Tying up Loose Ends: The Forgotten DC Reviews

Ok folks, so I have to confess that I made a mistake. Well, maybe two to three mistakes. Or maybe just one more. In all my haste to get out the reviews for every single new issue of the DC relaunch, I may have missed a couple here and there each week, and I REALLY don't like cliffhangers and loose ends in my professional life. Do I like those two things in my fiction? Sure! But not here! So, without further delay, here are my brief reviews of a handful of DC titles that may have gotten, sadly, lost in the shuffle of my haste to review all the stories!

Resurrection Man #1: I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The title's concept is just mysterious enough to leave the reader wanting more, and the idea that the lead character comes back to life with a new, unknown power each time is pretty cool. It seems that we have a character that is on the run from some sort of "afterlife police", and neither side of the coin seems to be able to track him down successfully. The story itself is pretty dark, and the fragility of life is explored in stark detail in the first few pages on an ill-fated airplane with our title character moving on from this disaster in order to preserve his own "life". This series almost caught me off-guard in how effective and good it actually was. It's one that non-superhero fans would enjoy, and it has enough of a superhero quality to it with the ever-changing power sets to keep traditional superhero fans interested. Grade: A

Detective Comics: Easily one of the best Batman comics I have ever read, Detective Comics #1 crackled with an exciting mix of the familiar and the new. We're given a classic Joker versus Batman tale, but the dark tones of it were eerily effective as Batman pursued his foe, all the while disturbing images of mutilation and death were hanging in the air. We learn quickly that Joker has once again orchestrated his return to Arkham Asylum, as his evil genius is ever want to do. A new character enters the stage in the form of someone called Dollmaker. The name is alone is quite creepy when put in the context of the Batman universe, where typically harmless sounding characters, sometimes from children's stories, take on grotesque and sinister overtones. Those overtones are on display here, as Detective Comics #1 leaves the reader with a disturbing image of the Joker's face in a way we haven't seen before. For readers of serious and grim comics, this one is right up your alley. Grade: A

Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1: If there was ever a book in this DC relaunched that seemed to be appealing to as many different types of fan base as possible, I would wager that this would be a top contender for the title. There's plenty of action against a strange band of creatures for the superhero set. There's monsters of various kinds for those who like monsters, there's humor in the form of Frankenstein's father, who has chosen for his latest "form" the appearance of a very young girl, and there's bit of "huh" to keep the curious bystander interested. The book gets much better as it begins to approach the end, and the poor town that is ravaged at the hands of some strange monster is indicative of the fact that the series plans to give a good amount of destruction. Overall the story is just quirky enough and clever enough to warrant consideration from any reader, even though we feel a bit bogged down at times in the lab/headquarters portion of the story. Grade: B

Blue Beetle #1: I have to say that I was very shocked to see this book as part of the new 52. Ted Kord coming back in the role would have been a little more exciting, but that may never happen. This character has been around several years now, and perhaps they're just not finished with young Mr. Reyes at this point. I do have to say I was a bit pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed seeing an interesting, classic sort of origin where a young guy gets accidental powers. Also hearing the worlds Monsieur Mallah and the Brain made me happy, as I always thought they were two of the more curious villains in DC. The touches of humor in this issue worked well, too. I wasn't excited about this book, but enjoyed it overall. Grade: B

DC Universe Presents#1: Another character that has a long and complex place in the DCU. Deadman is already establishing a role in Justice League Dark, and now here he is in his own book as well. While I always thought Deadman was compelling on his own, his purpose has been changed slightly, making him more of a character "on call", who assists others, all in the hopes of helping himself. Not in a self-serving way, but as a necessity for his afterlife. I'm always curious to see how Deadman is drawn, because he can wear emotion in his white face well depending on who draws him, and Berhard Chang does not disappoint. Overall it was a quirky book from a character not always known for it, a compliment to writer Paul Jenkins. Grade: B+