The GeeksverseDC reviews on Catwoman, Green Lantern, Justice League, and Red Hood

DC reviews on Catwoman, Green Lantern, Justice League, and Red Hood
Published on Monday, November 28, 2011 by

CATWOMAN #3- Selena’s in trouble; deep, deep trouble. In three issues she has had her home blown up, lost her closest friend, and possibly ruined her relationship with Batman. Three months in and fandom is still talking about that last page in issue 1. However, if you can’t see past that racy ending (and believe me, it took me some time to work through that whole scenario) then you are missing a top notch story. Judd Winick has long been an under the radar writer in my opinion. He hasn’t written a splashy story or been given a chance to have a shining moment the way Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, or Mark Waid had been through the years.

He’s not known for doing huge, mega, universe changing events like the others. What he has done before and continues to do is craft engaging, interesting, and nail biting stories featuring fully realized characters throughout his history. His abilities are on full display here. We land smack dab in the middle of a mystery on the first page and by the time we get to book 3, the mystery gets wrapped up, vengeance get’s taken against new villain Bone, a tense moment with Batman comes and goes, and she winds up in more trouble at the end than she was in at the beginning of issue 3. Judd’s writing is brought to life by Guillem March’s artwork. The muted color’s working alongside a heavy use of black and white gives a starkness to the tale that works well with the plot of the story. It’s a black and white world Selina lives in now; wrong her, and she will take you out hard. There is no grey for this cat whatsoever, you see that in her actions against the Russian mobster who murdered a friend long ago and in bone who murdered another recently.

That’s the big highlight for me; Judd’s take on Catwoman is one I really like. A complete change of the emotionless character brought to life by Darwyn Cooke all those years ago, this Catwoman wears her heart on her sleeve and will react without thinking at times. It’s important to note that it seems the only one who can rein her in is the man in the Batsuit. I don’t know where this series will go from here, but here’s hoping for a long stretch from Mr. Winick.

Green Lantern #3- One of the more interesting setups in the GL books, I’ve been enjoying seeing Hal having to learn from Sinestro in how to be a betterLantern. The lead up to his attack on his former Corps has been fun and frankly Sinestro has become a much better character now that they removed the single dimension the character had been stuffed with. Geoff continues to show why he’s the Chief Creative Officer of DC and high recommendations are given

Green Lantern Corps #3-  The book that will be focusing on Guy Gardner and John Stewart along with a revolving door of different Lanterns. The book asks the question: What do the Green Lanterns do when they come up against a group with a stronger will than their own. Peter J. Tomasi is doing well with what he has and the story’s only downside is there is an overabundance of “new villains that are seemingly unstoppable” going throughout many of the DC Titles right now. Geraldo Bortges’ artwork is good, but nothing about it really stands out. It looks as it did before the 52 reboot. The great thing about it is the buddy cop feel that the book has picked up by making it about John and Guy. That’s the downside of this series; it’s forgettable. I had to re-read the third issue a few times just to remember anything that took place in the story. If they can start making the story within the pages a little better, then the Corps will carry on just as well as the original title.

Green Lantern: New Guardians #3-  Also known as the Kyle book. DC has actually had a smart idea with this. You have four popular Green Lanterns and what do you do? You divide them up into different books. Hal is Green Lantern, Guy and John head the Corps, and Kyle? He’s going to be a New Guardian. What we get is an interesting tale of the fall of the Guardians possibly at the hands of each spectrum’s representative, including Kyle. It’s great to see Arkillo, Bleez, Larfleeze, and Saint Walker again. I’m hoping they stay in this book and allow for some more characterization of each.

The back story of Bleez and Larfleeze alone has whetted my appetite to learn more about these two and Arkillo has quickly become a personal favorite. The tragedy of Ganthet also seems to be explored more in depth within the pages of this book. Tony Bedard seems to be doing well with giving each Guardian their own personality, adding onto their already established characterizations, with the exception of the Indigo Lantern whom doesn’t really show that much compassion or understanding. Given the history of Kyle’s time as the only Green Lantern it will be interesting to see how they handle his working with Fatality. The double duty of pencillers Tyler Kirkham and Harvey Tolibao detracts a little from the story by the lack of cohesion in the artwork. However, the splash page on issue 3 is a thing of beauty. Aside from that, there are panels that just seem uneven when compared to other panels in the same tale.

Justice League Dark #3- A side note first, wasn’t sure what I was going to think about this book. It seems DC has decided to expand the Justice League inresponse I assume to the veritable explosion of Marvel’s Avengers books. However, if they keep it at its current number then: all will be well. (I know that’s a Green Lantern reference but I stand by it).

Now onto Dark #3, one word: Fantastic. They’ve established the need for this Justice League version extremely well and much like the original Justice League and the New Teen Titans, they are a team thrown together by circumstance. Writer Peter Milligan knows his Vertigo and the history of DC’s magical people. His Shade is a dark and thoroughly disturbed individual; Madame Xanadu’s motives are unknown to all; while Constantine is the same detached bastard he always was. Throw in Zatanna and Deadman, and put them against the long unused Enchantress and you have a good team book.

The artwork of MIkel Janin is one of the best things in the book. His art readily calls to mind several of the classic Vertigo books. Several panels brought back to mind Sandman and HellBlazer issues. His artwork is thoroughly similar to those books without ever being an imitation. This is a team book with legs and here’s hoping it survives, it deserves to.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #3- It’s pretty much known how I feel about Jason Todd and his return to the DC fold. To be honest, the first two issues of thisseries were not one’s I really enjoyed. Arsenal’s relationship to Green Arrow doesn’t really make sense now that they seem to be the same age. There’s also Starfire’s apparent love of sex with what she perceives as smells. Leading this whole rabble is Jason Todd, the one Robin that readers hated enough to have him killed.

However, the third issue of this series has turned me around some. This issue has given us the one thing that the previous two failed to do: giving the reader a look at the history and personality of each of the gang.  This is done in an interesting way if not wholly unique. Having had their most cherished memory taken from them as payment to enter the Hall of whatever (insert any spiritually sounding name here), they are then looked at by the man who has taken them. Starfire’s and Arsenal each give an idea on what makes these two tick. It’s a quick easy way to delve into these three without having a drawn out story behind (which I don’t think the title could survive as these three were introduced as pretty unsympathetic and pretty annoying). With these revelations, the three character attitudes are put more into focus and gives the reader a chance to identify with these characters.

The best part so far actually deals with Jason’s most cherished memory. As a Bat-fan it was nice to see and revealed another interesting tidbit about the new universe as a whole. It seems that the Robin costume in this new universe is entirely different from the pixie shoes that Jason originally wore. It’s nothing earth shattering, but it was point of interest for this Bat-fan. The memory is a nice moment and did its job in that I will continue to read the title. Here’s hoping that Scott Lobdell continues to steer this title into more manageable waters, because if he can this title will hang around and be I think, a cherished book in the entire Bat family chronicles.

Red Hood has some major work and repair to do, make no mistake, but I think they are on the right track. Making Jason a little more sympathetic and likeable will go a long way to doing this. Kenneth Rocafort’s pencils are typical of the normal DC style in other books right now, Green Lantern Corps, New Guardians, The Dark Knight, etc. which is good as I’m a fan of that art style and it makes those titles not keeping within that art style different and exceptional.

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