Now that we have a second issue we can see where these stories are going:
Batman - Azzarello and Rizzo have drummed up a pulp noir tale complete with murder, attempted murder, the upper class, mystery, and a femme fatale. Rizzo’s layout is superb, really nabbing the newspaper serial feel.
Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth - Ryan Sook’s art is absolutely stunning, a luscious tribute to Jack Kirby’s creation with an unfortunately tedious dime-novel prosaic narrative from Dave Gibbons.
Superman - Last issue, Superman battled an alien creature who shook the hero’s foundation with a simple question. Now Clark visits Gotham and his old pal Bruce looking for answers. John Acrudi’s story seems simple but poignant and Lee Bermejo expertly captures the facial nuances in his lavish, tangible art that the story’s emotional underpinning really needs.
Deadman - “The Dearly Departed Detective Part II”, as Deadman goes on the hunt to take down a serial killer using his unique abilities, he’s warned off by his benefactor. But her warning falls on deaf ears, as Boston Brand winds in a situation beyond his control. Dave Bullock and Vinton Heuck’s story started off choppy but has established itself nicely here, with Bullock’s “Animated” art allied with a heavy dose of ink, complimenting the story nicely with some playful panel arrangements.
Green Lantern - After last issues meandering opening as Ferris Aircraft employees gabbed away while bellying up to the bar, I thought perhaps Kurt Busiek didn’t understand how to use this new format to its maximum effect, but this issue’s strip, he seems to be more than aware of his medium and is putting together something very adventurous in construction. Joe Quenones’ New Frontier-inspired art is magnifique.
Metamorpho - It’s Neal Gaiman and Mike Allred, need I say more? Okay, there’s a sub-feature here, “A Message For YOU From The Metamorpho Fans Of America”… blue blazes, that’s a club I want to join.
Teen Titans - The current-ish Teen Titans roster squares off against the new Trident, only to have their butts handed to them and the older Titans coming to their rescue. Robin is embarassed. The story by Eddie Berganza is one of the least enticing in the Wednesday Comics roster, and Sean Galloway’s art, while colored with a pleasant anime style, doesn’t give much in the way of dynamic visuals or layout.
Strange Adventures - Paul Pope delivers the pulpiest of pulpy sci-fi tales as Adam Strange takes on a horde of invading monkeymen, only to have his beloved (and scantily clad) Alanna taken hostage. What a pickle. It’s terrifically entertaining and so visually curious.
Supergirl - It’s a delightfully light and fluffy tale from husband and wife duo of Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Connor as Supergirl chases Streaky the Super-cat and Krypto the Super-dog throughout Metropolis, wreaking havoc as they go.
Metal Men - Dan Didio writes (!) a retro-70’s set piece for Jose Luis Garcia Lopez and Kevin Knowlan to illustrate, as the Metal Men foil a bank robbery. It may not seem like much, but it just oozes that classic 70’s comic vibe and it’s quite a treat.
Wonder Woman - The murky visuals of Ben Caldwell’s plus the panel-cramped page of the first chapter made this second chapter an unfortunate skip. Caldwell looks to be attempting much bang for the buck with his page, but it’s a chore to read.
Sgt. Rock - The story by Adam Kubert is perfectly okay (Sarge has been caught by the enemy and is undergoing interrogation) but the nine-panel grid layout of the story, not unlike any normal comic book page, reveals an unfortunate lack of invention on legendary creator Joe Kubert’s part. Think outside the box.
The Flash/Iris West - Karl Kerschl and Brendan Fletcher’s double strip page tells one story using two styles. It’s wacky, it’s fun, and Kerschl is obviously having great fun with the format. The story involves an almost sit-com style set-up that involves time travel. Perhaps the best among them.
The Demon/Catwoman - Selena has just escaped from a dinner date with Jason Blood which was a pretense for scoping out his mansion, unaware that as she returns in full catsuit later that night, there are malevolent forces lying in wait for her. Walt Simonson doles out an unexpected team-up while Brian Stelfreeze bangs out a great looking page.
Hawkman - It’s freakin’ Kyle Baker writing and drawing Hawkman. How great is that. Pretty great, in fact, as Hawkman takes on a some hijackers aboard a passenger flight. “Your companions are dead. The rest of you will envy them before I’m done with you.” Hawkman = badass.
I give this an 11.5/15.