Mike: It’s a slippery slope.
James: Week 3 of nU Reviews is up. Week 4 by Saturday hopefully.
Mike: It’s a slippery slope.
James: Week 3 of nU Reviews is up. Week 4 by Saturday hopefully.
Ok, I’ve fallen way behind. And now you know what Mike has known for some time, I’m fucking terrible at meeting self-imposed deadlines. Since I’m so far back most of these are gonna be fairly short. So, here are my week 3 reviews. Just in time for week 4’s releases.
Week 2 Holdovers
Batwoman #1 is getting hype I’m not quite sure it deserves. It’s not a bad book, but the new villain is kind of lame, Kate’s pale skin has been cranked up to a ridiculous degree that makes her look sickly, and the addition of a sidekick is questionable at best. It’s not that I disliked the book, it was a solid read and I’ll pick up the next one, but there is definitely room for improvement. I think everyone’s just happy Batwoman is back.
3/5 Female Powders
Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1 was a trip. That’s the best way I can think to describe a book that turns into a remake of Monster Squad about halfway through. It was certainly an interesting read, but there isn’t a whole lot of characterization to be found. Then again, Monster Squad. Who needs characterization?
3/5 Ray Palmer Appearances
Demon Knights #1 was a decidedly different take on some of DC’s immortal characters. There was a whole lot of backstory to set up and I don’t think they’ve quite established any of the characters yet, but what we have seen of the likes of Madame Xanadu have been… interesting. As a fan of her Vertigo series I’m not quite sold on this version whose first words in the series were “Sod this.” and who seems to have simultaneous romantic relationships with Jason Blood and Etrigan. Worth a second look though.
3.25/5 Dragon Soldiers
Week 3 Proper
Supergirl #1 continues the alarming trend of me liking the books from Superman’s corner of the universe better than any other new release for the third week in a row. Guys, I don’t really like Superman. I’m kind of infamous for it. With the exception of a few high profile stories the big blue boy scout bores the hell out of me, always has. But here I am enjoying the hell out of every book starring a character with an S on their chest. If this reboot accomplishes nothing else at least the Super series have been a success so far. As for Supergirl herself the story is pretty straight forward. A young girl lost on alien world scared and alone is attacked by government goons and discovers her superpowers. Then she’s met by someone else wearing her family’s crest. But when the execution is this good it doesn’t matter that you know Supes is going to show up at the end. The art is fantastic, Kara’s inner monologue is compelling, and her fear and confusion are palpable on the page. Michael Green, Mike Johnson, and Mahmud Asrar deliver a fantastic read that continues to pull me down the Super-rabbit hole.
4.5/5 Super Series
Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 is written by Scott Lobdell. Last week I was downright effusive with my praise of Lobdell’s work on the first issue of Superboy, which makes the following sentence all the more disappointing for me to write. Fuck you, Scott Lobdell. You were given a chance to recreate Starfire for the DCnU and the best you could come up with was amnesiac sex doll? Fuck you. I get real tired of defending comics from claims of sexism. I’ve said thing like, “Sure, some comics are sexist, but so are some TV shows and movies. You can’t paint the whole medium as having a problem because of a few bad books.” Well now I have to eat those words. This is a problem for the whole medium. This was DC’s chance to reinvent one of their highest profile female characters (thanks to the very popular Teen Titans TV show) for a whole new audience and instead of making her interesting or compelling they turned her into a vacuous sex kitten for the two male stars of the series to high five over having nailed. Fuck you, Scott Lobdell. Fuck you, Dan DiDio. Fuck you, everyone at DC who saw this and let it go to print.
0/5 Embarrassing Purchases
Blue Beetle #1 was the star of our last page on this here comic, but said page contained no review because I hadn’t read the book yet. I was just glad it was back. Still am. I missed the Blue Beetle, not Jaime himself as he’s appeared elsewhere pretty consistantly since his book’s cancellation, but his supporting cast. Paco, Brenda, Milagro, Berto, and most especially Bianca Reyes. They were my favorite supporting cast outside of Spider-Man and I missed them terribly. None of them gets a chance to really shine in this first issue which is pretty focused on establishing The Reach’s intergalactic threat and La Dama’s criminal enterprise in addition to giving Jaime the Beetle, but I’m sure they’ll get the spotlight at some point in the future. I’m also sure somewhere on the internet someone is complaining about all the Spanish in this book. Get over it. Blue Beetle #1 was a great jumping on point for new readers and a welcome return for old fans.
