• Longform 

    Multiversity 101: Taking a Look at the First Month of the DCnU

    By | October 4th, 2011
    Posted in Longform | % Comments

    This week on Multiversity 101, we have an extended look at the first month of the DCnU from the M101 team of myself and Josh Mocle. DCnU was without a doubt the most audacious experiment in comics since the inception of Image Comics, and it has captured the attention of comic fans and even mass media for the month of September and beyond.

    But was it just hype? Was it actually good? What went well? What didn’t?

    Find out after the jump, as Josh and myself discuss the first month and take a look at each and every book as well, sharing our grade for the book as well as whether or not we plan on picking up issue two.

    David: So Josh, the first month of DCnU is over and we have a range of topics to talk about, but first thing is first: would you say, for you, that the New 52 exercise was a success overall?

    Josh: Overall? Yeah, I’d say so. However, not as much of one as I expected or wanted from a creative perspective. However, I bought roughly three times as many DC books in September as I did in August, so DC is smiling all the way to the bank.

    The high points were absolutely high and the lows were way low, but that’s not exactly an uncommon occurrence, ya know?

    David: Yeah, definitely. I think it was a success across-the-board for me personally. The books that I thought were going to be good were good. The books I thought were going to be bad were going to be bad. But there were a fair amount of surprises in-between. I’d say I went from buying one book from DC to buying about 15 or 16, they definitely succeeded at least initially in this endeavor.

    So for you, what worked on the reboot? What would you say were the biggest successes overall?

    Josh: I think what DC managed to do better than they ever have is get people to read books starring characters they never would have considered before. While yes, there were still 9 bat-related books out of the initial 52, Animal Man was one of the month’s earliest success stories and quickest sell outs. And I think that says a lot.

    David: Amen. That is exactly the point I was going to say. They have me picking up All-Star Western, I, Vampire and maybe, JUST MAYBE, OMAC. That is something I never in a million years expected. But a lot of the strength in the launch came from those more unexpected books.

    On the opposite end of things, what were the biggest failures so far in your mind?

    Josh: Catwoman and Legion Lost.

    David: Ha!

    Josh: Hehehe

    In all seriousness.

    David: I don’t mean for individual books (we’ll get to that), but for the structure and execution.

    Josh: I feel like DC got a little too used to the smell of their own farts and while some books clearly had the extra elbow grease put into them, others were clearly rushed through and just fell flat. Better oversight and quality control were needed on a lot of these books.

    And also, the whole initiative raised way more continuity questions than it solved, but thats a different story.

    David: I agree with that, but I have a slightly different take: I think they should have just cut their list down to 40 or so and focused their creative teams better.

    But really, my biggest problem is this: they should have rebooted EVERYTHING, not just some things.

    It causes the continuity issues that you said, and it makes some of the books less approachable for new readers.

    Josh: Kinda what I mean about oversight.

    David: Exactly.

    Josh: It also couldn’t have been more obvious why the books that stayed the same were the ones to do so

    Check out the sales figures from the last year and you’ll catch my meaning.

    David: Yeah, it’s obviously sales and recognition (they assume that people who know Batman from the movies will know Batman from the comics).

    Continued below

    Okay, here’s the big moment: what was your favorite book of the relaunch? Feel free to drop in a couple runners-up if you have the need.

    Josh: Tricky tricky…Animal Man, Batwoman and Demon Knights are definitely tied for first with Swamp Thing, Batman, Action Comics, All Star Western and, surprisingly even to myself, Wonder Woman bringing up the rear

    David: That is a lot of runners-up! Haha

    Josh: However, there were a lot of great books that hooked me. Batwing and Frankenstein chief amongst them

    David: Definitely. It was a diverse month with a lot of interesting books.

    Josh: But really, the top three are just fantastic reads.

    David: Hard to disagree with those. My favorites personally were Swamp Thing at the top, Wonder Woman at number two, and Batman at number three. But if I go to five it would be Batwoman and then All-Star Western.

    Alright, I know the answer to this, but what was your worst book? CHOOSE ONE JOSH!

    Josh: One?!

    Can I get two? Pretty please?

    David: Sure.

    Josh Post Captain Atom and Red Hood

    Josh: Red Hood and the Outlaws and Captain Atom, tied for the prestigious “made my eyes bleed and cried myself to sleep, blood tears” award

    David: Nice. My worst book far and away was Legion Lost, and the reason why is simple: it made no sense whatsoever. I understood what was going on with every other book. Legion Lost made no sense. Epic fail on Fabien Nicieza’s part.

    Josh: I was just baffled as to why that book even existed.

