After a hiatus of a month and a delay by a week, I returned with February 2024 independent comics. Because of no TMNT, I only read and reviewed a few books in the SECU (tm – me?) in that article. Today, we went to one of Quinn’s swim meets. The down time in between waiting for his events gave me a chance to read the February 2024 DC Comics for this article.
Another father noticed me reading Action Comics and started a conversation. I told him that I got my books mostly from DCBS, but every couple of months, I take a trip to That’s Entertainment. We both geeked out at the mention of the store and agreed that we could easily spend an entire day there every time we go. I dropped a casual mention about the miniature painting classes and I might have made a new friend.
While I enjoyed the lead in to this new Flash story, I’m having trouble getting into the actual story. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t appeal to me. I think I might need to do some more previous reading of Flash to understand the background of this one. When that might happen, I don’t know. As far as Wonder Woman, you all know I’m one of the biggest Tom King fans. However, his slow burn story method that worked so well on Batman falls flat so far with Wonder Woman.
I disregarded the other Action Comics sent to me because it ended the previous story. This one started a new arc. I never enjoyed Bizarro in the past, but Aaron made this story intriguing so far, so I’m willing to give it a chance. Zdarsky’s Batman has been a bit off from the previous couple of writers, but it hasn’t fallen off completely. I think with some time, he will come up with something great for the title. In the same way, Tini Howard’s Catwoman doesn’t stand up to Ram V and especially Joelle Jones. I know we’ll never get back Jones at this point, but I think Howard has the best chance to get back to close to that.
Ever since the Tom King Batman and James Tynion IV Detective Comics era of these books, I’ve been waiting for the books to reach those heights again. Batman lags somewhat behind, but Ram’s treatment of Detective has been amazing. Likewise, but on a different note, Williamson made the impossible possible by getting me to enjoy Superman. This issue, especially, tickled me with the Western motif and engaging storyline. Superman is probably the best book in DC Comics right now.
February 2024 DC Comics was a good one for the company. I found myself struggling to put each comic in each category. They all could have easily been moved up a category. But, I want to remain true to my ideals and not go too easy with these reviews.
As promised yesterday, I’m back today with DC Comics December 2023. I feel like the recent shake up of creative teams hasn’t worked as well this time as the previous few. I understand that I need to give the teams time to figure things out for themselves and their readers. But, I just enjoyed Rebirth and the ensuing stories better than Dawn of DC so far.
The thing is, the titles haven’t been outright bad. They’re just inconsistent so far. Therefore, I guess that makes my case for me that I just need to give them time to figure things out. Before I write the actual reviews, I will say that both Batman and Catwoman look good at a glance. One final note: I only ordered 7 books this month, so I will structure this article more like the independent one and review each book individually.
Batman #139 (Legacy: 904)
Writer: Chip Zdarsky, Artist: Jorge Jimenez. Now, this is more like it. I’ve been saying about Marvel Comics for the last few months that going back to basics worked for them. Batman takes that advice with this story. Batman. Joker. A string of dead bodies and threats to those Batman still holds dear. Keep it up. My verdict: Good, almost great.
Writer: Tini Howard, Artist: Stefano Raffaele. Speaking of keeping it simple, I started reading Catwoman again when Joelle Jones rebooted it. I loved the style and attitude that she brought to the book. It suffered some when she left, but Ram V wrote a good cat, as he does everything. I think Howard has the ability to give Selina the same edge that Jones did. The one thing that distracts me is the art is a bit too male gaze for the female voice of the character. My verdict: Solidly good.
Detective Comics #1076 and 1077
Writer: Ram V, Artist: Jason Shawn Alexander. Ram V takes another tactic. He turns the narrative on his head. It’s not a completely new story, but Batman: Outlaw puts Bruce in the crosshairs as the captured villain in Arkham. The story works well with V’s storytelling capability. I know some (most notably my co-conspirator Chris) didn’t like JSA on Spawn. It was different, but I liked it for what it brought to that story. I think it does the same here. My verdict: Great.
