It’s Comixbookgurl in an eXpertComics Month-Long Event featuring The New 52 from DC Comics!
THIS WEEK’S COMIXBOOKGURL LIST: All Star Western| Aquaman|I, Vampire |Justice League Dark
The final week of new releases for the new DC Universe is here! We have had some good times, haven’t we? Also, some really bad times. If you have been trolling the internet, you know what I am talking about. So what about this week’s batch of #1’s? Well, of course you have one that really raised eyebrows, but I personally think some people like to complain just to complain. I didn’t get a controversial book this week, and that is fine with me. Here we go!
All Star Western #1
Written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti
Art and Cover by Moritat
“Even when Gotham City was just a one-horse town, crime was rampant – and things only get worse when bounty hunter Jonah Hex comes to town. Can Amadeus Arkham, a pioneer in criminal psychology, enlist Hex's special brand of justice to help the Gotham Police Department track down a vicious serial killer? Find out in this new series from HEX writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, with lush artwork by Moritat!”
When the DCnU was announced, hardcore Jonah Hex people held their breath in anticipation that he would still get his own book written by power team Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti. Sighs of relief echoed through Twitter, well at least mine, and fans waited patiently for the new book set in a different town from what they are used to. Was the wait worth it? I think so.
Hex isn’t in his normal surrounding. Quite frankly, he is a fish out of water in Gotham, where this comic takes place. A series of grisly murders of some lovely call girls has taken heat in Gotham and to do something about it Amadeus Arkham hires the controversial bounty hunter to help with the investigation. It is pretty standard stuff in a start-up book that makes it easier for new readers to catch on. I found having Arkham’s inner monologue a big help in setting scenes and exploring the history of Gotham. You also get to see/hear a plethora of characters from Gotham’s history, which I always enjoy.
Moritat’s art style really captures the intense moments in the book. I think that he was a great choice, which almost makes this book perfect. Hardcore fans of Hex should be proud. Gray and Palmiotti are the perfect team. They really know how to write good, constructive stories that suck a person in. I will always be a fan, and I will be picking up the next book to see what happens.
Here is next month’s preview “What happens when a psychologist and a sociopath have to work together to track down Gotham City's first serial killer? They'll soon find that crime in the big city runs deeper than its foundations, and it's all mapped out in the mysterious Crime Bible – that is, if they don't kill each other first.
Plus: No zombie is safe in the Wild West when Lazarus Lane summons the demon known as El Diablo!”
Pros: Jonah Hex in Gotham! Lots of story, and worth the $3.99 cover price!
Cons: Bad time to be a prostitute…
Written by Geoff Johns
Art and Cover by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado
“The superstar creators from BLACKEST NIGHT and BRIGHTEST DAY reunite to take AQUAMAN to amazing new depths!
Aquaman has renounced the throne of Atlantis – but the sea will not release Arthur Curry so easily. Now, from a forgotten corner of the ocean emerges… The Trench! A broken race of creatures that should not exist, an unspeakable need driving them, The Trench will be the most talked-about new characters in the DC Universe!”
Aquaman is the laughing stock in some comic circles. People just don’t get him, or don’t like his history. I have never really understood this. I’ve always found that Aquaman has had a rich history but sometimes he may not be written well. That isn’t the character’s fault. I digress, on to the review!
Here we have a series in which we know the writer, Geoff Johns, has been excited about for a while. Bringing Arthur in the spotlight and making him more of a badass character and not the “laughing stock” of the Justice League. I think that Johns did a wonderful job with the first issue. I have read a couple of negative reviews and I just have to wonder if they actually read the book or are just complaining to complain.
We get to see how Aquaman stops a robbery and how he is treated by “normal” people on the streets. The acknowledgement that Aquaman is a bit of a joke is played out in a restaurant scene where people annoy him by asking him stupid questions. “Why are you here? You can’t eat fish”, and so on and so forth. Here you have him trying to get people to leave him alone so he can enjoy his lunch. An annoying blogger starts to “interview” him and we get to see how much of a short temper Arthur has and he leaves, but not without doing a good deed. We also get to see his lovely wife, Mera, for a few panels while they discuss their future.
This first issue, to me, is a great introductory issue. You get to see Aquaman out of his “element”, helping people and a brief, semi-back-story into his origin. I’m not really sure where all the criticism is coming from. I thought that the plot was well written with an ending that will make you want to see what happens next month.
Johns always writes characters with good depth and I cannot wait to see what happens in the future with Aquaman. Ivan Reis and Joe Prado draw a good looking man. I mean, really good looking man. I had to do a double take when I was reading the issue.
Overall, this was a good introduction issue with a solid plot in my eyes. I want to read the next issue now. Now, I say! Next: “An entire town…devoured! As Aquaman and Mera discover the grisly truth behind a town's disappearance, the Trench infestation spreads inland! Plus: Another gruesome Trench power revealed – and it's not for the squeamish!”
Pros: Great art, fun story
Cons: Aquaman will always be a joke, no matter how good this book is.
