The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together and review a new comic each week that we each take turns selecting. Our threads can be found in The Outhouse’s Newstand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate in.
Wednesday comics has cured cancer, fed hungry children in Africa and brought peace to the Middle East. Naturally, this week's reviews are all puppy dogs and rainbows much as one would expect. Well, some of them are anyway...
Review by thefourthman
This title captures that spirit again. Beyond just the newsprint stock, it has a different look on the shelf with its folded up format that becomes a giant page not quite as tall, but wider than a typical modern day broadsheet. It looks like something you might be handed in a metropolitan area, spouting the artistic events and left-sided politics of the area.
Then there are the stories themselves... written and drawn by the brightest stars working in comics today. Names like Neil Gaiman or Brian Azzarello, Michael Allred or Paul Pope. The characters range from DC’s iconic trinity to more obscure treasures like Kamandi. And like the Sunday funnies of my youth, there is a little something for everyone. An example for the most incredulous, there is even a soap-styled Iris West story that matches the melodrama of Sally Forth.
The art is the first thing you notice about the book: the circles filled with teasers of the content inside on the front cover; the amazing visuals of Kyle Baker’s Hawkman... even beyond that though, this is newsprint, but such a dense stock that the lines and colors aren’t muddied like a tattered copy of a Marvel Transformers comic. No, even Bermejo’s painted Superman story holds up. It rivals Ross on glossy paper for sheen and quality.
You can read the rest of my review here: http://www.brokenfrontier.com/reviews/p/detail/wednesday-comics-1
I liked it. Except for Wonder Woman, it is 100% set up, but it works and I am just excited for the next issue as I was for this one.
Story - 8
Overall - 8
Review by Amoebas
Just read issue #1 and only one word applies…
But first, the bad news. It’s on newsprint.
The good news? Who cares if it's on newsprint? It’s what’s ON the paper that counts and this book has a winner on every page…
Batman – B+
Kamandi – A+
Superman – A
Deadman – B
Green Lantern – B
Metamorpho – A+
Teen Titans – B
Adam Strange – A
Supergirl – A
Metal Men – A
Wonder Woman – Very well done but it gets the lowest score in the book (C). Maybe it will improve
Sgt Rock – Kubert art gives it an automatic A. Sonny Kubert’s story tho is C. Averages to a B
Flash - A
Demon & Catwoman – B+
Hawkman – A
Loved how some features acknowledged their creators (wish they all did).
Worth every damn penny. Just a beautiful collection of stories all well told. Loved it.
Review by House of J
Wednesday Comics smells fantastic and is nearly perfect. The various styles of writing, art, lettering, layout, etc. all evoke the spirit of the old newsprint strips reinvented all over again. The creative match-ups are all so perfect I don't understand why all DC Comics can't be this way. I love the more obscure properties used, I was hoping for less of the A-Listers but the Lee Bermejo art in the Superman page and the logo of the Green Lantern page alone make them really shine as well. If there is one page I am less enthusiastic about, it's the Teen Titans page. The colors don't pop the way the other pages do, and this style is always confusing for me visually. I haven't read TT since Donna married Terry Long's Afro and so I don't get if the blonde (Wonder Girl?) is SUPPOSED to be a midget, or at least a person with abnormally stumpy legs, or what when I look at this. The eyes look like they are mushroomed out, big and cartoony and vacant. I can't relate as easily to characters drawn like this, it's a style I can never quite accept. Speaking of art styles, I haven't taken a close look at Paul Pope's work since we were both art students in Hopkins Hall. It's pretty interesting to remember old class critiques and look at his Strange Adventures page. Everything I felt were technical weaknesses in his early pre-published work is refined to stylistic elegance here. The lettering even looks familiar. Nice work, Paul! The Deadman strip is perfect, and Mike Allred's Metamorpho is masterful as well. Supergirl and The Metal Men look great and are going to be a lot of fun if these first pages are any indication. The Flash page & the Sgt. Rock page evoke old school DC to such a degree I wanted to see the old DC logo on this thing. I saw Joe Kubert at a con last year and there isn't a classier guy in the business. The Catwoman/Demon page needs more Demon but this is first issue set-up so no big deal, something to look forward to next week. Kyle Baker's Hawkman is, to me, the best single page of Hawkman I've ever seen in terms of art & writing paired.
