Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Fives: A look at my DCnU reading.

I decided to take a look at the DCnU titles that I am reading in a bulk commenting fashion.  So what follows is my take on the books up to the 5th issue of the series.  Some of these will not be around much longer as the cuts have already come and a "Second Wave" announced.  Strap in and read my take on where my reads are right now.

Aquaman -  I absolutely LOVE what Geoff Johns is doing with the Character of Aquaman.  He has a tongue and cheek approach to all the jokes about the man and still has made him cool.  The thing is that he has kept his solo book free of anything that would be non-water based.  The first story arc dealt with a group of unknown biological creatures that came from a deep ocean trench in search of food.  It really was creepy and action oriented.

Mera has been really neat.  I am looking forward to issue #6 as it will be about Mera basically shopping for dog food.  Her innocent mindset and warrior attitude should make for a fun read.  That is what is great about the character.  She is so naive about the world above the water and it comes across as sweet.  That ends when carnivorous creatures are eating innocent people.  She is one serious kick-butt heroine.  The way she is portrayed is really a good counter to Aquaman.

This has been one of the better books.  I have read people slamming it and it makes me wonder what book they read.  I think Johns is rebuilding Aquaman to stand tall with the rest of the JLA.

Batwoman -  One of the most beautifully render books of the DCnU.  J. H. Williams III has made the different look of the art into a signature for Batwoman that will be hard to duplicate in the years to come for those artist that might fill-in or follow.  The direction that they have taken is interesting.  She is tied to Batman, but they are moving her into the more connected story that appears to be in the background of the DCnU.  The DEO strand of her story will be cool to see develop.  

This has been achieved while still carrying on a creepy kidnapping mystery.  It is not easy to meld the large picture story of a comic universe with your cool horror based urban fantasy story.  In Batwoman it is accomplished.  This is one to read. 

 Birds of Prey -  I am sad now when I read BoP.  I love the character of Black Canary.  I loved the old incarnation of the BoP.  The new group was a neat collection and really like the fact that Ivy was on the team.  The thing is that this story is a confusing mess.

I have read it a few times and my head hurts after I finish each time.  It just has meandered and the entire mind control and messing with the readers perceptions to a point that it is like a headache you cannot shake.  I wish that the writer of Stephanie Brown as Batgirl would take over this title.

From Blackhawks #5
Blackhawks -  This book has not been on my pull list, but I have bought it off shelf every month.  Something about it has grown on me.  That is sad as I heard it was one of the cancelled books.  I might read on until the end now.  This is a book that would be good in Trade form.  It is not for all readers, but those that like tech heavy covert ops teams should check it out.

Blue Beetle -  The good thing is that Jamie Reyes was given a title back as part of the DCnU.  Many might question why the need for a new origin, especially since it is so close to the excellent run that came before.  Truth to tell, this is one of the better reads of the DCnU.  It is like watching a darker version of the original series.  Most of the characters are there and in a form that is recognizable.

The original was filled with a since of fun, even when things got serious.  It was a book that focused on the strength of family as much as it did on big cosmic explosions.  Here we get a slower more drawn out character development that is close to the TV Show Smallville Blue Beetle.  I put the shocking opening to issue #5 as an image for this post to show just how dark this book is compared to the original.  Jamie having impaled his best pal Paco will have dire consequences for this book.  It is a must read.

Catwoman -  Judd Winick you have finally done it!  You have gotten me to fully like a series written by you.  I have always said that I have no problem with Winnick or his writing.  I never thought he was a bad writer.  He just never hooked me as a reader.  Until now.

There is a shock a moment in the book, but they carry the story.  That is important to me.  I like seeing Catwoman figuring out how to save herself when falling from about a thousand miles above Gotham City.  She is what I want her to be, a flawed character with a heart of Gold.  She will help those that she has compassion for in her own twisted ways.  Winnick has made a balanced book that I really enjoy.

