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Weekly Comic Reviews

I Do Not Actually Look Like Jesse CusterAnd I’m back. Sorry for skipping out on doing reviews last week but I’ve been busier than I would like and it was the last thing on my mind. Also that issue of Catwoman sorta bust a blood vessel in my brain. This week was a more pleasant reading experience, so the reviews should reflect that. Let’s get started!


The first review this week is for what I have to say is the best book of the week. I feel like getting that out of the way early is important because I’m gonna gush fairly heavily on this one. I’ve been a vocal booster of Palmiotti and Gray’s work on Jonah Hex for a long time now and when the reboot news came down the pike I was surprised to see Hex getting any attention in the new DC landscape. I figured it would be the perfect time for DC to quietly push the character aside the way it has with a few other less-than-stellar selling titles. I’ve been hearing the same “the trade sales keep it alive” line in regard to Jonah Hex for a while but DiDio’s comments that new books would be judged harshly and only the best selling titles would remain in a short period of time made me wonder how this new interpretation would work for our favorite heavily scarred western bounty-hunter.

First and foremost I need to point out that this is not your typical Jonah Hex issue. Gone are the desolate western landscapes where the dust and dirt seem to fly off the page and nestle in the corners of your eyes. We’re now in the developing sprawl of Victorian-era Gotham City, a place where cobblestones have replaced the muddy central thoroughfare of the frontier town. Our Jonah Hex here is an older iteration, having experienced the frontier life and aftermath of the Civil War. He is drawn to the city on contract to help hunt down a Jack the Ripper-esque murderer who is carving a bloody swath of violence through the city leaving a trail of mutilated prostitutes in his wake. It is a story that matches the setting quite well and Palmiotti & Gray set the stage for our adventures efficiently giving us a quiet slow burn through the proceedings punctuated with sudden bursts of violent energy as if the book itself mirrors Hex’s personality.

I felt like there was more in this issue than in three lesser titles combined. It felt dense without feeling impenetrable, offering an excellent place for those who have heard how amazing Jonah Hex was and are finally willing to give the character a shot. Tying his history in with the development of Gotham City should drawin some Bat-fans interested to see how Hex fits in with the story of the Waynes, the Cobblepots, and the Arkhams. Fans of Snyder’s work on Batman will not be disappointed by the similar tone and the uninitiated should be drawn in by the sharp pacing and quality artwork.

Overall Rating: 5/5


I’m an unabashed Aquaman fan. Seriously. I’ve got a good longbox full of Aquaman books and I feel like it’s a shame that nobody gives the guy a real shake. He’s a warrior king from under the sea! The logline alone should sell it but most people only view him as a joke. As such, it’s not surprising that Geoff Johns has gone in for a psuedo-meta presentation of the character where the surface world and the DCU don’t understand why Aquaman exists. I admit that it’s a bit disheartening that this is the direction he wanted to go, because it’ll be hard to dissuade people from believing everything they previously thought about the character when even the folks in the book itself don’t take him seriously. Of course it seems like Johns is also using every page of the book to prove everyone wrong. He lays the smackdown on a bunch of bank robbers, clarifies that he does not in fact talk to fish, and makes sweet love to his woman on the seashore after deciding that he doesn’t want to be king of Atlantis anymore.

This issue reads quite a bit like Johns’ Green Lantern no. 1 when he relaunched that character a few years back. As was the case with GL, Johns dives in head first and works to establish a status quo that clearly defines what sort of character we’re going to be dealing with and doesn’t divert much attention to the looming threat, devoting perhaps three pages total to setting up any sort of external conflict. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it’s important at this stage to prove to the readers that Aquaman is a character worth reading about. I think that Johns has done that effectively. I believe that people who weren’t fans previously will indeed have something to latch onto with this interpretation.

Let’s hope that Aquaman takes off big time like Green Lantern did all those years ago. He deserves it, damnit.

Overall Rating: 4/5


I almost passed on this just because I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept of John Constantine being in any book with the “Justice League” label on it. It’s like seeing an old friend who used to weigh 300 pounds showing up looking like Chris Evans on the set of Captain America, your brain just can’t wrap itself around the concept of what is being presented as opposed to what you believe in your head to be true. Sort of like when a sentence doesn’t end the way you expect it banana.

That having been said, Peter Milligan’s name on the cover pretty much sold me entirely and then the contents of what was under that cover won me over entirely. It doesn’t read at all like what you would expect a “Justice League” title to read like. We do get the central Justice League team showing up and attempting to handle the supernatural threat but it soon becomes apparent that it will take a different sort of hero to sort things out. Thus we are introduced to our team through small vignettes. Shade the Changing Man shows up in a scene that is actually a bit heart wrenching. Xanadu, Zatanna, and Constantine get drawn in as well and we finish the issue with the players in position and the game ready to begin. If the issue weren’t almost entirely setup and exposition I would have given it a perfect score. I was expecting something a little bit more along the lines of JLI where they are assembled and the action has begun by the end of the issue but with so many characters to juggle I’m impressed that we got as much material as we did. It’s quite impressive.



And that’s it for this week. I hope you’ll go out and buy some of these. It’d be nice if the good books of the DC relaunch were the ones that sold the best. Basically I want you to buy 10 All-Star Westerns each and hand them out to friends. Because that would be amazing.

Weekly Comic Reviews

I Do Not Actually Look Like Jesse Custer

It’s that time again! And lucky for you this time the reviews are on time. I hope you appreciate how much effort goes into that because I really don’t feel like being analytical at 8:00 am on a Thursday morning. I’m doing this all for you. Really. Because I sure as hell am not getting paid to do this.


I’m apologetically pro-Damien. I think he’s one of the best things to come out of Grant Morrison’s Batman run. There’s something about him that sets him apart from all the other Robins and I would say that it’s mostly the fact that he’s what Jason Todd could have been. The whole “Sidekick with an attitude” thing works for some and doesn’t for others and Damien works. Now, I will admit that too much of his schtick can be tiresome. But the same can be said for any character. I love me some Deadpool but I got some serious DP burnout following the 87 series he had going on at once last year. Luckily, DC seems to realize that Damien provokes strong reactions and therefore uses him with a deal of finesse. What I mean by this is that usually his personality is either downplayed or dialed up depending on the context of the story. In this debut issue, he’s far more antagonistic than usual because we’re being reintroduced to his dynamic with Bruce. That level of mutual respect that we had seen in previous stories seems to have been scaled back because of this new timeline and as such we get some interesting character beats from both Bruce and Damien in regards to their views on the sentiment of death and the ethos of fighting crime.

Like some other books this week, it’s clear that some holdover elements from the old continuity will be front and center for certain characters. In this case, it’s the worldwide enterprise of Batman, Inc. The fact that Batman has only been around for five years in this continuity doesn’t seem to hinder that storyline at all. We’ve yet to see exactly what parts of Batman’s history are still relevant. I don’t know if Knightfall, No Man’s Land, Murderer/Fugitive, etc. have happened in this timeline but we do know that Damien is still around and Batman Inc is still happening around the globe. Again I have to point out how troublesome this is to new readers if that’s truly what DC is trying to draw in with this relaunch. Someone picking up Batman and Robin # 1 without a prior knowledge of Morrison’s work on the character might be a little perplexed as to when exactly Batman had a son and what the hell Batman, Inc. is. Fans of those particular storylines will not be let down however, as this is a pretty direct continuation of those themes in a similar sort of style.

