This Week In Comics: 9/12/2012

This week in comics, the second week of DC’s ‘zero month’ produces nothing as terrible as Swamp Thing #0 and nothing as wonderful as Action Comics #0. Mostly, this week was pretty average. Sorry.

Batman #0

For once, I’m glad this book has a back-up, because James Tynion IV’s “Tomorrow” was far and away the strongest part of this issue, and one of my favorite Batman stories from the last few years.  The main feature, which finds Bruce fighting the Red Hood Gang as a vigilante before becoming Batman, is both utterly incomplete (and according to the issue, won’t be until 2013) and largely uninteresting, despite some very solid work from the artistic team of Capullo, Glapion and Plascencia, but a back-up feature that gives us a few short scenes with Tim, Jason, Dick, Barbara and Jim Gordon manages to make the Batman family mythology come together in a single, lovely moment.  The main feature is worthless, but “Tomorrow” is a great example of how ‘zero month’ looks when its done right. (B. DC Comics, $3.99)

Demon Knights #0

Etrigan and Jason Blood have been bound together in comics for pretty much as long as either has existed.  What is one without the other?  Paul Cornell gives us a glimpse at both lives before they intersected, and the tragic events that brought them together.  Though the story is at times a bit rushed – Etrigan’s entire conflict, that he’s terrible at rhyming and hates having to do so, doesn’t really make sense – and Cornell draws some fairly heavy-handed parallels between Jason and Etrigan, but it all comes together in the end as Camelot’s fall and Merlin’s machinations force Jason to grow up and shoulder an impossibly heavy burden.  It makes me wish we got more of Jason in the main book, because Cornell sticks the landing here and makes him into a fairly compelling character.  Here’s hoping that can continue. (B+. DC Comics, $2.99)

Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #0

This is probably Kindt’s weakest issue to date.  Frankenstein’s origin almost certainly didn’t need to be retold, especially since it’s mostly just a mash-up of various past origins for the character.  Kindt does come across one genuinely cool idea – that, convinced he was a monster, Frankenstein eventually found himself accepted into a tribe in the Amazon, where he fought monstrous jungle creatures to protect them – but the idea is given incredibly short shrift and a trite ‘tragic’ ending.  Like so many ‘zero issues’, it feels overwritten and undercooked.  (C+. DC Comics, $2.99)

The Shade #12 (of 12)

After so many issues – not just of The Shade but also of Robinson’s seminal work Starman –  did we really need the origin of the Shade so thoroughly spelled out?  And this wasn’t even a Zero Issue!  Still, it’s a nice, simple way to send off a solid mini-series and a great character.  It’s an easy book to relax into, and it’s great to meet the Shade’s family when they were still a happy, largely functional group of people, but I could have used a little more narrative kick.  As a capper to Robinson’s Opal City epic, it’s great to have this one final piece of the puzzle, but it is lacking as an individual issue, despite absolutely fantastic art from Gene Ha. (B. DC Comics, $2.99)

Team 7 #0

Team 7, Justin Jordan and Jesus Merino’s look at the government’s response to the dawn of super-heroes, is… forgettable? Average? Okay?  Whatever you want to call it, if you were craving another book about government-sponsored hard-asses doing hard-ass things, this is probably the book for you, but anyone else is advised to wait and see if Jordan and Merino have anything to say.  Because this is a boilerplate an opening issue as you could imagine.  (C. DC Comics, $2.99)


5 thoughts on “This Week In Comics: 9/12/2012

    • Possibly. I thought it was incredibly same-y throughout. Like, they kept recruiting all these people with different specialties… whose specialties ALL seemed to boil down to ‘fighting stuff’.

      Waller is introduced as an analyst, and yet she’s introduced alone and armed in the field. Dinah and Kurt are introduced as infiltration experts, yet they’re introduced amidst a huge, noisy gun-fight. James Bronson’s introduction basically just says they need him because he’s in super good shape. Their ace pilot is introduced… getting her plane blown up. The last pages contradict Grifter’s (pretty good) origin in his own book for a more generic one here.

      It just all felt so silly and half-baked to me, like DC gave Jordan two weeks lead time to put the book together. I don’t think there was a single original thought, image or character in the book, which wouldn’t be a problem if Jordan gave any indication that this would be anything but a retread of some of the worst excesses of the 90s.

      How did you like the digital experience?

      • Well, digital comics don’t give me as much pleasure as paper ones do: my eyes get more tired, and I can’t appreciate artistic details properly. But I would have had to wait at least ONE MONTH to get the paper copy here in Italy, so I don’t regret my purchase. Thank you for your reply! : )

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