Well, the second wave of DC’s New 52 launched yesterday with six new titles. I grabbed two of them. (I requested them, but review copies weren’t provided, just the Free Comic Book Day preview.)
The first one I read was “Earth 2″ by James Robinson, with art by Nicola Scott. I can’t say I’ve followed him regularly, but I loved Robinson’s “Leave It to Chance,” so I’m more likely to give something with his name on it a, well, chance. And he didn’t disappoint. The book will focus on what we think of as the JSA (Alan Scott Green Lantern, Jay Garrick Flash), but the bulk of this book (and the cover) goes to the Big 3. And I must say in their relatively brief spotlight, I’m more interested in these versions than I am in their Earth 1 counterparts after eight issues of solo titles and “Justice League.”
A large part of it may be that this is a $3.99 book, so you get a decent page count and a bit more time to spend with the characters than you do in the regular books. And there doesn’t seem to be as much wasted space.
When we do meet Alan and Jay, they’re quite different than the characters we know and love. (Well, I can’t say I love them, but I do like them.) They’re much younger — not the older mentor types. And they don’t have their powers yet. Yes, this is a contemporary origin. And yay for a shout-out to Lansing in Jay’s story.
Scott’s art is wonderful. I can’t gush enough about it. The fight scenes have a great flow, but she’s also good with the more personal moments and facial expressions. I wish she and Ivan Reis (“Aquaman”) could draw everything.
Note: All the promo art, even at DC’s own Source blog, has Wonder Woman in all silver, but she actually has gold for the head- and breastplates, and it looks better.
I also grabbed “Dial H.” I’ve loved the “Dial H for Hero” concept since it’s “Adventure” revival when you could send in your own hero ideas. I never did, but it was still neat to read. It hasn’t always been executed well, but this version is off to an interesting start.
I’d never heard of British fantasy/”weird fiction” author China Mieville. But he certainly approaches the book as “weird fiction.” It’s got more roots in horror than it does in superheroes, at least in this issue, and that’s fine with me. It’s not all gory, like a lot of horror books these days. (See, you can have creepiness without grossing everyone out, “Justice League Dark.”) Of course, with the horror spin, the logo seems terribly out of place, but it’s still a good read.
In this version, down-on-his-luck Nelse (short for Nelson?) comes to the rescue of a friend when inadvertently dialing “hero” on a payphone (dial up and payphone — two things you don’t see much these days). He takes to the changes well, but with a more realistic sense of wonder and curiosity than instantly wanting to be a HERO or completely losing himself in the characters he becomes.
I look forward to seeing where Mieville goes with this. I just hope he doesn’t turn out like a lot of novelists who give up after a few issues or can’t meet deadlines.
And the issues two heroes are great: the weird Boy Chimney and the emo Captain Lachrymose. Artist Mateus Santolouco’s designs are awesome. The rest of his art is nicely moody.
DC might be getting more money from me now since I didn’t buy any of the books that were cancelled to make way for these.
The other four newbies are “World’s Finest” (I love Paul Levitz and George Perez but have no interest in the characters), “G.I. Combat” (never got into war comics), “The Ravagers” (don’t like “The Culling” crossover arc they spring from and don’t care about them) and “Batman Incorporated” (serious Batman overload, and I couldn’t care less).
What Second Wave books did you pick up?