Sunday, February 6, 2011

Comic Book Review: DC Universe Online - Legends #1

Written By: Marv Wolfman & Tony Bedard
Artist: Howard Porter, Livesay, Adriana Melo, & Norman Lee
Colorist: Carrie Strachan & Norman Lee
Cover Artist: Ed Benes
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Editor: Ben Abernathy

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
So let’s first start off by giving you a recap of the incredible game trailer for DC Universe Online.  Why do you ask?  Well firstly because it will help you understand my review better.  Secondly, it ties in with the comic.  And thirdly...because it's just freaking awesome!!!

This trailer became a hot topic once it hit youtube and other like websites.  No doubt it brought up the question of why DC isn’t making all of their animated films as good as this trailer.  With the excitement and power that the trailer brought to the table, I guess this told the hierarchs at DC and WB to work their capitalization sorcery and get a miniseries going based off of the “highly anticipated game.”  But, to be honest…the game itself I’m sure is awesome, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work as a comic.

This series is basically going to give us a more in depth back story that leads up to the video game plotline, picking up right at the point when Luthor stabs Superman in the back with his staff bearing a kryptonite tip on its end. 

The whole world stands on the brink of destruction with Lex Luthor leading the way.  Teamed-up with Brainiac, Lex is shocked to discover that Brainiac has betrayed him (big surprise) and plans to collect data from Earth before destroying it. (Another very predictable plotline rears its ugly head.) Luthor escapes and goes after the remaining heroes to help put a stop to Brainiac’s evil plot.

The problem with this series is contained in the story’s premise.  With the trailer and game, we already know what’s going to occur and its inevitable outcome.  What does DC think they can do with a story that’s already been figured out and publicized?  In addition, how will this story affect the DC Universe as a whole?  These are my preconceived notions of the series which, more or less, have played a part in dictating how I feel about this first issue.  But I do think that most of DC’s loyal fans are going to be severely disappointed in this book purely based on the fact that nothing new is learned.

Wolfman and Bedard do give Luthor a proper treatment however; he’s still his old, egotistical, power hungry self who allows his hatred for Superman to take over any other emotions that might be lurking in the brain of his.  I would say that in this issue, Luthor is a little more of a scaredy-cat than I would like, but not enough for me to hate the way he’s portrayed.

The four person team-up on the artsy side of things is a little more impressive than the literary side.  The faults lie with the slightly disjointed and chaotic look of the characters.  The lighting used for some of the highly active scenes, done very well by Strachan and Abbot, boost the visual appeal to a level that should not go unrecognized as outstanding.

My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
DC Universe Online Legends #1 is a prime example of why capitalizing on a good idea can fall flat on its face if not carefully done.  Transformers is one of the few successes where capitalization worked flawlessly, starting from mere Japanese toys to blockbuster film projects.  My opinion, this series should never made it past the drawing board.

But who knows, maybe those who love the game will love this series just as much.  But for you fans who are looking for that riveting storyline that should have come along with this title in the first place, I would say leave this title to build up dust on the racks at your local comic book store.  If you are still interested in seeing what happens in the end, wait until your library has collected it in trade, find a spot to sit down, and get through it in an hour or so.

4 out of 10

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