DC #1s and selling out

Lots of people have been jumping on board for the new 52 DC relaunch. While I ordered a lot more than previous for our initial allotment of DC titles, we have still been experiencing some sell outs. Many titles are by far exceeding expectations here and elsewhere. We have second and third printings becoming available for the following titles that we have run out of:  Justice League, Action Comics, Animal Man, Detective Comics, Justice League International, Static Shock, Swamp Thing, Batman and Robin, Demon Knights, Frankenstein Agent of SHADE, Legion Lost and Suicide Squad.

Rest assured that I am watching closely what is selling to do my best to be able to meet demand as titles are released and to restock as soon as possible after sell outs when available.

 

Green Lantern #1

This week we review Green Lantern #1 and again Steve beat me to it.  So once more I’ll give the contrast of guy who knows nothing about Green Lantern aside from what was in the movie.

Starting out with Sinistro having a ring was surprise to me, I knew Hal Jordan had been Green Lantern for some time but they quickly established the fact that Jordan was given the boot and the ring once more chose Sinistro for whatever reason.

When we meet Hal back on earth things are not going well and they explain that he has been off planet being Green Lantern so long his life as a human is in the toilet.  Jobless, behind on rent, no car, and still thinking he is a super hero.  That thought lands him in jail, only to be bailed out by Carol who tells him he needs to move on and get his life together.  I really enjoyed how Hal is written, made me laugh out loud a couple of times at how out of touch he is.  I was glad to see he was very much the same style as he was in Justice League #1.

My only real problem with the comic is it went too fast and I’d like another now.  Thus far reading the new DC 52 I’ve only had complaints when the writer assumes you know too much.  This gave me enough information to understand the who and why of each character without having to delve into the deep details of history.  I look forward to learning more about the characters as the series goes on.

Next week we review Wonder Woman.  I’m not sure what to expect from it as I’ve never read Wonder Woman, but I’m curious to see what it has to offer.

Green Lantern #1 and the rest of the new 52 this week.

Again, I start with the spoiler warning

To start, I must mention that I am quite familiar with the Green Lantern mythos going in. The book starts cover and all with Sinestro in possession of a Green Lantern Ring. During the early stages of the book, it is recapped that at some point in the past he had betrayed the Corps. He is offered his chance to redeem himself in the eyes of the Guardians, which he claims he does not need to redeem himself. We move on to see Hal Jordan, who is adjusting to life after being stripped of his role in the Green Lantern Corps. Sinestro then goes back to his homeworld where he encounters and kills a member of the Sinestro Corps. Carol Ferris tries to help Hal get back on his feet, but his cocky attitude screws that up. The issue finishes with the promise of a team up between these old “friends”.

Overall as a long time fan I enjoyed what this issue offered in continuing the Green Lantern saga that has been going for years. Some things that may confuse new readers, why are the Guardians fighting amongst themselves? Why do they let a guy who they admit is a great betrayer leave? How many color rings are there, since they show green obviously and yellow and Carol mentions a Star Sapphire ring.

The story was well paced and the art was decent. Doug Mahnke is plain in his style but it gets the point through. Geoff Johns portrays Hal as a slightly more mature, but still arrogant guy than what he showed us in Justice League, so it is nice to see that consistancy.  Long time fans will definately want to stick with this one, while I think it does recap enough to get new fans interested even if it does feel like it is jumping into the middle of a much larger situation.

The rest of the week:

Batman and Robin #1 shows us Bruce Wayne teaming with his son as the newest Robin. This issue does well at introducing the characters and their attitudes. The part that will lose some new readers in confusion, who is the Russian Batman and why is this villain killing Batman impersonators? Also, when did Bruce get a son? Recommend especially to longtime Batfans, returning Batfans and anyone interested in seeing a different Dynamic Duo.

Batwoman #1, shows a bit of a spooky ghost story. The writer does a good job of showing her personality outside of costume. The biggest issue I had was the coloring, why is her skin so grey? Overall, this is a solid title worth checking out. Recommend to anyone looking for a more grown up Scooby Doo mystery.

