Sunday, January 8

DC Comics – Jan 2012

I’m trying something new. Rather than post individual write-ups on comics, at most three or four in a post, I’m going to wait until I’ve read all the titles for a given month and do a megapost, at least for the bulk of my reading which is all from DC Comics. Hopefully that will compel me to write less per comic and take up less of my time overall. We’ll see. Or at least, I can set aside an afternoon/evening to do it all at once, which may be a more manageable way to handle it.

I am going to try to post to a good online review that more or less reflects my view of the comic as well. I have a few preferred blogs for this purpose – most if not all appear in my blog-roll at right.

To clarify a couple of things, in the form of a short Q & A:

Why are your “reviews” so much later than everyone else's? It's because I have no readily available local comics shop and depend on a mail-order service, getting a full month's releases of comics all at once early the next month. Then I don't blow through them quickly. I read them at a rate of about one per evening.

Why do you read them in this particular order? Generally, I read them in release order, with each week's releases being read more or less in the order they appeared in the original solicitations from Diamond. Sometimes I pull stuff forward or push them back for some other reason – if it was delayed from a previous month I'll pull it forward; I often will push non-DC stuff back and read them last. But reading DC comics in general release order most of the time gets any cross-references that might appear in their proper sequence. And there can be a good number of those.

So, here are the DC Comics cover dated January 2012 that I received at the end of November 2011 and read slowly through December.

* * *

Justice League International #3
The Signal Masters, part 3”

This issue is basically a series of fights between pairs of the JLI and the robot rock giants that are appearing all over the world. We get a bit more characterization on the various individuals in one-on-one interaction. For example, Rocket Red asks Ice if she thinks Fire might be open to his advances - “Would light Rocket Red's rockets!”; August General in Iron, working with Godiva, doesn't blame her for her shortcomings, because he recognizes that some of his teammates are there not because they're prepared but rather for political reasons. There is very quickly being developed some character depth for him. Batman and Booster Gold find a giant underground alien machine but then seem overwhelmed by sheer numbers right after Batman discovers that Earth is being watched from space. Meanwhile, Guy Gardner Green Lantern has headed off into space alone, where he finds the giant spaceship just in time to be struck down by Peraxxus – whom I still say looks like Galactus-lite. But overall this continues to be a good, solid story and art.

Action Comics #3
World Against Superman”

Clark wakes up from a dream/nightmare of the Collector of Worlds unleashing his Terminauts on the Kryptonian city of Kandor and his mother carrying his own infant self barely getting away – just in time for the police to barge in to search his apartment because they are convinced he has some connection to Superman. They find nothing, but apparently his landlady has – she's holding his cape as she asks him if he's really an alien. Because knowledge that Superman is not of this world has gone public, with mixed reactions. Then the Terminauts appear in Metropolis. Just as the military brings the new Steel Soldier John Corben on-line, Corben is taken over by the Collector. Luthor jumps in to welcome the Collector of Worlds to Earth – but all it's interested in is Superman.

If I'm correct, I think Brainiac is now a Kryptonian super-computer like in Superman: The Animated Series, but this Collector of Worlds is basically the comics' Brainiac we've known … I bet they were connected somehow in the “harvesting” of Kryptonian knowledge/tech/culture through Kandor. This is another good issue, although as much as I generally like Rags Morales' art, sometimes his faces seem a bit off. For instance, when Clark and Jimmy are having lunch together, Jimmy looks more like a red-headed Howard Wolowitz. There are several pages of notes and sketches by Grant Morrison and the artists to fill out this bigger and higher-priced book.

Detective Comics #3
Cold Blood”

Batman manages to get away from the Dollmaker with knowledge that it wasn't a patchwork Gordon at the end of last issue but rather a Frankensteinish composite. Wow, I'm surprised. Jim meanwhile awakes a captive, and finds that he's been operated on, but he gets the little girl Olivia from issue #1 to take out a message to Batman. Bruce discovers some link to Gordon's past and a suspect as to who the Dollmaker really is. He gets the message through Olivia, which contains a code to watch his back, things aren't what they seem. I'll say, because the little girl considers Dollmaker to be her “father,” and he is waiting for Batman – who ends up thrown into a battle with a half-dozen patchwork “Jokers.”

At least the over-the-top grotesquerie was not as apparent in this issue, although I'm still mystified as to where this fits into the New 52 Batman chronology. In Batman: The Dark Knight (below), which is definitely “current,” Batman taunts “Joker” that he thought he was “retired.” I still get the sense Detective is set in the past. Unfortunately, this continues to be my least favorite of the Batman books.

