The New 52: Week 3 Reivews - Part 1

Wow! What a week huh? Let’s kick it off with the mostcontroversial book of the week shall we…
Green Lantern Corps #1 – That’s right, can you believe theyactually tried to have Guy Gardner apply for a job as a football coach? AND HEDIDN’T GET IT! No fucking way! All kidding aside this book was pretty damngood. Guy and John try to return to a normal life on earth now that theuniverse has settled down for a minute, but find it increasingly difficultsince everyone knows they’re Green Lanterns. Back on OA someone wearing EmeraldDawn gloves is killing GL’s and taking their rings. Then quite possibly myfavorite planet from the GL lore is completely wiped out. This is the best GLCorps has probably ever been, because it’s not worrying about what Hal Jordonis doing. As long as it maintains the focus on just Guy and Stewart the bookwill be okay.
Score – Buy, I don’t think a lot of people are giving thisbook a shot and that’s their loss.
Catwoman #1 – Let me point something out about this bookinstantly, Judd Winick is not a controversial writer… he’s a bad writer. Thesad part is that he tries really hard to write woman and not once have I readanything from him and thought, “This is a real woman.” I’m assuming the partthat everyone has a problem with is the ending SPOILER she has sex with Batman…while they’re wearing their costumes. Frankly it’s just goofy and I couldn’thelp but laugh because it came across more like Manga than American comics.Here’s the good about this comic: Gets rid of Catwoman’s cluttered past, doesn’tmake her rich, doesn’t give her any real enemies and downplays her abilities atbeing a successful criminal. In other words it gives her character a challengefor once. The only real challenge she’s faced in the last few years was gettingher heart back (long story) and forgetting she had a baby (longer story).
So Winick came along and removed all that and really what hedid was make her less empowered and then at the end of the issue has herbasically admit to needing a man. Okay… so he hasn’t taken a woman’s civ class.Honestly how many of you can say you have? This entire situation feels a lotlike Denny O’Neil’s run on Wonder Woman back in the day when he gave her amaster and let her go shopping. That was a mistake that passed and so shallthis. I’m just happy that we don’t have the forget-a-baby past anymore. Now let’slook at the whole hooking up with Batman thing, if you think about everythingWinick has done with Batman has stemmed from Loeb’s run on Batman with Jim Leewhere they very famously kissed. Go re-read Hush and then look at everythingWinick did on Batman/Redhood and you’ll see what I mean. Winick saw the fanresponse from the kiss and thought, “Hey, I’ll take it to the next level.” That’sall; too bad he did it as tastelessly as possible. But from his prospective Ican see how he thought it would be really cool and a kind of a fan service. WillI keep reading the book? Probably, I like Catwoman and I’m curious to see whenthis train is going to wreck so it’s a double win for me. I hate to say it, but this female stereotype has existed in comics forever and day now and with so few women working at DC these days, I don't see the problem getting fixed any time soon.
Score – Buy, but the pressure is on for Winick to continueto deliver the controversy.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 – Please don’t let Roy be ajunkie, please don’t let Roy be a junkie, please don’t let Roy be a junkie! Anyways, this book was decent. Only because of the art though. Scott Lobdell’snarration was archaic and formulaic as you could get. There are literally nosurprises from this book and the only reason that it’s even on the radar is becauseStarfire has sex with Red Arrow and it’s explicitly implied that she’s sleptwith Jason Todd and is willing to sleep with anybody really. Sure Lobdellexplains this by saying that to her sex has nothing to do with love and thatshe basically sees humans as smells and sounds so they all look the same toher, but there is the overwhelming fact that she was a strong female lead forDC and is a character that children look up to due to the cartoon shows. Youcan blow it up to the extreme or calling it how it is, Lobdell trying to caterto a fan base that stopped buying comics because they were sexy enough.Remember, Lobdell was hot shit in the 90’s and back then sex sold every comicit could.
Still it’s sad to see Starfire’s role down played to asupporting character for B-list characters. She’s way better than that. Also Lobdellalludes to her past with the Titans and other teams and again this is a classiccherry picked history for DC. What doesn’t make any sense though is that if shecan’t remember all these teams she’s served on then it’s like she has amnesiawhich makes her character even worse. It’s like we all know how she’s reallysupposed to act, but she doesn’t and she and everyone else are taking advantageof that. It was just really out of place and again sad to see her character fallso far. Rocafort’s art is amazing though! He’s the best part of the book and Ihope after everyone wises up to Lobdell’s formula and he’s replaced, thatRocafort stays on. I kind of hate the fact that he’s working for one of the “BigTwo”, but he deserves a big book. If this one doesn’t pan out there better findhim something else real quick or I’ll track him down and start pitching himprojects. I’d at least finish my scripts on time *cough* Top Cow *cough*.
Score – Buy… it for the art.
