Continuing my half @$$ed reviews of some of my Nu DCU 52 picks….
4. DC Universe Presents: Deadman Writer: Paul Jenkins / Art: Bernard Chang
Ok, Deadman has always been one of “those” characters for me. Sometimes he’s written well…other times….not so well. He’s never been a favorite of mine and I’ve always looked at him as I’ve looked at a character like “The Creeper” or the original “3D Man“. Characters from the early years of comics that quite never got the update they needed. Jenkins writes him well and seems to capture the ‘tortured soul’ that is Boston Brand. An acrobat (who performed under the name Deadman, no less) ,a jerk, and a cad in life and, like Jacob Marley, was forced to atone in the after-life. Killed while performing he ‘wakes up’ to meet Rama….she who brings balance. Brand is tasked with helping other souls in the living world so that he can find his ‘balance’ and go to his eternal reward. As Deadman, Brand can inhabit the bodies of those he’s supposed to help as well as roam the world of the living as a spirit. I liked this incarnation of Boston Brand and could really believe that this was a guy out to help people. Not only because he was being ordered/coerced/compelled to do so, but because, deep down, he knew it was the right thing to do. We only meet two secondary characters in the first issue….Rama and Madame Rose. Rose is a carnival ‘friend’ of the late Boston Brand who can talk to the dead…for reals. The story is good and I think I read where Deadman’s arc is only four issues long. Did I mention that this was an anthology book? The art is solid….very solid. Bernard Chang is another unknown, but still impressed me. His style is crisp and clear. Being an anthology book, I’m not sure if the same creative team will be sticking around past their character arc. I hope so, but wouldn’t be surprised if a new team came on board with each character. I liked this book, but think it will be a hit and miss type deal depending on character and creative team.
5. Green Lantern: New Guardians Writer: Tony Bedard / Art: Tyler Kirkham
First off….Ugh! I had no idea that Kyle Rayner was the main character of this book. How did I miss that?? If I had known, I wouldn’t have picked it up. Seriously. I can’t stand Rayner. The weakest GL there ever was….even weaker than that guy who looks like a beach ball with arms and legs. Did I say “ugh”? Anyway…it seem that something has decimated the Guardians and only Ganthet lives to tell the tale. He summons the remaining collective willpower of the dead Oan’s to forge the last (green) power ring. Cut scene to Mr. Down and Out Rayner…so broke he can’t afford to leave a tip so he decides his waitress would like a sketch instead. Hey buddy, you can’t spend a sketch! While heading to the back alley of the local pub, to take a leak no less (real sanitary Rayner…real sanitary), he meets Ganthet who chooses him (like a Pokemon?) to wield one of the most powerful weapons in the galaxy. Well, then things cut to different members of the Roy G. Biv (minus the G) Corps who, mysteriously, are ‘decommissioned’ as their rings take off on their own. Where do all the rings go? The end of the issue has them all swarming on Kyle Rayner…each color choosing him, again, Pokemon style, with a member from each respective corps closing in to attack and wanting their ring back. I’ve actually read some of Tony Bedard’s stuff and enjoyed it. This…not so much. I’m not real sure where he’s going with this and, frankly, don’t much care. Did I mention that I really dislike the Kyle Rayner character? On the upside, though, the art was decent and nice to look at, so no complaints there. I won’t be picking this one up again…well at least until after my next DCBS order. Ugh.
6. Red Hood and the Outlaws: Writer: Scott Lobdell / Art: Kenneth Rocafort
First off, I won’t go into all the hullabaloo on the net over this book. If you want to read about that there are tons of fan sites more than willing to share their opinions on the subject. For me, it was easy to overlook and I enjoyed the book as a whole. The story was solid, the characters were interesting, and I’m eager to see just where things will lead. In the first issue we meet Speedy (or is he Arsenal still? I dunno..), Red Hood (Jason Tood), Starfire, and a new character called Essence. I’m guessing Essence is a “Raven-esque” type character that only the Red Hood can see and hear. There’s a lot that goes on in this one issue and Lobdell seems to be laying a good foundation for future issues. I’ve enjoyed his work in the past and the same goes here. I’m interested in seeing where the plotlines lead. The art was good….a little on the ‘cartoony’ side, but still good. As long as the story remains interesting, I’ll keep getting this book….regardless of what Comics Alliance has to say. *ahem*
Well, like Meatloaf sang….”Two out of three, ain’t bad.”
Next time, I’ll look at three (maybe four) more books from the Nu DCU 52 line.
<Jack Lord voice> Be here. Aloha.