September 19, 2011

Crisis of Infinite Reviews: The New 52 week 2 pt. 1

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Written by: Arnab
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Batman and Robin #1
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Artists: Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray
Cover Artists: Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray
Publisher: DC

It’s the moment that some fans have been dying to see – Bruce and Damian teaming up as the Dynamic Duo. With the two of them having such abrasive personalities, a team up seems like it would be explosive. However, that wasn’t the case. We first see Bruce and Damian interact when they take a trip to Crime Alley, the place where Bruce’s parents were murdered. Once that overly sappy moment gives way, the two go after a group of amateur criminals. Naturally, Damian pays no attention to Bruce and acts of his own accord. At the end of the day, the crime was stopped but there were casualties.
This was a decent first issue, but I can’t help but compare it to Batman and Robin #1 (2009), and on all accounts this issue falls short. The plot isn’t quite clear in this issue, or at least I don’t imagine it would be for new readers. In fact, the overall read isn’t altogether new reader friendly. There’s a new villain traipsing around and he’s trying to dismantle Batman Inc. I loved the incorporation of Batman Inc., but that portion of the issue felt completely out of place. More importantly, Bruce and Damian feel like complete strangers. Damian has all but regressed to before he was teamed up with Dick, and Bruce feels like he’s just met Damian for the first time. Their dynamic feels off in some way, and I’m inclined to think it’s the way they are being written. With this being the only appearance of Damian in the new DC, as far as I’m aware, his character’s recent major character developments seem to be nonexistent, which is a shame seeing as he had had some major emotional growth under Dick’s tutelage. All in all, the issue was all right, the highlights of the issue centering around Damian’s snide remarks and witty sarcasm. Patrick Gleason does a strong job with the art in this issue that does well to enhance the overall reading experience. 3/5-AP

Grifter #1
Writer: Nathan Edmondson
Artists: CAFU and Jason Gorder
Cover Artist: CAFU
Publisher: DC

Oh Cole Cash, you come back to me like a chronic headache, but you always leave me feeling better. I grew up a big fan of the Wildstorm Universe following the greatest hero of all time, Backlash. So for those of you who don’t know, Backlash and Grifter were teammates turned enemies because of life choices. So while I was always hating Grifter, I still loved his stuff in the Wildstorm U.
So welcome to the first issue where we go head first to an airplane scene…wait, didn’t I just read an airplane sequence in Resurrection Man? Anyway, the action starts right away with some crazy happenings going down on the plane, and these strange voices floating around in Cole’s head. Edmondson does a good job of building the mystery about the things going on, but doesn’t give too much as to who Cole is. So I was kinda sad about not knowing more, but it will be brought forth over time. A huge love to that fact that the Daemonites are the bad guys still. Can’t wait to see what goes down.
The artwork was great on every panel. To me it really sold the old school WU vibe; well, it had a Hero book vibe to it. Good vibrant colors, great action, etc. Long story short, I liked it, it’s a safe start with some good writing and artwork. I will be back for #2 hopefully waiting for the reveal on a certain character. 4/5-DD

Resurrection Man #1
Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Artist: Fernando Dagnino
Cover Artists: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Rob Reis
Publisher: DC 

I have to admit that this is my first time reading Resurrection Man, mostly because I had never heard of the character before. This issue sadly did not do a great job of explaining what was going on with the character other than the obvious that when he dies…he comes back. At first I had a feeling it was kinda like a Quantum Leap, where he would come back as someone else, but no. The main character himself was kind of intriguing, but not even close to the level of those after him. The story started a little slow, but picked up with a good action scene that led into the main question of who the hell are all of these people?
The dialog was actually really nicely done. I don’t follow or know much about Abnett & Lanning, but what they presented here was some in depth, put you in the moment wording. Did it lead to me caring about what was going on, though? No. I have to say it was not until the end that I even remotely started to care about what was going on. I like the idea of the character, but not the actual execution, at least not in this first issue.
Art wise I thought that Dagnino did a great job on the designs for the cast, especially the really messed up monsters or possibly demons. The white eye panel was great. One downside, and I am sure it will come to be that I am wrong, but one of the characters looks like Voodoo (upcoming DC series). If she ties in it could be cool, but time will tell. Also, due to my pitiful DC knowledge I think that the lady at the end is Madame Xanadu; again, I could be wrong.
Overall I am on the fence with this one. I liked it, but did I like it enough to come back? Maybe my next life will know. 3.5/5-DD

Superboy #1
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artists: RB Silva and Rob Lean
Cover Artist: Eric Canete
Publisher: DC

