Previously in comics… May 31st: the day DC Comics took over the Internet. They announced they would be wrapping up all of their titles in August, including Action Comics (which has published continuously since 1938), and relaunching the whole line with 52 new #1’s and (supposedly) streamlined, iconic but modernized versions of their heroes. Perhaps even bolder was their next bombshell: day-and-date print and digital releases of every one of those #1’s for your iPod/Pad/Pud/Etc. Meanwhile, The Big Two duped an innocent man named Mark Campbell into joining them as they previewed all 52 titles, giving birth to the three-headed self-loathing monster known as The Big Three.
August 31st: the first title hits, and The Big Two once again “invited” Mark (at gunpoint) to join them, this time in reading and reviewing ALL 52 #1s! Comics (and Mark) were never the same…
Mark: I have to admit, I was underwhelmed by this issue. It’s not that it was bad, or that there was anything particularly wrong with it… I just wanted more Justice League and less of the Green Lantern and Batman issue of Brave and the Bold. It looked beautiful. The story is perfectly fine. I’ll get the second issue, but I’m not super pumped about this book right off the bat.
Nuv: …and: scene! OK, first of all fuck everything he just said. Anyone who doesn’t like this issue? It’s because they built up their expectations to unrealistic levels and placed the pressure of justifying this whole reboot on it’s shoulders. Taken on it’s own: it’s the shit! Jim Lee (barring an odd sequence that makes me think he’s never watched a game of football in his life) fires on all cylinders here and Geoff Johns crafts a clever, accessible script that nevertheless never dumbs it down for the old readers and moves at a brisk clip. Their Batman is always one step ahead. Jim’s display of Green Lantern’s powers is imaginative and appropriately flashy, while Johns gives him the line of the issue (“You can’t fly so how else were we going to get here? Talk in a deep voice?”) And the entrance of “This Ain’t Your Daddy’s” Superman steals the whole show away from them both. I still don’t like the costume redesign, but Lee even almost makes that look good. We don’t meet the whole team right away, but we will. Does this issue re-invent the wheel? No. Does it throw 20s on that motherfucker and roll right over the competition? Yes. This is fun and fresh feeling despite the familiar-ish faces, and as epic as a title created by/starring DC’s biggest/best should be. A summer blockbuster with charismatic leads, sharp dialogue and crisp direction. If you dig down and honestly don’t like this, you don’t like comics.
Ian: This book was a lot of fun. The only way in the world I’d ever read a Justice League book is if it went right back to the beginning, and that’s exactly what you get here. The heroes don’t know each other and on first meeting don’t even like each other. Just like Nuv and I! Except we STILL don’t like each other.
Mark: Can’t say I blame either of you…
Ian: Kind of a dumb story and bad art. What? The art is atrocious. The scene where Clark is talking to his meth addict (?) landlady is especially creepy considering Rags Morales drew them both with the same face! The best thing about this book is when Supes gets shot by the tank and says “GD” and all of the American Christians lost their shit over blasphemy. Jesus damn!
Mark: I have very mixed feelings about this one. The art was hit and miss, and the story wasn’t sensational… but I noticed a lot of little clues hidden throughout the story, and I am excited to see where Morrison is going with it all. Action is definitely staying on my pull list. I think I just really wanted to be blown away by this issue, but instead I just got a really good comic.
Nuv: Mark, only you could say “…instead I just got a really good comic” and have it be a bad thing. If you were a DC character you’d be Jade. Other than a few occasions of Forest Whitaker Eyes, Rags Morales’ art was exceptional. You know why? Because it embodied the title of this comic. He and Grant Morrison set out to give us a Superman (and Clark) that did not slow down or stop moving until being forced to in the final panel. After years of Moperman going on walkabouts and crying into his cape like an emo-sexual, here’s a Supes that DOES shit! So don’t believe the hype kids. I have faith in Morrison. He gave us the return to the “Big 7″ JLA in the late 90s. He gave us All-Star Superman. He gets it! And so will I, and so should you. Bitter bloggers, cult members and dickless midgets be GD’d…
Ian: Basically the opposite of Action Comics. Great story, great art, ’nuff said. This has all the signs of a really great run and I’m glad they’re not glossing over Babs’ shooting, paralysis and recovery.
Mark: Batgirl was the second of the Week 2 releases that I read. On first reading, I enjoyed it more than Action Comics. Looking back though, I think it was actually quite dull. It was very straight forward. I really don’t like the idea of Barbara Gordon walking again brushed off so quickly as “a miracle,” and can only hope that Gail Simone goes into more detail soon. As it was, this was a very un-Simone comic. Issue 2 is a maybe.
Nuv: You are very conflicted Mark. One must exercise patience with serial entertainment. Often answers are not laid out at the beginning. One might even find that half the fun is the hunt!
Mark: So, you liked it?
