The New DC: Week 1

DC’s relaunch is now in full-force- by the time you read this, a whopping 38 titles will have shipped to the eager comic book fans. All this week, we’ll be reviewing everything that’s out, to give you the insight on which titles were break out successes… and which were colossal disappointments. In this part, we’ll be covering week one’s releases; I’m joined this time by the Quasi-Dynamic Duo of Shane Zeagman and Graeme Gill.

Action Comics
By Grant Morrison (writer) and Rags Morales (pencils and cover).

Set soon after Superman’s dramatic public debut, Action Comics sees the Man of Steel as a renegade vigilante operating outside the law. To combat the rebellious hero, the military brings in a special contractor to act as their secret weapon- Lex Luthor.

Shane– At the start of this issue, I was pretty underwhelmed. I hate the “civilian” costume, I hate the cover- it’s just cheesy and all around unattractive. Morrison’s writing starts to shine around the halfway mark when you start to get to the heart of Superman, but I couldn’t give two shits at the start. We all know what Superman can do, why do we need to see it spelled out for us again? And why should I care about any of the other characters? Lex Luthor has some good lines, and it’s very cool the way he uses Superman’s heart against him. The thing is, it seems like with certain iconic characters, DC is trying to redefine them and they don’t know how, because heroes like Superman are just so defined and established already. It feels like they’re not sure what to do, and that shows in the opening of some of these comics. I don’t mind change, but it needs to be done properly.

Graeme– Coming at this from the perspective of someone that hasn’t read nearly as many comic books as some other fans, this felt like a very strange take on Superman, since I’m more familiar with the older version of the character. The new Action Comics makes Superman out to be a borderline antihero, who acts cocky and flippant, and even if his heart is in the right place, hit methods are questionable. He’s not a bad guy, but compared to the traditional Superman, he’s a bit of a douche. I’m not sure yet how I want to take the shuffling of relationships between characters, but unlike with certain other books that came out this week, I do want to read more, to see where this is going. I want to see why Superman’s relationship with the city is the way that it is, why he’s at odds with the authorities. The art is interesting- Superman looks like a grown up Harry Potter, though I guess the costume is okay if you’re working on a tight budget. It kind of feels like they’re fused some Peter Parker into Superman- he’s a poor and struggling underdog, trying to make ends meet while still maintaining his integrity.

Karsten– I came into this issue with high hopes, if only because Morrison’s All-Star Superman is one of my all-time favourite books. And I’ll admit, at first I wasn’t sure what to make of this new take on Superman, until it hit me- if All-Star was Morrison’s tribute to the Silver Age Superman, then Action Comics is Morrison taking things right back to the hero’s golden age roots. Back in the 1940s, Superman was all about fighting crooked businessmen and abusive husbands, and back then he had absolutely no qualms about scaring the bejeesus out of criminals, Batman-style. And as much as I love Superman as the Mary Sue he’s evolved into over the years, I can’t deny that this character seems to work better in a modern context. Even beyond the Man of Steel, this comic does a great job of freshening up the entire usual cast- Lois has regained her edge and Jimmy Olsen seems to be less of a putz than usual. Best of all is Lex Luthor- Morrison has the amazing knack for making Luthor’s reasons for hating Superman seem completely logical and understandable, which makes the character all that much stronger as a villain. This is a great start to what may be the standout title of the relaunch.


Animal Man

By Jeff Lemire (writer) and Travel Foreman (pencils and cover).

Buddy Baker has always been a family man first and Animal Man second, so what will he do when his daughter Maxine starts developing strange and frightening superhuman abilities, even as Buddy’s own powers start to go out of whack?

Graeme– This is a great introductory issue to a character a reader like me may not know much about. From the clever in-character interview that starts the issue onwards, the comic pulls you in and makes you want to know what’s going on. What’s interesting is the way the story transitions into full-on horror mode… it’s not what I expected, or have much experience with in superhero comics, so it kind of came out of left field, but it absolutely left me wanting to see what’s going to happen next. Though first, I might go looking for a Holy Hand Grenade.

Shane– I loved this one from cover to cover. This is a character that doesn’t seem to have been rebooted at all, since they kept what’s already been established. Animal Man is an immediately sympathetic character, and once this issue gets started, it never slows down for an instant. The ingenious sense of drama and moments of intensity lead to a plot that feels like it’s constantly in motion. The creepy nightmare sequence, the bizarre atmosphere in the Baker home, the weird tension between Animal Man and his daughter and the creepy, vacant visuals- it’s right out of a Stanley Kubrick film. I want to read the next issue right now!

