DC Comics New 52 Week Two Reviews Part 1 - Mania.com

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  • DC Relaunch Comics: Resurrection Man #1, Deathstroke #1, Mister Terrific #1, Suicide Squad#1, Legion Lost #1, Superboy #1
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DC Comics New 52 Week Two Reviews Part 1

Our next batch of DC's Relaunch titles reviewed.

By Tim Janson     September 18, 2011




Title: Resurrection Man #1


Written by: Dan Abnett


Art by: Andy Lanning and Fernando Danino


Published by: DC Comics


Grade: B+

Review Images for DC Comics Relaunch Week 2

Resurrection Man “Mitch Shelley” is another one of DC’s fringe characters…far fringe but also one of the most interesting characters in comics. Mitch has the power to return from the dead just minutes after his death. And each time he’s resurrected he comes back with a different super power that is somehow related to the method in which he last died. Two-thirds of the original creative team (Abnett and Lanning) is re-united on this second go round for the character. 
This time Mitch returns to life on the cold hard metal tray inside a morgue with magnetic powers. He steals the ID of one of the morgue employers and uses his newfound powers to help himself to some quick cash out of an ATM before he’s drawn about a flight to Portland. As Mitch is trying to figure out why he was compelled to get on this particular flight, he’s attacked by a creature that transforms itself from an attractive woman into an angel…or perhaps a demon who tell him his soul is long overdue. Seems like a lot of people want Mitch…Heaven, Hell, and two malicious women who have just arrived at the morgue to “talk” to the employees about his disappearance.  
Like I said Resurrection Man is a great character because his unique nature and mysterious background. It was hinted in the original series that he might have been around for much longer than even he realizes. Abnett’s a great writer and I like the direction that he’s taking in the debut issue with everyone out to get Mitch. The art of Lanning and Dagnino had hints of Gene Colan’s heavy, sketchy style from his days on Tomb of Dracula. The first series only lasted a couple of years but I like what I see in the new title and time will tell if it lasts.

Review Images for DC Comics Relaunch Week 2



Title: Deathstroke #1


Written by: Kyle Higgins


Art by: Joe Bennett, Art Thiber


Published by: DC Comics


Grade: B+
Deadpool? Ha! When it comes to assassins Deathstroke is the king bad-ass and now he gets his own series as part of the DC New 52. Start things off with a great cover by Simon Bisley and Deathstroke is off and running. It seems there are those who think that Deathstroke has gotten too old for the business…that maybe he’s not as sharp and effective as he once was…Deathstroke is about to prove them wrong. Dead Wrong! Wow! Boy does that sound like a promo tagline or what? Hey DC let me know if you need more! 
All kidding aside, Deathstroke is hired for an assassination and recovery mission but this isn’t your typical mission. Slade Wilson soon meets the rest of his team…a bunch of geeky twenty-somethings. Their objective is to take out a German scientist and illegal arms dealer. The twist to this mission is that they have to take him out in mid-flight as they can’t afford to take him out on the ground due to political reasons. But this unconventional mission as one more curveball to throw at Deathstrone before it’s complete.
Deathstroke is essentially Captain America gone bad…part of a secret military experiment to create super soldiers. He’s about as anti-hero as you get but he’s also a character who maintains a lot of mystery and complexity. He’s a character with strong appeal due to his utter fearlessness and ruthlessness. The first Deathstroke series ran for 60 issues and after the strong debut by the team of Higgins, Bennett, and Thibert, there’s no reason to think that this new series won’t last just as long if not longer.

Review Images for DC Comics Relaunch Week 2



Mister Terrific #1


Written by: Eric Wallace


Art by: Gianluca Gugliotta, Wayne Faucher


Published by: DC Comics


Grade: C
If you asked me to name my top 50 DC characters that deserve their own title I don’t think Mister Terrific would make the list. I’m not even sure he makes the top 100 list. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like the character even though he’s essentially Batman without the attitude. No super powers but trained to physical perfection, master of many fighting arts, genius level intellect, incredibly wealthy, and with his own family tragedy that led him into his life as a superhero. He’s a great supporting character with the Justice Society but probably not a great fit for a long term run in his own title
Most of the first issue is told in flashbacks, which show the death of his wife that left him broken and suicidal. A visit by someone who changes his fortune leads him into his path of using his gifts to aid humanity. By the time writer Eric Wallace gets to the meat of the debut issue there’s only a few pages left to unleash a strange intelligence that seems to be able to take over the minds of others including Mister Terrific’s. A choppy pace hurts this first issue. It starts with Terrific battling a non-descript villain in London, and then going to the flashbacks, and then forward again to the main plot. It’s a prime example of trying to do too much in a short amount of time. The opening battle in London was only five pages but it was five pages that were unneeded. It seemed like filler just to give readers a quick glimpse of Mister Terrific in action. Wallace would have been better off devoting more time to the main story.
The art is capable and doesn’t overwhelm the story but it’s nothing spectacular. That’s not a criticism per se but just an observation that it doesn’t grab the reader. Despite this, I’d like to see the character to well and will definitely stick around for a few more issues.

