• 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.
Tag: Batman (11-14 of 14)
Another week, another batch of issue #1s from DC. I’m skipping the ones I think are duds (Supergirl? Kinda blahh. Captain Atom? Irritating) and zooming in on the books that were striking for various reasons.
Batman #1 Writer Scott Snyder (American Vampire) really knows how to launch a new chapter in Batman‘s history. He pulls from the oldest aspects of the Batman myth, combines it with sinister-comic elements from the series’ best period (that would be the same Dick Sprang-drawn, ’50s era that Grant Morrison also enjoys), and gives the whole thing terrific forward-spin by setting up an honest-to-gosh mystery for Batman to solve. Throughout, the art by Greg Capullo leads with jutting jaws and faces creased with rage, exertion, fear, and grim determination. Batman’s mask covers the very tip of his beaky nose — a nice, distinctive touch. Snyder’s script, much of it about the depressed, disspirited city — talk about “investing in Gotham’s future,” its “fears, frustrations… demons” — works as a metaphor for the economy and general mood of America. Really, the only thing I didn’t care for here is the new, stiff, metallic-looking Batman cover logo. A-
Catwoman #1 Comic books come under fire so regularly for their objectification of women that this Catwoman amounts to a nose-thumbing manifesto: It’s all about the gradual yet partial undressing of Selina Kyle, culminating in a Cat-on-Batman sex scene. Literally. That’s Judd Winick’s story. What hell: go for it; Selina certainly seems to be enjoying herself. The art by Guillem March backs up everything Winick’s drives toward throughout. A low-down gas. B READ FULL STORY »
Pop culture in September. A month of beginnings and renewal. A time when a certain sector of entertainment expends much marketing energy to not just psyche up the public about its products but get them excited about the very medium that delivers those products. We’re talking TV, of course, and the “new fall season” that’s imminent. But this month, we’re talking about the comic book industry, too. Last week, DC Comics began rebooting its entire line of comics via an initiative called “The New 52.” Ongoing hits like Action Comics (home to Superman) and Detective Comics (abode to Batman) restarted with new creative approaches, storylines, and creative teams. Launching with them: A bevy of new series, many starring familiar characters, returning to prime time comics the way TV stars of the past return in new vehicles. (‘Tool Time’ Tim Allen/Last Man Standing = Construction worker Alec Holland/Swamp Thing. Grunt-grunt!)
DC Comics has released so many new #1 issues this week, it seemed as though a collection of quick, concise reviews is in order. So, with a deep bow to Robert Christgau, who invented the music version of this format, here’s a Comic Book Consumer Guide.
• Detective Comics With writer-artist Tony S. Daniel doing Batman, you know the art (sinewy anatomy lessons; crinkly fabric textures) is going to be superior to the story (someone’s been reading his old Thomas Harris/Jack Ketchum paperbacks, hasn’t he?). Still, if you’re up for a bloody, naked Joker fix, this is your go-to book. B READ FULL STORY »
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