Sunday, September 4, 2011

Comics Review: Goodbye Old DCU... and Hello To A New Justice League

It was an epic reboot that caused such grief amongst many DC readers and collectors, with many thrashing in anger at DC's announcement of a new 52 relaunch.

The hope to revive the comics industry with a new DCU for fresh and younger readers however, seemed to have taken off with a big bang this last Wednesday, with retailers reporting more than usual numbers of orders and many of the titles going into a third reprint.

Red Dot Diva thinks there should be no one other than an ardent DC comics reader who should be giving his honest thoughts about the old and new DCU for this blog article.

Aravind Menon, creator of local superhero comics "Salvation Sam", has been reading DC comics since he was 8 after his first exposure to DC characters through Bruce Timm's "Batman: The Animated Series" and Tim Burton's movies alongside the Adam West series.

The Green Lantern umbrella of titles has been his favourite for almost 6 years now. And he considers the Justice Society his favourite superhero team and faithfully collected the Goyer and Johns run and followed the series even after Goyer left.

Here is Aravind's review on the final issue of "Flashpoint" and the new "Justice League #1":

Flashpoint: A Goodbye to the Old DCU
With the 61-part epic wrapping up on the same week as the introduction of the new universe, the scents of nostalgia and fresh leather mix, leading me to toss my cookies in the back of a taxi.

Also, I am faced with the disappointment that the final issue of "Flashpoint" - the supposedly high octane event which was supposed to be the Old DCU's swan song--was little more than a rushed sequence of exposition and panels that sought to do the impossible: justify this series and the reboot it will usher.

Adding salt to the injury is that this dull epic is penned by the messiah of fan favourite writers, Geoff Johns. Known for his thought provoking and well-mapped stories in the pages of Justice Society of America, Green Lantern and Adventure Comics - not to mention almost every major event in the DCU since 2004 save the conceptually impressive Final Crisis - Johns fails to deliver during the run of this series and seems to be finally cracking under the strain of having the responsibility of making corporate decisions seem creatively driven.

There is nothing much to be said of "Flashpoint" other than that it was a bloated and indulgent manner of resetting the current continuity - and fanbase - while making a pretty penny. As far as events go, I am forced to compare it to Final Crisis and am only able to compliment the beautiful art and a few gems hidden in the pile of tie-ins that accompanied the otherwise bland title.

Much like Final Crisis' Legion of Three Worlds, Rogues Revenge and Requiem, the fans are treated to interesting 3-part stories featuring Batman, Superman & Apollo and Deathstroke in the form of tie-ins that don't necessarily have anything to do with the event itself.

With a clumsy final lap, DC has run its course of holding the biggest issue numbers and it's now time to face this new world in which everyone has collars and shoulder pads. 'Cause evidently the '80s is now.

One-Liner Thought: After 61 issues, everything we thought we knew but didn’t know and then were made to know so we would think we knew all there was to know ceased to be known.

Familiar New Faces: A Review of "Justice League #1"
It was with much fear and apprehension that I dived into "Justice League #1". I had been tempted to actually skip "Flashpoint" and head straight to this premiere but I prevented myself from doing so. Unfortunately, I can honestly say that, short of nostalgia, there is absolutely no reason why a person shouldn't simply jump to DC's new flagship title.

But I will say this: it was a fun ride. It sure as hell isn't a master piece, but it was written with much flare and a dose of in-character humour for good measure. Any corporate strain on Johns that may have been apparent prior to this are now gone and it's clear that DC's 2 biggest names had some mighty fun with this issue.

Which leads me to the biggest problem: there is nothing about this issue that felt particularly new. Sure, it's a new origin story. All their costumes are different and the paper quality is certainly superior, but this story could have well fit into the Old DCU.

Now, I'm in no rush to meet the new DCU and I might even be slightly thankful that DC is breaking us in slow, but if Justice League is gonna be the new flagship, then I think it be best if it felt iconic - or at the very least, unique - to this new universe.

All of this being said, I'm also in no rush to make any judgments and I think next week will be the true sample of things to come with titles that are carrying a fair amount of controversy.

One-Liner Thought: This newly reinvented flagship title with it's newly reinvented characters all see too awfully similar to what we already have.

For a more detailed and personalized review by Aravind, Red Dot Diva says that one can visit his blog.

Do feel free to post one's comments or thoughts about "Justice League #1" to Aravind here or at his website.

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