Comics for 2/8/12

ADVENTURE TIME #1 – It’s ADVENTURE TIME! Join Finn the Human, Jake the Dog, and Princess Bubblegum for all-new adventures through The Land of Ooo. The top-rated Cartoon Network show now has its own comic book! With the show exploding in the ratings, garnering rave online reviews, major cosplay at the San Diego Comic-Con, and huge displays dominating the New York Comic Con, it’s clear fandom is obsessed and 2012 is the Year of Adventure Time! Don’t miss out on this new phenomenon-this first issue is sure to get snapped up!

ALL NEW BATMAN THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #16
ANGRY BIRDS BAD PIGGIES EGG RECIPES HC
ANITA BLAKE VH GUILTY PLEASURES HC VOL 01
ANITA BLAKE VH GUILTY PLEASURES TP VOL 02
ANITA BLAKE VH LAUGHING CORPSE ULT COLL TP

ART OF THE MASS EFFECT UNIVERSE HC – The Mass Effect trilogy is a groundbreaking epic that has immersed gamers in one of science fiction’s richest universes. Now BioWare and Dark Horse are proud to invite fans deeper than ever into the Mass Effect saga with The Art of the Mass Effect Universe! Featuring concept art and commentary by BioWare on the games’ characters, locations, vehicles, weapons, and more-including Mass Effect 3-The Art of the Mass Effect Universe is the most complete companion available to gaming’s most compelling series!

ARTIFACTS #14
ARTIFACTS TP VOL 03
AVENGERS ORIGIN TP
BATGIRL #6
BATMAN AND ROBIN #6
BATMAN POP CUFF KNIT3 CAP
BATMAN TIME AND THE BATMAN TP
BATTLE SCARS #4 (OF 6)
BATWOMAN #6
BLACK PANTHER MOST DANGEROUS MAN ALIVE #529

BLOOD BOWL TEAM MANAGER CARD GAME – Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game is a bone-breaking, breathtaking card game of violence and outright cheating for two to four players. Chaos, Dwarf, Wood Elf, Human, Orc, and Skaven teams compete against each other over the course of a brutal season. Customize
your team by drafting star players, hiring staff, upgrading facilities, and cheating like mad. Lead your gang of misfits and miscreants to glory over your rivals as you strive to become Spike! Magazine’s Manager of the Year! The season is starting. What kind of team will you build?

BLOX BOO BERRY VINYL FIGURE
BLOX COUNT CHOCULA VINYL FIGURE
BLOX FRANKENBERRY VINYL FIGURE
BONE QUEST FOR SPARK SC NOVEL BOOK 02
BTVS SEASON 9 FREEFALL #6
CAPTAIN AMERICA #8
CAPTAIN AMERICA POP CUFF KNIT3 CAP
CAPTAIN AMERICA TP OPERATION REBIRTH
CARNAGE USA #3 (OF 5)
CHIMICHANGA HC
CIVIL WAR BLACK PANTHER TP
CIVIL WAR TP

CONAN THE BARBARIAN #1 – In this sweeping adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s fan-favorite “Queen of the Black Coast,” Conan turns his back on the civilized world and takes to the high seas alongside the pirate queen Bêlit, setting the stage for an epic of romance, terror, and swashbuckling. This is Conan as you’ve never seen him, with the combination of one of Robert E. Howard’s greatest tales and the most dynamic creative team in comics!

COUNTER X TP VOL 01 X-FORCE
COUNTER X TP VOL 03
DAKEN DARK WOLVERINE #21
DEAD OF NIGHT FEATURING MAN-THING TP
DEADPOOL #50
DEAN KOONTZ NEVERMORE #6 (OF 6)
DEATHSTROKE #6
DEMON KNIGHTS #6

DICKS COLOR ED #1 – For the first time ever, Avatar proudly presents, Dicks in fully engorged color! Garth Ennis and John McCrea (the creative team behind Hitman) have returned to add insult to injury with a completely colorized and re-mastered series that is guaranteed to offend and amaze. This monthly series colorizes all the previous Dicks adventures and leads right into a whole new adventure, starting with Bigger Dicks #1 right here! Dougie and Ivor, the shameless bollocks that claim to be private investigators, are back in action with more outrageous antics that will leave no shame uncovered. This series is made for the smart ass comics reader that can’t get enough low-brow humor as only Garth Ennis can deliver! Available with a regular cover, a very Offensive cover, and a special Classic B&W cover showing one of the lost Dicks covers of yesteryear – all by series artist John McCrea!