I don’t read much involving the red caped hero, but I’ve always loved Superboy. If you haven’t, well that’s OK, too, because he’s getting a major reboot. From the very beginning of this issue we get a glimpse into just how detached Superboy is from his surroundings. Kept isolated and away from human contact, Superboy spends his days, all 107 or so, in neonatal amniotic solution. From here he observes the scientists as they fail to garner any real information out of him. As the issue progresses we get a little more insight into the people responsible for creating and studying Superboy, though we are left in the dark as to whose human DNA was integrated with Superman’s. Things quickly get out of control and even as a lady, “Red,” attempts to maintain Superboy’s safety, he soon finds himself about to enter the real world.
As I mentioned, I’ve been a fan of Superboy since Death of Superman and his “Don’t call me Superboy!” phase, and as such I have mixed feelings. On the one hand I thought that issue was a strong start, better even than Batman and Robin. It’s an interesting albeit not complete reboot, but more importantly the book works. The plot is fluid, even when the reader is being deceived, and the cameos are great. However, as of right now, there’s almost no emotional attachment to the character. He’s almost robotic in the way he’s written, and the parts where you think you’re getting some character development are a deception. This is where my personal problem with the book arises, because what I’ve always enjoyed about the character are his relationships with his best friends, his struggle to overcome the legacies of his DNA donors, his desire to be accepted, basically everything this Superboy is not. However, putting my personal feelings aside, this book is still a strong read. The art is quite nice, a much needed improvement over the last Superboy series. R.B. Silva’s art has a very nice naive, graphic approach that reflects the nature of the story.  4/5-AP

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

Arnab Pradhan
Decapitated Dan



  1. Kristin

    You know, I read all of these reviews (obviously, as I have to, lol), but I have NO IDEA what’s going on with this reboot. It doesn’t make any sense. And it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to you guys either. I was most shocked by, in the Batman and Robin review: “The plot isn’t quite clear in this issue, or at least I don’t imagine it would be for new readers. In fact, the overall read isn’t altogether new reader friendly.”
    Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the relaunch? Wasn’t the point to reset everything in order to welcome in/court a rush of new readers?

  2. I think that sometimes we confuse “relaunch” with “let’s get an origin in every first issue”. That didn’t happen when a lot of these titles first came out decades ago and I didn’t expect it to happen now. Hopefully DC explains this a bit more as time goes on. Though my question is: How are these new readers supposed to know about a relaunch that’s supposed to be for them if they weren’t reading comics in the first place or had left for a while?

  3. There have been a couple books that have been very new reader friendly. Of the books I read, Detective Comics and Swamp Thing come to mind. I vouch for Swamp Thing especially, because I had never read anything about Swamp Thing, other than a couple pages in Brightest Day, and I followed that book easily and it was both interesting and exciting.

    Batman and Robin though, was not in the same league at all. There were references to other books that aren’t a part of the Batman common knowledge. The characters were written out of character. So a new reader coming in, I imagine, would be a bit confused.

    @InfiniteSpeech – I think DC was relying heavily on the “drama factor” and hoping that that would allow the information to spread. It’s weird, because I hadn’t heard anything about the new 52 on the news, but when Wonder Woman got pants, that news was everywhere.

  4. @Arnab – I was on twitter a few weeks ago ranting about comic commercials on the dvds that come out through WB & Disney since they’re the larger machine behind the big two. An industry individual told me that that would never happen and the money isn’t there. A statement that I think is crap because the money is there it’s just a matter of making it happen. Well the very next day Aron lets me know that he saw a commercial for the new 52 on Cartoon Network which is cool. So I let the guy know and from then on I haven’t heard a response.

    These companies are complaining about sales and numbers dropping but aren’t doing what needs to be done to get them back up. Preaching to the converted does nothing but recycle the fanbase and gives it a very slow increase. If there were brief commercials on Disney dvds and Warner Bros. dvds (outside of the comic movies for DC) then it would help get the word out and maybe spark some interest.

    But you are soooo right. Wonder Woman’s pants got way too much press! haha!

  5. […] week 2 of DC’s new 52 relaunch/reboot! Be sure to check out part 1 of our coverage of week 2, as well as this review of Batwoman #1!Green Lantern #1 Writer: Geoff […]

  6. Batman and Robin was a drag. Emo Batman doesn’t work. Emo Bruce taking his kid to a show or something? Sure, I can buy that- but crybaby Batman is a minus. It’s like everything Damian learned with Dick was irrelevant. I dunno, we’ll see where it goes.

    Grifter was ok. Having never read any comics with him before (well, besides Flashpoint, but that doesn’t count), I’m definitely interested in seeing where everything is headed.

    Resurrection Man I’d have given a 5/5. Again, I never read anything with him before and I was blown away.

    Superboy I thought would be tough to get through, given all the dialogue, but it actually read pretty smoothly. I like the new Ravager, and this one has my attention.

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