Posts tagged Resurrection Man

I’m just going to paraphrase and call this Flashback Week.

Another Wednesday, another pull list full of DC. Seven books this week, let’s get down to business.

This is the origin issue of Resurrection Man, it seems. Boy, Mitch Shelley was a gigantic douche prior to acquiring his powers. And he had Deathstroke working for him…okay, I need to know more. Just how important was this platinum blonde Alzheimer’s patient? So it looks like his origin is this: Mitch was a scientist for the United States government who had developed a serum that could restore lost limbs, a regeneration serum. He was the one who gave the Body Doubles their powers, or at least, he gave them to Carmen. She got a small dose of regeneration serum but after some…terrorists? Let’s go with terrorists. After some terrorists attacked his base, Mitch got injected with the full serum, everything that was left. So now, he doesn’t just regenerate limbs, he comes back to life. There must have been a glitch in the serum that caused superpowers, or maybe it was intentional. In any case, wow. What a turn-around. I was honestly planning on dropping this down to in store-only status and I may still do it, but it seems that so long as the story is focusing on Mitch, it’s not unbearable.

Oh dear, it seems as though the thing everyone else could see was going to happen has finally happened. Damian has decided that his father getting him a dog was just the last straw, and he’d rather fight crime with Morgan. I think Morgan promised him a kitten. Oh, Bruce. You insufferable asshole. It’s not your ‘job’ to love your son. Being a good parent just isn’t in your skill set. It’s flashback month! This time, we look at how Bruce met Henri Ducard and his son, Morgan. I have this terrible feeling that all the good Damian did with Dick is going to be negated, and he’s going to turn into a villain. I don’t want that at all. I don’t think anyone wants that.

I love Suicide Squad. I love it in an entirely non-ironic way. It’s well-written with interesting characters, and Adam Glass is not afraid to have big, powerful men show real emotion from time to time. I have exactly three problems with this entire series, so far. First, Amanda Waller’s size. She’s still the same old Wall, just…hot. And that is sort of freaky. Though this issue, she calls her husband when she thinks she’s about to die, when she thinks she’s going to have to kill everyone in the prison remotely, just to tell him that she loves him. That’s a great bit of characterization for her. Just because you don’t fuck with Amanda Waller doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the capability to love.
My other problems are with Harley Quinn’s outfit, and only her outfit, and Captain Boomerang’s disappearance respectively. Harley Quinn has spent many years as either the Joker’s flunkie-slash-girlfriend, or trying to forget him and move on with her life. Her fling with Deadshot seems like it would qualify under that second part. There’s no shame in attempting to, if you’ll forgive my paraphrasing, fuck the pain away. Then again, it didn’t seem to work. Looks like Harley’s headed back to Gotham, as of the end of this issue. As for Digger…his story was open-ended. There was no distinct ending to it. Is he dead? Alive? Being tortured? Hopefully he’ll show up again within the next few issues.

Last issue of the Shade, we met Richard’s great-grandson. This issue, we learn just how familiar they are. After all, the Shade has a history of secrecy and seclusion, so how would a living family member be aware of him? Well, there was once upon a time when grandfather saved grandson’s life. Of course, an issue set in 1944 is going to be drawn by Darwyn Cooke. This man is a retro god, and I’m not afraid to say it. This issue is all about how Nazis wanted to kill Darnell Caldecott, and how Richard did not allow that to happen. With the assistance of wartime hero Vigilante and cross-dressing hero Madame Fatal, Shade keeps his kin alive. An interesting change, Madame Fatal was originally envisioned as a man dressing as an elderly woman. Aside from the cane, Madame Fatal just looks like a buxom platinum blonde. ‘She’ looks more like a naughty librarian than anything else. But I blame that on Cooke’s inability to really change up his style vis a vis women. Not that I’m saying all his women look alike, only that…he’s not good at making them look old. Still, it was a fantastic issue, and not a bad jumping-on point if you still haven’t picked up the series.