Wonder Woman #1 – You know what would have made this bookbetter? Pants. Seriously that’s all it would have needed. Otherwise we have aGreek Gods inspired story that is actually pretty damn good. Zeus has knockedup an earth dweller and now someone (probably Hera), wants the woman and herunborn child dead. Hermes protects the woman by sending her to WW and fromthere a bigger mystery begins. It’s already started off better than the lastthree Wonder Woman reboots so that’s a very good sign. Also, unlike the JMS runthis book starts off with some action instead of just hammering six issues ofit towards the end of the run. The art is decent I can’t say I’m in love withit. I do like that Chiang can make WW look beautiful and yet powerful at thesame time. That’s something that a lot of artists miss. I do think that he wastrying too hard to not make her look sexy which makes her frame reallyinconsistent at times. She’ll have thick hips and broad shoulders and then she’llalmost look too small in her costume other times. He’s finding his balance I’msure, but for now it looks like effort rather than the natural way he’d like todraw her.
Score – Buy, as long as DC doesn’t interfere with Azzarellothis book is going to be really good.
Supergirl #1 – Please don’t mess up her origin, please don’tmess up her origin, please don’t mess up her origin. YAY! I was very happy withthis book. Finally they cleaned up the mess that was Supergirl and eliminatedall the crap that’s been tagged onto her since bring her back the last time.This story is simple and to the point. Supergirl lands in a big chunk of rockthat hits U.S. soil and goes straight through to Russia. The U.S. chases afterthe space junk and end up finding Supergirl. She doesn’t speak English and they’rein big robots trying to capture her. Needless to say this doesn’t line up withthe last things she remembers. She’s also wearing her graduation suit (nicetouch) and is afraid her mom’s going to kill her. The sun hits her and startscharging her body and she lashes out like anyone that wakes up in a strangeland would do. The battle goes on and on because they won’t stop until she’scaptured and she’s lost and confused and losing control of herself. ThenSuperman says, “Stop” in Kryptonian and she’s calm again.
I’m surprised that everyone didn’t take issue with this bookas well since at the surface level it looks like a man rushing in to save thedamsel in distress, but really it’s not that at all. Supergirl is on a planetthat isn’t her own, no idea what’s happening and suddenly strange people aretrying to capture her. Just when she can’t take anymore she hears her own languageand suddenly everything is okay. It’s not that he’s a man or even Superman, it’sthat it’s her language and for the first time since waking up she experiencessomething she knows and can’t help but take comfort in it. Maybe I read intothe story too deep, but I really enjoyed this book and that’s not something I’vebeen able to say since SG came back into the DCU shortly before InfiniteCrisis. Also I would have liked to have seen her in pants... Just saying.
Score – Buy and I really hope this creative team stays on togive Supergirl a solid foundation that others can’t screw up.
Batman #1 – This book had everything going for it: ScottSnyder on writing and hot off of Detective Comics, Greg Capullo one of the bestnon-mainstream artists in the business and a fresh start. Too bad this book wasalmost as bad as Batman and Robin.Where to begin with this pile of crap... the good: Bruce is a character againand doing things that benefit the city outside of his role as Batman, heactually has technology worthy of him as he creates a virtual Bat-computer totake with him everywhere he goes… that’s about it.
As far as what’s wrong with it? Bruce talk’s way to damnmuch, the scene at the beginning is terrible as Dick pretends to be the Jokerand his face is inspired by the movie. The story sits somewhere in-between theTim Burton movie and Seven and Snyder somehow forgot how to write for JimGordon. My second biggest gripe? That Bruce, Dick, Tim and Damian are all atthe mansion together. It’s just weird and too many younger male characters thatI care nothing for at this point since they’ve had their entire historystripped away. It was as if DC just wanted to show that they were all alive andin Bruce’s life somehow.
My biggest problem with the issue is the art surprisingly. Ilove Capullo’s art, but the inker and colorist Jonathan Glapion makeseverything Capullo does look like a bad cartoon. Nothing looks good and franklyif his name wasn’t on the cover I wouldn’t know that it was Capullo drawing; it’sso disappointing to see such a great artist have his craft neutered by thecolorist. Also if what I hear is true, that Capullo is the one reigning inSnyder who’s being given free control over his story and very little editingthen DC should perhaps edit this book so the artist can do his damn job!Seriously disappointing, I can’t recommend buying it and I’ll probably onlygive it the next issue to improve.
Score – Pass, really bums me out to say that.
Well here’s part one of week three, I’m behind still but I’llprobably catch up so I no longer feel obligated to finish what I’ve started.Then I can just review single issues and actually tackle the entire book. Ofcourse I’ll only be reading about half of the new titles since most of them aredisappointing at best. Also I’ve weighed in on the “controversial” issues so wecan all just move on and get over the fact that middle aged men can’t write forwoman any more than Bendis can write for minorities.