Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS the new DC #0 issues hitting the stands today!!!

Published at: Sept. 5, 2012, 8:24 a.m. CST

Issue #19 Release Date: 9/5/12 Vol.#11
Ambush Bug here. Just because we love you, the AICN @$$holes worked overtime to give you another whole column today focusing on the brand new DC #0 issues that will be coming out TODAY! So scroll on down and see which 0 issues are worth your well earned bucks when you head into the comic shop this afternoon!

The Pull List
(Click title to go directly to the review)
EARTH 2 #0
SWAMP THING #0
GREEN ARROW #0
GREEN LANTERN #0
G.I. COMBAT #0
BATWING #0
ACTION COMICS #0
WORLD’S FINEST #0
PHANTOM STRANGER #0
DETECTIVE COMICS #0
ANIMAL MAN #0


Optimous Douche here. Ahhh September...the gentle chill at dusk, school buses adding another 15 minutes to my commute each morning, and comic shelves stocked with covers thematically aligned to trounce the sales figures of the competition.

Last year, DC KOd Marvel with the New 52. And before you choose to blindly disbelieve my words, love it or hate it, the sales numbers don't lie. This year, DC's sacrificial lamb is a time before last year, a time before 1, 0 time (like Hammer Time without the parachute pants).

Some will foolishly ask, "Wouldn't the time before last year's Ones technically be pre-flashpoint and thus old DC continuity?" You know what, take your silly goddamn logic and go read a text book. This is comics damn it. This is whatever time DC says it is. HARUMPH!!!!

Despite being a staunch DC defender, I'm not blind. These 0s have an uphill battle ahead, especially if expected to perform on the same level of last year's #1s. This year DC will have to contend with a split market share thanks to Marvel Now ( a name by the way that reeks of Disney's Mousealini branding department), and frankly its own baggage. Last year we were willing to give everything a chance since we didn't know what to expect. Now that we've all had time to choose our favorites, I predict there will be much less title exploration since these are essentially one-shot deep dives and what some are calling a continuity course correction to fill gaps between the end of Flashpoint and the start of the #1s.

Personally, I'm going to read them all for two reasons: one, most of the creative teams have gone through a shake down. Liefeld wasn't the only dead wood last year, he was simply the douchiest and most vocal. I believe firmly in the theory there are no crappy characters, just crappy creators. There were also quite a few pleasant surprises last year. I had never been into characters like ANIMAL MAN, FRANKENSTEIN or CATWOMAN for that matter, but they all quickly became some of my favorite reads in 2012.

I traverse this first set of 0's asking two questions:

Is this a course correction for books that have lost their way?

Is it a necessary stop in the action, does it correct a misstep from before or provide valuable information to catapult the second year of New 52 (which by now we should probably call sorta-new-52)?


EARTH 2 # 0

Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Tomas Giorello


Reviewer: Optimous Douche

EARTH 2, like most of the New 52 Team books has been missing an extremely necessary infusion of evil. While I applauded the premise to 86 the Holy Trinity of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman to allow a modern JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA to rise in their wake, the book until now has been the equivalent of super hero speed dating without any palpable sense of danger to drive the joining.

Green Lantern, Hawkwoman and Flash needed a reason to come together. Well, now we have it in the form of Terry Sloan. Sloan is the smartest man on Earth 2 and one of this earth's original eight meta-humans.

Sloan or Mr. 8 as he went by before the cataclysmic events of EARTH 2 issue 1, should not be confused with the Pre-52 Sloane or the original Mr. Terrific. Aside from being the smartiest smarty pants in tights there are no other similarities.

Sloane basically joins the league of other smarty pants like Ozymandias and Hitler who believe the only solution to what ails the world is the final solution. So this prequel is actually an exercise in genocide once Sloan decides the only way to erase the anti-life equation plaguing Earth 2 is to blow the living shit out of everyone affected.

Most believe that Sloan died during this process, but as we see at the end of this zero issue and I imagine in upcoming issues of EARTH 2, Sloan is alive, well and ready to pit his big brain against the JSA (once they meet each other that is).

EARTH 2 definitely passes my two pronged test of offering a deeper look at EARTH 2 history and giving the JSA the one thing it has been terribly missing - danger.

Optimous has successfully blackmailed fellow @$$Hole BottleImp into being his artist on Average Joe. Look for Imp's forced labor on Optimous brain child in mid-2012 from COM.X. Friend Optimous on FaceBook to get Average Joe updates and because ceiling cat says it's the right thing to do.


SWAMP THING #0

Writer: Scott Snyder
Art: Kano
Reviewer: Matt Adler


Arcane takes the lead role in this issue, and boy howdy is he creepy.

There is one scene where he transforms into this creepy crawling brain thing and just squishes a baby’s head….brrrr. It’s also interesting that, just as in Animal Man, he is not exactly a charge in and kill everyone kind of guy… he prefers to trap his prey, taking the form of someone seemingly innocuous, or at least someone the Green or Red champion thinks they can handle, and just when they think it’s safe to go in the water…BAM! He rips out of the skin he’s stolen, and devours them. With that much power you’d think he wouldn’t need to go to such elaborate lengths, but it seems it’s a game he likes playing.

Anyway, we get another origin, this time for Alec Holland/Swamp Thing, but you likely already know the basics… the real point of this issue is to showcase the ongoing war between the Green and the Red on the one hand, and the Rot, representing death, on the other. I must say I’m impressed by the degree of coordination between these two books. Credit must of course go to the editors, but I think the writers also deserve it, because many writers these days prefer to play only in their own sandbox, and don’t want the hassle of coordinating with what someone else is doing.

The results here in SWAMP THING #0 are worth it, I think.

Matt Adler is a writer/journalist, currently writing for AICN among other outlets. He’s been reading comics for 20 years, writing about them for 7, and spends way, way, too much time thinking about them, which means he really has no choice but to figure out how to make a living out of them. He welcomes all feedback.


