Bullet Points Part 2: DC Comics 10/17/12

So here are my reviews that I call Bullet Points. These reviews will mention the highs and lows, favourite moments, and contain general discussion about each issue. The second part will be strictly DC and only comics that I have purchased will be reviewed. Also I should mention that there be SPOILERS in these reviews. You are warned!

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Green Lantern: The New Guardians #13

The team is disbanded, Issue #0 bucked the trend and didn’t reveal the past but told another chapter of the story proper, and Kyle has a new mission statement. Will his journey lead this book to glory or to the path of mediocrity? Read on:

Cover: An alright cover that is part of one larger interlocking one. Too bad only two of the five “new guardians” on the cover actually appear in the book itself.

Pros:

– Love the flashbacks of Kyle and Alex DeWitt together. This issue almost acted like a #0 in some parts with flashbacks to Kyle and Atrocitus’ past.
– Carol’s new Star Sapphire is beautiful and classy at the same time, something you don’t normally associate with a Star Sapphire costume.
– Atrocitus throwing Kyle into Alex’s grave was absolutely cruel but he is trying to elicit a reaction after all.
– Kyle’s Red Lantern design is very cool indeed, very gladiator-like in appearance.
– Kyle accepting rage into his heart has hardened him. This point is made clear when he dismisses Carol who is trying to rebuild Alex’s broken tombstone. His lack of concern is troubling. Don’t go too far into the dark side Kyle.

Cons:

–  The art isn’t up to the previous issues’ standards. Atrocitus is drawn strangely and Carol’s outfit is drawn inconsistently to name a few problems.
– Mastering the various colours should be an epic storyline not a one colour per issue type of thing. A little rushed in my opinion.

Spoilsport: Kyle is learning to harness more Lantern colours to defeat the Guardians and in this issue he has turned to Atrocitus to aid him in harnessing Red (Rage). After failing to elicit it from the memory of Alex DeWitt, Atrocitus takes Kyle to a village that is being pillaged where he witnesses a father be murdered in front of his son’s own eyes. In the end, Atrocitus succeeds in helping Kyle launch his inner rage and he is ready to move onto the next colour: Yellow.

Favourite Lines:

Alex DeWitt: I just want him to know that after kissing so many frogs, I finally found my Prince Charming.

Kyle Rayner: Look…I know what you’re trying to do, Atrocitus, but…being here…seeing her grave..it doesn’t make me angry anymore…it just makes me terribly, terribly…sad…

Carol Ferris (To Atrocitus): Love is your Achilles heel. Of all the lanterns in the universe, I’m the one you should fear most.

Kyle’s journey is basically like Green Lantern’s answer to Avatar: The Last Airbender. Something of this magnitude should have been spread out over a longer period of time with perhaps the solution being cutting down the number of issues to the first arc which lasted way too long. Overall I’m really excited for the concept and direction of this series but I’m just sad that something so significant is trying to be crammed into the confines of the Third Army crossover.

RATING: ★★★★★★½☆☆☆

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Justice League #13

So, you’ve heard about “The Kiss”. If you’re a DC fan how could you avoid it but after all the hype has worn off, the important thing is where do we go from here? Will Jim Lee’s departure from art gut the book’s soul or will a quality storyline from Geoff Johns keep this book’s momentum alive? Year 2, here we come:

Cover: Really striking cover with Cheetah haven decimated the entire Justice League. Just how powerful is the DCnU Cheetah anyways? Also like the touch that she is choking Wonder Woman and Superman out with Wonder Woman’s own lasso.

Pros:

– Tony Daniels is really knocking it out of the park in this issue on art duties. The double page spread near the beginning with Wonder Woman and Cheetah and the physically breathtaking fight scene between the two are just some examples.
– Why doesn’t Wonder Woman’s lasso work on Cheetah? Interesting…
– Wonder Woman gets beat by Cheetah because she was holding back. Why? She was the first friend Diana ever made. BFFs? I think not.
– Really like Cheetah’s new origin where she worked with Wonder Woman before getting cut by a ritual dagger in the Black Room at A.R.G.U.S. Nice way to tie into Justice League Dark as well.
– Feel sorry for poor Steve Trevor. How much more can things go wrong for the guy?
– Cheetah’s bite turns Superman into a Cheetah? Really?
– Next issue: The Truth Behind The Cheetah!
– Back-up: Who exactly is the bureau’s top spy?
– Well I for one am excited for Justice League of America #1. At least we’ll finally get a good Green Arrow characterization unlike his solo series.

