diflucan 2 doses

nu52: The First Two

Brian Hibbs

So the first thing I realized last night is 13 books a week is almost too much to read in one sitting, at least not without getting a bit of a headache.

Then I realized that, with what I have going to today and tomorrow (check back in a few hours, you’ll see!), that even worse there’s absolutely no way I can write up that many books either in the time I have this AM.

(Plus, y’know, Diamond shorted all of my copies of STORMWATCH #1 — it is being overnighted to me on their dime, thankfully — so that wouldn’t have worked anyway)

So, let’s just hit the first two, below the jump, with the rest by the weekend!

JUSTICE LEAGUE #1: Mm. Last week, you may recall, I said I wanted to wait on reviewing JL #1. Two reasons for that — one, I really did want context of the rest of the launch to see how good or bad it might be, and 2) I really thought it was fairly terrible and I didn’t want to scare prospective customers off in the critical week #1. Well, turns out that last bit wasn’t something I needed to worry about (we still have copies… but I doubt they’ll last for another 7 days), but man you should have seen me tying myself in knots in the store to be unfailingly positive when customers asked me (quite rightly) “So, how was it?”

Here’s the thing about JL #1: it doesn’t really read like a fresh start at all (What it REALLY reads like? A free comic that you get with a toy) — to me, it sort of felt like an old proposal for a JLA: Year One mini-series that was dusted off, and had the smooth edges polished off to try and fit into the new mandate.

In particular, it is nowhere near a full story, and it is “written for the trade”, and pretty much nothing happens at all; and it doesn’t even have all of the characters that are on the cover (at least one of them doesn’t even exist yet!) — and yet it is an ass-raping $4 cover price.

What I’m trying to figure out is if this means that a) no one at DC actually knows how to edit a comic book any longer (because me? I would have thrown this script back with “Yeah, that’s an OK first draft, now give me some meat”) because “editors” are largely “traffic managers” these days, b) Geoff, etc didn’t get that this was the A#1  chance to bring back the lapsed, because the cost/value ratio here is crazy out of whack, possibly because this could be a 2 year old script, or c) No one on staff feels comfortable telling the 800 and 900 pound gorillas that they’re phoning it in.

Maybe all 3.

Fundamentally, this comic would not have me coming back week-after-week for more, if I were a lapsed reader. In fact, this comic would have reconfirmed my decision to abandon comics, because it is underbaked, and overpriced.

One of the most frustrating things for me was the lack of any visible villain — you shouldn’t need two of your biggest guns to play tag with a foot soldier — and the tortured logic of the plothammer. The Parademon (?) left behind a mother box? Muh? Green Lantern, a space-based character in an alien-based corps leaps to the conclusion that the alien Superman might be responsible? Wha?

Also: Darkseid? Already? On day #1? That’s the kind of character you should BUILD to — didn’t Kirby take like a year or two before we even saw the guy?

Bits of the art were very clever — I liked the multi-tasking GL constructs for example — but I thought that, overall, the whole process felt creaky and tired.

Here’s what I’m saying about editorial as well: The original (announced!) plan was that Flashpoint #5 would be the only book shipping last week. Then they changed it to FP and JL. This might have always been the SECRET plan, but it did represent a change from the original. JL, however, is a 3rd week book, which means it will be SEVEN WEEKS between #1 & #2. So, someone thought it wise to specifically rewrite the announced plan, make JL #2 FEEL “late” from the first day of the launch, and launch with a book that’s nowhere near a “full reading experience” (and crazy expensive, at that). I kind of don’t see that being done for sound commercial reasons (I mean, speaking as the guy who gets to SELL these, have a RANGE OF CHOICES for the big launch week is way way way way better than having one single title), and it just feels like an ego stroke.


I thought JL #1 was pretty resoundingly AWFUL, and that’s a crying shame.


ACTION COMICS #1: This, on the other hand, was everything I want from a rebooted Superman comic. Amazingly retro, yet cutting age fresh, completely jam packed with story, yetit zips along like an out-of-control train, and it puts Grant Morrison at 15 for 15 for Excellent Superman Comics.. THIS should have been the Week #1 solo book (and it would have really supported JL #1’s ending at that)

I like this Superman, and I’m absolutely terrified of him as well. I’d like to see the JL *he* forms, because that would really be about JUSTICE.

