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The Avengers movie is going apeshit and putting bums on seats like nothing else before it. Breathe it in, comic book fans, finally the whole western world thinks superheroes are as cool as you do, and your mum knows who Hawkeye is. Whod’ve thought, eh?
The second wave of DC’s 52 have begun to land this month and I picked up four of them today. The other two (The Ravagers and Batman Incorporated) are still on the way but for now I have a burger load of opinion on what’s already released. Hope you enjoy/giggle/agree/disagree.
Earth 2 #1 I wasn’t sure what to expect from Earth 2. Were DC planning to set up an alternate universe for the main characters this quickly? Was it going to be a way to rekindle old continuity for fans that panned the whole 52 reboot? Almost right away it’s made apparent that the answers are “kinda no” and “absolutely no”. We open with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman fighting off an invasion from Apokolips that is set five years previous to the real story. In this universe Supergirl exists and Robin is Batman’s daughter, Helena. The invasion, while being well fought, is straining under the weight of relentless forces from Apokolips led by Steppenwolf. Batman conceives a plan to rid the attackers of their power source and command methods and loads one of the enemies “towers” with a virus while Wonder Woman and Superman fight below. Any illusions that Earth 2 will be Justice League for those arriving a year late are dimmed when all three heroes are killed during the battle. This leaves the rest of the book to set up the alternate origins of Green Lantern, The Flash and (I think) Miss America. Nicola Scott pencils a great looking book that’s made all the more beautiful with lavish colours courtesy of Alex Sinclair. I’m still not sure where this story is going though and given how many DC books I have piling up at my local store I’m not breaking my neck to add Earth 2 to the pile. If I do, however, it will be on the strength of the artwork.
World’s Finest #1 If you’re like me and curious about this second wave enough to take a punt on a couple of titles, it’s worth noting that World’s Finest and Earth 2 pretty much are two halves of one story, at least in their first issues. The fate of Earth 2’s Supergirl and Robin continues here where they find themselves on what I assume is being referred to as Earth One, and assume the mantles of Power Girl and Huntress respectively. Art wise it’s not as fancy as Earth 2 but the story has a little more substance and the buddy factor between these two women is actually quite likeable. There’s a reference to Mister Terrific that backs up DC’s pitch that this second wave is about world building, though it’s hardly essential that you need to read that book too. He’s had an important role in building Power Girl a machine that can transport them home, only to have it destroyed, and setting the book up for a battle at the beginning of issue #2. If you aren’t shy to embrace your third tier superhero characters this might be a hoot.
Dial H #1 Quirky, funny, and a pleasant shade of different, this one. Nelse is overweight and smokes heavily, has recently had a heart attack, lost his woman, his job and his self respect. When his friend is attacked in an alley he attempts to call for help in a phone booth, but instead transforms into a frightening skeletal caricature called Boy Chimney who defeats the muggers and whisks his friend off to the hospital, waking the next morning on a rooftop back to his old self. Attempting to recreate the transformation the next day, he instead becomes emo-superhero Captain Lachrymose, with the ability to look into your memories and force you to relive the ones that make you cry! It seems the “heroes” Nelse will become will be random, and much like the hook for Resurrection Man, will give the reader something to look forward to each month. The story has me interested and the artwork reminds me of some older Image stuff and is quite different from anything else in the 52 I can think of. There’s more than a subtle nod to the creative style of Tim Burton that many people will get a kick out of. I might just be on board for Dial H for a while.