Batwoman #1 and other DC Comics’ The New 52 week 3 reviews
The beautiful art of “Batwoman” was a highlight of the third week of DC Comics’ The New 52, which also featured new launches for “Batman and Robin” and “Green Lantern.”
BATMAN AND ROBIN #1
Bruce Wayne and his son Damian Wayne are Batman and Robin, working together for the first time. But Damian thinks his father isn’t giving him enough credit. Bruce, meanwhile, tries to move on from his past. A good first issue that sets up a new mystery and a new dynamic. It’s written by Peter Tomasi with art by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray. We also discussed it on this week’s podcast.
The rather fantastic “Detective Comics” run starring Kate Kane, aka Batwoman, is followed up with a rather fine first issue by J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman. Greg Rucka, who wrote those “Detective” issues, isn’t around for this relaunch, but Williams appears to be hewing pretty closely to what worked in that run. Batwoman has a new protege, and is on the hunt for a kidnapper. She’s also started a relationship with Detective Maggie Sawyer (formerly of the “Superman” books). While this isn’t a complete fresh start, it should be easy enough to follow for new fans, and the art is simply gorgeous.
The master assassin Deathstroke is reintroduced by writer Kyle Higgins and artists Joe Bennett and Art Thibert. If you’re going to have a Deathstroke series, my tastes run more toward Steve Erwin, but this does what it sets out to do, which is reintroduce Deathstroke as a villainous, mercenary tough guy. It’s a little bit one-note, but that could be intentional, as DC introduces this character to new readers.
DEMON KNIGHTS #1
Paul Cornell writes of the Demon Etrigan and those who assist him, including Madame Xanadu. Set during medieval times, the roster of characters includes Vandal Savage and Shining Knight. Diogenes Neves provides the art for what could be this week’s sleeper hit. Not a lot of plot so far – Mordru appears to be up to something bad – but it’s a rollicking adventure that’s a different flavor than most mainstream comics.
FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. #1
This oddball X-Files-esque title brings back theGrant Morrison/Doug Mahnke version of Frankenstein, written by Jeff Lemire, who just wrote Frankenstein’s “Flashpoint” mini. Frankenstein’s Monster is an agent of the Super Human Advanced Defense Executive, as are the Creature Commandos. They go in when things get weird. In this issue, monsters have taken over a small town, and Frankenstein and the Commandos must go rescue Frankenstein’s bride and figure out how the monsters got there. The highlight of the book is the strange world of S.H.A.D.E., including Frankenstein’s boss, Father Time. Silver Age Atom fans will be glad to discover Ray Palmer making an appearance. Alberto Ponticelli provides the art. This book is goofy but fun, and is worth picking up if you can find a copy.
GREEN LANTERN #1
Geoff Johns had the difficult job of making a Green Lantern #1 that would be accessible to someone who was brand-new to the series, and be satisfying to someone who had followed the entire run. I think he basically nailed it. With Sinestro rejoining the Green Lantern Corps and Hal Jordan somewhat rudderless on Earth, it’s a new status quo that is easily understandable. The well-written and well-drawn first issue should keep Green Lantern among DC’s most successful comics. We also discussed it on this week’s podcast.
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