It’s just so rebootylicious, I can’t handle it.

This is the first real week of the reboot, with a new universe to explore. I’ve got five of the books here, the ones that interest me personally, and I’m going to see if they’re worth the paper they’re printed on.

Hawk and Dove is not terrible. It honestly pains me to say that. The art is godawful, but the writing is actually very good, even if the plot so far is sort of odd. Some things from Brightest Day are still intact, too. For instance, Dawn and Boston are still dating, and yeah, he’s still dead. Crisis on Infinite Earths was referenced too, surprisingly. But Hank’s characterization is just…weird. He’s really, really angry all the time, and he seems to hate that Dawn is Dove. And apparently, Dawn used to date Don? Why she’s telling Deadboyfriend, I have no idea. Further the plot, I guess. Ah well. Still, this book has science politics and zombie monsters! That’s always a big plus for me.

I’m in love with Jeff Lemire’s Animal Man. I wasn’t even born during Grant Morrison’s run on Animal Man, so when I finally found issues of the title, it was from the Vertigo run, from the mid-90s. I didn’t like those issues much, so I never got an affinity for the character. I liked him well enough in 52, Countdown to Adventure, and the Rann/Thanagar minis, but he never really stood out. He was a guy with a family that happened to be a superhero, that was it. Hoo boy, was that the tip of the iceberg. I don’t have any kids, I doubt I ever will, so I can’t really understand the I-would-do-anything-for-them attitude a lot of parents are portrayed as having, but this is just…the ‘villain’ of this issue is a man driven mad by grief after the death of his own daughter, who takes a children’s ward in a hospital hostage. Buddy, who has been pretty inactive as a superhero, takes him down and saves the kids. But that isn’t the main focus of this issue. That’s not even the focus of this arc. Maxine, Buddy and Ellen Baker’s little girl, has animal powers, too. Only, unlike her father, her powers affect animals themselves. She brings them back from the dead.
Like I said, I’m in love with this book.

You know what I have to say about Justice League International? It could have been worse. It pisses me off that Blue Beetle was passed over for being ‘a rookie’ and that apparently, the entire JLI history has been stricken from the record, but this wasn’t terrible. Booster, while showing his trademark shallowness from the early days, still seems to have retained the credibility he had from his own, recently ended series. Gavril is just as ridiculously cute as ever, though they’re really playing up the ‘addled foreigner’ with him, and Guy and Ice seem to know each other, which may mean that they’re back together? This is a wait-and-see book for me. It’s pretty good, for a first issue. We’ll see if it holds up over time.

Oh my god, I’m smiling so hard. Three good books in a row?! What did I do to please you, oh comic book gods? Static Shock is hands down my favorite book so far. It’s just…holy crap. He’s talkative. He’s a science nerd. He’s got a good relationship with his family. You guys don’t understand. I own Rebirth of the Cool. I’ve read nearly every issue of his Milestone series. I’ve seen every episode of Static Shock. I loved him in Teen Titans. Static is hands-down one of my favorite comic characters of all time. And this book…I can’t even. It’s fabulous. Virgil is going to high school and interning at S.T.A.R. Labs in New York City by day, superheroing by night. His sister has apparently been…cloned? Eh. All I know is that there are two Sharons now, and that it hasn’t been explained yet. Also, for some reason, it looks like the Power Rangers are the bad guy for this first arc. What’s up with that? Anyway, odd villain choices aside, this book has me happier than anything else today.

I have mixed feelings on Batgirl. The new book, I mean. I’ve always loved the character, but my Batgirl? That was Cassandra Cain. I’ve read, and own, every issue of the first Batgirl series, as well as the second, starring Stephanie Brown. To me, the woman currently in the Batgirl costume will always be Oracle. Batgirl is a step backwards for Barbara Gordon. But…this issue was actually sort of good. Babs has some questionable dialogue, and a line a villain spouts, about her ‘spoiling’ everything, was sort of a twist of the knife to those of us who love Steph, but it really wasn’t terrible. There’s a Renee Montoya lookalike cop that shows up near the end, name of McKenna, but I have no idea where that can go. Oh, speaking of the ending, that pissed me off. Yes, it showed that Babs was traumatized by guns in a way that most people can’t even imagine, but at the same time, it was a kick in the face to the strength that makes her who she is as a character. And as for this new villain, Mirror, he’s sort of…dull. He hunts down people who survived accidents that ought to have killed them. That sounds sort of familiar, kind of like the plot of a Final Destination movie. I can’t really go and say I like this book just yet, but I don’t hate it.

That was this week in comics. I’m not going to give up and say I like the reboot, especially since two of the four comics I read could have existed in the old DCU. Heck, even the JLI book could have worked without a reboot. But what I’m trying to say is, I’m giving it a chance. I don’t love it, and I’m probably never going to like it as much as I did the old universe, but I can’t deny that it has its moments. This is Touch of Grey signing off. See you next week, same place, probably an earlier time.

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