Superman #8 (Legacy 851)
Writer: Joshua Williamson, Artist: Various. This one takes a bit of a step back from the previous issues. For a while there, DC Comics turned my world on my head. Superman was the best book and I wasn’t enjoyingBatman at all. I still like what Williamson is doing with the book. I just thought this one brought in too much from outside the story and it distracted from what’s been making the book fun. My verdict: Good.
Wonder Woman #3 (Legacy 803)
Writer: Tom King, Artist: Daniel Sempere. This one disappointed me most. The curse of high expectations and all that. I loved Tom King’s run on Batman. He understood the character and wrote it with great care. I feel like too much of that is seeping into Wonder Woman’s character. He righted the ship some with the previous issue, but this one has that same muddling. The story is good. I just can’t get used to King’s interpretation of Wonder Woman. I’ll give it time. My verdict: Decent.
DC Comics December 2023 brings some consistency to the books. I look forward to Batman and Catwoman going forward. Ram V’s story in Detective is great. Williamson’s Superman took a step back with too much supporting story, but the main story is still great. I still have faith that Tom King will figure out Wonder Woman sooner rather than later.
Get your books at DCBS. Not a paid promotion. I just genuinely like their customer service.
Last month, for some reason, they sentme the first issues for Power Girl and Green Lantern. I thought maybe I added them to my pull list or cart to check them out because of the non-reboot reboot “Dawn of DC”. Maybe the latter, but not the former because I’m back to my usual 7 books for DC Comics October 2023.
Overall, the books entertained me this month. None of them were especially bad or annoying. That’s all I ask from my comics books right now. I’m older and softer when it comes to my criticisms. Since there are so few books, I’ll just give my thoughts on each of them in order.
Action Comics 1058
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Artist: Rafa Sandoval. We got pay off after the evil Superman reveal. Supes keeps his doppleganger busy and away from the public. He pays for it, but defeats the other Supes. Someone talks about turning a Kryptonian and then Clark goes to Steel to have him craft a suit while he heals. I feel like I forgot something because of the Knight Terrors gap. Need to go back and read previous issues again. My verdict: Decent.
Batman 138 (Legacy: 903)/Catwoman 58
Writers: Chip Zdarsky (Batman), Tini Howard (Catwoman), Artists: Jorge Jimenez (Batman), Nico Leon (Catwoman). I put these two together, because they complement one another in the Gotham War storyline. Speaking of, the gild appears to be solidly off the lily on this one. I liked Catwoman better than Batman this month. I have no use for the Zur storyline. But, I like that Catwoman took it upon herself to keep Bruce busy and try to keep Gotham together in the face of overwhelming odds. My verdict: Decent.
Detective Comics 1076
Writer: Ram V, Artist: Francesco Francavilla. A fun conclustion to a two part scarecrow story. It expores the myth of Batman through a conversation between Batman and young Bruce. An old and overused technique. At least Ram V does it well. My verdict: Good.
Flash 2 (Legacy: 802)
Writer: Si Spurrier, Artist: Mike Deodato, Jr. You all know I liked Williamson’s Flash. Like, really liked it. I thought when they shuffled things around books might suffer. Some have a little bit (like Batman), but not this one. This story is weird, but I dig it. My verdict: Great.
Superman 7 (Legacy: 850)
Writer: Josh Williamson, Artist: Gleb Melnikov, Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, Edwin Galmon. Unlike recent big number issues, they simply continue the current storyline in this one. That’s fine with me. Chris mentioned in the latest podcast that I keep making him rethink taking Supes off his pull list. What can I say? Williamson writes a fun Superman and this story has just enough to keep me interested right now. My verdict: Good.
Wonder Woman 2 (Legacy: 802)
Writer: Tom King, Artist: Daniel Sampere. I like Tom King. I wasn’t sure about his take on Wonder Woman after the prologue and first issue. I’m still not 100% sold on it. But, this one gives me just enough of the Tom King magic that I think he might eventually pull it off. My verdict: Good.
