I now realize that this news has been our for TWO MONTHS but last night I discovered (thanks to Erika) that my dreams have come true! The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic is back, along with creator Kevin Eastman, who hasn't worked on Ninja Turtles since 2000! This is a reboot, so the stories and the continuity are new, but the style and characters are similar to the original comics! The only thing that can make me happier is if I can get a job drawing these comics (I'm totally serious)! Read more at idwpublishing.com!
I definitely do not have the capital (though if you’re obscenely wealthy and would like to donate to the cause, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org) to purchase all of DC Comic’s 52 new issue #1’s—and I probably wouldn’t even if I did. However, I have subscribed to a few of these new series, and I want to give a short report on what I’ve read so far. I will also include Marvel’s new Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, as it is also restarting at issue one. I’ll be coming back with more reviews of the New 52 in the coming weeks.
Property of DC Comics
Batman and Robin #1
The new Batman titles are not completely rebooted. They have kept some of the continuity from before, as we see inBatman and Robin. Bruce Wayne has just returned as Gotham City’s Batman (Dick Grayson did a year-long stint as caped crusader), and this is the first time Bruce has worked as Batman and Robin with his son Damian. I thought it was a solid start. I’ve been dying to see these two work together, and I wasn’t disappointed. Damian is a cocky brat—some people hate that, I think he’s hilarious. He and Bruce don’t completely understand each other, but they’re both making an effort. This issue is mostly setup: introducing Damian and Bruce’s relationship, and revealing a new villain, “Nobody.” I felt that the action and dialogue were well balanced, and I especially enjoyed the creative way Batman saved a pool full of people. The art is very good, with lots of black and nice detail. As I said, this is a solid start. Not too groundbreaking, but putting Damian and Bruce together looks very promising! Good if you're into that stuff--I love it!
Property of DC Comics
You are welcome to hate me, but I have to admit that I find Dick Grayson more interesting than Bruce Wayne. I relate better to him and his problems, and Dick’s personality is more fun and lighthearted. In fact, Nightwing’s return is what I most looked forward to with this reboot. Nightwing begins as Dick has just finished his time as Batman and has returned to his former identity of Nightwing. His costume redesign is subtle, but awesome (although I still prefer the color blue over red). Some may find Dick’s return to Nightwing as a step backwards, but as Nightwing he has a chance to really be himself and make his own way in the world. The circus that Dick’s family worked at when his parents died has finally returned to Gotham. This presents a quick reminder of who Dick Grayson is and where he has been. The circus also provides some friendly faces for Dick’s new life. The art is great, though things get a bit bloody. This is a setup issue, but has decent action and good narration by Dick. The new villain is out to get Dick Grayson, and even as Nightwing, Dick is struggling to defeat this guy. There’s not a lot of new yet, but I think Nightwing has potential. Good if you're into that stuff--and you should be!
Property of Marvel Comics
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1
I am a huge Ultimate Spider-Man fan, so I just about cried when I heard they were killing off Ultimate Peter Parker. I still hope he returns, but Miles Morales—the new Ultimate Spider-Man—has got my attention. The new costume is fine, but what is really different is a Spider-Man that has nothing to do with Peter Parker. Miles is a young, African-American kid, with living parents and a fairly normal life. The only connection Miles has with Peter is that they both gain powers from one of Norman Osborn’s genetically modified spiders (Peter’s was 00, and Miles’s is 42). I won’t spoil how it all goes down, but Miles seems to have slightly different powers from Peter, which I also found very interesting. The art is beautiful; to me it combines the best elements of all previous Ultimate Spidey artists. The writing is great as usual, though this issue just gets us started with Miles and his transformation. Now I’m anxiously awaiting more information about Miles and his powers. Despite being a continuation of a previous story, Ultimate Spider-Man has a lot more new than some of the new DC titles. It’s a fresh start for a fresh Spider-Man—which I didn’t think I needed, but now I want more! Definitely worth checking out!
Property of DC Comics
Y: The Last Man is an entertaining story of the last known human male (and his male monkey) to survive a mysterious event that killed all creatures with a Y chromosome. It may not be wholly realistic, but the story has some unique twists, the dialogue is entertaining, and the portrayal of women contains some complexity.
This story is set in a world of devastation and desperation, but Vaughan manages to keep things from getting too depressing. This is mainly due to Yorick, who happens to be the last man alive, but isn’t particularly smart or heroic. His characterization may disappoint those accustomed to the brave, take charge type of heroes; however, I find him funny, realistic, and intriguing. Despite being a bit of a loser, Yorick is sincere and admirably unwilling to take advantage of his situation as the last man alive. His devotion to his girlfriend Beth, who is trapped on the other side of the globe, gives Yorick the motivation be more than just a self-interested twenty-something.
It is interesting to see a depiction of a world suddenly devoid of men. We get views of different female stereotypes and extremes, but there are plenty multi-faceted female characters as well. I also appreciated the art by Pia Guerra. Having a woman illustrate this book is perfect. Her depictions of women are much more realistic and contain a lot more diversity than the outlandish female forms seen in many comics and graphic novels.
This collection only contains the beginning of the story, and ends at a point that left me eager to read more. There are a few instances of shocking violence, which I felt were effective at portraying their tragedy. There is some adult conversation and language, which seemed realistic to most of the characters (but I did get sick of Yorick’s fondness of the f-bomb). There is some partial nudity in a dream sequence, and the Amazon’s (who are maybe a little too unrealistic) have each removed a breast—this is not shown, but the idea is semi-disturbing.
You won’t want to read Y: The Last Man with the kids, but if you’re an adult reader who can handle a moderate amount of adult content, I highly recommend this collection. The adventures of Yorick are surprising, sometimes funny, and unique enough to leave me begging for more. I’ll have to read the rest of the series to decide it’s overall worth, so for now I give it a Definitely worth checking out.
Property of Dynamite
I haven’t yet had a chance to see 2011’s Green Hornet film. I’ve heard mixed reviews. This collection is not based on that film, but is based on an earlier unproduced Green Hornet film script by Kevin Smith. It would be interesting to see this story in film form, yet I think it fits perfectly into a comic book format.
One thing I like about this Hornet story is that it takes into account the old Green Hornet characters and story from the television show. It starts with a little bit of Green Hornet and Kato action from back in the day, and ties it in to a new story starring the Hornet’s son Britt Jr. and Kato’s daughter Mulan. This volume features a lot of character development and setup for the remainder of the story. This is good, but you’ll want to get your hands on the second half of the story in volume 2 if you want any kind of closure.
The story is not overly original nor mind blowing, but that’s not what it aims to be. It is a great continuation of the Green Hornet mythos: effectively modernizing elements while keeping the continuity, fast paced action, and humor of previous incarnations. As far as content, it’s on par with a mild PG-13 film: some minor violence, Britt Jr. moons the paparazzi, and some mild language. The art is excellent. It is drawn in the current style of modern comics, but Jonathan Lau’s work is above average. The action is fierce, the characters are expressive, and the story flows well.
I recommend this story if you are: (1) interested in the Green Hornet, (2) like old-school super heroes, or (3) are a fan of Kevin Smith. I was drawn to this story by the first two reasons, but Kevin Smith has me interested enough to buy volume two! This one's: Good if you're into that stuff, but I recommend being into this stuff!