    Like, the story has been done, why do the EXACT SAME THING again

    David: That is a very good question. It was awful from concept to execution. All I have to say is poor Pete Woods.

    Josh: Sigh…

    David: Alright, the last bit – what’s next for the DCnU? If you had to recommend one thing for them, what would you want to see next to take this relaunch over the top?

    Josh: Advice? Fewer books, fewer boobs, better editing, less JT Krul, more transparency, fix the continuity, and dear lord take away at least two of Geoff Johns books.

    Also more Animal Man.

    David: haha That is pretty thorough. For me, I think what they need to do is take time to let these books find their audiences and don’t make any desperate changes for the sake of panic.

    Steady the ship, wait six months to launch new books and cancel books. Let’s see what happens!

    You ready for month two?

    Josh: Animal Man!

    Err…yes.

    David: I like it.

    Josh: Good comics is good comics, they keep putting them out and I’ll keep buying them, shtick or no shtick.

    David: Agreed. For me, DC Comics got better because of this. That’s reason enough for me to stick around.

    David and Josh Look at the New 52

    Action Comics

    Josh: I loved this book and every single one of the continuity quirks it put in place (though if you’ve read my work before, you shouldn’t be shocked by that). Am I pissed at the dissolution of one of the most significant comic book marriages ever? Yeah. But if socially conscious Superman (AKA “Grounded” done right) is what I get in return, then count me way the hell in. Another way of saying the above paragraph could also be: because Grant Morrison.

    Grade: A+
    Buying issue two?: You bet your ass.

    David: I really enjoyed this book and it was one of the books that genuinely made the character feel fresh. I’d rather there have been no Superman book and just this, because it felt new while the Perez/Merino version felt staid and already done. This book was really solid though, and Morrison/Morales have earned a second run from me.

    Grade: B+
    Buying issue two?: Socialist Superman says yes.

    Continued below

    All-Star Western

    Josh: I had a good feeling about this one and it proved to be on the nose. Palmiotti and Gray have such an unbelievably keen grasp on the genre that they’ve shifted to Jonah Hex’s new status quo seamlessly. I think by introducing 1800s Gotham as a setting is not only effective in bringing in new readers, but also expanding the legend of the character and contributing to the history of the DCU proper after spending years on the periphery.

    Grade: A
    Buying issue two?: Darn tootin’!

    David: While I’ve never read their Jonah Hex series, I quickly realized that was a huge mistake when I read Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray’s first issue of this series. It’s different than the rest of the DCnU and just a very well told story, with superb art for Moritat. Plus, an easy read for new folks!

    Grade: A
    Buying issue two?: No doubt.

    Animal Man

    Josh: I’ve run out of ways to say that I absolutely love this book. Seriously? Buy it.

    Grade: A++
    Buying issue two?: Are you kidding?

    David: I wanted to love this book, and I did from a written standpoint. Jeff Lemire told a great story and even got to play around with narrative conventions in these pages, so it was a great and fresh read. On the other hand, Travel Foreman’s art in the non-horror style segments really brought the book down. The home life situations, as depicted by him, completely removed me from the narrative.

    Grade: C
    Buying issue two?: Yes, but I need more from Foreman.

    Aquaman

    Josh: No no no no no. Just no. This book is trying desperately to be something that it isn’t. If it actually spent its time trying to be the straight ahead super hero book it should be and not some fanboy influenced meta-commentary on the history of the character then it would probably have played out better than I thought. Nice art though, REALLY nice.

    Grade: D-
    Buying issue two?: All signs point to no.

    David: I generally do not like Aquaman, but man, I found this book to be very entertaining. Geoff Johns gave us an Aquaman that was just another man, confronted with curious day-to-day stresses (“do you want some water?” “Fish and chips?”) that were self-referential in the best way. It also cleverly introduced the character and the first arc’s villains. Ivan Reis even got to stretch his legs, telling a typically beautiful story with some fun panels enjoying Rockwellian like color schemes. A surprise, for sure.

    Grade: B+
    Buying issue two?: Definitely.

    Batgirl

    Josh: Reading this comic felt like reading a comic without a heart. It’s clear that Gail Simone never wanted to write a completely mobile Barbara Gordon in anything but a flashback and while she does her best to build a story, it ultimately gets too bogged down lamenting the past and the changes foisted upon it.

    Grade: C
    Buying issue two?: No.

    David: This book was in contention for the worst ending of the month, but it was passed by another high profile book. I have to say, I expect a lot out of this book because it was Simone on Babs, but it was really a disappointment. I didn’t really enjoy it at all, even if Ardian Syaf’s art was mostly nice. It just didn’t hook me at all.

