It’s obviously a busy time in the world of comics with San Diego Comic Con in full swing. I’ve fallen a bit behind in reading my books, and I’d love to blame it on that, but I’m not lucky enough to be there this weekend, and it’s really just been life getting in my way. With that said, I have worked my way through most of my pull file over the last two weeks, and I thought I’d share some thoughts on what I’ve found.
For the first time in years, I can say DC’s trinity (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) are being well-represented in at least one title. It’s too early following Rebirth to crown any one book yet, but Wonder Woman under the new creative team has been excellent. I may go as far as to say it’s my top book at the moment. With each member of the trinity showing strongly, I had high hopes for Justice League #1, but they didn’t exactly pan out. It’s not a bad book in any one sense. It’s just a bland one. On individual stages, the big three are doing much better. Action Comics #959 gave us an action-heavy chapter for Superman. Though there may have been a nostalgia appeal for people who are thrilled to have the pre-New 52 Superman back, this is still a massive fight with Doomsday, and that’s a pretty tired area to explore. The art is solid here, and Lex’s involvement does add a fresh element to things, so it isn’t a total rehash, but people like me, who may be a little tired of Doomsday, may have had a little trouble getting past the fatigue. Superman #3 did a little better job of catching my interest. Eradicator isn’t nearly as played out, especially lately, as far as enemies go, and while it was much lighter on the action, it did well to make me interested in Clark’s family.
On the Batman end of things, Detective Comics #936 continues to be more focused on the Bat-family. Specifically, I think they’re trying to catch up to and fill the void left by Batwoman. She’s the focus here, and while it’s reasonably well done, I can’t help but feel her father’s involvement is shoe-horned in to keep her as the focal point. Again, she’s interesting enough, and it works, but I see where the plot is being bent around her, and the writing is showing some rough spots because of it. Batman #3 gave us a little context for Gotham and Gotham Girl as characters. Having them be people Bruce saved some time ago makes their story feel too familiar, especially as Duke comes into the picture, but I’m excited to see what will be done with Hugo Strange. Finch’s artwork is really solid on this title, and while it’s very different from Greg Capullo’s, it works as one of DC’s better-looking titles.
For Marvel, Amazing Spider-man and Daredevil are pretty much the only two titles that aren’t consistently letting me down. It should help then that Daredevil #9 features Spidey riding shotgun alongside Matt. The result wasn’t as good as I hoped for, as I think some of Spidey’s banter with Daredevil got far too campy. It’s a well-drawn book, and it kept my interest, but it had the feel of a one-off, where some larger plot progression would have been nicer. There’s some pretty heavy suggestion of a change of heart coming for Matt, as he comes (mostly) clean with Spidey about how he altered people’s memories to restore is secret identity, but it was a long way to go to make that point.
On the side of things that’s neither DC nor Marvel, Velvet #15 wrapped up a pretty big bit of story. This book hit a massive pothole in the road with its foray into Watergate, and its portrayal of historical people, and I wish it came back from that stronger than it did, but I’m afraid it only managed an “okay” bit of closure to the arc. Velvet faking her death and taking revenge dipped pretty deep into espionage cliche, and I can’t help but feel it was too convoluted a story to end so simply. Epting’s art continues to be a massive strength for this book, and while I’ve always loved Brubaker, he’s missing the mark here, at least a little.