The New 52 as Read by Non-Dorks (Part 5)


As the cycle of #2 issues of the New 52 comes to an end, it is becoming pretty clear which of these books I’m going to stick with, and it’s waaay less than I estimated after reading the #1’s.  Stuff that seemed intriguing the first time around got super boring super quickly which is a shame, but allows for a much more manageable comic-reading schedule.

But while I’m looking forward to a significantly smaller percentage of the #3’s, my superteam of comix n00bz is still plowing through the #1 issues, and reporting back to you, the Sense of Right Alliance reader.  Be sure to check out prior installments (Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4) as well.

DEMON KNIGHTS #1
Read by Oliver Lyons

I fucking hate comics.  Don’t get me wrong – I used to love comics.  Hell, I went to college for comics.  But the reason I now fucking hate comics is because comics became less and less single or two issue contained stories, clearly written and illustrated, and more jumbled, incoherent messes with a curse word thrown in to appeal to the “adult” market (by the way this comic is rated “Teen.”  Since when did comics start getting rated like video games?!  Where did the all-knowing, all-powerful Comics Code Authority stamp go? Selah.)  Demon Knights #1 is a prime example of this.  Right off the bat, in the interest of fairness, there is NO Crypt Keeper in Demon Knights #1.  No Will Smith’s wife either.  I was just as confused as you are.  Apparently Demon Knights was created by Jack Kirby (who’s wayyyyyyy dead at this point), but I had never heard of this series before now.  Someone owes somebody money.  Also, instantly rubbing me the wrong way, Demon Knights involves medieval knights and dragons and wizards and all manner of elf/wolf nonsense that I cannot stand.  I mean, Game of Thrones is cool and all but Demon Knights is no Game of Thrones.

So the comic starts off at the last night of Camelot.  Great, I gotta remember the $#@% Arthurian literature course I took in college to fully grasp a comic book aimed at semi-literate twelve-year-olds.  Some dude is upset that they’re taking Arthur off in a boat to another time (?) so he spazzes out and tosses Arthur’s sword in the water only for it to be grabbed by a hand that I assumed belonged to the Lady in the Lake as per Arthurian convention, but then it cuts to some woman named Xanadu (who looks NOTHING like Olivia Newton- John) jumping in the water after that sword.  Or a different sword?  I have no idea because we’re suddenly in a castle with Merlin talking to a demon who is talking all modern-like while Merlin talks all old-tyme(??).

Merlin then magically (you can tell it’s magic on accounta all the purple fire) merges the demon with some kid who happened to be walking into Merlin’s room (to be fair, Merlin does yell “I fix the demon” which is funny in a completely stupid way).  We then see a shot of a bunch of people we don’t recognize and then DINOSAURS SHOW UP!  Dinosaurs!  In the dark ages!  Of all things!  I ask you!?!

Basically, and I, a fully-grown adult with two degrees, had to read this comic twice to understand it, Demon Knights is about a guy called Jason who was merged with a demon called Etrigan (see: “I fix the demon”) who has to stay alive forever to stop the Horde of the Questing Queen™ who gets orders from another(?) demon that she can only talk to when its spirit inhabits a human body (this is explained via an exploding baby) to quest for something we don’t know about yet.

Jason/Etrigan’s sidekick is Xanadu, a woman who says “arse” a lot and who just wants to drink in peace.  This is the only character I can relate to in this whole comic.  Xanadu only hangs out with Jason because when he gets angry he Hulks© (oops), I mean he transforms into Etrigan whom Xanadu is in love with (they kiss and she mentions to him she likes “a bit of rough.”  This comic is rated “Teen.”)  The premise of this first issue is that Jason and Xanadu walk into a bar (I’m serious), complain that they’ve been alive for billions of years and it sucks, meet a whole cast of characters that I’m sure will become important in future issues but for now are just mouthpieces in skin-tight leotards loudly yelling their names, when the Horde of the Questing Queen bursts in.  Jason Bill Bixbys into Etrigan and throws fire at the horde when the Questing Queen, who has been somewhere else with some guy the whole comic, summons DRAGONS to the bar! (I thought it was dinosaurs again but considering the next issue is titled “Here be Dragons”, I stand corrected.)