GREEN ARROW #0

Writer: Ann Nocenti or is it Judd Winick??
Penciler: Freddie Williams II
Inker: Rob Hunter
Reviewer: Johnny Destructo


So first off: a typo. The cover of the issue reads Ann Nocenti as the writer, but the interior writing credit goes to Judd Winick. Just seems like something worth mentioning. Anyhoo:

There hasn't been one single thing that I've enjoyed about the DCnU's Green Arrow series up until this point. Though, that isn't any gargantuan surprise since I only really liked GA when he was putting the moves on the Black Canary, and in the animated Justice League cartoon. I know he and Hawkeye have their followers, but frankly my favorite archer right at this moment is Catniss Everdeen, since I'm currently embroiled in the middle of the third installment of the Hunger Games series. As you type your taunts, I must maintain that a person running around with a bow and arrows is only as interesting as their relationships and this version of GA just hasn't done it for me. But, loving an underdog, and having really enjoyed Ollie's failed attempts at getting onto the Justice League, I WANT to like a GA book.

Well, here it is. We are re-introduced to Oliver Queen, a grown up, douchey Richie-Rich, who throws parties on oil rigs, because WHYNOTTHAT'SWHY! Seems like a pretty ok idea for a kid who keeps failing out of the jobs his daddy gives him as punishment, right? Well, sure. He's having a blast, fooling around with target practice, his best friend Tommy Merlyn is there, as well as his latest girlfriend Leena who seems to be into more than his money. Good times! That is until a ridiculous refugee from a 90's Image comic, who is almost covered in cyborg parts and even sports the obligatory robot eye crashes the party! His name is Iron Eagle and he's come for the oil rig's...um....oil. Presumably because his improbable suit keeps rusting up. Thankfully though for Ollie, even though the guy is 98% covered in armor, he does leave his detonator arm completely unprotected, basically painting a cozy little bull’s-eye for a would-be arrow slinger.

That's when the S hits the F though and stuff gets serious. Things don't go so well when Ollie tries to save the day, to a staggering degree. I realize this review takes a couple jabs, but I wasn't invested in the story until Ollie really puts his fat in a fire of his own making. The extent to which he messes up is enough to leave a lesser man a blubbering head-case for the remainder of his life. So much so, that this seems like the origin story for a GA that hasn't been in the last year of issues.

Hold on...checking Wikipedia right now...here's what they have:

"In DC's 2011 launch of the New 52, Green Arrow was given his own ongoing series. Ollie Queen is Green Arrow and he balances his own breaking of laws with his efforts to bring outlaws to justice across the globe."

Wow. Twelve issues of this comic so far, and this is the entry for GA.

I'm curious to see what's going to happen as soon as we get back into the regular swing of things for ole Ollie. Will this origin story affect Ollie currently? I certainly hope so. I also hope there are less cyborgy ass-hats playing villain and more interesting characters on the horizon. Because it's those characters that are going to make or break this series moving forward.

If you like Green Arrow but haven't been enjoying the series so far, give this one a shot!

JD can be found hosting the PopTards Podcast, drawing a weekly webcomic, discussing movies, comics and other flimflam over at www.poptardsgo.com, graphically designing/illustrating for a living, and Booking his Face off over here. Follow his twitter @poptardsgo. His talkback name is PopTard_JD. He is also now co-hosting another Comic Book discussion show on Party934.com alongside Bohdi Zen. They discuss comics and play music, check it out live every Saturday from 4-5pm.


GREEN LANTERN # 0

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Doug Mahnke
Reviewer: Optimous Douche


Now wait one gosh darn Guardian blumpkin minute here. I distinctly remember in my last year of formal education my 4th grade teacher telling us that 0 comes before 1. So why then does everything in this book happen after the events of GL 12 and Annual 1? Hmmm...well perhaps I was presumptuous in my dogmatic adherence to numbers dictating chronology or perhaps I simply misread the press releases or the other books that all take place in the time between FLASHPOINT and New 52. I will say though. GREEN LANTERN issue 13, I mean 0, does meet one of my expectations for the 0 issues in that it drastically changes the trajectory of this title for the remainder of 2012.

Hal Jordan is dead. Sorry if this comes as a shock, but since it happened 3 weeks ago, you probably really don't care or just came back with the rest of the castaways aboard the newly repaired SS Minnow. Aloha castaways Hal Jordan is dead and his new GFF Sinestro went with him.

So that leaves a ring without a wielder, and here is where my sarcasm ends and my sheer adoration begins. Bravo Johns, DC, or whoever made the decision to make bring forth a ring wielder straight from the Arabic slums of Detroit Michigan (I'm guessing Johns since this was his old stomping grounds). The man under the hold-up mask wielding the most powerful weapon existence...and a gun (don't ask it wasn't explained) is Simon Baz. Baz is an Arab American in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now don't get me wrong, he's far from being a man without sin, but his car thieving ways go horribly wrong when the van he jacks is carrying enough TNT to level an entire abandoned auto factory.

So after a harrowing opening car chase and explosion thanks to Mehnke's tight penciling, the story moves to Gitmo where Baz is being "lawfully" held as an enemy of state.

Johns hits every hot button with this issue, some will call it pandering, I call it timely and an infusion of truth we need to see more of in comic books. Political? To be sure, but comics should be political, they should inject real world woes to give the fantastical more impact.

So that's our new GREEN LANTERN. No this doesn't fill in any gaps, but it made think about an issue that hasn't been explored since the news cycle got bored with it, and I'm more excited for the direction of GREEN LANTERN than I ever was before.


