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The W - Print - The New 52 Zero Issues - Week 1
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John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 23 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.48
The very same, slightly altered, text as below at Back of the Head (backofthehead.com) with a picture and stuff.

I can't believe it's been just over a year now since DC got me back into comics full time. To commemorate, my friend and I did the same thing we did last year when The New 52 launched: we split the cost and got the Zero issues of The New 52 DC put out this week. Then we read and swapped and read.

For those not aware, the zero issues take place as prequels for each title, set at some point in that title's past to illuminate some of the new history of that title and shed some light on the revised history of the New 52 DC Universe.

So here's what I thought of them, in alphabetical order:

Action Comics #0. You don't tug on Superman's cape, but if you're a young boy coming from an abusive home, and the young, newly debuted Superman in a T-shirt and jeans is KO'd from taking an RPG in the face, then it's okay. Set in the earliest days of Superman's arrival in Metropolis, Clark Kent had just moved out of Jimmy Olsen's apartment and into his shabby tenement. He just got hired at the Daily Star. He admires Lois Lane of the Daily Planet but has yet to meet her. And his appearance as Superman as depicted here didn't go so great, via the aforementioned rocket he got smacked down with. We also learn Jimmy Olsen is a rich kid whose model mother slept around, got a disease and died, and his real father gave him a fortune. Okay. As for the young boy who borrowed Superman's cape, he finds the cape is invulnerable and allowed him to fight his alcoholic dad and try to run away with his brother. They try to get on a train but their dad tracks them down, and he's saved from getting run over by another train by Superman, who gets his cape back. And Lois sees it happen and coins the name "Superman."

There's also a backup story about Adam Blake, Captain Comet, who goes off into space to save worlds, including Earth. It's weird.

I dropped reading Action Comics a while back despite how much I loved Action Comics #1 (backofthehead.com) because Morrison Morrison-ed the book and it became incomprehensible to me. Maybe I'll try Action again when there's a new creative team after #16.

Animal Man #0. The secret origin of how Buddy Baker became Animal Man, steeped in the current new mythology that divides the animal kingdom of the DCU, The Red, with the plant kingdom, The Green. Their enemy is The Rot, the great force of death, evil and pestilence controlled by a demon named Sethe. Their lead agent is a monster named Arcane (revamped Anton Arcane). Arcane killed the Animal Man, the avatar of The Red, and they needed a new one -- except the next avatar is destined to be Buddy Baker's daughter, who has yet to be born. So the Totems of The Red decide to empower stuntman and struggling actor Buddy Baker with limited animal powers as a stopgap temporary avatar until his daughter is born and can become the proper avatar. Then the origin of Animal Man, where he comes upon a crashed space ship and aliens give him his animal powers, is invoked and presented as a ruse by The Red to give Buddy his powers in a form he'd understand - that he'd become a superhero. It's pretty neat and nicely sets up the upcoming Animal Man-Swamp Thing vs. The Rot crossover Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder have been building towards all year.

Dial H for Hero #0. Uh... what? I read Dial H #1 and I didn't really get it. This one is set in the distant Babylonian past and the dial is a giant stone sundial, which is hilarious. But I couldn't understand what the hell was going on. If anyone can, explain it to me.

Detective Comics #0. This is the first issue of Detective Comics in The New 52 I think was good. It was redundant to Batman Begins and the old stories of Bruce Wayne training with Master Kirigi, and it had a twist you could see coming a mile away, but it was still good. 10 years ago, Bruce Wayne was training with cold hearted sensei Matsuda in the Himalayas and learned his martial skills from him, while learning lessons about not letting love in your heart. And yet, there's a cute girl in the village nearby he's attracted to. He finally asks her out and wouldn't you know it, she's a ninja assassin sent by the sensei's wife! D'oh! Still, it was good, and sort of explains why Bruce doesn't have a steady girlfriend. But what Detective #0 continues to do is add confusion to the Bat timeline. Okay, 10 years ago (2002) Bruce was in the Himalayas. He trained there for 6 months and change.

