An all-DC week. It's been so long. This one turned out great, with the exception of GL and the addition of X-Force, which is one of the best books Marvel is putting out.
Animal Man 13 - This is a straight horror comic book. I know I've said that before, but every time I read a new issue of Animal Man, I am so impressed. Jeff Lemire is surpassing Scott Snyder as one of my new favorite writers, given the struggles that Batman is going through. Lemire's grip on horror and the tone of this book surpasses almost anything that DC is putting out now (exception made for Batwoman and nothing else) and makes the other chapter of Rotworld appear less than it would be if it stood on its own. I didn't like the idea of the crossover running concurrently, but after reading both titles, I can see the meticulous planning (other than the separate takes on Supergirl, which was disappointing, given how careful it appeared in all other aspects) that Memire and Snyder have done. Here, we get to see Shepherd again, as well as the remnants of the Red: the totems have made themselves into a city. They're in no position to help and, unfortunately, both timelines need it. In the present, the Bakers are in serious trouble and I don't know how they're going to escape. In the future, the bad guys have arrived and Buddy is going to have to time travel somehow, along with Alec.
Before Watchmen: Rorschach 2 - Wow. The panel looking up at him when he enters the Rio Hotel. The whole attitude of the book. The tone, the grit. The pencils - I finally feel like Bermejo is perfect for something. (I know others have felt that way about him before, what can I say?) The way he interrogates Joe. Man. Rorschach. The most gangster. The interest that the waitress is seeming to show in Rorschach is tragic in the most dramatic irony sense. Too bad for her she's clearly going to have to die some kind of horrible death. Or, Rorschach will just totally turn on her. Not sure which will be worse, but I have total confidence in Azzarello to have this plotted out well. Superb book.
Green Lantern 13 - The biggest bummer about this issue was the forcing of more of a timetable onto this stupid DCnU. Kyle's only been a GL for 2 years? Wow. More pushing of stereotypes when DC has a chance to introduce a truly new character shouldn't surprise me, but it's still disappointing, regardless of how obvious it is. Johns is still capable of writing a great GL book without Hal as the lead, but this push to outer limits is frustrating. The Rise of the Third Army should be a great, seminal story, but because it's being forced upon us in the midst of at least two misguided pushes (diversity! DCnU!), it's falling really, really flat.
Swamp Thing 13 - This was a great book and it would have been good no matter what. But, it came out the same day as Rotworld Chapter 1: The Red Kingdom. In that respect, it fails, because it just was not as good. But in many aspects, it succeeded. Swamp Thing's journey is more familiar because of the presence of the love interest, Abby, but it also feels more generic. It's nice to see Deadman and Ivy, who are more familiar characters than grown-up Beast Boy, cyborg Steel and also-ran Black Orchid. That, however, is the only real way in which this book is superior to its fellow first chapter. The fake Swamp Things, the fake death of Abby, the fake Hawkman...they all feel like lesser version of the story we already saw on the West Coast.
Book of the week goes to BW: Rorschach. I'm not sure if this is the first BW book to win the book of the week in my subjective reviewing, but I am sure that this is one of the best that I've seen.