Like I said, DC Comics October 2023 has some fun books in it. I like what they’ve done with this latest not a reboot reboot and the creative teams work pretty well together. I do find it interesting that my two favorite books of all time, Batman and Spider-Man are both suffering right now, but they’ll get it figured out.
Catching up has proven more difficult that anticipated. I mean, I know from being a teacher that it’s often easier to just go into work sick and fake it as best you can instead of having to write sub plans and get back into the groove after being out. Also, I probably took this page lighter than normal. After all, I only maintain it as a labor of love. So, I put off the YouTube and updated it in chunks. I still haven’t finished writing my notes for the next episode of Noob’s Book Club. And, I meant to release this DC Comics September 2023 article yesterday or Thursday.
I skipped DC for a couple of months. That’s because I ordered all of the first issues of Knight Terrors. I forgot to update my DCBS order the next month and only ordered my main titles. I meant to go to That’s Entertainment to fill in the books I missed. At this point, I might need to go the Midtown route. They would have made a great Spooktober article. Oh well, there’s always next year.
Power Girl 1
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For some reason, even though I don’t remember ordering them, they sent 3 number 1 issues for the Dawn of DC non-reboot of a reboot. Why they couldn’t anticipate last month and send my Knight Terrors, I’ll never know. In any case, they sent Blue Beetle, Green Lantern, and Power Girl. Of the three, I liked Blue Beetle the best and I might keep collecting that one for a bit longer to see if it continues. I’ve never cared anything about Green Lantern and I just said to Christine, “Good to see horny dudes are still drawing comics.” Power Girl’s costume makes no sense.
Wonder Woman 1
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Writer: Tom King, Artist: Daniel Sampere
Long time readers of the page know that I have little use for Superman. I always thought his character was simplistic and I prefer my heroes to have flaws. The Brian Michael Bendis experiment started off great and then, as he often does, he wore out his welcome. They sucked me back in by putting Williamson on the main title. I also like Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s take on Action so far. I enjoyed Williamson on Flash and that’s what got me to read Supes. The Si Spurrier era starts off decent and I’m willing to give him a chance. The same thing can be said for King’s Wonder Woman. Everything he writes ends up great, but he needs some time to figure out WW’s character.
Batman and Robin 1
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Writer: Joshua Williamson, Artist: Simone Di Meo
I rolled my eyes so hard they may have stuck there (Mom was right after all) when I read “Gotham War”. We had Joker War. Now we have Gotham War. Well, I should have known that they’d not let us down with this one. What is surprising is that all of the supporting titles I read in the series supports the story in a logical and strong manner. Hell, it even convinced me to buy the Batman/Catwoman title that ties in.
DC Comics September 2023 takes a page from Marvel’s book. They go back to basics on a lot of their titles. Okay, it makes sense now. They kept saying this wasn’t a reboot. With every new announcement, Chris and I rolled our eyes via text and said, “Yeah, right. looks like a reboot to us.” But, by the gods, they actually pulled it off. Can’t wait to see next month.
Wonder Woman 800 took a different approach than The Flash and other recent landmark issues. Instead of a collection of shorter stories, they wrapped up the previous arc and included an introduction to the next arc at the end of the book.
While I enjoy the issues with the smaller vignettes because they allow writers to explore the less well known aspects of the heroes, this method works, too. It gives the previous creative team a chance to finish their story. The new creative team gets a chance to put an imprint on the character and introduce their unique persepctive.
Whatever Happened to the Warrior of Truth? Part 2
Writers: Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad, Artists: Joelle Jones, Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales, Nick Robles, Todd Nauck, Skylar Partridge, Cully Hamner, and Jen Bartel.
I liked the Beck Cloonan/Michael W. Conrad run of Wonder Woman. They understood the character and brought her back to her roots. Similar to the current story in She-Hulk, they just get Diana and what makes her a good character. This issue goes a long way to showing all of that in the finish of their run. Wonder Woman travels the universe to visit and work with allies. She ends the story by reminding everyone out there who she is and what she stands for. My Verdict: Great
Writer: Tom King, Artist: Daniel Sampere
I loved Tom King’s Batman series. He also wrote Miracle Man very well. I look forward to seeing what he does with the new Wonder Woman series. From what I see in this story, she is in good hands. He writes her differently from the previous writers, but change can be good. My verdict: Good
I enjoyed both stories for very different reasons. Perhaps surprisingly, I liked Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad’s better than Tom King. Perhaps not. They’ve had more time to establish themselves and their mythos, so saying farewell has more emotional impact right now than Tom King’s version. After Knight Terrors, we’ll see how this story in Wonder Woman 800 leads into the future of the book.