Stormwatch #3
The Dark Side, Part Three”

We discover that where the first of a meteor swarm impacted Earth there was once a mighty city, but Jack Hawksmoor the “city whisperer” has trouble making contact with it. Has it gone over to the invader who is here to ready Earth for attack by a worse enemy? By the end of the issue, it seems that all Stormwatch on Earth have been absorbed except Midnighter. Meanwhile, Apollo has been taking out other meteors in space, but finally goes up against one that is too big even for him.

You know, if I didn't like Paul Cornell and have faith in him pulling it off, I'm not so sure I'd be buying this comic. The basic premise of an ancient society of superbeings before the current age of superheroes is intriguing, but the idea of a bunch of JLA clones – most apparently Midnighter and Apollo – with bad attitudes doesn't really set this off enough. But it sure looks good even though I'm confused as all heck.

Superboy #3
Free at Last, Free at Last”

The head of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. (which Superboy apparently pronounces out as “NOWHERE” and that's how I'm going to write it from now on because I hate those long acronyms with periods) reevaluates his assessment of how ready Superboy is in light of the fact he seems lost. But he manages to halt his descent into the Earth and burst back out to the surface, learning a bit more about his powers along the way, that he has to think about them to activate them. We also find out that Red has some secret that she's keeping from NOWHERE, but Rose knows it. Superboy ends up in a confrontation with some kind of lava woman in small town USA before heading back to get “the truth” from Red – who suddenly goes from petite little scientist to bulked up bodybuilder. Superboy: “GAK!” followed by the inner'logue, “That did not work out the way I had rehearsed it in my head.”

“Red” is, I gather, a character from Gen 13, a Wildstorm book I never read. Again, an enjoyable issue as we learn more about Superboy and his world even as he does. Nice, clean art, very expressive. But it was only on my third scan through that I realized that the young couple making out about mid-book was not the same as the psychotic meta couple who opened the book. I expect the latter will show up again, and thought that was where.

Batman and Robin #3

Bruce has basically grounded Damian because he considers Morgan too dangerous. Damian goes out anyway, saves a couple from a mugging – and gets a great line to one of the assailants, “I'm sure you didn't leave your hole tonight thinking you'd get your ass kicked by a ten-year-old!” – but is beaten down by Morgan. Batman shows up, but they both end up captured to awaken in a car in a drive-in outdoor theatre with some show about to begin, courtesy of Morgan.

Some good Damian stuff here, especially with Alfred. I liked Tomasi and Gleason a couple years ago on Green Lantern Corps and I like them here. But somebody remind Tomasi that Damian calls Alfred “Pennyworth” even though he has developed a grudging respect for him.

Batwoman #3
Hydrology 3: Gaining Stream”

Kate manages to fight her way out of near-drowning at the hands of the Weeping Water Woman, then escapes from Chase's DEO agents, but ends up firing Bette, who doesn't take it very well. Obviously Batman's words regarding sidekicks having a way of ending up dead cut deep. Kate has meanwhile stood Maggie up for a date, who comes looking for her and finds her an emotional wreck. Chase has tried getting to Jacob Kane, but he stonewalls her successfully. Director Bones directs her to go after the sidekick next. Uh-oh.

The colorless pallor of Kate Kane has assumed a ridiculous degree. She now doesn't appear just pale, but grey or even light blue. Nobody in story seems to notice she looks like a ghost. It's quite distracting in an otherwise beautiful – if hard to follow because the art is just a bit too fancy – book.

Batgirl #3
A Breath of Broken Glass”

Babs fails to save another of Mirror's victims, further eroding her confidence in her return to vigilantism. Officer McKenna is using her time off to conduct her own little investigation into what happened to Batgirl, whom she perceives the Commissioner to have blinders on about. Babs breaks into the police impound lot to retrieve her bike, and finds that Nightwing has been following her. They spar – interspersed with memories of the first Robin and herself doing the same years ago – but it escalates until he stops it: “Batgirl. Babs. Stop. Batman and I were worried, yes, not because we doubt you. … It's because we love you.” Holding her own has renewed her confidence, but at a cost: “Nightwing, I need you to understand. I need to do this alone. Alone.” – “... Fine. You're alone, Batgirl. … You're all alone.” And that's what this issue is really about – reestablishing the turbulent relationship between Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson. I'm glad they're back together in some sense, although he's getting some from another redhead in his own book. At one point in the intensity of their battle, I almost expected the typical shift from fighting to love-making, but Gail Simone's too good a writer for that. And it would have contributed to my unease at the amount of gratuitous sex that's appeared in the New 52 Bat-books, at least in the first couple of months.

