Superman/Aliens 2: God War
by Chuck Dixon, Jon Bogdanove & Kevin Nowlan
The story is a fairly simple premise: After a spacehip infested with Aliens crashes on Apokolips, Darkseid allows an army of parademons wo be infected and then sends the army to New Genesis. Superman just happens to be visiting New Genesis at the time, and he joins with the New Gods to fight off both the hordes of Apokolips and the Alien menace. In fact, despite Superman's name in the title, this is much more of a New Gods story with Superman along for the ride. I've never been a huge fan of Bogdanove's, but this is some of the best art I've ever seen from him, as he and Nowlan manage to evoke a Kirby-esque look without being a blatant pastiche.
Rating: 3 (of 5)
Batgirl: Year One
by Scott Beatty & Chuck Dixon, Marcos Martin & Alvaro Lopez
Beatty & Dixon turn in a decent story that attempts to bring together the disparate parts of Barbara Gordon's origin as Batgirl to bring it in harmony with the current Batman mythos while also including some winking forebits towards her later Oracle & Birds of Prey days. Barbara is presented as young and a bit naive, and over the course of the nine issues collected here grows in her role as a fledgling crimefighter and comes to understand the seriousness of her undertaking. The real attraction with this book though is the art by Martin & Lopez, a cross between Tim Sale & Steve Rude that is stunning in the plentiful action pieces and smooth in the downtime moments. Without the contribution from the artists this would be simply another competent retelling of a super-hero origin, but with the art it becomes a compelling visual treat from some of comics brightest new talent.
Rating: 3.5 (of 5)