DOCTOR WHO CLASSICS SERIES IV #1 (OF 6)
DOCTOR WHO DALEKS 24X36 POSTER
DOCTOR WHO DOCTOR & AMY 24X36 POSTER
DOCTOR WHO IN TARDIS 16X20 POSTER
DOCTOR WHO KEEP CALM 24X36 POSTER
DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS #15
ELRIC THE BALANCE LOST #8
ERNEST AND REBECCA HC VOL 02 SAM THE REPULSIVE
EVIL SPOCK T/S
FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #260

FANTASTIC FOUR SEASON ONE PREM HC – In Manhattan’s most famous skyscraper, the Baxter Building, scientific genius Reed Richards hatches a plan that will change the lives of those he loves most – and the very course of human history – in a way no one could’ve ever imagined. Revisit the story that irrevocably altered comics and pop culture in this all-new graphic novel, modernizing the journey of Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm as they travel to the stars – and return with fantastic, devastating results! Plus: Witness the FF’s cataclysmic first battles with the Mole Man, Dr. Doom and Prince Namor, the mysterious Sub-Mariner, in a way you’ve never seen before. You only think you know the story!

FEARLESS DAWN SECRET O/T SWAMP ONE SHOT
FERALS #2
FLASH POP CUFF KNIT3 CAP
FRANKENSTEIN AGENT OF SHADE #6
GARTH ENNIS JENNIFER BLOOD TP VOL 01
GFT PRESENTS NEVERLAND HOOK #3
GON GN KODANSHA ED VOL 03
GREEN LANTERN #6
GREEN LANTERN POP CUFF KNIT3 CAP
GRIFTER #6
GRIMM FAIRY TALES #67
HACK SLASH TP VOL 10 DEAD CELEBRITIES
HAUNT #21
HEDGE KNIGHT II TP SWORN SWORD
HELLBOY TP VOL 01 SEED OF DESTRUCTION
HELLBOY TP VOL 03 CHAINED COFFIN AND OTHERS
HELLBOY TP VOL 04 RIGHT HAND OF DOOM
HEROES REBORN IRON MAN TP
HI FRUCTOSE MAGAZINE QUARTERLY #22
HULK WWH TP GAMMA CORPS
HULK WWH TP INCREDIBLE HERC
HULK WWH TP WARBOUND
HUNTRESS #5 (OF 6)
INCREDIBLE HULK #5
INFINITY CRUSADE TP VOL 01
IRON MAN PREM HC DEMON IN A BOTTLE
IRON MAN TP ENTER THE MANDARIN
IRON MAN WAR MACHINE TP
IZOMBIE TP VOL 03 SIX FEET UNDER AND RISING
JINCHALO GN
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #634

KEVIN KELLER #1 – It’s a bunch of firsts for Kevin Keller in the FIRST issue of his ongoing series. It’s his FIRST time as Riverdale High class president. And he gets published in the Riverdale newspaper for the FIRST time. Oh yeah, and Kevin gets ready to go on his FIRST date! What??!! Kevin’s never been on a date before? That’s the reaction everybody has, as they can’t believe cool, good-looking, mild mannered Kevin Keller has never been on a date. And when he’s made attempts in the past things go terribly wrong…..it turns out Kevin Keller is actually bad at something…..DATING! But the Riverdale gang, along with his old friends and family step in to help ol’ Kevin out. With his friends and family at the helm can anything possibly go wrong? Of course!!! But Kevin will get through it anyway!!!!

KEVIN KELLER HC VOL 01
KEVIN SMITH BIONIC MAN #6
KING CONAN THE SCARLET CITADEL TP
LADY DEATH (ONGOING) #14
LAST DRAGON HC
LAST OF THE GREATS #5
LEGION LOST #6
LIFE & DEATH OF FRITZ THE CAT HC
LOBSTER JOHNSON THE BURNING HAND #2 (OF 5)
LORDS OF AVALON HC SOD
MARVEL ZOMBIES 02 HC
MEGA MAN #10
MEGA MAN 10 MEGA MAN PVC KEYCHAIN
MEGA MAN X MEGA MAN WALLET
MEMORIAL #3 (OF 6)

METAMORPHOSIS 50 ARTISTS HC VOL 01 – This book presents an eye-popping collection of fantastical, imaginative, pop-surrealist, and just plain twisted contemporary figurative art, executed with top-notch technique and mad skills by some of the finest and most influential artists working today. Collecting the work of 50 contemporary artists, the publishers have endeavored to compile a balanced publication, showing the extremes of both “light” and “dark” themes. The two extremes are usually presented separately, but here they are together under the umbrella of human experience.