Deathstroke #1, shows us a bad ass mercanary. Recommend to fans of 80s action flicks (or modern equivilants like the Expendables.)

Demon Knights #1, introduces an interesting dynamic between Jason Blood/Etrigan the Demon and Madame Xanadu. Taking place in post Arthurian England the action is pretty quick especially when the Demon comes out, but I still didn’t feel it to be my style overall. Recommend to Fantasy/Camelot fans.

Frankenstein, Agent of Shade #1, gives us the introduction of the Creature Commandos. Frank is a big bad monster smasher, unfortunately I didn’t leave the store itching for lots more. Recommend if you remember and enjoyed the movie Monster Squad from the late 80s.

Grifter #1, upon flipping through the pages, I had to wonder why he was stabbing so many random people. After reading it, apparently he can tell they are aliens taking control of people’s bodies or something. This one actually does have me intrigued if he is going to be completely xenophobic, or if it is specific aliens that he is after and what these aliens are after. Recommend to fans of V and cheesy Sci Fi.

Legion Lost #1, left me lost as to why I was reading it. Admittedly I have never really followed or cared about the Legion, now apparently some of them are lost and I still don’t care. Recommend if you are a fan of the Legion of Super Heroes already, otherwise not recommending.

Mister Terrific #1, tries to make you feel for Michael as a human and the hardships he endures, but it is hard to feel bad for the “third smartest man on the planet”, a superstar olympic athlete and billionaire just because his wife died and he is sad. Recommend for fans of James Bond, because it does have that 60s spy movie feel.

Red Lanterns #1, pretty much lost me on page 2 with the blood thirsty cat. As I expected going in it was violence from a pile of alien characters that I didn’t care about. Sure Atrocitus lost his planet and is pissed off, but Superman lost his planet and doesn’t run around the galaxy needlessly slaughtering people and on a more down to earth note, Batman lost his family but rebuilt without running around killing all the criminals in Gotham. Long story short Atrocitus, get over it. Recommend for fans of Killer Klowns from Outer Space, because I see these Red Lanterns as a bunch of clowns.

Resurrection Man #1, introduces us to Mitch, a dude that gains a new ability and purpose when he dies and is reborn. He tries using these abilities to help people along the way, but is being chased down by demons and angels, because they state his soul is overdue. I thoroughly enjoyed this and highly recommend, particularly if you want something a little dark and edgy outside the superhero norm.

Suicide Squad #1, did well at quickly introducing the team and giving a quick feel for most of the characters. There is much debate on Harley Quinn’s “costume” as it seems to be more or less her underwear. I was intrigued by the set up in this and look forward to their first big mission. Recommend for a team of non heroic heroes.

Superboy #1, gets deep into establishing his origin as a clone while dodging the question of from whom he was cloned. While they test him in vitual reality, the biggest question the issue leaves you with is “why are they planting him in the Teen Titans?” Recommend to fans of the 90s Superboy run and those looking to delve deeper into the Teen Titans when it comes along.

My final verdict left me with only 2 titles this week that I didn’t want to look at again at all, which is on par with last week for which there were 2 as well.

Next week, we review Wonder Woman.

Action Comics #1

I read Action Comics #1 and Steve’s review. So again, since he beat me to the punch I won’t give a long detailed review of the story. I’ll just remind you that A. I’m new to the DCU, knowing little more than what movies have shown me. And B. I’ve never liked Superman.

The first third of the comic was about Superman shaking down a corrupt politician. While I expected more, I can accept that he is still young Superman. Learning his powers and doing good where he sees he can. I enjoyed the fact that he had some attitude, as a younger bullet proof guy would. No real complaints so far.

Next we get learn that Lex Luthor has been hired by the military to capture or stop Superman. They let you know Superman is an alien and talk about how his powers are growing. This is all well and good but they never explain why Lex Luthor was hired or why he cares? What does this Lex Luthor do that the military would seek him out to deal with aliens? Why does Lex even care? Aside from money.