The only thing I'd change is the Robot Chicken ad. It's the one thing that didn't cohere with the overall design of the issue, but is a necessary evil I guess.
Review by MrBlack
First, let's get this out of the way: I dug it. The stories were great, and the art was great all round. It would be overlong to review every individual story, but Paul Pope's "Strange Adventures," Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti's "Supergirl," and Neil Gaiman and Mike Allred's "Metamorpho" really stand out, although there isn't a loser in the bunch. It was a great collection, and I will be picking this up regularly.
Now, let me make an observation. As a regular comic reader, I am used to reading serialized stories. I understand when I pick up a comic it is more likely than not that I will only get a small portion of a much larger story, that may take between two and twelve issues to resolve. That being said, it was quite jarring to start reading Wednesday Comics and have each story end EXACTLY where I was just starting to get interested. The ending of most of the strips was very abrupt, and the stop-start nature of the collection was alien to me. Keep in mind that none of the daily newspapers I have regularly read throughout my life have had true serialized strips in them. No Spider-Man, no Superman, not even Apartment 3-G. The closest I've seen is Doonesbury or For Better or Worse, and even those generally follow the "three panels and a gag" formula of modern comic strips. This is not a negative thing, and I don't mention it as a slam against the book. I only mention it to say that the medium is somewhat foreign to me, and that it might be somewhat jarring to younger readers, or those who have not been blessed with a more robust comic section in their local papers.
Still, none of that took away from the greatness of the content. The talent on display is truly staggering, and while it is difficult to judge any of these stories based solely on their opening chapters, I expect this to be a classic.
Review by Twigglet
It was good, the art was awesome (apart from Wonder Woman, the font suckeeed). But yeah apart from that, a one page comic just isn't enough for me. It just felt like a snippet. There wasn't enough happening in just one page. I think something like this with all 12 issues at once would have been great.
Review by Daringd
I must say I really enjoyed this book. I remember my LCS manger telling me how awesome this series was gonna be. He was right, and thank god. If this hadn’t been good I would have pitched an epic fit for spending 4 bucks. But DC made it totally worth it. I was kind of meh when I got it and it was newspaper. Thank god my shop was selling Bags and board big enough to fit this beast. The size is epic I see why it was on newspaper. I was able to finally read this about midnight last night. Which leads to the first issue I have with the book. It is impossible to read in bed. I read all my comics in my bed guess Wednesday comics will be the exception. It was a major pain to read. I eventually was able to read it and boy was it good. The art was excellent and the stories were too. The Deadman, Batman, The Flash all standout to me. My favorite was Metamorpho from Gaiman/Allred. I liked all the stories except for Wonder woman. I mean really it was cluttered and ugly to look at. Should have had another talent take her on. But over all I can’t complain really, one bad story out of 15. The art was spectacular and the stories were bad ass. Must read for anyone who loves comics. I can’t wait to get this in its oversized edition when ever it comes out. Even if it is 99 bucks.
Review by doombug
Wow, this was interesting. The good kind of interesting of course. 15 different creative teams on 15 different characters all packed into one newspaper sized comic. It folds nice and the paper quality is really good.
Out of the 15 stories I'd say 11 of them are incredibly strong and 4 were set up. My main complaint was with the Wonder Woman story, that font was completely unreadable and the art was a bit blurry.
I loved the Deadman story and thought it was great to put him in a noir setting. Didio surprised me a lot with that Metal Men story and so far he could double as a writer if need be. The Flash/Iris double feature was pretty fun too even if I think I know where it's heading.
Metamorpho and Supergirl were another 2 of my favorite as both creative teams seemed to nail the fun aspects of their characters.
All together this is a great start to the experiment. We'll see how things work for the next 11 weeks.
Review by amlah6
Wednesday Comics #1: or The Most Over-Hyped and Over-Priced Sampler Ever Produced
Clumsy. Forgettable. Unfulfilling. Those three words sum up my feelings on DC's latest experiment. Maybe if I were committed to spending the $48 to read Wednesday Comics for the next 12 weeks the teeny tiny snippets found in this bundle of cumbersome folded paper would be more intriguing but as a stand alone experience it's little more than a collection of beautiful art with virtually nothing to back it up. Some strips handled the one page format better than others, but for the most part they barely hold their on with your standard online previews. If DC wants to sell me a Gaiman/Allred Metamorpho comic or Paul Pope's Strange Adventures I'm all for that, but they're going to have to give me a bit more than one page at a time.