Review Images for DC Comics Relaunch Week 2



Title: Suicide Squad#1


Written by: Adam Glass


Art by: Federico Dallochio, Ransom Getty, Scott Hanna


Published by: DC Comics


Grade: A-
Now this is the way to start off a new series! The new members of Suicide Squad (Rick Flag, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, El Diablo, Voltaic, Black Spider and King Shark) are being held captive and tortured by a group of masked men. They are trying to get them to reveal who is behind the group. As each one is tortured we get a short back-story of how they were initially captured and sent to prison and eventually given a way out by volunteering to join the mysterious Task Force X. Deadshot has rats placed on his chest to nibble away at him; Harley Quinn has battery cables hooked to her face; El Diablo has salt literally poured in his open wounds. These guys clearly are not messing around. Flashbacks show the group on their first mission to extract a rogue but they quickly discover they were double-crossed leading to their capture.
The Suicide Squad has been through many incarnations over the years but has never seemed to be a title that has been able to get over the hump to become a frontline, must-have title. I’m not sure this time will be any different but Glass definitely gets things off to a flying start. He manages to introduce us to each member, gives readers a little background, and toss them into a deadly predicament all within the first issue. Most importantly he shows the makeup of each character as one-by-one they resist their torturers…all but one! But who will be the one that cracks under pressure?
The art by the team of Federico Dallochio, Ransom Getty, Scott Hanna is the best I’ve seen (so far) in the DC new 52 Relaunch titles. Kind of similar to a darker version of Adam Hughes and it perfects fits the grim tone of the first issue. This could be a real winner!

Review Images for DC Comics Relaunch Week 2



Title: Legion Lost #1


Written by: Fabian Nicieza


Art by: Pete Woods


Published by: DC Comics


Grade: B+
Having never been a regular reader of the Legion of Super Heroes, Legion Lost was intriguing because of its unique take. Instead of the team’s typical adventures in the 31st century, this title focuses on a group of Legionnaires who travel back to present day Earth and find themselves unable to return home. The team is comprised of Wildfire, Dawnstar, Timber Wolf, Tyroc, Tellus, Gates, and Chameleon Girl, who travel back in time to stop the alien named Alastor who plans to wipeout humanity by releasing a deadly pathogen. The Legion struggles with their return to the past finding much of their high-tech gadgets inoperable while Dawnstar as trouble adapting to the pollutants in Earth’s air. 
As they try to cope with these tough conditions. Lone Wolf picks up Alastor’s scent and hunts him down as the alien is on a path of destruction through a small mid-western town. The reality of their situation hits them like ton of bricks. They may well be infected by the pathogen and if so, they cannot return home without risking destroying the 31st century. If like me you weren’t previously a Legion fan this is a good title to jump on the bandwagon. The fact that it appears as if will set mainly within the current time period means that they will be able to interact with the rest of the DC Universe. Furthermore it won’t require you to know a great deal about the Legion’s background and its large roster of heroes.
With writer Fabian Nicieza, you have a guy who has many years of experience on team books…From the New Warriors, to the X-Men and to the Thunderbolts, Nicieza has proven to be a capable storyteller and especially adept with team books. This book is structured as well as any of the reluanch titles I’ve read so far. Artist Pete Woods is best known for his stint on Deadpool and later on Robin. He handles the action with precision and does a good job with a large cast of characters. 

