Friday, October 28, 2011

A Month Late and a Dollar Short: Savage Hawkman 1, Justice League Dark 1, Fury of Firestorm 1

Savage Hawkman 1
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Pixels

One of the ten things Newsarama doesn't like about the New 52 is that a lot of titles feel like they're just retreading old ground. Savage Hawkman is not one of those titles. When I read on the first page that Carter Hall has been Hawkman in the past but is now trying to get away from it, I breathed a sigh of relief, because that meant I wasn't going to re-reading Hawkman's origin story, like I am in Supergirl and Blue Beetle, and because the idea of Carter Hall burning his Hawkman suit because he's trying to get away from the superhero life feels fresh to me. And then we find out that Carter is a cryptologist who specializes in alien artefacts, which is also new, and then we find out that the Nth metal has somehow bonded to Carter's body, refusing to let him get away from Hawkman, which is also new. The story itself didn't quite wow me--it was okay--but at least there are a lot of cool new ideas floating around here, so I'm thinking I'm going to like this series.

Justice League Dark 1
Rating: 3 out of 5 Pixels

This book had a few things going against it:

  1. The title sounds stupid.
  2. I don't care much about any of the main characters.
  3. I just don't get into magic stories.
  4. I generally don't like Peter Milligan as much as I think I should, and sometimes find his writing too confusing too enjoy. 
Given all that, I enjoyed this well enough. The team hasn't yet called itself "Justice League Dark" (but then the team hasn't formed yet), the characters are interesting enough to make up for the uninterestingness of magic, and the writing is easy enough to follow--I could tell who was who and what was happening at all times in the book. Still not a Wow, but I'll give it a few more issues.

Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men 1
Rating: 3 out of 5 Pixels

First, I have to say this title is too long. You can have "Fury of..." or you can have the subtitle, but you don't get to have both. Also, I felt pretty stupid when I first noticed about five months after the initial solicits were released that it says "Men" plural and not "Man."

Anyway. Even though this appears to be a hard reboot starting over with the character origin, it still feels fresh because it's doing something with the character that hasn't been done before--Jason and Ronnie as two separate Firestorms who then combine into a big ugly Firestorm. Also, we get the Firestorms of all Nations:
I'm pretty sure that's Firehawk with the blue wings, so we'll be seeing her again before long, and the guy on right looks like he could be Hotspot--perhaps he's the Firestorm of Africa in this International League of Heroes--and if we're going with existing characters as Firestorms around the world, then I'm betting that the Firestorm of Japan is Rising Sun. At any rate, this panel was a nice tease.

The main thing I do not like about this iteration of Firestorm is the ugly designs of the title characters. The strength of Firestorm's character, the thing that has made him endure over the years, is his unique, cool-looking design. The designs here for Ronniestorm (aka Firestorm Red) and Jasonstorm (aka Firestorm Yellow) are relatively bland and uninspired. And the big ugly combined Firestorm? He is big, and boy, is he ugly.

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