Back in June, I had the idea to ask a couple of my friends to look over the solicits for DC's September books, the first month of the New 52, and tell me what they thought. Papafred got back to me that month, Alex did not. I figured it would be kind of silly to ask him to look at solicits for books that were released over a month ago, so instead I had him read the first issues of the titles I bought, and tell me what he thought.
I tried not to influence him in any way, though if he made a sound I might question what he was reacting to. If something's in quotes, it's a direct quote. Otherwise, it's my shorthand for things he said. We're going in the order he read them in.
Suicide Squad #1:
As he was reading: 'I haven't read a comic in awhile, this is exciting for me.'
'Is that Scarecrow?' (upon seeing the torturers with the bags over their heads)
'I know some of these words.' (Good Burger quote. I have no idea why he said that).
'So she was dancing with the Joker and he was already dead?' (Harley Quinn flashback)
'They've got a lot of advertisements in this fucking thing.'
He laughed at Black Spider requesting medical attention, and being told it was denied.
After finishing: He guessed ahead of time they were being tested. He liked the flashbacks, but wished they were longer. He didn't like King Shark, describing him as 'too fictitious', which compared to the other characters, who generally look human, I can understand. I had to explain that yes, they were still criminals. He preferred Dallocchio's art, feeling the faces were more detailed, but mostly, he didn't like that the flashbacks were so heavily one color (or various shades of one color). He thinks the Harley redesign is hot.
Final verdict: 'That's kinda cool.'
Resurrection Man #1:
As he was reading: Yawned (but it was 2:50 A.M.)
'Jesus Christ' (the angel transforming)
'I don't actually like this one.' (4 pages to go). 'Wait you don't?' (Me, making sure I'm quoting him correctly) 'No, not at all.'
After finishing: 'I didn't like it.'
'It was just. . . I didn't like it.'
'Boring. Hella boring.'
'It had action moments but it's too something.' (getting frustrated he can't pin down what's bugging him)
He didn't care for the artwork, thought the angel woman's face was too weird, but admits it may be a matter of his personal taste. It just didn't interest him.
Final verdict: Pick a quote from above.
As he was reading: 'Great, another airplane.'
After finishing:He felt it was action-packed, he liked the artwork, describing it as 'kind of old-schoolish', though I'm not sure what qualifies as "old school" for him.
Final verdict: 'I liked it, very full of action, kept me on my toes, or on the edge of my seat, you know?'
What I find interesting is that Alex and I take opposite viewpoints on these books. He would rank them Suicide Squad, Grifter, Resurrection Man, going from best to worst. I'd put Resurrection Man first, the Squad last. He didn't like Dagnino's art at all, I thought it worked very well. He preferred Dallocchio's art to Getty's on Suicide Squad (though much of his problem seems to stem from the coloring, which I pointed out), I felt the opposite. Grifter kept him on the edge of his seat, I found it thin.
I do think it's telling that Harley was the only character from Suicide Squad he knew, though he was sure he'd seen Deadshot somewhere before. And seeing as he was OK with her revamp, he isn't sitting there going, "What did they do to Waller?" like I am. Which is good for the goal of getting new readers, I guess. It relates back to what I was talking about with Green Arrow, where a reader comes in with a character helping to define what they consider to be the defining characteristics. And if you have no past history, than anything works.
I also had him read Daredevil #1, since I had it handy. He loved it, laughed at some of the humor. Direct quote: 'I'm really digging this. It's tight. So in depth about how he hides being Daredevil, then going straight into describing his job.' He wasn't really a fan of Martin's artwork, but he did seem to like Rivera's alright, so he's not a total lost cause.
At least we can agree on some things.