Marguerite Bennett lands on a brilliant concept for a “Zero Year” tie-in, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.
Gail Simone has long been one of DC’s best writers, but her New 52 Batgirl run has been troubled at best. While Batgirl: Knightfall Descends remains deeply flawed, it is nevertheless a huge step in the right direction for the troubled title.
If there was one person who could save the idea of ‘Babs as Batgirl’, it was Gail Simone. Gail had years of experience writing Barbara Gordon, more experience than virtually any other comic writer still regularly working today. She was extremely familiar with the Gotham City crew, and she’d been writing dark action comics for years. Gail Simone was the perfect choice for the New 52 iteration of Batgirl. But her run has been divisive at best, though perhaps with the way DC treated fans of Steph and Cass that was always bound to happen, and reviews have generally been tepid.
So, where did it go wrong?
Carrie Kelly? Why her? Really? WTF DC?! ~possible spoilers~
Okay, so the title is a bit misleading. Not all the Batfamily has had a zero issue so far, and I haven’t picked all the zero issues yet. This will look at five titles though going in “order” of their crime fighting debut: Batman, Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood/Outlaws, Batman and Robin. Expect spoilers.
Gail Simone’s Batgirl fails to make a case for Barbara Gordon’s return in “The Darkest Reflection”, a story with some promising ideas and solid art but not much heart. For a more in depth review, read on…
This week in comics, owls get pissed at Batman, the Punisher fights zombies but stubbornly refuses to get at all groovy, and Vertigo drops a new anthology of sci-fi shorts.
Once again – with gusto – here are my New 52 One Sentence 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 but they aren’t included in the leaderboard.
Warning, there could be spoilers ahead (although I try to avoid them).
So I’ve been a bit quiet lately in my review writing. Not that I don’t have the time right now, just that not much I’ve been reading has really striked me as worth the time to review. First page of Batgirl 5 (pictured above) and more so the first few lines of the second page immediately made me want to write about this issue.
Sorry on the lack of full reviews, and lack of images even in this post. I just want to get in a few reviews here, but don’t have the energy with the holiday hustle to do a full review for each comic. So instead I’ll be doing short paragraph reviews for the following issue 4s: Batman, Birds of Prey, Green Lantern Corps, and Nightwing.
Fell a bit off with semester’s end in reading comics (I have a small stack from the last 3 weeks now I haven’t gotten to), and to be honest, I wasn’t planning on reviewing any of them until I got a little into this issue.
I’ll be looking at the One Year Later stuff now with issues 34-49. And I’m going to say now that some of these issues have to be Johns’ worst in this series.
As part of the new line-wide relaunch, DC has promised more diversity in their characters in terms of sexuality, race and gender. But as many female fans have already pointed out, Gender diversity seems to be about the same as before the reboot, maybe even worse. So far Power Girl has lost her title, and by the looks of things, her powers along with the name “Power Girl”, Zatanna lost her title. Oracle can walk and is Batgirl again, which has fans divided, Amanda Waller went from a big black powerhouse to Tyra Banks.
DC also made a commitment to giving their female characters more appropriate clothing (or pants in most cases) Then decided to change their mind and leave them running around in their underwear. After hearing all this, you can’t really blame the female audience for being a tad upset, can you?
So DC gave us a “relaunch” where bits are the same, others erased, and the general timeline crunched down due to de-aging many (but not all) of the characters. Due to this I at least am very confused on how everything fits in. So with the help of the other bloggers, I’ve decided to piece together a timeline.
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.