REVIEWS: DC Comics 52 Pick-Up – Week Three

Barry Allen’s mother is in her heaven and all is right with the world. And what a strange new world it is.

All month long I’ll be reviewing each and every one of DC Comics’ new #1 issues from Justice League to Voodoo. Out of love. Out of lunacy. Out of fiscal irresponsibility. Every Thursday find my text reviews here on iFanboy. Then you can tune in for roundtable discussions on my podcast Fuzzy Typewriter featuring David Accampo and a new guest panelist each week. Last week included commentary from podcast magnate Cameron Rice! This week, it’s our own Ali Colluccio!

Cool? Let’s dance.

Batman #1

Batman #1

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo

 

Let’s get this out of the way. Damian Wayne doesn’t seem like the pre-pubescent petri-dish-assassin who’d willingly wear Chucks with a suit. Even if they were off-brand canvas. This is quite literally my only fault with this book, one of the most exciting and bracing superhero comics to tuck and roll out of the relaunch. Snyder provides a great through-line for this new mystery, anchoring the narrative with the “Gotham is…” poll included each Saturday in the Gazette. Though the story focuses on a new owl-themed villain–or the promise of one–we also get to see some classic rogues in an early Arkham riot scene, an ingenious showcase for artist Greg Capullo (Clayface and the Bearded Woman are show-stoppers). We’re also treated to a more hopeful Bruce Wayne, keeping with the character we saw last week in Tomasi’s Batman & Robin. It’s the perfect blend of gruesome detective story and bright new beginning, with warm depictions of the Bat-family (including Dick, Tim and Damian as well as Alfred “Access Level: Highest” Pennyworth and a charming Jim Gordon). Gotham is in very capable hands.

Story:  5 / Art:  5 / Overall: 5
(Out of 5 Stars)

Picking it up next month? Well, yeah.

 

Birds of Prey #1

Birds of Prey #1

Written by Duane Swierczysnki
Art by Jesus Saiz

It seems appropriate that Barbara Gordon remain a presence, however shadowy, in this heavily rebooted caper. And though her appearance reads as terribly awkward, the scene between Babs and Dinah probably benefits from the mixed emotions swirling around one of DC’s most controversial choices. Oracle was a wonderful persona, but so too were the Birds. Symbiotic as they were, I’m pleased to see them carrying on in her absence, especially with more of an illicit spin. Black Canary and Starling make for a great pair, and I’m kind of in love with their getaway car. Both the girls and the jalopy are rendered exquisitely by Jesus Saiz, who should honestly be a superstar in the Ivan Reis category. If the story rating seems on the low side for this one, understand that it’s more a frustration with the structure of the issue itself than of the concept  and situations moving forward. It ends in an interesting place, but everyman reporter Keen often overshadows the Birds, and though he does proffer introductions for them, I really wanted to bypass the formalities and spend more time with Dinah and Ev (Starling). There’s also a few clunky lines of exposition to intro the character relationships, but it’s nothing to get any feathers in a knot. This is simply the start of something good and covert and crimey. No, I don’t miss the leather jacket.

Story:  4 / Art:  4.5 / Overall: 4
(Out of 5 Stars)

Picking it up next month? Yessir, I’ll have another.


Blue Beetle #1

Blue Beetle #1

Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Ig Guara

I desperately wanted this second chance for Jaime to work, but was not terribly enthused. It’s inevitable that any teen hero book is bound to be held up against Bendis’ Ultimate Comics Spider-Man or Brian K. Vaughan’s Runaways. The teen characters depicted here do not ring nearly so true or so vital as Peter Parker or Miles Morales or even that pesky ol’ velociraptor. I’d initially thought the inclusion of the Green Lantern Corps was a wise tie-in for younger readers, but the cosmic elements may overcomplicate what is essentially a rebooted origin story. Between this and Static Shock, teen heroics are off to a rocky start in the new DCU. The best bets in the category are undoubtedly Superboy and Supergirl thus far.

 

Story:  2.5 / Art:  3 / Overall: 2.5
(Out of 5 Stars)

Picking it up next month? No.

 

 

Catwoman #1

Catwoman #1

Written by Judd Winick
Art by Guillem March

Okay.

I don’t want to go so far as to suggest this book be spayed immediately, but it should probably be wearing one of those protective collars so it can stop licking itself. Catwoman #1 is a hot, raunchy mess that positions the once calculated cat burglar as a murderous, addled sex fiend. Selina’s always been sexy and routinely a loose cannon. But here she lacks any of the poise and mystique that made her that sultry icon. Here she’s just impulsive and honestly a bit gross. If anything, this interpretation may borrow a bit too much from Michelle Pfeiffer’s take. Does it work as a kind of ironic exploitation romp in the vein of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!? Might be too early to tell. Though even prior to the reboot, the cool competent Catwoman has felt like a distant memory. That’s the interpretation that feels more relevant, and I hope someday we can see this course righted by one of the great modern crime novelists like Megan Abbott or Christa Faust.

