DC’s New 52 – Month 2 review

The second month for DC Comics has come and gone. I was kind of hoping for there to be more on the mysterious woman in red, but alas she nearly disappeared out of this month, showing up in only Batman #2 as far as I could tell. Toward the end of the month, in the editorial, they did put in a piece about her and said that more would be coming from the Justice League comics, which I’ll have to read from a friend as I don’t care for those myself.

All-Star Western
It doesn’t seem promising to me that I don’t particularly remember this comic and it was in the last week of the second month. Still it wasn’t a bad comic and I really like the theme and that it reads like Sherlock Holmes. These things alone are likely enough to keep me for another month even though it is slightly more expensive. I like the concepts. If the third month has the same issue as the second, I will be done.

Animal Man
This was easily one of my favorite comic books from the first month largely because it concentrated on a hero who had to deal with real life issues as a hero. I thought it was hugely interesting and really well written. The second month totally lost me however. It just became really really weird and I lost all interest in it. They didn’t really concentrate on the family at all. I mean Animal Man does go off with his daughter… but it’s just strange. It is hard to explain. I won’t go for this one anymore.

I still really like this one, and it is amazing to me considering what Aquaman has been. I think it really comes in the jokes of the comic making fun of itself. I don’t particularly like the monsters looking for food (people) and this has turned me off to the point that I won’t buy the next installation, but it is a really good book. If you can get past the monster villains, I highly recommend this one. 

As mentioned before, the red woman shows up in this comic, though I don’t know why just this one, it didn’t seem particularly special. I have gotten confused by the Batman storylines. They all seem to be happening at about the same time with no crossover at all and I just end up getting confused between the books. I think there are too many Bat Books out there and unfortunately this one may be dropped by my buy list largely because it is fairly forgettable.

This comic continues to hold on to being a great beginning. It gets a little weird so I don’t like it quite as much as the first comic. But she definitely has a ton going on in her world with her father, her girlfriend/sidekick, Batman being on her case, and some weird agency trying to out her. Again, great art and great story. I generally don’t like alternates of other super heroes but this ones is stellar.

Birds of Prey
I wanted this one to pick up in the second book, because I really love the concept. Instead it slowed down. It is too bad. I have decided I don’t like this one.

Blue Beetle
This book has similar issues to Birds of Prey. I like the concept with the internal struggle with the suit and this leads to some funny parts. But overall the story isn’t grabbing me like I would like it to. I still have hope on this one more than Birds of Prey and this might lead to a third purchase, but I also tend to think it isn’t worth it. Another series that it is too bad that they just can’t pick it up a notch.

DC Universe Presents
Not quite as good as the first book in the Deadman saga. I am still curious enough to pick up the third. The first book had a lot going on, but this book almost seemed like filler which seems sad to me considering how early in the series it is to me. Unfortunately nothing really happened here, and many points of the second book were made in the first book. Very redundant, I hope it rights its coarse for book 3.

Detective Comics
Another solid showing for this series. The series continues to be dark and brooding. A new villain shows up and yet another “Wait what?” happens at the end of it. I am very intrigued by the series. Good writing, good art, just all around tops. This is very much my favorite of the Bat books.

Green Lantern
I have to say, I love Sinistro. Like Atrocitus, he actually thinks about his place in the universe and his powers and his duty. He is very insightful and intelligent. I like him far more than Hal Jordan who seems to be nothing more than a tool. Unfortunately, I am sure that the series is leading towards Sinistro joining the Sinistro Corps again and becoming a villain again. But so far, I don’t see him as a villain, even as I watch him controlling Jordan. Just great really.

Green Lantern Corps
This remains my least favorite of the lantern books and I won’t be picking it up for a third month. This is disappointing to me because I am very interested in the concept of seeing other lanterns in action, in particular non-human ones. You would think this might be the place for that, but sadly even though the team contains non-humans, only the humans get the right to say more than a sentence and develop character. Even the story of some never ending force that is out killing worlds to collect elements seems overly bleh.

