Posted by: Brian Hibbs on September 22, 2011
Remember what I said last week about sometimes the most interesting stuff in the DCU was sitting at the fringes? Yeah, that.
BLUE BEETLE #1: as far as I am concerned, this is the first “proper” first issue of the entire bunch released so far. It’s an origin story. It clearly sets up the protagonist and who he is and what he wants, as well as doing so for at least one antagonist (the suit, itself), AND an entire supporting cast! It made me want to see more when I got to the last page. Yeah, yeah, this was EXCELLENT and exactly what every one of these 52 should have been like: a complete “you’ve never seen this before” reboot that establishes the character completely on their own — neither of the two prior versions appear to have “ever happened”. That’s clear, that’s understandable, completely straight forward, and pretty fun. My one quibble is the constant switching between spanish and english — it doesn’t really work on the page for me. But, yeah, really a perfect first issue of a superhero comic. A pleasant surprise for Tony Bedard, a write who has not made me enthusiastic in the past.
CAPTAIN ATOM #1: Basically it is more DOCTOR MANHATTAN: THE COMIC BOOK (which is really kind of funny, considering), but yeah I liked this just fine, too. There’s no origin here, we’re eight months into his career here, if I’m reading that clock thing correctly, and I’m still not entirely sure the who and the what of everything — there’s the Doctor Megala from the Cary Bates run, but there isn’t any General Eiling that I noticed, is he “Captain Adam”, then? Or is it something else entirely? I couldn’t quite get why the clock did what it did (it wasn’t always forward counting), and I don’t necessarily feel for the protagonist yet, but yeah it was different in tone and mood and style than anything else in the 52 so far. There was also an intermittent effect (that I’m not 100% sure was intentional?) from Freddie Williams II, where CA himself is the only thing at times that looks “solid” while all the normal people have kind of hazy outlines. If it WAS intentional, then good job and nice counterpoint, but maybe make it a little more explicit. I want to rate this stronger than just GOOD, but I can’t quite make the leap to add the “very”, but either way I thought it worth a sample, at least.
DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #1: Or what it should really be called: DEADMAN #1. This is only on for six or something? Well, I’m there for this run. It’s an interesting piece — it goes straight back to the original story, but leaves nicely ambiguous what might or might not have happened in the meantime. My reading of the story says probably BRIGHTEST DAY didn’t occur for this character, and he’s certainly not dating Dove. We’ve talked before about how, in some ways, these books are a series of of cheap R&D “and here’s how this can be a TV show”, and DEADMAN scores wonderfully on that front, going straight for a “Quantum Leap meets Medium” (Maybe? I’ve never seen the latter?) high concept that is wonderfully additive to any story that came before, yet while honoring them as possible any way. Excellent excellent job of threading that particular needle, Paul Jenkins! This was a VERY GOOD comic, I thought.
That’s me… what did YOU think?