Huntress #3
Crossbow at the Crossroads, Part Two”

This comic continues the story about her fighting a sex trafficking ring in Italy. It's smart, topical, good-looking, all without getting into the New 52's more typical excessive sex and violence … no less than what I expect from Paul Levitz, Legion scribe extraordinaire and creator of the original Huntress way back when.

Demon Knights #3
First Sacrifices”

This is a bit of a lull issue as the group prepares to defend the village from the Horde. We find some more hints about the backgrounds of the various characters. For instance, Etrigan and Jason Blood are separate beings who exchange places between this world and Hell – and Madame Xanadu is professing love for each over the other! Vandal Savage contines to have the best lines – “So all in all, I suspect the plan is to leave an exquisite corpse.” But it all ends a bit tragically when a young girl who had said she could sneak past the attackers and get word to Alba Sarum for reinforcements turns out to have been caught. Her head is catapulted back into the village as an example of what happens to “spies.”

More complex story by Cornell that I'm trusting will come together and make sense, but which has plenty (far too many for me to list here) of brilliant nuggets that keep me interested. In that it's much like Stormwatch, although here the novelty of the characters themselves within the DC universe works to the book's advantage.

Legion Lost #3
Red Rage”

This issue seems to focus most on Timber Wolf. He's frustrated with the lack of action by his teammates and strikes out on his own against an Okaaran Rrdrayjj (sp?) that has appeared as another victim of the hypertaxis virus. He gets to be pretty gross a couple of times. First he confirms one theory that he has by licking the autopsied remains of a cannibalized victim. Then he finds that he too has been affected by the virus when claws shoot bloodily out of his fingertips toward the monster – like bullets – and new claws start generating immediately. It hurts, but he recognizes that this might be useful. Finally, he finds that the key to the monster's patterns of movement are its search for Durlan DNA – Chameleon Girl, thought dead since the first issue, is trying to reassemble herself.

I'm still not really getting into this title and wish that it would turn out to be a miniseries and the Legionnaires can get back home to their proper time. Of course, if that happens because of low sales, that's not good for the Legion franchise as a whole....

Justice League #3
Part Three”

Wonder Woman, only recently brought to “Man's World” (at least that's what it was once called – still?) by Col. Steve Trevor, is in US military “custody” at the Pentagon when she hears of the winged creatures that are appearing all over the world. She thinks they're harpies and heads off to take one on, in short order joining forces with the other heroes who are already fighting the parademons at STAR Labs in Metropolis. Meanwhile, suddenly loving father Dr. Stone is working desperately at STAR Labs to save his son Victor's life by rebuilding his body from robotic parts – that seem to have some connection with Darkseid. There is more bickering and bantering between the heroes, then some kind of construct bursts from the bay. Aquaman appears, wondering what the hell's going on – because the same thing's happening under his sea.

I may not like a lot of aspects of Jim Lee's design sense, but wow he can draw! Wonder Woman's three-page (two-page spread plus another page) leap into the fray is great – as is the heroes' reactions: Flash, “Uh … Wow”; Green Lantern, “Dibs”; Superman, to Wonder Woman, “You're strong”; Wonder Woman's response (as she KRAKKs one of the parademons while giving Superman a demure smile over her shoulder), “I know.”

I wonder how Aquaman's “offer” to be the heroes' leader is going to go over? “So who's in charge here? I vote me.”

This is a slow-moving story in that I'd guess a couple hours at most have passed since the beginning of issue #1. That means that at this pace whatever crisis (oops) forged the DCnU Justice League into a team occurred during a single part of a day. Put in those terms it doesn't seem weighty enough for such a momentous event. But that's just an opinion, an impression, born of modern decompressed storytelling.

The extra stuff at the end to “justify” the expanded issue and consequent steeper price? A Secret History of Atlantis that basically says nothing whatsoever and a sketchbook (er, two pages) of Green Lantern. Not impressed by either, frankly, especially the first – a cover, inside front cover with library stamps, “About the Author,” dedication page, and a one-page forward that says basically “I believe Atlantis exists.”

