Book of the Week!!!: Batman #1 (Writer: Tom King Artist: Matt Banning, David Finch)
Continuing threads laid in Batman: Rebirth, our story begins with Batman and Gordon meeting on the police station rooftop to discuss a raid on a nearby military base. The police have not located all the stolen weapons and fate would have it one of them is launched and strikes a commercial airliner over Gotham. The rest of the issues is tightly written action sequence that has Bats communicating with Alfred and his new partner, Duke Thomas (formerly of We…Are Robin). Alfred and Duke runs ops from the Batcave and guides Batman through the process of literally lassoing the plane and steering it around Gotham. The big twist is the final panel introduction of Gotham and Gotham Girl, apparent Superman and Supergirl analogs? The weakest part of this issues is some of David Finch’s art, I have never been a huge fan of his work. I definitely disliked his recent Wonder Woman run and really hated his Batman: The Dark Knight ongoing. There’s some stronger panel structure here and it does look like he is working well with Tom King. Probably the DC ongoing I am most excited to keep reading, mainly due in part to what a phenomenal writing of Tom King!
Green Arrow #1 (Writer: Benjamin Percy Artist: Otto Schmidt)
This was ALMOST my Book of the Week, the only thing that held it back was that it’s a continuation of Percy’s year long work on Arrow so it’s not the most new reader friendly title. Issue one picks right up where the Rebirth one-shot left off with Ollie and Black Canary hunting down the human traffickers The Underground Men. This is classic hero action. Everybody gets to show off their skills in a great action sequence. Added to the mix is Emiko Queen, apparently Ollie’s long lost half-sister, I gathered from the dialogue. We get some excellent establishment of Ollie as a character and how he’s used his wealth to help the people in his city and some good back and forth between him and Black Canary about that. Honestly, it feels like the series should be re-titled Green Arrow and Black Canary. This was one of the best cliffhangers of the week. Even not knowing the full back story of some of these characters I am hooked and ready for the next issue.
Green Lanterns #1 (Writer: Sam Humphries Artist: Robson Rocha)
I don’t know why writers seem to love the Red Lanterns. Since their introduction back in 2007 during Geoff Johns’ run I found them to be one of the least interesting of the spectrum. But it looks like they will be the focus of the first story arc here in Green Lanterns. The red rage appears to be possessing people on Earth causing them to go all vomity angry. There’s a couple asides with Atrocitus and the Red Lantern homeworld that just come off confusing more than informative. The art is decent, but continues DC’s trend of having very 1990s style artwork in their titles. I know writer Humphries mostly from his Marvel work on Avengers A.I. and few Uncanny X-Force issues. He hasn’t gotten me too excited and the one thing that might bring me back to this title is an interesting in seeing how Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are developed as the new Green Lanterns. Definitely waiting to see how this one plays out.
Superman #1 (Writer: Peter J. Tomasi Artist: Mick Gray, Patrick Gleason)
If I could pick issue I am most conflicted about it would be this one. First the good, I love seeing a married Superman with a kid. Yes, it has a lot of potential to go bad, but it is all new territory to explore and I am excited to see where it goes. There is an awesome sequence told through the eyes of young Jon Kent that adds the sort of mystique to DC’s Trinity (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) that I don’t think we’ve ever seen before. We’re getting a coming of age story about Jon that appears to be leading into the upcoming Super Sons title with Robin. The bad stuff. Gleason’s art is all over the place for me. He has a lot of difficulty drawing a believable kid. Even back during his Green Lantern Corps run I was very iffy about his particular take on characters. There’s a nice fluidity there but it also seems like some panels are drawn in a distorted peephole style. Maybe a stylistic choice but not my cup of tea. The story is pretty good and I definitely think I will keep coming back to see where it goes.
Titans Rebirth #1 (Writer: Dan Abnett Artist: Norm Rapmund, Brett Booth)
I have a very complicated love hate relationship with Dan Abnett. I became aware of him back in high school when he, and writing partner Andy Lanning, helmed a Legion reboot that I enjoyed. I’ve also really loved his work with the Marvel cosmic titles, Annihilation and the associated books. And while I really really disliked Aquaman Rebirth, I really really like Titans Rebirth. It helps that I read his previous mini-series Titans Hunt and this special acts as a bridge between that and the upcoming Titans ongoing. Here Wally West is brought back into the fold fresh from his appearance in DC Rebirth. This is pretty much all set up while establishing what exactly these adult Titans remember from their days as teens. Lilith appears to be the stand in for Raven, while Raven remains over in the Teen Titans series. Not one to just pick up on its own, you’ll need to read the previously mentioned content to make heads or tails of this. But if you have read them it is a very enjoyable read. Will be picking up Titans #1 to see where Abnett takes things. Also, I hate Brett Booth’s art. Please DC, stop giving him work.
Flash #1 (Writer: Joshua Williamson Artist: Carmine di Giandomenico)
Transitioning from Flash Rebirth, we open on a retelling of Barry Allen’s origin. This time there is new character present, August, a Keystone police officer. He sticks up for Barry later in the story when police department policy becomes a problem. There’s a brief moment with Iris and the NuWally. Some villainous terrorists called the Black Hole show up. This feels a bit more tied to the DC Rebirth one shot more than many of the other books. Not sure where the cliffhanger ending is leading, to a new villain or hero but I am actually on board to keep following the story. Di Giandomenico’s art style is definitely growing on me and it is cleaned up from his work on X-Factor. He is really nailing the sense of speed and the Flash does need some messiness in the art. Writer Joshua Williamson is an Image writer who focused more on horror and I really have liked his two Flash issues thus far. Thinking about going back and finding his older work.
Book of the Week!!!: Wonder Woman #1 (Writer: Greg Rucka Artist: Liam Sharp)
Page one had me on board. The art by Liam Sharp is gorgeous, so textured and lush. The majority of the story takes place in a jungle so those qualities really pop. Wonder Woman’s new costume is also growing on me, very similiar to the movie outfit, and it works. Much more warrior but not too distanced from the classic look. The dialogue lets us know this will continue the meta-examination of Wonder Woman’s history started in Rebirth (“The story keeps changing. Nothing makes sense.”). Parallel to our heroine’s ongoing monologue with an unseen force, we are re-introduced to Etta Candy, the often controversial sidekick of Wonder Woman’s. Candy is now a black female who is a commander in ARGUS, the government org Steve Trevor works for. Trevor is in the midst of a firefight in a Central African village but the two discuss Wonder Woman being picked up by satellites in the area. The issues ends with a classic villain being revealed and most definitely has me hooked. I cannot wait to see where Rucka goes with these characters. Pick this one up for the art alone.
In two weeks: Justice League Rebirth #1 and Overall Thoughts (So Far)