Overall Rating: 3/5


I’ll just go ahead and say upfront that this is my favorite title of the bunch so far and if you haven’t already you need to go buy a copy and read it right now. The rest of this review is just going to be me gushing over how amazing the book is and how lucky we as readers are to have someone like Paul Cornell writing a book like this. Seriously, if there is one thing that I have to applaud DC for in this whole stunt it’s giving good writers chances to work on books that otherwise would have never seen the light of day. There are a lot of people who are going to pick this up just because of its connection to the “new 52” and they’re going to find one of the most fun, well-written fantasy adventure comics to come along in a long damned time.

I’ve always been a fan of Etrigan. I think he’s one hell of a character and he really hasn’t been given his due in the last few years. That changes here and I think it’s mostly due to the fact that Cornell knows how to write him and that he is a character that works best when he has appropriate characters to bounce off of and he gets that here with Madame Xanadu, Vandal Savage, and a whole host of medieval side-characters. The fact that this is set entirely in the middle-ages allows Cornell to go wild and do whatever he pleases without worrying about bumping up against someone else’s plans. The recent dust-up with Gail Simone being displeased about Batgirl’s appearance in Birds of Prey without her prior knowledge comes to mind. I don’t think anyone is going to try to appropriate anybody in Demon Knights anytime soon. There is an artistic freedom that comes with a book like this that I really can get behind.

Seriously, go buy the book. It’s the shining pinnacle of what this relaunch has to offer.

Overall Rating: 5/5


This one is hard to review. It’s not a bad book. It’s actually quite an interesting read. It’s just so hard for me to disconnect this version of the character from the previous incarnation. Even more so than last week’s Green Arrow, not a whole lot of this book felt like what I would associate with Superboy. That having been said, what we’re presented with is a fresh take on the character. The scientific procedural element of the story is interesting and provides an excellent framework for progressing the issue. My only problem with the book has been that Superboy’s personality is defined by NOT having a personality. That can only last for so long before it becomes a chore to read through. I think that Scott Lobdell knows this, but he’s trying to match the character’s personality to the expected tropes of the genre he’s presenting the character in. He’s a clone, so he needs to be a blank slate at the beginning. That’s how these stories work. I think he’s trying to play with expectations a little bit and it’ll be interesting to see where he goes with it.

Superboy is a title that I’m cautiously optimistic about. The final page seems to indicate that this storyline somehow informs the new Teen Titans, which doesn’t look very interesting at all to me. I can’t really say for sure how much I’ll enjoy this past the first issue. I’ll just have to keep reading to find out.

Overall Rating: 3/5


I am very tempted just to write *facepalm* and leave it at that. There really are no words to express how much I disliked this book. Anything not involving King Shark (he’s a shaaaaarrrk!) was pretty much terrible. Deadshot has lost his mustache and Amanda Waller is a young, thin slice of bland. This was just…well, a mess. I don’t imagine any other DC book has missed the mark as hard as this one has. Or let us hope, at least. I’d hate to see what could be worse than this slap in the face to what was once an amazing title.

I don’t want to sound like a cranky fanboy, but seriously…I just can’t imagine how anyone would find this interpretation of the title appealing. It’s generic, bland, and brings nothing new to the table while disregarding the elements of the characters involved that made them interesting in the first place. It’s just one big ball of missed opportunity, because these characters in their pre-reboot forms on the same team would have been interesting to see. Now? not so much.

Overall rating: 1/5


So, controversy, huh? We’ve got an African-American/Hispanic Ultimate Spider-Man and that has some people angry and other people bored and other people happy as hell. Emotions! Does any of that have any bearing on how good the book is or isn’t? Not really. The initial PR stunt nature of the book is a bit disheartening because I think it might have been a little bit better received if it had come out of the box as a surprise. It’s actually a pretty decent book. It doesn’t feel like a continuation of the old series as much as it feels like an entirely new story where someone who isn’t Peter Parker somehow winds up getting spider-based powers. It’s got Bendis’ usual sense of story-flow, that is to say that it begins a bit slowly, but the slice-of-life soap-opera elements of Bendis’ writing were what made that book work so well in the early days.

I’m not going to call this one better or worse than the Parker years because it’s only been one issue and it’ll be another twenty-three or so until I’m able to see what sort of book this is really going to be. All we know right now is that Miles is going to have a little bit of a different power-set from Parker judging from that final page cliffhanger, and that he probably won’t have a costume until around issue six if Bendis keeps to his usual pace. But if everything between then and now is well written as it was back when he first launched USM, then I doubt we’ll really care.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5


And that’s our show everybody. Join us next week for another round of my telling you what you should do with your money. See you then.

Bonus Comic Reviews!

I was able to get my hands on a few more of the new DC # 1 titles that I thought looked interesting enough to read and I figured it’d be worthwhile to add my two cents as to their overall quality and value. Because I’m an expert. I wrote a book. It’s on Amazon. That gives me free reign to critique whatever I want. At least that’s what I got out of all those literature classes I took in college.


Are you reading Jeff Lemire’s excellent Sweet Tooth by any chance? If not, you should be. It’s the sort of dark, moody, effective Vertigo mystery that keeps that branch of the publishing division alive with its artistic merit. It’s seriously one of the best books on the market right now and at least three volumes are available in trade paperback for your reading pleasure. I say this because it’s not a fluke that Jeff Lemire is able to put out amazing work on a regular basis. That’s evident with his take on Animal Man, a book that, I believe, in a few years time will be held in the same esteem as Grant Morrison’s own vision for the character.

In this version we get Buddy Baker, animal rights activist, indie-film star, and part-time superhero trying to come to terms with what it is exactly that he wants to be. His unease with the way he comes off in an interview recently published in a magazine, which we get to read as the opening page of this debut issue, shows the conflict of this character in a very stark, contrasting light. He knows he does a fair amount of good as a superhero, but also knows his value as a community activist. Add this in with how his family perceives him; a wife and two children who each have their own view of Buddy Baker and what he means to them. Buddy’s son Cliff obviously wants him to be the superhero and hopes that he can in turn share in Animal Man’s adventures. Daughter Maxine just wants her father, a regular father who can provide her with what she wants/needs, and takes it very hard that she cannot have a puppy because of the way it would interfere with Buddy’s connection to his powers. His wife Ellen wants stability. Whether that comes from a movie paycheck, his activism work, or as a superhero doesn’t seem to matter much to her as long as she has Buddy in some constant form. This contrasts with Lemire’s characterization of Buddy as the sort who constantly changes everything about himself.

This is one of the best written books of the relaunch. As with most b-list characters, Lemire is given a longer leash and wider freedom to play with than if he were writing Superman or Wonder Woman. He has more leeway to play with the character and push boundaries. I don’t foresee this one being a major seller but I think it will be a critical hit and a cult favorite for years to come and all of that is deserved because this is a true standout of the relaunch.

