Thursday, September 15, 2011

Reviewing the New 52: Batman and Robin, Suicide Squad, Green Lantern & Red Lanterns

The next batch of DC's 'New 52' arrived on shelves yesterday and here are some brief thoughts about the four $2.99 titles that caught my interest. 

Our first reviewed title is Batman and Robin #1 with Damien Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s son as a precocious 10 year old Robin working with the Caped Crusader. Frankly, I don’t like this Robin. He’s comes across as a petulant brat and I can already tell much of the title will devote itself to tired storylines about the ‘wunderkind in trouble'. Patrick Gleeson’s artwork was fantastic but the art could not salvage the premise and I will probably not buy #2.

Robin being petulant in DC's Batman and Robin #1, November 2011
Although I've never been a consistent reader of the Suicide Squad,  the idea of a group of super-villains working for government authorities has always integrated me. In Suicide Squad #1 we are introduced a new squad consisting of Deadshot, Harley Quinn, King Shark, Savant, Voltaic, Black Spider and El Diablo working within Task Force X. The story is pretty much what you would expect from an issue that needs to introduce eight different characters and turn them into anti-heroes quickly, but artwork was good and even though we didn't really see much of an advanced plot, I may check out #2 to see where the story develops. It was a little gruesome in parts, but that was to make the point that this is a group of hard-edged criminals and it worked. Because of this I will possibly buy #2. 

From DC's Suicide Squad #1, November 2011
Green Lantern #1 and Red Lanterns #1 are not reboots unlike other 'New 52' titles but continue from the War of the Green Lanterns storyline that ran earlier this year. Because of this, we were not introduced to the classic Abin Sur meets Hal Jordan story but rather one that consists of a  ringless and down on his luck Hal Jordan, mysterious and spiteful Guardians of the Universe and a reformed yet unscrupulous Sinestro. Having always liked Green Lantern but never having been a consistent reader, I will probably not buy #2 and get earlier (and later) TPBs and get caught up that way. 

Sinestro in DC's Green Lantern #1, November 2011
Red Lanterns #1 gives us background into the rage driven Red Lantern Corps and the story of its leader, Atrocitus and his quest for vengeance against the Guardians of the Universe. The Red Lanterns are great foils for the Green Lanterns and, while the story was a little disjointed in places,  I enjoyed the exotic science-fiction themes and revenge-driven story line. If this book is to be sustained however, it will need to involve the Green Lanterns as an enemy force and because of this it will be an occasional purchase and I will probably not buy #2. 

From DC's Red Lanterns #1, November 2011
It’s often been said that when making an argument it is good to leave your weakest points in the middle. This may have been what DC was thinking when making their argument for increased comic purchases in this third week of the New 52. Of the four books read above, none of them really gripped me like Swamp Thing or Batwing last week. We'll let you know how next week goes. 

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