Wonder Woman #3

As the Amazons deal with the results of Strife’s … strife, Diana deals with the emotional fallout of discovering that she was not fashioned from clay (the traditional origin) but is rather the product of a tryst between Hyppolyta and Zeus. In the end, she turns her back on Paradise Island … forever? She rejects both the derisive nickname “Clay” that she’d been subjected to as a child, and the name Diana, declaring that she is simply “Wonder Woman.”

Although the “revised” origin has been rather divisive among fandom, but I have no problem with it. See my comments last month. And the art continues to be Cliff Chiang at his best – clean and sharp. This was a book I almost didn't jump on board with, but I'm glad I did.

Supergirl #3

Refusing to believe Superman that Krypton is gone, Kara races off to find her pod and meets Simon Tycho, some kind of Luthor-lite that seems to have the corner on retrieving alien tech – conveyed with some telling commentary on America's turning it's back on the final frontier (my own thoughts on this are here). She ends up his captive on his space station. She also suffers her first exposure to Kryptonite.

What's this interior heating power that seems to be coming up repeatedly? They refer to the language as “Kryptonian”; I seem to remember it being “Kryptonese,” but a short Internet search reveals that the predominant usage seems to be “Kryptonian.” Unfortunate. I like the other form better. “Kryptonian” strikes me as a term better suited to the natives.

Batman #3
The Thirteenth Hour”

Bruce's great-grandfather Alan Wayne (one of the builders of Gotham in Gates of Gotham, also by Snyder) believed there were hostile owls in his home. Batman discovers the truth, that there is an unnumbered space for a thirteenth floor in most of Gotham's buildings built under the Alan Wayne Trust. These are serving as the Court of Owl's lairs. Batman invades one … just in time for it to explode around him as the Talon looks on.

I like the sense of looming history that Snyder has brought to Gotham City, going further than just about anyone toward making he city itself a major character in the Batman mythos.

Birds of Prey #3
You Might Think”

Poison Ivy joins the team, and although Starling is initially hostile, Ivy's particular skill set helps them along in their search for the villains – as well as saving their lives from another exploding head. Unfortunately, by the end of the issue, it looks like the next exploding head is going to be Canary's!

How come Poison Ivy's garb is suddenly back to her normal green? Was it a coloring error last issue? If so, I liked the effect, although I guess having her in “fall colors” doesn't make a whole lot of sense. She's fundamentally connected into the DC Universe mystical concept of “The Green,” right? Even so, this comic continues to be good in the areas of both writing and art. There is something just so hot about Starling. And I generally don't care for tattoos on good-looking women.

Catwoman #3
No One Can Find Any Piece of Me Here”

Bone is pissed that Selina's been “steal[ing] all of [his] nice crap!” – so he leaves some henchmen to beat her to death. She turns the tables on them and beats – or rather shoots – his lair's location out of them. Finding Bone, she proceeds to “get medieval” on him (complete with baseball bat), and is about to push him off the roof of a building when Batman shows up and stops her. It seems she's stopping because of his appeal to her better nature, or at least to her regard for his opinion of her – because he'd never forgive her if she becomes an outright murderer – moreso than because he'd then have to hunt her down. Except all Batman really did was delay her pushing Bone off long enough that he'd be able to save him. Or is it that Selina went ahead and pushed because she knew Batman would save him? Either way, it gives her time to get away, back to her dead friend Lola's flat, where she is destroying all Lola's records tying them together (remember, Lola was her fence as well as friend) when some of Gotham's finest burst in, catching her in the act. “Yeah. This can't look good,” is Selina's very accurate assessment.

After such a salacious start in the first and second issues, this comic is turning out to be pretty good storywise. I will say there are times when I like Guillem March's art – and no question he draws good cheesecake – but there are times when I don't like it for it's overly manga style, particularly in faces.

Nightwing #3
Past and Present”

More mysteries and revelations about Dick's past and Haly's Circus … none of which made much of an impression on me because I basically vapor-locked when it was revealed, right there on page one, that Dick Grayson was still with Haly's Circus just five YEARS AGO!!!!! Huh– Wha– ? That's absurd! It means he was Robin, became Nightwing, and was Batman for a time in just five years, all apparently as a teenager! And there's been Jason Todd as Robin and Tim Drake as Robin as well, with Damian Wayne as Robin now, and that's accepting that Stephanie Brown (who sadly does not appear to exist at all in the New 52) doesn't have to be accounted for, as short as her tenure was.

No. Way.

