The Good Is Oft Interred With Their Bones
Over the last few days, I wrote posts condemning two of last Wednesday's DC Comics "0 Issues". Both of these comics received much negative feedback on the comics blogosphere as well. And honestly, who can blame the bloggers? One issue was an a comic allegedly intended for young girls but which featured an attempted gang rape, while the other featured Billy Batson calling the Old Wizard a pedophile, gratuitously valdalizing people's property, and hitting up a woman he just saved from a robbery for cash.
However, while these two comics deserve the derision they're getting, DC also put out other 0 issues last Wednesday that were actually, well, very good, perhaps the best 0 issues we've seen so far. The shame is that, as with many things in life, the focus was all on the negatives of the two comics mentioned above, resulting in the good aspects being overshadowed and ignored.
In the interest of fairness, I'm going to focus on these 0 issues, because they deserve spotlighting:
Batwoman#0 - This was a beautiful issue, and not just because of the J.H. Williams art. It's framed as a recorded message from Kate to her estranged (due to the ramifications of the "Elegy" storyline) father, and it was the best-written non-Rucka Batwoman story I've read so far.
Catwoman#0 - This comic is what should have been released as Catwoman#1 at the same time last year, instead of the douchey fanboy wank material we actually did receive in that comic. New writer Ann Nocenti builds up an intriguing mystery surrounding Selena's past here, and Adrianna Melo deserves credit for avoiding the "boob socks" look that other cat-artists (Balent, Gulacy) have embraced in the past.
Nightwing#0 - This is actually one of the Nu52's most well-thought-out origin revisions. Considering how ill-planned the rest of the Nu52 has been, that mat seem like faint praise, but I'm being sincere; writer Kyle Higgins seems to have put a lot of time and care here. He gives us a more proactive, and a more perceptive, early Dick Grayson than we've seen in the past. And Higgins addresses the "child endangerment" issue inherent in Batman taking on kid sidekicks in the best way I've ever seen. Here, by establishing that Dick was already obsessively pursuing Boss Zucco on his own before Batman got involved, Higgins makes the case that Bats was protecting Dick by providing him proper training and supervision. That's actually...brilliant.
Wonder Woman#0 - Cliff Chiang gave this issue's art a nice Silver Age feel that meshed perfectly with Brian Azzarello's story. This had the sword-n-sorcery and young adult fantasy appeal that the Amethyst comic tried to have. And anyone ELSE prefer the (Chiang-designed?) outfit Young Diana was sporting to any of Jim Lee's Wonder Woman costumes?
On second thought, why limit the praise to just DC titles? Here were some gems from the other companies:
Avengers Academy#37 (Marvel) - A beautiful wrap-up to the long-running Alchemist storyline. Too bad this is the second-last issue. In the less than two years I've been buying this comic, writer Christos Gage has really gotten me to care for these characters. The fact that Marvel will treating many of them as cannon fodder in an ill-conceived "Hunger Games" knockoff is just...sad.
Daredevil#18 (Marvel) - Wow. Just...wow. Mark Waid can really write a gaslighting. If it is a gaslighting, that is. As for the art, Paolo Rivera was one tough act to follow (See this issue's cover as proof), but current artist Chris Samnee really makes the book his own with this issue.
Spider-Men#5 (Marvel) - You know, I bag on Brian Michael Bendis a lot for his Avengers work, but here in this finale of the first meeting of the two Spider-Men, Bendis does everything right, down to the teaser he provides on the final page. And Sara Pichelli's art was gorgeous, especially her handling of Miles Morales' fluid movements and his glimpse of the 616 Universe. This left the audience wanting more.
It Girl & The Atomics#'s 1 and 2 (Image) - Technically, neither of these actually came out last Wednesday. That was only when I purchased them. But they were such fun I couldn't leave them off here. Any Ryan Choi Atom fans wondering whatever happened to Mike Norton? He's here, and channeling Mike Allred in fine form. Just buy this series. Trust me.
Womanthology: Space#1 (IDW) - This anthology series features sci-fi stories from top female comic creators. This was very entertaining and off-beat. Kudos to Ming Doyle for her great reverse-gender take on the "Slave Leia" trope. But the best part?
MOON-SIZED LASER CATS!!!!