Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tim's DC new 52 week three thoughts

After a successful first two weeks of the New 52, DC Comics was looking to keep the momentum going with the third week (and second week of full releases).

I was mainly excited due to the start of the "Green Lantern" releases with the flagship title and "Red Lanterns." I also threw Stephanie for a loop with deciding at the last second to not buy "Grifter" and go for something else.

If all the other titles in the New 52 were about grabbing new readers, then "Green Lantern" No. 1 was about keeping existing readers.

While the other books started over with new story lines, this book picks up literally minutes after the last issue. Sinestro was chosen to be a Green Lantern again and helped Hal Jordan defeat Krona. And Jordan just didn't defeat Krona, he killed the unkillable Guardian. That freaked the other Guardians out enough that they booted Jordan back to Earth and out of the corps.

The book picks up with the Guardians telling Sinestro that the ring chose him for a reason and he must protect his sector and home planet, which he finds out is now being enslaved by HIS lantern corps.

Meanwhile Jordan is on Earth, ringless, and directionless. His life is a mess. He has no job, no way to pay rent and no car. That Green Lantern ring sure made life easier, eh?

I won't go into it more, but needless to say that it's not really new reader friendly. But, considering that this book is one of DC Comics best selling titles, there is no need to rock the boat. That's like completely changing a highly rated television show. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

"Red Lanterns" on the other hand is very new reader friendly... and quite good.

Where the Green Lanterns' power source is willpower, the Red Lanterns are powered by rage. The book starts with some evil aliens torturing people until a Red Lantern shows up.

And not just any Red Lantern, but the most popular one:

Dex-Starr, the seriously pissed off Earth house cat.

Readers are then introduced to other Red Lanterns, including the leader Atrocitus. Almost everything about the Red Lanterns is explained to readers in an interesting way. In fact, even long time readers learn something new, which was very cool.

The goal of the book was even explained, the Red Lanterns will go around the universe seeking vengeance against those who do unspeakable evil. But, not the "you're going to jail" type, but the "I'm going to spit napalm vomit all over you" type.

Big props to writer Peter Milligan and artist Ed Benes for putting out one of the best New 52 books yet.

This was my big impulse buy: "Suicide Squad."

For those who don't know, the plot behind this book is super villains offered the chance to get out of jail in return for doing suicidal missions for the government. The book has been around for a long time, this reboot just has a new team.

The big addition is Harley Quinn, otherwise known as the Joker's girlfriend.

The entire plot of this first issue is just setting up the team and explaining who the various members are through flashbacks and such. That also proves to be a bad thing as Deadshot's "Secret Six" history seems to be a bit changed.

Other than the two, the team also includes Rick Flag, El Diablo, Voltaic, Black Spider and King Shark.

King Shark shines a lot in this first issue and will be a fan favorite. I think it helps that Gail Simone made him awesome in "Secret Six."

The book ends on a GIANT cliffhanger. Like a "how the heck are they going to do that" cliffhanger.

Out of the three I think "Red Lanterns" was the high point of the week for me.

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