Friday, September 23, 2011

Wonder Woman #1, Catwoman #1, DC Universe Presents Deadman #1

Comic Book Wednesday
Issue #19
Part Three

The end of a long week. Here are the rest of the reviews! Hope, as always, that you enjoy.

Wonder Woman #1
The Visitation
Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Cliff Chiang
DC Comics

Gotta start this with a warning. I know a lot of people who love horses, and that will make this a tough read. The DC books have been very violent (hell, the Joker's face got cut off and nailed to a wall in Detective Comics #1), but this sort of takes it to a new level. I know that mixing violence with animals alienates a lot of readers, so I had to give folks the heads up. It's a nasty, dark book. That being said, it's entertaining... but Azzarello was not trying to hype this book by saying it's straight horror. This is some Stephen-King-on-a-dark-day shit.

The basic plot is that some nasty baddies use some horses to... erm, transform themselves into centaurs and then try to kill a girl named Zola. Hermes pops on the scene and gives Zola a magic key that transports her to Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman ends up back on the scene with Zola and, after some heroics, gets an injured/dying(?) Hermes to reveal why Zola is in these villains' sights. That reveal is something I should have seen coming, having studied mythology in school, but let's just say that it very much lends itself to the stories that Wonder Woman's history is rooted in.

I liked it a lot more than I expected, but I'm still a bit squicked by the opening scene. I'll follow the series, for sure, and I hope that the lead character becomes as interesting as Zola.

Catwoman #1
"...and most of the costumes stay on..."
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Guillem March
DC Comics

I'm going to keep this one brief, because most of the internet is already talking about it. It's unfortunate, because until the instantly infamous scene with Batman, I thought this was a good read. There was way, way too much focus on Catwoman's anatomy, but nothing that's really shocking in a superhero comic. The ending, though, is weird and exploitative, taking hyper-sexuality of the comic to a new level. And it's not the kind of exploitation piece that, say, Tarantino would pay homage to. I understand what the idea was behind this book, and I don't necessarily thing it's a bad idea to have a female protagonist who is as overtly sexual as Catwoman is here, but what comes off as weird is how male the book is. While the story starts off as interesting and degrades as it progress, the focus of the art is clear from the first panel. The first panel is of Catwoman's boobs in a red bra. That is clearly the mission statement of the book, so I think I'm going to sit this one out. Maybe we can have, say, an actual woman write the book so that this won't come off as so... fan-servicey.

DC Universe Presents #1
Deadman: Twenty Questions - Part One
Written by Paul Jenkins
Art by Bernard Chang
DC Comics

This is one dense comic, both in its text heavy style and depth. It's basically an update on Deadman's history. Boston Brand was a jerk, but got a second chance at redeeming himself by a mysterious god named Rama who tells him that he must possess the bodies of people, trying to solve their crises. If he does so, he will use them as "living bricks" on his road toward resting in peace. If he fails, he will roam the Earth as a ghost forever.

This was a solid first issue, setting up Deadman's character arc (in a tragic montage of images of the people he has possessed recently, he reveals that he doesn't believe he is really helping these people) and the plot of this storyline, which involves Deadman inhabiting the body of a man who has survivors guilt after coming home from the war. It's a very wordy book that focuses more on the emotion than action, which is a great change of pace. I'll be following the rest of the Deadman arc, for sure.

NEXT WEEK: Angel & Faith #2, Aquaman #1, Batman: The Dark Knight #1, The Flash #1, Superman #1, The Savage Hawkman #1, Ghostbusters #1, The Fury of Firestorm #1, I Vampire #1, Justice League Dark #1... the end of the NEW 52!

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