So, I’m soldiering on with my One Sentence Reviews, in which I read every DC New 52 comic for the week and sum each of them up in badly constructed single sentence reviews. Despite the arrival of a new baby and the fact that some titles are a real chore to get through, I’m too hard-headed to quit at this stage and will keep it up as long as I can. I can’t promise, however, that sleep deprivation hasn’t affected my ability to be fair or rational in my reviews.
Each comic is 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.
I have also reviewed the mini-series issues from the week but, as usual, they aren’t included in the leaderboard.
Warning, there could be spoilers ahead (although I try to avoid them).
I’m ranking this my favourite issue of the week, partially for something a bit different to my continued fawning over Swamp Thing, but primarily because it kept me on the edge of my seat, especially the fight between Midnighter and Harry Tanner (probably the two most interesting characters in the line-up) … however, I will say that the cool character backgrounds revealed by the Shadow Cabinet big-wig might have been more useful to me in #1 – 4.5
Swamp Thing #5
I think I’m in love with this title, and I greatly enjoyed this issue’s faster pace and increased action … I can’t wait to read the next issue – 4.5
Animal Man #5
This issue delivers surrealistic horror in spades and kept me fully engaged with the title hero and the perils the Baker family are facing … I even got a laugh out of one panel (is there anything writer Lemire can’t do?) – 4.5
I’m so glad writer Winick has given Batwing a challenging and morally complex back story because it provides this issue (and the title overall) the steel required for it to rise above an ordinary Batman-wannabe yarn, and #5 also sees the return of artist Oliver who further helps bring the world of Batwing to life – 4
Action Comics #5
I know it’s not writer Morrison’s usual style, but this is the kind of issue I was hoping for with Superman being rebooted as part of the New 52 … while I found the Brainiac narration a bit odd at times, #5 was the most enjoyable issue so far, with an interesting origin update and an intriguing appearance in the final panel of the main story, as well as an excellent back-up story focusing on the Kents (although one part of it seemed to contradict the main story) – 4
Red Lanterns #5
I still don’t fully know what to make of this title, but thought this was one of its better issue, with some pretty artwork, interesting backstory for the broader cast, plenty of conflict and an intriguing final page – 3.5
Men of War#5
I found the ideas in the main feature very interesting and look forward to reading more, while the back-up was a bit jarring at times but overall quite good as well … for me this was probably the most entertaining issue for the title so far – 3.5
While I begrudge most crossover stories (especially those that practically force you to buy another title that you mightn’t be reading already), the start of this tie-in with Frankenstein was at least fast-paced and action-packed – a good, old-fashioned superhero scuffle – 3.5
Detective Comics #5
The main feature was good but maybe a little thin on story, whereas the back-up seems more concerned with setting up a future story than with current developments – 3.5
Justice League International #5
I don’t have much bad to say about this issue except maybe that it didn’t overly excite me and I struggled to understand how the heroes prevailed in the end when they didn’t seemingly do anything different to before, when the villain disposed of them easily – 3.5
Green Arrow #5
This is the type of Green Arrow story that I normally like – Ollie versus a much more powerful adversary – but sadly I don’t like the New 52 Ollie very much, which takes a bit of the shine off this issue – 3
Huntress #4 (of 6)
To’s artword is pretty enough, but the rest of the issue is just bog-ordinary superhero fare – 3
Penguin – Pain and Prejudice #4 (of 5)
Honestly, this issue is what I expected this miniseries to be like after reading #1 – alright but mostly uninteresting for anyone who isn’t that keen on the Penguin – and that kind of squanders the excellent set-up the previous issues have provided … here’s hoping for a big conclusion next month – 3
Static Shock #5
Despite some nice touches, this issue of this horribly inconsistent title is still all over the place and continues to strongly tie itself to previous continuity in a way that makes it extremely off-putting for new readers – 2.5
Hawk and Dove #5
Nothing about this issue made me care about the story or the characters in it, as Hawk and Dove confront a souped-up Condor in an effort to save Deadman (who is a lot more interesting in the pages of Justice League Dark … Dove too, for that matter) – 2
If you haven’t already, check out last month’s reviews (#4s of the ongoing titles) here:
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.
