A Week Late and a Few Dollars Short Wonder_Woman_1 - Copy

Published on August 18th, 2011 | by Michael Harris

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A Week Late #8: DC Reboot Part 2

Sorry I’m late everyone!

Most of these reviews have been me expressing my grave hopes that the writers/artists don’t screw it up. I want these books to succeed. I want them to be good, and I want these characters to thrive, but I absolutely have no idea about how they’re going to be. I say “I don’t know” a lot because there’s no way that I can know if Jim Lee will put out more than 4 books a year because he’s busy playing WOW, or whether Scott Lobdell is going to give us another Onslaught or (hopefully) another Generation X. All I can do is sit back and try not to cry as I wait for DC to implode or shine.

Red Lanterns #1

18. Red Lanterns #1
Written by PETER MILLIGAN
Art and Cover by ED BENES and ROB HUNTER

Peter Milligan has done a lot of books that I’ve really liked. Hellblazer, Shade, and Human Target were all great books under him and I’m excited as all get out for Justice League Dark. However, my excitement does not carry on to Red Lanterns. He’s a more-than-capable writer and I’m sure that he can put out a great story with this book, but I’m just not interested in the the book to begin with. A polished turd is still a turd, as the saying goes. Ed Benes doesn’t do much to help my spirits about Red Lanterns, either. There aren’t nearly enough scantily clad women for him to be entirely happy drawing it, so I imagine that Bleez is going to get a lot of page-time, and she’s a poor character to begin with.

The idea is flawed from the start because The Red Lanterns simply aren’t interesting enough to carry their own series. People will pick this up to see Dex-Starr (Sharp-O, I’m looking at you) but Atrocitus & Co. are going to be superheroes that straight up murder people? Don’t advertise the book as a “hero” book if they’re not heroes.

Verdict: NO DOOM FOR YOU!

Animal Man #1

19. Animal Man #1
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by TRAVEL FOREMAN and DAN GREEN

Essex County, The Nobody, and Sweet Tooth are all books that I’ve read and loved. I’m enjoying Superboy at the moment for what it is, but I think that Jeff Lemire has a while to go before he knows exactly how to handle a superhero book. Superboy is written well because its small-town rural and that’s what Lemire does best. Animal Man, at least the re-imagining that Morrison masterminded a while back, was small-family ideals but he dealt with some off-the-wall kind of madness as a superhero.

Animal Man became an examination of comic book writing under Morrison. Something that Milligan tried to distance himself from slightly, while still maintaining that this book was more about the nature of being a superhero than it was about actually being a superhero. With this in mind, I think Lemire can do some great things with this book. I can see great stories coming from Buddy dealing with his daughter having superpowers, and trying to be a father, something that wasn’t really addressed in Morrison’s issues (he dealt with the husband aspect more). I probably won’t pick this book up for purely budgetary reasons. I just can’t justify it enough to read it without knowing anything about it.

Verdict: POSSIBLE DOOM!

Swamp Thing #1

20. Swamp Thing #1
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art and Cover by YANICK PAQUETTE

Not much in comics can compete with Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing. Not much in anything can really compete with that run. Snyder has proven himself to be a damn good writer. I already sang his praises in the last book so I shall avoid being repetitive so I shall avoid being repetitive (*snicker*). The first exposure that I had to Yanick Paquette was in Batman Inc. and I wasn’t really a fan of his chin work but other than that it was some damn fine comics.

I like the direction that DC is taking by bringing Holland back to life, because why not? No death is sacred, even if it is fairly key to the character’s origin. I can promise you that it is the only reason Uncle Ben hasn’t come back to life. I’ll pick this book up just to see where Snyder takes it, but probably not for long.

Verdict: DOOM!

Legion Lost #1

21. Legion Lost #1
Written by FABIAN NICIEZA
Art and Cover by PETE WOODS

Nicieza gained a fan in me during Red Robin. Pete Woods gained a fan in me during Deadpool and more recently Action Comics. His art was by far the best thing about the New Krypton arcs in Superman. I have no worries for either of them. The story is what bothers me.

