The New DC Universe: Week 7 reviews

I have come to the decision that after next week I will be dropping titles off of my DC island. My finances are such that I can’t keep buying all the issues and still buy comics from other companies (this will of course change if I suddenly sell a boatload of my novels. I am not holding my breath). With this in mind these next two weeks become critical for any title which is on my bubble. I am hoping a few books show some vast improvement. I am thinking about dropping 10 -15 books in the first cut. Although, some might be added back if they switch creators to someone I like. Let’s see what week 7 has in store for us (Here are the previous weeks reviews).

Batman #2

Written by SCOTT SNYDER; Art by GREG CAPULLO and JONATHAN GLAPION; Cover by GREG CAPULLO

I really enjoyed the first book and was crossing my fingers hard for the second. I have been mostly disappointed with the Batman family in the new 52. I am glad to say this comic keeps going strong. A great mix of mystery and action. Still a fan of the art and like the fact we haven’t been introduced to any of the normal Batman villains. It also had a great exchange between Batman and Nightwing which left me chuckling. This series came out strong and stayed there. 9 out of 10.

Birds of Prey #2

Written by DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI; Art and cover by JESUS SAIZ

This book is killing me. I want to like it but so far the story has not caught my attention. Plus, I really don’t like the art. I find it plain and distracting. I know art is a very subjective thing but the art in this book is killing it for me. If the story was a little better I might be able to overcome it but so far I have really not cared one iota about what is going on. This continues to be my biggest disappointment of the new 52. I have always loved Birds of Prey. Now it is almost certainly getting voted off my DC island. 6 out of 10.

Blue Beetle #2

Written by TONY BEDARD; Art by IG GUARA and RUY JOSE; Cover by TYLER KIRKHAM and SAL REGLA

This issue was a big improvement. I actually really enjoyed the story and loved the interaction between the suit and Blue Beetle. The problem for me here is again the art. It almost felt like two people drew this book because some of the pages were wonderful and others were not. There were a couple of panels where I thought Blue Beetle looked like a blob of ink. Really not good. They need to sharpen this up because this book could actually go somewhere but not if the art is sub par. A step up from the first issue. 7 out of 10.

Captain Atom #2

Written by J.T. KRUL; Art by FREDDIE WILLIAMS II; Cover by STANLEY “ARTGERM” LAU

The first book of this series surprised me a little. I didn’t think it was spectacular but I enjoyed it. Not so much with this one. It wasn’t terrible but it was very average. I wasn’t a fan of the story this time around and I thought the story moved at a snail’s pace. I know they are trying to do something a tiny bit different with this book but it feels like it is running in place for this issue. They will have to pick it up considerably in the next round. 7 out of 10.

Catwoman #2

Written by JUDD WINICK; Art and cover by GUILLEM MARCH

So this is one of the first round of books that caused such a furor. If you read my first review you know I didn’t exactly see eye to eye on some of the things which were pissing people off. I will say right off the bat (excuse the bad pun) that the cover and first few pages of this comic are not going to make the earlier critics any happier. For me the biggest problem is I don’t feel they are letting me know who Catwoman is. The story is taking a little while to get going. The last few pages were great though. It was the first time I felt like a story was developing and maybe we were going somewhere. This book will probably get another issue out of me but it had better get going. 7 out of 10.

DC Universe Presents #2

Written by PAUL JENKINS; Art by BERNARD CHANG; Cover by RYAN SOOK

This book is wildly uneven. The beginning was slow and boring. I almost didn’t want to keep reading. Then somewhere around the middle it exploded into a generally interesting book. For me, they should have started the story with the middle of this book and filled in some of the boring back story later. The last half was the Deadman story I was hoping for and the comic actually ended in a place I wanted more. Kind of annoying really because I was about to drop it off the DC island. Now I might have to give it one more issue. 7 out of 10.

Green Lantern Corps #2

Written by PETER J. TOMASI; Art by FERNANDO PASARIN and SCOTT HANNA; Cover by ALEX GARNER

I actually enjoyed the story of this one more than the first issue. It was the first time I caught a glimpse of what the book could be. For me personally I would get rid of centering the books around the earth Green Lanterns (especially Guy Gardner who stopped being interesting or funny a couple of decades ago). I think this book should go all science fiction and make the story about the alien lanterns. I also think the art can improve a bunch. I am a fan of team books though, so this book might survive one more issue. 7 out of 10.

