Comics Briefly: Animal Man #1, Batgirl #1, Justice League International #1, Static Shock #1, Stormwatch #1, Swamp Thing #1

It's an all DCU Week, and I bought a few more than I otherwise would have because my comic shop was offering a good deal.

Favorite Book This Week: Batgirl #1 (Really REALLY close: Animal Man, Static Shock)
All books new in stores on 9/7/11

Animal Man #1
Story: Jeff Lemire, Pencils: Travel Foreman, Inks: Travel Foreman and Dan Green, Colors: Lovern Kindzierski

The art in this book really threatened to turn me off right away, it's not a style I enjoy, but the writing was strong enough to keep me intrigued. It's creepy and surreal in a fantastic way, and the ending was awesome. Definitely interested to see what else they've got up their sleeves for this one. Although, Side Note/Spoiler: [highlight to read] Little Girl raises small animals from the dead is also the origin of notorious paranormal romance character Anita Blake. Just saying.

Batgirl #1 
Writer: Gail Simone, Penciler: Ardian Syaf, Inker: Vicente Cifuentes

Strong dialogue, quick action, good character beats, you know, what I expect from Gail Simone. The set-up is fine, the villain reminds me a little of stupid slasher movies, but that could turn around easily. The ending is.... kinda overly melodramatic. Even so, this is a really strong issue, and it makes me happy to see Babs happy (even young, questionable timeline Babs.)

Justice League International #1
Writer: Dan Jurgens, Pencils: Aaron Lopresti, Ink: Matt Ryan, Color: Hi-Fi

I'm not too interested by the set-up here (annoying UN suits create super-team), but it's a neat mix of characters, so I wanted to give it a shot. After reading, I have mixed feelings about this issue. I'm already tired of the really, painfully old "foreign characters speak stereotypically funny broken English" gag. Batman and Booster, on the other hand, are written well. (I may have bought the issue because of how much I liked their interactions.) I'm not too impressed with the lady with the magic hair powers yet, and I admit to being a little personally grumpy that with Fire, Ice and Vixen also on the team, more lines and focus went to blond hair-lady than any of the others. Sigh.

Static Shock #1 
Story: Scott McDaniel and John Rozum, Pencils: Scott McDaniel, Inks: Jonathan Glapion and Le Beau Underwood, Colorist: Guy Major

I really enjoyed this book! It was fun and irreverent, both a good introduction and a decent hook for the next issue. Static is a little cocky, a lot young, and he seems book smart without always being people-smart. I like him. The art gets a little loose around the edges in the middle of the book, but it isn't too distracting. Especially if the new team on Blue Beetle doesn't work out, this could become a go-to teen hero book for me.

Stormwatch #1
Writer: Paul Cornell, Artist: Miiguel Sepulveda, Colorist: Allen Passalaqua

Full disclosure: the WildStorm Universe and I aren't on the best of terms right now, and I come to this book with only the sketchiest knowledge of the previous versions of these characters. Now, this is still more than a lot of people have but, I read this issue and, well, I don't get it. I thought the plot was boring, and the dialogue incredibly stilted and forced. I don't know why I'm supposed to care. I liked Jenny Q, though. Only consider this book if you're already familiar with (and like) Stormwatch. Not going to follow this one.

Swamp Thing #1
Writer: Scott Snyder, Artist: Yanick Paquette, Colors: Nathan Fairbarn

I really loved the opening of this issue, grounding it firmly in the breadth and depth of the DCU. Alec Holland is alive again, but he remembers being Swamp Thing, and he still has a connection to that world. This is a very intriguing start on that story. Superman's guest role is well done, the tension in the situation is well handled, and the art is strong overall, although there's a couple of really odd angles on Superman that stuck out to me. The bad things are really creepy. Really really creepy. This plot must be closely related to the similar creepiness over in Animal Man, or DC editorial is asleep at the wheel.

Best book I didn't buy: Action Comics.

There are some really nice touches here. This is Superman as an angry young man, but still recognizably Superman. But... it wasn't 3.99 good. Not quite.

Other books I looked at and didn't buy:
Looked through Batwing, and it was pretty, but didn't seem to be coalescing in the writing.
I also flipped through Detective Comics, and there is just nothing about that book that interested me.


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