Brave New World; Bold New Direction: Week 12

November 22nd, 2011 by | Tags: , , , , ,

It’s the third week of the third month, so what DC comics do we have in store? What will drop off and save me a couple bucks and what will stay with me for another month at least?

We start with Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. I am really, really enjoying Snyder’s take on Batman here. More importantly, I’m loving his interactions with Bruce and Lincoln March. I’m almost desperately hoping that Lincoln isn’t messing with Bruce and that he isn’t part of this owl’s nest conspiracy. When I see the two, I get the feeling of Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent. At least, what we’re meant to think the two were like. We never really got to experience much of it. An episode or two of Batman: The Animated Series, but other than that it’s usually Batman sulking over what Harvey’s become while doing what he can to make it like the old days. The idea of Bruce genuinely getting along with someone outside the hero/Bat community as a friend is something that I haven’t seen explored nearly enough. If Snyder plays his cards right, Lincoln could end up being a possible mainstay in the Bat-cast.

The other thing about this issue is that this is one of the rare times where owls come off as anything close to threatening. I understand that owls are actually scary as hell in real life, but in fiction, I can rarely buy it. Nite-Owl from Watchmen always looked like a complete doofus and Owlman always seemed like a complete joke of a concept. As far as I can tell, the only cool owl-based designs have been Supreme Power‘s Nighthawk and Soul Calibur‘s Olcadan.

Damn it, Namco. Why did you stop using this guy in your games?

Anyway. The story’s been doing a good job of painting an owl-based villain who I can actually take seriously. Hope Snyder and Capullo keep it up. Stick.

Birds of Prey by Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz continues to be a decent book that’s ultimately forgettable. I will say that Poison Ivy seems like such a different character when she isn’t standing around in her leaf pubes. The black and green bodysuit is a nice change. I’ve been enjoying Starling, especially when compared to the boring leader Black Canary. The team is starting to come together a bit more, but it’s hard to say if I’m still going to continue liking this. I’m going to go on a probationary stick here.

Captain Atom by J.T. Krul and Freddie Williams II is something I was certain I was going to drop, but yet I found myself really enjoying this issue. This is the first Krul series I’ve actually liked. The gist of it is that Captain Atom is Dr. Manhattan, only without being far gone. He hasn’t resigned himself to isolation, even if he feels isolated by what he is. Having just cured a tumor in the last issue, he’s going around saving lives without anyone knowing. Now that he’s broken the limits of what you’re usual superhero is allowed to do, how far is too far? While some of the art in these rescues are confusing, there is one part I thought was interesting.

Nearly everyone loved it when Superman stopped that girl from committing suicide and told her that everything was going to be all right. Captain Atom’s actions here tell a different story. He isn’t the kind of personality to stand in front of this girl and reassure her. That said, what’s to stop her from trying this again? If he isn’t going to follow it up in any meaningful way, what business does he have in stealth rescuing her?

Half of the issue involves Captain Atom disarming soldiers in battle alongside Flash while having a discussion. Flash fully admits that the rest of the Justice League doesn’t trust Captain Atom and thinks of him as an unstable possible threat. That may be, but at least he didn’t rewrite history and cause a bunch of people to not exist. Asshole. The issue ends with an actual threat brewing and I’ll be there to see what’s going down. Sticking.

DC Universe Presents by Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang continues with the adventures of Deadman. It’s an okay issue that has its moments, albeit it’s the least enjoyable of the three issues. The best part is probably the beginning, where he acts like a complete dick to an angry, old angel who keeps making threats to what’s going to happen to him despite his inability to care. I’m going to stick with this story, but I think I’m probably going to drop it when it ends. The next arc is supposed to be Dan Didio writing the Challengers of the Unknown and that doesn’t do anything for me.

Green Lantern Corps by Peter J. Tomasi and Geraldo Borges is okay, but nothing exceptional. The Lanterns are facing an original threat in an army of dudes whose armor is highly resistant to the rings. It’s one big action sequence with a couple cool moments sprinkled in there. That’s kind of what I’m there for, really. This series would have to go out of its way for me to drop it. Sticking.