Now I get that with any new series the challenge is always how do you introduce a story line, a subplot, a main character and the rest of the characters within the confines of 22 pages and keep it interesting and engaging?  This problem is compounded when you Tolkien-up your comic and give everyone screwball names, set them in screwball magic lands, and, on top of that, shoehorn your storyline onto an existing fictional narrative.  And then add dinosaurs.  Demon Knights attempts too much in too small a space.  Character development, story pacing, and plot coherence get sacrificed so the artist can draw more jumbled panels of explosions, people getting impaled with arrows, and dinosaurs.  While all that looks cool, it’s confusing as all get out to the reader.  Especially a new reader.  I know I said that I’m biased against fantasy crap, so maybe this series would appeal to someone who has read a ton of George R. R. Martin in between asthma attacks and is more prepared for an onslaught of names, places, and dragons than I.  As it stands, I will not be picking up Demon Knights # 2.  I’d say maybe there could be a chance if they cut back on the flashy panels and invested in more engaging storytelling, but I have a feeling that problem is not limited to the Demon Knights series alone.  I have a sneaking suspicion that for all their bluster about re-booting the DC Universe to make it more accessible for newcomers, the writers, artists, and editors are still making DC comics just for DC comic fans who are already familiar with the DC Comics style.  I saw nothing bold, engaging, or forward thinking in Demon Knights #1. It might as well just have been Demon Knights #347.  I was excited to check out one of these “New 52” but what I read was simply business as usual.  And that’s why I fucking hate comics.

 Chadd sez:
I am a long-time Etrigan fan and have a decent familiarity with the DC Universe, and even I found myself pretty confused by Demon Knights, so I can only imagine how Oliver must have felt.  In this book’s favor, I think one of the coolest things about the “New 52” initiative is the focus on creating titles outside of the normal superhero genre.  This one is meant to appeal to swords-and-sorcery fantasy fans and as Oliver suggested, maybe the target audience is better equipped to deal with the onslaught of information presented here.  But I have a feeling that the DCU aspect of it will make it confusing for anyone who gravitates here as a result of their Lord of the Rings fandom or whatever.  Still, I enjoyed this book despite my confusion and hope that the story will become clearer as the arc goes on.  Also, I love the conceit that mythological dragons were actually just dinosaurs!  So screw you, Oliver!

Oliver Lyons yells in the band Panther Moderns and in the proper context, does actually like dinosaurs.

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CATWOMAN #1
Read by Deanna Lavery

I have never read or followed a comic in my life, unless you count the occasional Archie.  Though Veronica is quite sassy, she’s no Catwoman.  I saw the movie Batman Returns somewhere around 1992, and at age nine I don’t remember very much about the movie, but I do remember liking the character of Catwoman enough to beg my mother to purchase a sparkly tee-shirt with Michelle Pheiffer slinking all over it. To be fair, I also just really liked cats and had an equally sweet, pink Trapper Keeper with fluffy kittens emblazoned upon it.   In watching the movie again recently (are all the comic book fans cringing yet?), I really liked the coo-coo, sexy secretary turned black suited, loose cannon, almost remorseless, shadowy figure, even if she is pretty slutty and the story-line is a little wonky and unclear.  I didn’t mind her use of sex as a tool so much because she was just so insane and primal, er, catlike, if you will.  Cats basically hump all day and act neurotic, so it fits.  Thus, based on my 9-year-old love for kitten pictures, and a reluctant respect for MP’s Catwoman, I looked forward to reading the reboot.  I was anticipating a better knowledge of her background, and though I didn’t have high hopes for the sluttypantsness to subside, I thought it would at least be a little more mixed in with her nutso personality.

Opening scene is Catwoman running away from some skull guys who are trying to explode her apartment while she has a casual conversation/internal monologue about how much she loves taking risks.  She’s all boobed out and in the middle of throwing her costume on in a hurry to get away from the aforementioned skull guys.  The whole sequence screams, “I am so dangerous! And sexy!”  Which is fine and interesting, but I was hoping for a whole lot more serious mental disturbance, and less overdone, “I’m soooo unpredictable”, risk-taking, undergraduate co-ed.  Meh.  All that to say, I was still interested and I did like the nonchalant philosophizing while escaping from certain death via skull guys.  So she gets to her friend’s house who is some kind of stripper, but she looks like a man and I’m not sure if she is supposed to look like a man, but she apparently has the hook ups for all the hot gigs involving Russian mobster parties with lots of prostitutes.

