To follow up on yesterday: I ended up not getting Justice League International…just seemed a little too…generic-y superhero, you know? I also picked up Omac, after giving it a look-through or two, and hearing a good word or two about it from comrade-in-funnybook-arms Chris Sims. It’s Keith Giffen doing a totally-nuts Kirby riff, and if you’re gonna do a book like Omac, Kirby it up as much as possible, I say.
And Swamp Thing…my mystical eye of Aga-Mike-o has peered across the nerdinet and has witnessed the pleasingly positive response most people have had to this new debut issue. Like I said yesterday, it continues the “Alec Holland evading his Swamp Thing destiny” storyline from the mini-series, and I’m assuming Scott Snyder will eventually provide the explanation for the sudden reseparation of Alec from Swampy, when the rejoining of the two was such a big deal at the end of Brightest Day. But, also like I noted, where the Search for Swamp Thing mini-series seemed awkward and forced, this new issue is more along the lines of what I want from a Swamp Thing comic…creepier and more introspective.
There’s also a bit of business introducing Swamp Thing’s next adversary, which features a certainly intentional reference to one of the more disturbing visuals from the Moore/Bissette/Totleben era. I don’t know that it’s supposed to be the same thing from the Moore run, but…well, I realize I’m being vague here, in an attempt to avoid spoilers. But you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it.
One more thing, and this could be a SPOILER, I guess: this comic features, I believe, the second in-story appearance of Superman in his new costume that we’ve seen since the beginning of the relaunch. And while Yanick Paquette does a remarkable job illustrating this issue, there’s only so much one can do with that new Superman costume. It just plain looks awkward. Even the dude who designed the thing couldn’t make it work in the one panel he had to sell us on it in Justice League #1.
I like to think that I’m not simply being a typical reactionary comics fan, hating something because it’s different from what I’m used to. I mean, it’s…I’m not even sure how to articulate it. I think it’s a level of…pretension, perhaps, that seems uncharacteristic of what we think of when we consider the character of Superman. I think it’s that collar. It sort of gives him, like…airs of royalty, maybe? A “hey, this is my important uniform, I outrank you” kind of thing? And the action figure space-boots he suddenly has? It’s like Superman is slowly turning into the kind of superhero Old Superman opposed in Kingdom Come, with the overwrought, overdesigned ’90s tech-fest look.
Yes, maybe the red underwear over the blue tights was kind of goofy. Actually, there’s no “kind of” about it…it is goofy. And as someone reminded me on the Twitter not long ago, Superman’s costume is essentially just an old-timey circus strongman outfit. And…I’m okay with that. “Simple” works for Superman. So does “goofy” — it’s a little more humanizing, helping to bring a fantastic (in the original sense) character like Superman down to earth. (Compare also with the work jeans and boots costume in the new Action.)
Granted, that George Perez cover makes it look okay, but then, that’s George Perez. He makes purt’near everything look okay. But I’ll have to see what he does with it inside the book. Maybe once I get the in-story explanation for it (if there is one), I’ll be a little more accepting.
I mean, sure, if DC sticks with this costume, I’ll get used to it. But it’s really no improvement, especially if no one can draw it in an appealing fashion. It’s just change for change’s sake, and just one more shout of “hey, look, we’re different now!” among DC’s cacophony of similar cries.
So, in conclusion, I liked the new Swamp Thing comic. And let us put an end to the DC posts on this site…at least ’til next week.