" decides to stop being neutral in letting the bad guy take all the magic energy by farting a tornado into Gotham which has... erm.. no effect whatsoever except allow for a Batman panel. Shade gets eaten by the M-Vest and ends up permanently in the Area of Madness (but Kathy's there, so he doesn't have to get the vest to magic her up when he wants a shag). There's lots of running away. Then, amongst all the vampires, a vampire turns up...

I, Vampire #8: and completes the crossover plot before page 3 is over. Then erases it all from history. So, 2 months well spent then. I think there are more adverts in this book than any other I've ever read.

Justice League #8: Steve Trevor tries to put Green Arrow on the team but Aquaman is so traumatised by JT Krul's run on the book he says no. In the backup, Billy Batson goes to live with the Legion of Substitute Heroes and drinks some hot chocolate. I bet that gets you dying to read it, huh?

LoSH #8: Two short stories, one which teases the return of the Fatal Five and one which is a typical Legion backup story. We're back again at pandering to Legion fanboys I'm afraid but during this slog through things I can't be arsed about this pushes my buttons.

Legion Lost #8: Oh great, a prequel to a crossover. At the very beginning and the very end we get stuff on a guy called Harvest who steals our heroes at the end to take them to N.O.W.H.E.R.E. The rest of it is pretty good fluff, I suppose. If it wasn't for the characters in this I wouldn't care for the book at all, I suspect.

Nightwing #8: Another prequel crossover! But to a good one! And a pretty great issue. Backstory about Gotham, Owls and eye stabbings. Woohoo! I'm kind of surprised how much I like this book to be honest but more than happy to still be on board.

OMAC #8: THE SHOCKING END NOBODY SAW COMING! Well, apart from anyone watching sales figures. This series has been an absolute Kirby Blast, and this issue is absolutely no exception. Worth it for the panel where OMAC and Maxwell Lord fall out of Abraham Lincoln's nose alone. I have loved this, really. A shame there were so few agreed.

Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Thursday, 3 May 2012 20:38 (eight years ago) link

Red Lanterns #8: I love it when people explain exactly what they're doing, even to the point where they speak out loud their inner thoughts, despite them being the only person there. That's quality storytelling and always makes me want to read further. Humans are the most intelligent species in the universe because they have brains that evolved over millions of years. That's another good one. Crossovers into GL, GLC, Stormwatch too, which always works. Thankfully the blurb implies the next issue is the last. Unfortunately I suspect they're lying.

Stormwatch #8: Not Batman gets all flustered when a small child tells him she knows he'd like to suck off Not Superman, then the Engineer tells sexy love times stories to a generator and offers to show the child a puppy as a treat. Not Batman then leaves her in an alium stomach, in another dimension, as punishment for helping him get Not Superman back to make kissyface at. She brings herself back anyway to piss him off. This helps beat some space baddies who killed off the Daeomonites (despite them being alive in not only this book but half the others) according to J'onn J'onnz. I suspect he just hasn't read enough Wildstorm books. I wish I was him.

Suicide Squad #8: THE SECRET ORIGIN OF DEADSHOT'S MOUSTACHE! Apart from this, it's a framing story of individual members of the Squad to give us the next mystery. Who is the plant out to kill The Wall for The Basilisk? A break from the carnage Dan refers to upthread but still a great book. Even if it looks like there's a Resurrection Man crossover imminent.

Supergirl #8: Kara meets a friend, because The Aul' Country is identical to Krypton. They hide out in a really obscure location - The Flatiron Building (or whatever the DC equivalent is called, but I have a sneaking feeling it was established earlier that Supergirl takes place in New York - Titans is there so we know it exists in the DCU). They then go to Queens, just passed the Daily Planet building. Which is is Downtown Metropolis. They then go to another part of Queens, which Times Square is in, because she's got a "buzz" about her being the top Celtic Songstress in indie coffee shops. My head hurts. It turns out she's the Byrne-era villainess Silver Banshee, because she can sing and it turns out her "Da" (see, that proves she's Irish, obviously) is the Black Banshee. I hope you're keeping up with this.

Superman #8: Helspont is the baddie from "For The Man Who Has Everything". Basically. Hooray for Dan Jurgens' reading abilities.

Swamp Thing #8: I'll have to be honest. This is mainly splash pages or gorgeous Yanick Paquette art. But there's enough plot to carry it, just, as Alec accepts what he is not and fights the Rot to get Abby back. The last few pages seem to imply this isn't possible but then it looks like we go into a different crossover next month and leave this plot alone? I'm, not for the first time, baffled by DC's editorial decisions.

Wonder Woman #8: A Diana armed to the teeth goes to the Underworld, which is now London as imagined by Dante. It turns out she might have underestimated the strength of her bracelets, although it may just all be down to the magic. Great stuff.

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Friday, 4 May 2012 11:40 (eight years ago) link

Green Arrow #8: So it looks like the triplets from the last issue are a genetic experiment by a guy who looks like a Frost Giant, while GA beats up the Wuffa Wuffa Guy. I suspect he'll be back and save the day. By breaking Ann Nocenti's fingers so she can't write this any more. She's barely a step up from JT Krul (but obviously she is, nobody else is that bad). I can't imagine who is buying this.

Hawk & Dove #8: Liefeld obviously had lots of plans for this before cancellation, because this issue has more plot than maybe all the other issues put together. The strain of this, however, has told on him because despite the presence of top Liefeld-swiper Marat Michaels to help him out on pencilling and TWO Liefeld-sympathetic (because it still looks like he did it himself) inkers it's still exceptionally sparse in terms of visual content. Most panels don't have backgrounds to them, and there are less teeth than normal. Anyway, dragons and snakes versus birds is the oldest space conflict known to the universe and it plays out in a cave with swords and ninjas. The bad guy runs away. Dove says "So that's it?" It certainly seems to be. And not before time. Even watching in from a car crash perspective was only fun for the first couple of issues to be honest, there's only so much Liefeld I can take.

JLI #8: Batwing teams up and arguably makes the issue worse. He only gets about 10 words in the whole issue though, mainly when Batman lets him speak. Then, fresh from cancellation, OMAC turns up to SMASH. A waste of paper, and also was the first time it was written in about 1988.

Men of War #8: Featuring only Frankenstein content, so I'm not really sure what it has to do with this book. This issue is Lobster Johnson to Frankie's own BPRD, really. Is that the ultimate ignominy, not even being allowed to see out your own book? I actually quite enjoy this, mainly because it's not only better than MoW, it's also better than the Frankie book. Jeff Lemire should take this route over there instead.

Static Shock #8: I know, let's see out the series with a Secret Origin and a recap of the previous issues. DC really didn't think this through, did they? Why would anyone buy this issue?

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Friday, 4 May 2012 14:11 (eight years ago) link

re: the Suicide Squad mole, the only thing we know for sure is that it isn't Harley (man hands) and it isn't King Shark (hairy man hands)

It would be a bummer if it ended up being Deadshot, so I'm betting on Black Spider. Although lol if it was Voltaic!

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Friday, 4 May 2012 14:31 (eight years ago) link

Deathstroke #8: Is this over? I hope so. 20 pages of daddy issues (with both Deathstoke's dad and son) is not what's expected in a KILL KILL MAIM KILL REND TEAR KILL comic, and the writing is as good as you'd expect from someone only capable of doing a KILL KILL MAIM KILL REND TEAR KILL comic. Dreadful.

Green Lantern #8: "NOK." See? I can speak Johnsian. This summarises Brightest Day & Blackest Night in about 5 pages then tries one of the oldest scifi plot holes in the book - the self charging and sustaining energy source. Johns works round it well for the first page or so (where he draws attention to it) then forgets it exists in case it gets in the way of the plot. Once Abin Sur says NOK I'm about ready to leave. Thankfully I only had Sinestro saying NOK to read before I was done. Who actually likes this?

Grifter #8: ??? Unreadable. Grifter and his brother, both of whom are possessed by Daemonites at points talk face to face and disembodied at varying times on top of the Eiffel Tower preparing for the "fight to the death" promised on the cover, before Grifter decides he can't be arsed with it and throws himself off the top. I feel like doing that too, only I wouldn't skid down the side in dress shoes shooting guns like he does. Next issue features Chesire, which presumably means a Red Hood crossover - assuming she has a kid with Roy in the Johnsiverse. Who can tell.

Mister Terrific #8: I refuse to believe all Mister Terrific's software is written in COBOL. NO WAY PEDRO. He talks the Blackhawks out of shooting him, gets thanked by the only other black woman in Los Angeles (except his girlfriend) then relieves the misery by making a multi-dimensional tube that takes him to Earth-2. So we're not done with him yet, unfortunately. This really has been a shockingly bad series. It being accepted as a pitch at all is the most baffling thing about it for me.

Resurrection Man #8: A private dick with mental powers tries to take Mitch down but falls in wub a bit, then a fat guy who steals lives turns up to steal his lives but is killed by them, then the Suicide Squad turn up and shoot him. Haven't we been round this buoy before, except without the Squad? Tiresome stuff.

Superboy #8: "NOBODY TREATS GRUNGE LIKE A JOKE!" Tell that to Blind Melon. I think I've got in the swing of this now, as long as I assume it's doing exactly the same things as the Titans book. When is watching people rip out surgical implants with their mind NOT fun,eh? Still, let's close out with some Legionnaires we haven't seen yet to make people come back. I'll fall for it, I guess.

