Massive DC New 52 (#2s) Review!

1

There was an immense release of DC New 52 #2’s today, and therefore this review got a little lengthy. So please, feel free to scroll through and skip about in looking for reviews specifically on issues of interest to you.

 

Justice League #2

What happens when the World’s Greatest Detective takes on the world’s most powerful alien? You’ll find out when Batman and Superman throw down. Batman will need all his intellect, cunning and physical prowess to take on The Man of Steel.

Finally some action! In Justice League #2 we get to see more than frame after frame of Batman and Green Lantern pontificating. Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, and the Flash tensely begin to work into the first mysterious conflict – which is a box that randomly explodes, vomiting alien-looking soldiers yelling the name of their commander (no spoilers!).   A parallel plotline is simultaneously running featuring the future Cyborg (formerly of the Teen Titans pre-reboot) his own confrontation with another of the same type of box.

When the first issue of Justice League came out (a LONG while ago), I hadn’t been overly impressed by the issue or enthusiastic for the upcoming 51 other series to follow it. I did, however, like this issue a little better. Perhaps it was because I got to see Superman handing Batman and Green Lantern the slam down. Maybe it’s because I still really appreciate the hell out of Jim Lee’s art. Maybe it’s because I got to see more interaction between the classic core of the soon-to-be Justice League. Whatever it was, I hope my interest continues to build because I really want to like this series.

On the downside, it was a bit confusing. I completely forgot until halfway through that this book takes place five years before the rest. Once I realized that, a lot of things fell into place, but I wish they would have put that note at the beginning of the issue again merely because there was such a gap in between issues 1 and 2. Either way the hope stands that this series is on an uphill swing! DC has released some preview images for your enjoyment:

[cincopa AkFArsKGfLIj]

Justice League #1 Review: http://lytherus.com/2011/09/01/tcr-justice-league-1-flying-off-the-shelves-and-into-the-hands-of-readers-old-and-new/

 

Wonder Woman #2

Hera, Queen of the Gods, does not take her vengeance lightly – and if Wonder Woman is so foolish as to stand in the way of her whim, then Wonder Woman is her enemy. But it’s Hera’s daughter Diana should truly fear – the goddess of discord is coming to Paradise Island, and murder always follows in her wake!

I loved issue #1 and I’m happy to say I equally loved issue #2. If you’ve been perusing the web at all doing any sniffing around on this series, you might have heard that the hints that Wonder Woman may just be getting a father figure in this new version of her story. Creating this new twist to Diana’s traditional legend is a bold move for writer Brian Azzarello, but I think it’s going to work out for him just fine!

Wonder Woman is still on her mission to protect Zola, who unwittingly became the mistress of Zeus and the mother of his bastard child. Hera is, needless to say, none too pleased. She will have her revenge on Zola unless Wonder Woman can protect her. Interestingly, Hera daughter, Strife, has also become an acting party in this soap-opera.

Wonder Woman is still shown as beautifully strong and hard-will, yet compassionate. I’m liking how Azzarello is creating her image more and more. Cliff Chiang’s art, however, is not as strong as I had thought in the first issue. The art in issue #1 had an edge to it that I liked and I can’t put my finger on why, but this issue seemed to lose that edge. This point aside, Wonder Woman is still at the top of my list of New 52 favorites.

WW #1 Review: http://lytherus.com/2011/09/21/dc-52-review-lets-hear-it-for-the-ladies-diana-kara-selina-and-more/

 

Birds of Prey #2

An explosion in a secure Gotham City airport terminal hurls Black Canary and Starling headlong into a nightmare involving stolen pharmaceuticals, terrorists for hire and killers in stealth suits who can appear – and disappear – at will. When Canary calls in backup, Starling’s not so sure a vengeful samurai who talks to her dead husband in a sword is the best choice.

