Monday, 27 August 2012

DC'c New 52 One Year Review

As the DC 52 book line is now approaching its first year I thought I would take a look (give my opinion), on how the new comics have shaped up over that year, well the ones I'm reading at least.

The Batman books: All the Bat books have been on top form over the last year, and if I'm honest there is not one of them that I am thinking of dropping as they all bring something different to the table.
Batman by Scott Snyder been the pick of the bat books his yearlong Court of Owls story line that eventually spin off into the other books, was always good but sometimes could only be described as sheer brilliance.
Batman and Robin ran comes a close second to Batman due to its telling of the relationship between Damien and Bruce, the issue where Damien takes on and takes down a Talon is the stand out issue in this run.
Detective has been solid but I do have one complaint in that you don’t see Batman do too much detecting in this book, it’s a small point but if you’re called Detective Comics detecting should feature in there somewhere.
Dark Knight has been excellent with it all out action story lines, if you just want to see Batman in action then this is the perfect book for you.
Knightwing is another solid Bat book; although I was disappointed when Dick was dropped as Batman I do enjoy reading him as Knightwing.
I don't read the other Bat related books, I know it’s a sin not to read Batgirl but for budgetary reasons I don’t buy it. However, in my defence I am getting the trade.

Green Lantern books: Like Batman the Lantern universe was unscathed in the reboot so it was business as normal.
Green lantern is still the stand out book and having Sinestro as a Green Lantern has refreshed the whole dynamic of his and Hal’s relationship.
New Guardians is the surprise hit for me is as all the characters blend brilliantly together and this is one of the best interpretation of Larfleeze I have seen since his introduction.
Green Lantern Corps is also firing on all cylinders’ and is essential reading if you want to see the build to the up and coming Third Army story line, I would call this a killer book but with John Stewart as one of the main characters it may not be safe to do so.
However I do have to ask where is Soranik Natu, from been one of the main characters before the reboot she hasn't been seen since apart from the cover of GLC #1.

This brings us to Red Lanterns which has been a disappointment as the book never really got going, once the Third Army cross over is finished this book will be heading for the chop.

Aquaman: This book is the best of John’s books at the moment, even outshining Green Lantern which is saying something.

Green Arrow: Started off well but has dipped in recent months, needs to pick up as the fun has gone out of this book.

Swamp Thing: Top class another great book from Snyder, can the man do no wrong.

Action Comics: This is the only Superman book I am buying at present, I’m loving the story on his early life, but find the constant changing of costume annoying small complaint but it erks me.

Justice League: This is the flagship book of DC it has one of the top writers in DC on it in Geoff John’s, and features the so called top tier of DC characters my question then why is it so bad? Wonderwoman comes over as a total sword welding nut job, Green Lantern is a total arse and nothing like he is in his own book. Batman and Superman don't have any command or presence of authority, and Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg just seem to be there for window dressing.
This is another of the books that I am thinking of dropping going into the second year, which is disappointing and hard for me as I’m a Justice League junky, James Robinson anyone?

Justice League International: Loved this book I say loved as its been cancelled and for the life of me I don’t know why, so please tell me DC why, why, why, why.

Justice League Dark: Apart from the resent I Vampire cross over this has been a solid book, yes I know it’s a watered down version of John Constantine and Zattana’s costume is a little disappointing. On the plus side story lines (I Vampire apart) have been good and it great to see DC taking a chance on a book like this. I was a big fan of Shadow Pact and was disappointed when DC cancelled it, so I jumped on this book when it came out as it as the same feel as that book.

I Vampire: I love horror story's and vampire ones are my favourite so this book ticks all the right boxes for me, the artwork is gorgeous and there hasn't been a cover I haven't drooled over one of my top books.

Legion: I had not read Legion before but I had heard good things about it and the reboot seemed a good point to jump on, it was one of the best team books of the last year.

Legion Lost: Not as good as Legion but still a strong book, and well worth checking out.

All Star Western: Jonah Hex was good before the reboot and its still good after it, the the story lines have been excellent and long may Palmiotti and Grey continue writing these books. The back up story's have also been excellent with Nighthawk and Cinnamon story been the pick of the bunch, although the Dr Terrence Thirteen story in the issues 11 and 12 comes a close second.
DC Comics Presents: I had high hopes for this book, as it was my understanding that it would feature characters who would not normally appear in a monthly book. Story's that could be told which we normally would not see, so why in the opening 7 issues did we get a Dead Man story. He had just spent the last 12 months appearing in Brightest Day, however the book did improve with the story featuring The Challenges of the Unknown. Along with the excellent Vandal Savage story, the book did enough to get another year.

Animal Man: Started off well but has dropped off a little over the past few months, I understand the Swamp Thing connection but there is only so much ROT story line a person can take.

Frankenstein Agent of SHADE: Another book that has dipped a little, and has lost something after the departure of both the character Lady Frankenstein and writer Jeff Lemire.

Demon Knights: Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant, nothing else to say.

Blue Beetle: This has been a solid read all year and the story line wrapped up very nicely in issue 12, and I'm looking forward to the next 12 months.

Earth 2: So far so good, but then again its James Robinson and I'm a big fan of his work.

Worlds Finest: I like the twist on the old Batman / Superman Worlds Finest books, in that now we have Earth 2 Huntress and Powergirl as the two main characters.  Only 3 issues in but its an enjoyable book, I would go as far as to say its a fun book something there is not a lot of in the new darker DCU. 

Books that I have dropped:  Supergirl, Wonderwoman, Catwoman, Voodoo, Hawkman, Firestorm, and Captain Atom. All were dropped due to budget reasons, when they first came out the shop I bought them from was doing a buy 5 get one free deal. Once the deal was over around issue 3 I had to decide what stayed and what went, these were the ones I got less enjoyment from so they went.
So that's it my thoughts on the first year of the new DC 52, and to be honest there have been more ups than downs for me anyway. If I had to pick my biggest surprise and biggest disappointment over the last 12 months. It would be Aquaman as my biggest surprise and Justice League as my biggest disappointment, strange that they both have the same writer.


  1. Rob: I have a "DCnU One Year Later" post in the making as well. It's interesting how we match up in some areas and not so much in others. What struck me, though, right off at the end of your post is that I too have Justice League categorized as "Biggest Disappointment" of the New 52.

    1. Its not that the story's haven't been interesting in Justice League its the character development that has been the biggest let down for me, until recently I still thought they were 5 years in the past as all the characters seemed exactly the same as the first story. I will be interested to read your thoughts to see where we agree and disagree on some of the books, as I am always interested in other peoples take on things as it sometimes makes me see things in a different light.
      Thanks Kent.