Robot 6

New 52 Pickup | Week 7

It’s Week 2 of the No. 2s, and whether you’re big into the Bat-family or raring to go for Resurrection Man, there’s a lot on the pull list to enjoy. If you’re into other new No. 1 titles, Shade, by James Robinson and Cully Hamner, and My Greatest Adventure, by Aaron Lopresti, Kevin Maguire, Matt Ryan and Scott Kolins, arrived for a bit more variety.

This week also has your wildcard pick, Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. Did a second issue turn the book around for me? Read on for this and more!

Warning! Spoilers ahead!

Batgirl
Written by Gail Simone with art by Ardian Syaf

Picking up right where Issue 1 left off, Gail Simone delves a little deeper into the mystery of the Mirror and his list while providing some much-needed evaluation of Batgirl’s combat skills. This installment definitely provides more focus on Batgirl as a returned hero as opposed to her life and personal relationships outside of the mask. Simone does an excellent job of driving the plot forward, giving a good amount of answers to questions from the first issue and creating a real sense of urgency with a great cliffhanger. Issue 2 also highlights Ardian Syaf’s skills with Batgirl’s acrobatics and combat prowess.

Batwoman
Written by J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman with art by J.H. Williams

Each time I pick up an issue of Batwoman, I’m surprised and please by J.H. Williams’ layouts. Beyond the overall plot by Williams and co-writer W. Haden Blackman, the layouts and attention to visual storytelling in this book is really impressive. Within the first few pages of Batwoman and Flamebird taking down thugs in a casino, Williams highlights each blow with an X-ray box of bones getting broken. Simply fantastic. While less attention is paid to the water ghost from last issue, Bat-family fans will be pleased to recognize a clear link to Batman Inc. in this issue, and longtime Batwoman readers will see the continuation of the Religion of Crime plot arc. Batman makes an appearance, and Batwoman goes on a date. This was an issue that slowly developed the plot with a much bigger focus on character. Did I mention how gorgeous this issue is? It’s stunning.

Demon Knights
Written by Paul Cornell with art by Diogenes Neves

Last issue was the setup. This issue is the payoff – and what a payoff it is! Dinosaurs, flying demons, robot dragons, giant fireballs, pterodactyl riders and flying horses are just a few of the ridiculously amazing things you’ll see. Paul Cornell spends a good amount of time on each character introduced in the first issue, and while they all had some great moments, Vandal Savage easily stole the show with his hunger for dinosaur barbecue. This was a fight issue that focused more on character than driving the plot forward, but the fight was one of the more entertaining I’ve seen in some time. Diogenes Neves is doing a great job on this title, and demonstrates an ability to draw pretty much anything thrown at him. This book mixes humor with action and strong character development, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Cornell does with the plot in upcoming issues.

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
Written by Jeff Lemire with art by Alberto Ponticelli

As the wildcard pick that was originally on the cutting room floor, I went into this issue with an open mind and found myself to be very pleasantly surprised. The book improved greatly over Issue 1 once it got to the action and beyond the introduction of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. to the creepy town where its citizens sacrifice children to an inter-dimensional demon portal. While I’m not as interested in the title character, I do find myself intrigued by his squadmates and really appreciated Jeff Lemire’s mini-origin story on Nina Mazursky. Alberto Ponticelli’s art is slowly growing on me as well. Lemire is doing great things in the New DCU with Animal Man, and his tight plotting of Frankenstein’s second issue really turned me around on this book. An excellent wildcard pick from the fans!

Green Lantern
Written by Geoff Johns with art by Doug Mahnke

After an enjoyable debut with a great cliffhanger, I expected a lot from this issue. Sinestro created a new ring that he can turn on and off at will and gave it to Hal Jordan. Geoff Johns spent most of the issue delving into why Sinestro believes Hal Jordan failed as a Green Lantern and why he’s giving Jordan a second (or third or fourth) chance at the ring. The concept of Hal answering to Sinestro in a very real way is an intriguing direction. Johns also revealed the eventual goal for Sinestro: to liberate Korugar from the Sinestro Corps. While Sinestro really only fought Gorgor and messed with Hal during this issue, it was all beautifully depicted by artist Doug Mahnke. Johns and Mahnke are a force to be reckoned with, and it’ll be interesting to see where the characters go from here.

Resurrection Man
Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with art by Fernando Dagnino

One of the things I like most about this book is that the protagonist seems to be as confused as new readers might be. It’s a bold move on Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s part, but it works surprisingly well during this issue, where Mitch Shelley heads to the residential care home where his father died. Collecting his father’s belongings, Mitch speaks with Darryl Roth, a friend of his father’s, in order to help piece together who he really is. While the angel from last issue doesn’t get much panel time, readers will get a clear taste of the Body Doubles, the two assassins from the morgue. Fernando Dagnino continues to bring his A-game to this book, making even residential care homes look interesting. Readers are getting a chance to find out who Mitch Shelley is right alongside the character, and that’s something I find incredibly appealing moving forward.

Superboy
Written by Scott Lobdell with art by R.B. Silva

So, Red is Gen13’s Caitlin Fairchild. That’s awesome. I really like the cast that Scott Lobdell’s put together here with Superboy, Fairchild and Rose Wilson as the core of the book. The setup for the second issue here is well done, but it’s really only setup. The real action begins toward the end of the issue as Superboy and Rose are sent to a genetic lab to stop test subjects from escaping. Lobdell does a great job of bringing Superboy’s intense internal conflict to light, and Rose is just a total badass. R.B. Silva does a great job with Rose’s expressions, mixing total disdain for vioelnce with a sadistic pleasure. I’m especially interested in seeing more of Red’s powerset in the New DCU and how this book ties into Lobdell’s Teen Titans.