G.I. COMBAT #0

Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, & J.T. Krul
Art: Staz Johnson & Ariel Olivetti
Reviewer: Ambush Bug


G.I. COMBAT is one of those obscure titles that I love. It also is one of those obscure titles that rarely make it for very many issues. This is mainly due to the fact that this series is going to appeal to a very small percentage; those who love war stories spiced with a little bit of weirdness. Now, I just happen to be one of those weirdoes who likes that sort of thing. It gets me riled up just as G.I. JOE stories with its bizarre mix of military and fantasy does.

Consisting of two different tales in each issue, G.I. COMBAT is one of those books which gives the reader a second chance to like it every time. If one story isn’t really do your liking, turn a few pages and the second story might be more up your alley. In this case, I found some problems with both of the stories in this #0 issue, but not enough to keep me from recommending it.

My main problem with this entire issue is that both stories start out in what seems to be the middle of the story. Though it didn’t take me long to piece together what was going on, I do think that new readers might be a bit confused if this is the first G.I. COMBAT comic they pick up which feels pretty counter-intuitive to this entire zero issue event, if you ask me.

The main story centers on Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray’s reimagining of the Unknown Soldier and the concept is a winner. I like the idea of the spirit of an eternal warrior who rises in the heat of battle to take over the body of a fallen soldier in order to fight the good fight. In this issue, our amnesiac vet is trying to uncover the secret of his curse. Though some vague comic book science, an underground military organization (which I later found out by reading the WHO’S WHO page in the back of the book to be called A.M.M.O.—which stands for Advanced Military Medical Operations) is able to put the UK under and have him relive some of his past lives. Though this story was heavy on the exposition—more so than what I’ve come to expect from a Palmiotti and Gray comic which usually handles action well, I was still enthralled by the strong concept and cool flashback sequences of the Unknown Soldier battling it out through various warzones through history. Staz Johnson is a decent pick for artist here, though I would have loved to have seen an artist with a big more depth and grit handling the chores in those awesome battle scenes.

Story two is light on actual story, but the visuals definitely make up for it. I’m a sucker for Man vs. Nature survival tales and this is a decent one as a present day military man is trapped in the distant past where dinosaurs roam the earth. Armed only with a survival knife and his military know-how, the unnamed soldier must battle all forms of beasties and does so beautifully with the illustrations by Ariel Olivetti. Olivetti’s usual painterly style is amazing here bringing life to animal and human alike, yet never forgetting to add lush landscapes to the background. I read this story super quick, then skimmed backwards at the purty pictures—something I rarely do these days.

Though I liked J.T. Krul’s WAR THAT TIME FORGOT story, I found myself wishing Palmiotti and Gray’s UNKNOWN SOLDIER story were illustrated by Olivetti this would be the perfect comic book. I don’t want to take away from Staz Johnson’s work, but I’d kill to see Olivetti draw the bandaged veteran blasting away on the field of battle. Then again, if that were the case, I wouldn’t have been able to see the awesome man vs. saber-toothed tiger sequence in the latter story. But wishes aside, there’s a whole lot of weird stuff going on with this comic and it’s definitely for those like me who like their comics on the south of normal.

Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/reviewer/co-editor of AICN Comics for over ten years. He has written comics such as MUSCLES & FIGHTS, MUSCLES & FRIGHTS, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS TINGLERS & WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE DEATHSPORT GAMES, WONDERLAND ANNUAL 2010 & NANNY & HANK (soon to be made into a feature film from Uptown 6 Films). He is also a regular writer for FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND & has co-written their first ever comic book LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF (to be released in late 2012 as an 100-pg original graphic novel). Mark has just announced his new comic book miniseries GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK from Zenescope Entertainment to be released March-August 2012. Also look for Mark's exciting arc on GRIMM FAIRY TALES #76-80 which begins in August 2012.


BATWING #0

Writer: Judd Winick
Pencils: Marcus To
Inker: Ryan Winn & Richard Zajac
Publisher: DC Comicsz
Reviewer: Johnny Destructo


I spent the first story arc of Batwing fully invested in David Zavimbi's story, but then, due to a lack of funding, just sort of...fell off. Cuts had to be made and Batwing got sliced off the pull list. Apparently he's been showing up in JLI, another book that I don't read, but in that case because I genuinely disliked it. Every so often I think of Batwing and consider diving back into the book, and it was only two pages into issue 0 that I realized. I'm already back in.

About 10 minutes ago, I finished writing my review for GREEN ARROW #0, which was a good jumping on point for new readers and so, as I was reading this issue, a blinking light flashed on and off in my brain that read "GREEN ARROW: #FIRSTWORLDPROBLEMS". But this! THIS is an origin story. Born in the Africa's Democratic Republic of Congo, David's parents died from HIV, he and his brother were child soldiers for a warlord who made them murder...a LOT and then after he escaped, he was raised by Rene and Matu...until even THAT went ass-up on him. My man did not have it easy, and yet still he didn't give in, he chose to fight the good fight and without killing.

This issue explores all of the above, as well as David's beginnings as a police officer and his eventual meeting with the Batman. Up until this point, I was unsure if David got the suit from Bats or if he had it before becoming part of Batman, Incorporated? If so how did he get, or what did he wear before having the giant metal outift? How did Matu lose his eye? All the answers are in here!

Finally a mainstream title with genuine international flavor. I'm hoping in the future we'll learn more about David's views on the U.S. from afar. This would be a good series to try to open some willing American's eyes to differing international opinions and ways of life. Maybe I'm asking too much, but I don't think so.

Check out Batwing if you haven't already!