Hmmm. This one’s losing me and I can’t put my finger on why. Issue #1 was a great introduction to two characters, Black Canary and Starling, who aren’t extremely well known to DC-newbs like me. Perhaps my disappointment in this issue was that I really didn’t feel like I got to know these characters any better by the end of this issue. I get that Starling is a head-strong wildcard who makes her own rules and that Canary has her head on straight and is determined to succeed in this venture. And she’s single. I got that part too. But I still don’t have enough to draw me into feeling attached enough to these characters to need to find out what happens to them. As it stands, the plot is not thrilling me to keep me hooked so therefore I must look to the characters to do this. (Masked assassins are after them and a journalist got blown up. That’s about all we got.)

Readers are also introduced to Katana in this issue. All we know about her is that her husband was murdered by the Japanese mafia (the Yakuza) and Katana has been “tearing those responsible apart” for the past year. She’s believed to be a bit off in the head due to her insistence that her husband’s soul is trapped in her sword. She talks to it. I think it talks to her too, but I’m not sure.

I’ll stick around for book three. Poison Ivy was introduced in the last page and she might just pick up my interest level a bit in the next book. Either way the dialogue is great and the personalities are strongly represented through conversation. I guess I’m just ready for some emotionally-charged background on these broads.

[cincopa AoOArsKwfbok]

BOP #1 Review: http://lytherus.com/2011/09/21/dc-52-review-lets-hear-it-for-the-ladies-diana-kara-selina-and-more/

 

Batman #2

Bruce Wayne is back in the cowl, hunting a new and deadly killer in Gotham City – a killer with a vendetta against Bruce Wayne! But who is this mysterious killer in an owl skull mask? And is he the key to unlocking one of Gotham’s oldest and most terrifying secrets? Be there for their first brutal encounter!

I really don’t think I have anything negative to say about this issue.  For a moment I thought I was just easily pleased, so I committed the unthinkable sin and read some other people’s reviews before writing my own.

Nope. Seems pretty unanimous that this issue was AWESOME.

To be fair, the Batman books have an advantage over books like Birds of Prey or Red Hood and the Outlaws. We all know Batman. We are all very familiar with Bruce Wayne. The writers don’t have to spend a lot of time really developing the character. Nuances have been put into the issue to confirm, remind, or nudge readers into seeing Batman/Bruce in a certain light, but it is a familiar light.

This Batman series is really making a point to draw a connection between Batman and Gotham City. Batman IS Gotham City, and both issues thus far have made that very clear. Still, Gotham City is also a crime-ridden pit of sin if one walks down the wrong street.

The mystery of the plot centers around a victim found literally pinned to a wall by a plethora of throwing knives. Batman has yet, by the end of issue two, to figure out who this man is or why he died, but he follows the leads to what he knows cannot be: one of Gotham’s many myths and legends, the Court of Owls.

To touch briefly on Greg Capullo’s art, it is both fun and purposeful – dark yet not overly foreboding. I typically judge art by how well it and the tone of the story fit together, and so far they are a perfect match. Check out the following images DC has posted as a preview:

[cincopa A8PAysa9fLwk]

 

Nightwing #2

When a mysterious assassin targets Dick Grayson, Nightwing must work fast to uncover the killer’s plot before he strikes again. But as Haley’s Circus continues to perform in Gotham City, Dick finds himself torn between two lives: His old one as a circus performer and his new one as a Super Hero. And they may be more connected than he ever realized!

This issue picks up with the fight scene cliff-hanger where the last issue left off. A few action-packed and artistically sound pages later, Dick Grayson finds himself on one of Bruce’s private jets heading to Atlantic City with his childhood crush from his circus days. Why? Because the circus is in town and she came to him in the middle of the night and pleaded that he take her there. His answer sums up his thought process: “Beautiful girl comes back into my life and needs my help? Who am I to say no?”

Turns out the point of the journey is for him to meet with Mr. Haly, the old owner of the circus. The man is dying of cancer and has something big that he must pass onto Dick before it is too late. Unfortunately, after Dick leaves, someone else finds Mr. Haly as well.

