Who has two thumbs and absofreakinglutely loves Batwoman?

Nine books this week, hm. Nice to see that the reboot is continuing the time-honored tradition of having the second week of the month be full of books I want/have to look at. What do I mean by “have to”? Well, you’ll see.

Right off the bat, here’s a “have to” book. I don’t want to read Suicide Squad. I wasn’t a huge fan of the old book, the art looks alright if you ignore the fact that the costumes are horrible, and…I just don’t want to. But a couple of people I know have asked me to give this a look-through for them. These people are gigantic Harley Quinn fans and want to support a book with her in it, but are too scared of how bad this book could be to give it a chance, so they’re having me do their dirty work. Oh, what I do for friends. So let’s get to it. Suicide Squad, first issue. Come at me, bro!

Go back bro, go back. This book is just…okay, first off? They rip off part of V for Vendetta with the end. And, Savant? That’s supposed to be Savant?! And, and, criminy. Amanda Waller, remember her? Biggest, baddest, non-powered BAMF in the DCU. She’s hot now, apparently. I’m not happy with the new look for Harley Quinn, but the characterization is basically the same as when she first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series. It’s not a great book, with a lot of the “twists” being too predictable, but it’s not a monstrosity, either. Though seriously, someone get Harley a better outfit.

Deathstroke was a book that I was looking forward to, yes, but I was also sort of worried about. Since his introduction (or, alternatively, my introduction to him via New Titans when I was a kid), I’ve been a pretty big fan of Slade Wilson. He’s a badass of the highest caliber. Unfortunately, this new series decides it needs to tell us that. On the first page. Not the best start. Though the action, and thoroughly heartless actions of Slade himself, more than make up for it. This was a pretty good done-in-one first issue, with a ‘mystery suitcase’ that sets up future plot lines. I like it.

Okay, Resurrection Man is a damn good book. I never really read the old book, mainly because I wasn’t aware it even existed until it was over. I saw him back when he guest-starred in an issue of Supergirl, and I think I remember reading a few issues of his series with Hitman in them, but when it comes down to it, I know basically nothing about this character other than after he dies, he comes back to life with a new set of powers. This series, or the first arc of it, at least, seems to be about how both heaven and hell want Mitch’s soul. And you know what? I can roll with this.

Legion Lost is dreck. Total dreck. Seriously, this first issue makes absolutely no sense at all. Who is this villain? What was done to his kind in the future that would cause him to go back in time and try to kill the entire human race? Why kill off Gates and Yera in the first fucking issue?! I just, I can’t. I really hope the other Legion series is better that this festering pile of shit.

I have a question about the emotional spectrum. If the entire DCU has been rebooted, how do the events of War of the Green Lanterns still have meaning? Is Earth the only place that got rebooted? What’s going on? That being said, Red Lanterns is hilarious. I know it’s supposed to be a serious book, but the fact of the matter is, I’m seeing more of a sitcom in this book than anything else. Atrocitus loves his kitty, Dex-Starr, who is probably the most loyal of the Red Lanterns, if the final page is to be believed. Speaking of gratuitous splash pages, Ed “Tits n’ Ass” Benes strikes again! Not fond of Bleez in his style, gotta be truthful. But still, it wasn’t a terrible first issue, definitely looking forward to future issues.

So, um, back to my earlier question about how relevant any of the Green Lantern books are going to be to the new universe. In Justice League, Hal is clearly a Green Lantern. In Green Lantern, we’re going by the old DCU, and he’s not. DC, when you do a company-wide reboot, you cannot pick and fucking choose what you do and do not change. That being said, this was a great book to me, personally. I can’t stand Hal Jordan, so I like to see him kicked at every turn. And the final page, well, the sound you’re hearing is a thousand slash fans firing up their word processors.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I honestly enjoyed the first issue of Superboy. Save the outrage and hate mail until you’ve heard my explanation, though. This is not Kon-El. For that matter, this isn’t Conner Kent, either. The main character in this book is a clone of Superman and an unknown human donor with empathy issues, raised in a tube, and lives most of his ‘life’ via virtual reality simulations. He doesn’t have a name or an identity yet, other than that of “Superboy”. And you know what? He’s kind of endearing. He has no real concept of right or wrong yet, and the head scientist assigned to him may just be the human donor, making her his ‘mother’. The writing is solid, the art is pretty good, and the page of real-world Rose Wilson dialogue was worth the price of admission. Alright, DC. You have me completely sold on another book. Let’s see if you can do it again.

