Friday, October 21, 2011

So many comics this week... It was supposed to be a slow week!

I bought way, way too many books this week. Even with my trimmings of new 52 books, I still wound up purchasing about 12-13 books. This may be a small number to some, or an inflated number to others but I like to limit myself to about 5-7 books per week. DC, as usual, dominated my purchases as I purchased 11 DC, 1 Marvel, 1 Dark Horse and 1 book from Aspen MLT.

Yes, you read that correctly, I bought an Aspen MLT book. I took one look at the cover to Lady Mechanika #2, a steampunk comic, and immediately thought this is a book that I will enjoy. I purchased the book and ordered the number 1 and 0 issues off the Internet, hoping the series is as good as I want it to be. I have not read it yet, since I want to wait for the other issues to arrive. When they do arrive, I will post a review of the series so far.

In actuality, I have only read half of my books, so I will list my initial reviews below, and add the others later. First and foremost; my purchases...

Aquaman #1 (found a 1st printing and bought since I had to buy digital on release day)
Batman #2
Catwoman #2
Green Lantern Corps #2
Justice League #2
Lady Mechanika #2
Nightwing #2
Orchid #1
Red Hood and the Outlaws #2
Stormwatch #1
Stormwatch #2
Supergirl #2
Ultimate Hawkeye #3
Wonder Woman #2
X-Men: Regenesis #1

One Paragraph Reviews:

Batman #2 - Scott Snyder really gets Batman. I'm unfamiliar with his past work, but I'm absolutely loving what he's doing on this book. Lot's of intrigue and a new villainous society on the horizon indicates this book will be good for a long time to come. Snyder managed to make this a 20 page self contained story that adds a lot to the overall storyline. That's really a lost art in the age of six issue story arcs. It can be a challenge to make every issue count, but I can sum this one up by quoting Marv Albert, "It Counts!" 5/5

Catwoman #2 - I will start this off by saing I am a male in his 30's who doesn't at all mind looking at sexy ladies being sexy in comics. Catwoman's schtick in this book has been to use her body, literally and figuratively, against the male characters. While I don't mind that Catwoman is openly shagging Batman in penthouses around Gotham, maybe they Winick and March should leave that to our imaginations. Aside from that, I enjoyed this one. Catwoman is a theif and in the book, she steals something which comes back to bite her in the ass (figuratively.) Catburglar vs the Russain mob. Fun stuff. 3.5/5

Green Lantern Corps #2 - I want to like this book, much like I said in my previous review of Green Lantern. GLC is a book that features a ton of "should-be" interesting characters. That said, there were far too many panels full of dead bodies. At one point, the GL's are walking over the dead bodies as if traversing the Yellow Brick Road. I actually felt a bit queasy after those panels. We see a lot of dead bodies, a lot of "Grrrr Willpower" scenes and a new enemy is shown shrouded in darkness. This Green Lantern book is nearly as disturbing as Deathstroke. If this doesn't start making sense soon, I may drop it. I am holding out hope for GL: New Guardians later this month to save the franchise for me. 2/5

Justice League #2 - Nope, not doing it for me. Sorry, but this book reads like a bunch of Youtube comments. Justice League has historically been about a team of superheroes who united for a common task. This book is building toward the same result, but he heroes have to have a huge misunderstanding and a bitchin' fight scene first. Hit first, ask questions later. I don't like it. You have Superman and Green Lantern acting with all the maturity of two 12 year olds, Flash totally confused and akwardly introduced, and Victor Stone hundreds of miles away from the story kicking around Detroit. I like Victor's story and Batman as a voice of reason has it's charm. It's not enough to save the book from a below average rating though. Johns needs to step up the writing as I think Lee's artwork is quite good. This doesn't need to be a 90's style "extreme" book to succeed. It just needs to be good. 2/5

Nightwing #2 - Kyle Higgins gets Nightwing. Dick Grayson is a spoiled rotten kid that got to be a superhero as a child. He has all of the amenitites that a young man could ask for. He is also wanted for murder. More specifically, he is wanted by a guy who happens to be an acrobat with claws. We get more background on Dick as the issue progresses, meet some new characters from Dick's new past. Oh, and Dick has sex with a lovely lady. Lots of sex in the new 52 era. Another story that works on it's own while contributing to an overall arc. Great writing and the art is amazing. 4.5/5