Saiko, clever name aside, at this point feels quite typical. As a new villain, there is nothing about him that really stands out as of yet. He makes the typical threats. He seems to have the typical hatred building in side of him. And his claws, frankly, look like an X-23 knock off. But I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of this villain, so hopefully his character will develop into something more provokingly interesting.

I like Nightwing as a character. He’s one of the few sidekicks that really was able to grow into his own, respectable superhero. I enjoy his story for that reason and I look forward to seeing where he goes from here.

 

Catwoman #2

She’s a thief who lives to steal just for the thrill of breaking the law. He’s The Dark Knight, obsessively driven to battle evil with every ounce of his strength. They should keep each other at arm’s length, but…they just can’t seem to help themselves! Don’t miss this issue – things are gonna get messy!

You know, I think Batman has spent more time in these new 52 issues horizontal and tending to his Bat-needs than he has vertical and fighting crime. That aside, this was a really good issue! Judd Winick has completely gotten into the head and voice of Selena Kyle like he knows her better than she knows herself. Her vivacity never falters. Guillem March’s art is still completely in sync with this voice as well. This is one of those series that I did not expect to like so much.

So once Catwoman finished yet another purrrrfect night with Batman, she put her clothes back on and the issue moved into her actual mission work. The woman is sharp as a tack as she plays Russian mobsters against one another and gaining herself a large prize for her troubles – until it all catches up with her. But whether she is giving or taking a beating, she never misses a beat.

This series is obviously going to be violence, sex, and rock n’ roll all over the place. If that’s not for you, don’t pick this up. If you don’t mind a bit of an adult-side to your comic book reading list, I highly recommend this series. (Though her boobs were only hanging out all over the place in about HALF the panels this time. It was a profound improvement.)  

 [cincopa AMDArv6Xfbtl]

Catwoman #1 Review: http://lytherus.com/2011/09/21/dc-52-review-lets-hear-it-for-the-ladies-diana-kara-selina-and-more/

 

Supergirl #2

Get ready for a super-smackdown as Supergirl fights her cousin, The Man of Steel! What could cause these two to come to blows? Can the teenage Supergirl hold her own against the adult Superman? Well, let’s just say she’s got a trick or two up those fancy new sleeves of hers…

While other superheroes might stand around pondering deeply about the confusing problems that the universe has presented them with, Supergirl is just going to punch those problems in the face until she figures them out. Or her cousin. Since one can’t punch problems, punching her cousin is the next best thing, apparently.

I really liked issue #1 of Supergirl. It perfectly captured Kara’s confusion and panic at waking up on a strange planet and having super powers. It also gave us an insight as to what her normal, much more gathered personality usually is. Issue #2 didn’t really develop much of anything in the way of furthering her plot. Kara is still confused. Superman is in the process of trying to help her, but he seemed to mostly just be freaking her out and making her all the more confused as their conversation/slug-fest continues through the pages. Honestly, even though the plot didn’t get very far in this issue, it was really quite amusing. She kicked the tar out of Superman, which frankly he probably needs now and then. Plus she’s a teenage girl, which made it all the more amusing. On the plus side, Kara’s character is further developed, an aspect of a comic for which I can hardly complain.

Predictably by the end we see hope for the future of their family relations (not a spoiler, right? I mean you DID see that coming I assume). We are left with a single scene that hints to the actual upcoming conflict for this series which will most likely be introduced next issue.

Supergirl #1 Review: http://lytherus.com/2011/09/21/dc-52-review-lets-hear-it-for-the-ladies-diana-kara-selina-and-more/

 

Of course all of these issues have up-sides and down-sides. In general, though, the DC New 52 are still going strong! Other #2s out this week that I’m afraid I didn’t get to review include:  Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, DC Universe Presents, Green Lantern Corps, Legion of Super-Heroes, and Red Hood and the Outlaws.

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.