Giving credit where credit is due, DC’s roll-out of “The New 52" is
impressive. Lots of excitement, lots of media coverage, big sales
numbers, and a legion of bloggers and critics reviewing every one
of the things. Yes, I do hate myself for adding to that noise and
I will spend the rest of my life trying to redeem myself.
It has been reported that DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio has
stated that none of the various “Crisis” events happened in the new
DCU. That’s actually a smart move. It saves writers from having
to explain why the entire population of the world hasn’t suffered
a mental breakdown from watching their world changed every year or
so. Even the architects of the best of the “Crisis” events didn’t
fully anticipate the chaos their “big” ideas would visit on the DCU.
I can appreciate why DiDio and others would want to start over from
scratch, though, of course, they haven’t completely done that this
But, if true, DiDio’s position, which I assume is binding for now,
makes a great deal of sense. If he wants to take it further, how
about no future “Crisis” events as well? Not one of them was ever
worth the grief they brought.
Anyway...three cheers and a tiger to DiDio for this proclamation.
I won’t mention that a line in Hawk & Dove #1 mentions “the worst
crisis the world has ever seen”...at least not in derisive manner.
There are going to be some bumps in the road in the new DCU. When
they turn up, the DC powers that be should just instruct writers
and editors not to mention them again. The last thing we need is
convoluted stories trying to explain away such lapses. This isn’t
brain surgery. No one will die because someone in one issue said
the “C” word. Honest.
I have read four more of “The New 52" premieres: Batwing, Detective
Comics, Green Arrow, and Hawk & Dove. Here are my comments:
The good news...I love the premise of Batwing #1 ($2.99). I love
the idea of one of Batman’s agents fighting crime in the Republic
of the Congo. I love that the title hero is a police officer who
seeks to rise above the corruption of his police force. I love the
pairing of cops and super-heroes, as you can probably tell from all
the cops and super-heroes I’ve teamed over the years.
The bad news...Judd Winick’s not a very good writer. This amazes
and upsets me because he was so sharp when writing and drawing his
Frumpy the Clown strips and Barry Keen comic books. But, over the
past few years, writing comics for DC, his work has just not been
entertaining. However, I was amused by this issue’s last page shock
ending, mostly because I did pretty much the same bit in Hawkman in
the 1980s and The Grim Ghost in this decade.
Despite my mixed feelings about Batwing #1, this is a title I would
keep buying for a few more months to see if it comes together. DC
has too few heroes of colors and I’d like to see this one succeed.
I liked Detective Comics #1 [$2.99] better than I thought I would.
In DC universes past, I’ve not particularly enjoyed writer/penciler
Tony Daniel’s depiction and handling of the Batman. I miss seeing
Batman doing detective stuff in a meaningful way. And, as veteran
Tony readers know, I despise the Joker. All that said, I thought
Daniel handled Alfred and his relationship with Batman/Bruce well
and, depending on what the next issue brings, I think he may have
shown me something new with the Joker. I honestly didn’t believe
that was possible. Were I buying these new DCU titles instead of
borrowing them from a pal, I would give Detective Comics at least
one more issue.
Green Arrow #1 [$2.99] was exactly what I was hoping for from the
new DCU. Over the past couple decades, DC made Oliver Queen one of
the most unlikeable heroes ever. Writer J.T. Krul has reinvented
him as a much younger “white hat” hero and I dig that. Especially
with terrific artists like Dan Jurgens (pencils) and George Perez
(inker) backing his play. I would put this title on my “buy” list.
If I were buying these comics myself and if Krul was staying on the
title. Apparently, he’s not. Bad DC.
Hawk & Dove #1 [$2.99] was about what I expected. I appreciate how
popular artist Rob Liefeld is with some readers, but his style and
storytelling leaves me cold. Writer Sterling Gates’ past work has
been hit-or-miss with me...and this time it’s a miss. Something I
did like about the issue was that both Hawk and Dove have someone
they can talk to. In Hawk’s case, it’s his dad. In Dove’s case,
it’s Deadman. It still creeps me out that the much older Deadman
is Dove’s boyfriend, but, hey, whoever came up with that unsettling
notion probably doesn’t have a daughter.
There seems to be some sort of mysterious connection between Dawn
(the current Dove) and the late Don (the original). My vote would
is that Dawn IS Don, giving DC its first transgender hero. Okay,
that would be my vote is I got a vote on this.
Hawk & Dove would be another pass for me.
The new DCU is now 3-for-8 with me, but my personal jury of one is
still out on Batwing and Detective Comics.
I don’t know if I’ll have read any more of “The New 52" in time for
my next bloggy thing, but I will be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2011 Tony Isabella