Grant: I'm conflicted about this one. I've never been a huge fan of Deathstroke, but the interpretation offered in the reboot of a major badass that people are starting to think is too old to do what he does is almost interesting. However, the rest of the issue leaves a little to be desired.
I suppose it shouldn't be that surprising for a book about a guy who is known as Deathstroke the Terminator, but I felt that this book was a little heavy on the gratuitous violence. Deathstroke drops people left and right, and their deaths are usually unnecessarily graphic, or simply unnecessary. And once you look past the violence and death, there doesn't seem to be all that much going on here. Deathstroke is threatened by some unnamed enemy and wants to show the world that he is still as capable as ever. As far as I can tell, the solution to both those problems will be more violence and murder, which doesn't leave the impression there's going to be much else going on.
Verdict - Skip It. I'm not against killing and maiming as a rule, but I do generally prefer there to be something else going on in the book. That doesn't really seem to be the case here, so I'll be dropping this book as quickly as Deathstroke drops his foes.
Matt: I wasn't very impressed with Paul Cornell's other book last week, Stormwatch, but he fares better with Demon Knights this week.
I have to admit that part of the charm is just to see DC publish something so completely against what they normally do. Medieval fantasy comics are not very common at all, and hard to establish at first (what with all the magic, rules, kingdoms, and so on that must be introduced). Cornell takes the easy (but no less entertaining) way out by using characters that readers might already be familiar with, like Etrigan and Madame Xanadu but also others like Vandal Savage and Shinning Knight.
Something I didn't like? Two words: exploding baby. That was really unnecessary.
I'll admit that not everything is laid out clearly, such as the prologue which confused me a bit, but I am more willing to give it the benefit of the doubt than with Stormwatch. Neves art is quite wonderful, and absolutely fitting with the period pieces that he is called to draw. I really hope that he can keep a solid schedule, as he is probably a perfect match for this book.
Verdict - Buy It. Good but not perfect, Demon Knights shows a lot of promise and some damn good art. This is one to watch.
Matt: I am very conflicted about this issue. On one hand, it is a direct continuation of the events from of the previous series, which was some good ol' fashion dumb-but-fun comics. I quite enjoyed the previous 60 or so issues, and this one is no exception. The Johns/Mahnke team is very solid, and they work perfectly in unison to deliver entertaining and fun comics. Having Sinestro as the lead brings a refreshing change of pace, and the scenes of Hal adjusting to Earth are really funny, though I have a bad feeling they won't last long.
On the other hand, this was a terrible part of the reboot. Johns doesn't go a long way to explain who these characters are, what do they want, or why should we care about them. This comic just completely assumes you have been reading Green Lantern in the past or at least know who all the characters are. I enjoyed it because I have been reading the adventures of Hal Jordan for the past 4 years, but not everyone has.
Verdict - Buy It. Like I mentioned above, this is a good comic, but a bad introduction to new readers (because it never attempts to be). If you are willing to look past that, you will find it to be a very entertaining issue.
What we did end up getting was a book that could have passed for a Green Lantern title, if perhaps a more violent (and redder) version. What I'm trying to say is that there wasn't really any new ground being tread in this issue. There were some fights, appearances by fan favourite characters (I'm looking at you Dex-Starr), and the foreshadowing of the first Red Lantern from Earth. There's also some leadership issues brewing and a terrible prophecy, but Atrocitus is too popular to be overthrown by the ever-annoying Bleeze and the universe won't be defeated because the New 52 just started.
Verdict - Skip It. There's nothing particularly new going on in this issue, and while that's not necessarily a bad thing, when there are three other Green Lantern issues coming out in the same month (and one even in the same week), it's hard to rationalize needing to buy more of the same. If you're a huge Green Lantern fan, I'm sure you can find something to like here, but if that's the case, you've probably already read this issue a number of times.
We are also introduced to some of the antagonists, who will be hunting Resurrection Man, and they seem to be angels. As a whole, this feels very much like a Vertigo book, with absolutely no superheroes in sight throughout the story. The art, while nothing that will win any awards, is serviceable and suitably dark to carry along the ominous sense of the story. The character design for the angels is pretty inspired, and there's some certain Asian/Eastern tinges to it.
Verdict - Must Read. Probably on par with Animal Man and Swamp Thing from last week as one of the best books to come out yet. Looking forward to see what Resurrection Man can bring to the table.
Grant: After reading this, I feel like this comic had both too much and not enough. There was way too much going on, but not enough time spent explaining what any of it was. Twenty pages later, I've read a story about how the government made a clone from Superman and some human, whose identity was specifically not mentioned, and how that clone seems to lack a conscience. And then some random guy that everyone calls Templar shows up and explains that he needs to use Superboy to be sleeper agent in the Teen Titans?
There's also some stuff about how Superboy learns stuff super fast and has kind of interesting powers, but this book somehow manages to present a lot of different information and events without bothering to explain the importance or relevance of any of it. It seems like there's some interesting stuff going on, but none of that potential is really used in any way during this issue.
Verdict - Skip It. Again, it seems like something is going to come out of this, but there's no way of knowing what that is or when it will happen. There's also the fact that it seems like this series is going to cross over heavily with Teen Titans, which is another detraction. With all the titles DC is releasing, it's hard to rationalize picking up one, let alone two new ones when there is so little to go on. Which of course means that Superboy will not be on my pull list next month.
Things are by no means slowing down, and we have yet another week of mixed quality. Some incredibly wonderful books dropping this week, alongside a number of lesser offerings. How are you finding the New 52? Do you share our feelings on the books above, or are we way off the mark? Feel free to share your thoughts below!