Review by VinnyPic
Wonder Woman: 5
Green Lantern: 5
Teen Titans: 7
Strange Adventures: 7
Sgt. Rock: 8
Metal Men: 7
I give it an 8, solid. I'm on board for this grand experiment.
Review by 48THRiLLS
When I picked this up I did not like the format from the get-go. I brought it home opened it up and still did not like it... then light bulb! I brought that thing with me to the bathroom and that is easily the best place to read this thing. I still don't care for the clumsiness of reading this, the serialization of the stories, or the paper it's printed on. Some of the stories were okay... The Flash, Superman, Batman, Hawkman, Metal Men, and Sgt. Rock were all solid. The others were a bore, it was like trying to read Sally Forth when I was a kid. The art was good I guess, I thought the lack of quality in the paper would take away from the art and some of the strips suffered but others could have been printed on toilet paper and still looked great. In the end, I am not spending 4 bucks on the equivalent of the Sunday funnies even if it is great poop reading.
STORY - 2 (What story?)
ART - 8
OVERALL - 5
Review by starlord
This has tickled me in ways that I haven't been tickled since the original Crisis, low those many years ago. Why? Because it is new, different, and extremely well executed.
Not thrilled with the price tag, but hey, beggars can't be choosers. Every story had a pretty solid opening, with the exception of Wonder Woman. I just didn't get it at all.
Here's my play by play and then I'll give you my final score.
Batman – A- (my third favorite of the issue)
Kamandi – B
Superman – A
Deadman – B+
Green Lantern – A- (LOVED the art on this one!)
Metamorpho – A
Teen Titans – B
Adam Strange – B-
Supergirl – A+ (My favorite. Art and story blended perfectly)
Metal Men – A (second favorite, and I'm not even a Metal Men fan)
Wonder Woman – C- (Didn't get it, didn't like it)
Sgt Rock – B-
Flash - A
Demon & Catwoman – A
Hawkman – A
Lot of A's in this issue for me. More enjoyment and actual fun in a book than I've had for a long time.
My Score: 9.50
Review by Punchy
I'm not quite sure of how to approach this
review, as I normally focus on Story first, and then Art, but with
Wednesday Comics, my normal 'style' doesn't really fit, there is no
real story to speak of, each story, only a page, is all set-up, and
while they could each lead somewhere interesting, it's hard to say
after just reading one page of each, can you imagine judging anything
based on the first page? But as a mood, as a feeling, as something that
evokes all that is good about comics, Wednesday Comics cannot be
beaten. And the art, man, the art is amazing.
Wednesday Comics is an experiment and an exercise in nostalgia. Hearkening back to the days of Sunday Funnies (where the comic book originated, unless you want to be pretentious and go back to the Bayeux Tapestry or Cave Paintings), each week we get 1 page of 15 continuing stories, each by some of the biggest names in comics, there are stories focusing on DC's big guns, such as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman alongside lesser-known characters like Kamandi or Metamorpho. I really like the choice of characters here, DC have a huge stable of great characters, and often they go unused. Another good aspect of this is that it isn't just superhero stories, there is a War story, Sergeant Rock and Easy Company, and Kamandi and Strange Adventures are science-fiction, this variety adds to the old-school Sunday Funnies feel, where you'd have Prince Valiant next to Buck Rogers next to Pogo, while this isn't quite as varied, it's more than most DC books!
The array of talent DC has assembled here is top-notch and is the main reason to get this. Brian Azzarello, Neil Gaiman, Lee Bermejo, Paul Pope, Kurt Busiek, Dave Gibbons, Joe Kubert, and many more. This is like the All-Star DCU, each story stands alone and is set in a nostalgic world, or at least to me it seemed that way, perhaps it was just the format, but each story seemed steeped in Silver Age fun. Each story brought a smile to my face.
