Comic Books

02Apr12

One of my favorite things to do, outside of discussing politics, is reading. Specifically comic books. They keep me sane and cause me to have to stretch my imagination to believe things that either can’t happen or haven’t happened yet.

In the middle of last year, DC Comics did a pretty impressive thing by rebooting their entire universe. The decision was both a risk and pretty ballsy. It’s not often you risk alienating fans by deciding to hit the reset button.

But seven months into it, I have to admit, it’s really cool. The Batman titles are especially good and I’m really impressed with the tone. It’s a lot like Batman: The Animated Series just with some cursing. And a ten-year-old Robin. I’m really excited for the Night of Owls crossover event that starts this month. The Bat-titles haven’t had a proper crossover in several years and I’m looking forward to what they’re going to do.

The Green Lantern titles didn’t exactly get rebooted although the characters may have been de-aged a bit. Don’t let the movie drive you away, the comics are good and totally worth reading. It’s a nice combination of solid writing by Geoff Johns and art by Doug Mahnke. Sci-fi and the occasional horror at its best. Mahnke’s artwork is really the true joy to look at, but the entire package is very good. Johns is again exploring the emotional spectrum in the Green Lantern books which is always interesting to read.

It’s not just “Big” titles which deserve praise. Brian Azzerello and Cliff Chiang’s Wonder Woman is so good, I send a copy to one of my sisters so she can read it. It’s a fantabulous combination of Greek mythology, noir and horror. If you like that sort of thing, you should read it. It makes movies like Clash of the Titans and Wrath of the Titans look pedestrian. If Azzerello and Chiang keep this up, Wonder Woman could finally get the credit she deserves.

I think the most surprising books are what DC has called: “The Dark” books. They’re basically all horror books consisting of Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Justice League Dark, I, Vampire, Demon Knights, Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. and Resurrection Man. I personally read about half of these and have been impressed by both their tone and their story telling.  I wish I knew how to explain them because most of them are pretty creepy and out of this world. Swamp Thing and Animal Man are tied together. So is Justice League Dark and I, Vampire. Demon Knights is set in medieval times and Frankenstein hasn’t really crossed over with anything yet. I haven’t read Resurrection Man so I can’t comment on them.

But over all in seven months, DC has done an excellent job in revamping its universe. Not everything has been great and there has been some fan outrage, but over all, it was a risk worth taking. Best place for information is at http://www.dccomics.com or your local comic shop.



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