 

Story:  2 / Art:  2.5 / Overall: 2.5
(Out of 5 Stars)

Picking it up next month? I’m mildly curious as to where this all goes, especially since it appears Selina has sexed Batman to death in the…er…climax of this weird, wacky bacchanalia. But probably not enough.

 

Captain Atom #1

Captain Atom #1

Written by J.T. Krul
Art by Freddie Williams III

Borrowing from Moore’s Doctor Manhattan–himself an iteration of the Captain Atom concept–this take focuses on the character’s matter-bending power-set and its implications on the human within. For better or worse, Krul has stripped Atom of his military stoicism, maybe even his rank. This voice is more relatable now, but that also means his voice is now a standard post-accident hero with a science background. This could just as easily be Johnny Storm. There was a similar problem two weeks ago with the voice of Green Arrow, but it’s not as problematic here given the character’s specific circumstances. It’s better than that book, but doesn’t assert itself as much as these books truly need to. Artist Freddie Williams III has adapted an approach reminiscent of Francis Manapul’s softer imagery, but a few kinks remain to be ironed out. Atom looks terrific, larger than life. But the civilians and handlers look somewhat terrifying to be honest. This is likely intentional in the case of the unit’s lead scientist, a Stephen Hawking stand-in named Dr. Megala. But for character like the caring Dr. Ranita Carter, the effect is pixelated distortion of Williams’ more recognizable style. This is a transition though, and I’m hopeful that the artist is on to something quite pleasing.

 

Story:  3 / Art:  3 / Overall: 3
(Out of 5 Stars)

Picking it up next month? No.

 

 

DC Universe Presents Deadman #1

DC Universe Presents: Deadman #1

Written by Paul Jenkins
Art by Bernard Chang

Hampered by an unrelenting internal monologue, this first issue is an otherwise serviceable origin story for a favorite character. Until recently, Deadman was a relatively obscure figure in the DCU, so it’s likely for the best that his story be rehashed here, making him more accessible to readers of Justice League Dark and Hawk & Dove, where he figures prominently. Much as I enjoy the concept and revel in the character’s origins, the script is downright tedious and woefully overwritten. Though it leaves us in an interesting place, it takes pains to get there and relies too heavily on the Quantum Leap mechanics of Deadman’s power set.

 

 

Story:  2.5 / Art: 3.5 / Overall: 3
(Out of 5 Stars)

Picking it up next month? No. Though I’m eager to check out future story lines, as this is a perfect showcase for great characters that sadly wouldn’t sustain their own ongoing.

 

Green Lantern Corps #1

Green Lantern Corps #1

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin

If you’ve enjoyed Tomasi’s prior work on Green Lantern Corps–or Emerald Warriors which is probably the closest model–you can expect a return to form here. The series focuses on Guy Gardner and John Stewart who briefly flirt with the idea of reestablishing their careers on Earth, not just as Lanterns, but as a high school football coach and architect respectively. Without secret identities like Hal Jordan, their visibility as Lanterns turns out the be a major liability, and it’s not long before they return to the cosmos and head off for a perilous assignment involving planet-wide genocide. It’s classic GLC stuff, with exotic alien species, a diverse team of human and extraterrestrial Lanterns, and all clear of the multi-color Lantern nonsense. Pasarin is well suited to this corner of the DCU, though the back-to-basics tone practically cries out for Patrick Gleason’s signature style. It’s one of those books that register like business as usual amidst a sea of reinvention, but it’s a time-tested formula I’m glad remains in use.

Story:  3.5 / Art:  4 / Overall: 3.5
(Out of 5 Stars)

Picking it up next month? No. I think JLI will serve as my Guy Gardner fix.

 

 

Legion of Super-Heroes #1

Legion of Super-Heroes #1

Written by Paul Levitz
Art by Francis Portela

Perhaps the least merciful book in the relaunch in terms of continuity, Legion of Super-Heroes barrels ever forward. Mon-El remains the reader voted chairman of the group, with Brainiac 5 his openly frustrated second. The team is reeling from the loss of friends and lovers who, unbeknownst to them, live on in the 21st century within the pages of Legion Lost. Aside from this significant shift, Legion carries on seemingly ignorant of the reboot. Series fans–and I count myself among them, though at fair-weather status–should be pleased with this decision, as another seismic recalibration would likely be disastrous for this book. The book also retains its signature character bio boxes, tagging each character at their introduction and relating their unique power set. This device is crucial to the series and might actually benefit other books like Stormwatch and Suicide Squad among others. As a fan of Johns storied Justice Society of America run, it’s also sort of wonderful seeing crazy Starman (now Star Boy and mentally sound) reunited with his beloved Dream Girl. And most importantly, Brainac 5 remains a massive dick.

