Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beta Vs. DC Reboot: Part One

Because fans have been demanding a low-powered, t-shirt wearing Supeman for years
So back in June I first brought up the 2011 DC Reboot.  It had only recently been announced, there were a lot of questions and a lot of hot emotions flying around that had to be reined in due to the risk of making knee jerk reactions.   But it’s been a few months now and I know a lot more about what DC has in store for us and a lot of questions have been answered.  Right now I feel I have a much better grasp of everything and that I can give a more thought out opinion on the matter. *Ahem*

Goddamn it all to hell!

Look, there are a lot of positives about the reboot.  And it is indeed a reboot.  We now know that this is a new universe with a new continuity where superheroes have only existed five years at most (That’s not one of the good things).  Titles in general will indeed be more accessible for “new readers”; this being a new universe, albeit one that shares similarities to the one that it’s replacement, that is basically starting from scratch could in theory bring in a whole new generation of readers.   Characters that didn’t have ongoing titles will be receiving them shortly and several of them are black which is damn cool.  I’ve also changed my tune about WildStorm being incorporated into the universe.  The way I see it (Now) a lot of story possibilities are opened up if these characters are part of this new universe, and there’s something kind of neat about books like WildC.A.T.s or Gen¹³ being a part of the DCU proper.  Plus if comic book characters like Captain Atom, Plastic Man, The Question, Static and, of course, Captain Marvel can be incorporated into DC’s main continuity then why not Jenny Quantum?

Despite all this I still feel like the cons outweigh the pros.  With this change I still feel like DC is telling me “We don’t really care about your business, so stay if you like but we won’t miss you if you leave.”  Still it’s impossible to really say too much about all this because even if a lot of the ideas on paper look incredibly stupid and insulting in practice DC may come out with a lot of winners writing wise.  After all they do have a lot of talented guys (And mostly guys, sadly) working on these books so there could be great stories being written and technically that’s the most important thing.

In a possible futile gesture to give DC a chance to keep me from turning my back on them and becoming Marvel exclusive I’ve decided to check out a number of these books.  And since I have a blog where I review stuff I figure I might as well write up what I thought about them.  Starting this week DC will release Justice League #1 and as I understand it will take place in the past, unlike most of the other comics coming out.  As I look at the list of comics I know for sure I’m not going to buy them all as most of them I’m not all that interested in.  Some of those I won’t be reading for political reasons.  But there are a few that I am super interested in buying, possibly thousands of times over.  So let’s take look at where I stand with these individual books.

More after the jump.

Superman Books
With his new Super Armor bullets are no longer a problem for Supes
...wait, what the hell?
Beta Says: I’ll lump all of these together since the answer will be the same.  Action Comics #1, Superman #1, Superboy #1, and Supergirl #1; none of them are doing anything for me.  First of all Superman’s new costume?   It looks like he’s wearing body armor…body armor designed for a 90s Image Comics’ superhero.  Also my fears were confirmed and Superman and Lois Lane’s marriage will be erased, much like the Spider-Marriage.  Action Comics will being taking place in Superman’s early days and I really couldn’t care less on that at this point.  Plus the only comic of this group I was reading beforehand was Superboy, which was really fun to read, but here it sounds like the Conner Kent I loved growing up and as an adult will be being wiped out as part of a plot device. Well shit.

Verdict: Pass

Batman Books

Beta Says: Dick Grayson and Damien Wayne were an awesome combination and seeing them separated makes me sad.  In any event for this group we’ll lump Batman #1, Detective Comics #1, Batman: The Dark Knight #1, and Batman and Robin #1.  First thing to notice is that Batman has four ongoing series.  That’s far too many. More annoyingly it sounds like Batman apparently has had time to train/raise five apparently four Robins during his time as Batman.  You know, in the four and a half years he’s been active.  Like with Superman DC is trying to make Batman younger for some reason, which doesn’t make any damn sense to me.  No way Nightwing was as young as he had been in the past continuities when he started training with Bruce and probably the same could be said about Red Robin and the Red Hood.  Bleh.  So many weird continuity issues with this that make me too annoyed to buy any of them but I wasn’t really buying Batman books before so…

Verdict: Pass

Green Lantern Books

Beta Says: Green Lantern #1, Green Lantern Corps #1, Green Lantern: The New Guardians #1 and Red Lanterns #1.  Unlike everyone else who reads DC regularly I never got into the Green Lantern books.   I don’t know much about what’s going on here.  I will say that I would have been interested in a Kyle Rayner solo title but I’m guessing that’s not what’s happening.

Verdict: Wait and See

Legion of Super Heroes

Beta Says: These guys get two ongoing books yet Secret Six got canceled?  Please.

Verdict: Pass

Justice League International #1
Pictured: The Super Buddies and some nut dressed like a bat
Beta Says: Although I never finished Justice League: Generation Lost what I did read of the book gave me great faith in a lot of the characters featured.  So in theory a JLI book starring most (But not all. Where the hell is Jaime Reyes?) of the characters sounds like it’s up my alley.  However Batman appears to be a member of this team.  Really, DC?  Four ongoing books and a core member of the main Justice League team and he still finds time to be here?  Still, if the first Justice League book does indeed take place in an earlier era of this new continuity then there may be no true overlap.  I’m willing to give this book the benefit of the doubt but it’ll be hard to feature Batman and not have the whole book about Batman.  Booster Gold > Batman.  Plus Vixen’s in this book.   Score!

