The New DC 52 Roundup

The New DC 52 Roundup

Publisher: DC
Reviewer: Optimous Douche

I was very fortunate this September to be part of the DC PR blitzkrieg, which gave me the opportunity to read every DC title that hit the stands. There was no way I could offer each title a full review since I do have a pretty full life outside of comics (shocking I know). And let’s be honest with one another, not every title deserved the coveted Optimous 750 word treatment. However, there were many titles while not spectacular that will see their #2 brethren inside my longboxes despite my lack of coverage.

Since I read so many books though, there were more than a few that I know will get lost in my mental rolodex, so I’m concocting this handy list not as just as a service to you fine followers, but also as a reminder for my aged and addled mind on Wednesdays.

The categories are as follows – LOVED IT – LIKED IT – LOATHED IT. Loved its will be future buys, Liked its means it was enjoyable, but were I in a situation of limited funds or time these would probably fall by the wayside and I think loathed its will speak for themselves.

Please remember, these are just opinions tainted by the same prejudices and lack thereof that we all bring to the table when we read a book. If you usually disagree with my reviews skip the list, we simply have different taste.

LOVED IT

ACTION – This is simply Superman and Morrison at their finest. It will be interesting to see how long the momentum sustains once Morrison walks away from the book, but he is well on track to rewriting Superman mythology just as he did with ALL STAR SUPERMAN a few years ago. Read what my fellow reviewer Johnny Destructo had to say.

ALL STAR WESTERN –I hate westerns and I hate Hex, but I loved what felt like a continuation of ye olde’ Gotham that was set-up by Snyder in GATES OF GOTHAM. Hex is on a mission to solve a string of murdered prostitutes in 1800’s Gotham, With Amadeus Arkham playing the Freudian Felix to Hex’s Oscar, I’m hooked on this series for at least the first arc.

ANIMAL MANRead the review.

BATMANRead the review.

BATMAN & ROBIN – This is one of the titles that seemed like time never stopped ticking and Flashpoint occurred in some alternate universe. The big difference of course between now and then is that Bruce is back under the cowl, but we certainly didn’t need a reboot for that to happen. Damian Wayne is still my favorite little douche bag and watching Bruce put him in his place is a sight to behold. This was packed with even more emotional punch as Bruce tries to teach Damian a lesson about reverence and dare he try…humility.  I loved Dick and Damian. The return of Bruce was a dynamic I feared, but I’m absolutely loving.

BATWING – Read the review.

BIRDS OF PREY – Full disclosure, I never read the old BoP. But again, this was one of the purposes of the new DCU. A bunch of women kicking ass wrapped inside an exciting mystery though…yeah I’m in! Plus I’m very much a fan of the new far more practical Black Canary outfit. For more details read Johnny Destructo’s review.

CATWOMAN – Oh my God, they showed her breast! I mean how dare they not show her face first, I mean, we’ve never seen a book open with a super hero getting dressed before. How dare they sexualize a character that has been in heat since the 1960s. In case you couldn’t tell I’m as equally intrigued by the Internet chatter as I am the book itself. I thought this was well written, drawn and I’m tickled pink to see Batman show some sexual energy again. And to that person who called the final panel full penetration, go watch more porn and you’ll see what full penetration actually looks like.

DEATH STROKE – Here’s some of that prejudice coming through, I love Slade Wilson…always have. Plus this book had the best and most surprising ending out of all the 52s.

DEMON KNIGHTS – I’m a comic nerd and a D&D dork, so when the two come together inside the DCU and it’s garnished with a romantic triangle between two sides of the same person, hells yes I’m in. Plus it doesn’t hurt that Nives has the drawing hands of an angel. Read the review.

DETECTIVE – Batman + Joker = Nuff said…

FRANKENSTEIN AGENT OF SHADE – This book will have to forever live in the shadows of Morrison’s time with this character and that’s a shame. Lemire crafted the kookiest and most eclectic team in the DCU and infused it with some Sci-Fi 9fun and daddy issues. Weird and wonderful…this was the humor and fun I was expecting from JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL.

GREEN LANTERN – I’m a green whore, leave me alone. Sinestro with a ring he doesn’t want assisting Hal Jordan back into the corps, it’s the kind of normalcy and sedate plot line I have been begging for as I felt myself drowning under the event deluge of the past few years. Read the review.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS  – Stewart and Gardner being used to full capacity. Read the review.

I, Vampire – Vampires, real ones that like suck blood and actually have to suffer because of the sunlight waging a war against superheroes to be the top dogs on earth. Loved it in premise and just as much in execution. Read Bug’s review is you are still on the fence.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK – From Zatanna’s new outfit to the moral quandaries of Shade’s vest, this magic based team helps ease the sting of loosing XOMBI. Read the review.

MEN OF WAR – A great book and most importantly an important book. It’s nice to see homage paid to the fighting men and women of the world, niceties aside though, I loved the juxtaposition of the trained forces being forced to watch their mission go to shit because of the unruly superhero simply flying around and causing damage.