So much for a streak. Batman and Robin was once one of my favorite books. Dick and Damian had a dynamic that I enjoyed. They were brothers, father figure and son, partners. They trusted each other. Bruce, on the other hand, is just aiming to be as much of a jackass to his son as he possibly can. And in retaliation, Damian has reverted to his wilder, more violent ways. Bruce Wayne is a terrible father. You should realize this by now, DC. He wasn’t really there for Damian before he died, and his memory didn’t teach and inspire Damian after he passed. No, that role fell to Dick, who didn’t really have to do such a thing, but did it anyway. Originally, Dick took the role of Robin from Tim and gave it to Damian so that he could keep and eye on the kid. After time, however, I think Dick came to realize that having Damian as a partner was a better idea than having Tim as a partner would have been. Actually, this book raises yet another question about how dedicated DC is to this whole reboot thing. Damian clearly references the time he spent as Robin to Dick’s Batman, yet in the new DCU, Robin is supposed to be a sort of internship program. In the DCnU, Dick Grayson would never have been Batman. So…what’s going on here?

Let me tell you a little story about Batwoman. I owned every issue of 52, and eventually traded them in to just have the trades. I also own a copy of Batwoman: Elegy, as well as the issues of Batman and Robin in which she appeared, as well as a copy of Question: Five Books of Blood. I also have the promo poster from back when the ongoing was first announced, somewhere in 2009. It’s on my wall. In short, I loves me some Kate Kane. I have been looking forward to this book for some time now. Does it live up to my expectations?
Yes.
This book is just…I have no words. It’s everything I could want in a Batwoman book and more. On the Kate Kane side of her identity, she’s slowly but surely moving away from Renee and towards another officer of the law, Maggie Sawyer, whom she danced with at a party during Elegy. I’m glad for her. DC has this tendency to only let their characters have one real relationship ever. I call it the Black Canary Syndrome. Think about it. Dinah Laurel Lance was ever really romantically linked to one man, Green Arrow. There are tons of characters like that; even after her death, Barry Allen was only ever really linked to Iris (even if he was going to marry again, but that never happened), no one ever expected Superman to marry anyone other than Lois Lane, even if Lana Lang, Luma Lynai, Lori Lemaris, Lex Luthor, and whoever else with an LL name was hanging around, and no one ever expects that Hal Jordan will get serious with anyone except Carol Ferris, even though I think she could do better, personally. But I’m off on a tangent. Bette Kane has made a reappearance! For those not in the know, Bette Kane was a tennis player who had a hopeless crush on Nightwing, so she took on the identity Flamebird to try to impress him into loving her. She wasn’t a redhead, so it failed. Though Bette made her Flamebird identity infinitely more badass after she decided to stop fighting crime for love and start fighting crime for justice, she has never the less been stripped of it by her (elder?) cousin and remade into Batwoman’s masked assistant, Plebe. Speaking of characters long thought gone, the D.E.O. (Department of Extra-Normal Operations) is going back to Gotham with a new objective: discover the identity of Batwoman. Oh, and for those wondering how well this series was going to link to Elegy, it seems to come directly afterward. Kate is still mad at her father for having known that Alice was her twin sister, Beth, and has taken Bette on as a partner in his place. Now, I personally don’t think Alice is actually dead and gone, but that’s just me. Still, I hope Kate manages to reconcile with her father over the course of the series. Batwoman: the writing is top-shelf, the art is amazing, and the story is flawless. I foresee this as being one of DC’s top selling books for 2011. This is an amazing example of a Bat-book done right.

Well, that’s all I have to say about this week’s comics. In short, rush out and buy Batwoman while there’s a first printing running, but skip Legion Lost, unless you’re a diehard Legion fan like I am…or you want to torture yourself in some way. Anyway, it’s late, I’m hungry, and y’all are probably sick of reading. ToG out, folks. I’ll catch you here next week.

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