of Prey #57
writer: Gail Simone
artists: Ed Benes and Alex Lei
Either I've lost track of a supporting character in the bat-mythos,
or Simone wants me to think I have. Whichever the case, though
it's clear from the first page that he has some sort of history
with Batman, the man called Savant has begun shaping up to
be a different kind of crazy than we usually get.
not really full of one-liners and quips as he kills, though
he seems willing to toss off a bon mot here and there.
Instead, his perception of reality changes from moment to
moment, and rather than being funny, he's completely unpredictable
to the reader.
Black Canary tied up, fishnets in tatters, heightens the tension.
Once before such bondage proved a major turning point for
the character. Then, writer/artist Mike Grell abused Dinah
mightily, and for quite a few pages it looked like Simone
was going to echo that. But of course, this book is about
the empowerment of women, not the ravaging of them; though
Savant may have unhealthy things in store for Dinah, he may
not have the focus to actually do them.
Dinah has now that she didn't have then is one hell of a best
the Black Canary is willing to play pretty bird anymore, either.
She's older and wiser than she was in Grell's The Longbow
Hunters, and though she may have a weak spot for Oliver
Queen, nobody else can really push her around. Simone writes
the character as a woman who knows exactly what her strengths
and weaknesses are, and how to turn them to her advantage.
Even when it doesn't work, she doesn't panic.
given more depth than usual is this issue's cover girl, The
Huntress. Often relegated to standby status, too much the
loose cannon, Helena proves herself multi-faceted here. She
hates criminals. She's willing to love everyone else. And
though she has a tough exterior, the simple touch of a baby's
hand brings out a tender side. As Oracle says to her, "it's
extremely frustrating trying to get a read on you."
feel the same thing, then good. Simone is writing real people,
complex and sometimes confusing to themselves and each other.
Even if The Huntress' costume still nods to the fanboys (come
on, how practical is it really for that bare midriff
when fighting crime?), it's impossible to dismiss this book
as "chicks in spandex."
hard to say if Simone has really hit her stride yet, as this
is only the second issue in her run. But it promises great
things, and should be worth sticking around to read for a
writer: Judd Winick
artists: Tom Raney and Scott Hanna
you have to say for this book so far, and that's that it has
a lot of attitude. From the cover which tells us to "bite
(it)" to the general young urban pose contained within, the
book drips with the sense that it doesn't care if you read
it or not. (Oh, heck, I'm starting to sound like Grant Morrison.)
do read it, however, you're rewarded with one of Winick's
strengths. It's pretty much wall to wall action as this new
superteam takes on Grodd and his gorilla army, with characterization
springing coming to light through the plotting. Unfortunately,
Winick didn't really give himself much of a chance to do that
with the first issue, but this definitely shows improvement.
There's barely a moment to start wondering about Metamorpho's
return, which can only be a good thing.
we see a team that's barely a team trying to gel when they
don't even know each other. There's some tension between Thunder
and Grace, and Winick has made the case for me that Grace
is pretty abrasive. Cripes, she called Metamorpho "Mary."
of the issue include a spectacular opening with a gorilla
suicide bomber. It's a tremendously effective moment that
does and doesn't echo real-life fears - because, after all,
it's a comic book monkey. The presence of President Luthor
also manages to dance neatly with his antipathy towards superheroes;
if he must encounter a Green Lantern, he hopes it's "the pretty
one." (No, not Kyle.)
greatest of villains in the DCU is also shown with a pragmatic
calm. To give away Winick's ComicCon promise of a surprise
master villain would be unfair; suffice to say that it comes
as no surprise to Lex. And as written by Winick, that's perfectly
and Hanna are doing a bang-up job with this book. Every character
has a consistently unique look, and the action scenes are
easy to follow. They've also got a pretty different approach
to the element man that is really starting to grow on me.
Though the circumstances of his return are pretty murky, I'm
just glad that Metamorpho is back and being put to good use.
Winick an apology on that complaint - as my upcoming interview
with Kyle Baker will hopefully make clear. But I still stand
by hating Graduation
writer: Geoff Johns
artists: Mike McKone and Marlo Alquiza
private little corner of the DC Universe has obviously struck
a nerve with fans. Sold out before it was even on the stands
(okay, somewhat of a marketing ploy), gone back to press less
than a week after its release, Teen Titans #1 has us
coincidentally designed to capitalize on the
Cartoon Network show, the final product still shows some
incredibly shrewd decisions on the part of DC. First off,
hiring Geoff Johns to breathe new life into a team concept
that is more beloved in theory than in purchase. Then teaming
him with the pencils of Mike McKone, an artist who proved
his chops on Marvel's quirky favorite Exiles. Add in
the assured inks of Marlo Alquiza, and you should have a recipe
reading it, it's a happy coincidence to report that it does
look like it's on the right track.
start calls for a reacquainting with the status quo of each
member, something which Winick failed to do in the first issue
of Outsiders. All of the Titans have a dark cloud hanging
over them because of the "death" of Donna Troy (kaffbulls***kaff),
but for most of them, trying to live a normal life just doesn't
little vignettes of these attempts, Johns also shines lights
on some of the particular difficulties the characters have.
Cassie Sandsmark has been ostracized at her school not so
much because of her power but because she's been labeled a
pagan for knowing the Greek Pantheon. Almost ridiculous, but
you do have to wonder how a Judeo-Christian society really
would handle proof of other gods existing.
in Keystone City, Bart struggles with normal schooling. Sure,
he can read at super-speed and retain everything, but what
good is that to a kid with no attention span? And Johns plants
a potentially darker seed to Bart's personality, reminding
us that for Impulse, everything is a video game. He simply
cannot grasp why everyone is upset over Donna Troy's death.
kids, Bart's the only one who's right, just for the wrong
end, this first issue bodes well for the focus on friendship.
The teens have trouble reaching out to each other, past cool
facades, and their mentors are right: they really do need
guidance, but from people who have been through the same thing.
Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman really don't know what it's
like to try to be a normal kid. Maybe that suspiciously familiar
student at Smallville High can help Superboy.
has provided a logical reason for the group to exist. He's
already poking around in untapped corners of their character.
And the artwork is just great.
the risk of giving in to the hype - what's not to like?