Overall Rating: 5/5


Bringing Sgt. Rock into the modern world seemed like a fairly stupid idea. Like Jonah Hex, I always felt like the time period was essential to the character. You can do a one-off story of time displacement but it never feels right. It seemed like this time they were just going to have Sgt. Rock exist in the modern military environment with no reference to WWII. He wasn’t being brought forward, he was never back there in the first place. In Men of War # 1 we get a slight hint that this might be a direct descendant of the Rock we’re accustomed to. In the first segment where we’re introduced to Corporal Rock, an Army sergeant references his great-grandfather who was also a sergeant. I think by dropping that little line of dialog they were able to put aside my fears that this book would in any way be a disservice to the character of Sgt. Rock.

The first segment here sees Rock and his team deployed on a mission where things go pretty haywire and a superhuman, who remains unidentified in this issue but is hinted at being Superman, ends up derailing the overall plan and dumping the team in a violent crossfire. It’s fairly well staged if a bit generic but the cliffhanger ending is more effective than the rest of the issue and makes me want to see how everything plays out.

The second story is more grounded-in-reality with a group of Navy SEALs taking on some insurgents in a classified mission where technically they aren’t even in the area. The pacing is quick and reads like a comic version of Black Hawk Down with a cliffhanger ending that’s just as effective as the one in the preceding Sgt. Rock story.

It’s not an amazing book, in fact it feels fairly by the numbers, but it’s been a while since we’ve gotten a military action book and it’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out…



I’ve championed Scott Snyder as one of the best new talents DC has picked up in years. His Batman work is exquisite and American Vampire is a damn fine book. So when I saw he would be taking over the reigns of Swamp Thing I figured he was just the man for the job. His sensibilities seem to fit quite well with the themes and ideas that seem tethered to such a character and so I was excited to see how it would work out.

I can report that it’s a little bit of a mixed bag. It’s obvious that this was supposed to come off of the end of Brightest Day and reads like a sequel to a story that I missed. Snyder jumps in head first and establishes the narrative which comes off as a bit of an abrupt start. There are references here to Moore’s work on the title as well as the recent developments of Brightest Day and all of that feels out of line with the rest of the reboot titles in that everything else read like a clean break from what came before in most respects where as this one feels less new-reader friendly. I understand that a lot of these things would feel organic if I had been reading what came before but at the same time that defeats the purpose of a company wide reboot and a new # 1 on the cover.

That nitpick aside it is a well written book that I think will explain everything that needs to be explained in due time. The artwork by Paquette is amazing, as it usually is and it compliments the story and tone perfectly. I think that this will be a great book given time but it simply had a hard time coming off the starting line. Once it rounds the first corner I expect it to pull out ahead of the rest fairly quickly.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Review: Justice League # 1

I’ve read more Justice League # 1’s than I would care to count. Each time we get something drastically different from the previous iteration, making it hard, for me at least, to say exactly what makes for a definitive Justice League book. Grant Morrison’s run was pretty damned fantastic. As was the JLI group. The earliest incarnations of the team I’ve only read a handful of, mainly because I don’t have a ready access to the back issues the way I do with the JLI to present. (I have all of JLI, the Morrison era JLA book, and dropped the last volume of the book around Final Crisis)

I wasn’t going to bother with DC anymore. I’ve been slowly working my way out of monthly comic buying and sticking to trade releases and only keeping the books that I have the strongest of attachments to. JLA wasn’t one of those books. But I have to admit that the hype around Geoff Johns and Jim Lee tackling the book in an all new continuity was enough to make me pick up the first issue. The (arguably) biggest names DC has to offer working on a title that should be their premiere book of the lineup is not something that comes along everyday. I’ve likened it to putting Bendis on New Avengers back in 2005. How it took six years for DC to figure out a winning formula is beyond me. Johns alone would have been enough to sell the book but Jim Lee is a demi-god to most of the loyal comic buying public. The early numbers for the book indicate as such, what the actual sales translate to is another question entirely.

But what about the book itself? Is it any good?

That’s a little bit harder to answer. The book reminds me of a fine mixing of Bendis’ work on the early days of Ultimate Spider-Man as well as Johns’ own work when he relaunched Green Lantern. Like USM, this is an origin story, and it’s decompressed quite a bit. The days of a team assembling, fighting a threat, and moving on to the next issue are long gone. In this issue we get Batman, still being hunted by the police as they’re not yet aware that he’s “one of the good guys” as he tries to take down a monstrous looking villain that I at first mistook for a revamped Killer Croc.

Pictured Above: Not Killer Croc

Eventually Green Lantern gets himself involved. We soon learn through his banter with Batman that super-heroes are a relatively new phenomenon here and that the world doesn’t quite know what to make of them as of yet. Green Lantern is then surprised to find out that Batman is just some dude in a mask, bereft of any real superpower. The writing here is quick, snappy, breezy, and light. It covers a fair amount of ground in setting up the status quo and getting the ball rolling. The timeframe for this issues is fairly short, so by the time you get to the end of the book, some people might be a little let down, regardless of the somewhat tantalizing cliffhanger where we’re introduced to this new continuity’s Superman.

I can’t say this is a bad book. Jim Lee is on his A-game and there’s quite a bit to cover in a world where the rules haven’t been defined yet, so no matter what there’s a sense that no matter what Johns crammed in it would never be enough. If anything, the only thing I can say is that the book is promising. It’s an origin story where they have free reign to play around with the elements as they please. It looks like we’re seeing some tweaks already with the way they handle Cyborg, who we see as a high-school football player in this issue. The elements are there and only the rest of the arc will tell us if this was all worth our time or not.

Rating: 6/10

DCnU – Pass or Pull (Final Part)

At last we come to the end. The final eleven books in the new DCU 52 put under a microscope and examined to determine whether they’re worth the paper they’re printed on…

Resurrection Man # 1
Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning & Fernando Dagnino

It’s the return of Mitch Shelly – and he’s still dead. Resurrection Man can’t stay dead for long, though – and with each rebirth comes new and unexpected powers. But his many returns have not gone unnoticed, and forces are gathering to learn what’s so special about him – and to see which of them will finally stop Resurrection Man dead.

Abnett and Lanning can do no wrong. Guardians of the Galaxy was friggin’ amazing. I know next to nothing about this Resurrection Man character but I don’t doubt DnA will be able to make it worthwhile.

Final Verdict: PULL

Savage Hawkman # 1
Tony Daniel & Philip Tan

Carter Hall’s skill at deciphering lost languages has led him to a job with an archaeologist who specializes in alien ruins – but will the doctor’s latest discovery spread an alien plague through New York City? No matter the personal cost, Carter Hall must don his wings and become the new, savage Hawkman to survive! Witness the start of a new action series from writer Tony S. Daniel and artist Philip Tan that will take Hawkman where no hero has flown before!

Hawkman can be interesting if you cut through the continuity, so a fresh start is promising. But Tony Daniel is a far more talented artist than he is a writer, and I’m not a huge fan of Philip Tan’s artwork. So this just seems unappealing on multiple levels.

Final Verdict: PASS

Static Shock # 1
Scott McDaniel & John Rozum

The brilliant, slightly awkward high school student Virgil Hawkins transforms into the cocky electromagnetic hero Static! A mysterious tragedy forces the Hawkins family to relocate from Dakota to New York City! Virgil embarks upon new adventures in a new high school and a new internship at S.T.A.R. Labs! As Static, he dons a new uniform and establishes a new secret headquarters! But is he ready to take on the new villains who lurk in New York City’s underworld?

