For part one of this week’s pull list, we’ll be looking at the DC titles. In part two we’ll look at the titles from Marvel. But before we even get to the comics, I want to talk about DC’s recent rebranding.
In case one isn’t already aware, DC comics started off March 2012 with a change to branding company wide. This comes in the form of a new logo design that persists, in one form or another, across the various parts of DC Entertainment:
Let me first stress that I don’t think this is a bad logo, in and of itself. What I think is that it’s a poor logo for DC comics. It looks rather like a first year student at a community college designed it as homework, and this is supposed to represent the DC brand. If one is a little slow, one might not even realize it’s supposed to be a sticker of a ‘D’ that peels off the reveal a ‘C’.
Honestly, why is DC doing this now of all times? They just did a line-wide reboot seven months ago, and now they’re changing their logo to something significantly less recognizable and dropping any form of brand recognition along with it. They also radically altered their website. And while I find it decent, if not an improvement to their old one, it seems just a little bit reminiscent of Marvel’s website.
Or maybe it’s just me.
As far as the actual comics are concerned, DETECTIVE COMICS #7 proved, once again, a thoroughly underwhelming affair. And it’s not just because Penguin: Pain and Prejudice was such a great miniseries, and the Penguin’s depiction in this story arch is a step down. It’s because I repeatedly found myself not much caring about the events depicted here. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by Scott Snyder’s work, both in his old run in Detective Comics, and in the present run of adjectiveless Batman. The issue didn’t even end on what I could reasonably call a cliffhanger, because I could just as easily say it ends here as say it keeps going.
Some of the small-fry villains working with the Penguin were kind of cool, though. But then they didn’t get to do much.
Speaking of Scott Snyder, he’s doing wonders over in SWAMP THING #7. You may recall a few months back I complained on how the covers for most of the early issues depicted Swamp Thing, all while Alec Holland remained very much a human. Well, after a great deal of build up and suspense, we finally see him turn back into the Swamp Thing. For good this time. Sure, we’re not going to see the ultimate results of this, but next issues promises a confrontation like no other. Except more like many others, but whatever. It’s Swamp Thing versus The Rot, and Swamp Thing just sprouted wings.
It’s at this point, more and more, I regret not getting into Animal Man, the book this title shares a meta plot with. I’ve heard great things, and it pains me to not be reading it. But then again, there’s a reason I split the Weekly Pull into two parts every first of the month. Bottom line is you should be reading both Swamp Thing and Animal Man.
RED LANTERNS #7, on the other hand, you can just skip. This series has been hovering over the line of dropping with me pretty much since it started. I blame the book’s emphatic refusal to either resolve or shelve the subplot with Atrocitus and his crisis of confidence. This plot predominates through the series since issue one, and shows no sign of just ending. Well, the thing with Krona might have been resolved to a point, but in a really anticlimactic manner, and one that will either result in a fake out, or just more stalling.
The thing with the human red lantern does help a bit, and this issue ties itself a bit into the events over in GREEN LANTERN, but I’m getting really tired of this crap. Even the confrontation between human red lantern and Green Lantern Guy Gardner fails to be as epic a confrontation as the cover would have one believe. This lasts around five pages, and only really scratches the surface of Guy and his past experience as a Red Lantern.
And don’t get me started on Bleez. Her return to coherence only made her really annoying. Plus, I’m starting to become sick of the artists’ preoccupation with her rear. I tend not to be overly critical of a comic that shows off female characters; it’s just how the industry works. But I can’t think of a single panel in the book’s now seven issues that didn’t take every available opportunity to display her ass in the most exaggerated way possible. Usually I just shake my head at blatant fan service shots, but at this point Bleez and her rump are really starting to cheese me off.
So why am I still reading Red Lanterns? Good question. I’m giving this book one last issue to turn things around and do something that keeps me reading. Because at this rate, I’m dropping it at issue eight. There’s only so long I can keep reading a book I don’t like, and Red Lanterns has been pushing it for a long time.
Speaking of books nearing potential ends, OMAC #7 marches one step closer to its cancellation. Unlike Red Lanterns, OMAC is a book I really wish could go on. So it’s more a victim of low sales than just being a mediocre book. And it’s a shame too, because I had fun here.
Also unlike Red Lanterns, OMAC uses a cameo by a major DC hero, in this case Superman, but doesn’t try to draw in people by overblowing a brief appearance on the cover. I’m actually surprised DC or whoever individually is in charge of the covers didn’t try to milk it for all it’s worth.
Not that this issue is without flaws. The main thing working against it is just the fact that this is the second to last issue before the series ends. And issue seven in no way feels like the penultimate installment to anything. It has Kevin Kho running around in a zoo, interacting with talking, anthropomorphic animals and beating up a space monkey. Not that this doesn’t fit with what the series was going for. It feels like we’re building to something greater and taking our time getting there. But as of now, we have nowhere to go, because the series is about to end. It’s very obvious the writers wrote this issue, wrote a detailed plan for the entire series perhaps, well in advance of being told their series was getting the ax.
I’ll go more into detail about my thoughts on the series when I finally get around to that retrospective. Until then, next time we’re looking at what Marvel had to offer last week.