My coverage of DC Comics “The New 52” continues! This week I picked up five comic books from DC’s universe-wide reboot: Green Lantern, Batman & Robin, Deathstroke, Grifter, and Mr. Terrific. Were these relaunches exciting and new (like Love Boat)? Or did they stray too far from the source material. Read on and find out! (Minor spoilers ahead.)
Green Lantern #1: Hal Jordan has been stripped of his power ring! Sinestro is now wielding it! That was a helluva cliffhanger at the end of the last GL series and a fantastic way to kick off this book. I really, really enjoyed watching both characters adjust to their new lives. Sinestro is unsure what to make of the Guardians of the Universe allowing him to serve in the Green Lantern Corps and has a most interesting confrontation with a member of the Sinestro Corps. Hal pretty much sucks as a civilian. He misinterprets a situation and tries to save a girl, but ends up in the slammer. His longtime on-again off-again girlfriend Carol Ferris thinks she’s getting a marriage proposal…but Hal asks her to co-sign a car lease with him. Bwahahahaha!!!
This was a fantstic start to what’s surely going to be a great book. More importantly, the strong writing and great art help erase that crap Green Lantern movie from my mind.
Batman and Robin #1: While Bruce Wayne was off traveling in time during a nonsensical Grant Morrison adventure, his sociopath of a son Damian (the latest Robin) was wreaking havoc with the rest of the “Bat Family”. I loved watching Damian interact with Nightwing and Red Robin. While this book was very good, the dynamic between father and son just isn’t there yet. It was more interesting watching Dick Grayson’s Batman interact with Robin. The father-and-son relationship doesn’t feel distinct. Damian acts like the annoying dick he has always been. Bruce comes off as being too soft and giving his son too long a leash. I suppose it’s tough being a single father that doubles as a vigilante. Then again, perhaps it just feels old. I’ve watched Bruce raise Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, and Tim Drake. Hmmm, perhaps this makes Damian Problem Child.
As for as this particular storyline, I’m intrigued by the new villain and love how Bruce is changing the way he honors his parents. I see myself enjoying the rest of this run, but also getting annoyed at Bruce for not chucking a batarang at his son.
Deathstroke #1: This book begins with, “Deathstroke the Terminator–the scariest badass on the planet.” And that’s precisely what Slade Wilson is. He’s clearly a bad guy, but he’s so cool, calculating, harsh, and brutal that he’s fascinating. It was awesome watching him kick ass in this book. It was also awesome watching him work with upstart youngsters in the mercenary business. The book ended with people questioning whether Deathstroke still has the goods. That opens things up for all sorts of exciting possibilities…but I have to question the sanity of anyone that doubts Deathstroke. Just look at the panel below to see how wicked he is.
Objectively, this was probably my favorite book of the week (but I’m too much of a Green Lantern mark to really accept this). The writing, action, art, and dialogue were fantastic.
Grifter #1: Cole Cash was always my favorite member of the original WildC.A.T.s., so I thought I’d give his book a shot. It had some interesting panels, but there was too much setup and not enough of what makes Grifter cool. The plot has Grif captured by aliens and subjected to a malicious process. Before the procedure can be completed, he breaks out. The good news is that he can now detect the aliens. The bad news is that he constantly hears their voices in his head (which makes him the Randy Orton of the DC Universe). The worse news is that he’s the only human that can see the aliens; while he’s trying to kill the baddies, the rest of the world thinks he’s a murdering psychopath. The worst news is that the government has sent his brother in Spec-Ops, Max Cash, to bring him down.
Although I was mildly disappointed in this book, I’m probably going to give it another few issues. I love the Grifter character and hope there will be some cameos by other Cats in the future. Majestros and Zealot are cool.
Mister Terrific #1: The Michael Holt version of Mister Terrific was a wonderful modernization of one of DC’s most dated characters. This book makes him even more current. I love where writer Eric Wallace is going with this. Mister Terrific blends superhero action, one of DCU’s most eligible bachelors, and crazy science that almost seems mystical. It was fun jumping from Mister Terrific pounding a baddie to Michael Holt talking science to having a morning-after conversation with Karen Starr (Power Girl) to hosting a political fundraiser. It would be easy to dismiss Holt as an African-American Tony Stark, but he has a much different feel. So much of Mister Terrific is rooted in tragedy. Losing his wife at a young age impacts the lives of Michael Holt super scientist and Michael Holt as Mister Terrific.
If you’re going to take a chance on a character that hasn’t gone solo then I suggest Mister Terrific. Despite the goofy name and having the words “Fair” and “Play” tattooed on his arms, this is a cool book with a lot of soul (and no, I’m not saying that because he’s black!).