I dug Rags’ art, I dig the lo-fi costume, I absolutely adore the “leaking” heat vision eyes.

This is a Superman comic for people who “don’t like Superman”.

I thought it was EXCELLENT!


Right, out of time already (sigh, check back later tonight), so, as always, what did YOU think?



47 Responses to “ nu52: The First Two ”

  1. I was surprised to read certain resoundingly positive reviews of JL #1 because I agree that it read like a licensed tie-in. The dialogue was horrendous, like Geoff was trying too hard to evoke a sense of newness. It was light on content and very basically written. I don’t get it.

  2. I’m not a superhero reader anymore, but I gave into my curiosity and bought a copy of Justice League #1. I used to read superhero comics when I was a teen and into college and just kinda gradually transitioned out to different comics, so I guess I’m a lapsed reader?

    Anyway, my impression was similar to yours. I mean, it’s a very competently done book: characters are set up well, the pacing is good, there’s intrigue with the new Superman. But I felt kinda ripped off. $4 is 1/3 the cost of a volume of 20th Century Boys…and sure, that’s reprinted material, but it’s 1/5 of the cost of a volume of Acme Novelty Library and those books pack some punch! (In entirely different ways, obviously.)

    I’m sorta sympathetic to superheroes…I mean, I grew up with them and they can be fun, but this book? It wasn’t fun. It was very professional and competent, but at no point was there anything exciting or intriguing or deeply emotional. If this is what superhero comics are going to be like for the next decade, I think I can safely pass.

    Although, I will buy the Action Comics book and Animal Man (because I *loved* the Essex County books).

  3. JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 coming out the same week as FLASHPOINT #5 was always the plan. The Previews text for FLASHPOINT #5 read contained the following end note:

    “IMPORTANT NOTE: Because of its impact on the DC Universe, FLASHPOINT #5 is the only title that DC Comics is soliciting in this catalogue to arrive in stores on August 31.”

    When that Previews first came out, I noticed the oddly specific wording (“in this catalogue”), and that it was weird. A few weeks later, that specificity made sense.

  4. why would people still buy JOHNS? Especially with LEE on top?

    Answer: because they’re masochists. (it’s the only thing that makes sense)

  5. And who would not like Superman? (except zit faced insecure male teens)

    Can not wait to read Action Comics #1.

  6. 2nd bad review of JLA I have read. ouch.

  7. Haven’t read JL yet, but I expect the answer to your question is “c”. I can’t imagine any editor at DC has the ability/authority/desire to actually edit any book involving Johns or Lee, let alone both together on the same one.

    Glad to read the positive review for Action, I have been looking forward to reading a great Superman comic again.

  8. I was not left with any compelling reason to pick up JL #2. Superman vs. Batman? Been there. Done that. The origin of Cyborg? Couldn’t care less. What a shame.

  9. But is Action Comics a Superman comic for people who like Superman?

  10. Just what I was going to say, Ricardo! :)

    Kirby gave us Darkseid in like Jimmy Olsen 134 or so, so it was right off of the bat. No excuse here, tho’. I wholeheartedly agree that the role of the editor these days seems to be that of a traffic manager and that’s it.

    A very bad foot to put forward first.

  11. I like Superman and thought Actions comics 1 was awesome.

    I think Justice League 1 is weak, but I dislike a lot of Michael Bay movies that I thought were done poorly but made a lot of money. So perhaps DC makes this work for them. Trying to be positive.

  12. “So the first thing I realized last night is 13 books a week is almost too much to read in one sitting, at least not without getting a bit of a headache.”

    Sign #3759 that you are getting OLD

    Still love ya, Brian

  13. Thanks for the reality check on JL #1, Brian. You forgot to mention that Green Lantern’s overconfident jerk shtick got old REAL fast. I see my first nuDC title that I’m not continuing.

  14. All the non-comics gamers I know that I convinced to by JUSTICE LEAGUE are clamoring for issue 2.

    So there’s that.

  15. Another lapsed reader reaction here. I’m a 40 year-old guy who grew up on comics and still gets the glossy collections (like the Simonson Thor Omnibus! Yum!). But I don’t want to feel like an old man just wallowing in nostalgia, so I thought I’d give nuDC a try with JL #1.

