Because my issues take a little long to ship (I seriously think I am going to switch to digital comics soon since the closest store is ages away), I ended up getting 2 weeks worth of comics within 2 days. In order to keep the post from getting too long I ended up breaking it into two parts, Part 1 being the comics from 2.5 weeks ago (Action Comics, Detective Comics, Batgirl, and Green Arrow), while Part 2 will include the comics from 1.5 week ago (Green Lantern, Grifter, Suicide Squad, and Superboy).
Of all the comics I have read from DC’s New 52, Green Lantern is the first time I have felt like a newbie questioning my nerd cred.
Prior to last summer’s movie all I knew was that Ryan Reynolds is dreamy. Ok, I also knew the basics of the Lanterns: ring, lantern, and creation of anything your mind can imagine (even if you don’t imagine it green). So going into this comic my knowledge bank had expanded to whatever that film taught me. Long story short, though I survived reading it, those who are even less prepared than I am are going to feel out of their depth.
With these new #1 issues I know that a lot of people like myself are hoping for an easy point to finally jump into these popular titles. Justice League starts before the team has formed when a lot of the heroes are still somewhat unknown (or pre-hero in Cyborg’s case), Batgirl fills in the blanks of what is “need-to-know” throughout the issue in a way that is fluid within the storytelling (especially in concern to how it elaborates on her psyche in a way that informs the story), and many other titles work in this same way. AKA if they aren’t starting over, then many titles fill in necessary exposition without completely going origin stories to keep those who have been reading for years still entertained. However, Green Lantern isn’t so newbie friendly. This shouldn’t turn off new readers though; just know that you will have a lot of questions you might have to turn to the internet to create a more comfortable knowledge bank to pull from.
Here’s why you should still be interested in reading it: there are a lot of variables being set up in this story to make it really interesting. Starting with Hal Jordan. That’s right, the one human I knew to don the green garb is no longer a Lantern! Gasp! Now time to make your world topsy-turvy. A different being (Sinestro) who was once a Green Lantern, but betrayed the green for a brighter yellow and did a bunch of bad things has somehow managed to be chosen once more to look like he is forever celebrating Christmas when the ring chooses him once more. So the bad guys are good guy and the good guys are normal boring people? Hm…
As reversed as this seems to be it’s hard to believe that Sinestro is not going to be tempted to switch teams again (granted the Sinestro Corp seem to no longer want him), and Hal is hardly going to sit on the sidelines without even a view of the game being played. First he just has to make a deal with the devil.
I’m starting to feel like a lot of these may need to have a little research done to get a gist of what’s going on. However, with the other titles where there is a history and characters that have been in the comics for ages and relationships and blah blah, this story still works for those who don’t know who Grifter is.
Why it works: It plays out more like a film or episode of TV in which you slowly learn what is going on, AKA you get dumped in and figure out what is going on in a true paranormal fashion. Or like with LOST. Let’s face it, without the red mask (which he doesn’t wear throughout the comic), Christopher Argent (if that is his real name) is a lot like Sawyer. He’s got longer blonde hair, scruffy facial hair, makes a living by being a con artist… However, where he differs is on the sanity level. Sure Sawyer had some issues from his childhood that have scarred him for life, but Grifter is being haunted by some sort of demon that speaks to him cognitively and may or may not be trying to get at him wearing the bodies of people. At least that is what the hope is, if not he is becoming a mass murderer. I am going to go with the former though, but I’ll just have to wait and see!
A lot of villains have been spawned throughout the years of DC comics, and 7 of them have ended up here. At least I think they are all villains previously seen elsewhere… I only know Harley Quinn.
As this first issue plays out, we find the Suicide Squad (a group of incarcerated villains who perform high risk operations for the government in order to get some sunshine every now and again) captured by men wearing sacks over their head (which Harley points out to look a little like Scarecrow as a joke, albeit observantly true). Each member of the team is being tortured in order to draw information from them, but this simple set up serves a much greater purpose to create another interesting way to fill in exposition, as Batgirl did. Throughout the pages, we move around the room to the different villains (should they be called as such when they are the protagonists of the book?), learning their names and see flashbacks to the events that lead to their capture / why they got sent to Belle Reve Penitentiary. We only actually see how Deadshot, El Diablo, and Harley Quinn lost their freedom, so hopefully the rest of the characters will get their moment in the spotlight soon enough.
As they are sent out on their first mission, the objective makes it seem a little questionable if the government will appear to be more villainous than those who are performing their goals, so only time will tell.
I have no idea why, but the first panel of this comic made me laugh. It opens on a bald boy submerged in a green liquid with tubes connected to different ports in his body, with the lines “They call me Superboy. I have no idea why.” Just something about this matter-of-fact question makes me giggle. I think I am a monster.
Let’s just start with the obvious question: Why does that girl have white hair? Was she attacked by a horde of ghosts as a child and that trauma killed off her ability to produce pigment in her hair? Someone tell me! Yes, it is sad that in a comic about a boy who was created from the DNA of a human and Superman the biggest oddity I notice is this girl’s white hair.
Unfortunately we don’t get to see his creation, including how they got Superman’s DNA (or if Superman is still alive, for that matter), who his human parent is, if he has a robotic skeleton as the cover art suggests, nor do we get to see Superboy use his powers, creating the idea in the reader’s mind that he is just as human as well are. He is already full grown when we first lay eyes on him, so it will be easy to forget that he is a test tube baby. At least until he thinks.
By studying the humans who were in the lab with him for his early days he has been able to learn much about humans, and he is actually a pretty smooth talker, but when we get to read his cognitive processes he actually thinks more factually rather than emotionally, as a computer would. Lord knows his ability to pull random bits of information out of his butt is not a skill many of us can claim to have.
So seeing as he does not completely think in the way a human would, we must wait and see the amount of humanity he has, if any at all. As well as what this mysterious man has planned for him (and if Superboy will take a moral stance on it).