This week in comics, America America America America! Also, Animal Man breaks out of its slump!
This week in comics, DC’s attempt to cash-in on Watchmen 25 years too late (and a few years too late for the film) begins with Before Watchmen: Minutemen, Boom! launches some a pair of new ongoings, and Morrison kills Clark Kent, that bastard!
Here’s the first wave of #7 reviews. Lots of 4.5s this week … I must be back on that good medication again.
As usual, each comic is scored out of five. From here on out, I’m only going to update the leaderboard once a month – at the end – to show which are consistently excellent, which are on the rise, and which are circling the drain (excluding reviewed one-shots and mini-series).
Warning, there could be spoilers ahead, although I try to avoid them.
Having read ALL of the New 52 comics to date, I figured I was well-placed to present some awards based on the first six months of the relaunch.
It’s going to be subjective as hell, but what random blog isn’t?
And apologies for the terrible name I’m giving these awards. Haha.
Without further ado …
Thanks to my wife taking the children to visit their grandparents for a night, I had a little extra time to read comics this week, hence the early delivery of my habitually late One Sentence Reviews.
As usual, each comic is scored out of five and at the end I have a cumulative leader board to show which are consistently excellent, which are on the rise, and which are circling the drain.
Warning, there could be spoilers ahead (although I try to avoid them).
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).
As I read Animal Man #5, I couldn’t stop thinking about David Cronenberg. Cronenberg’s older films often dealt with the way repression and science could meet to do horrible, horrible things to the human body, and the disgusting, visceral thrills of films like The Fly or Crash (the one about car crash fetishists, not the crappy one) are not that far removed from, say, the frankly terrifying transformation Buddy’s face undertakes as the Rot briefly captures him. Lemire and Foreman are taking a look at nature and parenthood the same way Cronenberg often looked at sexuality and repression: by making physical all the fears and perversions people have about these issues. And it works very well here, as Lemire continues his strong run on DC’s coolest new title.
Here you’ll find 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.
I have also reviewed Batman – Noel, although it isn’t included in the leaderboard.
There could be spoilers ahead (although I try to avoid them).
I know I’m probably in the minority for this, but for my personal taste, CGI is doing a lot to strangle horror more than any genre except (maybe) sci-fi action. There’s something fundamentally unreal about CGI that always brings me out of a movie when I realize that Nameless Teenage Girl #5 is screaming at… nothing, really. No, give me something like Rob Bottin’s frankly terrifying effects in Carpenter’s 1982 masterpiece The Thing, or H.R. Giger’s chilling, memorable design for Alien. They occupy the same world the actors do, and for whatever reason, that ups the ante considerably for me. Comics have a distinct advantage there: anything the artist draws should look like it occupies the same world as the rest of the cast. Get a talented creators and let him play around with some designs, and you’ll get something horrifying. All this leads up to this: the first few pages of Animal Man #3 offer up some of the most inspired, horrific creature design I’ve ever seen in a comic book – and the rest of the issue manages to match it beat-for-beat in intensity.
It’s time to take on the first round of #2 for the New 52, dishing up 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.
I also review limited series, like the new Huntress and Penguin minis, but these are not included in the leader board.
Be warned, there could be spoilers ahead (although I try to avoid them).
… and a leader board, for those keeping score.
Time poor? Hate long reviews? Love lists?
If you answered yes to any of the above, then this one’s for you. As a 35-year-old dad, with a baby on the way, and two jobs, there are some restrictions on my time. This article series is for guys like me … and it’s all I got time to do anyway.
One week in, and I have to say: I’m impressed. It’s not that all of the books are winners. They aren’t. There’s a fair bit of mediocrity here. But it’s the sort of mediocrity that SELLS. It’s the kind many people like. While I found the Batbooks lacking the ambition of Morrison’s run or the strong characterization and storytelling of Snyder’s run, the fact is that all of them are solid executions on a formula that works. Outside of maybe Hawk and Dove (the only book I put down without having a solid grasp on what it wanted to do or say), every book on here stands a fair chance of finding a loyal audience – and what’s more, there’s an awful lot of ambition on display.
But what has really impressed me is the variety of stories on display. Whether it’s the way Morrison and Morales have shaken up the way Superman is ‘supposed to’ look, act and sound, the way Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder are effortlessly blending superheroes with horror or the way Ivan Brandon gives war a terrifying new dimension in a world full of superhumans, the New DCU seems to have something to offer everyone! Continue reading
While lebeau continues to give you a fantastic title-by-title breakdown of the upcoming relaunch, I’m going to take a slightly different take on things. With the full solicits revealed, release dates included, we now have a slightly better idea of what to expect come September. So I’m going to break down the solicits by release date, talk a little bit about what I’m going to get – and what I’m going to skip – and why, so you’ll have an idea of what some of the books that will definitely see coverage here will be… and which of your favorites you can heartily mock me for skipping.
So, with that brief introduction, on to week one of the solicits, otherwise known as… September 7th.
Twenty-two pages fills up fast. There’s no denying that. Action sequences often eat up huge chunks of a book, and you can only fit so much dialogue on the page before it becomes cluttered, not to mention how much of the probably excellent art you’ll be covering up by doing so. So, understandably, most writers will have their stories run in arcs, getting 44, 66, 88, etc… pages to tell it. It’s not hard to see why, but the tendency to keep expanding the story is part of what makes it so rewarding when you come across a single issue that manages to not only exemplify what it is you so love about the book, but that manages to do so with an impressive economy of storytelling. One Shot is meant to take a close look at why those issues work as well as they do, the way they do.