    Grade: D
    Buying issue two?: There’s a better chance of Babs changing her name to Kyrax.

    Batman

    Josh: This was one of the very few sure things I anticipated going into this event and, shocker of the century, I was right. Scott Snyder’s Detective Comics run got me to care about and invest in the character like I never have before and now that he has jumped to the primary Bat-book it appears as if what we’ve gotten up until now was only the beginning.

    Continued below

    Grade: A+
    Buying issue two?: Hell yes.

    David: What? A Scott Snyder Batman book was good? I can hardly believe it. This book was great because it told a fantastic Batman story that was good for long-time readers and new readers, while seemingly pushing the character forward without forgetting the past. Plus, the art team of Greg Capullo and FCO Plascencia were pretty on point.

    Grade: A
    Buying issue two?: David Harper is…buying issue number two.

    Batman and Robin

    Josh: Tomasi and Gleason’s first attempt at working on the dynamic duo failed to impress me, but the father/son dynamic of this reboot brings something really appealing and heretofore unseen to the Batbooks and really sets this book apart from the rest in terms of justifying its own existence.

    Grade: A-
    Buying issue two?: Yes.

    David: In the grand scheme of Bruce-centric Batman books, this pulls the runner-up spot for the first month. I really enjoyed Tomasi’s script and most of what Gleason had to offer (some of the book felt a little underdrawn as if Gleason was behind on his work). Still, it’s a nice book, and I like the direction it is headed.

    Grade: B
    Buying issue two?: Probably.

    Batman: The Dark Knight

    Josh: Of all the Bat-books released this month, this one deserves to exist the least. While the art is definitely on par with the great stuff we’ve seen from Finch in the past, the story is just so contrived and reeked of “been there, done that” like nobody’s business. Even the cliffhanger was yawn inducing. I know they want to keep Finch happy, but there has to be a better way to do it than this (hint: put him on Batman and alternate him and Capullo).

    Grade: D-
    Buying issue two?: Nope.

    David: This book was very poorly written. Just really, really poorly written. The art was nice if you’re into the Finch style, but I’m not really. It just felt unnecessary in the sea of Batman titles.

    Grade: D-
    Buying issue two?: No way, Batty Boy.

    Batwing

    Josh: I didn’t really give this book much thought prior to its release, however after reading a friend’s copy I went back and forth on it the entire month until just last week I finally went to buy a copy of my own. While “the African Batman” may seem like a pretty basic concept, given how different the entire CONTINENT of Africa is than Gotham city has necessitated some very interesting changes to the traditional mold of the Bat that I am unabashedly interested in seeing though.

    Grade: A-
    Buying issue two?: Yup.

    David: This book was a really decent issue. It wasn’t anything amazing, but Winick did a solid job of introducing the concept and the character and Ben Oliver’s art was very, very attractive. That said, I don’t feel like it hooked me enough, which is a shame.

    Grade: C+
    Buying issue two?: Nope.

    Batwoman

    Josh: The hardcover of Rucka and Williams’ first run on the adventures of Kate Kane has been sitting on my “to read” pile for over a year now. Despite this, I still sprung for this issue at the last second and I am glad I did. Of the two redheaded Bat-females running around in the DCnU, this one by far has the better told story with the greatest sense of self.

    Grade: A+
    Buying issue two?: Yes.

    David: This is the best looking book in comics (excluding Craig Thompson’s Habibi) for the month of September, so that singlehandedly makes it a champ of champs. That JH Williams III and Haden Blackman successfully continued Greg Rucka’s Kate Kane story was the surprising part, and the part that made this book truly great.

    Continued below

    Grade: A
    Buying issue two?: Absolutely.

    Birds of Prey

    Josh: A pretty solid debut issue that really failed to tell me a story that I could find any bit of uniqueness in. I will admit it is a good comic, but I just have no interest in anything it has to say.

    Grade: B-
    Buying issue two?: Nah.

    David: Duane Swierczynski does a solid job of establishing this book’s present and future while remembering to touch on the past, which is a good start. And when Jesus Saiz’ art is your finish, man, that’s a pretty quality effort overall. Beautiful book.

    Grade: B
    Buying issue two?: Yeah!

    Blackhawks

    Josh: I definitely liked this comic and saw a lot of potential in it. Its voice is unique and while there are some comics that rock a similar concept at other companies, within the DC line it definitely fills the “basically futuristic military book” niche at DC. Not bad, not great either. In every way, this was a middle of the line book.

    Grade: B
    Buying issue two?: Very possibly/depends what else is out that week.

    David: I enjoyed the composition of the story and the execution, and the art was solid. With that in mind, the book didn’t hook me enough to carry over to a second issue, which is a shame because the creative team does a nice job with it.

