Friday, October 14, 2011

A Month (plus one week) Late and a Dollar Short: Animal Man 1, Batwing 1, Detective Comics 1, Green Arrow 1, Static Shock 1, Swamp Thing 1

Last week the first batch of New 52 comics dropped a dollar in price and I picked up six of them. I read them last week but didn't get a chance to review them until now, so I guess we can consider how well I remember them as one indicator of how good they were. Keep in mind, though, I was exhausted from moving and in my fourth week of shingles, so I wasn't in the best frame of mind for reading critically. I know I fell asleep with the laptop on my lap during a few of these, and I'm not sure that's an accurate reflection of their quality. So here goes:

Animal Man 1
Rating: 4 out of 5 Pixels
This was my favorite of the bunch. The concept of Buddy Baker as celebrity environmentalist feels unique, and even if the concept of Maxine manifesting freaky animal powers doesn't seem so unique (I haven't read a lot of Animal Man, but I swear I've read a story like this before), it's well done with engaging writing and quirky artwork.

Batwing 1
Rating: 3 out of 5 Pixels
Well, at least this Judd Winick comic didn't end with the protagonist having sex with Batman (though that would have been interesting). The artwork is pretty, the story has Batman elements but doesn't feel purely derivative (it's uniquely a Batwing story, not just a story about Batman where Bruce is black instead of white), but flipping through the pages again just now I'm just as confused about the chronology of events as I was when I read the comic in my Lortab-induced haziness last week.

Detective Comics 1
Rating: 3 out of 5 Pixels
This is a pretty decent Batman comic, just not awesome in the way that Batman and Batman & Robin are. Also, I'm confused by the whole Alfred hologram thing, and the last page with Joker's face cut off (retroactive spoiler alert) is gross. But I'm curious to see where it goes.

Green Arrow 1
Rating: 3 out of 5 Pixels
I really dig the concept of this reboot--Green Arrow as Bill Gates meets James Bond. As for the story itself, it's kind of bland. The villains are uninteresting and don't feel like much of a threat, so the cliffhanger ending doesn't really have me hanging.

Static Shock 1
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Pixels
A very compressed, wordy comic. I dig. I also like the headquarters Hardware has set up for Static:
I'm a sucker for cool secret hideouts. Also, this book's cliffhanger has me genuinely wondering what's going to happen next issue.

Swamp Thing 1
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Pixels
I want to like this comic, I really do. It's well-written and has pretty artwork. But I just can't get into Swamp Thing, as much as I try. The fact that tonight I couldn't even remember for sure whether I read this last week says something. I'll give you another issue or two to hook me, Mr. Snyder, but if you haven't convinced me by then I'm afraid I'll just have to love you on Batman only. But I am anxious to read your Detective run that was finally released on Comixology last week...

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