Nightwing by Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows and Eduardo Pansica is definitely losing me. I want to like this because I enjoy Nightwing himself, but I don’t know. The circus stuff isn’t panning out so well. Nightwing did face a meta-human without pissing himself, so it does put this run over Bruce Jones. It’s got that going for it. He’s been winning fights and stuff, but I never get the feeling that he’s got much control in the situation. I guess things just don’t come off as that important. In fact, I think the best way to explain it is that Saiko’s plot about how Nightwing is this dangerous murderer had some intrigue in there. At first it looked like it was going to tie in with Batman, but that didn’t happen. Then it just fell into the background as Nightwing dives headfirst into the circus plot. I don’t know… I guess I’m going to give this one more shot. Sticking for one more issue.

Supergirl by Michael Green, Mike Johnson and Mahmud Asrar continues the pattern of kinetic action storytelling. Supergirl is always in the middle of some kind of battle or action sequence while the rest of the plot moves around her. Now that we have a story in there that doesn’t revolve around Superman, it’s hard to say if it’s going to work. Our villain doesn’t have much to make him different from Lex Luthor, but time will tell how that will measure. The series has enough goodwill to let me stick with it.

Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang continues to charm me with its beautiful art and fun take on the character. I’ve had the big reveal of the issue spoiled a month or so ago, but it isn’t the reveal that makes or breaks it. It’s the reaction. It pushes the story forward, albeit at the expense of not getting to know Zola a bit more. Having Wonder Woman leave the island in a huff rather than be excommunicated means being more behind her than simply feeling sorry for her, like the cartoon forced upon us. It’s hard to see where this is all going, but I’m really warming up to her supporting characters. Sticking for the next go.

Huh. Didn’t drop a single title this time, though I suppose Nightwing came close. Nightwing and Bird of Prey need to step up like Captain Atom did. I’m at 31 titles. Next week is a very short one as is, so we’ll see if that doesn’t get any shorter.

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

  1. I think Night-Owl was supposed to look like a doofus, as a sort of external reflection of his impotent, past-his-prime nature.

  2. The Captain Atom thing is a nice reminder that no one would seriously belong to anything called a “Justice League” without being a self-important asshat.

  3. In GLC, I find it funny that every single GL has forgotten what it was like to deal with the yellow weakness. All they need to do is pick up a rock and bash bad guys with it, like in the olden days; even the rookies would know to do that. Maybe the yellow weakness was good for them in a backwards way?

    So if Wonder Woman is actually a Greek demigoddess, does that make her DC’s answer to Thor? In a way she always was, but then again she wasn’t because of her muddled character concept.

    Scott Snyder teaches writing at a number of colleges, and I think that’s helping his titles. Didja notice how there are recurring themes that carry each issue, for example “Gotham is …” in the first issue of “Batman”? It’s almost like Snyder is consciously trying to set a good example for his students, or at least is practicing what he preaches.

    “Nightwing” isn’t knocking my socks off, but that’s okay; Dick Grayson feels right, he’s doing Dick Graysony things, and I’m happy. I would read an issue of Dick Grayson shoveling peoples’ driveways.

    About Superman saving that girl from committing suicide … actually two Supermen saved her at different times, and the more famous one (All-Star) is the second time. The first time was in Geoff John’s JSA #10, and that time it was Kingdom Come Superman when he was briefly on the “regular” DC earth. Of the two saves, Geoff’s was more moving, I thought.

  4. Owlman from JLA: Earth Two, as illustrated by Quitely, looked cool as hell.

    Even Nite Owl looked kinda cool in his snow owl costume.

    Ok, my last point kinda hurt my first one, didn’t it?

  5. Mentioning the Flash made me realize something: the old Justice Society is gone and no one I read is complaining about it. Thank God.

  6. Characters from former Earth-2 are gone. Characters from former Earth-4 are gone. Characters from former Earth-S are gone. To me this is a deliberate return to the start of the Silver Age, and I wouldn’t be surprised if those old/new Earths are out there, waiting to be discovered.

  7. The Flash is being framed for something Raiden caused any way in now hidden Earth-Realm.

  8. @SomeRandomBookguy: I take it that was his 38th attempt at guessing what his future self meant when he said, “He must win!”