    Grade: B-
    Buying issue two?: Sadly, no.

    Blue Beetle

    Josh: While I am far from the biggest Jaime Reyes fan out there (or specifically within this article), I did enjoy this debut quite a bit. It took the teen hero aspect of the book and mixed it perfectly with the cosmic adventure angle inherent to past versions of the character.

    Grade: B+
    Buying issue two?: Sure why not.

    David: JAIME! JAIME! Je t’aime Jaime more like it. I love me some Jaime Reyes, and I thought this was a really, really solid introductory issue from Tony Bedard and Ig Guara. Best yet? If I had to recommend one book for a new comic reader age 12 to 18, this would be it. That said, it’s a solid start. Not a great one yet. We may get there.

    Grade: B
    Buying issue two?: Yes. God yes.

    Captain Atom

    Josh: Easily one of the worst books this month. The long and varied history of Nathaniel Adam deserves better than the character being turned into a cheap Dr. Manhattan knock-off (especially because Dr. Manhattan is a take on Captain Atom in the first place.) Plus, what horrendous art!

    Grade: F
    Buying issue two?: HELL no.

    David: I’m not really sure why Josh has the haterade out for this book, but at the very least, Freddie Williams II’s art was a poor man’s Francis Manapul. And that is good enough for me. The script was a little too convoluted, but I’d be lying if it didn’t intrigue me a little. Really, this book isn’t that bad, it just isn’t that good either.

    Grade: C
    Buying issue two?: Nope.

    Catwoman

    Josh: Four words: “He tastes like metal”. Also, boobs.

    Grade: F
    Buying issue two?: Only if I adopt a parakeet within the next month.

    David: I didn’t hate this book by any means, and I had no problem with the content that everyone else did. I just had a problem with the execution during those very segments, and that means 7 out of 20 pages were problematic to me. That said, I thought Winick handled Selina very well in the middle and Guillem March’s art was really solid. Can’t fight the math, and 13 out of 20 means…

    Continued below

    Grade: D
    Buying issue two?: Negative.

    DC Universe Presents

    Josh: I like Deadman, but this reimagining of his origin just bored me to tears and while the art did some interesting things, I just couldn’t get over how much better the cover was than what was ultimately inside the thing.

    Grade: C
    Buying issue two?: No thanks.

    David: I thought this was the worst book of the week that it came out, and not because it was particularly bad. It was good storytelling and good art. The problem is I felt nothing for anything that happened in its pages. I wanted something to resonate, but like the lost nobody’s that Deadman helps, I felt nothing.

    Grade: D
    Buying issue two?: Maybe if I hear REALLY good things.

    Deathstroke

    Josh: I wanted to like this more than I ultimately did. While there were certainly some fun moments, I felt like there just wasn’t enough substance here to really justify another issue. If I want old people engaging in mindless carnage, I’ll watch The Expendables on Netflix.

    Grade: C+
    Buying issue two?: Unlikely.

    David: This book was a hoot and a half, with Kyle Higgins rolling out an awesome misdirection for 7/8 of the book and then making it rain at the end. Out of all of the books, this is my “celebrate good times, come on!” book. Was it amazing? No. Was it fun? Sure. That said, it is on the fence, as I want a little more than just fun.

    Grade: B-
    Buying issue two?: Perrrrrrhaps.

    Demon Knights

    Josh: What a fantastic debut. It’s clear that Paul Cornell feels more comfortable writing stories set in the past of his native England and his love of the genre and time period is clear through every single bit of this comic. Plus, Neves has really stepped up his game on the art side, turning in some stunning work.

    Grade: A+
    Buying issue two?: Dragons!

    David: This book was a rollicking good time, with great character work from Cornell and really solid art from Diogenes Neves. I really enjoyed it, but I have to say, the first few pages were a little on the confusing side.

    Grade: A-
    Buying issue two?: Definitely.

    Detective Comics

    Josh: All I can really say about this comic is that a morbid, unforeseen last page in no way makes up for lines like “I AM the night!” Robot Chicken called, Tony Daniel. It wants it one-liners back.

    Grade: D
    Buying issue two?: I am NOT going to.

    David: I thought this book wasn’t bad. The problem with that is I genuinely think that indifference is a terrible thing to have for things. This book was okay on writing (a little too Frank Miller stylized) and art (a little too Frank Miller there too), but really didn’t do a ton for me. Sorry Tony, you surpassed my expectations, but it will not make the cut.

    Grade: C
    Buying issue two?: Negative.

    Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE

    Josh: This would be the Jeff Lemire written book starring a character Grant Morrison made popular that I was the least familiar with going into things. However, its off-beat antics combined with its thoroughly traditional approach to giant monster fights has made me a believer.

    Grade: A
    Buying issue two?: You best believe it.

    David: Just like Animal Man, I wanted to love this book. And like Animal Man, the writing from Jeff Lemire was high quality, with a lot of fun concepts and a cool Hellboy & BPRD feel at its core. The problem was Alberto Ponticelli’s art, which was too sketchy and indistinct to work for me (as much as I love his Unknown Soldier work). I liked it more than Animal Man though.

    Continued below

    Grade: C+
    Buying issue two?: I’ll give it one more shot, but Ponticelli needs to tighten things up.

    Green Arrow

    Josh: Q-pads? Really?

    Grade: F
    Buying issue two?: Nope. Might come back for Giffen though, we’ll see.

    David: Ugh. I wrote the review for this and I thought the script was just awful. It was a hard read, even if Jurgens/Perez made it a very good looking book.

    Grade: D
    Buying issue two?: Not even downloading it on my Qpad.

    Green Lantern

    Josh: Easily the best book Geoff Johns had anything to do with directly this month, this completely un-reader friendly debut picked up the threads from what came before nicely and was just quirky enough to keep me interested.

    Grade: B-
    Buying issue two?: Sure why not.

    David: I really enjoy Hal Jordan just as a normal guy. To be honest, I would enjoy it way more if we had three or four issues of him having to deal with regular people problems. It wasn’t new (or lapsed) reader friendly though. Thankfully, Doug Mahnke is a beast, so I will be returning for round two.

    Grade: C+
    Buying issue two?: Yes.

    Green Lantern Corps

    Josh: Too much flash, not enough substance. Maybe I’m just losing my objectivity for intergalactic genocide, but I was just bored from start to finish. Nice art though.

    Grade: D+
    Buying issue two?: Nah.

    David: To me, when Peter Tomasi is on this book, this is the best GL book by a good amount. And sure enough, it was again, with even artist Fernando Pasarin kicking it up a notch on this issue. I very much enjoyed it, and am looking forward to more Guy and John action soon.

    Grade: B
    Buying issue two?: Yes.

    Green Lantern: The New Guardians

    Josh: Despite spending a decent chunk of this issue re-telling an old story, I’m still wired into the concept enough to keep going.

    Grade: B
    Buying issue two?: Already did (yay pre-orders!)

    David: As much as I love Kyle, this book was just pretty so so for me, especially if you factor new readers into the book (this would be pretty impossible for anyone new). Bedard did a decent job on the book and so did Kirkham, but I just can’t heap love on something that would be so impossible for newcomers.

    Grade: C
    Buying issue two?: Sorry Kyle. It’s me, not you.

    Grifter

    Josh: I expected a lot more from this comic than I got given the pedigree of its creative team. Still, now that the status quo has been established, I trust the next to really make with the violence and intrigue that I expected.

    Grade: B+
    Buying issue two?: Yup.

    David: I love Grifter. I like Edmondson and CAFU. I did not love or like this book. It might be better when it settles down, but for now…

    Grade: D+
    Buying issue two?: No thanks. Maybe later.

    Hawk and Dove

    Josh: NYAARRR!!!!

    Grade: NYARR!!!
    Buying issue two?: No.

    David: This is a pretty easy one. Writing was bad. Art was bad. Not much more to say.

    Grade: F
    Buying issue two?: As much as I enjoy one-dimensional characters fighting poorly illustrated zombies, I think I’ll pass.

    I, Vampire

    Josh: I was pleasantly surprised by this one when I read an advanced copy. However, it just did not stand out enough for me to really invest long term. I can only really justify one vampire book each month, and American Vampire has that role filled.

    Continued below

    Grade: A-
    Buying issue two?: maybe in trade

    David: This book is awesome both from a written and art standpoint. I knew Josh Fialkov would tell a measured and (oddly) human vampire story, but he exceeded my expectations, as did the beautiful, Jae Lee like art of Andrea Sorrentino. Definitely deserves more readers.

    Grade: A-
    Buying issue two?: Yes please.

    Justice League

    Josh: Pioneering the trend of fantastic art bringing mediocre to bad storytelling to life that the DCnU has rocked SO well.

    Grade: D
    Buying issue two?: I wish I could say no, but the honest answer is maybe but against my better judgment.

    David: The story concept and the story execution were similarly bad, even if I did find Geoff Johns’ Batman to be surprisingly great. Jim Lee’s art was pretty beautiful, but it’s only because it’s the flagship that I will be back for round two.

    Grade: C-
    Buying issue two?: Yes, for at least one more shot.