Green Lanterns: New Guardians
This remains my favorite Green Lantern comic. Focusing on the most interesting human green lantern and he is actually doing really cool things. I also like that there is a representation from each of the ring corps in it which allows them to explore other sides of the ring universe. I find this one extremely compelling and look forward to it every month. If the different ring holders started acting like a team I’d say this would also be my favorite team comic, but I kind of like that at the moment they are at war with each other and that there is a tension there

I, Vampire
I checked out I, Vampire largely because I like vampire stories and I heard this one was good. This has a great concept and I am interested to see how the vampire’s war with the super heroes works out. It isn’t a bad concept, though I often found myself lost. It wasn’t overly cohesive, but the art was cool.

I actually like this series. You got Nightwing inheriting a circus which could be really interesting, a villain who knows his true identity and seems to match up well with him, and him struggling with life after being Batman. It is a good story, but it isn’t blowing me away. That my friend is buying it and I can read his for free, and that I don’t feel very strongly about it means the end of the line for me. That doesn’t mean it isn’t good, it just isn’t great.

Red Lanterns
My friend who pointed me towards Green Lantern in the first place won’t even read this book without paying for it. I am not sure why. The second month was even better than the first. It was full of introspection and thought. The main character Atrocitus is great. So far the main failing of the series is the lack of any sort of character for him to really interact with or villain for him to deal with. Although it seems like both of these might change very soon. I really do like this series and definitely suggest picking it up if you haven’t already.

Suicide Squad
This remains my favorite “team” comic book from DC and it continues its streak. As they promised, someone did in fact die and they actually promise another death next month too. They really are keeping to their name, but I feel that they are going to have to start adding more to the team if they are going to keep this rate up. I don’t think anyone in the DC Universe would allow Harley to get offed by this series. Unfortunately Shark dude is not one of the ones who got axed, but there is always next month (I don’t think he will die next month either but I do hope).

DC’s New 52 – Week 5 Review

I doubt I will be doing this on a weekly basis anymore. I am still buying comics into the second month of DC’s new 52, but I am buying far fewer. In the first month, I would take risks on what looked cool, or what other reviewers really liked. And some I really liked, some I didn’t. The second month I am going more for what interested me most in the first month. It is turning out to be about half of what I bought in the first month, and I expect to halve it another time for the third month. Continue reading “DC’s New 52 – Week 5 Review”

DC’s New 52 – Week 4

Out of the weeks I felt like Week 4 was the closest to being an actual reboot as its gotten. Many of the comics proved to be actual #1s or at least close to it, and I appreciated it for the most part. The quality of the comics still went up and down but that is always going to happen. With that…

Out of the various Batman comics, I still think that Detective Comics was the best so far, however just straight Batman was also pretty darn good. It features all the Robins except for Red Hood, it has a lot of Bruce Wayne’s fenagling, a few twists, a brief appearance of many bad guys. It’s overall a solid book, and I look forward to reading more of it.

Birds of Prey
Probably the main reboot of the Batman universe. This one actually starts over from scratch so if you’ve liked what happened before, you will notice none of it actually happened. Despite the cover, there were actually only two birds here: Black Canary and Starling. The book seemed straight forward to me on first read, but a friend mentioned something about the end that made me think and now I am eager for the next book. I don’t think this comic is great, but it isn’t bad. I will continue on with it at least another month to see where it goes.

Blue Beetle
I really liked this book. I don’t really know much about the beetle and have no history with it. But this comic does a good job of setting up exactly what it is, and sets up the new owner of the Beetle. In a lot of ways, the Blue Beetle is actually very similar to the Green Lanterns. It is an object from space which gives its wearer special powers. The difference is that the Blue Beetle Scarab that joins with people tends to enslave them so we will see how that works out. It was a really good book, but the Spanglish was a bit much, otherwise I think I might continue it.

Captain Atom
Not really sure why I bought this, the reviews on it were mixed but some were good enough that I decided to give it a shot. It was decent, there was a great amount of self reflection about Atom’s super powers that I enjoyed and the art was pretty good. But overall, I felt that it wasn’t my typeof comic book so I don’t think I’m going to continue getting it.

DC Universe Presents
This is supposed to be basically a set of mini-series that concentrate on lesser super heroes in the DC Universe. They are starting with Deadman which has a really interesting premise. I really wanted to read this due to Deadman’s history in the Green Lantern lore of being keeper of the White Lantern ring. Deadman is essentially Quantum Leap without the time travel. Deadman was a bad person in life and is given the chance to redeem himself by leaping into people’s lives and fixing their problems. I enjoyed it overall, it’s always a great premise. I will probably continue on with it but I’m not sure how much my interest will last on this one.