Superboy is an interesting book. It has shown us that Gen 13 is still around, that Rose Wilson was never a pawn of her father, and that Superboy himself may or may not be a villain. But the most interesting reveal so far, is the knowledge that Rose, friend of ‘Red’, may just be a part of the 13. She’s got the designate number of 8, as well as a codename, Ravager. If Rose is in fact part of the 13, that’ll mean that she has no actual connection to Deathstroke, unless, of course, it was his DNA that she was built out of. And how freaking cool would that be?! Oh yeah, and something happened involving Superboy, too. Who cares. Rose!

Usually if I’m talking about Geoff Johns, I’m snide. Jeering. Constantly throwing out accusations that he’s got a Green Lantern sex toy shoved up his butt at all times. But you know what?
The current Green Lantern series, starring Sinestro, is the best one I’ve read in years. Because Sinestro isn’t looking for redemption, he’s just looking to do his old job again, as reluctant as he seems to be. The last couple of pages were my favorite, as they set up the next arc. Hal and Carol are giving it another go, and the Guardians are planning to police the entire universe, or possibly conquer it, with a ‘third army’. Personally? I’m shaking in my boots here. Because while the Manhunters and the Alpha Lanterns were freaky bananas as it was, what could this ‘third army’ possibly be made up of?

As of the end of the first arc I can now confidently say, Batwoman was worth the wait. The ghost woman, Maria, was in fact a ghost. Dead as disco. So how was she still on this plane? Well, that would have something to do with Medusa, an organization that seems to be the new Religion of Crime in Kate’s life. Like the Dark Faith, Medusa seem to have some ties to magic, as well as being a big-time criminal organization. Man, there are a lot of those roaming around freely in the DCnU. Oh, and by the way, the DEO didn’t waste any time going after Kate. But, instead of shutting her down, they offered her a job. And she took it. Actually, that’s over-simplifying things. If she didn’t take the job, her father would rot in prison for crimes against his country, namely, stealing the military tech that Kate used as Batwoman. So even though literally minutes prior she’d been cutting him out of a picture, symbolically cutting him out of her life, Kate still chose to help him. There’s hope for you yet, lady. As always, the art was amazing. Especially the opening and closing sequences, and when Kate threw off the influence of Maria, whoo. And while neither Bette nor Maggie had any real appearances in this issue, they still played their parts to make it work. Let’s hope the next arc is as good as the first, as well as all those who come after.

That was this week in comics! I hope to catch you all here next week. For now, however, I hear tell of fajitas in the kitchen, so I’m going to go make one. As always, I am Touch of Grey.

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Prepare to scream in frustration!

I’d like to state that even though Legion Lost, Batgirl, Deathstroke, and Star Trek/Legion are out today, I won’t be reviewing them. I won’t even be picking them up. I’ve officially cut them from my list in order to pursue better titles. That being said, we’ve got seven books on our plate today, best get along.

Green Lantern is a hilarious title this month. For one thing, it’s shippy as hell. It’s like someone went to Geoff Johns and said, “Uh, Geoff? We’re going to need you to tone down the homosexual undertones of Sinestro and Hal’s relationship, please. Dan is starting to get that tic in his eye again.” So Geoff thought about it for a while then said, “I know! I’ll add a previously unknown chick that Sinestro maybe used to bang back when he was a Green Lantern the first time, and revisit the utterly useless plot device that is the relationship between Hal and Carol! That should do it!” And that’s exactly what he did. We once again see that in Hal’s mind, Carol is is WUN TRU LUV 4EVA, and the last construct he wants to make before his ring runs out of juice. Meanwhile, Sinestro is tortured by his own people as they try to get the ring off, before they just toss him in the same power-draining cell that Hal was in…except his is full of people that are pissed at him. We learn that Arsona, the random chick from last issue, was an officer of the law on Korugar when Sinestro was a GL, and that she was one of the few people that believed in him way back when. After a (slashy) little pep talk from Hal, Sinestro manages to make a Lantern ring for every person in the cell and, would you look at that, they all turn on him. Good to see you thought that one through, Thaal. Will he survive until next month? Seeing as it’s Sinestro, probably.

