COMICS I READ THIS WEEK: DC Comics
So I’ve been catching up with comics, so hopefully as time passes, I’ll be more current! I’m going to try to do a Comics post once a week. Let me know what you thought of these books!
RAMBLINGS ABOUT COMICS & SPOILERS AHEAD
Earth 2: Society 1 [DC Comics]
Better than Worlds’ End, but so far not as good as the previous E2, but I get adding or changing things up to keep things exciting. So far just ok. The premise is fine, the Dick Grayson’s interior monologue is fine, Terry Sloan the current bad guy, ok., But other than that there isn’t much else. Wish I saw more of the other characters, and that we were given a bit more than whats already given to keep us wondering, and wanting more. For some reason, for me the current circumstance isn’t enough. WHAT If one as a new reader?. Give us bits and pieces of what’s to come. Of course I’ll give it a chance since I liked the previous title.
I looked back through the book, and feel bad, like maybe I was too hard on it. I did forget to mention what a great job it did in basically doing a recap of what lead to the book’s current status, and the other stuff I talked about is just a bit of the set up for the first arch.
Cyborg 2 [DC Comics]
I was pleasantly surprised with the first issue. I really liked it and was excited for more. I was only slightly weary of the introduction of this Cybernetic Alien race, cause I it could easily start to go the trend of Green Lantern rainbow corps, like Swamp Thing and Animal Man went to with the Green, Red, Grey,… the fungi and mach ones, etc. I really enjoyed it.
This second issue was to me more like a director’s cut of the first issue. It felt like it. I’m still interested in the mystery of Vic’s changing powers, and the more intimate insights into his daily life are there, but I really didn’t care for the focus of these Cybernetic Aliens. They’ve come to earth to find, retrieve ilor harvest this “song” that They are drawn to whatever is happening to Vic’s cybernetics and in their hunt to find him, they make victims of other with cybernetics. That doesn’t seem so bad, but I just didn’t like this black and white ” we will find this song” Borg-like mentality. I get that are like machines, I just wanted to see something else in the second issue that would solidify whatnot really liked about the first issue. Something fresh, personal, something that would stick to my mind as I eagerly await the next issue. Maybe it’s too much to ask, especially cause that could be very subjective. And I know creators set out to do their best, and sometimes it resonates with the majority sometimes it doesn’t. It could also be an editorial thing or whatever. The problem is that with so many comics out there it’s getting more and more important for books to knock it out of the park with every issue.
Getting in too deep…..
And what does that mean? It’s tricky. What “knocks it out of the park” is subjective unfortunately, so there’s no clear answer. Most creators have the intention to make it the best it can be, and there are some surefire formulas for monetary hits and some for critics, but it really comes down to timing and luck. Almost sounds like there’s no solution to the “problem.” Sure some stuff is pure crap, otherwise, there really is an embarrassment of riches. There is so much out there, how is a creator supposed to stand out, and break out. Everyone has ideas of whats good or not; some of it is subjective, and some many would agree is good. I have a list of what I feel should be in a first issue of a comic, and first arch, but would others agree with my ideas? We can analyze all we want, but what makes something a hit sometimes is just a trend; a fad; what happens to resonate with a majority. How do creators navigate that? Do they keep up with the times; social media, pop culture and news? Maybe, but even then, there are many who do that. We can try to analyze data to determine what would resonate with people now, and maybe put it into a formula, or find trends to predict what will in the future. The only thing that is clear is that a creator should create what resonates with them, and hope it does the same with enough people to reach a tipping point. Alas.
Anyway, some of us give books a chance beyond the first issue, but many do not give something the luxury of a few issues to get into it unfortunately. If it resonates, great, if it doesn’t, then there are many others I suppose. Even though there are lots of comics, there can be more options, which is what some publishers are navigating by trying out different stuff constantly, hoping to hit the jackpot. I happen to love the idea of Cyborg in his own series, and it’s started out well, but this second issue though far from bad, lacked something, ….. for me. Cyborg is given a little leeway since there is some name recognition, and a fan base, but he’s not Batman, not yet at least.
I may be hard on the book, but it’s still good. Two issues in, let’s see what else happens!
Black Canary 3 [DC Comics]
Ok this book had been consistent from the first issue on being fresh, and dropping soothing for me to hold on To and mange excited for more. Yes it’s subjective, but if it’s in the majority, it’s gonna work.
So the thing that really grabbed me on this issue is the revelation that Ditto and the Aliens who are start her have something to do with Dinah’s Canary Cry power. Now, like my weariness of the Aliens introduced in Cyborg, a little red flag did raise with the introduction of these aliens who seem to be affected by sonics. Sure you can’t really tell if it’s sonics in particular or just that they are being effected like anyone else would being hit by the Canary Cry. I guess I’m making an assumption. This Allen plot device we are so much of could easily go bad, bit so far, we’re ok, because the focus of the majority of the book, though it may be to protect Ditto from these aliens, is not on the aliens or their single-minded pursuit of Ditto, there is a lot more, which has in part to do with the great supporting cast of the book. Supporting casts add so much more flavor and depth. Relationships and personal struggles mixed with rock and roll badassery is a great mix.
One interesting development is the introduction of Dinah’s ex husband, and the little twist with how he fits into the picture regarding the Aliens.