After half assing my way through last month’s return to comic book reviews, I performed my due diligence this time around. In between school ending and decorating and watching my son in his seniorparade I read the DC Comics May 2023 and made my great, good, and decent list. We returned from the parade. While they clean off my father in law’s truck, I sat down to write the article.
The list may surprise you. I know it surprised me. But, I come by it honestly. The surprises start early and continue through to the end. This article with shock you. You won’t believe your eyes. In case you can’t tell, I’m trying to trick the algorithm into boosting this articleinthe search results. Controversy sells, right?
Batman #135 (Legacy 900): Writer – Chip Zdarsky, Artist – Mike Janin. Okay, this one will cause some waves, if anyone reads it. Hey, I told you. I don’t know what it was about this story. It just didn’t hit with me. Maybe I have to go back and read the first couple of issues. I don’t know. The one thing I found cool about it was all of the universe hopping and different styles of Batman we got. Other than that, pretty forgettable as far as a “landmark issue”.
Catwoman 55: Writer – Tini Howard, Artist – Nico Leon. Again, a bit of a surprise. I loved when Joelle Jones rebooted the series. Then, it fell off a bit. But, it ramped back up with Ram V. I might just be missing major plot points because I jumped back in towards the end of stories. I just prefer the cat burgler or tenuous alliance with Batman Catwoman stories. Ones like this just don’t keep me interested or entertainted.
Flash 798/799: Writer – Jeremy Adams, Artist – Tom Derenick. Unlike the multiverse and time hopping in Batman, I welcomed it in The Flash for these two issues. I can’t explain why. I only started picking up Flash comics for Aiden, who was a huge fan of the hero. Then, I read and enjoyed it during Williamson’s run. Since then, it just keeps showing up in my pull list. But, I pulled the trigger this time and I’m glad I did. Fun story. Can’t wait for 800.
Wonder Woman #799: Writer – Becky Cloonan and Mike Conrad, Artist – Alitha Martinez. I picked this one up after just reading another social media post about someone intentionally trying to pick fights with neckbeards about equal rights for all. I admit to being a sucker lately for that kind of thing, especially in light of my soul searching as a result of reading Ready Player One. Yeah, seriously. Anyway, the book (even with such a bold cover) downplays the relationships. But, I liked the seamless travel between dream worlds as the set up for something really cool, I hope. Next month looks big with a couple of 800s.
Action Comics 1055: Writer – Philip Kennedy Johnson, Artist – Rafa Sandoval. Yes, dear readers, we truly live in the upside down. Both Bats and Cats reside in the dumpster this month and Action Comics (plus, I imagine you can deduce, Supes) in the great. What can I say. I enjoyed the heck out of this story. I didn’t know what to think going in, but they made everyone, including cyborg Superman, into a compelling character with a great narrative.
Superman 4: Writer – Joshua Williamson, Artist – Nick Dragotta. What can I say? All it took for me to finally get on board with the Man of Steel was a little bit of Joshua Williamson. Granted, it means that I don’t have to put Superman and Brian Michael Bendis into the same sentence, so that helps. But, it’s Lex and Supes teaming up. What more can you ask for? As far as I’m concerned, no more.
I told you. DC Comics May 2023 turned our whole world upside down here at 2 Generations Gaming. I imagine things returning to normal next month, but who knows. If Williamson keeps writing Superman, I don’t see that one budging. Maybe we just get the elusive month of only great books. Come back at the end of June to see.