I think it was this issue of Superboy that really drove home the fact that the character in this book is not Kon-El. I’ve been comparing reboot Superboy to a character in a webcomic called Artifice (NSFW occasionally, also gay in the most literal sense of the term, so warning) lately. Deacon and Superboy share the same distinct awareness that they aren’t human but whereas Deacon latched onto, and later fell in love with, a human, Superboy is still in the beginning stages of accepting humanity and its flaws. I actually like this book. For one thing, it has let me know that the Gen 13 kids are still around, and lemme just tell you how much I’m looking forward to a reboot Freefall. Superboy is not Kon-El. Not in any way. He may not even have the same genetic donors that Kon did. But with this issue, he’s slowly starting to try and shape himself into a hero, albeit one with a pretty twisted view on heroism, and it’s about time.

Just let me gush about how amazing The Shade is. This isn’t even going to be a proper review, this is just going to be me fangirl-squealing at you until you are forced to scroll down. James Robinson is a stickler for detail and proper research. He doesn’t just pull facts out of nowhere and put them to a page unless he’s absolutely sure that they’re correct. And by sending the Shade to Australia, well, that’s a whole new culture he has to play around with. The little facts that Shade lets us, the readers, in on as he travels are just amazing and…no, you go read this. Buy it. Rub it all over your body. Because this is what a quality comic looks like.

Can I please start off by saying that somewhere, someone is taking offense to the term ‘transhuman’? Because I feel it in my bones. For one thing, he’s not halfway to becoming anything. He’s just…a guy with robot parts. I’m not actually very into this issue, to tell the truth. Way too much fanservice, and not the good, fun, in-joke kind. Why is one of G-d’s higher angels in fishnets, thigh-high boots, and a miniskirt as her battle armor? And wow, I’ve never really encountered the Body Doubles before, except for in one issue of the Harley Quinn series, but…wow, these chicks give the word bimbo new meaning. I dunno. The concept works, an unkillable man who resurrects with new powers every time he dies, but the execution is really sort of awful.

I need to make a confession. I actually sort of enjoy Suicide Squad. No, hear me out! You know those people who watched The Hills, even though they were aware that it was a scripted reality show with no real plot? That’s what this book is to me. A guilty pleasure that I feel terrible for loving. And can you blame me? Harley is a bicycle with a terrible costume, and Digger is most likely dead now. Then again, Deadshot is as magnificent a bastard as ever, and King Shark is, at the very least, entertaining. Now this terrorist group, Basilisk. What’s wrong, afraid too many people would associate the snake-themed terrorist group you already have with the guys from GI Joe? Then again, they’re both named Kobra, so maybe. Ah well, surely this title can only improve. I mean, Harley seemed to show a shred of actual emotion when she heard that the Joker was dead, so that’s a start.

Batman and Robin pisses me off to no end. Maybe it’s because I’ve never liked Bruce Wayne. Maybe it’s because I have an extreme aversion to parenting through the ‘do what I say when I say it or’ method, especially when no actual consequence is set. That’s the thing about a kid like Damian. You can’t just expect him to ignore years and years of training. When Cass Cain came on the scene, she took what she knew and became Batgirl. When Damian Wayne came on the scene, it wasn’t until his father was no longer Batman that anyone bothered to think, well, I guess we should take this kid, who literally does not know any better, and teach him to be a considerate person. Really. Talia and Ra’s Al Ghul raised Damian to be the perfect weapon, but taught him to always think himself more important than others. Dick seemed to manage to drum into Damian that everyone is equal, and that no life is more important than another. And how’d he do that? By treating Damian like an equal and not talking down to him. Then Bruce comes along and fucks it all up. Way to go, Bruce.

Son of a bitch. Son of a bitch! Bette Kane, I could smack you. In her defense, that government woman is really the wrong party here. Damn DEO. Yeesh, no title makes me swear more than Batwoman. Visually, it’s still stunning. The overlay of Kate’s night with Maggie on top of Bette’s fight with the hook-guy as the opening sequence was inspired. Conceptually, also fantastic. The first villain of this series doesn’t have ties to the supernatural, she’s a ghost! And seeing how Kate herself is tied in with the Religion of Crime, it’s sort of fitting. But freaking Bette had to go and put on that costume again. I will admit that I found Kate talking down to her cousin, while the two are roughly the same age, as gross as I found the tempermental-at-best relationship between Damian and Bruce, but at least Bette was learning from Kate. Kate nixed Bette’s training out of fear of losing the only person she still considered family. A little cruel, but understandable. And what happened? Bette went out and got hurt. But the real travesty of this issue? It was only 20 pages long! Sorry, but I thought comics used to be a bit longer than that. Ugh, excuse me while I fume.

