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Graphic Breakdown: DC REBIRTH Continues To Disappoint; Empress #1-3 & Velvet #1-14

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

This week we will be digging deeper in the DC Rebirth and offer a few other review from other publishers.

So let’s get started.

Aqua01Aquaman: Rebirth #1

Written by Dan Abnett and Illustrated by Oscar Jimenez and Scot Eaton
Published by DC Comics

Holy balls was this horrible. Aquaman has always been hit or miss for me. Mostly, he has been a miss. I honestly cannot even imagine how the new film is going to fare. This offering does nothing to help his cause.

Now, I was kind of excited to read this.

The cover by Brad Walker is pretty awesome to be honest. I thought he was going to be drawing the entire thing. Strike one as we have Jimenez and Eaton, two serviceable artists who have done slightly better work elsewhere.

But they are not to blame. Abnett is. The script is chunky, wordy, tough to get into. Aquaman and Mera are in love. They live undersea and who cares? I was so bored I slugged through to the end…which had a nice enough reveal.

Not enough for me to read the new series however. I may want to flip through it for the Walker art if he continues to draw it. The story though makes me want to hang myself.

For a better Aquaman, check out Peter David’s Time and Tide…or really anything Peter David wrote with the character. Or check out Geoff Johns series from a few years back. Sadly this sucks. And sucks hard.

RATING: F

5242387-flsreb_cv1_dsThe Flash: Rebirth #1 

Written by Joshua Williamson and Illustrated by Carmine Di Giandomenico
Published by DC Comics

Now this is what I wanted! Finally a Rebirth title that doesn’t totally blow. In fact, it was quite good. Williamson writes a damn good story that actually picks up some threads from the Geoff Johns Rebirth issue and incorporates it.

Barry Allen is the Flash on this title. I’m glad they are bringing back Wally, but the story makes me happy they kept Barry as well. Williamson has a good handle on the title and it reminded me of why I liked reading the Flash and what I missed about it. So A plus on the story.

The art however by Di Giandomenico is a bit too cartoony for me. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t very focused. The two don’t work together to give the reader good storytelling. So that was a bit sad.

Still, it was intriguing. VERY intriguing. I am actually invested in what is going to happen. The best scene happens midway when Batman and the Flash talk about who may be watching them. That is a hell of a plot point, so the rating goes up a bit. Keep it up and I am on board all the way.

RATING B+

Action-Comics-957-Superman-DC-Rebirth-spoilers-preview-1Action Comics: Rebirth #957 

Written by Dan Jurgens and Illustrated by Patrick Zircher
Published by DC Comics

Dan Jurgens is back writing Superman.

Wait. What is that I hear? Crickets? But why? Jurgens was the serviceable writer/artist who helped kill Superman back in the 90s. Why the hell is he back? Well, it must be to bury him for good! Oh boy.

When Jurgens was on the book before the Death of Superman, sales were pretty low. People think that Jurgens killed Superman in one comic book when in fact by that point, he was killing him for years.

And now, for some ungodly reason, he’s back.

And he wrote a story that is now about 25 years past it’s expiration date.

Apparently, DC Comics feels like we haven’t suffered enough and allowed this to pass through.

I gave it a fair shake. I really did. But boy, they made it hard. Superman is back, sort of, and Lex Luthor is wearing his symbol and I read it…and hardly cared by the time page 20 hit. The last minute “reveal” is boring and seems desperate and devoid of any creativity. It’s crap. Boo.

The one saving grace is Zircher on the art. He’s actually very good, and holds the book together. But man, it’s a tough job. DC Rebirth promised us a new exciting line that remembers it’s history. But this?
The hell with this book. Garbage. HOT GARBAGE.

RATING: D-

640Detective Comics: Rebirth #934 

Written by James Tynion IV and Illustrated by Eddy Barrows
Published by DC Comics

And the hits keep on coming! Actually this book wasn’t as bad as the other ones. It also wasn’t as good. Still, it had some interesting concepts. And Tynion is not my favorite writer nor Barrows my favorite artist.

Still, they give us an okay book. They are at least trying to do something. It doesn’t work as well as one hopes but give it time. Batman is forming a team because he is being spied on.

It’s interesting enough. I’m hopeful it ties into the Rebirth reveal but who knows?

Either way, it was interesting enough and I will take a read on the new series. It’s a decent enough story. Barrows is a pretty basic artist, not great but not awful.

This fared better than the others for me. Batman is a character that can do many different storylines. Here, he becomes a commanding officer of an army. All right. Let’s see there it goes.

RATING: B-

WWREB-Cv1_dsWonder Woman: Rebirth # 1 

Written by Greg Rucka and Illustrated by Liam Sharp and Paolo Siqueria
Published by DC Comics

At a certain point, it’s going to seem like I am ragging on DC Comics.

I’m not.

I was hopeful for good books. I always am. Most of it seems rather lackluster. And so it feels that way with the new Wonder Woman.

Greg Rucka has written some decent enough books in the past. Then, he has written some of the dullest. This book feels dull. I wish it was more exciting. But I honestly wanted to not read it anymore about halfway through. I was just bored and bored to tears.

It wasn’t good or bad…it was just there.

The art is pretty poor however. I always hope that Sharp would go back to drawing like he did on Death Head’s 2 years ago. Sadly, he stopped being interesting and instead we get…this.

A dull offering. Sadly dull. Let’s stop here shall we?

RATING: C-

Empress #1-3

40419cffcde1b4503a6a8bffb73f3ec2Written by Mark Millar and Illustrated by Stuart Immonen
Published by Marvel Comics

Let’s step away from DC Comics, shall we? Let’s go over to Mark Millar’s universe where he is planning his newest comic book that Hollywood wants to buy the rights to! Empress!

Let me start off by saying it’s good. Millar knows how to entertain and that is what he does here: Entertain. Nothing wrong with that. The sci-fi space story of an Empress on the run from a malevolent space dictator is thrilling if not 100 percent unique. But that’s okay. It’s highly fun and written in a fast paced style. The art is pretty cool too. Immonen has never been my favorite artist but he does okay here. It’s fun.

To read a deeper space tale, go read Saga. This is nowhere near as deep as that.  However this is good enough for summer reading…another fast paced, future Hollywood film on paper. Nothing wrong with that. Read and enjoy the ride.

Rating: B

Velvet #1-14

velvetWritten by Ed Brubaker and Illustrated by Steve Epting
Published by Image Comics

I thought I would end with this title, one of the best on the stands. Brubaker’s tale of a spy named Velvet is awesome. It spans many decades and is very involving. If you aren’t reading this, pick it up. It’s very, VERY good.

I know people love Brubaker’s work on Criminal…I always found it hard to get into. Sean Phillips’ art never struck a chord with me. I liked his early Lowlife and An Accidental Death is one of the best comic books of all time…and his Captain America work is very good. So when I sat down to read this story I was amazed.

It’s so well written. It’s full of ideas. And the best part is Steve Epting. He’s been around for quite awhile. Yet he gets better with age. Together these two have created one of the best comics on the market, one unlike anything out there. It’s explosive. It’s damn good.

The only down side is that I want the entire story now and have to wait for each issue. That’s okay. It’s great and a pleasure to read and re-read again. And that’s what comic books should be indeed.

Rating: A

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