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Old September 8 2011, 12:37 AM   #231
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Re: DC's New 52: Reviews and Discussion (Spoilers welcolme and likely)

And I finished the rest of 'em.

MEN OF WAR is... fine, I guess? The Son of Rock stuff wasn't great. The back-up story was much better than the lead, but even it was sort of generic. This is the one purchase I sort of regret, especially as it was $4. They should've kidnapped Garth Ennis and made him write it.

Rating: Mediocre.

STORMWATCH was good fun, as one might expect from Paul Cornell. I think this might be the hardest reboot of them all, which, frankly, if you were going to do "Stormwatch" (it's really the Authority, why didn't they call it the Authority? does Warren Ellis get residuals?) really had to be done. It's written in a sort of expo-speak that still manages to work. It reads a lot like a Silver Age pastiche, but not in a bad way at all.

As for the bad: Midnighter's outfit is just as atrocious as it looks on the cover, but [spoiler] the cover is sort of a lie. Also, there's a reference to a Superman book that doesn't come out for three weeks. Great job on not miring the new reader in continuity, guys!

Rating: Good.

ANIMAL MAN is easily the best of the lot I bought. Travel Foreman (son of Eric?) doesn't really draw quite as well as I thought he did, but it's very solid, and very vertiginous. My favorite part is the one where Ellen Baker is supposed to be stern but looks like she's about to boil a live rabbit, or maybe her children. It has an interesting Watchmen-lite washed-up-superhero feel to it, it's creepy where it needs to be, and of all the books this is the one I most want read the next issue to find out what happens. The splash on the last page is a little confusing but also very great and scary. Well, scary in a comic book way, which means sort of middlingly off-putting. That's a compliment! Media that require active participation like comic books and book-books aren't really the go-to formats for horror, I'm sorry!

Oh, and the other best part: Cliff Baker still has horrible, horrible hair! He's still wearing the same mullet from 1988! Take a note: that's how you do continuity right.

Rating: very good.

ACTION COMICS. Yeah, it plays a lot better as a full issue, but I'm still not 100% sold on this. For example, there's a reference to Superman breaking a wife-beater's ribs and hips by throwing him out a window, e.g. very severe, long-term debilitating injuries, which is a bit of a bridge too far into vengeance, punishment-for-punishment's sake, which has never been what Superman has been about... at least, for me.

I like how Superman is actually sort of a wuss (comparatively speaking) when he's younger, and can't take Doomsday-sized punishment yet. There's a neat reference to the Legion of Super-Heroes which I thought was cute but also might not make sense, but that's fine. I'm pretty sure there's a reference to Supergirl's craft arriving (it's in the orbit of Neptune), although I think that might be bullshit, from an astronomy perspective. Grant Morrison's Lex Luthor is a pleasure, as always.

Someone else (Brian Hibbs, I think) said it's Superman for people who don't like Superman. Yeah. Converse is sort of true, too.

Anyway, Luthor kills him with a train in a (frankly) somewhat poorly framed, confusing sequence, so unfortunately the series seems to be over.

Rating: good.

Oh, and I forgot to mention in the Justice League post, the backmatter is almost wholly worthless, so fuck the $4 price tag, but one thing that wasn't entirely so was the unused design for Superman's new costume, which I actually like better.

Last edited by Myasishchev; September 8 2011 at 12:55 AM.
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