The DC New 52 Reviews: ‘Batman,’ ‘Wonder Woman’

Posted: September 27, 2011 in comic books, crotchety ranting, Jeff Holland, reviews, Threat Quality
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I don’t think I have to review Batman #1: It was Good. But really, just read the Comics Alliance review, I concur with everything Sims said over there.

So I want to focus on one of the odder results of The Flash screwing up time-travel and remaking the universe (or whatever the hell reason we’re using to explain why Green Lantern hasn’t undergone any changes and yet there never was a Justice League International):

Jim Gordon is smoking again.

And not cigars, or pipes. That there is a cigarette he’s gesturing at the dark knight with. Which is, I guess, a slightly more modern tobacco intake device for a cop to smoke than the others, but nevertheless. In the Nu52, James Gordon still smokes. 

Because as a byproduct of the Flash punching himself in the past to keep his mom from returning to life (look, I did not read Flashpoint and I don’t care – it’s still preferable to “Jason Todd is alive because an embittered Superboy-Prime punched the walls of reality”), James Gordon never had that heart attack.

Young readers of the early 90’s DC comics may remember this story, part of an ad campaign in conjunction with the American Heart Association:

It’s one of those images that, at the right age, just sits with you forever.

But now, just because he’s got his red hair back (seriously I do not understand these weird cosmetic changes that time travel ripples create), the guy thinks he’s invincible.

Not even a crack from Batman about how those things are bad for you, or I thought you’d quit. When Ben Urich tries to smoke around Daredevil, he flat out snatches them out of Urich’s mouth. (Then again, that is a really dick move for Urich to smoke around a guy with heightened senses in the first place.)


Let’s move on to another moment of surprising inappropriateness. No, not the creepy sex in Catwoman or Red Hood: the entirety of Wonder Woman.

I am not saying Wonder Woman is bad. In fact, Wonder Woman was pretty great. It was exciting, intriguing, found a clever new take on the Greek Gods that are so central to Wonder Woman’s story, and found a solid tone for the character herself – unflappable, dryly witty, and about seven feet tall.

It is also fucking terrifying.

This is the stuff that used to get comics moved to the Vertigo line. I mean, horses get beheaded so centaurs can grow out of their gushing neck-stumps. Serious nightmare fuel.

If you are, say, a young girl and wanted to read a comic book with Wonder Woman in it. Y’know. Like SO MANY YOUNG GIRLS. I KNOW my niece would like to read a fun, all-ages Wonder Woman comic.

But I have no idea where I would get one of those.

So yeah, WW #1: Great for an adult male, terrible for what should be Wonder Woman’s primary audience.

  1. Erin says:

    “Great for an adult male, terrible for what should be Wonder Woman’s primary audience.”

    I get the adult part, but why only men?

    Also, why are you so surprised? Wonder Woman hasn’t been appropriate for kids in ages. Gail Simone’s run was certainly more comedic than this book, but at times it was extremely gory.

    I’m certainly with you on wanting to see more all-ages comics – with Wonder Woman extremely high on the list of priorities – but the scarcity of books for kids reflects poorly on DC editorial in general; not on this title.

  2. Jeff Holland says:

    1) I am speaking AS an adult male. But yes, all adults, fine.

    2) I don’t think surprise really enters into it. But every time a new creative team comes on the book, I do hope for the best.

    3) It doesn’t rest solely on Wonder Woman’s shoulders – I think DC could do very well if they’d present an all-ages line – but do you know who little girls like, in particular? Wonder Woman.

  3. braak says:

    Oh, well. They also like Starfire.

  4. Lindsay says:

    Wouldn’t we all read the shit out of this (fan work)

    I know I’d buy every issue.

  5. Jeff Holland says:

    @lindsay: Straight up.

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