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Friday, 4 May 2012 15:15 (eight years ago) link

I'm pretty sure it can't be Deadshot in SS, I think you're supposed to think it is for the eventual revelation, but Floyd's the only thing they've got which looks like a core character except The Wall. I know it's not really supposed to have one, but I think it needs one.

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Friday, 4 May 2012 15:17 (eight years ago) link

re: Grifter #8, I thought it was more boring than unreadable, which is bad news for an issue that is entirely devoted to the lead character shooting the fuck out of things

this book also seems to be taking the "let's see how many women close to the lead character we can kill to give him angst" idea a little too seriously

xp: maybe it's Captain Boomerang!

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Friday, 4 May 2012 15:19 (eight years ago) link

So Mr. Terrible is going to be the one in the Huntress' Earth 2 backstory? Oh fuck that shit. I was hoping Earth 2 Mr. Terrible wasn't a tosser. No such luck.

EZ Snappin, Friday, 4 May 2012 15:21 (eight years ago) link

I have in my head Captain Boomerang has already been in one of the other 52 but is too much of a psycho in the Johnsiverse. I could be making that up though.

Boring and unreadble were sort of a toss-up for which was dominant.

(btw DP, are we discussing this in person in a couple of weeks? See Boston thread)

I hate Mr. Terrible so much. Really.

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Friday, 4 May 2012 15:28 (eight years ago) link

Birds of Prey #8: EVERYONE ALMOST DIES! But nobody does! Except Dinah's husband of three years ago, that is. Wait, what? Everything you know is wrong or something. Starling is walking around hacking into computers with a knife until a spy's talking groin shows her on an iPad why people are trying to blow up Black Canary. Katana fights a man in a loincloth with impervious skin. I AM NOT ON DRUGS.

Blue Beetle #8: So, it turns out Stopwatch's secret origin is, in fact, pretty much the same as Iron Man's only involving a time machine instead of an energy device. Yet only being a poor scientist and not a millionaire playboy, he uses it for bad instead of good. Iron Man wants our hero to help him, but he sets fire to an orphanage instead. This probably isn't good for him, because he's already had a video of how crap he is on Failblog. Then Kyle Rayner, Bleez and Globulus show up. I wonder where exactly in either Red Lantern or GL:NG chronolgy this falls then? I guess we'll find out next month, although I thought this was one of the cancelled books to be honest.

Captain Atom #8: Cap gets sucked into the timestream. Can you guess what it looks like? If you said some kind of body of water then give yourself a contract with DC! In other "I thought that was the last issue of this shit" news, next month seems to feature some other magic woman and possibly the fight between Cap and his mentor who has now left his wheelchair to be a bad guy in a giant robotic suit. Although none of this matters, since the Earth is destroyed 20 years later. If only we knew later than when.

Catwoman #8: The 'getting out of the pool' panel on the first page is maybe the weirdest one yet printed in this strip. That's some claim. Worse than Batsex. Worse than knees bending the wrong way. Worse than feet being on the wrong legs. Some daggers get stolen by Catwoman and her toyboy before they realise the Penguin has the missing one (for "obvious" reasons that aren't explained). We're then treated to a series of pages that have already been published somewhere else (Batgirl?) before we cut to Owls. This is going to be the worst book that's part of Owls. And I don't believe for a minute they're going to kill the Penguin off either.

Green Lantern Corps #8: OH GOOD A NEW SUPER-POWERFUL GL CORPS THING. The Alpha Corps appear to have made themselves into constructs from a ring source that doesn't exist yet, and swear allegiance to a battery they haven't yet created. I was right though, the plot from the first issues did finish without me noticing. Now everyone is tied up trying to bury the power battery of the Sinestro Corps on Oa, because having it on Oa is really dangerous. TOP PLAN.

Red Hood #8: This reminds me more than anything else of Mojo Mayhem. Which is no bad thing. Jason shoots a fat woman in the face after she throws herself down a liftshaft at him. She did try and blow up a children's hospital to get him to the bottom the lift, mind. Tim Drake invites Jason for breakfast and he agrees to save Mister Freeze from Owls. Yay!

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Friday, 4 May 2012 16:41 (eight years ago) link

(I will be jetlagged but I plan to make an appearance; it really depends on whether my wife has already made plans for us or not)

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Friday, 4 May 2012 16:43 (eight years ago) link

(Yay! There is a whole weekend to choose from at the moment, I will try and get some decisions made over the next week as to location etc)

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Friday, 4 May 2012 16:52 (eight years ago) link

lol at tell that to blind melon

(Name Withheld to Avoid Hassle) (forksclovetofu), Friday, 4 May 2012 17:02 (eight years ago) link

Blackhawks #8: I like that they've specially coloured some pages for the people complaining about Flex Mentallo. There's a misguided end to this that suggests it'll be back. It won't.

Green Lantern: New Guardians #8: Everybody goes home to charge up their rings where they get up to speed with GL continuity. Arkillo makes Guy Gardner look like even more of a dick than he is, and he isn't even in this comic. This is probably the best GL book, still, but that isn't saying much.

Teen Titans #8: Omen makes them all expose themselves to the rest. (Not a joke, actually the dialogue.) Amanda Waller turns up just after 3 issues ago and decides she doesn't fancy it much, so leaves. We get near confirmation Kid Flash is tapping into the same Speed Force as Flash. This runs straight into The Culling which will hopefully make sense. I enjoy this book despite everything.

Firestorm #8: I don't enjoy this book despite everything. Actually, only despite my irrational attachment to the Jon Ostrander series, because that's pretty much the only thing that could give anybody any reason to like this. I KNOW, LET'S INTRODUCE MORE FIRESTORMS. Including one in Captain Britain's costume. How is this not cancelled?

Hawkman #8: A continuity piece that follows #7 and explains bits of the plot by ignoring (and seeing the end of) the character introduced at the end of #7. Saved from cancellation only by imminent Liefeldening, which is presumably why Tony Daniel has written out his ideas.

Voodoo #8: Yay! An ACTUALLY CANCELLED. Wait, IT'S NOT? There's a fight which sort of ends it all, then Voodoo who is Voodoo escapes and Voodoo who isn't Voodoo doesn't and so Voodoo who isn't Voodoo gets hired by the people hunting Voodoo who is Voodoo to hunt Voodoo who is Voodoo. None of this will sew Jef Smax's hea dback on, or remove the spike from the chest of the woman we thought the series was really about. Oh well.

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Friday, 4 May 2012 21:28 (eight years ago) link

I've never been so glad to stop reading in my life.

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Friday, 4 May 2012 21:56 (eight years ago) link

Action #9: The main feature here is much more like we expect from GMoz, but for me Gene Ha's art is so overwhelming I just feel like I'm reading Top 10. It takes place on an alternate Earth, and sees a visit from a yet further Earth which (as you'd expect) doesn't go well for anybody. A return to form then, but you can see why it was delayed so that all the alternate Earth stuff starts at the same time. DID SUPERBOY PUNCH THE UNIVERSE FOR NOTHING? Hulk should have done it instead. WHEN HULK PUNCH UNIVERSE, UNIVERSE STAY PUNCHED. Solly Fisch's take on the Qurac of Earth 23 seems to be ruled by Borat. Oh well.

Animal Man #9: Wahey! It's Dallas' Pam & Bobby plot all over again. THE GMOZ ERA OF ANIMAL MAN WAS ALL A DREAM. The change to Steve Pugh throughout improves the book for me immensely, but there are still panels I hate (such as Buddy flying). Ellen has decided she's had enough and is leaving Buddy, despite what Maxine and the talking cat say. Buddy is possessed by The Rot, while simultaneously fighting The Rot in The Red. Constantine shows up at the end to explain it to Ellen, while Cliff wants his dad to join the Justice League so they can have a cool house. DOESN'T HE READ COMICS? DOESN'T HE REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED THE LAST TIME HIS DAD JOINED THE JUSTICE LEAGUE? There's no telling some people.

Batwing #9: Batwing goes to a fancy dinner, where the Owls try to kill Lucius Fox. He stops making sexy xhit-chat with girlies and being disgusted by Heads of State just long enough to put on his suit, when he learns the same things we've known about the Owls for weeks now over about 1/3 of the pages. He beats the Owl by exploding his arms off, then punches a Prime Minister. There are worse books than this out thre.

Detective #9: MORE OWLS. Some have come for Jeremiah Arkham, but Bats has followed them and uses Arkham's plan of using the Black Mask to get them for him by getting everybody else (including Clayface) to get them for him. In some ways typical Bat fodder, and I hope there aren't more Owls books this simplistic, but it'll do for now. The ongoing Two Face backup is great stuff though, closer to police procedural than anything else, and is the real reason for buying this month on month. Sorry Owls.

Dial H #1: As a massive fan of China Mieville's books, I was avidly waiting this since it was announced and damn it all if this isn't some of the most fun I've had since... whenever. Instantly witty, inventive and engaging; this is like the distillation of the things we thought were brilliant about GMoz's Doom Patrol and made better. This is the comic that Warren Ellis thinks he writes when he puts pen to paper. DO NOT MISS.

Earth 2 #1: I have to say, I'm not really sure what this book is for. Parademons overwhelm Metropolis but Batman sacrifices himself to wipe them out and save his daughter Helena (who will undoubtedly become the Huntress but is currently dressed as Robin). Superman is overwhelmed and killed, leaving Supergirl to escape through a Boom Tube with Robin to the first issue of World's Finest (but more on that later). Wonder Woman is stabbed through the chest and dies, but not before her shiny friend Mercury escapes and eventually happens across Jay Garrick, who becomes Flash next month. As a framing narrative it hangs together fine, but I have no idea where the clamour is for this book at all, other than to give James Robinson (for it is he) a sandbox to play in. He must have a really complicated contract because although I love The Shade book that's currently running I think I'm the only one that's actually buying it.

