REVIEWS: DC Comics 52 Pick-Up – Week Two

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 funny person Timmy Wood. This week it’s podcast magnate Cameron Rice!

All clear? Now let’s blow this thing and go home!

Batman & Robin #1

Batman and Robin #1

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason

Tomasi and Gleason have upped their collective game, delivering something of a character study in this new arc. When Tomasi first picked up this title prior to the relaunch, his interpretation of Damian Wayne rang alarmingly false. I’m pleased to report that the little bastard is back and as petulant as ever. There’s also a renewed attention to the original mission statement, though instead of focusing on the Felix and Oscar dynamic of Damian and Dick, it’s a true family affair with Bruce reaffirming his role as a father. Alfred’s characterization serves as an odd highlight, popping in just long enough to ensure that his passive aggressive dynamic with young Master Damian is still very present in the new DCU.

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

 Picking it up next month? I’m on board.

 

 

Batwoman #1

Batwoman #1

Written by J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman
Art by J.H. Williams III

I have a feeling that each month will see a neck-and-neck competition between Swamp Thing‘s Yanick Paquette and Batwoman‘s J.H. Williams III for most stunning imagery in the DCU. There was even a bit of a debate in the shop today over this very question. We eventually agreed that while there are a number of rough-looking projects in the relaunch, the best in the bunch look positively phenomenal. Such is the case here. And while there’s an unfortunate bit of rehashing when Kate’s dad show’s up toward the end of the issue, the overall script doesn’t suffer as readers may have expected given Rucka’s departure. In fact, I think the storytelling in even the most ornate page layouts felt much easier to follow here. That sequence with the grappling gun? Me-oh, oh myo, oh Cleveland Ohio, that was impressive. As for the growing involvement of Detective Sawyer and cousin Bette? Welcome additions to one of the DCU’s most interesting ensembles, finally back on track.

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

Picking it up next month? Are you kidding? This is event comics.

 

Deathstroke #1

Deathstroke #1

Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Joe Bennet

Higgins employs a clever reversal that elevates this reintroduction of Slade Wilson, metahuman-for-hire. Presented here is a familiar mercenary with an uncanny knack for maneuvering out of tight corners. He’s a one-man wetworks team, and no matter what you throw at him, he’s always got the bigger blade and the better of your spinal column. But Slade’s not as young as he used to be, so one of his clients assembles some backup for his next operation. And they’re three of the most grating young contract killers to share the same van. When they complete their mission, Deathstroke makes a surprising and welcome choice, presenting readers with a pretty good idea of what kind of man their new anti-hero chooses to be, but also a pulsing question mark as to the ultimate direction of the series. Given stronger visuals and a more nuanced mission statement, this could well be an exciting alternative to books like The Punisher or Deadpool MAX, but it’s not quite there yet.

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

Picking it up next month? Unlikely.

 

Demon Knights #1

Demon Knights #1

Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Diogenes Neves

Like last week’s Storm Watch, Demon Knights attempts to pack a lot of characters and concept into its debut installment. They’re both stories I fully intend on adopting, but much of my enthusiasm is for the promise of the cohesion I know will come in time. The peculiar relationship already apparent between Madame Xanadu and the mystically linked Jason O’ Th’ Blood & Etrigan is a terrific prospect. Sort of a filthy version of Ladyhawke. Babies are possessed by malevolent spirits. Babies explode. There’s just waves and waves of sumptuous fantasy and adventures and mystery pouring out from these pages, and it’s almost overwhelming at this stage. But once this settles, and all the pieces are in place, this is going to be event comics.

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

Picking it up next month? Definitely

 

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1

Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Alberto Poticelli

Who could’ve imagined Ray Palmer would pop up in this reboot amidst the marital strife of the Frankenstein monster and his four-armed estranged wife? Jeff Lemire, that’s who! One of the oddest books in a relaunch brimming with wacky ongoings, Frankenstein #1 is bound to get even weirder when it crosses over with O.M.A.C. in its second arc. Though I prefer the art and maybe even the status quo presented in Lemire’s Flashpoint tie-in, this is monstrously fun stuff. The new Creature Commandos rank among my favorite superhero teams, with returning favorites like Vincent Velcoro the aviator capped vampire and a new mummy medic with a completely blank slate. On the surface it’s very reminiscent of books like B.P.R.D. or Proof, but it features a far zanier tone than either of those. I kind of want to give out copies to trick-or-treaters at Halloween.

 

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

Picking it up next month? Absolutely. Lemire is two for two.

 

Green Lantern #1

Green Lantern #1

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke

If you’re anything like me, you washed your hands of this coat of many colors months or even years ago. Perhaps a victim of over-saturation (heh), the Lantern books have grown tedious in the time leading up to and then following Blackest Night. Were I not conducting this daffy experiment, I’d likely not have gone near this book. I was happy to clock out from this particular corner of the DCU, content with my Superman and Batman titles. So imagine my horror when I read and loved this new chapter and its promise of a refreshed status quo. Yes, it’s essentially a continuation of the same story I grew frustrated with so long ago, but that story has settled in a very interesting new place where Hal Jordan is without a power ring and Sinestro is straight up garroting dudes for spotting him in his new dress greens. It’s one of the simplest and strongest scripts Johns has delivered in a good while. Mahnke also remains one of my favorite working artists, so I’m thrilled and also sort of mortified that I’m tentatively dipping my toe back into sector 2814.