Static Shock finally gets a title and it’s with Scott McDaniel at the helm pulling the writing duties alongside John Rozum as well as handling the artwork. I actually like McDaniel’s style, though it’s not for everybody and I think it could work wonders for a character like Static. It’s sad that we’re not getting the book under Dwayne McDuffie’s hand, may he rest in peace, but it’s good to see that DC still plans to use the character.

Final Verdict: PULL

Stormwatch # 1
Paul Cornell & Miguel Sepulveda

They are Stormwatch, a dangerous super human police force whose existence is kept secret from the world Directly following the ominous events of SUPERMAN #1, Adam One leads half the Stormwatch team to recover the [INFORMATION REDACTED] from deep in the Himalayas. Meanwhile, Jack Hawksmoor and the rest of the Stormwatch crew look to recruit two of the deadliest super humans on the planet: Midnighter and Apollo! And if they say no? Perhaps the Martian Manhunter can change their minds?

Cornell on Stormwatch you say? And Martian Manhunter is on the team? I don’t know what to make of it. It’s something I legitimately have to see to believe. Curiosity makes this one a definite must-read.

Final Verdict: PULL

Suicide Squad # 1
Adam Glass & Marco Rudy

They’re a team of death-row super villains recruited by the government to take on missions so dangerous – they’re sheer suicide! Harley Quinn! Deadshot! King Shark! Defeated and imprisoned, they’re being interrogated about their mission – and about who’s pulling the strings behind this illegal operation. Who will be the first to crack under the pressure?

Sorry but this just looks bad. All kinds of bad. I won’t waste any more words on it because I’d just be repeating what so many others have already said.

Final Verdict: PASS

Superboy # 1
Scott Lobdell & RB Silva

They thought he was just an experiment – and a failed one at that! Grown from a combination of Kryptonian and human DNA, the Clone was no more than a set of data to the scientists of Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. But when the scope of his stunning powers was revealed, he became a deadly weapon! Now the question is: Can a clone develop a conscience?

The premise sounds interesting, I’ll give you that. I’m just not sure what the point is when all of this stuff was handled with pretty expert precision under other writers in the past. I feel like they’ve thrown away a great deal of what made Superboy exciting in exchange for this which just seems like wheel spinning.

Final Verdict: PASS

Supergirl # 1
Michael Green, Mike Johnson & Mahmud Asrar

Meet Supergirl. She’s got the unpredictable behavior of a teenager, the same powers as Superman – and none of his affection for the people of Earth. So don’t piss her off!

Some Smallville writers take the reigns of Supergirl following the likes of Sterling Gates, Kelly Sue DeConnick and other amazing writers who worked to make her interesting and turn her into something nearly unrecognizeable and utterly bland. Nope. No sell.

Final Verdict: PASS

Superman # 1
George Perez & Jesus Merino

The new adventures of Superman begin here! What is The Man of Steel’s startling new status quo? How does it affect Lois Lane and The Daily Planet? There’s no time for answers now, because Superman must stop a monstrous threat to Metropolis – one that he somehow is the cause of!

George Perez on Superman is something I’ve wanted to see for as long as I can remember. I probably would have liked to see him do a run in his heyday, coming off the success of something like his Wonder Woman run but this is something too good to pass up, regardless of the circumstances.

Final Verdict: PULL

Swamp Thing # 1
Scott Snyder & Yanick Paquette

One of the world’s most iconic characters has returned to the heart of the DC Universe, and every step he takes will shake the foundations of the Earth! Alec Holland has his life back but the Green has plans for it. A monstrous evil is rising in the desert, and it’ll take a monster of another kind to defend life as we know it!

Oh yes. This fits in Snyder’s wheelhouse very well and Swamp Thing has been overdue for a resurgence for many years now. I suspect this will be one of the breakouts of the lineup and hopefully we’ll be able to have another run to place alongside Alan Moore’s as a contender for the definitive version of the character.

Final Verdict: PULL

Teen Titans # 1
Scott Lobdell & Brett Booth

Tim Drake, Batman’s former sidekick, is back in action when an international organization seeks to capture, kill or co-opt super-powered teenagers. As Red Robin, he’s going to have to team up with the mysterious and belligerent powerhouse thief known as Wonder Girl and the hyperactive speedster calling himself Kid Flash to stand any chance at all against a living, breathing weapon with roots in another world! They – along with a few other tortured teen heroes – will be the Teen Titans in this new series from writer Scott Lobdell (WILDC.A.T.S, Uncanny X-Men) and artist Brett Booth (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!

Just looking at what they’re doing here makes my head hurt. I love the Teen Titans and I’m not against different interpretations. I loved the TV show as much as I love Johns’ run and Perez’s as well. But this just seems horrible.

Final Verdict: PASS

Voodoo # 1
Ron Marz & Sami Basri

Who is Voodoo? Is she hero, villain – or both? Learn the truth about Priscilla Kitaen as she leaves a trail of violence across America. Discover the new DCU through her eyes, because the things she sees are not always what they seem?

When he’s not ranting about comic piracy on twitter, Ron Marz is usually writing Witchblade for Top Cow. Now that he’s handed that over to Hack/Slash’s Tim Seeley he’s free to write another seemingly similarly themed book for DC. Nothing about it screams must-buy, as I think Marz used up most of his mystical mojo writing Witchblade for the last few years. This one will probably end up being culled in the not too distant future.

Final Verdict: PASS

Wonder Woman # 1
Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chiang

The Gods walk among us. To them, our lives are playthings. Only one woman would dare to protect humanity from the wrath of such strange and powerful forces. But is she one of us – or one of them?

Anything is better than what we’ve been getting. Phil Hester has been doing an admirable job trying to salvage what he was handed but it’s still leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Azzarello’s take looks a bit more promising and Cliff Chiang can draw the crap out of anything and I’ll pay for it.

Final Verdict: PULL


So where does that put us?

27/52 titles I would rate as worthy of buying. That’s roughly 52% of the 52 that you should feel comfortable buying. I have to admit, the coincidence of the number seems almost intentional. Dan DiDio, you slick bastard you.

DCnU – Pass or Pull (Part Four)

Here’s our penultimate look at the new DCU 52 titles. So far we’re finding a lot to like spread in with some iffy offerings. But it’s not the trainwreck many are making it out to be. So let’s continue…

Legion Lost # 1
Fabien Nicieza & Pete Woods

Seven heroes from the 31st century have traveled back to the present day. Their mission: Save their future from annihilation. But when the future tech they brought with them fails, they find themselves trapped in a nightmarish world that, for them, is the ultimate struggle to survive! Don’t miss the start of this all-new LEGION series illustrated by Pete Woods – fresh off his spectacular run on ACTION COMICS – who is joined by writer Fabian Nicieza (RED ROBIN)!

I’m a fan of Fabien Nicieza. I really am. Not just for Cable & Deadpool but for his work on titles like Red Robin as well. I think he’s a strong writer who can really run when given an acceptable concept and a good artist. He definitely has the good artist on this title. Pete Woods is one of the strongest talents DC has on their roster. As for the concept, it could really go either way. The Legion is a tough nut to crack. But I would wager heavily that Fabien has something worth reading here.

