Villain Month: Week 1 (DC) – Quick Reviews

Deadshot Poison Ivy

A mixture of origin stories & stories about the bad guys meant to (I assume) lead into the current “villains running amok” storyline in and around “Forever Evil”.  The big controversy is the allocations to comic shops for the 3D covers, there were not enough printed to cover orders from shops.  I must say, I’m overall very impressed with the lenticular technology used, these 3D covers are mostly worth the price of the book all on their own.

That said, the stories inside are the “meat” and this was a mixed bag of enjoyment.  Some of these were excellent, I’m going to be adding some DC series back to my pull list based on the quality of the stories I got from Matt Kindt (Suicide Squad), Gail Simone (Batgirl), and Robert Venditti (Green Lantern).

Let’s do a run-down of all 13 “Week 1” books:

Bizarro #1 (aka Superman #23.1): 3D cover: 3/5     Story: 1/5
Weak art, story is about a failed precursor to Bizarro so hardly even counts as a Bizarro origin other than revealing Luthor & nanobots are responsible.

Count Vertigo #1 (aka Green Arrow #23.1): 3D cover: 3.5/5     Story: 4/5
Jeff Lemire & Andrea Sorrentino weave an extremely dark tale of Vertigo’s childhood, you can see why he went bad, but wow, this was unpleasant.

Creeper #1 (aka Justice League Dark #23.1): 3D cover: 3.5/5    Story: 1/5
Yikes!  Extremely convoluted story by Dan Didio/Ann Nocenti is not helped by the “cast of thousands” on art.

Cyborg Superman #1 (aka Action Comics #23.1): 3D cover: 4/5   Story: 2/5
Story was hindered by art that was not to my liking.  Not sure I like the “cyborg created by Braniac” aspect of the New52 version, especially WHO they made him from.  Reminds me of bad super-hero movies where the Hollywood guys always have to build a direct relationship between the badguy and the hero.

Darkseid #1 (aka Justice League #23.1): 3D cover: 3/5   Story: 2/5
Having Darkseid start out as a “mud grubber” named Uxas didn’t sit too well with me.  Taking the flawed origin concept off the table, it was a fairly readable story.

Deadshot #1 (aka Justice League America #7.1): 3D cover: 4.5/5   Story: 5/5
Matt Kindt is an extremely gifted writer and he really nails the origin story for Deadshot, giving him a plausible reason for becoming the marksman he is.  I’m going to have to add Suicide Squand to my pull list when he starts writing it.

Desaad #1 (aka Earth 2 #15.1): 3D cover: 2/5   Story: 4/5
Paul Levitz told a pretty good story about Desaad, I liked the nod to Jack Kirby.  After the disastrous Darkseid origin story I’m glad they didn’t tell a Desaad origin where we find out he was a pet shop owner with a penchant for bunnies before he was plucked away to Apokolips to become the master of pain & torture.

Grodd #1 (aka Flash #23.1): 3D cover: 2/5   Story: 3/5
Decent Grodd story, nice characterizations & dialogue by Buccelatto.  I loved the “Kneel before Grodd!” line, but I am easily amused.

Joker #1 (aka Batman #23.1): 3D cover: 5/5   Story: 3.5/5
Andy Kubert switching it up to write this decent Joker story set in the past, just reminds me of how much i dislike the “face cut off Joker” we have today.  I liked the Jackanapes character, but I’m not going to start feeling sorry for Joker because he was an abused kid, though.  Didn’t really need to add that to the folklore.

Poison Ivy #1 (aka Detective Comics #23.1): 3D cover: 4.5/5   Story: 5/5
I loved this story by Derrek Fridolfs, weaving together Ivy in current continuity with scenes from her past starting in childhood and working up to her final confrontation with Bruce Wayne as Pamela Isley.  The art by Javier Pina and colors by John Kalisz were fabulous.  I loved the change of style & color pallette for the flashbacks to Isley’s past.  This is a contender for best DC book of the week.

Relic #1 (aka Green Lantern #23.1): 3D cover: 4.5/5   Story: 4.5/5
This was cool, hats off to Robert Venditti, this read like one of the GL stories from Geoff Johns before he jumped the shark.  I think I’m back on board with GL as long as Venditti is writing.  Loved the Lightsmiths.  Only thing that was lacking was I could have done without it being all splash pages and gotten a bit more story.

Two Face #1 (aka Batman & Robin #23.1): 3D cover: 5/5   Story: 3.5/5
I’d have liked to see more of Harvey dent in this issue.  There was a short sequesnce where we saw Two-Face and then a parallel panel of Harvy Dent before the acid scarring.  I’d have liked to see this device used more.  I also could have done without Scarecrow popping into the story to brin the coin from the Secret Society, we didn’t need a “guest villain” horning his way into Two Face’s story.

Ventriloquist #1 (aka Batman: The Dark Knight #23.1): 3D cover: 3/5   Story: 4.5/5
I really liked this story about the New 52 Ventriloquist.  Gail Simone succeeded in creeping me out.  The only negative is in missing the old Ventriloquist/Scarface combo, but there Scarface was the lead of the duo.  Simone has created a very dark & sinister villain in Shauna Belzer.  The dummy ‘Ferdie’ is creepy, as all puppets are, but it’s definitely the dark motiviations of the Ventriloquist pulling the strings.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall – Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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1 Response to Villain Month: Week 1 (DC) – Quick Reviews

  1. andrew says:

    I grabbed a bunch of these at random and the four I got were the four lowest rated by you. I have only read three of them but agree with your low rankings. It burned me so bad that I did not get any week 2 books and probably won’t get any more period. Just my luck.

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