With some of the kid activities calming down over the next few weeks, I decided to try to get back to updating the page on a regular basis. This week, I eased into it with some comic reviews. Instead of just Spawn, I reviewed two other independent comics on Monday. Today, I return with DC Comics April 2023.
Before we continue, I need to come clean. I skimmed most of the books this month. Almost all of them are in the middle or close to the end of an arc. Therefore, I need to go back and do a little research before reading next month to get a better idea of the quality of the books. Therefore, and I know you all probably do anyway, take this month’s reviews with a grain of salt.
Wonder Woman 798
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I came clean a few years ago as not a fan of Superman. I know that probably pains my brother Tim, but the character just never interested me all that much. I like my heroes with flaws and Superman traditionally has none. Let me tell you something else, though. I absolutely hate Superman when they try to humanize him. But, if anyone can make me care about ole Supes, it’s Williamson. Watch these reviews to see if it comes true.
As far as Wonder Woman and Flash this month. Overall, I enjoyed reading through them. As mentioned above, I only flipped through Wonder Woman because I need context before passing final judgement. The only reason I started collecting Flash was for Aiden, but he seems to be out of his comics phase, so at this point I’m just collecting for collection’s sake. I will say, though, that the concept of the “One Minute War” looked interesting and I want to read that story.
Action Comics 1054
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Well, apparently I lied when I said that only Williamson can make me care about Superman. Because, I thoroughly enjoyed the story presented in Action Comics this month. It revolves around Metallo and offered one heck of a cliffhanger at the end of 1054. Can’t wait until next month.
I flipped through both Bats and Cats this month. Both wrap up their current stories soon and I actually wrote under Batman in my notes that I needed more context because maybe it will be great. Zdarsky is writing it and Chris said he liked the story. I promise to update you next month. Plus, I pine for older writers on these books, so I need to get over that first.
Remember those old writers I pined for earlier? Ram V is absolutely one of them. I love everything he does. He just writes such amazing stories and it doesn’t matter what character he writes for. Similar to James Gunn and super hero movies, every book that Ram V touches is gold.
For me, DC Comics April 2023 was a mixed bag. Part of that, admittedly, is my fault. I need to go back and read the previous books for some context in the stories. Who knew that coming back to review comics would give me homework? Oh well, I promise to be more well versed in the stories by next month. Until then….
Technically, all of these books released in January. But, you know what you get here at 2 Guys Gaming. I’m not part of the comics media elite (yet, and I may never be, but hope springs eternal), so I order my books from Discount Comic Book Service and they arrive all in a big box at the end of each month. And, so, you read the general review of the first month of books DC Future State February 2021 instead.
If I’m completely honest, and I usually am, I considered calling this “Month One” instead of February 2021 to cover up my deficiencies. Delightfully devilish indeed, Seymour.
I originally planned to review each book individually as I do for all of my comic reviews. That plan is unfeasible for a couple of reasons. One, there are a ton of books (my order doubled for this month) and I only give myself a week to read and review the books. Two, none of the books have been very good so far.
I ran the gamut when it came to opinions of Future State. Initially, when I thought DC planned to use it as a reboot, yet again, I met it with my usual cautious optimism. When Chris assured me that DC said it was an event and not a reboot (though that’s looking to be delightfully devilish on their part in retrospect), I jumped all in. I put ever single book on my pull list. I even added a few variant covers by mistake. Now that I read a few of the books, put me on the (spoiler alert) extremely disappointed list. What makes DC Future State February 2021 so disappointing? I’m glad you asked. Let’s start with the good news first.
Sorry folks, no great this time. I wager there are more than one or two great books here. They have some of their best writers (Tamaki, V, Jones, Bendis, among others) on the “project”. So, once I get around to reading them on vacation, I might write an amendment to give them their props. Overall, though, as mentioned, the books give me the impression of a failed reboot that they repackaged as an event. It all looks and feels like the next generation reboot that pissed off so many Marvel fans about a decade ago now.
As I wrote to Chris, nerds are a fickle bunch.