Final Verdict: PULL

Legion of Super-Heroes # 1
Paul Levitz & Karl Kerschl

The Legion of Super-Heroes has been decimated by the worst disaster in its history. Now, the students of the Legion Academy must rise to the challenge of helping the team rebuild – but a threat of almost unstoppable power is rising at the edge of Dominator space, and if the new recruits fail, the Legion Espionage Squad may be the first casualties in a war that could split worlds in half!

As I said before, The Legion is not the easiest title to make work. But Paul Levtiz has a strong background with the book that should carry over here. I think longtime fans of the Legion will be satisfied and hopefully he manages to snare some new readers as well.

Final Verdict: PULL

Men of War # 1
Ivan Brandon & Tom Derenick

On the ground and on the front lines, a young, headstrong soldier known as Joe Rock assumes command of Easy Company – a team of ex-military men turned contractors. Will they survive the battle-scarred landscape carved by the DCU’s Super-Villains? Find out in this explosive new series from Ivan Brandon (Viking, DOC SAVAGE) and Tom Derenick (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!

Updating Sgt. Rock out of WW2? Immediate no sell. It makes me think too much of Hex. And while I enjoy that title for a bit of “WTF” levity, it goes against much of what makes the character truly work and I think that might be the case here.

Final Verdict: PASS

Mr. Terrific # 1
Eric Wallace & Roger Robinson

The world’s third-smartest man – and one of its most eligible bachelors – uses his brains and fists against science gone mad in this new series from Eric Wallace (TITANS) and Roger Robinson! Michael Holt is the head of a successful high-tech corporation and an institute that recruits and encourages the finest minds of the next generation to excel. As Mister Terrific he inhabits a world of amazement few others know exists, let alone can comprehend.

That suit is horrible but Mr. Terrific is an underrated character, and since we’re not getting a JSA title it looks like this is as good as it gets. Not sure about the creative team, but hopefully they can come out swinging and give Mr. Terrific the book he deserves.

Final Verdict: PULL

Nightwing # 1
Kyle Higgins & Eddy Barrows

Dick Grayson flies high once more as Nightwing in a new series from hot new writer Kyle Higgins (BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM)! And as he embraces his destiny, Haley’s Circus, the big top where Dick once performed, returns to Gotham City – bringing with it murder, mystery and superhuman evil. Nightwing must confront his past, among former friends and enemies from his circus days, while uncovering a much greater evil!

I love me some Nightwing and I’m glad to see him in his own title again, though I was really starting to embrace the Batman Inc. dynamic. Kyle Higgins is, as I’ve stated, a rising star at DC and being handed the keys to a fan favorite book could make or break him. I don’t doubt this will be worth reading.

Final Verdict: PULL

OMAC # 1
Dan DiDio & Keith Giffen

The all-seeing Brother Eye satellite has unleashed a new beast upon the DC Universe in this smashing new series! Kevin Kho has become an unwilling participant in a war between Checkmate and Brother Eye as he is transformed into the One Machine Army Corp known only as O.M.A.C.!

Jack Kirby by way of Dan DiDio? I cringe at the very thought.

Final Verdict: PASS

Red Hood and the Outlaws # 1
Scott Lobdell & Ken Rocafort

No sooner has Batman’s former sidekick, Jason Todd, put his past as the Red Hood behind him than he finds himself cornered by a pair of modern day outlaws: Green Arrow’s rejected sidekick Arsenal, the damaged soldier of fortune, and the alien Starfire, a former prisoner of intergalactic war who won’t be chained again. As a loner, Jason has absolutely no interest in this motley crew of outlaws. So what’s he going to do when they choose the Red Hood as their leader? Find out in this hot new series from writer Scott Lobdell (WILDC.A.T.S, Uncanny X-Men), featuring art by rising star Kenneth Rocafort (ACTION COMICS)!

This description SCREAMS 90’s pseudo-image title and it isn’t helped by putting the man who defined much of the X-Men’s adventures during the decade at the helm. I don’t expect much out of this title at all. I don’t care how much you taunt me with Arsenal’s awesome trucker hat, I’m not buying!

Final Verdict: PASS

Red Lanterns # 1
Peter Milligan & Ed Benes

Atrocitus and his Red Lantern Corps return in their own series, battling against injustice in the most bloody ways imaginable!

I love Pete Milligan as I’ve said in earlier entries but this doesn’t seem like it could be made interesting if it were written by a council of Jack Kirby, Grant Morrison, and Shakespeare.

Final Verdict: PASS


Be sure to come back tomorrow for the last round of analysis and we tally up the score to see if this relaunch is really worth all the effort…

DCnU – Pass or Pull (Part Three)

Our in-depth look at the new DCU 52 comes on the heels of the revelation to the press by Dan DiDio that Clark Kent and Lois Lane will indeed no longer be married when the new titles launch this fall. This has prompted a new round of backlash against the reboot but frankly the amount of vitriol being spewed is about what you would expect from the DC fanbase regardless of the particulars inciting their rage.

Green Arrow # 1
JT Krul & Dan Jurgans and Norm Rapmund

Green Arrow is on the hunt. Driven by inner demons, Ollie Queen travels the world and brings outlaws to justice? by breaking every law. Now, armed with cutting-edge weaponry and illegally gained intel (courtesy of his team at QCore), Green Arrow is shooting first and asking questions later.

JT Krul headed up the last GA relaunch and I feel like it was burdened by the Brightest Day baggage it was carrying with it. That having been said, this doesn’t look too much better and the synopsis seems to indicate that this Green Arrow will bear little resemblance to the character that we’ve come to know and since there was nothing wrong with him in the first place that earns this book a tick in the loss column.

Final Verdict: PASS

Green Lantern # 1
Geoff Johns & Doug Mahnke

The red-hot GREEN LANTERN team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Doug Mahnke introduce an unexpected new Lantern.

Wow. Vague much? There’s not much to go on but I will admit that 90% of Johns’ Lantern work has been stellar. Well worth the money and I don’t doubt that this will be much different. Johns’ best work is within the confines of a title where he can mold the characters to his liking through careful plotting over a long period of time. His first run on the Flash exemplified this. His last Green Lantern run was excellent and while Blackest Night was a misfire, Johns’ work on the central title was good enough to earn it credibility as one of the definitive works on the character. I would hope that trend continues here.

Final Verdict: PULL

Green Lantern Corps # 1
Peter Tomasi & Fernando Pasarin

When deadly conflicts emerge across the universe, it’s up to Guy Gardner, John Stewart and an elite Green Lantern strike force to keep the peace – or else.

Guy Gardner. Instant buy. The GLC book has been just as interesting as the central GL book for the past few years and Tomasi seems to have a handle on things. This seems more of a sure shot than the flagship title under Johns.

Final Verdict: PULL

Green Lantern : New Guardians # 1
Tony Bedard & Tyler Kirkham

Kyle Rayner has assembled the most powerful team in all the universe, selected from the full spectrum of corps. But can he even keep this volatile group together?

This one seems less like a slam dunk. Spinning out of the Blackest Night/Brightest Day clusterbang, the premise seems perched on too much continuity and given the reboot’s streamlined universe we can assume that this particular title may end up being a bit muddled. I’m not too optimistic.