MISTER TERRIFIC – Yeah, I liked this blaxploitation and all. It was Sci-Fi fun wrapped around a character that is too smart for his own good. Plus, Powergirl’s appearance gave us the early wafts of the just announced Earth-2. Read the review and you decide.

RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS – I’m sticking with this for the same reason I read THE BOYS, it appeals to the frat boy that I was twenty years ago. I love that DC is daring to wallow, I thoroughly enjoyed Rocafort’s homage to the better side of early Image art and I couldn’t give two flying monkey shits about preserving the purity of space whore. Justice League the cartoon should not be the bar we set for characters that were around a long ass time before the cartoon ever aired. Plus, am I the only one that noticed Starfire saved the guys asses before they banged her.

RESURRECTION MAN – I bailed on comics in the mid-90s for a few years so ole’ RM escaped my radar. I love the concept though, and this was one of the #1’s that didn’t forget that you can deliver exposition and action all at the same time as mister RM bops from body-to-body of metahumans across the globe (literally).

SAVAGE HAWKMAN – Dare I say Mr. Daniel’s made me care about Hawkman. Gone is the forever love that can never be and it’s replaced with a Carter Hall that couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the Nth metal or being a hero. This was an action packed reluctant hero story that provides a nice counter balance to rest of the DC “Yee-haw we have powers” zeal.

SUICIDE SQUAD – I always loved the concept of this book, take the worst of the worst in the DC universe and make them fight on the side of angels. Some call the opening sequence torture porn, and to that I say “what’s your damage.” Torture sure, but just because you beat off to it, it doesn’t automatically become porn. Read the review for more details.

SUPERMAN – The yin to ACTIONS yang. What I liked best was the focus on Metropolis and the ancillary player’s in the SUPERMAN’S life. Read the review for more gushing.

STORMWATCH – I worried like hell about this book. How do you take a pastiche of the JUSTICE LEAGUE and place them in the same universe as the JUSTICE LEAGUE. Plus, how the hell do you work Martian Manhunter into the mix? Masterfully, that’s how. This who watches the Watchmen approach to the team’s mantra sets STORMWATCH back to their pre-AUTHORITY clandestine roots. Plus, I’m giddy with the historical possibilities this book holds since the team has apparently been around for a really really long time.

WONDER WOMAN – If anyone can get me to care about anything, it’s Azzarello. While not my first WONDER WOMAN book, this is certainly the first one I will remember. She is simply awesome ass kicker. Add to this a dying God and for some reason I can’t look away.

 

LIKED IT

AQUAMAN – I’m a self admitted Johns fan and it is very much written in his tonality. This was cute and fun as Johns broke the fourth wall in an attempt to show that even in fictional universes Aquaman is a bit of a laughing stock. That reflection is what made this book fun, however I grave reservations of this book maintaining momentum once the joke is over. Read the Ain’t It Cool Review.

BATGIRLRead the Ain’t It Cool review.

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT – This seemed the least consequential of BATMAN books to hit the stands and I’m not sure how I feel about a (spoiler alert) hulking two face. It was good, but were on a limited budget I would probably get my BATMAN fix elsewhere.

 BATWOMAN – Good, but I found the art more compelling than the story. This is one of those prejudicial picks and no not because she’s a lesbian, I think the world needs more. I was simply never vested in the character. So again, I liked it; issue 2 will be touch and go though for me.

BLACK HAWKS – A well written and well drawn piece on this U.N. tech hopped squadron set to keep an eye on the world’s metas. Right now, I simply know too little of their place in the grand scheme of things to bump this up to a love.

DEADMAN – Not bad, just very heavy on exposition. Deadman is one of those guys I can take or leave, so I think I’ll take my dose of him over in JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK.

FIRESTORM – Nothing was wrong with this book, I’m just not sure I’m into the Voltron Firestorm. Again, I might check it for issue 2, but the set-up didn’t leave me with a nuclear level of interest.

FLASH – I miss Wally. Barry still leaves me cold, although I am interested to see what his life will be like with Patty on his arm instead of Iris.

GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS – Only thing stopping this from going straight to loathe is the fact I’m a GREEN LANTERN whore. I don’t get it, I like Bedard, but this issue just felt soulless. OK, the skittle rings are all a comin for Kyle. Cool, but why are the guardians dead? They seem alive and well over in GREEN LANTERN and GREEN LANTERN CORPS. I’ll hang in there based on my feelings about Bedard and to see what’s what, but not the most stellar first showing.

JUSTICE LEAGUE – Not a lot happened, so love would be a strong term for this title. I like the new and brash Hal Jordan, I liked the sappy interlude introducing Cyborg, and I loved the fact the team will be fighting Darkseid for their first outing. Issue 2 will be the real seller for me though. To read a glowing review click here. To read the flip side click here.