I am left to assume that Russian mobster parties are desirable to Catwoman because she might find out some important information for something that she can steal and sell back to them.  So, she poses as the bartender because she doesn’t want to be a prostitute and listens in on conversations.  Her little monologue about not wanting to be both grabbed and molested at the same time, instead one or the other is acceptable, was dumb and filler conversation.  Try harder, please, comic writers.  Somehow she knows Russian.  She is listening to a conversation about a hot tip when she recognizes some guy she really hates and who is supposed to be in jail; then she demolishes him and moves on to obliterating everyone else.  I think she was going to reign herself in, but he decided to murder a prostitute and that shit is not permissible.  I actually really like that scene because most of the panels are very blue-grey monochromatic and when the blood is spurting everywhere there is a distinct contrast.

Then she goes and squats in some fancy penthouse and for some reason Batman is there and she forces him to have sex with her.  Surprise!  The end.

Reaction?  I really like how the comic is drawn because of the previously mentioned reasons.  I want to give Catwoman a chance to really show her insanity or dark side, however the writers would like to add depth to her character.  I feel like Catwoman has such potential for quirky, fun character development and doesn’t need to slut it up constantly, but it would be ok if it added to the story.  I want to read one more issue, but I really don’t think I’d be that interested if her character doesn’t start showing a little bit more (comic book grade, mind you) depth.  Also, I really would like to know the story behind why she’s running around in a costume kicking ass and sexin’ everyone.  From my 9-year-old perspective, she doesn’t really do anything that cat-like except wear a cat costume and have pets.  If I am to stay interested, her character needs to develop a little more, but hopefully it’s just a slow start.  I could also stand for a storyline that is a little easier to follow, though it wasn’t the worst.  So, I think I’ll buy the second issue, maybe even the third, but I hope they up the crazy and the, I don’t know, catlike-ness.

Chadd sez:
It’s nice to see that Deanna doesn’t focus too much on the perception that this book is grossly sexist, which has been a hot topic in comic book circles since its release.  Frankly, I think the controversy is overblown: Catwoman has always been a femme fatale who uses her sexuality to manipulate men, and she’s always had a weird sex thing going on with Batman.  The bigger issue here, in my opinion, is that all of this is handled pretty poorly by the usually-pretty-good Judd Winick, and the end result is a comic book that is just kinda boring and meh.  Deanna is absolutely justified in expecting a Catwoman comic to be fun and sexy and character-driven, and while I think that was the intention of this book, it just didn’t deliver.  Hopefully that will change.

Deanna stays busy getting her master’s in social work full-time. She lives in her apartment with her own gigantic cat, Ernie, who thankfully doesn’t slut it up or murder Russians too often.

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JUSTICE LEAGUE #1
Read by Michael Upperman

I’ve got a 3-year-old who’s begging me to read him Curious George Goes to the Zoo, so I’m going to make the review as  brief as possible.  In fact, I’ll sum Justice League #1 in six words:  The Green Lantern is a dick.

OK, that’s a little too brief.  I guess I better add some filler if I want Chadd to throw this up on his blog.

Justice League #1 is the first comic published for “The New 52,” DC Comics’ reboot of the DC Universe.  This is the book that’s supposed to get new comic book readers excited about their product.  In my opinion, they’ve failed.

Let’s start with what works.  Jim Lee’s artwork is fantastic.  I was a fan of Mr. Lee when he was drawing X-Men in the early 90’s, so it’s nice to see that he hasn’t lost his touch over the years.  Artwork in the comics of the 90’s had turned into a joke by the time I stopped reading them.  The proportions were always so off.  People like Liefeld ruined comic book art for me.  Lee was a little guilty of this anatomic extremism, but he wasn’t the worst.  I’m happy to say that Justice League doesn’t suffer from any of these issues.  Special props for the action sequences; they look great.

Geoff Jones does a good job keeping things simple.  You don’t have to know the first thing about the Justice League to understand what’s going on.  A 5-year-old could pick this comic up and follow along.  That’s good.  It’s a comic where Superman and Batman beat the shit out of people.  It should be simple.