Green Lantern Corps
Green Lantern Corps follows a storyline where the Green Lanterns are trying to figure out why an entire world (and a couple of Green Lanterns) were brutally slaughtered, in fact the brutality actually feels quite out of place given the rest of the comic. I wish they would have found a better way to portray that… At any rate it centers around Guy Gardner and John Stewart who are trying to cope with making money on Earth while being Lanterns. I appreciate the attempt at struggle, but given the power of the ring it falls short in my mind. Overall the book is entertaining but not great. I feel it is the weakest of the Lantern books, even Red Lanterns, though worth a second shot. It isn’t terrible.

Nightwing is probably one of my favorite all time Batman spin-offs. It made sense to me that Robin would eventually grow up and split off from Batman and become a super hero in his own right. And thus I have high hopes for this comic going forward. This isn’t exactly a #1 per say, but it does a better job than usual at bringing the reader up to speed while also providing Nightwing a storyline and dilemma for the future. I liked it overall, though it didn’t really grab me as much as many others did.

Red Hood & The Outlaws
The other Robin who grew up to not be Robin… I like the concept of Red Hood A LOT. I don’t really know much about the hero even while he was Robin, but I do like the concept. Even reading the comic, the first section was quite good. The problem with the female of the group, whom I can’t even remember her name, and I don’t think the writers would care that you didn’t. A more clear character built towards teenage boys I can’t imagine. She is a big breasted scantily clad woman that wants to have sex with any male she sees and doesn’t want any relationship whatsoever out of it. I don’t even really understand how this could be important to anything outside of turning guys on which is really not why I buy comics, I could buy penthouse or something if I wanted that (or use the internet). Given how few pages there are in a DC comic, I would rather them not have wasted it on this. I’m not really interested in this comic in the future even though i am interested in Red Hood as a character.

Wonder Woman
The main reason why I got this comic was because I am looking for the opportunity of getting my daughter a subscription to a comic book for her Christmas present. I thought Wonder Woman might fit the bill because it wasn’t a character she was really familiar with and I figured a strong woman would appeal to her. After reading this one, I have no interest in ever looking at it again. The gore content was much higher than I was expecting, more than most of the other New 52 comics. I also wasn’t particularly fond of the comic despite the gore…. needless to say I was quite disappointed.

Ultimate X-Men
Getting away from DC for a moment, Marvel released their #1 for Ultimate X-Men. I think it was a very good issue, and I like the new direction for the universe. I like that what Professor X had always worried was going to happen and fought against happening finally happened and for the most part the mutants have needed to go underground. Further, I think the teaming of Kitty Pryde, Iceman and Human Torch is a pretty good one. I’m not particularly fond of the son of Wolverine, but we’ll see where it goes…

DC’s New 52 – Week 3

I realize I am a little behind on actual postings on this. My method of picking up the New 52 comics is to pick up anywhere between 4 to 6 that I absolutely want to read when they are launched. I will then read reviews on what remains and pick out what are potentially the best of the rest and buy them the following week. So it generally takes me two weeks to actually read all the comics from one week in particular, and then I’ll go and make the post. Hence the delay.

One thing I didn’t talk about in my original post was that of the Mysterious Red Woman that has been showing up in all the New 52 comics. No one really knows who this woman is or what the purpose is, but all are agreed that DC has another mini-series up its sleeve that revolves around her. In the meantime, we have what is being referred to as a Where’s Waldo game with her in every comic. I actually think this is a really fun aspect to the new lines, and I am glad that DC is doing it. It makes me excited to find her in future comics, and also excited to see exactly what is going on. Yay DC, it seems to be working.

With that… my mini reviews of the week…

I was VERY hesitant to pick this one up. I really hate it when they make she and kid versions of popular comic book heroes. DC has always been the biggest perpetrators of this problem and has been one of the big reasons. 1 And here is yet another new one… do we really need another Bat? What’s next? Batboy? (Wait I didn’t say that, please don’t do it next DC!! We don’t need a baseball themed super hero!)

