Hey everyone! It’s an exciting new comic book day for me, with all the new DC Comics titles that are launching this month. There are also some old favorites on my plate, and I’ll try not to skew too DC heavy, but I want to at least talk about the numbers ones if I can. I’ll do those first so you can scroll past if you’re not into DC.
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artists: ACO (pencils), ACO w/Hugo Petrus (inks), Romulo Fajardo, Jr. (colors), Jared K. Fletcher (letters)
Okay, I’ve been waiting for this one for awhile. And I am 99% extremely happy with what’s on the page.I’ve seen DCnU Midnighter in the pages of Grayson (another book I’d recommend), and was excited to hear he was getting his own title, written by a gay man. Having a gay man write a gay superhero is hugely important. But all that aside, the book itself is a strong first issue. The action is brutal and intense, which fits perfectly for the character, and if you don’t know the character, this issue does a great job of introducing him and his style. ACO’s art (who is ACO, btw?) fits the story well; it’s all breaking bones and pierced organs in the beginning, and the art does a great job of showing without being too graphic. There’s also a mention of Apollo, as an ex, which I hope means we’ll see him again and get to explore that relationship. But in the meantime, Midnighter is not a celibate gay person (as are many of the gay people in media). So that’s pretty amazing also. Plus the end of the issue sets up a great device to move the story forward. My only gripe, and I imagine this will change as Midnighter’s world expands, is that there’s only one woman, and she’s older and Not Exactly Nice. So I’d like to see some more women in his story, but I’m not assuming yet that I won’t. Overall this was a great first issue for a great “new” superhero, and I’m excited for more.
Bizarro #1 (of 6)
Writer: Heath Corson
Artists: Gustavo Duartie & Bill Sienkiewicz, Pete Pantazis (colors), Tom Napolitano (letters)
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Bizarro, even having read the preview last month. I knew it would be Bizarro and Jimmy Olson on a road trip, that was about it. I wasn’t sure if it’d be all ages, or more like Squirrel Girl, which is… basically most ages but not all of them. It’s definitely more of the latter. The humor is great, the art fits the story perfectly, it’s cartoony and bright and expressive, but smart. My only quibble is the weird way the women (well, woman) are drawn. But, I sort of get that, given the style? So it’s not too bad. This kind of reminds me of an Adult Swim cartoon? Maybe? That may be a terrible comparison. It’s cartoony, but it has some clever humor that might fly over kids’ heads. Also there’s one scene with a goat’s brain. Anyway, the worst part of this comic is that it’s only six issues. Also you may have a lower tolerance for Bizarro-speak than I do, which I would totally understand. But it’s a fun comic!
Batman Beyond #1
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: Bernard Chang, Marcel Maiolo (colors), Dave Sharpe (letters)
Batman Beyond is really dark. I haven’t read much of the new52 stuff, but my memories are of a frayed-at-the-edges but still bright future, where Terry McGinnis had to balance high school and high tech crime fighting. This is not that Batman Beyond. But that’s fine. I can handle a certain amount of darkness. I’ll know when I hit the tipping point, as I did with Earth 2. So this is Tim Drake, flung into a future where Brother Eye has destroyed pretty much everything. Terry died in the past, where he went to stop Bruce from starting Brother Eye in the first place, but… he maybe succeeded so this is actually an alternate future, which is okay now because Convergence brought back the multiverse. Yay! Anyway, Gotham is allegedly the only city that Brother Eye can’t see, so everyone there is safe and most of the other people are dead or “turned” (we find out what that means in fairly dramatic fashion), including the Justice League. Tim, carrying the guilt of Terry’s death, is on a mission to keep this Gotham safe. And that’s the gist, really. I like Dan Jurgens, I have for a long time, and the art is really good for the dark future. Also, even though this is yet another series led by a white, straight (probably), dude, the supporting cast is shaping up to be really diverse. But that’s how future solo titles start, right? With supporting characters who get popular. So here’s hoping!
Broken World #1
Writer: Frank J. Barbiere
Artists: Christopher Peterson, Marissa Louise (colors), Ed Dukeshire (letters)
So what happens to the people left behind after the planet is evacuated and the apocalypse never comes? That’s the idea behind Broken World, and I’m looking forward to finding out the answer. This book sets up the premise: with an impending asteroid crash, the government has evacuated most of the world’s population off planet using space elevators (yay!). The government is, I guess, a world government? Either way, they also leave about 25% of the population behind, for various reasons. I’m assuming criminality/non-conformity of some sort? There are some religious people who’ve decided to stay behind, and who think it’s a sin that people are attempting to escape God’s judgment. And that’s sort of the broad world. We also get hints of a corporation (possibly also the government?) and a few other little world-building morsels. I felt pretty satisfying with how this first issue went, and I like that the main character is a woman, a mother on her second marriage,
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artists: Javier Rodriguez (pencils), Alvaro Lopez (inks), Muntsa Vicente (colors), VC’s Travis Lanham (letters)
The first arc of All-New, Still-Awesome Spider-Woman comes to an end, as Jess gets the stuffing knocked out of her by a woman in a mech suit thing. I appreciate how willing they are to let Jess take a beating. We also see the reason behind this town in the first place, told in flashbacks. This is some dark stuff, and I was worried the comic would leave a survivor of abuse as a villain. But I shouldn’t have been worried, because it didn’t. It also didn’t make it seem like a simple issue, nor did it put the women – all survivors of some kind of abuse – into a bad position. And Jess came out as a real superhero. It was nice to see her new suit in real action, and the writing remains spot on, in my opinion. Hopeless has had a great handle on Jess since he started with her in the first issue, and it’s nice to see her with some good art. This remains one of my favorite ongoings at Marvel.
Also on my radar: Green Arrow #41, Action Comics #41, Feathers #6, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6. The Woods #13