Demon Knights -  This is the oddity of the entire line.  It has a mixture of characters that are from DCU's fringes.  It has some connection to the events of the present day DCnU.  It is a fantasy world that is strange and familiar, yet somehow off a bit.  It has what is needed of a book of its ilk, mystery.  Keep us asking questions, answer a few and have us ask new ones, and you have a reader that will stay with the book.  It is a job well done by the creative team.

Green Lantern Corps -  It has been drawn out a bit, but the story is very interesting.  Over the past few years we have really learned the ins and outs of how the Green Lantern Corps works.  This idea of a planet that the Lanterns went when stored was great.  Now that planet is the threat.  The Corps faces a threat that is equal to the power of the rings.  There has been a great use of various Corpsmen and Corpswomen.

Green Lantern -  The return of Sinestro as a Green Lantern has been one excellent story plot.  It has kept some mystery while showing us that the rings have changed since Mogo died.  Hal Jordan dealing with not being a Green Lantern is a great sub-plot.  It has just been a solid stead read.

Green Lantern New Guardians -  Glomous is the best sidekick Kyle Rayner has ever had.  Love seeing a different Fatality as the Star Sapphire of the group.  This collection of the various Lanterns is cool and very creative.  There is a bunch of crazy stuff here and it fits Tony Bedard's style well.  He is building to something.  This is the long form type of story telling.  I am loving this and look forward to seeing just what all the different mysteries are about.  I also like seeing Sayd again and really want to see her save Ganthet.

Hawk & Dove -  I have liked it, but it lacks a sense of importance. I heard that this one is going away.  What I guess is telling is that I really will not miss it.  

Justice League Dark -  The other book not on my pull list.  I have ending my purchases I think as of issue #5.  I like Zatanna and I loved Enchantress in Shadowpact so I was wanting to see what this book was about.  It ending up being a drawn out book that at the end did not really bring a group together.  It was exciting, but it was also confusing at times.  All said, it still is an interesting idea.

O.M.A.C -  One of the fun reads and it is going away.  It has been a tribute to the Kirby era of comics.  I am and will enjoy to title to the end.

Red Lanterns -  You have to have read the Green Lantern stuff about the Red Lanterns to really understand what they are about.  A casual reader will not understand.  There is a disconnect to the shape of what this title is about.  Casual readers will be lost.

Resurrection Man -  It was good that issue #5 gave us some back story.  Otherwise this would have been a great bit of action, but we would start not caring as readers.  It feels like this book is going somewhere big.  Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are great storytellers and this book is build steam every month.

Voodoo -  Sometimes when a change in writing happens you notice it.  Sometimes the change is so seamless you never notice.  The latter is what happened in the pages of Voodoo.  I never realized that Ron Marz had left.  Josh Williamson did a great job taking the start and carrying it forward.  I am enjoying this book.  I like the misfit alien realizes they are on the wrong side of the fight stories.  I think we are seeing that Priscilla is finding she is not the double agent she thought she was.  The last reveal of issue #5 keeps this title interesting.

Wonder Woman -  Hearing that Brian Azzarello was going to make this a horror title made me cringe a bit.  I have lived through so many attempts to see a "new" creative direction on Wonder Woman I was no instilled with hope.  Maybe Azzarello has a Blue Ring, because now I feel like "all will be well."  It works really good as a horror book.  The mythological aspects of Wonder Woman are being used in an excellent fashion.  The turning of Wonder Woman's mother into a statue and all the Amazons into snakes by a pissed off Hera was creepy and an emotional punch in the gut.  You should be reading this book.

Huntress -  It would be unfair to leave this mini series out.  It has two more issues, so it is not part of the Fives.  This has been a great Huntress story that shows she is usable as an international figure.

Well that is what I read and what I think about the DCnU so far.  I have plans to buy some of the books I do not collect in monthly fashion in Trade form.  It is money that is hindering my comicbook buying of late.  If and when DC Comics raises the price of all books to $3.99 I will have some hard choices to make.  Sadly, I am being priced out of comics in many ways.