Robot 6

New 52 Pickup | Week 8

This is a great week for DC Comics fans. Not only is there another wave of second issues from the New 52, but this week also heralds the release of Batman: Arkham City and a bevy of news coming out of New York Comic Con. There weren’t new No. 1s for any miniseries, though, but that didn’t keep some quality second installments off the shelves. Let’s jump in!

Warning! Spoilers ahead!

Batman
Written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo

Scott Snyder is poised to become one of the best writers in the New 52. Batman is one of those rare Godfather-like instances in which the second installment is actually better than the first – and considering the quality of the previous issue, that’s high praise. Snyder resolves last month’s cliffhanger somewhat dismissively, but it’s more than made up for by the new mystery of The Court of Owls and Bruce’s mayoral candidate friend Lincoln March. While Nightwing gets a little panel time this issue, Snyder’s real focus is Batman. Not only does the reader get a great feel as to who Bruce Wayne is outside of Batman, the writer also focuses a bit more on the city itself, making for an excellently structured and tightly plotted issue. Greg Capullo continues to show his versatility, making for a creative team that’s really firing on all cylinders.

Blue Beetle
Written by Tony Bedard with art by Ig Guara

The second issue picks up where the first left off as Jaime Reyes tries to adapt to the scarab armor that just merged with him. None of the super-powered thugs recognize him, and the suit keeps trying to kill anyone that gets in his way. It seems like Tony Bedard is using this issue as an opportunity for setup, which is fine, but it makes for a slightly uninspiring second installment. Unlike the first issue, readers don’t get a taste of Jaime’s civilian life, but they do get a look at the threat that’s coming from Space Sector 2809 – rendered in Ig Guara’s signature style. While the issue may serve more as a platform for what the scarab armor can do, the subplot involving Brenda and Tia, the collector, looks like it may be picking up.

Catwoman
Written by Judd Winick with art by Guillem March

Did this book really have to pick up exactly where the first issue left off? It’s unfortunate that a book that had so much potential in the middle pages of the first issue really misses the mark in the second. Catwoman has lost much of the ferocity and espionage savvy she had in the first issue. It’s unfortunate that much of the issue focuses more on Selina’s sex appeal than on her actual skills as a thief, and even the introduction of a new villain who brutally murdered Selina’s friend isn’t enough to get me on board with this month’s installment. In fact, some of the best moments in this issue were during a party with a fake-drunk Bruce Wayne trying to out-con Selina Kyle in disguise – and in a book called Catwoman, it’s disappointing that the best part is Bruce Wayne.

Green Lantern Corps
Written by Peter J. Tomasi with art by Fernando Pasarin

Peter J. Tomasi will make you care about the Green Lantern Corps. It’s the truth! His second installment lays the groundwork for a conflict bordering on a full-scale war between willpower, while still keeping the mystery alive as to why Green Lanterns are getting their ring fingers cut off. There’s more action in the pages of this book than you can shake a green-construct stick at, which is perfect for a second issue – but even for a Green Lantern book, there’s a lot of green here. However, Fernando Pasarin makes it work as best he can, and when you can get past the 12 or so pages of green as the base color, the detail really shines through. Readers who are unfamiliar with the previous installments of Green Lantern Corps may still be a bit confused with the cast of characters, but it’s a small price to pay for this amount of action in one issue.

Justice League
Written by Geoff Johns with art by Jim Lee

After what many considered to be a misstep in Issue 1, the second installment of Justice League seems to get a lot right where the first got it wrong. It’s no longer just the Batman and Green Lantern show – the book jumps right in by introducing the Flash and throwing him right into the fray while giving Superman a fair amount of panel time. Young Victor Stone is the character that gets the most development, as we see a little more about his relationship with his father, and the beginnings of the accident that will presumably turn him into Cyborg. This issue would have made the first so much better had the two been packaged together, but Geoff Johns is very clearly playing a longer game and, pacing aside, is doing a good job of introducing these characters. One of the strongest pieces of the issue comes in the back pages, in a transcript of an interview between Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor, that lays the groundwork for the New DCU Wonder Woman mythos. This is a fun book, but I’m still not sure if it’s living up to the flagship title of DC’s New 52.

Supergirl
Written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson with art by Mahmud Asrar

Much of this issue won’t be anything you haven’t seen before. Supergirl, confused and adrift, fights Superman across China. We know what’s going to happen. Where this issue really shines is with Kara’s immediate empathy for humanity. Green and Johnson have crafted a Supergirl who’s a very empathetic but strong character – a welcome introduction to one of the premier superheroines of the New DCU. The only unfortunate thing is that, beyond the fighting, there’s not much to this issue. Red Kryptonite was recovered from Kara’s ship, but beyond that, not much occurred. Mahmud Asrar’s art has a unique flair that I tend to gravitate toward, but I’m not sure it’s for everybody. This book looks to be a lot of fun, but the second issue didn’t live up to its full potential.

