G3 Review: DCnU Score Card

I have intentionally been quiet about the new DC books these past couple of weeks. Mostly because every site and its mom is reviewing them, E. has covered a few, too. What more could I possibly say that hasn’t been said? Well, I’ve always got something to say. I’m not picking up all of the titles, but of the #1 DC books I have gotten, I have loved, liked, and loathed.

Batwoman is a shining star in the DCU. I knew it would be. I reveled in every single panel of J.H. Williams III’s stellar art. He wins on writing, too. E. concurs.

Once upon a time I was getting Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, AND Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors. I lost interest and dropped all of the titles from my pull list. I thought maybe, just maybe, that a Green Lantern book with Sinestro as the star could win me back. But while I read Green Lantern #1, all I could think was how do we get a reimagined Superman but GL picks up right after the War of the Green Lanterns? I think we all know why that is, but my brain says, “NO!” Also, Hal Jordan is even more of a cad. Snore.

Action Comics and Batgirl were equally pleasing to me. Rags Morales is a rock star of comic proportions, and Morrison’s Supes is intricate and intriguing. Gail can write the hell out of some Barbara Gordon. Special kudos to Mrs. Simone for humanizing her in such a relateable way, and showing a Babs with an authentic trauma response. Realism for the win.

I was terribly disappointed by Eric Wallace’s Mr. Terrific. I admit that my reason for reading the book in the first place is rather shallow: I think the character is hot, but the story was just as shallow. It portrayed Michael Holt as haughty and dissociated, and don’t even get me started on the clichés regarding race, gender, and belief. This Mr. Terrific is a far cry from the wise and compassionate Michael Holt that Greg Rucka gave us in Checkmate. No thanks, DC.

I am a fan of Lemire’s Sweet Tooth, so both Animal Man and Frankenstein got bought. I gave Animal Man a try, and it felt lukewarm. Some in my geek circle were complaining about the art. I admire the clean simplicity of Travel Foreman’s art, and it does rev up into some rather complex, gory panels. I think this is a quality book, but there was too much Buddy with the morphogenetic field inner-monologue. It got a little boring in parts for me. Maybe I don’t relate to Buddy Baker, but you might.

That brings me to Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E., I enjoyed this book more than all the others. I reread it as soon as I was done, and I feel compelled to make a case for it. The art is going to be an acquired taste for some. The colors and lettering are pretty great, but the loose lines and gritty feel might be off-putting. Don’t let it be. It really works with the tone of the book. What’s the tone of the book?

Awesome.

Okay. Seriously. It is just the first issue, but it is quite fun. Lemire skillfully references Frankenstein’s continuity with quick dialogue. There are tons of festive physics oddities and S.H.A.D.E. technology. Frankie is quoting the British poet Milton. Father Time is a little girl with pigtails. There is a crew of “Creature Commandos” complete with an amphibious lady scientist, a mummy, and a werewolf and vampire who have a penchant for bickering. The baddest S.H.A.D.E. agent of all is Frankie’s wife. This book has the right mix of camp and grit, and I can foresee these characters making for a most entertaining monster mash. I need you to go buy it so it doesn’t get canned. Please.

P.S. I am beyond excited about Azzarello and Chiang’s Wonder Woman, tomorrow!

18 thoughts on “G3 Review: DCnU Score Card

  1. Well I guess I loved Animal Man more than you, due in part I’m sure because I’m currently reading Morrison’s run. We agree on Batwoman being the gem of the books, we are genius. I think you should give Swamp Thing a try it was pretty good. Bizarre but intriguing. Also if you like crazy super teams like Frankenstein then Demon Knights may be good for you too. Take care,

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  2. Thanks for the Review V. I haven’t read many other reviews so this was helpful. I thought Animal Man was on some Stephen King stuff. But I partially agree with you about the art, the paneling and layouts were good, but I didn’t like the inks. I bought Mr. Terrific, but didn’t read it yet. I’m a Marvel guy, so buying this much DC is a core change in my personality.

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  3. May I recommend Demon Knights and Swamp Thing? The best two books so far in my opinion. Like you, I can not wait for Azz&Chiang WW.

    That said I disagree with you about Batgirl. I was really looking forward to this book and I love Simone’s writing but I was disappointed. I don’t blame Simone, she was handed an almost impossible task but this issue felt massively bogged down by having to navigate the ins and outs of what Batgirl’s continuity is now. Babs’ voice was good and it is refreshing to see trauma dealt with realistically, but I felt that the book was tying itself in knots to reestablish Killing Joke and where Babs is now that it ended up unsatisfying. Plus, I did not like the art on this book, it felt rough and unfinished in a way that felt like it wasn’t to do with style.

    Plus points for Batgirl: I liked the Mirror; I loved how GS made the kid gang into throwaway villains that were lots of fun; I was impressed by her careful depiction of Babs as traumatised and now living with it; there is potential for the new roommate to be a great character.

    I will continue buying it for a while because In Gail Simone I Trust, but I did not love this first instalment like I was expecting to.

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    • You make excellent points about Batgirl! Really. But for a first issue, even though it was a necessary evil to reimagine the aftermath of Killing Joke, it got the job done. I don’t think the subsequent issues will have that problem, and we can get on with a good rock ’em, sock ’em Batgirl story.

      AND! I love the roommate, too. She charmed the hell out of me. There is a lot of potential for her character.

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  4. Good write up.

    I hadn’t planned on buying any of the New 52 but “just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in”. I picked up GL, RL, Men of War and Action Comics.
    GL and RL were okay and I may stick with it for a couple more issues. Men of War was pretty damn good. I’ll definitely keep it going for a while. To me, honestly, Action Comics didn’t live up to the hype everyone gave it. Don’t get me wrong, it was enjoyable but it was just okay. I’ll give it a couple more issues to see how it goes. I was very tempted to pick up Batgirl and after reading this post I believe I’ll go back to pick it up. I can’t wait until next week when Fury of Firestorm and GL: New Guardians comes out.

    Man, DC, you suck. You did it, you hung the bait out there and pulled me in.

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  5. Now I am a tad sad because Mr. Terrific was one of the new 52 that I was so looking forward to that and Justice League Dark and of course Wonder Woman.
    Why did they have to jack him up? :(
    Does DC have no clue on how to write a comic book about a Black superhero?!!!
    Bring Back Greg Rucka and give him this book and the WW book PLEASE!!!!

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    • I thought the same thing, Rhonda. This issue was wasted with trite dialogue, like a competitive conversation between a white woman and a black woman over Mr. Terrific’s attention and a remark from an onlooker about his nice ass. Michael Holt has the continuity potential to create a black male hero sans racial stereotypes, but DC somehow managed to cram every last one of them in there. It kind of pissed me off.

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  6. There are just some characters I will always give a shot, the Superman family & Batman family along with WW. I have enjoyed, Action (and I am not a big fan of young Superman stories) I like my Supes mature. Batwoman I enjoyed very much. I just like the feel for that title. Batgirl, Gail probably has the toughest assignment of anyone. I believe it will take some time but I have the upmost faith in her. I bought Franky as well and also enjoyed it. It was just offbeat enough but still interesting. I will definetly stay with this one for awhile. I am still anxiously awaiting Hawkman, WW and JLD. So far the titles I have bought have been encouraging. Now I need to catch up on the marvel titles I am so far behind on.

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