 

Story:  3.5 / Art: 3.5 / Overall: 3.5
(Out of 5 Stars)

Picking it up next month? No. I’ve learned my lesson and that’s that Legion works better for me in collections.

 

Nightwing #1

Nightwing #1

Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Eddy Barrows

Though I’ve come to admire the character in the time since he battled for the cowl, I was never actually a fan of Dick Grayson during the many years he patrolled Blüdhaven in the guise of Nightwing. So this was a real first for me. Higgins smartly addresses the elephant on the rooftops without lingering or leaning on it, referencing the fact that Dick stood in for Batman, as Batman, during the time Bruce was away. It would’ve been fun seeing the character carry that mantle for several more years, but the mourning period is decidedly ended, and Nightwing is back to his lighthearted, acrobatic self. The circus is in town, and Dick reluctantly pays a visit to some old friends, anxious to sustain the many warm memories from his childhood lest they be bogged down in the shadow of family tragedy. Paired with Snyder’s Batman, it’s all a refreshing return to form and benefits from a more hopeful, easy-going tone. It’s not the sharpest new entry in the relaunch, but it does manage to capture everything we love about Dick Grayson and his contrast from Bruce Wayne. I get the feeling it may outlast the new Batgirl in my monthly pulls, which is no small thing.

Story:  3.5 / Art:  3 / Overall: 3.5
(Out of 5 Stars)

Picking it up next month? I think so.

 

Red Hood & the Outlaws #1

Red Hood & The Outlaws #1

Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by Kenneth Rocafort

What we should do is we should talk to the book’s parents. We should drive over to the house and see what kind of people they are and what they let the book watch and maybe…maybe the book heard something a crazy uncle said and thought it was…there needs to be a talk.

I winced. I was happy and then things happened and my face did a thing I was sure It’d never come back from. After the more than pleasant surprise of last week’s Superboy #1, I was eager to see what Lobdell might do with this motley crew, sort of forgetting the unfortunate new costume I’d already seen Starfire wearing. And quite honestly it’s a fun, thrilling book. Except for that glaring purple and orange…concern. I have no real history with the character, but the creepy decision to make her something of a nihilistic sex robot is, ya know, peculiar and discouraging. Literally everything else is captivating and cool, including Rocafort’s admittedly over-complicated layouts. There’s just this…problem lingering around each corner. “Will she say something weird in this scene? Why is she…do we need to be on a beach?” It’s like Weird Science but dirtier.

Story:  2.5 / Art:  4 / Overall: 3
(Out of 5 Stars)

Picking it up next month? I…honestly, I want to see where this goes and if it’s…I think it needs to be monitored more than anything really.

Supergirl #1

Supergirl #1

Written by Michael Green & Mike Johnson
Art by Mahmud Asrar

It should be said that this is a challenging issue to rate and review if only because it does a spectacular job rendering an introductory scene, but it functions more like a prologue sequence than a robust story. When I turned that last page I didn’t quite say, “That’s it?” but I was taken aback at how slight the issue felt. That’s not a small problem, and could potentially be a concern if future issues are equally decompressed, but I was so impressed with what content is there that I would feel disingenuous deducting too many stars. The primary draw here is artist Mahmud Asrar who excels drawing big action, beautiful women (light on the cheesecake), and emotive character moments. I will take this over what Rocafort is doing on Red Hood any day of the week. Say what you will about Kara’s costume change, but Asrar lends her some dignity and doesn’t subject her to the kinds of poses ultimately unbefitting her age and personality. For their part, Green and Johnson do a masterful job placing the reader inside Kara’s head in her first moments of consciousness on Earth. She’s scared, she’s threatened, and she’s not alone out there in the snow. they even manage to establish some background and relationships without resorting to flashback or clunky dialogue. The narrative needs to gain some ground in issue #2, but otherwise I was very pleased with this one.

Story:  4 / Art:  5 / Overall: 4
(Out of 5 Stars)

Picking it up next month? I love this character and Asrar has brought his A-game. Despite the slow burn, I’m also very impressed with the scripting. On board for sure.

 

 

Wonder Woman #1

Wonder Woman #1

Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Cliff Chiang

Page after page, Azzarello just unfurls more and more smart ideas in what is probably the best hope for the great Wonder Woman story we’ve all been hoping for. It’s not a rehash of the origin. Diana is cast as a glorious champion whose name and image inspire sheer awe, even fear. She’s a goddess. At least to those around her. We haven’t been inside her head yet, not really. But we do know she prefers that even strangers call her Diana and that she’s willing to admit when she’s made a mistake. The choice to introduce her through an abrupt meeting with this imperiled girl named Zola, an ordinary woman thrust (heh) into a divine skirmish, makes for a wonderful first chapter. It’s a dark, even horrific story with immense stakes and dire casualties. But Diana emerges so noble and so protective that the decapitated horses and possessed groupies don’t overwhelm the tone. Apollo might be the most interesting new villain in the relaunch, befitting Wonder Woman’s new stature. Unsurprisingly, Cliff Chiang delivers some phenomenal visuals, presenting us with a heroine who reads as dynamic, elegant, powerful, and even godly. A couple moments of confusing storytelling kept this one from top marks, but otherwise, this is an exciting debut. People, I think they’ve figured it out.