MISTER TERRIFIC #6
MOON KNIGHT TP VOL 03 GOD & COUNTRY
NEGIMA GN VOL 33
NEW AVENGERS BY BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS TP VOL 02
NEW MUTANTS #37 XREGB
NEW MUTANTS CLASSIC TP VOL 02
NEXT MEN AFTERMATH #40
NORTHLANDERS #48
ONSLAUGHT REBORN TP

PANDEMONIUM SC VOL 01 – Seifer’s life is about to become a royal pain. As captain of the local skullball team, Seifer Tombchewer is the envy of his peers. He’s fast, he’s strong, and he flies circles around the competition. But Seifer’s always dreamed of more – of leaving his tiny, remote village for a new life beyond the mountains. He just never dreamed it would happen like this. Knocked unconscious and abducted, Seifer awakens in the royal palace to learn that Prince Talon Pandemonium has gone missing. And since Seifer is a ringer for Talon, it’s his duty to replace the missing royal in his roles of diplomat, warrior, and Lord Defender of the Realm! Available in Hardcover and Softcover editions.

PC CAST HOUSE OF NIGHT #4 (OF 5)
PEANUTS #2 (OF 4)
PENGUIN PAIN AND PREJUDICE #5 (OF 5)
PERSEUS DESTINYS CALL CAMPFIRE GN
POP DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE VINYL FIGURE
POWERS #8
PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL CLASSIC TP VOL 01
PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL TP VOL 03 HUNTER HUNTED
PUNISHERMAX #22
RED SONJA #63
RESURRECTION MAN #6
REVELATIONS TP
RICHIE RICH VALENTINES SPECIAL 2012 ONE SHOT
RUNAWAYS PREM HC PRIDE & JOY
SCARLET SPIDER #2
SECRET AVENGERS #22
SEVERED #7 (OF 7)

SHOWCASE PRESENTS GHOSTS TP VOL 01 – From the 1970s comes this value-priced collection of classic ghost stories, featuring stories like: “Ghost in the Iron Coffin” “The Tattooed Terror” “Death Held the Lantern High” “The Dark Goddess of Doom” “The Haunted Hero of Saint Helena” & “The Screaming Skulls”

SHUGO CHARA CHAN GN VOL 02
SNAKE EYES ONGOING (IDW) #10
SPIDER-MAN PETER PARKER BACK IN BLACK HC
SPIDER-MAN POP CUFF KNIT3 CAP

SPIDER-MAN RED SONJA PREM HC – The wise-cracking Wall-Crawler collides with the She-Devil with a Sword! Longtime Marvel readers know that these two legends have met before – but that was just the warm-up! They may be from two different eras, but Spider-Man and Red Sonja have both faced the maniacal mage known as Kulan Gath. Now, the sadistic sorcerer makes a play for power that will once again bring these two famous heroes together – but will it be as friends or foes? Writer Michael Avon Oeming (OMEGA FLIGHT, Red Sonja) and Mel Rubi (Red Sonja) – plus cover artist Michael Turner (CIVIL WAR) – answer the eternal question: What’s better in a fight, the proportional strength and speed of a spider, or cold, hard steel and a chain-mail bikini? Collecting SPIDER-MAN/RED SONJA #1-5 and MARVEL TEAM-UP #79.

SPONGEBOB COMICS #7
STAR WARS AGENT O/T EMPIRE IRON ECLIPSE #3 (OF 5)
STAR WARS CRIMSON EMPIRE III EMPIRE LOST #4 (OF 6)
STAR WARS KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC WAR #2 (OF 5)

STAR WARS MILLENNIUM FALCON OWNERS WORKSHOP MANUAL – Del Rey and Lucasbooks have teamed up with Haynes, a publisher renowned worldwide for their car care manuals, and turned their attention to the Millennium Falcon, the iconic spaceship piloted by Han Solo and Chewbacca in the original Star Wars films. The Millennium Falcon Owners’ Workshop Manual will detail all elements of the ship from the propulsion and weapons systems to a look inside the crew quarters, sick bay, and recreational areas. Readers will even get practical and tactical information on how to fly the Millennium Falcon. Using brand-new, full-color cutaways providing a unique view inside the ship, this manual provides the most thorough technical description of the Millennium Falcon available, making it essential reading for all Star Wars fans.

SUICIDE SQUAD #6
SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV CHUN LI PATCH
SUPERBOY #6
SUPERMAN POP CUFF KNIT3 CAP
SUPERMAN THE BLACK RING TP VOL 01
TALES FROM WONDERLAND TP VOL 02
TALISMAN THE DRAGON EXPANSION
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 6PC MAGNET SET
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ONGOING TP VOL 01
THE STRAIN #3 (OF 12)

THIEF OF THIEVES #1 – story ROBERT KIRKMAN & NICK SPENCER art / cover SHAWN MARTINBROUGH Conrad Paulson lives a secret double life as master thief Redmond. There is nothing he can’t steal, nothing he can’t have… except for the life he left behind. Now, with a grown son he hardly knows, and an ex-wife he never stopped loving, Conrad must try to piece together what’s left of his life, before the FBI finally catch up to him… but it appears they are the least of his worries.