Wonder Woman
Written by Brian Azzarello with art by Cliff Chiang

I really like that Brian Azzarello is further exploring Wonder Woman’s mythological roots. Zeus’ dalliances with mortal women are legendary, as are Hera’s responsive fits, but Azzarello takes them to a whole new level, emphasizing the wrath of the gods. Readers are also introduced to Queen Hippolyta, Wonder Woman’s Amazon sisters, and the goth-clothed goddess Strife, who reveals that Diana wasn’t really made from clay, but may in fact be a daughter of Zeus. Azzarello does a great job pacing this issue, even taking time to put some focus on Zola, the woman carrying Zeus’ unborn child. Cliff Chiang is bringing his A-game, and it’s impressive. This book has me excited to see Wonder Woman facing off against Hera, but even more so, Azzarello has me excited to see if Strife’s claims are true.

That’s it from the pull list this week. What did you enjoy from your own pull? Did Red Hood and the Outlaws grab you with the second issue? Did you stop playing Arkham City long enough to see what’s happening with Nightwing? Let us know in the comments!

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Comments

37 Comments

Batman 2 – competent but too trite for me.

(after reading Morrisons Batman for the last few years)

DC had nothing for me this week. I really wanted to like Batman, but I can’t stomach the art. I think the art is designed really well, but the inking is too… what’s the word I’m looking for? Flat? Computery? Cartoony? Scratchy? And I have zero interest in this umpteenth iteration of the Justice League, or the current Blue Beetle.

This is the first week since 1967 that I didn’t buy any DC’s! Woh! 1967! I’ve been supporting DC for 44 years!

But how in the world did I spend $190 at the comic shop today, without buying any DC’s? Oh, that’s right — back issues from when they knew how to draw well, and when they knew how to tell a complete story in one or two issues.

Loved the Brulina sex and interactions in Catwoman #2. This is by far the best book of the relaunch. It mixes the fun-loving, thieving Selina of the Jim Balent series with the dark, violent, noir elements of the Brubaker series. Anytime Batman and Catwoman have sex, it’s a good thing!!

I’m loving WONDER WOMAN, especially after the last dismal year. Azzarello and Chiang are a breath of fresh air for the Amazing Amazon. I also enjoyed JUSTICE LEAGUE more than I did with the first issue and I like where CATWOMAN is going, but yeah, while the sex vibe is important to a character like this, it shouldn’t always be at the forefront. Nonetheless I’m enjoying this book too. RED HOOD & the OUTLAWS? I passed this month, but if reviews awe good, I may pick up the second issue, same for BIRDS of PREY.

Catwoman wasn’t that bad. Yeah, they do go kinda too far with the T&A stuff and maybe should tone it down a bit, but people accusing this of misogyny and sexism is a complete bullcrap. That is proof to me and to yourselves that you people take these characters just a little bit too seriously. In my eyes this book despite it’s over the top content, doesn’t show sexism or anti-feminism. And if you people don’t like it, simply don’t read it. It’s DC’s book, it’s their decisions, they are in charge, you’re not. You people have no business to pass judgment on anybody, and if you’re so offended by it, simply drop it. I did the same with Marvel’s One More Day fiasco some years back. I stopped reading ASM and even though I was dusgusted by it, I didn’t get all bent out of shape, criticizing how stupid Marvel are or wtv. Just lay off.

@Jake Earlewine

who could’ve guessed someone that was older then my father could whine as much as my little brother. I thought with age, you would gain some maturity and acceptance to different art styles.

OT: Batman, WW and Justice League were great (especially JL, which i thought worked much better now that they’re actually working as a team). Didn’t see much wrong with Catwoman except maybe the funny faces that Bruce Wayne had. I’m gonna read Green Lantern Corps and Nightwing later, didn’t read them last month either but i’ve heard good things about them and I’ve always enjoyed Tomasi’s Corps the most.

I’d like to see a little Matthew Wilson love here. His coloring on this ish of WW is quite amazing.

JL is a fun book.

It’s not supposed to be Eisner winning. It’s aimed at 10 year olds as well as adults and guess what the pacing is perfect. I hate the same old same old everyone gets together and sound like each other and are so friendly. Johns is introducing the characters as he should and building momentum. This book is the cape of cape books.

I thought Catwoman was the only book that came out this week that had a pulse. I liked the big splashy panels and the fast pace. This is probably the most compressed book in the entire line.