GI Combat #1: This is an old trick, just renaming a book, surely? And while it might have worked in the days when books were available on every newsstand and sold pretty much irrespective of the content, in these more picky days it's hard to see how rebranding Men of War is actually going to work, although this is supposed to focus on DC's old Weird War books rather than Sgt Rock so who knows. Starting with The War That Time Forgot is a good start, and picking up Unknown Soldier (which has always been a solid book) isn't bad either. Unfortunately giving it to JT Krul is a baffling decision. The art of Ariel Olivetti rescues it to a large degree and once we get free of dialogue (only the first couple of pages have actual real speaking on them) it's quite easy to just glide along with the images perfectly well. Gray and Palmiotti deliver yet another new take on the Unknown Soldier and those familiar with their work elsewhere won't be surprised that they handle the tale of a facially scarred war veteran killing for vengeance and bounties with style. Dump yer man Krul and this could be a winner.

Green Arrow #9: Ann Nocenti has, frankly, turned Green Arrow into unreadable crap (and we all know who was writing this before, so that's some claim). The conclusion to the sexy triplets story takes in kidnapped polar bears, gold mining in the Old West, paralysis drugs to heighten sexy fun times, muskrats, eskimos, genetic manipulation and helicopters. Even once you take breath, you still realise it's rubbish. Could it ever be good again? Who knows?

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Sunday, 6 May 2012 12:20 (eight years ago) link

Wow, that's quite some praise for Dial H. Look forward to checking it out

Number None, Sunday, 6 May 2012 12:24 (eight years ago) link

It's just so effortlessly creative - it may well be of benefit that these are throwaway characters as it were, that they don't need to stand up to scrutiny other than the single point (or joke) that he's trying to make because this is the only time they'll appear, for a small handful of pages. It may well be that after the first story arc there's nothing to hold it together and it becomes a parody of itself, but for the first issue... just WOW.

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Sunday, 6 May 2012 13:36 (eight years ago) link

JLI #9: OMAC shows up looking for Batman, which he does with his fists. Guy Gardner dresses up as Iron Man to punch him, and calls him a fish a lot. Once they all make friends in the sewer they fly to Paris to eat some cheese, drink some wine, see the sights, maybe a little love will bloom... nope. The Firestorms have shown up and I suspect there's going to be a FITE soon. It's not very good, this.

Red Lanterns #9: Or, as the cover says, the DEAD Lantern Corps. DO YOU SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. So, this issue seems to take place simultaneously before, during and after itself. Bleez at one point refers to GL:NG, then a couple of panels later has no knowledge of it. Still, let's just go RARRR RARRR GNNNN RAGE RAGE GNNN for a bit instead of plot. At the end, Atrocitus' cat Dex-starr (which was ripped to death in #1) is back. Good, that's bound to help.

Stormwatch #9: Some guy turns up in Rome who seems to think he's already in Stormwatch and gets sucked away to the Carrier to explain. Not Batman and Not Superman go to Devon where they fight one of the Red Lanterns, but it must be summer because it's too cloudy for Not Superman's sun-related powers to work properly. So Not Batman cuts his ring arm off. He goes back to the Carrier for some deep probing. Meanwhile the Renaissance Roman escapes until Not Batman kills him, at which point the Red Ring decides he's GNNNN RAGE RAGE quality but is stopped from making his finger all pretty by the Engineer. Not Batman then has a lovely daydream about how nice it would be to be Batman, but he likes killing people too much to give it up. Best issue of this in 6 months.

Swamp Thing #9: Last issue's cliffhanger of sorts is dispatched with during this well-paced issue which is never less than beautiful. In many ways a successor to the Rite of Spring, Alec talks Abby out of being Queen of the Rot by reminding how how much he loves her, how he changes peaches to the way she likes them, the way foxfire glows... she then destroys Sethe, which badly traumatises William. But what's that? Abby's actions are bringing back Anton. YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY

Titans Annual #1: The old "pit one team against the other and because neither of them knows what's going on they fight" schtick, eh? The Tians and Legion Lost have a bit of a punchup, and we don't actually learn that much about The Culling. Luckily the premise is explained in the back pages of the issue (not in the storyline) - because N.O.W.H.E.R.E. make so many teenage heroes, sometimes they get them to fight each other to get rid of the weaker ones. Quite how this ties into bringing more in who they didn't make is not clear at all. Also, this is part 1 of 4, but the Legion Lost don't get there until part 3 of 4. Obviously. This book is kind of pointless, if I'm honest, and I'm not sure why it exists.

World's Finest #1: Where Robin and Supergirl from Earth 2 become Huntress and Power Girl on our Earth, and arrive from dinner just too late to see Mister Terrible go from our Earth to Earth 2 where (presumably) he will be better written. It's kind of fun in a Giffen/Maguire Justice League way, which is added to by having Kevin Maguire do the flashback pages, but not essential. On the other hand, having an actually readable book in the 52 is a bonus so hats off to Paul Levitz. Worth looking at.

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Sunday, 6 May 2012 14:02 (eight years ago) link

I liked DIAL H as well, though I felt it had some layout issues in the middle; it was difficult to decipher which text box I was supposed to be reading next. It was only a page or two, and I assume artist & writer will figure it out as it goes along, but it broke the flow enough to bother me.

Quite an auspicious mainstream comic debut from Mieville.

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 6 May 2012 14:13 (eight years ago) link

i will wait for the dial h trade but you guys sold me

(Name Withheld to Avoid Hassle) (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 6 May 2012 16:18 (eight years ago) link

I enjoyed Dial H, but a career writing baroque fantasy has certainly given Mieville a tin ear for "real world" dialogue. Loved Captain Lachrymose, though.

seven league bootie (James Morrison), Monday, 7 May 2012 00:12 (eight years ago) link

I liked ACTION quite a bit, but I wonder if the newly-introduced thread was good for more than a one-off. Or if DC sill even bother to try, until they decide to do BEFORE SUPERMAN OF EARTH 23 or something.

Matt M., Monday, 7 May 2012 14:19 (eight years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Dial H #1 is the single best New 52 issue I've read to date

man, not that Grifter wasn't already becoming terrible but now it's ultra super terrible; I'm pretty sure Liefeld has a phrase wheel he spins to pick some clunky dialog construction on his poor scriptwriter because most of the issue reads like early X-Force

that is a weird thing to bring up over lean cuisine (DJP), Wednesday, 23 May 2012 12:49 (eight years ago) link

DC (non-Vertigo) books I am picking up currently: Dial H, Batman, Batman Inc., leafing through Animal Man

mh, Wednesday, 23 May 2012 14:49 (eight years ago) link

I am tempted to go into Resurrection Man and Animal Man after enjoying Dial H so much

that is a weird thing to bring up over lean cuisine (DJP), Wednesday, 23 May 2012 14:51 (eight years ago) link

Batgirl #9: Damn, if this isn't the best issue of this book to date. How much of it is down to Owls and how much is down to Gail Simone isn't clear, as the good bits (the female Owl - and specifically her training history, the attack on GCPD, the frankly ASTONISHINGLY GOOD Jim Gordon conclusion) feel like they were Bat-editorial decisions foisted on her. But the bottom line is this - if Owls is making Batgirl this good then you should be buying the trade when it turns up. Next up is Knightfall? wtf?

Batman #9: Despite having praised Gail Simone above, Scott Snyder is very probably the best Bat-writer of our generation. His work on this book just goes from strength to strength as this this issue sees the conclusion to the Owls in the Batcave and begins to reveal the extent with which the tertiary Gotham cast has been reduced as a result of this plotline. A triumph. There's a seemingly inessential Alfred backup story. Well, until the last page. BUY THE TRADES.

Batman & Robin #9: A tale of a single Owl told from start to finish, having waited nearly 250 years for this assignment. It's maybe a welcome change of pace in the overall plot, but by the same token is therefore less engaging. At one point I thought Damien was going to try and talk him out of it in the whole "DON'T YOU SEE? I'M JUST LIKE YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" emo nonsense we've been subjected to before, but this isn't where Batbooks are any more and that's got to be a good thing for everybody.

Deathstroke #9: A bad thing for everyone, not least for DC's accountants, is the continuing publication of Deathstroke. Of course, since this is now ALL LIEFELD ALL THE TIME it features SWORDS and POUCHES and NO FEET. I love the bit when one of his mates brings Deathstroke EXTRA POUCHES in the middle of a fight, but this is every bit as inept as his work on other Johnsiverse books would make you think. But this isn't the worst crime. After I noticed last month that Vega had been destroyed, I wondered what that meant for the Omega Men and now I got my answer. THEY'VE GIVEN THEM TO ROB FRICKIN' LIEFELD. Which means they all look alike. I seriously didn't realise it was them for 5 or 6 pages, and I'm a bit of a fanboy. THIS IS YOUR WORST BETRAYAL YET DIDIO. In the end, Zealot and Deathstroke go off to find Lobo. This can't work out well for anybody, not least the reader.

Demon Knights #9: A filler issue pretty much, churning bits of the Merlin plot and advancing it slowly, but the continuing reason why this is still one of the great unsung books of the Johnsiverse is simply that it's so different. Next month - SEA SERPENTS! You didn't see that coming now, did you?