    Justice League Dark

    Josh: The debut issue was far from perfect, but Milligan clearly feels comfortable with these characters and the magic side of the DCnU. Once he tightens up his storytelling and begins playing these characters off of each other then I suspect this book will really start to fire it up.

    Grade: A-
    Buying issue two?: Yup.

    David: As much as I enjoyed elements of this book (Mikel Janin’s art, Shade, The Changing Man, Madame Xanadu), overall this book was not compiled well. Like many books this month, it was long on promise and short on execution. Which is a shame.

    Grade: C
    Buying issue two?: Sadly, no.

    Justice League International

    Josh: This would make a fantastic parody book, except it isn’t one. It takes itself far too seriously for that, which just accentuates the poor writing involved. Par for the course though, the art is mighty fine.

    Grade: D+
    Buying issue two?: Bwahaha!…nope.

    David: Another I wanted to love but ended up finding well short of its promise. This first issue illustrated to me why Judd Winick would have been a far better fit on this book than Dan Jurgens (especially considering his Generation Lost work). Aaron Lopresti’s art was nice, but this was not a book I look really fondly at in retrospect.

    Grade: C-
    Buying issue two?: I wish, but no.

    Legion Lost

    Josh: An old story that was done fine once and has no real reason to be done again except for the fact that DC wanted another Legion book. One shoddy update and some nonsensical plotlines later and you have a certified piece of crap! Poor Fabian Nicieza, you deserve better than this.

    Grade: F
    Buying issue two?: Yeah no.

    David: My 4 Color News and Brews co-host Brandon and I wanted to settle a debate: which was worse, Hawk & Dove or Legion Lost? I contended the latter. We had his non-comic reading wife settle it. She said Legion Lost, because at least Hawk & Dove made sense. Exactly.

    Grade: F-
    Buying issue two?: No. This comic needed footnotes. Not a good sign.

    Legion of Super Heroes

    Josh: Paul Levitz writing the Legion is just old news at this point and while it was certainly not the worst writing or art I’ve seen, I just can’t be fucked to care.

    Grade: Meh.
    Buying issue two?: Nah.

    David: You know, I really enjoyed Francis Portela’s art. I thought it was really nice work. The story wasn’t that bad either. It was just wasn’t that good either, so it was a one stop adventure for me.

    Continued below

    Grade: C-
    Buying issue two?: No.

    Men of War

    Josh: I know I read this comic, but I can’t for the life of me remember what the hell happened. I think that’s pretty indicative of the strength of this one.

    Grade: ?
    Buying issue two?: No thanks.

    David: I have to say, I liked this comic. I thought the core story by Ivan Brandon and Tom Derenick was strong, although I wish it was the full issue even if I did enjoy Phil Winslade’s art in the back-up. That said, this book has a hard road to making it home with me. I might buy it if it wasn’t a DC book, but its potential for forced and awkward connections to superheroes (this issue not withstanding) make it a hard sell.

    Grade: C+
    Buying issue two?: No.

    Mister Terrific

    Josh: Apparently a random black guy saved someone in this comic book, as it very plainly admitted to everyone that read it. Am I the only one that feels awkward right now?

    Grade: F
    Buying issue two?: Nope.

    David: This book wasn’t that bad. I thought Eric Wallace told an interesting story with some truly problematic moments, and Gianluca Gugliotta’s art was pretty solid. It wasn’t awful by any means, but it just wasn’t that good either.

    Grade: D+
    Buying issue two?: Nope.

    Nightwing

    Josh: I love Dick (Grayson) and Kyle Higgins clearly has a grasp on the character after his stint writing him with Scott Snyder. While the first issue made leaps and bounds towards establishing itself as its own book related to but disconnected from it’s Bat-predecessor, it’ll be interesting to see how Higgins keeps up the unique nature of the thing.

    Grade: A-
    Buying issue two?: Yeah sure.

    David: This book was frustratingly average. I’m a long time fan of the character, but Kyle Higgins and Eddy Barrows did nothing to hook me or bring me onboard past this issue. Which is sad because they had to try and lose my money.

    Grade: C-
    Buying issue two?: No Dick for me.

    OMAC

    Josh: I was pleasantly surprised by the outlandish, frontal, Kirby-esque vibe this book has going on and as long as it continues to pay homage and build from the King’s legendary run on the character, the more I will dig it.

    Grade: A
    Buying issue two?: Yeah!

    David: This book was hugely entertaining in a way that wins my money, unlike Deathstroke. It was pure crazy and electric blue mohawks and surprise. Didio, Giffen and Koblish picked up by skepticism and crushed it to the rubble it is whilst wearing similar mohawks. Sign me up for next month.