Cons:

– No “Shazam” back-up. I need my Billy Batson fix.

Spoilsport: Wonder Woman is beat-up by Cheetah and we learn the villain’s backstory about how she was Diana’s friend and got cut by a mystic dagger. After some convincing, Diana agrees to let the Justice League help out and they travel to the last know location of the tribe that the dagger belonged to in order to find a way to cure Cheetah. The team is attacked by Cheetah who bites Superman and changes him into a Cheetah. The back-up establishes Waller as the one to replace Steve Trevor as the Justice League liaison and Trevor and Green Arrow embark on a mission that will begin in JLA #1.

Favourite Lines:

Cheetah: People are animals. Animals that fool themselves into thinking they’re something more.

Cheetah (To Wonder Woman): The truth is: humanity are not sheep to shepherd. They are cattle to slaughter. The sooner you realize that, the sooner we can be friends again.

Cyborg: Sometimes I think I’m just a machine that believes it’s a kid named Victor Stone.

Flash: You’re not a robot, Vic. Robots don’t laugh at jokes or talk about their favorite television shows or worry that they’re robots. Do you ever fantasize about making out with a toaster?
Cyborg: No.
Flash: I rest my case.

Tony Daniels did a tremendous job on art lessening the blow that the loss of Jim Lee brings. Geoff Johns is also doing a wonderful job increasing Cheetah’s status as someone to be feared. The issue had a nice balance of character devlopment, interaction, and action. What more could you want?

RATING: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

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Nightwing #13

Last issue we learned Dick Grayson’s revised origin and were teased with Lady Shiva. Now it’s time for her to come back to Gotham but will her reemergence prove to amp up the action or will it kill this book’s direction stone cold? Find out:

Cover:  I like the effect of the crosshairs framing Nightwing and Lady Shiva.

Pros:

– No Batman or Alfred answering Dick’s calls. We know what they are up to (Batman #13)
– I think the addition of Sonia Branch (the daughter of the man that killed Dick’s parents) is a welcome addition to the regular Nightwing supporting cast.
– Why did Lady Shiva kill the bank auditor (or was he one) that was meeting with Sonia? Is Sonia Lady Shiva’s next target or her employer?
– Enjoyed that build-up to Lady Shiva’s reveal. Really built her up as something special and to be feared.

Cons:

– The Batgirl scene was a little unnecessary as she’s there and gone pretty quick. Also this issue taking place after Batgirl #14 was a little confusing and they should have lined it up better with the release of the other books.
– Not enough Lady Shiva. I could understand if this was a 4 issue arc and holding her back but when it is slated to be resolved and done with next month before the “Death of the Family” crossover begins it feels like the wrong time to do this.

Spoilsport: Nightwing finds Gotham too quiet and after talking with the Penguin finds out everyone is afraid of the coming approach of Lady Shiva. Nightwing finds out where she is due to arrive but a bunch of gangsters are  already there trying to take her down. He tries to save her life as her boat races in but the boat crashes revealing she was never in there at all and it was simply used as a distraction. She is already there in Gotham and the issue ends with her making her first kill offing someone who has dealings with Sonia Branch.

Favourite Lines:

Penguin (To Nightwing): She’s an assassin feared around the world and you’re…what? Batman-Lite? I do hope you’ll  be foolish enough to try to stop her.

Nightwing: I don’t get Sonia. Is this just a business dinner or…? Talk about confusing! Wonder if this is how Batman started with Catwoman.

Batgirl (To Nightwing): I’m not like you. I can’t keep looking forward all the time.

Nightwing: Ironic if I went out trying to save a murderer. Batman might understand. Batgirl wouldn’t.