Legion Lost is about a team of randoms from the future who come back to be a secret superteam of randoms from the future. The team consists of Wildfire, Dawnstar, Tellus, Timber Wolf, Tyroc, Chameleon Girl and Gates. I am not a Legion academic, so I have very little (read: none whatsoever) idea who these characters are. Doesn’t matter really, it actually makes me want to read the book more because its something absolutely new to me, much like T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents (by the way, where the hell is Nick Spencer in this whole mess?). I’ll probably mooch a copy of a friend who I know loves the legion and stay up to date that way, at least until I know if its good or bad.

Verdict: POSSIBLE DOOM!

Birds of Prey #1

22. Birds Of Prey #1
Written by DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI
Art and Cover by JESUS SAIZ

Duane Swiercskfealknskalkndkszyki has done mostly Marvel work, so this is going to be his first shot at a DC property, but aside from O.M.A.C. this might be the weakest title that DC is offering in the reboot. His comics are generally solid, but there haven’t been many long arcs in his history. His novels (which I haven’t read) seem to get some good reviews for having strong female characters…so there’s that. Jesus Saiz doesn’t stand out in my mind. I know I’ve read his work before, but it wasn’t anything that made me remember his name. I’m guessing that says enough but maybe it says that I need to do more research before I give unqualified opinions on art that I couldn’t possibly do myself…maybe…(I like ellipses).

The team is sans Oracle and sans Huntress, but it has Katana and what looks like Poison Ivy but who I’ve heard is not actually Poison Ivy, or at least the Ivy that we know. I hear lots of things. I have many hands in many rumor-filled soups. This book will probably be bad. I can’t see how it won’t be.

Verdict: NO DOOM FOR YOU!

Teen Titans #1

23. Teen Titans #1
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Art and Cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND

Oh, the cover. So much has been said about the cover of this issue. From the terrifyingly bad Tim Drake wing-costume, to Kid Flash’s lightning aura, to Superboy’s unexplainable tattoo and “kick-me” sign on the back of his cut-off muscle shirt, its just a whole lotta bad. The preview revealed more to be scared about as Wonder Girl is now a “powerhouse thief” and the team is now characterized as “tortured teen heroes”. Scott Lobdell is starting out at the bottom of a well of awful ideas and I don’t think he has it in him to climb out of it.

With just the cover alone, Brett Booth has me on the defensive. He, as a Wildstorm artist, comes from the Liefeld school of “angry faces and lots of detail lines = AWESOME” which I’m okay with sometimes, really. I’ve read some of his work and quite enjoyed it. If Anita Blake was written better, I might have considered reading it regularly. I just don’t know how I feel about this book. Half of me screams in terror to run as fast as I can away from it. The other half desperately wants to continue reading a book with Tim Drake in it. I wish they had continued Red Robin instead of Superboy, because honestly, it was the best book DC was putting out over the past 3 years.

Verdict: POSSIBLE DOOM!

The Savage Hawkman #1

24. The Savage Hawkman #1
Written by TONY S. DANIEL
Art and Cover by PHILIP TAN

Tony Daniel, no thank you. Philip Tan, on the other hand, I really like. I wish he was paired up with a more compelling writer on a better book.

Hawkman is one of those DC Wesley characters. They’ve tried to reboot him so many times and met with failure every time that there has to be some sort of conspiracy. He hasn’t been interesting since the Rann/Thanagar books a few years ago and even then, he took a backseat to pretty much everyone else. It looks as though this is a complete reboot of the character, so no Shi’ara and no conflict with Hawk-gods that took up so much space in Brightest Day. They realized how much of a dead end that storyline was, why is he even still around.

Verdict: NO DOOM FOR YOU!