I do have my favourites, despite finding it hard to judge such a small snippet, John Arcudi and Lee Bermejo's Superman story looked beautiful, Dave Bullock and Vinton Heuck's take on Deadman was noir-ish and perhaps the most immediately gripping. Paul Pope's Strange Adventures was crazy insane fun, Neil Gaiman and Mike Allred on Metamorpho is a perfect fit, and I liked how it went for humour, a collaboration between Joe Kubert and his son Adam on Sergeant Rock was also a highlight. Even the generally reviled Dan Didio proved himself by penning a fun take on the Metal Men. Yes, some of the stories were less immediately satisfying than others, Wonder Woman was kind of confusing and Hawkman was about Hawkman, but each was beautifully drawn, and after only 1 page, I'm not ready to dismiss anything, Kyle Baker, Amanda Conner, Bryan Stelfreeze and Karl Kerschl are all fantastic artists, and even if the story isn't so strong, it's worth it to see their work on the big page.
Reading Wednesday Comics was a genuine experience, and I don't begrudge the fact that the stories ended abruptly, this is a weekly comic, they want you coming back for more each week and in many cases I really do want to see where they are going. It's sort of like 2000 AD really, I imagine US readers may have more of a problem with the weekly serial, but in the UK, we grow up with it, Zarjaz!
This book transports you back to an age when comics were for everyone, where there was variety, I've mentioned the War and Sci-Fi books, but it goes beyond even that, they even have a story focusing on the Flash's Girlfriend! You can tell there is love behind every page, and this contains more invention, ideas and sheer joy in it than any of DC's depressing events of the last few years. Mark Chiarello is probably the best editor at DC today, and it is a damn shame that his Solo book was not a success, but Wednesday Comics is it's spiritual follow-up, and I hope that it sells well enough to become a yearly, or at least re-occuring presence for DC, God knows we could do with more comics like this. It's not perfect, if you like to read for story primarily and are interested in continuity, this may not be for you, at least not until it is collected (and I am very intrigued as to how they will collect this). But if you appreciate the art just as much as story, and just want to read some great creators given free reign on classic characters, doing something new in the stagnant Big 2 world I highly recommend this. Wednesday Comics is a paper time machine to DC's history, yet it's also very much looking forward to the future.
Best Line - 'I'm afraid not my darling daughter. This journey is much too dangerous for a girl' from Gaiman and Allred's Metamorpho story, it represents the old-school feel of the project perfectly in my eyes.
Review by King Impulse
So here it is, Wednesday Comics, DC's big experiment, a revolutionary exercise in nostalgia and a perfect example of my belief that nostalgia has unrightly become a dirty word. Wednesday Comics was awesome and proof that we're nostalgic for a lot of things for a reason. Like everyone else, it's a bit of a tricky to thing to review, anthologies always are, so I'll focus on the concept more, taking time out to talk about some highlight.
Mark Chiarello needs to succeed Dan Didio as Executive Editor, he knows what comic fans want, comes up great, original ideas like this and Solo, and can bring in the big guns to give them credit. I was interested in Wednesday Comics when I knew Kyle Baker had a story, and Karl Kerschl had a story but when I read that Chiarello had got Gaiman and Allred for Metamorpho, that brought a weight the project that made me take it seriously. Cue segue, Metamorpho was definitely the highlight of this first issue. I'm a massive fan of the Silver Age stories of Haney and Kanigher so this really appealed to me. Gaiman captured the spirit of the time really well, and Allred knocked it out of the park, like Metamorpho was created with the knowledge that one day Allred would come to draw him.
Other highlights were Kyle Baker's Hawkman, I like Hawkman anyway but Baker brought something new to the character, a fierce protector of the skies, like Namor of the air and I loved it. Karl Kerschl's Flash was made for me, I'm a MASSIVE fan of Karl Kerschl, and I think my opinions on the Scarlet Speedster have been made clear in the past. I love the split format of the page, Kerschl really takes the format in his stride, giving us a superhero story and a romance one (that eventually will become on full-page story if I recall correctly). The two big surprises were Supergirl and Metal Men. I like Palmiotti well enough but didn't really think he was qualified enough to be listed amongst Gaiman, Gibbons, Busiek, etc but he really proved himself. Amanda Conner though, she just keeps getting better and better, the page worked really well as either a one page gag, or as the first part to a story. The same goes for Metal Men, I was really wary of Didio writing, I own every issue of Superboy he wrote, I knew what to expect, but I was shocked by how good it was. Like Supergirl, and all the good ones (I don't need to say anything about Adam Strange, everyone else has) it takes full advantage of the format.
