Rather than clog the commentary posts on the comics I thought it would be best to just give these reviews their own blog series unimaginatively titled nU Reviews. So let’s get started.
Batgirl #1 finds Babs back on her feet with no explanation yet provided as to how, but oddly enough the main focus of the issue is our new/old Batgirl dealing with the psychological and physical aftereffects of The Killing Joke anyway. Almost taunting the expectant reader by mentioning that something happened, but not explaining what that something was. Whatever the case The Killing Joke is, as promised, very much still in continuity. Gail Simone is clearly having fun with this assignment. She has always loved Barbara and that comes through in the writing. This book was a lot of fun, right up till the end when it switched gears and became very serious, very quickly. The art by Ardian Syaf is great. And the story is engaging, but it’s not a perfect book. While I’m less annoyed with the lack of answers than I would have suspected I still wish they’d addressed how she’s up and about right out of the gate. And her new roommate is less entertaining than Simone seems to think she is. That said, it’s a very solid first comic.
Detective Comics #1 is an interesting book, but it already seems to be a very ambitious undertaking. Right out of the gate Batman is chasing the Joker, but he makes some comments in his inner monologue about the Joker’s criminal past that makes me wonder how this book and the above Batgirl will work in the same continuity. I’m giving DC the benefit of the doubt on this one for the time being. Anyway, Bats and Joker do a modified version of their usual dance with Joker fairing a lot better than he usually does in a physical confrontation with the Goddamned Batman. And that’s all I’m going to say. I’m trying not to spoil anything here, because the ending legitimately surprised me. Can’t wait to see where this is going.
4.25/5 Naked Clowns
Action Comics #1 is the book of the week. To say that I was less than enthused about this particular corner of the reboot in the months leading up to this launch would be a sizable understatement, but 1 issue in and I am already sold. I LOVE Superman’s new direction. This different take on Superman, which is actually a return to his 1930’s origins, as a social crusader every bit as concerned with stopping corrupt businessmen and other societal cancers as he is with punching superbaddies is unlike just about anything else on the stands. And nU Supes is young and brash, making enemies everywhere he turns by doing the right thing the wrong way. The new take on Clark Kent is… interesting. At the very least I finally believe that people wouldn’t instantly recognize Clark and Superman as the same person (it might take them a whole 10 seconds now). Clark doesn’t get as much fleshing out as his caped alter-ego in this issue, so no judgments on that front just yet. Luthor makes his appearance and he is never more entertaining than he is when Morrison writes him. The dialogue about alien fauna destroying local wildlife is both highly entertaining and a good establishing character moment. By the end of the issue he proves that he may be more dangerous in the DCnU than ever before. Lois and Jimmy get the short end of the stick in this issue with less ‘screen time’ than Clark and Lex or even General Lane. But I’m sure they’ll get their turn in the future. Rags Morales turns in some excellent work on art and Morrison is Morrison. All in all, one of the best first issues I can remember reading.
4.75/5 Big Ass Bullets
Green Arrow #1 is the first real dud I’ve picked up in the DCnU. Ollie lost his beard, he’s back to running a major corporation, he’s operating internationally, he has a new costume (Smallville inspired I believe), and he’s hired himself a support team. These are all changes that could, and probably should, work. But they just don’t. It starts with the basics: dialogue, story, and art. Ollie delivers some really bad attempts at tough guy talk during his big fight. And later he gives a speech about why he fights the good fight that seems to be checking off every item on a superhero cliche list as quickly as they possibly can. His new bad guys are lame, which he comments on. So maybe intentional? They’re also intensely uninteresting. Probably not intentional. His new supporting cast sucks. Honestly, they felt more like a parody than a real supporting cast. I actually hope that Krul phoned this one in, I’d hate to think he really tried and it still came out this bad. And I’m just not a fan of Dan Jurgens’ art. Not really a whole lot to add to that. Finishing this comic with the others staring at me from my pile felt like a chore. How long until we can reboot this particular reboot?
1/5 Poor Ollies