Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Beta Vs. DC Reboot: Part Two

Batman: Back to the Well #1
The New DC Universe starts today.  Regardless of mine or anyone’s feelings this is happening and it will affect the state of DC Comics for the foreseeable future possibly for the better, possibly for the worse.   I’m sure by the end of the year we’ll know have a better idea which way things are leaning.  Yesterday I ran through about half of the upcoming DC titles.  Today we’ll look at the other half.

I will mention one thing before I get into it.  It has been announced (Via Twitter? Groan) that Stephanie Brown will be appearing in the New DCU as The Spoiler.  We already knew her tenure of Batgirl is over but I assumed she was going on the shelf along several other characters DC can’t seem to decide where they fit into all of this.  I’m torn on this. As you may recall I love The Spoiler but I was warming up to Steph as Batgirl. I think I’ll be happy that she’ll be around but I’d be lot happier if she was starring in an ongoing feature.  How about a Black Bat/Spoiler team up book?  I’d buy the hell out of that.

Still no answers about whether she was ever Robin or even Batgirl in this new universe.  Oh well, we’ll see soon enough.

More Reboot Titles after the jump.

Batwoman #1
After all this time I'm starting to think Batwoman was never real
Beta Says: I have been waiting for this damn book for what feels like an eternity.  It appears that the title being canceled was a result of this DC reboot.  What’s the point of starting a Batwoman title if they were just going to restart every single book they had from #1 a few months later. Thankfully the slow start time has given J.H. Williams and Amy Reeder a good buffer so hopefully the possibility of any delays seem low.  I’m buying this book and so should you.

Verdict: Buy!

Captain Atom #1

Beta Says: I think I would have preferred Captain Atom as a member of Justice League International, but what can you do?  I’m slightly unsure what’s going on in this book as it almost seems but I do like the concept of the character.   If I have extra cash perhaps I’ll check it out.

Verdict : Wait and See

The Fury of Firestorm #1

Beta Says: This is what Gail Simone is working on instead of Secret Six and Birds of Prey.  Now I don’t really care about Firestorm in the slightest and I’m kind of resentful over this book’s existence.  However it’s still a Gail Simone book and she’s one of my favorite writers in comic books today so I may have to check it out.   I will probably buy it but it’s not on my “Must Have” list.  We’ll see how much cash I have come comic book day.

Verdict: Wait and See

Resurrection Man #1
Originally I though this was a 90s Comic Book Trivia question
Beta Says: Huh? Resurrection Man? In 2011? Okay, DC, whatever. This is one of many titles that I have zero interest in whatsoever. I didn’t read the comic’s original run in 1997 and I doubt I’ll read its present day counterpart.

Verdict: Pass

Frankenstein: Agents of S.H.A.D.E. #1

Beta Says: Hahaha…my goodness, no.

Verdict: Pass

Green Arrow #1

Beta Says: The weird thing about Green Arrow is while I’m a huge fan of his one-again/off-again love interest Black Canary and his ward/former sidekick Arsenal I’ve never been able to get behind him. He’s kind of a dick, that might be why.

Verdict: Pass

The Flash #1
The False: Lamest Flash Alive #1
Beta Says: At the risk of going on a rant I have a large amount of hostility towards Barry Allen for reasons involving my love for Wally West.  Seeing as 90% of my time as a comic fan West was The Flash and Allen was dead it’s hard to wrap my brain around exactly why the change was made in the first place and no one has really been able to explain it to me.  I could write a whole blog on why I prefer Wally to his superfluous uncle but for now just know I’m not interested in spending any money on Barry Allen.

Verdict: Pass

Voodoo #1

Beta Says: If I recall Voodoo was a member of .WildC.A.T.S.   Why’s she’s getting her own title I have no idea, but whatever.  Worse things in the world than a female lead in a superhero book.

Verdict: Pass

Grifter #1

Beta Says: Another WildC.A.T.S., and therefore Wildstorm, character popping up in the DCU.  At least in this case Grifter had been a pretty popular character during his existence, though he’s always been something of a typical gun toting 90s antihero to me. In fact now that I think about there’s a lot of books starring gun toting mercenaries in this reboot.  Did I in fact wake up in 1992 this morning?

Verdict: Pass

Nightwing #1
Pictured: Nightwing during his tenure with n.W.o. Wolfpac
Beta Says: So the awesomeness of Dick Grayson as Batman is over.  What a crazy ride it was.  But it’s back to the status quo, I suppose.  Anyway I’m somewhat confused where Dick Grayson fits into the new continuity.  How old is he supposed to be and how long has been active?  And how has his classic relationship with the hero community been affected if the Teen Titans never existed? (Also did the Teen Titans ever exist?)   Anywho I may or may not pick this up, though it’s probable that I will. We’ll see, I guess.

Verdict: Wait and See

Mister Terrific #1
Fair Play!
Beta Says: I really like Mister Terrific.  I’m really jazzed he’s getting an ongoing title.  I hate his new mask and deeply miss his jacket with “Fair Play” written on it.  I’m a bit worried how much of his origin is going to be changed in this new continuity (The exact details of how Michael Holt became Mister Terrific depends heavily on a Golden Age superhero of the same name and Hal Jordan being dead) but even so this is one of my most anticipated books.  I cannot wait…but can we please stop calling him the “world’s third smartest man”? Who in their right mind likes being called the “third best” at anything? That’s like saying “Hey bro, you’re really good at that thing you do.  You’re not the best.  Hell, you’re not even second best.   But you’re A-Okay.“

Verdict: Buy!

Swamp Thing #1

Beta Says: Swamp Thing returned to the DCU earlier this summer…for some reason.   I have no idea why he needed to be brought back other than some dudes working at DC remember how much they liked him when they were younger.

