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The New 52: Week Three

By 09.26.11

This got delayed due to some technical issues, of the ID-10-T variety. I will say one of the more pleasant surprises this week is that the DC Comics app has gotten a big overhaul on the payments end and most of my technical issues with it no longer apply. So that’s nice.

On the other hand, there are two books I want to lynch in the town square this weekend, so that’s not so good. And for entirely different reasons! What DC book pretty much negates all the interesting stuff in Batwoman? Which DC book makes me wish the Joker had applied that crowbar a little harder? You probably can guess from my rhetorical questions, but find out under the jump.

Supergirl

Let’s start with the good stuff. This goes onto the pull list just because this is the strongest reboot of the week. I really like this Supergirl being, quite literally, thrown into a situation she doesn’t understand, at all, and freaking the hell out. It’s a good mix of action and story and if they can keep it up, it’ll be a great book.

Wonder Woman

DC doesn’t always know what to do with Wonder Woman; give me a choice between reading “Amazons Attack!” again and a few swift kicks to the testicles and I’d have to think about it. And Brian Azzarello, who does a good job with boring invincible heroes, saying it was going to be a “horror” book made me leery. But what Azzarello meant was he’d be dealing with the creepy, scummy side of Greek mythology…and it really works. The little touches of humor leaven things, but overall, it’s an engaging book and one of the best of the reboot.

DC Comics Presents

DC’s big on Deadman lately; might have something to do with the possible TV pilot. Either way, this is a good introduction to the character and it gives his mission a bit more complexity than just “Quantum Leap with Eastern mysticism instead of Jesus”. Definitely going to follow this one.

Batman

The Bat reboots have varied in quality from excellent (“Batwoman”) to abysmal (“Detective”). This is…somewhere in between. I’m a little annoyed because it seems like this book and “Nightwing”, at least, are going to be fairly closely tied together, and if they’re going to do that…all or nothing, guys. Don’t reboot “Detective” as a separate book entirely and then try to have some continuity. Otherwise an OK issue, but I feel like we’ve seen the whole “somebody in the Batfamily gets framed for a murder” plot a lot and I feel no need to keep reading.

Nightwing

Pretty much your typical “Nightwing starts over” issue. Will Dick ever be allowed to keep an apartment for more than twenty issues? Not bad but nothing terribly compelling.

Birds of Prey

Not a bad starting point for an issue, but shouldn’t the debut of a team book feature more than two team members? I might pick up a second issue if for no other reason than this is at least fairly solid action and Duane Sienkiewicz Swierczynski writes superheroes a lot better than the last mystery novelist DC sicced on us.

Blue Beetle

DC, Jamie Reyes is a strong character and he’s generally been well handled. That said, his origin is not so terribly compelling that the reboot of Blue Beetle needs to retell it. I might pick this book back up after the initial arc is over and Tony Bedard can actually be let off the leash.

Captain Atom

Fairly straightforward setup, not a bad issue, but, again, nothing I feel the need to pick up a second issue for.

Green Lantern Corps

I’ll give Peter Tomasi this: he knows how to cap off an issue. I’ll give the second issue a try just to see where he’s going with this plotline, but where’s he going to go after committing mass genocide, I’d like to know? Stakes don’t get higher than that.

Legion of Super-Heroes

Pretty much if you like “Legion Lost”, or just the Legion in general, you’ll like this. Otherwise you can skip it: there’s not much here compelling.

And now the worst…

Red Hood and the Outlaws

How, DC? How do you reboot your entire continuity, and still have a book mired in lots of crap that nobody bothers to explain? I feel like I’m reading issue seventeen, not issue one. And what I am reading is so uninteresting I can’t even be bothered to hit Wikipedia and look up what half this issue is about. I’m assuming Scott Lobdell just had to roll with editorial on this one, especially when it comes to Starfire, who pretty much sets back the idea of comics having a mature perspective on female sexuality by about twenty years or so.

But it still doesn’t suck as bad as the latest turd from (shudder) Judd Winick.

Catwoman

I will say that when Winick gets off his soapbox, he can actually write the occasional fun book. Unfortunately, his overwhelming desire to be an ‘educator’ (i.e. pompous and self-righteous) usually gets the better of him. But in this book, we get to see another side of him: sexist jerkass.

Granted, we’ve seen this before: the entire creepy underlying theme of “Barry Ween” is that “Judd Winick is smarter than everybody around him, including his freaking wife.” But boy howdy is it ever on display here. I won’t waste time going into all the problems this issue has from a feminist perspective: Comics Alliance has a superb summary of those. Instead I want to talk about how I feel as a male reader, going through this.

Namely, insulted.

Look, I like boobs, and I make no apologies for it. What I don’t like is a writer who churns out flat characters, cliched plots and setpieces, and worst of all, knows exactly what he’s doing, and thinks “Hey, they’ll never notice if I fill the thing with boobs!” I’m sure Winick will defend himself with something about how he’s trying to show how human trafficking, pimping, etc. are horrible things, which they are. But first of all, I don’t need you to tell me that, Winick, and secondly, it’s a crock.

Seriously, it doesn’t matter how you slice it: this is a terrible book. DC could pay ME three dollars and I still wouldn’t read it. Avoid it like the plague it is.


TOPICS#Batman#DC COMICS
TAGSbirds of preyBlue Beetlecaptain atomcatwomanGREEN LANTERNlegion of superheroesNightwingrebootsred hood and the outlawsSupergirlthe new 52Wonder Woman

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