DC New 52 - Month 3

This is where I rate the new DC comics I've read from last week. Usually, I won't continue reading comics next month that I've rated "Not Interested". From now on, I'll only give the "Pleasant Surprise" and "Disappointment" awards if a comic is much better or worse than I expected, rather than picking a comic to fit these categories every week.
 

Week 1

Great - Awesome, top picks of the week: Animal Man, Batwing, Red Lanterns, Swamp Thing
Good - Solid book, want to read next week: Action Comics, Green Arrow, Justice League International, Stormwatch
Okay - Not the best, but will give it another chance next week: Detective Comics
Not Interested - Won't read it next week: Static Shock
 
Top Pick: Animal Man & Swamp Thing
I decided to give a dual award this week because I like how these books seem to have parallel storylines. Alec Holland is being drafted to fight for "the Green" and Buddy and Maxine are being drafted to fight for "The Red", both against the mysterious "Black" or "Rot" that is creeping up from the dark corners of the DCU (as long as they don't reveal an avatar for the other colors of the rainbow, I'll be okay ;-) ). Some of the art is too creepy and Vertigo-like for my tastes, but so far the story has been strong enough for me to really enjoy these books. They are also different enough from each other that they both seem really fresh and different and not very redundant.
Bottom Pick: Static Shock
It's not a terrible book, it's just not keeping my interest very well. Static continues to fight against a gang that's trying to kill him... or something. Also there's a alien robot virus thing that's somehow involved... see what I mean. Oddly enough, the aspect of the story that interests me the most is Virgil's sister and her clone and the fact that nobody knows who the original is. However, I don't think that's enough to keep me hooked since it only shows up for 1-2 pages every story. I'll drop this book for now and check it out again when a new creative team takes over for issue 7.

Week 2

Great - Awesome, top picks of the week: Deathstroke, Green Lantern, Legion Lost, Resurrection Man, Suicide Squad
Good - Solid book, want to read next week: Batman and Robin, Batwoman, Demon Knights, Grifter, Superboy
Okay - Not the best, but will give another shot next week: Batgirl, Huntress, Penguin
Not Interested - Won't read it next week: Frankenstein, Mr. Terrific
 
Top Pick: Green Lantern
I still really liked Suicide Squad this week, but I figured I would give someone else a shot at the top. After the first two issues of set-up, we finally see some action as Sinestro and Hal Jordan team up against the Sinestro Corps. I like Sinestro and Hal's adversarial working relationship (like Sinestro making fun of Hal's love life for example). Also, it appears that we are going to see some deeper characterization of Sinestro in the near future, which is always a plus. Add in the shocker ending and you've got a great issue that makes me really anxious for #4!
Bottom Pick: Mr. Terrific
My other "Not Interested" pick this week was Frankenstein. I didn't particularly dislike that book, but I'm just not a big fan of big monster fights, which seems to be the primary focus of the book. Mr. Terrific however, I actively disliked. I love the character, but I haven't liked any of the issues of his single run so far. It's an odd balance between science techno-babble and plot twists that are a little too convenient to be believable. (Like how the villain ties into Terrific's origin for example). I see supporting cast members, but don't feel like they are developing very well. For this and many other reasons, I'm dropping this one.
 

Week 3

Great - Awesome, top picks of the week: Batman, Catwoman, Justice League, Supergirl
Good - Solid book, want to read next week: Birds of Prey, Blue Beetle, DC Universe Presents, Green Lantern Corps, Nightwing, Shade, Wonder Woman
Okay - Not the best, but will give another shot next week: Captain Atom, Legion of Super-Heroes, My Greatest Adventure, Red Hood and the Outlaws
Not Interested - Won't read it next week: None
 