Karsten– I loved it too. I’ve been an Animal Man fan for years- Buddy Baker is one of the few fictional characters that I have a genuine emotional attachment to, I genuinely care what happens to him and his family. That’s a testament to past Animal Man writers, and it’s no small compliment when I say that Jeff Lemire’s first issue can easily stand alongside some of the best issues by Grant Morrison, Pete Milligan, Tom Veitch and Jamie Delano. Lemire perfectly captured both the personality that makes Animal Man so unique, and the atmosphere that made the proto-Vertigo issues some of the best comics of the 1980s. And while that may sound like a backhanded compliment, things have changed enough that this comic still feels completely fresh and new in 2011. Throw in some stellar artwork from Travel Foreman (who thrives on a title like this), and you have another must-buy title.


By Gail Simone (writer) and Ardian Syaf (pencils). Cover by Adam Hughes.

Barbara Gordon is back on her feet and back in action as Batgirl- but she’ll soon realize that the emotional scars left by a violent attack and years of paralysis are hard to escape.

Karsten– And on the flip side from the last two comics, we have Batgirl, a title that I approached with zero expectations, and yet somehow was stilldisappointed. Seriously, this was terrible. Let’s get this out of the way- the Barbara Gordon Batgirl, as a character, sucks. She was a lame character in the seventies and eighties, and the only two reasons to like her involved Yvonne Craig in spandex. As Oracle though, Barbara Gordon became one of the most unique and compelling characters in the DC Universe, acting as both the backbone (no pun intended) to the Bat-Books, and as a character that could appear in nearly any other title and provide a unique interaction. That’s not even mentioning Birds of Prey, a title that was consistently one of DC’s best under-the-radar titles for over a decade.

But because of the rose-coloured glasses of nostalgia, we have this book- a lame rehashing of a hundred better-written stories, starring a heroine who’s defining trait is now that she sucks at her job. Gordon’t history as Oracle is completely ignored, her miraculously recovery is explained away with all the finess of saying “a wizard did it”, and the only tolerable bits are recreated panels from Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s Batman: The Killing Joke. Though Simone is generally one of my favourite writers in the business, the script here was just abysmal, ranging from tepid to ludicrously melodramatic (check out that last page). And seriously- when your relaunch includes not only three Batman titles, but three other books starring Batman’s former sidekicks (Red Robin, Nightwing and Red Hood and the Outsiders) and the hotly anticipated Batwoman ongoing series- in world is Batgirl anything but an afterthought?

Shane– I couldn’t disagree more, I loved this comic. Now granted, I only know Oracle from playing Arkham Asylum, and I don’t know any of the Batgirls other than Barbara, but it’s nice to see her back in action. I’m cool with the fact that there’s no explanation for the fact that she’s no longer paralyzed- I just chalk things like that up to being “superhero logic”. It’s cool that she’s suffering from this kind of post-traumatic stress disorder, as a character weakness it’s a pretty realistic one. I really like the character of her new roommate, I want to see what relationship develops between them. I like flawed characters, and from a new reader’s perspective, I like this character.


By Judd Winick (writer) and Ben Oliver (art and cover).

Half a world away from the alleys of Gotham City, Batman’s handpicked representative for the continent of Africa struggles to maintain order in a region ravaged by violence and war.

Karsten– Alright, so did anyone else bother to read this? No? Alright… not that I can really blame you guys. It’s not that this was a bad comic, really- it was just about as average and uninspired as a book can be. And in a way, that’s almost worse… it’s still not worth anyone’s money either way, but at least if it failed spectacularly, there’d be more to say about it. The art is okay, though Ben Oliver’s style isn’t really to my personal taste. The story is perfunctory, and really just shows why only Grant Morrison is up to continuing his Batman Inc. storyline when it resumes in a few months, since Winick really does nothing with the concept here (and yeah, I know, I’m really on Morrison’s nuts today…). There’s a twist ending which is kind of undercut by the fact that, unless I’m mistaken, it’s told as part of a flashback, which kind of necessitates it being a fake out. I don’t know… my entire opinion of this book can really be summed up with a resounding “meh”.


Detective Comics

By Tony S. Daniel (writer, pencils and cover).

With Gotham City once again caught in the grip of a serial killer, Batman sets out to capture the number one suspect, The Joker… but is the Joker behind the killings, and if so, is he working alone?