ACTION COMICS # 0

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Ben Oliver
Reviewer: Optimous Douche


Jesus, this is a beautiful book. I mean stunning, I mean so beautiful that I think Ben Oliver wasn't born, but rather shat by an angel on to this mortal plane. As for the importance of this story, well, I can't give the same emphatic hurrah. This is a good story, a great story as a matter of fact. Morrison pulls every heart string in this issue; Clark's pining for Lois, Jimmy's pining for a photo job that will garner respect, Perry's pining for facts of SUPERMAN'S existence, and a beautiful moment of a boy who uses SUPERMAN'S found cape to help end the cycle of abuse for him and his Brother. ACTION 0 truly was beautiful. As for passing my two prong prequel test though, I simply can't let it slide. It didn't really fill any gaps and in my opinion helped create a greater rift in continuity versus a correction.

SUPERMAN has truly been a hot mess post 52. And this is one case where I think the writers bemoaning about editorial might be justified. We're all well aware of Morrison's writing prowess and as I said the art in this issue and past issues has been beyond A+. While I still don't believe in the 5 year before decision, this prequel reminded me of how happy I was in the beginning of the New 52 with Big Blue. Back before I read Perez's SUPERMAN mutant of the week run and the mute version of SUPERMAN in JUSTICE LEAGUE. A time before ACTION jumped to the present and we can't figure out if Clark is alive, dead, a reporter, a fireman or an Indian chief. Morrison is a creator that works best in his own sandbox, unfettered from whiny little bitches like yours truly who demand a consistency of voice and characterization across all titles.

I'm sorry I want every book to be the SUPERMAN from ACTION and this prequel didn't bring that to fruition it merely distanced ACTION further ahead.


WORLD’S FINEST #0

Writer: Paul Levitz
Art: Kevin Maguire
Reviewer: Matt Adler


Whatever one thinks of his tenure as head honcho of DC, and he certainly has his vocal boosters and detractors, Paul Levitz is a damn fine writer, with an impeccable sense of story structure and, key for someone who’s been in the business for as long as he has, an ear for dialogue that never once gives you a doubt that these are modern characters living in a modern world. The #0 issues are in some cases giving us origins, and in other cases a “before you knew them” look at the main characters. The latter is what Levitz delivers here, since “She’s Batman and Catwoman’s daughter” and “She’s Superman’s cousin” isn’t quite enough to do a straight origin story.

So instead we see these characters early in their careers, the Huntress being trained by her mother and father as a Robin, and Power Girl (then known as Supergirl) likewise being mentored by her cousin. Where the story really succeeds is in its emotional content, as tragedy strikes Huntress’ family, bringing her and Power Girl together for the first time, and making their close relationship that much more credible.

Add in some gorgeous art by Kevin Maguire, who is a master of capturing a wide range of subtle emotions on the faces of his characters, and you’ve got a really solid, enjoyable read.


PHANTOM STRANGER #0

Writer: Dan Didio
Artist: Brent Anderson
Reviewer: Optimous Douche


I was ready to decry prequel shenanigans when I looked through my stack and came across PHANTOM STRANGER. Doesn't a book need a #1, before it can have a 0? Well, you can feel free to shut my mouth and call me Sally, because STRANGER did have a #1, it simply came packaged as a little known event in comicdom called Free Comic Day.

STRANGER definitely falls into the category of heavy narrative as Didio gives us a deeper peer into the Trinity of Sin, which is not to be confused with the Trinity of sin that was the weekly book TRINITY a few years ago. This Trinity consists of PHANTOM STRANGER, Pandora (that crazy caped lady who kept appearing Where's Waldo style during last year's launch) and a third character to be named later. Their masters consist of a wizard council who seem to be the architects of...well...everything.

Like the STRANGER of yore, this new one is very much an enigma wrapped in a puzzle. After his sentence of eternal penance is passed down from the wizards, STRANGER is forced to walk the earth never being remembered or mattering until humanity requires a monumental catalyst of change. His neck is adorned with 30 pieces of silver, while this appears to be a mere necklace it actually serves as his shackles of cataclysmic servitude. The only time he can lose apiece of the necklace is when he ruins the life of good people for the sake of cosmic destiny.

It's never outright stated that STRANGER is Judas, but it is definitely well implied. While I would have preferred an outright reenactment of the last supper, I can understand DCs reluctance to avoid being suffocated by the cinching of the Bible Belt.

From a continuity standpoint the end of this book leaves a very indelible mark on the DC universe moving forward. STRANGER is able to lose his next piece of silver by creating the next SPECTERE.

So how does this measure up on my two point test? Uhmmm...while entertaining, I think this just asked a lot more questions than it answered.


DETECTIVE COMICS #0

Writer: Greg Hurwitz
Art: Tony Daniel (pencils), Richard Friend (inks), Pere Perez (additional art)
Reviewer: Ambush Bug


I really do struggle every month with DETECTIVE COMICS. The feeling of utter redundancy to the title really gets to me what with Morrison’s epic BATMAN INCORPORATED, Snyder’s sublime BATMAN, and Tomasi’s always enthralling BATMAN & ROBIN on the shelves, I feel it’s hard to really get into another bat-book, especially if it’s set in Gotham with Batman facing the same criminals he’s facing in other books. Now this zero issue has it’s problems, but as far as direction, I do have to say, that I like the premise and tone of this book even though the execution had some rough edges.

Greg Hurwitz offers up a Times Past story of Bruce Wayne during his training days before he became Batman. If DETECTIVE COMICS always focused on these tales of Bruce Wayne’s training, I think it would be able to distinguish itself from the other bat-books out there. If that’s what this issue is telling me, that this book will now focus on the history of how the Bat came to be—a new version of LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT, then bring it on. But there’s no clear indication that that will be the case here.

