Can this be? Is there finally another new New 52 title that’s worth following? If anyone had asked me last week what DC Comics titles are worth picking up, I would have just recommended Batman, Wonder Woman and Justice League. But after this week, will I add another title to that very short list? Well, I’ll be musing about that, plus a couple another titles and of cos, there be spoilers ahead.
Superman #32. It’s the start of brand new storyline with an all-new creative team starring two of the biggest names in comics today, Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. so naturally I had to give this a shot. I was rather disappointed with several of the New 52 titles that were launched over the last few months. The million dollar question now is was I burnt again?
Well, judging by this single issue, I’ll have to admit that this is a keeper. Writer Johns has come up with a very appealing twist to the Superman mythology by asking us what would happen if a human toddler went through what young Kal-El did when his world was destroyed. So a couple decades ago, the baby boy of a pair of American scientists was sent to an alien dimension when they believed that Earth’s destruction was inevitable. Well, the boy is all grown up now and shows up in Metropolis, and of cos he’s got super powers!
I was real excited when Grant Morrison first did the young Superman stories with the launch of the New 52, it began on a high note then it all went sideways rather abruptly. Naturally I was a little weary about this new direction but like I said, I like it so far. Over the years Johns has already proven himself with hit titles like Justice Society of America, Flash, Green Lantern, Infinite Crisis and of cos he’s also Chief Creative Officer at DC Comics. With Superman, he has succeeded in balancing the super heroics and personal stories by exploring Clark’s lives both in and out of costume. In just those few pages he has managed to perfectly capture Clark’s humanity and vulnerability. It’s also more character driven with Clark, Jimmy, Perry and the cast of The Daily Planet sharing the spotlight, at least for this issue.
Fresh off numerous Marvel titles, fan favorite artist John Romita Jr. is finally doing a DC book and it looks as amazing as I hoped it would be. The layouts and big action scenes all look gorgeous. What’s more, we got veteran inker Klaus Janson doing what he does best too! Hey, I still don’t like Superman’s New 52 costume (gimme back the red underwear!) but seeing Romita and Janson on it does make it look a little better.
This is how I like my Superman stories to be and here’s hoping that it stays that way.
Batman #32. Awww geez, this Year Zero story by writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo is going a little too long for my liking. While I can appreciate the epic scale of this story, Gotham City under siege and Batman stripped of almost all resources, no fight with the Riddler should last more than four issues as far as I’m concerned.
Now I do understand that this is about a newbie Batman making mistakes and learning from them but this latest issue frustrates me as well as drives me to the edge of my seat. It’s still a good read but I can’t help feeling like I need a breather after every page. So yah, I am still kinda torn between loving it and just liking it. Oh, in a previous issue, there was a scene where a teenage Bruce Wayne was talking about manga with his girlfriend and I swear, that has got to be one of the most bizarre things I have ever read. Not in a strange bad kinda way, but just plain weird to see the Dark Knight discussing manga.
Thankfully, it all ends next issue and maybe if I read the whole Year Zero saga again in one sitting, it’ll be a better read.
Savage Hulk #1. This looks promising. The first story arc in this new ongoing Hulk series features legendary artist and writer Alan Davis at the helm. It’s actually a spin-off or continuation from an old X-Men story from 1970, issue #66. And for those keeping track, that’s the last original story for the first X-Men series.
Anyway, Davis does deliver a straightforward yet engaging story. Professor X and his students attempt to help Banner control his green alter ego but we all know how that’s going to turn out, especially with gamma villains like the Leader and the Abomination waiting around the corner.
The art is great as I’m a huge fan of Davis’ works and I do a get a big kick outta seeing him render the original X-Men with Havok and Polaris in their classic Neal Adams era costumes.