Final Verdict: PASS

Grifter # 1
Nate Edmondson & Cafu

The DCU’s most wanted man stars in his own series! Cole Cash is a charming grifter few can resist. And yet he’s about to be branded a serial killer when he begins hunting and exterminating inhuman creatures hidden in human form – creatures only he can see! Can the biggest sweet talker of all time talk his way out of this one when even his brother thinks he’s gone over the edge?

I have a soft spot for the old WildCATs stuff, but I’m not so sure about introducing Grifter into the DCU. Edmondson is a talented scribe but Grifter is a tough sell nowadays. It’ll be interesting to see if people still give a damn. I personally don’t see the appeal anymore.

Final Verdict: PASS

Hawk and Dove # 1
Sterling Gates & Rob Liefeld

Hank Hall is not happy. He’s not happy to have Dawn Granger as a new partner in his war on crime. He’s not happy that she’s dating the ghostly Super Hero, Deadman. He’s not happy to learn that someone is trying to plunge the United States into a new civil war! Now it’s up to Hawk and Dove to root out the forces behind this conflict and stop them before they turn the U.S. into a wasteland! And who is the monster lurking in the shadows, watching Hawk and Dove from afar? Find out in this new series from Sterling Gates (FLASHPOINT: KID FLASH LOST) and artist Rob Liefeld (X-Force, Youngblood)!

Do I really need to spell out why this book will be unreadable when Liefeld’s name is in bold print at the top? No matter how much I may respect Sterling Gates, Liefeld is an immediate turn-off. When the man can get artwork in on time it’s still a mess. How the man has been unable to evolve even a little since the early 90’s is beyond me. The rest of the Image crew have evolved their art by leaps and bounds but Liefeld remains constant in his poorly drawn little niche.

Final Verdict: PASS

I, Vampire # 1
Joshua Fielkov & Andrea Sorrentino

For hundreds of years, vampire Andrew Stanton kept mankind safe from the horrors of the supernatural world, thanks to a truce he made with his ex-lover Mary, the Queen of the Damned. But now that truce has reached a bloody end and Andrew must do everything in his power to stop Mary and her dark forces from going on a killing spree – and she plans to start with the heroes of the DCU!

Again the mystical part of the DCU gets put under the spotlight and here we get something truly interesting. Some sincerely great mystical characters have been given chances to shine in the DCU only to have their lives cut short despite critical and fan respect. Simon Dark comes to mind. This seems to be an equally compelling title and I would hope people check it out.

Final Verdict: PULL

Justice League # 1
Geoff Johns & Jim Lee

Comics superstars Geoff Johns and Jim Lee make history! In a universe where super heroes are strange and new, Batman has discovered a dark evil that requires him to unite the World Greatest Heroes! This spectacular debut issue is also offered as a special combo pack edition, polybagged with a redemption code for a digital download of the issue.

I don’t know for sure that this will ever even see a second issue. I’m fearful of another WildCATs incident. But Johns and Lee on the premier DC book should be enough to garner a little bit of attention. It could be the catalyst that sees a return to greatness for DC the way putting Bendis on the Avengers was for Marvel. Or it could be a massive misfire. Either way, I want to see it happen.

Final Verdict: PULL

Justice League Dark # 1
Peter Milligan & Mikel Janin

The witch known as The Enchantress has gone mad, unleashing forces that not even the combined powers of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg can stop. And if those heroes can’t handle the job, who will stand against this mystical madness? Shade the Changing Man, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Zatanna and John Constantine may be our only hope – but how can we put our trust in beings whose very presence makes ordinary people break out in a cold sweat?

It seems so wrong to have John Constantine in a title with the words “Justice League” in it but under the penmanship of Peter Milligan you have to place your bets in the title’s favor. The man knows how to write stuff like this and I can guarantee this will be the most interesting of the JL titles this fall. Hands down.

Final Verdict: PULL

Justice League International # 1
Dan Jurgens & Aaron Lopresti

With the growing presence of super beings around the world, the United Nations resolves to create a new group called Justice League International. Batman, Booster Gold, Green Lantern Guy Gardner, August General in Iron, Fire, Ice, Vixen and Rocket Red are charged with promoting unity and trust – but can they reach that goal without killing each other first?

It seems off. As someone who deeply loved some JLI back in the day, this doesn’t feel right. But Jurgens has been doing some good work with the Booster Gold title recently and so maybe this will be worth a look. I have to say that if you ever loved the JLI and don’t read this then I don’t know what to say to you.

Final Verdict: PULL


Part Four will be up tomorrow followed by the final installment on Thursday. Until then, you can always let us know your own Pass/Pull opinions in the comments or on our Facebook page.


DCnU – Pass or Pull (Part Two)

Yesterday we began our look at the 52 new DC titles that will be coming this September and gave them the go or no-go based off of what we could glean from the solicits. Today is part two of our examination. Who will make the cut this round? Let’s find out.

Captain Atom # 1
JT Krul & Freddie Williams II

Charged by nuclear energy, possessing vast molecular powers, Captain Atom has the potential to be a literal god among men – a hero without limits. But the question is: Will he lose himself in the process? Don’t miss the start of a legend from writer J.T. Krul (GREEN ARROW, TEEN TITANS) and artist Freddie Williams II (JSA ALL-STARS)!

Captain Atom is a tough nut to crack. While I have been impressed with some of JT Krul’s work I don’t think he’s the one to elevate this mid-range character into anything astounding. The character is one that has been diluted over the years by multiple takes and he needs to be given something definitive. I don’t think this run will be able to do that. I suspect this will come out mediocre at best.

Final Verdict : PASS

Catwoman # 1
Judd Winick & Guillem March

INICK Art and cover by GUILLEM MARCH Meet Catwoman. She’s addicted to the night. Addicted to shiny objects. Addicted to Batman. Most of all, Catwoman is addicted to danger. She can’t help herself, and the truth is – she doesn’t want to. She’s good at being bad, and very bad at being good. Find out more about what makes Catwoman tick in this new series from writer Judd Winick (BATMAN: UNDER THE HOOD) and artist Guillem March (GOTHAM CITY SIRENS)!

I love Catwoman. I think she’s a great character and I’m glad she’s getting her own series again. Once again my problem lies with the writer. Judd Winick is a complete 50/50 shot. It’s either good or bad and you can never really tell going in what it’s going to be. The problem I have with this particular title is that the solicit seems to undo all of the great character work done under Brubaker in her last run and that’s just a waste. I don’t think the version Winick is writing could ever be as interesting as the one that was stripped away to make way for this title.

Final Verdict : PASS

DC Universe Presents # 1
Paul Jenkins & Bernard Chang

It’s the start of a new series spotlighting some of the DC Universes’s most exciting super heroes! First up is Deadman, straight from the pages of BRIGHTEST DAY, in a five-issue epic where the body-hopping hero meets his match in a new foe who wants to make sure the souls that Deadman helps out go straight to Hell!

Considering that this spins out of Brightest Day, I’m inclined to let this one go unread. Nothing about that series interested me and this looks like more of the same. Paul Jenkins is capable of writing interesting material, but given where this series is coming from and looking at his recent work, this doesn’t look very promising.

