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 (twelve 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 (twelve 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 (twelve 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 (twelve 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 (twelve 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 (twelve 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 (twelve 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 (twelve 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 (twelve years ago) link

This is great, keep it going!

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

she casts magic spells by saying words backwards

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

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

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

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

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


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

Enjoying these so far. Stay strong.

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

Thanks again Aldo. These recaps are great.

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

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

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

Adam Hughes did the cover.

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

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


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

man, that Workman fill-in looks so wrong

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

almost 20 years ago, Deathblow was chilling with Wolverine!

the times, how they change

mh, Thursday, 26 March 2015 15:30 (nine years ago) link

this looks terrible. kinda surprised (but grateful) they're not trying to fold watchmen into the dcu as part of this

― bizarro gazzara, Thursday, 26 March 2015 15:23 (37 minutes ago)

Well they have, kind of. Earth 4 is the earth of Watchmen, or rather the earth of Watchmen had it used the Charlton heroes after all.

the bowels are not what they seem (aldo), Thursday, 26 March 2015 16:08 (nine years ago) link

As a store owner whose only DC sales for two months will be Convergence - fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Thursday, 26 March 2015 20:20 (nine years ago) link

Followed shortly by Marvel rebooting with an assload of #1s with their version of the New 52.

I need to find a connection for good, mellow weed.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Thursday, 26 March 2015 20:21 (nine years ago) link

okay irl lolz

Maybe in 100 years someone will say damn Dawn was dope. (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 26 March 2015 20:23 (nine years ago) link

Multiversity: Ultra Comics was really cool, but at this point I have no idea how it's all supposed to fit together.

Frederik B, Thursday, 26 March 2015 20:40 (nine years ago) link

I was about to say, as someone whose only DC book has been Multiversity, DC seems to be in a pretty neat state at the moment!

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 26 March 2015 22:08 (nine years ago) link

Check back here frequently as new content is added.

Check back here frequently as we make up the answers!

oochie wally (clean version) (sic), Friday, 27 March 2015 00:56 (nine years ago) link

Well... yes?

Andrew Farrell, Friday, 27 March 2015 09:01 (nine years ago) link

Caught up with some DC stuff -- the final issues of the three weekly minis, plus Convergence 0.

Surprise! They were not good. Also, unless I read wrong, they've set up a definitive future in which, er, all the heroes are killed and turned into zombie robots - is that right? That seems... bleak.

Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 4 April 2015 01:41 (nine years ago) link

it's convergence. Everything will change and be rewritten and chucked out the window for the nunu-52.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 4 April 2015 01:44 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

I don't know if we need a new thread for post 52 clusterfucks, but DC is making a new ad campaign: DC YOU! Promising to ask readers such smart questions as: 'Are YOU ready to laugh?, Are YOU ready to hashtag this?, and Are YOU ready for the new awesome?' I know I'm not! Apparently they are promoting diversity. So of course there's an ad with famed gay superhero Midnighter, which just shows a man in a mask with blood on his face and the tagline: He can predict your every move... but nobody can predict what he'll do next... are YOU ready? They really sold the diversity of that story...

Frederik B, Tuesday, 19 May 2015 21:02 (nine years ago) link

New Fifty-YOU! sounds horrible.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 19 May 2015 21:30 (nine years ago) link

I'll contribute to a thread but Conetc has undone all my goodwill to lengthy reviews tbh.

the bowels are not what they seem (aldo), Wednesday, 20 May 2015 03:48 (nine years ago) link

So, based on those ads, the "bunny Batman" we discussed in the other thread is... Commissioner Gordon in a robosuit?! Whoever thought that was a good idea?

Tuomas, Wednesday, 20 May 2015 06:37 (nine years ago) link

kneejerk answer is 'geoff johns'

bizarro gazzara, Wednesday, 20 May 2015 08:35 (nine years ago) link

I think it's an okay idea, and I like the suit design. Snyder's a decent writer when he can be bothered (which hasn't been often, lately). I wouldn't buy it, though.

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 20 May 2015 09:15 (nine years ago) link

The question isn't who thought of it. The question is: Are YOU ready for it?

Frederik B, Wednesday, 20 May 2015 09:37 (nine years ago) link


DJP, Friday, 22 May 2015 20:41 (nine years ago) link

I'd always wondered why you never see Superman and Henry Rollins in the same room.

The Freewheelin' Denny Dillon (Old Lunch), Friday, 22 May 2015 21:10 (nine years ago) link

Is that the new version of Superboy Prime? IIRC he had that red "S" on black background thing going on before the reboot... Considering that the whole character is supposed to be a parody of fanboys, I guess it'd make sense for him to try to look cool and drive a motorcycle.

Tuomas, Sunday, 24 May 2015 09:41 (nine years ago) link

I am not that into DC's recent work but that image gives me hope for something

ultimate american sock (mh), Sunday, 24 May 2015 10:39 (nine years ago) link

Tuomas, that's the post-Convergence Superman, seen in a preview of an upcoming Superman/Batman issue. Apparently his Clark Kent ID has been revealed (by Lois Lane!) and he's depowered. And he's been watching Bruce Willis movies.

three weeks pass...

