Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DCnU Special 4 - What We thought of WEEK 4

More and more opinions have come for the 4th week of books. And while there were 12 books this week . . . there are some people who were a bit . . . outraged and some pleasantly surprised.


Eric McLeod of FL

Wow, this was an awesome representation of Batman. Practically every major Batman character makes an appearance in this book and not a single one feels wasted, and new readers will definitely understand Batman's character even if they've never picked up a Batman story before in their life. Batman's narration works perfectly, describing everything about Gothamand its people without sounding overly preachy. The speech given by Bruce Wayne captures everything that separates him and Batman. The ending, although most likely a red
herring, leaves us with a great set-up for a mystery. Aside from some
of the character faces looking weird in a few panels and Dick looking
noticeably dwarfed by Bruce, this was a fantastic first issue and a
must for any Batman fan.

CBC's Hector Ramirez of Philadelphia, PA

Batman #1 and Nightwing#1-two awesome #1’s definitely awesome plot twists love the allusion to a crossover DC is really coming in strong and I can’t wait to see what’s in store

Randy Crawford of Cincinnati, Ohio

Batman #1 is a definitive take on the Caped Crusader. It's dark and mature, focusing on Batman's detective prowess and Bruce Wayne's role as a philanthropist. It ties in nicely with pre-relaunch continuity, but prior knowledge of the DC Universe is by no means essential to enjoy what's on offer.
Batman's new identification scanner serves as a convenient means of introducing each character, giving us a bite sized dossier on the key players. It's a feature that writer Scott Snyder has shoehorned in for the newcomers, but it's an unobtrusive way of bringing them up to speed. 

 Less than a few pages in, we're treated to an Arkham Asylum brawl. There's an escape attempt at the infamous madhouse, and the Dark Knight swings by to quell the unrest. Batman faces off against Two-Face, Scarecrow, Killer Croc and more, while waxing lyrical about how each of the rogues are perceived to embody Gotham's lesser qualities. It's a well handled action scene - enhanced by Greg Capullo's brooding artwork - and provides a depiction of these iconic villains that sits somewhere between Christopher Nolan and Frank Miller. There are some great splash pages in there too, including a memorable one showing the Batcave in all its glory. The Dark Knight's role as the DC Universe's greatest detective is embraced here. Snyder displays his skills of investigation and deduction throughout, and has his dynamic with Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Bullock down to a fine art.
Nightwing prominently featured in Batman's efforts to quell the Arkham troubles and is caught up in the comic's thrilling cliffhanger. Batman #1 is one of the best titles to emerge from the 'New 52' initiative to date. Snyder and Capullo clearly have a strong grasp of what makes the character iconic, and promise to take him down dark and intriguing avenues in the future.


Gerald Williams of Hempstead, NY

Good story. Waiting for the explanation of who is Starling. I am confused about the Barbara’s cameo indicating that she worked with them as Oracle when she was in the wheelchair, something that Gail Simone did not mention in Batgirl #1.

Dante Franklin of Baltimore, MD

The book hit the ground running and follows the Birds of Prey as they do battle with the latest villains seemingly out to get them. Although it's a new team, I liked the chemistry between Canary and Starling, who I am quickly growing fond of. Duane Swierczynski, who impressed me on Black Widow, has given her some great dialogue. There's also a nice appearance by the artist formerly known as Oracle, which leaves some interesting questions about her current relationship with the Birds. It was a very good action book with an ending that surprised me. Oh, and something is definitely not right with Canary.


Eric McLeod, FL

First, I must confess I have not read much of the Jaime Reyes Blue
Beetle. I did like what I saw of him in Booster Gold's book, which is
why I feel guilty for not picking up his book before it got cancelled.
I don't know what will become of Jaime's relationship with Booster
because in this book Jaime doesn't seem to know him yet (I really wish
he was in the JLI, but that might just be me wanting to see Blue and
Gold together). A lot of time in this first issue is devoted to
showing off the alien scarab that gives Jaime his powers. There's a
prologue showing an alien race called the Reach attacking a distant
planet in the past. We see multiple Reach warriors using the same
abilities as Blue Beetle, though some of them seem more dedicated to
certain powers than Jaime is. I hope we do see these other Blue
Beetles again. The rest of the book is about establishing Jaime's
relationship with his friends and family while still devoting time to
building up the tension around the scarab. There's a plethora of
villains going after this thing, and some big super villain names are
mentioned as part of the power-grab as well. We get some cool action
near the end, but the heart of the book is Jaime's life. I'm a bit
disappointed that we have to wait until the next issue to see Jaime
actually fight, but we got a nice taste of the Blue Beetle powers in
the prologue which will hopefully get new readers interested in