Verdict: Pass

Justice League #1

Beta Says: This book supposedly takes place in the past, during the early days of the Rebooted DCU, which is fine I suppose.  It’s more like Justice League: Year One, I assume.  One thing that bugs me is that Cyborg seems to be lumped in with the group of heavy hitters.   I’m pretty certain the only reason he’s there is that he’s black and they wanted a person of color on the team. That’s fine but I wish they had included someone like Black Lighting.  Cyborg is about the same age as Nightwing and Arsenal (Or he was, anyway) so if he’s paling around with a young Batman and Superman I would think he’d be twelve years old or something.  This new continuity seems too weird to me.

Verdict: Pass

Justice League Dark #1

Beta Says: I assumed this was a joke.   It is not.  I guess the premise is that a bunch of magic users, including Vertigo’s John Constantine for some reason, band together to fight magical threats…I guess.  I’m not sure why they call themselves “Justice League”.

Verdict: Pass

Blue Beetle #1
Ted Kord?  Still dead.
Beta Says: Okay.   I am a fan of Blue Beetle but it looks like they’re rebooting the character’s origin, though I’m not sure to what degree.  I’m not really interested in seeing stories about Jaime adjusting to life as a superhero when I already read those stories a few years ago.  Are we going to redo all those issues with the Reach as well?  Still I want to support the new(ish) Blue Beetle since I didn’t before and it was canceled as a result.

Verdict: Buy!

I, Vampire #1

Beta Says: ….really, DC? Vampires?

Verdict: Pass

All-Star Western #1

Beta Says: I don’t care about comic book westerns.

Verdict: Pass

Men of War #1

Beta Says: I’m not sure but it seems like this is a comic featuring Sgt. Rock in a modern setting. Not sure who was asking for such a comic but I guess they must be pretty excited by thus. As for me: couldn’t care less.

Verdict: Pass

Blackhawks #1

Beta Says: Um…See above and replace “Sgt. Rock” with “Blackhawks”.

Verdict: Pass

Animal Man #1
What the f**k am I looking at?
Beta Says: Don’t know much about this comic other than Animal Man looks completely different than he has for the last few decades…and not really in a good way.  Sadly the cover to this issue freaks me out so I’m staying away from it.

Verdict: Pass

Suicide Squad #1

Beta Says: Oh good.  Harley Quinn has had a redesign where she’s basically forgotten how to wear clothes.  How wonderful.

Verdict: Pass

Hawk & Dove #1

Beta Says: All Rob Liefeld jokes aside I’m pretty sure I’ve never care much for these characters, even when Gail Simone was writing them in Birds of Prey.   There’s nothing here that makes me want to check this new series out at all.  Also [Insert Joke About How Badly Drawn Youngblood Was Here]!  ZING!!!

Verdict: Pass

Teen Titans #1

Beta Says: Everything I’ve heard about this comic has made me annoyed.  I don’t like that the histories of Teen Titans and Young Justice may have been deleted, I don’t like that Wonder Girl has been described as a “thief”, and I don’t like how most of the characters look.   At all.  Actually I kind of like Red Robin’s costume, except for the awful cape, but aside from that I find them all hideous.  Still my curiosity about a group of my favorite characters is overwhelming and I have to give it a chance.  I suspect I’ll regret it.

Verdict: Buy!

Demon Knights #1

Beta Says: I have zero interest in what little I’ve heard of this title but I was touched by the interview with the Batgirl the San Diego Comic-Con where she stated that writer Paul Cornell personally came up to her after a panel to sell her the reboot despite the other creator seemingly patronizing her concerns about a lack women in the book (And lack of female creators).   I figure I’ll give it shot since Cornell sounds like a pretty cool dude.

Verdict: Buy!

Stormwatch #1
How many issues before they decide to overthrow the government?
Beta Says: I never read the original Stormwatch or its successor The Authority.  Even so I’m intrigued by how DC plans to integrate these violent antiheroes into the DCU and how the Martian Manhunter fits in.  And hey, sooner or later Apollo and Midnighter are going to make out.  Gay superheroes for the win!  Also Paul Cornell is writing this book as well, so there’s that.

Verdict: Buy!

Batgirl #1
R.I.P. Oracle: 1989 - 2011
Beta Says: I’m not annoyed that Barbara Gordon is walking, nor does it bother me that she’s fighting crime hands-on despite the fact that she was probably significantly more useful to the superhero community as a information broker.  However going from Oracle to Batgirl feels like a demotion.  It would be like Nightwing becoming Robin again or Wally West becoming (Bleh) Kid Flash again.  Lame.    I wouldn’t bother with this except that this is the other book Gail Simone is working on instead of Secret Six and she has demonstrated a great deal of love for the character and kind of implied it’s her dream job. A deep love for a character by a writer who is undoubtedly one of the best is a recipe for an awesome book.  I don’t know, guys, maybe I’ll pick it up.

Verdict: Wait and See


I may have missed an issue or two.  Regardless it looks like out of 52 titles I’m only going after about seven issues for sure as of this writing.  This isn’t really an indication of what sales will be like because I’m just one dude.  I will say this though: now that DC is starting everything over we as fans will have a perfect opportunity to tell DC what we do and do not like. Want to see more heroes of color?  Buy books like Static Shock and Mister Terrific. Want to see more women in comics?  Buy Batgirl and Birds of Prey.  Unhappy with the state of Superman comics?  Don’t buy Superman.  And utilize DC’s new letter page on their website to tell them why you are or are not buying their comics.  If nothing else that may be the best aspect of the Great DC Reboot.

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