Karsten– And the Bat-Family goes 0 for 3 for me this week, because here’s another book that sucked. Tony Daniels continues his streak of writing Batman comics that range from mediocre to awful- why he was tapped to both write and draw the one book that by all rights should be DC’s prestige title (giventhat the company is named after it) is beyond me. But hey, I have to give Daniels credit- it takes real gumption to “reboot” a title by doing the Batman versus Joker story we’ve seen a hundred times before, only with less tact and more unnecessary gore. Plus, we get to see Batman suck as a detective, the Joker runs around naked- not that you can tell from the confusing artwork, but the narration text makes sure you don’t accidentally miss out on that mental picture- and we get the wonderful cliché of Gotham’s Finest using heavy artillery against Batman (and nearly killing a young child in the process), because that hoary old chestnut sure worked last week in Justice League. To be fair, this is probably the best of the three Bat-Books this week- Daniels’ pencils work at times, and the last page is a strong, visceral hook (though not at all the kind that interests me). Maybe I’m just spoiled, because I’ve read too many good Batman comics, especially over the past few years- if you feed me a steady diet of steak, don’t be surprised if I’m not impressed by a soggy Whopper from Burger King.

Graeme- In a lot of ways, this comic was even creepier than Animal Man. There’s a lot of twisted shit going down, even though we really don’t know what’s going on at this point. I don’t get why the police hate Batman enough to be using heavy weapons against him, but Commissioner Gordon is still on friendly enough terms with him to fire up the Bat-Signal. I’d like a little more clarification, because whatever explanations DC may have in store, they sure aren’t in this book. I agree that some of the gore was unnecessary… and I could have gone without having to think about the Joker being naked.

Shane– Again, this is one I loved from cover to cover- I don’t know what you guys are talking about, this comic was really good! I think it was a great choice to start off with Batman fighting the Joker. Daniels’ artwork was excellent, his panel composition was amazing, and I loved the colours and textures that Ryan Winn and Tomeu Morey brought to the page. This was much better than the art in Justice League last week, I much prefer Daniels’ Batman to Jim Lee’s. The story had great pacing, with the classic story of Batman chasing the Joker. The police are just kind of there, which is what I want out of them- they do things the wrong way, and Batman comes in and does it right. The story propelled me forward from beginning to end, and left me wanting to read more. I loved the shock of the last page, I think it’s a great way to go, a good plot device to lead into some interesting future stories. The new villain teased at the end sounds cool and has an awesome name, I can’t wait to see what he ends up doing.


Green Arrow

By J.T. Krul (writer) and Dan Jurgens (pencils). Cover by Brett Booth.

Oliver Queen may be young, handsome and the CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation, but he understands that there are more important things in life- namely shooting  razor-sharp arrows at  super-powered criminals.

Shane– I have mixed feeling about this one. I enjoyed the action, and I liked the villains and the idea that they’re posting their criminal exploits on YouTube. The thing is, I feel like we don’t get to know anything about Green Arrow himself, we get no feel of what his personality is. Same thing with his team of assistants, they feel underdeveloped. This doesn’t feel like a first issue should- I mean, there’s nothing that bad about it, and my complaints are mainly nitpicky things, but while fans of the character may get into it, it didn’t really connect with me as a new reader. There’s just not enough depth to Green Arrow himself to bring me back next month.

Karsten– As much as I usually love Green Arrow, this new direction really doesn’t do much for me. Instead of the character that slowly evolved out of the Bronze Age, this version of Green Arrow is based more on his counterpart from Smallville (a show I had no interest in and only watched a handful of times). This Green Arrow is basically Steve Jobs as a crime fighter. Only less cancer-y. The story itself is pretty bland, but fortunately it’s accompanied by George Perez’s always stellar artwork, which is almost worth the price tag alone. And hey, remember that Krul is the guy who wrote last year’s abysmal Rise of Arsenal miniseries; I think we should all just be thankful that Green Arrow doesn’t spend this entire issue shooting up heroin, molesting dead cats and moping about his sexual shortcomings.


Hawk and Dove

By Sterling Gates (writer) and Rob Liefeld (artist and cover).

As Hawk, the avatar of war, Hank  Hall has been saddled with Dawn Granger to be his pacifistic counterpart, Dove. Hawk may not be happy about that- or about anything else- but if he and Dove can’t learn together soon, the entire United States may go down in flames! Also: Zombies.