From a 1998 Flash comic found at a charity shop:

Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 20 June 2015 20:45 (nine years ago) link

was that ever published???


Wasn't there a character in The Invisibles who was, essentially, Bruce Wayne if Bruce Wayne's life-defining moment had been being abducted by aliens and not having his parents killed?

Tuomas, Wednesday, 1 July 2015 11:18 (nine years ago) link

Striking fear into the hearts of criminals using anal discomfort and memory loss

Hikikomori Povich (tsrobodo), Wednesday, 1 July 2015 12:31 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

Hal has a touch of the Fabio about him lately

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 6 August 2015 21:58 (eight years ago) link

have they cast Green Lantern in the upcoming Justice League movie yet? Baffleck Batman playing opposite Fabio Hal could be pretty entertaining

pop addicts should "do their thing", whatever that may be (soref), Thursday, 6 August 2015 22:17 (eight years ago) link

is he wearing a green fur robe?

pop addicts should "do their thing", whatever that may be (soref), Thursday, 6 August 2015 22:21 (eight years ago) link

I want to believe so.

earlnash, Thursday, 6 August 2015 23:08 (eight years ago) link

Mostly laying out of the New 52 outside a few issues when it started, I've read a few of the first couple Batman related trades. I've read the first couple years of Batman, Detective and Batman & Robin now. I'd say the artwork in these three titles over the first couple of years is really quite good. Whether or not they needed to do this reboot, I think it is a good run of Batman artwork in the three titles. I still thinking starting 5 years in and filling in the gaps was a bit wack, but it all does start to come together a bit as it goes on.

Court of Owls storyline - The story's execution was just dumb. They made those clones way too powerful and the fight scenes were just way over the top. The whole secret court seems pretty hard to buy in old continuity although parts of the background and how it tied into Gotham wasn't bad. I'd think Paul Dini could probably take the elements and make them work as at some point they would have to explain relationship and history between the Court and Ra's Al Ghul, which could work in the right hands. I thought it was a very weird story to use to reboot Batman as the story had so much back in the comics before hand.

Zero Year - It's definitely a different take on Batman's origin. I kind of liked the modern Riddler take although it seems to me to echo the last Batman movie a bit close. I figured that thing the soldiers found in the desert would end up being a Lazarus Pit, but it didn't go that way. All in all, kind of underwhelming but it wasn't bad. It's Batman's origin story, you better be able to make a decent comic with the material.

Death in the Family - It was a definite over the top modern Joker story, but I thought the horror elements worked better with the character than I would have thought. It definitely had a similar vibe to Snyders quite good arc "The Black Mirror" done with Jock before the reboot.

earlnash, Thursday, 6 August 2015 23:41 (eight years ago) link

is Darlene the name of Green Lantern's space girlfriend? Is that a callback to his space girlfriend from the 80s when he was exiled from earth for a year?

OOOoWoOo (Dr. Superman), Monday, 10 August 2015 02:01 (eight years ago) link

Darlene is the ship's computer, I think.

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 10 August 2015 08:40 (eight years ago) link

with an ATTITUDE!

as verbose and purple as a Peter Ustinov made of plums (James Morrison), Tuesday, 11 August 2015 06:33 (eight years ago) link

four years pass...

You can come back Aldo, Dan DiDio is gone!

EZ Snappin, Friday, 21 February 2020 23:40 (four years ago) link

OMG, no fuckin way


Hot, Now, and Oh-So-Very Wow! (Old Lunch), Saturday, 22 February 2020 00:01 (four years ago) link

Although now I have to wonder if Di Dio's departure doesn't mean that AT&T isn't preparing to gut the whole comics division.

Hot, Now, and Oh-So-Very Wow! (Old Lunch), Saturday, 22 February 2020 00:07 (four years ago) link

I have not read a single new comic book in February. Cold turkey wasn't that bad.

Doubling down on out of date information (aldo), Monday, 24 February 2020 12:20 (four years ago) link

In other DC news: I was wondering why I kept seeing raves about this goddamn Wonder Twins series that just ended and looked into it and discovered that it was written by the same dude who wrote the goddamn Flintstones series I kept seeing raves about and the goddamn Snagglepuss series I kept seeing raves about so I guess I need to just forget about the source material being mined and read this Mark Russell dude's stuff already, huh.

Expart of Languidge (Old Lunch), Monday, 24 February 2020 13:14 (four years ago) link

lol, wut —

Ticket Tout (morrisp), Tuesday, 25 February 2020 04:45 (four years ago) link

Ok, that site looks sketchy af (I’ve never read it, the story just came up in my Google newsfeed)

Ticket Tout (morrisp), Tuesday, 25 February 2020 04:51 (four years ago) link

Yes, that site is sketchy af and, iirc, a favorite of Comicsgate mutants.

Expart of Languidge (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 25 February 2020 05:10 (four years ago) link

sorry for the linky

Ticket Tout (morrisp), Tuesday, 25 February 2020 05:14 (four years ago) link

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