    What can one say? Trying to ‘review’ it is like trying to review a Star Trek episode based solely on the teaser (the little bit before the opening credits). I feel like I paid 4 bucks for a preview of the actual comic – when do I get the rest? It was ok as far as it went, which was not nearly far enough for 4 bucks.

    Check out X-Men #1 (1991) for a re-launch (hey, that’s really what it was) done right. It’s not a classic for the ages, but solid entertainment value it delivered. And the art was better too… What happened to that guy?

  16. I really, really liked Action #1 (and I’m saying this as someone who’s been bashing Morrison pretty relentlessly for the last year and a half). A great, loopy take on Superman, and refreshingly enough, one that’s wildly different from the one we saw in All-Star Superman – or, for that matter, from any version we’ve seen in the recent past. Morrison is clearly drawing on Superman’s Golden Age/1930s roots, which is pretty awesome, since (1) the reckless populist vigilante of Siegel and Shuster’s early years was a great, crazy, vibrant character, and one well worth revisiting, and (2) it’s probably the one version of the character that hasn’t been mined to death already. If even a fraction of DC’s rebooted comics are this good, they’ll justify the entire thing.

  17. I often agree with your reviews here at the Critics, and sometimes they make me sad ’cause it’s like a bunch of longtime, cynical comics readers coming up with excuses to dump on everything.
    Justice League 1 was solidly entertaining, and this comes from somebody who owns a bunch of Silver Age Justice League Archives, Len Wein’s brief run, a ton of Conway’s run, the first, really ground breaking and funny year of the Giffen League, wants to marry Morrison’s run, was bored by Waid’s, loved Kelly’s run, thought Busiek’s was a hoot, and wished Meltzer had lasted longer to wind up his various subplots. Yes, the Johns/Lee relaunch read like a movie or cartoon or television episode script. But who cares? I enjoyed the heck out of the Justice League/Justice League Unlimited cartoons, and they honored some of the League comics without aping them. My enjoyment of those cartoons wasn’t hampered by having witnessed these first meetings or origins before or these stories in some other iteration.
    So it’s not hard for me to get into the “spirit” of this reboot and just be happy to have a big, fun, Justice League book to read again with what promises to be a ton of the classic members (Hal GL, Barry Flash, Atom, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Firestorm).
    Batman swung around and used gadgets. Green Lantern formed various green objects. The two met, bickered, joked, teamed up. And Superman showed up at the end.
    Lee’s art was detailed and attractive.
    And Geoff Johns kept his blood lust in check.
    What’s not to like?

  18. @ Brian

    While I agree that our Savage Critics team can be quite cynical, I can’t help but think about this latest quote by John Ostrander about the Oracle who is now Batgirl:

    “But it comes down to is, are we making this change because we see a brilliant way to reinvent this character? Or is it just that this is the one that we loved in the past?”

    I’d like to think that these are all creative choices, that DC’s 52 as well as the JLA is all about interesting creative choices. But I highly doubt that. Geoff Johns and Jim Lee cater to the past because they love the things in the past. At least Post-Crisis tried to define itself with difference while trying to keep those working with quality characters going. This launch, especially after the shoddiness that was Flashpoint, really makes you cynical enough to believe that all this launch is doing is revamping the past without doing anything innovative for the future.

    Most of the stories since Infinite Crisis have been just dredging the old for crossovers without innovating characters for the future. Sure, there were a few bright spots like 52, Morrison’s Batman, and Waid’s Brave and Bold. But those stories were inspite of this rewind of past things.

    I long for the days of Archie Goodwin as editor, where you had stuff like Hitman, Chase, Chronos, Major Bummer, Starman that seemed to innovate the Superhero comic into something that was contemporary but also was a part of a larger world that wasn’t rebooted every year.

  19. There’s a tagline they can use :-

    Justice League : It’s not for old people!


  20. “And who would not like Superman? (except zit faced insecure male teens)”

    People who have different opinions from yours, probably.

  21. I’m so glad that Grant Morrison’s bold new take on the Superman status quo amounts to rehashing the aspects of the character that are the LEAST heroic in a modern context.

    Somewhere, Dick Cheney is smiling at all the supposedly “forward-thinking” fans who are cheering on a Superman who uses TORTURE to force confessions.

