What I’m reading this week
OK, I’m a little behind on posting my weekly update of the new 52 comics, but due to the flooding in our area, my shipment was delayed last week. Since last week’s order and this week’s arrived so closely, I decided to just do one great big post. Since there are so many, I’m going to break this up into two different sections (Read It and Skip It) in case you don’t wanna read the entire post.
Action Comics #1
After the Justice League, this is my favorite of the new 52 so far. Obviously from the cover, you can see that it’s following Superman, but a different Superman than we’re use to seeing. He’s new to Metropolis and doesn’t have the traditional costume yet, he looks more like Superboy with a cape. He’s a bit more hardcore when dealing with the bad guys than in the old DCU, he actually uses his powers to terrify criminals rather than intimidate them.
Then there’s Lex Luthor. One of my favorite super villains, and he’s being treated amazingly. He’s working with General Sam Lane to capture/kill this Superman ( someone he refers to as “it”). He actually has an incredible dialogue moment comparing Superman to the frogs in Australia – an invasive species that can destroy the balance of an eco-system.
Justice League International #1
JLI – this seems like it’s going to be a really fun and funny book. One of my favorite graphic novels ever is Formerly Known as the Justice League. And this book seems like it has the potential to follow in it’s footsteps. JLI is a NATO founded super-team created jointly by the US, UK, China, and Russia to have a “no borders” group of heroes to solve international problems. Simple enough.
But the characterization is the best part. Mission one and Guy Gardner quits because he doesn’t want to be on a team lead by a show-boater like Booster Gold. Booster himself thinks he’s being offered a spot on the JL next to Wonder Woman and Superman only to find out he’s still playing in the minors. Red Rocket and August General in Iron are butting heads already because the Russians and Chinese don’t get along.
I’m hoping they can keep this momentum throughout the series run, because so far this book is turning into a favorite.
For anyone that follows my blog, you know that I heart Superboy – so I was very, VERY worried when I saw the cover and thought they were making him a robot. He is not a robot, I think it’s just artistic license for robot = genetic engineering. That said:
I still love my old school Conner, but I’m curious to follow this Superboy and see where he goes. You never really get to see much of the old Superboy in the lab other than through flashbacks or memories. This issue deals entirely with his life in the fish tank and his observation by the scientists of Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Even after his “escape,” when you think he’s living a semi-normal life with an adoptive family in Smallville, you find out that even that is a VR program and that he’s still in the lab. This is another one I’ll be following out of sheer curiosity, and i want to see how it ties into Teen Titans (who make a cameo last page).
Suicide Squad #1
This is another book that I was unsure of but was glad that I gave it a look. I mostly bought it because of my friend’s obsession with Harley Quinn, however I ended up really liking it. It’s a very dark issue, and given the tone of the first issue, it will be a dark series as well. How dark? How about the entire team is being tortured for information by faceless captors almost the entire issue.
Suicide Squad is made up of criminals being given a second chance by the government to help their country (and themselves) by taking assignments that no one else in their right mind would consider taking. The end pages promise that #2 will be a bloody free-for-all and that one of the six members will be dying already!
Ultimate Spider-Man #1
OK, I know this is not part of the New 52, but it was a great story regardless. For anyone who didn’t see read the “Death of Spider-Man” arc, Peter Parker is dead – like as a doornail dead. A new guy appears, same costume, same powers, but people think this new guy is in bad taste. Reveal at the end of the issue, Miles Morales, the half-black, half-Hispanic youth.
The issue starts off with Norman Osborne trying to make a new Spider-Man by recreating the experiment that made the first – and failing, multiple times. He’s gotten to the point where he’s injected lots of spiders with various levels of serum to try and replicate the recipe. Of course, one escapes and you can guess what happens next. Miles seems like an interesting contrast to Peter and I really wanna see where this series goes. I didn’t start reading the Ultimate Spider-Man line until close to the end – and I’m sorry I didn’t start soon. I’m hoping the new series lives up to the old one.
Such a shame, I liked Grifter when he was a member of the WildCATs and this series really doesn’t do him justice at all. And looking at the cover it seems like it’s going to be an action-packed issue, too. It’s not.
Maybe down the line once things are established, characters are fleshed out, and the pacing picks up I’ll pick it up again, but for now – especially with all of the other great books out there – I’m going to pass on it.
Legion Lost #1
This book isn’t that bad – in fact, I almost created a third category (On the Fence) just for this book. It has the potential go either direction, and I hope it improves. There was a lot of great stuff in the book: the tech and powers being outta whack due to our current polluted atmosphere, the advent of time travel laws post-Flashpoint, focus on B-list characters rather than the traditional big guns of the team. But despite all of this, I was a little bored and confused. I had no idea what was happening and the parts I did understand didn’t interest me at all. This seemed more like issue #2 than a debut issue. I may decide to follow it again down the line, but for now it’s a pass.
Static Shock #1
This one made me really sad. I really, REALLY wanted to like this more, but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t. As much as I heart Virgil and the late cartoon series, this reboot just isn’t living up to the past incarnations. It’s just suffering a bit from too much newness – new costume, new city, new villains – there’s not much of our old Static in there and too many negative changes that I’m not liking the new version. Send him back to Dakota City or bring in some familiar faces (like Gear) and we’ll talk.
I just plain hated this book. I grabbed it because I was a fan of the Martian Manhunter and The Authority series thinking it would be a great mix like peanut butter and chocolate – instead it turned out like pickles and ice cream.
Like Legion Lost (see above), I was totally lost because there’s nothing for me reference from earlier. Again, this issue seems like issue #2 or #3, not #1. I’m not familiar with half of the characters and there is no explanation of abilities or motivations so, again, you need that earlier book to establish some kind of background. No one seemed likable, the plot was all over the place, and I cannot foresee myself ever following this again the future short of some major revamping.