The New 52, Week Four and Beyond

Well, I’m somewhat behind with this post, what with traveling and all. It’s barely relevant ((If it was relevant at all to begin with, of course.)) anymore, but my compulsive completist side says I have to post it.

All-Star Western #1

I liked this one, provisionally. It’s got a nice mix of Jonah Hex with something out of Caleb Carr’s The Alienist, set in late-1800s Gotham City. There’s creepiness and brooding western action. All in all, it’s a good mix, and I’m interested in seeing where it goes.

Aquaman #1

I’m not an Aquaman fan. I did not expect to like this book. That said, they tackled a lot of concerns I have with the Aquaman character head-on in a clever way. I found myself really enjoying the story and the take on the character.

Batman The Dark Knight #1

This was a solid Batman story, but not as engaging as Batman or Detective Comics. Still quite good, though, and laying foundation for better stuff to follow.

Blackhawks #1

I hate G.I. Joe. Just want to put that out there as the reason I was initially predisposed to hate this comic, which seems to be doing the same sort of thing. But it’s doing it better than I expected, with some interesting quirks and twists. I’m actually interested in what happens next, which I did not expect.

Flash #1

Never been a huge fan of Flash. He’s got a reset, no longer married to Iris – after the Brand New Day reset for Spider-Man, I’m very leery of this kind of thing. But the setup for the book is interesting, and is using Barry’s skills as a forensic scientist as much as Flash’s speed. So, I’m intrigued.

Fury of Firestorm #1

I haven’t read any Firestorm books for years. I always thought the dual nature of the hero – two minds sharing one body – was interesting. This book seems to be taking some neat chances with the ideas behind the hero. I hope they keep it up.

I, Vampire #1

I really wanted to like this book. But the first issue is a disjointed garble of flashbacks, with no help trying to put them into a sequence that makes sense. Disappointing, because it looks like there’s a good story lurking in the background that I’d like to read.

Justice League Dark #1

Okay. I like any comic that has John Constantine in it. Unfortunately, this one also has Shade, whom I really dislike. This is causing me no small amount of cognitive dissonance. The underlying story has some promise, though. Let’s see where it goes.

New Guardians #1

Here’s the thing, DC – flashbacks are cool and all, but you really need some way to show when you’re switching timeframes from the past to the present and vice-versa. Points for flagging that the initial scene takes place in the past, but minus points for not showing when we jump to the present. I mean, the GL mythos is tangled enough that it’s almost impenetrable for newbies like me. You gotta give us a fighting chance of understanding how the pieces fit together. This was not as bad as in I, Vampire, but it still was a major impediment for me.

Savage Hawkman #1

Never been a Hawkman fan. I’ve said that about other heroes, but the difference here is that this book didn’t do anything to change my mind. I just didn’t care enough about the character to get into his angsty wonking about being Hawkman and all that stuff. Oh, well.

Superman #1

We get another relationship reset here, a la Brand New Day, and I’ve already mentioned how I feel about that. That said, this book has a good story, and some great Superman moments. What I like best, though, is the way this Superman – older, more mature, less wild and carefree – contrasts with the Superman in Action Comics. The differences – and the similarities – between the two are wonderful to see, and really make the character richer.

Teen Titans #1

Starting fresh with this book. Tim Drake’s Robin showing some good leadership potential as he starts to build the team. An interesting threat in the background, and the beginnings of fun group dynamics. I’m looking forward to seeing where this one goes.

Voodoo #1

Wow. Shapeshifting alien stripper hunting men. Someone has watched Species too many times. Not a good book so far. If they can pull it out of the smut-spiral, it might have some potential, but I’m not hopeful.


So, that’s a look at all the new #1s. I’ve been reading the new #2s as they come out, and am generally pleased, though nothing has really changed my initial impressions of the books I’ve been reading so far. I plan on giving the books three issues to grab me; if they can’t manage it in that time, I’ll stop reading. There are a few – Action, Detective, Batwoman for the three most obvious ones – that have already really hooked me, and I’ll be continuing. Others are gonna have to fight it out.

DC isn’t just putting out the New 52, though, and I’m happy to see that. Last week, they released Penguin: Pain and Prejudice, which was a really great look at the Penguin ((They also released Supernatural #1, which was less good.)), and they’ve released The Shade this week, which I haven’t read yet.

All in all, though, I think this New 52 launch has been a good thing, especially coupled with the day-and-date electronic sales model.

So, congratulations to DC Comics. I think you’ve done a great thing.

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