Frankenstein #9: This rehashes parts of the current Animal Man plot and largely resolves the bit not being dealt with in that book through the use of a Magic Science Device Deus Ex Machina in two pages. We then get left with the notion that Frankie and Not Abe Sapien are going to make the beast with two backs. Really, not as worthwhile as BPRD.

Green Lantern #9: So, the Knights That Say Nok reveal that there's a new Older Than Time Began Threat to the GLC and that Abin Sur discovered it. And it's the Guardians themselves, which might have been nice for him to have told Hal right back at Day 1 if I'm honest. Anyway, he predicted everything Johnsy including that Blackest Night would happen. Again, it would have been nice to have said any of it. Dull rubbish.

Grifter #9: THE LIEFELDENING. Yet bizarrely they don't actually trust him to do the dialogue, so it's handled instead by "Frank Tieri". I'm going with scarequotes here, because this is SO Liefeld - and as inept as Deathstroke - that it has to be pseudonymous for tax reasons. On the plus side, it does show how much I hated Grifter before, and how badly written it was, because I can't help thinking it's slightly improved. Worse and better at the same time, huh? Fancy that.

Legion Lost #9: Culling blah blah. Oh wait, a Time Bubble? Are we flagging the end of the title here? But let's not find out, let's see a FITE. The Fairchild/Rose page is spectacularly bad, but the dialogue throughout is awful. I kind of hope this is the end, if I'm honest, as it's not being handled very well any more and I think I'd like to stop reading it now before my goodwill evaporates.

Resurrection Man #9: Best issue yet, by some significant margin as our hero is integrated into the mainstream Johnsiverse via the Suicide Squad. Actually, all the Belle Reve scenes are getting on for being - dare I say it - great. This could maybe turn out to be a hidden gem after all and I absolutely didn't see that coming.

Suicide Squad #9: The precursor to the issue above and, as expected, better. But that's mainly down to the Belle Reve material. Six words. Harleen Quintzel is back in charge. BOOM.

Superboy #9: The Culling is shit, isn't it? This is no exception.

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Saturday, 26 May 2012 12:07 (eight years ago) link

Batwoman #9: Ugh. Dark pages, light pages, dark pages, light pages. This is really kind of painful to read, and the dialogue and plot don't help either. Tuomabait alert: lesbians are promiscuous and can't stay in a settled relationship without snogging the next lesbian they find. Somehow Batwoman is exempt from Owls, but then nobody has noticed the link between the utterly white skinned Kate Kane and the utterly white skinned Batwoman either so it's clearly set in Stupidtown and not Gotham. Bored with this now.

Birds of Prey #9: So, for those of you paying attention in the last review, you will no doubt be amazed that this is IN Owls. Which makes little sense. Anyway, quite early on it's clear that Duane S does not know who Edgar Allen Poe is, and possibly not Tim Burton either since he seems to confuse them. Whatever, we get some creative reuse of material from #1 and eventually the same plot as in Batgirl and/or B&R. It's still worth reading but wait for the Owls trades.

Blue Beetle #9: So, back in the days of GL:NG #1 we get this story, which I suppose3 means the first 8 issues of this happened prior to all the books that aren't Justice League. Or it's happening now and Red Lanterns isn't, plus all the previous issues of GL:NG have simultaneously happened and not happened. I wish people like Julie Schwartz were still running comics. In this, Blue Beetle gets an erection which Bleez doesn't notice but we're supposed to laugh at, and Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean turns up at a fancy dress party as Deathstroke. Laughably bad.

Captain Atom #9: Lurching from bad to worse, our old friend JT Krul makes us wonder for another month whose dick he's sucking at DC to stay employed. I'm not even going to try and summarise this, other than to say CA is the bad guy from all the previous issues due to wibbly wobbly timey wimey and is going to transform into a different bad guy who, presumably, he's going to fight in his own future. I don't know why I bother sometimes.

Catwoman #9: More Owl stuff as Cats saves Pengy from a fate worse than death because he owns a knife. The fact she has 5 doesn't seem to have attracted the Owl's attention, strangely. The Owl here doesn't seem to be affected by the same rules of Owliness as the other either. Kind of a nothing issue, if I'm honest.

DCU Presents #9: James Robinson brings us a Vandal Savage story which rips off Silence of the Lambs shockingly badly but is still a shining beacon in this, the cruellest week of the month. It's up to the standard we expect from him and thoroughly enjoyable - although it needs to go somewhere and not just meander like his current Shade book is in danger of doing.

Green Lantern Corps #9: John Stewart stands to be executed at the end of this tortuous piece of crap. I wish I was him. Than I'd know the next issue was my last one.

Justice League #9: Bleh. Goes nowhere in pursuit of a plot a mother couldn't love. The Shazam backup is the clear highlight as Sivana finds Black Adam. We think. And it rips off Preacher.

LoSH #9: A perfectly serviceable Legion book, and more coherent and/or plotted than in previous months, this exists in its own little bubble that has nothing to do with the Johnsiverse. The Dominators are still the biggest threat to everybody and nobody had said Daemonite at any point which by default makes it better than a great many of the reboot titles.

Nightwing #9: Another 20 pages, another Owl. This is really building to something - it looks like the whole Batfamily has been hand-picked over the years and are all tied into the history of the Owls. It also looks like the House of Leaves issue of Batman a few months ago wasn't an anti-Bats tactic but an attempt to recruit him to their cadre. PAY ATTENTION MARVEL. This is how to do a multi-book crossover event.

Red Hood #9: Maybe the best of all the crossover tie-ins, this has Jason saving Mr Freeze in Gotham's Chinatown and is an absolute blast from start to finish. Afte the controversy of the first issue this has grown and grown, and has got beyond guilty pleasure territory into a genuinely good read. I'm only sorry I judged it so quickly.

Supergirl #9: Conversely this went from a great start to a bag of shit in the blink of an eye. Michael Green has returned this book to the worst excesses of John Byrne's run on Superman, fake Oirish accents and all to be sure so it is begorrah. I'm only still reading for the issue where an alium pornographer makes Kara do a film with Scott Free. It must be coming soon.

Wonder Woman #9: A joy, as ever. The sequence when Aphrodite turns up in the park, or specifically the way the panels borders are drawn, is my favourite thing all month. Strife, as a character, goes from strength to strength. Hades in one of the most fun characters in any of the books. When did Brian Azzarello get this good? I flat out love this title and commend it to you all. Again.

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Saturday, 26 May 2012 16:55 (eight years ago) link

All-Star Western #9: Old time Owls are, in many ways, more fun than modern ones. This is as solid as ever but if I'm completely honest it's an absolutely pointless crossover and we should have just stuck with the original storyline. The Nighthawk and Cinnamon backup is still pointless though, as the only message of note is that they fill in their time by making out.

Aquaman #9: The first half of this is light on plot and dialogue, making it nothing more than a succession of pictures of things you don't really care about. The second half has a lengthy conversation between Mera and the scientist bloke from before, which establishes pretty firmly that Arthur and Manta have previous, and that Arthur is a stinkypants liar to his wife. I had to read it to work this out. Go me.

David Finch's Batman The Dark Knight By David Finch #9: This book is perpetually better the less the David Finch content. This month it's just the pencils, on an Winicky Owls story which doesn't really stand up to the other Owls stories that well. Or is just too similar to the rest, which isn't what you want in the last week of the month. This takes place before Batman #9, which makes perfect editorial sense to put it on sale 2 weeks later. The final page is great though, maybe the best one Finch has done in the Johnsiverse.

Batman Incorporated #9: GMoz gives us a new title, which is effectively one he gave us before but Johnsiverse rebranded. If you liked it before, you'll like it now. But it thinks it's better than it is. It's not even the best Batbook being published any more. But it is GMoz. Actually, it feels like a retread of his previous work more than anything else but maybe that's just over-familiarity. I think I would rather have seen him do an Owls book.

GL:NG #9: GET ONE EDITOR. Remember how in Blue Beetle we saw Bleez and Glomulus on Earth when Kyle found out about the Blue Beetle suit guys invading the Blue Lantern Planet and flew off to save them? And remember how in Red Lantern the Red Battery is knackered and nobody is sure how they're going to recharge anything? Well imagine my surprise when in this book Kyle flies off to save the Blue Lantern Planet and pages other Lanterns on the way. Including Bleez on the Red Lantern Planet and Glomulous on the Orange Lantern Planet. Oh, and one of the Knights Who Say Nok who stopped being Lanterns in this month's Green Lantern. How hard is it to actually keep an eye on all these books and make sure they're coherent? I to read them all and I'm not the one being paid. Anyway, rubbish.

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Saturday, 26 May 2012 18:08 (eight years ago) link

Now that some time has passed, I'm considering checking out the books that seem like a good use of my reading time. Please, aldo, if you would, tell me if this seems a sensible back-issue reading list (based on what would seem to be reasonably good reviews in your awesome recaps):

The Flash
Wonder Woman
Teen Titans
Suicide Squad

Also, if I read Batman, will I also need to catch up on Nightwing (or read the other crossovers) to make heads or tails of this Owls stuff? Also also, is reading Superboy at all essential to following Teen Titans (which I only ask since they share a writer)?

If I go down this road, I will absolutely be reading Action Comics and all of the horror stuff whether it's advisable or not, so no advice needed there, thanks.

Quiet Desperation, LLC (Deric W. Haircare), Saturday, 26 May 2012 18:53 (eight years ago) link

Teen Titans might be take it or leave it for some people. I enjoy the hell out of it every month but after about #4 it is COMPLETELY tied into Superboy and at the moment neither make much sense if you're not reading Legion Lost and (I suspect) The Ravagers. All the #9s can't be read in isolation.

