Daily Archives: September 30, 2011

A New 52 Review: Superman #1

Superman #1
“What Price Tomorrow?”
Writer/Breakdowns/Cover artist: George Perez
Pencils/Inks: Jesus Merino
Colors: Brian Buccellato
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Editor: Matt Idelson
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US

George Perez has always been one of my favorite comic artists, if not the favorite. His style was probably the first one I could recognize in a comic book, and after I first saw his work in the original New Teen Titans series, I sought out his work wherever it turned up. Yes, he’s a dynamic artist who brings an awe-inspiring level of detail to his work, but that can make some people forget he’s an accomplished comics writer as well. Not only did he co-plot New Teen Titans with Marv Wolfman back in the day, but he was responsible for one of the most popular and well-received interpretations of Wonder Woman has published in its history. I was curious when DC announced Perez would pen this new series featuring its most recognizable icon, and after reading Grant Morrison’s Action Comics #1, Perez had an unenviable task ahead of him. He offers up one of the densest and topical of the New 52 debuts in Superman #1, and his take on this new version of the Man of Steel jibes well with Morrison’s, set five years earlier.

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A New 52 Review: The Savage Hawkman #1

The Savage Hawkman #1
“Hawkman Rising”
Writer: Tony S. Daniel
Artist/Cover artist: Philip Tan
Colors: Sunny Gho
Letters: Travis Lanham
Editor: Janelle Asselin
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US

Like this week’s Fury of the Firestorms: The Nuclear Men and other titles in DC’s New 52, The Savage Hawkman features a complete overhaul of the title character, and if ever there was a property in DC’s stable of super-heroes that needed a reboot, it’s Hawkman. The character is a visually striking one, but for a couple of decades, it’s been shackled by the convoluted history of its many incarnations, which DC and its writers have tried to reconcile into one package. Like one big super-hero sausage, you really didn’t want to know what went into it, but you couldn’t help it, because hoofs and snouts and stuff were sticking out through the casing (along with beaks I suppose — this is Hawkman we’re talking about). Unfortunately, writer Tony S. Daniel wasn’t the right choice for the job of simplifying and revamping DC’s Winged Warrior. After I read this issue, I felt like I’d missed out on The Savage Hawkman #0. Daniel fails to provide an origin or backstory for this new vision of Hawkman, instead offering us a glimpse of a moment in which his powers and purpose change — without informing us of what they were before the shift.

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A New 52 Review: Justice League Dark #1

Justice League Dark #1
“In the Dark, Part One: Imaginary Women”
Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Mikel Janin
Colors: Ulises Arreola
Letters: Rob Leigh
Cover artist: Ryan Sook
Editors: Rex Ogle & Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US

Pay no attention to the title of this series. This isn’t a Justice League comic. When DC announced the awkwardly named series to feature several of its supernatural heroes, I rolled my eyes — especially given the promise the series would feature the decidedly un-super-hero-y John Constantine. Part of me wanted to dismiss Justice League Dark as an awkward and ill-advised attempt to expand the Justice League brand to mirror Marvel’s successful transformation of its Avengers properties into its most profitable and popular franchise. But, as I said, this isn’t a Justice League comic book — it’s a supernatural horror/adventure comic crafted skilfully by an inventive, experienced writer and an up-and-coming, talented, young artist. Milligan offers a riveting script that balances insane, disturbing ideas with some real emotion in the middle of the impossible. And as for artist Mikel Janin, it’s easy to see why DC quickly signed him to an exclusive contract. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s lauded as one of the industry’s top super-hero genre artists in short order.

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