Monday, February 27, 2012

New 52 First Arc Review Discussion

Know what? Let's just review / discuss the first arc of each of the books I've kept up with. They're all meant to be read in six issue chunks. Which are being released as a trade paperback soon.

Green Lantern did than better than most of these new series by offering a real cliff-hanger in the middle of the first arc. Unfortunately the arc has done little but have both major characters get their person lives squared away. It makes the book feel like clean-up. Just giving Sinestro and Hal Jordan a little something to lose for the next arc, but it isn’t thrilling or satisfying to see Hal “get the girl” or Sinestro accept responsibility for all he’s done to his race. I can get pretty cozy with just some exploration of the Green Lantern mythos though. I’m with Sinestro in never having trusted the Guardians or their dogma, doesn’t matter how big their book is. Those tidbits have sustained me but a Hal centric story will push me right out. Hal’s just this self-centered little nothing wreck of a man wanting to feel special. Sinestro will actually take this story in interesting directions by figuring out all the secrets the Guardians have kept. Hal dragging down half the book makes it tough to keep reading…

What A Fucking Mess. The Red Hood that got me into this series has all but disappeared. Let me just blow through major plot points and scenes from issues 2-5 to showcase how absurd it has gotten. So, ancient shapeshifting beings of pure evil live among humanity, blending into the day-today, not causing a fuss unless an ancient, but not quite as ancient, monk collective shows up for a throw down. Cue Red Hood (the last of the monks). Meanwhile, Random Fucking Guy transform himself into a green goblin (not capital Gs) using alien technology that he hates to fight aliens because he hates them (they killed his mom and dad or something). Goes through his whole life story without prompt. Deeply lonely. Beaten by Arsenal so you know he’s garbage. Flashback! Starfire isn’t just a set of giant, orange, boobs. She knows bullshit pop culture psychology AND philosophy. Tells Red Hood to forget all that history that makes him a character and be something new for this series. Because she can only smell people anyways. 

The art is brilliant at least. Colorful with this comic book / realistic sketchy quality. Everything is crisp and vibrant. Detail without being a mess at first blush. Even if you’re not the type to really take in a scene, it will drag your eye over every inch of it. I mean it. Every inch. Red Hood’s coat? Incredible (check out that cover right there). Never mind the action poses or the characters themselves.

The quality has plummeted since issue TWO. All effort to organically and logically being the League together has been jettisoned in the fall. Cyborg, the unknown kid with alien tech strapped over his body, just appears and joins up. Never mind that what the League is fighting are aliens with tech strapped over their body. I think Superman asks him if he’s “cool”, to which Victor (Cyborg) says he has no idea what’s going on or who he is, and apparently that’s good enough. Wonder Woman is trying so hard to be tough but the abysmal writing can’t convince anybody. She’s also playing the comically ignorant “alien on Earth” and those efforts just make you want to gag. By the time Aquaman pops out of nowhere, it’s clear anybody can just show up and be on the team, plus get the next cover. He quips that the aliens are under water too and falls right into line. Sum total motivation and exchange with the League over in one panel. Very efficient.

The biggest problem is the League is one shared personality with seven mouths. And the only thing this beast can do is verbalize the action. “Superman just used that truck like a baseball bat!”. I hate when anybody speaks. It’s tedious, boring, and insulting.

Darksied is another set of problems. 1) His name is dumb. 2) His signature, and perhaps only, attack is dumb. 3) He looks dumb. 4) His plan to conqueror Earth to feed his ego is dumb. The guy is from decades ago and doesn’t need to be revisited in this form. Crazy aliens attack the Earth with lasers! We all, children to adults, know every step and feint of this story. On top of the handling here being so clumsy. After SIX I’m done and not looking back. Jim Lee couldn’t save this and that’s saying something. 

Images Copywrite DC Dcomics