Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Batman #1

The New 52 Batman #1: “Batman in: Knife Trick”

Writer: Scott Snyder
Pencils: Greg Capullo
Inking: Jonathan Glapion

Batman #1 is a fantastic comic – a nice, sleekly written first issue one that makes me want to read the following trades based on Scott Snyder’s handling of the Caped Crusader. There’s no one thing that makes Batman #1 a solid read. It’s just good writing, a unique art style, and a cliffhanger ending that leaves you pinning for more. That’s what I like to see in my comics.

With this one there is no origin story we jump right into the action. Batman is just dong what he does best, bringing justice to the unjust. Batman remarks throughout the issue how the people of Gotham feel about their city; most see Gotham as an Earthly Hell. And Batman seems to revel in that idea. He wants to find the little bit of righteousness in a city almost without hope. 

It’s also good to see that Snyder isn’t abandoning the current Batman lore. Damian Wayne is still Robin; Dick Grayson and Tim Drake also make an appearance. There is a distinct age differential: Batman seems markedly younger, as does Dick, and Tim is once again a teenager. The timeline that’s being laid before us is familiar only some liberties have been taken, none of which seem to have dramatically affected the canon.

As we reach the end of the month, and the final first issues of DC’s “New 52” run are released the standouts are definitely the Batman comics. More care has been but into Bat’s than any other of DC’s heroes…whether intentional or not, it’s reality, Batman is the face of DC comics. Not Superman. And the “New 52” run has proven that.

Batman #1 isn’t perfect. As much as I like Greg Capullo’s art it’s very inconsistent. Many characters (like Bruce for instance) look different from panel to panel. It’s still a visual pleaser, but it may not be how everybody envisions Batman’s world.

Then the ending comes around. I absolutely won’t divulge the final panel. Yet I have a hard time not saying anything. My biggest concern is whether they stay true to the concept and go all the way in the direction they are leading us. At this moment I don’t know how I feel about what the last page implies…but whatever it is I’m picking up Batman #2 for sure. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

New 52: Green Lantern #1

Sinestro: part one

Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Doug Mahnke
Inking: Christian Alamy

Have we already reached rock bottom with DC’s re-launch? Green Lantern #1 is the poorest, laziest effort from Geoff Johns – and he is responsible for bringing Green Lantern back to prominence, and that’s what makes this first issue so loathsome: it’s as if Geoff Johns has lost touch with the very characters he helped revitalize.

Green Lantern #1 isn’t a new series in fact if just seems like a re-origin story. Hal Jordan had his power ring taken away by the Guardians. It now resides with his nemesis Sinestro. Hal is trying to adjust to normal life on Earth, something he is utterly failing at. And Sinestro somehow sensing this  -- I’m not kidding Sinestro seems to sense that Hal hates normal life half way across the universe – Sinestro is willing to help Hal become Earth’s protector once again.

By the end I asked, “Why did I need to read this?” Truly there is none. Johns has been a fantastic writer for DC since the mid-2000s; now it seems like he falls into expositional singularities when trying to explain something. This issue is literally one line of exposition after another.

Hal with his "It's time to eat your soul" look.

Johns also slaps the audience in the face by demeaning both Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris. He plays both characters off as stereotypes; Hal is the bachelor unwilling to commit to a relationship, and Carol is only concerned with getting married – really is that what Hal and Carol have dissolved into?

Green Lantern #1 isn’t worth even a slight glance. This is not how you restart a series. It is a good example of how you can alienate a loyal fanbase. I must admit I had a hard time not vomiting by the end of this one. For the love of all that’s good skip this comic. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dead Island Review

This game sucks. Not the best intro to any game I’ve written about, but it’s a true statement. Dead Island is buggy as hell, is graphically disgusting; has shitty voice acting and the worst story I’ve had to endure in a long time. All that said it’s still some of the most fun I’ve had this summer. It’s terrible in so many areas, but get a group of friends together and it’s very enjoyable. 

