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September 21, 2011

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

It’s 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 Johns
Artist: Doug Mahnke
Cover Artist: Ivan Reis
Publisher: DC

Even though we saw Hal Jordan as GL in Justice League, the reboot has hardly had any effect on Green Lantern. Hal Jordan is still fired from the Corps, and Sinestro is representing will power. Left jobless and in debt, Jordan tries to adjust to “normal” life, but the transition isn’t affecting his character one bit, as he’s still the smug hero he ever was. Sinestro isn’t happy with his new role as a GL, and the Sinestro Corps is just as unhappy, and it looks like the Guardians may have finally gone over the deep end. This issue was a very good first chapter in what I hope is a long story. Seeing Hal so grounded and without a ring is a real breath of fresh air right now, and the potential for a really interesting arc is great. I’ve never been a huge fan of Doug Mahnke’s pencils, but this is probably the best work he’s ever put into a single issue. He’s added the details I had always thought were missing in his work, and it’s really paid off for him. Quality art and a story with lots of mysteries I’m excited to see through. I can’t wait for GL #2! 5/5 – AH (For another Green Lantern #1 review, click here.)

Legion Lost #1
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artist: Pete Woods
Cover Artists: Pete Woods and Brad Anderson
Publisher: DC

I’ve always been a big fan of the Legion starting with Adventure Comics in the early 60s, and continuing right up until today. Along the way I’ve seen the regular stories, back-ups, minis, solos, and guest appearances and I’ve read them all. So I was looking forward to the latest small team of seven legionnaires in the present day. However, the first issue proved to be a let down; perhaps the writers are trying to get in too much too quickly to grab readers, but for this reader it was just a rushed story. We know that our heroes have traveled to the present chasing an escaped villain, and not much else; why these characters, why this villain? Now, while I expect more will be filled in with future issues, the New 52 was supposed to be a jumping in spot for new readers, but I for one don’t see any reason for a new reader to care about these characters as written, nor stick around to find out. And then there’s the end of the issue; while trying not to spoil anything, I will say that it just seems a little too much stunt for shock value, particularly after the recent run where having aliens and not just humans on the team mattered. 2/5 – DW

Mister Terrific #1
Writer: Eric Wallace
Artist: Gianluca Gugliotta
Cover Artist: J.G. Jones
Publisher: DC

Mr. Terrific’s new look is pretty damn cool! From the tats to the new costume, the design is on point. So with that out of the way, the JSA alum is now solo, and after a few reads it’s a bit of a mixed bag for me. Wallace has so much going on in this issue that it’s a bit hard to get settled in. Though when it does happen you get a glimpse at how good the book can be. The plot of the unseen villain was cool, but it pretty much overshadowed the rest of the book. That could also be a result of a supporting cast that offers very little support. In regards to the art, the only thing that I didn’t like was the inconsistency in the looks of several of the characters. As Michael Holt the look changes from panel to panel, however, when he’s Mr. Terrific the consistency is a lot better. There were others here and there, but Holt stood out the most considering he’s the main character. Several scenes do stand out, like the ninth dimension parts and the opening fight sequence just to name a couple. Now, for all of you who were missing Power Girl, we do get a look at Karen Star, who may call him “Mr. Terrific” for a different reason. This was a surprise, but I knew the inevitable black girl who’s uncomfortable with their relationship was going to come into play in some way, and it did. It was so cliché and disappointing since Wallace was kind of impressing me up to that point. Though it boiled down to the fact that Karen is a Fortune 500 member and smart, it was pretty weak that he had to go there in the first place. However, I did like that her dress was an homage to her famous costume. As far as introductory issues, this one was decent, though it could have benefited from the less is more rule of thumb. The character already has what it takes to be a top contender in the DCU, and I’m just hoping that Wallace focuses on that in future issues to make this title a great one. 2.5/5 – IS

Red Lanterns #1
Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Ed Benes
Cover Artist: Ed Benes
Publisher: DC

Red Lanterns is one of the all new titles from the New 52, and though the entire DCU has been rebooted, you wouldn’t know it reading Red Lanterns, and that’s okay. The title of this comic is Red Lanterns (plural), and I was curious how much of a team book this issue would turn out to be, and, so far, this series looks to be focusing mainly on the RL leader, Atrocitus. We get a closer look into the origins of the rage that fills Atrocitus, and discover a tragic hero behind the blood and burning eyes. Long ago, when the Manhunters were commissioned by the Guardians and later went rogue, murdering Atrocitus’s family, Atrocitus swore to one day end the Guardians’ authority over the universe. Peter Milligan does a great job interpreting the insanity of Atrositus and giving us an anti-hero under layers of emotional conflict. My favorite part of the issue was seeing how Atrocitus embraces rage like most people embrace love. Almost like something out of Shakespeare, Atrocitus stands over the dead body of Krona, the Oan responsible for the Guardians’ rise of power of the universe, and describes Hal Jordan taking Krona’s life like Hal Jordan stealing away a lover. Other Red Lanterns like Dex-Starr and the sadistically sexy Bleez share the story, and while a deeper look into Atorcitus is an acceptable first story arc, I really hope Milligan puts an effort into getting the other Lanterns over with the readers and molds some unique characters out of the RLC’s warm bodies. And of course I have to mention Ed Benes, who is the perfect choice to bring this title to life. His work provokes the angst and gore that this title begs for, and still manages to deliver emotion on even the most alien looking characters. 3.5/5 – AH

Suicide Squad #1
Writer: Adam Glass
Artist: Federico Dallocchio
Cover Artist: Ryan Benjamin
Publisher: DC

Honestly, I never read much Suicide Squad before, and what really sold me on this first issue was seeing the new Harley Quinn. I was expecting Quinn — being the closest thing to an A-list character on this roster — to be the focus, or at least some kind of leader here, however, Quinn, nor any of her Squad mates, particularly stood out. The goal of this issue was purely character introduction, which Adam Glass presents in a very interesting way. Aside from some quick flashback scenes, there isn’t as much action as you would expect from a team of supervillains hired by the government to carry out black-ops missions. The script isn’t bad, just not terribly exciting, and the art was actually the hardest part to accept in this issue. Again, like the script, there wasn’t technically anything bad about the art, I was just hoping for a more flavorful or exciting or darker toned artist to go with the premise of the book. It’s also a lot more colorful than I would like in Suicide Squad. I really would have liked Ryan Benjamin (cover artist) to provide the interior work. If this is your first time reading Suicide Squad, then you may find this introductory issue necessary, but familiar readers will want to wait for issue #2 where the real action appears to be starting. 2.5/5 – AH

Be sure to check out our reviews from week 1 of the DC relaunch/reboot by clicking here and here, and even here for a review of Action Comics #1!

Andrew Hurst
Dale Workman


One Comment

  1. Legion was one of the books I wanted to check out since everyone seems to love them from the previousl DCU. I figured this would be my chance to see why the team is considered so great since my only real introduction was during Final Crisis and because those tie ins were horrible I didn’t think it would be fair to base my opinion of the team on those books.

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