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DC Reboot: Week Five (9/28/2011)

r3v

As mentioned in the previous posts, I'm checking out a ton of DC books this month due to the reboot. I'm posting some of my opinions here, generally in the order that I read the books.

So far, there have been some real highlights (Demon Knights, Batman), surprises (Frankenstein, Wonder Woman) and some real stinkers (Green Arrow, DC Presents...).  So, let's see what this fifth and final reboot week brings.

Only five books on my pull list...

DC Reboot: Week Five
(comics shipped 9/28/2011)
DC Titles tried: 5/13

All-Star Western #1 - Jonah Hex is the badassingest badass to ever badass the ol' west.

Palmiotti & Gray did not create Hex, but I think they're responsible for all of the Hex stories I've read so far, and are the reason I fell in love with the character. And now they'e brought him to Gotham. If Batman were around in the 1880s, he might have something to say about that, but he's not and the 1880s Gotham City needs somebody to clean it up a bit.

Not that Hex is going to clean anything up, but he's sure as hell going to kick it's ass.

The story puts our not-so-loveable bounty hunter in a team up with one Doctor Amadeus Arkham. The good doctor is a physician, by trade, but also a burgeoning criminal psychologist. The pair are on the trail of an apparent serial killer dubbed the Gotham Butcher.

I loved every bit of this story and Moritat's art was a perfect compliment. The lines were dark and heavy when needed but also tight and detailed when the scene called for it. Bautista's colors, too, were great. Subtle and muted, but effective, they felt like I was watching a Sergio Leone film.

This is everything I could have wanted from this book. ★★★★★

Justice League Dark #1 - When this was first announced, I was quite intrigued. A team book focused on the mystical? I'm not sure that's ever been done before. John Constantine, Zatanna, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, some guy with a jacket...

The setup involves some major magical problem involving the Enchantress, who looks much worse for wear than she does in Marvel, and the regular Justice League show up to investigate. Superman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg aren't quite equipped to deal with the situation and fail miserably.

You can see where this is going.

The story was interesting enough that I'd like to see more, but I'm more sold on the premise than the implementation so far. It will be nice when the characters are all in the same place and we can see how they interact. (Assuming that's where we're headed.) The art's great, and it serves this style of story very well. ★★★☆☆

Blackhawks #1 - If Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE is Hellboy in the DCU, then Blackhawks is GI JOE in the DCU.

The art was good.

And thus ends my praise for Blackhawks. The story was disjointed and I felt like I was introduced to a dozen characters in about as many pages. It wasn't really that bad, but it still felt so.  Let's see… There was Scarlet, Steven Segal, Wolverine, Roadblock, Peter Gyrich, Doc, Cyclops and Cable. Did I get all their names right? No? Who cares.

I think the writer worked too hard to introduce the team.  It might have been better to give us one or two characters to focus on and familiarize ourselves with before dumping the entire cast on us. (Maybe this isn't an issue for the Blackhawks fans from the Wildstorm days, but one of them, I am not.) I didn't care about any of the characters, and that's never good.

It was a grade C action movie with grade A cinematography. I guess that gets you a grade B flick overall? I had high hopes for this, and I hold out some hope that it gets better, but I don't have much reason to believe that it will. ★★½☆☆

Batman: The Dark Knight #1 - AKA: Batman: Because Three Batman Books Is One Too Few. There isn't much to distinguish this from the other bat-books, at least story-wise. Bruce Wayne doing Bruce Wayne things, and then there's a breakout attempt at Arkham. (That never happens, right?) When Bats arrives on scene he's focused on where Two-Face is, but I'm not sure why. Of all the villains in the bat-pantheon, he doesn't seem like the most dangerous. He's no Joker or Killer Croc. Then, when Bats does find him it looks like Mr. Dent has been hitting the gym quit a bit.  Maybe juicing even. I don't know if he's changed since last time I saw him, or if the change is part of the story. If that's the bat-hook to make this an interesting story, I'm not sure it was enough.

I have very mixed feelings on the art in this book. It's very serviceable, story-telling-wise. Finch draws a lovely Gotham and the action is decent. The faces one all the male characters, though… man those are some ugly mugs. It's like they don't sit right on their skulls. I find it off-putting.

I tried three out of the four Batman books, and I'm pretty sure this is my fourth favorite. ★★½☆☆

Voodoo #1 - It's like if that Demi Moore movie, Striptease, were an episode of X-Files, except we're following the monster instead of Mulder and Scully. Or maybe this is Species, with strippers. I'm not sure yet. Except there's definitely strippers.

The entire issue feels like it could be the cold open to a X-Files/Fringe/Warehouse 13/Sanctuary/Special Unit 2… What? You've never heard of Special Unit 2? It was great. Totally before it's time.

Where was I? Oh, yes… Voodoo #1. I'll give #2 a shot, since I'm curious where this is going in the long run, but issue 2 needs to up the ante a bit and really convince me to stick around. More of Sam Basri's art would also be a decent reason to stick around though. This is a pretty, pretty book. ★★★☆☆

RELAUNCH TITLES SKIPPED: Aquaman, The Flash, Superman, Savage HawkmanTeen Titans, Green Lantern: The New Guardians, Fury of Firestorm, and I, Vampire. It's probably criminal to a DC-die-hard, but I just don't care about Aquaman, The Flash, Firestorm, Hawkman or Supes. I used to like Hawkman as a kid, but I think that's because he reminded me of Prince Vultan from Flash Gordon and that guy kicked ass.

If I hear really good things about Savage Hawkman or The Flash, I might give those a try. Also, I heard I, Vampire might be good but I just don't have room in my life for more than one vampire comic and that slot is already taken by the amazing American Vampire.