Blue Beetle #1

25. Blue Beetle #1
Written by TONY BEDARD
Art by IG GUARA and RUY JOSE

On one hand, Bedard wrote R.E.B.E.L.S. which I really enjoyed (and hate typing out), on the other hand, he wrote a run on Green Lantern Corps that (along with Geoff Johns’ insistence on Hal Jordan) made me give up on the Lantern books altogether. I think he will do great things with Jamie Reyes if he has the freedom to do it. Guara has done a lot of work on Hulk and Pet Avengers which will lend well to the more comedic and less polished character that is Blue Beetle. A surprisingly solid choice for this reboot.

I’m absolutely thrilled that Reyes is getting his own book again. John Rogers and Cully Hamner, and Keith Giffen put together an interesting character that should, in all honesty, be a part of the Teen Titans. I think him and Kid Flash would play off each other in the same way that Booster Gold and the old Blue Beetle would. DC seems to hate him though, might be DiDio and his unabashed evilness pulling against minority characters or it might be a grand statement about the prejudiced subconscious mind of the average American and their disinclination towards any change, even positive…but probably more the DiDio thing.

Verdict: DOOM!

Supergirl #1

26. Supergirl #1
Written by MICHAEL GREEN and MIKE JOHNSON
Art and Cover by MAHMUD ASRAR

Michael Green and Mike Johnson haven’t done anything to win me over, but I like them anyway for being named so very well. Asrar isn’t named as well as us…them, but he has drawn Dynamo 5 which makes him a winner in my book.

I really want to read this book, but again, this might be a casualty of my lack of unlimited funds. I don’t really mind the costume change, as odd as it is. The way the promo reads, it looks like she’s going to have quite an antagonistic relationship with Earth, which makes me wonder why she’s around in the first place. If she dislikes the people of Earth, and she’s already a moody teenager, then why give her a book. Develop her in someone else’s book as a background character, then give her something of her own.

Verdict: POSSIBLE DOOM!

Wonder Woman #1

27. Wonder Woman #1
Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
Art and Cover by CLIFF CHIANG

Yes. Absolutely yes. This was one of the few books (the others being Stormwatch, Demon Knights, Voodoo, and Nightwing) that I absolutely knew that I was going to pick up from the get go. Azzarello has had some bumpy experience with superhero books (Superman) but he also wrote the hell out of Batman in Black & White and Joker, and 100 Bullets is enough to make me trust everything he puts out. Cliff Chiang, well I don’t know what to say other than I will read anything that he’s drawn. He’s amazing.

So, yes, despite not caring much about Wonder Woman and not having read very many good stories about her, I think that I am going to love this book. Cheers to DC for this, honestly. They finally got their heads out of their ass and decided to give Wonder Woman the attention she deserves.

Verdict: DOOM!

The Fury of Firestorm #1

28. Fury Of Firestorm #1
Written by ETHAN VAN SCIVER and GAIL SIMONE
Art by YILDIRAY CINAR

I love Gail Simone. I’ve said this. I stand by this. Yildiray Cinar has done some great work on Noble Causes, which I read because of a vehement friend. I have a few of those. Van Sciver, I’m less familiar with. I read his Flash: Rebirth books, but that’s all of his that I know.

Firestorm himself has long been one of my favorites. Ronnie was one of my favorite characters during my long trek through back issues to catch up on DC history. Jason brought a new dimension to the character that I liked. Very different relationship and I’m glad that both of them are still around. I’m gonna miss the doc, but both of them together, figuring everything out sounds like a good match. I’m also pretty OK with the age change on both of them. It makes a bit more sense than Ronnie being mid-twenties and Jason being a teenager.

Verdict: DOOM!

Aquaman #1

29. Aquaman #1
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and Cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO

Johns has steadily become crazier over the past few years. Not just crazier, but more insistent that whoever he likes, everybody should like and that I cannot abide with a happy heart. However, I am a glutton for punishment and I will continue to read his books until they become unreadable. Reis, is wonderful and lovely and squishy and I’m a fan. I would read something he drew just for the splash pages.

I’ve wanted Aquaman to have a book where he isn’t a chump for a while. I don’t know what version of him they’re going to use for this, some amalgamation of Flashpoint Aquaman and regular old Arthur Curry, but I’m glad he seems to be on the right track to be a leading, dynamic character.