Nuv: Nah. I like that they didn’t sweep The Killing Joke or her time as Oracle under the rug, and have even made it an important achilles heel going forward. I don’t like the bummy art. And I still think she served more of a purpose as Oracle. But, what do I know? Maybe wheelchair kids don’t need someone to look up to. Or across at, or whatever. Verdict? This title is okay as fuck! Almost yay!
Mark: Uhhh… what exactly was the point of arguing with me forever when you came to the same conclusion in the end?
Nuv: ‘Cause I does what the fuck I wants, son!
Ian: How in the HELL did this comic end up being so great? I mean really, who saw this coming? Marvel never could pull off a proper African superhero (sorry Storm and Black Panther, but you’re lame) but Judd Winick and Ben Oliver NAIL this one. Beheadings galore!
Mark: This wasn’t awful. In fact, it might have been a better Batman comic than Detective Comics was. But, ethnic diversity aside, if I want to read a Batman comic, I’ll read Batman.
Nuv: It’s racist to not like this comic.
Ian: Yeah, bigot.
Mark: OK, first of all, why are you siding with him?! You LIKE this comic! And Nuv, you JUST told me you didn’t like this comic!
Mark: So you’re racist?!
Nuv: Got that right, ya cracker-ass cracker!
Ian: White devil!
Mark: YOU’RE WHITE, JERKOFF!
Ian: Ha! You wish, Casper!
Mark: I can’t believe I’m voluntarily spending time with you idiots…
Ian: I didn’t intend to pick it up but it was a slow week so I thought, hey why not? And man, am I ever glad I did. Tony Daniel has set up a really creepy story with a new villain called The Dollmaker who’s all up in the Joker’s grill, cutting off people’s faces and shit. I’m in!
Nuv: I done told you mu’fuckers already that Tony Daniel’s a dinkbot. As much as I loathed most of this issue, I loved the last page…
…mostly because I love shock value violence and hate all faces that are not my own.
Ian: YOUR MOMS are try-hard garbage dinkbots and whatever other shit you said!
Mark: [rolls eyes] Zing. You sure showed us.
[UPDATE: Nuv read Detective Comics #2 just before this post went up, “…AND IT’S AWESOME! SERIOUSLY! I grabbed it on a whim and I’m glad I gave it a second chance. Even Mark, who also hated #1, agrees! I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say if ‘Batman meets House Of 1000 Corpses’ sounds intriguing, this one’s for you…”]
Ian: This book is, and I’m not joking here, the worst comic book I’ve ever read. The story is stupid and what’s worse, it’s badly written. Sure, the character is idiotic to begin with (ARROWS?), but that’s no excuse for how corny this book is and how sub-par the art is.
Mark: They lost me at Q-Pads and Q-Phones. Here’s a Q-Tip for you… don’t try to take a well known corporate identity and convert it to fit into your superhero world. Bruce Wayne doesn’t run a company called Wapple. Don’t try to turn Oliver Queen into a vigilante Steve Jobs/Tim Cook. Also, the villains in this issue were ridiculous.
Nuv: Dammit, who keeps grabbing Dan Jurgens from the nineties? WE JUST PUT HIM BACK THERE, FOR FUCKSAKES!! You’re gonna fuck around and cause another Flashpoint and then Mark will murder-suicide this place. Mark (heh) my words, you!
Nuv: heh. heh. haha. ohhh. mu-ha-ha… (wanders around, creepily whisper-laughing to himself, clearly distraught; leaves room)
Mark: I can’t believe I actually read this book. The best commentary I’ve seen on this issue came from iFanboy, where Paul Montgomery said, “To put it simply, it feels like Hawk wrote and drew this book himself. And he isn’t qualified.”
Ian: I just don’t understand who this book is aimed at? Like, what possible demographic would want to read about Hawk & Dove? (As drawn by “No Feet” Liefeld no less! That’s a whole demographic of foot fetishists you’ve alienated RIGHT THERE numb-nuts.)
Nuv: …gah. Hoo hoo hah! jesuswhy… (in other room, slapping self about the face and chest)
Ian: What the fuck is…
Nuv: (returns dressed up like Al Pacino in Dick Tracy) NYARRR! (clears desk in fit of rage) I WANT. ROB. LIEFELD. DEEEEAAAAAAADDDDD!!!!!
Ian: Nothing of actual value to add to this?
When everyone’s not taking a shit/doing an impression of Chuck D/Clint Eastwood (admittedly, that sounds like someone I’d wanna hang out with. If this is the result though, I’ll pass)… well, I have no end to that sentence. Everyone is ALWAYS Chuck-Clint taking a shit!
Hawk & Dove CAN be interesting. (See Justice League cartoon, where they’re voiced by Kevin & Wayne Arnold!) Liefeld can NOT. Don’t buy this! Even if your life depends on it. Just kill yourself. Trust me, it’ll be more pleasant. And anatomically correct. With less hidden feet.
– The Big Three