CBC's Frankie Rodriguez of Vineland, NJ

Okay. I was a fan of Ted Kord. I am a fan of Jamie Reyes. After Jamie won me over with his time on the Teen Titans and a bunch of other rabid fans of his that I know, I enjoy the fact that he got a solo book again.  So, when this issue came out, I knew I was gonna get it. And I have to say, I love it. Jamie's character is very much intact, along with members of his supporting cast from his last solo book (which I bought most of the issues of that.) They are setting up Jamie as a major player as there looks like mobsters and TWO evil groups want the scarab, not to mention the Green Lantern Corps don't like any of the SCARABS. And while we didn't see Jamie in the armor til the end, it was a great new origin by Tony Bedard. The extra touches of spanish made Jamie feel more authentic and Ig Guara's art was awesome, making the science fiction aspects look alien and majestic while the Earth moments are very real. I definitely  will be following Jamie's adventures.


Russell Winthrope of Winnipeg, Canada

Captain Atom’s powers are nuclear-based, and enable him to absorb and manipulate almost infinite amounts of energy. This ability puts him on a par with such DC heavy-hitters as Superman and Martian Manhunter. One of the problems with the character is that he’s just *too* powerful and means that writers have to keep creating ludicrously powerful villains for him to go up against.The character’s RIDCULOUS  power level is one of the first things that's addressed in this debut issue. Writer JT Krul introduces a flaw into Captain Atom’s powers which means that using them too much could kill him. It’s an inventive and hook but sadly, it’s about the only good thing that the story has going for it. Unfortunately, the issue reads like an average superhero comic with the rest of the cast introduced taking a back seat to the action.

The saving grace of this book is the artwork. Freddie Wiliams II’s linework here is a lot more interesting than the all-ages look that he’s favored on some of his recent DC work. The art doesn’t lack detail, but in many cases instead of drawing every intricate element of an object, he instead draws only the outline and one or two details, letting the reader’s imagination fill in the blanks. Overall, Captain Atom was okay and it has spectacular art. I just hope its story picks up soon.


CBC's Frankie Rodriguez of Vineland, NJ

   People are going to hate me. I LOVED THIS FIRST ISSUE. Before you go off about how I am some pervert and over masculine meathead, allow me to break down my points as to why I loved the issue. I wasn't planning on buying the books some it called to me. Reading it, I was very impressed how Selina's character was really fleshed out into addictions. Addictions to actions and danger. Addictions to riches and thrills. Addiction to Batman. These were all laid to bare while giving us great incite into Selina, setting up the book with multiple storylines; and giving a real big budget feel to the book. Selina & Batman were VERY much vulnerable here which made for some stunning moments. Winnick gave us a great start to Selina that is fast paced and multifaceted while leaving more to build on and Guillem March gave us great visuals of Selina.

   As for the last couple of pages . . . as I stated earlier, it gave a vulnerability to both Bruce and Selina no other writer has even really touched before. Second, WHY are people surprised by Selina and Bruce having sex. Really? REALLY?! They have been alluding to it for DECADES. And you know . . you are still talking about it.

Derrick Jones of Brooklyn, NY

I have never read any of the previous Catwoman series. I only kept updated about her character from her appearances in the bat family books so I went into Catwoman #1 with no expectations. Judd Winick really put his best foot forward with this one and while I have always been a fan of his work he really went adult on this one, in a good way. Here is another NU52 first issue that manages to give us all the basic info we need about our main character, and give us a story to follow, and answer a few questions about Selina's place in the new 52. Guillem March brings some impressive artwork. His faces are so full of life and expression and his action shots are great. Of course the best part of the book is the last couple of pages (which i will not spoil for those who have not picked it up) but i will say this is where the more adult themes happen and you learn how much Selena really cares for Batman. Can't wait for next issue!!!!!