Karsten– As much as I hated Batgirl and Detective, the worst comic this week still has to be Hawk and Dove, hands down. I’m not even going to go into how awful Liefeld’s art is, and always has been- everything that could be said to make fun of him already has been said, and parroted so many times across the internet that it’s no longer even funny. And though I haven’t read many of Gates’ books, what I have read, I can’t say that I enjoyed. Really, I could spend the next few pages going on about how hackneyed the dialogue was, how silly and nonsensical the story was- I like the fact that Hawk’s brother died three years ago in story time, and he apparently never felt the need to tell their dad the circumstances around the man’s son’s death, but now he just kind of throws it out there to make conversation. Forget all that though, because none of that matters next to one simple fact.

This is a comic that was released on the week of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The opening scene is of hijacked plane flying over Washington- a plane that ends up crashing into a national monument. Seriously, I have to ask not only Gates, but also DC’s editorial staff and marketing teams- what the fuck is wrong with you? This that should never have seen the light of day, but to release it the week of 9/11? Fuck you.

Shane– Alright, Liefeld was always going to be the elephant in the room, so let’s get that out of the way. Matt Vackey’s coloring is pretty good, but thebizarre anatomy, the grimaces, the derp zombie, the fact that everyone is only capable of communicating through gritted teeth… Coming into this book, I didn’t know who Hawk and Dove were, and though I don’t necessarily mind the characters and concept, the way this comic is written and drawn, I just couldn’t care less. The interactions between the heroes is just stupid, and any emotion there might have been is lost because of the silly facial expressions. The dialogue would be okay, if it weren’t for the unnecessary bolding of certain random words. I might be curious about these characters, but for me to want to see where things might go, I’d need some emotion, other than just rage and blandness. Who’s going to read this book, anyways?

Graeme– Thanks to Liefeld this book is filled with derp, and not just from the zombies. Every facial expression is off, eyes are mismatched, everyone is either gritting their teeth or screaming at any given moment. Because of the “art”, there’s a total dissonance between the characters’ expressions and their dialogue- why exactly do Hawk and his father have a heart-to-heart while screaming and grimacing at one another? The plane sequence was overdone, like something out of a Michael Bay movie. Even at twenty pages, the comic feels padded, with the inclusion of characters like Deadman and the government agent coming across as nothing but filler. At the same time, the origin section feels rushed and shoehorned in- they should have either spent more time on it, or left it out completely. And yeah, the timing involved with releasing this story… at the very least, it’s in incredibly poor taste.


Justice League International

By Dan Jurgens (writer) and Aaron Lopresti (pencils and cover).

In response to the recent influx of unregulated superheroes, the United Nations forms their own team- Justice League International.

Graeme– To start with, I found the art for this issue to be of excellent qualify, a welcome relief after that Liefeld atrocity we went through earlier. The design is crisp, the coloring is good, and it’s always easy to follow the action from panel to panel. I like the general direction of the story, which does a nice job spotlighting each individual character within the larger framework of the team. There’s some petty bickering here and there, but it just serves to highlight the differences between characters that have never really interacted before, like Rocket Red and the August General. There’s a lot of potential for a friendly rivalry between those two, it could be a lot of fun. Some of the plot elements feel a little lacking, like the protesters in front of the Hall of Justice, who seem to be a problem just for the sake of being a problem. Also, some of the technobabble comes across like a poorly-designed Chekhov’s Gun- I can see it coming back to bite people in the ass.

Karsten- I have kind a weird reaction to most of Dan Jurgens’ books. When I read a Jurgens comic, I usually put it down satisfied, and then completely forget about it ten minutes later. It’s not that Jurgens is a bad writer- in fact, most of his comics are good.  Not bad, no great, just good. His books are consistent to the point of being boring somehow. With that said, I enjoyed this comic more than I expected to. The new JLI has an interesting concept and cast, and you’ve got to love a comic where Batman unilaterally decides that he’s going to run things, whether anyone else likes it or not. I really liked the interaction between the August General and Rocket Red too- it looks like they’re trying to recapture the magic that Booster Gold and Blue Beetle had in the original JLI. This was a good start, but I’m going to need to see things really start to pop soon, otherwise I’m liable to lose interest quickly.


Men of War

By Ivan Brandon and Jonathan Vankin (writers), and Tom Derenick and Phil Winslade (artists). Cover by Viktor Kalvachev.

Corporal Joe Rock works to follow in his famous grandfather’s footsteps, as he battles on the frontline of a war that’s complicated by the existence of superhuman enemies. Featuring a back up featuring two-fisted action from the US Navy SEALs.

