1. Batwoman #1
With all the new books coming out from DC this month it's nice to see that Batwoman is among the 52. It's even better that J.H William III is helming, with co-writer W. Haden Blackman. Oddly enough this character that has been around for less than ten years feels like an old friend coming back for another visit. Kate Kane is back with a brand new and rather gruesome case involving kidnapped and murdered children. Her personal relationship with her father is still in tatters due to the revelation that her twin sister was alive before she died again during a climactic battle with her sister. This character has become a great addition to the Batman Universe; this book is a must have for the art alone. Williams is becoming as beloved to me as George Perez. This is a definite keeper to the new 52. My Score: A-
2. Daredevil #3
Mark Waid has completed his first arc with the return of one of Marvel's coolest, but slightly underused villain, The Klaw. There is a reason why this writer has been popular for so long, and this is exactly it. Mr. Waid brings back what Daredevil had been missing for some time – light. The Marvel Knight Daredevil had some great moments and some of the best stories of The Man Without Fear have been very dark; but there was a time when Matt Murdock smiled. It's great to see that guy back. Paolo Rivera not only compliments Mark's work but enhances it into the comic book stratosphere. There's still time to start from the beginning with this series. If you're not reading it, you should be. My Score: A-
3. Resurrection Man #1
These are the books that have got my attention in the new DC 52. Your Batman and Superman will survive in any form, but books like this one, Demon Knights and Animal Man have the potential to be the bridge between DC proper and Vertigo. Much like Animal Man, the quality of this first issue borders on a Vertigo title at its best, with the only real weakness is the somewhat disjointed transitions between scenes. Still, a book's writing is only a piece of a possible classic in the making, but thanks to the stunning work of Fernando Dagnino and Santa Arcas as penciler and colorist respectively blend so incredibly well with this writing duo that I have taken a large interest in this book. Batman and Superman books will always go on in one form or another; never really mattering if the book is good or not, but when you get a book with this much potential you better hope a lot of people support it. This could be the best resurrection of this character ever. My Score: A-
4. Demon Knights #1
Just like the other books that I just mentioned, this one has the possibility of gathering a cult following that could sustain it for several years. Etrigan hasn't seemed this interesting for quite some time now. Madame Xanadu and The Shining Knight are two characters with just enough history to make them compelling, yet they are still mysterious enough that there is huge storyline potential here. Setting the story in the middle ages is another risky venture since it somewhat separates them from the DC Universe proper. Though I'm more of a tights and capes sort of guy, I'm going to stick this one out for a while. Both writing and art work well here and I'm a big fan of Paul Cornell's work. Like the book I just reviewed before this, I'm hoping this will find a big enough audience to sustain it. My Score: B+
5. Daken: Dark Wolverine #14
Now we come to the book that I did not want to like, but now I can't wait for the next issue to come out. Daken's character is very much a time honored tale of son desperately trying to climb out of his father's (Wolverine) shadow. Daken is obviously a much darker character than Logan is at this point, wanting to be the top bad ass in the Wolvie Family; but struggling with so many of his own demons that they seem to trip him up at almost every turn. In this issue Daken continues to search for the Claw Killer while battling a bizarre addiction to the drug "Heat" which hinders his healing factor; causing him to feel more alive than ever. Unfortunately it also causes blackouts. That's a bad thing. Now, a few chapters into this story, Daken has begun battling his addiction but without much success, while L.A.'s newest hero, Moon Knight, hunts him down. What makes this issue so fun is the fact that Moon Knight is nuts and believes himself to be Daken's father, Wolverine. The dialogue is both tense and darkly amusing at the same time. What stops this book from getting an A is the problem with most stories these days – too long. The big twist in this chapter, though, gives it a big boost. My Score: B+
6. Deathstroke #1
There's not a lot I can say about this book that's nice. So I'll say that I really like Joe Bennet's art. The rest of it feels silly and boring. With one big exception! There's a nice moment at the end of this first issue that makes me realize just how watered down this character has become. If we see more of the Slade Wilson we saw at the end, I may have to check this out again down the road. For now though, I don't think I'll be picking up another issue of this. My Score: C-
7. Fear Itself #6
Let me try and run you through this issue as quickly as I can. Uncle Serpent is still giving Earth a major "creepy uncle" feeling. Nephew Thor has been abused beyond belief and his club house buddies had to take him home so his dad could take care of him. The rest of the buddies stayed behind to see how much physical and mental damage Uncle Serpent is going to do. Buddy Peter got scared and ran back home. His Aunt May told him to go back outside and try harder to play nice. Nephew Thor got better and Daddy Odin gave him a new wardrobe and one of the biggest pocket knives Son Thor had EVER SEEN! Then Buddy Tony showed up and saw that big ass, shit kickin' pocket-knife and screamed, "Why did he get a new toy and I didn't?!" Then he made his old toy shiny and new in hopes that he will get all the glory. Buddy Tony is, you see, an A one major ass-hole who will do anything for attention. He will also use Creepy Uncle Serpent's emotional and physical abuse of his buddy Thor as an excuse to drink again. OH! And Buddy Stevie, you know the one who always has to tell you that smoking in the club house is a bad thing to do in that tone that makes you want to bitch slap him? He's got himself a regular gold ol' fashioned lynch mob to take care of Creepy Uncle Serpent themselves. You just gotta love these family feuds!
My Score: D-
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