DC New 52 – One Sentence Reviews, Part 19

Between work, delayed comic deliveries, an understandably demanding five-week-old daughter and my almost three-year-old son thinking my tablet PC (on which I read the comics I don’t collect in hard copy) is exclusively his for the purpose of playing Angry Birds – my New 52 One Sentence Reviews are becoming increasingly late.

I apologise, but am stubbornly committed to continuing my series and I know that, because of the leaderboard, dropping the ball just once means the whole thing is over red rover.

So, better late than never (like Justice League #5, I guess) … here are last week’s reviews.

Each comic is scored out of five and at the end I have a cumulative leaderboard 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 but they aren’t included in the leaderboard.

Warning, there could be spoilers ahead (although I try to avoid them).

Batman #5
When I left the cinema after the first time I saw Fight Club, I thought ‘WTF was that?’ but on reflection and after many, many, many rewatchings it has become possibly my favourite film … and so it was with this issue, with Snyder and Capullo blindsiding me with disorienting page orientation (which at first seemed like bad design, then an improbable mistake and finally the penny dropped), surrealistic imagery and paranoia-inducing narration … and so you have my first 5/5 review for the New 52 (check out a full review here, as this issue definitely deserves more than one – albeit giant, mutant, triple-barrelled – sentence)  – 5 

Catwoman #5
After a rough start, this title really has grown on me, and this is another strong issue that pits Selina against the superpowered Reach (who appeared near the end of #4) in a way that feels much more satisfying than most of the “David vs Goliath” battles we see in our funny books (check out a full review here) – 4

Red Hood and the Outlaws #5
This was far and away my favourite issue of this title, as I finally connected with the characters, especially Red Hood as writer Lobdell has finally given him a context separate to his history with Batman to define his actions going forward … maybe there’s hope for this title yet – 4 

Green Lantern Corps #5
This issue isn’t without weaknesses, but the introduction of an ass-kicking band of older Lanterns known as the Mean Machine tickled my fancy, and the whole issue reminded me of the Dirty Dozen type films (heck, Bronchuk even LOOKS like Charles Bronson … and I’m sure that’s not an accident) – 4 

Birds of Prey #5
Purposefully (I think) confusing, this issue nails the tone I think the creators were going for, but I found it a little less entertaining than most of the previous issues … still a fine issue for this surprisingly strong title – 3.5 

Supergirl #5
A solid but perhaps unspectacular issue has Kara departing Earth in search of her former home, which she finds along with a big clue about the ominous-sounding World Killers – 3.5

Blue Beetle #5
Two things kind of let this issue down for me (I’ll try to avoid spoilers), firstly, they basically backflip one of the most impactful developments of the series so far and, secondly, they seemingly pull the plug on an impending conflict that they have been slowly building up for the past four months … otherwise it’s a decent issue – 3.5

Wonder Woman #5
I found this one of the weaker issues of the New 52 Wonder Woman, with the only thing really pushing the plot forward being some highly questionable information offered by the too-slick-for-my-liking Lennox, however there are some good character moments (see here for a full, arguably more favourable, review) – 3.5

DC Universe Presents #5
Fittingly, the conclusion of the Deadman story arc is talky and largely uneventful – like the rest of it – but, as in #4, the things being said in this issue are at least interesting and feel like they contribute something of value to Boston Brand’s character development (see here for another review) – 3.5

Nightwing #5
It’s interesting to compare this to Catwoman #5 because both pit their protagonist against a much more powerful adversary, in this case Nightwing fights a hulking demon, but – while being a decent read and pushing forward the overarching storyline – it just doesn’t match the drama and believability delivered in the Catwoman issue – 3.5 

Captain Atom #5
Writer Krul seems to be able to get bits and pieces right each issue, but struggles to bring it all together all at the same time, as this issue nails the hero’s struggle with his transformation into something more than human, but fails to deliver entertaining action – 3

Legion of Super-Heroes #5
I assume part of the appeal of the Legion for its many fans (it does have many fans, right … it currently has three comics a month) is the huge cast, but for me that’s probably it’s biggest drawback, which is highlighted here in the way it flits from one character to the next like a coked-up hummingbird, providing plenty of width but very little depth in terms of characterisation – 1.5

Diablo #2 (of 5)
While my past experience with the Diablo computer games helped me through #1, that goodwill was exhausted in the course of this overly wordy, fairly ugly and not particularly interesting issue, which was consequently a real chore to read – 1

My Greatest Adventure #4 (of 6)
I forgot this one last week … and wish I hadn’t remembered it, because three variously entertaining but at best mediocre stories combined into one highly mediocre anthology issue that I ended up skimming – 1

