Week 3 (Part 2): September 14th, 2011
Birds of Prey #1 (DO NOT BUY)
“One is wanted for a murder she didn’t commit. The other is on the run because she knows too much. They are Dinah Laurel Lance and Ev Crawford – a.k.a. Black Canary and Starling – and together, as Gotham City’s covert ops team, they’re taking down the villains other heroes can’t touch. But now they’ve attracted the attention of a grizzled newspaper reporter who wants to expose them, as well as a creepy, chameleon-like strike team that’s out to kill them. Don’t miss the start of this hard-hitting new series from mystery novelist/comics writer Duane Swierczynski (Expiration Date, Cable).”
Sorry, but I’m totally uninterested in Birds of Prey sans Gail Simone. Duane Swierczynski isn’t a bad writer – although his Cable series was tedious and repetitive beyond comprehension – but now that the book has lost arguably its main character (Barbara Gordon) and its creator and heart (Simone), there isn’t much left to look forward to.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 (EH)
“No sooner has Batman’s former sidekick, Jason Todd, put his past as the Red Hood behind him than he finds himself cornered by a pair of modern day outlaws: Green Arrow’s rejected sidekick Arsenal, the damaged soldier of fortune, and the alien Starfire, a former prisoner of intergalactic war who won’t be chained again. As a loner, Jason has absolutely no interest in this motley crew of outlaws. So what’s he going to do when they choose the Red Hood as their leader? Find out in this hot new series from writer Scott Lobdell (WILDC.A.T.S, Uncanny X-Men), featuring art by rising star Kenneth Rocafort (ACTION COMICS)!”
Let’s set aside for a moment the fact that Red Hood (Jason Todd) is the only actual outlaw in this group of so-called outlaws. Why in the world would Jason, the second Robin – A.K.A. the Robin who sucked so bad that readers voted to have the Joker beat him to death – be leading a group made up of Arsenal and Starfire? They’re older than he is, they’re more experienced, they’re probably more skilled, and they, like everyone else in the DC Universe, have never liked the guy.
Nevertheless, I can’t help but be intrigued by this bizarre-looking book. Like Scott Lobdell’s other titles in The New 52 – Teen Titans and Superboy – this thing looks so weird, ridiculous, and over-the-top, I’m tempted to buy it out of sheer curiosity. Tempted, mind you, not convinced.
Green Lantern Corps #1 (BUY)
“When deadly conflicts emerge across the universe, it’s up to Guy Gardner, John Stewart and an elite Green Lantern strike force to keep the peace – or else.”
Peter Tomasi did a fine, fine job on Green Lantern Corps and Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors, so I’m happy to see him back on essentially the same book. In fact, this seems to be just a continuation of Emerald Warriors, as it utilizes the same characters and the same artist. I bought that book and I’ll be buying this one, too.
Blue Beetle #1 (EH)
“It’s not easy being Jaime Reyes. He has to deal with high school, family and all the drama that comes with being a teenager. Also, he’s linked to a powerful scarab created by an alien race known as the Reach who seek to subjugate planets – or annihilate them. It’s up to one teen hero to turn this instrument of destruction into a force for good.”
Keith Giffen’s original run on the Jaime Reyes iteration of Blue Beetle unfortunately didn’t sell very well, despite being consistently good. I don’t foresee Tony Bedard doing much better job with the book, but I sincerely hope that he does – and that DC readers support it. There are far too few minority characters in comics as is (Reyes is Mexican-American), and it would be a shame to see Blue Beetle remanded to supporting character status once again.
Unfortunately, the synopsis leaves a lot to be desired, as it basically sounds like a rehash of Giffen’s run from over five years ago. So for now, until I hear otherwise, it’s an EH.
Legion of Super-Heroes #1 (EH)
“The Legion of Super-Heroes has been decimated by the worst disaster in its history. Now, the students of the Legion Academy must rise to the challenge of helping the team rebuild – but a threat of almost unstoppable power is rising at the edge of Dominator space, and if the new recruits fail, the Legion Espionage Squad may be the first casualties in a war that could split worlds in half!”
I’ve never been a fan of Legion. I keep hearing how awesome they were back in the day, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot here in 2011. Sure, I enjoyed Mark Waid’s revamped Legion post-Infinite Crisis. Sure, I enjoyed Geoff Johns’ attempt to revive the old versions via Action Comics. I even (sort of) liked the beginning of Paul Levitz's most recent run pre-reboot, but regrettably, I quickly lost interest.
Long story short: if you’re a Legion fan, I imagine this is a definite BUY. If you’re not – if you’re more like me, a guy who doesn’t really care one way or another about those future-loving people from the future – then it’s more likely an EH. I’m sure this book won’t be bad, but I’d be surprised if it was great.