Review: DC Universe Presents #1

Written by Paul Jenkins, Art by Bernard Chang, Cover by Ryan Sook

Solicitation Info (from Previews): It’s the start of a new series spotlighting some of the DC Universes’s most exciting super heroes! First up is Deadman, straight from the pages of BRIGHTEST DAY, in a five-issue epic where the body-hopping hero meets his match in a new foe who wants to make sure the souls that Deadman helps out go straight to Hell!

Bias: The first story arc focuses on Deadman. Deadman is dating Dove. Whether she’s in the book or not, I’ll pick this one up just to see what they’re doing with the character, so when he shows up in Hawk & Dove, I’m clear on his situation. (In other words, unless this really sucks, I’ll be collecting the first arc – we’ll see about after that, depending on who the creative team is and what character is being presented.)

What I liked: It was a pretty straightforward story, for a story about a metaphysical mystery. We’re told what he’s supposed to do, why it isn’t working, and even how he plans to figure out what’s going wrong and why. We’re told Deadman’s history, but focus is on the present, when he’s less of an asshole than at the start. I also liked that there was a headshot of Dove in the background of page 8, so I’m hopeful that we’ll see more of her in future issues.

What I disliked: Honestly, the biggest deterrent to this title wasn’t in this issue, but issue 7. We’ve got a six issue story by Paul Jenkins about Deadman, but what’s after that? They’ve got me hooked, given Deadman’s connection to both Dove and Justice League Dark (which I have high hopes for), but can this title sustain itself after the first story arc – and why bother? Why not have a Deadman mini-series, followed by one about whoever will take over with issue 7 – and it’d let you have another #1, which seems to be a big deal to publishers. Meh. We’ll see with issue 7, I guess. I just wish the title was more of a lynch-pin for the goings on in the DC Universe. (For example, if the first story arc focused on the mysterious, hooded woman from Flashpoint #5, we’d be able to see how this title was a lynchpin for the overarcing stories affecting the whole DCnU.) I guess I would’ve preferred if this title was used as the set-up for the massive events that will sweep through the DCnU (and while they may say that there’s no plans for a big event, the speech that the mysterious, hooded woman gave in Flashpoint #5 – and her appearance in every book since then – indicates otherwise…)

Verdict: I’m collecting this title through issue 6, at least.

As always, SPOILERS in comments, including my favorite scene, thoughts on what happened, and questions about what’s to come.

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One response to “Review: DC Universe Presents #1

  1. My favorite scene was the one where Rama explained Deadman’s situation to him. The metaphysical nature of his situation intrigued me. He’s to make other’s lives better for the purpose of making himself into the man he needs to be…why? It really does seem that Rama has a purpose for Boston Brand, and the issue gave me enough interest in finding out what that is.

    So I guess the first question is: what is it that Rama needs Boston to become, and why? Not sure if that’ll be answered in this story arc (and I’m not sure the next will focus on Deadman, so we’ll probably have to find those answers in Justice League Dark or Hawk & Dove), but the one that probably will be answered in this story: what’s the deal with his latest batch of living bricks? What was he supposed to do? (Assuming it wasn’t what he ended up doing – which, given that he feels he’s failed them, doesn’t appear to be the case.) My guess is that the closer he gets to the man he’s supposed to be, the harder his tasks will become. Punching out the problem was okay at the start, but he’s going to have to dig deeper and deeper with each new living brick to solve the problem he was sent to achieve – and the solution will be something that shapes who he is and how he views himself. Oh, and the last question (which will definitely be answered next issue): how’s Rama going to react to being “summoned?”

    As for the mysterious, hooded woman from Flashpoint #5, she appears next to the clown in the third panel down on page 2.

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