Once a month we'll be bringing you a summary of the best comics to hit the shelves courtesy of the staff at 8th Dimension Comics. This month we went a little overboard, so stay tuned for part 2.
Apologies in advance for the almost completely DC lineup this month, but the 52 reboot is in full swing and we're trying to cover it as much as possible. Catching up on Justice League, we see a meeting between four of the biggest names in comics, Batman, Green Lantern, Flash and Superman, as a mysterious alien threat begins to manifest itself. We also see why Batman gets all the respect among people who can move at the speed of sound or lift buildings over their heads. Namely, they're kind of idiots.
Rating: 6 of 10
We never really got into Sergeant Rock. The Unknown Soldier was the only military comic that really appealed to us. However, in keeping with the cohesive nature of the reboot, it seems like DC is really going out of their way to take people like Batman and Rock who are not metahumans and make them very, very relevant. The journey of Rock from corporal to sergeant enables the reader to see the rise of godlike characters through the eyes of regular humans, and gives more than ever the feeling that we're trapped in a world beyond understanding.
Rating: 6 of 10
We've always liked Barbara Gordon, but DC's decision to return her to the role of Batgirl rather than have her remain as Oracle is probably the decision we're least happy about. Still, if her stint as Oracle was meant as an analogy for surviving one kind of disability, then this incarnation seems to be about the difficult, almost impossible process of living with something horrific happening to you.
In a way, she's become more Batman than Batman himself, and her pursuit of a new villain named Mirror, determined to spare the world the suffering of survival, serves as the perfect antithesis of her determination to fight past her crippling attack by the Joker. We've known too many victims to not feel sympathy for her, and to be proud.
Rating: 8 of 10
We have never read a Resurrection Man comic before, though we'd heard about his rather nifty superpower of continuously returning from death with a new ability. 8th dimension lent us #1 along with #2 to help us get caught up, and so far it's a pretty nifty story. Mitch Shelley is being pursued by supernatural agents because his constant rebirths have apparently made it very valuable. Meanwhile, he struggles to piece together his identity from a shattered memory. If you grab #1, make sure you spot Neil Gaiman's Destiny wandering the woods.
Rating: 7 of 10
Scott Snyder is one of our favorite writers right now (see next entry), but we've got to say something feels kind of off with the launch of Batman. Maybe it's that the book is going more a drawn-out mystery feel than a typical superhero comic, more pulpy and less about Batman's famous rogue's gallery. He almost effortlessly takes down some of his most famous villains, and the rest of the issue is more about Bruce Wayne's plan to begin aggressively funding the betterment of Gotham.
We're left with a conundrum as a murder victim contains DNA evidence that implicates Dick Grayson. We'll be very interested to see if this plays out in Nightwing in part 2 of the round-up.
Rating: 7 of 10 (Though we spotted the book a point because it's Batman)
If nothing else, it's nice to break from the 52 for a moment, and we're still very into the story of Jack Bateman and his friend Sam, a girl on the road dressed as a boy, as he follows his dream of playing fiddle with his father. The two have finally run across the other character we've seen featured, Alan Fisher, a cannibalistic murderer. The duo escapes with their lives, completely unaware that Fisher plans to add them to his menu.
There is a particularly tense moment involving a bear trap, and we know that Bateman doesn't make it to old age with both arms, so any moment could be a gory dismemberment. Severed is still a gem of a series!
Rating: 9 of 10
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Our favorite book from last month was the new tale of Jason Todd, Roy Harper and Starfire as they dysfunctionally meander through heroism. We get a little deeper look into what made Todd into one of the greatest fighters and assassins in the world, and a little exposition on his training and rebirth under the tutelage of Talia al Ghul and a mystical sect now under attack. The Outlaws kill their way through the zombified remains of that sect in a quest for vengeance, and the series continues to make a name for itself as the ultimate home of the misfit hero, adolescent humor, angsty rage, murder and alien cleavage. We're saying we like it a lot!
Rating: 9 of 10