That’s it for this week. What did you enjoy from your own pull for this week of No. 2s? Whether it was one of the books here or one that wasn’t, we want to hear from you in the comments. How do you think the No. 2s are going so far?

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Comments

18 Comments

Actually, Ivan Reis didn’t do GL #2. Props to Doug Mahnke for this issue. :)

Batman and Robin – Good last time, better now. Tomasi has Bruce and Damian and Alfred down to a T. Interesting plot, too.

Batgirl – Very interesting villain, and a lot of stuff about Babs to intrigue. And confuse? Maybe, but still worth reading.

Green Lantern – Great art but only 12 pages worth of story. A bit too decompressed. Might go back to reading this in the collections after this arc.

Frankenstein – A lot going on, but I wasn’t as engaged this time around. Might not stick around that much longer.

Demon Knights – Wow. Great script, great art, and just plain wacky over the top fun. If racing about about warp six.

Resurrection Man – Minus several points for the gratuitous T&A of the Body Doubles, but otherwise a very strong and well paced comic.

HOWEVER…the best DC book of the week was The Shade 1. Is it really in the new continuity? Who cares? This is what I was hoping for: Robinson at his best, and Cully Hamner helping, and that Tony Harris cover. You CAN go home again.

Glad you enjoyed Frankenstein! Loved the first issue, looking forward to the second.

I like this guy. Unlike some of the other reviewers around the place, he actually seems to enjoy reading comic books. :)

DC should be really proud of Superboy, and like you said I can’t to see how this ties into Teen Titans and Rose is the ultimate badass

Wait a minute….Vandal likes Dinosaur Barbeque: http://www.dinosaurbarbque.com/

I may pick this book up yet…..

Am I the only guy on this board who likes gratuitous T&A?

Seems to me that so far there are a few #2s that should have been the #1s! Batman and Robins detail about who Damien Wayne is should have been in #1, for all those mythical new readers that are jumping on.

This week for me, 1 ‘maybe’ is now a definite OUT while the other one is now firmly and squarely IN.

The one OUT FOR GOOD for me is

Frankenstein – just cannot get my head around the ‘naivety’ of the art. And the story is just getting way too contrived to the point of trying. I give up.

The IN for me is

Suicide Squad – Wow, did the pace picked up or what! Very smart and convincing dialogue, each character has his and her unique voice. The action is fast and furious and feverishly violent without being graphic. Very glad I stuck with it! This turned out to be the best of the whole pile!

The rest on my pull list are

Batgirl – Another great issue by Simone, this time reminding us that Batgirl is not quite fully formed arse kicking superheroine yet, and that she is still a work in progress but one moving in the right direction with plenty of room to improve. Again very believable and human. Art is still gorgeous.

Batwoman – Slightly better than issue #1, but still not entirely convinced with Kane’s “voice” under Williams. Great art though.

Demon Knight – This is just brilliant beyond words. Nuff said.

Grifter- This still remains on my pull list as a maybe. Not much progress from issue #1 plotwise, but am going to stick around and see where it is heading.

Green Lantern – I like what Geoff Johns has done here. He establishes the character of Sinestro most cleverly, very cleverly using the humanity of Jordan to contrast and bring out Sinestro’s amorality. Much better than issue 1 which was good.

Legion Lost – A clear picture is emerging. And there is a closer study of the characters. I find this book is growing strength to strength. Always been a fan of Nicienza’s writing in his New Warriors day and he does not disappoint here. Gorgeous art.

Mister Terrific – Not as good as issue #1, I find. Perhaps its the wordy dialogue. Still enjoyed it though.

Superboy – Hmmm, is it just me or is this Superboy character a bit of a jerk. Some interesting ideas about his power, and Rose Wilson is the star for me in this issue. Fairchild comes across a bit insipid and wet but we know Lobdell’s not very good at writing female character so no surprise there.

Demon knights best of the week “that was awesome but you dress like a tart” lol only thing I hated was the U turn with Damien in batman and Robin trying to make him very unlikeable again.

Has JLA #2 come out yet? Did I miss it or what?

So glad I picked up the shade! Best of the week I know it’s not a “new52″ 2nd issue but

It’s “Ardian” Syaf, not “Adrian.”

I poked through GL #2. I like how Geoff Johns has finally figured out that Hal Jordan is an idiot. “All right, Jordan, here’s a ring that I’ve created for you. Now-” “DIE DIE DIE!!!!!11111!!” “[facepalm] Damn it, Abin, you had to find this idiot . . . “

For me it comes down to the quality of the comic; I won’t spend a dime on a book that falls bellow a a pretty high standered. I’m a snob, I guess. So As far as the 52, Batwomen is still a must buy. We will see with Batman No. 2. I did a brod sampling of the No. 1′s. I am not a diehard Bat fan; these two books are just the ones thst made the cut. Other than that, even if I love a character, there is no point in subjecting myself do paying for disappointment. Tiny Titans remains a comic my daughter and I both love (and I get most of my favorites represented there…in quality).

I’m with Allura – I just can’t get past that artwork on Frankenstein. There are some pages that are striking, but most are under-rendered and plain sloppy. I’ll get the next two issues for the JG Jones covers, but then I’m done with it.

With Deathstroke, Mister Terrific, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Aquaman and a host of others, I wonder if DC’s target audience is mentally-challenged man-children?

Another great article of reviews Steve!

Batman & Robin is another great series, that wasn’t featured here.

How about a special edition focusing on the new non – 52 #1s like Huntress, Penguin, Shade…etc? Could be fun! :)

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