Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Reviewing The New 52 - Part 3

Young Justice

Continuing my review of DC's New 52, these are titles that feature teenagers as their main characters, so maybe they aren’t geared towards me. However, I’ll try to give them a fair shake.

Blue Beetle -- Tony Bedard, Ig Guara, Ruy Jose

Blue Beetle was the most pleasant surprise of this group for me. All I had heard about the book going in was how great it was that it showed diversity by featuring a Latino superhero, which it does, in the form of average Puerto Rican American teenager Jaime Reyes. If that’s all it is, I thought, it’s probably not going to be for me. But far from it. I mentioned last blog that I dig sci fi heroes, and in this incarnation, that’s who the Blue Beetle is. Jaime finds himself caught in the middle of a battle between some nasties (including the Brotherhood of Evil), over a mysterious artifact, which ends up in the car that Jaime is riding in. Due to the backstory, we know what’s in it, a weapon called a Scarab, created by a race of world beaters called The Reach. What a Scarab does is turn people into living weapons, who can then be turned against their very own people. The Scarab that ended up in Jaime’s possession is a stray, and when it merges with him and turns him into one of these Scarab Warriors, there’s no telling what will happen. This book has shades of early Spider Man, a young, moral hero trying to do good while trying to grow up at the same time under impossible circumstances. It’s a keeper. Recommendation: Keep Reading

Static Shock – Scott McDaniel, John Rozum, Jonathan Glapion, LeBeau Underwood
Static Shock, on the other hand, feels like it’s going for that Spider Man vibe, but missing the mark. Teenager Virgil Hawkins, is of course, a genius, and also has electricity powers. The problem is, he spends most of the first half of the book narrating about the physics behind his powers. Here’s a sample of some of the leaden dialogue: 

“This won’t hurt a bit! A small positive charge for you… and one big positive push from me!
“Do you even know what you’re doing? I ought to sue you for assault!”
“Of course I know what I’m doing! I’m an expert! Like charges repel! You should be more… POSITIVE!”

I’m positive if I want a physics lesson, I’ll get a textbook. Yawn… Recommendation: Pass 

Hawk & Dove – Sterling Gates, Rob Liefeld

DC has never seemed to really know what to do with Hawk & Dove. Originally, Hank and Don Hall were brothers who would say “Hawk” and “Dove” and become avatars of war and peace, respectively. Then they would fight crime. Back in the ‘60s, when the Vietnam War made every teenager a “hawk” or a “dove” this seemed like a very clever idea. Now it’s not, but DC doesn’t seem to want to let it go. At one point they made Hawk the totalitarian ruler of the world, more recently, they killed off Don and replaced him with the mysterious Dawn Granger. That’s the current incarnation we read about in this issue, Hawk is Hank Hall, while Dawn has some unknown connection to the deceased Don (my theory? She IS Don, reincarnated). In another weird add on, Dawn is dating Deadman, who, as you might guess, is dead. Hank has anger management issues, Dawn is a mystery, and none of it is particularly exciting. Recommendation: Pass

Image Source: MajorSpoilers.com
Teen Titans – Scott Lobdell, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund
When I was a teenager, the New Teen Titans was my favorite book. That kind of makes sense, right? The original titans were the sidekicks of the Justice League, joining together to fight crime as a team. These titans are younger versions of adult heroes, but not quite sidekicks. They include Kid Flash, whose connection to the Flash is not made clear, Red Robin, aka Tim Drake, who was the third sidekick of Batman before they went their separate ways, Wonder Girl, aka Cassie Sandsmark, who claims no affiliation with Wonder Woman (Don’t call me Wonder Girl!) but whose powers look very similar, and Superboy, the cloned love child of Superman and Lex Luthor (I’m not kidding). I’m curious how this book will fit in with Superboy, as he has his own title, which looks quite interesting. This one does too, so I’m sticking with it for now. Recommendation: Issue by Issue

The Legion of Super Heroes – Paul Levitz, Francis Portela
Paul Levitz is widely regarded as having written one of the most definitive LSH runs, so it’s great that he’s back on the book, which has undergone many mutations and changes over the years. Now we seem back to basics, with Chameleon Boy leading the Espionage Squad for covert missions, Brainiac 5 doing the thinking,  Colossal Boy being all brooding and self-pitying, Ultra Boy not being the brightest of the bunch, but always reliable, and so on. In other words, Levitz does a good job of portraying the Legion as a big group of teenagers with varying personalities stuck with a lot of power and responsibility. Will he be able to keep that up? I’m not sure, but I think this issue is a good sign. Recommendation: Issue by Issue 

Legion Lost – Fabian Nicieza, Pete Woods
This book, I don’t really get. A handful of Legionnaires, Dawnstar, Wildfire, Yera, Gates, Tellus, Tyroc and Timber Wolf, have become trapped back in time. Specifically, our time. They’re on the hunt for a villain named Alastor, who is about to release a catastrophic pathogen. Can they stop him? Can they get back to their own time? I’m thinking yes and no. But I’m also thinking this should be a backup feature in the regular LSH and not its own book. Recommendation: Pass 

Okay, that takes care of Young Justice. Next time, The DARK….OoooOOOoooh….

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