The opening cutscene sets the tone for Dead Island. As one of the four main protagonists Sam B. spits hot fire with his hit single, “Who do you voodoo bitch?” Dead Island straddles the line between all out goofiness, and trying to be extremely serious. I never felt any particular emotion, one way or another; I just played the hand the game dealt me.

Four survivors of this zombie island apocalypse are immune to the outbreak – choose wisely as each of the four really play differently…and by that I mean they don’t at all. Each stereotype -- I mean playable character has an innate ability, like throwing objects, completely useless. Or sharp weapon proficiency, just as useless.

As you hack and slash through zombie hoards you level your character, and spent skill points like any RPG. Dead Island sprinkles in tons of different zombie game tropes. We’ve got some Dead Rising, Left for Dead, and Resident Evil all in this piece (sorry my inner Same B is coming out.) It lacks the polish that those games feature, and doesn’t have the role playing depth that a game like Fallout has either. The combat is solid though, if not unspectacular. And I longed for a block button. Still, slicing a meat sack’s head off in one swing never gets old.

Gripes aside killing the undead is entertaining with friends and Dead Island nails this aspect. Two to four drop-in-drop-out co-op is available, and it adds way more to Dead Island’s appeal. To the point I refused to play the majority of the game alone. There’s some fun going it solo, but playing with companions is far superior.

I'm sure a pipe can handle this.

It’s still hard to gloss over the technical issues. There are game breaking bugs that don’t allow story progression; looted items fall through the floor (I should never have chosen the throwing expert, I’ve lost so many good weapons), and on more then one occasion, while playing co-op I’ve opened some kind of game crashing black hole that repeatedly killed me and my partner – don’t know how I did it but it happened twice.

The issues are endless and on paper Dead Island is a bad game. And you know what, ultimately Dead Island is one of the worst games I’ve ever played. For every one good feature there’s about ten technical hurdles that need to be crossed. Soup to nuts, killing zombies hasn’t become stale in the pantheon of gaming and killing zombies with a group of buddies is still satisfying.

Rose-colored glasses need to be worn to get the most out of Dead Island. It’s a technical manure pile of a game, but it smells good sometimes…if that makes any sense. All people care about is if it’s fun, for the most part, yeah it’s fun. Just stop complaining, grab some friends, and kill some brain eaters. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Batman & Robin #1 Review

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils: Patrick Gleason
Inker: Mick Gray

“Born to Kill”

Batman is back. Damian, his son, definitely doesn’t care for his dear old father much at all. Especially when given the option to kill. Dick Grayson was handling the cape and cowl while Batman was thought to be deceased. Damian (legitimate son between Bruce and Talia Al Ghul) was the new Boy Wonder, Robin. Now that daddy is back Damian has to learn what being partners is all about.

Damian needs to stop killing people, that would be a start – stop nuking people and Batman may trust you more, may. Curtailing Damian’s lack of compassion would take away the most fascinating part of this new volume of Batman & Robin: Damian really loathes his father, and Bruce wants to instill some values into a person who doesn’t think twice about murder.

Issue #1 just wants to put a foot down and say to the audience, “Yes this story will be a father son relationship…but with crime fighters.” And that’s where my eyes widened. At the thought of Batman actually having to show affection while trying not to get killed, and instilling discipline in his child.

While reading one thought came to mind -- Damian is like the darker side of Bruce. That little malicious side of Bruce’s mind that he tries to lock away. Damian represents the ferocious killer inside of Bruce that he’s trained to keep down. But his son has a personality of his own; Batman can’t just contain him like he did his own feelings.

DC’s “New 52” features about four different Batman trades, not including spinoffs; each will need it’s own voice to separate it from another. Batman & Robin is clearly going to center on Bruce and Damian learning to live with each other. Batman & Robin #1 is one of the better releases from DC this month, most definitely worth a read.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ultimate Spider-Man #1 Review

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Sara Pichelli
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Cover: Kaare Andrews

For those unfamiliar with what’s happening in the Marvel-verse I suggest you get reacquainted before reading on. Peter Parker is dead. Miles Morales is Spider-Man -- at least in the ultimate comic line. Yes Peter Parker will most likely come back to life in some weird hackneyed way, but for now we have Miles as the new Ultimate Spider-Man. 

