The New 52 - The First Month

So, to anyone that read my blog last time, I said next week meaning last week that I'd have this written on my thoughts on the new 52 because the first month was over, but a mix of laziness and other things came up and I got sidetracked. By a week. And a half. Anyways, I'm not sure how I'll put this into a coherent and orderly way, so maybe just pick a few of the stand outs, both good and bad? Sounds good. And orderly. And let's limit it to three a piece. It's going on 11pm where I'm at, and I don't want to stay up as late as I did writing my last blog entry. Working and no sleep makes Cupcake Avenger a very cranky internet persona.

The Good

  • Batman - I honestly don't think Scott Snyder can do any wrong with Batman. It just seems that he can write him as easily as he breathes. It had Bruce surrounded by his family (Dick, Tim and Damien) while he announced that he was going to essentially rebuild Gotham, and he added in some characters that you know are going to become important, as well as a mystery woman shown in a panel that we had no idea who she was. And the ending left me wanting more. Next week cannot come soon enough to see what follows.
  • Aquaman - What can I say about Aquaman? I'll be honest, when I saw Aquaman, I was leaving it. I didn't care that Geoff Johns was writing it, I just knew him as the character that talked to fish and was the butt of countless jokes. Then I saw the five star review right here on CV. Decided that I'd follow my rule that I'd made up for the New 52, which was if a book I was unsure about got a good review, I'd give it a chance. And I'm glad I did. It was brilliant. It showcased his powers, his attitude and personality and most of all addressed the many criticisms that come with mentioning Aquaman. Really looking forward to the next issue to see what happens with this new enemy.
  • All Star Western - I was unsure whether to put Swamp Thing or All Star Western, and I had to read both issues again just to kind of decide, but I think I made the right choice. The story for this book was brilliant, and it was awesome seeing old timey Gotham City, and having a few familiar names thrown in there, like Wayne, Arkham and Cobblepot. Especially Mayor Cobblepot, that one really seemed weird. Jonah Hex was a character I didn't know much about, save for his one (might have been more) appearance on Justice League Unlimited, but I instantly liked the character and his take no crap attitude. And again, the ending was just brilliant. It was something we didn't see coming, and it left me wanting more, which is something all these books should be aiming for.

The Bad

  • Static Shock - This was based on the first issue, since I'm trying to focus on the first month of the New 52 alone, but I just didn't enjoy it. I'm really struggling to remember much about the comic, except for the absolute confusion of not knowing who people were. I realise that some of the New 52 are somewhat continuing the old DCU, but as a first time reader of Static Shock, I couldn't really get into it. On a side note, I picked up the second issue, and I enjoyed it a helluva lot more that the first. It had some cool moments, and issue 3 is looking to be good.
  • Mr Terrific - Again, not too familiar with the character, save for his appearances in JLU, but this was not a good introductory issue. He came across as having very little personality, and it just kind of seemed to jump from one thing to another. Not really looking forward to the next issue, but I'll follow my other rule for reading new comics, reading the first arc, or at least the first 3 issues and then dropping it if I still don't like it. And one last complaint. What the hell is up with Karen Starr being there but having no sign of PG? Is she still PG, or is she just Karen Starr now? Hopefully the next issue will spread some light on this.
  • Legion Of Super Heroes - I was going to put Hawk and Dove in this spot for no other reason that I disliked the art, but then I remembered about Legion of Super Heroes. Again, not too sure about the Legion's history and members, but since it had "New 52" plastered on it, I thought I'd check it out, hoping that it'd ease me into it. Oh how wrong I was. It had characters upon characters there with little introduction, the only familiar name I saw was Brainiac-5, and the story was continuing something else. I didn't catch Legion Lost, so I don't know whether that had any impact on my understanding of this book, but I just didn't enjoy it.

Like I said, I read most of the New 52 but these 6 were my standouts either good or bad. For the most part, the A-lister books were awesome, the exceptions being Superman and Batman & Robin, with the latter just being a little inconsistent in terms of characters, like Damian being disrespectful towards Bruce, when having Bruce as Batman and him being Robin was what Damian wanted, and I felt that it was out of character for Damian all of a sudden not respecting Bruce's authority.

