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Old November 27 2011, 05:16 PM   #2418
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Re: DC's New 52: Reviews and Discussion (Spoilers welcolme and likely)

I made my bi-weekly pilgrimage to the comic store to pick up my comics:

Batman #3: Scott Snyder is continuing to tell an awesome story that creates a rival for Bruce that operates differently than his other rivals, Bane and the Joker. While the Joker is his antithesis and Bane is a match for him physically and mentally, the Court of Owls is his rival for Gotham. I love how they have been operating without Bruce's knowledge for so long. Great stuff from a great writer.

Green Lantern Corps #3: For me, the highlight of the issue was seeing a Green Lantern use the ring to supplement another power of his. I've been thinking for some time how in some versions of the 30th/31st Century Rond Vidar was Green Lantern. Rond worked at the Time Institute and was a peer of Brainiac's. I thought it would have been cool to see him apply his knowledge through the power of the ring to create effects based on minor time travel, time dilution, and relativity. But, now that he's dead, it's academic, but still nice to see a character who can do more than what we've seen before with the ring. It's also interesting to see a foe with potentially more willpower than the Lanterns. Very good stuff going on here.

Firestorm #3: As a flamehead this was my biggest disappointment, but this issue really made up for the lackluster first two issues. I'm finally starting to dig the dynamic between Jason and Ronnie and Fury was done better this issue. Less of the 90's 'tude and more of a hulking (pun intended) behemoth called upon when all else fails. I loved how Ronnie got Jason angry enough to form Fury! The real test is if Gail does leave, will this book survive? I know it's rumored, but I haven't seen her confirm she's leaving. If she does, I hope they don't just give the book to Van Sciver, but rather, find a decent co-writer for him.

Justice League #3: After years of the Appellaxian origin, with writers like Mark Waid and, if I remember, John Ostrander in Justice League: Incarnations, trying to turn them into more than just a one-off threat, I get that the League deserves an origin tied to an ongoing threat. While in the 60's and earlier, it was fine to introduce a character who was established and give a quick origin backstory, now it seems that origins demand a link between the hero(es) and a main villain. This story is far from perfect and I'm not sure I like all of the new 'tudes, but it still is an enjoyable, if decompressed read. I do like this new take on Wonder Woman. As others have said, the real test for this book will be when the story shifts to the present. In the past Johns has shown a knack for getting the characters and how they interact in other titles, it just seems he always comes up short writing them as a team.

Nightwing #3: I still have not read the first issue, but issues #2 and #3 have been decent. This new take on Dick is interesting and it was great seeing a story where Dick didn't confront the main villain. I liked his interrogation of Zane and by not having him face the villain, it should make it more interesting when they clash next.

Aquaman #3: Johns is really pushing the "the world thinks Aquaman is useless" angle a lot. I agree with one site I read which said they wouldn't be surprised, nor disappointed, if at some point, the townspeople Aquaman helped save ended up dead by his hands. What's really interesting is the backstory they are slowly developing, with the scientist who wants to know about Atlantis (and who was mentioned in the back of Justice League #3. I was especially intrigued by the comment about the trident. Next issue promises some underwater action, so we'll see how Johns handles that, since the first three issues have dealt with how us landlubbers deal with Aquaman.

The Flash #3: This book is just pure fun, from the art to the story. I love seeing them push Barry in directions he hasn't been in before with his powers, while showing the connection to what we have seen before. This speed-brain bit is interesting, but it's going to be hard to show on a regular basis. I also wholeheartedly approve of Barry/Patty over Barry/Iris.

Teen Titans #3: I only buy this title for my 7 year old, but damn it if I didn't find this issue a lot of fun. Bunker, was a fun addition and needed to balance the darker nature of the other characters. Tim's "confrontation" was interesting as well, I kept imagining his extremely stiff delivery of the lines he was given when he was brainwashed. I like Bart as the guy who can't seem to do right. It makes sense for a speed related character to be clumsy.

I have to say, one of the benefits of "The New 52" both due to the stories and to my dumping titles that haven't been interesting me is that I feel these past three months have been the strongest months in a long time, comic-wise.

I usually organize my comics according to the titles I'm least excited about up to the ones I'm most excited about when I read them for the first time. The whole, "save the best for last" idea. In the past, it's been pretty easy to find the comic I am most excited about, especially if it's by Morrison, or was Nova/Guardians of the Galaxy, or in some cases, Green Lantern (though that title bounced around my reading stack over the past few years. Likewise, the titles I was buying for the sake of continuing reading them, even though the excitement was gone went at the top of the pile, so titles like Booster Gold and Legion were constantly being read first.

Yesterday, I found it difficult to organize my issues. Batman #3 ended up being at the bottom and Firestorm ended up being my first read, but my enjoyment of both issues was not that far apart, though it's clear Snyder is the slightly better storyteller, both comics were just a lot of fun to read. For the record, if it wasn't for the fact that I give Teen Titans to my son to read first, that would have been my first book to read, but even then, it was really a lot of fun and nowhere near the drag to read books like Booster Gold or Legion had come to be.

Since others have mentioned the non-DC books they picked up, I'll quickly mention Annihilators: Earthfall and Daredevil. Annihilators is a left-over from reading Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy and the first mini was a bit of a let down after those titles and The Thanos Imperative. This second mini-series is much, much more enjoyable and a bit sad, seeing as how it appears that Marvel Cosmic is going to be taken over by Loeb (to be fair, I did enjoy his work on Superman, but his track record, especially after Giffen/Lanning and Abnett set up this wonderful corner of Marvel, doesn't speak too highly for the future of Marvel's cosmic characters).

My comicshop was having a 50% off sale on back issues, so I tried the first four issues of Waid's new Daredevil series. Once again, Waid shows us how he is able to get back to a time when a character was unencumbered by the darkness that has defined the past few decades of storytelling. As a new DD, I know, from following comicbook sites about things like a demon possessing him in the Shadowland series, but I didn't bother to read any of it. It was nice to see Waid acknowledge that all of that stuff happened, but for Matt Murdock to make a conscious decision to not lte it define him. It does put Daredevil in the position of fighting crime, but avoiding the authorities. It's also a lot of fun seeing Murdock coyly downplay being Daredevil, after his identity was revealed to the public at large. No "magicking" away his identity (I'm looking at you, Peter Parker), but a realistic look at a character trying to downplay his identity in our world of 24-hour news cycles and paparazzi.
"When I reach for the edge of the universe, I do it knowing that along some paths of cosmic discovery, there are times when, at least for now, one must be content to love the questions themselves." --Neil deGrasse Tyson
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