OMAC should be compiled in a single trade. Wait for the price to drop then knock yourself out, it's definitely for fans of Savage Dragon, Godland and all the other Kirby rips - but this seems more authentic because it uses ACTUAL KIRBY PROPERTY.

You can easily make sense of Owls without reading anything other than Batman. I'm not sure I'd advise jumping into any commitment for the others - maybe Detective.

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Saturday, 26 May 2012 19:38 (eight years ago) link

I, Vampire #9: The best issue in some considerable time. All the vampires are hiding in the desert in Utah, so some blokes go to Europe to get a secret army of vampire killers to bomb the shit out of them. In the mean time, after last month Andrew became the MOST POWERFUL VAMPIRE OF ALL TIME ALL TIEM EVER and Mary decided to go with him she is now bored and offers to fight him for the vampire army on the last page. Man, does she have a short memory. Still good stuff though.

Justice League Dark #9: New writer, new team members, same old crap. It's a dull old fetch quest, which leads into OH NOES WE KNOW WHERE THE BOOKS OF MAGIC MIGHT BE BUT WE HAVE PROMISED TO BRING THE MAP BACK. At one point Steve Trevor leaves Constantine's London flat (where his wife isn't, because he's only married in the Vertigo Universe) through the window. How is that 100 foot fall working out for you then Steve?

Superman #9: Pretty awful stuff all round. SEKRET SOVIETZ EXPERIMENTZ. Mistaken identity as someone else gets outed as the real secret identity of Superman! Lois books an expensive restaurant and expects Clark to pay! Hmm.

Teen Titans #9: Thankfully, this is the end of The Culling. Red Robin explains everything that's happened to date for people not reading all the books, and then a whole pile of stuff happens that means nothing to people not reading all the books. It's still the best of all these titles, and next month we get "the mystery of Mystery Island". Which seems to involve dinosaurs. Ace.

Flash #9: EFFORTLESSLY SUPERB. From the ultra-stylish splash page to throwaway pop culture references ("Maybe we're all dead and don't know it. Like in that old TV show where they all got lost..." "You mean Lost?" "I don't know, I don't watch much TV...") every page exudes joy. If Grodd is dealt with too quickly - and there's a reasonable argument he is, I could have easily read another couple of issues of him - next month we get Weather Wizard, and Pied Piper has been introduced (see my next post, once I've done the next three reviews). The Turtle can't be far away. NOT JUST FOR FANBOYS (ALTHOUGH IT HELPS).

Firestorm #9: The world of Firestorms is getting wearying, especially Captain Britain Firestorm. Oh look, they can merge together and form a TransformerStorm. The high point of this is when OMAC pulls the head off a Firestorm. Talk about damning with faint praise.

Hawkman #9: Swords on the cover can only mean one thing: The Liefeldening. While I think DiDio's Plan B is barking mad, you have to admire his faith in Rob. He gets to do plot and co-scripts here, two of his four worst skills (the other two being pencils and inks). To his credit, this is the best book he's produced this month, but it still isn't any good. I think we should start a book on how long he lasts.

Voodoo #9: One of the best issues in some time, although the writer hasn't been reading the core Superman books as Lord Helspont seems now to be in 19th century Mexico. It's obviously not Peru, because that's where Justice League Dark are at the moment. It's building to something, definitely. I'm betting it's cancellation.

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Saturday, 26 May 2012 21:31 (eight years ago) link

OK, I said I was coming back, and it's to ask this question. Who do we think DC's gay character is going to be? They said last week it was somebody who hadn't appeared yet - then Flash 9 came out so Pied Piper is a candidate. But because he was gay before that wouldn't really be a thing. So...

is it Wally West? I remember a story from somebody saying they wanted to use him but weren't allowed to by the editors. That's some weird choices if so.

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Saturday, 26 May 2012 21:36 (eight years ago) link

I think it's going to be an Earth 2 JSA character - I figure either Flash or Green Lantern. Because no one would care because no one buys or reads James Robinson books and it wouldn't be one of their core licenses.

Maybe I'm too cynical, but then again, maybe not.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 26 May 2012 21:50 (eight years ago) link

Stray observation, looking through Suicide Squad: I'm glad someone finally had the good sense to make Amanda Waller skinny and hot. I'd like to think that was the real reason for the reboot.

Quiet Desperation, LLC (Deric W. Haircare), Saturday, 26 May 2012 22:03 (eight years ago) link

Well I agree it's going to be a non-Silver Age character so you could be right. Is there going to be an Alan Scott though? xpost

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Saturday, 26 May 2012 22:07 (eight years ago) link

Alan Scott is the one narrating that documentary that tells the backstory in the beginning of the first issue of Earth 2. They show him looking it over on the plane. He looks like a big blonde douche.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 26 May 2012 22:14 (eight years ago) link

Oh, that seems like a lock then.

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Saturday, 26 May 2012 22:16 (eight years ago) link

Looking through these and peeking at DC's solicitations for the coming months, I'm a little baffled to see (as I'm sure someone has mentioned in this thread) a slew of writers who I wrote off 15+ years ago as Marvel hacks (e.g. Mackie, DeFalco, effing Liefeld) holding a pretty sizable share of the reins. Like, I don't in any way feel that this is going to end well for DC unless they do some massive restructuring (probably wrt their current managerial practices, so top-drawer creators feel like they'd be at all valued for their creative input).

Quiet Desperation, LLC (Deric W. Haircare), Saturday, 26 May 2012 22:36 (eight years ago) link

this entire "we're going to make an old character newly gay for pay" press-grubbing is just disgusting prima facie, and such an insult to every writer who's non-ostentatiously included gay characters in their DC superbooks over the last 25 years

Somehow Batwoman is exempt from Owls

It's probably exempt from Owls because it was written before the Owls were invented, and thank fuck because despite reading your reviews I have no idea what the Owls are or an Owl is or whoo Owls are all about, so it would make me drop the book. And the enormous improvement this issue with Bloke McManly's JHW-impersonation art has just convinced me to hang in through real JHW's return.

but then nobody has noticed the link between the utterly white skinned Kate Kane and the utterly white skinned Batwoman either so it's clearly set in Stupidtown and not Gotham.

a) we only know of one character who's ever set eyes on both Batwoman's chin (the only exposed part of her skin), and Kate Kane.
b) no-one in Gotham seems to notice all the weird 19th Century filigrees around the edges of their field of vision either, so both could perhaps be read as artistic licence with purpose by Williams.

Batman Incorporated #9: GMoz gives us a new title, which is effectively one he gave us before but Johnsiverse rebranded. If you liked it before, you'll like it now. But it thinks it's better than it is.

Being a joyful display of actual drawn storytelling, and genuine communication between writer and artist, automatically makes it better than every single other New 52 book, except maybe the Western one, which I've not seen. And isn't this #12 or so, not #9?

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Sunday, 27 May 2012 03:54 (eight years ago) link

Wonder Woman really is excellent. Never thought I'd be reading a WW book each month.

Batwoman looks great again this issue, but is still actually boring and confused in the storytelling. I think only Greg Rucka could actually write her well as a main character, though I enjoyed her appearances in GMoz issues.

seven league bootie (James Morrison), Sunday, 27 May 2012 04:35 (eight years ago) link

The Batman owl thing is great! Do not judge before a read.

mh, Sunday, 27 May 2012 05:50 (eight years ago) link

p.s. Batwoman sucks without Rucka writing. There, I said it.

mh, Sunday, 27 May 2012 05:51 (eight years ago) link

#0 and JHW3 issues were still dope enuf. new dude shows that Reeder and/or inker were not bringing the necessary visual stylisation to keep the ....six? separate story strands, taking place at different times, clearly delineated

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Sunday, 27 May 2012 06:48 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, the art in this is an improvement and helps but the separate strands and delineated by being BRIGHT and DARK and so forth. It just feels jarring to me.

I made a mistake through tiredness and repetition - this is Batman Incorporated #1, not #9.

(btw sic, I understand artistic licence, I kind of use it myself when I write these to pull things out when they occur to me...)

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Sunday, 27 May 2012 09:52 (eight years ago) link

sure sure. but we don't have another thraed where we're discussing the book so might as well throw all of it in here!

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Sunday, 27 May 2012 13:51 (eight years ago) link

Come on Aldo, that Batman Inc was all kinds of good.

Chuck_Tatum, Tuesday, 29 May 2012 14:15 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, you're right but I had a grump on by then probably. And part of it is certainly that GMoz has been completely treading water on Action.

I must be old, I recognise nobody in ITV2 idents (aldo), Tuesday, 29 May 2012 17:13 (eight years ago) link

I sent the BAT-COW panel to several friends

mh, Tuesday, 29 May 2012 20:02 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, part of my enjoyment just stemmed from relief that GMoz was back on form after Action Comics.

Chuck_Tatum, Tuesday, 29 May 2012 20:32 (eight years ago) link

Confession: I have no real motivation to read Action

mh, Tuesday, 29 May 2012 20:55 (eight years ago) link

Action 9 was really good after some very wobbly issues

Not confident that the series is actually very well conceived, though.

seven league bootie (James Morrison), Tuesday, 29 May 2012 23:29 (eight years ago) link

I am highly confident that it is very poorly conceived.

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Wednesday, 30 May 2012 00:30 (eight years ago) link

Editorial shenanigans or just Grant running out of time/inspiration? (Or all three?)