ULTIMATE X-MEN FANTASTIC FOUR TP
ULTIMATE X-MEN ULTIMATE COLLECTION TP VOL 02
UNCANNY X-FORCE #21 XREGG
UNWRITTEN #34
UP SIDELOADING MANA SYMBOLS DECKBOX SINGLE PACK
VENOM #13.1
WARLORD OF MARS #15
WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #5 XREGG
WOLVERINE AND X-MEN ALPHA AND OMEGA #2 (OF 5)
X-MEN #24 XREGB
X-MEN POP CUFF KNIT3 CAP
X-MEN SUPERNOVAS HC

YOUNG ROMANCE BEST SIMON & KIRBY COMICS HC – In the late 1940s, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby set the comics world on fire with the creation of a genre that resulted in some of the best-selling American comic books of all time: the romance comics. The stories they created were exciting, innovative, and beautifully drawn, and remain a high point in both artists’ careers. This book brings this wonderful work back to light by reprinting 21 stories in full-color with 200 pages of never-before reprinted material restored by award-winning artist and animator Michel Gangé.

ZORRO RIDES AGAIN #8 (OF 12)

Super-Fly Fandimonium by Max Lake – Do We Need Before Watchmen? An Op/Ed

A sequel to Watchmen was announced this week, but is that a good thing?

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand this past week, you’ve probably heard or read about DC’s announcement of their Before Watchmen project.  With leaked pieces of art surfacing on the internet during the holidays, this was all but confirmed, but now that it’s official it’s pretty crazy news indeed!

Clearly, this will be controversial as Alan Moore says he would rather not see the project produced. Moore has gone on to comment that this is confirmation that DC is dependent on his 25 year old ideas.  Even Dave Gibbons has worded his approval for the project carefully saying that Watchmen was a “complete story” and that DC and the artists and writers involved are wishing to “pay tribute to our work.”  Said Gibbons:

“The original series of WATCHMEN is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell. However, I appreciate DC’s reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire.”

The writing for more Watchmen was on the wall a couple years back when there were rumblings about such a project which stirred up some controversy, and DC co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee said something along the lines of that DC would only do a Watchmen sequel or prequel if they had top notch talent comparable to Alan Moore or Dave Gibbons to do it.  Although I feel it’s hard for any creator to probably claim they’re of Alan Moore ability, the creators DC has assembled for Before Watchmen are quite admirable: Darwyn Cooke, J.G. Jones, Brian Azzarello, J. Michael Straczynski, Joe Kubert, Adam Hughes, Len Wein, Amanda Conner, Andy Kubert, Lee Bermejo, Jae Lee and John Higgins.  One wonders why this high amount of high caliber of talent isn’t being seen in their monthly books (except for obvious reasons such as Hughes, Bermejo and Conner are wonderful artists but slow as molasses in January).

Still, does Watchmen require prequels?  Probably not, but I will say that I’ve wanted more Watchmen since I was a little boy.  And this is going to sound crazy… Long before I read Watchmen.

It was simply a matter of being young and not understanding how a comics story could just end.  I was a big DC Comics freak of a lad growing up in the 1980s, but hadn’t read Watchmen—I was far too young to.  I had heard about the Watchmen through the neat DC Comics RPG I had just got (as they had their own module), and wondered why there weren’t any more comics with them.  I asked someone at my local comic book store, Dark Star Books in Yellow Springs, the store that would eventually spawn Super-Fly Comics.

“Why aren’t there any more Watchmen comics?  Did they all die?” I asked.

The clerk looked at me confused.

“It was a 12 issue limited series,” he said.  “Now it’s over.  It ended.  There is no more.”

I think I accepted this, but it bothered me.  They looked like cool characters.  Why get rid of them?

Of course, when I read the book at age 18 thanks to a friend across the hall in my dorm, I understood how “there is no more,” and how it didn’t need any more.  It was a complete story.  It really couldn’t have gone on without degrading from the overall work.  However, now we have the Before Watchmen project ready to take the comics world by storm, whether it’s ready or not.