Orchid #1 - Dark Horse comics presents a comic book by Rage Against the Machine and Nightwatchman guitarist Tom Morello. As you might guess, this book is a social commentary on the "machine" that is government and likens most regimes to dictatorships. It's set in a post apocalyptic distopia when the big evil governments have brought back slavery and prostitution is a way of life. Rebels challenge the government and are gunned down. Our hero, Orchid, is a hooker and an old hat at the trade as we see her schooling a newbie in her intro. She and a lone rebel survivor are abducted at the end, possibly to be used as slaves. I was glad the book didn't beat me over the head with politics. It's interesting enough to bring me back for another issue, but will have to blow me away to keep me coming back moving forward. 3/5

Red Hood and the Outlaws #2 - I admit, I bought this book to see what all the controversy was about. I read issue one, and I agree with the opinion that Starfire was written poorly. Yes, she was objectified and yes she was written to be a sex zombie. That said, was issue 2 any better? Yes, a little. Scott Lobdell has said that the Starfire is not mindless, but sarcastic. At one point in the first issue, Starfire says she has trouble telling Jason Todd and Roy Harper apart. People took this to mean that she had no sense of which human is which so she just sleeps with all of them. You find out in this issue that Jason Todd and Roy Harper are basically the exact same character (former sidekicks, bad attitudes, social issues, etc) and that is why they are hard to tell apart. They're essentially the same guy. Most of the tale in this one delves into Jason's past after being revived from the dead in a Lazarus Pit. His past literally comes back to haunt him as the villain in this issue are zombies of the assassin clan who cared for him post revival. I enjoyed, but wasn't thrilled. 3/5

Aquaman #1 - Still just as much fun the second time around. As stated earlier, I bought Aquaman digitally but picked it up in print form this week. Aquaman is characterized nicely in a small town story where the locals don't quite know the true story of Arthur Curry. Lots of fun interaction in a diner where Aquaman orders fish and chips for dinner. Where Geoff Johns has failed to nail the characterization in Justice League, he gets it right here. Fun read. 4/5

Stormwatch #1 - Picked this book up on a whim, and while I didn't hate it, I didn't exactly love it either. It's a rehash of the old Wildstorm characters from the Authority and for some reason, The Martian Manhunter is a part of the team. Our old friend J'onn has gone from being the conscious of the Justice League to an unscrupulous character who doesn't seem to mind hunting and killing supervillains. I miss old J'onn. The characters from the Authority play out true to form and Apollo and the Midnighter are still gay. 3/5

Stormwatch #2 - Same as above. More on the team and their mysterious origin. Oh and they fight the moon. Or at least an A.I. that has taken refuge on the moon... and can turn it into a giant claw. Oh, and there's a horned beast on Earth. I'm lost. 2/5

Supergirl #2 - Underwhelming tale of hit first, ask questions later. Supergirl is lost and alone on Earth and Superman shows up. Their first response to each other? Hit each other, HARD. Then they slowly start to learn that they are relatives, and each characters reaction is to not believe it and hit each other harder. Eventually Superman whoops Supergirl in her own book, and then he finally decides they should stop fighting. That is of course after this new whiny, punkish Superman won the fight. 1/5 DROPPED from my pull

Wonder Woman #2 - The lesbian undertones in this book are about as subtle as those in an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess. Other than that, the book delves deeper into the history of this new Paradise Island. We learn Diana's origin and find that her mother once again has blond hair. No horse beheadings in this one, but there are a lot of Amazon on Amazon fatalities when a new foe unleashes her strange powers. Ok, but not great. 3/5

Ultimate Hawkeye #3 - Ah, a Marvel book. Hawkeye teams with the characters from Ultimate Comics X to take on an entire society of supervillains. That should have been enough to fill the entire issue, but Hickman manages to throw in another flashback to Hawkeye's time as a criminal, pre-Ultimates. Decent stuff and there's no reason not to buy this issue if you read the first two. 3/5

X-Men: Regenesis #1 - I didn't want to get into the X-Men relaunch as I buy too many books as it is, but I picked this up because I'm an impulse buyer. I wasn't upset with the purchase. Kieran Gillen frames the story of the X-Men choosing sides, post Schism, with a fight between caveman versions of Cyclops and Wolverine. As the two negotiate with the X-Men and force them to pick sides, primal versions of them show up to cheer on the caveman version of their faction of choice. Very interesting setup for what is to come for the 616 X-Men. 4/5

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