It’s a shame the plot isn’t as interesting as the art.  The action starts off 5 years in the past.  Seriously?  When I agreed to review this comic, I was expecting an epic opening with the entire Justice League battling some earth-destroying menace.  Instead, I get Batman hopping across the roofs of Gotham chasing some transforming alien.  It’s not even a cool looking alien.  It’s like a Gobot reject.

Batman has everything under control when Green Lantern, the biggest douche in the DC Universe, shows up.  This dude comes off like a Grade A asshole.  He spends the rest of the issue acting like a frat boy in tights.  “Hey Batman, I can fly and you can’t.  Fuck you bat dude!”  Really?  Am I supposed to relate to this guy in any way?  There’s some banter between Batman and Green Lantern that’s supposed to be witty I guess, but it all comes off very forced to me.

So Green Lantern and Batman come to the conclusion that aliens are attacking the Earth and Superman is an alien, therefore Superman must be involved.  At least I think that’s what happened.  I skimmed that part.

On the way to Metropolis, they fly over a scene from Friday Night Lights.  Some all-star football player is whining because his dad was too busy earning a living instead of watching him score a touchdown.  I’m assuming Geoff added this scene because he knows kids these days are a bunch of pussies, so they would relate.

By this point, I’m bored to tears.  Luckily, the comic ends on a good note.  Superman punches Green Lantern in the face.  I may read issue #2 just to see how Jim Lee draws his mangled corpse.

I’ll give DC credit for making a book that’s easy to follow.  If their goal was to simplify things, then they succeeded.  But what they failed to do was write an interesting story.  I’m all for writing an origin story, but not in the first issue of the first book that’s rebooting your new universe.  You need to get the reader hooked right off the bat, and that’s not going to happen when the team isn’t even formed yet.  People pick up Justice League comics because the want epic battles, but nothing felt epic about this book.

Chadd sez:
I more or less agree completely with Michael’s assessment here.  As the centerpiece of DC’s huge reboot event, Justice League should have provided what every single reader would want out of the book – the motherfucking Justice League!  Instead we get a slow-burn origin which introduces the team members one at a time, which could work in some other context, but the fact is no one picked up Justice League #1 to read a brave and bold story about Batman and Hal Jordan teaming up.  If this is done well, it might be a great read when it’s collected into a trade, but what a shockingly dumb idea for a book that’s meant to serve as a starting point for this entire universe.

Michael Upperman owns the first issue of Star Brand and is not afraid to admit it.

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DEATHSTROKE #1
Read by Chad Lewis

I started to read comics during the 90’s, when I was ten years old.  I liked the violent comics that had curses like “fark” and “frag.”  I thought liking violence and cursing made me mature because I could not differentiate between being mature and being a prepubescent asshole with no taste.  Fortunately for ten-year-old me, Marvel Comics had artists and writers who were also tasteless, prepubescent assholes.  I read a lot of X-Force comics because X-Force comics had a lot of guns and swords, and I thought guns and swords were cool.  I never read DC Comics because Batman and Superman did not have anything like guns and swords.  How not cool were those guys?  When Chadd Derkins asked people to choose and read one of the New 52 from DC Comics, I chose Deathstroke because Deathstroke looks like X-Force comics in the 90’s.

In the first scene of Deathstroke, the comic’s writer, Kyle Higgins, sets the standard by which Deathstroke will be measured: “Deathstroke the Terminator – the scariest badass on the planet.”

The standard Higgins sets is a great one, but when your name is Deathstroke the freaking Terminator, you accept nothing less than greatness in your badass pursuits.  Of course, you have to ask yourself the question, “How do I measure greatness in the pursuit of that which is badass?”  If, like me, you started to read comics during the 90’s, you know the answer to that question.  The level of badass is measured by the size of your gun and/or sword, the number of enemies you kill, and the number of pouches you have.  A scene by scene analysis was done to measure the level of badass in Deathstroke.