Final Verdict : PASS

Deathstroke # 1
Kyle Higgins & Joe Bennett

‘Friends die, family disappoints, but a legacy? That lives forever.’ Slade Wilson is the best mercenary in the DCU, and he’s been doing this a long time. Some might say too long. But they’ll learn: Never turn your back on Deathstroke the Terminator. He won’t quit, no matter how high the stakes. Kyle Higgins (BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM) and Joe Bennett (TEEN TITANS) team up to bring you the finest in mayhem and gore.

Kyle Higgins is getting rave reviews for Gates of Gotham but I’m not reading that series so I can’t vouch for his work personally. Based off of this solicitation however it seems like they’re going for the sort of proto-90’s post-Image violent “extreme” comic that so turned me off in those years so this one could go either way, but personally I’m staying away.

Final Verdict : PASS

Demon Knights # 1
Paul Cornell & Diogenes Neves

Set in the Dark Ages of the DC Universe, a barbarian horde is massing to crush civilization. It’s fallen to Madame Xanadu and Jason Blood, the man with a monster inside him, to stand in their way – though the demon Etrigan has no interest in protecting anyone or anything other than himself! It’ll take more than their own power to stop an army fueled by bloodlust and dark sorcery, and some very surprising heroes – and villains – will have no choice but to join the fray!

Yes, yes, a million times yes. Cornell is an amazing writer and the characters he’s writing are some of the most interesting in the DCU. This one is one of the few I would label a “Can’t Miss” based off of the concept and team alone. It would be highly unlikely for this to turn out anything other than brilliant.

Final Verdict : PULL

Detective Comics # 1
Tony Daniel & Tony Daniel

DC’s flagship title is relaunched for the first time ever, with new Batman adventures from acclaimed writer/ artist Tony S. Daniel! A killer called The Gotham Ripper is on the loose on Batman’s home turf – leading The Dark Knight on a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Tony Daniel’s Batman work was some of the worst I’d read in YEARS. Here he’s on the relaunched Detective Comics and it doesn’t look as if much has changed. I’d say invest your money in the main Batman title and leave this one be.

Final Verdict : PASS

Flash # 1
Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato

The Fastest Man Alive returns to his own monthly series from the writer/artist team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato! The Flash knows he can’t be everywhere at once, but what happens when he faces an all-new villain who really can! As if that’s not bad enough, this villain is a close friend!

This description is almost too vague to draw any conclusions. It seems overly generic and lacking the conviction that Johns brought to the most recent relaunch. You would think following Flashpoint they would want to go big on this title and keep people interested but as it stands there’s nothing to snare me as a reader and it seems like no big loss to skip out on unless you’re a Flash fanatic.

Final Verdict : PASS

Frankenstein Agent of Shade # 1
Jeff Lemire & Alberto Ponticelli

Frankenstein as you’ve never seen him before, in a dark new series from acclaimed writer Jeff Lemire (SWEET TOOTH) and artist Alberto Ponticelli (UNKNOWN SOLDIER)! Frankenstein is part of a network of strange beings who work for an even stranger government organization: The Super Human Advanced Defense Executive! But can he protect the world from threats even more horrifying than himself? And since he’s vilified for who and what he is, will he even want to take on this mission?

A great team on a book with an interesting premise. This one looks to follow in the mold of Demon Knights as one of the most interesting books to come out of the relaunch. I wouldn’t pass this one up. A writer like Lemire following up on ideas from Morrison’s Seven Soldiers project is something that you should be clamoring for.

Final Verdict : PULL

Fury of Firestorm # 1
Gail Simone, Ethan Van Sciver & Yildiray Cinar

Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond. These two high school students are worlds apart – and now they’re drawn into a conspiracy of super-science that bonds them forever in a way they can’t explain or control. The dark secrets of the murderous Dog Team and its Firestorm Protocol force them to put aside their differences to confront a threat so terrifying that it may lead to a new Cold War! Welcome to a major new vision of nuclear terror from writers Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone with astonishing art by Yildiray Cinar!

In Gail we trust. I don’t doubt that she can write the hell out of Firestorm, and it’ll be interesting to see what she does in collaboration with Van Sciver. I’m not a Firestorm fan, but the talent on this book makes it worth reading. I doubt it’ll be a dissappointment.

Final Verdict : PULL


That’s it for part two. The next part will be coming up shortly. Remember to let us know how you’re feeling about the DC relaunch. Opinions are so divided that everyone’s needs to be heard.

DCnU – Pass or Pull (Part One)

I placed my order for September earlier today and as most of you know the DCU is being streamlined and relaunched with new # 1 issues and so I thought I’d put up this handy guide to what I think is worth getting and what I think you should stay away from at all costs. Keep in mind that some of the things I say you should pass on I may have actually bought because I’m an asshole like that.

Action Comics # 1
Grant Morrison & Rags Morales

The one and only Grant Morrison (ALL-STAR SUPERMAN) returns to Superman, joined by sensational artist Rags Morales (IDENTITY CRISIS), to bring you tales of The Man of Steel unlike any you’ve ever read! This extra-sized debut issue is the cornerstone of the entire DC Universe!

I believe that renumbering Action Comics is just plain stupid. When you reach 900 issues and then decide to drop back to #1 for a sales gimmick, you do a disservice to the legacy of that brand. Action Comics is a major brand to pull this with. Some titles have been relaunched so many times the numbering means next to nothing. Marvel has proven this with enough Daredevil and Punisher volumes to choke a whale, but Action Comics is the progenitor. That alone would be enough to make me not want to continue with the title. But Grant Morrison, he of All Star Superman glory, is enough to make me overlook the cheap gimmick of the relaunch and hope that a good story can come out of it.

Final Verdict : PULL

All-Star Western # 1
Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti

Even when Gotham City was just a one-horse town, crime was rampant – and things only get worse when bounty hunter Jonah Hex comes to town. Can Amadeus Arkham, a pioneer in criminal psychology, enlist Hex’s special brand of justice to help the Gotham Police Department track down a vicious serial killer? Find out in this new series from HEX writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, with lush artwork by Moritat (THE SPIRIT)!

I may be biased because I’ve been reading Jonah Hex for a damned long time and have championed it as one of the best books flying under the radar at DC for just as long, but this is one that I wouldn’t advise to pass up. Clearly they’re trying to push Jonah Hex with more of their readers by tying him to Gotham’s past, and the attempt on the part of the publisher to give Jonah more life on the monthly market is more than admirable. I’m not sure if I’ll care for the change in direction when compared to the current title, but Palmiotti and Gray rarely disappoint and I hope this one is one of the standouts in September.

Final Verdict : PULL

Animal Man # 1
Jeff Lemire & Travel Foreman

Buddy Baker has gone from ‘super’ man to family man – but is he strong enough to hold his family together when Maxine, his young daughter, starts to manifest her own dangerous powers? Find out in this dramatic new series from writer Jeff Lemire (SWEET TOOTH) and artist Travel Foreman (The Immortal Iron Fist).

Make no mistake about it, Jeff Lemire is one hell of a talent. Sweet Tooth is one of the most consistently  intriguing books in the Vertigo line and his work on Superboy was admirable as well. Here he takes the reigns of one of the most interesting heroes DC has to offer. Could his work live up to the legacy laid down by Grant Morrison all those years ago? If anybody could do it, Lemire would be one of them.