I, personally, would have more respect for them if they just powered through the awkwardness of another reboot until the books got good again. You know it would happen eventually. The hard core collectors would keep collecting because they’d be afraid of missing out. The lovers like me and Chris would grab the books that held our attention and eventually found new books to enjoy. The casual fan (haha), if they still exist, would pop in here and there. Who knows, you might even expand your audience. Again, I mock, haha. Instead, we’re met with this mealy mouthed “event” in which nothing really happens.
That can be forgiven when Bendis writes for a title for 3 or 4 years. There’s bound to be lulls in the story. But, when you give these characters 2 or 4 books in which to be introduced and possibly concluded? Those books had better be damn good. And, quite frankly, they just aren’t.
Marketing – I often say that I’m not very susceptible to marketing. I say it almost as much as I say that I don’t hate Tom Brady. Both come out of my mouth (and virtual mouth) enough that you may think that I’m compensating. Chris has said as much on numerous occasions. Honestly, that may be partly true.
Mostly, I repeat myself because I don’t know which post might lead someone to the page. Therefore, I feel the need to explain myself on as many articles as possible so people know what they’re in for. To make a long story short…
Even though I generally feel like I don’t respond to marketing, of course I do. It’s just that marketing needs to be tailored exactly for me. DC accomplished that with Future State admirably. I went from not caring and maybe picking up a few titles that interested me to ordering every single title they published. Well played, DC.
The Stories: I don’t mean to imply that the books are bad. They’re not. Admittedly, at this writing, I’ve only read three of them. However, the overall trend follows this pattern. They’re DC books set in the future. Sure, Aquaman mentions the multiverse. However, the Batman Superman and The Next Batman stories are just Batman and Superman stories set in a near future dystopia.
Don’t get me wrong. That’s all fine. It’s just not “event” stuff. As I said, it looks, smells, and feels very much like an aborted attempt at another reboot. I give them some credit for trying to switch it up and give the reboot some flavor. However, I have no respect for backing off and then trying to resell it as an “event”.
This is no event. Civil War was an event. Planet Hulk was an event. Secret Empire was an event. This is a well (at least to suckers like me) marketed shift of focus. Again, nothing wrong with that. They invested quite a bit into this and want to see some return. I just don’t understand why they’re being so coy about it. Perhaps their margins are thinner than Chris and I have feared all these years. If so, do what you need to do to keep making comics, guys. I’m 100% behind you.
I will read the rest of the books in DC Future State February 2021. I’m on break next week, so I’ll need things to keep me occupied. Perhaps I will also write an addendum article with some of my free time. I mean, there are some great writers and artists on the project. Almost every one of my favorites is involved other than Tom King and James Tynion. I suppose some had to stay back to hold down the fort when we return to the present. At the risk of sounding like one of those comic nerds, that return can’t happen soon enough. In the meantime, there’s always WandaVision.
We finally finish out comics week and a half for this month with DC Comics January 2021. I planned on posting this article last week on Friday. I had a busy weekend of playing Minecraft, Lego, and board games with my family. Plus the NFL unveiled their Super Duper Mega Wild Card Weekend. Finally, college football played their national championship game. There’s only so much I can be expected to do in a weekend.
Sure, I should have already had the article written before the weekend, but what is time if not for procrastinating?
And so, it is how I have arrived at nearly a half a week past my self imposed deadline to review DC Comics January 2021. I know you won’t believe me, but I swear it’s not because DC has been a let down these last couple of months. I always go into a new month of comics with an open mind and hope for the best. More often than not, that faith is rewarded. Let’s see if that’s true this time.
Batman 104 and 105 (James Tynion IV et al): I always feel bad when there are numerous artists on a book because I use the et al tag for them all. They all work hard on these books and they should get credit. By the same token, I mostly read comic books for the writing. However, I don’t want my byline to be two or three text lines, either. None of that is relevant to this review. I just want to be as open and honest as possible.
Now, for the review. As I’ve mentioned several times in the past, James Tynion IV on Batman excited me when I first heard the news. Either high expectations or the reality of the situation or both brought me crashing back to earth. Slowly, but surely, the book got better until Joker War. Since then, the book lived up to that promise. Now, comes Future State. I, again, hope that the book survives the hiatus.
