The New 52 continues with the 2nd wave of new titles. After reading the first two weeks worth of titles, there's one word to describe The New 52: Dark.
Not that there's anything wrong with books that are dark in tone or material, but I'm hoping we see a bit more sunlight and hope peek through the books as the month continues. Too much of anything can be.. well, too much.
That said, there's some gems this week. Let's get to it.
Deathstroke #1 - Good introductory issue. An all-in-one plot for the character, plus a hook at the end. A bit of a surprise there, with his comment about not liking competition; it made me laugh. The one thought I had (and this has gone through my head a couple times in the last couple weeks) is that Deathstroke's outfit was a little too much 90's Image Excess. Sometimes simpler is better? (See Batwoman's costume). That said, solid first issue.
Grifter #1 - Oh, DC. Why must you take my previous Wildstorm characters, pour gasoline on them, and then make me watch as they slowly burn away, never to be remembered by those of us who loved them ? TELL ME WHY, YOU SADISTS.
Okay, got that out of my system.
Grifter was described as Sawyer from Lost meets the DCU. That pretty much hits it on the head. Grifter is a con man, but things go very bad, very fast. This was a good first issue.
Mister Terrific #1 - I was very happy to see the fan-favorite from JSA get his own book. It was a good story, but it felt a little write-by-numbers, y'know? It lacked oomph. This one might take a couple issues to come together.
Green Lantern #1 - Anyone who was reading GL before this month should be able to pick this up and jump right in. For new(er) readers, it might be a little tricky, trying to figure out why Sinestro is Green Lantern instead of Hal, who the guys in the yellow uniforms are, and what's going on. Also, isn't Carol still in-charge of the you-know-who's? BRING BACK COWGIRL, GEOFF JOHNS.
Sometimes I wish Geoff Johns would write just one book a month, instead of 2-4. Ever since he became head honcho/VP at DC, his writing hasn't been the same.
Batman and Robin #1 - Oh Damian, you lovable jerk. Why can't you and Daddy Wayne just get along?
Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E #1 - Like Animal Man and Swamp Thing from last week, this one floored me. Great, strange issue. Franky's father is in the body of an 8 year old girl? I couldn't possibly pin this one down with one word, but I'll try: Must-buy.
(Yeah I cheated there. Whaddya want from me?)
Demon Knights #1 - I was both amused and disgusted by the "rough" comment. If you've already read it, you know what I'm talking about. If not, you'll understand. I have to confess, my expectations were low for this book, but they surpassed them. This was a "pieces and players coming together for the first time" -type first issue, and it was fun. Good read. Anyone who read Stormwatch last week already knows this ties into the history of the New DCU.
Resurrection Man #1 - With all my love for Abnett and Lanning, you'd have thought I read the original Resurrection Man series, right? Wrong. The writing on this was strong, and it felt like a "long read". Great value for $2.99. The art, though, was a little off. Sometimes the characters looked disjointed? Body parts not quite lining up right? It added a little atmosphere to the book, but it also took me out of the story sometimes, too.
Superboy #1 - Hey now, this was good. They've jettisoned all the previous Superboy stories (and Teen Titans, I'd imagine), and stated fresh. Solid first issue, one of the best from this week.
Legion Lost #1 - ... and now, one of the weakest. Yikes, this was messy. Too much talking about superpowers, and the costumes are so complicated I STILL don't know who's who. Or why I should care. Granted, it's easy to be intimidated by all the LSH characters, there's only a million of them. But "time-traveling super-heroes from the future, stuck in the present"? That's a pretty nifty concept, but all the language about the "Flashpoint wall/event/whatever" lost me. Hopefully next month is better, 'cause I'm going to hear about this review from loyal reserivst Gatti, that's for sure.
Red Lanterns #1 - And now, a big ol pile of Rage. As many of you already know, I'm a huge fan of the Red Lanterns (my rage issues are legendary, ask the employees at the Den), so I've been waiting MONTHS, nay YEARS for Atrocitus and the Almighty HATE KITTEH to get their own book. This was another strong introductory issue, and Ed Benes did a good job on the art.
Suicide Squad #1 - Like you could make this title anything BUT dark, right? Lots of blood and mayhem, but I have to confess, it was missing something. In the original Suicide Squad by Ostrander and it's spiritual successor, Secret Six by Gail Simone, the books were dark, but balanced with a little light comedy here and there. Halfway through this book, I thought to myself "Why isn't Gail writing this?" The voices in my head had no answer. The only other criticism is my own blinders: Anytime I see Harley in a comic, I automatically pipe in her voice and mannerisms from The Animated Series. This book didn't jive with the show. That's more me, than anything else, I think.
Batwoman #1 - This was awesome. The. End.