The first being that I’m astounded that DC charged $3.99 for this? Really?
Don’t worry about me, I didn’t pay full price…but still. DC has some nerve.
Two of my fellow AICN reviewers had two differing takes on the book and you can check them out by clicking here. (You can also see my nifty little graphic protesting the new DCU/ Hack Snyder Superman: Man of Steel costume changes.)My opinion of the book lands somewhere in between the two but if I were to be honest I’d have to say I lean a bit more toward Professor Challenger’s opinion of the book. I do think he might’ve been a bit too harsh on it but I have to agree that the whole thing was severely underwhelming.
I use the word underwhelming because that’s how I really felt about it. For a book that’s supposed to be the launching point for a new DC Universe there’s really nothing, well, all that new here. Yes, there are new costumes and, yes, Hal Jordan’s had a personality transplant with Kyle Rayner but as far as superhero comics go…this is really just more of the same. Nothing new here folks, just move on.
Yep, this is just the same old sort of tired stuff superhero comics have been giving us since the 1990’s. What we have here is just a really well drawn, spectacularly colored, pretty badly written Jim Lee comic book. Which, if you think about it, isn’t that much different than any other Jim lee comic book since the, well, since the 1990’s. I know Jim Lee didn’t write the thing but there’s something about Jim lee…he just drags really good writers down to Image Comics 1990’s writing levels.
I like Geoff Johns. I’ve liked most of his stuff on Green Lantern. Is he one of my favorite comic writers out there? No, not really. But I do think he’s one of the better ones at DC right now. He likes to take chances and expand on previously established concepts. He’s a solid writer. But in this issue of the new JL it seems as if he’s just slumming. Doing a paint by the numbers comic. There’s nothing really courageous here. Nothing innovative. Nothing really outside of the box. Two superheroes meet. Two superheroes encounter a bad guy. Two superheroes fight the bad guy. Two superheroes flex in supertight outfits. It’s the same old same old.
That’s the biggest disappointment. If you’re going to go of the trouble of destroying almost thirty years of “continuity” you should go big! Retrofit the whole thing! Maybe keep Bruce Wayne’s parents alive? Maybe Clark Kent is some mutated human from an alternate earth? Maybe the Green Lantern is a sentient light being from another galaxy? Just go crazy! Look, obviously, I’m not stupid. Licensing and business concerns would never let DC Comics go in a completely new direction (The sneaker ad in the book with Batman in his old costume obviously proves that.) but with this re-launch there’s no real audacity behind it. It’s just a badly disguised excuse to put the old crew in new outfits and mess with origins and characters that people have loved for years and years and years.
Which leads me to my last point…there is no way that this JL is for new readers to jump on. It’s already confusing! The new JL book already makes the assumption that readers know what the “new” Green Lantern and Batman are about. But if you’re starting from scratch then you need to establish who these characters are don’t you? But that’s not really done here. There’s no character development. None. That’s just bad writing. I don’t know anything about these guys except they seem a lot like the old ones. Which isn’t a good thing if you’re supposed to be starting something new. This issue is obviously for someone who knows what Batman and Green Lantern were, not what they’re supposed to be in this new 52 universe.
Obviously things will be cleared up as individual issues of the re-launch come out but as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing in this flagship title that really got me amped up about the new DCU. In fact, this particular comic made me want to stay away for the most part. Nice job.