The issue at hand written by Hurwitz and illustrated for the most part by regular series writer Tony Daniel isn’t necessarily original as it plays like a mix of KILL BILL 2 and KUNG FU (which was inspiration for KILL BILL) as Wayne shows up at a monastery in hopes to learn from a fabled Zen master. Of course, this old monk is surly and crotchety as can be as all Zen masters must be I guess. And of course, the monk isn’t above beating the training into his pupil. The thing that really bugged me about this issue is the blatant FIGHT CLUB riff as Bruce Wayne does his best Robert Paulson impression by having to wait day and night and day and night on the Zen master’s porch in order to prove that he really wants to train there. Though the story does try to convey a message that having trusted allies and falling in love is dangerous (a lesson it looks like Bruce hasn’t yet learned what with his penchant for training youths for urban warfare, his seemingly overactive love life with whatever babe of the month the writer cooks up, and of course his relationship with Alfred), the entire issue just reads as a big cliché swiped from better stories from beginning to end.

Daniel offers up some strong pencils, but it doesn’t look like he was able to complete it in time with the list of credits including some additional pencils and inks provided by “Richard Friend”. I don’t want to rush to judgment, but that name sounds made up by someone who doesn’t want to lay claim to his work on the book. Maybe I’m wrong. The issue is rough in spots and definitely doesn’t measure up to some of the other issues I’ve read from artist Daniel.

In the end, with muddled concept which contradicts the way Batman is today, a ashram full of monastery clichés seen before in better films, and art that’s somewhat dodgy, I can’t recommend this issue of DETECTIVE. Though if this issue is an indication that the next year is going to focus on Bruce’s training to become bat-man, I could be convinced to shake that feeling of redundancy I’ve gotten from reading this book and check out upcoming issues.


ANIMAL MAN #0

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Steve Pugh
Reviewer: Matt Adler


Along with SWAMP THING #0, this issue further sets up the upcoming Rotworld arc, with the villain Arcane at the center of the threat faced by the “Green” and “Red”, the forces of plant and animal life respectively.

This half of the story takes the perspective of the totemic beings behind The Red, and delivers us Buddy Baker’s origin as Animal Man in the process. What I dig about this is that Lemire gives us a credible reason why Animal Man has generally been sort of a schlub, a second-stringer. The forces who give him his powers are just using him as a placeholder, until his daughter, their preferred candidate, is born, so they deliberately water down his powers.

It’s pretty funny if you think about, but also sort of sad; Animal Man’s whole career is one big effort in killing time, and he doesn’t even know it.


Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G

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Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 5, 2012, 8:30 a.m. CST

    It's spelled "Katniss".

    by TheMachinist

    I've been interested in archery for a while too.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Zen Master...

    by impossibledreamers

    It was actually tradition that one would wait out front of a temple, often for days on end. Perhaps doing small favors for the monks coming in and out to prove your dedication. Fight Club or not... it's not just fiction.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 8:40 a.m. CST

    My favorite archer is still Hank from Dungeons & Dragons

    by Fico

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 9:07 a.m. CST

    FIX THE EXPAND ALL BUTTON

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 9:09 a.m. CST

    ^ You probably have a java virus!

    by Autodidact

  • Haven't read any of them, so can't comment beyond that.

  • It's like a sprinting Ent. Strange to have him running harder than any of the other cover subjects. The Green-Red thing actually sounds pretty interesting. Once in a while DC comes across an overarching concept which goes a little deeper/more abstract philosophically, and this is what appeals most to me about DC. Overall I like Marvel a lot more, and I think they do the sort of fantasy-meets-street-level-real-world a lot better than DC. But DC can really shine when they go cosmic/philosophical in the right way.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Sterling Archer FTW!

    by StatelyWayneManor

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Green Lantern looks a lot like DC Comic's "Vigilante" circa 1985

    by I_Snake_Plissken

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Jeez, DC

    by ByTor

    Do comic issue numbers mean anything anymore? Christ.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 10:31 a.m. CST

    SYNDER IS GOD

    by _SnakePlissken_

    sod this #0 shit and bring on his joker arc

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 10:39 a.m. CST

    WTF is he supossed to be Green Lantern, or Gansta Lantern?

    by Stalkeye

    Where has the creativity gone, DC?

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Snyder's Batman is now on my collecting list

    by fat_rancor_keeper

    Capullo (spawn fame) does it for me....dude's awesome....except I'm not sure if he's staying on the book? Anyway, I may check some of these....especially action 0.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Dearborn <> "Arab slums of Detroit"

    by durhay

    c'mon, man.

  • ...so maybe Simon Baz is smarter for carrying a .45 caliber back-up plan? I flipped through Swamp Thing for the first time and became very interested in what I saw and read. But every time I think about buying it, I turn my purse upside down and shake it, and nothing comes out. Pull lists can only be so large. 'Mousealini' made me giggle. I admit it.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 11 a.m. CST

    Last year, DC KOd Marvel with the New 52...

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    ...more like they KO'd the retailers because there were stacks and stacks of New 52 & Before Watchmen in the dollar bins @ Chicago Comic Con this year.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Mousealini

    by optimous_douche

    I worked with their branding department a few years ago for a conference I was marketing at my last employer... Never before have I dealt with a hotel or vendor that made me feel like I was working for them.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Margot

    by optimous_douche

    Buyer beware...they do have a return program. I don't know the specifics behind it, but I know retailers don't have to eat the surplus inventory.