So military funded Lex sets a trap for Superman, where buildings are being demolished while people still live in them and tanks are sent to blow Superman up… Now I get this is a comic, but tanks firing in downtown with lots of innocent people around? I just couldn’t buy it. It seemed like a poorly thought of way to show how strong Superman was. The only good part about these scenes is it showed that the people are on Superman’s side. Beyond that it left me thinking “Really?”

Then we get Jimmy and Louis, on a train trying to get a scoop. For some reason all the trains are not supposed to be running, but the one they are on is. Superman jumps to the rescue knowing (somehow?) that the train isn’t going to stop unless he stops it. So he runs to the front of it and pushes it back, knocking it off the rails, down a busy street and into a building where he is trapped between the train and the wall. I felt the whole scene was forced and a poorly thought out way to get Superman trapped.

Once again we have Lex and the military talking. The military thinks Lex went too far. Lex compares Superman to animals that have been introduced to new areas and quickly reproduced taking over the area. I guess Lex thinks one of Supermans powers is to reproduce asexually or that Superman is going to be really good with the ladies so Superman must be stopped before he breeds humans off the planet? Maybe I’m off track. ;) But I can’t think of any other reason Lex would give those examples… or again have any reason to really care. It isn’t like Lex and Superman / Clark know each other…

Overall, I went in looking to like Action Comics but it fell flat for me. I’ve read Detective Comics #1 and Batgirl #1 as well. I really enjoyed both. They gave me insight into the character in and out of costume. They made me care about the characters. Action Comics #1 failed to do that, being little more than “Look I have awesome powers”, which is one of the big reasons I’ve always disliked Superman.

Maybe #2 will be better…

Action Comics #1 and more

This week’s big titles were Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #1. Now onto the spoiler warning….

The story starts with Superman crashing the party of a corrupt business mogul. For fans of Superman in recent years, this may seem a bit weak for a begining for him. That is because, every relaunch, reboot or retelling of Superman’s origin since the late 1950s Silver Age version had him starting in Metropolis, full of power and ready to face supervillains. If we dial the story back to his beginnings, Superman spent 6 years fighting corrupt businessmen, landlord, politicians, overseas dictators, jewel theives, etc before facing anyone with power. The only notable villain from early in his career that remained was Lex Luthor, and lo and behold here is Superman’s greatest adversary in this new version of Action Comics. Like in the original stories, this Superman is a little more brutal than he would later become and uses some scare tactics along with his powers, scaring a confession out of the businessman.

This title is set when Superman is just getting started, and this is portrayed in the lack of costume. Well, there is jeans and a t-shirt. Here the police and military don’t know what to make of him and fear the unknown. We also get to see that this version of Lex Luthor looks to be the evil genius businessman as opposed to the evil genius mad scientist.

Lex sees the area of town that Superman is in and has a trap set to destroy some condemned buildings with squatters. This is the first real display of power by Superman as he stops the wrecking balls to save the citizens. He then gets to destroy a couple of Lex’s tanks and his durability is displayed surviving electrocution and a blast from the tank, though it does seem to hurt him. Then there is the scene that is typical of a Superman comic. The people stand to protect him, showing that Superman will one day become the inspirational leader among heroes. We also see that Superman can’t fly, he catches a ride home hanging on a Blimp.

Interesting tidbit, Clark is working for a rival newspaper compared to Lois and Jimmy at the Daily Planet. He calls his editor “Mr. Taylor”, which homages to when Lois and Clark worked at the Daily Star in the original publications. The comic will finish up with Superman stopping a train from being destroyed, but being knocked unconcious in the process. This goes to show, Lex won his bet with General Lane about being able to stop him.

Overall I found this to be a good introductory story to the Superman mythos. We have it stated that he is an alien, during a conversation between Lex and the General. Able to leap over tall buildings, check, he did jump up to the blimp. Faster than a speeding bullet, check, he did catch it. More powerful than a locomotive, check, even if the subway train knocked him out. Arrogant/Xenophobic Lex Luthor, check. Lois, the gung ho reporter, check. Jimmy, the eager to please photographer, check.

The art was fantastic and the story pacing was right on track. I will definately recommend this issue to anyone wanting to check out Superman.

Now for some short reviews on the other titles from the week, small potential for spoilers.