I’m not sure how I feel about him. I can’t remember if he was a pre-existing character or not from the pre New 52. I suppose introducing something old and making it new or creating something new to create a distinction from this Black Canary and previous ones could be a good thing if done right. I feel the introduction of some existing characters into the New 52 originally failed because they weren’t given a distinct enough of an identity. Even with Dinah. When she was first reintroduced in Batgirl, she really didn’t have any identity. Actually, it might have been in another book’s flashback of Team 7, which she was a party of. I was worried for her solo book, but boy was I wrong. Black Canary is a good example of reintroductions and imaginings done well. Sure she isn’t your beloved original version, but for me, I love this version, being essentially the same person, but younger, and set in a different context. It makes total sense she is a rock singer in a band given her power and her costume south fishnets. It just adds more edge to her edge. And then there’s the ex band member out to even the score which adds some drama.
Ok, so Black Canary continues the fresh indie creator lead trend in comics and delivers!. One more thing it does a good job of is not rushing and I dignitaries a great job with pacing and brining in the rest of the DCU organically (ie. the organization Dinah’s ex-husband is in, though which one wasn’t revealed I think)
Batman Beyond 3 [DC Comics]
Consistently good. On all levels. Storytelling, art, pace. Right cowboys like a new tv show with promise. Detonator helps with having familiar characters like Tom Drake and Barbara Gordon but still maintaining a logical connection to Terry McGinnis. For those who had less invested in Terry due unlimited exposure to his character and world, we have characters many Bat-fans love for sure. Some may be upset about Terry, which makes sense, and it is sad, but at least they didn’t just erase him as if he never existed in the DCU. He still exists, just currently “dead” is all.
If you were onboard from issue one, you will not be disappointed. It has just enough movement in the story to keep me coming for more. I’m not in love with the idea of Brother Eye, but it hasn’t gotten to a place where I’m bored yet, luckily, since I’m not a big fan of any plotlines involving an army of robots. I really wanted to like Futures End, but it was lacking a bit and I never finished reading it. I do appreciate where it ends up though. To me Futures End just became a set up for all these new changes. The movement and certain elements of the story wasn’t so good for me.
Batgirl 40 [DC Comics]
This continues the storyline with Batgirl confronting her digital clone/program/counterpart who believes it’s the real Batgirl, who masterminded the previous two or so ‘villains of the issue.’
A very nice touch for me was the lead up to teasing what is essentially the new Oracle, or at least in a sense, for Barbara, cause I don’t recall Frankie being portrayed as someone who’d replace the traditional Oracle, that is Barbara, but doesn’t mean she can’t be one in training. She is smart and knows computers, programming and seems resourceful.
One little moment I liked was Barbara getting out of costume to dance after the heroics were done. Nice touch.
Doctor Fate 2 [DC Comics]
I really wanted this book to be good, but I suppose that’s very subjective. The first issue, I wasn’t on board with, bit I still wanted to give it a chance. The second issue for me is just more of the same. I have a hard time pinpointing what about this book I’m not connecting with.
For me, it’s mostly the writing that sells me on a book. If I’m sold on the writing, the art usually grows on me if I wasn’t so into it at first. Having said that, art can also help a book with just ok writing be better suited to me. So what is it in this case. Is it the writing that hasn’t sold me, or would I like the story more if the art was more suited to my tastes?
I think on this case, art that I like might make me like it a little more, but I think it’s the writing. It’s hard to pinpoint why though. Perhaps I’d like to see the concepts of Fate portrayed with more mythos? Some gravitas?. I do like the idea of it being character driven, with a Ms. Marvel-like take, but there’s something missing for me. Is it relatability? Cause I don’t seem very invested in the characters so far. I do appreciate the various relationships portrayed here, but….
You know, I always feel like I’m being too hard on books. And what kind review is a review based on a feeling that isn’t easily quantifiable or defined.
Grayson 10 [DC Comics]
It’s like jumping into the middle of a Mission: Impossible film. All the threads of the story are at full throttle. And though it’s in the middle of the story, it does a great job of the opening sequence. It easily could’ve been the opening to a film, or in this case, an episode of an espionage action TV show.
There’s an interesting cameo with Lex Luther in this issue. They’re doing a very good job of keeping the rest of the DCU separate so that they can give the book a stronger identity while also having a very good balance of showing the rest of the DCU, in little bits. In the series so far, Grayson makes ongoing reports to Batman, even though they’re all one way, and here in this issue, Lex shows up and acknowledges their relationship in Forever Evil. I love how Lex says that the Hypnos technology is basically his, it’s like he has a finger on everything, even top-secret organizations like Spyder. What doesn’t Lex know? Who can work outside of his purview?
At this juncture, you have no idea who to trust, or what the truth is. You aren’t even sure if you can trust that Grayson isn’t being controlled somehow. It feels like there could be some reveals in the next issue; that, or they’ll throw another curve ball, which is welcome. Seeing as this is issue 10, it’s likely they’ll hold out on some of the bigger answers until issue 12, at minimum.
The writing and the art are great. Very consistent, though I would’ve liked a better ending cliffhanger.
I’m excited to see what else this team has in store for this book. Hopefully the tie-in with the Robin War(s) event won’t be a low point for the series.