About Me

A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The New 52 Weeks Later, Pt. 1

The first in a series of posts looking at the first year of the DC Comics New 52, which series have been making the grade, which of the September "0" issues I am liking, that sort of thing...

Aquaman:  This is supposed to be one of the big successes of the New 52.  Not for me.  I buy an issue or two, it's a fight scene I don't care about with little text to read and not enough texture to the art for me to spend more than five minutes reading.  So I stop, then decide flipping through to give it another go.  Issue 12 was a "give another go.". And just good enough I want to buy another, just bad enough to do it without much enthusiasm.  

Animal  Man:  I had been reading few DC superhero books before the New 52, the one I enjoyed most and which I was saddened to see disappear two summers ago was Jeff Lemire and Pier Gallo's Superboy.   Consolation, that Lemire's Animal Man has been one of my favorites in the New 52.  So far the New 52 has mostly done crossovers that are, if not good, at least logical and within a group of related titles.  This series is crossing over with Swamp Thing as the two are immersed in a battle between the green and the rot, part of a battle best given context if you have read Pre-52 Swamp Thing and related but given enough info within the current series at one can get by comfortably. And the crossover is what crossovers should be and in the past twenty years rarely have been, a good extended story somewhat bigger than either book might be on its own with an underlying story-driven reason to exist.  Yes, these crossovers are still driven by an underlying corporate dicta, but there is some sign of lessons learned comparing these or the Knight of the Owls in the Batman books to the Pre-52 crossovers.  

Swamp Thing, written by Scott Snyder, has been the equal of Animal Man.  As with some of the other New 52 titles, it's wandered a bit in the middle months of the first year, a little like Aquaman in having some issues that have been too much fighting too quickly read to give good value for money. The recent Animal Man crossover helped bring it back to less swampy crowd.  So not entirely as good as Animal Man, but good.  And its 0 issue this month has given some good background on the rot, red and green that may help moving forward as well.

Grant Morrison's Action Comics got a lot of attention, some negative, for it's first issue depiction of a young hot-headed and immature Superman/Clark Kent.  That bothered me less than when the series left that behind in order to do some very Grant Morrison alternate history with a black Superman that came out of nowhere and left just as quickly.  His 0 issue is a surprisingly tender not at all what I would expect of Grant Morrison story of a oing Superman and someone even younger trying to fill Superman's "shoes." Solid, not an "all it can be" series, but still one of the better.  The art has been enjoyable, and Ben Oliver's in issue 0 quite quite good.

There is some churn in the New 52.  Phantom Stranger 0 is the first and origin issue for a series starting in September to replace one of the dear departed.  The character has been around in he magical part of the DC Universe for a long time. Writer and DC exec Dan Didio joins with artists Brent Anderson and Scott Hanna to craft a fist issue that ets me interested to come back for more.  

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