The DCnU in Review (Week 1)
By Arnie Ross on October 11, 2011
It’s been over a month since DC Comics has introduced us to the DCnU. It’s a complete reboot of the DC universe starting with 52 titles all starting with #1 issues. Their gamble paid off in retail and online sales numbers. But now the question is, “How do the books rate based solely on their content?” I’ve taken it upon myself to read and review every book (so you don’t have to, even though I KNOW you’re so curious) and share my thoughts with my fellow Nerdists (you lucky things, you).
Here are the basics:
• There are 52 titles (I’ll be reviewing in 4 parts, 1 for each week)
• I’m not going to cover plot points.
• Each review will be bare-bones, around 2-5 sentences.
• Each review will feature a 1-10 rating (1 worst, 10 best… I know very innovative)
• My goal is to approach each title with fresh eyes and not compare them to what’s come continuity/story-wise before now, just my initial impressions as a fanboy who’s been reading comics for more years than you’ve been alive.
• The reviews will be SPOILER-FREE.
• The reviews will be without creative credits. Check out dccomics.com for all the particulars.
Here we go…
Justice League 01 (technically before week one, sue me)
I love that this title takes place 5 years in the past. The art is fantastic, and so far the League (Green Lantern, Batman & Superman) looks young and eager and awesome. We get the start of the origin of Cyborg, whom I feel will become the rookie/everyman in the League. A fun, action packed book.
Action Comics 01
The art is gorgeous! This book also takes place in the past and gives us nice intros for Clark/Superman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olson, Lex Luthor and General Lane. Utterly enjoyable.
Animal Man 01
Starts out as an everyman superhero story and ends quite weird. The art suits the subject but didn’t blow me out of the water. Worth a read.
I love seeing Babs back in the Batgirl uniform, but I don’t know that this controversial title lived up to the hype. I’ll stick around to see what happens next. Unremarkable.
The art is outstanding. This is a perfect first issue. We get character intros, guest stars, plenty of action and TWO total “Oh Shit” moments. Can’t wait for the next issue.
Detective Comics 01
This issue comes out swinging. It takes place in the past and Batman is not on good terms with the GCPD or the criminal underworld. We get our first glimpse of the Joker and he’s cah-raaaaazy. This issue is jam packed with frantic action and art and end with a straight-up “What the eff?!”
Green Arrow 01
The art is so clean and pleasing it could be used as style guide art. It’s nice to see a young Ollie acting with a sort of “Birds of Prey” motive with his own support team. Basic Superhero fun.
Hawk and Dove 01
I can’t tell what’s sloppier, the art or the writing. 2D characters leave me with a whole, “who cares?” attitude.
Justice League International 01
Great art and a great cast. I’m not blown away by the story and the characterization so far. I’m worried that one cast member in particular has been added merely to kill somewhere in the next few issues. I hope I’m wrong.
Men of War 01
A double-story issue. One features the descendant of Sgt. Rock versus superheroes and the other features a bunch of military jargon. Meh.
Kirby-esque art with out the charm. I did like the old-school narrative boxes, but it wasn’t enough to make me want more. It’s a HULK story without the angst. I have no idea what’s going on.
Static Shock 01
It’s Spider-Man with monetary backing, a headquarters, a mentor, and lackluster art. Nothing here I haven’t seen 100 times before.
Storm Watch 01
This issue asks way more questions than it answers… which could be good. Curious to see what they do with Apollo, Midnighter and the Martian Manhunter. We’ll see.
Swamp Thing 01
Absolutely beautiful art. We’re given a Swamp Thing who’s firmly established in the DCnU with guest stars. It’s horror meets superheroes. This issue features some seriously effed up imagery… SERIOUSLY.
So far I think DC is off to a great start. I got some real pleasant surprises with books I normally would never have given a second look (Batwing, Swamp Thing). Also, please note, these books are NOT all ages; They are seriously dark, and violent. By the time you read this, all of the first issues have gone into second printings and should be easily available at your local comic shop.
In a nutshell:
Do NOT miss: Justice League, Action, Detective, Batwing, and Swamp Thing (if you like horror)
AVOID • Hawk and Dove
The other titles are various states of medium and worth a looky-loo.
Thanks for reading.
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