Sunday, 16 October 2011

More new DC 52's - Hex, Vampires, Detective Comics and the coolest Aquaman ever.

    I Vampire:
Vampires have been secretly living among the DC heroes, or strictly speaking secretly been dead among the DC heroes. Now their leader Mary (not the most charismatic name I know) has decided to declare war on the human race, and claim the world she sees as rightful theirs. In her way is Andrew (another charismatic name) a 400 year vampire who believes its better to live in the shadows and is also the sire and former lover of Mary.
The book has a Vertigo feel to it and if it wasn’t for the 52 logo you wouldn’t have known it was part of the new 52, the art work is simply stunning and the colouring match the mood of the story perfectly. I picked this up because I love vampire story’s apart from the Twilight, Vampire diary types, I like my vampires to have a bit of bite if you pardon the pun, I am more of a 40 days of night person. What I find intriguing is that these vampires seem to be educated but still have a dark edge to them, I’m looking forward to see what direction this book takes as I think the inclusion of superheroes may dilute the horror element in it, we shall see.

All Star Western:
Jonah Hex rolls into Gotham looking to bring in the Gotham Butcher, and its not the type of butcher you get you meat from at the week-end. Now its good to see that the Gotham of old has similarities and ties to the modern Gotham, as we see when Hex finds himself down a back street and he is confronted with a similar style of villain that populate today’s Gotham back streets. Only this time instead of a Batman or Robin confronting them, they are introduced to two of Hex's friends (pistols) and he shoots them down. Hex is reluctantly aligned with a local profiler Doctor Amadeus Arkham as he begins hunting down the killer in his own uncompromising way, which includes a bar fight and getting information from a local tavern girl (I was been kind to her there). I will not spoil any of the revels in this first issue but it becomes personal for Hex, as personal as it can get for a heartless bounty hunter, and I for one cannot wait for issue 2. This is Hex written at his best, which is no surprise as there is no one better at writing Hex than Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray. The artwork by Maritat and colour by Gabriel Bautista fits the story perfectly, and despite the book having the new 52 logo on it for me it is a continuation of the brilliant run that went before it.

Aquaman: If anyone had told me that an Aquaman book could be cool, I would have dismissed them out of hand as hopeful dreamers. This book changes all of that Geoff Johns has crafted an Aquaman for a new age, during Blackest Night and Brightest Day Aquaman had been pushed back into the forefront of the comic readers eyes. However he shared top billing with other heroes of the DC Universe in both books, and I for one doubted that he could carry his own book, I was wrong as Johns has taken him to a whole new level. Right from the beginning we are left in no doubt on the power he has; as he flips an armoured truck speeding to wards him then takes a bullet to the head that leaves a slight cut above his eye. There are in jokes like the police not been too happy about having help from Aquaman as it makes them look bad, or the man in the restaurant who asks ''what’s it like to be nobody’s favourite super hero'' things that play off thoughts comic fans have had for years.
You are cleverly given pieces of Aquamans s early life back story, so anyone new has some of the information needed to understand his motivations and sense of responsibility. I was also glad to see Mera’s inclusions as she was another character who came into their own during Blackest Night and Brightest Day, finally the underwater creatures at the start and end of the book looked creepy enough to keep anyone out of the water.
This is one of the new books that I thought I would enjoy, but wasn’t expecting to be bowled over by it in the way I was.
A brilliant start, and any easy choice to continue buying this book.

Detective Comics: The Batman is on the trail of the Joker who is on a killing spree, this Joker is as dark as an interpretation of him as I have seen in a long time, and the story is all the better for it. In this first book alone he hacks a kidnapper to death, even though he says he is the Jokers biggest fan, god knows what he would do to anyone who didn’t like him. A SWAT team is blown to bits and if it wasn’t for Batman a train full of passengers’ would have all been gassed, all in a days work for a maniac in Gotham. The fight between the Joker and Batman is a real slugfest, this Joker fights back and he don't fight fair.

The police don't seem too friendly towards Batman either as they take shots at him as they enter the Jokers lair, they then try to shoot him down with an helicopter gunship just for good measure. The story moves at a terrific pace and the end scene in Arkham is truly chilling and leaves you wondering what the hell is going on, which is a good thing from the writers point of view and keeps people coming back for more.
I am a Batman junkie and would buy Batman books no matter what, fortunately this is a fantastic book and hopefully will get more people to buy the Batman books.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent reviews. I enjoyed the first I ... Vampire but loved the looks of the original versions of Andrew and Mary, they were so baroque. The colouring of the narrative boxes was rather daft, making it tough to see who was 'speaking'.

    The colouring of ASW was also a bit problematic for me, far too monochrome at times. I suppose they were going for a sepia feel. Mind, this did allow for some Heimat moments.