Sorry for being behind schedule on this one. Laptop and Internet issues conspire to mean that this is being posted in Cafe Nero, fueled by hot chocolate and cheesecake.
With a very good second week behind us, I’m looking forward to week three in the hope that the bar will be similarly raised for some of these titles as well. Some of this week’s issues started out especially well last month (and then there’s Catwoman) and while there seems to be an odd mix from DC’s seven sub categories this should be a good week.
In anticipation of me giving Catwoman a drubbing once again this month, and in light of the penis joke made in the Captain Atom review last time, it seems only fair to ask what female readers think about the portrayal of male physic in comics. Feel free to have your say in the comments section.
We open with a bit of architectural history about the first Wayne Tower, a huge phallus of a building “to give visitors…the feeling that they’re cared for and protected.” Nothing being quite so reassuring as a giant stone penis covered in gargoyles.
Batman, as a character is very well drawn, but Bruce Wayne feels a little flat faced, although he manages to move remarkably well when injured. Last week’s cliff-hanger is brushed aside very easily sadly. There’s a very fillery action scene right at the start, made up for by some lovely art in the morgue. The issue has a nasty ending that reminds me of at least two films, in a good way.
Birds Of Prey #2
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art and cover by Jesus Saiz
The first page is a little lost on me I’m afraid, but makes more sense looking back. This issue works nicely, although there is one of the daftest chase scenes I’ve seen in a long while. There is a bit of a feeling of filling time, and some weak characterisation (although I think I’m still kicking against some of the New 52 character changes). The ending is undercut by last weeks cover art, and prior knowledge sadly. Hopefully with a core team coming together next month will really pick up.
Blue Beetle #2
Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Ig Guara and Ruy Jose
Cover by Tyler Kirkham and Sal Regla
There’s a beat after last months ending, and the promised violence never really comes. I’m enjoying the different setting for the series, although I’m going to have to learn a bit of Spanish to get the full impact of the story. For an alien tech combat suit possessing a human teen, the killer hardware seems remarkably weak willed. The real payoff of this episode is a glorious double page splash space scene, which hopefully presages awesome things to come.
Captain Atom #2
Written by J.T. Krul
Art by Freddie Williams Ii
Cover by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
Last month’s cliff-hanger is side stepped with little fanfare (although in fairness there was no way to avoid a swift resolution in order to move the book forward). There’s an odd style to the comic (which seems to be cropping up more and more in the DC universe) where Captain Atom’s pencils contrast with the inkier, more stylised supporting characters and background.
Possibly the most original, single issue, “villian” for some time in any series I’ve seen, although a slightly iffy choice perhaps.
Written by Judd Winick
Art and cover by Guillem March
It may have just been a quirk of my computer, but Catwoman was not obviously immediately available from DC’s store front on Comixology come release time. Out of shame maybe. I had to do a little hunting for it, which I now kind of regret.
Issue #2 picks up right where issue #1 left off, in the aftermath of Batman and Catwoman yiffing (Google is sometimes not your friend). From there we get some actual story, which shows some potential if it could just get away from the sudoporn. There’s a really odd use of Bruce Wayne in his playboy persona. Once again it may be Comixology that is at fault, but there is one really badly timed page turn, that should have been split to save some impact. (Also another one for Women in Refrigerators). There’s also a deeply wrong penultimate page, that’s way to indulgent.
This issue sees Catwoman’s bridges burnt with me. While the artwork is gorgeous, when it is not focused on sex appeal, the writing is iffy and the plot very thin. One to avoid unless something changes in a big way.
DC Universe Presents #2
Written by Paul Jenkins
Art by Bernard Chang
Cover by Ryan Sook
With the first cover worth remarking on this week, DCU Presents Deadman is turning into a series to keep up with. The writing stays top notch, as Deadman’s path only gets weirder, as he infiltrates a underground club for a very specific clientele. I’ve yet to decide if I like Boston Brand as a character or not yet, as he’s a little too arrogant, but he could grow on me (more likely than Damien Wayne any road).
Green Lantern Corps #2
There’s a really interesting premise being worked into the heart of the story here, which I fear is going to be left behind in later issues, as villains start coming out the woodwork and the action starts in earnest. There’s also a dark, violent undercurrent just below the surface, which matches up to the start of last month’s issue. The cover probably gives illustration enough of that.
This issue sees the action packed introduction of our villains, in much larger capacity than last month, who have the Green Lanterns apparently outmatched. Quite how they’ll be overcome, will certainly be something to see.
DC is really pulling out all the stops for the Justice Leauge, and it shows. Jim Lee’s art is gorgeous, although three double page splash panels is pushing it a little I think. The dialogue and plot is nicely delivered, and Hal Jordan gets to call Batman a tool. I can only approve. There’s a little interlude, which introduces the origin of a next character to appear. Next month sees Wonder Woman join the cast, her characterisation in this will be interesting, given the way things are playing out in her own book.
The Legion Of Superheroes #2
Written by Paul Levitz
Art by Francis Portela
Cover by Chris Sprouse and Karl Story
A more action packed story than the first issue, this second issue also manages to give a bit more of a handle on what’s going on. There’s a huge cast to contend with through, and a lot of back story to processed. None of the characters have really been fleshed out yet, and that needs to happen before too long.
Written by Kyle Higgins
Art and cover by Eddy Barrows and Jp Mayer
Anyone else thing they are possibly overdoing the Wolverine thing on the cover? More Batsex. The story is setting up to move Nightwing out of Gotham, which could really see possibilities open up for the character. The Batman worship is left alone this time around and there are a few nice fight scenes, and also someone rumbling Nightwing’s identity in a lovely way, that at least has passing association to the reality of being a famous hero.
Red Hood & The Outlaws #2
Written by Scott Lobdell
Art and cover by Kenneth Rocafort and Blond
I really like the art style, and the sheer sprawl of the some of the panel. Just a shame it also includes the overly sexualised Starfire, and the generously proportioned air hostess, who’s, for the moment, utterly superfluous to the plot. There’s a bit of jumping about in time to flesh out Jason Todd, and tie everyone to the plot developments of this arc. This book is teetering on the edge in terms of not making it on my to buy list for next month. We shall see…
It’s cousin on cousin smack down this month, as Super girl and man fight it out. This issue seems to takes a long time to say very little really. Hopefully future issues will be slightly deeper. That the above is all I really hae to say, beyond the art still being appealing without turning Supergirl into an overt sex symbol (although her costume would ride up something awful).
We get one weird, but well delivered, origin story this issue. Diana gets to return home, in search of safety for her new charges. There’s a subtle penis joke in here, from the amazons, and a lovely double page fight scene. There are revelations and more mythical plotting, as the gods come out to play, and cause havoc.
Skipped To The End…
A bit of a slow week again. Unlike week one there isn’t a shed load of titles that I’ll be writing off, but equally unlike week two there aren’t any truly outstanding issues either. Catwoman certainly won’t be making it to my week three reading, but otherwise it will mostly be a case of checking out synopsis and previews to get a sense of things before I buy.
As far as recommendations go, Wonder Woman, Justice League, DC Universe Presents, and Green Lantern Corps get a thumbs up from me.