The ones that fall flat are the ones that don't seem to understand the format. The page should work as a part and as a whole. Busiek's Green Lantern spends most of the page without the titular hero showing up (Probably a good thing, it is Hal Jordan) and Berganza's Teen Titans is mostly origin and history of the team with a confusing cliffhanger from Galloway. Caldwell's Wonder Woman falters for different reasons, there's too much story. Too many panels, art is too small and cluttered and so many word balloons cover too much of the art up.
I did love this comic though, it reminds of 52 in the way that I knew every week I'd have something to look forward to and something wouldn't disappoint. The only real problem I can find with Wednesday Comics is that it's eventually going to end.
Overall - 9
Best lines - "I'm sorry but you need to put me down, I don't belong to you" and "And so we flap."
Review by young neil
I’m not the biggest fan of DC, but they’re always willing to try and pull off the “big project”, particularly in relation to their weekly series’. Previously we’ve had 52, Countdown and Trinity; now Wednesday comics follow the weekly release schedule, but with a unique twist. Wednesday Comics is published in a 14” x 20” broadsheet format, which is deliberately similar to the old Sunday newspaper comic sections. DC art director Mark Chiarello is responsible for this project, and he’s really brought not only a unique idea to fruition but brought in an A-grade ensemble of writers and artists to bring this project to life. Wednesday comics feature 15 different stories in each issue, each beautifully presented and showing a great emphasis on the art.
Reading Wednesday Comics was a unique experience; 15 independent stories, with a very different feel for each, and featuring some of the most breath-taking and unique art I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately with each story only having one page, we are plagued with every story being set-up, or in Wonder Woman’s case we have a very word-heavy page to try and make up for it. The up side to each story being only set-up, you can instantly get a feel for which stories you love or hate.
Out of the 15 tales there are obvious stand-outs, such as Paul Popes “Strange Adventures, Neil Gaiman’s “Metamorpho, Kerschl’s “Flash” and Gibbons’ “Kamandi”. As a first introduction to the character of Kamandi, one page had me wanting more. Breathtaking art and a great set up, had me wanting to read more about the character. And the hands down winner for me was the Flash story; with the page being broken up into two sections giving us two stories, one focusing on Barry Allen and the other on his wife Iris as she considers leaving him. The Wonder Woman story was by far the worst and the page was crammed to the point that it was hard to understand. And the Sergeant Rock and Green Lantern stories were rather lackluster with no hook. The one thing I hope DC tries to do is take the popularity from this book and perhaps give some of these characters their own books, or at the least boost the popularity of some books already out there that may not be as well known.
The artists really seem to take advantage of the larger page sizes. From Kyle Baker’s larger panels to Ben Caldwell’s over crammed Wonder Woman story, we can see thoughtful and unique ideas in each tale. Each story had different aspects that I just took a step back and just admired, from the Noir styling in Deadman, to the golden age feel of Kamandi every page is unique and a joy to read.
From the one down side of storage this unique comic has so much to love. Wednesday Comics is a nostalgic take on Superhero comics by some of the greatest writers that I’ve ever read. Try and keep yourself open to this and you won’t be disappointed, Wednesday Comics is jammed with an incredible selection of diverse stories and beautiful art.
An overall score is hard to gauge because of the varying quality of stories but overall including art I’d give this an 8.
Review by SuperginraiX
This was mostly comic gold. Comic gold, I tell
you. Yes, lots of set up throughout but it was amazing to see how much
I actually missed thought balloons and caption boxes describing the
story. These may seem like things that are no longer useful in telling
a comic book story but I completely disagree. They don't pull me out of
a story-- they actually draw me in.
But enough about me getting on a soapbox complaining about how comics today suffer from denying their comicbookness, let's keep on target and discuss this thing. It's not all peaches and cream. There are some losers in here. Hawkman just sort of sits there. Wonder Woman is all over the place. Everything has beautiful, beautiful art but the stories vary widely in quality. The Kubert's effort doesn't really get us anywhere and seems like it could have included more story by shrinking up some of them panels.