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

Picking it up next month? A hesitant yes. But at the first sign of doldrums, I’m ready to jump ship.

 

Grifter #1

Grifter #1

Grifter #1

Written by Nathan Edmonson
Art by CAFU

Remember that time Sawyer from Lost was abducted by that malevolent blue presence and became humanity’s last line of defense against invisible invaders? This is that book. Those like me with little to no experience with the Wildstorm vet can approach this issue as they would any square-one debut. Cole Cash is confidence man seemingly identical to Josh Holloway’s TV icon, but his paranormal misadventures begin before his plane even takes off. Following a bizarre encounter with the entities showcased on the cover, Cole is able to receive on their telepathic signal and becomes privy to their terrifying communications. Meanwhile, Cole’s own brother is enlisted by the government to track and subdue him in response for crimes he didn’t commit. This mashup of paranormal thriller and street-level crime yarn has tons of potential. And with the irrepressible CAFU on art duties, it’s a slick and sexy game indeed. Here’s hoping for a good long con.

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

Picking it up next month? Yes. Because he dared me. But also because it’s great.

 

Legion Lost #1

Legion Lost #1

Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Pete Woods

I’ve developed a nervous tic since opening this book. Even for a Legion title, it’s a manic and unforgiving narrative with a steep learning curve for both new readers and stalwarts alike. While I enjoyed the book’s heart and it’s cast of characters (Tellus has been my boy since I first laid eyes on him; Don’t ask me to explain it), I have to liken the reading experience to untangling headphone cables in the midst of a bumper car session. As a fan of the original storyline, I’m eager to mine this one for Legiony goodness, but I’ll likely be waiting for the collected edition. My fervor for these absurd characters is pretty high, but it’s like those annual family reunions: Who the hell are these people and what do they want from me? On the upside, Pete Woods is doing something different and I think I like it.

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

Picking it up next month? No. After allowing whole arcs of unread Legion issues to stack up before reading them in binges, I’ve realized this corner of the DCU works best for me in collections.

 

Mister Terrific #1

Mister Terrific #1

Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Gianluca Gugliotta

I’ve scuffed my knees on the asphalt. One flip-flop is back about a block and I may have lost a toenail. My friend Karen Starr is in the back of an unfamiliar station wagon, pounding on the glass and I have no idea where it’s headed. As I struggle to my feet I take note of the license plate. “FAIRPLY”

No. The guy at the wheel was not the Mister Terrific I’ve come to love. And that’s not coming from a place of entitlement. Well, maybe for the Power Girl part of the equation. But I simply get the sense that it no longer means as much to be the third smartest man in the world anymore. Terrific played a prominent role in the JSA and in Checkmate. Why does his solo series feel like a demotion? We’re constantly reminded that this man is destined to better humanity, but none of this feels as noble as the character he once was.

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

Picking it up next month? No.

 

Red Lanterns #1

Red Lanterns #1

Written by Peter Milligan
Art by Ed Benes

“Zuuq, my friend, your palate has become jaded.”

This one came from out of nowhere for me. As mentioned earlier, I’ve had little enthusiasm for the multi-colored Lantern corps of late. So I wasn’t expecting to dig on this one. But while it focuses on an overly convoluted addition to the GL mythos, this is honestly a lot of fun. In its best moments it reminds me of the dearly departed R.E.B.E.L.S. series from Tony Bedard. We open on a scene of horrendous torture aboard a space craft perhaps designed solely for that purpose. A group of overgrown blue gila monsters lament at their troublesome malaise, even engaged in their favorite pastime of doling out unbearable physical agony. They spot a “funny-looking creature” approaching their vessel and are eager to try their hand at even more exquisite acts of cruelty. Unfortunately for these hunters, that approaching mass is a familiar blue cat belonging to Atrocitus. Things get grisly from there, and the Red Lanterns revel in their blood-vomiting theatrics. This all works because Milligan knows just how over the top and cheesy this whole concept can be, and he embraces it with abandon.

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

Picking it up next month? Like many perfectly decent books this month, this may end up getting cut due to the sheer number of definite keepers. We’ll see.

 

Resurrection Man #1

Resurrection Man #1

Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Fernando Dagnino

What a fantastic opening page. Our hero is already dead before we get the chance to meet him. Luckily enough he has a habit of picking up where he left off. In this case, a cold slab in the city morgue. With each new awakening a flurry of sensations, a wicked new power set and an overwhelming desire to do…something. He’s compelled to move forward and to seek out some new objective, though the ultimate plan remains a mystery. It’s a captivating concept and all wonderfully told. This looks and feels like classic Vertigo. It beckons the reader along and as with Animal Man, allows us to walk side-by-side with the protagonist. Though this isn’t his first time at the rodeo, he’s playing this all by ear, and we experience that suspense with him. It offers some tantalizing mysteries as well. Who are these hunters tattooed with red tear drops? Who are these girls tracking our man, and how many have hey killed to get this close? About a rung down from Swamp Thing and Animal Man, Resurrection Man is another tantalizing entry in DCU’s Dark catalog.

