Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Issue 16: At least they actually HAVE a logo...

"Things the logo also sort of looks like:  A ripped condom being removed from a wrapper.  A large sticker being pulled off of a toilet seat cover." -Dylan Todd, Comics Alliance

DC Comics are forging ahead with a new logo.  It’s almost as if their recent success has given them more money than they know what to do with.  This logo is a huge jump from the current one, and as a result has freaked a few fanboys out.  Personally I think it would look better moulded out of metal and stuck to the wall behind the reception desk at DC’s offices, but less so in the corner of the SHIT-TON of comics I pay them for, although this basic one here is just really for the letterheads.  Most titles will get to have they’re own take on it, and you can check some of them out here at Comics Alliance.  But will it be on the opening credits of The Dark Knight Rises?  I think yes, and in some animated form.  How better to shove the new logo down everyone’s throats?

If I worked at DC and had a say in where to funnel extra finances I’d have opted for a large catapult that can also set it’s payload on fire, and aim it at a razor wire net smeared in junkie bile and dogshit.  Then you could simply put those two fucks that put out Legion Lost in it and let her rip.

The Flash #3  After giving Wolverine the boot last month I decided to fill the void with another DC title, and The Flash was at the top of the list.  This issue opens on the previous cliffhanger of a plane hurtling toward a bridge after a major EMP has caused a blackout. Against impossible odds The Flash manages to really tap into his power set to avert catastrophe.  Meanwhile old friend of The Flash Manuel is being held captive by his clones as they search for a way to use him to extend their own limited lifespans.  Barry heads in to rescue his friend sans-costume, but also seemingly sans-powers as the issue ends with Barry on the end of a bullet.  Something tells me DC haven’t killed off a member of the Justice League just yet though. 
This book has a likable pencil style courtesy of Francis Manapul, particularly in the washed out flashback scenes of Manuel’s soldier stuff (check out his gallery at Deviantart here).  I think The Flash will replace Wolverine in my collection nicely, as it manages to show off the character’s powers well each month, maintain a reasonably engaging story, and (so far) always ends on a “what the fuck” last page.  -Jem

Batman #5   Oh wow.  Not only is Batman #5 the issue where this arc ramps up, I think I can safely say this is the best single issue of any comic I have read in recent memory.  Yep, better than Daredevil #1, Batman #1, or any other issue I can think of.  I’m going to drop some spoilers from here on, but I insist if you have any interest in Batman in comic book form and you haven’t read any yet, stop reading this and buy yourself a copy as soon as possible.  What’s so good about it?  Aside from the genius pairing of Snyder and Capullo that I make a point of not taking for granted each month when I read this, we have a story arc that goes over the falls.  Batman is trapped in a labyrinth, finding his way in the dark until a flash bulb goes off in front of him, and the room is lit with white light, with a single camera on a tripod facing him.  Batman steps deeper into the maze only to be met with another camera room, then another, each with some unique feature to differentiate it from the last, all the while being stalked by the Court Of Owls’ assassin.  Eventually we return to a room with walls morbidly adorned with framed photographs of previous victims of the labyrinth, arranged in lines showing each victims descent into madness from left to right….. and someone’s been adding Batman’s photos to the collection.  It’s really stirring stuff, especially as by this point the reader is already well aware that the real danger to Bruce is his battle to keep his own mind together long enough to escape.  This is visually underpinned by the insane wide eye staring at you from behind Batman’s damaged mask.

  Talking to your long dead parents is a sure fire sign the old ticker has well and truly gone south.  There’s no sense of how time is moving (apart from a mention that Batman has not been seen in eight days) which disorients the reader along with the character, and Batman has some scary hallucinogens picking at his brain, but the real moment when you realise it’s all gone pear shaped is when the pages of the comic, having shifted ninety degrees to change the viewpoint to a long two-page arrangement, then shift another ninety degrees to become upside down.  It’s a glorious moment where a truly talented and creative team manage to exploit the format of comics in such a nice way, I can’t help but pat myself on the back for recognising this as my must-have title from the whole DC 52 early on.  This is a brilliant comic book, and anyone with even a passing interest in the character needs to buy themselves this run.  -Jem

Thanks kids.  Got a lot more reading to do.  Back soon.

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