DC New 52 – One Sentence Reviews, Part 7

Once again, I provide one sentence reviews of each ongoing title released this week.  They are scored out of five and at the end I have a cumulative leader board (averaging the scores of each title) to show which are consistently excellent, which are on the rise, and which are circling the drain.

While I’ve been reviewing other limited series, I have chosen to not review Batman Odyssey Vol. 2 #1, as I didn’t read Vol. 1 and from what I’ve read on the internet, I wouldn’t be able to make heads or tails of it.

There could be spoilers ahead (although I try to avoid them).

Batman #2
Writer Snyder is soooo efficient, squeezing a lot of story into a single issue without resorting to verbosity … I’m not sure if the fault lies with the script or the artwork, but one scene didn’t make a lot of sense, but otherwise this is an outstanding issue – 4

.

Green Lantern Corps #2
Taking good advantage of its large cast (I love seeing Isamot back in action) and providing more detail of the deadly new villains introduced in #1, I can’t remember reading a better issue in any volume of this series and the final page left me aching for #3 – 4

.

Justice League #2
Just how dopey is Hal Jordan circa five year ago … in fact, this whole issue is a bit dumb (or at least not particularly clever), but regardless is a highly entertaining, exceptionally attractive comic book, in which the Flash gets a great introduction – 3.5

.

Birds of Prey #2
A great introduction for a re-gigged Katana, this issue also confirms that Starling is one of my favourite new characters and serves as a solid follow-up to one of the most pleasant surprises of the first month of the New 52 – 3.5

.

Wonder Woman #2
I’m mindful of the fact that I’m rating this issue a bit lower than many others (including those on read/rant), but I feel that this issue – despite all its virtues – is a bit weaker than #1 and a little too uneven to score higher – 3.5

.

Supergirl #2
As with #1, we’ve seen this basic story many, many times before – a confused, young hero lashes out when they first meet another hero … but what writers Green and Johnson have done here is to make Supergirl a highly relatable character, as she behaves more or less exactly how you imagine you’d react in similar circumstances – 3.5

.

Nightwing #2
I don’t really know where this title is going and that’s got to be a good thing, since I’ve read a lot of comics and the predictability can get you down at times, so Nightwing #2 maintains the high standard set in the debut issue – 3.5

.

Blue Beetle #2
A very good follow up to a solid #1, this issue has plenty of action, good artwork and an outstanding finish that left me eager to read the next issue – 3.5

.

Catwoman #2
Writer Winick is doing very little to make me care much about the title character, but the last four pages of this issue are pretty good and the rest isn’t terrible – 3

.

Captain Atom #2
More entertaining than the fairly pedestrian debut issue, I enjoyed seeing Captain Atom take on helping a terminally ill boy … the whole issue helped me to connect more with the character – 3

.

DC Universe Presents #2
Less wordy and therefore vastly superior to the dull debut issue, #2 also featured more action and some interesting ideas … if it’d had a higher-impact ending, I think I would have rated it higher – 3

.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #2
An error on the first page isn’t a good start after a #1 that didn’t really impress, and the dialogue for a 3000-year-old character is annoyingly “hip”, but the premise and tone of this book actually appeal to me … it’s just the execution that’s falling short – 2.5

.

Legion of Super-Heroes #2
While benefiting from the fact that I’m more familiar with the characters for having read #1, this issue (like all the Legion books) is pretty “meh”-inspiring, to the point that I worry that they mightn endanger Legion comics as a viable franchise – 2

.

If you haven’t already, check out previous weeks here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Please note, since a title is only as good as its last issue, the books are ranked firstly by their average score, then their most recent score (shown in brackets), and the number of issues is the final number.

