Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tim's DC new 52 week two thoughts

DC Comics big relaunch event continued this week.

As we've stated before, Stephanie and I are splitting both comics and formats up. We are not getting every issue, but tackling as much as we can.

This week my must-buys were "Detective Comics" and "Animal Man."

Both, as it turns out, are a bit on the horror side.

The entire plot of this issue is basically Batman tracking the Joker down. And seriously, isn't that good enough?

You get a number of scenes showing just how crazy Joker is and on the other side how methodical Batman is. I won't spoil the end, but the last page... man, I could hardly look at it.

The book is written and drawn by Tony Daniel (with additional art by Ryan Wynn) and I must say that I really enjoyed both aspects of his work. There is a four page fight sequence that is beautiful and most of the dialogue is Batman's thought process while he's trying to counter Joker.

Overall the dialogue was great, there were a few lines that made me roll my eyes like this Batman one:

"Forget about it Joker. You can't run. I OWN the night."

But for lines like those there are great exchanges like this:

Gordon: "And Gotham is a hell hole. Always has been. Always will be."

Batman: "Like hell it will."

My question about "Detective Comics" is if it's a prequel like "Action Comics?" Some things like Gordon being younger and the police shooting at Batman look prequel-ish.

But, the first lines of the issue seem to contradict that, where Batman states that the Joker has killed 114 people in the last six years.

Either way, I'm hooked.

One title I took a chance on this week was "Animal Man."

Just as a point of clarification, I never read Grant Morrison's run on the title. My entire Animal Man history is based on his appearances in "Justice League" and various crossovers.

But, I like the concept.

Animal Man is a grounded guy. He's got a great wife, two cool kids and a pretty nifty superpower. You see Animal Man can tap into the abilities of animals. Like in this issue he's getting shot at so he locks into the hide of a rhino. He then taps into a cheetah and gets super speed.

The book starts off in a great and meta way. The first page is a magazine article about Animal Man and when you turn the page it goes to him reading the same magazine in the kitchen.

The issue follows Buddy as he's juggling family life with his new job as an actor and wanting to go out and fight crime. He gets his chance when a grieving father holds kids hostage at a hospital. After saving the day he finds a crazy side effect, blood is pouring out of his eyes.

The end of the book deals with his daughter Maxine manifesting a superpower. And not the good kind of superpower.

I'm talking "straight out of a horror movie" superpower. And a pretty sweet cliffhanger if you ask me.

Writer Jeff Lemire has huge Morrison sized shoes to fill, but gets the character perfectly. You know a book is good when you can care about characters four pages in.

I am not a huge fan of Travel Foreman's art, but I am no art critic. I think his style fits with the horror aspect of the book, which looks like that's where the book is headed in future issues.

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