Honestly, I can't tell you anything else about what happened in this issue, because it didn't stick with me. See the review below … although frankly he doesn't give much detail either and comments on how forgettable the issue is. What he doesn't even comment on, however, is what just about gave me a mental hard drive crash. I guess others don't have as much problem with the chronology issues of the New 52 as I do.

Legion of Super-Heroes #3
Shadow War”

As the Legionnaires fight the Daxamite Renegade on Panoptes, along with his apparent allies the Dominators, Brainiac 5 continues his testing of Glorith's powers back on Earth. He also remotely gives some attention to guiding Element Lad in containing Renegade once Shadow Lass's power which has kept him blinded while Mon-El and Ultra Boy beat on him gives out … only to find when Shady's shadow does fade that Mon and Jo has succeeded in beating him into unconsciousness. “Excellent …,” Brainy grants, “But how....” – “Let's just say I'm a little more used to action in shadow...,” Mon quips – as his ex Shadow Lass grimaces. As Brainy says, “A wise man knows when not to comment, my friend.”

It's little character bits such as this that make Levitz's Legion as much as the sprawling stories and plots and subplots juggling a “cast of thousands.” I am reminded so much of the Legion's heyday under Levitz back in the 1980s.

Oh, speaking of the large scope of the stories, there's also a delegation of Legionnaires landing on Daxam to investigate find out about Renegade's background, but finding more questions than answers. It seems he was participating in an off-world studies program via “distance-learning” when he came up missing.

Aquaman #3
The Trench, Part 3”

Well, Aquaman gets to be dissed again – basically the police thank him for his help but tell him to go away and let them handle it from here since he seems as mystified as to the origin of these creatures as they are. They have no conception of the vastness of the deep. But they'll make sure he gets credit for helping them out, “Okay? … We'll put you in a good light for once.” Ouch. “Come on, Mera,” Aquaman grinds out, taking a creature's corpse and bounding away. (Not sure I'll ever get used to Aquaman – and Mera – leaping such distances on land – or his being bulletproof.) Aquaman and Mera take the body to a mysterious (and sinister) figure from his own past for evaluation. It's that scientist who deduces that the creatures came out of the Mid Atlantic Trench, whence head Aquaman and Mera.

Interestingly, as it develops that the creatures may just be trying to survive, Aquaman begins seeing them in something of a sympathetic light. I am liking the character of Geoff Johns' Aquaman despite my hesitation over his amped up power set. The art, as usual, fantastic. Mera. Wow. And she kicks ass too! About the cover blurb: “Cannibals of the Deep” – I was about to comment that eating humans would not make the creatures cannibals, then I remembered that the comment was made in-story that they ate their own fellows' bodies. So yeah, cannibals.

One word about The Ray excerpt/promo at the end of at least this week's DC Comics. I generally like Palmieri and Grey's work. But … You do know that the Earth is round, right? Geometrically, the light beam trajectories that they portray necessitate a flat Earth!

Superman #3
A Cold Day in Hell”

There's a nice recap of the early history of this Superman from the perspective of the world, in the form of a not necessarily laudatory news story being presented to Lois Lane for approval. … It's becoming clear that something is wrong with Clark. He's having mental lapses, and his friends are getting more and more concerned for him. Of course, the core of this issue is a third creature attacking Metropolis to get at Superman. We find that they are humans “projecting” the creatures in some manner – putting Superman in the position of possibly having to injure or kill the source human to save the city... “I'm sorry,” he says as he does what needs to be done. Now, are these people connected to Superman or to Clark? – this one seems to be connected to Clark.

I wondered how much of an Easter Egg we had in the reference to Professor Fleischer and his gigantic robot monsters – there definitely is to some degree a reference to the 1941 Max Fleischer Superman short, The Mechanical Monsters. (In the review below, Anj erroneously cites the homage as to the first short, The Mad Scientist.) Specifically, though, with the close-up of the professor I wondered if his image was based on the animator. It's not.

The color of Lois' eyes: brown? – or purple? Either way, weren't they blue before? I like the idea of cutting back on the number of blue eyes, given they are really only about 10% or so of the population. To see TV and comics, you'd think 90%.

Batman: The Dark Knight #3
Catch Me If You Can”

Well, the 'roided-up Joker at the end of last issue is not the Joker. It's Clayface on toxin. In the course of the battle, the White Rabbit says something, a turn of phrase, that seems to implicate Bruce's new love interest Jai, but Alfred seemingly clears her. Oh yeah, Flash shows up as a guest star – until he's infected with the toxin and has to run – hopefully running up his metabolism will burn off the toxin before it affects him and he starts to bleed out his eyes.