Russell Winthorpe of  Winnipeg, Canada

DC Universe Presents #1 follows Deadman's encounters with various troubled individuals, including a stuntman with a death wish and a soldier who has lost both his legs and all his comrades. Weaved among those stories is a revisiting of the circumstances of Boston Brand's death and his first meeting with Rama Kushna. A lots is packed into DC Universe Presents #1, but not in a way that feels overwhelming. Chang's pages burst with detail. He crams in panel after panel on to each page, but these add to the experience of Deadman's existence, flickering from perspective to perspective as he moves through different bodies, rather than simply feeling crowded. Jenkins's Deadman is immediately well-developed, with his wry observations tempered by moments of thoughtfulness which are interesting rather than dull or preaching. The character is likable and contemptible all at once, leaving us with a more rounded hero than the one we have grown used to. 

The issue balances an origin story with several separate strands moving towards the future, managing a look-back at Brand's life while maintaining forward momentum. Brand's voice sounds strongly throughout, with Jenkins capturing his dry humor and contempt for the man he was and the ghost he is. DC Universe Presents is a clever way of leaving a space for stories about characters that might not warrant an ongoing solo series. Jenkins and Chang are so far very much making the most of the five issues they have been given.


Mike Hudson of Woodland, CA

 Since the Green Lantern books didn't get restarted & previous continuity counts, the Green Lantern writers switched books which mean Peter Tomasi has returned to this title.  And with him, comes Guy Gardner whom Tomasi had been writing in Emerald Warriors. Tomasi takes his time to introduce both Guy and John Stewart to new readers.  It’s a little wordy, but Tomasi does a great job of showing the reader exactly who Guy and John are.  It’s a perfectly satisfactory reintroduction (or introduction if you’re the fabled “new reader”) to John, Guy and the concept of the Corps. Plus, I really enjoyed the art for the book.  I would have preferred a faster start.  But this was a perfectly enjoyable read.  Nothing spectacular, but it definitely please GL addicts. .


Gerald Williams of Hempstead, NY

Always have been a fan of LSH and very glad that not only DC did not reboot it, but that they kept the legion that I grew up with. All the other legion reboots left the book in shambles. This is taking the legion and expanding on the great stories that Paul Levitz has been writing since he returned to the title.

Joey Lester of Memphis, TN

I’m not a dumb guy. But Legion of Super-Heroes #1 made me feel like I should be wearing a dunce cap. As a long-time fan, I have read my share of Legion reboots.  This is the SEVENTH volume of this book alone; not counting all the various other series & relaunches that have been done time and time again.  I’m used to picking up the new Legion book, deciding it’s not for me and moving on.  It’s a ritual I go through every few years. Last week, I got a headache trying to read Legion Lost #1.  I could follow the book.  But it hardly seemed worth the effort.  I figured I’d give this week’s Legion of Super-Heroes a try.  I didn’t think it could possibly be less new-reader friendly.  But boy, I was wrong . . .dead wrong.

  I can see why they wouldn’t want to restart the continuity from scratch yet again.  That’s gotten really tiresome.  But to publish a #1 book that picks up immediately after the last issue of the last series on a book as dense as Legion of Super-Heroes just boggles the mind. I read the book Wednesday night and whatever story I was able to digest leaked out my ear while I slept.  I have neither the will nor the desire to go back and try to figure it out again.  If you were a regular reader of Levitz’s Legion, I’m guessing you enjoyed this issue just as much as the previous ones.  And maybe the book was doing well enough that DC is fine with maintaining the exact same readership.  But I can’t imagine any new readers picking up this issue and deciding to stick around for more.I know I won’t be and give me a call when the next Legion reboot happens.


CBC's Hector Ramirez of Philadelphia, PA

Batman #1 and Nightwing#1-two awesome #1’s definitely awesome plot twists love the allusion to a crossover. DC is really coming in strong and I can’t wait to see what’s in store

Mike Hudson of Woodland, CA

To be honest, I’m a little torn on what to think of this.  I enjoyed how it opened and the end really reeled me in, but part of the story midway in left me a little unsure of just how I felt.  Eddy Barrows’ art in this issue is absolutely amazing accompanied by Mayer’s inks, Higgins does a pretty good job of painting Dick’s outlook on no longer being Batman but I do wish he would have made a couple points a bit more clear.  A final complaint/question I have too is just where is Nightwing keeping his gear?  We see for a moment a grappling line which I’m just assuming is built into his suit like it was with his old Nightwing outfit during his time in New York. Plus, not sure what to make of him running into Haley's Circus and wondering if they are gonna become part of his new supporting cast. Time will tell, I guess. Although, kudos to Higgins & Barrows for really locking me in at the end.