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

Picking it up next month? Over his dead body. A resounding yes.

 

Suicide Squad #1

Suicide Squad #1

Written by Adam Glass
Art by Federico Dallocchio

First, a brief word about The Wall. I’m not exactly outraged by the cosmetic change to the character, but I do see it as rather crude and unnecessary. I always liked her as she was and thought she made for such a delightful and imposing visual. Sadly, this isn’t even the worst beat of the issue, though it does make for a stinging finisher. Needlessly aggressive without the charisma to make them either endearing or gripping, the Suicide Squad aren’t the most interesting band of misfits. When the competition and closest analog is Jeff Parker’s Thunderbolts, this books comes off hauntingly pale indeed. It’s a bunch of posturing bad guys with no sense of humor about themselves or their situation. Harley seems woefully out of place with this group, or she would if she were as complex a villainess as we’ve seen in the past. This goes in the same pile as last week’s Detective Comics. A whole lot of dark and sinister, but nothing of substance to be truly visceral.

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

Picking it up next month? No.

Superboy #1

Superboy #1

Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by R.B. Silva

Another big surprise this week and a truly pleasant one. Returning to the kernel of DC’s modern Superboy, Lobdell takes us back to the NOWHERE lab where a superhuman soldier is wrought from human and Kryptonian genetic material. The Kryptonian half of the recipe has already been revealed as Superman, and for now we’ll feign ignorance as to the identity of the human donor. We’ll also pretend not to know that the young scientist overseeing this project is XXX XXXXXX’s niece. For now, she’s just Red. And Red has some fascinating plans for young Superboy. In a pretty cool fake-out, Superboy transitions to life in Smallville, fostered by the ultra-vanilla Helpworth family. In school he meets an alluring girl named Rose Wilson and agrees to walk her home, ignoring the cries from a burning building along their path. As it turns out, this is all a virtual reality simulation designed to test Superboy’s intrinsic morals. It’s a great way to tease a familiar life in Smallville while developing a far darker story in the background. What really makes this book work is the comparatively lighthearted interior art from Jimmy Olsen artist R.B. Silva. The visuals are clean and vibrant on their own, but they also help the proceedings from feeling too grim. Were it rendered like the upcoming Teen Titans series from the same author and a different art team, this wouldn’t have worked nearly so well. As it stands, this is a promising start I hadn’t anticipated.

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

Picking it up next month? Affirmative.

And that’s Week Two! See ya in seven days!

Comments

  1. ctrosejr ctrosejr says:

    Paul, it seems like Week 2 was pretty strong. No outright clunkers. Nice. I have not read my entire stack yet, but I am looking forward to it based on this amazing post!

  2. SmoManCometh SmoManCometh says:

    Note about Batwoman…Detective Sawyer and Bette Kane are not new additions…they were both very present in Rucka’s run. HAHAHA hate to be that guy, but…you know.

  3. Viewt Viewt says:

    I was pleasantly surprised by Superboy, too. It gives me a lot more hope for Teen Titans, which I was on the fence about.

    • I was completely ready to pass on Teen Titans until I got to the last page of Superboy. Now, I’m sad to say, I will be picking it up just to see if it’s half as compelling as Superboy is.

  4. Gerry Lopez nudebuddha says:

    Still working through my stack.

    The one thing about Resurrection Man that turned me off was when it got to the repetitive dialogue in the phone conversations at the end. Other than that though, I’m coming back for issue 2.

    Batwoman had some bad Spanish that pissed me off, but other than that was great.

    I liked Batman and Robin, but I’m wondering, based on this and Detective if Alfred is real. I’m thinking I’ll only be doing one Batman book, and it will likely be Snyder’s Batman, but we’ll see.

    I am not a fan of fantasy, but Demon Knights was fun. Glad I listened to my shop guy and picked it up.

    Frankenstein was great. I was really sucked into it and it seemed like it was longer than the others, for some reason. So far, it’s my POTW.

  5. DaveCarr DaveCarr says:

    ]The reason I would run, were I to run, is I have a great belief in this country as a country and in this people as a people that go into making this country a nation with the greatest natural resources and population of people, educated people.”

    “I’ll spread it around”. [End interlude”
    Looking forward to catching up with these, especially Superboy

  6. Skruff Skruff says:

    We’ll also pretend not to know that the young scientist overseeing this project is XXX XXXXXX’s niece.

    I’ve also seen speculation that “Red” is actually Caitlin Fairchild from Wildstorm’s Gen13 group… That would be far more interesting to me than XXX XXXXXX’s niece.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      That’s a definite possibility. I’m suspecting the niece angle because other NOWHERE scientists seem to be keeping the identity of the human DNA sample out of her reach. “Uncle Lex?!” seems like a perfect cliffhanger reveal. Add that to her recent appearance in Johns’ Adventure Comics and I may or not be on to something. I could be completely off track though. It may even be Lana Lang.

