For all DC lovers out there it will have been hard to notice the change that is soon to come about. The big storyline, Flashpoint (retrospective feature coming next week!), is due to end and opens the door to the huge DCU changing reboot of their titles. Also, in DC’s own unique fashion they have gone for their favourite number, 52, in the number of releases they are making.
This has been received by fans as both a good and bad thing as there are mixed opinions over whether or not this is a good thing. In some cases storylines that are unaffected by Flashpoint are abruptly ending or being put on hold - Batman Inc. for example. In others, the emergence of new titles with seemingly mundane characters, or previously shelved characters are returning.
On a positive note there have been some reshuffled rosters that should raise an eyebrow or two.
Love it or hate it, the change is going ahead, so here is my take on the new arrivals.
So as to not overload any one week with any particular character or 'family', DC have spread their titles over the entire month fairly evenly. But, in the same format that they have classified the comics on their own site the titles can be broadly banded as Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Justice League, The Dark, The Edge and finally Young Justice. I like this so I’ll carry it forward.
Four titles here, Action Comics, Superman, Superboy and Supergirl. I’m not really a Superman fan so my knowledge of him is limited to Eighties films and the cartoons around the Millennium. Looking at them though it’s easy to see why Action Comics will be one to read. Written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Rags Morales (who did the artwork for my favourite graphic novel – Identity Crisis) the pedigree is well displayed. It’s not on my pull list but only as it’s not my cup of tea. Superboy and Supergirl appear to be straight reboots which could be of interest for any fan looking to expand their Super pulllist as well. Superman is a restart, but at a midway point, so seems to be for more the seasoned fan.
I was surprised to see that Batman titles make up more than a fifth of all the new titles, clearly a flagship brand. With an almighty 11 titles (Batman, Batman & Robin, Batwing, Batman: The Dark Knight, Detective Comics, Batgirl, Batwoman, Nightwing, Catwoman, Birds of Prey and Red Hood & the Outlaws) I am left wondering are there too many eggs being put in one proverbial basket?
Straight off the bat, I have to say that both Batman and Batman & Robin already have my vote. The reason behind it? Simply put Scott Snyder and Peter Tomasi, two of my current favourite DC writers. Nightwing has also caught my eye as it sees Dick Grayson take back his old mantel. With the addition of Batman: The Dark Knight, these would be my picks. Please don’t think I am being sexist in any way but the female championed titles really don’t grab me and the Batwing (African Batman Inc. spin off) title just seems completely out of place too.
That only leaves Red Hood and the Outlaws which I’m torn over and need to see more of before I can make my mind up.
Green Lantern only has four titles (Green Lantern itself, Green Lantern Corp, Green Lantern: New Guardians & Red Lantern Corp) which was a slight surprise. It’s a bit unfair as well as all of these will be on my pull list but that’s because I’m a (new) GL fan. When you also add in Geoff Johns, Peter Tomasi, Tony Bedard and Peter Milligan to me it seems like a no brainer. I just hope they all live up to my expectations. It’s most exciting as it has two new titles with no preconceived ideas at all. The New Guardians and Red Lanterns are very new shiny toys to be played with.
Another 11 titles under this umbrella but unlike Batman I am left scratching my head a lot more. I am totally on board and understanding of Justice League, The Flash, Aquaman, Green Arrow and (for fans) The Savage Hawkman and Wonder Woman but after that there are titles like Mr Terrific, Justice League International and Captain Atom that I just have to ask why? It really feels like an attempt to flesh out this section.
Now this is a split area for me. Not off the wall enough to feel like it should be under the Vertigo brand but also not tidy enough to be comfortably DC. Justice League Dark will be there for me as well as Swamp Thing (following on from Brightest Day) and also Resurrection Man, but simply because it interests me in the premise of it.
Animal Man, Frankenstein: Agent of Shade, I, Vampire and Demon Knights I think will be more fan followings and particular interest ones though as the characters are either not well known of previously ended titles too.
Stormwatch, Voodoo, Grifter, Deathstroke, Suicide Squad, O.M.A.C, Blackhawks, Men of War and All Star Western.
Saying it all together I can’t help but smile that Stormwatch is at the front. I’ve really enjoyed all of the Authority so with half of their roster this is one I have my eye on. Again I think that there are some titles which won’t hit the broad market and are tailored to specific tastes.
I’m tempted by Blackhawks after reading a very small piece on it and it may end up on my list but I’m not sure. Voodoo almost looks like an Aspen title so could be a beautiful thing to see but I’m not sure that it will have the story to hold it.
I’ve been quite fickle in the past with titles which revolve around younger heroes primarily as I find too often they struggle to be something which addresses a teenage theme and can just become hero stories but with shorter people...
Teen Titans in the past has caught my eye but I want to see how it expands first. Hawk & Dove will also be interesting as it is a mixture of previous partnerships formed in the aftermath of Brightest Day too. The story potential is quite big if it explores the dynamics of this new team.
I don’t know enough about the two Legion titles so it’s not really fair to comment either way. However, Static Shock and Blue Beetle will not be on my pull list as neither are titles that are grabbing me.
In short the 52 new titles are spread far and wide so DC’s aiming to try to hit everyone.
I think that there will be some clear winning titles, some which are fan based and some which are a toe in the water. A few I will be shocked to see past 10 issues.
It’s now time to see which will survive and which should be somewhere else in the multiverse.
The Proud Lion bloggers will be clubbing together to review each and every one of the 52 throughout September, so stay tuned and we'll bring you our verdicts!
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