Thursday, January 26, 2012

Animal Man, Green Lantern, Justice League International, and Green Arrow on Catch up Thursday

Over winter break, my subscriptions kept coming to Hendrix despite my month long absence. This mailroom predicament left me with a back log of comics to read and write about.

Animal Man #5
Animal man is dark, wonderful, and at times, a little gross. Following Animal Man's, Buddy Baker, discovery of his daughter's own animal based power, Baker and his family must flee the rotting corpses known as the Hunters Three. The first arch ends with the promise of a run in with the plant based hero Swamp Thing, and I couldn't be more excited. Both Animal Man and Swamp Thing are lesser known characters with a good amount of depth to them. Instead of fighting super villains, they are pitted against death incarnate in the form of Rot. I hope the creative team keep up the good work, because it is one of the best, and subsequently least cornball, DC titles out there.

Green Lantern #4/#5
Who would have though a series currently focusing on Sinestro instead of Hal Jordan would be pretty good? The answer is anyone who likes originality. Hal Jordan has been the flagship Lantern for much too long, and as someone who enjoys old-school heroes with modern twists, I have been enjoying the current run of Green Lantern. Now, I doubt that Hal Jordan will stay unpowered for long,(recap: Jordan had his ring taken away and the normally evil Sinestro was made a green lantern again) but I enjoy seeing the very serious Sinestro acting like a green lantern. As I have learned from this first arch, Sinestro actually does have some feelings, and is less predictable than one would assume.

This arch is of course the product of Green Lantern's biggest fan Geoff Johns. Johns has greatly increased the Lantern universe in the past few years, and it makes sense he would be the lead off Green Lantern writer in the new52. While Green Lantern may not be the most approachable book to newcomers, it was one of the less rebooted titles with few changes being made, but it is an interesting one to follow.

Justice League International #4/#5
If there was a book I could relate back to the wonderfully tacky super friends show, it would have to be JLI. With a team sporting the characters Booster Gold, Guy Gardener, Godiva, Fire, Ice, Vixen, Rocket Red, August General, and Batman, the book is naturally a little hokey.

Their first assignment is to investigate a missing research team, this plot quickly devolves into an almost armageddon situation as a rogue alien space miner named Peraxxus, sounds like a job for Superman, right? Nope, a group of powerful but unorganized heroes decide to take a crack at the big fella and get lucky.
The funny thing is, despite the cornball feel to this team, the interactions among the members is pretty good. Certain characters have spats with one another, Gardener and Gold have a mini power struggle for who gets to play leader, and most importantly, everyone actually speaks. With big team books like this it is incredibly common for a few members to get most of the attention and the others just pop up when necessary. The writer, Dan Jurgens, does a good job spreading out the focus of the story, something Justice League could learn from. If a fun book populated by 2nd and 3rd tier characters sounds good to you, i would easily suggest JLI.

Green Arrow
Currently, this book sucks. Plain and simple. The art is okay, but the redesign of Green Arrow is mediocre and should be altered as soon as possible. The stories are shallow and overly contrived, and I really don't care about any of the characters at present. However, despite what is currently happening to my favorite hero, I have hope that the new creative team coming in at book #7 will improve the series, I don't see how they could make it worse. This book is not worth the cost, and it is my biggest disappointment of the new52

I will be switching up my schedule a little and will probably not post on thursdays anymore. However, I will start using Mondays as the new home of trade paperbacks and graphic novels.