Some news outlets glommed onto the fact that Miles is of mixed race, as if that were an actual headline. Being of mix race myself, I found the reveal that Miles was half Black and half Hispanic nothing special. You see far more diversity in comics than you do in any other form of media. And a non-Caucasian protagonist doesn’t make comic nerds jump out of their seats, especially when it pertains to Marvel. Haven’t the X-Men been an allegory for social, political, racial, and sexual discrimination for some 50 years? So chill if you think this is a groundbreaking event.

Now to the actual comic. It’s a solid read, that’s the takeaway. Miles Morales’ origin may be better once it’s a collected trade. As a singular read it’s light fluff. It’s a thin origin story with some family drama thrown in. The biggest conflict is seen between Miles father and his uncle. I won’t spoil much, but a radioactive spider does still come into play. How else do you get spider powers? 

Miles' uncle AKA Snoop Dogg.

You can see the foundation of conflicts Miles will face. He comes from a lower to middle class family and the future looks bright upon acceptance to a prestigious charter school. Well, he actual wins his position in a lottery, and doesn’t feel too happy about it either. It’s also hard to say whether or not he has a good or bad relationship with his father and mother. Those things will need to play out.

The final panel gives us our first look into how Miles’ powers will differ from Peter’s. As for Miles donning the suit…he doesn’t, not in this issue. What will make Miles want to become a superhero? Is it because he has the power, or does he feel obligated to his fellow man? Ultimate Spider-Man gives us much to think about and very little answers. I think Bendis has some interesting ideas for Spidey, but after this first issue I’m not entirely thrilled to pick up the next issue of Ultimate Spider-Man.

Suffice it to say Ultimate Spider-Man #1 doesn’t have much meat on the bones, or any in some regards. I think Marvel has an uphill climb and I don’t think fans are clambering for the next issue. A pigment change doesn’t alter Spider-Man’s personality, in fact it’s irrelevant; Miles has to show why he’s different from Peter – skin tone doesn’t count! It sounds highfalutin but we do need justification for why Miles is taking on the Spider-Man mantel. Readers don’t want this to be purely a gimmick. I’m not so sure that it isn’t.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Madden 12 Review

I think of myself as a super nerd; I don’t go out much, I’m not the most social person. Really if you asked me to go see The Avengers I’d probably decline and stay home and play Call of Duty. I am the traditional nerd in many senses. But I’m a guy, and that primal, that longing to watch football rages through my veins like any other man.

I was hooked on Madden towards the end of the PS2’s lifespan. My father and me played the hell out of Madden 05 & 06. I haven’t had that same passion resurface for the current generation of Madden, and I think I know why. There isn’t a singular problem that can be fixed – especially within one year. No, the problems stretch on to an absurd number, and I think EA needs to look at this Madden and the reviews that have been coming out and rethink their approach.

Madden 12 is just an okay game. It may be the worst in the series, but I don’t know if that’s saying much since each Madden has gotten steadily worse in the eyes of many. So it’s par for the course.

The brain storming room had to be full of people trying to appease both the hardcore Madden-heads and newcomers to the franchise. It was unsuccessful.

The big emphasis this year was improving the Franchise mode, Superstar mode, and the overall presentation of the game. None of these areas feel very new or innovative at all, and frankly it’s a joke how little has changed despite what EA claims.

We've got more tackling animations. That's something.

The Franchise mode has had some tweaks to it. Namely you feel more like the manager of your team, and other organizations actually compete with you. The computer will no longer make stupid trades. For example, even if you give them two first round picks the 49ers won’t trade Patrick Willis. Free Agents are snapped up quick by other teams, and you actually can have a bidding war during the off-season to see who gets the big named star on their roster.

