QUICK REVIEWS: Darwyn Cooke Week 1 (DC)

Action #37 – I Won’t Be Back.
Detective Comics #37 – I’ll Try More.
Grayson #5 -I Won’t Be Back.
Green Lantern #37 -I’d be willing to try the collection, but not next issue.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

As with any comic reviews, Your Mileage May Vary.  I’m coming from a position of “sell me on this”, I am not currently a regular DC New 52 reader.  I’m getting Batgirl, Gotham Academy and Harley Quinn, all of which don’t seem to have a heavy connection to the continuity in the rest of the DCU.  That said, I’m a huge fan of Darwyn Cooke, and that fact coupled with a package deal from DCBS to get a package deal of all the Darwyn Cooke variant covers shipping in December for 50% of cover price and I was “all in”.  I get a bunch of sweet Darwyn Cooke covers and DC gets an opportunity to get me back on some DCU titles because as long as I’m buying them, I might as well read them.  Since I’m reading them, I thought I’d give some quick opinions on how effective each was at taking a reader that is 6 months or more out of date on the happenings in the DCU and getting them interested in reading the comics again.

Action 37

CREDIT: DC Comics

Action Comics #37: 3/5 – I Wish the Superman on the Cover Was in the Issue.
Superman grew a beard at some point.  Not a good look, in my opinion.  But that’s only the most superficial view of this issue that focuses on The Toymaster in Smallville along with Lana Lang & Steel.  We’ve also got a fairly ominous bad guy revealed near the end of the issue.  There was nothing intrinsically wrong with this issue, written by Greg Pak, it just didn’t grab me.  I’d like to read a story with the Superman depicted on the Darwyn Cooke cover, not about the guy who actually stars in this issue, but that’s personal taste.

Tec37

CREDIT: DC Comics

Detective Comics #37: 4/5 – The Mad Hatter is as Crazy as Ever.
The Batman I experienced in this comic felt like Batman.  He’s going up against The Mad Hatter and Francis Manapul tells a story that I was able to jump into without haveing read a Batman comic in a while and enjoy, picking up the necessary story elements as I went along.  Brian Buccellato’s art was engaging, giving us a Tim Sale-ish version of the Mad Hatter who was as crazy as ever.  This issue definitely made me want to come back for the next part of the story, and was a very successful comic because of that.

Grayson 5

CREDIT: DC Comics

Grayson #5: 3/5 -I Was Not Buying This Plot as I Was Reading It.
I am vaguely aware that Dick Grayson has been retooled into a secret agent working for an agency called Spyral.  I’m not that clear on what Spyral is or how it fits into the DCU.  This issue is probably not the best one to bring new readers on board.  It involves a helicopter crash in the middle of the desert with Dick Grayson, Midnighter, and Helena (I assume the Huntress?) surviving with a newborn baby and having to make their way out with what appears to be completely inadequate supplies to carry them through the sequence of actions that unfold over the course of the issue.  I’m not sure if what happened was actually possible or not, but it broke my “suspension of disbelief” and didn’t ring true for me.  Nothing here made me feel like I need to come back for more.

GL 37

CREDIT: DC Comics

Green Lantern #37: 3.5/5 -I Walked Into The Middle of Something…
This is Godhead Act III, Part 1 and it would have benefited GREATLY from having a “what has gone before” summary page or something to bring new readers up to speed on what was going on.  While the specifics of why what was happening was happening was unclear, a number of the personal interactions were well-handled, particularly between John Stewart/Sinestro and Hal Jordan/Black Hand.  We also got a very interesting reveal about the Source Wall at the end of the issue that would be completely meaningless to someone with no context of DC lore, but was cool to me because I know quite a lot about DC in general outside the specific context of the last year or so.  This made me intrigued about the Godhead event and I would consider picking up a collection with the entire story, but I have little interest in trying to pick this up in progress moving forward monthly, so in that respect, this was a failure as a single issue.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
(bob@comicspectrum.com
)
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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2 Responses to QUICK REVIEWS: Darwyn Cooke Week 1 (DC)

  1. Good person says:

    Not sure “I don’t understand this plot because I jumped in the middle of a story arc and there are no exposition boxes to hold my hand” is a good way to review a comic.

    • From the 1st line:
      “As with any comic reviews, Your Mileage May Vary. I’m coming from a position of “sell me on this”, I am not currently a regular DC New 52 reader. ”

      Any comic is someone’s first. My main point here is picking this issue up didn’t want me to pick up the next. I freely admit that this is not an in-depth review, just a quick paragraph with a few thoughts.

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