sdelmonte: (Default)
I found both of these in the library in the past month.

Final Crisis, despite great art and a few very interesting character beats, is a wreck. Morrison tried to come up with something different, but failed miserably. I read enough interviews with him to see what he wanted to do, but none of it made it to fruition. The convoluted, confusing and ultimately boring plot overwhelms the reader, and make any chance we have to enjoy Morrison's work writing Batman, Superman, Hal Jordan or Barry Allen. What's more, the story had no impact at all on the rest of DC's comics aside from Batman. You can skip this. You can even skip looking for summaries of it. For all intents and purposes, it never happened.

Blackest Night - and the related issues of Green Lantern - were, to my surprise, a very good read. Some of the things I was expecting, in terms of the gore and violence and playing with the reader's emotions, were there, but were not as bad I expected. And while the plot would probably unravel if I poked at it enough, it seems to work well enough that the strengths of the story shine through. Johns does a great job with a number of characters, including two that he doesn't seem to handle as well in their own books, Hal Jordan and Barry Allen. He also lets the heroes be heroic from start to finish, ending the trend that marred Identity Crisis and Infinite Crisis. The art by Ivan Reis is also quite amazing. And there are some utterly fantastic moments along the way that made me go "wow."

I suspect that if you are not a hardcore DC fan, much of Blackest Night won't make sense to you. And we are very much in hero vs. villain territory, with the lives of normal folk pretty much off the table. But as a large scale action blockbuster story with a great cast and a lot of heart and a lot of fun (which I didn't expect), it works well for me. I can't say I am upset that I didn't buy it when it came out, but I am glad I got caught up.
sdelmonte: (DC Fanboy)
You may have heard about this: Wonder Woman is getting a new look. And also a retcon.

I am OK with the costume. As a bit of a prude, I have never really loved her usual look. It worked for her, but I am glad to see her move on.

But the retcon is just another sign that almost no one really has any idea of what to do with WW, even JMS. Or maybe a sign that JMS, in trying to make WW (and also Superman, in his book) more grounded, is not the right man to handle larger than life DC heroes. Diana's adventures, like her powers, should be a bit on the epic side. Alas, the only writers I can name who ever managed to make her work for me are George Perez and Greg Rucka. Otherwise, she has never been a character I care for.

All that said, a shakeup might help, and I like enough of JMS' comics work to not condemn this till I read it. Even if I plan to wait to read it in the TPB. And I think that what I don't like about WW is that she is too much of a god and not enough of a human, expect with the writers I mention.

Any thoughts from those of you out there who are fans of the princess?
sdelmonte: (DC Fanboy)
I bought a big load of comics today. Among them were the second issue of the revived Birds of Prey and the fourth issue of the Brightest Day tie-in, Justice League: Generation Lost.

The former is by Gail Simone. The latter has scripts by Judd Winick. Simone is one the best writers DC has. Winick is responsible for a lot of bland or bad comics (though capable of more than he has been doing.) You would think that Simone, returning to the book that was one of her biggest successes for DC, would be writing the better comic with ease.

Nope. The second issue of BoP is clumsy and manipulative and badly paced and hurt by endless narration. I barely care about the mystery villain and don't see much to recommend here.

Meanwhile, JL: GL, after a slow but competent start, is not just good but also witty in a way I don't expect from Winick's DC work. It probably helps that the plot is also by Keith Giffen, but it's still a surprise that I am liking this as much as I am.

Or that Winick is writing better than Simone. How is that even possible? And yet, I will be back next issue for JL: GL but not for BoP. Sorry, Gail.
sdelmonte: (Default)
We are now two months from the beginning of the "One Year Later" age of DC Comics, when all the DC series - even Legion - will skip a year. Readers will arrive in these comics to find many changes to the status quo, changes that will only be explained within the pages of a weekly comic called "52."

Much about this doesn't thrill me. "52" sounds exciting, but it will be expensive. Readers will be lost for months till we get the backstory. And there have been many odd rumors about the changes. None odder than those surrounding Batman.

But there is reassuring news. The new editor on the Batbooks is Peter Tomasi, who is one of DC's better editors. The writer he hired for the first post-1YL story is the amazing James Robinson, the man behind Starman. And, in an interview with Newsarama, Tomasi said...

SPOILERS AHEAD!Read more... ).

No word yet as to whether Robinson is writing more than the first six-issue arc in Detective and Batman, or who else might be writing the Batbooks, or when a rumored "Batman Condfidential" comic to replace Gotham Knights will debut. But at the least, things are looking up. For six issues, we will get Robinson doing the Bat, and will get Robinson's more likeable, more human Bats (I hope).

And if you want to see Tomasi's take on Batman, I advise you to visit www.newsarama.com and read the interview. It's what I was hoping for from a Bat-editor.

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Alex W

June 2017

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