Welcome to part six of our review of DC Comics’ New 52. Today we will cover Justice League International, Mister Terrific, Captain Atom and DC Presents. Word of the Nerd’s six month review of DC’s New 52 continues…now.
Some call them the second string Justice League members, but we would not want to mess with them…
Justice League International – review by The Nerd
Written by: Dan Jurgens
Call me old fashioned, but I usually like my Justice League made up of the core members…Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, etc. But I picked up Justice League International for one reason and one reason only…Booster Gold. I love Booster Gold, always have, always will. Then something amazing happened. I actually enjoyed, no strike that, I really really liked JLI. Dan Jurgens won me with Booster Gold, but kept me with an excellent first six issues and a cast of team members who aren’t a warm and fuzzy as the Justice League.
When the UN decides that the regular Justice League is beyond their influence and control, they take it upon themselves to recruit their own League to satisfy the requirements of the international community and act on behalf of all nations. Putting the team together seems to be the biggest challenge of all when the logical team leader is Booster Gold. After Green Lantern, Guy Gardner, refuses to join the team with Booster at the helm and an encouraging visit from Batman, the team goes on their first mission, which turns out to be disastrous.
With Batman an unofficial member of the team and giving less than sanctioned help and approval by the Justice League, this international team made up of Booster Gold, Green Lantern Guy Gardner, August General in Iron, Fire, Ice, Vixen and Rocket Red soon grows beyond the self-serving interests of their respective nations. They learn to trust each other and depend on each other as they literally save the planet from a mysterious new enemy.
Booster Gold was one of the unfortunate casualties of the DC relaunch and I was glad that he wasn’t thrown by the wayside and got a spot in one of the new series. I’m even growing to like or at least tolerate Guy Gardner in the second book he makes regular appearances in. Dan Jurgens spins a wonderful tale, coupled with some great artwork by Aaron Lopresti and Matthew Ryan.
The Grade: If Dan Jurgens can keep up the same thought-provoking and exciting stories he wrote for the first six issues, this is going to be a long running and action packed series.
Mister Terrific- review by Proffitt
Written by: Eric Wallace
Art by: Gianluca Gugliotta, Scott Clark, Dave Beaty, Wayne Faucher, and Oliver Nome
Mister Terrific is the first and only title I was assigned in the Great New 52 Review project here at Word of the Nerd that I could not bring myself to finish. While friends assure me that Mr. Terrific was a great side-kick in past incarnations of the DC Universe, the story and the art work of this title have little to recommend them.
You know you’re in trouble when the description from the publisher is more rousing than the first three issues of the series:
The world’s third-smartest man – and one of its most eligible bachelors – uses his brains and fists against science gone mad in this new series from Eric Wallace (TITANS) and Roger Robinson! Michael Holt is the head of a successful high-tech corporation and an institute that recruits and encourages the finest minds of the next generation to excel. As Mister Terrific he inhabits a world of amazement few others know exists, let alone can comprehend.
If only the comics themselves had that kind of energy.
This title has been cancelled by DC, so my advice to skip it is probably moot. Still: skip it. Grade: D.
Captain Atom – review by Geek Faerie
Written by: J.T. Krul
Art by: Freddie E Williams II
Captain Atom. Man. God. Powerful. Human. All this and more is discussed on the pages brought to life by writer J.T. Krul and artist Freddie Williams II. Captain Atom, aka Nathanial Adam, US Air Force Pilot and willing subject in an experiment that granted him his amazing powers, is part of the DC New 52 series. Described as an “every day man” by Krul, we find Captain Atom struggling with his waning humanity and increasing God like powers as he learns to wield his new abilities. Not alone in this venture, he’s helped by Dr. Megala, the genius mind behind the experiment granting Adam his powers and the voice that explains the science behind what is happening to Captain Atom. Fear not readers, you do not require a doctorate degree in Particle String Theory to read or understand this book. Krul keeps the science simple by masterfully keeping our hero as just another guy. That in no way negates the risk that his powers might bring to not only himself but to others. Let’s face it, Captain Atom is a walking bomb that could go off at any moment if he becomes too unstable.
His powers aren’t the only hurtle, Captain Atom must deal with humanity’s fear of his powers, his rejection and mistrust by the Justice League, as well as coping with his slipping humanity. Despite all this, he still chose to fight for what is right and venture forward toward triumph. Go good guys! Fans may note a number of similarities to Dr. Manhattan of Watchmen fame, not surprising since Captain Atom was the foundation. Over all, the story starts out slow in issue 1, but builds with each issue avoiding getting bogged down by too much storyline versus too much back story. Each issue brings a little bit of both to the surface and adds just a sprinkle of the inner turmoil associated with the heavy duty changes to his humanity.
William’s art is unique, as he takes on the challenge of bringing this sci-fi hero to being. The art is more immersive, moving away from the standard panels and frames of most comics and a adopting a free flowing borderless feel. The art truly mirrors the story. He’s just too much Hero for one comic page. If you are looking for a true sci-fi story, that’s less about the fantastical and more about the human condition then add Captain Atom to your comic pull. You won’t be disappointed.
DC Presents – review by JP
Writer: Paul Jenkins (Varies on Arc)
Artist: Bernard Chang (Varies on Arc)
Ok so this is going to be a rather short entry. Basically I have already reviewed the first arc of DC Presents and you can see it here. DC Presents was one of the books I looked most forward to coming out of the reboot. I have fallen out of comics many times in my life, not by choice mind you, and have had to mainly focus on the big guys and what they were doing to get my comic fix. What that has done is left a world of characters I know very little about. The idea of having a book that takes some great characters and gives them a story arc of their own, is just one I really enjoy. Give the little guy a chance.
The first arc is written by Paul Jenkins and drawn by Bernard Chang. They got the duty of giving a new perspective to the recently popular Deadman. As I have said before, I like Boston Brand and love that he has a bigger role in the DCnU. I will not rehash my entire review here, but suffice it to say I was very happy with this first arc. Issue six started the next story which focuses on The Challengers of the Unknown. At this point I am reserving judgment on the Challengers. I was not really that aware of them before, but the idea of making them a reality tv show cast predestined to become some sort of heroes is OK at best. It is being written by Jerry Ordway and Dan Didio with Ordway taking on the art as well. I think that they have plans for the story and it will get better so I will do a full review once the arc is finished.
Grade: Based solely on Jenkins and Chang’s Twenty Questions arc for Brand, I give this book and A, 100%, yes please, may I have another. It is not that this is the greatest book being written, but again you have to love and appreciate the opportunity to give some lesser used characters a chance. I hope that we really get to see some cool things in here and look forward to the different creative teams. I am actually hoping that Danny the Street gets a spot here since he seems to be popular in the Teen Titan books at the moment.