There are a host of other smaller options buried beneath the turf. The core Franchise hasn’t changed though. An off-season where I can actually train my squad had to be included, maybe even a rookie combine simulation. I know I’m not the only one that thinks some of the off-season stuff with rookies is just as fun as the regular season itself.

A big change to individual players is dynamic performances. And that just means a player will go through hot and cold days. If Greg Jennings is going over the middle and is blown to pieces by Eric Berry, and drops the pass, one of two things may then effect Greg throughout the game and even the next week: he may get the cold streak label, and it would say something like “drops open passes” and “braces for big hits.” I really do like the fact that players have their ups and downs. They’re human after all and this year’s Madden reflects that very well.

Superstar mode hasn’t been given the same attention as Franchise. Once a rookie is created you have the choice to allocate points to each of his attributes. Want to run faster, jump higher, or throw further? Just put points into that stat and you’re one step closer to the Hall of Fame, kind of.

Superstar mode still has some fundamental issues. Firstly the only thing that has changed seems to be gaining experience to make your player better, there’s little else new here. That has to be amended. Superstar mode is very, very unspectacular and needs to be redesigned from the ground up. Starting with the ability to manage more than one player in a season. I’d rather play on both defense and offense than just press the simulate button and watch my team get spanked. Because you can only play as one player your influence on the outcome is grossly limited. Wouldn’t it be great to have control of both an upcoming linebacker and running back, that way you can manage both sides of the ball?

Add stats. Get better. That's all there is to it, right?

I love cheerleaders, who doesn’t? When you say you are going to put more into the presentation of a game to make it feel like a real NFL experience you better not be bluffing. The intros are better, and mascots and cheerleaders are visible during the opening ceremony -- after that there’s little sideline action to speak of. The crowd still feels lifeless and dull. All the coaches animate like robots. And am I the only one who is tired of seeing the same referees each year. What little enjoyment that can be had from the intros is gone quickly and you’ll eventually skip them, one view is enough.

Has the gameplay change though? Well it certainly is much tougher to score than in years passed. I could drop a 40 burger on anyone in Madden 10 and 11…this year All-Pro is the new All-Madden, and it’s finally tough to win. Sure I’ve only lost 3 games in the season and I am playing as the Jaguars – an average team. I still only win by about 3 points. And little mistakes can cost you the game.

The defenses are substantially more reactive. Cornerbacks and linebackers are rarely out of position, and even scrub players can pick you off and run it back for a touchdown easily. Receivers have a very difficult time getting separation and defenders close fast when the ball is in your hands. It can be downright brutal and cheap, but it finally feels satisfying to score a touchdown, which is something that felt hollow, do to its frequency in previous games.

Tackling animations are more crisp and believable. Running backs stumble to regain their balance, receiver’s bobble the ball when catching, and I’ve yet to see the same tackling animation repeated more than once in a game. Certainly this is the best looking Madden in many areas, but looks are superfluous especially when the authentic NFL experience is lackluster.

Much needs to be improved in the next Madden. Unfortunately I don’t have my hopes too high. I just wish they didn’t have to come out each year. NBA Live is on hiatus in order to reinvent the series, why can’t Madden do the same? At least 2 years of polish needs to go into Madden to make it gleam. Cash rules the world though and EA certainly won’t go a year without Madden. And the community will continue to live with a subpar product.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Last road paved with polygons

This is a little bittersweet. I don’t feel like talking about the past -- when I was trying to become a video game artist, but I feel kind of sad. I dropped that as a career goal this year, and luckily I haven’t looked back and thought that was a bad choice. I’m fine with my decision overall. These are some of the projects that took flight and never landed, the Frankenstein’esc creations that I failed to finish.