Animal Man, if you like the vertigo style of art and story, this may be the way to go. Buddy’s daughter is going to have some issues in the pet cemetary. – Recommend to fans of dark/vertigo style stories.

Batgirl, this was a decent story and introduced her well and established a past, it leaves a mystery hanging on how she is able to walk after being paralyzed for “3 years”. – Recommend to Batman fans and those that want to see a strong female lead.

Batwing, I didn’t read Batman, INC so I had no knowledge going in. The art was beautiful, but the story didn’t hook me. – Recommend to fans of Black Panther or Batman, INC, worth skimming just for the artist.

Detective Comics, this is a great Batman story showing Joker at his most insane and it does a good job of recapping what Batman is, without doing an origin issue. – Highly recommend to anyone, particularly if they are looking for Batman or a mystery style story. Not kid friendly though.

Green Arrow, not sure what is up with those he is working with. The art was decent. – On the fence for recommending.

Hawk and Dove, what can I say about Leifeld’s art that I haven’t before. I honestly couldn’t even tell you what the story was, the art was that “special” – if there is still a Leifeld fan out there, then they may enjoy this.

Justice League International, Booster Gold as leader of JLI is brilliant. The story sets up to be the style of Justice League from the late 80s and early 90s. – recommend to anyone that wants a fun team story.

Men of War, though I am not usually one for war comics in general, this title seems to work at reestablishing Sgt Rock. The art was pretty, but the story didn’t grab me enough to pull me back. – recommend to fans of war stories.

Omac, I read it but I don’t know what was going on, Dan Didio should stick to being an Editor, not a writer. The art was ok, but looked like a throwback to the 70s. – not recommending

Static Shock, this seems to be an attempt to create a Spider-man style character for DC. I know he existed before, but I never read it before and this one didn’t quite catch me but didn’t repulse me, so I will at least skim issue 2. – recommend to fans of teen heroes

Stormwatch, This is set to be the team that is at the front of cosmic threats. For those familiar with Wildstorm, they are maintaining that concept in the big kid’s universe. Rumor has it that this will be an important title in establishing the overall history of the universe. – Recommend to those that like cosmic stories.

Swamp Thing, this spins straight out of the Brightest Day Aftermath. The earth seems to still be upset. – recommend to previous Swamp Thing fans, because it maintains it’s vision there, but I am not sure what it is offering new fans.

Next week, we review Green Lantern.

Justice Leage #1 (from an outsiders view)

Having read Justice League #1 and Steve’s review, I won’t bother commenting on the same things (like the V-neck costumes and lack of characters inside.)  Instead I’ll try to convey my thoughts on it from a first time readers point of view because unlike Steve I’ve never really read DC comics. The odd batman title here and there but I honestly know very little of the world and the characters. To be honest I didn’t plan to read Justice League because I’m just not interested in Wonder Woman, Flash, or Cyborg but I thought I should give one team title a try.

The first issue gave me a good sense of Green Lantern and what to expect from the character both in personality and powers, heck even a quick blurb on where he came from. Batman, even if you are not a comic fan it’s hard to not know about Batman so I didn’t mind the lack of back story for him. The interactions between the two was good and I look forward to seeing how they will come to interact with other members once they are a team.

The intro for Cyborg (or at least I assumed it was Cyborg) has me curious as to how he will go from a high school kid to well… a Cyborg.

It will be good to see how Superman and Batman interact (seeing as Green Lantern is out of the picture for a bit). I’m aware of their friendship in the old DCU, but have no real idea how it came to be. I’m curious if that same relationship will unfold again or if they might do something new for everyone.

For the main story they are starting to tell I have no idea (unlike Steve) what the robot thing is, what the box is all about, or really who Darkseid is (aside from a big bad guy), but I am really looking forward to finding out. The first issue did a good job of keeping me interested and raising enough questions that I’ll keep reading until I get some answers.

Next week we review Action Comics #1… which is going to have to be really good.  I’ve always disliked Superman…

Justice League #1

I will start with the appropriate spoiler warning.