As the first scene continues, Deathstroke decapitates some Russians.  According to Higgins, in addition to being a badass mercenary, Deathstroke is a master strategist.  As a master strategist, he knows the weaknesses of his enemies and how to exploit them.  He knows Russians are susceptible to decapitation.  He exploits that weakness by severing their heads with his sword.  The badass analysis looks like this:

Size of sword: Vorpal
Enemies killed: 9 Russians
Pouches: Plentiful

In the second scene, Deathstroke wears a pea coat and meets a guy named Christoph.  If I were to write down a list of that which is badass, wearing a pea coat and meeting a guy named Cristoph would not be at the top of that list.  I am not Deathstroke the J.Crewminator, however, so what do I know?  Christoph has a new mission for Deathstroke, but the new mission has a catch.  The catch is Deathstroke has to team up with some hip, teenage sidekicks who say hip, teenage things like “dawg” and “playlist.”

Deathstroke is not pleased with the team-up.  To show Christoph his displeasure, Deathstroke, like most people, kills a fly with a paperclip.  The badass analysis looks like this:

Size of sword: Paperclip (jumbo)
Enemies killed: 1 fly (2 halves)
Pouches: Paltry

In the third scene, Deathstroke boards the enemy’s jet to steal a briefcase of secrets.  On boarding the jet, Deathstroke discovers the briefcase, but he also discovers what looks like three Nosferatus.

Deathstroke says something about the Nosferatus having the DNA of Clayface or something scientific like that.  Therefore, Clayface Nosferatus are not as susceptible to decapitation as Russians.  Deathstroke, being a master strategist, severs their heads with his sword despite science.  He then hurls the Clayface Nosferatus out of the jet, steals the briefcase of secrets, and hurls himself out of the jet.  The jet explodes, and Deathstroke is rescued by his teenage sidekicks.  The badass analysis looks like this:

Size of sword: MacLeod
Enemies killed: 3 Clayface Nosferatus
Pouches: Plethoric

In the final scene, Christoph and Deathstroke’s teenage sidekicks celebrate.  Deathstroke, however, does not want to celebrate.  Something in the briefcase of secrets put him in a bad mood.  To show Christoph and his teenage sidekicks how bad his mood is, Deathstroke, like most people, guns down everyone but Christoph, who he tells to clean up the mess.  There is a line between being a badass and being a dick.  I feel like murdering your teenage sidekicks after they rescue you from an exploding jet and telling someone else to clean up the mess crosses that line.  Deathstroke the Jerkminator is a dick.  The dickhead analysis looks like this:

Size of sword: Gun
Enemies killed: 3 hip teenage sidekicks, sucka
Pouches: Prodigious

Why is Deathstroke such a dick?  What was inside the briefcase of secrets that put him in such a bad mood?  Will he ever learn to show his feelings in a less homicidal way?  I guess I will have to read the second issue of Deathstroke to learn the answers.  I am not ten-years-old anymore, so I do not like violence, guns, and swords as much as I did in the 90’s.  For a comic based on violence, guns, and swords, however, I thought Deathstroke was enjoyable.  I thought the simple, straightforward writing, as well as the simple, straightforward art, made the comic better than most comics about gun-toting antiheroes.  I enjoyed it more than any of the X-Force comics I read twenty years ago!

Chadd sez:
I love the X-Force comparisons here because, yeah, Deathstroke has always been one of DC’s most unpleasantly Marvellish characters.  Still, for a comic book so rich with eye-rolly badassitude, I am shocked at how much I genuinely enjoyed the first issue of Deathstroke.  I don’t know how long the book can sustain my interest, but for now I’m totally on board, pouches and all.

Chad majors in Human Services at Old Dominion University, so he knows some things about stuff.  His favorite gun-toting antihero is Rocket Raccoon, the furriest anthropomorphic raccoon in the Keystone Quadrant.

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VOODOO #1
Read by Elliot

Okay, in the interest of full disclosure here, I need to tell you all that I’m not new to comics or the DC Universe.  I have been reading DC for years, but the Wildstorm universe is a new thing for me.  I’ve heard bad things, but I figured what the hell, I’ll give Voodoo a shot.

We start out in a strip club with like four pages devoted to the titular (yes I know you can see what I did there) character getting comic tease naked while a dude with stubble in aviator shades talks to a woman who totally has a female detective haircut.

