Man, you got to love the brain trust of DC Comics (it even annoys me that that the “Comics” in DC Comics is redundant, yet we all use it!). Here we are a week away from the Convergence, another reboot and clearing the closet act, in order to make their universe appealing and what do they decide to bring out? A Secret Origins books, featuring characters that will undoubtedly have their past re-written to align with the big event!
This issue, behind a massively irrelevant cover, we have stories from such MAJOR players as Guy Gardner, John Constantine and Black Canary. As the book is somewhat anthology in style, I will adopt the same approach to the review.
Red Roots:- (W) Landry Q. Walker, (A) Scott Hepburn, (C) Felipe Sobreiro
Here we have a story of a young Guy, seeking approval from an unloving family and the strides he takes to gain acceptance from within. Lo and behold, he doesn’t get it and this sends him on his angry little way right up to the moment that he overcomes his fear (and at no point in the book to this point is fear even mentioned), and receives a Green Lantern ring. From there we slide past a lot of history and catch our breath after recent events and the true emotion of anger rather than courage, shines the brightest as he takes on a Red Lantern ring. I would have thought that having “that” haircut was enough to make anyone angry! Overall the story is a bit under whelming. I am of an age where I remember the original origin of Guy and the reason he was given a ring. The art on the book is somewhat a step up from the usual style you see although the whole book screams filler to me.
Constantine: (W) Ray Fawkes, (A) Richard Isanove
Ok, second origin of sorts. Here we have a number of potential stories and although it’s written by series regular Fawkes, we are back in childhood trauma……again. Now I have never been a massive Hellblazer fan, my only interaction with Mr C has been Justice League Dark, but even I can see there is something a little off with the Nu 52 version. One quick point of interest, Newcastle is a city not a town, I should know, as I work there. Art is actually pretty good, it’s definitely the best in the book.
Code Black: (W) Christy Marx, (A) Rich Burchett, (C) Nathan Fairbairn
Another Black Canary origin? More like a gap filler between Zero Year (yes part of a previous Bat-story that just had to crossover into every book) and the Team 7 holdover from Birds of Prey. Now, back in the day BoP was a great book. Unfortunately, when it got re-nu’d it took a hit. Rumours of editorial control and changes in writers and characters leaving as quickly as they appeared, didn’t help. I am glad that Marx managed to get some sort of closure for her run with Canary even if, like the Guy Gardner piece, this screams filler.
I am probably the worst person to look at this book. For me, the Nu52 origins do not add anything to these characters. Still, following Convergence, I am sure that the brain trust will no doubt let us know the origins of the new nu52, despite the fact that DC fans will have already been along from the start.