Bam! Pow! and Thud! – A DC #1 Recap

Recap by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong

Week two of the DC Comics reboot has come and gone, and there were definitely hits, misses and a few surprises, both good and bad.   The best and the biggest surprise was O.M.A.C., penned by DC Co-Publisher Dan Didio and illustrated by Mr. Kermudgen himself, Keith Giffen.  If September 7th’s DC releases are a barometer for the remaining 32 #1s, then it’s shaping up to be a great start for the comic book giant and for us, and you, as well.

THE HITS!
Swamp Thing #1
Written by Scott Snyder, Art and Cover by Yanick Paquette

There isn’t much more we could say about Swamp Thing that we didn’t already say in our review.  With #1, Snyder started laying the root structure for the book all while setting up a crash course between Alec Holland and Swamp Thing.  It must be a daunting task to write and draw this comic book given its history and the careers it has launched, but Snyder and Paquette are not phased by it.  Although there isn’t much of Swamp Thing in the way of art, Paquette’s character design is nonetheless a marriage of his style with Berni Wrightsom’s classic style.  Paquette even pays homage to the original series with the classic and recognizable font on the cover.  With this being the first horror book released by DC, Swamp Thing has set the bar high for the rest of the relaunch in the way of horror.

Animal Man #1
Written by Jeff Lemire, Art by Travel Foreman & Dan Green, Cover by Travel Foreman

The biggest surprise from Animal Man is that it’s a horror book.  Jeff Lemire has tapped into something with this book, right from the opening prose piece.  Most writers would have turned said prose into a massive info dump but Lemire turns it into an engaging way to fill in the backstory of Buddy Baker.  The world of Buddy Baker is about to be turned on it’s ear as he discovers his daughter also has powers to tap into the Red but in a very creepy sort of way.  Expect this book to collide with Swamp Thing after the first arc considering that the Red and Green aren’t always the best of friends.  Foreman and Green add to the creepiness of the book especially with the dream sequence and the ending scene with Buddy’s daughter.

Batgirl #1
Written by Gail Simone, Art by Ardian Syaf & Vincente Cifuentes

Reading this book is like seeing your high school sweetheart at the renunion, and lo and behold, she still looks just as hot like back in the day.  Having Babs back as Batgirl was cheered by many and booed by few so to the naysayers, we say “Go ***** yourself!”  This is a fun and refreshing book in that Babs is finding her way again as Batgirl.  It’s also nice to see a superhero start off a little unsure of themselves.  The art by Syaf and Cifuentes is in a fun action comic style, and pairs well with Simone’s fun and breathy writing style.  The best part of Batgirl is that it didn’t linger too long on the fact that Babs can walk again, something that could easily have mired down the story.

THE SURPRISE!

O.M.A.C. #1
Written by “Daring” Dan Didio, Art & Cover by “Krackling” Keith Giffen & “Sensational” Scott Koblish

Normally, any Jack Kirby-created book is a favorite but this one came as a surprise due to writer Dan Didio.  It’s not a slight against the man as he, after all, worked on one of the last good Saturday morning cartoons, Reboot.  The reason for the uneasiness is that most readers’ exposure to Didio’s writing is The Outsider which left many longing for the days of the Looker, Geo-Force and Black Lightning.  The first thing that set us at ease was Giffen’s involvement in co-writing and illustrating the book as he has a long and solid track record in writing and drawing.  The writing in O.M.A.C. is a lot of fun and has serious plots at play especially since it revolves around Cadmus Labs.  This is the most action-packed story so far from the DC reboot but make no mistake, it has an equal amount of story to match the action, blow for blow.  Giffen is clearly channeling Kirby with almost every panel teeming with kinetic energy.  The character designs are also Kirbyesque in design, from the machine gun-mouthed woman to the little troglodytes whose sole purpose is to eat intruders at the labs.  Pick up this book because they’ll know if you didn’t as Brother Eye is watching you.

THE MISS!

Hawk and Dove #1
Written by Sterling Gates, Art by Rob Liefeld

Hawk and Dove was not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, it’s just that the story got in the way of itself.  The book spent too much time talking about past events like Crisis and the old Dove when it should have focused on the new DC 52, not the old DCU.  The art was a bit off and maybe due to the fact that Liefeld is working on two books at the same time.  The art on the Kirkman-penned The Infinite is light years better than the art of Hawk and Dove.  Unless you are a huge fan of Hawk and Dove, you might want to pass on this one.

Don’t forget to check out our sister site www.horrorhaven.com and click on The Fright Channel, the web’s best 24-hour horror network, to see what’s playing.  Follow us on Twitter @FrightChannel to keep up with the latest news and updates, and friend us on Facebook.  Subscribe to our RSS feed and never miss an update.

Feedback is always welcomed at shaun@horrorhaven.com and sharon@horrorhaven.com

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