This week, encouraged by the high average quality from the first two weeks of the DCnU I decided to pick up more books this week than before. The results were predictably mixed.
Legion Lost #1 is my first foray into Legion of Super-Heroes comics. This being a linewide reboot and all I figured this would be the perfect place to jump on. That was less than accurate. I have no idea who these people/monsters are and Fabian Nicieza isn’t slowing down long enough to fill me in. He does tell us why they’re here though. The Legion is chasing someone named Alastor who has a beef with humans despite looking an awful lot like one about half of the time. I don’t know if he’s an established villain, I don’t know what his beef with humanity is exactly (something about a little sister), and I don’t know what pathogen he released into present day Earth’s atmosphere. Nicieza is throwing things at the reader fast and furious and hoping to keep you interested enough to stick around for answers, which is actually fairly typical for him. I usually enjoy his stuff, with the seriously underrated odd couple book Cable & Deadpool ranking among my favorite runs ever and his recent work on Red Robin being very good. Pete Woods turns in some very solid pencils. I wasn’t blown away, but the ending caught me off guard and has me waiting for the next issue. Pretty much exactly what you want from an introductory issue.
3.5/5 Burst Bubbles
Next up, Suicide Squad #1 brings back one of my favorite team concepts and attempts to fill the void left by Secret Six as the ‘villain book’. Considering how good that book generally was that’s quite the task. I enjoyed this first issue a whole lot. We jump into the minds of Harley Quinn, El Diablo, and Deadshot of the titular Suicide Squad as they are tortured for information on their benefactor, but none of them crack. King Shark doesn’t crack either, but he doesn’t seem to have much of a mind to jump into in the DCnU. Someone does crack though and only then do they reveal the twist that most readers must have seen coming a mile away. They telegraphed that one a bit and I was severely disappointed until the last page delivered something I wasn’t expecting. Two things actually, but I’m not a huge fan of Amanda Waller’s new look. Speaking of new looks, I was one of the people who thought Harley’s was a bit much, but it turns out that wasn’t the most drastic change made to her. She seems much more deranged in the DCnU. This chick is exactly who you’d expect to fall for the Joker. On the other hand Floyd Lawton is the same old bastard we know and love, just minus one mustache. I miss the mustache, but I suppose I can live without it. Adam Glass gets the right tone and he’s moving the team in the right (completely wrong) direction. Federico Dallocchio and Ransom Getty also have the tone down right. In fact, I’m sure some will complain that this is the same as every other iteration of the Squad. New members, same old story and so forth. But if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and the Squad isn’t broken.
4.25/5 MEATS! MEATS! MEATS!
Superboy #1 is my favorite book of the week, continuing a good trend for Superman’s corner of the Universe. But, to be fair, I am a sucker for a good Tyke Bomb storyline. The Superboy is a weapon created by mixing the DNA of Superman and a certain “deeply pathological, megalomaniacal narcissist”. The majority of the issue explores the mysterious organization N.O.W.H.E.R.E. (love the ridiculous acronym) in their attempts to gain control of the Superboy. Including a VR simulation of a life in small town Kansas that guest stars a Teen Titan from the DColdU. In fact, she’s just about the last Teen Titan I expected to see in this book, but she plays a prominent role both inside and outside the VR program. I hope she sticks around because she’s awfully entertaining here. Superboy himself is pretty much a blank slate at this point and this book seems like it will be about him trying to figure out exactly who he is. The book ends with a tie in to Scott Lobdell’s other book, the aforementioned Teen Titans #1. As bad as that cover looks I’m going to be picking it up to see what’s happening to our Superboy here and Tim Drake. Lobdell does a good job of establishing characters, but some of the pseudoscience relating to his spread consciousness doesn’t really work. Then again, this is a comic book. When does the science ever work? R.B. Silva brings a real energy to every page and the squatty science goon was a nice touch that made me chuckle.
4.25/5 Ravaging Ravagers
Batman and Robin #1 was a really solid book with a few interesting choices made by Peter Tomasi. Having Batman’s continuity stay so much more intact than the other characters around DCnU presents the problem of having to manufacture a split from the previous continuity that few other writers of the new 52 have to face. Tomasi gives Bats a sort of self-induced milestone in this one that does the trick. Basically, he decides to honor his parents in a less morbid way than he had been since their death. Psychologically healthy and dramatically compelling, well played Mr. Tomasi. As for the rest of this issue Damian is, nearly impossibly, more obnoxious than ever before in this issue. He spends a full third of the book ragging on Bats for being sad about his parent’s death. Yeesh. But Damian being obnoxious doesn’t mean Damian is being poorly written, kind of the opposite. It’s interesting that Damian is so much closer to Dick than Bruce at this point. He has to start over fresh as Robin if he’s going to have Bruce accept him as a partner. I could see why he’d be pissy about earning his stripes a second time. There’s a mystery bad guy who bookends this issue by offing people peripherally related to Bats. No idea why, but the last line of the book provides a clue.
3.75/5 Snide Sidekicks
Ok, so I said I’d also review Batwoman #1, Frankenstein # 1, and Demon Knights #1 too and I will review them. But not right now. I’m tired from work and going to bed early. More nU Reviews tomorrow. Promise.