Wednesday, 30 November 2011


DC New Universe: Prologue 2.

When I post an edited version of this review on Amazon I'll be giving it four stars. The graphic novel itself comprises the original 5-issue miniseries, alternate covers, plus a variety of character sketches, with a wraparound image on the book itself which is revealed when you remove the jacket. 

The story is quite well done, albeit somewhat compressed. Scenes, sometimes even single panels, refer to events which take place in the range of single issues and three-part miniseries which surround the core narrative. I wasn't actually going to bother with any of these others when they're collected  except for the Superman tie-in (I'll explain why later), but now, having actually read the whole core story, I find myself interested enough to buy several of the others.

The artwork is good slick stuff by Andy Kubert (one of two comic artist sons of comic artist legend Joe Kubert) in a stylish quasi-realistic super-hero mode being attractive, dynamic and detailed.

Now the story. Barry Allen/The Flash wakes up in a changed world where he isn't the Flash, Batman isn't Bruce Wayne but is prone to kill criminals, Hal Jordan is still a test-pilot, no-one has heard of Superman and the world's great and most trusted super-hero is Cyborg. This, on its own, isn't too bad but, as Barry discovers, things are far worse. Aquaman and his kingdom Atlantis has drowned western Europe and is at war with Wonder Woman  (who killed Aquaman's wife) and her Amazons who have conquered the UK, killed millions and castrated male survivors. This war threatens to destroy the world unless the superheroes can band together to stop them. The problem with this is that most super-heroes hate each other.

As I said above, there's an awful lot going so I can't really go into detail without going on for ages. Just one subplot though: Superman does exist but he's been locked in a secret vault since he arrived on this planet as a baby is isn't the Superman we know. Needless to say, Barry Allen, with his powers returned, faces his arch-enemy who has caused the reality shift and hurtles back in time to get things back on their proper track. Which is when something strange happens. Exactly what, we won't find out until the DC New Universe comics trades are released, though of course we already know (or I get my hands on a copy of the collected 52 first issues in mid-January).

Take away all the reasons behind it and we're still left with a good full of surprises super-hero yarn and that's just fine by me.

More images can be found on Google where, of course, I got these from.

No comments: