All Star Western #1 – Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with Art by Moritat. Jonah Hex is in Gotham and a lot of people were original concerned about this. However, as Gotham emerges out of the frontier to be the blossoming city, plenty of bad things need rooted out and that’s where Hex comes in. You can tell the love that Gray and Palmiotti have for this character. The storyline involves Jonah Hex teamed up with Dr. Arkham (how clever) to find out who the Gotham Butcher is. Of course, the Butcher is killing prostitutes, so nothing too utterly original here, but how many original stories can you have anymore. Throwing Jonah Hex into this formulaic tale with Dr. Arkham is what makes it unique. Plus seeing the “old” families of Gotham (Waynes, Cobblepots, Gates, etc.) gives it an interesting back story to play with. And as for the art, I thoroughly enjoyed the art. I loved the moody, thick black lines the artist used at times. The grittiness of Jonah Hex came alive in the pencils. Just great stuff. Overall, I thought this was a very good first issue and worth picking up if this genre peaks your interest at all.
Blackhawks #1 – Written by Mike Costa, Layouts by Graham Nolan, and Finished by Ken Lashley. Welcome to the Blackhawks. A team subsidized, apparently, by the U.N. Yeah right. A rag-tag crew of soldiers from different countries work together to solve problems through-out the world. It just didn’t work for me on a lot of levels. The characters seemed to lack any dimension and were just generally uninteresting. We don’t really know much about them, what motivates them, or even what the hell their missions are. We find out something about nanocites and it all comes off very flat. I think DC would have been better served making this a World War II comic as an homage to the original Blackhawks. Instead, they try to wrap it into today’s world, throw away any sense of realism and give us 1 dimensional characters that you won’t remember after you put the book down. The artwork has potential, but the opening sequence seemed off and just never really recovered from the confusing open. There was very little here that came across as entertaining or clever and this one is definitely not worth spending your money on.
The Savage Hawkman #1 – Written by Tony S. Daniel and Art by Philip Tan. So Carter Hall tries to burn his wings connected to the Nth metal and WOOSH, the Nth metal gets mad and apparently implants itself in his body. So now think black costume Spider-Man where he can summon the costume to come out at will. And does that work? Well, I don’t feel it gave me anything interesting here. At the end of the issue, I’m assuming Carter is an alcoholic and a cryptologist and that’s about it. We aren’t quite sure where the Nth metal came from and why this alien they find is after it. I just didn’t find much of this terribly interesting, mainly because we never really get into Carter Hall’s character. The artwork, however, is just fantastic as Philip Tan goes all out here. The costume looks REALLY good though and it benefitted from that redesign. However, we still didn’t get any good way to connect with Hall and that’s a shame. I wanted to be more interested than I was. I hope the next issue improves the story and it’s hard to judge this on one issue alone. However, I didn’t feel that this issue was all that good except for the amazing art of Tan. So it has potential to be something, but for now, I would only consider it, but not a strong buy here.
The Fury of Firestorm #1 – Plotted by Ethan Van Sciver & Gail Simone, Written by Gail Simone and Art by Yildiray Cinar. So we have Firestorms in this one, Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond. The plot involves some terrorists (what is this, every other issue of comics now?) and trying to recover something. Apparently it was sent to Jason who then uses it and transforms him and Ronnie into Firestorms. Two separate ones to be clear. Both of the characters really dislike each other and we establish this early on. So by the end of the issue they combine into on giant Firestorm called Fury. That’s most of the issue. What I didn’t like is how Jason seemed to know exactly what to do with his powers and they just start blasting each other and flying around. Whatever happened to figuring out what you can do as a hero? None of that here. Maybe with stories so condensed now, Gail Simone didn’t have time to do that. However, I think she could have managed it. The art by Cinar is fairly decent, but I think he’s usually better than this. My main problem was the coloring that was used. It seems muted and washed in areas and I didn’t care for that. The issue was decent enough, but not enough to convince me that the series is going to be good. I’m on the fence about this one, so it’s just “meh” to me, not bad, but not all that good either.
I, Vampire #1– Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Art by Andrea Sorrentino. This is an interesting enough tale about Andrew, a vampire who apparently doesn’t like killing humans and seems to be the sire of Mary, Queen of Blood. Mary is batshit crazy while Andrew plays the role of the good cop. So they’ve been around about 400 years and are still meandering, having semi-deep conversations and the only thing I’m getting out of it is that Mary is a total flaming bitch and Andrew is such a nice guy that he must be Canadian. So, while I like to get into the minds of characters, the first several pages read like this, “Blah blah blah Mary!” “Blah blah blah Andrew!” It did get much more interesting than that and I find it odd that this is a “part” of the current DC Universe. Of course, not that this will affect any other comic in their line, but they’ll pretend it matters. Really though, the artwork was very good, a lot of ambience and moodiness and such that you need to have here. No complaints there. I just wasn’t totally drawn into their conversation because it seems like such normal vampire fair. But at least they appear to be traditional vampires, so they’ve got that going for them. Yeah, I think this was a pretty decent comic that has some promise, so if you just dig those vampires, I think you might find this pretty good. If not, you’ll probably just want to skip this one over.