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL – This is my equivalent of a pity fuck. I’m a big fan of the bwa-ha-ha-ha of yore and I am hoping with beyond might that Jurgens finds that magic quickly. If not, this team will simply be brain damaged pawns of the U.N. and slide quickly into the loathe bucket.

Nightwing – Good, but not great. This also feels way out of place from the rest of the Batman books. Is Dick 18 or 25? If we can’t get consistency out of the gate guys, I guarantee it won’t get easier over time.

SUPERBOY – Superboy is born. I need more details before I become fully sold. Although, I do give Lobdell props for narrating a character that comes into being in mere nanoseconds.

SUPERGIRL – Don’t know enough yet, but as far as books about a scared shitless super powered woman go, this was pretty well done. Plus, I think the boots are hot.

SWAMP THING – As much as I love Snyder it could not overcome my complete lack of interest in SWAMP THING. This was a damn fine comic, which kept it from going into the dreaded loathing category. It’s just not for me.

TEEN TITANS – Kid Flash is retarded, seriously functionally retarded. But I’m OK with that, since the TEEN TITANS has always been a training ground for the JUSTICE LEAGUERS of tomorrow. Again, like with most of the team books we don’t have a hell of a lot to go on, just some brief introductions. Red Robin was great though and Wonder Girl was not completely grating once she stopped professing don’t call me Wonder Girl.

 LOATHED IT

BLUE BEETLE – Nothing agai nst the creators, Bedard does a fine job bringing his Puerto Rican American upbringing into this title to give it a nice flair of authenticity. It’s just no matter how hard I try I can’t bring myself to care about this kid. TED KORD FOREVER!!!!!

CAPTAIN ATOM – Wow, was this bad. The writing was passable, but nothing that will set the world on fire or isn’t being done in a better fashion over in DOCTOR SOLAR. The art though. I swear to God it looked like the book was melting and not in a good Salvador Dali kind of way, more like a melted Popsicle dropped in a pile of hair kind of way.

GREEN ARROW – Wow, what if a real dick could shoot arrows? This is one change for the worse, gone is our soulful Queen of old. He’s replaced with the equivalent of a dotcom startup CEO who has had one too many lattes.

GRIFTER – Didn’t care before and I still don’t. For noobs all you get is there’s this guy and he has amnesia. Kind of like I’m gonna get when issue 2 comes out.

HAWK & DOVE – Go ahead and read the review, but unless you’ve been dead for the past month you know everyone’s feelings on this one. Shame really, I love Gates as a writer, but he was way to breakneck with the pacing on this to keep up with his artist. Shame.  http://www.aintitcool.com/node/51195#10

LEGION LOST – What just happened?

LEGION OF SUPER HEROES – No seriously, what just happened?

OMAC – No way, no how, no sir. Way too silver agey and campy for my taste. If you care about Brother Eye though, by all means have fun.

RED LANTERNS – Red Lanterns are character actors, they are great in small doses but become utterly unbelievable as characters when forced to be the protagonists. Don’t believe me look at the show “Joey” or “The Ropers.” Not even the Cat Lantern could get me to come back.

STATIC SHOCK – Or Mr. Terrific junior. No, not because he’s black. He’s a science kid off on an adventure. Were I twenty years younger, perhaps I would have flip-flopped STATIC SHOCK and MR. TERRIFIC, but I’m not. Also, not digging the Cartoon Network art style. Sorry.

VOODOO – Don’t get me wrong, I love strippers and I love aliens. The two together should be my comic nirvana. I guess VOODOO taught me something about myself, I think I prefer both strippers and aliens when they don’t talk.

 

Posted in : Comics
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments to “The New DC 52 Roundup”

Add Comments (+)

  1. Kire says:

    After the dust has settled, I have a feeling I won’t be picking up most of the books I tried. There were some really interesting bits and some controversy that pushed a few issues, but so much of it has been done before. You mention the Catwoman schtick. You are right in a way, why should I spend 3 bucks a month (4 w/ the downloads all the kids are talking about) for a gimmick we’ve read before. She had anonymous unprotected sex with Batman…ooo..guess she might get pregnant AGAIN! (guess Zatanna will have to make her baby hsinav again – convenient – Hell, It’d be bold for her to get an STD, seriously. I mean how many people does Batman make bleed – none of these people have blood-born pathogens? Does DC have communicable diseases?)

    There really is nothing new happening and that is the saddest part. DC sold some books. We chatted about how much they ruled or sucked, but, and no one has taken me up on this, where will we be in three months and is anyone interested in creating a deadpool to see what titles get the axe first.

  2. optimous douche says:

    The first blow is easy to gauge – Hawk & Dove 1 — See Ya

  3. Kire says:

    Oh, Liefeld…Yeah. I see hawk and Dove and raise you Static Shock and Men at War. My money is also on Mr. Terrific and Capt Atom

Leave a Reply