The scripts have been pretty pedestrian so don’t think we can blame the artist(s) this time.

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 30 May 2012 12:47 (eight years ago) link

I wonder that myself. I've heard that the new system has not worked like the old one, even for someone as rarefied as Morrison. Perhaps the bloom is off the rose. And perhaps he really said what he wanted to about Superman with ALL-STAR. Compared to that, ACTION is really the dog's breakfast.

Have the new INC, but haven't yet read it (though someone spoiled BATCOW and it made me laugh really, really hard.)

Matt M., Wednesday, 30 May 2012 15:32 (eight years ago) link

Like I said, I still haven't read Action, but even if it's as poor as y'all suggest, I'm hardly gonna think less of Morrison for suffering a misstep after his amazing Seven Soldiers/52/Batman/Final Crisis/Batman & Robin/Batman Inc. run. Particularly within this New 52 world, wherein the concept of the writer seems to have become severely devalued by editorial.

Quiet Desperation, LLC (Deric W. Haircare), Wednesday, 30 May 2012 15:44 (eight years ago) link

still think We3 and Seaguy are still my favorite Morrison projects

that is a weird thing to bring up over lean cuisine (DJP), Wednesday, 30 May 2012 15:48 (eight years ago) link

Don't get me wrong. I don't think Morrison's lost it. But ACTION just ain't that great.

Matt M., Wednesday, 30 May 2012 21:34 (eight years ago) link

And perhaps he really said what he wanted to about Superman with ALL-STAR. Compared to that, ACTION is really the dog's breakfast.

I think this is very otm.

seven league bootie (James Morrison), Wednesday, 30 May 2012 23:26 (eight years ago) link

well yeah, he didn't have any interest of his own in doing more Superman or this Superman - DC came to him a few months before issue 1 came out and asked him if he'd do it.

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Wednesday, 30 May 2012 23:58 (eight years ago) link

Oh, the sad capriciousness of timing (15 years and the roles reverse)...

Quiet Desperation, LLC (Deric W. Haircare), Thursday, 31 May 2012 00:02 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, ain't it, though? He's come a long way from writing JLA so that DC would finish publishing THE INVISIBLES.

I still marvel at that particular piece of magick. INVISIBLES is a book that shouldn't exist, coming from one of the major comics publication companies in America, and yet it happened (warts and all.)

Oh, as for the new 52, I've dropped all but ACTION and WONDER WOMAN and am a hair's breadth from dropping those, Cliff Chiang or no Cliff Chiang. But DC has proved that they don't want my money, 'cept for reprints.

Matt M., Thursday, 31 May 2012 04:26 (eight years ago) link

And perhaps he really said what he wanted to about Superman with ALL-STAR. Compared to that, ACTION is really the dog's breakfast.

otm, and sadly. when AC started out, i was excited by the prospect of this young, angry, 99%-er superman with very limited powers going up against fat cat plutocrats and their uniformed stooges in a world largely devoid of super-stuff. seemed brave & timely, with lots of potential for character-building and slow expansion into the more familiar continuity. but morrison seemed to drop that angle as quickly as he presented it, rushing to incorporate lex luthor, kandor, a tiresome origin story and so on.

spextor vs bextor (contenderizer), Thursday, 31 May 2012 05:55 (eight years ago) link

like, i was hoping for a neoteny recapitulates phylogeny superman, where we'd get to spend some time with a relatively small-scale man of steel.

spextor vs bextor (contenderizer), Thursday, 31 May 2012 05:58 (eight years ago) link

Matt, look at Dial H. It is shockingly entertaining.

that is a weird thing to bring up over lean cuisine (DJP), Thursday, 31 May 2012 13:24 (eight years ago) link

I actually have it in one of my scattered piles of singles to read. Should clean house one of these days.

I'd also argue that DIAL H isn't really NEW 52 territory, but that's probably just splitting hairs, huh?

Matt M., Thursday, 31 May 2012 15:54 (eight years ago) link

eh I'm a Marvel Fanboy, AFAIC anything remotely DC-related is New 52

that is a weird thing to bring up over lean cuisine (DJP), Thursday, 31 May 2012 15:55 (eight years ago) link

So turns out Alan Scott is the gay man why because Obsidian doesn't exist anymore which means the gay that was in Alan never had a chance to escape through his son I guess? This feels really perfunctory, but whatever.

Quiet Desperation, LLC (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 1 June 2012 13:22 (eight years ago) link

I guessed right. 'Bout time I got something right.

EZ Snappin, Friday, 1 June 2012 14:28 (eight years ago) link

Tom Spurgeon ‏@comicsreporter

like any progressive human being, my first thought on hearing DC's announcement was "Oh, God: 10,000 stupid 'weakness is wood' jokes."

EZ Snappin, Friday, 1 June 2012 14:33 (eight years ago) link

Hahaha. I will take back every bad thing I've said about the New 52 initiative if they're able to work in a new Alan Scott villain with a magic cockring.

Quiet Desperation, LLC (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 1 June 2012 14:49 (eight years ago) link

Green LAntern's new arch-nemesis:

EZ Snappin, Friday, 1 June 2012 14:51 (eight years ago) link

Hey, snap, you on the twitter? hit me @highway_62

As for this? Ah, well, you'll get your chance one day, Bruce Wayne.

Matt M., Friday, 1 June 2012 16:25 (eight years ago) link

now following! I'm @EZSnappin if anyone wants to follow along.

EZ Snappin, Friday, 1 June 2012 16:27 (eight years ago) link

Man, you work fast.

Matt M., Friday, 1 June 2012 16:28 (eight years ago) link

just happened to check ILX seconds after you posted. I'm no Ned, where a mere mention of his name summons him from the ether.

EZ Snappin, Friday, 1 June 2012 16:32 (eight years ago) link

Ravagers #1: Seriously, this is every bit as bad as you think it is. One character unzips her suit in the middle of an icefield where they'll freeze to death if they don't keep moving to expose her cleavage, presumably because she needs BEWBS to fly (which is what she does next). All against an angsty Fairchild dialogue of inner thoughts. Technically none of it is awful, but it's one of the most unreable Johnsiverse books.

Animal Man Annual #1: I have to say, as much as I enjoyed this it's an utterly, utterly pointless book. The talking cat tells Maxine a story while it has a piss, a tale of a previous Animal Man and a previous Swamp Thing, fighting a previous version of the Rot in a small town and not winning. Buddy turns up from the future in the story the cat's telling at one point to let them know they're going to fail. Then at the end they go back to a house and prepare for the next issue of Animal Man. It's nicely written and, after a very shakey start, the art's passable. But really, save your money.

Batman Annual #1: Taking place (in effect) during an OWLS crossover, Mr Freeze gets a Johnsiverse origin in this thoroughly decent 40 pager. He's clearly going to be important in Batbooks to come, as he's possibly the only villain that's had this kind of analysis thus far. It turns out the reason the OWLS were after him in the other book is that some of the surgery that's made their regenerative powers stable enough is based on his work, presumably making him the man who knew too much. I'm trying hard not to descend into hyperbole, but I genuinely can't think of a Batwriter that excites me as much as Scott Snyder. Yes, even BatMoz.

Desire is withered away from the sons of men! (aldo), Tuesday, 5 June 2012 12:13 (eight years ago) link

That said, I enjoyed Superman Family Adventures even more. Reminded me most of the two Bizarro hardcovers.

Desire is withered away from the sons of men! (aldo), Tuesday, 5 June 2012 12:45 (eight years ago) link

Did Lemire write the annual? That sound pretty dire and unnecessary.

Have I mentioned I've given up on the official new 52? 'Cause I have.

Matt M., Tuesday, 5 June 2012 15:16 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, he did, which made it more surprising how pointless it was. Like he was contractually obliged or something.

Desire is withered away from the sons of men! (aldo), Tuesday, 5 June 2012 16:29 (eight years ago) link

Not sure about that Batman Annual -- lots of punching but not much fun, plus the all-new EXTREME MR FREEZE felt a bit hacktastic. I do (normally) dig Snyder though.

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 02:19 (eight years ago) link

Q: if the Owls are using Freeze's tech to reanimate their dead warrior dudes, why does lowering their body temperature slow them down or immobilize them? Seems counter to any sort of logic.

EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 02:22 (eight years ago) link

Freeze and Owls isn't explained in any detail, but it's mentioned during conversations that Freeze has with both the Penguin and Bats that he's been working for them - in the one with the Penguin it seems that he's less than happy about it now, which is presumably why they try and kill him.

Desire is withered away from the sons of men! (aldo), Wednesday, 6 June 2012 06:04 (eight years ago) link

Just going to put this here for now, instead of talking about some lameness in the newest Batman:

mh, Thursday, 14 June 2012 15:25 (eight years ago) link

Action is so frustrating. It feels like reading random back issues of a series that would be great if you had ALL the parts and could read them in the right order.

an inevitable disappointment (James Morrison), Thursday, 14 June 2012 23:19 (eight years ago) link

First Appearance of Bat Cow

Authorities don't know who shot the 50 Cent the goose. (forksclovetofu), Friday, 15 June 2012 06:42 (eight years ago) link

Damien OTM

the hat's filthy lesson (sic), Friday, 15 June 2012 06:45 (eight years ago) link

So, I think pulling the plot idea back in again is annoying, but... did you guys read Batman #10 and this Lincoln March revelation?

mh, Friday, 15 June 2012 14:00 (eight years ago) link

Action #10: I'm afraid I can't put it any better than James' observation above.