    • AmirCat AmirCat says:

      I initially thought that it would her DNA that they used … but then the empathy thing came in and it’s definitely XXX XXXXXX. It would have been cool if she was the mom.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      Pretty sure “Red” it’s Caitlin Fairchild. I don’t have the issue in front of me, but I distinctly remember a panel where she’s logging into a computer (maybe swiping an ID badge?) and we see “Dr.Cait—” but the rest is cut off/obscured. Now, none of that necessarily precludes her from being XXX XXXXXX’s niece.

      In any case, I was also surprised at how much I enjoyed Superboy. Hooray new comics!

    • jayrow75 jayrow75 says:

      Yeah. I went back and checked. It absolutely is Caitlyn Fairchild from Gen13.

      And yes, I was also pleasantly surprised by Superboy #1.

      Also, I know I am in the minority but I really liked Suicide Squad except for Waller’s new look.

      I did go all in and order all 52 books for at least the first 3 issues. LOVED Demon Knights.

      I also kinda liked Mr. Terrific.

      HATED the art on Frankenstein.

      Jay

  7. keith7198 keith7198 says:

    Paul, I absolutely love that you’re doing this. Great to read but also gives plenty of room for conversation. Such as:

    I had several different takes on books I’ve read. I thought Suicide Squad’s story was a treat. I had no expectations for the book but found it to be dark, gritty fun. It was hurt by the whole multiple artist thing but I enjoyed the issue.

    Also notice you gave the art on Red Lanterns AND Frankenstein a 3.5. I thought Red Lanterns was one of the best looking books I’ve yet to see out of the New 52. With the exception of a few drab flashback panels, it was gorgeous. On the flip side Frank’s characters looked inconsistent and the monsters were some of the most unimaginitive, generic looking monsters I’ve seen.

    I also felt the art on Deathstroke was waaay better than a 2.5. It lost itself in one particular scene but overall I liked the look of the rest of the issue.

    We both had the same experience with Grifter and Resurrection Man. Really looking forward to where these issues are going.

    • TinCanGoat TinCanGoat says:

      I’m about the same as you. I thought Suicide Squad was great, but Grifter boring.

      Red Lanterns seems like it was made just to sell more in the GL line.

      Resurrection Man didn’t do anything for me.

      Frankenstein is good, but it’s nowhere near the quality of writing in Sweet Tooth.

      Batwoman was not there for me either. It wasn’t bad, but I just couldn’t get into it.

      Mr. Terrific is just bad, and should never have made it past the editors. The racial tension crap was just bad writing and bad taste.

      Demon, not bad, but due to collecting too many comics, I have to pass.

      Superboy was good, but I’m thinking he’s pushing me more towards Teen Titans than his own book.

    • houseian houseian says:

      Yep, I mostly agreed but thought Suicide Squad was great fun. A real good replacement for Secret Six.

  8. ato220 ato220 says:

    I really really liked the cover to suicide squad but I had to pass. I think I might have to go back and get resurrection man and superboy. Glad I skipped Legion Lost and Mr Terrific.

  9. john12345678 john12345678 says:

    If you enjoy Hellboy comics, and you enjoyed the short lived Hellboy film franchise, but you ever caught yourself thinking, “hey, these two stories are slightly different, perhaps they should mash them together and create a singular ultra-version of Hellboy that everyone can love…” Well then Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. is the comic for you! I mean that in a good way. Sure, this book isn’t exactly fresh, or unique, but overall, the writing is good, the art is good, the character designs are good and the book is fun. Easily one of this week’s favorites.

  10. In the written by it reads Paul where I think it should be Jeff. Otherwise, good stuff.

  11. RoiVampire RoiVampire says:

    Resurrection Man was my most anticipated out of this weeks new 52 and damn did it deliver. sooooo good. i also loved the crap out of Suicide Squad, different strokes i guess

  12. drdeeeznutz drdeeeznutz says:

    Love the article.. I agreed with almost all you reviews except for the squad. I was already pumped for the swamp/animal cross two of my favorite books last week but there is also going to be a Omac/Frankenstein cross two books which are just pure fun. Greatness can’t wait

  13. stuclach stuclach says:

    Unfortunately, I haven’t finished reading all my books this week, but I’ve enjoyed the ones I have read. Demon Knight was stupendous.

  14. stuclach stuclach says:

    I may have to grab Resurrection Man. I didn’t expect it to be strong.

  15. kennyg kennyg says:

    I’ve only read Demon Knights, Batman and Robin, and Batwoman so far, but I found all to be WINNING! Glad to hear week 2 has so many good books. I was looking over mine last night, and aside from B&R and GL, this seemed like a lot of B- and C-level characters, which kind of surprised me. But as long as the quality is there, I think these books have a shot.

    I personally skipped Legion Lost, Deathstroke, and Superboy due to lack of interest. I may wind up reading SB though. Even then, it was an expensive week. I almost passed on MrT (maybe I should have?) and Frankenstein (I thought the mini was just OK).

  16. KillTheG1mp KillTheG1mp says:

    Damn it I should have picked up Superboy yesterday, but the art didn’t draw me in enough and I already added two titles I wasn’t supposed to pick up…

    Guess I’ll wait a bit for it or check it out on Comixology. Damn you ifanboy for making me spend my hard earned money! ;)

  17. WheelHands WheelHands says:

    @Paul: As with your film reviews, you fill me with confidence that I made the right choices going into this relaunch. I can’t afford to try ‘em all, and so far my predictions as to what I may or may not enjoy have been affirmed in this little segment. Thanks for doin’ these. I know it must be taxing, but it’s helpful and entertaining as always.