The woman leaves the club while the dude stays behind and bribes another stripper for Voodoo’s real name.  The woman bumps into some dudes who don’t wanna be disrespected. so they try to make her apologize.  So she beats the shit out of them, demonstrating that she is as tough as her haircut led you to believe and doesn’t give a shit about disrespecting.  Sami Basari draws some really pretty women, but has trouble with men – they all look the same.  This is made painfully obvious in any panel with more than one dude in it.  They look like clones!

Oh hey, there’s that DC mystery woman lurking in the background, like some kind of comic book Waldo daring us to notice her!

Then it’s back to the boobs we have been missing for the last few pages, as the strippers hang out and talk about shit.  Voodoo gets asked to babysit for another stripper and refuses because she isn’t built for it, and reveals that she works there to learn about men since they have their guard down there.

She ends up giving an expository lap dance to the dude, who I now realize looks like Faith-era George Micheal, where he gives us the whole rundown on who she is.

He tries to intimidate her into turning herself in, and HOLY SHIT she turns into an amazingly dumb-looking monster.  Is this crap really what she looks like?  They couldn’t have come up with something cooler looking than that?  That shit is lame.  She kills the dude with her claws (we can tell that by the blood and shadows), and walks off.  She quits her job and shape shifts into George Michael, but instead of doing a one-woman/man show of the whole Father Figure video, she calls Detective Hair and says she will be right over.

So there you have it.  This book kind of sucked, and I probably won’t be reading it again until they lure me in by doing an issue that features a character I give a shit about, or make it part of their next universe “fixing” crossover.

Chadd sez:
I don’t have a hell of a lot to say about Voodoo.  I think Elliot’s thoughts are all very valid, but for whatever reason, I didn’t dislike the book.  I too am totally unfamiliar with the Wildstorm universe, and because of that, this felt fresh and interesting.  The book had an intriguing Vertigo vibe to it, which for me outweighed the dumber aspects of the story and all the weird stripper bullshit.  This shit could get pretty good, or it could get realllllly sucky, and I guess I’ll stick around long enough to see which direction it goes in.

Elliot watches movies, reads comics, and eats mac n’ cheese in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  He’s planning to do something really awesome someday.

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JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #1
Read by Colin Kane

I have never owned a comic book.

That is a lie:

-I bought the Batman where the Joker kills Robin because while buying baseball cards, I heard it was going to be a collector’s item one day.
-I bought one of the first Image comics because I was hanging out with kids that were really into it, and I played along to avoid being the outcast.
-I bought a few of The Walking Dead after getting hooked on the series at Phrank Martian’s house.

Let’s just start over.

I have owned 3-5 comic books in my life.  I don’t know how I managed this; I was the prime demographic.  I was into cartoons.  I enjoyed reading.  I loved sci-fi and fantasy.  I wore husky sized pants.  I was the kid that kept Marvel’s marketing department up at night.

I never got into comics, so this “relaunch” means nothing to me.  I have no idea what the Justice League International was all about prior to this.  That being said, let’s dive right in.

The world has gone unstable, and Andre Briggs knows how to fix it.  Throw a justice league under the UN umbrella, and be ready to stab them in the back the second things go awry.  Stereotypes abound as the Chinese ambassador is named after a steamed bun, the Russian guy keeps saying “Da!”, and the British lady speaks “proper”.


Briggs then goes down the list of potential members all the while showing the patience of Job.  Someone has a wise-ass zinger for every name he lists.  Why not just send them the list and ask for feedback instead of subjecting yourself to this half-assed roast, Dre?  I don’t want your job.  The only highlight was the Russian guy balking at the idea of Plastic Man joining the gang: “NYET! How you say….Too Whacko!”  I mean, I get it, it’s just a guy that can elongate himself.  There might be some powers I don’t know, but he seems useless.  But wacko?  That seems like a personal issue they need to work out.  The fate of the world seems to be at stake, let’s bury some hatchets.

I have no idea who Booster Gold is, but he seems to be the Zapp Brannigan of the group.  Everyone thinks this guy would fuck up a cup of coffee, even Batman – just not to Booster’s face.  He was all “yeah, Booster, you’re going to be great, a natural leader, you got it, big guy!” but then immediately turns to “I need to find out what the fuck the UN is doing. Who in their right mind would put Booster in charge of a potted cactus let alone the geopolitical fate of the world? That stupid fucking asshole” when Green Lantern peaces out practically immediately.

