Comic Name: DC Universe Presents
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: James Robertson/Fabian Nicieza/Rob Liefeld/Dan Didio/Tony Bedard
Artist: Bernard Chang/Jorge Jimenez/CAFU/Marat Mychaels/Tom Derenick/Eric Battle
# of Issues: 5
Release Date: 2013
Reprints DC Universe Presents #0 and 9-12 (July 2012-November 2012). Kassidy Sage has a past that she’s trying to forget. When a senator’s daughter is kidnapped by the Swan Killer, she must face up to the past if there is any hope at saving her. Kass is the daughter of Jonathan Savage: the Vandal Savage. Imprisoned in Belle Reve, Savage could be the key to capturing the copycat killer…but the killer might have motives of his own. Plus, Kid Flash finds himself trying to round up a bunch of dinosaurs in New York City, and O.M.A.C., Deadman, Mr. Terrific, Blackhawks, and Hawk & Dove are finding their origins.
Written by James Robertson and illustrated by Bernard Chang for the primary story, DC Universe Presents 2: Savage is an original anthology title in the New 52 relaunch of the DC Universe. Following DC Universe Presents 1: Deadman/Challengers of the Unknown, the volume collects the “Savage” storyline from DC Universe Presents #9-11, the stand-alone Kid Flash story from DC Universe Presents #12, and the DC Flashback month #0 issue featuring origin based stories of O.M.A.C., Mr. Terrific, Hawk & Dove, Blackhawks, and Deadman.
DC Universe Presents on paper sounded like a great title to me. I love anthology series in comics because it allows writers to essentially write the stories they’ve always wanted with characters who can’t carry a series. The “Savage” story seemed derivative while the other stories didn’t live up to my expectations.
“Savage” is essentially Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs combined with a little bit of Hannibal thrown in. The story focuses on Savage’s daughter having to use her father to find a killer. The killer likewise was “made” by Savage and has trapped a Congressman’s daughter (taken directly from Silence of the Lambs). Savage already was appearing in Demon Knights (though set in the past) so this was almost like a spin-off title for him…I would have liked to have seen a character that hadn’t been touched in the New 52 with a more original story.
The Kid Flash issue is really wasted. The story follows up the Teen Titans’ Mystery Island (also collected in Teen Titans 2: The Culling) and as a stand-alone is kind of tough to follow. The storytelling and blocking of the issue makes it hard to understand what is going on at points. There are so many great DC characters that this could have easily been a “new” storyline instead of a pale ending to the Teen Titans’ story.
The real failure is DC Universe Presents #0. It primarily focuses on cancelled New 52 series. This was the perfect opportunity to really have fun with the characters, but instead the readers are given stories which demonstrate why their titles were cancelled in the first place. The issue should have been a means to make people wish they had given the characters a chance…instead, you could not care less about the short stories of any of the featured characters.
DC Universe Presents is a rather weak title when it could have been a great title. Anthology series are great “farm league” titles for new up and coming artists and writers. DC Universe Presents should have been an extreme title that pushed the boundaries and what is expected of a mainstream comic…it should be something original. DC Universe Presents 2: Savage is followed by the final volume DC Universe Presents 3: Black Lightning and Blue Devil.