Deadpool-mania has taken over this week and, although I’m a fan of the character, the massive level of hype and expectations has made me gravitate away from Marvel and into the DC realm for this week’s Comicphiles.
In the eternal battle between Marvel and DC, I’ll pick Marvel nine out of ten times, but this week I’m going to sample some DC titles just to see what the other side offers.
Superman American Alien
My experience with Superman has mostly been with older Superman comics circa 2007 when I discovered the world of comics for the first time as a teenager. Surrounded by a plethora of characters and storylines, I was spoiled for choice, but I gravitated towards Marvel and any Superman that I sampled left me unimpressed. It wasn’t that the comics weren’t good, it’s just that I had a certain amount of money and the other comics I read were just always better. So I gave up on Superman for a long time, sporadically dipping in and out of story arcs, until now when I became genuinely interested in a series. That series is American Alien and it appealed to me at first because of the title alone and then because of the splendid cover art. Seeing as I hadn’t had much luck with Superman as an adult, I figured giving a story about Superman as a child a shot would work better. And it did.
The story has a very strong opening, featuring a charming scene where Clark is floating up towards the sky, unable to control his flight powers, with his mother hanging onto his foot with slippers falling off her feet. He’s busy freaking out, naturally, while she’s trying to calm him down and reassure him things are fine while eyeballing the ground in terror. The comic goes from strength to strength from there, showing off a heart-warming family dynamic that’s reminiscent of the Kents in the Smallville TV series.
I love love love the art here, particularly the way the panels are laid out as everything is so visual and fluid that it’s a dream to read. This first issue does a great job of introducing Clark and his family along with the insecurities and fear that comes with discovering powers for the first time. Anyone looking to give Superman another chance should start here.
Will I Continue Reading? Absolutely!
Batgirl: The New 52
This comic has a fast opener with a mysterious villain in black introduced to us straight away, picking off a list of names seemingly linked by an unusual incident. The next person on that list? Barbara Gordon. Her debut in this story was accompanied by some incredibly cheesy dialogue that didn’t do very much for me, but I soon warmed to Batgirl, in part because of her fascinating flashbacks to her encounter with the Joker and also because she’s a charming and complex character.
Story-wise, it held my attention with several interesting plot points and world building. New characters were introduced as well as an array of bad guys and, along with PTSD related anxiety from Batgirl herself which results in a sticky situation for our heroine, I immediately bought the second issue once I was done.
As well as the story (the dialogue still needs a lot of work in my opinion), there was some stunning art and panel design in the issue, which really came across as a labour of love by a true master of the craft. If you haven’t read very many Batgirl comics, or if this is your first foray into her story, then make sure to give this a go. It’s worth your while.
Will I Continue Reading? I already have, and I’ll be continuing for the time being.
Arrow Special Edition
I like this Arrow a whole lot better than the small screen counterpart, in fact I like Oliver Queen better as well, but that might have a lot to do with the fact that this Arrow genuinely seems like a badass without any of the cheesy, cliché overtones that the TV show boasts.
The narrative is incredibly easy to follow with scenes years apart fitting seamlessly together. I like when I don’t have to work to understand my comics; sometimes they’re overly complicated and laid out in a confusing manner, so I appreciate this kind of laid back comic all the more for its simplicity.
It’s almost art pop in its style, with dark neon tones throughout and inky black edges. It also has an exciting vibrant style that adds intensity to an already fast-paced and interesting story.
Will I Continue Reading? Yes, for sure.
Have you read any of these comics? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!