In the backup story involving Alfred's efforts to keep Wayne Manor and Bruce's assets from the Kanes (Martha Wayne's family, who are bad eggs - wait, are they related to Kathy Kane and Batwoman?), it's established Bruce returned to Gotham 7 years ago (2005). So in those 7 years, Bruce became Batman, then Dick Grayson became Robin, then Jason Todd became Robin and Dick became Nightwing, Barbara Gordon became Batgirl, Jason was killed by The Joker, Barbara was shot and paralyzed by The Joker, Superman debuted and the Justice League was formed, Tim Drake became Red Robin, Jason came back to life and became Red Hood, Damian Wayne was revealed as his son and became Robin (so Bruce must have impregnated Talia before he arrived in the Himalayas 10 years ago), there was a Final Crisis because Batman died and traveled back through time and then came back and formed Batman Inc., and that more or less brings us to today, with Batman facing down The Court of Owls. All that happened in 7 years.

Earth 2 #0. This deals with Terry Sloane, the smartest man in Earth 2 and the ally of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, who betrayed them in order to save the world during the Apokalips War. He's kind of like the Adrian Veidt of Earth 2. He discovered alternate dimensions and detonated bombs across the Earth to wipe out the millions of zombified humans who fell to the Anti-Life Equation, in a cool visual where Earth looks like it has fire pits like Apokalips. Though Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are dead now, and Robin and Supergirl are now on Earth 1 as Huntress and Power Girl, Terry Sloane is alive and is established as the Big Bad of Earth 2 going forward. Earth 2 is pretty neat. I'd really like a spinoff of Earth 2 set during the Apokalips War. I very much prefer learning more about the war between Earth 2 and the forces of Apokalips lead by Steppenwolf than the current exploits of the burgeoning Justice Society of America.

Green Lantern #0. This is a HUGE issue because it introduces DC's first Arab-American superhero, Simon Baz, our new Green Lantern. Simon Baz was a boy who watched the Twin Towers fall during 9/11 and a decade later, he's a car thief who gets imprisoned by the feds as a terrorist. Which he isn't, to be clear. DC's newest Green Lantern is NOT a terrorist. Anyway, following the events of Green Lantern Annual #1, Hal Jordan's Power Ring chooses Baz and busts him out of prison and now he's Green Lantern. Meanwhile, The Third Army is rising and Sinestro and Hal Jordan are believed to be dead but actually... somewhere. Whatever. Let me state for the record, Green Lantern and its various titles and its mythology do not float my boat. I'm not into this stuff. As for Baz and this issue, it's like Geoff Johns said, "You know what's awesome? Homeland. You know what has nothing to do with Homeland? Green Lantern. Well, it does now."

Phantom Stranger #0. Oof. As depicted in the DC Free Comic Book Day comic, The Phantom Stranger is one of the Trinity of Sin, along with Pandora and The Question, who were all punished in ancient times by a bunch of sorcerers and magicians for crimes against humanity. It turns out The Phantom Stranger is Judas and the cloak he wears is Jesus' cloak (which he has tailed over the millenia) and he wears 30 pieces of silver around his neck. He loses a piece of silver each time he does something good, or something. In this case, at some vague point in the last century, the Stranger meets Jim Corrigan and turns him into The Spectre. So now The Spectre is officially in The New 52. And I guess Phantom Stranger has 29 more things to do until whatever... Oy.

Swamp Thing #0. Opening with Arcane tricking and murdering a Swamp Thing in the late 19th century in Canada, this is the origin of how Alec Holland didn't become Swamp Thing. That's right. The basics of Alec Holland becoming Swamp Thing's origin are in place - the shack lab in the swamp, the bio-restorative formula, the explosion that sends a dying Holland into the swamp - but a couple of big changes: The demon Arcane was there and caused the explosion himself. Also, Alec Holland never became Swamp Thing. No, he didn't. Arcane caused the explosion because he knew it would destroy Holland's physical body. Under New 52 rules, the Green needs an organic body to latch onto in order to create a Swamp Thing - Green bonds with Red. But Holland's body was beyond repair. So it turns out The Green replicated a Swamp Thing with Holland's consciousness and that was the Swamp Thing we've read about all these years, via Alan Moore et al. So this ends with Holland not becoming Swamp Thing, but he is mysteriously, magically resurrected as Alec Holland in the last page. Also, he's Swamp Thing now and this sets up that crossover with Animal Man coming soon.