I had a dream one night, in it I envisioned a more very realistic depiction of Legend of Zelda -- A Lord of the Rings aesthetic with some stylin’ from Assassins Creed. I worked hard of the concept, wanting to get a bearded grizzled Link that looked like a veteran of the battlefield; one that doesn’t sound like a prepubescent girl when he swings a sword, no this Link tears through beasts and devours their entrails. And revels in the glory of a bloody victory.

I wanted each object that Link collects on his journey to be on him: sword, shield, bow and quiver, bombs. Everything. I was a long road traveled to get to the final look, and I never was able to texture him…I tried, but he was slowing my PC to a crawl, and if that happens I’ve went overboard with detail because my computer is pretty beefy. It couldn’t cut it this time.

I just never completed Link. I let the idea just die away. It happens. And you have to move on, nothing I ever finished really felt finished to me. I only got to a point of slight satisfaction; with Link here I knew I wasn’t going to be able to give him the proper visual flare he deserved.

Yeah, there are more than a few things I left on the cutting room floor. My first car model was left unpolished and barren. While it was our final project in college (not many people in the class finished their finals) I still would have liked to get this baby to shine. This thing was never going to see a game engine, so it was purely meant to look flashy and be rendered with all the amenities – great lighting, reflections all that good stuff. Obviously it didn’t happen. Boo me!

Then we have the guns I sculpted when on my all Call of Duty kick. Guns are the easiest things to create in a 3D program – actually, the better umbrella statement is all objects (or anything that's non- organic) are a cinch to make. I laid it down, busting these weapons of war out in merely 40 minutes apiece.

I won’t be firing up the PC to create stuff from my gaming fantasies ever again. I like to write about gaming more than I ever liked to create it. It was often frustrating to finish the simplest things. I don’t miss that feeling of anxiety at all. I’ve made my decision to write about video games, and not create for them. And I’m happy about that choice. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Review

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a tale of two games: one of utter enjoyment and another of loathing. It has no identity and that can be a good thing, here it comes back to bite it in the end. It’s a daunting task to create a product that combines so many different playstyles and not have some missteps; those small stumbles can trip up an otherwise delicious outing.

This is like few games and like many at the same time. Deus Ex: Human Revolution tries to give you all the elements of today’s gaming generation all in one package. Human Revolution is almost everything on the market; a first person shooter, a third person stealth action game, an open ended RPG, a adventure game – there’s something for nearly anyone…while there is no tower defense or driving segments there’s still room for downloadable content so I won’t rule that out.

The look is what brings out the character here. Deus Ex is a minimalist composition; most of the world is filtered through gold and black. It’s certainly stellar artistically, and the visuals set a picture of a very believable future in 2027.

At its heart Deus Ex takes cues from films like Blade Runner, Mission Impossible and James Bond. Mass Effect’s influence is also apparent and then there’s a sprinkling of Metal Gear Solid to finish. With that many different ideas you expect the game to be a mess, no it’s not…. neither is it perfect.

You're better off hiding from people than you are shooting them...

The plot mainly centers on corporate espionage, and the investigation of a massacre by lead Adam Jensen. While the story isn’t entirely predictable, those who you have suspicions about usually don’t disappoint in the betrayal department; fortunately there are multiple endings so it’s hard for the finale to spoil the entire experience like it would for some other stories.

An underlying conflict in the world of Human Revolution is between humans and augmenters (those who get there limbs replaced with robotics), and you’d think that was an allegory for something in today’s timeframe but it never takes full shape. It’s just a plot device. The idea of human technology progressing people down a path of destruction was the key dilemma during the ending but I was never emotionally invested enough to question that myself. 

Main man Adam Jensen is one of the augmented and through a set of skills can become a stealthy ninja, at least most of the time.

The augmentation system gives the illusion of choice, and the actual game rewards those who play a stealthier role. You can upgrade guns, but there’s not enough ammo to justify such an approach. You have to put points into hacking, just to make your life easier, and certain other augments are useless like extended lung capacity and sprint distance.

...shooting doesn't work so hot when you don't have bullets!