  18. Frankenstein was awesome, and really liked Superboy. Green Lantern was inaccessible..i thought it was just me, but it appears that it is more of the same, so i just can’t get on board. Gonna take a second glance at Demon Knights.

    Despite that logo, after the review, i might give Grifter a shot.

  19. j206 j206 says:

    Week 2 scorecard:

    “When does issue 2 come out?!” (I’m In):
    Batwoman
    Superboy
    Frankenstein
    Grifter
    Resurrection Man

    “Let’s see where this goes” (wait & see):
    Demon Knights
    Green Lantern
    Batman & Robin
    Red Lanterns

    “Adios amigo!” (Dropped):
    Mister Terrific
    Deathstroke
    Suicide Squad
    Legion Lost

  20. j206 j206 says:

    Superboy was exactly what these relaunch books need to be, and that what many aren’t. Perfect entry point to new readers. Zero references to past continuity, not bogged down in exposition. And very good, modern looking, non-90′s art.

  21. Thatguyyouno Thatguyyouno says:

    In response to the scorecard above me

    “When does Issue 2 come out?” I’m IN!
    Superboy
    Batman&Robin
    Red Lanterns
    Green Lantern
    Deathstroke

    No middle ground

    “Drop it like it’s hot” Hated.
    Frankenstein

    “Doesn’t strike my fancy.” Didn’t bother snagging
    Batwoman
    Mister Terrific
    Suicide Squad
    Legion Lost

    “Looks like another trip to the store.” What I’m going to go grab.
    Resurrection Man
    Grifter
    Demon Knights

    Done. First post on ifanboy and it feels so good!

  22. Limitless Limitless says:

    I was extremely surprised by Superboy. I think it might have been my favorite thing I read this week. I really liked Demon Knight, but I really liked the art in Superboy.

  23. Frankenstein was a lot of fun. It didn’t seem like a Lemire book, but in a great “hey, let’s have some monsters fight” kind of way that I appreciated. And now I am curious about Grifter. My only experience with him is Sleeper, but your review has me intrigued.

  24. MaxPower MaxPower says:

    Another scorecard:

    Loved it, no question will pick up second issue:
    Demon Knights
    Batwoman

    Pretty sweet, I’ll stick around for a while:
    Superboy (surprise of the week)
    Grifter

    • MaxPower MaxPower says:

      Oops, hit submit too soon. But continuing;

      I know it was good, nothing wrong with it, but it’s just not grabbing me (or my money):
      Green Lantern
      Batman and Robin

      Having second thoughts on not picking up Resurrection Man

  25. Walter Walter says:

    Suicide Squad and Deathstroke were both kind of guilty pleasures for me. They were both just fun books to read.

  26. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    POLL: Who is the breakout character of the week?

    • Thatguyyouno Thatguyyouno says:

      Giving it to Atrocitus. He had his fun in Blackest Night and Brightest Day, but this was a deep look into his character and you realize the leader of the Corps isn’t exactly as angry as he appears. Imagine what all of Batman’s villains make fun of him for, he can’t kill. Atrocitus can, has and will continue doing so.

    • party party says:

      I’d say Frankenstein. I had a ton of fun with his book. Etrigan and Resurrection Man are close runner-ups for me, too.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Last week it was certainly Buddy “A-Man” Baker. This week, it’s harder to say. The standouts are Damian Wayne, Mitch Shelley (Resurrection Man), Sinestro and the Etrigan/Blood/Xanadu triangle.

    • MaxPower MaxPower says:

      Superboy. This is a clean slate for the character and an extremely fascinating beginning (an honest to god beginning!) to a book that previously starred a t-shirt wearing,small-town occupying and clone (both literally and figuratively) of Superman. Loved the new take on his ultra-consciousness and its link to the oft joked about tactile telekinesis.

    • RoiVampire RoiVampire says:

      I’d say Resurrection Man

    • Josh Flanagan Josh Flanagan (@jaflanagan) says:

      Etrigan or dumpy Hal Jordan.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      I do love dumpy Hal Jordan.

    • Gotta say Frankenstein. He’s a classic monster on a paranormal type special ops team being written by Jeff Lemire. For me this book has the most potential to feel like something new and be tons of fun.

      Close second place goes to Superboy. As someone else stated, he really feels like a rebooted character..its fresh new and there is a lot to discover. The Costume is also uber rad.

    • j206 j206 says:

      I have to say Superboy. I would never have guessed that I would enjoy a book about a character I previously found pointless and stupid.

    • john12345678 john12345678 says:

      Does anyone else have a soft spot for “old man” Slade Wilson? Check the Best of Week in Panels before you make your final decision

    • Unmada Unmada says:

      I really enjoyed Cornell’s take on Etrigan. We haven’t had much of him yet, but he’s the character I’m most excited to see more of.

      Also, I’m very relieved that he’s not rhyming. That worked well for me in early Moore/Gaiman proto-Vertigo Hell, but I would find it hard to take seriously from a main character in an ongoing.