Am I the only one that thinks DC should move Nightwing back to Bludhaven? I think him showing up in the various Batman books is great but I really think he needs to operate in his own city. Gotham is crowded enough. It would allow him to spread his wings and differentiate this book giving it its’ own identity. This two-part arc is probably going to prove to be just filler before the Joker rears his head, which is really a shame and a disappointing waste of Lady Shiva.

RATING: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

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Red Hood and the Outlaws #13

It’s time for the grand finale of the Outlaws in space. Before they head back home (and who says they all return?) will this finale deliver a satisfying ending or leave a bitter taste in our mouths? Answer below:

Cover: Not Rocafort’s best cover and the events depicted don’t actually take place inside. In fact Blackfire and Starfire are working together in the issue. Weird…

Pros:

– K’tten saying “come with me if you want to live” to Isabel. Do they get Terminator in space?
– Never thought I would mourn the loss of a Dominator but DePalo was pretty cool. Never knew a hug was the most painful thing for a Dominator to experience but he endured one because he respected Starfire so much. Awwww.
– Nice swerve when they made us briefly think Blackfire was dead and Starfire was going to take over the crown.
– Blackfire said the Blight Lord had the right to fear the gathering of the thirteen and that even if she must sacrifice her own flesh and blood that day must never come to pass. Very interesting indeed. Who are the thriteen?
– Joker’s appearance at the end was surprising and it wasn’t even billed as a prologue issue.

Cons:

– The cover is misleading
– Some of Roy’s dialogue was kinda bad, sexist, and annoying unlike the previous issues.
– After Blackfire is impaled Arsenal says “Oh no, he didn’t”. Groan. That was bad and uncalled for.
– The art has taken a real step down from Rocafort.

Spoilsport: The Outlaws and friends attack the Blight holding Tamaran hostage. DePalo sacrifices his life and the ship to blow up the Blight mothership. They defeat the Blight, Blackfire is made Queen, and the Outlaws are ready to return home. Meanwhile the Joker makes an appearance and finds a Red Hood helmet at the end of the issue.

Favourite Lines:

Starfire: Tell me Komand’r–do I look like “nothing” to you?
Blackfire: Yes. Nothing but trouble.

DePalo: Fo a Dominator, being around other sentients is a study in agony. If I am to die this day, I prefer to do it in blessed solitude.

Starfire: You mistakenly believe you offer people some perverted gift of death! I am here to tell you–pain and suffering is easy. That is why there is so much of it in the universe! You want to experience something unique? Try life. Hope. Love.

Goon: I mean what’s the point of living an extra ten years if you have to live them without the companionship of sausage?

Red Hood and the Outlaws increased in quality as soon as the team hit space and Starfire’s recent actions have erased for the most part that horrible stigma she earned after the first issue. This arc overall took two steps forward but the finale moved it back half a step by Harper’s awful narration alone. Still that’s progress and now we move onto Superman and then the Joker from here so hopefully this series can maintain its’ momentum that it has been building up.

RATING: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

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And that is Part 2 complete. Agree/Disagree with my reviews? Comment below!

5 thoughts on “Bullet Points Part 2: DC Comics 10/17/12

  1. The dialogue between Flash and Cyborg is awesome.
    Yesterday I went to the biggest italian comics convention. When I reached the DC stand, I leafed through Red Hood and the Outlaws, because I had promised you to give it a try. I didn’t like what I saw (it looked too “messy” for me), so I left it on the shelves. That’s the same reason why I stopped reading Batwoman: I used to pick it up from time to time because of its mind blowing art, but I definitively dropped it after an incredibly messy issue (the 11th).
    While I was doing the line at the DC stand, I saw Before Watchmen: The Minutemen # 1 on the shelf near to the cash desk, so I picked it up and gave it a look. I was so lucky to bump into it: it had an old fashioned style that immediately talked to my heart. This is what I bought at the DC stand:

    DC:
    Batman: Noel
    Lex Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography
    Swamp Thing Vol. 1: Raise Them Bones

    Vertigo:
    Pride & Joy
    Scalped Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4 (I couldn’t find the other 6)

    What do you think about my purchases?

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