Top Pick: Supergirl
Batman and Justice League were good this week, but mostly seemed like they were building up to future issues, so I gave another comic the spotlight this month. Even though we all know the story of Supergirl, somehow they still make it fresh. This issue contrasts Supergirl to Superman a lot: Supergirl doesn't care about humans or Earth, Supergirl thinks Krypton still exists, etc. But we also start to break away from Superman in this issue. I like the new character introduced: Simon Tycho. He's a "28 year old trillionaire" who is quirky and cold and appears to be Supergirl's Luthor. I'm looking forward to finding out how Supergirl's first few encounters with humans (which have been unanimously unpleasant) will shape her opinion of her new home. Will she eventually become a hero in her cousin's footsteps, or remain a super-powered wildcard?
Bottom Pick: Red Hood and the Outlaws or Captain Atom
I have mixed feelings about Red Hood. I liked the flashbacks in this issue, but had a really hard time getting invested in the story. They are on a mission to avenge Jason's buddies by taking on something called the Untitled... I'm interested in learning more about what bonds these three together. It looks like I'll have to wait until issue 6 to get more of that story.. hopefull I can hold on that long. I liked the first part of Captain Atom's story where he's running around saving people's lives and they think its "Divine Intervention". Then it takes a turn for the worse when he flies off to Libya to turn the tide of a rebellion. It just seemed like forced political relevance. It didn't seem odd to me that Captain Atom threw himself in the middle of the rebellion, but it seemed totally out of character for Flash for some reason. Then something goes crazy with Cap's powers and he comes running back to the States to be confronted by General Eiling, who is human again. Eiling and military service was a big part of the long running Captain Atom series, so it will be interesting to see where that goes. I am still confused by Captain Atom's new transmuting powers.. can you give them back to Firestorm please?
 

Week 4 (and Week 5)

Great - Awesome, top picks of the week:  Aquaman, Flash
Good - Solid book, want to read next week: All-Star Western, Green Lantern: New Guardians, Justice League Dark, Savage Hawkman, Superman, Voodoo
Okay - Not the best, but will give another shot next week:  Batman: Dark Knight, Legion: Secret Origin, Teen Titans, THUNDER Agents
Not Interested - Won't read it next week:  Fury of Firestorm
 
Top Pick: Aquaman & Flash
I started the month by having a tie for the top pick, so I might as well end the same way. Although very different, both of these books had similar elements that I liked this week. We start to learn more about the villains (The Trench and Mob Rule respectively) as we approach the end of the first arcs. They also appear to be setting up future storylines with the introduction of Stephen Shin in Aquaman, a marine biologist obsessed with finding Atlantis, and the cameos of Captain Cold and Trickster in Flash. If I had to pick a definite winner this week, Flash might pull slightly ahead because of the awesome scene with the airplane.
Bottom Pick: Fury of Firestorm
I gave this series a couple issues because I was really excited for a Firestorm book, but now I've decided to drop it. I like that Ronnie and Jason are both in the picture, but the fact that they are both flying around as Firestorm and then eventually merge to make some super-Firestorm is not gripping me for some reason. I'm not sure when Captain Atom and Firestorm switched powers, but we're seeing a lot more nuclear energy blasts than intelligent uses of powers (like.. transmutation?). Of course, with Ronnie and Jason combining their powers whenever they run into trouble, it feels more like Captain Planet than Captain Atom anyway. Although the main bad guys appear to be some covert government group, classic Firestorm villains are re-imagined and pop up sometimes (e.g. Hyena, Killer Frost), which may eventually be interesting.. I consider myself somewhat a continuity hound, but I'm willing to ignore drastic changes to characters if the book is good enough (e.g. Flash, Supergirl, etc.). I'm sorry to say that in my opinion, this one is not worth the trouble.
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1 Comments
Posted by verismydeer0

Favorite parts of this review... "as long as they don't reveal an avatar for the other colors of the rainbow, I'll be okay ;-)" and " I am still confused by Captain Atom's new transmuting powers.. can you give them back to Firestorm please?"

I agree with your assessments. My least favorites align for the most part. I'm not engaged by the static shock story and both captain atom and firestorm have been a disappointment. I admit I'm not a big Captain Atom fan in general, but this book has certainly not done anything to change that. Firestorm is generally a pretty cool guy, but that's because he has awesome powers... as you mentioned, where did they go and will he get them back? I'm going to have to disagree with you about Red Hood though. I like him as a character and i'm interested to see where this book ends up. I'm not happy about the new depiction of Starfire, but I'll give them a break for now and see what happens. I will say that her new characterization is good in how it plays off the boys' egos.