There's a neat cross-reference to Poison Ivy supposedly going good and working with the Birds of Prey, but given her past she can't be ruled out as being involved in this. But really, this is not turning out to be a good series. Sure it's pretty – man! – the White Rabbit – Jai – wow! – but storywise it's kind of bleh. And the reviewer below has some funny bits on lapses of logic and discontinuities in the New 52. Frankly, the only reason I'm getting this book is it's Batman.

Justice League: Dark #3
Shibboleths and Alcohol”

Zatanna and Constantine engage in some Tantric … magic. Yeah, that's what it is. Per Wikipedia: “Maithuna … is a Sanskrit term used in Tantra most often translated as sexual union in a ritual context.” … Well … Shade also makes contact with Mindwarp, a character introduced in Flashpoint: Secret Seven last summer – which comic is laying on his bed. I know nothing of him. Deadman and June Moon come face-to-face with the Enchantress. This is a confusing story. What's going on? This series is much like Cornell's Stormwatch and Demon Knights with an advantage shared by the latter – it's a cool set of characters that I'm willing to give a chance to. I think there's going to be … er … magic in this book. And I must say I think I like Mikel Janin's art here better maybe than any other art in any New 52 book. It is fantastic.

Actually, in one short “Previously” paragraph in the following review, what's going on becomes much clearer.

Teen Titans #3
Better to Burn Out … Than to Fade Away”

Kid Flash escapes NOWHERE with Solstice. There's a great two-page spread of his speed and distractions – including a pit stop – that is more than anything reminiscent of Billy's periodic wanderings in the Sunday strip Family Circus. But he slips up escaping the base which is in Antarctica. Meanwhile, Wonder Girl plays nurse with one of the villains from last issue. We are introduced to Blockade, who in short order meets Red Robin and Skitter. Then Blockade and RR encounter a seeminly unrelated threat called Detritus, a spontaneously generated machine intelligence that will doubtless be back. Finally, Skitter emerges from her cocoon looking quite a bit better.

You know, I'm liking this comic okay. I just wish it weren't called “Teen Titans.” To me, this is not Teen Titans, which should be about the sidekicks, largely counterparts and connected to the main heroes. As far as I can tell, the only one of the “group” so far connected to a hero is Red Robin. At least I get the feeling Barry Allen knows nothing of Bart Allen or Kid Flash – but I'm not reading Flash so I could be wrong. Ditto Wonder Girl, except I am reading Wonder Woman and know so far there's no connection.  And then there's these others.

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In addition to my box of hardcopy DC Comics received at the end of November, there are a couple of titles I'm reading digitally:

Batwing #3 continues to build a compelling mystery in an exotic locale. What did Africa's own superhero team, the Kingdom, do such that one of its members now tells David that they deserve death? This title has earned the jump to hardcopy status with my December order – comics to be released in February.

I, Vampire #3 also continues a compelling story, seemingly building up to a Vampire Apocalypse  –  with the promise of superheroes. But this issue introduces a human "sidekick" for Andrew Bennett … who has knowledge of a way to end the threat right now. Of course, it depends on the death of Andrew. I don't see that happening.

* * *

A couple more comments overall.
  1. Any hope that the New DC would be more reader friendly in the sense that a casual reader could just pick up an individual issue and find a satisfying read, a single-issue story with a beginning, middle, and end, has by now been shown to be in vain. The vast majority are just incidents, short chapters in longer story arcs. The main exception that I can readily think of is Perez's Superman, where each chapter is itself pretty meaty. It was my understanding that they were going to address that criticism in the relaunch. In a sense, maybe they did, and they can't really be accused of violating the letter of what they said. IIRC it was something like they would no longer compel a writing for the trade style. But apparently that's just the way all the writers write now, and DC sure isn't discouraging that. Again, Perez is very old school and the main exception … which just raises him in my estimation. Hopefully I'll get to tell him that at New Orleans Comic Con later this month.
  1. Well, lookee how well this experiment worked out! Hmpf. I think this new way of doing the monthly comics resulted in probably pretty just as much on each comic as ever. Just all in one post. And it has taken quite a bit of time to put together. Oh well, maybe the practice of taking short notes along the way then writing them all up at one time once I've finished will be a more manageable thing overall than trying to find a couple hours every couple days to write up a couple of comic books. I'll just try to set aside a Saturday or weekend or something once a month.

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