#0-ing in on the “New 52”: Year One

Hey guys! We’re back!

With all the Fantasy Football follies (lost by 151 to an Eli-lover last week), games we can’t figure out to review (Sleeping Dogs! Borderlands 2!), and the very life of Hallows that is Moody (a real life Where’s Waldo!), it’s time we break down just what the hell DC is doing.

Only because Daredevil greatness, “Everything Burns”, the Uncanny X-Force saga and Avengers vs. X-Men follies aside, we’re strictly waiting for NOW! with Marvel…

Logan. Always jealous that I picked up Romo.


Wondrous Women

Perhaps the most head-scratching complaint at San Diego Comic Con 2010 — yes, more than a year ago — was that there were not nearly enough female creators in comics. While that statement, this side of a few exceptions like Kelly Sue’s amazing Captain Marvel (see: Move Over Scarlett) and Ms. Simone’s invigorating Batgirl series aside, may still be true, I never thought the day where female-led character comics were among my favorite.

In fact, Wonder Woman and Batwoman are two of the best titles in comics. Period.

After a month where Diana and Kathy found themselves battling inside the books, the two lovelies take it to the stands this week, where both Brian Azzarello and J.W. Williams III deliver “secret origins” worthy of your time and interest. Even dedicated readers should find these issues as appetizing as the belief of Zero Month’s suspended momentum.

Least it beats Point One, dudes.

Wonder Woman #0 finds Miss Prince in a retrorific Batman Beginsesque world of training, spiritual meaning, and (mis)understanding. Yes, this feisty broad never had the interest in listening to her goddess mother, so who’s War to her? Thankfully, this all leads to a point and a character we haven’t thought of lately; exactly how Diana became friendly with one of the WW lore’s most endearing characters (from Greg Rucka’s run). To spoil any further would be such a disservice to those smart enough to read Mission’s End, Land of the Dead, Bitter Rivals, Down to Earth, etc.

Do that. Better yet, Cliff Chiang’s linework fits the Golden Age scheme like a white glove fit one historic running back for the Bills. Batwoman #0 has some neck-slashing of its own, too; thankfully this grueling epic sweep of vigor fights more for morality than nonsensical violence in one of the most heartclenching comics of the year.

And to think the aforementioned greatness of Rucka is gone.

Kudos to both co-creators, Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, for pushing last year’s breakout title to the brink. Despite the clusterfuck of plot-lines that has often run ramped through Batwoman, the underlying story has always greatly been between Kate and her pops. She’s the (Bat)woman she is today because of him. So, the falling out over Beth’s death, life, and death again makes this zero issue all the more endearing — and thirst-quenching.

She’s simply got a Black Widow origin with some compassion. With Kate, there’s more of a “have to” than “want to” here.

Batwoman #0 = 5 (out of 5) Bibles. Perfection.









Oh, That Snyder Guy

Crafty has NO MORE Krispy Kreeeeeeeemeee!!!!!

Swamp Thinggg! Dunanut-nunanut-nunanuh… Swamp Thingggg! OK, so a little different intro than your perhaps much more preferred Creedance Clearweater Revival theme to the 80s b-movie of the same name (“Born on the Bayou”), but hell, this title — along aside Snyder pal Jeff Lemire’s Animal Man — has been nothing short of great in its recent “Rotworld” crossover.

Both books lacked a steep antagonist until Anton Arcade decided to piss on everyone’s branches and leaves, so it’s a good thing the Batman scribe and Lemire decided to address those primary colors before it was too late. We’re only going to believe some little trailer park toddler is the “be all end all” unless it’s thoroughly shown…or unless it’s Hailie Jade Scott Mathers.

Snyder takes Arcane back to the grill again with his first confrontation with “a” Swamp Thing — considering there’s hundreds (thank you Mr. Moore) — and delivers his truly first horrific New 52 comic. Sure, Scott’s always had some terrifying horror elements in his books, particularly with the couple of American Vampire miniseries, but nothing has been nearly as nightmarish as James Gordon Jr.’s dealings with “The Skeleton Key” over in Detective.

Now that was a truly fucking twisted tale.

Swamp Thing #0 contains some truly psychopathic moments, hurrah, including some good ol’ fashion baby-tasting. Yeah, sorry, Cam Brady; punching babies is nothing.

4.5 (out of 5) Bibles. Just add some salt and pepper to them babies and you’re good to go. No, this book is as beautiful as ever and even the fill in artist — Kano? — was a UFC fighter. We thinks.












JL Simply SHAZAM’d!

Yeah, I toted a reverse-asswards costume of Billy Batson’s dream warrior in a Subway commercial for FX once. The picture was enough to scare a thousand a mile away. But if you’re truly looking for something special in the Justice League world of the DC Universe, look no further than Justice League #0.

