DC’s New 52 Second Wave Hits Comic Shops Tomorrow
DC’s New 52, which is a little less new as we near it’s second year, see the first 4 comics of it’s second wave release in store tomorrow. Dial H for Hero, GI Combat, World’s Finest, and Earth-2 (which is not entitled Justice Society, as original reported) are all new #1 comic series set for release this Wednesday from DC. Still in the pens, waiting for release, of DC’s second wave are Batman Inc and The Ravagers (which we have a sneak peek at the variant cover for issue #1 on the right), which will see release later this month. These new #1 titles are replacement series for under performing titles from the initial New 52 launch DC had back in September of 2011.
Earth-2 #1, or Earth Two (as DC likes writing out it’s numerical title) is written by James Robinson, with art by Nicola Scott and Trevor Scott. The comic was originally titled Justice Society, but was renamed somewhat recently to Earth-2. There is little explanation for the title change, just as there is no explanation for the horrible logo for the series that actually reads eaRTH 2 on the cover. Apparently DC wanted to capitalize the R, T, and H, but just didn’t like the look of capitalized vowels. Perhaps that’s just how they do it on the second Earth. The comic runs for $3.99, a little pricier than DC’s other comics that are still holding the line at $2.99, and still tells the tale of the Justice Society of America as promised. However, if you were expecting the Justice Society of the past 20 years in this comic, you’ll be sadly disappointed. This is not your normal Alan Scott and Jay Garrick JSA, like we have come to expect from writers like Geoff Johns in the past. Obviously set back on Earth-2, where the team relatively began, we see the trinity of Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman. But when we are introduced to some of the more unique members of the society, like Flash, at the end of the issue…well, it’s definitely not our main Earth and it is certainly not the Earth-2 you might recall pre-flashpoint. The art is beautiful, as to be expected with Nicola, but the story seems to lack and alienate me personally, as a fan of the JSA Robinson and Johns once wrote. I have the Variant cover on the left to show you the horrible logo, but you can view the normal cover by clicking here.
Also taking place on Earth-2 and seeing a #1 release today is Worlds’ Finest #1. Note the witty use of grammar, that the series is not World’s Finest like the old Batman and Superman adventures, but Worlds’ Finest, denoting multiple worlds. This title once more shows the horrible eaRTH 2 logo that someone honestly should’ve caught early on, and has it’s own logo that is somehow slightly more appalling to look at. However, the logo for Worlds’ Finest atleast gives you a strong idea what is inside, stating Huntress and Power Girl very boldly on the cover, in font even bigger than the title. This title is written by the legendary Paul Levitz, with art by George Perez, Kevin Maguire, and Scott Koblish. It features the very censored and horrible looking new costumes of Huntress and Power Girl as they runaround the New 52 Earth (are we calling that Earth-1 again?) putting out fires and fighting crime. Thankfully Levitz atleast recognized the absurdity of the censored new costumes and takes a moment to mock that inside (though on a page I truly would’ve preferred done by Maguire’s sexier and more comedic art style). The pages of the story bounce between Perez and Maguire’s art, with Maguire mainly drawing flashback pages. It actually works rather well, though it is not an art team I would’ve thought to combine. The story reads fairly enjoyably, with impressive art throughout. The real problems with this book have nothing to do with the creative team, and more to do with editorial control forcing a stupid concept and horrible costumes on a great creative team and set of characters. Working with whats in front of them, Levitz and friends do a great job.
Dial H #1 is probably the oddest of the 4 new titles out this week, but it is an interesting new take on the Dial H for Heroes concept. Novelist China Mieville writes the series, with artist Mateus Santolouco handling art duties. Dial H actually has a decent logo on it’s cover and is one of two new #1′s to actually be priced at $2.99 (the other being Wolds’ Finest), so right from the get go it’s more tolerable than the rest, even though it is more unexpected to see once again on a comic shelf (though I supposing seeing GI Combat being revived was also some what of a shock). The interior art looks great, and is quite fun, with the incredible imagery for the character Boy Chimney, which I had to share below. The writing is solid and the new take on the Dial H for Hero concept is actually quite fun, while still respecting the original concept. Now we have a fairly goofy, overweight, average joe that seems to be using the power. I like it, this is what comics need to remember, not all of their readers are big military guys who could hold their own in a fight. Other fans want escapism in the way that Captain Marvel and Dial H used to offer, by giving an unlikely character the chance to be a hero. This is something I feel DC had forgotten in their new Shazaam back ups, but Mieville seems to get here in Dial H. I must admit a real hesitance to this series at first, but it might easily be the best of the Second Wave out so far. Fans of DC’s Swamp Thing and Animalman series will definitely want to grab this title, but if you have an extra $3 on you, I recommend picking it up tomorrow.
And finally there is GI Combat, another old DC title being revived for this second wave. The logo on this one is not nearly as bad as those of the Earth-2 titles, but it still is slightly awkward to look at, with its sliced off bits of lettering. Never-the-less, the series has soldiers fighting dinosaurs once again, and that is never something to scoff at. The 5-year old in my head is cheering just eying over the cover. J.T. Krul writes the opening story with Ariel Olivetti doing his art thing. I like Olivetti’s art, but it is quite unique and definitely holds his style here. It works well, with Krul writing some big panels and splash pages of hardcore soldier versus dinosaur action that is just brilliant. It’s not very dialogue heavy and sadly not very long, but it was fun while it lasted and has me wanting to see issue #2. But instead of the issue ending with the quick onslaught of imaginary battles every young boy with toys has unfolded at one point in their life, we move on to Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti’s story with the Unknown Soldier. The Unknown Soldier half of GI Combat is drawn by Dan Panosian and takes much grittier and realistic tone in its tale. Set in modern day Afghanistan it is definitely a modern day war story, and not a bad one at that. The only problem with these two tales is that…they really just don’t go together. It feels like reading two very different war comics back to back. Both are good, and even at $3.99 its a great deal…but I sometimes wonder what the editors at DC are thinking. Still, both these stories originally saw runs in DC’s Star Spangled War Stories back in the 60′s (though oddly I don’t believe either were ever published in the competing DC title that this modern volume is named after, GI Combat), so maybe its not such a stretch.
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