I have to ask, is it really all that surprising?  We live in a comics world where once upon a time, Bucky was never going to come back, and neither was Barry Allen.  Both are alive in well in their respective companies’ comic books now however.  There are no sacred cows anymore.  Yes Before Watchmen is almost certainly a mad dash for cash, but isn’t what this industry needs?  The industry has been on life support and got a big shot in the arm from DC’s New 52—wouldn’t another newsmaking event help the industry too?  I do gotta say, a 35 issue weekly Before Watchmen seven mini-series extravaganza doesn’t look too much better to me than Marvel’s massive crossover event Avengers Vs. X-Men from a financial standpoint, but it may get more people into comic stores.  A lot of people have read Watchmen, more people than your average comics reader.  Sure, some of them probably think revisiting the best graphic novel ever is unnecessary, but some of them will be curious—curious enough to buy some new Watchmen material.

Color me one of them.  With the talent on hand, I’ll definitely read these sometime, maybe waiting and seeing until the collections come out (most assuredly in hardcover first) or at least reading them hanging out around Super-Fly.  I’m interested to see and buy Darwyn Cooke’s Minutemen at the very least, and who wouldn’t want to see Amanda Connor draw Silk Spectre?  Plus, if someone was going to write a new Rorschach story, isn’t Brian Azzarello a great choice for that?  Of course they aren’t Alan Moore or Dave Gibbons, but couldn’t it be a lot worse than it is shaping up to be?

As for Alan Moore talking about his 25 year old ideas being used, a few other comic creators (JMS for one, who is working on Before Watchmen) have pointed out that Alan’s Watchmen characters are based on the Charlton characters DC acquired in the 80s, and that Alan has used other literary giants’ characters to his own ends in such works as Lost Girls and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen—certainly in ways that the original authors would not approve of (such as in the straight up erotica of Lost Girls featuring beloved storybook characters Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy from Wizard of Oz and Wendy from Peter Pan).  While I think Alan Moore has a point about DC needing to use his old ideas to a degree, I also think he is also a pot calling the kettle black a bit.  Certainly, Moore added quite a lot to the Charlton characters to make them the Watchmen, but after reading a good chunk of the Charlton material recently, the basic arc types and DNA for the characters was already clearly in place in the Charlton comics.

In the Before Watchmen announcement, DiDio and Lee point out that “Comic books are perhaps the largest and longest running form of collaborative fiction,” and that it is this “collaborative storytelling that keeps the fictional universes current and relevant. ” It’s an excellent point, as how would comics look today if only the creators of a character were allowed to work on a franchise?  The comics industry thrives on various artists and writers interpreting and re-interpreting characters all the time.  No one restricted anyone from writing Superman after Siegel and Shuster, nor stopped anyone from writing Spider-Man after Stan Lee and Steve Ditko moved on, it just wouldn’t make sense.  Watchmen is absolutely different than characters appearing in monthly serialized adventures, true, but DC held out on doing anything with them for 25 years, and even reached out to Alan Moore several times in an effort to generate new material.  Moore certainly had every right to refuse, but DC equally has the right to pursue new stories with characters they own after being stymied by Moore several times over.

Even if Before Watchmen is terrible, it won’t tarnish the original book.  Like Gibbons said, Watchmen is a complete story.  The spin off prequels will be seen as just that.  All the creators and editors are reportedly being incredibly faithful to the original work, and are treating this as a work of passion.  However, if they fail it won’t reflect on the original Watchmen at all.  Nor will the original be modified in any way as a result of this—it will remain the same classic story it always was and people can take or leave Before Watchmen as they see fit.  As it is now, we just have the announcement and some cover images.

Watchmen didn’t need any more, but the little kid in me kind of wants to see more of the story.  Or at least DC make an attempt at it anyway.  Love it or hate it, I’m at least going to check it out first.  Not everyone is going to agree with me, but although I’m a bit skeptical, I want to see these before I pass judgement.

At least it should be better than having Watchmen as a Saturday Morning Cartoon!

That’s just my opinion.  For the rest of the Super-Fly gang’s thoughts, check out the Super-Fly podcast where it will surely come up next time around.  And you can count on Super-Fly Comics & Games being your one-stop shop for all things Before Watchmen this summer!

Super-Fly Fandimonium by Max Lake – DC New 52 Initial Issue Review Wrap Up

After reviewing some of our favorites from DC’s the New 52 and warning you about some of the bigger stinkers, we wanted to offer a wrap up on our look at the DC New 52 first issues with some of the other great titles that you may have missed that deserve your attention.  As the New Year begins full steam ahead, these are definitely books you want to watch in 2012.

