Sunday, October 28, 2012

The weekly comics review

I'm going to start it up again.  I think.  I must admit I'm a bit disillusioned by DC's recent output.  The new 52 has been a big disappointment.  There's too much to say about why this is at this point, so I'll start the reviews and elaborate as I go.

Spoilers ahead for:
Justice League 13, Superboy 13, Supergirl 13, Birds of Prey 13, Green Lantern Corps 13, Wonder Woman 13, Swamp Thing 13, Ultimate Spider-Man 16, Angel and Faith 14,  Justice League Dark 13, Teen Titans 13.
Justice League 13
I am utterly disappointed in this title.  The first issue was fabulous.  Really good fun.  Energetic.  Exciting.  Cocky.  Brilliant.  The rest of the arc that #1 kickstarted was fun, but not as memorable as #1.  Now it's turned into utter rot.  I'm not even referring to the Wonder Woman/Superman romance.  As much as that is not to my taste it could still be a good story, if told well.  Unfortunately the dialogue and plotting is boring and the art is awful.  Where the art matches the characters and the plot, it's dull and by the numbers.  Where it's meant to be romantic it looks stilted and awkward.  The anatomy is sometimes bad and there is too much emphasis on showing Diana's arse and her sexiness.  The colouring, inking and the movement lines are nice.  But overall the art detracts from the story.

I was keeping this on my pull list because I enjoyed the Captain Marvel backup.  It frustrates me that we have lost the old innocent Batson family, but if I forget about them I did like the new Marvel.  However in this issue it is gone and replaced by On the Outs which looks like a link in to the Justice League America title, and is also utterly boring.  It doesn't help that Amanda Waller is now a skinny little thing.

Rubbish. I've now dropped this title. 

Superboy 13
Egads, all I can see on the cover is a pair of enormous metal boobs.  This is not a good start.  I'm also thinking about dropping this title.  The art is lovely, but I'm not invested in the characters.  It turns out that this Superboy just isn't doing it for me.

Supergirl 13
The art in this series has been absolutely gorgeous.  Unfortunately regular artist mahmud Asrar did not do thsi issue and the guest artist Sam Basri just cannot make Kara's skirtless/trouserless costume look right.  It's fine until you get to the bottom of the leotard and then it just looks stupid.

I have been enjoying this series but it doesn't really feel like Supergirl to me yet.  Kara should be more innocent, she should be happier, she should be trusting of her cousin.  I know that her reactions to date have been more realistic given her new history, but this still feels a little like someone else in the Supergirl costume.  Nevertheless I shall keep buying it and hope I get more attached later.

Birds of Prey 13
Another disappointment.  It started off so well.  Starling is great, so is Black Canary.  Katana I can take or leave (I have always been that way) and I really enjoyed Poison Ivy's inclusion.  The Batgirl came on the scene and my enthusiasm level dropped.  Then Ivy left in the most obvious-standard-ex-villain-betrays-the-team-storyline possible, and now I'm ceasing to care.  Black Canary no longer seems to have that essential goodness or mothering instinct to her character.  Add to that some occasionally exploitative art, Black Canary losing her legacy identity and the Penguin giving Dinah her superhero name, and I'm really narked.

Another one to possibly cancel.  3 out of 4 so far.  We're not doing too well are we?

Green Lantern Corps 13
This I just picked up off the shelf because it looked fun, and it actually caught my interest.  Guy has been promoted to Lantern Sentinel and then jeopardises it because of some ugly alien threat.  the Guardians appear to have let a super criminal out of his cage.  I enjoyed this but I don't think I'll necessarily be picking up the next issue.  We'll see.  I'm far more interested in what the Guardians are up to than I am in Guy's new job.  It was pretty obvious that he'd wreck it as soon as he'd been given it.

Wonder Woman 13
I love the depictions of the Gods in this.  It's my favourite thing about the new 52.  Diana is portrayed as a lot tougher than previous incarnations, which is a viewpoint I can get behind.  OK, so I find Zeus being Di's father dull and the Amazon's as man haters obnoxious, but the rest of the series is well executed.  It could do with a little more pizazz, but this one is a keeper.

Swamp Thing 13
Bought this one as it's a crossover with Animal Man, which I have been loving.  Unfortunately as a one off issue it's crap.  Well maybe it's not.  Maybe crossover issues are just not to my taste.  I prefer series that run by themselves, referencing the rest of the DCU but with little direct input.  A few pages of art are lush, but overall the inking is a little too heavy handed for my tastes:

Ultimate Spider-Man 16
I have been LOVING this series.  It is quite serious so if you prefer your comics lighter in tone, you should get hold of the Spider-men mini series.

Issue 16 is smack bang in the middle of the United We Stand crossover.  It starts off strongly with Miles deciding he should join the Avengers and assist the country in the throes of civil war.  Because Miles is 13 years old, Captain America says no way.  Then the military stronghold where they are gets attacked, and Miles helps out, and so the Cap'n changes his mind and lets Miles join the Avengers.  Rrrriggghhhttt. I sense editorial insisting that a Spider-mask is part of this event.  And then on the final page we find out the Captain is now President of America.

Sigh.  This is stupid.  The sooner this is out of the way and we can go back to Miles everyday life the better.

Angel and Faith 14
This was really good and made me regret selling my Buffy season 8 comics.  I may continue to pick this up on an ad hoc basis.

Justice League Dark 13
I've picked up the last 3 issues of this on an ad hoc basis and have really liked it.  I miss Zee's old costume and the pre 52 Black Orchid I was familiar with, but I do like the tone and plotting of this series.  This may get put onto a standing order.  Maybe.

Teen Titans 13
This is on my pull list.  It is a surprise success as the solicits looked awful, but it's actually great fun.  Ale Garza does the pencils, and I think I preferred his work from a few years ago, particularly the Supergirl issue he did.  This panel is particularly distasteful:

Cassie's new armour reminds me of Genocide.  But this issue shows us that her armour is linked to Trigon.  I'd really like to find out how Cass is linked to Wonder Woman now.  If at all.  I am not at all interested in Trigon.  But, the comic remains fun and the interplay between characters make sit worth the cover price.

On the plus side, while researching Genocide I found this handy wiki of Wonder Woman villains.

And that's my feeling on the last 2 weeks comics.  Not very optimistic is it?

It feels good to be doing reviews again :)


SallyP said...

Reviews are always fun to do. I agree with you about Justice League, it has been pretty darned dull lately. dull. And Amanda Waller as young and skinny just doesn't work for me. She's not nearly as brutally manipulative as she should be either.

Naturally, I adore the Green Lanterns, but yes, Guy is in for some tough times.

JLA Dark hasn't been bad as such. Birds of Prey just isn't the same without Huntress or Lady Blackhawk, but I'm an old fuddy duddy.

Saranga said...

I miss Helen Bertinelli. Thank god for those No Mans Land volumes.