Justice League #2

I don’t really know why I liked this issue so much better than the first one. Something about the first one felt off, where this one was funny and full of action. I didn’t like Green Lantern’s interaction with Batman in the first one but loved it with Flash. The mystery of the world and the formation of the Justice League really caught my attention in this issue also. Unlike other 2nd issues the art stayed really strong. It moved this book up into a definite buy book. The introduction of Wonder Woman in issue 3 should only continue to improve the book. 8.5 out of 10.

 

Legion of Super-Heroes #2

Written by PAUL LEVITZ; Art by FRANCIS PORTELA; Cover by CHRIS SPROUSE and KARL STORY

Not as good as the first issue. I think the problem for me is the story is starting to lack a little focus. They are going for a giant world building story but it is hard to get involved with the introduction of so many characters. Personally, I think this book fails completely at giving new readers a chance to jump on board. I can’t imagine anyone but devoted Legion fans are reading this book. Maybe that is okay for DC but I didn’t think it was their goal. The story moved a little slow and part of me felt like I have been there and done that in past Legion stories. 7.5 out of 10.

Nightwing #2

Written by KYLE HIGGINS; Art and cover by EDDY BARROWS and JP MAYER

I want this book to be more. There is nothing awful about it. There is nothing great about it. It is just kind of there. It has all the normal superhero clichés. The witty banter, the letting the bad guy go to save an innocent, the mysterious past. None of it has been all that interesting. The rolling back of Dick Grayson’s age has not done him any favors. It feels like he has lost a lot of the character I used to love. I will probably give it one more issue but not much more. 7 out of 10.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #2

Written by SCOTT LOBDELL; Art and cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT and BLOND

The other big controversy from the first issues. On this one I agreed though. I hated Starfire and what they had done to the character. I despised every bit of the book. Having said that I tried to come into the second issue with an open mind and if I am being honest the book was better. Part of the reason it was better is Starfire was barely in it. I know if she had been in it more I would have probably still massively hated it. The story was mostly about Jason Todd and it was at least mildly interesting. The book still smacks of teenage boys’ daydreams though. Starfire’s costume will always be awful and the whole picking up a cute flight attendant was ridiculous. Better but not by much. 6.5 out of 10.

Supergirl #2

Written by MICHAEL GREEN and MIKE JOHNSON; Art by MAHMUD ASRAR and DAN GREEN; Cover by MAHMUD ASRAR

Tough book for me because I still really like the story.   However, I went back and looked at the first issue to see if my mind was playing tricks on me about the art. In a common theme with the issue twos I thought the art was noticeably worse. This is a problem with this book because I thought the art was just average in the first issue. So we have this really interesting story which verged on painful in the art department. DC is going to have to figure this out in a hurry. Some of these books are going to be drops for me because I don’t like looking at them. 7.5 out of 10.

Wonder Woman #2

Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO; Art and cover by CLIFF CHIANG

Ah, the bright and shiny star of the new DC Universe. I loved the first issue. I loved the second issue. Wonder Woman is everything a good comic should be. A great story, interesting art, and a kick ass main character. I have read a few good Wonder Woman stories over the years but this one is shaping up to be amongst the best. I also love how it actually fits with the concept behind the new universe. The story being told is introducing you to Wonder Woman’s world and the character in a perfect mix of action and exposition. It should be required reading by all the other creators who are struggling to get their story to fit into the new universe. 10 out of 10.

—-

DC Power Rankings

1) Wonder Woman – For me this has easily been the best book of the reboot. It has washed away a lot of crappy story lines and started fresh. Now if we could just get the movie made.

2) Animal Man – A slight drop off but nothing which has me worried. Still can’t wait to see where it goes.

3) Justice League Dark

4) Red Lanterns – This one moved up a few spots for me. It has been consistent and enjoyable.

5) Batman – This story continues to be a strong one. It is also easily the best of the Batman family books.

6) Action Comics – Dropped a few spots in the power rankings. Didn’t like this issue as much. Might drop some more as other second issues come out.

7) Aquaman -

8 ) Batwoman – No change in Batwoman’s ranking this week. The art alone makes this book worth buying.

