New 52 Week 4
The New 52 Review
Aquaman #1, The Flash #1, Superman #1, Batman: The Dark Knight #1, Voodoo #1
So, here I am with a handful of quick reviews of the hits and misses (and there were some misses) of the final week of DC’s new number ones.
Let’s start with the good and finish with the bad. I give you:
Aquaman has been the running gag of DC for years, and with good reason. For the past seventy years, writers just didn’t know what to do with him. Unless there was a body of water nearby, he was practically useless. While I’ve never really been partial to him, I’ve always wondered how so many talented creators over the years could have gotten it so wrong. With his long list of powers and abilities, he should be very near the top of DC’s superhero pecking order, not at the bottom! I mean seriously, this is what Aquaman is capable of:
▪ Amphibious aquatic adaptation
▪ Psionic domination of marine life
▪ Healing factor
▪ Enhanced senses (including darkvision, infravision, and electro-magnetic)
▪ Superhuman strength, agility, dexterity, speed, and durability (even under the crushing depths of the oceans) — his agility and endurance in particular are "off the scale"
▪ Superhuman resistance to extreme cold
▪ Superior tools, weapons, crafts, and technology bestowed by the advanced races of Atlantis
▪ Submariner camouflage
▪ Create and hurl bolts of "hard water"
▪ Left hand (as bestowed by the Lady of the Lake) is made of water and possesses mystical properties.
I mean c’mon! This guy should be the furthest thing from a joke! Unfortunately, for years that’s exactly what he was… until now.
I guess all it took was Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis to get on board, because this book was fantastic! From Ivan Reis’ beautiful artwork to Geoff Johns’ brilliantly written story which contained wicked dialogue that deftly walked the line between dramatic and self-deprecating, this book was one of the true gems of the new 52! I have a friend who has been a long-suffering Aquaman fan for many years. He’s endured the ridicule for a very long time, but finally he can hold his head high and be happy that everyone else will see what he’s been talking about all this time. Aquaman is cool!
The Flash #1
Another homerun this week is The Flash #1.
Francis Manapul has crafted an amazing new version of an old DC stand-by. It’s kind of ironic that historically, series’ based on The Flash have had so many stops and starts. There’s been no shortage of great talent attached to this character over the past 10 years, from Ken Lashley to Ethan Van Sciver, and Francis Manapul has done a fantastic job of making this character his own. His signature style is all over this book, from the art to the writing. It was a joy to read, and I will definitely be picking up number two.
I loved this book. I loved it from the beginning to the end. I love that I don’t fully recognize anything yet. Metropolis doesn’t quite look like the city of tomorrow I’ve been used to over the past 30+ years, and Superman is a much more complicated guy. I love that I’m actually interested in Superman again! George Perez’s story is crisp and exciting, and Jesus Merino’s pencils are clean, sharp and gorgeous. He was a great choice to draw this book and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.
Batman: The Dark Knight #1
I have to confess that I have finally found a Batman book that I’m not really into. This is it. I’m starting to think that David Finch might be better suited as a cover artist rather than a penciller. His covers are always great, but I’ve been finding his interiors messy lately. When the Dark Knight book started, I liked it a fair bit. It was a cool start off to the Batman Inc. storyline. Now, it just seems like they’ve kept the title going for the sake of keeping it going. The story was surprisingly kind of boring, and as I said earlier, David Finch’s art just isn’t doing it for me anymore. This is the first Bat book for which I’ll wait for the trade, but that’s just me.
Here is an example of all flash and no substance. I’m sure this one will re-offend the same group that was incensed by Catwoman and Starfire a couple of weeks ago. Boo-hoo.
Anyway, the reason I won’t be continuing with this title is simple. I just don’t find it interesting enough to drop $2.99 on it each month. I found Ron Marz’s story to be kind of boring and it just didn’t grab me. That being said, the art of Sami Basri is absolutely beautiful, and I’m not just saying that because the setting is a strip club. Much like Adam Hughes, he has a gift for drawing women, and I can’t fault him for this title’s inability to keep my interest. He’s a very talented artist and I’m hopeful he might get a chance to draw on another book after Voodoo’s inevitable failure.
All in all, this week had some great reads and for me, a couple of misses. I’ll keep reading anyway, and you should too. Read as much as you can and form your own opinions about what you like and what you don’t like.
After all, it’s comics.