Dante Franklin of Baltimore, MD

Sigh. As a Starfire fan, this was the book that I really really wanted to like. But I just couldn't. Despite the art and promising premise, I was immediately turned off by the portrayal of one of my favorite DC characters. Yes, Starfire, aka Princess Koriand’r of Tamaran, was always open with her sexuality and free. In fact, I wouldn't even have a problem with the sexual dalliances at all if I felt that she were being treated as anything other than an emotionally-detached, alien, with memory issues, being passed around by two men acting like overeager 17 year olds. My problem isn’t that she’s shown as a woman who enjoys sex (She-Hulk and Catwoman are also two of my favorite characters). It’s that she comes off as the exact opposite, joyless, detached, and removed. And it doesn't help that the art totally sexualizes her (skimpy bikini!), while leaving her male partners as same ol' same ol' (boring ol' trunks). I would go into my spiel on male gaze or continued heterosexism in the comic industry but then this would read like a dissertation. And nobody wants to read that. LOL Plus, that poor horse is already on its last leg. So, yeah. Despite the premise and this featuring a favorite, this will probably be my first and last issue of this title.

Gerald Williams of  Hempstead, NY

I don’t know in what universe they thought this idea would work. The artwork is great, the story sucks. This is by far the first book of the new DC that I totally hated and will not bother to pick up the next one. I will admit to being biased against the Jason Todd character. I was one of those who voted to kill him off in Death in the Family and did not like his comeback. But the change they made in Starfire goes way beyond a simple reboot. 

Derrick Jones of Brooklyn, NY

 I will admit this book has caused great debate amongst a group of friends of mine. Some love it, some hate it. I guess that is one of the signs of good writing when people can have such a strong reaction to your work. I feel into the love it camp. Kenneth Rockafort's art is real gritty but for this book,which seems to be in the buddy buddy show vein I think the art works. The panels flow nicely and there are backgrounds (yaaahhhh). Scott Lobdell takes at somewhat 'controversial" approach to the character of Starfire, but this being a new universe and all I think it works. As with most of the new 52 books this one leaves you with more questions than answers, though it is nice to get a few answers on Jason Todd's standing with the rest of the Bat Family. I think the book peaked enough of my interest to make a return trip next month. 

CBC Frankie Rodriguez of Vineland, NJ

Okay. AGAIN. I am gonna be in the minority. I liked Red Hood & the Outlaws. I liked it a lot. And now, here is where I am gonna probably get death threats. Starfire's character . ..  not that far off. Why do I say that? First, Kory has been very open about her feminity and sexuality from the beginning. They obviously didn't erase her relationship with Dick; just how she perceives things. And while nearly everyone has decided that Starfire sleeping with Arsenal and possibly Jason Todd automatically makes her a slut; I disagree. And while previous continuity may or may not count, Starfire sleeping with Captain Comet during her tenture on R.E.B.E.L.S. stating that her heart belonged to someone else and that they were friends with benefits. She even says in the comic that she does what she wants, when she wants. If Starfire has been a guy . . . any guy character, NOT A SINGLE PERSON would have been up in arms. So again, is it the sex that is bothering people? Honestly, again . . . I don't find it out of character. Maybe an evolution of a character but not out of it, in my opinion.

  Arsenal is very much the same as he was before he lost his arm and daughter while Jason evolved from everything that has come before. Lobdell says this is a story about redemption and it is going that way and artist Kenneth Rocafort renders everything beautiful, women, men, action and leisure. The mysteries set up and the characters were interesting and compelling. Essence is mysterious and mystical while being vulnerable at the same time. I am looking forward to more.


Gerald Williams of Hempstead, NY

This throws out the great story that Jeph Loeb and Michael Turner created to bring Kara Zor-El back. It was great and now it is being redone. I hope they get it right.

Dante Franklin of Baltimore, MD

Supergirl crash lands on Earth and discovers her powers while being attacked due to a big ol' misunderstanding. It's a straight forward fight issue but Michael Green and Mike Johnson use it as an opportunity to gain insight into Kara's confused thoughts as well as showcase her powers. I especially liked when she first encounters her super hearing with choice bits from other DC books. The art was great too and I am digging the new costume. This Supergirl is definitely worth giving a chance.