Well, that was this week in comics, everyone. Hope to see you back here next week! This is ToG signing off.

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The last two paragraphs of this entry are just a gigantic spoiler for the most recent issue of Superboy

Oh dear god, why me? I know I have the choice of not picking up some of these books, but I’m a masochist, sort of. Eleven books this week, and I’m really, really hoping that the good outweighs the bad.

Best pull the bandaid off as quickly as possible. Legion Lost, everybody. I don’t think I’ve stressed how much I don’t like this book. The art is half-assed, the characterization of all the Legionairres stuck in the past is shoddy, and oh my god, Fabian Nicieza, stop writing things. Okay? Killing off a character, just to have said character come back within the same arc is not good writing. I’m done with this.

I have to say, when it comes to blood and guts and gore, no title does it better than Deathstroke. I mean, that’s all the book is, really. Blood, guts, gore, and a little bit of a plot regarding someone out to kill Slade Wilson. For such a simple concept, it’s surprisingly enjoyable.

You know, I think I’ve discovered exactly what it is about Batgirl I don’t like. I don’t think, in this universe, Babs was ever Oracle. Even back when she was in the chair, people knew not to mess with her. Hell, there were entire issues of Birds of Prey dedicated to Oracle still being able to beat the crap out of people. Here she’s just…hesitant all the time. There’s none of that old feistyness that made Babs who she was. Yes, there’s snark, but every Batfamily member has that. And now, seeing the way she interacts with Dick, I’m sure of it. I’m not fond of this title. I don’t even like it. Sorry, Gail. Sorry, Babs. You’re not my cup of tea.

I find that by not reading the story and only looking at the beautiful art, Huntress is much more bearable. Marcus To is a wonder, and everything he draws is just fantastic. Paul Levitz puts me to sleep.

Batman, what are you doing? That’s the basic theme of Batman and Robin this month. First he buys a dog for a kid that prefers cats. Then he tells Damian that he can’t patrol with him. Then he makes terrible, terrible puns while fighting someone named Morgan. Okay. Yeah. Bruce, seriously. What the hell are you doing?

I don’t exactly advertise it, but I love Batman: The Brave and the Bold. It’s a fantastic show with a great cast of characters, and the comic, when I pick it up, is just as entertaining. I’m only going to say one thing about the all-Robin issue of B:TBatB, and that thing is, this is the single most quality comic to come out so far this month, and you should go buy it.

I’ve had people ask me why I like Batwoman so much, as a title. This isn’t just a little intro story, I’ve literally had people at my LCS ask me what I got out of Batwoman. It can’t be because it’s a title starring a woman, because I don’t like Batgirl or Catwoman, as books. It can’t be because of the creative team, because while I like Blackman, I will always prefer Rucka as a writer. So what is it? Why does this book have me singing its praises all the time?
Because. That’s my answer. Because.
The story is a continuation of another story that I personally loved. The main character is in turmoil because she believes that her father, someone she has looked up to and depended on for emotional support her entire life, has lied to her about the single most important event from her childhood. This isn’t just a book about Batwoman. It’s a book about Kate Kane, and Jake Kane, and Bette Kane, and Maggie Sawyer. It’s about intertwined destinies and new love and distrust and cynicism and death. Why do I buy this book every month, and talk it up every time I’m asked? Because it’s worth it.
This month’s issue was just…spectacular. The opening sequence, when La Llorona is drowning her in Gotham Harbor, the scenes with Bette and with Maggie…I can’t. I’m blown away. A special welcome back to Flamebird, by the way, whose costume just looks fantastic in this art style.

