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Tansy Rayner Roberts

Detective Comics #1, Action Comics #1, Hawk & Dove #1 [DC Reboot Reviews]

September 14th, 2011 at 19:38

Yeah so I think I need to learn from this week that reading the half of your comics haul that you’re most excited about first is not necessarily a good thing.

Or maybe I learned that I need to only buy the comics I actually care two pins about.

Action Comics #1
written by: Grant Morrison
pencils by: Rags Morales

Man this was a dull comic. Possibly one of the dullest Superman comics I’ve ever read. In the end I was reduced to counting women (one elderly but surprisingly chatty landlady and a belated appearance by Lois Lane) and saying, really? A train speeding out of control? Is that what the cool kids are putting in comics now? Because I’m pretty sure it was done better in Spiderman II…

This is the trouble with cutting away all the baggage and history of current characters, but not actually doing anything new with them. Superman in blue jeans is less interesting than when Cassie in Tiny Titans chose jeans instead of a traditional costume. Yes, I am comparing this comic to Tiny Titans, because that is what I read to cheer myself up afterwards!

A Superman with the weight of all his past choices behind him and a steady marriage to Lois is a hell of a lot more interesting to me than some young buck. Sure, they are blatantly setting the romance up again, and I did quite like her attitude as far as choosing to hate Jimmy’s friend Clark without ever having met him, but we have been there done that, there are t-shirts of this. Origin stories are dull the second time around. We’ve had this one a few times now, especially if you take movies into account. I don’t care what i09 says, Lois and Clark did it better.

Verdict: unlikely to pick this one up again unless they bring back Maxima. You heard me.

Detective Comics #1
script & pencils by: Tony Daniel

Man, this was a depressing comic. The art was grotesque (I bought it cos interested what the baseline for new Batman was, if I’d actually looked closely at the cover, it would have turned me off every bit as much as the cover for Animal Man did) and the story felt very much like a by-the-numbers Batman v. Joker with no contemporary spark to make a reboot at this time seem remotely worthwhile.

Basically this comic was humourless and violent, and made me feel a lot kinder towards both Justice League and JLI for portraying Batmans that are far more to my taste. I’m a fan of if an intermittent visitor to the Batverse and it seems pretty clear that this particular portal is not for me.

As with the Action Comics issue, I picked this one to help get a sense of what this rebooted universe is like, and got nothing at all from it – no sign of where Batman is in his personal timeline, how many Robins he has run through, and even the girl he’s supposedly treating badly this week doesn’t have a cool name.

Verdict: Bah and also, meh. Not one I’ll be picking up again in a hurry.

Hawk and Dove #1
Written by: Sterling Gates
Pencils by: Rob Liefeld

There’s nothing incredibly exciting about this comic, but I have to say after the other two crushing disappointments in this batch, it was a breath of fresh air. For a start, it’s an actual Issue #1, introducing the characters, which bits of their backstory are most relevant, and some internal as well as external conflict. Really, is this so hard to do, other comics people?

The art appeals to me but that may be because it has a good old fashioned (in a cheesy 90′s way) sensibility. I love that both the male and female characters are given equal time. The Hank and Dawn pairing is my favourite Hawk and Dove combo (poor old Don really is more interesting dead) and having discovered their comic and got addicted just before the Monarch storyline ripped them to bits way back when, it’s nice to see them get another chance.

Verdict: depends on the competition of other titles, but I’m likely to stick with this one for a bit.

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