Action is so frustrating. It feels like reading random back issues of a series that would be great if you had ALL the parts and could read them in the right order.
So Superman was simultaneously in the home-made costume and the JLA costume (from the hamsters)? There was a Superman before Superman (Lois' scrapbook)? And quite how they're going to work around Clark being dead, since he isn't in any of the other books, I have no idea. The best guess I can offer is that the GMoz Supes is maybe an early attempt at a N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Superboy. Mind you, I really got a kick out of DC's version of Kraven The Hunter being, frankly, shit at it. I'm not sure why I'm sticking with this.

Animal Man #10: This is a frustrating read as well, if I'm honest. It's well enough written, and the art is growing on me, but the pace is glacial and anybody who's familiar with the GMoz/Vertigo Animal Man and Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing has read all of this before. The journey through the Red is like the Hell issues of the American Gothic plot. The architects of all life are going to build Buddy a new body because he/they has/have issues with the current one. Cliff is a gullible dick. I guess I just don't feel like I need to read it. Maybe it's just me, I dunno. The Johnsiverse was supposed to be for new readers, so I guess it'd be a novelty for them. If they actually existed.

Batwing #10: From a frustrating read to a plain boring one. Now all the initial plot is over, and Batwing isn't Owlsing, it's just a very low grade Batfamily book with OH LOOK AFRICA thrown in every now and again. Somali pirates - check! Nightwing expresses surprise Africans know a lot about technology - check! Corrupt deals by dodgy dictators with Western oil companies - check! My favourite bit is where the Chinese guy turns up at the apartment of the kidnapped Chinese guy (who is not drawn as Chinese btw) and immediately turns into a dragon. He then (i.e. AFTER HE'S TURNED INTO A DRAGON) bellows "But please... let me introduce myself. My name is... Long! Do you know what Long means in Chinese? It means dragon!" in a menacing way. Now THAT'S dialogue.

Detective #10: And post-Owls, this is merely a very good one. (As a diversion, wikipedia tells me that the Batman Annual was supposed to conclude the Owls. REALLY? I didn't get that at all from it...) Tony Daniels brings back his Mr Toxic character we saw as a bit-part player in the Penguin floating casino plot but increases his menace considerably. I get the feeling exploding faux-Batmen is a gimmick that's been overused previously, but I'm happy enough to read it again. The Two-Face backup is great though. Reborn as a hero? I can't wait to read the next part.

Dial H #2: Effortless proving last month wasn't a fluke, China Mieville once more writes EXACTLY the sort of book I want to read. The concept of a guy who changes powers each time plays to his strength and I laugh out loud at least twice during this. There are insane levels of thrill power within. Unbelievable.

Earth 2 #2: OK, outside of the Allan Scott reveal what do we actually have here? A JSA origin issue, in a post-Justice League world? Mr Terrific is shoehorned in, and absolute needless, but the Jay Garrick story is pretty engaging and I think this title could have legs if it canmake itself different enough from the other books. Ultimately I don't think it will, but it's decent enough to make me want to hang about for a while to see. I could well be tempted to say it's better than Justice League. We'll see.

GI Combat #2: JT Krul writes dialogue this issue, so the War That Time Forgot segment is predictably shit. The Unknown Soldier stuff is far better, but is neither better nor worse than any of the other attempts at it in recent years. Can't see it lasting any longer than the next wave of cancellations, if I'm honest, as I have no idea what it's for or who it's supposed to appeal to. Ho hum.

Green Arrow #10: WOW, THIS IS SHIT. I mean REALLY shit. Ann Nocenti writes a story here that's completely mired in eighties DO YOU SEE isms, and truthfully it would have been shit then too. It makes the lyrics to Human by the Killers seem like an essay by Kierkegaard. Abject.

JLI #10: Dan Jurgens isn't actually reading any of the other books in the relaunch, right? He's just bumbling on in his own little universe writing something nobody wants to read, unconnected to anything else being published. And make no mistake, this is dreadful stuff - as eighties as Green Arrow but in a different way, full of implied importance but empty and soulless. Cancelled after two more issues, but might end up forming the cornerstone of Year 2 of the Johnsiverse, if the rumours are right. I'm scared.

Red Lanterns #10: RARR RARR RARR RARR OH FUCK OFF. Well not quite, this Stormwatch crossover is at least a vaguely coherent story but they're no closer to finding a new power source since their battery was destroyed and it's been an awful long time for them to be maintaining force fields and the like. It seems like it's given up Lantern logic altogether. Geoff Johns will no doubt be round to give Peter Milligan a punishment essay later, and maybe put him in detention.

Stormwatch #10: I say Stormwatch crossover, they're off doing something completely different. This feels like it wants to be an issue of Planetary. It isn't. It talks about Napoleonic Stormwatch and how they erased the memory of all the world so it forgot they existed, then ends with a gay-angst-a-thon. The next issue blurb convinces me it thinks it is Planetary. It won't be.

Swamp Thing #10: Anton Arcane being back delivers pretty much all you'd expect it to. It's basically a monologue by him, but Scott Snyder's on a roll at the moment and everything he touches is golden. Having been teased at the end of the last issue, and despite being on the cover, Arcane's presence builds throughout until the final page release. "I promise your pain will only last a little longer. In just a moment I'm going to bash your head in." Looks awful written here, but in context is perfect. A great book.

World's Finest #2: Still feels like two books. The Kev Maguire drawn flashback stuff and the George Perez modern day stuff are almost completely separate, and one is fun and engaging while the other is a chore. I wonder if you can guess which is which? Answers on a postcard, with a subscription to a Rob Liefeld book of your choice to the winner.

Desire is withered away from the sons of men! (aldo), Sunday, 17 June 2012 10:36 (eight years ago) link

Batgirl #10: Ugh. This series gets worse with every passing issue, and it didn't start from a particularly high beginning. It's hackneyed WOW STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMEN bullshit page on page at the expense of storylines. It might work for people studying Lipstick Feminism 101 but does nothing for me. This particular issue feels like everybody in charge at every stage HAS to be a woman to prove a point that I don't get, although it never gets worse than when the guy who lost half his leg the night before runs away normally.

Batman #10: Umm. Wow. The Lincoln March revelation is indeed a revelation. Didn't see that coming at all. But you're all reading the book already, so I don't need to go into it or spoil it for those that haven't read it yet. The backup story actually works with it and reveals even more - if you read them in the other order, and knew some fairly obscure bat-history, then it would spoiler the main story. Great stuff.

Batman & Robin #10: Damian has an ego. Who knew? Basically, he calls out all the other Robins to prove he's great and Tim Drake is an easy fish to catch. It's good stuff , if not really anything out of the ordinary, but hits the spot before the shitfest to come. Starting with...

Deathstroke #10: There are no words. Honestly. So bad. I can't work out whether the art is worse than the writing and every page my opinion changes. This may well be the single worst issue of the Johnsiverse. If any of you can find a way to read it without paying for it LIKE BORROWING IT FROM A LIBRARY OR SUCH <cough> RIAA <cough> then I recommend you do so, just to see for yourselves how bad it is.

Demon Knights #10: "It's a pirate sea serpent! That is something I have never shouted before!" And not something I expected to be typing. This does the thing it does every month again, and very well it does it too. They travel through the south of England facing giant wolves and a zombie King Arthur and conclude with al Jabr turning into MODOK. That's something else I expected not to be typing.

Frankenstein #10: I still don't like this. This particular issue is more of a mess than usual, although it thinks it's being really clever and all GMozzy. Who's on whose side by the end? Who cares?

Green Lantern #10: The Knights The Say Nok don't exist, then a blue woman gets superhero sadface and cries a single tear, which is enough sadface for them to rebuild their entire power battery and all say Nok again. Unfortunately for Hal this makes Sinestro one of them too, so he tries to persuade them to let him say other words too by saying how much he wubs him. A Black Lantern kills himself rather than say Nok again, then once he's dead becomes a Black Lantern again. As you do. I struggle to believe people take this seriously.

Grifter #10: Amongst the skills Rob Liefeld doesn't have we've found another one - counting. "The word you're looking for is "You're welcome. Although technically that's two words." No, that's ACTUALLY two and TECHNICALLY three. That is as entertaining as this issue gets. Grifter now has telekinetic powers, which is presumably how his friend's costume stays up.

Legion Lost #10: The Legion go back to their own time, find that it needs a bit of redecorating and come back to our time to buy some paint or something. The lustre has totally gone from this book, despite having a couple of my favourite Legionnaires in it and it's become a chore to read. Timber Wolf gets shot at the end, although he probably won't have been by the time the next issue is three pages old.

Ravagers #2: Hoo boy, this is bad. Luckily I have already erased reading it from my mind so I don't need to go into it any further but it's just awful throughout. Don't bother.

Resurrection Man #10: It's so obvious now they're both out, but this is Dial H's crappy little brother. If only it was anywhere near as good. Or good, period. The angels from the early issues are back, and get what Hulk would called SMASHED. There's a secret giant underground technology base and... some other stuff. I don't care enough to try and make sense of this book any more.

Suicide Squad #10: The usual quality product here. Harley is back (although I thought from where we left her she was gone for good for other reasons) and so is Yo-Yo, having been shat out by King Shark and grown himself a new body. But somebody somewhere isn't playing ball with The Wall. Who can it be? Maybe we'll find out next month.

Superboy #10: SUPERBOY PUNCHES A DINOSAUR! In other news there is a hint ot teen romance between him and Wonder Girl then BANG! SMACK IN THE KISSER! This is a really good issue, no messing.