Verdict: DOOM!

Mr. Terrific #1

30. Mr. Terrific #1
Written by ERIC WALLACE
Art by ROGER ROBINSON

No interest in this book. Whatsoever. Wallace hasn’t written anything that I cared about. Robinson did a lot of good work in the late 90’s & early 00’s, and The Web was a fun read, but its not enough to bring me to read it.

The cover is pretty, and Mr. Terrific is a great addition to any team. But when does the third smartest man in the world need his own comic book. Marvel is already doing the science superhero and I gotta say, I don’t think that this is going to be any better than the Fantastic Four has been, or even Amadeus Cho, or even Hank Pym in the Mighty Avengers. DC is trying to do that, but I just don’t know how well this was thought out. This seems like more of an effort to fill their deeply dry coffer of minority characters. Some work, this doesn’t.

Verdict: NO DOOM FOR YOU!

The Flash #1

31. The Flash #1
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Art and Cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL

When I heard that Manapul was going to be back on The Flash, I was excited. When I heard that it wasn’t going to be Geoff Johns writing it, I was even more excited. But I’m on a cosmic treadmill of excitement at the moment, speeding forward to nowhere, waiting and hoping that this book is not going to be more of the same Barry Allen worship and frustrating bull-puckey that led into Flashpoint. I loved, absolutely loved the first 6 or 7 issues of the Johns/Manapul Flash, but that quickly turned into more vagaries and references to how important Barry Allen is and how much you should forget Wally West (Wally who?). I’ll drop this book quicker than a Robert Kirkman plot twist if they go back to that. By the way, Manapul, not a tested writer, Buccellato, also not a tested writer. I don’t know where DC is going with this, but I hope that it works out, because they’re putting a hell of a lot of faith in these artists to carry DC out of the red.

In regards to the story, I still don’t care very much about Barry Allen. I miss Wally West with a passion because he was MY FLASH; just like David Tennant is MY DOCTOR and no other Doctor Who will probably be the same, because he was the one who I experienced as I formulated my idea of who The Flash should be. Wally West was fun, and exciting, and entertaining and Barry is just dour and methodical and a boyscout. I don’t want to read about a boyscout. I WAS a boyscout. I don’t need to live through that again. I will, however, read this book for an issue or two if only because I hope to see more scenes of The Flash running across some helicopter blades to catch a baddie.

Verdict: DOOM!

Green Arrow #1

32. Green Arrow #1
Written by J.T. KRUL
Art by DAN JURGENS and NORM RAPMUND

J.T. Krul. What can I say that hasn’t been said better by other people? Like here, and here. I’m sure that he’s done some good comics work at some point, I just haven’t read it. I stopped reading Titans when he was on it. I stopped reading Green Arrow when he was on it. Its not some causal link other than I just plain dislike how he writes. Its heavy-handed and so very on the nose sometimes. I so very much want him to surprise me with something, and not something like The Rise of Arsenal. A good surprise. A “extra slice of bacon between my pancakes at Denny’s” surprise. Jurgens is a solid artist and I trust his penciling much more than his writing most of the time.

As a character, Green Arrow never really interested me. My childhood summation of him was “Batman, with a bow and arrows, and he’s a jerk.” Maybe simplistic, but my opinion of him hasn’t really changed in that I like the idea of him much more than I actually like him. He does well in books like Identity Crisis where he shares the spotlight, or in Justice League books, but not so much in his own series. The only arc of his that I can remember enjoying is Kevin Smith’s and that’s mostly because its the only arc that I’ve actually finished. If someone can recommend a series of his that would make me a fan, please do, because I’m at a loss on Mr. Queen.

Verdict: NO DOOM FOR YOU!