      Runner-up: Father Time. How cute!

    • yyzKyle yyzKyle says:

      Superboy is my breakout Character of the Week. He is exactly he type of character I look forward to seeing more of in Teen Titans and who I will follow in a solo book.

  27. JNewcomb JNewcomb says:

    Quite surprised at your Frankenstein art rating. Found it to be a 4 for sure.

    Great reviews Paul! You’re a hell of a writer!

  28. SteenAR SteenAR says:

    I read the first arc of the Morrison run on Batman and Robin and really loved it. I unfortunately fell off and never was able to get back into it.

    That said, I was really surprised by this. I liked it more than I ever expected to and it got me to actually enjoy a book with Batman as a leading character. I really don’t understand the love for Damian. I found him overly rude and arrogant. I enjoyed Damian in situations when characters like Steph dealt with him but him just being a jerk to Bruce was really annoying. Regardless of his connection to Bruce’s parents it seemed over-the-top for him to be so insensitive. I was just wanting Bruce to grab him by the front of his shirt, shove him up against the wall and just scream at him for being so rude.

    Aside from that though, I enjoyed the story and the art looked a lot better than I expected.

    • martinNL martinNL says:

      Have you read any of Morrison’s Batman run? If not I would highly recommend it. Start with Batman and Son, it will give you some more background info on Damian and you’ll understand why Damian acts the way he does.

  29. CaseyJustice CaseyJustice says:

    Ok, so Paul’s reviews are pretty good, I guess. But why not leave it to a real professional?

    http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/09/15/7-year-old-girl-reviews-justice-league-1/

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Very cool. And on a similar note, Dave’s 11-year-old son Jack is also doing some segments on the Fuzzy Typewriter podcasts linked above. He reviewed Justice League for us in Week Zero and will have his thoughts on the Week One books at the head of the Week Two show. As part of the target audience for a lot of these books, we think it’s worth the compare and contrast.

    • AlanRob AlanRob says:

      Dad: “So he didn’t become Cyborg in it?”
      Little Girl: “Of course not, cause it’s issue #1″

      Ha! Take that comic book internet! …including me.

    • CaseyJustice CaseyJustice says:

      @paul- That is so rad! I must listen to this.

    • daccampo daccampo says:

      Hah, I saw this on youtube yesterday, and immediately told my son’s mom that Jack had some serious competition… :)

      But, yeah, a child’s perspective on all of these books is VERY interesting and enlightening.

  30. Loser13 Loser13 says:

    awesome week.

  31. froggulper says:

    Loving the reviews, Paul.

  32. powerdad powerdad says:

    Hey Paul (and others),

    I have to admit I had a very different experience with the Legion Lost book.

    I really enjoyed the frenetic pace, and honestly didn’t have any problem following the story, because it felt to me like as series of Sci-Fi and Time Travel story tropes. But I came into this book completely fresh, without any idea there was another book called Legion Lost, so I didn’t try assuming this had to match-up with any other continuity. If I had some experience with the other Legion Lost, then strangely enough I might have had a harder time following the story.

    *** START — SPOILER ALERT ***

    In short, my take on the story from this first issue was — screaming-monster-dude is being pursued by the Legion members, and they’re efforts to chase him down are hampered by various problems with time and space and their equipment (crashing/breaking ship, malfunctioning rings and suits, and their own sickness). The monster-dude is eventually snatched, but this results in massive problems, and results in team member “deaths” (not sure if I believe yet that they are truly dead), the time ship destroyed, and themselves possibly dying from “the infection” which is risking their future 31st century Earth/Universe they were trying to save. In short, the end is great because everything has now gone wrong, and I have to wonder how they can possibly recover.

    I thought the book did a good job giving us a feeling for all the characters in the way they reacted to the crisis. Some were leader like, some were intellectual, some brash, and some reckless.

    I especially liked the scene with the cute-little-girl asking the monster-dude where her sister is, and the monster dude pauses and has a de-Hulking moment when he changes back into a person and collapses. I really liked it because when the scene first comes up, I think the monster-dude has transformed solely by the cute-little-kids “cuteness.” But later in the story you realize that it’s because she wants her sister, just the same way he wants his sister, and the sorrow has bested him at that moment.

    *** END — SPOILER ALERT ***

    The chief problem I might have had with it was it relied upon those SciFi/TimeTravel tropes to such a degree that it lacked some originality, but in the end that’s okay. I really needed some escapism, and it delivered.

    Overall I felt it was very well crafted, and purely fun. But you know what they say about different strokes and different folks…thanks for writing these reviews!

  33. stevec50 stevec50 says:

    I’m looking forward to picking up my batch of pulls tomorrow so I can say nasty things about several of these. I suppose I could, sight unseen, but it hardly seems sporting. (Hint: I have always detested Deathstroke and I’m one of those on Facebook who really dislikes the ‘new’ Harley.)

  34. keith7198 keith7198 says:

    “Mister Terrific” was the first terrible book of DC’s New 52. I really didn’t like “Hawk and Dove” last week but Mr. Terrific is even worse. So many problems. It’s really sad. I had high hopes for this series.