Wonder Woman – While many clamored over sexist and/or sexy portrayals of characters in Catwoman or Red Hood and the Outlaws, I wondered if any of them had read the badass portrayal of Wonder Woman in Wonder Woman #1 .  She was tough as heck, but she wasn’t the only outstanding thing in the book.  In fact, the world of Wonder Woman carved by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang is one of Greek Mythology and horror, where gods are dangerous beings to be feared.  Not only that, but Wonder Woman’s origin as we know it gets turned completely on its head, with ramifications that change everything!  The book is simply amazing and one you should be reading. ‘Nuff said!

Aquaman – Aquaman is one of the more surprising books, but with the creative team behind Blackest Night and Brightest Day of Geoff Johns writing and Ivan Reis on art, how could it be bad?  They work hard and succeed in bringing Aquaman to new heights.  Too bad the rest of the world thinks he’s a joke.  No matter what the world thinks of him, Aquaman and Mera are tested as a new threat called the Trench rises from the deep and they are truly vile and scary.  Humor, great action and a book that gives props to Aquaman while everyone disses him makes for a great book that belongs on your pull list and will make you look at Aquaman in a whole new light!

Supergirl –  Supergirl #1 starts off with a bang as it chronicles Kara first coming to Earth in her ship and getting an unfriendly greeting from the Russian military.  It doesn’t take much to see that this gal has got some serious power and she is not afraid to use it.  It also becomes pretty clear as the series has progressed that she doesn’t share her cousin Kal-El’s (AKA Superman’s) sense of goodwill toward humans, and even has powers different than his!  It’s a fresh take on Supergirl’s journey to Earth written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson with art chores handled by Mahmud Asrar.  Finally, a Supergirl fans of all ages can enjoy!  Now is a great time to be a Supergirl fan, or become one!

Captain AtomCaptain Atom has surprised me most with its quality, especially as I disliked its writer, J.T. Krul’s other DCnU title, Green Arrow #1-2 so much.  I really liked the book though, as it is all about Captain Atom developing new aspects to his powers, simultaneously developing and losing more control over them at the same time and the awe and fear which that brings to him.  It is almost as if we are seeing the transformation of Watchmen’s Doctor Manhattan from his early years to his later years.  Of course, the Doctor Manhattan character was originally based on the Captain Atom character, but it’s an intriguing shift to see in Captain Atom, and it makes for a very interesting series.  The unique art by Freddie Williams II fits quite nicely too.

Green LanternGreen Lantern #1 starts with hero Hal Jordan down and out and his greatest enemy Sinestro taking over his role as Green Lantern!  Broke, down and out Hal must try to get back on his feet while Sinestro comes face to face with the Sinestro Corps.  While it sounds like a wacky changeup, these events carried over from the “War of the Green Lanterns” storyline prior to the New 52 relaunch, making Green Lantern one of the few series to keep its continuity.  However, you don’t need to be versed in recent Lantern lore to enjoy the new series.  It’s becoming clear that Hal will get his ring back from Sinestro, but the question is “How?”  Find out monthly in this great new series, with Geoff Johns still at the helm of the GL mythology writing with art by Dough Mahnke and Christian Alamy.

Suicide Squad – One of the best books to come in month in and month out, though the death toll keeps rising!  Suicide Squad is penned by Adam Glass, and the art by Marco Rudy (in the first two issues) and Federico Dallacchio (in issues #3 and #4) is very gritty to match the book, and nails the characters perfectly.  Harley Quinn, Deadshot, King Shark and a handful of others make up the Suicide Squad, a top secret organization sent on insanely deadly missions where survival is anything but guaranteed.  Villain antics abound, similar to Secret Six, though the Squad are on a leash.  The only real problem with this series is you really can’t get too attached to any of the characters because there are casualties.  And whoa!  Did Squad boss lady Amanda Waller just lose a ton of weight in her DCnU makeover? (Probably to make her look like Angela Basset, who played Waller in the Green Lantern movie over the summer).  Dark, violent and a lot of fun, Suicide Squad makes a great read.

I, Vampire – An obscure vampire character Andrew Stanton from a House of Mystery backup from the early 80s takes  center stage in this intriguing new horror love story series written by multiple Harvey nominee Joshua Hale Fialkov with art by Andrea Sorrentino.  Andrew has kept the human world at large safe from vampires thanks to a centuries old truce with his ex-lover Mary, the Queen of the Damned.  When the truce expires, Mary unleashes her vampire army on the human populace, and wants to make super heroes her first victims!  With guest stars Batman and John Constantine on the way confirm that this story has ramifications across the DCnU.  Don’t miss this twisted horror comic!