1. Swamp Thing 4.4 (4.5) 5
2. Animal Man 4.2 (4.5) 5
3. Batman and Robin 4 (4) 4
4. Batman 3.88 (4.5) 4
=5. Batwoman 3.88 (4) 4
=5. Resurrection Man 3.88 (4) 4
7. Aquaman 3.88 (3.5) 4
8. Blue Beetle 3.75 (4.5) 4
9. Birds of Prey 3.75 (4) 4
10. I, Vampire 3.75 (4) 4
11. Justice League Dark 3.75 (3.5) 4
12. Batwing 3.7 (4) 5
=13. Green Lantern Corps 3.63 (3.5) 4
=13. Wonder Woman 3.63 (3.5) 4
15. Stormwatch 3.6 (4.5) 5
=16. Demon Knights 3.5 (3.5) 4
=16. Detective Comics 3.5 (3.5) 5
=16. Green Lantern 3.5 (3.5) 4
19. Justice League 3.5 (3) 4
20. Batman – The Dark Knight 3.38 (4.5) 4
21. Teen Titans 3.38 (4) 4
22. Blackhawks 3.38 (3.5) 4
23. Supergirl 3.38 (3) 4
24. Action Comics 3. 3 (4) 5
=25. Captain Atom 3.25 (4) 4
=25. Green Lantern – New Guardians 3.25 (4) 4
27. Batgirl 3.25 (3.5) 4
28. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. 3.25 (3) 4
29. Catwoman 3.13 (3.5) 4
30. Nightwing 3.13 (3) 4
31. Suicide Squad 3.13 (3) 4
32. Justice League International 3.1 (3.5) 5
33. Red Lanterns 3 (3.5) 5
=34. Deathstroke 3 (3) 4
=34. The Flash 3 (3) 4
36. Superboy 3 (2.5) 4
=37. Men of War 2.9 (3.5) 5
=37. O.M.A.C. 2.9 (3.5) 5
39. Static Shock 2.9 (2.5) 5
40. Voodoo 2.88 (3.5) 4
41. All Star Western 2.75 (3.5) 4
42. Mister Terrific 2.75 (1.5) 4
43. DC Universe Presents 2.63 (3.5) 4
44. Superman 2.5 (2.5) 4
45. Red Hood and the Outlaws 2.38 (3) 4
=46. The Fury of Firestorm 2.38 (2) 4
=46. Legion Lost 2.38 (2) 4
48. Green Arrow 2. 3 (3) 5
49. Grifter 2.25 (3) 4
50. Hawk and Dove 2 (2) 5
51. Legion of Super-Heroes 1.75 (2) 4
52. Savage Hawkman 1.5 (1) 4
cant believe Frankenstein and Suicide Squad are so close to the bottom of the list. I really look forward to those two titles every month.
Both of those titles are solid enough. Anything with an average score of over three is decent in my book (sure, a 2.5 is technically a pass, but I don’t really want to read “okay” comics … I want to read “good” comics).
I think Suicide Squad still suffers from natural comparisons to Secret Six, while I think Frankenstein isn’t quite living up to its potential.
Suicide Squad is definitely on the rise for me, though, as the more time between S6 and it there is, the less those comparisons spring to mind.
The Legion is without a doubt the biggest dissapointment of the new 52 for me, and with Tom DeFalco taking over Legion Lost…meh. Legion of Super Heroes #1 might be one of the worst written comics I’ve read in a while…Maybe I should pick up Secret Origin, as that’s the Legion era/time frame that I tend to enjoy most.
Static Shock could have been a sleeper hit, like Animal Man, if the creative team had kept the atmosphere and the witness it had when it was a Milestone title. On the contrary, they gave them a childish touch that did not satisfy any target of DC readers: the younger ones continued to read “Young Justice” et similia, the older ones didn’t even notice it. A supporting character of Statick Shock, Hardware, once had a regular series printed by Milestone Comics: read it, it’s the best thing they ever did. Hawk and Dove is another New 52 title that deserved a better treatment and fate.
Totally agree. The first issue (and the latest) are both great … shame about the ones inbetween. I don’t doubt the Milestone stuff was quite good. If I ever get a chance, I’ll check them out.