I, Vampire #1
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Art by Andrea Sorrentino
Cover by Jenny Frison
“For hundreds of years, vampire Andrew Stanton kept mankind safe from the horrors of the supernatural world, thanks to a truce he made with his ex-lover Mary, the Queen of the Damned. But now that truce has reached a bloody end and Andrew must do everything in his power to stop Mary and her dark forces from going on a killing spree – and she plans to start with the heroes of the DCU!”
Here was a pleasant surprise. In this day and age when you hear something that has vampires in it you automatically assume it may be geared toward the more “sparkly” type of vampires for a different group of fans. Holy cow, I was wrong! This book is a new twist on some old characters brought back to cause some hell in the DCnU.
A war is coming between humans and vampires and after reading this book I am excited. The book itself is gorgeous. Andrea Sorrentino really sets the tone with the artwork. You open this book and you know it’s a dark and chilling story. Joshua Hale Fialkov grabs you with his writing and sucks you in until the end of the comic, where you crave the next issue to see how everything is going to pan out.
Reintroducing characters can be a task. Andrew Stanton and Mary, the Queen of the Damned have shown up in DC before so there is always a moment of pause and hesitation but it works well here with Fialkov’s writing. You feel the character’s emotional connections. You feel for the characters themselves. Understanding their past histories together helps pave the wave for the current situation that is about to happen.
Andrew has a role much like some other vampires we know and love. He tries to protect humans from the vampires. Sound familiar? His ex-lover is Mary, the Queen, and she wants to take over all humans. Sounds like a stop in their relationship to me. I must state that I was skeptical of having vampires running around the DCnU, but after reading this, I am pretty excited.
This is a great introduction book. I can say that with full confidence because I have never heard of these characters before, and we get so much depth to them in one issue. This book is definitely worth it to check out.
“True love becomes divine hatred between the Queen of Blood and Andrew, as her vampires begin their attacks across the country. Their past behind them, they find themselves ready to battle to the death... If those feelings really are all gone. Surrounded by swarms of bloodthirsty vamps, Andrew must confront his immortal beloved in a blood-soaked battle he can't win.”
Pros: Dark, moody art a perfect match for the dark, moody story. No sparkly vampires here!
Cons: LOST-style storytelling could be confusing for some (flashbacks, cutaway scenes and such)
Justice League Dark #1
Written by Petter Milligan
Art by Mikel Janin
Cover by Ryan Sook
“The witch known as The Enchantress has gone mad, unleashing forces that not even the combined powers of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg can stop. And if those heroes can't handle the job, who will stand against this mystical madness?
Shade the Changing Man, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Zatanna and John Constantine may be our only hope – but how can we put our trust in beings whose very presence makes ordinary people break out in a cold sweat.”
Hey, look! They brought back Shadowpact! No? Where’s Detective Chimp? Really? Come on! Sorry, I had to, but that is what this new book feels a little like to me. And that is a GREAT thing! I am so happy to have another supernatural type book around.
We have a pretty basic introduction issue. We get a peek at the characters and get to see a little bit of their magical abilities and what they can bring to the table in this fight against one of their own. If you are not familiar with some of these characters then this issue may be a little frustrating, but overall this is a great issue with a great concept where I was left wanting to know what happens next.
It is awesome to see Vertigo characters make their way into the DCnU such as John Constantine and Madame Xanadu. We also get the lovely Zatanna, creepy Deadman and Shade the Changing Man. These characters will be the backbone of Justice League Dark, and more than likely The Enchantress, if they can get her calmed down.
The story is pretty straightforward. Introduce a bad situation and introduce the people that will take care of it. Though I will say there are a couple of creepy moments, like flying, razor sharp teeth. Read the issue, you will understand what I am saying. Poor Superman.
Madame Xanadu seems to be the ring leader of helping all our heroes come together to fight the bad Enchantress. Peter Milligan does a great job. I am excited to see more of his writing. And of course the art work is amazing. Great job to Mikel Janin.
I really can’t explain how excited I am about this series. I hope other people see the potential of this book and give it a fighting chance, unlike what happened with Shawdowpact. “Madame Xanadu continues guiding the world's darkest heroes in their struggle against evil. But will John Constantine, Zatanna, Shade the Changing Man and the others be able to join forces in time to defeat the dangerous Enchantress before she destroys the world as we know it?’
Pros: A solid new paranormal team book with amazing art!
Cons: Madame Xanadu is the new Wolverine! She’s in everything! (Actually, that’s not a bad thing!)
So there you have it. I do not have any complaints about the books I got to review this week. I really enjoyed them all. What I do have to say is this: There has been a lot of negativity that has been surrounding the relaunch and the titles that came out. People disrespecting other people’s opinions and not being open to understanding is one thing, but to diss a book while never having read it is another. I get that there have been some new comics this month that has caused controversy. I’ve read them, and I have added my two cents in other places while always being civil. Discussions happen, but when they turn ugly and people call out others due to their *opinions* is ridiculous. Also, disliking a character simply because a person you do not agree with loves them is petty. Sometimes fanboys and fangirls are the worse things that can happen to comics.
What I recommend is that people read the comics before reading other peoples reviews or judgments over them and form your own opinion. That is only what is fair to the comic creators and to the characters. My fangirl rant is now over.
I hope you enjoyed my reviews. I enjoyed writing them!