Jensen can handle a situation in many different ways, and this is where my enjoyment of Deus Ex: HR was found. If you need to infiltrate a building there’s usually 5 different ways to enter. You can sweet-talk the guards, stealth past, go in through a vent, scale the roof, or just blast your way in. Too bad this ideal is lost at the end: you are forced into gunfights and stealth moments just to progress, and its very frustrating being thrown into a situation you’re not prepared for – like the awful boss fights.

A game like this shouldn’t have boss battle – if it does at least give me more than one way to kill them, nope just shoot them in the face that’s your only choice here, sorry for all the people that put focuses on stealth you’re kind of screwed! Each boss brings the train completely off the rails and stalls the momentum completely. They’re just not fun and not at all necessary. You can have stronger adversaries in a stealth game (This is where the comparisons to Metal Gear comes into play), but you have to understand the type of game you’re making and not have these fights clash with the overall product and that’s where Deus Ex: Human Revolution fails.

Oh, I hate you so much.

I found some like here, and I found some hate. I just feel that my dislike may fester and taint my whole experience with Deus Ex, and that’s unfortunate.  A second playthrough is still an option, and I’d like to try things differently, there is room for that. Sadly, we don’t get a new game plus+ and that hurts my chances of going back to play any time soon.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is going to be some kid’s favorite game, and I can see why in some areas. I personally don’t feel all the parts come together to form a completely working machine. And the latter stages focus on stealth so heavily it’s tough to play as anything else, making the idea of choice fall through the floor. I actually want to love this game, and it’s painful that I have to say: Deus Ex: Human Revolution is whispering in your ear telling you what you want to here; making you think you’re the one making the choices when really you are getting manipulated from the backside like a ventriloquist dummy. I commend Eidos Montreal for creating an ambitious piece of art; it’s just not a masterpiece.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

MST3K best of the best: part 4

Quest of the Delta Knights

Literally nothing happens in this film. Really, there’s even a time lapse at one point. And nobody has aged or even accomplished anything of note. Some orphan is being trained in the arts of the Delta Knights: a group that sometimes speaks in old English and wears goofy hats…and they’re supposed to protect the world’s treasures, or some weird plot device. Most people don’t film a renaissance festival and call it a movie, but that’s what was done here.


Some list Hobgolbins up there with Troll 2. I’m not about to put it into that same majestic category of crappiness. It’s still awful, but the director and actors all seem to be slightly in on the joke, at least I hope so – if not who’d want to star in this garbage? A newly hired security guard unleashes mind-manipulating goblins from an abandoned studio lot; that’s your premise. As absurd as Hobgolins is, it’s bad enough to be good, if that makes sense?

Invasion of the Neptune Men

Another gem from our friends from the east, this one has feminine spacemen/ aliens trying to take over the world. Luckily a pack, literally a pack of children are able to stand in their way; Sonny Chiba as Space Chief helps out here-and-there too. I’m always game for some badly dubbed Japanese movies, but this one isn’t quite on the level of Prince of Space; it’s so similar to Prince of Space that Krankor even makes a cameo a host segments – who doesn’t love Krankor?

Jack Frost

Another Russian/ Finish fairy tale. Despite the title, Jack Frost takes his time showing up in this one, that’s fine because there’s a lot going on to bide our time. A man getting turned into a bear by the living embodiment of Toad from Super Mario; a wickedly ugly family that berates its good natured and pretty child, and an old crazy witch (aren’t most witches crazy?) that lives in a spinning house with walking tree minions at here disposal.  This film has it all, if weird pseudo Snow White type tales are your favorite, oh you’ll like this one. The creators had to be on acid.

The Mole People

The Mole People isn’t so much a film as it is a compilation. As it goes on more and more clips from other films (coincidentally ones that MST3K had already screened) are inserted as filler. It still stands on its own two feet as a cinematic avalanche to your eyes. Apparently archeologists know everything, or at least they think they do, because the lead won’t shut up throughout this thing. Some choice lines make this one stand out. Practically anytime the character referred to as “Load” gets mentioned it’s a good time. It does bottom out, literally, towards the end so most of the front is joke heavy – it’s still worth a view.


