This September, DC Comics is turning it all the way back to zero, taking a look at what went on in the DCU before the New 52. Like we did a year ago with the first month of DC’s new universe, we’re going to give you some looks at all the "Zero Month" titles coming out over the next few weeks.
So here we go:
JUSTICE LEAGUE #0
Written by Geoff Johns, Art By Gary Frank and Ethan Van Sciver
WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Billy Batson finally gets the power of Shazam, and finds out who his enemy is. Plus, Pandora gets sent on a mission.
BEST BIT: This is a changed origin that actually works, and manages to update both the reason Captain Marvel - sorry, Shazam - looks so big, and his powers without it feeling cheesy.
WORST BIT: One might find fault in the fact that the Justice League doesn't appear anywhere in these pages.
ANY BIG REVELATIONS/TEASES? Black Adam. The Seven Deadly Sins. And... The Question. Yeah, this is chock full of the old revelations/teases.
ARE WE BACK FOR ISSUE #13? Yup. I realize that Shazam will be joining the Justice League in the near future, but if we can get a Geoff Johns/Gary Frank Shazam ongoing, that would be okay with me. Right now, Johns is writing Batson as a jerk kid, and it's working beautifully... In fact, this might be the best, most consistently enjoyable story Johns has told since his Superman story with... Gary Frank. I know I pointed out there was no Justice League in this issue, but when the story and art are this good, who needs 'em?
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #0
Written by Paul Levitz, Art By Scott Kolins
WHAT’S IT ABOUT? On the strange world of Colu, the Legion fights monsters let out from the original Braniac's weapons vault.
BEST BIT: Scott Kolins' art is incredible here... He's been experimenting with different forms the past few years, so this is the clearest and cleanest I've seen in a while.
WORST BIT: Even trying to think about when this takes place is giving me a headache.
ANY BIG REVELATIONS/TEASES? Nah, not really.
ARE WE BACK FOR ISSUE #13? This is a solid effort, but for someone who hasn't been drawn in by the Legion's current exploits, this isn't really anything new or revelatory.
Written by Tom DeFalco and Kyle Higgins, Art By Eddy Barrows
WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Young Dick Grayson watched his parents die, then became the masked superhero named Robin. Here's how that happened, yo.
BEST BIT: There's a great two page scene with Alfred and Dick hanging out that underscores what's so different about Batman and Nightwing, without really saying it.
WORST BIT: ...And then by the end of the issue, they say it. OH WELL SUBTEXT.
ANY BIG REVELATIONS/TEASES? They fight Lady Shiva in this issue! Next issue: Lady Shiva returns.
ARE WE BACK FOR ISSUE #13? Possibly. There's some really strong character work in this issue, though that's a little easier to do when you're dealing with big origins like Nightwing's. It's the same reason origin stories for Batman, Superman, or any other character usually work: if the origin is clear and simple, it makes getting to the heart of the character easy. I'm not trying to downplay what DeFalco and Higgins do here, because it's a good comic; it just may get a little murkier when you jump into Grayson's ongoing exploits.
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #0
Written by Scott Lobdell, Art By Pasqual Ferry
WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Jason Todd was doomed from before birth to be a screw-up... But for a short time, he was Robin. Then he died.
BEST BIT: Ferry draws Jason's father as the scummiest guy who ever lived.
WORST BIT: The back-up story is poorly timed, given how the Joker will be re-emerging next month... I'd rather have him off the board entirely.
ANY BIG REVELATIONS/TEASES? There's the back-up story, which - as mentioned - explains the long standing connection between Red Hood and Joker.
ARE WE BACK FOR ISSUE #13? Probably not... Particularly after reading a solid Robin origin in Nightwing, Jason seems like the also-ran he thinks he might be. It also might have been nice to get a rundown of all three characters, showing how they all grew up, but now I'm just back-seat writing, so never mind.
"Justice League" #0, "Legion of Super-Heroes" #0, "Nightwing" #0, and "Red Hood & The Outlaws" #0 all hit comic book stores on September 19th from DC Comics!
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