Thursday, 6 October 2011

My thoughts on the new 52 books that I have read so far:

Action Comics: Shout it from the roof tops but Grant Morrison has made Superman interesting, by setting the story in his formative years we have a Superman or Superyouth running around in a pair of jeans with a S logo t-shirt and a red cape.
Now my immediate thoughts were this is how I must have looked when I was a child running round the back streets of our home town, although I wasn’t as bulked up didn’t have a Superman t-shirt and my cape was my mothers best tea towel, but it brought back memories. Taking my reminiscing aside this book was interesting because this Superman is venerable, he can be hurt plus he doesn’t seem to have the same moral compass he has in his later years. The Superman of the old DCU would never have dangled anyone off a roof top to get a confession, which was more Batman style than the big blue’s. Throw in that the police, army and an ambitious Lex Luther trying to bring him down then you have one hell of a good book.

Catwoman: Now there have been a lot of things said about this book since it came out some good some not so good, I enjoyed the story and thought the way Catwoman was written was as true to the character as you could get. The only slight issue I had was with the final page while Selina’s characterisation was spot on, I felt the Batman one wasn’t but then again it maybe for this new Batman. I am willing to give this book a few more issues yet to see how it goes, a solid but not fantastic start.

Legion: Never read Legion so I didn’t know who most of the characters were or what there powers were, however this did not stop my enjoyment of the book. I am definitely looking forward to see where this book is going, and plan to continue buying the book.

Legion Lost: Never read Legion so I didn’t know who most of the characters were or what there powers were, and for some reason this did stop my enjoyment of the book.
I found it hard to figure what was going on and why it was happening, the reference to the Flashpoint Breakwall also had me confused (not always the hardest thing to do)
I will give this book at least on more issue but it didn’t grab me from the get go, which is a disappointment as I was looking forward to the Legion books.

Frankenstein Agent of Shade: This is the one book that had me hooked after listening to the podcasts from C2E2 and it did not disappoint, Frankenstein is a member of SHADE a type of X-files government funded organisation. After a village is decimated by creatures unknown Franki is sent in to investigate what is going on and to also find his four armed missing wife who went to investigate before him. There he is joined by a Wolf Man, Mummy, the Creature from the Black lagoon hybrid and a vampire crossbreed. I know this sound completely bonkers but trust me it works and if you haven’t picked this up please do so. The artwork reminded me of early Sandman type artwork which is not everyone’s cup of tea, fortunately for me it is to my tastes and I am loving it immensely.

Blue Beetle: I first read Blue Beetle when he appeared in JLI Generation Lost, and enjoyed the character that much I bought his past issues to read up on him. So when it was announced he would get his own book, my interest was peaked, as I thought he was OK as a team player but not sure if he could hold his own book. Well this first book goes a long way to prove me wrong, and what's really good about this first book is we get an introduction into the history of the scarab that creates Blue Beetle and how Jamie Reyes comes into contact with it thus creating the Blue Beetle.
The book its self is excellent in both the pacing of the story and crisp clear artwork, that suit this book perfectly, the villains are creepy enough to make you think I wouldn't want to take them on.
Now I have read some complaints on the Internet about the absence of Ted Kord who people see as the original Blue Beetle but as I never read a great deal of story's featuring Ted's Kord it doesn’t bother me too much, however if you look at your Blue Beetle history Dan Garret was the original and first appeared way back in the 1930's, and I don't hear no one crying for him to come back. Forget what went before this is a good read, I for one am in for the long haul on this on.

Swamp Thing: After the poor search for Swamp Thing mini series I had big concerns about this book but I needn’t have worried, this book is written by Scott Snyder a man who can do no wrong at the moment, check his American Vampire book out to see what I mean. This is a good solid start with the horror aspects of the story pitched just right, plus if you are unsure who the main characters are or their back story’s you are quickly brought up to speed without it affecting the main plot line. The fact that Swamp Thing’s appearance in the book, is not until the last panel didn’t effect my enjoyment of the story at all. If I do have one gripe its that the drawing of Superman (he makes a cameo appearance) is very poor, he looks unlike any Superman I have ever seen even in the new DCU, but it didn’t spoil the story significantly for me so its only a small niggle.

Green Arrow: A younger Green Arrow is in Paris to catch the bad guys with the help of an Oracle type assistant who feeds him information via an earpiece, I would love to know what network he is on as on our resent trip to the USA I couldn’t get a signal but I digress. The story is good with a ending that made me want to see more which is always a plus, So I have high hopes for book two and beyond.
If you like your Green Arrow young and without the beard, ala Smallville style then this is the book for you.

Batgirl: I wasn’t going to get this book as I have never had a desire to read any of the Batgirl book, but as I was a fan of Gail Simone I thought I would give this one a try, and I must say I wasn’t disappointed. For those of you not in the know Batgirl is once again Barbara Gordon the daughter of Commissioner Gordon, back in the old DCU Barbara the then Batgirl was shot by the Joker and lost the use of her legs. She reinvented herself as the cyber hero Oracle, and eventually headed a team of heroes in the book Birds of Prey (Gail Simone writer) that’s the abridged versions. In this new DCU she was also shot by the joker and wheel chair bound, something we find out through flashbacks with the first issue. However, something has happened and she is now cured, what has happened we don’t know yet but I look forward to finding out as there are always cheques and balances to pay in the DCU.
The new villain introduced in this first issue is called The Mirror and seems set on killing people who he/she believes cheated death, a bit of Final Destination plot here I think. The drowning of one man who was the only survivor of a ship disaster could have come straight out of the Final Destination films, and I may never water our garden without a shiver going down my spine again. Personally I can forgive any general similarities to the Final destination films as the book is top draw in both story and art work, this is a good first book and gets you hooked from the start it is a good addition to the overcrowded Batman family of books.

Justice League: The first story arc of this book takes place around 5 years before the present DCU story lines, and is the story on how the Justice League was formed.
In reality this first book is all about the first meeting of Batman & Green Lantern, now as these are two of my favourite characters I am not complaining. Batman is his usual confidant self who would prefer to work alone; Hal is a slightly inexperienced Lantern who is out to prove to Batman and the world he can contain any situation. The thing I enjoyed with this book is when they meet you don’t get the usual slug fest, then the decision to work together for the common good. We do get the distrust that Superheroes meeting for the first time would have of each other, and the scene where Batman takes Hal's ring off just to point out he’s not concentrating is a joy.
All in all it’s a good first issue and the appearance of a angry Superman in the last panel indicates things are going to start moving along, Jeff Johns as crafted a solid start and Jim Lee’s art work is well its Jim Lee’s artwork, for me its OK but not over exciting.
A book to keep your eye on I think.

So that’s all the new 52 books I have read so far, I have my Batman & Green Lantern books to read this week-end so I will report back my thoughts on those when I’ve read them.


  1. I greatly appreciate your comments on Blue Beetle. Because of things like Ted Kord and seeing little of him in the armor people said it was bad when it is excellent! Jaime is my favorite and I want this book to go on so I can see more of his adventures.

  2. I believe that the character of Blue Beetle is interesting enough to carry his own book but a lot will depend on the story's that are told, I still would like to see him in the JLI book as well as his own book. He works well within a team dynamic and would be a good addition to that book, I'm with you on that I want this book to continue and I encourage people to buy it to make sure it does.