  22. lol, are you for real?

    Political correctness died somewhere around 1989. (and thank God for that)

  23. ‘This is a Superman comic for people who “don’t like Superman”.’

    Is it okay if I steal that? Because I’m totally going to.

    I’ll mention your name every 15th time, if that helps.

  24. “Political correctness died somewhere around 1989.”

    It’s “political correctness” to point out that he used TORTURE to force a Constitutionally illegal confession from this guy? Especially since any first-year law student could have gotten that confession thrown out of court, which makes it useless, just like ALL torture has been consistently PROVEN to be useless?

    The fact that he’s using TORTURE on a one-dimensional creepy-looking and unambiguously evil corporate type doesn’t change the fact that it’s TORTURE. I served seven years in the military, including two as part of the “War on Terror” and I wouldn’t even support using torture on real-world TERRORISTS, because a) it doesn’t work and b) it reduces us to the level of monsters in the name of fighting monsters.

    This Superman doesn’t CARE about actually SOLVING the world’s problems, or else, even with his reduced powers, he could have figured out a dozen different ways to get this guy locked up for life without even laying a hand on him, especially in his job as an INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST. All he wants is for people to FEAR him.

    Also? As long as Morrison is attempting real-world relevance by having Superman torture corrupt executives and beat up on wife-beaters (as was alluded to in this issue’s dialogue), I’m going to point out what anyone who’s ever worked with battered women will tell you, which is that trying to give physically abusive husbands “a taste of their own medicine” is only going to feed their need to reassert their sense of masculinity by beating their wives that much harder. Superman probably condemned that guy’s wife to death by letting his fists do the talking, rather than engaging his brain and using any number of other ways of getting that woman into a safe place.

  25. Relax, guy!

    It’s a comic? Last I checked? Right?
    Fiction. Let me spell that out for you: It’s not real.
    (no matter what Morrison says..)

  26. I suppose trying to explain Poe’s Law to you would be a lost cause, then.

    Here’s the deal; yes, this story is obviously about fictional characters in a world where science and biology and a whole bunch of other things do not operate the same way that they do in our own world. Yes, I get that, and yes, I’m actually willing to handwave quite a lot for the sake of genre conventions and suchlike.

    The problem with this, though, is that Morrison himself is going out of his way to tie this to “the real world,” which makes its problematic implications that much harder to shrug off. Superman dropping a power-armor-wearing Lex Luthor off a building is par for the course, but Superman doing the same to an ordinary human being, for the specific purpose of forcing him to incriminate himself so that he can be arrested, is giving me serious flashbacks to “waterboarding” and all the other “enhanced interrogation” techniques that the Bush administration WRONGLY argued are a) ethical and b) effective.

    I don’t want Superman torturing people. I especially don’t want Superman torturing characters who are clearly evil, like “Mister Metropolis,” who DOES deserve to be thrown in jail, because the MEANS by which he’s bringing them to justice are actually putting me in the position of feeling deeply uncomfortable with how they’re being treated.

    I get that heroes, even superheroes, can be flawed. I get that they can do bad things because of good intentions. But this? This crosses a line, especially considering how much Morrison and all his fans are CHEERING for it. Even scumbags are entitled to some measure of due process.

    It’s especially troubling because we now live in a day and age when U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a legitimately well-read Constitutional law scholar, has actually held up the equally fictional character of Jack Bauer from “24” as “proof” that torture WORKS.

    The stories that we feed our culture matter. Not everyone in every story has to be a good guy, but if we’re going to CALL them heroes, super or otherwise, then that needs to MEAN something.

  27. time to brush up on your comics history, my friend:
    The original (Siegel and Shuster) Superman let people DIE.


    He was meant to be a dick in the first place!

  28. I already KNOW my original Superman history, thanks. And I find it amusing that Morrison is justifying turning Superman into a dick because that’s how Jerry Siegel did it, when he’s also restoring the Lois/Clark/Superman “Love triangle” that Jerry Siegel hated so much that he tried to get rid of it during his own run, before his bosses told him, “No.”