Verdict: Buy!

DC Universe Presents #1

Beta Says: As I understand it this will be an anthology book that will focus on different heroes at different times, thus giving a chance to showcase guys who aren’t getting ongoings currently.   It’s a good idea but I assume my desire to buy it would be based on who is currently featured.  Can’t say I care much about Deadman though…

Verdict: Wait and See

The Savage Hawkman #1
Beta Says: Are you kidding me?  Hawkman has a new ongoing series?  Did we learn nothing from the last seventy-two times we tried this?   Of all the great books canceled and all the awesome characters now in limbo someone thought Hawkman needed a freaking solo title?  Insanity!

Verdict: Pass! Pass! Pass!

Catwoman #1

Beta Says: Sorry, Judd Winick, but Guillem March’s cover makes me want to avoid this book pretty hard.

Verdict: Pass

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1
Why are Starfire and Arsenal hanging around a serial killer with delusions of grandeur?
Beta Says: The last time I saw the Red Hood (Jason Todd) he had become pretty goddamn crazy and had completely embraced the whole “Kill all criminals in brutal fashions and then upload it on youtube”  (LET THE PUNISHMENT FIT THE CRIME!!!) train of thought meaning that he deserves to be placed in a padded cell in Arkham Asylum in-between Two-Face and Mr. Zsasz.  Instead it looks like DC is once again trying to sell us Todd as a hard edged antihero as opposed to the psychotic murdering scumbag he’s become.  Annoyingly he’s teaming up with Arsenal, who I really love but hated the character development he’s had in the last few years (And his daughter being murdered MADE NO GODDAMN SENSE!!).  It does look like at the very least Roy has his arm back so maybe some of that crap was retconed but I seriously doubt Lian Harper will still exist at all in this new universe.  I may pick up this issue just to clarify it.

Verdict: Wait and See

Batwing #1

Beta Says: Who the hell is Batwing? Where’s Black Bat's (Cassandra Cain) ongoing book?

Verdict: Pass

Static Shock #1

Beta Says: Seriously, where was this ten years ago when the cartoon series was doing so well?  Ignoring DC’s horrible timing I am pretty excited to finally get my hands on a Static ongoing.  He’s unique, has a lot of potential for growth and is black meaning I get to see a little bit of me in a superhero comic which is rarer than I’d like.  After his creator Dwayne McDuffie’s tragic passing earlier this year I’m hoping what Static’s new title does well and that the character eventually becomes a strong mainstay of DC in order to cement the man’s legacy in the industry, even more so than it already currently is.

Verdict: Buy!

Wonder Woman #1

Beta Says: Okay.   Look.  First of all there’s something off about the (Again) newly redesigned outfit.   I think the color of the boots make me angry. And I kind of miss the jacket she was briefly wearing.  I’m not sure why DC decided to take her pants away.  Anyway I’m not looking forward to this comic because I’m a little sick of Diana constantly getting origin revamps and I suspect she’ll again be getting one here.  Brian Azzarello is writing so I don’t know.  Maybe if I hear some decent stuff about it.

Verdict: Wait and See

Birds of Prey #1
Black Canary, what the hell are you wearing?
Beta Says: This book was just rebooted, what, last year?  How many Birds of Prey #1 does there need to be?   Anyway I’m not a fan of Black Canary’s new outfit and I’m even less of a fan of breaking up the Dinah/Oracle/Huntress/Lady Blackhawk mix and I’m even less of a fan of Gail Simone not being on the title.  I don’t know who “Starling” is and I really don’t care, nor can I bring myself to care about this book that I used to like.  This bums me out because Black Canary is easily one of my top ten favorite superheroes.  I don’t want to buy this book but I may just to support her.

Verdict: Wait and See (Probably Buy)

Aquaman #1

Beta Says: Like Hawkman I’m somewhat surprised that DC would give Aquaman another shot, especially after they killed him off needlessly a few years ago.  Still unlike Hawkman Aquaman is actually an interesting character to me.  Even so this may be a book that I don’t pick up just because of financial reasons and having to “pick and choose” what I buy.

Verdict: Wait and See

O.M.A.C. #1

Beta Says: First of all why would I want to read an O.M.A.C. comic in 2011?  Second of all why would an O.M.A.C. comic get green lighted and Secret Six get trashed?  Third  of all why would reasonably smart fans accept a book written by Dan DiDio, an editor who was responsible for many boneheaded decision the company made in the recent past as wellbeing infamous for calling the sickeningly and horrendously terrible Countdown to Final Crisis “52 done right”?

Verdict: Pass! Pass! Pass!

Deathstroke #1
Manipulates and/or brutally kills an Asian hero in every issue!
Beta Says: If the Red Hood getting his own title is perplexing then Deathstroke the Terminator getting his own title is goddamned ridiculous.   Slade Wilson is an awesome villain but I’m not sure I buy him as a lead in his own comic.  I’d much rather see him fight the Teen Titans rather than have his own mercenary adventures (A miniseries would have been fine though).  Is he supposed to be an antihero?  Because he’s pretty darn sinister to be a proper protagonist.

As this blog I getting pretty long we’ll continue this tomorrow (Hopefully) so come back then.

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