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Starting with the cover. It is a beautiful image that showcases seven major characters that will be part of the team. It has been posted all over the place already, but what I like is that the finalized version does show Wonder Woman in a fairly classic looking costume. What I don’t like about the redesigned costumes shown here is the weird obsession for strange high v-shaped collars on 3 of the male characters. I am willing to give Superman’s lack of red trunks a chance, but that collar just looks odd. Side note on the cover: the standard edition has a different background color than the version that comes with a digital copy.

Inside, I won’t be ruining too much by mentioning that the opening scenes showcase Batman and Green Lantern meeting for the first time, as this was in the New 52 preview book that came out a month ago. As stated in the first text box, this comic is set 5 years ago, before the world came to know heroes. This showcases a scene where Batman is chasing down a creature (spoiler – it is a Parademon), while the police chase them both down. This leads to Green Lantern crashing the party. The majority of the rest of the issue shows what to expect as an interaction between two very different characters (The brightness of Green Lantern and the gritty shadows of Batman). Green Lantern is written as the cocky arrogant version of Hal Jordan that I have always loved. After leaving the police, the two heroes chase the creature underground where it fuses something to the wall before trying to sacrifice itself to kill them. (spoiler -it looks to be a Mother Box). The creature’s dying words also let us know what is coming, and it doesn’t get much bigger in the DC Universe.

The first mention of Superman is ominous, as it looks like he will not be trusted early on. Green Lantern flies himself and Batman to Metropolis, where below we get to witness Victor Stone, the high school student before he becomes Cyborg. As they look for Superman, there is a nice homage to Lex Luthor at the construction site. Green Lantern’s cockiness gets the better of him and we get to see our first glimpse of Superman.

Overall from the point of view of a life long DC fan, the story was well paced setting the seeds for something big to come. Geoff Johns’ dialog flows naturally and kept me entertained. Green Lantern trying to determine the extent of Batman’s powers was great. The only thing lacking was that there was no mention of the other three characters from the cover, which I felt since it is meant to be launching the title we should have seen at least a glimpse of them even if it was an awkwardly written side note.

The art was of course superb. Jim Lee is a superstar for a reason. I like how detailed the Green Lantern constructs were. Then there is nice little details that some artists may neglect like when they arrive in Metropolis, reminding us that Batman took the Mother Box that the Parademon left in Gotham. Alex Sinclair’s colors complete a neatly drawn piece (too often the colorist gets neglected, so I thought I should mention).

Overall, longtime fans should like the look of this new Justice League title. I like to think that new fans will enjoy what they see in this issue to buy a few more and get to see just how big this story will get. I look forward to seeing Chris’s review to get a glimpse from the point of view of a new fan who knows little about the League.

Until Next week when we review Action Comics #1, I would love to hear more feedback.

Variant Cover Promo

dccoverpromo

To celebrate the relaunch of the line of DC titles with the new 52 in September, we are holding a promotion.

All you have to do is for every DC Universe #1 issue you buy from August 31, 2011 until September 30, 2011, simply fill out the ballot provided.

Two Grand Prize winners will receive 1 each of the variant covers for Justice League #1, Action Comics #1, Batman #1, Green Lantern #1 and Flash #1.

12 other winners will receive one variant cover selected randomly from Action Comics #1, Batman #1, Green Lantern #1 and Flash #1.

Saint John location only.

(Above from left to right Variant cover, standard cover, Combo pack Edition Cover.)

Street Fighter Heroclix

Street Fighter Heroclix!

Starter Box (6 figures, rulebook, double sided map) $19.99

Booster box (1 figure) $2.99

Collect all 23 Figures!

Variant cover promotion:

To celebrate the relaunch of the line of DC titles with the new 52 in September, we are holding a promotion. All you have to do is for every DC Universe #1 issue you buy from August 31, 2011 until September 30, 2011, simply fill out the ballot provided.

Two Grand Prize winners will receive 1 each of the variant covers for Justice League #1, Action Comics #1, Batman #1, Green Lantern #1 and Flash #1.

12 other winners will receive one variant cover selected randomly from Action Comics #1, Batman #1, Green Lantern #1 and Flash #1.

Saint John location only.

 

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