Superman #1, The Dark Knight #1, Aquaman #1: New comics reviews

Superman #1 George Perez writes and supplies the breakdowns for Jesus Merino’s art in this Metropolis-centric issue. About half the issue is spent establishing that The Daily Planet is a dashed-to-smithereens victim of the internet and new media — the newspaper is now merely the “print arm” of a “multimedia news super station” called The Planet Global Network, or P.G.N. The other half of the book depicts Superman battling a mysteriously out-of-control fire — I know it’s laying ground for future developments, but this is not the most thrilling of adventures. The dialogue is stiff (“At what price, Lois? Our integrity? Our souls?”), but then, Superman has long been the stiff we love to love, right? Oh, and Lois has a boyfriend, Jonathan Carroll. (Not the novelist. Alas.) At this point, I much prefer the Grant Morrison Superman of Action Comics #1.


Batman: The Dark Knight #1 Artist David Finch gives us a fine musculature anatomy lesson while writer Paul Jenkins musters up something about a bunch of Bat-villains escaping from (’scuse me while I yawn) Arkham Asylum. Mid-way through, Finch gives us a half-page pin-up of Jai Hudson, a slinky bit of wealth to pair off with Bruce Wayne, while Jenkins does something to Two-Face in the final panel that would seem to actually undercut that bad guy’s appeal by half — I hope I’m wrong. At this point, I much prefer the Scott Snyder Batman of Batman #1.


Aquaman #1 Writer Geoff Johns hews to the re-numbering goal: To set up an origin story and starting point for new readers. Thus we get a fresh Aquaman who chooses to fight crime on land, not deep under the sea. The story nods to the meta-notion that Aquaman has never been at the top tier of comic-book idols (“How does it feel to be nobody’s favorite superhero?” asks a fan; and he’s a fan). Johns’ character mentions ridicule from Saturday Night Live, but why no Entourage? Vince Chase did a lot to lower Aquaman’s cred…  Anyway, the art by Ivan Reiss is grandly heroic to contrast to the anti-heroism Aquaman himself is peddling (we know his pledge to Mera to stay on solid ground will come to naught given that the villain we meet here is a sea-weeded monster). Reiss does the upward-tilted camera-angle drawing, to connote power, well.


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  • Kurt Christenson

    Fair assessment of these books. Funny how Aquaman and the lesser known characters are the ones I’m looking forward to.

  • Elle

    Thanks for the reviews Ken! Superman #1 is well written and I appreciate the attempt to try and address the changing news media. I also think the art is beautiful. I actually like the art better than Action Comics. (To be honest, I’m one of those that thinks ACtion Comics is very overrated. I don’t care for Grant Morrison’s over the top cocky Superman.) The plot of Lois and Clark disagreeing over the future of their jobs in news media comes straight from ‘Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” Season 1. I’m wondering if more people will pick up on that because I noticed it right away. Clark accused Lois of some of the same things at the end of Season 1 when she went to work for LexCorp after the destruction of the Daily Planet. The difference, I think, is that Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher had developed such a closeness and bond together on our screens that the accusations didn’t come across so cold or self-righteous. You could see where both Lois and Clark were coming from. Right now, the tough part about this new Superman book is that we are coming off 20 + years where Lois and Clark were a committed couple. They’ve been engaged since like 1990 and were married for 15 years after that. Prior to that, they were married in the Superman family books. I’ve never been one of those readers that felt as though the marriage was holding back the storylines. I felt that when the marriage was written by good writers like Gail Simone, Greg Rucka, Joe Kelly, Kurt Busiek etc. that it brought such a mature richness and a whole new level of depth to the Superman books. It’s jarring and upsetting for me as a reader to see DC choose to introduce Lois in bed with a new man in the first issue. It seems disrespectful to Lois and Clark’s long and emotionally deep history together. I still think the best choice for the Superbooks would have been to have ACtion Comics set as the prequel but still respect Lois and Clark in the present books. At this point, seeing Lois in bed with someone else just feels like blasphemy and as silly as the show often was it makes me long for the later seasons of Smallvile—a show that had a TON of flaws but which managed after 10 years to give us one of the most beautiful and honest portrayals of Lois and Clark in a medium that often caters more to the immature when it comes to relationships.

    • Nat

      Elle, you are werido. Action Comics was better than Superman 1#.

      Superman 1# proves that Clark don’t need to mope around Lois.

