There are some DC books out there to examine and insult/praise. Oh, and I'm going to discuss a Vertigo book which isn't really DC per-se but their alternative more mature line. It's still the same company though so who gives a rotten apple?
Justice League #7
So we're doing that old comic, "The Authority," about heroes who are kind of bad guys but don't realize it? Nah, not really. We're doing a comic about a world that doesn't trust their heroes? Well, the people seem to love them even if some government suits complain. We're doing a comic about the, "Birth of a Villain," as the title claims? Yeah right, we don't get a hint of that till about the last couple of pages.
What is this then? Basically a comic about a dude named Steve Trevor and what his life is like interacting with the Justice League via Skype or something. Oh, and there is some action with a weird spore-monster. This is really just kind of disjointed and a bit odd though. Still, I'll take that over the pretty-but-pointless mess that was the first six issues of this series. It's like this went from a hot girl you couldn't stand listening to into a somewhat attractive person who is all over the place emotionally but interesting enough that you'll tough it out through her psychotic breaks in which she tries to cut you. Yeah, this comic is a dysfunctional relationship. Take it to Thanksgiving dinner and show it to mom and dad. They won't approve, they never do of the hussies you bring back over the holidays.
3 out of 5 stars.
This isn't amazing like issue #5 which was utterly trippy and much better than any mainstream super-hero comic has the right to be, and it isn't kind of cool like #6 with its surreal bits too. No, this is just one of those, "Everything you think you know about Batman's history is wrong!," comics...which is kind of funny because I thought due to the big DC continuity reboot we're not supposed to know anything about Batman's history for sure anyway. You can't really shock me by going "Boo!" when your company already did the equivalent of kidnapping me, tying me up, putting me a potato bag, and dumping me in a river gasping for air.
That metaphor is how trying to figure out DC's new continuity feels. It's murky, scratchy, and cold. That's why you can't catch me off guard with all this stuff about a secret group themed off of owls running Gotham--I didn't even know we were supposed to think of it as a place run by Batman anymore. Oh, and Batman punches one of his former sidekicks/adopted sons in the mouth to reveal a special tooth implanted there long ago by the villains. Couldn't he have just told the guy about it and taken it out with some Novocaine instead of walloping the dude? Batman, the adoptive father who punches you to prove a point.
2.5 out of 5 stars.
In this comic a hero named Midnighter acts like a total idiot when he could try just talking to Grifter or taking him back to the Stormwatch base instead of trying to kill him, Grifter touches a weird alien artifact and learns stuff, and the two fight in a poorly illustrated comic. This is what I read, and then I cried many, many bitter tears over the fact that I actually bought this comic and thought at the start it seemed remotely interesting. Will it improve somehow? Well, let's see who the next writer for it is and....Rob Liefeld? Oh FUCK, I've got to drop this from my pull-list ASAP!
1 out of 5 stars.
The thing about Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso is that they have worked closely together for so long they could be one person, and this one person makes damn good comics. When you hear about a comic focused on a genetically-altered "man" that riffs on how people use funny internet slang, reality television, global warming, and throws in some space-stuff you hear about something which sounds like an utter mess. This duo/essentially-one-person however can have so damn much skill this comic comes out hotter than a biscuit you left in the oven and burnt so badly your spouse yells at you and threatens to leave forever, but then again doesn't he/she always pull that shit when you forget their birthday? I'm getting distracted though, this comic is great stuff, should be read by all, and treasured for being unique in this landscape where you're considered clever for writing something where Cyclops and Captain America punch each other.
4.5 out of 5 stars
DCU Online Legends #26
The last issue of a series that became terrible and utterly incomprehensible around the half-way point. I have no idea why I kept reading this even though it made zero sense with its jumping around in time. Maybe it is kind of the same way people like staring at really brutal car crashes where entrails and blood are all over the place--its just so hideous and gruesome you can't look away. Whatever the case, we get a comic where Lex Luthor learns that maybe Superman isn't so bad before he resets the Universe and the entire comic becomes even more of a pointless endeavor than it was. This happy-go-lucky and nice Luthor is annoying as hell, the comic is ugly as sin (as it has been over the whole series) and if you ever want to start a war between two nations have one give the other a collection of all 26 issues of this and force them to read it. Bombs will be flying before the day is through.
.5 out of 5 stars.
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #5
Oh Nick Spencer, you can write as many shitty Marvel comics as you want, because somehow with that exclusivity contract for them you still got to write this series, and it is so good I just can't care that you seem to either write amazing stuff or absolute trash. Your first volume of this series is one of my favorite recent comic collections and this new batch from the re-launched DC Universe that thankfully didn't touch your run is so good too. I just lie in bed at night and rub this comic all over my body, which gets my girlfriend weirded-out, but I don't care because she doesn't understand the love I have for this series. Oh, and this issue, it brings some dangling plot threads home and introduces those trademark last-minutes twists I've so grown to love.
I know you cry when people mock your other comics on the internet, Nick, but its okay, I still like you. At least as long as you are writing this series, then you either need to up your game on something else or you'll be known as, "That guy who did good stuff awhile ago but now sucks," just like so many other creators (Jeph Loeb, Mark Millar, that guy who draws a huge-breasted witch named Tarot...um, Jim Balent, that's it!).
4.5 out of 5 stars.
Captain Atom #7
I'm just still amazed that J.T. Krul can write a comic that is actually good, and which I'll miss when its cancelled because this thing sells worse than Barbra Walters recent sex tape. Yes, Barbra Walters has a sex tape. I bought the only copy by accident and it's nightmarish.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
Someday I'll have nothing snarky to say about the comics I've read. That is the day I am murdered by Mark Millar and he makes it look like J.T. Krul did it because Millar has enough money to buy a small country thanks to all those movie options of his shitty comics.