I agree that Justice League 2 was better than 1. Wonder Woman though, I don’t know. I’m cutting this book much more slack than I normally would because of the art but the writing makes a four hour documentary on decompressed storytelling seem fast paced by comparison. So I’m dropping it and just waiting for the trade.

Batman And Wonder Woman lead the pack for me. JLA goes straight to trade wait. I can’t handle John’s work in singles anymore.

Justice League #2 is fun, better than the first one. I’ll continue buying it.

Ditto with Action Comics because of cool guest and spot artists.

Only three bat-titles remain on my buying list
1) Batman
2) Batman & Robin
3) and… Batwoman (the best of all 52 titles, period!!!)

“what’s the word I’m looking for? Flat? Computery? Cartoony? Scratchy?”

Dude. None of those words mean the same thing as each other. Capullo may not be your cup of tea, but he’s a great draftsman. The idea that the artists in the old days were better is a non-starter. (Of course there WERE artists that were better, but there were also artists that were tons worse, same as today, and same as it’ll always be.)

Really enjoyed Justice League and Batman. Felt like Wonder Woman and Catwoman both picked up. I somehow wound up buying Red Hood again, which I have to remind myself to stop doing. It’s not a BAD comic, but I do feel like I’m losing brain cells with each panel of it I read…

I just read Nightwing and about to read it again, it is that good! I absolutely loved it, it is definitely my pick of the week

“I just read Nightwing and about to read it again, it is that good! I absolutely loved it, it is definitely my pick of the week”

I don’t know… I just think the whole circus thing is really lame. (Raised in a circus = cool; Adult in a circus = lame.) Just seems like a step backwards for the character. I mean, when he was Batman, he got to be badass and awesome all the time, and here it just seems like they’re fitting him back into this tiny niche.

I’d rather see Nightwing go bigger somehow. With more of a mission statement. Beh.

So the current run of Batman is nothing like Morrison’s recent Bat-stuff?

SOLD!

I’ll have to check Snyder’s stuff out. Probably in the trades.

I would really recommend Snyder’s run on Detective before the relaunch. He does some great work with Dick Grayson as the Batman. I look forward to Batman #2 and Justice League #2. I might try Wonder Woman in trade.

DC seems to have run out of steam on a few titles. I feel it’s just retelling the same old stuff we’ve seen just through updated art, namely Justice League. I will admit some titles have been amazing though, Action Comics has been pretty good, and a lot of the new art is incredible. Still, I want the old numbering.

I LOVED RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS 1&2

I pretty much freaked I was so excited when Shazam! was mentioned in the back matter pages of JL. I’m hoping its James Robinson on Shazam, he’s got enough time in his writing schedule right?

Catwoman was awesome! The only title that really stood out for me this week, I do agree the t and a needs to be reigned in a bit but I think given what happened at the end of the book it will be for now, honestly give it a try.

I enjoyed Legion of Superheroes 2. Very good issue. But then again, I’m a fan and it’s a conti nuation of what happened before the relaunch.

JL was fun, certainly better than the first issue.

Didn’t see Wonder Woman, or I would have picked it up.

Not a Batman fan, not a Winick fan, so not much for me to buy this week from DC.

Tons to buy from Marvel however

Red Hood and the Outlaws #2 was mindless dribble, like bad action movies. Nightwing #2 was even better than the its first, plots now starting to move along. Its not quite as simple as Dick just goes back to the circus, but more the circus pulls him back. With a seedy mystery.

Haven’t read this weeks batch yet, but pleased to hear JL is alot better than the first issue. Because I thought issue 1 was extremely slow and boring. I had to go make sure Bendis wasn’t the writer!

Snyder is a legend, and is seriously turning into DCs best writer.

“Copyullo, a “Great draftsman”? He should be, he steals from the best- Mazzuchelli, John Romita Jr.(see last issue), Michael Golden(this issue’s cover), McFarlane(any and everything he does) Sinmon Bisely, Frank Miller(BLATANT rip off of Frank’s Dark Knight stuff on next issue’s cover) and coming soon Berni Wrightson, see cover after that,,,right from “The Cult”. Can this guy do anything on his own? Oh, the humanity!!!!

Love Wonder Woman, story and art are excellent. I just would like to see the amazons body drawn as athletic women with some curves, they look like athletic guys. Nevertheless, great work Azzarello and Chiang. I’ll keep it in my picks. \,,/_

I really liked Blue Beetle #2!

Gotta say, Catwoman was good. Red Hood and the Outlaws was good but Batman was two thumbs up good.

