By Hunter Camp
Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 at 11:53 pm
As most of you may know by now, DC Comics is relaunching their entire line of comics this Fall alongside a day and date digital comics initiative. What you might not know, however, is that it all started three weeks ago with the releases of the last issue of DC’s summer event Flashpoint, and the beginning of the new universe with Justice League #1. This Wednesday is the last big week of releases and I’m picking up a lot of these book, and there are still a lot of books to look forward to in these upcoming weeks, as well as plenty that you and I will probably want to stay away from for varying reasons. So, in the order of kindness and assignments from my editor, I will be breaking down each title with their creators, what they’re about, and what you can expect from each of the new books. And, guess what? I’m not in love with a lot of the decisions that they’ve made! So, this should be fun…
This is the final Tuesday in September, which means that I will not be back next week to guide you through the new #1s, because they’re all here! Sure, there will be a few new books here and there, but nothing as big as the month of September. This week has some of my most anticipated titles like All-Star Western, Justice League Dark, and I, Vampire, but you’ll see that all listed below. All of the comics will be going into second or third or fourth printings, so for this week’s books, or ones that may have missed, head on down to you local comic book shop or to your mobile app, and purchase your new #1s from DC Comics!
Also, it’s worth noting, dear reader, that since you’re coming to the game a little late, you can’t be guaranteed an issue at the comic book store, so call ahead to see if they have it. Or if you go the store and they don’t have any copies left of these DC books, you could always buy an indie comic like Abe Sapien, Elephantmen, Hack/Slash, and The Sixth Gun, which all come out this week, coincidentally. There’s more to comics than just superheroes from DC and Marvel, you know?
But that’s probably why you’re here, and now that I’ve gotten the indie comics alternative plug out of the way, let’s talk about the universe that I’d rather live in, the DC Universe! As I said, this is the last week, but did DC Comics save the best for last?
All-Star Western #1 (Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti/Moritat – $3.99): This is one of the few books I’ve been looking forward to since all of the comics were initially announced. Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray are arguably the best writing team working in comics with several credits of critically acclaimed comics to their names. One of which was Jonah Hex, a victim of the DC Relaunch, and was just as good as anything they’ve put out. Take that notion of the awful movie you’ve got stuck in your head and throw it out the window, because Jonah Hex was consistently one of the best comics each month. And it just so happens that All-Star Western will feature the resurrection of the character within the limits of Gotham City. Old west Gotham with Jonah Hex written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray? I’d pay ten dollars for 20 pages for that, but fortunately I don’t have to. And what’s more is that this comic will not only have the sure-to-be-awesome Jonah Hex story, it will also have a revolving back up story that showcases several of the other western themed DC characters. I can honestly say that I would have never thought I’d be genuinely excited about a western comic until I read one by Gray and Palmiotti. You cannot miss this.
Aquaman #1 (Geoff Johns/Ivan Reis, Joe Prado – $2.99): Geoff Johns tweeted that “Aquaman is awesome. Deal with it.” And I jokingly responded with “I’ll deal with it by saving my three dollars.” And, honestly, I probably will in future months, but I can’t say that I’m not intrigued. Whenever Johns gets really into a character, like Flash or Green Lantern, he tends to give it his all. He seems to have something specific in mind, and when he hasn’t been writing that character, he tends to tell a pretty great story. As much as I’m one of the few out there that don’t blindly enjoy Johns’ work, I’ll give him credit for starting an interesting story and telling it with excitement, and usually that’s something I want to read. Unfortunately, I really don’t care about Aquaman at all, I’ve been much less than impressed from Johns, and I don’t really enjoy Ivan Reis’ art that much. Aquaman #1 is simply a matter of me paying money for something that I just don’t want to read. To put it simply, I’m on the fence about this comic, and I won’t know if I want to buy it until I’m in the store holding a copy. If I don’t buy it, and it’s groundbreaking, I’ll just wait a month and get it for cheaper on the DC Comics app. Options, people! It’s all about options!
