Saturday, 29 September 2012


Resurrected with a vengeance, a 5* Amazon review.

The original run of this title was one of my favourite series of the 90's and now it's back with its original writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning so there's no way I was never going to buy this one and I haven't been disappointed.

Unlike some of DC's New 52, it doesn't seem to have squashed the original continuity or some semblance thereof, such as Batman, into the previous five-year pre-publication appearance. No, this is a brand newish Resurrection Man. Our hero Mitch Shelley is pretty much the same person but he has a new and rather unpleasant origin; he appears to have a compulsion to go to particular places where he's needed; Heaven and Hell want him dead and they are both decidely scary. Those loveable sociopathic female hit women Bonnie and Carmen aka The Body Doubles are back but also with a new origin, a teleportation device, and super powers -ouch!

In this seven issue collection we find Mitch fighting a scary angel on a crashing passenger jet, visiting an old people's home, Arkham Asylum, Metropolis, and more. The action never stops, Bonnie and Carmen never give up, the revelations keep coming, and the pace never lets up. This is enhanced by the dynamic detailed artwork of Fernando Dagnino which is just terrific.

How good is this book? I wanted to read it again as soon as I'd finished. That's how good this book is.

(Aside: I've been reviewing a lot of these New 52 titles and my ratings are a comparison of like to like. A 5* rating means it's as good as the best of current DC/Marvel superhero titles. It doesn't mean it's as good as, say, Watchmen or Love & Rockets. Just wanted to make that clear.) 

They aren't kid sidekicks. An Amazon 4* review

Unlike the TT's of previous incarnations in the old continuity, only Red Robin (Tim Drake) has any direct link to established superheroes. There's also a good idea as to why, in this first volume which is an origin story, these kids get together.

A lot of teen meta-humans have been appearing all over the world and causing a lot of trouble for the authorities. A sinister organisation called NOWHERE (it's an acronym but I'm too lazy to insert the dots) is kidnapping these kids for purposes unknown, but you can bet they aren't good ones. Red Robin has been investigating NOWHERE and blogging about the teenage meta problem. After escape an attempt by them on his life, he tracks down Cassie ("Don't call me Wonder Girl!") Sandsmark just as they attack her. Shortly after following up a lead, he encounters the insectile Skitter. By one of those curious coincidences that only happen in comics, Miguel Jose Barragan (the gay Mexican meta who calls himself Bunker) illegally hops aboard a freight train where he meets a disguised Red Robin with a cocooned Skitter and... And so on.

Amnesiac Kid Flash with a female meta called Solstice (count the number of times her name is misspelled by the letterer), who've escaped from NOWHERE, meet up with the other three and go to the rescue of Cassie ("Don't call...") who is under attack by Superboy.

All in all this is a very promising start to the series. The new characters, technically they're all new, have a lot of potential. The set up is a good one. Writer Scott Lobdell balances action, character beats, humour, and background information all very well so that you can't stop reading because you want to find out what happens next. Brett Booth's art manages to balance an attractive detailed style with just the right hint of cartoon to suggest the original Young Justice. The three letterers need to check their spelling which is a little sloppy at times.

Yet another success for the continuity revamp that is DC's New 52 which is providing the best mainstream superhero stories for years. 

There's nothing fishy about this Aquaman. An Amazon 4* review.

This series is among the most highly praised of DC's New 52 revamps and you aren't going to get any argument about that from me.

We meet an Aquaman in his prime and there are a number of mysteries about his previous life of which only some are revealed or hinted at. He's married to Mera, a mature no-nonsense woman who has less tolerance for fools than her husband, and they live in a lighthouse. Aquaman is a bit of a joke to people who very much underrate him except for those who see him (and Mera) go up against a race of hominid fish with the appetite of piranhas who attack a nearby coastal village.

The writer/artist team of Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis -two of the top people in their fields working in mainstream comics today- hit the mark every time. But don't take my word for it. Buy this book now and find out for yourself. I doubt very much if you'll regret it. 

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