    Grade: B+
    Buying issue two?: Obviously. Mohawks are cool.

    Red Hood and the Outlaws

    Josh: If the cast of Jersey Shore used their six or seven collective brain cells to create a comic book, it would probably look and feel a lot like this.

    Grade: F
    Buying issue two?: yeah no.

    David: This book was drowned by the overt hatred for the Starfire business, but it was good in the way a Michael Bay book is good. Fun, destructive and utterly ridiculous, but not enough quality to get me to buy another issue.

    Grade: C
    Buying issue two?: Negative.

    Red Lanterns

    Josh: I liked the characters involved so much more than I liked the story told here. We’ll see how this one plays out, but this one is definitely on watch.

    Continued below

    Grade: B
    Buying issue two?: Yes, but how many I buy after that remains to be seen.

    David: This book was pretty boring and pointless. It had a number of laughable (not in a good way) moments. It just was a pretty weak sauce comic altogether, and not for me. I have no idea why this exists.

    Grade: D-
    Buying issue two?: No.

    Resurrection Man

    Josh: I wanted to like this one a lot more than I did. The concept is definitely strong and there is no question that the creative team knows the character (given that they created him), I’m just not sure there’s enough meat on this story to keep me engaged yet.

    Grade: B-
    Buying issue two?: Probably, depends on what else is out that week.

    David: When the Lady Gaga woman on the plane turned into a four-armed monster, I checked out. Too much mystery, not enough actual good comic book.

    Grade: D
    Buying issue two?: No, even if I am curious as to what things will taste like next.

    Static Shock

    Josh: Mediocrity in comic book form, but given the amount of audiences it had to please initially, given the history of the character, I’m not sure it really could have been much better than it was.

    Grade: C
    Buying issue two?: Not unless I get REALLY bored.

    David: This was another book that was more fun than it was good, and I am one of the few people who actually likes Scott McDaniel’s art (thanks to his Nightwing work). I enjoyed it, but I won’t be coming back again.

    Grade: C
    Buying issue two?: Maybe if I hear it gets great.

    Stormwatch

    Josh: Oy gevalt, this comic. So much potential that gets way too bogged down trying to justify its own existence than telling a good story. Now that the groundwork has been laid bare, I trust Paul Cornell enough to make good on the promises this book makes, but to say I was disappointed in the debut would be an understatement.

    Grade: B-
    Buying issue two?: Yes and dear lord do I hope it’s good.

    David: This was my second most anticipated book, and it is now my first DCnU cut. I will not be picking up issue two because this book was filled with flawed characterization and bad art. Maybe I’ll come back, but it looks unlikely as of now.

    Grade: D+
    Buying issue two?: Maybe later.

    Suicide Squad

    Josh: There was business to be had and weight was lost and I just could not give a crap.

    Grade: D-
    Buying issue two?: HA. No.

    David: This book was dark and stupid and fucked up and kind of fun to read. Whatever that means. I have to say, I am actually curious about issue two, but I’ll let word of mouth come to me before I buy it.

    Grade: C
    Buying issue two?: Mayyyybe if I hear good things.

    Superboy

    Josh: A pleasantly surprising read, Lobdell seems to have a much better grasp on the younger characters placed in his charge than the more mature ones…or maybe his writing just makes more sense with a younger cast. Either/or this one wasn’t bad.

    Grade: B+
    Buying issue two?: Yeah sure.

    David: As much as I enjoy RB Silva, as much as I enjoy Caitlin Fairchild, as much as I enjoy Rose Wilson, and as much as I wanted to like some throwback Lobdell work, I just didn’t care for this book. Really eh, and just didn’t do much for me.

    Grade: C-
    Buying issue two?: No thanks.

    Continued below

    Supergirl

    Josh: Reading this comic, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d read it at least twice before. While it certainly wasn’t the worst comic out there, I just couldn’t really connect.

    Grade: B
    Buying issue two?: nah

    David: I really enjoyed Mahmud Asrar’s art with Dave McCaig’s colors. It was a beautiful looking book. That said, nothing about it made me care for it in the slightest. There was the one scene where Kara heard the other voices all across the world, but that was it really. Could have been more.

    Grade: C
    Buying issue two?: No thanks.

    Superman

    Josh: George Perez has been around the block enough times to grasp what makes Superman work and what doesn’t and seems to have adapted to the character’s new status quo quite well. While this book doesn’t come close to matching the other book starring Big Blue, it manages to get a few great moments in there too.

    Grade: A-
    Buying issue two?: Very likely.

