Brave New World; Bold New Direction: Week 11

November 15th, 2011 by | Tags: , , , , , ,

The New DC experiment continues with the second week of the third month. As it is right now, I’m reading 32 of their titles. Let’s see what I’m left holding onto after another go.

Batman and Robin by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason is up first. I’m loving the relationship between Alfred and Damian. Even when you take away Alfred being slick with his chess and tracker skills, you get this feeling that he’s stealth-fathering Damian much in the same way he did Bruce. Only here, we’re able to see it happen more clearly. The villain has yet to do anything for me, but I enjoy the rift of disagreement he brings to Bruce and Damian. Damian feels underappreciated and underestimated, when Bruce is genuinely afraid for his wellbeing. The idea of Batman being so afraid for Robin hasn’t really been done all that much since he was babying Tim based on the death of Jason. There’s a strong desperation in his actions and a question of which Wayne is right in this situation.

Meanwhile, Gleason’s art is looking fine. I feel this comic is getting stronger by the issue. Definite stick.

Batwoman by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman continues to be an entertaining pile of barely-connected scenes featuring a bevy of subplots. I don’t care because I have no trouble following it and the art is fucking nice. The best part of it all is how all these different subplots are coming together more and more and the varying art styles are starting to interact. The realistic ghost, the well-shaded Batwoman, the Mike Allred-style Kate Kane, the noirish Chase, and almost comic strip-like Bette. A cool touch I really like is how the art starts to change in the characters. Now that Bette is Flamebird out of spite for Batwoman, she is shown to be in the same shaded and detailed style that Batwoman had before losing her mojo mid-issue. I mean, just look at the final page.

I barely even notice the “to be continued” and feel a groan come on when I turn to the next page. I’m in for the next go. Stick.

Deathstroke by Kyle Higgins and Joe Bennett has a slightly weaker showing that we’ve seen from the comic, but it has its moments. A lot of it is setup, especially for his rogue, known as Legacy. Legacy, who looks like someone messed with Penance’s color scheme, is an okay concept, but I feel like his existence ruins the hilarious over-the-top feel of the book. Like, Legacy appears on the cover, fighting with Deathstroke and we’re given this huge “INTRODUCING LEGACY” announcement. The issue begins with the two already fighting and the third page is a splash of Deathstroke impaling and killing Legacy. Now, that’s funny! Deathstroke took out the villain of the week in record timing. It’s the opposite of last month’s issue, where the opening bit is stretched into the entire issue.

Then a second Legacy shows up later on. I mean, I get the idea and all, but I think it would have worked better if this replacement appeared in the following issue. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. I’m going to stick anyway.

Demon Knights by Paul Cornell and Diogenes Neves does a good job of having the bigger-named characters hang back so the new character Exoristos (sad to say I had to look up her name) could get a little spotlight. It’s a more laidback issue, setting up for the next big battle, but it does a good enough job of letting things simmer. Vandal Savage continues to be amazing. Why can’t he be like this in modern times? Who knows? Maybe he will be. If so, I love you, DC reboot! The cliffhanger shows us that shit is about to get wrecked and the Demon Knights team has Etrigan, Savage and Exoristos, who all seem to be qualified in wrecking shit. Gonna stick.

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. by Jeff Lemire and Alberto Ponticelli begins to pick itself up. It’s reached Stormwatch levels of crazy episode after crazy episode, only the art just doesn’t reflect the excessive nature of it all like it should. Still, it’s a great read. It starts off as just a series of badass moments, almost looking like what would have happened if Frankenstein and his crew were amongst the Annihilation Wave that killed Johnny Storm. As the issue continues, things get stranger and stranger to the point that the last couple pages are completely off the rails. I mean, look at this dude!

Why is Jean Pierre Ponareff from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure working for S.H.A.D.E.? Why am I making this reference? There’s like one of you at most who knows what I’m talking about.

Sorry, where was I? Right, I’m sticking with Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Or Fantastic Four. Whatever I was just talking about.

Green Lantern by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke doesn’t make the most sense, but it’s nothing but Sinestro shitting on Hal Jordan. It’s pretty great. The next issue will be a huge downer because no way does “Hal Jordan gets disintegrated” stick for any stretch of time. Gonna read it anyway. Stick.

