Another all DC-week, in the aftermath of my saying that I was falling off with them, proves to be worse than subpar. The one Marvel book I read, Uncanny X-Force, was better than all of these books (plus: that cover!). Sad times for my favorite addiction.
Animal Man 14 - Well, after praising it for so long, this book was bound to fall off at least a little bit. The problem with the DCnU is that there are only a handful of truly interesting characters, but the editors of the Universe as a whole seem intent on crossing over in as many ways as possible. While Animal Man and Swamp Thing have a natural (and great!) connection, this assembly of motley characters does nothing to interest me in the story of Rotworld. The parallels between Swampy and Abigail and Buddy's daughter Maxine and her new friend William are lazy, the dialogue between the pseudo-JLA that Animal Man is hanging out with is forced and the art is way below its normal level. This crossover is fading fast and it doesn't look like it's going to get any better next issue with the forced entry of Grodd. (Remember when DC was briefly obsessed with apes and made that their monthly theme? Ugh.) Here's to hoping we can wrap this up quickly.
Before Watchmen: Moloch 1 - Reading this one was interesting. The combination of sex and violence has always been one of the hallmarks of Watchmen, but they're really, really pushing that angle with all of these prelude books. It's not a bad thing, but it's odd to read 7 different stories pushing that angle so hard when so few other books ever have. Moloch has always been a bit character in the Watchmen universe, so I was surprised to read that he was getting his own book, but this one worked. I've never been a huge fan of Risso's art, and that continued in this issue, but JMS' writing seemed to almost hit the spot. The story of the freak growing up, finding his way, and hurting the world over his angsty childhood is a cliche one, but that doesn't make it any less good, and this was definitely believable. The tone of the second issue is going to be really good, cuz it'll have a lot of the morally ambiguous Ozymandias that we're all used to. I'll go with this.
Green Lantern 14 - Meh. Baz's story is still lackluster, but the real oof in this story was seeing the JLA, bastardized, parody versions of themselves in the DCnU. Overall, the New 52 is so inconsequential to me that it doesn't even feel worth complaining about. But with the success of Animal Man and Swamp Thing, and with GL so deftly avoiding this reboot, and Batman halfway doing so, it really does feel, to me, like it never happened. Other than when I have to see the other characters guesting in books that I'm reading, I never really encounter them. I'm interested in Johns' longterm vision for the Guardians (looks like there's going to be a change of the...guard? /pun) and whether the Third Army will stick around or not. Also, it's really interesting to me how involved Black Hand is with this story. Would have thought he'd run his course, but it's nice to see how, even though he's lost his golden touch, Geoff Johns is still able to construct a long-term narrative. Something that's really being embraced nowadays, and I think it's a good thing.
Swamp Thing 14 - This was, by far, the better of the two Rotworld books this week, but that's not a huge surprise. While Animal Man and Swamp Thing may have taken turns being the better book, it's a huge help to have normal penciller Yanick Paquette on regular duties and to have fewer guest stars in the book. Deadman is a solid character and he's the only one who's in here the whole time. Poison Ivy does her job and then is relegated to the background, and Swamp Thing is the main character (as he should be) the whole time. It was also nice how this worked with last week's Annual in a supplementary fashion. Swampy voyages from the Parliament towards Gotham in search of a weapon to defeat the Rot, but on the way he runs into William, who's got Aquaman's trident with him. It's going to be a fight next month, but I'm confident in Swampy's (reduced) powers. The more interesting side of the story is what's going on with Abigail. Alec feels that she's alive, and I've no doubt that she is, but is he going to want to see what she's (inevitably) become?
Book of the week goes to Swamp Thing. It was a bad week overall, but this book was still above the rest, even if the bar wasn't set too high.