 

Story:  4.5 / Art:  4.5 / Overall: 4.5
(Out of 5 Stars)

Picking it up next month? Definitely.

 

And that’s all she wrote. See ya in seven days!

Comments

  1. I think red hood and the outlaws is my top 3 book of this week.

  2. I only had 3 DC books but this was my favorite week so far.

    My favorite books so far:

    Action Comics, Batman, Wonder Woman and Frankenstein.

    Jonah Hex is my most anticipated book of the month.

  3. I really wish whish the book was just Red Hood/Red Arrow.

    • Yeah. It’s a problem.

    • Deadpool mixed with teen_titans_fanfic_seduction_of_starfire.txt = ?????

    • That book comes out the same week as New Titans:Games. Bad planning. It just reminds everyone how bad Kori was portrayed in Red Hood. Someone with a personality and a believable character reduced to a dim bulb, can’t remember anything slut. Didn’t care for the art as well, figures were stiff, similar facial acting. Say what you will about March on Catwoman, the art was what helped on that book. His facial expressions were spot on.

  4. It might be because I am completely new to the character but I thoroughly enjoyed Deadman #1 so much so that only Batman and Wonder Woman managed wow me more and I’m looking forward to the second issue. I was also really into Red Hood and the Outlaws until that orange… thing entered the scene.

  5. I agree. Damian’s shoes were unacceptable. Paging Mr. Quitely.

    • Damian’s shoes were out of character but are you suggesting that Quitely should be handling the art duties, instead of Capullo. Don’t get me wrong I love Quitely but Capullo knocked Batman #1 out of the park.

    • I thought Capullo did a wonderful job, but I don’t think Quitely would’ve made that choice. In my opinion, he (and Mr. Morrison, of course) established Damian’s style in the first arc of B&R. The Damian from that arc would never have worn those shoes.

      Having said that, my post was mostly a joke. I agree with Paul that the issue was exceptional on all fronts and that the shoe thing (something incredibly minor) is the only nit there is to pick.

    • I completely agree. Morrison and Quitely did an amazing job establishing Damian from the very first issue and the shoes definitely don’t vibe with what was established there. THanks for clarifying and I’m glad you enjoyed the issue. In comment threads it’s often tough to distinguish between joking and serious complaints because the difference often depends on the individual commenting not the content. Batman #1 was an absolute masterpiece but I’m sure someone, somewhere did not enjoy it because of what most would call a minor flaw.

  6. Sounds like I need to go pick up Supergirl.

    I’m glad someone will be monitoring the Outlaws. It won’t be me.

  7. I dug on DCU presents. Was bummed on the Blue Beetle.

  8. Here’s the thing about Catwoman — it’s an unapologetic trashy romance novel but with super-heroes. If you look at it from that perspective, the uber-sexiness is fine, even welcome. I’m telling you, there is a contingent of readers (both men and women) who want to see the Cat and Bat get it on. That said, it’s not going to be for everyone. C’est la vie!

    • I understand that, and I’ve even tried to embrace it as such…but I think it’s ultimately not as valuable to me in this form. And I can only review it by my own criteria. There’s a considerable contingent that will totally dig on this and that’s awesome.

    • The problem with the Catwoman issue was Winick felt bombarding the reader with pink bra’s, fish nets, close-up shots cleavage and butt shots makes a book sexy. It came across as forced and contrived and took the sexiness out of the character. Winick…you flubbed it.

    • That could be the artist as well.

    • Oh it could be and I made mention of March in my review. But I would be hard pressed to believe March would take that much liberty without some approval from Winnick.

    • If you google image search Guillem March literally 97% of the images have women with giant boobs falling out of their tops so…. write to your artists strengths?

    • I get your point, but he really dumb down the character. Remember Dini and Brubaker’s run? She was sexy and smart. Here we find out that her hideout was found out twice? Really? I get he wants it to be a fun ride, but don’t sacrifice her smarts for fun.

    • I agree. It’s pretty ridiculous the stuff they are putting out this week. Supergirl was ok I guess but even her underwear line was kind of ridiculous. Cooke’s Catwoman was totally sexy and usually just with a raised eyebrow and smirk.

      DC should cut out the middleman and just publish Lady Death and Dawn comics.