  • But comics are way too expensive. I dearly miss the hobby. During high school, college and years after, I looked forward to comic book day more than anything. For $10-15, I could purchase the newest issues of my favorite titles, and most of the time, they held their value or increased in value enough so that I could trade them in for new stuff at my favorite comic books store. Unfortunately, with comics being $3.00 - $4.00, it just doesn't make financial sense to buy them for a few minutes of entertainment. It's also very difficult to trade or sell the comics in or to buy new ones. At least with a video game, I can ebay it or trade it in at Gamestop and use the trade credit to get something else. I still buy the TPB and Collections. They at least seem to be reasonably priced.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Batwing is sooo over... most look not so good.

    by Homer Sexual

    Batwing started as an awesome comic with beautiful art. Immediately upon completion of the first arc, the artist was already gone and the next story arc was laughably bad. Laughably! So, no, thanks. That book started top 5 and ended as an "F" Tried Green Arrow twice, still boring. I don't think all characters can be that interesting. I don't think this character can be that interesting. Green Lantern. Popular. Awful. Just my opinion. Which is more awful, the aggressively middle american Jordan or the aggressively PC new guy? Don't know, will never know, in fact I'd rather read Batwing. Swamp Thing and Animal Man do have a great, interconnected storyline going on but it is becoming way too drug out, and this seems like more spinning its wheels trying to bring in new readers before it starts moving again. So the whole Zero thing is kinda annoying. Kevin Maguire plus a non-horrifying outfit for Power Girl? Yay! But overall these don't seem very compelling.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 11:53 a.m. CST

    bytor--Apparently you've never seen the Marvel numbering system.

    by art123guy

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 11:58 a.m. CST

    lol @ green lantern witta gun.

    by iampain

    in three years dc will announce they are starting over from scratch.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST

    actually looking forward to the next re-boot...

    by sonnyhooper

    ...being a fan of DC comics at this point is like being a fan of the Chicago Cub. Every new spring you have hope that this might be the year and then by the all star break the season is basically over. <p> Hate to say it .... but its true.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Green Lantern with a gun...

    by Homer Sexual

    IMO it seems to be both pandering and offensive simultaneously... Also hilarious... And why doesn't Dust get any press? She's actually a pretty well developed character, so point to Marvel. I guess DC has figured out what to do, make everything happen to *cough* major *choke* characters like Green Lantern, Which then gets tons of press despite none of them ever being the "real" character.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 2:54 p.m. CST

    is the new gl's weakness booze and pigs?

    by walt

    if im a villain, im showing up to a fight with both in hand

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 7:30 p.m. CST

    I feeling like this #0 month is a good time to stop...

    by Tom

    buying DC comics (rather than start buying). Being an old school DC reader, the only thing I've enjoyed was seeing the return of the classic Aquaman. The rest of it has left me cold. So is it time for me to quit cold turkey? I'm sure DC doesn't care either way, since it's all been a big success for them.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Simon Baz just confirms my suspicions on Razer from the toon

    by CreamCheeseAlchemist

    Because his late wife dresses just like Simon's mom. That said, I kinda wanna see an atheist in the Blue Corps.

  • Sept. 5, 2012, 10:46 p.m. CST

    Despite being a staunch DC defender...

    by Starship Captain

    Just lose the "despite." Given that every review is a positive -- or at worst, a review where you say "Ok, maybe this isn't great, but it's still worth buying and lining DC's pockets!" -- you clearly ARE a staunch DC defender. And review objectivity went straight out the window right from the start. Screw DC and the whole 52 stunt. The characters have been completely bastardized, stories have been shit from the start, the art is like bad old Image comics from the 90s trying to look flashy rather than telling a good sequential story, and now these cash hungry fucks are pulling another prime 1990s trick and doing an a large issue zero stunt to pimp the publishing line even more. DC stopped making good comics years ago, and the 52 stunt was the final nail in their creatively bankrupt coffin. MaskedMan is right. Instead of buying IN to DC, this is actually the perfect time to drop most of their books because in these hard economic times you're better off keeping the cash in your wallet rather than buying lame comics which aren't worth reading and are only good for wiping your ass with, when you've accidentally run out of toilet paper at home.

  • Sept. 6, 2012, 8:24 a.m. CST

    Good Captain Let Me Ask You?

    by optimous_douche

    How many of the books have you actually read? Everything is not shit, we're it complete excrement they would change their name to BlueWater. Don't like the Image style art, go read some FRANKENSTEIN or ANIMAL MAN, they are as far from Image as one can get. And the stories? Not all are shit. Are some, sure. All, that's obtuse and narrow minded. Look I don't give a fuck if you guys stop being DC. Go for it. I'm not here to sell DC books. I'm here to say what I think is worthwhile and what isn't for those that love DC. If you're just going to hate on concept alone, just stop reading comics now. I say "despite" being a DC defender, because I actually did throw some criticism their way. I simply didn't lace it with vitriol for shock value. We're about making comics better, not simply stating the obvious. Any moron can write "this sucks," it takes real balls though to put your neck on the line with suggestions for improvement.

  • Sept. 6, 2012, 9:37 a.m. CST

    i think these #0 issues prove one thing...

    by sonnyhooper

    ...and that is DC seemed a bit over ambitious by having 52 new titles at the re-launch. What should have happened was a roll out of a smaller number of 1st issues a year ago followed by a new batch of #1 a year later that grew in an organic fashion out of the original launch titles. and so on and so forth. <p> there is a good amount of quality comics that came out with the new 52, it's just that they tried to do too much too soon. they really should have just stuck to the strongest 20 concepts or so and put everything else on the back burner until a better concept could be thought up. <P> we didn't need a Green Arrow book at launch, we didn't need a teen titans book at launch, we didn't need 2 Legion of Superheros books and 3 Justice League books. If DC had just trimmed the fat, so to speak, and gave us a leaner and meaner set of launch titles, they would still be getting mileage off the re-launch by slowly introducing new number 1 books over a longer 4 to 5 year period. and they would not be stuck doing issues #0 type gimmicks.

  • Sept. 6, 2012, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Interested in a Baz vs. Gardner showdown

    by nyj_et

    I just know that's gonna be good. So good, you might think it was Marvel.

  • Sept. 6, 2012, 10:16 a.m. CST

    EXACTLY Sonny

    by optimous_douche

    And that's why I'm so enamored with EARTH 1. I think even 20 titles is too much. Start with the big three (or maybe 4 if you count Green Lantern) and then let the universe build organically. The other fatal flaw was carrying over certain continuity. No need for four Robins already at launch, the math is simply laughable. Bruce Wayne has had 3 wards and a son in an 8 year span? Ridiculous.