Winners, at least in my book, are Flash Kamandi, Metamorpho, and Superman. They get more to the essence of whatever story their telling and give us great moments to get to know the characters. The Superman one gave me a better view of Superman than most of todays comics come close to... and the art was incredible. My favorite turned out to be Flash because we got two stories that both drew you in.
The challenge here is obviously to use the page wisely and give us a good story in only 12 oversized pages (if I'm getting the length of this series) and that means nothing can really be decompressed. They have to use that space and employ some old tricks to get the story done. I sort of miss that in my modern comics. You don't always have to spend 3 issues explaining Dr. Doom's latest plan to kill the Fantastic Four. It would be nice to see some of these techniques escape back into today's comics.
Or, maybe, I'm seeing what I want to see. It's possible that the next 11 issues will be all filler building to a finale and comics like Sgt. Rock and Hawkman certainly weren't dense stories. Heck, even one of my favorites, Superman, wasn't dense. It just really captured Supes' essence to me.
The only real trouble I have with this series is that the format doesn't really lead to a lot of repeat reading. The newsprint is already weak around the folds and it's almost intended to be disposable. I hope they find some way to collect these tales... possibly in some oversized book because I can see wanting to read a few of them over and over again... which would totally ruin the newspaper style comic I've got right now.
Wednesday Comics, you get a 9. I just wish you weren't so damn recyclable.
Review by guitarsmashley
This is not a comic with a narrative it might
not even have one in 11 weeks instead it is just pages that start
comics. Congrats DC you figured out how to take the incredibly boring
first issue of an arc and compress them into one page, unfortunately
that one page isn't very good.
Kamandi-C+(For amazing Sook art)
Superman-C(not bad but not great)
Green Lantern-F(this is why the book fails.)
Metamorpho-B+(a page where things happen and actually lays out more than just background.)
Teen Titans-B (If it weren't for the art this would be an A)
Strange Adventures-A(Finally a page that actually conveys a full comic.)
SuperGirl-A(that was fucking cute)
Metal Men-F (boring)
Wonderwoman-F( that was unreadable like actually, I couldn't read a word of it.
SGT Rock-C+(great art no story)
Flash-A(The best of the bunch so far, it has action, a set up, a cliffhanger worth caring about.)
Catwoman-B(clever, very clever.)
Hawkman-D(The art was great but the story was wanking.)
As a format this doesn't work. This is not something I would continue reading, you're going to give me one page of a 12 page comic? Well you need to be moving a lot faster. The only story I didn't like that could grow into something decent is the Batman story but overall this comic is a complete waste.
2 even the good couldn't out way the bad and the format.
Review by Mr_Batman
What can I say about this that hasn't already been said. Some these kept me on the edge of my seat. I liked most of these, except for Wonder Woman. I felt it was hard to read. I didn't really like the art on Teen Titans either. My personal favorites were Batman, Metamorpho, Metal Men, and Flash. Batman was just an awesome moment, and I really want to see what happens. Meamorpho was just a fun page. It was nice to see Didio write, as it wasn't that bad. Another fun one. And as for Flash, it just felt somewhat interesting to me. I think the format is a new and cool idea, and the newspaper type thing pretty cool too. For the most part, this was fun read, and I'm considering getting the second one.
That gives Wednesday Comics #1 a group score of 7.85. Everyone who mentioned format is a fucking idiot, so says VinnyPic.
For further discussion about this issue, feel free to join us in this week's thread (http://www.theouthousers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25852) found in the Newstand forum where you are also invited to join the group by posting your own review.
guitarsmashley has the pick for July 15th and he was guilted into selecting Blackest Night #1 from DC Comics. Look for the new multi-colored thread after it becomes available Wednesday morning to join in on the fun.
Blackest Night #1
Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert
Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis raise the dead in the most anticipated comic story of the year! Throughout the decades, death has plagued the DC Universe and taken the lives of heroes and villains alike. But to what end? As the War of Light rages on, the prophecy of the Blackest Night descends upon us, with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps at the center of it all. Don't miss this 8-issue epic taking the DCU beyond the grave!
DC Universe | 48pg. | Color | $3.99 US