  9. I am totally fine with some cheescake art every now and then, but the story in Catwoman was ridiculous.

  10. Paul, well said on Red Hood.

    Last night on 11OC, I said that Red Hood appealed to the 16-year old in me who relished any opportunity to glimpse boobies. It’s a purely sophomoric, visceral reaction and I can’t argue with anyone that questions the point of turning Kori into an sex bombombombomb. BUT, I thought Lobdell’s approach of making her COMPLETELY alien was a great touch to offset the obvious T&A appeal. The fact she WAS a Titan, DID have a relationship with Dick, yet now can’t recall any of it fascinates. She’s not a human girl with orange skin, she’s an ALIEN with a completely different way of perceiving emotions, relationships, the passage of time, memory, etc…

    Where I think the book lost me was the introduction of Essence and the All Caste. Lobdell was treating this like we should know some of the history, and yet that fails for both long-time DC readers AND new readers. I had no Earthly idea what any of that meant, and didn’t feel they gave us enough to make me stick around to find out.

    I’ll keep buying this book BECAUSE of Kori. Guilty pleasure? You bet, But Rocafort’s art combined with Lobdell’s homage to Weird Science (I liked your analogy), works for me. At least for a few more issues.

    • I share your opinion on the Kori = Alien thing. Where Red Hood did miss a step was that it read like three small parts of story not really related to one another.

    • I understand about the Red Hood thing but if you read the last page, where it normally says “to be continued…” it says “to be explained…” so obviously Lobdell knows what he was doing with that elaborate set up, it’s supposed to entice you to read more.

  11. Only picked up 4 of these this week. So, my top five is one short:

    1. Batman-my favorite book from the relaunch thus far. Seriously, how good is Snyder?
    2. Wonder Woman- close second. Chiang worked wonders, and Azzarello did a great job setting the tone by actually keeping the dialogue to a minimum.
    3. Supergirl- Love the art. Completely agree with your points above, but will likely miss my final cut of books to keep picking up, through no fault of it’s own.
    4. Nightwing- This….was not so great. Better than Batgirl for me, but I considered Batgirl a 2 book. This is a 3 and one that isn’t worth my $2.99

    Great job Paul, I look forward to your 52 pick-up podcast as much as the books themselves each week.

  12. Happy to say that this week was the first time I have bought an issue of Wonder Woman and I loved it.

  13. Paul, glad to see the love for Supergirl. I really liked the issue. It didn’t fall into the trappings of some introduction issues and gave a simple but thoughtful first issue.

    I did think you were generous to Captain Atom. I thought it was a flat, emotionless, and visually ugly mess. I also liked Blue Beetle more than you did.

  14. “And then Batman and Catwoman had the sex so much Batman just died. Then he came back ’cause he’s Batman. Catwoman’s boobs were awesome. Also, it was the Fourth of July.”

  15. Again great reviews-I dug Wonder Women just a little more than Batman this week. I really had a good time with Red Hood maybe because I really don’t know much abour Star Fire and I can see someone from another planet who was a slave her whole life would consider sex nothing but pleasure and nothing to do with love. I bet her character will progess drastically once the series gets going. I really can not believe I never heard of Mr. Rocafort before…Amazing

  16. I’m jut going to have to give up on people “getting” what Catwoman was about.

    Good reviews overall.

    • I get what they’re trying to do and it’s not for me. Cool?

    • You can have a different opinion than me all over the place. But your review is more “this is trashy writing” more than it is “it’s good, but not for me”.

      That’s okay Paul. I got a blog too and my wife are working on an article defending Judd’s script. So, you know. I’ll get to say my piece to a couple hundred people. 😛

    • You have an uphill battle suggesting it’s not trashy. Genuinely I’m glad you liked it. But it’s not a case of my not “getting it.” I saw what he was going for and it missed the mark.

  17. Batman was easily my favourite of these. Followed closely by DCU Presents Deadman and Supergirl. I actually really enjoyed the introduction to Deadman, even if it was a little text-heavy at times, but since I’ve never read anything with him before I felt like I really got to know who the character was. Supergirl was kind of a good ol’ fashioned comic book. Batman, well that was just amazing. Catwoman I thought was pretty good. I didn’t mind the sexy stuff, for the most part. Though the stuff with Batman at the end made me like the book a bit less. Blue Beetle was fine.

    I think I might have to go get Wonder Woman, though it will probably be sold out, like most of the books are on the second day. Which is both really great, and really bad.

  18. I’ve been hearing “Damian would / wouldn’t do / say X” for a while now, and it confuses me somewhat as he’s still a very new character, and is still being defined by the people who have been chosen to do so. What he would or wouldn’t do is still very much in the air, and it sounds like some people confuse who he is as a character with who they might want him to be? I thought the chucks were a good touch – whatever else he might be, he IS still just a kid after all. Maybe he has, you know, layers and complexity. People surprise you all the time, why should comics characters be carved in granite within the first couple of years?

    Having said that – personally I might instead have put them on Tim.

