The New DC 52 Catch-Up, What’s Worth Reading?by Bobby Acosta on Mar. 07, 2012, under Batman, Comic Books, DC Comics, Opinion, Reviews
Hard to believe that already 6 months have flown by and we are knee deep in some of the best storytelling that DC Comics has put out, collectively, in years.
Time sure flies when you’re enjoying yourself, they say.
So, as we all know, it has been 6 months since the start of the new DC Comics 52, a line wide relaunch that saw DC comics effectively end all of their series at once and begin a brand new “universe”, if you will. There is still Batman, who is still Bruce Wayne, and Superman and Wonder Woman and all that, but it’s like pressing a big reset button on the universe. All 52 new series had an issue #1. There was more to the line, now, than just plain superhero comics. AND, it was all being aimed at bringing in hundreds of potential new readers.
Did it succeed?
Looking at the numbers for the past few months, the official order reports released by the distributors, DC Comics was dominating the market for almost all of the 6 months that the comics were being released. Sales of all titles were on a rise for a few consecutive months, and even though sales have slipped a few percent in the last two months, sales on all DC titles are up tremendously across the board.
Taking a look at my weekly DC pull list, I am now reading 13 of the current series being released right now. This is up from the former 3 that I was reading before. That, I consider a victory for DC already.
I think me reading “Aquaman” is the largest victory.
So, this last Wednesday the 29th saw the release of Justice League of America #6, their big, bombastic cornerstone series. It was also the final capstone to the first six months of releases, seeing as how it was the first series to start off everything. So now, I think it’s time to look at the five most interesting stories all around. When it comes to the weekly titles I selected, these are the five that I look forward to the most.
Batman, Written by Scott Snyder with Art by Greg Capullo
Obviously there’s a Batman title on there. Seeing as how 7 of the 52 titles revolve around a Bat-centric character, this one stands above the others, though, with some of the most intelligent storytelling I’ve seen in a comic in a long time. Scott Snyder’s masterful story revolves around a secret cult, called The Court of Owls, and has slowly over the last few months revealed itself to Bruce Wayne. First, by sicking their attack dog Talon on him in his secret identity and tossing him out of the tallest tower in Gotham City. THEN, they locked him in a city-sized maze under Gotham City for weeks and wore him down, mentally and physically, in a comic that literally had to be read the way Batman was falling. Turning around and around. Greg Capullo on art can help with that. Brilliant storytelling, and the upcoming “Night of Owls” storyline coming up in ALL the Batman books, it doesn’t seem like the Court of Owls is giving up anytime soon.
Aquaman, Written by Geoff Johns with Art by Ivan Reis
I know, I know.
However, Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis are one of the power duos in comics. I should have expected nothing less.
Having everyone in the comic treat Aquaman like people here in the real world treat him, is an ironic and funny twist. Declaring him the lamest member of the Justice League and downplaying his powers feels all too familiar when people talk about Aquaman. But keeping the King of Atlantis focused and playing him as a straight-laced character really makes him all the more appealing. AND, having Ivan Reis draw some of his glorious pieces of art make this one of the prettiest comics around.
“You can’t get fish and chips.”
“Because you talk to fish.”
“I DON’T talk to fish.”
Batwoman, Written by J. H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman with Art by J. H. Williams III and Amy Reeder
As long as the creative team credits might be, this book deserves nothing less.
Focusing on the outcast of the Bat-family, Kate Kane, lesbian, former military, and all around tough-as-nails crime fighter, this series is definitely the prettiest looking of all of the new 52 books.
What it brings to it, though, is some seriously well constructed storytelling. While Kate Kane may be a lesbian heroine, that is not at all the focus of the book. La Llorana is stealing mother’s children, all of them, and drowning them. However, with Batwoman on the scene, juggling her life and combating a criminal organization, she’s one of the strongest female characters in comics.
This takes me to…
Supergirl, Written by Mike Johnson and Michael Green with Art by Mahmud Asrar
Finding little surprises among a new batch of comics is always one of the best feelings of all time.
It’s actually the main reason why I write this column. To hopefully bring new people into the comic’s world and have they find a passion for it like I have. This is the greatest feelings.
Reading Supergirl made me feel that way. Strangely enough, it’s one of the most action packed comic out there, as well as the most emotionally charged. Dealing with losing your planet and waking up on a world where nobody speaks your language or understands you is a huge loss. Johnson and Green, as writers, have created a compelling and appealing heroine for girls of all ages.
On a side note, artist Mahmud Asrar is on his way to be one of the best stars in comics now.
I, Vampire, Written by Joshua Hale Falkov with art by Andrea Sorrentino
Vampire romance and wars.
Sounds extremely common, nowadays in fiction, I suppose.
While the focus of this series is the underworld lives of the vampires living in a world of superheroes, a romance lies at the heart of it.
Not a sappy, blegh romance of which the Twilighters will instantly attract themselves to.
But a romance that is taken to the edge of sanity, where the lives of Andrew, the oldest of vampires, and the love of his live, Queen of the Vampires, are fighting over whether the vampires should take back the world or not.
Take back the world from the super beings of the world.
A compelling story with dark artwork.
In looking back at these six months, it’s been some of the best six months of comic reading that I’ve done.
I suggest you go out and find out what’s been making the comic world turn.
*A brand new Off the Panel webcast has been posted on Youtube. Check it out and see our thoughts about the new superhero trailers being released out into the world.*
- In addition to writing for the column “Comic Matters” for the Tucson Citizen website, Bobby Acosta is also a 5th Grade Elementary school teacher, frequenter of local comic book shop Heroes & Villains, and explorer of the importance of comics. Contact him at email@example.com