Worlds' Finest #0. This was my favorite of the bunch by far. We get an entire 22 page issue of Kevin Maguire's art and that alone makes me deliriously happy. Set years ago on Earth 2, it establishes Helena Wayne as Robin, as she's trained by her mother Catwoman while Batman is out with his buddies fighting the Apokalips War. Meanwhile, Superman trains his cousin Supergirl, who is his secret weapon no one knows about. Superman also has questions about how their rockets can launch from an exploding Krypton simultaneously but Kal arrived on Earth decades before Kara and Kara has hardly aged at all. We do get to see a bit of that hot, sexy marriage between Batman and Catwoman and we learn how Lois Lane was killed. Then Catwoman is killed, Batman is nearly killed, Robin goes in alone after Apokaliptian soldiers and is saved by Supergirl. This begins a beautiful friendship. Worlds' Finest is a really awesome book and if there's one thing DC can be proud of, it's of the high quality its books headlined by female superheroes are, including Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batwoman, Birds of Prey, and Worlds' Finest.

Not a Zero Issue, but I didn't feel like starting a new thread for:

Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #3. Swoon. Fucking swoon. Another gorgeous issue with beautiful Amanda Conner art with half the story seen through Laurie's eyes as she trips out on LSD. And the Comedian guest stars to help out his unsuspecting daughter in his own way. The artwork is just unbelievably stunning and even Darwyn Cooke shows up in the issue as "Dr. Cooke". So great.

(edited by John Orquiola on 7.9.12 0917)


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Mike Zeidler
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Since: 27.6.02
From: Champaign, IL

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.93
Dial H was a redefining of what the H-E-R-O dial does. Instead-of randomly turning characters into superheroes, now apparently it's pulling those heroes' powers and identities away from them.

It is a really over-thought change that will ultimately lead to yet another grim and gritty take on a comic that nobody will remember in five years time.



"Tattoos are the mullets of the aughts." - Mike Naimark

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Tenken347
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Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.17
Well, the whole Dial H series up to this point has been grim, gritty, and occasionally confusing, so the zero issue fits right in. My biggest concern is that they seem to be trying to create an origin for the Hero dial, and that flies in the face of the very appeal of the Hero dial. It's this mysterious object that can make anyone potentially as strong as Superman, whether they deserve the power or not. It's a great concept that's both creepy and thought-provoking, and it can be used in a bunch of different story types. Explaining it makes it less special, especially if, as they seem to be indicating with the girl's dreams, the dial chooses its user. The potential randomness is easily the biggest draw for the concept, as far as I'm concerned.

Then again, they thought that the Phantom Stranger needed a definitive origin, so what the hell do I know.


Edit - Hey John, what did you think of the Green Arrow zero issue? I thought it read fine, but was really completely unnecessary, and didn't tell us anything we didn't already know, except to set up a new enemy for Ollie.

(edited by Tenken347 on 7.9.12 0557)
John Orquiola
Scrapple








Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 23 days
Last activity: 23 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.48
Oh yeah, I forgot to review Green Arrow. This should be quick.

Green Arrow #0. It's Judd Winnick. It sucked.



@CMPunk
“@ZackRyder: @CMPunk She played me bro” I got your back.
Tenken347
Boudin blanc








Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

Since last post: 1 day
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.17
It's not Judd Winnick, It's Ann Nocenti. Winnick left the book months ago.
John Orquiola
Scrapple








Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 23 days
Last activity: 23 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.48
Winnick wrote the #0 issue. (dccomics.com) Hence, it sucked.



@CMPunk
“@ZackRyder: @CMPunk She played me bro” I got your back.
John Orquiola
Scrapple








Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 23 days
Last activity: 23 days
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.48
Incidentally, one year later, my DC pull list (is it still a "pull" if you only buy digitally?) stands at:

American Vampire
Animal Man
Batman
Batman and Robin
Batgirl
Earth 2
Justice League (glutton for punishment)
Justice League Dark
Red Hood and the Outlaws
Smallville
Swamp Thing
Supergirl
Wonder Woman
Worlds' Finest

I also read Marvel's Avengers vs. X-Men, AVX: Vs. and Captain Marvel, my new favorite Marvel book.

What is everyone else reading?

