Hm. How embarrassing – I’d assumed I’d posted this months ago.
Anyway, I intend to get back to more timely reviewing – I really want to talk about Saga, and Hawkeye, and Superior Spider-Man – but before we do, I should probably tell you guys about some more DC New 52 collections I’ve read and possibly enjoyed.
This time around, we’re going to look at some of the edgy/weird titles, and this time, I’m pretty well shocked to find two books I really really liked. Positive reviews! This will probably not be a trend.
Demon Knights Vol. 1: Seven Against The Dark
Demon Knights manages to pull off in six issues, using many of the same ingredients, everything that Justice League failed at. It’s a team book with some recognizable characters thrown together by chance, many with conflicting motivations or attitudes, each with a particular skill set, tasked with defending against an invading horde, finding a mission and reason to stay together after the initial events.
But unlike Justice League, it does so by being exciting, good-humored, and intriguing in its teases of future developments and possible betrayals. And unlike Jim Lee’s shiny and shallow art style where poses trump storytelling, Diogenes Neves (who improves with each chapter) focuses a lot of attention on the physical acting of each character.
With an ensemble book, probably the best thing a writer can do to ensure the audience returns – more than upping the ante, though there are some great cliffhangers in here – is develop characters the audience wants to spend more time with. And this is a quirky batch – Vandal Savage’s good-times barbarian, the intriguingly lusty Etrigan, and the downright hilarious Sir Ystin among them – are a lot of things, but mostly, they’re just fun to watch. Even when they are doing terrible things, I find them more sympathetic and emotionally recognizable than any single member of the Justice League. (more…)