At this point, I have no choice but to hate Booster Gold.  It is later implied that Booster can see into the future, so I guess that’s a pretty cool ability, but it doesn’t make him not the Jefferson Darcy of superheroes at this point.

The rest are: Russian Iron Man, one of the Williams sisters, an ice lady, some sort of rock beetle (he’s chinese), a fire lady, and a white lady.  I am not sure who I am supposed to invest in, emotionally.  They’re not really fleshing anyone out.  Maybe some fieldwork will let their personalities shine.

They are called to investigate a team of scientists that disappeared when the earth opened up and they fell into a giant hole.  Batman is flying the super plane, another passive-aggressive “fuck you” to Booster.  I’m starting to feel sorry for him.

They land at the site and start sniffing.  It becomes well apparent that Godiva has been subconsciously voted to be the “bitchy” one of the group because fire lady jumps down her throat for a simple joke.  The ground opens up, and some sort of mud/rock monsters start to attack the League.  I’m not sure who made the choice to make the rock monsters speak as if they’re doing an a capella version of the Day Bow Bow song, but I love it.

Everyone immediately springs into action and they beat the monsters into pulp, causing a retreat.  At this point, I start to really see Batman for who he is.

It was a great team effort, and it worked, since the monsters retreated.  Batman, for no earthly reason, singles out Godiva for not pulling her weight. What the hell, Wayne? I flipped back to confirm that Godiva had not one, nor two, but THREE GODDAMN MONSTERS being strangled by her deadly hair:


Another dick move by Batman.  It’s a pattern.  It’s like he’s hazing freshmen.

That gets overshadowed by the giant robot that begins shooting out of the ground.  And it is completely warranted, because that robot is goddamn huge.  I hope Godiva gets a chance to defend herself after they defeat the robot.  We’ll have to wait until next time.

OH YEAH – there is a whole strange subplot where American yokels are not having any of this UN bullshit taking over their ‘Merican Justice League, so they blow up the Hall of Justice.  That’s about it for that arc so far.

Overall, I think the concept seems pretty cool.  It keeps the superhero realm rooted in contemporary politics.  It has potential to go places.  At this point, I don’t really care about any of the characters.  I would love for Batman to get exposed for the Real Housewife that he is so far, two-faced and meddling.  I would probably be interested in issue two, but not if this whole thing is about fighting giant robots.

Chadd sez:
First of all, Plastic Man is whacko as fuck!  I can forgive Colin for not being aware of that, but I can totally understand the Russian delegate being concerned about the whackoness.  Anyway, as a fan of the original Justice League International, and especially of Booster Gold, I am disappointed by this reboot which seems humorless and lacking in personality by comparison.  However, I do think the set-up here is pretty brilliant for the purposes of appealing to new readers.  The UN angle is interesting, and the idea of a bunch of relatively unfamiliar characters, along with one big famous headliner, starting their adventures from the ground floor is perfect for n00bz.  No confusing backstories, no established history – just a bunch of characters starting their story from the beginning.  It also does a much better job establishing a team dynamic than the regular old Justice League book.  If only it wasn’t so bland and one-dimensional.  Hopefully that will change and the spirit of the original book will shine through, because if it does this could be an excellent way for new readers to discover the larger DC Universe beyond just Superman and Batman.

Colin Kane, owner of several postless blogs he’s been meaning to get around to, can be found playing bass in The Challenged with the frequency of Haley’s Comet.

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Mixed reactions seem to be the running theme this time around, and that’s pretty in line with how I feel about a great deal of these titles.  Still, a few of these folks seem interested in continuing with their books in spite of elements that rubbed them the wrong way, which is a good thing because stories in this medium often take a little bit of time to find their footing.  Still, if I got burnt on some of this stuff two issues in, I can’t imagine a lot of the newbie fence-sitters will stick around for much longer than that, and that’s a shame.

One response to “The New 52 as Read by Non-Dorks (Part 5)

  1. Pingback: The New 52 as Read by Non-Dorks (Part 6) | The Sense of Right Alliance

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