    David: Good GOD this comic was boring. It was five pages longer than the other DCnU comics but I honestly felt like it was a thousand pages longer. It felt interminably long and equally as boring. Merino’s art with Perez tinkering around was nice, but man, this comic was probably the most boring comic I read this month.

    Grade: D
    Buying issue two?: Not even if you made me.

    Swamp Thing

    Josh: This book was intriguing, exceptionally detailed and, at points, legitimately frightening and didn’t even feature the titular character itself for 19 of its 20 pages. THAT my friends, is great storytelling.

    Grade: A+
    Buying issue two?: Booyah.

    David: In my mind, this was the best comic of the first month. Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette have set things up for greatness, and I can promise you I will be there for month two and beyond.

    Grade: A+
    Buying issue two?: This week! Yes!

    Teen Titans

    Josh: See my evaluation of Superboy and apply the same logic here.

    Grade: B+
    Buying issue two?: Maybe.

    David: Just awkward and boring, and really fumbled the ball on Bart Allen. Brett Booth’s art was fun in parts and really, really poorly crafted in others. Just not a very good book.

    Grade: D
    Buying issue two?: No thanks.

    The Flash

    Josh: I was pleasantly surprised with how much Francis Manapul absorbed during his run on this character with Geoff Johns. Quite simply, he knows how to write a Geoff Johns character better than Geoff Johns can these days, and that says a lot.

    Grade: A
    Buying issue two?: Can’t do it quick enough.

    David: The student becomes the master, after Franics Manapul out Barry’s super-fan #1 Geoff Johns (with help from co-writer and colorist Brian Buccallato). It was also one of the two or three best looking books of the month, so I am onboard.

    Grade: B+
    Buying issue two?: Yes please.

    The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man

    Josh: Wow, what a horrible downward spiral for a set of otherwise intriguing characters. I really had a lot of interest in a Firestorm book and what I got here was two dimensional at best and outright boring at worst. Sad, really, especially given how good the Clevinger version sounded.

    Grade: F
    Buying issue two?: No thanks.

    David: I think this book was way worse for race relations than Mister Terrific was, as the forced rift between the two leads was based around the most stupid and ham fisted racial argument I’ve seen in comics ever. The characters come across as angry caricatures more than anything, and the second big disappointment from the month featuring Gail Simone’s name on the cover.

    Continued below

    Grade: F+
    Buying issue two?: FURY SAYS NO.

    The Savage Hawkman

    Josh: I’ll admit, this was nowhere near as bad as I expected it to be given how, well, BAD some of Tony Daniel’s comics have been in the past. While I’m still not 100% of what Hawkman’s status quo is in the DCnU, I’m definitely curious about where Daniel is going to go with this one.

    Grade: B-
    Buying issue two?: Very maybe.

    David: As much as I may have enjoyed Tan’s art, this book was just silly. The whole thing just didn’t do much of anything for me, which was disappointing. I want to feel something for comics, and I felt nothing for this.

    Grade: D
    Buying issue two?: No thank you.

    Voodoo

    Josh: BOOBS! Seriously, I’m not sure what else I was supposed to get out of this comic. What? Alien invasion? Really? Huh. Missed that. Nice art though!

    Grade: D-
    Buying issue two?: BOOBS!

    David: Another book of forced controversy, this book features really, really quality art from Sami Basri and a decent lead issue from Ron Marz. Was it incredible? No (but there was one really awesome three panel section in the issue featuring sunglasses). But was it surprisingly decent? For sure.

    Grade: C+
    Buying issue two?: No, but maybe if I hear good things.

    Wonder Woman

    Josh: I have never, EVER been this dialed into a Wonder Woman story. While many have tried to make the character accessible over the last few years, Brian Azzarello is the only one to have pulled it off. And all it took was a little horse decapitation!

    Grade: A
    Buying issue two?: Yes, ma’am!

    David: This was my second favorite book of the month, and something I found to be surprising in the fact that I outright dislike the character of Wonder Woman. This book made her interesting for the first time, and set up a story of horror, gods, magic, pregnancy and all kinds of other things with some freakishly gorgeous art from Cliff Chiang. Nice work team.

    Grade: A
    Buying issue two?: For sure.


    //TAGS | Multiversity 101

    David Harper

    David Harper mainly focuses on original content, interviews, co-hosting our 4 Color News and Brews video podcast, and being half of the Mignolaversity and Valiant (Re)visions team. He runs Multiversity's Twitter and Facebook pages, and personally tweets (rarely) @slicedfriedgold. By day, he works in an ad agency in Anchorage, Alaska, and he loves his wife, traveling and biscuits & gravy (ordered most to least, which is still a lot).

    EMAIL | ARTICLES



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