    So, either you (and Morrison) can treat the Golden Age as sacrosanct and admit that DC’s restoration of the love triangle is wrong by that same standard, or you can admit that not everything that came from the Golden Age is necessarily worth preserving, in which case, your attempt at defending this aspect of Morrison’s portrayal falls completely apart. It’s either one or the other. You can’t have it both ways.

    And I say that, while Golden Age Superman is an interesting artifact, his brutal behavior is precisely why it’s WRONG to try and transplant him into the modern era. Strangely enough, I like the idea that we’ve actually EVOLVED since the 1930s, which is also why I don’t think we need to return to the days of heroes having racist caricatures as their archvillains either.

    Why the hell do you NEED Superman to be a dick in order to enjoy his stories anyway? Isn’t the fact that literally almost every OTHER supposedly heroic protagonist in popular fiction has been dickified, in almost exactly the same might-makes-right fashion, ENOUGH for you?

    Here’s a thought: I actually want to read about a HERO, because anyone who isn’t a sheltered adolescent already realizes that we see more than enough people acting like dicks every single time we read the news or watch TV.

  29. K-Box, can’t you just go and whine about this on Livejournal like you always do? You and the rest of Scans_Daily can wringe your hands of the terrible awful Superman who uses *gasp* torture to deal with corrupt city officials.

  30. Actually, Scans_Daily quite loved this issue, even after it was pointed out to them that this was torture. But if you’re as familiar with my writing as you indicate, you should realize by now that telling me to go away and refusing to actually address the points that I’ve made simply guarantees that I’ll talk you to death in this thread. :)

    Yes, torture is wrong, regardless of whether it’s being used against a bastard or not. I can’t believe we’ve reached the point where this is considered an overly moralistic position, but then, I guess eight years of Dubya and Darth Cheney have had a lasting impact upon the national psyche.

  31. I agree with you, K-Box, and am hoping that Superman will become less of a jerk as it goes along, as he learns that not everything can be solved by punching and intimidation and such?

    Has Morrison indicated that 40s Superman is his entire plan for the character and that we’re supposed to think his behaviour is ‘right’? I didn’t totally get that from the issue – I really enjoyed it as it does feel like a superhero just starting out with lots of room for interesting growth, and I’m not sure we’re supposed to totally agree with his sub-Batman intimidation methods?

    If it is just issue-after-issue of ‘weird sort-of right-wing Superman learning nothing’ then I’ll probably stop buying it (unless it stays as entertaining as this issue, then I can maybe enjoy it at a remove, a bit like All-Star Batman. Might not agree with the politics, but I can still enjoy a good bit of writing and art).

    I’m all for Superman as ‘champion of the underclass’, though, and hope to read a few interesting stories in that vein?

  32. See, for me, it’s more than just being “a jerk.” Superman basically just wiped his ass with this dude’s Fifth Amendment rights. Even being a self-absorbed teen who chooses not to stop a thief who’s running past you is less problematic than choosing to be a one-man “enhanced interrogation” squad. There’s a difference between committing adolescent mistakes and acting like an unmasked, hygienic Rorschach. The funny thing is, what Morrison CLAIMS his politics are — very much left of center — is also where my own lie, but aside from lip service to the working man, this reads like “Dirty Harry” got super-powers, and that’s about as far-right as you can get in popular fiction. Indeed, this scene reminded me of nothing so much as the scene in the original “Dirty Harry” film, in which “Scorpio” has just been shot and is screaming about his right to a lawyer while Harry stands on his wounded leg. Everything about the characterization and plot is deliberately crafted to make the audience hate the Bad Guy for insisting on his legally guaranteed rights.

    And even previous Superman writers recognized why stories like “Superman beats up a wife-beater” don’t really work outside of the Golden Age:


    It’s a bit Lifetime-flavored, and yet, it’s still more well-written than Morrison’s work here.

  33. “Everything about the characterization and plot is deliberately crafted to make the audience hate the Bad Guy for insisting on his legally guaranteed rights”

    That’s a pretty good point.

    But I’m still hoping there’ll be an aknowledgement down the line (hopefully not too far) that what he’s doing isn’t right? ‘Cos yeah, torture isn’t cool, Superman, and doesn’t work, either (as you say).