Batman: The Dark Knight #1 (David Finch, Paul Jenkins/David Finch, Richard Friend – $2.99): Of all the comics within the “New 52″ this comic made the least sense to me. Of course, I’m certain that this book only exists because this was part of exclusive contract that David Finch signed. That can be the only reason why this book survived the relaunch. Because, let me tell you, this book was horrible. In the pages of this book, Batman was barreling through the streets of Gotham with his fists to punch, choke, and break the bones of every thug and criminal in his sight to save some girl that we’ve never heard of, but who was apparently Bruce Wayne’s best and only childhood friend. The narrative made no sense and seemed like just a way to get as many villains and out of control violence into as few issues as possible, and it was twenty pages. It was twenty pages, written and drawn by David Finch, and they wanted $4 for it until DC “drew the line at $2.99.” Not only was it sort of Hush 2 written in the tone of Frank Miller, it also suffered an insane amount of delays. The book started in either November or December (I’m pretty sure it was November), and by August it had finally reached its fifth issue, which was the last before the relaunch. This book is not working with a good record, here. Finch has done a few interviews about why there were delays to which he replied that he simply didn’t know what he was getting himself into by signing on as writer/artist. I sincerely respect his love for Batman and desire to tell a great, supernaturally influenced story, and hopefully with the addition of Paul Jenkins, he’ll be able to do that, but I truthfully don’t expect much, and you shouldn’t, either.
Blackhawks #1 (Mike Costa/Ken Lashley – $2.99): I have very limited knowledge of this book. In fact, the only time I’ve really heard anybody talk about it was on a DC panel for The New 52 from San Diego Comic-Con. That said, the information given at SDCC was actually pretty cool. The Blackhawks in the new DC Universe are an elite high-tech team of military special operatives. It’s hard to explain because it’s a little confusing, but I can try. This team deals with all kinds of global threats and super villains, but more than that, they go up against the arms dealers for super villains. Wanna who would be crazy enough to supply The Joker with a rocket full of Joker Toxin that gets shot to the moon and explodes so that it infects the entire world? Read Blackhawks because that’s who they’ll be going after. Pretty cool, huh? I think so. Unfortunately, the idea alone is not going to sell me on the entire series, and I’ve barely read anything from Mike Costa or Ken Lashley, so I don’t really know what to expect, but if the writing and art are anywhere near as cool as the idea for the series, I’m sure that this will be one of my top books next month.
The Flash #1 (Francis Manapul, Brian Buccellato/Francis Manapul – $2.99): Francis Manapul is one of my favorite artists working today, and I’m very excited that he is reprising his role as artist on the new Flash series. What I’m not excited about is the fact that he’s writing it. That’s not intended to say that he’s a bad writer at all, and he’s got a co-writer that should be able to help move along the series, it’s just that I’ve never read anything that he’s written other than when I’m reading his Twitter feed, which is honestly pretty good. Just because I’m not excited about his writing, it doesn’t mean that I think he’s not going to do a good job. I hope he does, because I want to like what I read, y’know? Why would I want to hate something that I used my money to buy? Doesn’t make sense. So, hopefully the writing is good, if not, at least the art will be something I love looking at.
The Fury of Firestorm #1 (Ethan Van Sciver, Gail Simone/Yildiray Cinar – $2.99): I desperately want to care about this, I do. But I just absolutely don’t care about reading an ongoing Firestorm series written or drawn by anyone. In an event or mini-series, sure. I’m good with that, but an ongoing? I can’t see myself staying interested. However, Gail Simone, regardless of my disdain for Batgirl #1, is still one of my favorite writers, so I’m definitely going to give this book an open-minded chance. I do like the characters within the book in those smaller doses that I mentioned before, so maybe I’ll just end up seeing why this book needs to exist. And from what I’ve seen of Yildiray Cinar, I’m going to love the art. So, this book is all about the creators, to me. And if you’re not a fan of anyone involved in the making of this book, I would totally understand your passing on it.
Green Lantern: New Guardians #1 (Tony Bedard/Tyler Kirkham, Batt): It’s pretty difficult to come up with reasons why or why not to read this book. Simply put, it’s another one of the Lantern books that are floating around in the storm of The New 52. I like Tony Bedard, or I should say, I’ve grown to like Tony Bedard more and more over the years, so that’s one of the reasons why I’m picking this up. He’s a talented writer, so I’m interested to see what he’s got up his writing sleeve. I’m also a fan of Kyle Rayner. He and John Stewart are my favorites, so giving Kyle a role to lead a group of various Lanterns from the emotional spectrum is pretty interesting to me. Will I end up really liking this book? Probably not, because it will probably cross over with all the Lantern books that I’m not reading and this book will probably hit the growing list of books that I’m going to drop, but we’ll see. Hopefully I love this book enough to keep going, but I probably won’t.