    • This was more of a comment to demonstrate how much I liked the book, only being able to offer one very minor criticism. I do stand by the notion that Damian’s been pretty firmly established by a small number of modern writers, leaving less room for interpretation. The choice just stood out as something that the character might balk at. It could be a sign of growth though. Or the result of a dare.

    • In my head, Damian lost a bet with Dick.

      I also thought it could have been a sign of him loosening up, which could be fun to see.

      Too bad I love the idea of him being forced to wear something he’d hate.

    • If he’s loosening up WTF is going on in Batman & Robin?

    • I get the desire for consistency, but remember….he’s 10-12 years old!!

      And Tweens are not necessarily reliable or consistent when it comes to personality and behavior.

  19. Im glad to see some people here in the comments still enjoyed DCU Presents, i was really looking forward to reading this and know completly nothing about the character, i pre ordered it but my LCS got late shipped on it so i have to wait till next week

  20. The Babs scene in Birds of Prey distracted me on two levels, which were (1) if this is for new readers, why have a whole scene dealing with why Babs is NOT on the team. (2) It didn’t actually explain to me, on either an in-story or meta-level, why Babs is not on the team. Are her Batgirl duties thought to be too distracting? And if the character is so popular, why limit her to one book?

    • I’m hoping the Babs thing gets a little more face time in rest of the arc. If nothing else, the idea that these characters share a storied past adds a lot to the noirish vibe of the series.

    • It seemed to a “passing the torch” kind of moment which gave a little (very little) look at where Canary is as well. But I agree, it wasn’t that effective.

    • Yeah, if there turns out to be more of Babs in this book, that may turn out to be worthwhile. It was just a weird moment. I liked the book enough to try another issue, but I’m still not sure what’s going on/what the hook is.

    • Well we do know Batgirl makes an appearance in issue 4.

  21. I only read Batman and Wonder Woman, but now I want to go back and get Supergirl and Birds of Prey. Looking forward to the new Fuzzy Typewrite today Paul!

  22. Biggest let to down of the week goes to Blue Beetle, it’s a super mega origin story which was fine but overall it didn’t feel like a good origin story.
    Don’t quite get the hate for Catwoman, she’s always been sexy, she’s always been this creature of the night that pines for a bit of Batloving, and yeah maybe it was a bit over the top but she understands criminal mobster scum to the point where she needs to just try and win them over with her “assets” That being said, I didn’t hate the book, I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. Anyway score card

    Loved it: Catwoman, Batman, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Supergirl
    Pretty darn good: Nightwing, GLCorps, Wonder Woman
    Gotta see where it goes: Blue Beetle, Birds of Prey

    Let’s get to discussin.

  23. Thanks for your reviews, Mr. Montgomery.

    I was on the fence about trying Red Hood and the Outlaws, but your review has made me more curious. Since my local comic store ran out of copies, I might actually try this out digitally.

  24. POLL: What, in your mind, was the best moment or scene in this week’s dirty dozen?

  25. To anyone else did this seem like the week of DC sexy?

  26. Do you think it’s possible that Lobdell is scripting Starfire to be an intentionally tragic character? I mean, it’s certainly very possible that he’s just using a lazy trope to give her that faux-sexy appeal. In my mind, however, it’s possible that he’s taking a different road in which he’s making Starfire more or less dead to any sort of emotions or loving feelings. He can totally redeem the Starfire aspect of this book if he hits upon the emotional implications of this mindset, and not just use the “I’m from a different planet where we fuck everyone without feelings!” motif as the cheap joke that appears to be in this first issue.

    • Though as I recall — and as people who know classic Teen Titans better than I do have pointed out – -Kori’s character used to be *all about* love. Her cultural experience made her more openly sexual than the humans, but it was sex in the service of emotion. Here it seems like she’s basically been turned into a sexbot. Of course, the writers can make any changes they want, but this is a change that I think contributes to the gross feeling a lot of people are getting off of this.

  27. Love the Weird Science comp for Red Hood. Personally, I loved the book. I thought it was a super-fun super hero romp. I also really liked the interaction between Todd and Harper.

  28. “it appears Selina has sexed Batman to death in the…er…climax” … a perfect summary of this book. I stared at that last page for a minute trying to figure out what the hell they were doing. Now I understand.

  29. as someone who can’t really afford to buy books weekly, these pieces are proving really useful in helping me vent my excitement for the new DCU and decide which books to invest in! thanks, paul!

  30. i know they’re different characters, but are the nightwing and supergirl books adequate replacements for red robin and powergirl, respectively?

    • There was a Supergirl book before the reboot…

    • Hmm. Good question. Tonally, Nightwing is pretty close to Red Robin. So it’s worth looking into. As for Supergirl, we’ve only really seen her crash land and take on some soldiers in mech suits. It’s very good, but we don’t yet know what her place in the world is yet and what kind of stories we’ll be getting. It could likely end up in the same category as the more recent PG issues, but it’s not comedic like the Palmiotti/Gray/Conner run. I do think Supergirl, despite its brevity, is the better book (up against Nightwing). If you liked Red Robin and PG, I’d also recommend Birds of Prey and maybe Batgirl, which fit in that same category.