Ever read something that you hate to admit you love? That’d be Suicide Squad for me. I was never a huge fan of the original run (though I do love me some Amanda Waller), but it did have its moments. This new 52 run? I love it, except for those few moments I don’t. Not a fan of Waller’s new look, not a fan of Harley’s new look, nor the fact that she seems to have been thrown into the sexpot role her pal Ivy used to hold, but aside from that, I can dig it. I love Deadshot here. I love King Shark. And now, I love that Captain Boomerang is back in a starring role. I’m officially on board, Suicide Squad. You’ve converted me.

You know, I think I remember why I don’t like the Body Doubles now. They’re so ridiculously male gaze-y, I feel like they’re not even people. Just…cardboard stand-ups with healing powers and guns. Resurrection Man will be a lot better once they’re no longer the center villain.

Geoff Johns ships Sinestro/Hal, and nothing anyone says can make me think differently. I mean, my god. “No, you can’t go see the woman you have a confusing and overly complicated relationship with, you have to come with me, right now. To save a planet.” That being said, Sinestro laughing is probably the creepiest thing. Like a Parallax-possessed Barry Allen making out with an Ophidian-possessed Hector Hammond. It’s creepier than that. And his attitude directly afterward. “Okay, you hilarious ape-creature. Let’s go save a planet and destroy a Corps.” These two are ridiculous. It’s like, Johns has been waiting to write this particular fanfic for years, so now he’s throwing every single idea he’s ever had for them into a single issue. Sinestro is able to control Hal’s ring. They’re going to go off and save a planet together. Sinestro is jealous that Hal wants to go see Carol before he leaves. So much banter. Oh no, is that Sinestro’s ex or something?! (probably his sister, to play up the wacky misunderstanding aspect) And then Hal dies! Congratulations, Geoff. The ultimate Green Lantern fanfic has been published as a comic. You win.

OH MY GOD, RED IS CAITLIN FROM GEN 13.
I’m sorry for the spoilers, but holy shit. My mind is blown. The rest of this issue is toilet paper compared to that final page. Holy mother of god. I have no words right now. I literally cannot think of anything else to say about this issue.

That was this week in- holy fuck, seriously?! Caitlin is Red?! I can’t even. I really can’t. You guys don’t even know how much I loved the Wildstorm version of Gen 13, and now Caitlin is interacting with Superboy and Rose Wilson..? Oh my god. That was this week in comics. I’m going to go try and find coherent words.

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I’m not going to lie, I may have licked my copy of The Shade #1

Another round of second issues this week, as well as the first issue in a mini I’ve been looking forward to, The Shade. I have nothing else to add as an opening statement this week, so let’s just dive right in.

Okay, let me just be frank here: I’m not that into Babsgirl. Sorry, Gail. It’s just not a compelling story, the characters feel flat and we still haven’t discovered what this ‘miracle’ was that got Babs out of the chair. I’m relegating this book to read-only until further notice.

Nothing happened in Batman and Robin this month, and yet I’m still raging. Bruce Wayne is the stuffiest stuffed shirt on the face of the planet, with absolutely no sense of fatherly duty within him. As Alfred said, he considers himself to be more along the lines of Damian’s mechanic than his father. And it’s this arrogance that just makes me want to slap the shit out of him. He keeps questioning what would happen to Damian if he were to ever die. Um, he would partner up with Dick. Damian was able to curb his rage issues pretty well when he was the Robin to Dick’s Batman. You never saw him killing bats while Dick was in the Batsuit. Fuck you, Bruce Wayne, you thoughtless prick.

You know, I’ve read a lot of dreck in my time and…Suicide Squad isn’t part of it. I’m embarrassed to admit how much I actually enjoyed this book. It’s about a group of deplorable people who will do anything for immunity from the government, even kill their own, and it’s fantastic. Plus, this issue had zombies! Who doesn’t love zombies?

Speaking of dreck, Legion Lost is still fabulously terrible. Seriously, why is it that the worst writers possible are working on my favorite team? This entire book seems like it’s going to be like the first few seasons of Smallville, super-people chasing down infected super-people and fighting them. I didn’t like the concept then, I don’t like it now.

