Saturday, September 17, 2011

DC Comics: The New 52

Recently, DC rebooted their entire line of comics, and here in the month of September are rolling out 52 new number one comics. I decided to try them all! Here, at the half-way point, is what I think so far...

Week One:
This week consisted of two comics: Flashpoint #5, which marked the end of the old DC, and Justice League #1, which marked the beginning of the new. And I have to say, I'm disappointed with how it ended. I mean, Flashpoint was fine. But the beginning of Flashpoint was really the end (while the current books finished out their runs without acknowledging what was happening). It just feels like an awkward way to say goodbye. Especially since the story was all about Flash/Barry Allen, who's spent the better part of the twenty-five years since the Crisis reboot being... dead.

But onto the new...

Justice League #1

I'm of two minds on this first issue. The bad: This is the first issue of the new DC Universe! It was released all by it's lonesome! Look at that cover, what a blow-out this is going to be!

It's not. It's Green Lantern meeting Batman for the first time, the action being the back-drop for some getting-to-know-you banter.

The good: it's really fun banter. It's also visually stunning.... I'm not usually one to focus to much on comic book art unless it's bad, but so many of the panels blew me away, shots that I would be willing to frame and put on my wall.

This is a first-rate book, which helped dull the disappointment that it was a poor introduction to the new DC. And the next issue isn't out until late October? I wish they'd done something else this first week, or nothing at all, because the second week was far more satisfying.

Week 2:

Swamp Thing #1

There was some great, great stuff out this first full week. It was hard to pick out a favorite, but I going with Swamp Thing just because it was such an unexpected surprise. The character has never appealed to me, but when I opened this book I was instantly drawn into the narrative. This is in spite of weak art which resulted in possibly the ugliest Superman I've ever seen. But speaking of Superman...

The Rest of the Best

Action Comics #1

Holy &$@$, they made Superman cool! There's been a lot of talk about how they're altering Superman, but I look at it this way... if a character is so hard to write for that you only get one good story every few years, that character is inherently flawed for the purposes of comic book storytelling, and needs to be reinvented. And DC is happy to do elseworlds stories when they have one to tell, so the people that miss him will still get their supergod from time-to-time.

Detective Comics #1

It's Batman versus Joker. It would be wrong to spoil how this plays out, save to say it's really, really good.

And when two of the three best books of the week are the flagship titles, you know DC is doing something right.

Stormwatch #1
Other really good books
Batgirl #1 - the idea to bring back Barbara Gordon may have been flawed, but that doesn't stop them from telling a great story. They're holding out on explaining how she's up walking around again, but not pretending like it never happened. Barbara getting used to the changes in her life as a result, and being an ass-kicking superheroine again is actually the focus of the story.
Justice League International #1 - The Giffen-DeMatteis Justice League being an old favorite of mine may have me biased, but I just love having this group of characters back together again.
Stormwatch #1 - I almost dropped this down a category because it felt so all-over-the-place, but it did so many things right for me that I really believe in this book.

Not bad, I may ride with these for awhile
Batwing #1 - I expected to hate this, the concept didn't appeal to me at all. but it was actually pretty decent.
Green Arrow #1 - Definitely an improvement... the old Green Arrow was so two-dimensional
OMAC #1 - I'm not a fan of the character design at all, but the story was kind of fun and I'm curious to see where they go with the character
Hawk and Dove #1 - Barely passable; I just never liked the concept or the characters, but the story and how it may tie into the rest of the DC Universe will probably keep me around for a bit

Men of War #1
I just don't care
Static Shock #1 - I was bored by page two.
Men of War #1 - Being a comic book fan, I feel like war comics are part of the heritage, and so I really, really tried to like this, but nothing. Others liked it a lot better than I, so if it sounds like your type of thing, don't let me stop you from trying it.

This took longer than I planned! Week 3 of 5 coming shortly.

1 comment:

  1. I always Liked the swampthing as far as an idea, I don't think I ever liked any of the comics, movie or even the tv show sci-fi did.