Monday, November 14, 2011

"Not-So-New 52" Review: #2's & #3's (part one)

So....if you'll think back to when DC Comics first announced their plans for a "Revamp", the Internet blew up as fans went beserk....I was on the message boards feeling lonely in my support for the decision (you can read my initial thoughts about it back then in my post: "DC Comics Revamp").  But now; just three months into the "new 52", all is well!  DC took over 50% of the market in October, the month many said would show DC declining with #2's.....every #1 sold out and was reprinted.....and all of the #3's that I've read so far are better than the #2's which were better than the #1's!!  It's an AWESOME time to be a fan of DC Comics!  I'm so thankful to Dan DiDio, Jim Lee, Geoff Johns, & all the other Writers and Artists who have contributed to the greatest re-launch in history!!  Only Battlestar Galactica did better.

Now to our Reviews of #2's & #3's......Green Arrow & Deathstroke!!
Green Arrow #2 & #3.  

I loved JT Krul's run on this title, dating back to it's previous incarnation.  In issue 2, we meet Lime Light....twin sisters with light-based powers who cause Green Arrow some trouble.  By the way, a beautifully drawn panel in this issue proves GA's new base-of-operations is in Seattle. After taking care of these seekers of the "lime light" (I'm sure Krul intended the pun), GA notices that a certain group of villains (including the ones he battled against in issue 1) who are trying to make a name for themselves by murdering costume wearing heroes live via the Internet. Green Arrow tracks down the gang and confronts them only to find himself outnumbered and outgunned....

Issue 3; the culmination of Krul's 3-issue arc, is my favorite of the new GA series to-date. Outnumbered and Outgunned, Green Arrow reflects inwardly on how his being so headstrong seems to always get him in trouble....while at the same time being his greatest strength.  It's the classic quintessential Oliver Queen/Green Arrow....diving in with wild abandon, not thinking of the consequences or danger....just doing the right thing.  Awesome!

Our Emerald Archer faces off against Rush and his cronies, broadcast live over the Internet.  How can our favorite bowman be victorious when over outnumbered and overpowered by so many meta-villains? Trick Arrows, of course!! 

What has been absolutely great about these issues is that Krul stays true to what has made the Green Arrow character consciousness + "shoot from the hip" mentality = our beloved Emerald Archer!

Looking forward to Keith Giffen's 3-Issue arc, and then the debut of new regular writer Ann Nocenti.  Dan Jurgens continues on with his great artwork for the foreseeable future.

Deathstroke #2 & #3.

I've never read an issue of Teen Titans in my life, or Suicide Squad, etc. where Deathstroke was a prominent character. My only exposure to Slade Wilson; a.k.a. Deathstroke the Terminator, was in a couple Batman issues and a story arc in Green Arrow.  I wasn't really interested when the solicitations first came out back in August, but picked up #1 at my L.C.S. (Dave's Clubhouse in Columbus, OH) because I thought the cover looked awesome.  I'M SO GLAD I DID!!!  This is easily in my top 3 of the new 52 titles I'm collecting!

Issue 2; much like #1, shows Deathstroke at his best.....killing indiscriminately.  He enters a "secret" bar that acts as a meeting place for hired assassins and criminals. He is on a quest to find out who planted the briefcase he was hired to retrieve in the first issue.  When challenged, he "eliminates" everyone in his path to the truth.  Still with no answers, he continues to track down those who may know....and does it in the "public" manner he prides himself in.

Issue 3 introduces us to Legacy, whom Deathstroke eliminates....yet doesn't?  Legacy's "birth", past, and mission run far deeper than Deathstroke can fathom.  This issue begins a definite direction for the character as writer Kyle Higgins delves into the the mind of the assassin and what makes him "tick".  

This; like GA #3, is my favorite issue of the series so far. Joe Bennett's art is superb and really sells the book for me. Slade Wilson's sense of honor and his reasons for why he does what he does, and the manner in which he chooses to do it show that this title has great promise.  Higgins has promised some big things in store for this title, and if it's anything like the first three issues.....I can't wait!

I think one of the prime reasons for DC's success with the "New 52" has been their willingness to give the B & C -rated characters their shot at success.  Titles like Deathstroke, Mister Terrific, Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, Red Lanterns, etc. show the belief that DC has that their Universe as a whole can sell comic books, not just their "big guns".  Looking back, I think DC's "over-focus" on the frontrunners was hurting much as we love seeing everything revolve around Batman, Green Lantern, Flash, & Superman.....not everyone wants that, and after a while stories get bogged down & repetitive when they revolve around a small group of characters.....the "New 52" opens up DC's fine creators and fan's imaginations with an entire cast of characters.

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