What the fuck was that?! This month’s issue of Deathstroke was just…explosions! A shit-ton of explosions! Kyle Higgins essentially wrote a twenty page Michael Bay film. Ugh. Nothing more to say.

You know what? I think it’s just canon that Bruce Wayne is a dick. Honestly, why the hell would he need to put the fear in Kate over her “sidekick” getting killed, then coming back as a supervillain?! Jason isn’t a villain anymore, Bruce. He’s a good, morally grey, hero. And you should either get off his ass or hunt him down and give him the hug he’s always wanted. But, bitching about Bruce aside, I loved this issue. Not as much as I loved the first (because of Bruce being a dick and Kate smearing her daddy issues all over Bette), but it was still great. Once again, Williams manages to seamlessly intertwine Kate’s personal and professional lives without anything looking fake. It’s a great second issue, and a great book altogether, so far.

I can’t be the only person reading the new Green Lantern issue and yelling “Just have sex already!” at it. I can’t be. This entire issue is just about how much control Sinestro has over Hal’s position as a Green Lantern. The theme of sadomasochism is so thick, Rihanna should be singing about it. Actually, no. Not sadomasochism. More like ownership. Thaal is like, “You are mine so long as you wear this ring, because I made it and I can shut it off at any time. Now get on your knees and suck.” It’s crazy, and it makes me wonder if Geoff Johns is working out some personal issues through this title. Last issue was all about Hal feeling worthless, and now he’s the plaything of Sinestro. Either way, at least now we know that one of DC’s shining stars is actually a huge shipper, so whatever.

Okay, how do women like Donna Troy and Linda Park get the big pointy shoe of DC, yet the Body Doubles are the main villain of the first arc of Resurrection Man? Can someone explain that to me? Man, and people threw a shit-fit over Kory. Everything these women do is completely unnatural, visually. Though I have to say, the pages without them in it are pretty nice. Fernando Dagnino draws a hell of an attractive, scruffy man.

I don’t know what it is about the new Superboy series, but I like it. For one thing, I really enjoy the interaction between Rose and Caitlin. They’re polar opposites when it comes to mindset, and they’re both going to play a large part in Superboy’s development. Caitlin actually reminds me quite a bit of Dr. Serling Roquette, from the old Superboy series. She has the kid’s best interests in mind, or so she claims. Rose was a bit difficult for me to like…until the fight scene. Good to see she hasn’t lost any of her usual badassery. Wow, for a review about Superboy, I sure haven’t mentioned him much. Truthfully, he’s not in the book that much. This issue is much more focused on the women in his life, in a good way. Though there was a moment when I was pretty much forced to grin, when Superboy explained how his TTK worked. Man, I hope that becomes a running gag again.

A little bit of history before I get to this last title. I got into comics in 1997, and by that time, James Robinson’s Starman had been running for about 3 years. Through word of mouth and borrowing various key issues from a fellow fan, I managed to piece together the basic plot of this series, and fell in love with it. In more recent times, I’ve started collecting the Omnibus editions. I also managed to find a copy of the first Shade mini-series. Needless to say, I’m a big James Robinson fan. That’s why Cry for Justice and the last arc of Justice League were so painful for me to read. He’s such a great writer and those stories just weren’t any good at all. Still, I have hope. The Shade was a classic Flash villain from Jay Garrick’s time who Mr. Robinson took and remodeled into an immortal with skewed morals. This version of the Shade has always been my personal favorite. Let’s see if he’s still got that charm.
He’s back!!!

Oh James, how could I have ever doubted you? This issue has everything that made me fall in love with Starman in the first place. Vibrant detailing, fanciful, wordy conversations, word squares out the wazoo. So much exposition, I could go mad with it, if I wasn’t already mad for it. And Hope! Mikaal! I could just puke with joy, but I won’t. No, I think I’ll just take this as a victory for team Robinson, and hope that the next eleven issues keep up the standard of quality.

I apologize for the lateness of this posting, but I must confess to being absolutely in love with the new show American Horror Story on FX. It’s a great watch, if you haven’t seen it.