Resurrection Man by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Fernando Dagnino continues to be okay, though I’m afraid it might be losing me soon. I think it’s because of the hero’s power situation. His powers mean that he has to be killed an awful lot to show off his Ben 10 powers. When he gets killed, powers back up and proceeds to fail in the follow-up, it mainly paints him as a major loser. At least there’s enough interest in there to hold me in place. I especially liked the out-of-focus Satan personality who acts as his spirit guide and the developments of Resurrection Man’s new, elderly friend. Could have done with less of Mitch’s ass, but I’m going to put this one on probation while sticking.

Suicide Squad by Adam Glass and Cliff Richards is starting to live up to the concept. The idea that someone will die in each issue is at least working towards our advantage as only the no-names are biting the dust. The main comic remains to be about Deadshot, Harley, King Shark and that whiny guy with the tattoos. We’re getting some replacements for the next bit of story, which makes the whole thing come off as a straightening out of the team’s lineup through non-stop trial by fire. This issue brings us the idea of a Deadshot/Harley relationship which is something I’ve never even entertained. I’m still bitter about the lack of stache, considering how utterly generic Deadshot seems. Facial hair = personality. Especially awesome mustaches. I bet Turner D. Century wouldn’t have been nearly as fantastic a character if he was clean-shaven. This issue allowed King Shark to be King Shark, so I’m going to stick.

It isn’t a clean sweep for this week, I’m afraid. I’ve run out of patience with Superboy by Scott Lobdell and R.B. Silva. The issue appears to be nothing but completely random crap happening, even if it has nothing to do with our hero. Superboy proceeds to show very little personality, which worked fine for the first couple issues because we had two other protagonists to carry him. Without Rose and Caitlin in the frontline, it loses me. The opening two pages shows some young couple having just killed a grocery store full of people using unexplained superpowers. They are never mentioned again, yet a later scene has Superboy stumble upon a similar-enough-looking couple banging in the middle of nowhere and gets attacked. It took me until after reading to even realize that he wasn’t interacting with the murderers from earlier. If you compare the panels, yes, the guys have different blond haircuts, but considering how little we saw of them in the first place, it’s easy to make that mistake. A lava villain appears out of nowhere and a fight happens and ends just as abruptly. Even with the saw-it-coming-a-mile-away cliffhanger, there’s nothing in there to hold me down for the next installment. Dropping Superboy.

That leaves me at 31. Next week we get a somewhat smaller list of books and Captain Atom will again find itself on the chopping block.

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12 comments to “Brave New World; Bold New Direction: Week 11”

  1. “Why is Jean Pierre Ponareff from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure working for S.H.A.D.E.? Why am I making this reference? There’s like one of you at most who knows what I’m talking about.”

    And I? I am that man. So bummed that JoJo tanked in the States. Well, at least it’s good to see that ol’ J.P. got over that being turned into a turtle thing.

  2. Next in GL we get New 52 Qward ._.

  3. Or that’s already in one of the other books? I think you put a panel up

  4. So Batwoman has a close relationship with Jean gray? didn’t know it’s :aaa: Crossover season already.

  5. My personal theory on Green Lantern is that while Hal’s body will remain gone, his ‘life force’ or ‘spirit’ or whatever you want to call it will become linked to Sinestro’s ring, causing Hal to essentially become a living construct that Sinestro can never get rid of (Well, at least till a writer decides otherwise). Kind of like a version of what I read happened with Big Barda & Mr. Miracle in JLA: Another Nail. And then Hal will essentially become Sinestro’s new conscience as he does his best the make the most of an otherwise terrible situation.

  6. @Gaijin D: Hey, I’m also that man! In fact, I’m pretty sure Gavok talking about it like 5 years ago made me read the whole series.

  7. If Kate dyed half of her hair blue in that kissing scene above I would have thought you were showing a page from Suicide Squad.

  8. @Schide: See that, Gavok? You were wrong. Two people got the reference.

  9. You mean the Annihilation Wave that “killed” Johnny Storm.

  10. 2.5 but that’s only from barely remembering the character from a wiki search on Jojo from watching someone Stream Capcom’s fighting game of it.

  11. @Somerandombookguy: You think Cliff Richards is pulling layouts like that on Suicide Squad every month? Maybe I gave up on that book too soon…

  12. Well I was going with the pale redhead with bits of blonde in her hair kissing someone than flow of the panel layout. Now thinking on this what would happen if someone did a freaky friday crossover with the two books?