  • Sept. 6, 2012, 11:08 a.m. CST

    catching up on Supergirl...it's kind of AWESOME.

    by Poptard_JD

  • Sept. 6, 2012, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Yeah, but Douche...

    by MattAdler

    ...you've been saying they should expand the Earth 1 line ;)

  • Sept. 6, 2012, 12:12 p.m. CST

    the earth one stuff is intresting...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....up to a point because it does seem like a more organic growing of a universe. i really did like the first Superman book, but i have been reluctant to try the Batman book. i simply don't trust Geoff Johns with Batman because he seems to hate the character too much. <p> why else would he have a Batman where his toys don't work half the time? and do we really need a Batman who can't make jumps from roof top to roof top? <p> i also have this horrible feeling that Brian Azzarellos new52 Wonder Woman run SHOULD HAVE BEEN the Earth One Wonder Woman and now we will get some watered down version thats closer to the old George Perez stuff. i guess we just gotta hope that DC resists the urge to do too much too soon with the Earth one line of books. <p> and for the record i don't buy the idea that MARVEL is that much better in quality. i think they just have a good timing thing going with the movie division being bought up by Disney. Marvel pretty much ignored the Avengers as a property until it was the only property they had not sold off to other studios. don't get me wrong it's working out VERY well for them at the moment and the disney marvel marriage is still very much in the honeymoon stage. i have doubts everything will be as rosies if 5 or 10 years down the road the money stops comming in by the truckloads. you have to figure that sooner or later the bean counters will be in charge over at disney/marvel just like they seem to be in charge now over at DC/WB.

  • Sept. 6, 2012, 12:34 p.m. CST

    I dropped Supergirl at #8.

    by 3774

    I wanted so much to love that title, or at least like it. But the way she was always raging out, punching first and asking questions later just put me off (her first meeting with Superman was just stupid). It never seemed to find a story that was compelling, either. I couldn't bring myself to care when she returned to Krypton, Reign and the world killers fell flat with me, and then when they made Kara a guest star in her own book for the sake of Banshee, I was out. Just couldn't care anymore. Having said all that, I really liked the artwork, loved the emphasis on internal monologue, and loved the fact that she can only speak Kryptonian. I *want* to love it. I really do. But the characterization is (was) off, and the stories just weren't doing it for me.

  • Sept. 6, 2012, 12:38 p.m. CST

    I loved GL 0, and that he's Arab, but Arab AMERICAN??

    by Poptard_JD

    Why are all of the GL's of sector 2814 AMERICAN? I think I would have preferred a more international new GL, since they protect more than just Amurrrca.

  • Sept. 6, 2012, 1:24 p.m. CST

    I see all the other reasons why you don't like it...

    by Poptard_JD

    but saying Supergirl's characterization is off...not sure that one applies since she's a brand new character as far as teh DCnU is concerned, so her characterization is whatever they say it is now, lol

  • Sept. 6, 2012, 2:07 p.m. CST

    What I mean is...

    by 3774

    ...there wasn't consistency from issue to issue. I got the impression that she was punchy and rage-ee one moment, and then morose, weepy or passive the next. It left me with an impression that her characterization was being made up as it went along, or she has an unspoken psychological disorder. It's just my opinion.

  • Sept. 6, 2012, 4:16 p.m. CST

    i can dig it..

    by Poptard_JD

    I read that as "gha what's going on, i'm being attacked by unfamiliar things, I'll punch them!" and then "well that sucked.." and then "what the hell, why is everyone attacking me? i can't ask cause I only speak kryptonian! I'll punch back!" but that's just me

  • Sept. 6, 2012, 11:57 p.m. CST

    If you think about it...

    by Icarus2004

    ...there is also the point that she spent so much time in that tiny spaceship that her cousin grew up to the point were now he is older than her. I don't know about you, but that would make me want to punch something when I came out. Now, Supergirl has nor been the most interesting of the New52. It hasn't been the worst (aren't there a couple of Leifeld-scripted issues they haven't published yet?), but it hasn't been all that great. I would like to see some direction for the character, trying to adapt to life on Earth and so on. Maybe taking an inverse route than the OTHER Supergirl (Power Girl) is taking, making a strong point (Differentiating and comparing) of where the two different tactics (personalities / actions / approaches / interactions with other DC characters) would take them in a year's time, or whatever the time-frame would be. I would be interested in reading about where the two Karas might end up by making different decisions.