Green Lantern Corps – What’s it like to be a Green Lantern?  That’s what John Stewart and Guy Gardner are being asked repeatedly as they try to go about their lives and lead them normally.  But their public identities as GLs make it so people just won’t let that happen.  However, there is a crisis facing the Green Lantern Corps, and Guy and John must go to space and unite and lead an elite Corps squad to investigate a force that is wiping out populations across the galaxy.  Peter J. Tomasi writes excellently with some nice artwork by Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna.  A fantastic jumping on point for new and old readers alike, Green Lantern Corps brings some of the best Lanterns together for high adventure.

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men – I had high hopes for The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men and I was not disappointed.  The book starts with high school rivalry between Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond.  Tension (racial and otherwise) is done right (Mister Terrific shoulda taken notes!) between these two teenage protagonists and they suddenly and quickly become caught up in a metahuman arms development project called Firestorm.  Very great character development, very badass super heroic concepts, mile high potential.  Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver are knocking it out of the park and the art by Yildiray Cinar is phenomenal.   Simone is leaving the book after issue #6, with writer Joe Harris joining Van Sciver in March.  Don’t miss this book!

Batman and Robin – It’s the book I feel like I’ve been waiting a long time for: Bruce Wayne and his son Damian Wayne finally teaming up together as Batman and Robin.  With Bruce back as Batman, he takes Damian under his wing and does his best to pick up in teaching him where Dick left off.  However, as a formidable opponent from Bruce Wayne’s past called NoBody stages an all out assault on Batman, Damian’s rebelliousness and brutality is making it difficult for there to be a Batman and Robin team at all!  Peter J. Tomasi does a really good job of writing the initial outings as Batman and Robin for father and son, with Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray doing a bang up job on art.

Green Lantern: New GuardiansGreen Lantern: New Guardians written by Tony Bedard and art by Tyler Kirkham and BATT begins with Kyle Rayner becoming a Green Lantern, and then having one ring from all the other Lantern Corps being inexplicably removed from their wearers and drawn to him.  Naturally, when each Corps comes to find who “stole” the ring from their Corps member, they find Kyle and the rings, and things get crazy from there.  While I liked the other Green Lantern books a lot, New Guardians was my favorite, as it is a group book.  Like the Justice League where you get all the best characters in a single serving, New Guardians similarly offers up the most bang for your buck with a member from each Lantern Corps in one book.  How did all of this craziness happen?  How will these “New Guardians” work together without killing each other? It’s funny, it’s interesting, it’s cool, and it’s a fun read.  Check it out.

Flash – Barry Allen is still working forensics at the crime lab and still the fastest man alive.  However, although Iris West is still around, Barry isn’t still married to her and is back on the dating scene—not even dating Iris either!  Super albeit real googable science abounds and so does gorgeous art from uber talented creators Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato.  A really cool touch is how the Flash transforms into his new costume.  It’s almost as if it forms around him.  Flash takes on an interesting new foe Mob Rule and classic foe Captain Cold is coming up and his redesign looks really sleek!  Making for a younger, cooler Barry Allen for a new generation, the new Flash comic is fantastic and his adventures feel fresher than ever.  Just don’t ask where Wally West is.

BatwomanBatwoman marks the first mainstream ongoing comic featuring a lesbian protagonist.  Not that Kate Kane’s sexuality is jammed in the reader’s face, it’s just a part of who she is.  Issue #1 starts with Batwoman pursuing a mysterious water villain called the Weeping Woman who is stealing children from Gotham’s barrios.  Hot on the trail, she debates training her cousin, Bette Kane (AKA Flamebird) to be her sidekick. With art by J.T. Williams III this book is gorgeous and not to be missed.  Williams III and W. Haden Blackman co-write the book.  The only real drawback to Batwoman #1 is that it picks up right where the Batwoman stories in Detective Comics left off quite awhile ago, making it hard for new readers (or forgetful old ones) to jump into the story easily.  However, following issues prove it’s still an amazing comic that should be on your radar.

All-Star Western – Taking up the slot Jonah Hex filled in the previous DCU, All-Star Western provides the DCnU with western stories with further tales of Jonah Hex, with some issues containing extended yarns featuring Jonah teaming up with Amadeus Arkham in Gotham City and other issues containing backup features starring other western heroes such as El Diablo.  The old west in the DCnU is certainly mean and Jonah Hex is just the kind of man to navigate it.  With Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray still doing dutiful and excellent writing duties for Jonah and these backup tales, with fabulous art by Moriat for the Jonah stories, you definitely should carve some room in your budget for this book!

