A DC heavy week, which used to be an every week kind of thing, but is now a significant rarity. It's been more than a year since the New 52 launched and I have to say, as a hopeful final word on this front: it's just not that great. The books that are great (Animal Man, Swamp Thing and Batwoman) are amazing. The rest? Enh.
Animal Man 0 - A good glimpse into the creation of Buddy Baker and the retconning of his not truly being the avatar of the Red. It's been mentioned before, but this issue does a really good job of fleshing most of the parts of Buddy's history out, making what came before fit with the picture they're presenting now. Probably the best of the zero issue so-called origin issues I read.
Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre 3 - I'm not going with, "This book was a trip!" but it really was. The art here is perfect, and the story is doing a great job of showing the way the generations (and families) that we've come to know from the Watchmen universe fit together. Is this what Alan Moore had in mind as a backstory when he wrote Watchmen? Who cares. It's an entertaining read.
Green Lantern 0 - Not sure how to feel about this one. If Simon turns out to be a great, important character who's around for ages and ages to come, it'll be better. If he's a character they've brought in only to kill sooner rather than later, then I'll be upset. Introduce people that you want us to care about and have them stick around, other than just to be devices to move the plot forward. It's a shame that we have to guess along those lines, but that's reality. As for the story itself, it was pretty overtly political. I haven't seen much of Amanda Waller in the New 52 Universe, but apparently she's a pretty heartless woman in this version, too, huh?
Mind the Gap 4 - With the exception of some great art, this book has really fallen off. I'm not accustomed to having to grasp for every single little thing. The story doesn't truly seem like it's going anywhere yet. This one might be something that reads better in one whole piece when it's done. Here's to hoping it's a finite mystery that they've got the end to already, as opposed to something they're going to try to stretch on forever. It's got great potential, the first issue was killer, and there are some intriguing pieces with the wolves and the dreamscape here, but the soap opera twists and turns (father shows up! he turned his son in!) are a little silly, as is the wants-to-be-bold tagline EVERYONE IS A SUSPECT! Some people just shouldn't be in order for it to be a good mystery.
Swamp Thing 0 - I was less happy with this origin issue than Animal Man because it did far less to explain how and why Holland is alive. Maybe I missed this pre-New52? Was it revealed already in the Quest to Save Swamp Thing or whatever that book was called? I don't really care, but it just felt like more about his old life than about his origin. It was neat to see Anton in both books, it's amazing how closely tied these books are and it shows what can be done when there are writers who care about working together to tell a coherent story, which is what all of the New52 should have been.
Ultimate Spider-Man 14 - Enh. Not great, not bad. Cap reconsiders training Miles after Gwen and MJ and Aunt May give the new Spidey a pep talk (and a sweet gift!) and he helps Capt. Rogers take down the Rhino. This is a prime example, though, of the opposite of what I was just talking about. There are 2 other books in the Ultimate Universe that are presenting the entire US as a torn, destroyed piece of garbage, but Cap is just chilling in NY to talk to Spidey and they have a minor breakout to take care of? I thought he was in the Southwest, fighting militiamen? This shouldn't be so hard. You've had this event planned for at least a year, right? Line things up better.
Book of the week goes to Silk Spectre for the way Conner is stretching herself. Beyond impressive.