4/5 Brenda’s Backs!
I was really looking forward to Wonder Woman #1 and it didn’t disappoint. Diana is tasked with protecting a woman whose carrying one of Zeus’ bastards. Oh, that Zeus. Always sticking his penis where it doesn’t belong. Anyway Hera’s on the warpath trying to snuff the unborn demigod before it can fulfill a prophecy that says it will kill one of the Olympians and take their place. So the godly intrigue gets cranked all the way up in the first issue. Unfortunately, so much time is spent on this that we don’t actually spend a lot of time with Diana. I am excited about the next issue though, so it was a minor quibble.
4/5 Dead Deities
Nightwing #1 brings Dick back to his old name and a familiar, if somewhat altered, costume. Dick is as confidant as he’s ever been coming off a successful stint as the Goddamned Batman. Writer Kyle Higgins doesn’t waste much time in bringing him back down to Earth. Someone shows up to kill Grayson, not Nightwing, and ends up killing two cops while Dick ducks around a corner to change into his uniform. Yikes. That’s some bad heroing there boy blunder. The baddy claims Grayson is a killer. This is a recurring theme this week, stay tuned for Batman for more details. Pretty good issue all in all and again DC has me coming back for more next month. This fucking reboot is killing my wallet.
3.5/5 Broken Ribs
Batman #1 is written by American Vampire’s Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo. How do you start a run on Batman? Having him take on every hood, thug, and nutjob in Arkham Asylum while delivering an inner monologue about the state of Gotham is a nice start. Having him team up with the Joker is a nice twist. Having a killer’s DNA match Dick Grayson at the end of the issue is a better twist. Snyder writes Bats, Alfred, Gordon, and all three Robins very well, but it’s the way he handled Harvey Bullock that really impressed me. His take on the state of Gotham is a perfect antithesis to Bruce’s. After all it may be a nU DC, but Gotham is still Gotham. Capullo is a perfect fit for this comic. Loved this issue.
4.25/5 Cigar Fires
Birds of Prey #1 by Duane “My Last Name Is Ridiculous To Try To Spell” Swierczynski and Jesus “My Name Is Much Easier To Spell” Saiz is a good book with an interesting take on the the titular Birds. Apparently Black Canary has been accused of murder and she’s on the run, but not particularly concerned with proving her innocence. Instead she’s out helping the helpless with the help of one Ev Crawford and, notably, not with the help of Babs who seems to be at odds with Dinah’s new direction. Not for long since we know she’ll eventually show up in this book much to Gail Simone’s apparent dismay. It’s not quite what I thought it would be, but it’s a good read. Frickin’ DC’s got me again.
3.5/5 Exploding Authors
Finally, Catwoman #1 starts off with a tasteful shot of Catwoman’s cans and it doesn’t really get much better from there. I’m not up in arms about this one like I was with Red Hood. Catwoman is a femme fatale. That’s one of the basic aspects of her character, so I’m hardly surprised that they played up the sex. I’m less than thrilled with it being the main focus of the book, but… whatever. Not for me I guess.
1/5 Spandex Sex Scenes
Mike: Job hunting sucks.
James: Indeed. Game of Thrones, however, is awesome. Just before the HBO series came out I ran out and picked up the book so I could be that guy who said, “It was good, but the book was better.” I’ve never been that guy and I kind of hate that guy, but I wanted to walk a mile in his jackass shoes. The book was remarkable and I immediately read A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows. Then I watched the show. The book certainly has more depth, but I can’t imagine a better or more faithful translation of the story. The casting was perfect, the acting was often spellbinding, and the direction was flawless. When the fifth book of the series, A Dance with Dragons, came out I picked it up and blew through it in a few days. It was my favorite book in the series since A Clash of Kings. Fantasy, traditionally, has not been my genre. I’m one of the few who didn’t go gaga over Lord of the Rings and I generally prefer fantasy’s sister genre sci-fi for my flights of fancy, but A Song of Ice and Fire is unlike any fantasy series I’ve ever encountered. I cannot recommend the books or the TV show highly enough. So ends my nerd rant.