    • yeah, i was aware of the previous supergirl book, but for some reason it never seemed to appeal to me? whereas i loved the recent runs on powergirl and just thought that currently, with the absence of a powergirl book, the new supergirl book might try to appeal to powergirl fans, especially considering the new supergirl redesign? was gonna pick up batgirl anyway, but i’ll also check out birds of prey, cheers guys!

  31. A pretty unexciting week in the New 52, if you ask me. I thought most of them were pretty average. Few standouts. My quick thoughts…

    BATMAN – What happened to Snyder in his life to make him come up with this f*ed up stuff?!? Scotty, can you do a book that doesn’t give me the creeps?!? But seriously, this was awesome.
    BIRDS OF PREY – Honestly liked this single issue more than the entire previous BOP run. But it still didn’t click with me.
    BLUE BEETLE – Kept thinking the whole time, ‘Ultimate Spidey was so much better than this.” Did nothing for me.
    CAPTAIN ATOM – Looked horrible. The story wasn’t completely horrible, but I can’t get over the art.
    CATWOMAN – I dig it. Selina is a sexual person. She uses her sexuality to her advantage. Nothing wrong with that. The art was good. Typical Catwoman story.
    DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS – Deadman is a cool character. This wasn’t a cool first issue.
    GREEN LANTERN CORPS – Liked the Gardner/Stewart on earth angle, mirroring what is going on in GL#1. Would have loved more of that, but then it fizzed.
    LEGION OF SUPERHEROES – Better and easier to follow than the LOST book. But still not a fan.
    NIGHTWING – Yes, the elephant was handled nicely. Actually everything was handled nicely. This was a decent issue. Unfortunately it still may end up on the cutting room floor.
    RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS – Fun, interesting. But I can do without.
    SUPERGIRL – I like the redesign and the art in general. But there wasn’t much here story wise. For now this is a pass. But Supergirl is one of those characters I frequently pop in on. So down the road I’ll probably pick this up again.
    WONDER WOMAN – Anything would have been better than how the last run ended. Thankfully we got more than just better. Mr Montgomery’s review pointed out everything that was great (and maybe the one slight misstep). Overall, WW along with Batman are the only two that completely grabbed me.

  32. They Supergirl in my pull and sold out, knew it would and are ordering more so glad to read a good review,thanx.

  33. “I think it needs to be monitored more than anything really.”

    Ha! Brilliant. Red Hood seemed to be a book for and about frat boys more than anything. Frat boys who kick ass, admittedly.

  34. Really liked:

    Batman
    Wonder Woman
    Supergirl

    I think thats how you do #1 issues. Really fun stuff. Wonder Woman especially was incredibly surprising.

    DCU Presents Deadman: man that was disappointing.

    Catwoman: i thought the story was pretty ok (until the end) but the characterization of Selina was pretty awful. My takeaway was that they created a vapid late night cinnemax character and called her an empowered hero. There was a really good writeup about the problems with her over sexualization on another big comics site and its worth a read. This book played up another awful stereotype: Selina’s smart female best friend is homely and chubby…because thats the obvious trade off y’know? That’s a teen movie stereotype thats over 10 years old. Lastly…i don’t want to see on-page sex scenes in my superhero comics. Make strong, intelligent, fun characters for a wide audience and less of vapid male fantasy characters aimed at lonely basement dwellers.

    • Your “Really Liked” almost match mine perfectly. I really liked Nightwing as well. Loved the simple but effective introduction to Supergirl. Hard to gauge the direction of the series but the first issue really worked for me.

  35. UPDATE: The Week Three episode of the Fuzzy Typewriter 52 Pick-Up podcast is now available. iFanboy’s own Ali Colluccio joins in for a discussion of this week’s #1s and all the controversy in between.

    http://fuzzytypewriter.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/ft-podcast-dc-comics-52-pick-up-week-3/

  36. My current pull list –
    Batman, Batman & Robin, Detective, Dark Knight, OMAC, Blue Beetle, Swamp Thing, Wonder Woman, Justice League Dark, Demon Knights, Nightwing, Ultimate Spider-man

    Favorites from above – OMAC, Swamp Thing, Blue Beetle, Ultimate Spider-Man

    Have to hold off for opinions on Dark Knight and Justice League Dark……

  37. I missed out on Animal Man. My store is going to get me a copy in 2nd printing. I collect comics to be entertained, not some off-chance hope of making any money off of them.