      • Elle

        I’m a weirdo because I don’t agree with you? How mature. Newsflash…this is subjective. I didn’t like Action Comics and I wasn’t the only one who didn’t. Sorry but I don’t care to see my Superman dangling people over the ledges of buildings or bullying then with violence. Action Comics was fast paced but it was also emotionally shallow. I’ll take the deeper narrative any day. As for the moping…I agree. He doesn’t need to mope. Sadly by undoing the marraige that’s probably what we are going to get from this point forward because DC wants Clark to be sad. That’s straight from the mouth of Jim Lee. They have said outright that they undid the marraige because they felt that Clark’s life was too good and stable. They want him to suffer. That has nothing to do with Lois. That’s DC editorial not allowing Clark to be stable. Take that up with Jim Lee. And seriously….learn how to let other people have an opinion.

  • Patrick Maloney

    I think you are being too hard on Superman about it setting up too much, I was deeply intrigued by the end of the book.

    • Mr. P

      I agree. Favorite of the new DC books so far.

      • Elle

        I have some issues with the changes DC has made to Superman but I agree with you. thought it was a better written comic with more emotional depth than Action Comics. It actually surprises me that Ken would like Action Comics more than Superman becuase I found Action Comics to be so emotionally shallow and completely out of character. Clark’s actions were so jackass and cocky in Action and he seemed more like a cartoon. In Superman #1, he at least seemed like a real person with depth and more like the complex Clark that we know.

    • Maria

      She suolhd be great, but I think Margot Kidder was the best in all those Superman movies!RainbowRay????

  • Flip

    New Guardians #1 was the best “New 52″ book of the week. Loves me some Kyle Rayner!!!

  • T

    I took a look thru the new DC 52 line and wasn’t impressed. End of Lois & Clark ? Not a good thing.
    I like the old Supes of the ’80s & ’90s. Oh well, time to move on…

    And Aquaman got a title book again ? Big deal, I liked him when he had that water-hand thing going before from the last continuity some years back, that was interesting.
    The new Aquaman wasn’t that impressive and
    I remember Raj from “Big Bang Theory” saying “Aquaman sucks !” which seemed to reverberate thru my head.

    • ggny

      think the whole reason they put there best guy on it Geoff Johns is to try and make Aquaman not suck…And it was a good start

      • callie

        not the mention the art is great as well

  • Sith Lord J

    Can somebody take the Joker’s face down off the wall? And Batman and Catwoman don’t Dry hump.
    I have more important things to do with my money than support a reboot especially since I am not the audience their targeting..

    • Dave

      EW. DC is putting out some really, disgusting stuff. Did you hear about Catwoman or Red Hood? It’s vomit inducing product. What kind of people do they have working up there? I think they’re trying to appeal to the nerds who can’t get laid and patronize dark rooms in porn shops. I bought a couple of first issues and thought they were written by immature 13 year olds and I can imagine them giggling silly like Beavis and Butthead as they wrote and drew this drive. Then the age-stunted editors must have looked at this and went, “WAY COOL!” — if you are an emotional retard, that is.

      • Karl H.

        Silly, nerds don’t go to porn shops; they have this thing now called the Internet.

  • g.

    The ‘new’ Superman BLOWS.

    • Joe

      George Perez is a great artist — New Teen Titans Games is a sweet triumph; professionally written and drawn, unlike some of the godawful stuff coming out of the New 52. Still, this is the first time in 20 years that I have not bought a George Perez comic. I refuse to support that Superman or anything else I’ve sampled from the new 52. And why are they calling it new when the same morons who screwed up the last round of DC reboots are the ones in charge of this one?

      • Hayley

        September 30, 2011 at 4:03 pmHi Lee,I have aywlas liked Aquaman. I did have his mini-series from the 80′s, although that’s all I remember of it.. I’ll have to stop in a pick this one up.cheers Reply

  • callie

    While Superman was a fun good read. Action Comics was better. I’m gonna stick with Superman because quite frankly I need the distraction

  • Trey

    Aquaman was the best of the week for me followed closely by All Star Western.

    My surprise pick this week from DC was I, Vampire #1. It was beautiful and had a nice story to start off. Pick it up if you can.

    • Joe

      I don’t care how good Aquaman was, I won’t buy it. Too many comics I’ve sampled from the new 52 were a waste of money. I even threw the ones I bought away because I wouldn’t give comics this bad to anyone. I actually felt dirty after reading some of them and giving those comics to someone else would be like giving them a disease. Thing is, one bad can of tuna can spoil the whole skid. Even if the other cans on the skid are good, the foul stench from the bad can rubs off on all the other ones and you just want to throw them away. Garbage, this new 52 is. Complete trash.

      • Karl H.

        When you say you threw them all away? I believe you completely.

  • Ken

    loved the Aquaman #1. I didn’t know he could leap all over tall buildings like, well, Superman used to… and the seafood restaurant was hilarious.

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