The Dark—Certainly Hasn’t Turned My Lights On
Hello. My name id Field, Lyle Field.
Well, it is the ninth month since the debut of the New DC 52. I admit that I have been busy working on my thesis but I caught a little break so that I can complete my initial New DC 52 reviews with only the Green Lantern, Batman and the Dark titles remaining. This week, I will focus on the Dark.
The Dark line of titles give a more supernatural feel to the New DC 52 within a super hero universe. In 1993, DC moved the majority of their supernatural titles to the then newly created Vertigo line. Now they have slowly brought a portion of those titles and characters back to the superhero side of things. However… not really my line of titles, but I did give them a try.
I have already done a review of the Justice League Dark about six months ago. The only change since my initial review is that I left the title after #4. Peter Milligan is a very good at developing characters but his pacing and action sequences leaves a little to be desired for. I am not even sure that I will pick up the first trade paperback in the fall. However, with the announcement that Jeff Lemire will be taking over the writing of the title, I may give Justice League Dark a second look. Speaking of Lemire…
I love Lemire’s Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE. Lemire’s writing style combines action and character development with a combination of the superheroics and the supernatural just like his stint on Superboy. God, I miss his Superboy stuff! Anyway, Lemire utilized the essence of what he did in Superboy and did it with Frankenstein. Heck, even Ray Palmer (aka not-the-Atom in the New DC 52) played a key role before he cut out just as Lemire transferred to the Justice League Dark. Mark Kindt will be taking over the series and he co-wrote a pretty decent tale of Frankenstein in World War II in the final issue of Men of War. I’m going to give Mark a decent shot until #13 to decide whether or not I will stay on the series.
Lemire’s other title, Animal Man, is a about a super hero fighting in the supernatural world… actually a horrific world. The art by Travel Foreman and Dan Green (who is a veteran inker on the Uncanny X-Men during the 1980s by the way) really suits the Animal Man series. However it is not my type of series and I have taken a buy out early in the run. All the best to Lemire and his team because he sure is putting his all into Animal Man and really seems to enjoy it.
In essence, Lemire is the superhero/supernatural combo comic book king!
Thanks to the New DC 52, this is the very first time I have tried out the Swamp Thing… as in ever! I have never been overly thrilled about this character. I am still scratching my head as to why Johns and company made Alec Holland/Swamp Thing the Champion of Life during the end of Brightest Day. Still, like other New 52 titles, I wanted to embark on trying new things.
Writer Scott Snyder and artist Yanick Paquette are both veterans of the Batman titles and was one reason why I decided to try out the series. Swamp Thing #1 had a very strong debut issue focusing more on the character development of Alec Holland, however it was the appearance of Superman that gave me notice. Superman describing his experience on resurrection which tells me that DC has decided to incorporate “The Death and Life of Superman Saga” from twenty years ago. How it fits into the New 52 timeline is a mystery as I felt it should not be included in the new timeline. Whatever. However with #2 and #3, I rapidly started losing interest Swamp Thing due to its pacing and my bias towards purely supernatural comics. I cannot fault Snyder and Paquette as they have done a decent job on the title.
Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning returned to their creation The Resurrection Man. I have to tell you, I loved the Resurrection Man during DnA’s run in the late 1990s and it helped that artist Jackson Guice was the artist. Pure superhero/science fiction with a little bit of Bruce Banner tied into it. More than a decade later, DnA returned to the character they created after fabulous stints with DC’s Legion of Super-Heroes in the early 2000s and being Marvel’s Cosmic Kings between 2007-2010, it has rapidly fallen flat. While the core character of Mitch Shelly is still intact, it is the canvas that he is in that feels out of place. The supernatural does NOT really suit The Resurrection Man. I fell I am reading more of a poor man’s Spawn (which is in its 20th year by the way) than a neo-original and refreshing character. DnA lost me at #3. Angels and Demons fighting over a man who can resurrect himself. Does not work with me.
I, Vampire… mmm. I picked up the first issue and it lost me right away. I attempted to read the first issue at least three times but my predisposition against vampires reigned its ugly head. I have never ever been a fan of vampire tales, while there is a few exceptions to the rule (ie Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel)… vampires suck! Sorry to all you vampire fans out there.
Demon Knights is surprisingly good. I am a fan of Paul Cornell’s run on Action Comics just prior to Flashpoint and he took what was originally suppose to be a solo Jason Blood/Etrigan the Demon solo book has turned into a great ensemble cast. The inclusion of the immortal Vandal Savage, Madam Xanadu and a female Shining Knight was a stroke of genius. The Legion of Super-Heroes arch nemesis, Mordru, was also included but more as a subordinate status. Diogenes Neves’ art is decent and suits the title. The major week point of the series is the slow pacing, limited narrative and large drawn panels… in essence this title is basically written to be published in graphic novel format. This goes against the New 52 philosophy to make every title worth picking up on a monthly basis rather than wait for the trade. Demon Knights is a good read, however I will get it in graphic novel format.
As I mentioned, I am not a real big fan at reading the supernatural and Frankenstein is the only title from the Dark family of titles that I have been enjoying reading on a monthly basis. That’s just me. If you like all or most of the supernatural titles of the Dark more power to you.
Next, I go from reviewing mystics and shining knights to emerald knights—the Green Lantern family of titles is next.http://pokupo.com/2012/05/20/darkcertainly-hasnt-turned-lights/ComicsAngel,Animal Man,Buffy The Vampire Slayer,comics,Dan Abnett,DC,Demon Knights,Frankenstein,Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE,I Vampire,Justice League Dark,Legion of Super-Heroes,Spawn,Superboy,Swamp Thing,The Dark,The New 52,The Resurrection Man,Vertigo