The book, in fact, contains no Batman, Superman, or Flash, but just a couple of mystical crazies who are ready to rip shards into what’s been a pretty above average comic. There’s been no other title to catch more fans’ flack — other than Rob Liefeld’s crap, of course — than Justice League, and the only reason people have remained hopeful is due to Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s electrifying back-up tale of Shazam.

Shazam is the next breakout character for DC. I’ll go so much on a limb as to say that we’ll start seeing this foster kid-turned-Superman/Flash-combo dude in development for some movie deals if this title all works out.

Well, true. You’re right. Damn near everything has been in development for DC in the past several thousand years. Good luck seeing Diana Prince on the silverscreen anytime soon.

With that said, there’s a reason for all the excitement Batson’s bulkier self can cause. Strangely enough, this Shazam carries over that bratty image Billy garnered for himself in the previous back-ups. So, with this notion of unlimited, immature powertrips serving as DC’s version of Spider-Man, hopefully Johns will find just the right twist to steer this enticing locomotive in a surprising direction.

It’s bad enough the title wasn’t called Shazam #0, and left all the other Leaguers at the park.

3.5 (out of 5 Bibles). Gary Frank’s art is always great. Johns smartly focuses on his title’s main highlights — Shazam — despite the misleading title. Points are off for a strange back-up involving Pandora’s “box.” Oh, don’t get any ideas, you floozies.












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4 Replies to “#0-ing in on the “New 52”: Year One”

  1. Just read it! Cool read!
    Wanted to comment on the titles you covered.
    I haven’t been reading either Wonder Woman or Batwoman at all, but DO have an interest in both. Still need to at least get the first issue or so of Wonder Woman. Liking what they’re doing by tying her more closely with Greek Myth more than ever before. And that’s saying something, since she’s always been steeped in Greek Myth.
    Some fans (that I’ve seem comments from online around the ‘net) seem to poo-poo the idea to put a more horror-type slant to Diana and her world/story, but I think it makes perfect sense.
    One of the things I’ve always loved since childhood was Greek Mythology. It was like ancient superheroes way before comics even existed, to me.

    Zeus and Heracles/Hercules were Superman, to me. Those that initially cast their aspersions on the new horror bent on the Wonder Woman story just didn’t seem all that well versed in the idea that Greek Myth has ALWAYS had a definite slant of horror to it. Horrific figures like Centaurs, Typhon, Sphinx, Medusa, Cerberus, and so on.
    Your write-up only makes me want to get around to getting those back issues of W.W. Budget doesn’t allow it right now, so maybe in trade, if not back issues. Looks cool!

    Batwoman, I DID get at least the first issue of and I must say I dug it plenty! J.H. Williams did a cool first issue with that title, but MAN (speaking as an artist) WAS I SO INTO HIS ARTWORK FOR THAT! And Dave Stewart’s colors on it fit Williams’ stuff to a T! Every page of art for that one first issue was a visual treat.

    I also DID at least get the first issue of Scott Snyder’s Swamp Thing and really dug it. That’s another that I’m hoping to get in trade, down the line. That first issue was pretty cool and I’ve seen others mention how they felt it only got better from there. Very cool. It’ll be nice to read later on in the future. I’m hoping there’s something to the rumor going around that Snyder may be doing a new Superman: Man Of Steel title with Jim Lee on pencils. If that does come to pass, I’ll definitely be down for that one.

    I’m currently reading the Geoff Johns/Jim Lee Justice League title and it’s okay enough and seems to be venturing into some fun territory to keep me onboard. But I must say, I’ve been rather much enjoying the Johns/Gary Frank Shazam back-up feature. I have yet to get Justice League #0, but it is awaiting me in my pull list slot at the comic shop. Really diggin’ on Frank’s depiction of Black Adam in that back-up! Plus I actually dig on the more bratty/bad attitude foster kid from hell that is the New 52 Billy Batson. One thing that struck me and my nephew as we perused the first chapter of that back-up was how much Billy resembled ME at that age, in both look and attitude! Hahahahahaa!!!

  2. Overall, the zeroes weren’t so bad…but pretty unnecessary if you started at the New 52. Just glad the new year is upon us now.

  3. LOL sorry for the late reply but I really do appreciate these thoughtful comments! I’m glad at least one person is aroused by my comic writing, and actually does something about it! Love chatting with you on FBook and look forward to more of your analysis! The WW comic is one not to be missed!

    Also, I can’t believe I skimmed over the Superman rumors you so rightfully predicted. Of course that news comes on the heels of NYCC. Good looks!

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