Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wanted: Pithy Title for Article on the DC Relaunch.

I tried to come up with one, but it's late, and I'm not as energized as I had hoped to be.

In the past several weeks, I've been to two conventions, a State Fair show for a local horror host, and a movie shoot; planning the whole time to write something up for each of them for the blog here at Fruitless Pursuits. Sadly, due to circumstance "A", excuse "B", et cetera, et cetera... none of that happened. So when I heard that my local comic shop here in Indianapolis (Comic Book University, for those keeping score) was doing a midnight release party for the launch of DC's "New 52", I thought, "this is my chance, I need to make this happen"...and so here we are.




So here's the thing: my local shop is great! Rob did everything right. There was pizza. There was liquid refreshment. There were door prizes, discounts, and even a REALLY cool cake.

Before you ask, yes. I did have a piece of the cake. It was absolutely delicious. The person who made it makes this kind of "specialty" cake for a living. Anyone interested in giving her more work, let me know, and I'll try and get her info for you. The store was completely packed, the food and drink were consumed to the apparent delight of all involved. There were many DC back-issues and trades bought at a steep discount for those of us who came out. Generally, it appears that a good time was, in fact, had by all. But ultimately, that's not what is going to be important, is it?

What's important is the answer to the burning question of "so, are the books any good?"

The answer to the question? Unfortunately the only answer I can, in good conscience, give is "kinda". I'm not going to spoil the stories for anyone, but I will give you some impressions on what I read:

Flashpoint #5
I actually have some huge problems with this that I wish I could get into here, but I won't. But, I will say that the big "who exactly did what" reveal made me REALLY angry. I wish I could say more because I'd really like to hear what their justification for that kind of sloppy writing is. I will say that something that surprised me was the last-minute addition of something that could potentially give DC an "out", on the off chance they decide to undo the new status quo in the future. But don't blink, or you'll miss it. All-in-all, the whole thing finished with a bit of a nice surprise, though it also made me question if DC's got a backup plan if the new reality doesn't work. I don't know, I've just always gotten the feeling that DC can't make up their minds on what's actually happening right now, and this didn't do that any favors. Ultimately, I personally don't feel it's something that one needs to read in order to move on to the DCnU. But take that for what it is.

Justice League #1
I liked this more than I thought I would. It's very talky. There are only 4 League members in the whole issue; one of them shows up only at the end, and the other isn't a hero yet. I also think we're going to see that hero's origin tweaked to involve the villain of the story in a big way, but more on that later. The bulk of the very first issue of the relaunch of this new version of the DC Universe...is pretty much a conversation between two characters. Woohoo. That's not to say it's not well done. It's not to say I didn't like it. But it is what it is, and what it is isn't exactly exciting.

I came out late to buy these TWO books, an ending and a beginning. Due to Diamond's rules, the shop could only sell those two books from the week's issues, so for me to get the rest of my books this week (this week: Goon, Rocketeer, Invincible, and possibly Atomic Robo), I have to come in again tomorrow after work...which I still have to go to, and my alarm clock is going to start going off in less than 3 hours. For all of that, and all of the hype they've built around this relaunch, they needed to give us something amazing...and ultimately I think they only achieved "meh".

So where to from here? Well, DC is launching several books each week in September. Next week's are: Action Comics, Animal Man, Batgirl, Batwing, Detective Comics, Green Arrow, Hawk and Dove, Justice League International, Men of War, O.M.A.C., Static Shock, Stormwatch, and Swamp Thing. I'll be picking up Animal Man, Batgirl, Detective, and maybe Batwing, Static Shock, and Swamp Thing. Hopefully I'll find something that "wows" me there...I'm looking at you, Gail Simone's Batgirl...


  1. Nice write-up! My shop had beer and champagne, but I felt like it was gonna take forever to finally get the books and leave. Ended up reading Flashpoint in my car. I agree with a lot of what you say, but will delve into it more in my own post in the next day or so ;-)

  2. Flashpoint: Totally agree about the reveal, especially as it messes with what I thought was cool about Flash: Rebirth. I kind of expected the "old" continuity to be revealed to be in another timeline or world but not for a few years at least.

    Justice League: I felt it was different without being at all new. I guess it's more for newcomers than me. I'll be more interested once they move past the origin.

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