Villains Month Reviews: Count Vertigo, Relic, and Grodd [EXCLUSIVE]

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There's been a lot of discussion, internet scuttle-butt, and anguished moans about the '90s cover glut returning since DC Comics announced their 3-D Motion covers for "Villains Month." Add in some back and forth about availability of the covers at the retailer level, and you've got of a bit of a powder-keg waiting to explode. But whatever you feel about the gimmick, starting tomorrow the comics will be hitting the shelves - and will be judged on their own merits.

In advance of that, DC sent us the first three to hit: Green Arrow #23.1: Count Vertigo, Green Lantern #23.1: Relic, The Flash #23.1: Grodd. And you can check out your first look at the covers right here, right now:

That lovely little Vine aside, we all know you can't judge a book by its cover... So how is the first volley into Villains Month? To get right into it, we're resurrecting the same scale we used back for last year's Zero Month, and the launch of the New 52 two years ago.

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GREEN ARROW #23.1: COUNT VERTIGO

Written by Jeff Lemire, Art By Andrea Sorrentino

WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Count Vertigo, the son of a deposed ruler (maybe) gets powers, and takes revenge on those who did him wrong.

BEST BIT: Sorrentino's double page and full page splashes, as well as general panel structure are stunning. A POV shot over several pages is paced out perfectly.

WORST BIT: This is not the fault of the story at all, but having super-powered royalty has always struck me as weird. How do they have the time???

ANY BIG REVELATIONS/TEASES? Not particularly. Count Vertigo's story follows pretty closely to what you'd expect, though there is a lot of room for twists and turns in the future.

ARE WE BACK FOR ISSUE #24? Maybe? I like where Count Vertigo's story is headed, though the tease for issue #24 makes it seem like a detour, rather than the main thrust of his narrative. That said, I may check it out just for more of Sorrentino's gorgeous art.

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GREEN LANTERN #23.1: RELIC

Written by Robert Venditti, Art By Rags Morales

WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Relic is a scientist from an extinct universe before "ours." This is his story.

BEST BIT: The entire issue is laid out in full page splashes. Though it's perhaps not as quite warranted here as, say, the "Death of Superman," it's still a neat trick. Morales lays out the splashes well, and Venditti keeps the dialogue moving along briskly. It's a stunt, but it also works as a solid issue of a comic.

WORST BIT: Without spoiling anything, you could argue that a lot of this issue is either ripping off some of Jack Kirby's most famous creations, or paying tribute. You decide, reader!

ANY BIG REVELATIONS/TEASES? Yup. If you want to know what's going to happen in the upcoming "Light's Out" event, this is essential reading.

ARE WE BACK FOR ISSUE #24? Sure? I've tuned out from the Green Lantern books a bit since Geoff Johns left, despite solid writing - mainly because it felt like they were treading the same "emotional spectrum" water. This seems like the first step towards something new and - hopefully - interesting.

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THE FLASH #23.1: GRODD

Written by Brian Buccellato, Art By Chris Batista

WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Gorilla Grodd returns from the speed force... With a vengeance!

BEST BIT: I mean, you know. Flying psychic gorilla battle.

WORST BIT: Not enough flying psychic gorilla battle. Less talk. More gorillas. Also, there's a fair amount of death in this issue, and I get that Grodd is all like, "I'm a gorilla that LOVES eating brains," but calm down there a little, buddy. Also: Girder marks yet another slimmed down New 52 character. What was wrong with a big ol' fat dude made of construction equipment? Let's start a protest. WHO'S WITH ME???

ANY BIG REVELATIONS/TEASES? Yeah. There's a prominent main character who is "dead," cities just recovering from gorilla attacks who get attacked by gorillas, and also, the biggest news of all: gorillas don't get their psychic powers until they're older. SHOCKER.

ARE WE BACK FOR ISSUE #24? Actually, this continues over in "Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion," but yes, I will read every issue of The Flash forever because that's my weak point.

Green Arrow #23.1, Green Lantern #23.1, and The Flash #23.1 all hit comic book stores on September 4th from DC Comics!