I recently re-watched this one and it’s even better then I’d remembered. Some punk kid gets a laser gun, or laser…arm…cannon…thing that turns him into a monster. He goes on a killing spree and decimates a small town. I know that sounds bad but not a single person in this movie is likeable, not even the guy who gets turned into a maniac. And when you can’t feel sorry for someone’s demise, well I guess you better laugh. This one also may have inspired Jim Carrey’s Mask years later…only without the mass murder part, leave that out.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Comic Review: Justice League #1

Justice League #1: Part 1

Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Jim Lee
Inking: Scott Williams

The “New 52” are upon us – marking the start of a new generation of DC comics, launching it into the future and hopefully reaching a broader audience by literally starting everything over again. Everything, and I mean everything is going back to square one; Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash – all get new #1 issues. The stories and the background that’s been established over the last half century is gone, it’s a new era. And it starts with the formation of the Justice League.

We’re going back to the basics. Superheroes are a new phenomenon in modern society. And they’re all showing up at once, scaring the crap out of common folk. We have an alien in Metropolis, a flying green man in Coast City, and in Gotham some guy parading around in his pajamas calling himself Batman. This is before Batman knew Clark Kent was Superman; before anybody knew anything for that matter, and the authorities are deathly afraid of these “super-humans.”

Justice League #1 is the first part in a seemingly long recruitment phase that will fill us in on what’s new in the DC Universe. This issue centers on Batman and Green Lantern’s tenuous relationship to be. Batman lives in the shadows, stalks in the dark, and feeds of the fear of those he apprehends. Green Lantern is the polar opposite of Batman: shining light in the blackness of night, and Hal has a persona of cockiness that the Dark Knight can’t stand.

Hal is somewhat an immature ass in this one!

Batman is this gruff figure. Green Lantern is brash and impulsive. And I loved this issue because of that dichotomy between these two. We already know who these guys are so let’s jump into why they hate each other and sit back and watch. Geoff Johns knows how to write no one will question that. And those skeptical shouldn’t worry about his handling of this reboot, if this first issue is a sign of things to come I thing we have the right man for the job.

Jim Lee must have sold his sole to draw so well. It’s never easy to take a concept and make it work just how you imagined it. Lee did succeed in reinventing the look of the Justice League if I have anything to say about it. Simple put, the panels in this issue are damn fine. Scott Williams brings his own flavor to the table and the dark inks complement Lee’s sketches marvelously.

The story is there, but how have the heroes changed visually? Drastically for some, like Superman (who makes an appearance toward the end of the issue), others stay true to there original looks; most of the changes are subtle. I think the biggest and surprisingly none obvious change is no undies on the outside for Batman and Sups. For some that may be a drastic departure – personally it was one that won’t get a complaint from me, ditching the colored gaunchies was the way to go.

The demographic that DC is seeking is the young' ins. And all the DC vigilantes seem to have reverted back to their mid twenties. A young and inexperienced group of superheroes is premise that instantly entices me. They’re learning and so are we as we follow along.

Let’s face it though what will make or break this global revamp of DC’s properties is whether or not a writer crams tons of backstory and exposition into an issue. The origin stories are coming, we can’t avoid that, but do people want to read about how Superman became Superman all over again? If executed properly an origin story doesn’t feel like such if in the hands of a writer who knows his audience. Justice League #1 is a good example -- writers take some notes.

Who here misses the red underwear? I want the names of these people!

September is gigantic for DC, its almost uncharted territory. Yeah they went through this same thing before, thing is Geoff Johns and most of the writing staff were children or not even born. This is the beginning and Justice League #1 is a solid first entry, the journey is far from over and there will be some up’s and downs but I’m optimistic and the future looks bright.