(edited by John Orquiola on 7.9.12 0952)


@CMPunk
“@ZackRyder: @CMPunk She played me bro” I got your back.
Tenken347
Boudin blanc








Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 3 hours
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.17


Shit, you're right. I said it was Nocenti because she's credited on the cover for some reason. If you look inside the book, it's Winnick. Somebody should have caught that. I see that she is actually writing the Catwoman zero issue, so maybe I'll pick that up. I like Nocenti, but her Green Arrow hasn't really done a lot for me.
John Orquiola
Scrapple








Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 23 days
Last activity: 23 days
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.48
    Originally posted by Tenken347


    Shit, you're right. I said it was Nocenti because she's credited on the cover for some reason. If you look inside the book, it's Winnick. Somebody should have caught that. I see that she is actually writing the Catwoman zero issue, so maybe I'll pick that up. I like Nocenti, but her Green Arrow hasn't really done a lot for me.


The issue I have has Winick's name on the cover and Nocenti's is nowhere to be found. Weird.



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The Goon
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Since last post: 1 hour
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.95
I really need Dial H for HERO to go back to Chris King and Vicki Grant becoming superheroes that I mailed in to DC back in the early 80s. Seriously, I had some awesome suggestions.
theremin
Head cheese








Since: 31.1.12

Since last post: 56 days
Last activity: 10 days
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.63
I'm gonna split up my DC pull list like they have it on wiki, for easy reference for myself.

Justice League:

Justice League - Y
Aquaman - Y
Wonder Woman - Y
Flash - Y
Fury of Firestorm - Y (still on 8)
Green Arrow - Y
Savage Hawkman - Y (still on 8)

Batman:
(Whey are there so many damn Batman titles?)

Batman - Y
Detective - Y
Batman - The Dark Knight - Y
Batman & Robin - Y
Batgirl - Y
Batwoman - N (dropped quickly. Probably after 2 or 3. Hated the art and the writing).
Nightwing - Y
Catwoman - Y (still on 8?)
Batwing - Y (Loved when this was in Africa)
Birds of Prey - Y
Red Hood - N (Dropped after 2-3)

Superman

Action Comics - Y
Superman - Y
Superboy - Y (Still on 8)
Supergirl - Y?

Green Lantern
(This is also WAY too much Lantern stuff)

Green Lantern - Y
Green Lantern Corps - Y
Green Lantern: New Guardians - N
Red Lanterns - N

Young Justice

Teen Titans - Y
Blue Beetle - Y (still on 5?)
Legion of Super-Heroes - N
Legion Lost - N

The Edge

All-Star Western - Y
Deathstroke - N
Suicide Squad - N
Stormwatch - N
Grifter - Y (on 5?)

The Dark
(Dropped almost all of these on the first 2 issues)

Justice League Dark - N
Swamp Thing - Y
Animal Man - Y
Frankenstein - N
I, Vampire - N


Second Wave

Batman, Inc - Y
Earth 2 - Y
World's Finest - Y
Dial H - ? (Trying to stop reading this, keep hoping it will live up to its potential)
GI Combat - Y (Like the military vs. dinosaurs more than the other story)
Ravagers - N

Also enjoyed now cancelled Resurrection Man and JLI.
Demon Nights - N
Matt Tracker
Scrapple








Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 5 hours
Last activity: 52 min.
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.42
    Originally posted by John Orquiola
    Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #3. Swoon. Fucking swoon. Another gorgeous issue with beautiful Amanda Conner art with half the story seen through Laurie's eyes as she trips out on LSD. And the Comedian guest stars to help out his unsuspecting daughter in his own way. The artwork is just unbelievably stunning and even Darwyn Cooke shows up in the issue as "Dr. Cooke". So great.


Wondered where this was ...

THE SMILEY FACE.

This comic is doing what the other titles ain't: Providing insight with loving nods to the original series. It's the surprise best mini of the BW effort.



"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Scottyflamingo
Bratwurst








Since: 23.6.10
From: Auburn, AL

Since last post: 368 days
Last activity: 97 days
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.41
Could there be anymore cliche's in Green Lantern? Arab American...9/11? check. accused terrorism? Check. Waterboarding? Check.

So stupid I'll likely drop the book if Baz is going to permanently take over.
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I hear that 4th edition is coming out somewhere in June. I haven't played since 1st edition AD&D was the only advanced edition. I refuse to play $200+ to get all the core rules and then $30-$90 a month for the 3 or so books they put out every month.
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