Primarily a DC guy, Image creeping up charts, Marvel a distant third. Read more comic book thoughts at http://royals13-alska.blogspot.ca/
I've been putting this off for a week, knowing it was going to be a rather large write up, but it's the first cold day of fall, the Broncos are in the background, Stars of Track & Field are playing on the stereo and supper is cooking. Basically, it's perfect conditions to write.
SO Forever Evil, DC's most recent mega storyline. It's not a "new" storyline per say, the premise was seen pre-52 in a fantastic storyline by Grant Morrison (W) and Frank Quitely (A, whom you already know I love). It even made it's way into an equally excellent animated film. This is in no way to sell short the work Geoff Johns (W) has done here. I found that the work he did, planting the seeds for this story arc, really admirable. If you were reading his JLA work from the beginning you had a couple "Oh. Wow." moments in the first issue of Forever Evil. I'm not going to invest a lot of time talking about the mini series itself though. Suffice to say, Johns and David Finch (A) have done an admirable job making this a good read. It has sufficient action for the fight fans but it also has some compelling mystery & intrigue that should appeal to those that want good story with said action.
What people have really gotten excited about was the September changeover of each title's main character into it's primary (secondary etc.) villain. THOSE are what I'll go over. You're already familiar with the chaos the 3D covers created (and it turns out, the 2D did the same) - provided you read this regularly. If not, go back and start over. You're missing out on some solid typed gold. All told, I've read 11 3D and 2 2D (13 total, for those arithmetically challenged) of the 52 total titles. So, in no particular order,
Doomsday (Batman Superman 3.1) - Didn't overwhelm me (this will be a theme). I didn't read the original Doomday story (not a big Superman guy) but I was familiar enough with it and this character. They (creative team) made some interesting modifications though including Zod and Krypton. If you like Superman, this may add some depth to that "world" otherwise, the book's fine.
Bane (Batman 23.4) - Bane peaked and was at the character's best in the final film. Otherwise, this is feeling like a character that we're being forced to accept. He lacks much in the way of appeal or anything remotely compelling and this storyline added nothing interesting for me. I think he lacks the depth required to carry on as a primary villain. He served a purpose in his original incarnation (print and movie) but trying to turn him into a "leading man" isn't working for me.
First Born (Wonder Woman 23.2) - One of the best I read - and it's likely not a coincidence since this was written by series writer Brian Azzarello (I cannot say with certainty and perhaps someone can confirm this for me, but most of these were not handled by the regular creative teams). The First Born was/is a character that did not have a pre-52 existence (again, as far as I'm aware) and his initial use within the Wonder Woman world was mostly "Meh". This however, really changed that. He has the missing depth and origin now that makes him compelling and interesting - his action and emotions from previous issues make sense.
Joker (Batman 23.1) - Written and drawn by industry legend Andy Kubert. I am a massive Joker fan and other than Darth Vader, Joker is THE bad guy. This, was so so disappointing. Story was weak, art was mediocre. I'm moving on.
Count Vertigo (Green Arrow 23.1) - Another character who I'm not certain had a pre-52 existence, and another title handled by it's regular writer (Ontario's own Jeff Lemire). This was a solid "origin" story about a character that could easily have turned out lame, but has actually been developed well enough that I can see being a significant adversary for GA long term.
Riddler (Batman 23.2) - It's another one that's "fine". The 52 Riddler is a complete overhaul from what we're used to. This story really serves to further the regular Batman storyline and has less to do with the Villains Month storyline. Might be the best 3D cover out of the bunch. Next!
Harley Quinn (Detective Comics 23.2) - This as the most informative issue for me. I know Harley is massively popular, but I knew NOTHING about her. This was a really well structured origin storyline that also tied into her current role with Suicide Squad AND her main squeeze Mr. J. Another really good cover. The book was written by current industry darling Matt Kindt (who may have had a hand in half of the Villain books) and he deserves credit for the job done here.
Lex Luthor (Action Comics 23.3) - So, why would a non-Superman guy get the book for his mortal enemy? Because I knew the original storyline and I was interested in seeing if they would use Lex the same way. He'll play a significant role and I felt this could be a key book for the overall story. Luther has been utilized so much from the small scree, the big screen and comicdom that it's pretty tough to make any interesting, original adjustments to his character. Thankfully they didn't try and just focused on the story.
Ras al ghul (Batman and Robin 23.3) - Ras is bad and won't be told what to do, by anyone. He makes his own plans and woe be unto those that try to interfere. That sums up why I snagged this. I wanted to see how the story would be told between his immovable rock and the Forever Evil hard place. I wasn't disappointed. If served as yet another origin story as well, but was creatively spun and the pacing didn't suffer.
Joker's Daughter (Dark Knight 23.4) - This was THE must have comic from the entire Villain's Month. Early listings on Ebay saw it hit triple figures. Shortages were expected once DC announced they would yet again adjust orders and allocate per retailer. I'm familiar with Ann Nocenti (W) enough that I felt there was a chance this could be worth the hype, plus, c'mon. Joker's. Daughter. Yeah, my bad. I couldn't even finish reading it. And still haven't had any interest in revisiting it. I haven't been this disappointed since I heard the Nickelback break up rumours where a hoax. Move on.
Parasite (Superman 23.4) - What an absolute gem this was. Parasite is a nothing villain that I couldn't care about whatsoever, but in the hands of Aaron Kuder (A/W) this was a gorgeous witty book. Maybe the best of the bunch. Kuder's art is very similar to Quitely's (this was the only reason I grabbed this book) but his writing was fast paced, his dialogue was real and the character each unique with depth all in limited space and time. I know nothing about Aaron Kuder but I'll certainly be looking for anything that has his name on it in the future and will hunt down past work.
I still have Lobo (Justive League 23.2 and Dial E (Justice League 23.3) to go and should read them tonight or tomorrow. Honestly, I'm not expecting much. I always felt Lobo was a DC take on Wolverine. This version is supposed to be "new" so we shall see. Dial E I got because the cover was done by Brian Bolland who is just visually incredible. I'll do a follow up tomorrow evening and will try to cover some other books I've read of late.
Take it slow.
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