Justice League International #1

33. Justice League International #1
Written by DAN JURGENS
Art by AARON LOPRESTI and MATT RYAN

Dan Jurgens has done quite a lot of writing that, despite flaws, I’ve enjoyed. I certainly liked the original Justice League International stories, so while this is a fresh sort of look, I like that he has quite a bit of experience with the attitude that it should have. His Booster Gold run was fun throughout, his short arc of Metamorpho was pretty fantastic, his work on 52 was great, and I even enjoyed his little Time Masters thing last year because it actually explained some things…but then of course you have The Death and Return of Superman, Superman Red/Blue and Zero Hour which were all fairly messy to say the least. I just hope that he can put out some quality while being artist on another book because that’s certainly something I’ve never seen done. As for Lopresti, I usually like his work a lot more pre-ink, but that’s not really his fault, and Matt Ryan is an unknown factor for me (but the quick Google search yielded some pretty nice results).

Okay, so DC is obviously treating this team as though Justice League International has never happened before. This is the first time that the Justice League has been petitioned by the UN to form a standing team in Europe, and Maxwell Lord seems to be nowhere at the moment to give them sponsorship so they probably won’t be strapped for cash. The team seems to be a bit slapdash, however, made up of the “original” International team plus whoever hasn’t already been scavenged from Checkmate. They’re obviously trying to fill their quota with the International superheroes, which I suppose is the right direction for this team: Tormented-and-bemetalled Chinese August General, stereotypical Brazilian model Fire, generalized Norse-woman Ice, slightly-less-generalized African Vixen, painfully-Russian Rocket Red, Batman, Guy Gardner, and Booster Gold. There might be some great stories to be told with this team, but I’m not sure if I want to put out the $2.99 for it.

Verdict: POSSIBLE DOOM!

Captain Atom #1

34. Captain Atom #1
Written by J.T. KRUL
Art by FREDDIE WILLIAMS II

J.T. Krul…no. Freddie Williams, If you’re reading this, and I know you are, I’m sorry. You’re a great artist and I love your style, but I’m just not going to pick up a book with a writer who is so clearly off his rocker, I tried that with Alan Moore and Neonomicon.

I’ve always been kind of intrigued by Captain Atom. Mostly because for the longest time I had no idea who he was. The 90’s incarnation of him, when I started reading comics as a young’n, was a bit…Silver Surfer meets Booster Gold. He seemed mostly useless in any fight, but in dire moments was seemingly all-powerful. I just never really cared to find out who he was. After a bit of research in my earlier comic book days, I was very right to not care. The talk about this book leads me to the same jokes that everyone has been making, but all the same, I can’t help but imagine this Dr. Manhattan-analogue swinging throught-manifested cat-nunchaku around on the surface of Mars. That is not a pleasant thing to be floating around in ones head when one is in a staff meeting trying my, I mean one’s, hardest to be a good employee and not be distracted by shiny things on the wall. Not one bit. If you’re at all wondering, I won’t be picking this book up. J.T. Krul has done me wrong in the past, hell, he’s done comic books in general wrong in the past. I’m going to have to hear some major praise by quite a few of the right people to give this a second look; unlikely, as no reader that I’ve talked to has suggested even a passing interest in paying for this book.

Verdict: NO DOOM FOR YOU!

TOTAL FOR BOOKS:

DOOM! – 13
POSSIBLE DOOM! – 11
NO DOOM FOR YOU! – 10

Nothing new from this second batch. Just more team books, and more books that are a bit premature.

Join me next week as I tackle the final 18 books and give my review of JLA #1.

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About the Author

Michael Harris

Michael is an insomniac, comic book aficionado, college student, novice guitar player, novice song singer, sarcastic and probably unstable, twenty-something, and all around good guy.



  • Sharp-O

    Damn straight I’ll pick up Red Lanterns! I love the characters that have had development (Atrocitus, Dex, Bleez) and I’m looking forward to what else they bring to the table (Like the rage-child in the second issue and how Atrocitus will react to that)

    I might have lost Secret Six and Batgirl but I got Blue Beetle back so that’s REALLY takes the sting off. Love me some Jaime Reyes.

    Another great article, Mike!

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