“I pretty much freaked I was so excited when Shazam! was mentioned in the back matter pages of JL. I’m hoping its James Robinson on Shazam, he’s got enough time in his writing schedule right?”

Johns and Frank are on it.

how come theres no love for captain atom. jts work on it so far is outstanding. issue 2 espiecaly for not having any fighting in it.
red hood was ok a few more issues in and i think the story will be more sculpted, cause right now everything is sort of like reading through a pair of rain soaked glasses, understandable but without focus

I find it funny that DC and Co. had to shoehorn in a “trained by a sect of mystical priests” backstory into Jason Todd in order to make him interesting.

Someone was in a bad mood when writing these reviews lol. Batman was excellent, Catwoman was good (jaw dropping moment near the end of title), Red Hood certainly improved (was confused by Jason’s reaction to that hostess, is he gay? Not used to the attention?) Supergirl was okay but far too brief, and wonder woman would have been awesome had her origins not been spilled out over the Internet (would have been another jaw dropping reveal had dc not revealed it beforehand) was overall a really good week, can’t wait for aqua man next week :)

My take on DC this week:

Batman: Awesome. Love the art style, Batman’s of course is a badass, baddie lore seems interesting.

Birds of Prey: Unexpectedly liking this more than I thought I would. Boring covers don’t do this comic justice in art or action, and I sorta dig the new Starling chick.

Blue Beetle: Lots of new faces, lots of screaming, but not much else seemed to happen other than finding out the suit talks and really gets on Jaime’s nerves.

Catwoman: Post-sex, very kinky, particularly the masks staying on, including Selina’s goggles. (Then again, maybe they need the eye protection against their costume ears poking each other’s eyes out.) Iffy on the art, faces seem too drawn, but I expect Catwoman to be naughty, and she’s naughty and clever. So far, so good.

Green Lantern Corps: Definitely aren’t skimping on the body count here. Enemy seems pretty badass, not much time to get to know anyone (don’t know any Green Lantern mythology). Action-packed, but confusing for me.

Justice League: Alright, throw it down, boys! Mostly just an extended action piece, but Superman gets to be a badass, and I still love Jim Lee’s art. And hey, the Flash.

Nightwing: I like Dick’s inner voice, great art, hate circuses. Hmm, not sure how to take that part.

Red Hood and the Outlaws: I’m torn; on one hand, I adore the art, and the flashback for Jason was amusing, but on the other hand, I’m not really feeling the group interaction, and while I wasn’t really offended by Starfire last issue, she doesn’t get much to work with here.

Supergirl: Like the art, convincing she’s confused, but Superman here looks strange, and most of the issue is her beating him up.

Wonder Woman: Art style is great for this comic, dark and a little stylized. Normally not a big Wonder Woman fan, and she herself doesn’t get much development, but Greek mythology’s interesting, and the gods here are intriguing.

I also agree that having Wonder Woman spoiled ruined the impact of the end of #2. Which is a shame, because it was set up well.

Of all the relaunch, the 2nd week holds the most number of titles I enjoy. This continues with the #2s out this week.

JL- now this is more like it. Geoff Johns has finally pulled it out of the hat.

Batman- I have to admit, I am continued to be impressed by this book. The writing is top notch.

Blue Beetle – This continues issue #1′s pace and kicks it up a notch. Really really liking it. Can’t wait for #3 when them aliens come a knocking!

Birds Of Prey- I am falling more and more in love with this book. Funny, exciting, well paced, action-packed AND beautifully drawn. Scott Lobdell should read this to learn how to write female characters. Speaking of which…

Red Hood and the Outlaws- borderline dribble, almost as bad as a really bad action movie. But it has its saving grace. In the hands of a different writer, this book can potentially be good, maybe even brilliant.

GL Corp- This is the winner for me this week. Now THIS is truly GALACTIC!!!!!!!!!!

Legion- Came out of my mother’s womb a Legion fan so you won’t hear any complaints there! Plus it is Levitz- the man born to write Legion! That’s good enough for me.

Supergirl- Hmmmm… whereas the decompressed pacing suited issue #1, I am not sure continuing the snail-like pace for #2 is a right decision. Still, it does not put me off from giving it another go. If nothing happens by next issue, I’m out of here.

Wonder Woman- Despite my disappointment with the changes made to her parentage as reported elsewhere, I am still sticking by this beautifully written and drawn book. #2 is less exciting, but Chiang’s depiction of a very Roman Paradise Island is a very nice touch.

Pawel Targonski

October 20, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Supergirl did come out this week? Diamond did not have it listed and has it listed for next.

I am in love with Wonder Woman.

Re: Batman…what’s not to love about Todd, JR Jr., Bernie, etc. ; )

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