Thursday, October 20, 2011

DC new 52: The second issues

Today we continue our ongoing DC new 52 coverage with reviews of three of the best comics of the relaunch.

"Justice League #2"

Geoff Johns and Jim Lee pick up right where No. 1 left off with an awesome battle featuring Superman vs. Green Lantern and Batman. The artwork in the fight scenes is superb as the green of Hal Jordan's constructs really pops off the page.

Johns quickly establishes that this is not the Superman or Lantern that everyone is familiar with by having them exchange a lot of snarky banter during the fight. In a clever bit of role reversal, Green Lantern has to convince Flash to join the fight, while Barry Allen is the voice of reason who claims he can't come because he has to work.

Perhaps the most fun aspect of this whole sequence is that it's Batman who puts stop to everything with diplomacy and understanding.

While the first issue established that super-humans aren't seen as the heroes we know them as in this new universe, the second issue builds on that idea by having them openly flaunt longtime characteristics and ideals. However, it's those changes that makes the story interesting and a definite page turner.

"Nightwing #2"

I was on the fence about adding "Nightwing" to my pull list but ultimately couldn't resist reading Dick Grayson's return to normal life, following his stint as Batman.

The first issue jumped right in with Grayson acknowledging how being Batman improved his skills and helped him rediscover who he really he is. It's nice to read a story that doesn't completely rewrite history and has nods to some of the pre-established universe.

The first arc of Nightwing's story will deal with him returning to Haly's Circus, where he grew up and lost his parents. In "Nightwing #2" Grayson battles a mysterious a assassin who thinks he is Gotham's fiercest killer and reconnects with a dying Mr. Haly who leaves him the circus.

One of the things I've always found surprising about Dick Grayson is how he gets so many women. This time it's an old friend from the circus, Raya, who he romances on one of Bruce Wayne's private jets. Ok the private jet helps.

After another attack from the assassin, Mr. Haly dies in Dick's arms telling him everything can be traced back to secrets surrounding the circus.

What has been great about "Nightwing" is seeing Dick get back to his roots and enjoy life without the added responsibility of being Batman and caring for Damian Wayne. He is once again a carefree young man who fights crime because he wants to, not because he has to.

Dick is also scheduled to make an appearance in the next issue of "Batgirl" so it will be interesting to see if any of the drama he's dealing with affects his relationship with Barbara Gordon.

"Action Comics #2"

Other than "Batgirl" and "Justice League," there was no comic I was more excited to read than "Action Comics." Unfortunately, the first issue was majorly disappointing. It mainly involved Superman running from government officials who threw everything at him but the kitchen sink to bring him down. And who else would be leading the charge but Lex Luthor.

The issue ends with Superman finally being brought down, so "Action Comics #2" begins with him held captive and enduring intense torture and questioning. The surprise here is that issue two was a huge improvement with Superman displaying some great personality in his banter with Luthor and Lex showing signs of the sociopath he will become.

The only real awkwardness came when Lois showed up at the base to whine about Superman's imprisonment. This wasn't the strong, capable Lois we've come to know and love. This Lois was whiney, spoiled and self-involved. Hopefully, the character evolves once she becomes more central to the story.

As much as I liked issue two, the cliffhanger made it seem as if the upcoming action will revolve around a love triangle. While I trust Grant Morrison's writing, I have to ask, a love triangle? Really?

After careful consideration, I've decided to give "Action Comics" one more issue before I make a final decision on whether or not to take it off my pull list. However, right now it's not looking good.

No comments: