Just a unifying and interesting theme right upfront. Or, actually, in the back. More specifically, in the back pages of all these comics, there’s a two page article/preview that starts off the same, describing the “families” of comics in the new DCU. These families (Superman, Batman, JLA, Green Lantern, The Dark, The Edge, and Young Justice) exist to, and I quote, “help you find your way around our universe”. Can I just say now that these “families” only exist to function as easy ways to create crossover events? Oh, what perfect timing, look what’s coming up here…
Batman #7 –
This issue continues the whole Court of Owls story, which has officially turned into the first crossover of the new DCu. Two things. First of all, I continue to like this story. This issue in particular was a bit slower than previous installments, but you get the feeling that Synder is laying a lot of groundwork, particularly with that overarching character of the Batman titles, Gotham City itself. The second thing is not a positive. While I have been enjoying this storyline very much, it’s only issue #7 of this new universe and we’re already launching into a “family” crossover. According to the back of the issue, this story will play out in8 titles. Of course, it’s that whole you-don’t-need-to-read-everything-to-understand-the-story stuff, but we can’t even barely clear a half-year without a pretty big crossover, DC?
Justice League #7 –
Gene Ha takes over for Jim Lee on art for this issue (and the rest of this arc?) — it’s very different, but still very good. I don’t know much about Wonder Woman and/or Steve Trevor (and I’m not reading the current Wonder Woman title), but the best stuff in this issue is their relationship. Steve is a very likeable, almost “everyman” character (despite his job and position with the JLA not very everyman-esque) and based on the ending, Steve looks like a good bet to be taking a very central position in this title. The backup story is the revamped Captain Marvel, now officially called Shazam. It’s fine overall; it’s got Gary Frank art, whose faces I always have found totally offputting, but the story is okay.
Superman #7 –
A Wildstorm heavy excursion into the Superman titles, for sure. I don’t know anything about Helspont, other than I’m pretty sure he was a WildCATS villain, but I guess this is the point of this newly merged universe, for naive people like me to enjoy these characters without their potential years of baggage. So, taking Helspont based on just his merits from this issue? He’s dumb. He’s a one note, 2-dimensional BWA-HA-HA bad guy. Action Comics over Superman on all fronts.
Superboy #7 –
If Lobdell is trying to win the award for introducing the most obscure character into the new DCU, he may win with this issue, which is the 1st (new) appearance of Danny the Street, originally from Morrison’s run on Doom Patrol! It’s only a panel, but I’d love to see more of him. This issue is part 1 of a long battle/escape scene, basically, with the next part crossing over into Teen Titans. (That’s right! When I wrote about Batman’s huge crossover before, I COMPLETELY forgot that Superboy and Teen Titans have been crossing over since practically before they were released!) The issue ends with a tease of introducing Grunge — I guess that this title will be showcasing most/all of the old Gen13 characters before they appear in their own upcoming book (The Ravagers?).
Teen Titans –
Okay, part 2 of the Save Superboy story is here, and my wish came true! More Danny the Street! We are even privy to some store names (Guns and Armoirs) this time. It’s sometimes hard to believe that both books are written by the same writer, because this one feels VERY exposition heavy. Lobdell also does what I HATE — characters refer to each other by name CONSTANTLY. I get that there are a bunch of characters (then again, I’m an X-Men fan, so this is really not bad), but people don’t talk like that! On the good side, we get another quick glimpse into some mysterious history of Kid Flash and Robin is a conniving dick. Oh, and expect a “family” crossover here too — “The Culling”! (Boo.)
Green Lantern Corps #7 –
This issue is why I don’t like John Stewart. Whenever I’m reading a Stewart-Lantern story, especially these “isolated Stewart” stories, it’s always to tug at my heartstrings. This is an overly dramatic story with an embarrassing alien Down Syndrome caricature to make us feel bad for John. I don’t. It’s bad.
Green Lantern New Guardians #7 –
Comparatively, Kyle uses his powers of talking people to death to try and defeat the bad guy in New Guardians. Kirkham’s art is great and the writing here is pretty good, but if I’m supposed to be upset that Larfleez is in trouble of getting killed, I’m certainly not. I’d love to be rid of that stupid character.
Legion of Super-Heroes #7 –
Disappointing overall. I didn’t expect the world, being that this is a story centered around one of the less interesting “new class” of Legionaires, Dragonwing. Levitz, while during the ’80s must have seemed progressive (a la Great Darkness Saga), this stuff seems old fashioned and a bit stale. And we’re getting a new Legion leader, as if that really matters. Mon El has been leader since the reader-based election, but I don’t think that has really played a part in any of the plot.
Legion Secret Origin #6 –
Yeah, I’m being hard on Levitz, I know. But here’s another example of more stale storytelling. The title of this is Legion SECRET ORIGIN. I’ve waiting for something shocking, something different, something, well, secret to happen in this new origin story for this new Legion in this new universe. Nothing really different at all. We get an early introduction to the Time Trapper and the assassination attempts of Brande are more plentiful and prolonged. But outside of that (which are not that big a deal), nothing at all has changed. A waste of 6 issues.
Aquaman #7 –
I’m realizing the think I like best about this title. These are less storyarcs and more just continued stories. Each issue plays into the next one. The artifact that Aquaman and Mera (“Aquawoman” seems silly for some reason) found in the trench leads into this story about The Others, which seems like a team that Arthur was a part of prior to the JLA or Mera. We are introduced to 2 of the members in this issue, but we see a convenient team shot in the form of a photograph. It’s an interesting look of a group, with plenty of sterotypicalities (tough girl, mysterious seer, etc.), but based on this title so far, I’m more than willing to give Johns and Reis a long chance.
The Flash #7 –
And, finally, The Flash continues to have excellent art. The best thing about this book is that Barry doesn’t seem like the Barry that I was only slightly familiar with between his return and the relaunch. That Barry seemed all high and mighty; this Barry seems young and unsure, which is what I liked about Wally. Here, finally, Checkhov’s gun AKA the Cosmic Treadmill comes into play, only to quickly end on another “who is that?” moment. Not the best issue, but still one of my favorite books in the DCU.