Thoughts on Comics, Week 1

Posted: May 30, 2012 by Jon Erik Christianson in Comicology - Comic Books, DC Comics
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To start off G&C’s spectacular debut, I figured I would divulge my comic book pull list to the world. Currently, there are 11 DC titles and 1 Image title. I have sampled titles from other companies several times (the Incredible Hulk, Astonishing X-Men, Supurbia, etc) but nothing else has really stuck.

My list is:

  • Animal Man
  • Earth-2
  • Worlds’ Finest
  • Batgirl
  • Batman
  • Saga
  • Supergirl
  • Birds of Prey
  • Wonder Woman
  • Aquaman
  • Justice League Dark
  • Teen Titans
Don’t judge. The way I see it, we’re all allowed to have our life-coping mechanisms. Mine just involve a Peter Pan complex and people in spandex.
So here are my thoughts on the comic book titles that I read, part 1.
Animal Man, written by Jeff Lemire with art by Travel Foreman and Steve Pugh

Cover courtesy of DC Comics

I never intended to pick up this title. But after the first issue got 9/10’s, 5/5s, and other stellar scores from every comic book reviewing website known to mankind, I just had to try it on for size. Too bad Comicopia was sold out in the first week.

When I finally got my hands on it, I was very intrigued. The story seemed fascinating, the art was brutally disturbing and gorgeous, and the characters were completely fresh slate for me.

This is now one of my absolute favorites. All I really need in a comic is quality characterization and a captivating villain and I’m sold. Fortunately, this delivers that and more. Buddy Baker (Animal Man) and his family are badasses. His wife, Ellen, has to be one of my favorite ladies in comics right now. His daughter is more powerful than he is, and his son serves as a necessary foil to the rest of his family.

And The Rot, the Bakers’ primary antagonists, is my favorite antagonistic force in my entire pull list. Seriously the most gruesome things I haveever seen in my life.

Earth-2 written by James Robinson with art by Nicola Scott

Cover courtesy of DC Comics

At the time, however, I had a horde of store credit with my LCS (local comic store), I was going to buy a series based off of this series, and it had received a 9/10 advanced review on Newsarama. I figured “what the hell” and bought it. Again, yet another title I wasn’t initially going to buy. The whole “alternate universe” thing is a trope I generally can do without. Few writers (of television, movies, anything) can do it well without confusing the medulla oblongata out of me.

And loved it.

Also, future issues seem to indicate an awesome roster of superheroes. Hawkgirl is going to be badass, Batman-like detective African or Middle Eastern woman, Alan Scott (the original Green Lantern) might turn out to be gay, and all of the others seem like they’ll be a hefty, heaping pile of fun. With only 1 issue out right now, it could easily fall from grace, but I like to keep things optimistic.

Worlds’ Finest, written by Paul Levitz with art by George Perez and Kevin Maguire

Cover courtesy of DC Comics

Like I said earlier, give me great characters and I will give you my money. The most well-crafted and cared for characters can weather boring storylines, trashy art, and meaningless crossover events.

Not to say that this title has any of that (the art, especially Maguire’s, is actually quite impressive). I just know, based off of the characterization and incredibly witty dialogue present in this comic, that I am going to adore reading the adventures of Helena and Kara.
Seriously, they could dedicate an entire issue to these two ladies reading the phonebook and I’m sure it’d be a blast. None of my current comics really satisfied my uplifting best-buddy-banter quota that I look for, so luckily these ladies came swooping in and saved the day.

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