    That said, I did enjoy the comic, perhaps because it’s not like any Superman I’ve read (not actually read any Golden Age Superman stuff other than the odd page). I’m interested in seeing where it’s going. Morrison’s All-Star does show he ‘gets’ what the character’s about, and I do share a lot of what I perceive Morrison’s politics to be, so I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and see what happens?

  34. You gotta admit Superman getting stopped by a bullet train was pretty clever.

  35. @ Jeremy:

    I think that’s key the the whole story. Sure, he’s faster than a speeding bullet and can jump over tall buildings with a single bound, but he isn’t more powerful that a locomotive. I think that’s a great way to show that Superman isn’t the grown up that we see today. I always thought this is how you should portray a Superboy, someone who has a naive idea of social justice and not quite as powerful as he believes himself to be.

  36. Spurgeon summed up the ReHeat quite nicely as “fan fiction death orgy.”

  37. K-Box, it’s been too long :-).

  38. ah yes, scans daily – that explains a lot…
    you guys are a bit, shall we say, pathological in your views…

    My advice: try to leave the house more often!

  39. The funny thing is, what Morrison CLAIMS his politics are — very much left of center — is also where my own lie, but aside from lip service to the working man, this reads like “Dirty Harry” got super-powers, and that’s about as far-right as you can get in popular fiction.

    No, it’s not. Far-left people can be just as violent, dismissive of basic civil rights and oppressive as far right people. They like to perpetuate the myth that forcing your views onto others and using violence to oppress opposition is the sole province of the right, but that’s not the case.

    History is full of far-left regimes that used tyranny and intimidation to redistribute wealth, champion the poor and spread far-left rhetoric (Communist Russia anyone?). History is full of far-right regimes that used tyranny and intimidation to get their goals met as well.

    Likewise, history is full of far-left people and far-right people who fully respect civil liberties, are willing to listen to the opposition and believe in due process and basic decency.

    This idea that “Oh, Morrison says he’s a lefty but can’t be because he writes a character doing shitty bullying actions and only the right is capable of those shitty bullying actions” is an immature and frankly insulting worldview.

    Militant, bullying idealogues steamroll over people’s rights whether they espouse lefty ideology or righty ideology. Really, the ideology is just secondary. Their primary purpose is to push their views on others by any means necessary.

    For example the original Siegel and Shuster Superman from Action #1 had pure disregard for civil liberties and individual rights and had a downright fascist quality, yet few would mistake him as anything but a New Deal lefty with very socialistic tendencies.

  40. “My advice: try to leave the house more often!”

    My views on this subject are highly informed by the seven years of military service I had, including two overseas deployments – the first to drop bombs on the Taliban in Afghanistan immediately after 9/11, the second to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq – as part of the “War on Terror,” so of the two of us, I would suggest that I’m not the one whose worldview is limited by not getting outdoors enough.

  41. Hey, K-Box, aren’t you that guy who infamously commissions artists to draw pornography of spider-man being sexually humiliated for having a small penis?

  42. I’m the guy who commissions porn of Spider-Man’s Aunt May. Get it straight. :)

  43. No, I have pretty conclusive proof of what you’re into.


    The DCnU didn’t reboot your continuity!

  44. Pfft. That’s hardly the weirdest shit I’m into. I have public posts on my blog that are more kinky than that. :)

    Nice to see that you’re so totally unable to counter the actual points I’ve made that you have to resort to ad hominem attacks about my pr0n fetishes, which is especially hypocritical coming from someone who posts on 4chan (yes, I saw you getting coached by the posters in the /co/ thread).

    The fact that you’re handling your disagreement with me this way simply proves that you yourself know for a fact that your own position is entirely wrong, since you can’t manage to defend it any other way, which proves that everything I’ve said is entirely justified.

    Any time I start to question or doubt myself, all I have to do is listen to what the people who want me to shut up are saying, and it reaffirms all my beliefs.

    TL;DR: I would have gone silent a long time ago if it weren’t for people like you trying to get me to do exactly that. Your hatred is the reason I still exist.

  45. I mean, as long as we’re bringing off-topic perversions into this thread, I’m also the guy who did this:


    You’re never going to win this little war.

  46. I have grown INCREDIBLY bored with this conversation. Please stop, or I’m going to start deleting.


  47. Brian,

    I wouldn’t object to deletions of the off-topic posts.

    Both mine and Leto’s.

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