Desire is withered away from the sons of men! (aldo), Sunday, 17 June 2012 15:00 (eight years ago) link

And quite how they're going to work around Clark being dead, since he isn't in any of the other books, I have no idea.

Isn't it still set five or ten years before the rest of Tha Nu-52?

the hat's filthy lesson (sic), Monday, 18 June 2012 01:23 (eight years ago) link

It was supposed to be set 7 years before the Superman title, which pretty much puts it at the same time as the Justice League book (they were supposedto align at issue 8, I think?), I just hadn't eralised before they were absolutely contemporaneous (the hamsters).

Desire is withered away from the sons of men! (aldo), Monday, 18 June 2012 05:50 (eight years ago) link

This is the only nu-52 proper I'm reading (the Bats Inc and Woman having both been written before the reboot), so I thought you were talking about the Collector's bottle worlds with that hamsters ref.

the hat's filthy lesson (sic), Monday, 18 June 2012 06:16 (eight years ago) link

Batwoman #10: This really isn't getting much better, is it? The diversion about the dying cat is good, but isn't it lifted straight from a Gmoz thing? He does it in Animal Man #26, and also somewhere need the end of The Filth (I think?). But the layouts are really nice, and the escalation in Killer Croc's powers could be interesting - although merging him with Sobek is a new idea which could screw up Geoff Johns' future work on Captain Marvel. I enjoyed this more than any of maybe the previous three or four, but that's not saying a hell of a lot.

Birds of Prey #10: So... new costumes, new faces, Ivy needs planted in a giant Gro-bag and Batman has a grump on. Just another normal issue then. And on the plus side I've now also learned that such a thing as liquid cocaine exists, and that adding water makes something inert very explosive. Which clearly makes the whole venture worthwhile.

Blue Beetle #10: With the whole Ravagers/NOWHERE axis bleeding the will out of us, the last thing we need is another "teenager imprisoned by the government doing experiments on him" book. I tell a lie, the last thing we need is one as badly written as this. The Mexican slang is back, the casual racism of Hispanics having grandmothers that are old battleaxes, the sinister boss and the dumb employees. Hackneyed rubbish.

Captain Atom #10: I know I've said before that I don't have the words, but this is just... the giant lion's mouth of God is about to eat Captain Atom so he and all the other Captain Atom's that he finds in the time stream decide to fight it, then our Captain Atom flies throughout time and sees that if he didn't become Captain Atom then Grodd would instead so he doesn't make the cancer go away that he did in #4(? needs a Fact-Checkin' Ed) and the person dies in the future, which then lets him absorb all the other Captain Atoms and the giant mouth and become Captain Atom. Then he goes back to see Steven Hawking who tells him where the woman with one hand he fancies is. Once he gets there he changes himslef into Doctor Manhattan and Hal Jordan to go on a date with her. Apparently next issue this does not end well. Maybe their panna cotta will be a bit too set for their tastes.

Catwoman #10: None of you are reading this, right? So if I say the only good thing is Catwoman's latest Hispanic (?) fuckbuddy being a plant for some mobsters I'm not spoiling anything for anybody? The Dollhouse plot is an inferior version of the Russian prostitutes plot from the previous run, or even from the Punisher plot which was similar. The book is treading water so hard, I really just think the best thing for it is to get a crippling cramp and sink like a stone.

DCU Presents: The plot plods along in James Robinson's Vandal Savage book, which makes it 1000x better than any of the other books this week. This is the week I think I hate more that the others. WW is the only decent title, although at least Legion, Nightwing and Red Hood are readable. Anyway, Savage has a copycat killer. In a plot COMPLETELY UNLIKE Silence of the Lambs, the authorities want Savage to help. He does, then escapes. Ho hum. I bet it'll have a really straightforward conclusion next month.

Desire is withered away from the sons of men! (aldo), Sunday, 24 June 2012 13:06 (eight years ago) link

It's nice of you to review the dregs of the DCU all together. Though I'm sorry you're reading any of them.

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 24 June 2012 13:12 (eight years ago) link

Guillem March's recent variant on his own upcoming Catwoman cover:

Biff Wellington (WmC), Sunday, 24 June 2012 16:29 (eight years ago) link

It's nice of DC to publish them all together.

GLC #10: John Stewart is to be executed by the Alpha Lanterns for killing a Green Lantern. Guy doesn't like the idea, so after 20 pages of sadface he busts him out, only for JS to still be all sadface and the Alpha Lanterns shut down the power battery so the GLs can't fight. 2 pages of this are worth reading.

LoSH #10: A small part of Dominators stuff does not make this good. Apart from that it is a fine nostalgiafest, Nostalgia is not necessarily good, as I have learned month on month during this.

Nightwing #10: Kind of procedural, kind of sadface, kind of bollocks. Immaterial to how I feel about anything tbh,

Red Hood #10: Maybe the shortest issue at 16 pages this month. Still probably fails in the "least anount of plot" title for DC. Nothing really happens and that which does is utterly inconsequental. Someone from a planet which doesn@t exist comes to see Starfire, after which we find out they couldn't have existed. Oh well


He's not? Yeah, I had worked that out after reading this.

Wonder Woman #10: AT LAST, SOMETHING WORTH READING. The reality is, THIS IS AT LEAST AS GOOD, IF NOT BETTER THAN EVERY BOOK PRECEDING IT. If I had to describe WW I would say it is the best parts of Hellblazer, Fables and Gravel combined; let alone lesser things. You should really all be getting this, even if it's only in trades. LOVE IT.

Desire is withered away from the sons of men! (aldo), Sunday, 24 June 2012 21:33 (eight years ago) link

More key architects of THE NEW 52 continue to speak about what a well-planned, supportive and fulfilling creative environment it is! George Perez:

“Unfortunately when you are writing major characters, you sometimes have to make a lot of compromises, and I was made certain promises, and unfortunately not through any fault of Dan DiDio — he was no longer the last word, I mean a lot of people were now making decisions [...] they were constantly going against each other, contradicting, again in mid-story. The people who love my Superman arc, the first six issues, I thank you. What you read, I don’t know. Because the fact that, after I wrote it I was having such frustration that I told them, ‘Here, this is my script. If you change it, that’s your prerogative, don’t tell me. Don’t ask me to edit it, don’t ask me to correct it, because I don’t want to change something that you’re going to change again in case you disagree.” No no, Superman is a big character. I was flattered by the responsibility, but I thought this was getting a little tough.”

“I didn’t mind the changes in Superman, I just wish it was the same decision from Issue 1 to Issue 2. And I had to keep rewriting things because another person changed their mind, and that was a lot tougher. It wasn’t the same as doing Wonder Woman. I was basically given a full year to get Wonder Woman established before she actually had to be enfolded into the DC Universe properly. And I had a wonderful editor, Karen Berger, who ran shotgun for me. They wanted me to recreate what I did from Wonder Woman, but it’s not the same age, not the same atmosphere, I couldn’t do it any more. And the writer who replaced me, Keith Giffen, [...] he called me up when they asked him to do Superman, to make sure I wasn’t being fired off Superman. And regrettably I did have to tell him no, I can’t wait to get off Superman. It was not the experience I wanted it to be.”

I had no idea Grant Morrison was going to be working on another Superman title. I had no idea I was doing it five years ahead, which means … my story, I couldn’t do certain things without knowing what he did, and Grant wasn’t telling everybody. So I was kind of stuck. ‘Oh, my gosh, are the Kents alive? What’s his relationship with all of these characters? Who exists?’ And DC couldn’t give me answers. I said, ‘Oh, my gosh, you’re deciding all these things and you mean even you don’t know what’s going on in your own books?’ So I became very frustrated …”

the hat's filthy lesson (sic), Wednesday, 27 June 2012 09:01 (eight years ago) link

Which caused me to look up Karen Berger's whereabouts:

In 2007 Berger was named supervising editor (along with Senior Editor Shelly Bond) of Minx, a new comic book imprint published by DC. Minx published comics and graphic novels aimed at teenage girls until they were cancelled in 2008.

Oh, DCpaws.

Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 09:13 (eight years ago) link

Berger's still a VP at DC IIRC

the hat's filthy lesson (sic), Wednesday, 27 June 2012 12:18 (eight years ago) link

She's editing China Mieville's Dial H.

EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 13:31 (eight years ago) link

"Senior VP - Executive Editor"

I looked inside the one Vertigo comic I've bought this year

the hat's filthy lesson (sic), Wednesday, 27 June 2012 14:01 (eight years ago) link

I'm trying to remember the last Vertigo book I read monthly. I read SCALPED in trades, and will stick it out (though the last collection was largely by-the-numbers and put me off for that very reason.)

Lo, how the mighty have etc. etc.

Matt M., Wednesday, 27 June 2012 14:51 (eight years ago) link

In fairness, they started with a lot of big creators writing their defining works, it was always going to be tricky to keep it up. They've arguably still got that now with 100 Bullets / Fables (Okay not quite on the Gaiman / Morrison / Milligan / Ennis / Ellis level)

Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:04 (eight years ago) link

I have just been handed a piece of paper that informs me that 100 Bullets has ended.

Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:10 (eight years ago) link

they started with a handful of rebadged DC superheroes and a bunch of books from a failed Disney line

and it's unlikely they'll ever get any strong breakout hits again now that nu-DC has clamped down on any creator-owned works. I've not checked the copyright on the new Azzarello thing, but otherwise a) the only creator-owned things they have going have to be "earned" by simultaneously working on the plantation, and b) the rights deal is so bad that no-one's taking them anything anyway