Monday, September 12, 2011

comics for the week of 09/07/11.

All DC. All DCnU. Some things change and some things don't. It's a weird time in my comic book-collecting life. Animal Man 1 - I never read Animal Man before and, to be honest, I didn't really give him much thought as a character. But with Jeff Lemire writing the book (and promising to work so closely with Scott Snyder on Swamp Thing) I knew that I needed to check it out. I'm glad that I did, because I think it's been the best of the New 52 thus far. The one page intro was pitch perfect and the art (although it wasn't my favorite) was hitting all the right notes with the tone. The last page was a great mix of creepy and enticing and the whole story just seemed really well plotted. The only bad part, for me, was the full page splash of Animal Man in his new costume that looks exactly like the early X-Factor Angel. After the newspaper interview had mentioned his iconic costume (and especially the goggles!) it seemed really weird to have that drastic a change. Batgirl 1 - This book was the opposite of the Animal Man experience for me: a character that I'd read extensively where nothing seemed to work out quite right. Sure, there were plenty of parts that were good, but the bad just so heavily outweighed it and the whole reading experience came across as awkward. We have our answer as to how they're going to deal with Killing Joke (and Oracle!) and the answer is...they're side-stepping it. She got shot, she couldn't walk, but now she can. That's it. (Are we to believe that some DC exec didn't say, "It's magic!"?) The art was good, it was a hoot to see Babs in the costume again, but those were about the only good things for me in this issue. The way that things can be waved aside in such a blatantly disregarding manner is disturbing to me and the inconsistency of this reboot is only going to get worse. Swamp Thing 1 - This is where the inconsistency is really starting to get to me. Swamp Thing was a good book, but not as good as I was hoping. But before I get into anything about the book itself, we have to talk about the meeting with Superman. There are clear references to the Search for Swamp Thing as well as Brightest Day, which would be awesome in the normal DCU, but just doesn't seem to make sense in the DCnU. I'm fine if these things all happened, like the Killing Joke and Brightest Day and I know that's what they're going for, but it just doesn't make sense to me. Superman and Batman just hit the scene five years ago, we're told in JLA. Batgirl was shot 3 years ago. Hal was GL 5 years ago, but now he's not, as Sinestro is filling that role in Green Lantern. The events are all connected! You can't just say, OK, this happened, but not that. It's a whole universe. It's not so simple. Ah, rant over. Swamp Thing as a book was good, the art by Paquette was divine and the way the story was told made it interesting, I'm going to enjoy this back and forth. However, I don't know if it made a difference, but I read this comic digitally, as my LCS was sold out (!) and it just felt...not as good. I was more excited for this book than any other new title I'm trying out, and I liked it, sure, but it didn't feel like a golden child. I'll still give it time to find its legs, as I'm definitely on for the first arc (as opposed to Batgirl, where I won't be buying any more copies) but I wasn't head over heels for this one. Book of the week goes to Animal Man. I'm excited to get into this new character. I like how insular this book felt in the first issue, because now I don't have to worry about the space-time continuum or the severity of the reboot or the rest of the issues that the New 52 is causing inside of me. Solid book, definitely worth your time.

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