Wonder Woman 768 and 769 (Mariko Tamaki, Rafa Sandoval, and Steve Pugh): Similar to Tynion on Batman, Tamaki on Wonder Woman excited me. Honestly, I enjoyed Wonder Woman for most of the last 2 or 3 years since Rebirth. They hooked me with Rucka and then it stayed just above water enough that I don’t think it ever dipped into “Decent” territory for more than a month or two. Now that Tamaki is on the book, she makes even secondary storylines fun to read.
Aquaman 66 (Andy Lanning, Ron Marz, and Miguel Mendonca): Like Wonder Woman (is the theme of this article going to be call backs to the previous books?), I started collecting Aquaman because of the movie. Also, I wanted to get in on the ground floor of Rebirth with as many titles as possible. This book hasn’t been as consistently good as Wonder Woman and I considered dropping it a few times. My favorite writer is Deconnick, but Lanning is a good stop gap on these titles, too.
Action Comics 1028 (BMB and JRJR): I make no secret of my distaste for the unholy union of Brian Michael Bendis and the Superman titles. At least this book shows promise every so often. I saw the news recently that he’s moving to Justice League after Future State. So, I will spare you the same old story going forward. Maybe, for old time’s sake, we can resurrect it when he writes Justice League.
Catwoman 28 (Ram V and Fernando Blanco): I texted Chris about this title last week. I saw that Ram V will be writing for Swamp Thing after Future State. We both agreed that his work on JLD has been solid. I then surmised that perhaps Catwoman isn’t a strong enough character for a solo title because his work on the book is solid, but I just don’t like the stories. How many different “heist” issues can you do? I liked this one, though. More of these types of stories, please.
Justice League 58 (Andy Lanning, Ron Marz, and Xermanico): I suppose that Lanning was not a stop gap on Aquaman. He and Marz are cowriting the Endless Winter story. I admit to being skeptical when I saw yet another event in DC Comics with Future State so close. However, I enjoyed this story even if it is just a rip off of Frozen. Which, of course, is a ripoff itself. Aiden even liked it. He asked where the missing issues were. So, maybe I’ll have to find them at the LCS.
Justice League Dark 29 (Andy Lanning, Ron Marz, Amancay Nahuelpan): I will be honest. It wasn’t until I saw that Ram V wasn’t the writer on this title that I realized that Lanning and Marz were cowriting all of the titles in Endless Winter. Not sure why they included this title in the event other than as a send off. Which, by the way, I do not approve. The JLD will still be with us, but only as a bonus story on the main title. What are you doing to me, DC?
Detective Comics 1032 and 1033 (Peter J. Tomasi and Brad Walker): When Tynion wrote this title, I loved it. As soon as Tomasi took over, it dropped to the “Good” category. More and more, my enjoyment of the title eroded over time. Some people might like Tomasi. I just don’t Other than the Joker War issues, this book has been forgettable during his tenure. Williamson is taking over after Future State, though, so that’s something to look forward to.
Superman 28 (BMB and Ivan Reis): Action may have had some redeeming stories during it’s run. I did not enjoy this title after the rebrand from Man of Steel. I simply kept collecting for collecting’s sake. Now I can say I have the entire BMB run of Superman. For whatever that’s worth.
As we head into Future State, I’m tentatively optimistic about DC Comics. They are mixing up creative teams, dropping some books, and folding others into bonus stories on more popular titles. The only decision I’m currently angry about is their decision to make JLD a bonus title. I feel like it has been the only consistently good book for them over the last year and a half. As always, thanks for reading my DC Comics January 2021 review and we’ll see you next week for Future State.
I finally got around to DC November 2020 review. Though, to be fair, this is actually a quicker turnaround that I’ve been accomplishing recently. I’m not quite back to the point where I can write before multiple deadlines. However, the articles are being written within a week of the deadline at least.
Gotta walk before you can run.
Speaking of running (Actually, this doesn’t have anything to do with running, but I wanted a smooth transition. Nailed it.), Chris and I were texting earlier in the week. He texted to warn me that it looked as if DC Comics might be on the precipice of another reboot. Granted, it’s been about 4 or 5 years since the last one.