LEADER BOARD
1.  Animal Man  4.5
 (4.5)  2
2.  Swamp Thing  4.25  (4.5)  2
3.  Batwoman  4.25
 (4)  2
=4.  Aquaman  4
=4.  Green Lantern Corps  4
 (4)  2
=4.  Green Lantern – New Guardians  4
=4.  Justice League Dark  4
=8.  Batman  3.75
 (4)  2
=8.  Demon Knights  3.75  (4)  2
=8.  Green Lantern  3.75
 (4)  2
=11.  Batman and Robin  3.75
 (3.5)  2
=11.  Birds of Prey  3.75
 (3.5)  2
=11.  Resurrection Man  3.75
 (3.5)  2
=11.  Wonder Woman  3.75
 (3.5)  2
=15.  Action Comics  3.5  (4)  2
=15.  Batwing  3.5  (4)  2
=17.  Blue Beetle  3.5
 (3.5)  2
=17.  Detective Comics  3.5  (3.5)  2
=17.  I, Vampire  3.5
=17.  Justice League   3.5
 (3.5)  2
=17.  Nightwing  3.5  (3.5)  2
=17.  Supergirl  3.5
 (3.5)  2
=17.  The Flash  3.5
24.  Static Shock  3.5  (3)  2
25.  Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.  3.25
 (3.5)  2
26.  Batgirl  3.25
 (3)  2
=27.  Blackhawks  3
=27.  Men of War  3  (3)  2
=27.  Suicide Squad  3
 (3)  2
=27.  Superman  3
=27.  Teen Titans  3
32.  Stormwatch  2.75  (3.5)  2
=33.  Captain Atom  2.75
 (3)  2
=33.  Deathstroke  2.75
 (3)  2
=35.  Justice League International  2.75  (2.5)  2
=35.  Mister Terrific  2.75  (2.5)  2
=35.  O.M.A.C.  2.75  (2.5)  2
38.  Superboy  2.75
 (2)  2
=39.  Catwoman  2.5
 (3)  2
=39.  DC Universe Presents  2.5
 (3)  2
=39.  Red Lanterns  2.5  (3)  2
=42.  All Star Western  2.5
=42.  Voodoo  2.5
44.  Red Hood and the Outlaws  2.25  (2.5)  2
45.  Legion Lost  2.25
 (2)  2
=46.  Batman – The Dark Knight  2
=46.  Savage Hawkman  2
=46.  The Fury of Firestorm  2
49.  Green Arrow  2  (1.5)  2
=50.  Grifter   1.75
 (2.5)  2
=50.  Hawk and Dove  1.75  (2.5)  2
52.  Legion of Super-Heroes  1.75  (2)  2

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About ikeebear

I'm a 30-something father, husband, writer, comic collector, general nerd (in order of significance). I'm a newspaper journalist/editor by profession and currently work in professional communications. I'm also a very ill-disciplined novel writer, having tinkered for too long to produce too little.

16 thoughts on “DC New 52 – One Sentence Reviews, Part 7

    • I would have probably given it a 4.5 in a heartbeat if it wasn’t for that scene when the Talon kicks Bruce out the window and then, halfway down the descent is suddenly following him. It just tripped me up. Why would you kick someone out a window and then jump out after them? And there was no indication that he’d done that until he was on top of Bruce. I really don’t like being jarred out of a story like that.

      I really like Capullo’s artwork on this book, but I think the little things that have bugged me in the first two issues have largely been artwork issues.

      • While I was not impressed by the art in issue #1, I think it grew on me for issue #2 and I found the yellow hue rather appealing. Batman is always done in grays and for once a light shade really made it nostalgic.

        for me atleast.

  1. I agree with Ikee on Batman. It was sort of a WTF moment and no real reason for it unless the assassin had some reason to believe Bruce was skilled enough to land on a hidden gargoyle just before he hit the point of no return in his fall.

    Wondering what you saw as a mistake in Red Hood on that first page. I had to read it a couple times to make sense of it, but I’m not quite sure what you’d consider a mistake.

    • For that matter, I didn’t enjoy GLC as much as the first issue by a good deal. To the point that I probably will flip through the 3rd issue to see if I’ll grab it or not at the shop. Maybe a bit sad I know, but I can’t afford to continue 7 or so issues each week >.<

      • I loved GLC #2 and thought it was marginally better than #1, which I also really enjoyed.

        I think the challenge with GLC to to show stories that involve the Corps and not just individual officers. I didn’t mind in the past when it was more of a revolving story that focused on a different sector duo every couple of issues, but seeing a good number of GLs pulling together differentiates this from the core GL title. Secondly, there’s a challenge to create threats that credibly push a whole team of GLs to the edge of their abilities.

        Based on these considerations, I think GLC has so far been a major success. I think these villains are mysterious (and Tomasi is winding them out slowly instead of rushing to reveal everything about them), motivated and a serious threat to the Corps.

      • My recollection is that the majority of the Lanterns welcomed the lethal force decision, with only a few (largely the Earth contigent and a few other key characters) being opposed.

        In Guy and John you probably have the two human Lanterns who would be most accepting of lethal force, as well.

        I agree that lethal force was portrayed as an error by the Guardians and hope it will prove to be so, or at least modified so that it isn’t used so liberally … like permitted in self defence only.

        So, I’m not sure what I read was overly out of character. Many of those characters have killed before becoming Lanterns before (John and Isamot in particular).

        It’s interesting that I enjoyed GLC #2 so much more than you guys (and Wonder Woman #2 a bit less). Tastes vary. Hahaha.

    • I thought the Red Hood one was pretty obvious.

      The time stamp is all screwed up. In showing when Talia first brought him to the All Caste and Ducra the narration says it was “about a year and a half ago” … “before I put on the Red Hood for the first time” (no worries) … “before I was beaten to death by a psycho named the Joker – and resurrected” (WTF).

      It seems like the second “before” should have been an “after”.

      It’s obvious that the scene is set in the time between Jason’s resurrection and him taking the identity “Red Hood”.

      It’s just a typo, but it wasn’t a good start for me, since I’m very much on the fence about this title after #1.