It turns out that it is a rather good comic however. The comic is appropriately dark and moody in its art, much like the real Batman should be, in fact the tone of the comic feels much more akin to the Batman comic than any of the other “Bats” out there. I definitely appreciate this. Batwoman herself is a very strong character, and is a womanizer and has daddy issues much like her counterpart. I find it kind of funny that she actually does seem to have a romantic relationship with her sidekick, much like it was joked about that Batman & Robin did. Overall, this comic surprised me and is actually one of the few side-Bats that I plan to continue to get.

Demon Knights
I wasn’t going to get this one initially either, but it had really good reviews so I went out and bought it. This one really disappointed though as I didn’t understand what was really going on. I didn’t care for it overall, and don’t really have a whole lot to even say about it.

Green Lantern
This was probably one of the better comics of the week. I did enjoy this comic through and through. Though more than most, this comic emphasized that the new 52 is not a reboot, and is not always intended for new readers. You aren’t really told much about Green Lanterns in general, Hal Jordan or Sinestro, but are dropped in the midst of a story line. DC has stated that Batman and Green Lantern would see the least amount of changes (likely because they are the most popular), but I really feel like they should have done better at preparing new readers to the series. Still it was a pretty enjoyable comic that I can recommend picking up even though I don’t have a history with Green Lantern. 2

Red Lanterns
On the contrary, this particular comic does a pretty good job at setting up what is going on with the main character even though there has been a previous history. They go out of their way to describe who the Red Lanterns are, and what has happened to them in the recent past to set you up for what might be coming in the future. Where it fails is that it doesn’t seem to actually do much to set up any story line that may not happen. It does more to just give you a base to start at, hopefully story line is coming. I am ok with this tactic given the limited space in these books, I’d rather have a starting point than a jump in the middle for a #1.

Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad apparently was a previous series that had some fans but I had never even heard of it so I didn’t care about it. The Suicide Squad comprises of criminals who are recruited into a squad who are sent into dangerous missions. If they choose not to do it, it seems they are generally killed. With this premise they were able to easily stick Harley Quinn into the group without any issues, and boy I do love her new outfit! I don’t know much about the other guys in the group, but they thankfully do give a few of them a mini-origin story which I greatly appreciated. My main complaint is the King Shark which is a ridiculous character overall, they teased at the end of the first issue that someone would die in #2, so here is hoping. This was a very enjoyable comic I thought and was my favorite of the week.

DC’s New 52 – Week 1 & 2

If you are a fan of comic books at all, you may already know…. DC decided to reboot their entire line of comics starting off every line with a #1 in the month of September. An obvious ploy to garner sluggish sales yes, but the move could be uniquely genius. Many people have left the purchasing of graphic novels over the years despite the bigger publicity of having movies out there selling the brands. Thus, DC felt something needed to be done. The real question is, did it work?

I went out and bought several of the new DC comics for a few reasons. 1) I have a friend who talks about comics all the time and now I am wanting to get back into them at least a little. 2) I have always wanted to like DC, but have never been given a huge opportunity to get into any of them. I take the idea of a reboot to be perfect timing to get into them. And 3) I really get into #1 issues. When I did buy comic books over a decade ago, I was always on the look out for a good #1. I think these later two reasons were really the target of DC’s new 52 and I think it worked at least for one month.

Very quickly though, I learned one important note about the reboot… it isn’t really a reboot at all. I think a reset might be a better term. There are a few comics in the New 52 that actually do start at the beginning, or at the very least start at a new beginning. But most of them seem to not be a true reboot. I felt left out of a ton of story which was a big reason that I never really gave DC a chance in the first place. I never felt there was a great time to be brought into any series, and still I feel left out.

But they didn’t want to totally alienate their current subscribers, and I totally understand this problem. Many of their comics have a rich history and old fans don’t want to go through everything again, they already have. They want to experience new things. So DC went with the idea of keeping much of the history in tact and then making dramatic changes to reset a lot of stuff that has happened in recent years.

For instance, I am a fan of Batman, but I never realized Barbara Gordon was paralyzed and now went by Oracle from a wheel chair instead of Batgirl who was apparently someone else now. Well a miracle occurred and she is now able to be Batgirl again, you know what? I prefer that, but then I don’t care about the history. Again apparently Bruce Wayne had retired as Batman and given the mantle to Dick Graysen, yuck. And oh yeah he apparently had a son who became Robin. Yikes. Well they kept the son around but apparently only in Batman & Robin which I will likely avoid because of it, but Bruce Wayne is back as Batman. Overall, the changes I’ve heard seem very positive.

Onto thoughts of individual comics…

Animal Man
This was a very surprising comic to me. I had read a lot of really positive reviews of it, so I decided to give it a shot. Still, I didn’t know what to expect from it, being in DC’s dark line I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. However, it impressed in a number of ways. A great original story and great art. There were certainly morbid aspects to it, but it fit with the story well. If you wanted to know it is basically about the struggles of a retired super hero trying to have an acting career and family. It is just an interesting premise and I look forward to reading more of it.

I don’t know what the hubbub with Oracle was about, but I don’t care. I like Barbara Gordon as Batgirl but I don’t really care for Batgirl. If there is going to be one, I just assume it be BG. It was a decent comic, I wouldn’t mind picking up another or two, but I honestly don’t care for the villain. It is an interesting thing he is doing, it just doesn’t match his name or outfit.

So I guess previous to the reboot, DC made the brilliant idea of having a whole bunch of Batmans from around the world in a series called Batman, Inc. Batwing is essentially the remnants of that series, being the Batman from Africa. I must say I was quite interested in the idea of a Batman from Africa, it is an interesting idea. This particular issue didn’t have a whole lot of… well… anything. About all you get from the comic is that Batwing is a police officer in the Congo, that Batman helped him set up, and that there is a big bad guy out there killing everyone. I’m likely going to at least get one more issue before I decide on this one just because I like the premise. But I really got almost nothing from the character when it comes to motives or even personality. I don’t have a lot of hope for the series, but I want it to work.

Detective Comics
Where DC gets its name and the main Batman comic. I’ve seen mixed reviews on this issue but I liked it. I do think if you are giving Batman a new start that you have to have Joker in it. I am more puzzled by the previews which talk about the Gotham Ripper targeting Joker. After reading the actual comic I felt that the previews might have given away future issues which sucks, I don’t think the preview did it justice at all and I think this story so far is very interesting and worth the read.

Justice League International
I didn’t buy Justice League because I never really cared about teams built of all-star solo super heroes (I also don’t like Avengers). When I want a team, I tend to like a team that was built for a team. I didn’t know who Booster Gold was before this comic, he is an interesting choice for a team leader though. I don’t know what he does, I don’t know his past and I know even less about the rest of the team. I don’t understand why Batman is in this group either, he doesn’t like working with others but is in nearly every team DC can fathom. A weak comic overall, I have no interest.

I was really looking for a good team from DC so I picked up Stormwatch too. I do like team comics but so far I gotta say that DC doesn’t really have what it takes. Stormwatch I felt was a little better than DCI overall, but still not great. A lot of it is over-the-top and silly… I mean the moon is attacking the Earth? Come on, really? Martian Manhunter is an interesting retro super hero but more powerful than Superman who is already a too powerful super hero… meh. I’ll say no to this one in the future too.

Swamp Thing
I don’t really know what to think of Swamp Thing after reading it. It was good, it gave a good brief explanation of who this guy is. But I don’t really know what is going on with him and I don’t really know where it is going. The art was pretty good, but I gave this comic a try based off good reviews and I don’t feel that it lived up to them. It was worth the read and I think I will give the second issue a try just to see what happens but overall am unsure of this comic.


I have actually bought many from Week 3 too, but I have a few more I plan on buying on Wednesday so I thought I’d wait to review them all until I had them all. So far I think DC has a mixed start to the New 52 comics. Not the reboot I was hoping for but some have been worth reading all the same. Will they hook me in the future as the #1s stop? I have no idea. They might.

Dragons of the Highlord Skies Review

I FINALLY finished [amazonify]0786948604::text::::Dragons of the Highlord[/amazonify] skies this week. Due to the increased schedule I’ve been running for the last seven or eight months, time just hasn’t been on my side for reading, which is unfortunately one of the first things that gets cut out of my schedule. So the fact that it has taken me eons to finish this book, is at no fault of the book itself realistically. Continue reading “Dragons of the Highlord Skies Review”