  • Sept. 7, 2012, 1:15 a.m. CST

    GREEN LANTERN #0

    by Icarus2004

    Ok...I love Green Lantern. I am one of the three people out there that loved the Green Lantern movie (yes, I know it was not great, but I do not understand the hate the movie has engendered). I loved it because I never thought I would see one of my all-time favorite heroes, maybe my all-time favorite, in a movie theatre, live action. I have loved the GL book in all of its incarnations, and the GL back-ups in other books. Sure, I wasn't incredibly happy with the GLC in their first incarnation (I never got used to Staton's art) and the time when Hal Jordan became a villain and died was not a happy time for me. When he was brought back...well, THAT made me grin with pleasure. One of the first comics I ever read was the GL team-up of Hal Jordan and Alan Scott in GL v2 #045, and that's when my love for all things Lantern began (not a great issue, but enough to send a little kid's imagination soaring). Memories of that issue are the reason I am so disappointed at DC for having turned Alan Scott gay, in a completely arbitrary and publicity-hungry decision...but I digress. Now we get Green Lantern #0. An Arab-Muslim gets the ring. Mmmmm...ok. We know Hal is not dead (he shows up in the last page), but ok, the ring "thinks" he is. Shades of another "slayer" coming out even if Buffy's still alive. Now, I understand that this MIGHT not be a politically correct pandering move (like I believe Alan Scott was), but the sincere wish of the writer to bring someone of his ethnic background into the fore (if I am not mistaken Geoff Johns is pakistani, am I correct?). Still, I have a couple of problems.... 1) If we wanted an Arab-Muslim as a GL, why didn't we pick one straight from Afganistan, Iraq, Iran, or even Pakistan? The Power Rings only work in America? The GLC can take people from ANYWHERE in the universe, but on Earth it only likes americans? Huh! 2) We get snippets of Baz in Michigan during 9/11. We showed how his family suffered during the attack, and then how they suffered BECAUSE of the attack. So they were part of the people that were hassled because they were muslims/arabs. Ok. I remember a few days after the attack in Texas, how a few muslims got attacked while they were CELEBRATING the attacks on the WTC. I don't condone attacks on innocent americans, I don't blame the people that attacked the ones that were celebrating the murder of 3,000 people. Now, in this issue we only show the bullies (and I'm sure this is because of lack of space, as with Green Arrow #0, but...) and how Baz had a "hard" life because of the attack. Mmmmmm...starting to feel that I'm supposed to feel sorry for this character. 3) THEN he steals a car (not something that other "troubled heroes" haven't done - maybe even Hal Jordan at some point, when his origin was "revisited") that just HAPPENS to have a bomb in it, and the only place where he can think of it exploding without harming anyone is the factory from which he had JUST been FIRED! I'm I supposed to feel sorry for this guy and think that the (I'm guessing) Homeland Security people that take him to Guantanamo are the "bad guys" because they are interrogating him and won't believe ALL of these coincidences? Hell, I read the story and I'M having trouble believing them! Am I supposed to believe that Amanda Waller was wrong -with the facts she had- by using the term "a known terrorist, and the agent is right when he says "suspected" without having ANY facts himself? Yes, I understand that we're supposed to be "innocent until proven guilty", but look at the evidence they had! Man, I think Richard Kimble had more trouble than this guy, and he only needed to convince the police that he had seen a one-armed man! Whatever happened to having a truly good guy receive the ring? Are we saying that he got it because the Guardians are now corrupt or this is the new "norm"? Aren't there any GOOD guys the ring might consider worthy out there? I remember when they introduced john Stewart in GL v2 #087. He seemed to be a bad, angry guy throughout the story ONLY because Hal misread his actions AND intentions (and he talked like a douche - No offense, Optimus). Here, there is nothing to missread. This is not a good guy. At the very least, he's a thief, and yes, I can hear you talk all day long about how "circumstances" drove him to "desperate acts", like stealing a car, something that should be a bogus argument for a truly good man. Why would the ring NOT pick a GOOD guy? Sorry, Mr. Johns. I love your writing and what you have done with GL, Aquaman, and Barry Allen, but you could have made this character a lot more sympathetic if you have made him a truly stand-up guy, the kind of hero you can identify with and admire, no matter his ethnic background or his religion. But I guess we needed to make him "edgy".

  • Sept. 7, 2012, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Earth 2 #0 - Optimus Douche

    by Icarus2004

    I agree with your review almost 100%. I just didn't find the story to be very exciting. It felt like one of those old "Whatever happened to...?" back-up stories DC used to have. Still, didn't the plot arc they setting Terry Sloan on remind you of Adrian Veidt / Ozymandias? Do you think this is the path Robinson is taking with the story?

  • Sept. 7, 2012, 2:23 a.m. CST

    Green Lantern and Batwing kick major ass, but Marvel..

    by Balkin Flabgurter

    Journey into Mystery, Iron man 2.0, Gambit, The Dark Tower Collections, Secret Avengers, Dead Pool Kills the Marvel Universe, did i mention Gambit? i tried to get into Justice League Dark and wasn't too excited.

  • Sept. 7, 2012, 8:32 a.m. CST

    I Do agree Icarus

    by optimous_douche

    Sloane basically joins the league of other smarty pants like Ozymandias and Hitler who believe the only solution to what ails the world is the final solution. So this prequel is actually an exercise in genocide once Sloan decides the only way to erase the anti-life equation plaguing Earth 2 is to blow the living shit out of everyone affected.

  • Whoever it is (the name escapes me) they'd probably be my favorite artist of all if I had to choose. I initially passed on this series, but then bought the 'restart' 9th issue. I liked it and the following so much that I went back and bought the first 8. They're good, but a little wandering and not completely focused.

  • Sept. 7, 2012, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Justice League Dark

    by Icarus2004

    I was looking forward to this particular book since I heard what it was going to be about. I loved the Vampire War x-over (supernatural fun to be had by everyone in that one!), and now that he actually brought in Tim Hunter and the Books of Magic into the proper DC Universe, I like it even more. I think Jeff Lemire is really surpassing himself with this book. Of course, after reading what he's doing in Animal Man (one of the best New 52 titles, along with Swamp Thing) it does not surprise me at all. Hell, he even make me feel invested in the Sweet Tooth storyline, and I never thought I would like that particular one. Something that he has done right that help keep my interest is that he has kept the group dynamic in a state of flux. Being supernatural characters for the most part, you never know which side they're going to take. Lemire has made them more of a non-team than "The Defenders" ever were. Also, he has kept John Constantine consistant with his Vertigo image, and even though he can be a bit of a scumbag, you just got to love the character (The hell with Keanu if he doesn't want to come back for the sequel! - Would have loved to see James Marsters playing the part). I can not wait to see what happens next. Mikel Janin is the artist, and yes, I love what he's been doing for JLD. Guy's good.

  • Sept. 19, 2012, 4:56 a.m. CST

    Coach Outlet Stores

    by chenggong

    http://www.coachoutlet-factorystore3.com

  • Sept. 19, 2012, 4:56 a.m. CST

    Coach Outlet Store Online

    by chenggong

    http://www.coachoutlet-factorystore3.com