But, still, I felt that familiar old irritation. Why do they keep doing this to us? Why can’t they just let the comics evolve for a decade and then maybe decide that it’s time to sell to a new audience? I have to say that I love what both Marvel and DC are doing right now for the most part and don’t think there needs to be a massive overhaul. Thankfully, Future State appears to be simply and “event” right now. Our conversation ended with us both in agreement that it was most likely to test the waters for an eventual reboot. *sigh* Well, while we can, let’s enjoy DC November 2020.
Batman 100 and 101 (James Tynion, Jorge Jimenez, and Guillem March): This issue has been hyped for months. Ever since Tom King was on the title and he promised something completely unexpected. Many assumed that meant that Batman might finally kill the Joker. That’s the ending I hoped for, but it wasn’t quite that. Nevertheless, this encounter has forced Bruce to rethink the way he’s doing things. I’m excited to see what that means. 101 promised to be a letdown after the excitement of 100, but that ending was magnificent.
Justice League Dark 27 (Ram V and Amancy Nahuelpan): Like Hulk, I’m running out of superlatives to use for this title. It stumbled slightly when Tynion left, but as I’ve said numerous times, Ram V has proven to be a worthy successor. Also, like Hulk, this is the title that I’d miss the most if they rebooted and it isn’t in the lineup like it looked like might happen.
Wonder Woman #763-765 (Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh): I started collecting WW for a few reasons. One, when it started after Rebirth, Greg Rucka wrote it. Two, I loved the movie version. Three, and not insignificant, it is a core title. For a bit there, it wavered. But, Mariko Tamaki has firmly taken the reigns and made it hers. Good choice, DC.
Aquaman 64 (Kelly Sue Deconnick and Miguel Mendonca): I started collecting Aquaman for one of the same reasons as Wonder Woman. I enjoyed the movie. The first story arc was interesting. Ever since Arthur returned and there’s only been hinting at a showdown with Manta, the book has bounced between Good and Decent with a few issues close to great. Those issues have been written by Ms. Deconnick who is back after a (covid related?) hiatus. So, the future looks good.
Action Comics 1026 (Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita, Jr.): Either Bendis or Romita or both of them together figured out how to make a BMB patented “talkie” more interesting. The panel configuration in this book is all over the place. Backwards, upside down, sideways, sometimes all three at the same time. Overall, I’ve enjoyed this title more than Superman, but neither is giving me reason to believe that the BMB hire was anything more than a PR stunt.
Catwoman 26 (Ram V and Fernando Blanco): This had the “Joker War Collateral Damage” and it involved fallout from the last issue with the Joker. However, it served as little more than a set up for the next arc. I had to look up Father Valley. I thought he was a new character, but he’s not. I’m interested to see where V goes with this.
Justice League 54 and 55 (Joshua Williamson and Xermanico): Maybe Death Metal focused the title similar to how Joker War did with Batman and Detective. Perhaps it is Josh Williamson’s touch. Whatever the reason, this title is starting to recapture some of the fun at the beginning of Venditti’s run as writer. They probably just took my advice and read Avengers to see how to write a team title.
Detective Comics 1028 and 1029 (Peter J. Tomasi et al): These issues are better than the title was before Joker War. It’s not as good as it was during the tie in issues. I realized that I think I just don’t like Tomasi’s writing style. Here’s hoping that he and I can find a compromise soon.
Superman 26 (Brian Michael Bendis and Ivan Reis): At this point, I’m only collecting the book for the artwork. This title might not survive on my pull list after Future State.
Other than Detective–and I’m realizing that probably won’t change unless I come to terms with Tomasi or they replace him–and Superman–which is subject matter and not even BMB has been able to make Superman interesting to me, the DC November 2020 books are very good. I’m still upset that they’re choosing now to take a hiatus and push Future State, but who knows. Maybe that will end up being awesome and I won’t even miss the regular titles. It remains to be seen in a couple of months.
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