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #3 (of 6)
It has finally dawned on me that, while maintaining the leaderboard requires me to read all ongoing titles regardless of their craptactularness (boy, am I looking forward to The Savage Hawkman #5), there’s no such obligation to read miniseries that don’t interest me … and the problem with this issue, which promises some backstory on NoMan, is that I just don’t give a fig about NoMan or any of the other characters in this comic book, so I stopped after page three or four – No Score

 

If you haven’t already, check out last month’s reviews and those from earlier this month here:

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

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.  Swamp Thing  4.4  (4.5)  5

2.  Animal Man  4.2  (4.5)  5

3.  Batman  4.1  (5)  5

4.  Resurrection Man  4  (4.5)  5

5.  Batman and Robin  3.9  (3.5)  5

6.  Aquaman  3.88  (3.5)  4

7.  Batwoman  3.8  (3.5)  5

8.  I, Vampire  3.75  (4)  4

9.  Justice League Dark  3.75  (3.5)  4

=10.  Batwing  3.7  (4)  5

=10.  Green Lantern Corps  3.7  (4)  5

=12.  Birds of Prey  3.7  (3.5)  5

=12.  Blue Beetle  3.7  (3.5)  5

14.  Stormwatch  3.6  (4.5)  5

15.  Green Lantern  3.6  (4)  5

16.  Wonder Woman  3.6  (3.5)  5

17.  Detective Comics  3.5  (3.5)  5

18.  Justice League   3.5  (3)  4

19.  Batgirl  3.4  (4)  5

20.  Supergirl  3.4  (3.5)  5

21.  Demon Knights  3.4  (3)  5

22.  Batman – The Dark Knight  3.38  (4.5)  4

23.  Teen Titans  3.38  (4)  4

24. Blackhawks  3.38  (3.5)  4

=25.  Action Comics  3.3  (4)  5

=25.  Catwoman  3.3  (4)  5

=25.  Suicide Squad  3.3  (4)  5

28.  Green Lantern – New Guardians  3.25  (4)  4

29.  Nightwing  3.2  (3.5)  5

=30.  Captain Atom  3.2  (3)  5

=30.  Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.  3.2  (3)  5

32.  Justice League International  3.1  (3.5)  5

33.  Red Lanterns  3  (3.5)  5

=34.  Deathstroke  3  (3)  5

=34.  The Flash  (3) 4

=34.  Superboy  3  (3)  5

=37.  Men of War  2.9  (3.5)  5

=37.  Mister Terrific  2.9  (3.5)  5

=37.  O.M.A.C.  2.9  (3.5)  5

40.  Static Shock  2.9  (2.5)  5

41.  Voodoo  2.88  (3.5)  4

42.  DC Universe Presents  2.8  (3.5)  5

43.  All Star Western  2.75  (3.5)  4

44.  Red Hood and the Outlaws  2.7  (4)  5

45.  Superman  2.5  (2.5)  4

46.  Legion Lost  2.4  (2.5)  5

47.  The Fury of Firestorm  2.38  (2)  4

48.  Green Arrow  2.3  (3)  5

49.  Grifter   2.3  (2.5)  5

50.  Hawk and Dove  2 (2)  5

51.  Legion of Super-Heroes  1.7  (1.5)  5

52.  Savage Hawkman  1.5  (1)  4

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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.

4 thoughts on “DC New 52 – One Sentence Reviews, Part 19

  1. You so cheated with this review. English teachers/majors everywhere would gauk in horror – especially at your Batman review. Note, use of a semi-colon could help ^_^

    • I cheat EVERY week. Hahaha.

      I’m a journalist by profession, so I know the value of brevity (although have a weakness for long sentences).

      I could be more disciplined and actually stick to one – genuine – sentence, but I’d rather indulge myself. : )

      And, unfortunately, “a few sentences reviews” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

      • I know you do, but that Batman one especially was like a giant brick in the face. Out of the few issues I read, I can’t really disagree with what you put down though. I am looking forward to seeing your Teen Titans write up for next week. I broke down and bought the latest issue despite telling myself I was giving it up… Still not gonna write a review on it myself though.

      • Comics have been delayed again this week. The pain of living half way around the world (and a public holiday yesterday).

        I can either wait, or just bite the bullet and read them all digitally.

        I haven’t decided which way I’ll go yet.

        As for how am I keeping it up … it’s mainly that my priorities are currently 1. family, 2. comics (and my reviews) and 3. nothing else. Whenever I’m not doing family stuff, I’m trying to cram comics into my brain. I’ve literally fallen asleep while trying to read comics many times. I was keen to do six months when I started, but now I’m tempted to try to get through eight, to when the first titles are cancelled. I’ll see how I go.

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