Thursday, September 29, 2011

Superman #1 review, Justice League Dark #1 review, The Savage Hawkman #1 review

Comic Book Wednesday

Issue #20

Part Two (of three)

Well, this has just been a damn fun week for comics. Again, it's the last week of the New 52, so after all is said and done, I'll post a blog about what books I'm going to follow into next month. For those who missed the earlier reviews, here is my review of ANGEL & FAITH #2, AQUAMAN #1, and THE FLASH #1. Annnnnd click here for a special review for GHOSTBUSTERS #1.

Don'tcha just love comics?

Superman #1

What Price Tomorrow?

Script & breakdowns by George Pérez

Pencils & inks by Jesús Merino

DC Comics

In contrast to the super decompressed Justice League #1 and Supergirl #1, this comic is the meatiest thing you’ll find on the stands this week. It’s twenty-five pages (three more than the normal twenty-two, and five pages more than DC’s new standard… and yet, it’s not priced at $3.99 like the longer Action Comics #1 was), but it takes a good forty-five minutes to read. It’s completely packed with text, overflowing with story. Any page picked at random might have thirteen panels and more than twenty speech/narration bubbles/boxes. It’s incredibly different than what DC’s New 52 has mostly offered, and it was very satisfying because of it.

There’s a hell of a lot of changes to the story. As you’ve probably heard (hell, I think people who don’t even read these books must’ve caught wind), Clark isn’t married to Lois. Hell, Lois doesn’t even know that Clark is Superman. They’ve never dated. They’re kind of friends. Clark has a crush on her, and she just thinks he’s a loner. Talk about changes, huh? What makes this go down a bit easier, though, is that Pérez writes this comic as if the reader should be aware that this isn’t quite right. The issue begins with the revelation that the Daily Planet has been bought out by the Globe. The opening narration of the issue is all in “new is great!” mode, which made me think that was a meta comment on how the new vision of Superman doesn’t crap on the old one, because the old stories are still there (which sort of mirrored Roberson’s Clark/Lois centric ending to Superman #714), but then… that changes a bit. Clark argues that The Daily Planet is losing its integrity by adapting to the new way of things… and I can’t help but think that he might not be just talking about the Daily Planet.

That being said, the story is solid. It’s a chunky, satisfying read. The action was fun, the plot building was intriguing, and Superman/Clark is very, very easy to relate to as a human. While I enjoyed Action #1, this was closer to what I’m looking for in a Superman story.

Justice League Dark #1

In the Dark – Part One: Imaginary Women

Written by Peter Milligan

Art by Mikel Janin

DC Comics

This is one of the biggest surprises of the New 52. It’s a busy, chaotic, excellent piece of comic book storytelling. The basic plot is that Enchantress has gone insane and her powers are causing mass turmoil. The pieces of the JLD puzzle assemble when the actual Justice League fail against Enchantress. We are introduced to Contantine, Zatanna, Xanadu, Shade, and June Moone, the last of which is being majorly affected by Enchantress’s madness. Now, the plot seems to suggest that Enchantress’s June Moone origin is going to be similar to what it was, but hey – who knows. It’s a new world.

The comic is excellent. It’s scary, dark, and very busy without being hard to follow. I’ve only even followed Contantine’s Vertigo series, and I caught that in trade, so a lot of these characters were newish to me. This has quickly climbed to the top of my pull list. The art, which is realistic without having that stilted, photoey look that art like this is often plagued by, is wonderful. I am so, so on board with this series.

The Savage Hawkman #1

Hawkman Rising

Written by Tony S. Daniel

Art by Philip Tan

DC Comics

This comic functions in a few ways. First, it’s a creepy sci-fi drama. Second, it’s a tale about an evolution of power… the Nth metal, which gives Hawkman’s power, absorbs itself into Carter Hall’s skin. Third, and most importantly, it’s a story about sadness and regret. Carter Hall feels that he is done with being Hawkman; that it is a curse. It’s an interesting take on a hero, and something that the DCnU hasn’t offered in any of its other books. Hal Jordan’s biggest desire is to have his ring back. Superman is lonely, but he embraces his power and ability to save others. The Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman… none of them are having a personal crisis as powerful as Carter Hall’s, which makes his “plainclothes” scenes as interesting (if not more) than his Hawkman battle sequences.

This is another of the strongest offerings of the New 52, and has me thrilled about a character I’ve never followed in the past. I’m concerned with a lot of the changes this new initiative from DC has made, but I will admit… before the New 52, I followed Superman, Action Comics, The Flash, Green Lantern, Powergirl, Supergirl, and Batgirl. Now, I’ve been introduced to many other comics that I’m excited about following. Hawkman is right up there with the best of ‘em.


THEN: The survivors... what DCnU books will I follow into the next month?