Daily Archives: September 15, 2011

A New 52 Review: Mister Terrific #1

Mister Terrific #1
“Software Update”
Writer: Eric Wallace
Pencils: Gianluca Gugliotta
Inks: Wayne Faucher
Colors: Mike Atiyeh
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover artist: J.G. Jones
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US

I was thrilled when DC announced this as one of the New 52 titles as part of its revitalized line of super-hero comics. I’ve always been a fan of this incarnation of Mr. Terrific. I love the notion of a hero whose super-power is really his intellect. I’m also a fan of the Justice Society and DC’s “generational” heroes, but that connection to a heroic legacy seems to be the one element that’s been removed from the character in the relaunch. Nevertheless, I thought Terrific was an unconventional but good choice in DC’s effort to offer a more diverse array of characters starring in their own titles. After reading this debut issue, I see potential in the storytelling, and I like the shift in the title character as a solo player rather than a member of a team. But some unfortunate plotting choices and exaggerated artwork ultimately led to a disappointing reading experience. Despite my affection for the character, I don’t expect I’ll be reading Mister Terrific beyond this opening installment.

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A New 52 Review: Legion Lost #1

Legion Lost #1
“Run From Tomorrow, Part One: Present Tense”
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artist/Cover artist: Pete Woods
Colors: Brad Anderson
Letters: Travis Lanham
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US

I’m a longtime Legion of Super-Heroes fan and have been ever since I first discovered the property in DC reprint digests in the late 1970s or early ’80s. I’ve always found the large cast of characters and their diversity — both in terms of culture, attitude and powers — to be fun and interesting. I’m not a fanatical fan, though — I’m no completist and have passed on big runs of Legion titles, such as adult-Legion Giffen run and the more recent Jim Shooter-penned stint. I’m a discerning Legion fan, and after reading Legion Lost #1, I think it’s safe to say I’ll be sticking with this title for a little while. Nevertheless, I don’t think this was a particularly strong entry in DC’s New 52 line, as it fails in one of the publisher’s stated goals of appealing to a wider audience. Readers familiar with these characters will likely enjoy the book, but Nicieza’s script doesn’t offer as complete an introduction to the characters and the Legion concept as it should. Furthermore, unlike most of the New 52 titles, this one seems strongly linked to previous DC continuity, and the characters might even be aware of the meta-fictional shift in the DC Universe.

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A New 52 Review: Superboy #1

Superboy #1
“The Clone”
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: R.B. Silva
Inks: Rob Lean
Colors: Richard & Tanya Horie
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover artist: Eric Canete
Editor: Chris Conroy
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US

When I read Hawk & Dove #1 last week, I knew going in I wasn’t going to enjoy the book. I’m not a fan of Rob Liefeld’s work, and I found nothing in his latest effort to change my mind about his art. A short time ago, I had a similar expectation when I took out my copy of Superboy #1. As I was about to read it, I figured going in this wouldn’t be my thing. Writer Scott Lobdell’s hasn’t appealed to me in the past, and I didn’t expect his latest endeavor would either. Boy, was I wrong. Lobdell tells a compelling story about the dangers of science and capitalism running unchecked. Sure, the cloning angle is hardly the most original sci-fi premise, but Lobdell updates the Superboy-as-a-clone concept with a more mature, chilling and complex edge. Those familiar with the origin of the previous incarnation of the title character from the early 1990s will recognize a number of elements, but there are a lot of new bits adorning this reinterpretation. Like many other comics readers, I was put off by the images of the rebooted Teen Titans series (to which this series is linked), but after reading Lobdell’s plot and script for Superboy #1, I find I’m actually intrigued by the possibilities in the new status quo for DC’s iconic teen-hero characters.

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A New 52 Review: Deathstroke #1

Deathstroke #1
“Back to Basics”
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Pencils: Joe Bennett
Inks: Art Thibert
Colors: Jason Wright
Letters: Travis Lanham
Cover artist: Simon Bisley
Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US

Man, that was just awful.

When DC announced Deathstroke the Terminator was one of the characters to be featured in its New 52 lineup, I was surprised and taken aback, but then I remembered the character had a solo title back in the 1990s that ran for a few years. It seemed as though DC was looking for an anti-hero archetype for its new line. The notion didn’t appeal to me, but there’s definitely an audience for that sort of thing. But there isn’t one for this material, or at least there shouldn’t be. The title character isn’t depicted as an anti-hero at all. He’s an unrepentant, uncaring, unsympathetic killer, and nothing else. There isn’t a single redeemable character to be found in this first issue, and what’s worse, writer Kyle Higgins doesn’t even hint at what the story is about. The plotting doesn’t just feature distasteful, gratuitous violence, it’s executed poorly. Those familiar with Deathstroke won’t really recognize the same man in this title, and those new to the character won’t find any pertinent information about him here either.

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