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June 23, 2015

Crisis of Infinite Reviews 06/17/2015


Martin here – filling in for Arnab this week, who is out on vacation. Now, onto this week’s DC coverage…

Black Canary 1 CoverBlack Canary #1
Writer: Brenden Fletcher
Artists: Annie Wu and Lee Loughridge
Cover Artists: Annie Wu
Publisher: DC

Annie Wu provides a really unique style that is unlike most everything else of DC’s pre-Convergence stable, with may the exception of Batgirl. That comparison is apt, as Brenden Fletcher is essentially revamping Black Canary in a similar way that he’s done on everyone’s favorite redhead. While there are some nods in here to things that have happened in Black Canary’s past, this is primarily a fresh, and very different, look at one of DC’s premiere fishnet-wearing heroes. Story-wise, things really jump into high gear toward the last third of the book, so readers will know exactly what they’ll be getting into by sticking with this title. Fletcher’s choice here is solid – given how different this is from other titles, it needed a little shot in the arm toward the end to keep the interest level up. Annie Wu’s art also does a lot of heavy lifting here, making an engaging, attractive, but overall different look for the title. 4/5

Doctor Fate 1 CoverDoctor Fate #1
Writer: Paul Levitz
Artists: Sonny Liew and Lee Loughridge
Cover Artist: Sonny Liew
Publisher: DC

Levitz and Liew treat readers to another unique entry of this month’s #1 titles from DC. “Unique” and “different” are words that you’ll keep seeing as you read about most of the new titles, and that’s a good thing. DC takes a pretty big gamble here, introducing yet another new incarnation of the character, named Khalid Nassour (not to be confused, apparently, with the other Khalid, Ben-Hassin, who is the Dr. Fate of Earth 2. This new Khalid was introduced in the Dr. Fate free 8-page preview that ran in the back pages during Convergence, and it really helps to have read that before tackling this book. In fact, there’s even a note on the first page to suggest it. DC combines modern sensibilities and multi-culturism with a classic Golden-Age character, some Egyptian mysticism, and a very clever, almost “cartoony” (in a good way) style of art that makes this one of the standouts of the new DC #1’s this month.   4/5

Justice League of America 1 CoverJustice League of America #1
Writer: Brian Hitch
Artists: Brian Hitch, Daniel Henriques, and Alex Sinclair (additional inks by Wade Von Grawbadger and Andrew Currie and additional colors by Jeromy Cox)
Cover Artists: Brian Hitch and Alex Sinclair
Publisher: DC

This is a big, over-sized story for the premiere superhero team in comics. Brian Hitch takes on both writing and art duties in this, and delivers a non-continuity story featuring the new iteration of the “big seven” (swapping out Martian Manhunter for Cyborg, as was done in the main Justice League title). This initial story arc looks like it’s going to focus primarily on Superman, and the first few pages of the book bear this out. However, there is due attention paid to Aquaman as well, although his story here isn’t anything we haven’t really seen before. There’s also a nice “team” aspect to book, with a (seemingly) separate storyline focusing on Batman, Flash, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), and Wonder Woman using their different skills and powers during an investigation and a subsequent battle with a classic Justice League foe. There’s work to be done with the characterization and establishing a more cohesive story, but visually the book looks amazing, and getting to see the “real” versions of these characters (e.g., Bruce as Batman, Superman with Powers, etc.) in a story that’s not beholden to whatever else is happening in the current DC universe is a great start.   4/5

Martian Manhunter 1 CoverMartian Manhunter #1
Writer: Rob Williams
Artists: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Gate Eltaeb
Cover Artist: Dan Panosian
Publisher: DC

Everyone’s favorite green martian gets another shot at a solo title. J’onn was relegated to team books in the New 52 and never really got a chance to shine. This new title sees a different take on the character, presented in a science-fiction/horror genre, with an “aliens among us” type of theme. That old saw is a bit cliche, but it works here so far. The book also introduces a new, unique character in “Mr. Biscuits” – it’s too early to tell if he’s a good guy, a bad guy, or just a red herring, but he’s fun, drawn in a very exaggerated style, and definitely engaging. The creative team have their work cut out for them given all of the locales and characters in this book, as well as all the shape-shifting. Although J’onn’s changes aren’t as pronounced as Superman losing his powers, or Wonder Woman’s new costume, this is a new and different look at an iconic DC character, with a story that’s enough to bring readers back to learn more. 4/5

Robin Son of Batman 1 CoverRobin: Son of Batman #1
Writer: Patrick Gleason
Artists: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray and John Kalisz
Cover Artists: Patrick Gleason and John Kalisz
Publisher: DC

Robin (Damian) and Batman (Bruce) have been through a lot of changes over the past few years. Damian has only recently returned (after “missing” for over 18 months of “real” time), only to have his father, Bruce, “taken away” from him in Batman #40 (a mere four months later). Before that, however, they had a lot of adventures together and developed a rich history of stories that were pleasantly somewhat divorced from the “main” Bat titles. However, that choice does hamper this otherwise strong book, as Gleason relies a little too heavily on past history of Batman & Robin at the dawn of the New 52 in crafting this tale. It is an interesting story, to be sure, and Gleason’s pencil work is as strong as ever. He really has a way with Damian, showing him a a spunky, arrogant kid but who also has the chops to back up his arrogance. However, this story would be a bit difficult for new reader to grasp – a knowledge of many of the references and characters is key to understanding the importance of much of the scenes in this issue.  3.5/5

Be sure to check out previous editions of Crisis of Infinite Reviews by clicking here!

Martin Thomas



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