A few gems were hidden amongst the big books. Swamp Thing, Batwoman, I, Vampire to name a few. Oh and Hawkman! Really enjoyed that book last month, even if he was fighting Venom. So yeah, that rounds off my second blog entry. Honestly don't know what my third's going to be or when I'll get round to it, but I will. Eventually. Thanks for reading. All three of you. Thanks.


Make Mine Marvel? Give Me DC Instead.

I've been wanting to write a blog here on CV for a while now, but I could never think of anything worthwhile to talk about, but since we've had our first month of DC's New 52, I thought I'd write about how the DCnU has set my conversion from Marvel fan to DC in stone, building on the foundation laid by Batman and Green Lantern.

I'll start by saying that I've been a Marvel fan since 1999, and a Spider-Man fan long before I ever read a comic. I was 4 years old when I first saw the animated Spider-Man series of the 90s, and that began my love for Spidey, something that has continued to the present day. I've stuck by him through the good and the bad, and I'll never stop reading Spider-Man, but recently I've found my taste for comics and universes change. For the past 3 years or thereabouts, I've been collecting alongside Astonishing Spider-Man, Avengers Unconquered and Essential X-Men (to US users who may not be familiar with these titles, they are UK Collector's Editions that collect about 3 US issues in one comic, roughly 2 years behind the current run.) I was always content with what I read, and I had little knowledge of DC outside of the DCAU, Smallville and a few of the games, including DC Universe Online, but starting with Secret Invasion I started to grow a little bit tired of Marvel.

One week, as I picked up my usual X-Men and Spider-Man, I decided that I'd try reading something a little different and bought the UK Batman publication, Batman Legends, something set in motion. From that very first issue that I had bought, I had been enticed by DC. A few months ago, May to be exact, I decided to try another DC character, and rather go for the other obvious DC figurehead, I went with Green Lantern in anticipation of the movie. I looked online to see what stories were worth looking up, and I found an excellent jumping on point in Secret Origin, which gave me the general idea behind Hal's origin. I followed this up by reading Blackest Night, the main title and the GL tie-ins, and was blown away by it. After this, I stopped reading GL for a while (low cash kind of does that), but the damage had been done. I was extremely interested in DC Comics.

On the Batman end, my first "Holy s*** I need to keep reading this" moment came with Battle For The Cowl and my favourite Batman character Dick Grayson becoming Batman. I was reading GL and Batman alongside the Marvel titles that I was growing tired with, which in the long run has probably not helped with my growing annoyance with Marvel. These DC stories I was reading alongside Dark Reign, the X-Men moving to San Francisco and Spider-Man... I forget. Post-BND I suppose is all I can say. For me, DC was clearly leading the way.

I read Flashpoint, and have now collected a fair amount of the New 52, including some titles that I had never once bothered with, eg. Aquaman, Swamp Thing and Hawkman amongst others, and Marvel cannot compare. Like I said, the UK Collector's Editions are roughly 2 years behind the US, so we've just had Seige, Utopia and are still going through The Gauntlet for Spider-Man, and I know for a fact that the Heroic Age ( I think that's what it was known as when Norman Osborn was finally defeated) is just beginning but Marvel has got to do a lot to make me enthusiastic about the comics again. I've read past DC comics, like Batgirl (Stephanie Brown), Red Robin and am currently making my way through Power Girl's most recent series, and I'm enjoying them more than I am Marvel.

I guess I wrote this blog to vent a little on my feelings toward Marvel and DC, because I had to express them in some format, and none of my friends like comic books (the fools!). I'll try to stick by Marvel as much as possible, but X-Men in the future isn't looking promising with Schism, Fear Itself didn't look too good but at least Big Time looked fun with Spider-Man. DC is now my go to comics company, and Marvel will have to settle for second place. I only hope that they can maybe stop with the constant events and actually tell self-contained stories that have no effect on anything but the title in which they are told.

Thanks for anyone that took the time to read my massive (and largely jumpy) ranting, and I'd welcome any comments on my first (but hopefully not last) blog.