      • Ah. That may have been why I found it a bit confusing at first and read it over a couple times.

        And in terms of GLC, I know it takes a lot to set up a good villain for an entire team to go up against. Bruce Timm and others in an interview said that for Justice League stories they always have to start with the villain(s) that will cause some of the greatest heroes out there to actually need that help. Just that the first issue they did a good job with John. They even made me feel connected to Guy as a character who I never liked before. I think the biggest problem I have with the second GLC here is the characters. Like Legion Lost #1, I’m dealing with a bunch of characters I’ve never seen with no explanation really at who is who. As a new reader it partly made me lost in keeping track who they were addressing and seeing the one get his limbs ripped off gave the impression of how strong the enemy is, but having no connection to him made me wonder why I should care.

      • That’s a fair point. I know who Hanuu and Isamot are, but I didn’t recognise Sheriff Whatsherface (can’t remember the others … I know there were one or two more). Characterisation for John and Guy were handled pretty well in #1, while Isamot, Hanuu and Sheriff WHF kind of got characterisation on the fly in #2 – Hanuu doesn’t like to use his ring to fight, Isamot is extraordinarily brave and Sheriff WHF has a keen sense of justice. It worked for me, but I can see how new readers might want more. I think it helps a little that we instantly know what they can do with their power rings … it gets tiresome of how a lot of comic book characters seem to be defined by their powers instead of their personalities, especially in comics with larger casts (I’m looking at you, Legion). That’s NOT characterisation.

  2. “I have chosen to not review Batman Odyssey Vol. 2 #1, as I didn’t read Vol. 1 and from what I’ve read on the internet, I wouldn’t be able to make heads or tails of it.”

    Oh c’mon. You don’t believe everything you read on the internet, do you?

    • Haha. In truth, I picked it up at the shop and read the first two and a half pages … that was enough to convince me that the warnings were justified. Hahaha.

      Adams must be on some good medication.

  3. Both Catwoman and Red Hood were better this month than last, I thought.

    If Winick could just get me to LIKE his characterisation of Catwoman, then I probably would have rated the issue significantly higher. I’m educating myself on recent stories that I didnt’ read when they were released and read Batman Inc #1 and #2 yesterday, in which Catwoman appeared. And I really liked her and thought she was portrayed as Batman’s equal. I can see why he’d be drawn to her. Based purely on the what I’ve seen in the New 52, I don’t see that quality in her.

    As for Red Hood, I think this book could actually be a winner if Lobdell doesn’t hash it before it gets a chance to find its footing. Jason is a very interesting character, but it feels like Roy and Kori have both been butchered as characters … making them weak supporting characters. Jason’s the only character so far who seems even remotely motivated. Why are Roy and Kori doing the things they do in RHatO?

    I’d go so far to say that, with the exception of Superboy #1, I think Lobdell’s work has been disappointing. It seems like he’s been given a licence to shake up his corner of the DCU and I haven’t really found what he’s doing to be innovative or particularly interesting. I know that opinion runs against the current on read/RANT right now.

    • I haven’t read Catwoman, though I did peek through issue 2 on the shelf and didn’t find it to seem appealing. I think from what I read (including the reviews put on here/comments) that I’d be of the same opinion of you. In the past (I suggest Batman: Hush trade for a good story that includes Catwoman in it) she often did seem to be on a similar level as Batman yet also pertaining a sexual aspect to her. Same why he also often is drawn to Talia, both are extremely strong women who generally know what they want and how to go about getting it – even if it goes against Batman’s code. From what I’ve heard and what I’ve seen, so far the comic sounds it mostly comes across only showing her sexual aspect. I could be wrong as I haven’t read it, but that is the general feeling I’m getting.

      In terms of Red Hood/Outlaws, Jason has been rather interesting in it. The movie gave good characterization (I haven’t read the actual comic bit when he comes back yet). The Batman and Robin issues have at least given some chance for him to be interesting (though often fell a bit short of actually doing it). With the second issue though I am slightly failing to see what Roy and Star are doing with him. The “Starfire’s bored” aspect just seems a cop out almost. Roy not having anything better to do is a little better, but not by much. And Jason so far has shown a general dislike for both of them (especially Roy) and the team idea so it leaves the question of why they are still hanging out. Especially as he took them with to some super secret place that held a lot of meaning ot post-resurrected Jason.

    • I enjoyed Hush and as it is the comic where Batman reveals his identity to Catwoman it is important. Speaking of it’s art though, I just saw there is “Hush Unwrapped” now in trade which is the comic just uncolored. Looks very beautiful actually. But yes, it isn’t the greatest Batman story but I did still like it a good deal.

      Also, Superboy is the best. I’m still not completely sure how I feel about Teen Titans. Still a bit annoyed at the loss of the last group and maybe all of Teen Titans history (if DC figures out what they are doing).

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