  38. Not quite as strong a week as last week, but there were still some outright winners . . .
    Definately on board: Batman(simply outstanding) and Supergirl (a pleasant surprise)
    Enjoyed, would like to read more: Wonder Woman, Nightwing & Catwoman(despite my mixed feelings)
    Duds: Blue Beatle and Red Hood
    May pick up next week: Birds of Prey

    One book left that I have high expectations for: JL Dark

  39. Here are my list of comics (best to worst) for the last 3 weeks of the New 52….

    Week One:
    1. Animal Man
    2. Swamp Thing (pow)
    3. Action Comics
    4. Detective Comics
    5. Batwing
    6. Justice League
    7. Batgirl
    8. Justice League International
    9. Stormwatch
    10. Omac
    11. Men of War
    12. Static Shock
    13. Green Arrow
    14. Hawk & Dove

    Week Two:
    1. Batwoman (pow)
    2. Superboy
    3. Green Lantern
    4. Demon Knights
    5. Batman & Robin
    6. Reserection Man
    7. Frankenstein
    8. Grifter
    9. Red Lanterns
    10. Legion Lost
    11. Suicide Squad
    12. Mr Terrific
    13. Deathstroke

    Week Three:
    1. Batman (pow)
    2. Wonder Woman
    3. Nightwing
    4. Green Lantern Corps
    5. Blue Beetle
    6. Supergirl
    7. Catwoman
    8. DCU Presents
    9. Birds of Prey
    10. Legion of Superheroes
    11. Captain Atom
    12. Red Hood and the Outlaws

    ALL 3 WEEKS COMBINED:

    *IN*
    1. Batman
    2. Animal Man
    3. Batwoman
    4. Swamp Thing
    5. Superboy
    6. Wonder Woman
    7. Green Lantern
    8. Action Comics
    9. Detective Comics
    10. Demon Knights
    11. Nightwing
    12. Batwing
    13. Green Lantern
    14. Justice League
    15. Batman & Robin
    16. Batgirl
    17. Blue Beetle
    18. Justice League International
    19. Supergirl

    *ON THE FENCE*
    20. Stormwatch
    21. Reserection Man
    22. DCU Presents
    23. Omac
    24. Frankenstein
    25. Grifter
    26. Birds of Prey
    27. Red Lanterns

    *OUT*
    28. Men of War
    29. Legion Lost
    30. Green Arrow
    31. Static Shock
    32. Suicide Squad
    33. Legion of Superheores
    34. Mr Terrific
    35. Captain Atom
    36. Deathstroke
    37. Hawk & Dove
    38. Red Hood and the Outlaws

  40. Week 2 score card:

    “When does issue 2 come out?!” (I’m In):
    Wonder Woman
    Batman
    Supergirl

    “Let’s see where this goes” (wait & see):
    Birds of Prey
    Red Hood & the Outlaws
    Nightwing
    Catwoman

    “Adios amigo!” (Dropped):
    Blue Beetle
    Captain Atom
    Legion of Super-Heroes
    Green Lantern Corps
    DC Universe Presents

  41. I loved Batman, Wonder Woman, Nightwing, Supergirl, and DC Presents Deadman. Catwoman just made me miss the days of Brubaker and Cooke who actually made the character cool just like Blue Beetle made me miss the days of Giffen, Rogers, and Hamner. I hated Red Hood and the Outlaws, why did they feel the need to take a beloved character like Starfire and just make her a super powered blow up doll, that pisses me off, and it made me love Wonder Woman more because it was about a female character who was actually strong and awesome and not just there for exploitative reasons.

    • And I was hoping this week would be my chance to hop into Legion a team I haven’t read about since I was a kid, and apparently they did not get the memo about it being a relaunch to lure in new readers because it felt like the middle of an ongoing story and I had no idea what was going on.

    • I agree with gusto! Missed the target with Legion for sure.

  42. They even profiled the New 52 on Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt….sure he over simplified everything but still. Thats just fascinating. They did redraw the iconic sunshine face as the Joker so that was pretty neat.

  43. I’m stranded on a comically small island, you know, with one palm tree and my feet sticking out over the water, and I can only have three things- definitely a monthly Wonder Woman subscription, pho and a flare gun. Can I have a Dairy Queen by the palm tree, too?

  44. WEEK 2 SCOREBOARD:

    TOP OF THE PILE:
    Batman #1
    Nightwing #1
    Supergirl #1
    Wonder Woman #1

    GOOD SOLID ISSUES:
    Blue Beetle #1
    Green Lantern Corps #1
    Birds of Prey #1

    ON SHAKEY GROUND:
    Catwoman #1
    DC Universe Presents: Deadman #1

    NO THANKS, I’M DONE:
    Captain Atom #1
    Red Hood & the Outlaws #1

  45. Batman #1- Great read lots of fun. For a Batman fan was nice start to a new era.

    Birds of Prey #1- Was nice still not sure it I’ll stay with it. But I’ll give it a chance.

    Catwoman #1- Nothing better that Bat on Cat sex(JK) was intresting, will have to see how the arc plays out.

    Wonder Woman #1- About as perfect as you can get.