Posted by: Brian Hibbs on September 20, 2011
Four this time: Death, Demons, Original Monsters, and Suicide.
(man, this commitment to review all 52 of these is really a slog! Not quite halfway!)
DEATHSTROKE #1: I don’t think it will be much of a surprise to say “I didn’t like that”, but I guess I’m not certain who a TITANS-less Deathstroke is for?
Actually, no, let me amend that, because Deathstroke tied to the Titans was always somewhat sad — he’s supposed to be a major bad-ass, master strategist, and so on, and a kid in red hot pants always lead his defeat. Sad, really.
But, Deathstroke without the Titans is kinda “just” a “bad-ass mercenary”, and those are kind of a dime a dozen. Especially in comics. So, for me, this needs something to clearly separate it from that pack — a visual, a sensahumor, dunno, something. Didn’t find anything like that here, just an amorality contest, which had the impact of rendering the character thoroughly unlikely (especially with that punchline) — interestingly, this is the first of the 52 I’ve read that doesn’t even try for a cliffhanger ending.
As a comic, I thought it was pretty AWFUL. As part of a linewide rebranding effort to create pitches for adaptation into TV shows, I thought it was OK.
DEMON KNIGHTS #1: This one, on the other hand, I thought worked admirably — disparate pre-gunpowder heroes thrown together as a team with plenty of funny and action, and I thought the “here’s who I am and where’s my power set” stuff all worked here in a way it simply didn’t in Cornell’s STORMWATCH. Probably because of the time period. Anyway, yeah, liked it a lot, it’s in my personal top three so far. A solid VERY GOOD.
FRANKENSTEIN AGENT OF SHADE #1: Loved the setup, the idea machine, the worldbuilding, the characters, but I was very very iffy on the art. I want to see more of this book, but I’d like to see it with a cleaner and sleeker style Overall however: GOOD stuff, Maynard.
SUICIDE SQUAD #1: But we have to end this patch on a down note: ew.
The original (well, OK, the second version — the Ostrander version) Suicide Squad worked so well because of character interaction. I, for one, never really cared about the specifics of the missions or the plot — it was all about broken broken people rattling around in a barrel half-filled with napalm or some other metaphor there I’m not getting quite right. I guess I mean that they were at least as dangerous to each other as they were threatened by the storyteller. That’s a kind of magic of good writing, when the characters can kind of write themselves.
I don’t want to totally write this off with JUST the first issue, but judging from this one, no, this is all about the plothammer. Before I had turned to page two I had guessed what the twist was going to be. I don’t mind brutality and torture in my comics, but I’m not a big fan of gratuitous brutality and torture.
Plus when I got to that last page shot of Amanda Waller? I threw up a little in my mouth. So, yeah, AWFUL from me.
Whew, just one more to go…. and then I’m just at the halfway point? *moan*
As always, what did YOU think?