DC’s New 52: Week 2

So last post I got called out for not updating.

What can I say … I do what the fans want. All three of you.

It’s strange to see how little the lack of updates has affected traffic to the Kitchen.

Anyway … by the end of my regular updates, it was just getting tiring reviewing the same books every month. There’s only so many things I can say about Invincible Iron Man or X-Factor. But I could probably do a Book of the Week. And sometimes, on those special weeks, the Worst of the Week.

Hold on to your butts.

Eye of the Storm

A little preface on my thoughts on this whole relaunch stuff. For the past year or so, I’ve read three DC books regularly: Detective Comics, Secret Six and The Flash. This month I’m buying at least ten. It sucks that Six is cancelled, but if I end up with more quality comics, I can deal. And if I up the number of book I buy, DC will consider it a win too.

And since you didn’t ask: No, I don’t think any of this will get more people into comics. I do think however that this will get more people who are already into comics into DC Comics.

Swamp Thing #1Book of the Week: Swamp Thing by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette

Scott Snyder’s run on Detective Comics was pretty boss, but I wasn’t going to pick this up. I’ve only read the first collection of Alan Moore’s run, so Swamp Thing isn’t too much of a pull.

Then I saw the first few pages. I saw the layout of pages 2-3. Pretty. Real pretty. So I gave it a shot. Yes, Action Comics was a fun read. And I’ll pick up the next issue of Batgirl, but Swampy was my favorite.

The interesting layouts continue throughout the issue, but everything remains perfectly readable. I’ve read a good amount of work by Paquette, and he certainly brought his A-game. I’m not crazy about his Superman, but his plants, bugs, and everything else is so good. I’m not sure if he always inks himself, but it works.

Scott Snyder doesn’t do anything revolutionary. He focuses a bit on some pre-DCnU storylines that I could have done without, but I could follow without having read that stuff. The man may resort to the “When I was a kid …” intro to much, but when it’s as effective as his “plants can scream” intro here, I can’t complain.

I suppose my favorite part of the book is its very nature – no costumed villains, no punching. This is a story about Alec Holland. I can’t wait to read more.

Stormwatch #1Worst of the Week: Stormwatch by Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda

First draft. That’s how this issue reads.

I’ve repeatedly heard that the turnaround time on proposals and first scripts on this DCnU business was ridiculously fast, but these first issue should be so polished you can see yourself in them.

Some choice bits:
– “– and Harry Tanner, the “Eminence of Blades,” is good at … poking things out.” – Real suave way to slip the name and alter-ego your character into the dialogue.
– “This is me connecting with the alien language processing lobe that got lodged in my brain” – Yes, this is real dialogue. She telling you exactly what she’s doing in that panel. This is Psylocke telling you about using “the focused totality of [her] telepathic powers.”
– There’s a guy that explains to Jenny Quantum what her powers are. Even at Claremont’s wordiest, no one ever had to tell Gambit what his powers were.
– There’s also a joke about how horny a horn is. Yup.
– And is there any logic in referencing Superman #1, a comic that won’t come out for another three weeks!?

I always want to like Paul Cornell. Other reviewers seem to love him. But I’ve read a number of things: his Young Avengers mini, some issues of Action Comics, his Black Widow: Deadly Origin, but nothing’s grabbed me. I may give up on this guy.

No, it’s not all Cornell’s fault. When Martian Manhunter wants to scare Apollo, he turns into the snow monster from the newest Star Trek movie. ATTN: Miguel Sepulveda -: Try harder. And please use a little more subtlety with characters expressions. I thought Harry Tanner and Jenny Quantum were going to chew right through the pages.

I really wanted to like this book. Warren Ellis’ Stormwatch and his/Millar’s Authority are some of my favorite comics. A lot of what has gone into this relaunch is fixing that DC thought was broken (even if they don’t word it that way). Green Lantern and Batman books have sold great for a couple years, so they come out pretty unscathed. Superman? Justice League? They’ve been treading water for too long. (Hell, Superman even lost the spotlight of Action Comics for a while.) So they get overhauls. But giving Apollo a buzzcut and sending Midnighter to Rachel Summer’s tailor doesn’t fix these characters. Giving them purpose and threats that no one else can face would fix them.

So yeah, I bought four DC books this week – these two plus Action Comics and Batgirl. This is the only one I won’t be back for.

 

Readers: Thanks for not giving up on me. I’ll really try to do this more often.

Next Week: BATWOMAN!

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