Mysterious Woman and the New DCU

Mysterious WomanFrom the start of the reboot, relaunch, restart from DC in September we have been shown insider information at the end of each issue in the form of creator interviews, art work, and the like. In last weeks issues (October 26th) DC threw in a page about the Mysterious Woman, introduced in Flashpoint #5, that sheds a little (very little) light on what the minds at DC have in store for us all.

As most readers of the New DC 52 realized this floating, cloaked woman appeared in every issue of the New 52 released in September. Whether she was up and close in panel or hidden in the background amongst trees, she was there in panel for them all. Now in the back of these issues, Editor-in-Chief at DC Bob Harras lets us all know that this is not the last of her we will see. He writes about how Geoff Johns had the back-story built for this character and how Flashpoint would connect with the New 52 Universe. But apparently the crew at DC had their ducks in a row and were planning this new universe for some time and thought up a way in which the Mysterious Woman could be woven into all of these stories to “really drive home how important this character is.” Harras continues by saying we will soon see her again in the upcoming issues of Justice League and “events ripple across titles as we continue to weave the DC Universe together.”

I came away form this short article with a three reactions. First was, I really need to read Flashpoint #5 (curse you Hastings for short ordering). The next reaction came from the first few paragraphs telling of how much time Johns, Lee, and the rest put into planning out and crafting this “shift” in the DC Comics line. Since Flashpoint was the first time I bought monthly issued comics, I was extremely excited at the idea of starting at #1 with these great books. The time they put into these new issues is showing, as readers seem to be pleased with the new books. As the article began to come to a close is when I started to fret. Harras started to hint, if not out right say, that all the books are going to have an over-arching continuity. If this were true, I would be a little frustrated by it. In-book continuity is an aspect that is necessary, but when continuity begins to stretch out to other books I start to have qualms about it.

When it was said that the Mysterious Woman would be appearing in all new issues I had the feeling that this would be DC’s way to revert all the books back to a pre-Flashpoint state. But, I have faith in the creative team at DC (and the September sales reports) that this new DCU will continue to deliver top-notch books for years to come.

Favorite New 52 Issues

As of this week we have finished up the first month of 52 new number ones being released by DC. There are have been some definite success stories and some that have just come up short. Here are my top five releases that I had pleasure to read.

5. Justice League- The dynamic between Green Lantern and Batman was a great thing in this issue. As for Jim Lee’s art, well I’m a sucker for it. It’s just so shiny!

4.  The Flash- An issue that I was on the fence about reading, and besides one obvious disregard for the 180 rule am I happy that I grabbed this. And who doesn’t like clones?!

3. Batman- The dark undertone for this issue was very well done. Including three generations of Robin and the reveal that one is plotting the downfall of Bruce was great.

2. Teen Titans-Another issue I almost didn’t read. To understand just how much I liked this issue just read my review here.

1. Detective Comics- Showing that change can be good, the creative team behind Detective shot out of the gates and delivered a fantastic issue. This number one also included possibly the creepiest ending splash page I have ever seen.

So those are my top five from the new 52 releases. What five issues did you enjoy reading the most?

Review-Teen Titans #1

I had no intentions to pick this book when I arrived to buy my comics this week. The only interactions with “Teen Titans” are the unread copy of the Judas Contract on my bookshelf and a conversation from Major Spoilers Podcast #344. But gee willikers am I happy I grabbed this issue!

Teenagers with Attitude

The story starts with news coverage of a mansion fire being contained by the local fire department. The broadcast is soon interrupted by a new teenage hero in town with the name of Kid Flash. Kid Flash is eager to show his apparent online fan base exactly what he is capable of, but falls quite short. While trying to save a man off the roof, Kid Flash carelessly causes a back draft that erupts the entire house and sends our young, unconscious hero flying off into a patch of grass.

The ending news coverage of the fire takes us into a penthouse with Tim Drake, aka Red Robin, scanning multiple news reports of teenage meta-humans appearing all over the world. While Drake is caught reminiscing about his time as the sidekick for Batman, in come members, and possible leader, for our new organization of baddies titled N.O.W.H.E.R.E. During the dialogue between Drake and the no-named leader we learn that it is N.O.W.H.E.R.E’s goal to snatch up these teenaged superheroes for an unknown reason. Drake evades his capture by starting the timer on the bomb he has rigged inside of his own apartment and gliding away.

We begin the third act by being introduced to Cassie Sandsmark.  This lovely girl’s trouble starts when she is pulled over by a cop, who is actually an agent of N.O.W.H.E.R.E., for stealing the sports car she is driving. Luckily, Red Robin also has his eyes on her for a much different reason. After dispatching the cop, Tim tells Cassie that he knows she is Wonder Girl and is trying to get her to admit. Finally, in the midst of bullet fire, and possibly just from being pissed at Drake, we see Cassie turn on her Wonder Girl powers and take out the attacking helicopter.

On the last two pages of the issues we get our inevitable cliffhanger. The leader of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. is talking to one of the scientists about his desire to use their secret project. The boss declares that based on what happened today it is now time to release…the Superboy!

Somebody get me a frame!

Flipping to fist page and seeing the wall mounting worthy art is what made me walk out the store with this in hand. Brett Booth draws the reader in with the emotion that he puts on the characters faces. He also gives life like I have never seen to the fire at the start and the energy Wonder Girl puts out towards the end. Bottom line is I would keep reading this title as long as Booth kept drawing it.

Final Thoughts

I loved this issue! Everything from the characterization to the art struck a chord in my heart that I want plunked month after month. The only worry I have is the possibility of other books tying into Teen Titans. From reading the review at MajorSpoilers.com it seems that there are some definite similarities between this and Superboy #1, so we will have to see if these titles cross paths in the future. But with all that said, I put my stamp of approval on Teen Titans #1 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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