Saturday, October 1, 2011

DC Relaunch

For those of you that don’t know what the DC relaunch is; first I would like to thankyou for bothering to read this. Secondly in September DC scrapped all its regular comic books and basically started from scratch. Hero’s and villains were brought into the modern world, and a fresh new start was given to characters that were buried beneath decades of stories that had caused their origins to be convoluted. The reason for this was DC was hoping new readers would hop on board and wouldn’t feel intimidated by the massive back catalogue.

Now I didn’t get all 52, but I still managed to get 20 of them, and read a further 6. I also have one on order as it was sold out before I could get a copy. I only bring this point up, as it seems DC has succeeded at least in the mean time in grabbing more readers. Whether this will keep up, needs to be seen. So out of the comics I managed to read, what were my favourites?

Swamp Thing #1 by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette

This was the first of two books written by Scott Snyder and I was honestly looking forward to Batman more. I mean why wouldn’t I? It’s the god damn Batman. However afterwards I was drawn to his work in Swamp Thing thanks in no small part to how well it hits the horror tone. There was just something fascinating in this book that grabbed my attention, and the art of Yanick Paquette really compliments this comic book. The more genuine horror comics in the DC universe the better, as it does allow greater story opportunities for characters in the world.

Aquaman #1 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis

This comic should not be on my list. Aquaman has never interested me in the slightest, and the fact that I’m walking away from this issue on such a high note is astounding. A lot of the awe comes from the writing of Geoff Johns who seems to have a great talent in recreating super heroes. In this first issue he tackles some of the goofier aspects of Aquaman with a good natured gentle ribbing of the hero, but then backs it up with some rather touching moments. This is amplified thanks to Ivan Reis, who alternates art styles effectively to bring more emphasis on the touching moments.

All-Star Western #1 by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Grey and Meridat

Jonah Hex is a character that’s been around for a while. He started off in the west, went into the future, teamed up with present day heroes, tackled aliens and forces of the supernatural. This would be one of those characters that have a confusing back story. However Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Grey came along and stuck him firmly in his western era. The latest Jonah Hex was a series that got a lot of critical praise. I was thinking of starting to read it but being 50 issues in I felt there was no point. Low and behold relaunch has come along and in this case hasn’t messed with the creative team. Great time to jump aboard. This story just oozes that western feel, and give us a tale set in the past of Gotham City. I think this firmly cements Jonah in the world of DC, allows DC to flesh out the past of the world further, but at the same time keep in firmly in a time that suits him. That art is also damn good with Meridat really being in touch with what makes for good western visuals. I’m glad to be aboard gentlemen, I’ll be with you to the end.

Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE #1 by Jeff Lemire and Alberto Ponticelli

During Flashpoint the big event leading to the relaunch, there was a mini series that gave us Frankenstein and his creature commandos. For some reason I really liked it; maybe because of my love of the universal monsters. When I heard Franky was escaping to the relaunch I was hoping for a decent book that gave me my monster fix. What I got was DC’s take on Hellboy, and as much as I could decry it for not being wholly original, I love the quirky glory the pages inside contained. Jeff Lemire gives us a weird, weird world, and something I kind of missed in my comics. I got the same feeling when I would read Un-Men. I really hope this continues for a while as I want to know more about Frankenstein and his team of monsters.

Wonder Woman #1 by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang

Yet again another super hero I wouldn’t have thought ever putting on a favourite list but Brian Azzarello gives us a comic that launches into the action and doesn’t slow down. Dialogue is kept to a minimum, and exposition of the world comes naturally. I was reading Wonder Woman before the relaunch and it’s amazing the turn around that’s happened. The world is dynamic, the story so far is interesting, and Wonder Woman has taken the role of protective presence rather than cog in the story. Cliff Chiang does not drop the ball, capturing the action scenes perfectly and really allowing the fast pace to flow from page to page.

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