Review Images for DC Comics Relaunch Week 2



Title: Superboy #1


Written by: Scott Lobdell


Art by: R.B. Silva, Rob Lean


Published by: DC Comics


Grade: B+
Wow is there a superhero with a more convoluted history than Superboy? You have the original Superboy who was simply a younger Superman created so DC could have another Superman title in the late 1940s. Then there was the Superboy Prime introduced during Crisis on Infinite Earths, then the Superboy clone that appeared after the Death of Superman…Will the real Superboy please stand up? Do we really need a Superboy? I’d tend to say no but I’ll keep an open mind. 
This time around we have Superboy as a research project living in a glass chamber in a massive secret laboratory. He doesn’t know who he is or what he is but we’re told he’s the fusion of Kryptonian and Human DNA although the human donor is left as a mystery. Please don’t let it be Lex Luthor again…The Superboy specimen is put through a series of virtual reality simulations to test his reactions and emotions. The research team is baffled why the specimen places himself in a small Kansas town and why he fails to react to a woman screaming for help from a burning house. 
I enjoyed Superboy #1 more than I thought I would have mainly because Scott Lobdell keeps his hand closely guarded as to the origins of this new Superboy and hinting that he’s not exactly the hero that Superman is. This is all in Lobdell’s hands. He has to make this new Superboy something other than just a young version of Superman. He gets off to a good start despite the under whelming art of R.B. Silva and Rob Lean, but this is one where we’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out.


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Roqueja 9/18/2011 8:27:14 AM

Not a regular DC reader, but three of these look like possible trade purchases in the future.  I like the fact that there is actual comic reviews on here again, but throw a bone to the readers of the other companies that publish comics as well.  The return of the Spinner Rack would be an awesome start.

FerretJohn 9/18/2011 10:25:37 AM

So far I'm not feeling the relaunch.  Only a few books are getting the "Back to Day 1" rebirth, the rest are going along business as usual with maybe a few shifts in direction.  There's a lot more misses than hits as they seem to be changing the wrong things.  I'm told that the relaunch has generated huge sales but that's the hype talking, fans are wanting to buy to see what's going on.  My prediction: in a couple months DC will be right back where they were.

Inferno 9/18/2011 11:16:08 AM

Got a chance to pick up Resurrection man and Demon Knights. Both were good reads. I was a bit surprised to find Etrigan closer to his Jack Kirby roots.

As for everything going back to normal.. So far reviews have been positive and sales are up. You're also talking about the company that kept Barry Allen and Hal Jordan dead for years, don't hold your breath.

redvector 9/18/2011 12:30:55 PM

It will all depend on how long the sales hold as to how long this relaunch lasts. I'll be generous and say a year. And some of the brand new titles considerably less.

Bryzarro 9/18/2011 3:44:16 PM

I can see them maybe cancelling some of the weaker ones and launching other new titles.  But why people keep saying they will put everything back is beyond me.  They've been pretty clear of the new direction and sales are up.  

In a year, no they won't relaunch.  They will just pump out the first big crisis (God don't call it that) for the new DCU.  And keep it rolling.  

Tevii 9/18/2011 4:18:23 PM

The relaunch is already a success. They wont change anything back, theres no reason to. And so far Im really enjoying what Ive read.

Clownican 9/18/2011 4:25:06 PM

The only thing I'm really upset with is having Babs back as Batgirl. Liked her just fine as Oracle and liked both Steph Brown and Cassandra Cain as Batgirl.

FerretJohn 9/18/2011 4:31:53 PM

I didn't say they'd change things back storywise, they'll be back to what they were with big and confused storylines and struggling sales.  The success they're having right now is largely due to hype, fans want to see the new product and if it's any good.  Once the hype is done... well, we'll see, but my expectations are not high.

Inferno 9/19/2011 8:27:25 AM

FerretJohn, people had no problem switching from DC to Marvel during the 90s and it's largely due to a well commercialized campaign - X-men being the prime example with the same strategy. I see no down side. All they have to due is keep up reader interest and editorial keeping a better eye on continuity.

As mentioned, DC is under a lot of pressure because the suits at WB are looking for larger profits so now they got the cash to spend on promotions and liscensing distribution. It's ironic, though. Both marvel and DC have their edge. Marvel has stronger sales in single issues and box office tickets but DC has stronger home video releases, beating Marvel by close to 20 million dollars starting a year behind (They have four animated projects being released next year alone!)  and stronger televised series. Now they even have their own video game company. It's interesting to see how this will affect the industry in the years ahead.


tjanson 9/19/2011 12:15:40 PM

Inferno...I think the issue is that DC has been trying to clean up their continuity since 1985.  That was the whole reason for Crisis on Infinite Earths.  It's a losing proposition so why even bother?  To me its a waste of time to even worry about continuity at this point as you have 75 years of history to account for.  DC just needs to concentrate on making good comics and not worry about gimmicks.  Granted DCs home video releases have been better than marvels but lets see what happens now that Marvel's contract with Lionsgate is up and they care buoyed by the big releases of Thor, Captain America, and Avengers.

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