DCN Week in Review: 6/14/2013

by Curtis Van Impe
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This week in comics was huge for writer Scott Snyder, as we were treated to three huge issues from the acclaimed writer. This week saw the release of Man of Steel in theaters, and with it came the first issue of Superman Unchained, the new series by Snyder and superstar artist Jim Lee. Snyder’s other two releases were from series’ he’s very well known for: Batman and American Vampire. On the Batman front we were given the first issue in the Zero Year arc that will be running for the next year, and the one-shot American Vampire: The Long Road to Hell gave readers a quick read to hold them over until Skinner Sweet returns in the fall.

For these reviews and many more just click the title of any book below:

comics-american-vampire-the-long-road-to-hellAmerican Vampire: The Long Road to Hell

Last year, fans were treated to the shocking conclusion of the fifth volume of acclaimed Vertigo title American Vampire. Unfortunately, the conclusion of Volume 5 was also met with a certain degree of sadness, as Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque revealed that they would be taking a year-long hiatus from the title in order to work on other projects.

Fortunately, Vertigo has provided us with American Vampire: The Long Road to Hell, a one-shot story to tide us over as we wait for the return of Pearl Jones and Skinner Sweet in the fall.

Verdict: Rating5


Batgirl_Vol-4-21_Cover-1_TeaserBatgirl #21 

Readers of the last issue of Batgirl (issue #20) will know that the popular Batman villain, Ventriloquist, has sky-rocketed on the scale of creepy DC villains. Formerly, the villain came in just above the terror level of Silver Age evil-doer Crazy Quilt, unless of course a storyline delved into his split psyche. But a mob boss character with a split personality? Kind of Two-Face’s thing. On the whole, the Ventriloquist was just fun. But writer Gail Simone and artists Fernando Pasarin and Jonathan Glapion have changed that, introducing a sinister character by the name of Shauna Belzer, who takes the Ventriloquist moniker. And to make her all the more terrifying, the puppet that she carries with her walks, talks, and stalks, all on his very own. No strings attached.

Verdict: Rating4

BM_Cv21_1Batman #21 

And so it Begins. Zero Year, the new origin by which all others will most likely be judged. So? Is it good? Is it re-doing Year One? Do Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo do it again? All will be answered right here, my friends.

Zero Year is NOT Year One, which was the origin of The Batman for the 1980′s Zero Year is one for a modern Batman who grew up in a more modern world. Right from the start of the book you know that Zero Year is going in a completely different direction.

Verdict: Rating5


Constantine_4_Full-665x10241-300x461Constantine #4

After the events of the first story arc, Constantine takes the advice of a friend and attempts to take the day off. “Go visit with friends, have a drink. Talk about the weather, it’s good for your heart.” John takes a moment to reflect on his “friends,” Zatanna, who has left the Justice League Dark, and Chris, who died in the first story arc. He decides to take the advice anyway and that is when the trouble begins.


Verdict: Rating4


Green-Lantern-Corps_21_Full-665x1024Green Lantern Corps #21 

Green Lantern Corps #21 introduces our new creative team, Robert Vendetti and Van Jensen writing, and Bernard Chang providing the art. The team hits the ground running, introducing new characters, reintroducing an alien race, and doing it all with great pacing and artwork.




Verdict: Rating4


Katana_5_Full-665x1024Katana #5 

When DC announced that Katana was getting her own book, I was excited. Like the Phantom Stranger, Katana is a character I was only previously familiar with thanks to her appearances on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. I read the first volume of the New 52 Birds of Prey series, and while I didn’t much care for the series as a whole, I really liked Katana. So when I found out that her chance to shine would be under the vision of Ann Nocenti, I was less than ecstatic. How did Nocenti do? Well…

Verdict: Rating3


Nightwing_Vol_3-21_Cover-1_TeaserNightwing #21 

When we last left Nightwing, our titular hero was in a classic deathtrap with a social media twist. Readers were left hungry with anticipation for how Dick would escape. After picking up the issue, I flipped past the cover and was greeted with…a flashback to “several years ago.” And I must say, it is certainly an engaging flashback. Eventually, we get back to present day and see Nightwing escape from the clutches of the Prankster (was there ever any doubt?) as well as a closer look at Tony Zucco’s personal life.

Verdict: Rating5


Suicide-Squad_21_Full-665x1024-300x461Suicide Squad #21

Harley goes out to play and Amanda Waller finds herself a little tied up; 17 days later, 11 months to go.






Verdict: Rating5


1362752658Superboy #21 

We’re now two issues into new Superboy scribe Justin Jordan’s run and things are looking up as the Boy of Steel battles H.I.V.E., but will it be enough to give the book a new life?





Verdict: Rating4


SMUND_Cv1_q53uxls7jd_Superman Unchained #1 

It’s the 75th anniversary of the Big Blue, and DC is celebrating with the release of  Superman Unchained, a new addition to the Superman comic title family. The varied and extensive amount of variant covers for Unchained (a whopping nine covers) try to evoke the different eras of Superman – from Golden Age to Bruce Timm’s animated style. While it can be seen as a celebration of Superman over 75 years, the time-hopping variants can also be seen as a sign; a sign that Superman Unchained is meant to be the next great era for Superman. With a team like Scott Snyder and Jim Lee, the potential is certainly there, but is the #1 issue worth the 4.99 price tag?

Verdict: Rating5


Worlds' Finest 13 (2013) cleanWorlds Finest #13 

A better issue then the last several have been, but it still lacks something. A book about Earth 2 characters trapped on the main New 52 Earth (New Earth, Earth 1, Earth Prime?) should feel a little more connected to the DCU.





Verdict: Rating3


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