Here are two more comics I downloaded from Comixology. Two more comics from DC’s ‘New 52’, in fact. Considering I had very little interest in DC’s recent reboot, I seem to have downloaded rather a lot of their new number ones, don’t I? So far, I have downloaded Action Comics #1 (didn’t like it), Frankenstein Agent of SHADE #1 (not bad), Animal Man #1 (also not bad), Swamp Thing #1 (pretty good), and now these two. That’s all the ones I was even remotely interested in apart from All-Star Western #1, the title I was most interested in, which I probably won’t download at all now as I am intending to buy the eventual trade paperback collection (but I bet the bastards at DC release it as an overpriced ‘deluxe’ hardcover first and make me wait about a year for the TPB).
I started off not liking Batman #1 very much. It began with yet another breakout at Arkham Asylum and Batman, with a little help from a friend, taking down several of his greatest foes – Killer Croc, The Riddler, Mr Freeze, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Professor Pyg, etc. – over the course of just a few pages, which makes you wonder how this lot ever managed to give Batman so much trouble in the past. Writer Scott ‘American Vampire’ Snyder’s narration also seemed a bit heavy handed to start with, and I wasn’t particularly taken with Greg Capullo’s art during the breakout, as it seemed a bit too much like the Jim Lee-inspired art on display in a lot of modern DC comics (which is fine if you like that sort of thing, but I don’t – Jim Aparo is the best Batman artist ever, as far as I’m concerned, and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise). However, as the comic went on, I warmed to it. Snyder’s Dark Knight Detective seems to be just that – a detective – and after the initial, obligatory action sequence in Arkham, he goes on to investigate a (very gory for a mainstream DC comic) murder using just his smarts and billions of dollars worth of forensics equipment, rather than beating information out of informants, etc., which makes a change (although I’m sure he will get to do some beating as the story goes on). What also makes a change is Bruce Wayne’s plans to use his fortune to redevelop some of Gotham’s poorer areas, which might prove a more effective way to combat crime than dressing up as the world’s most expensive bat and punching poor people. Greg Capullo’s art grew on me as the story went on, too. I think I just didn’t like the way he drew all the super-villains in Arkham, but everything else was rather nice.
Like most of the other ‘New 52’ comics I read, this doesn’t seem like much of a reboot at all. I mean, this doesn’t even try and restart the Batman franchise from day one. Not only is there no new origin for Batman himself, most of his old foes seem to already be well-established criminals, plus former-Robin Dick Grayson is already Nightwing, former-Robin Tim Drake is already Red Robin, and Damian Wayne is already the current Robin, so this Batman has clearly been around long enough to burn through a couple of sidekicks.
To tell the truth, I am not a massive Batman fan and therefore I am not the target audience for this comic. I only bought it because it had received some good reviews and because it was written by Scott Snyder, and I didn’t really expect to like it that much. In the end, though, I thought it was pretty good. I’m not sure if I will bother buying the second issue, but if I ever see the TPB in my local library, I will definitely check it out, and I’d quite like to read some of Snyder’s earlier Batman work, too, as I keep hearing good things about it.
Wonder Woman #1 looked amazing, thanks to artist Cliff Chiang, and writer Brian Azzarello (who I’ve always considered a bit overrated) has written the least boring Wonder Woman comic I’ve ever read. But that isn’t really saying much. This issue was action-packed, violent, gory, and even a little bit sexy, but I didn’t really understand what was going on. Some horses were beheaded, some creatures grew from the horses’ neck-stumps, they tried to kill a girl, Wonder Woman saved her. I’m sure it will become clear who this girl is in the next issue, or at least several issues down the line, but I’m not sure if I can be bothered to stick around and find out. Again, though, I’m not really a Wonder Woman fan, am not really the target audience for this comic, and only really bought it because it had received a lot of good reviews. Azzarello, perhaps wisely, has set this series firmly in the world of Greek mythology, so if you are in to such things, you may enjoy this comic more than I did. Unfortunately, my interest in such things is low. I might read the TPB if I saw it in my local library, but if it weren’t for the great art, I probably wouldn’t bother.
Cost: As was the case with all the other ‘New 52’ comics I have bought, I downloaded these from Comixology. This time, though, instead of getting drunk and downloading them on the day they were released, I waited a month and got them a dollar cheaper than I would have done if I’d been less patient / less sober. In other words, these cost me $1.99 each.