I, Vampire #1 (Joshua Hale Fialkov/Andrea Sorrentino – $2.99): I have been dying to get my hands on this book, and the reason is the writer. I’ve sung Fialkov’s praises on this site and elsewhere since I read Tumor, and I’ve continued to do so with every book of his that I read. Fialkov is one of the best upcoming writers and his work should not be ignored. He crafts stories that are dark, twisted, beautiful, clever, and often times darkly humorous. And I, Vampire promises to fit that mold perfectly. The story itself sounds like a vampire story that promises to be violent, emotional, and most importantly fun. I cannot wait to read this, and I’m positive that I’ll love it. As is the case with all Fialkov books, you should buy this book, I promise you that you won’t regret it. Also, Andrea Sorrentino’s art is going to blow you away. This is not a book to pass on.
Justice League Dark #1 (Peter Milligan, Mikel Janin – $2.99): Another book that I’m dying to read. Peter Milligan was one of the premiere Vertigo writers back in the day (and one of my favorites), so having him writing a team up of some of the magical and dark characters in DC’s super hero line of characters is nothing short of brilliant. John Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman, Madame Xanadu, and Shade the Changing Man will be the leads in this version of the Justice League, and the fan of horror and gothic content part of me gets really excited to see this. Also, Mikel Janin is going to be an all star artist in a very short time. He did one issue of the recent J.T. Krul scripted Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons, and he freaking blew me away. He’s a bit of a young Frazer Irving without the haunting coloring effects. If you like a lot of Vertigo books, and you like your heroes a little on the darker side like me, you’re going to love this, I’m sure of it.
The Savage Hawkman #1 (Tony S. Daniel/Philip Tan – $2.99): I would not call myself a fan of Tony Daniel’s writing. But after Detective Comics #1, I can’t say that I hate him, either. He has vastly improved since he wrote Battle For The Cowl and the subsequent Daniel-scripted Batman issues. And I know it’s not a popular statement, but I was impressed by his work in Detective. So, this book has promise. I’m not saying it’s going to be good, and I’m not going to say that everyone or anyone is going to love it, but it has promise. And I’m a huge fan of Philip Tan’s work, so that is a reason for me to want to read this, as well. The thing about this book is that it’s going to be a sleeper. You’ve got a young writer and a young artist that are both improving their craft, so if there’s a book to watch for growth and creativity, The Savage Hawkman will be that book. I’m definitely interested.
Teen Titans #1 (Scott Lobdell/Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund – $2.99): Scott Lobdell wrote Red Hood and The Outlaws #1 which was an incredibly terrible comic book. That comic was my test for Scott Lobdell’s level of creativity. Obviously, he failed that test. So, every bit of potential that I saw in the new Teen Titans comic has absolutely left the building. Unless, of course, you love women with zero personality that are portrayed as nothing more than objects of sexual desire, or if you like guys that sit around without shirts, talk about mackin’ on chicks and drinkin’ brewskis while they wear trucker hats. That’s what I honestly feel is Scott Lobdell’s view of women and men. Unfortunately for me, that’s not how I see people. So, I now know better than to read one of his books. But if that’s totally okay with you as a reader, go for it. Check this book out, and I hope you love it. And although, I obviously do not enjoy Lobdell’s work, I do like Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund as an art team. They are talented, and maybe that can outshine any problems that I now have with Lobdell. I doubt it, though. Ever since this book was announced it’s looked more and more ridiculous, but we’ll see.
Voodoo #1 (Ron Marz/Sami Basri – $2.99): I want this to be great. I want this to not be what it looks like, because what it looks like is a book made just to play to the lowest common denominator and appeal solely to the sexual interests of 13 year olds, considering DC’s recent portrayals of women, and the way this book has been marketed. However, Ron Marz is an extremely gifted writer whose apparent goals in writing are story first, character’s second, which is fine by me. To him, the story is what counts in a comic book, and I tend to agree with him. So, hopefully this book is great. Sami Basri leans a little to the cheesecake art style, but that is typically applied to both genders, so the blank color palette and posed characters are not just there to turn people on. It’s an art style and Basri does it well, which is different from others who practice that style. Cheesecake can be bad, but it doesn’t have to be. Sex in comics doesn’t have to be bad and offensive, and while I expect this book to have a good deal of sex in it, the title character is an exotic dance after all, but hopefully it will be handled with care and ultimately tell a good story. I want this to be good, so I hope I’m not disappointed.
That’s it! That is the last installment of DC’s New 52! I will not be back next week for more, but it will be interesting to see, considering that all of these books were sellouts, how many will still be on top with their second issues. I’m certain that we will be talking about those details in the week’s to come. Also, check out the rest of the site for more info on new comics all the time, so you can go to your local comic book shop and pick up what interests you!
But if you don’t know where your closest comic book store, and you don’t have a convenient way to read digital comics, then make sure to find your local comic shop from the Comic Shop Locator!