Birds of Prey – Believe it or not, Birds of Prey lives on post-Gail Simone.  Black Canary still is at the forefront of the group and is now a fugitive, wanted for supposedly killing a man in a fight.  Side by side with her partner and new character Starling, Black Canary teams up with Katana and Poison Ivy to bring justice their way in Gotham’s own covert ops team.  The writing by crime novelist Duane Swierczynski is excellent and fast paced while the art by Jesus Saiz does a good job of rendering both the characters and the action.  With Barbara Gordon rejoining the group in her Batgirl identity in issue #4, you won’t want to miss these tough as nails ladies bringing the action monthly.

Legion Lost – The stakes are incredibly high in Legion Lost written by Fabian Nicieza with art by Pete Woods and the book hits the ground running.  A team from the Legion of Super-Heroes is sent back in time to prevent an alien infecting the human race with a deadly pathogen.  Far from their home time in the future, nothing works right for the Legionnaires.  Their time bubble doesn’t work properly, their flight rings don’t work at all, and neither does a majority of their future tech.   Can they save the human race and the time stream when they are already too late to stop the infestation?  If you’re a Legion fan, or even if you’re not, give Legion Lost a try.  It’s high intensity comics with a futuristic twist, sure to please super hero and scifi fans alike.  While the main Legion of Super Heroes book isn’t bad at all, this is the Legion book to watch, with veteran writer Tom DeFalco soon to come on board.

Justice League Dark – This book written by Peter Milligan throws a bunch of DC and Vertigo’s magic characters together after the Enchantress goes crazy and takes out the Justice League.  The lineup includes Deadman, John Constantine, Shade the Changing Man, and Zatanna.  Together they will become the Justice League Dark.  However, the characters all have issues themselves and getting them together may be a challenge in itself!  The art by Mikel Janin is simply amazing and very dark.  It’s very hard to believe this is a Justice League series and not some kind of Vertigo special event, even though it is firmly rooted in the DCnU.   Also, while the JLD is a magic team like Shadowpact, it feels a lot different from the Shadowpact series (though I’d love to see Shadowpact make an appearance!)  Justice League Dark makes a great alternative to standard team books.

Voodoo – Although a Vixen series was planned in the 70s but never saw the light of day Voodoo marks DC’s first black female character getting her own series.  Voodoo defies stereotypes however, despite #1 starting out in a strip club with Voodoo a stripper.  You see, Voodoo is not all that she seems and there are people who are after her.  Whether or not they will catch her is another matter entirely—one they may not live to see.  Is she a hero or a villain?  She’s definitely one thing: dangerous!  Written by Ron Marz and drawn by Sam Basri, Voodoo is highly recommended!

Deathstroke – After long being a thorn in the side of the Teen Titans and the heroes of the DCU in general, Slade Wilson AKA Deathstroke the Terminator gets his own series to show off his badassery.  Catch Slade going on missions and stack up the bodies.  In this series written by Kyle Higgens with Joe Bennett and Art Thibert on art, we get a full on look into why Deathstroke is the toughest mercenary in the DCnU as well as how he doesn’t play well with others.  Not to mention, Deathstroke’s costume redesign looks sweet.  This book is full of action, chaos and violence with a dash of intrigue.  Deathstroke carries his own book well so far and is well worth the cover price.

Final Thoughts
Well, it was certainly fun, quite enjoyable, but very exhausting to take in DC’s New 52.  Overall, I am very impressed with the diversity in DC’s new lineup.  There are several horror titles, many somewhat superheroic, and all series, even the western, fantasy and war comics all tie into the DCnU.  Not to mention there are several series starring women or people of different races and/or sexualities.  This is especially admirable when DC’s biggest competitor is shedding many of its diverse titles.  Also, if DC is to be believed, they claim they have no company wide crossovers planned for the “foreseeable future” with the next five years planned out—definitely welcome news to those of us tired of event after event.  While not all titles were shining examples of quality with some mediocre and even bad titles getting out, overall the quality of books was remarkably high, making it impossible for me to collect all the books that I enjoyed.  What’s more, there are many new and lapsed readers coming into comic stores across the country because of this—how long they’ll stay is another question, but the New 52 launch has provided a much needed shot in the arm for the industry.  I think DC has delivered on their promise to shake things up with their New 52 launch, and I look forward  to reading as many of their books as possible in the months ahead.  Not to mention, it seems the New 52 will be changing a bit in the coming months.  DC has announced that in April they will be ending OMAC, Static Shock, Men of War, Mister Terrific, Hawk & Dove and Blackhawks but will be replacing them with six new titles:  World’s Finest featuring Power Girl and Huntress, G.I. Combat, Earth 2, Dial H, The Ravagers, and the return of Batman Incorporated which all look promising.  In the meantime, thanks for reading the reviews and stay tuned for more from Super-Fly Fandimonium!

Until then, keep reading & I’ll see you at Super-Fly!