DC Comics Recap Week 3…Late But Never Better

Reviews by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong

Week Three happened and it happened to be our least favorite week of the DC reboot (there is still one more week to go).  This is not an indication of a lack of quality as the week had a few strong books too.  It just lacked any real surprise hits and a couple of the books were definitely mixed for us.  However, it did lack any books that missed the mark on storytelling.  Without further ado, here are the hits and those on the fence.

The Hits
Wonder Woman #1
Written by Brian Azzarello, Art & Cover by Cliff Chiang, Colors by Matthew Wilson and Letters by Jared K. Fletcher

We have nothing against Wonder Woman or any of its former writers but we could probably count the number of WW issues we’ve read on one hand.  By putting together the creative team of Azzarello, Chiang, Wilson and Fletcher for the book, we were interested and it’s the reason why #1 wasn’t a surprise hit.  The reader is immediately dropped off in the middle of the action, leaving you reevaluating Wonder Woman and the Greek pantheon.  As a writer, Azzarello doesn’t pander and actually treats his readers like they are intelligent beings by not spoon-feeding them the plot.  Wonder Woman is portrayed as a warrior who is just as comfortable fighting on a battlefield as she is in a cabin in the woods, like say in this issue.  Two Centaurs are made short work by Wonder Woman who shows her warrior way.  The plot thickens as Zeus is out gallivanting the world and Apollo is in search of him.  Apollo is not the Sun god, who brings light to the world, but rather the Lucifer, who brings fiery death.  Azzarello’s take on the Greek pantheon is modern without losing the classic greek mythology elements.  As for Chiang, it’s nice to see him drawing a monthly book as he draws the hell out of it.  His panel choices add to the tension with close-ups of Wonder Woman.  Chiang holds nothing back especially with the Centaurs, which is created by first beheading a horse to allow the human part to sprout out of the neck.

Batman #1
Written by Scott Snyder, Art by Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion, Colors by FCO Plascencia, Letters by Richard Starkings & Jimmy Betancourt and Covers by Greg Capullo & Ethan Van Sciver

Batman could easily be the flagship title of the Bat family as opposed to Batman & Robin which previously held that moniker.  Hell, this comic could be the flagship title of the entire DC Comics Universe.  Furthermore, Batman could just have easily been the continuation of Scott Snyder’s superb run on Detective ComicsBatman #1 has it all; action, mystery, and old and new villains.  At one point, Batman even teams up to fight his rogue’s gallery with a very unlikely ally.  It’s surprising that this book wasn’t the first of the Bat books to be released because it sets the tone for the Batverse.  The new 52 Batman is an amalgam of new and old, taking elements readers loved of previous incarnations.  In one fell swoop, Snyder got Batman to move on from the death of his parents to being motivated to defend Gotham for the sake of Gotham itself.  Writing Batman seems second nature to Snyder.  Greg Capullo’s art matches Snyder’s writing; both take a classic approach all while combining Capullo’s own style, whose pencils are complimented by Glapion’s inks.

On The Fence
Birds of Prey #1
Written by Duane Swierczynski, Art & Cover by Jesus Saiz, Colors by Nei Ruffino and Letters by Carlos M. Mangual

This was a fun action-packed, fueled ride with beautiful art.  The book dances around whether or not Babs was once part of the Birds and introduces the new character of Starling, whom we love.  Duane even plays with fun concepts by turning Black Canary into a wanted criminal, and making the team more of a covert ops team.  The art is pretty solid with the real standout being Starling’s character design, including her sleeve of ink and the invisible assassins trying to kill the Birds.  The reason we’re on the fence is mostly because of the nonlinear storytelling.  The technique of telling a story out of order can be pulled off in a static medium but it falls short in this book.  We’ll be sticking around this series for a while…and did we mention we love Starling?

DC Comics Presents – Deadman #1
Written by Paul Jenkins, Art by Bernard Chang, Colors by Blond, Letters by Dave Sharpe and Cover by Ryan Sook

It was very close to being a miss for this book.  The writing was up and down, and so was the art.  Jenkins closed the book out on a pretty good cliffhanger with Deadman getting the attention of a god in a most interesting way.  The writer hits his stride with Deadman playing Frogger, jumping from body to body to get the attention of a circus psychic he once knew.  The art is okay for the most part with the real strong point being the scene where Deadman meets the karmic god.  The scene is a perfectly executed metaphor; on one side, a massive balancing rock with Deadman and on the other side, the man Deadman is supposed to be, and in the middle, all the people he has to help.  Artist Ryan Sook turns in a fantastic cover.

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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