Fear little comics, fear. It’s time for new releases to live in terror. Last week gave me a taste for leaving comics on the virtual shelf, unreviewed. So far there’s only been one casualty this week, Batman and Robin, which in fairness almost tempted me back in with its pages in Sneak Peak, but Damien Wayne remains a little shitbag. No one else is joining the dynamic duo. Yet.
Sorry I’m a bit late.
I’d like to just pause for a minute before launching into the review and ask you to look closely at the cover above. Notice anything?
Specifically, anything missing, but that would be there on most covers?
Batgirl’s arse. Nice to see Batgirl not falling under sex sells. (Although the cover does overplay the fight somewhat).
Anyway, on with the review. There’s a nice in character plot catch up to start with, which feels odd so early in the New 52, but works well here. Gail Simone has had a consistent flair for titles (over and above her awesome writing) and #3 comes with the moniker “A Breath of Broken Glass”. Barbara’s view of the general run of Superhero heroics is refreshingly different and grounded compared to the rest of the Bat-family. There’s a nasty double swerve in the plot, and a lovely piece of playing around with panels/speech bubbles. Nightwing gets a nice cameo, which really emphasises how Barbra feels about coming back from her injury. There’s a very nicely done bit of repetition (or comixology is playing silly buggers). The ending, and to be fair, the issue/arc as a whole is fairly dark.
The art remains lovely throughout, and there’s a really nice feel to it, which I can’t quite pin down.
Character, dialogue, and plot match the heights of the artwork. As Catwoman proves good art is not enough on its own (nor are lots of sex and exposed bras).
It really is a truly barnstorming issue. Best of the DC line at the present time, possibly. Certainly brings everything together as a brilliant show of sequential art.
Deathstroke continues to be a hell of a lot of fun. There’s deepening of plot this month, and a bit of an exploration into Slade Wilson’s motivations.
Demon Knights #3
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert
Cover by Tony S. Daniel
This month is another top notch issue for Demon Knights. Tension continues to rise as the forces move closer to battle. There’s grim nastiness at the books heart, with some fairly horrible wounds, and violence on display. The character’s all get a bit more fleshed out, and there is a real sense of drama, as it’s not really obvious who is going to live, die, or be horribly altered by their experience.
Frankenstein: Agent Of S.H.A.D.E. #3
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Alberto Ponticelli
Cover by J.G. Jones
The cover runs somewhat at odds to the interior art, with a far sketchier style. It’s a fun book, and there’s a nice mix of monster bashing and deranged science. The stakes keep getting higher with each issue, and I’m looking forward to seeing what we escalate to next.
Green Lantern #3
Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy
Just look at that title again. It’s “Green Lantern”, not “Hal Jordan”. Sinestro is really edging Hal out of what was his book. It’s a very interesting direction to send the character, and will likely be hard going in light of his past. However, I’m kind of hoping Sinestro’s reform works out well. There’s some very good exchanges between him and Hal, which serve to really cement the outlines of both characters. The ending is interesting, and could be fantastic if it is pushed all the way. In the interests of making a prediction –YH. We’ll see what happens next month.
Written by Nathan Edmondson
Art and cover by Cafu and Jason Gorder
I heaped a bit of praise on this series last month, and I’m afraid to say I’m taking some of it back. There’s probably a bit more for readers that were following Grifter back in the Wildstorm days, but I was left feeling a bit on the edge of things. I suspect there was a bit of dramatic impact lost on me. The start is once again stuttery, as if rewriting the end of #2. The strange alien creatures make a reappearance, and get a fantastic line.
Next month really will be make or break for me and this book.
Legion Lost #3
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art and cover by Pete Woods
I’m still not quite engaging with this books somewhere. It seems to be putting a different team member as narrator each month, which means it’ll be a while before we really get a handle on the whole team. This month sees Timber Wolf at the helm, push the team to help the wider world. There’s some horror under the heroism, not least is corpse licking (Anyone seen Ravenous?).
Mister Terrific #3
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Gianluca Gugliotta
Cover by J.G. Jones
Kinda disappointing this month. There’s a showdown between Mr T (well, Mr Terrific, but I’ve been waiting for a chance) and Brainstorm that ends in a fairly brutal beating for the loser, and light gets shed on a fair major event in Michael’s life, possibly a little early in the proceedings in my opinion, but anyway. There’s still a lot of science(!) and a curved ball of a cliff hanger, so there’s still a much to like, it’s just tone and art seem to be going off in a different direction to which things started out.
Resurrection Man #3
Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Art by Fernando Dagnino
Cover by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado
Holy hell we get a nasty resurrection scene, and a panty shot. Hmmm. There’s a tongue in cheek feel running below the surface of the book, that’ll possibly be coming to the surface more next month, if the ending is any indicator. There’s a lot going on this month, with more action, and dealings with the mythical in somewhere that isn’t quite limbo.
Suicide Squad #3
Written by Adam Glass
Art by Federico Dellocchio and Ransom Getty
Disappointing, with just enough of a hook to pull me in next month I suspect. The plot and location don’t quite fit with the way things we’re left last month. Harley Quinn more between her usual insanity and a more lucid tone. She also tried jumping Deadshot’s bones, which is mainly uncomfortable. The ending brings someone unexpected back into the universe that I don’t think anyone will be expecting, and hopefully this will pay off next month. Fingers crossed. It should be noted that pulling the audience in with the promise of character being killed off is only going to work for so long, as there is a limit on how much of the DC underworld can be murdered before Batman runs out of people to punch.
Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by Rb Silva and Rob Lean
Cover by Eric Canete
Ohh, it’s all coming together. Superboy continues his first real life combat situation, and finds himself still unfamiliar with his powers, and interacting with the world in general. The first page looks like it’s a weird in continuity advert for a product though. There’s real promise in the book, but this is possibly coming from the way the current world is being used rather than Superboy as a character.
Batman & Robin #3
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray
This one moved to the not reviewed pile this week. Can’t get home with Damien, and Batman must be cloning himself to be in so many comics/places at once. There’s also either some animal cruelty or an odd epiphany coming, neither of which I care to read.
Skipped To The End…
So this week’s top comic is undoubtedly Batwoman, by a long old way. Got a few quid spare, drop into a comic shop and pick it up (and issue #1 and #2) it’s my top recommendation across the whole 52 line right now.
Coming in join second is Batgirl and Demon Knights. Both are brilliant. Coming up behind is Green Lantern and Death Stroke, both of which are looking very good for next month, as is Superboy.
The remaining comics are all much of a muchness, Frankenstein, Grifter, Legion Lost, Mister Terrific, and Resurrection Man, are really a matter of taste. I’m tempted to add that Suicide Squad is a matter of not having any taste, but it hasn’t quite reached that point yet.