  35. My two cents… or my 52-cents…

    BATMAN AND ROBIN – First thoughts were… this is wrong, Damien has learned at least a bit of respect in the last 2 years. Then the line, “You were easier to look up to when you weren’t around.” NAILED IT! This is off to a great start.
    BATWOMAN – My most anticipated of the new 52, or really the last year. Did not disappoint. My only fear is that I will be buying this twice: once in issues, then again in trade for the bookshelf.
    DEATHSTROKE – Better than I thought it was going to be. However that’s still not very exciting.
    DEMON KNIGHTS – Not my type, but Xanadu and creepy babies may keep me on this.
    FRANKENSTEIN – The art doesn’t do it for me, but everything else makes up for that. I’m on this, I hope for a long time.
    GREEN LANTERN – Damn you Geoff Johns for making GL interesting again. I’m on the bubble only because I’m ready to move on, but give me Hal in the unemployment line and I will buy this forever.
    GRIFTER – I have no idea what is going on in this book, and I love it because of that. Slow burn thriller. It got me hooked.
    LEGION LOST – I have no idea what is going on in this book, and I don’t give a shit. “Lost” is the key word, cause that’s what I was the entire time.
    MISTER TERRIFIC – Indeed this is a new Mr. T. And I don’t mind. I don’t even mind the strange new role of my (former?) favorite DC character Karen Starr. But this art is shit. I’m staying for now, but the art needs to get better to keep me.
    RED LANTERNS – I had little interest going in… I have little interest coming out.
    RESURRECTION MAN – Best of the week! There is so much that can be done with this character. Like Animal Man last week, this is everything I want in a comic.
    SUICIDE SQUAD – Didn’t think this was bad. Villain teams are not my thing, so I’ll move on.
    SUPERBOY – I don’t think I like any version of Superboy. This is no exception.

  36. Great reviews again Paul. Surprised Superboy was a lot of fun, I read the preview and it seemed like a good book. But it’s a trade wait for me, like many, so I’ll wait for the next few years for the hardcover. (Damn trade system)

    Green Lantern: I thought it was extremely boring and ultimately bullshit that there was nothing different about this ‘relaunched’ book. Hal Jordan is just a boring character and the parts with Sinestro were much more interesting. The art by Mahnke was pretty disappointing in my mind. With Tomasi on GLC I suspect that book will be my go to GL book (we’ll see), but for now I think I can dust my hands and stop reading a Geoff Johns/Hal Jordan book.

    Frankenstein: It was a fun book, but I think Lemire didn’t do that good of a job setting everything up. He just throws us right in and expect us to go without questioning it. Dr. Frankenstein turning into a Japanese school girl? I’m fine with that if we got more of an explanation then a throw away line. The art by Ponticelli was alright, but it was so close to Jeff Lemire’s still I question why he didn’t just draw it in the first place. Not a bad book, a solid 3-star, but not enough for me to buy it ongoing.

    Batman and Robin: Easily my favorite issue of the new #1′s right now. Tomasi has this new mission statement for Bruce and I’m excited to see where it goes. Plus ‘Nobody’ is another great new villain and the way he dispatches the Russian Batman is pretty disturbing. Also, what’s not to love about Gleason’s pencils? Easily the best pairing of creators for me right now.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      They’re not gonna reboot a book as popular as Green Lantern, especially with the same creative team and especially not after the success of Blackest Night. Same with the Bat books. That said, GL moves forward with a significant status quo change that had me intrigued. Hal sleeping in his car will be a great change of pace.

    • Hold up.. The Japanese school girl isn’t Dr Frankenstein, it’s Father Time. Or are they the same person and I’m missing something??

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      It’s Father Time.

    • keith7198 keith7198 says:

      Yep. Theyw ere pretty clear that most things would be the same in GL and Batman. I loved GL. Lots of interesting dynamics at work.

    • daccampo daccampo says:

      @Paul, but he ain’t sleeping in his car if Carol doesn’t co-sign the lease!

      My vote is still on Hal and Sinestro becoming roommates. I totally want to turn GL into an “Odd Couple” sitcom. Sinestro’s answer for every complaint from Hal will just be, “Oh yeah? Did you have your own Lantern Corps named after YOU? No? Then shut the hell up; I’ll drink out of milk carton if I want to.”

  37. newway12 says:

    Suicide Squad is horrible and the redesign of Waller is a good example of why. Talk about completely misunderstanding the appeal of a character.

  38. @Paul/William: I don’t even know, in context to the DCU (previous), Father. Time is. I just assumed it was Dr. Frankenstein since he kept saying Father. Like he was going for the literary reference there. Either way it’s still confusing to me why this man can suddenly change into a random japanese school girl with a throw away line.

    Plus the end of GL #1 shows that Hal living this lifestyle isn’t going to last. Sinestro is going to make sure that Hal gets the ring back so he can be a Sinestro Corps member again. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jordan is back into space in a few issues. Should he be anyways? I know JLA is still in the past right now but eventually it’s going to the present in the second story arc. So we’ll already have two conflicting Hal Jordan’s in two books if it stays like this.