Attention readers in the South Florida area! Broward County specifically. West Regional Library in Plantation is having its annual Manga-Comic Mini-Convention this Saturday, 1 pm to 5 pm, and yours truly has a table! Stop by, say hi, maybe even buy some of my wares.

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An overview of the 26 titles in the new 52 I’ve read: I promise it’s not as dull as the title would suggest.

I know, I’m a day late and a dollar short on this, but I had a lot going on over the weekend, so bear with me.

Tomorrow begins the second month of the DC reboot. Over the course of September, I personally read 26 of the 52 new titles and, for the most part, enjoyed them. The point of this particular post is to outline the books I liked and will be buying, the books I will continue to read to torture myself, and the books I will be avoiding. One, two, ready, go!

The Good: The books I will be buying, until quality ceases.

The Flash: I liked the first issue. I was so ready to hate it, too. It was a Barry book, Wally didn’t exist, Bart probably wasn’t going to be in it, and Iris wasn’t the main female. But you know what? It held its own. It’s a Barry book that we haven’t seen before; focusing more on his life as police scientist Barry Allen rather than his superpowered alter-ego, the Flash. The art didn’t hurt, either. If he’s able to pull this book off, Francis Manapul will officially be my favorite professional writer/artist, next to Ross Campbell.

Justice League International: This was another title I wasn’t expecting to like. I mean, my favorite character quit the team in the preview pages, not to mention that blatant dig at fans who had been bitching about the new 52 both online and at conventions. But…it has Guy and Ice being friendly again. Gavril is still ridiculously adorable. Also, August General in Iron. He’s there. DC remembers that he exists. This is basically one of those books I’m going to be getting for character interaction rather than content. Yes, the first arc is going to be about fighting giant monsters, but I’d rather just see Gavril and August General argue some more.

Green Lantern: It’s a Sinestro book, and Hal Jordan is miserable and living a terrible life without his ring. As vindictive as this sounds, this is everything I’ve ever wanted in a Green Lantern book. Oh, and the end of the first issue looks suspiciously like the beginning of a really hardcore slashfic. That’s enough of a reason to keep reading.

Green Lantern Corps: It’s a Guy and John book that isn’t set in the DCnU. That is reason enough for me to buy it.

Green Lantern: New Guardians: Pros: Multi-Lantern book. Written by Tony Bedard. Pretty, pretty art. Cons: Seems to be a ‘wonder of Kyle’ book. Might be set in the DCnU. I’m split on this book, but the first issue was more of a set up than anything. Once we get some plot going in issue 2, then I’ll make my decision.

Red Lanterns: Great writing, terrible art. Seriously, how do neither Ed Benes nor Rob Hunter know how to draw a cat? But moving away from the bad, I’ve always had a fondness for the Red Lantern Corps. I’m looking forward to getting to know the rest of the Corps members’ stories as time goes on.

Batwoman: This title could only improve if Greg Rucka was also working on it. Batwoman is amazing and beautiful and not set in the DCnU, plus Maggie Sawyer. I have no words to describe this book to you all other than a resounding yes.

Nightwing: I love Dick Grayson. I love time travel plots. Therefor, the first arc of the new Nightwing series appeals to me greatly, personally. Also is not apparently set in the DCnU, which is nice.

Animal Man: There is nothing about this book that I don’t love. The writing, the art, the twist ending of the first issue that sets up the rest of the arc. This is the surprise hit for me. Batwoman, I expected to like. Animal Man, I never expected to love.

Justice League Dark: Man, talk about an unexpected hit. I don’t really like magic books (Zatanna being an obvious exception), but this one spoke to me. Maybe it was because a character that had died in Flashpoint was once again alive and it gave me hope, maybe it was all the Vertigo characters showing up in one book had me convinced that the mysterious woman in red was actually an entity like the Endless, who knows. But I liked it, and I can’t wait to read more.

Resurrection Man: Unlike Animal Man, whom I’ve fairly familiar with, Resurrection Man is new for me. All I know about him is that he can’t die permanently, and every time he’s killed, he comes back to life with a new power. It’s a cool, slightly depressing concept, and I like it. Who knows, maybe the new series will make me want to seek out backissues of the old, to see how they differ.

