Brave New World; Bold New Direction: Week 9 and 10

November 8th, 2011 by | Tags:

With last week’s misadventure that prevented me from updating, I’m mixing the last round of #2s with the first round of #3s. I’m going to be quick on this one because I’m tired and the #2s aren’t as fresh in my mind.

Also, I’m kind of feeling as though this whole experiment has lost its luster. At least, in the writing part of it. Nothing especially earth-shattering is said and by this point it’s going to be more and more of the same. A lot of the good will continue to be good and it’s a stretch to keep coming up with paragraphs to remind everyone that after every month. I figure that I’m going to stop the regular updates by the end of this month, once all the #3s are out. Then maybe three months down the line, I’ll do a little retrospective to see where I stand and what went wrong with the ones I dropped.

First let’s get with Week 9.

All-Star Western by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Moritat and Jordi Bernet continues to kick a lot of ass, although the first segment makes Hex seem a little too good. Even Frank Castle wants to trade his plot armor for that shit. It’s not quite as good as the first issue, but at least the backup story is readable, unlike a certain book about men being of war. Stick.

Aquaman by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis does a better job holding onto the momentum of the first issue. The only problem is how short it feels, although Johns shows potential in getting me to care about Mera for the first time. Well, other than that time she vomited acid blood on a baby. Stick.

Flash by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato is solid enough, but the art only hides how it doesn’t feel like much has happened. Flash understands his powers a bit better and… stuff is brewing. Sticking, but my regard isn’t as high as the first issue.

Fury of the Firestorms: The Nuclear Men by Ethan Van Sciver, Gail Simone and Yildiray Cinar is something I gave a second chance to because the concept is so ridiculous it just might work. And you know what? I still think so. Just with another writing team. For a hero concept that’s supposed to be so upbeat, having to put up with our protagonists being labeled terrorists while surrounded by blood just doesn’t do it for me. Drop.

Green Lantern: New Guardians by Tony Bedard, Tyler Kirkham and Harvey Tolibao is finally going somewhere. Where it’s going, I’m not quite sure, but it’s promising. The issue is good enough for me to stick with, but it’s in danger of being dropped depending on how the next issue goes. After all, it shouldn’t take this long for me to be able to describe to someone what a book’s even about!

I, Vampire by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino is one of the more shocking titles of the New 52. Really, really enjoying this one. It’s more of an action-oriented retelling of the first issue, which makes me ask, “We get the concept. Now what are you going to actually do?” Whatever it is, I’m planning on reading it. Stick.

Justice League Dark by Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin feels a little too disjointed. The characters come off as too distant from each other with so little interaction to the point that it’s like one of those event stories where everyone has to have their say and the comic becomes deluded because of it. It still has promise and all, so I’m going to cautiously stick for another issue, putting it on probation.

Teen Titans by Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth is just not doing it for me. Robin’s narration and dialogue is terrible and there’s not a single character in there who I actually like. Can’t drop this one hard enough.

Then there’s Voodoo by Ron Marz, Sami Basri and Hendry Prasetya. We open with our hero turning into the agent she killed in the first issue and coercing that dude’s partner into sex. So not only do we get the usual sexy pandering that the comic feels it so desperately needs as a crutch, but it’s in a scenario that I’ve heard classified as rape. Voodoo escapes the fire of Major Disaster Black Jack and we have no reason to care for her except that she fights for her alien race. Well, that’s great, but we’re going to need some more to go on if you expect us to root for her. Drop.

Now for Week 10, where our comics hit #3.

Action Comics by Grant Morrison, Rags Morales and Gene Ha is the first Morrison-being-Morrison issue. Still good, but all over the place with hints to stuff here and there. Maybe I’m just not as excited because I’m so sick and tired of the, “GET AWAY YOU FREAKISH MONSTER (who just heroically rescued my baby)!” cliché. Gonna stick.

Animal Man by Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman is all gross and awesome. Buddy’s wife is the best wife. I’m loving how this ties in with Swamp Thing and it makes me wish that they wouldn’t directly crossover with each other. Just have them take on the Other in their own ways, much like the Seven Soldiers vs. the Sheeda. Continues to be one of the best New 52 books. Stick.

Batwing by Judd Winick and Ben Oliver still suffers from the claustrophobic art, but I’ll let it slide due to how cool a lot of it is anyway. I’m starting to care more about the overall story, so that’s a good sign. Going to hold onto this one for a little bit longer. Stick.

Justice League International by Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti loses a lot of the momentum garnered from last month’s improvement. It feels like Jurgens had “third issue is when everyone is taken down” scribbled in his notes for how the overall story would go and padded it out to fit the space allotted. This is going back to probation, but stick, I guess.

O.M.A.C. by Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen continues to rule. In this issue, he appears to fight that guy with the head tail that hangs out with Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi. I like this crazy sci-fi Hulk series so far, so better believe I’m going to stick.

Static Shock by Scott McDaniel and John Rozum is one of those comics where I enjoy it, but I forget that I enjoy it, making me put off reading it. I felt the same way about X-Factor prior to Larry Stroman’s art scaring me away for good. It’s okay, though not exactly exceptional. I feel like I’m just going along with the charm of the hero, since the villains have yet to wow me in any way. Especially that big green creature. I’m more interested in this fish guy we barely get to see. Sticking, but it’s beginning to lose me.

Stormwatch by Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda is really starting to hit its stride. It’s a whole lot of crazy shit that’s going by so fast that it doesn’t have time to realize how crazy it really is. The highlight for me is Hawksmoor using his powers to talk to the cities around the world, where Metropolis is represented by a stylish businesswoman and Gotham is some kind of decrepit bat demon. The cliffhanger is there to tell us to check in next month to see just how kickass Midnighter is. I’m going to stick around for that.

Finally, we have Swamp Thing by Scott Snyder, Victor Ibanez and Yanick Paquette. Really dire, but cool issue that has very little to do with our hero, but more about his new foe William. His story is very much like that of Kid Miracleman, only his attacks are just slightly grosser. Whatever he did to that doctor was sick as hell. Animal Man is more visually disturbing, but Swamp Thing does a better job of being disturbing in action. I’m sold on this Red and Green tag team, so let’s stick.

With another week of reviews out of the way, I’m doing to 32 comics on my list. Will it drop anymore next week? Superboy is next week, isn’t it? Yeah, probably.

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3 comments to “Brave New World; Bold New Direction: Week 9 and 10”

  1. Well, you gave Voodoo one more issue than I thought you would. Seriously though, just wanted to say thanks for the running commentary. I can’t imagine how much it costs to buy all these DC books along with whatever other books you may be picking up, and I appreciate you sticking this experiment out and giving every book a chance.

  2. I liked your ‘one of those comics I enjoy, but forget I enjoy’ bit, I felt the same way about x-factor before dropping it. I’d also like to say I’ve really enjoyed this experiment, looking forward to the updates.

  3. Voodoo: I thought it was established that the FBI agents were already fooling around. I thought the disappointment she had about his behavior toward Voodoo was more than just that he was being a guy, but also had something to do with jealousy. There are also some comments that suggest it, probably the clearest being when she says in the first issue that what they’re doing isn’t professional.