    • daccampo daccampo says:

      I didn’t know who Father Time was, either, but it didn’t throw me. IN the first two pages, we have Frankenstein returning from a vacation on Mars (awesome), a microscopic headquarters, and some sort of immortal character who has been reincarnated as a Japanese school girl. It’s awesomely weird — I didn’t feel it needed any additional explanation, honestly.

  39. powerdad powerdad says:

    So I’ve gotten so used to looking for the hooded woman in the DC issues this month, that it’s spilling over to other comics. I just caught myself scanning the pages of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 looking for the hooded woman. Hahaha!!

    Anyone else having a similar experience?

  40. player1 player1 says:

    Thanks for the reviews. So glad I’m getting Batwoman. Looking forward to reading Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Resurrection Man, Demon Knights, Frankenstein and Grifter in collections. A bunch of books I thought/hoped would be good turned out to be.

  41. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    UPDATED: The Week Two episode of the Fuzzy Typewriter 52 Pick-Up podcast is now available for your listening pleasure:

    http://fuzzytypewriter.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/52pickupweektwo/

  42. TimMeakins says:

    Damn… I had high hopes for Mr Terrific and Suicide Squad…

    Guess I’ll swap them out for Resurrection Man and either GL or B&R…

  43. was confused by Grifter. This character is new to me and didn’t quite understand the telepathy thing while reading the book…it was a simple case of..”who do those word balloons belong to?” it wasn’t until i read Paul’s review that kinda clarified it for me, but i don’t like that i couldn’t get all that from the page.

    These Wildstorm books are not doing a very good job of introducing new (to the DCU) characters…at least for me.

    The art was ok…it was just so frigid and uninteresting for me. Not sure if i’ll give this another shot.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      I should also say I’ve never read an issue of Wildcats before, so I have no prior history with Grifter. It’s a ground up reboot which can be viewed like any #1 introduction for an all new character. The nonlinear plot may not be the clearest, but I think it provides readers with everything they need to know. Worth a second read.

    • well i thought the plot was fine and i followed that ok…really my biggest source of confusion, like i said was the telepathy thing. I mean early on i was like…oh that person is hearing voices….but then it appears that so is Grifter….so who does it belong to? I guess it wasn’t clear that he was “intercepting” the voices as well. You’re mini review above clarified that for me, but i dunno if thats a good thing y’know? I’ll prob try to read it again and see where i’m at.

      Would have been cool to have one of those mini character summaries like they do for larger characters.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Since he gains the ability to intercept the voices in the issue, they really couldn’t have included it in a summary at the head of the issue. I agree that it wasn’t presented as clearly as it could’ve been, but you figure it out as you go.

    • damn you with all of your good points….yeah i might give it another try.

    • keith7198 keith7198 says:

      I enjoyed Grifter. Granted, things weren’t made very clear but this is only the first issue and we’re finding things out in little chunks at a time. As for the art I absolutely loved it. Slick, polished, and detailed.

  44. Awesome, this episode was a BLAST to do.

  45. cosmo cosmo says:

    Overall week two seemed to me just as strong, if not slightly stronger, than week one . . .

    stand-outs:
    Demon Knights (possibly my favorite of the 52 so far, definately the most fun)
    Frankenstein
    Batwoman

    good, will stick with, budget allowing:
    Batman & Robin (nothing new, but in this case, that’s fine with me)
    Ressurection Man (just fell short of making me go “wow” but wih DnA i wouldn’t be surprised if #2 does)

    on the fence:
    Superboy (didn’t hate it, but didn’t love it as others did. may need to give another pass over)

    may pick up next week:
    Grifter (glanced at it in the store on Wednesday, but had hit my weekly limit already . . . )

  46. Jay Kay Jay Kay says:

    DC have to be lovin this…

    After two weeks who’d have thought Animal Man, Swamp Thing, and Batwoman are fighting it out for consensus ‘best’ book so far??

    And just to add a little more fuel to that particular fire, their staple books (JL, Bats, Supes, GL etc) are being pushed REAL hard by other lesser known properties for air time in that next tier as well (Superboy, Demon Knights, Frankenstein, Ressurection, OMAC…)

    Still early days, but I’m impressed by where the bar has been set so far

    Interested to see how it’s playing out at the cash register

  47. darknite125 darknite125 says:

    I had a few surprises this week, Superboy was much better than I expected. I also really enjoyed the hell out of Mister Terrific and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Though shockingly I was not as into Frankenstein as I thought I would be (I loved Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos from Flashpoint) but I’ll still give it another shot.

  48. saturnmda saturnmda says:

    I’m reading all the debuts a well as the second issues before dropping any right off the bat. The books I’m leaning towards dropping so far are Red Lanterns, Deathstroke, Hawk and Dove, Green Arrow, Statc Shock and Men of War.

  49. JSAkid JSAkid says:

    Love J.H.Williams lll art to death, been looking forward to this book since they announced its ongoing series after the success of her run in Detective, Elegy, a must own. Grifter, Demon Knights and Frankenstein are in w me and those are the ones I pulled and wanted so win win for me but am sure I will like Superboy, Resurrection Man,Batman and Robin(feel like I have my fill on Bat books w Batwoman,Nightwing,Batman and Batgirl so this might be going tpb if acclaimed a bit) and Legion Lost but these are all books that will work better for my pocket and pleasure in trade format.