All-Star Western 7

Today, Peter and Drew are discussing the All-Star Western 7, originally released March 28th, 2012.

Peter: When I first picked up All-Star Western several months ago, I was skeptical. I had  read Jonah Hex in its previous incarnation, written by the same authors, but I didn’t remember much of it, and without a recent exposure to the time period I didn’t really know what to expect. I assumed it would be difficult to make a good book that was set in a completely different time period from the other New 52 books, but I was dead wrong. All-Star Western has proven to be a fantastic book that I look forward to every month.
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The Flash 7

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing the Flash 7, originally released March 28th, 2012.

Drew: When we wrote about the Flash 6 last month, we couldn’t get over the thematic richness of that issue as it explored concepts of cause and effect through time and space. One of the reasons that issue is so satisfying is because it speaks to our own experience of events — we can arrange them chronologically, but they often have connections to distant moments in time. This is the Flash as the mortals around him (or, perhaps more importantly, comics fans) experience him; sometimes out-of-order chronologically, but never emotionally. With the Flash 7, Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato set out to do something much more ambitious, as they put the burden of cause on our hero without any real understanding of the effect. Continue reading

Green Lantern Corps 7

Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing Green Lantern Corps 7, originally released March 21st, 2012.

Shelby:  Resolution is important in any good story-telling, but I think it’s especially important in a medium as serial as comic books. The fans have to wait a month between each installment; that’s a month of talking about what happened last month, and what’s going to happen this month. Comic book fans also develop an immense devotion to the characters they read, so much so that it’s a necessity for any huge issues, emotional or otherwise, to be dealt with accordingly. Also, sometimes you just need to take a break from the action in a comic book arc, take the time for that resolution that is so needed. I know all of this, and I agree with it, but I don’t think that means resolution issues need to be quite so boring as Green Lantern Corps 7.
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Birds of Prey 7

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Birds of Prey 7, originally released March 21st, 2012.

Drew: Issue 2 of Birds of Prey opened with Katana standing over a roomful of Yakuza she had just killed. When we first see her in battle alongside the birds later in the issue, she is running through one of Choke’s henchmen. Dinah comments on how Katana is “everything I’d hoped for. Lethal. Disciplined. Able to watch my back.” Dinah even reminds her that they need “at least one of them alive,” which strikes me as permission to kill all but one of the goons they’re fighting. In fact, they kill a lot of people during that scene, so Dinah’s insistence in issue 7 that “Rule number one” is “We don’t kill people,” is a bit of a stretch. Continue reading

Justice League 7

Today, Peter and Shelby are discussing Justice League 7, originally released March 22nd, 2012.

Peter: Okay, I like a good team book as much as the next person. It allows for interesting character interaction on a regular basis. It also gives me the feeling that there are clearly some things that no one superhero can take down on their own. That’s how this Justice League came together; no individual could defeat Darkseid. They were brought together by fate — and Fatherboxes — to defeat evil. Now, we’ve jumped ahead to present day, the origins are long gone, and now we get a taste of the current Justice League. But why does it taste funny?
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Nightwing 7

Today, Patrick and Peter are discussing Nightwing 7, originally released March 21st, 2012.

Patrick: Drew and I like identifying themes. Oh the curse of the liberally educated! When we first started this comic-review-practice, we both quickly picked out the theme of “you can never go back” from the pages of Nightwing. It’s a potent concept and one that hits double-hard for recent college grads that insist and transplanting themselves thousands of miles away from their friends an families. Boo hoo, Patrick, we all have problems. Since our initial 3-issue write-up, the thematic and narrative focuses have broadened, usually to the detriment of the storytelling. But Nightwing #7 reclaims the series’ former glory by addressing its central mystery and staying emotionally on-point. Oh and a cameo from the Batman don’t hurt none, either.

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Batman 7

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Batman 6, originally released February 15th, 2012.

Drew: Batman 7 begins in a pivotal moment in Bruce’s history; as he sits, broken and bleeding in his own library, considering the bat that has just broken through the window and lit on his father’s bust. It feels like familiar territory, but as the bat flies off into the night, creating an oh-so-familiar silhouette against the full moon, something…changes. Continue reading

Wonder Woman 7

Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Wonder Woman 7, originally released March 21st, 2012.

Shelby: The Greek gods were the comic book superheroes of the ancient world. They are depicted in prose and art. Their stories were used to teach lessons and explain the world, and were filled with action, drama, and intrigue. They have convoluted origin stories and multiple lines of continuity. Is it really any wonder Brian Azzarello has tapped into this rich vein of golden characters to tell Wonder Woman’s latest adventure?
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Captain Atom 1-6

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Captain Atom, originally released September 21st, 2011, October 19th, 2011, November 16th, 2011, December 21st 2011, January 18th 2012, and February 15th, 2012.

Drew: Early in the second issue of Captain Atom, our hero, Nathaniel Adam, is immobilized by an overwhelming barrage of data. Replace “data” with “references,” and you more or less have a description of my experience with this title. This may very well be the most post-modern title of the New 52, which should say a lot to anyone who has read any of Grant Morrison’s run on Action Comics. To be fair, writers J.T. Krul and Freddie Williams II make those allusions largely explicit, so when I describe the book as “Dr. Manhattan by way of Top Gun with a little of John Carpenter’s The Thing and just a hint of Beauty and the Beast,” it’s not meant as a glib dismissal, but a frank (and efficient) summary of the tone it’s going for. Continue reading

Deathstroke 7

Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing Deathstroke 7, originally released March 14th, 2012.

Peter: Sometimes I would kind of like to see comic book story lines not follow the expected progression. Most of the time, after about the first half of a story arc, you can guess what is about to happen; maybe not the specifics, but you can pretty much figure it out. That’s what I thought was going to happen with Deathstroke. I figured, “How hard could it be?” he’s an assassin. He kills people. He gets paid. Sometimes he takes on superheroes…for money, or personal benefit. So really I thought I had this all figured out, and then I read Deathstroke 7. As it turns out, I had nothing figured out, and you know what? I am extremely okay with that. Continue reading