9) Swamp Thing – The big mover of the week. Issue two really got the story rolling and left me wanting more.

10) Stormwatch – Took a little bit of a tumble. I have a feeling as other issues come out it will tumble out of the top ten. Still a good book.

11) All Star Western -

12) I, Vampire

13) Grifter – Grifter stayed a strong book for me and jumped up a little in the rankings.

14) Batgirl – A jump up in the rankings. I have a feeling it won’t be the last jump it makes. Much stronger second book.

15) Justice League – The big mover this week. This was more of what I expected issue one to be, I actually predict the introduction of Wonder Woman will keep it rising.

16) Teen Titans -

17) Supergirl – The art is really hurting this book for me. The story is much better than the ranking. I hope the art improves.

18) Legion of Super-Heroes – This book is a mystery to me. Not bringing anything new to the table and way too complicated for new readers.

19) Superboy – One of a slew of books which had a slight drop off from the first issue.

20) Resurrection Man – I was a little sad this book had a dip. I liked the first issue a lot.

21) Deathstroke – If I was going to take a wild guess this won’t be the last drop for this book. Feels like a one trick pony and they used the trick already.

22) Green Lantern – Another book that wouldn’t surprise me if it continued to drop. Also not really sure how they thought this story would bring in new fans.

23) Men of War – Dropped out of the really good to above average. I worry this might not be the end of the tumble-down. Good start hopefully it will pick back up.

24) Flash -

25) Superman -

26) Frankenstien, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. – Climbed this week because of the story. Still don’t like the art.

27) Batwing – A big improvement over the first issue. I hope it continues.

28) Detective Comics – A slight improvement but for reasons I don’t quite get this book isn’t connecting with me.

29) Captain Atom – The story needs to get moving. Being a different kind of superhero book will only take you so far.

30) Catwoman – This book has no identity to me. I have not really seen anything which tells me where they are going with Catwoman. The last few pages were a hint but nothing more.

31) Demon Knights – This book perplexes me. Have no idea what audience they are shooting for.

32) Suicide Squad – An improvement over the first issue. They should stick with the funny. It works in his book.

33) Nightwing – This book has not been what I hoped it would be. Fairly average superhero story.

34) The Savage Hawkman-

35) Batman: The Dark Knight -

36) Justice League International – This book has been done before and better.

37) Green Lantern Corps – A slight bump up. This book would be better without the earth Green Lanterns.

38) Blue Beetle – Another slight bump up but the story was much better. Still not a fan of the art.

39) Green Arrow – This book just disappoints the heck out of me. Hopefully, the writing change ahead will pump some life into it.

40) Green Lantern: New Guardians -

41) Blackhawks -

42) Legion Lost- I dislike this book on many fronts. Still hoping they cancel it and give Legion back their lost heroes.

43) Batman & Robin – Is it too late to vote Damien out of the new DC Universe. Seriously, annoying.

44) DC Universe Presents – The end of this book gave me a little hope. I was thinking about dropping it until they switched the story.

45) Mister Terrific – This book took a step back. It’s a step which will leave it off my pull list when I start eliminating books.

46) O.M.A.C. – Not a good book. I hope it drops even lower in coming weeks (do you hear me Birds of Prey & Firestorm).

47) Birds of Prey – This book is making me sad. I have not enjoyed one bit of it. My biggest disappointment (other than Starfire).

48) The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men -

49) Hawk & Dove – Made me laugh this week. It wasn’t trying to. I am now hoping DC kills this book and lets them rejoin Teen Titans.

50) Red Hood and the Outlaws – This book was better this issue but only because they hid the overt boy fantasies better. I expect it will drop right back down.

51) Static Shock – Story was better but for me this book is just not cutting it. Although, I could see it jumping ahead of a few books above it next month.

52) Voodoo -

About csdaley

C.S. Daley was born in California but has spent most of his life in his imagination. His first short story written in third grade, the now classic "Close Encounters of the Turd Kind," was sold to his next door neighbor for a quarter. The neighbor promptly demanded a refund. An unhealthy obsession with the writings of Neil Gaiman, Christopher Moore, and Terry Pratchett have left his mind warped and broken. He spends most of his evening swilling down coffee while tapping at a keyboard under the watchful eyes of his kittens. They are there to make sure he doesn't snap. He likes to write fantasy for adults and teens.

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