Karsten– It just may be the fact that I had thirteen comics to go through back to back this week and I was overdue for a change in genre, but I really enjoyed Men of War. I’m not a huge fan of straight war comics (though I’ve read more than a few that I’ve liked), but I really dug Brandon’s take on the new Sergeant Rock. The idea of focusing on regular, modern day soldiers in a world filled with superhuman Persons of Mass Destruction is fascinating to me. Other than a pretty hoary cliché on the last page, the Rock feature was excellent from beginning to end, both in terms of story and in Derenick’s pitch-perfect artwork. Vankin’s backup about Navy Seals is more traditional fare, and not quite my cup of tea, but Winslade’s art is always nice, even if he was noticeably stingy with the backgrounds. It may well have been an artistic choice on his end, but the effect is that the backup feels unfinished, especially compared to the sumptuous pencils in the lead story. Still, if you’re into military stories at all, this is definitely worth a look.

Shane– I’m not a fan of war things in general either, and this comic got off on the wrong foot with me thanks to a cover I absolutely hated, but the artwork in the lead story made me see where this would go, stylistically. I found the idea of a soldier that refused to be anything but a rank-and-file grunt to be really interesting, but when the superhumans started showing up the book kind of lost me. I don’t like the idea of applying the supernatural to a story told with war genre logic, because it inevitably makes the mortal main character seem less powerful, and if I can’t feel confidence in him as a reader, I start to lose interest. I find it hard to get into a story which features an enemy that the hero has absolutely no chance against. The sequence with the soldiers parachuting into an inferno was brilliant though, and I enjoyed the twist ending, which I didn’t see coming. I hope there’s more to Rock’s story though, I’d like to see his reluctance to lead explored a bit more.

Graeme- Reading this comic, I was kind of confused what it’s objective was. The character of Sergeant Rock is new to me in any incarnation, and I’m really only familiar with the superhero side of the DC Universe. It’s interesting to see a regular soldier used as a focus character, especially one that’s clearly exceptional in his own way, but still feels like an ordinary person in a world of metahumans and extraterrestrials. I really liked the art job- I was impressed by the detail that Derenick packed into every panel, and Matt Wilson’s colours were excellent. I also really liked Rob Leigh’s lettering, especially the way words in Rock’s narrative text boxes would fade out as he slipped in and out of consciousness. The backup was good too, again I liked the normal people approach. I noticed the lack of background too, but I think it worked well, using superfluous details only when they were visually important.



By Dan DiDio (co-writer) and Keith Giffen (co-writer, pencils and cover).

A hapless scientist is transformed into the new One Man Army Corps, drafted into a secret war between Checkmate and Brother Eye- it’s senses-shattering action in the Jack Kirby tradition!

Karsten– Well, this was either a love letter to Jack Kirby, or a masturbatory aid for Kirby fanatics, depending on your point of view. DiDio tells a fantastically over-the-top story that captures the senses-obliterating energy that made Kirby’s work so incredible, while Giffen does an admirable job of evoking (but thankfully not completely mimicking) the King’s unique style. Really though, there’s not much to say about this one, other than it’s just plain fun- a total blast to read. Of course, that kind of depends on whether or not you’re a fan of Kirby’s work… but if you’re not, then frankly you can go read someone else’s columns, because you and I will probably never be speaking the same language.

Shane– I agree, OMAC was a lot of fun. The way DiDio writes the Brother Eye satellite reminds me of GLaDOS from Portal 2, mixed with some of The Angel from Borderlands. Giffen’s artwork is great, of course, and the combat that makes up the bulk of the story flows great. I like the fact that the story starts off on a quiet note, because the fact that low-key office drama crashes straight into OMAC craziness just makes things all that much better. Even though we only get a flash of his origin, it peaked my interest. I want to know who is, where he came from- clearly OMAC has a history to him, but first off he has to wreck up the joint a bit… clearly, he has his priorities in order.


Static Shock

By John Rozum (co-writer) and Scott McDaniel (co-writer, pencils and cover).

In his new hometown of New York City, Static works to establish himself as the Big Apple’s newest superhero, but there are no shortage of enemies waiting in the wings, ready to take their shot at him.