Derrick Jones of Brooklyn, NY

What can I say? I gave it a chance, i have never been a huge fan of Kara Zor-El. The last version of SuperGirl i enjoyed was the Earth Angel version from the early 00's. So I thought with the new 52 this would be a good place to try again. The book was one long fight sequence. I enjoyed Muhmad Asrar's pencils. His work is very kinetic and I dont mind the redesign of the characters costume. You know by now my big thing is backgrounds, well the fight was in a snowfield at dawn so there is a lot of snow and sky. This book gave no answers and I may check back later to see what has occurred but I will not be chomping at the bit to see what the last daughter of Krypton is up to.


Eric McLeod of FL

Based on some of the preview images, I was expecting some gore, and I got more than I was expecting, but it didn't hamper my opinion of the
book at all. There's no given backstory for Wonder Woman herself and she's dragged into the story literally, but her character is
definitely intact. We mostly see her warrior side, fighting centaurs
off with finesse and brutality equally, but when she meets up with
Hermes, we see a glimpse of the compassionate warrior that defines
Wonder Woman for me. Despite not getting much to say, her actions
speak volumes. There's a conspiracy between the gods that is being set
up well, and though we don't know much about Zola at this point, we
know she'll be important later on. and I really like the usage of
references to Greek mythology. There is a point during the book where
it's unclear who's narrating that doesn't make sense until the very
end and it could have used more clarification, but otherwise the
writing is solid. It's already an improvement over J. Michael
Straczynski's WW run (where I stopped reading WW), and there is
promise of a cool, dark take on the the Greek gods that has not been
done yet in Wonder Woman's history. Fans of action and Greek mythology
will definitely want to pick this up, and because this doesn't rely
heavily on the old DC continuity, it's new reader friendly to boot.

Dante Franklin of Baltimore, MD

Probably the book I was most looking forward to. I've been a Wonder Woman fan, since I was a kid, and have seen her through tons of remakes and re-imaginings. There was a lot of buzz around this issue and I found it to be pretty decent. Not wowed. But still pretty good. There's an interesting take on the gods here and Diana is presented as tough, strong, and fierce. There are definitely a few gory spots but Wonder Woman is a warrior. So, such moments are to be expected. Brian Azzarello has crafted an interesting set-up, based firmly in Greek mythology, and I'm curious to see what's next. 

Derrick Jones of Brooklyn, NY

It occurs to me as I write this weeks reviews that not only was this ladies week with three books coming out with female leads but that the books with the most controversy surrounding them also feature lady leads. So Wonder Woman came out this week. Now I am a Wonder Woman fan, and even in writing that statement it does not give the full weight to the scope of fandom I enjoy for this character. So when word came out about the universal reboot the one bright spot for me was that maybe someone would not be lost writing this character (I can't discuss her last storyline prior to the reboot cause it SUCKED). Well my hat goes off to Brian Azzarello for his take on the Amazon princess. Finally we get a writer who recognizes that Wonder Woman is steeped in mythology and magic and that the Gods of old really didn't care to much about us lowly humans. A very solid story for a first issue with some blood and violence, which some think is excessive, but hey she was raised in a warrior culture. They are amazons, that is kind of what they do.  Cliff Chiang brings some solid art work, his characters are not as smooth as I would like but i know that is my own personal taste. He brings life and movement to his pencil work and there are backgrounds. I am still on the fence about the new costume but that does not effect the quality of the book. At last a Wonder woman book i can get excited about again.

Those are all the opinions for this week. We've got one last week to go. Let's see what happens next.


PLUS: If you missed out on giving your opinion on any of the books within the last month, you get One last chance as we will be doing a final impression special as well.

Till next week, keep clashing!


**************** PLEASE READ ALL THE INFO FIRST!! *****************

J1 Studios ( invites you to our mini convention! 


Friday, October 7th, 2011

5:00pm - 8:30pm

At: Hawthorne Recreation Center

1200 Carpenter Street

Philadelphia, PA.

- Bleach Movie 4: Hell Chapter will be in the Video Room
(movie starts @ 6PM).

- Yugi-Oh and J1 Studios' VTF fighting card game testing in the Card Gaming Room.

- $5 Mortal Kombat (2011) Tournament!
(It will be Tag teams matches w/ single elimination (tournament starts @ 6PM).

- There will be a FEW other games will be there TOO (Don't cry).

- Cosplay contest for prizes!

- $1 Raffle for secret prize!

- Artist Tables

- Dealer Tables

If you want to order a VENDOR TABLE, email me at There are ONLY 6 available!



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