Final Verdict : PULL

Aquaman # 1
Geoff Johns & Ivan Reis

The superstar creators from BLACKEST NIGHT and BRIGHTEST DAY reunite to take AQUAMAN to amazing new depths! Aquaman has renounced the throne of Atlantis – but the sea will not release Arthur Curry so easily. Now, from a forgotten corner of the ocean emerges? The Trench! A broken race of creatures that should not exist, an unspeakable need driving them, The Trench will be the most talked-about new characters in the DC Universe!

This one is worth watching. Johns usually does a great job re-introducing characters in a new series and only later does he get bogged down by his own Johnsiness. He did a great job with Green Lantern and Booster Gold, and a serviceable job with The Flash. Will Aquaman have that same flair? I hope so. Because I FUCKING love Aquaman. I hope this one is a hit. Not based off of anything other than my love for the character.

Final Verdict : PULL

Batgirl # 1
Gail Simone & Ardian Syaf

Yes, it’s really happening! Barbara Gordon is back as Batgirl – and she’s going to have to face the city’s most horrifying new villains as well as the dark secrets from her past. You won’t want to miss this stunning debut issue from fan-favorite BIRDS OF PREY writer Gail Simone!

Here’s where the controversy starts to hit. People have a strong reaction to Barbara Gordon. She’s seemingly become the rallying point for a good portion of the comic reading public as an example of how a character can evolve into something meaningful as a result of circumstance. A good number of people have lashed out at the idea of her becoming Batgirl once again because of how important she was as a role model for the disabled. I admit that I love the Oracle character and am not sure how well this one will stick the landing. The only reason I’m giving it hope is because Gail Simone writes Babs better than just about anyone, so she deserves the benefit of the doubt here.

Final Verdict : PULL

Batman # 1
Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo

Be here for the start of a new era for The Dark Knight from writer Scott Snyder (AMERICAN VAMPIRE, BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM) and artist Greg Capullo (Spawn)! A series of brutal killings hints at an ancient conspiracy, and Batman learns that Gotham City is deadlier than he knew.

This one immediately gets recommended based off of the strength of Snyder’s recent work on Detective, which is some of the best Bat-work DC has published in recent memory. Putting him on the main Batman title is an excellent idea and I would be fully behind it if they hadn’t pulled the reboot switch. I trust Snyder to do something interesting here but I can’t help but think it may have been more interesting if not tangled in the hype of DC’s relaunch stunt.

Final Verdict : PULL

Batman & Robin # 1
Peter Tomasi & Patrick Gleason

Battling evil with his son, Damian, at his side, Batman now realizes that the hardest part of the job may be trying to work together! As Batman and Robin try to adjust to their new partnership, a figure emerges from Bruce Wayne’s past: His name is NoBody, and he’s not happy that Batman Incorporated is shining a light on his own shadowy war against evil?

Tomasi can be hit or miss. Most of what he’s done recently has been bordering on the mundane and hasn’t spoken to me personally. Nothing in the solicit here gives me any indication that the book will be anything other than run of the mill, and while I like that it’s playing off of the Batman Inc. storyline the relaunch continuity may make the book a frustrating read.

Final Verdict : PASS

Batman : The Dark Knight # 1
David Finch & Richard Friend

The Dark Knight struggles against a deadly – yet strangely familiar – foe in this phenomenal debut issue from superstar writer/artist David Finch (BRIGHTEST DAY, ACTION COMICS)! As a mysterious figure slinks through the halls of Arkham Asylum, Batman must fight his way through a gauntlet of psychos, and Bruce Wayne faces the unexpected legal ramifications of Batman Incorporated!

The first volume was a failure plagued with delays and disappointments. This promises to be more of the same. People will buy it based off of Finch’s name like good little fanboys just to have something more to complain about but my gut tells me to stay away and I am going to stick to my convictions this time around.

Final Verdict : PASS

Batwing # 1
Judd Winick & Ben Olvier

Africa, a land of beauty – and of great horror. A land of creation and conflict. It is in desperate need of a defender, and from the ranks of Batman Incorporated comes a soldier to carry on the legacy of The Dark Knight in the most tumultuous region on Earth. Meet Batwing, the Batman of Africa!

In the hands of a stronger writer, this could have been interesting. Morrison might have been able to make something out of this concept but I doubt that we’ll get anything so nuanced out of Winick. I expect this one to be heavy-handed and dull. The only time he feels in his element is when dealing with Jason Todd. Everything else seems to crumble under his direction.

Final Verdict : PASS

Batwoman # 1
JH Williams III & W. Haden

At last! Batwoman’s new series begins, from the multiple award-winning creative team of J.H. Williams III and Haden Blackman! In ‘Hydrology,’ part 1 of 5, Batwoman faces deadly new challenges in her war against Gotham City’s underworld – and new trials in her life as Kate Kane. Who or what is stealing children from the barrio, and for what vile purpose? Will Kate train her cousin, Bette Kane (a.k.a. Flamebird), as her new sidekick? How will she handle unsettling revelations about her father, Colonel Jacob Kane? And why is a certain government

We’ve been waiting for this one forever and our thoughts have not changed. Based off of the Detective Comics run, this one should not be missed. A definite pull.

Final Verdict : PULL

Birds of Prey # 1
Duane Swiercynski & Jesus Saiz

One is wanted for a murder she didn’t commit. The other is on the run because she knows too much. They are Dinah Laurel Lance and Ev Crawford – a.k.a. Black Canary and Starling – and together, as Gotham City’s covert ops team, they’re taking down the villains other heroes can’t touch. But now they’ve attracted the attention of a grizzled newspaper reporter who wants to expose them, as well as a creepy, chameleon-like strike team that’s out to kill them. Don’t miss the start of this hard-hitting new series from mystery novelist/comics writer Duane Swierczynski (Expiration Date, Cable).

Sorry Duane, but this doesn’t sound like Birds of Prey to me and past experience has told me that only Dixon and Simone have ever been able to write the title and not have it fail on multiple levels so I’m going to have to pass on this one.

Final Verdict : PASS

Blackhawks # 1
Mike Costa & Ken Lashley

Welcome to a world waging a new kind of war that’s faster and more brutal than ever before. It’s fought by those who would make the innocent their targets, using computers, smart weapons and laser-guided missiles. The new enemy is hard to find – and closer to home than we think. Between us and them stand the Blackhawks, an elite force of military specialists equipped with the latest in cutting-edge hardware and vehicles. Their mission: Kill the bad guys before they kill us.

Uh…no. Just no.

Final Verdict : PASS

Blue Beetle # 1
Tony Bedard & IG Guera

It’s not easy being Jaime Reyes. He has to deal with high school, family and all the drama that comes with being a teenager. Also, he’s linked to a powerful scarab created by an alien race known as the Reach who seek to subjugate planets – or annihilate them. It’s up to one teen hero to turn this instrument of destruction into a force for good.

From the interviews I’ve read with Bedard he really seems to understand the character and the things he’s going to be doing with the title look to be like loads of fun. It would be stupid to pass this one up.

Final Verdict : PULL


And that’s it for part one. Part two should be up sometime tomorrow. Feel free to let us know in the comments which titles you’re dying to read and which titles are making you die a little inside.