Shane– I loved the Static Shock cartoon, so I was looking forward to this book ahead of time. McDaniel’s art was amazing, it felt like it had that cool Sonic the Hedgehog nineties nostalgia vibe. I liked that Static was shown to be a smart, young character with a bit of an edge to him. Unfortunately, the story got boring quickly. There’s too much dialogue, about things I just don’t care about. I’m also not wild about the fact that Static is framed as being a criminal- it feels like that subplot is only there because he’s black. And then there’s that last page…

Karsten– See, I was never really into the cartoon, and I never read a single issue of the original run under DC’s Milestone imprint (though I did read the odd issue of Hardware, and I dug that he showed up here as Static’s de facto mentor). I’m not a big fan of McDaniel’s art in general, but it has the right kinetic feel for a book like this, and I can see it appealing to younger readers, a demographic this book should be aimed squarely at. I was kind of underwhelmed by this issue, but I’m going to chalk that up to the fact that it’s not made for readers like me, grizzled and jaded veteran of the comic racks that I am. Still, I like Static as a character, and I hope this title does well- even if the last page felt like DC was descending into self-parody. It’s just a damned shame that Static’s co-creator Dwayne McDuffie passed away earlier this year- he deserved to be a part of this, and without him, anything to do with Static is always going to feel kind of hollow.



By Paul Cornell (writer) and Miguel Sepulveda (art and cover).

Operating on the fringe on the DC Universe, the new StormWatch faces an incredible threat from outer space. The team might stand a chance if they can manage to recruit two new heroes to join the team- unfortunately, Apollo and Midnighter don’t seem interested, and they’re not going to go without a fight.

Karsten- This is another book I have mixed feelings about. I’m a big fan of Cornell’s books, but Stormwatch just felt rushed and disorganized. There are just too many characters and plot twists in too few pages- instead of being exciting and fast-paced, the story just ends up being confusing. This really needed another few pages or a rewrite, because as much as there are hints of brilliance in this thing (and there are, no question about it), as it stands this book is a bit of a mess. Really though, other than a few minor quibbles (like Midnighter’s terrible new costume and the fact that it seems like the Martian Manhunter is only in this book because DC had nowhere else to put him), there is a lot to like here. Apollo’s reaction to meeting Stormwatch is fun, and they way they describe the process of tracking him down is inspired. Sepulveda’s artwork works really well, staying in tone with early 2000s Wildstorm aesthetic that most of these characters were established in. Given that, and Cornell’s track record as of late, Stormwatch may turn into one of DC’s better titles within the next few issues.

Shane– First and foremost- don’t stick an editor’s note on the first page plugging a book that doesn’t ship for another three weeks. That’s just annoying. Moving past that though, this issue was a bit of a mixed bag to start. The comic did a poor job of introducing its cast of characters, but I like the way they used Apollo to reject a bunch of clichés about superhero teams that I can’t stand. They make the assumption with this book that readers will already know who most of these characters are, but even though I personally don’t, I still thought it was a fun comic. I loved how the Projectionist pulled thing from the internet like Apollo slash-fiction- it’s realistic, modern and fun, and builds up both her character and the world Stormwatch is set in. The artwork in this book is awesome, though I don’t like Midnighter’s new costume either. As much as I don’t get why the Martian Manhunter is in this book either, I think they sold it well with his creepy transformation midway through the story.

And then, all of a sudden, the moon attacks. And what can you say about that, really? The concept is just so awesome and over the top, I can’t help but want to find out more about it. Is this a common occurrence? Does NASA have any official stance or contingency plans to deal with an attacking moon? Inquiring minds want to know.


Swamp Thing

By Scott Snyder (writer) and Yanick Paquette (art and cover)

Alec Holland is once again alive and in the heart of the DC Universe- but is he once again Swamp Thing? For that matter, was he ever actually Swamp Thing in the first place?

Karsten– And finally, we have Swamp Thing, and I’m happy to say that we’re finishing on a high note, because this comic was simply awesome. Scott Snyder’s moody story perfectly synergizes the character’s past with the current DC Universe, while lithely sidestepping the murkier aspects of the Swamp Thing mythos. And as for the visual side of things, suffice to say Paquette continues to be one of the best artists in the business right now, and Nathan Fairbairn’s colors almost leap off the page. Really, this is the book I have to consider to be the best of the week; Action Comics and Animal Man were both excellent, but there’s a lot more to work for with those characters, whereas Swamp Thing is a much harder hero to write convincingly, especially if you want to maintain the horror elements that make him so great. Yet, Snyder and Paquette pull it off perfectly- well done guys, I’m already looking forward to the next issue.


Next week: Lesbians, demons, reanimated corpses, RAGE and Dirty Dozen-inspired torture porn. See you then…


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