Static Shock: No contest, this is hands-down my favorite ‘teen’ book in the new 52. I loved the Milestone series, and Rebirth of the Cool is never dusty on my shelf (when I’m not lending it out to people). Scott McDaniel nails Virgil’s personality head-on. And he really, really makes me want to know why the hell there are two Sharons.

Deathstroke: He is the badass’s badass, and I believe I am quoting an actual line from the first issue. I haven’t got all the issues of the first Deathstroke series anymore due to some crappy relationship managing skills (never let a guy claim your books, you will lose them and be sad), but I’m looking forward to seeing what the supporting cast in this series is going to be like. Seriously, that was pretty much my favorite part of his last series, so we need to get some badass women in this title stat.

Blue Beetle: No offense to Tony Bedard, but Jaime’s second series is nowhere near as good as his first, so far. So far. I have hope, however, that the ‘defective evil alien device’ angle he’s going for plays out well. That being said, the art is nice, and this book immediately gets merits for seemingly keeping 90% of the original cast. Now if only we could somehow work in the ‘yes, he is actually a legacy character’ angle somewhere…

Superboy: Put the tomatoes away. I like this book for a lot of the reasons I see people hating on it; no, the main character isn’t Kon-El or Conner Kent. His name is Superboy. He hasn’t got another name yet. He hasn’t really got any memories yet. Unlike Kon, who was cloned to believe he was Superman and Conner, who was cloned to replace Superman, Superboy doesn’t really have any connection to Big Blue yet, other than bearing his DNA. Like it or not, this is a brand new character with an old name. He has a lot to live up to, let’s see if he can manage. Just, give the poor kid a chance first.

Supergirl: I’m conflicted. From the way the series is described in interviews, I feel like I should hate it. But then I read the first issue and, Kara is just a scared teenager on a strange world, trying to figure out what’s going on. Maybe my feelings will change as the issues go on, but for right now, I like this book.

The Bad: The books I will be reading in-store and verbally ripping apart for your pleasure.

Birds of Prey: I want to know why the guy exploded, that’s all.

Red Hood and the Outlaws: I just want to see how bad this gets, honestly.

Batgirl: Babsgirl gets one more shot to not suck, then she’s gone.

Hawk and Dove: I’m in it for the hilariously bad art and cliched soap opera substory okay.

Batman and Robin: If Bruce doesn’t get his shit together, I will just drop this title and be done with it.

Legion of Superheroes: Paul Levitz is basically just continuing from where he left off, here. Okay, whatever. Wasn’t too fond of the Legion book pre-reboot, either, so, I can roll with it.

Teen Titans: I’m sort of obligated to keep reading this because it’s a Teen Titans book. Who knows, it could get better.

Suicide Squad: I promised a friend of mine that I would read the first arc for him. I am sincerely regretting that promise.

The Ugly: Fuck you, you can’t have my time or my money.

Catwoman: Bad writing, bad art. Off my pull list, you.

Legion Lost: This was dreck. I literally can’t even. Paul Levitz should not we writing both Legion titles.

Justice League: Pretty art, terrible, terrible writing. The worst intro to the new 52 possible.

And well, that’s about all I have to say about that. I didn’t pick up any of the more anticipated titles, like Action Comics, Superman, Detective Comics, Batman, any other title exclusively starring Bruce Wayne, Batwing, Mister Terrific, or Firestorm. I’m not all that fond of the characters and, despite Firestorm being written by Gail Simone, I refuse to throw money at series’ starring characters I never really liked all that much. Or, as was the case with Batwing, I couldn’t get into the art. Despite what I may lead you to believe, I’m actually very visually distracted by art I don’t like. It’s the main reason I’ve never read Justice or, well, anything else drawn by Alex Ross.

Anyway, these are my opinions on things. Feel free to ignore the ones that you don’t agree with, or leave a comment about how I should so give Catwoman a second chance. Or, hey, recommend a book I didn’t look at! Let’s get some interaction going, ladies and gents. I’m Touch of Grey, and according to my Tumblr feed, I have fifteen new messages. Later days.

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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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