07 Feb, 2012

DC NEW 52 REVISIT PART 1!

Posted by Raphael in Blog|Opinion|Reviews

We’ve recently gone through the Marvel Universe to give you a good idea of what you should be reading, so it’s time to look at the DCU’s New 52! We took a look at each of the #1’s a few months ago, and now that most of the books have had at least 1 story arc done, let’s look at the relaunch so far:

ACTION COMICS

The first two issues were really good, and we really got a lot of the social crusader/renegade. It then became a Braniac sci-fi story, which is well and good, but we’d just seen a Brainiac story recently. And then, after issue 5, we jumped to an origin story with a new artist and all the momentum from the previous story kind of deflated. It’s a very solid series, but I can’t really say it’s the best of the bunch. It’s still the best Superman story since Geoff Johns’ run, so if you’ve ever wanted to give Superman a shot, now’s the chance.

 

ANIMAL MAN

The shining jewel of the New 52, Animal Man is being critically lauded everywhere, including this blog. The series’ concept revolves around the idea that the Red (the connecting force of all animal life and the source of Buddy Baker’s powers) is facing a huge threat from The Rot, which eats away at life. The series does a good job of mixing horror with superhero action. Jeff Lemire is doing a great job with the series, and it’s one of the first books we read when it comes out!

BATWING

Spinning out of Batman Incorporated, Batwing is the representative of Batman Inc. in Africa. Judd Winick is engaging in some world building, establishing the history of heroes in Africa, while also killing them off with a mysterious new enemy. It’s actually a nice read, and a nice change of pace from Gotham City, read it if you’re looking for something a little different, but still familiar to you as a Bat-fan.

 

DETECTIVE COMICS

Tony Daniel’s Detective run so far has been about Batman vs. a new villain ripped straight out of a horror movie. The new baddie has cut Joker’s face off his body, and also has taken a horror movie family. To be honest, this is my least favorite of the Batman books, but if you’re into the gritty blood and guts aesthetic that Daniel is going for, this might be for you.

 

GREEN ARROW

This book is definitely for fans of the Green Arrow from Smallville. In the New DCU, Oliver Queen is definitely the Steve Jobs of the universe. His company is responsible for all the major consumer electronics, but Ollie is an absentee CEO, he’s using Queen Industries to equip and fund his Green Arrow exploits. It’s an interesting wrinkle in the story, as we almost never see civilian identities and responsibilities play into the lives of characters like Green Arrow. He’s got to fight the bad guys AND run a major Fortune 500 company… it gives the series a small sense of realism, even if a modern-day Robin Hood sounds ridiculous.

 

HAWK AND DOVE

Wow. Just wow. The book screams 90’s Image, and with Rob Liefeld penciling the book, it makes lots of sense. Hawk and Dove have encountered a new enemy in Condor and Swan, and the results have been Michael Bay-esque in it’s havoc and destruction. It’s definitely for Rob Liefeld fans, but unfortunately it’s being cancelled in May.

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL  

Written by Booster Gold creator Dan Jurgens, the JLI is the United Nations sanctioned team is just getting together when they face a monumental threat to the world. The interplay is pretty good between the different team members and it almost reminds us of JLU at times. It’s a good team book, an enjoyable read.

 

MEN OF WAR

This book is definitely aimed at getting the Modern Warfare crowd to read comics. Each issue follows the story of Sgt. Rock… no not the guy from World War 2, but his grandson. He and his men get put into difficult situations, sometimes involving metahumans. The second story in the comic is a story involving a random group of soldiers in a difficult situation: the first one involved a Marine unit given bad intel and stranded and surrounded by the enemy. My favorite? Knife fight, in which a soldier hunts down a bomber, only to fight to the death knife to knife. As someone who prefers Battlefield 3 and MAG to Call of Duty, this comic is a guilty pleasure.  It’s ending in May, to be replaced by G.I. Combat.

 

OMAC

A surprisingly entertaining book. Dan Didio and Keith Giffen are doing a very fun book. Cadmus employee Kevin Kho is manipulated by the Brother Eye satellite in it’s war with Checkmate’s King, Maxwell Lord. In each issue, Kevin has a reluctant encounter with some threat, and each time it’s highly entertaining. This series was also one of the ones cancelled by DC, and we’re going to miss this one most of the six series cancelled.

 

RED LANTERNS

RAAAAAGE! Atrocitus and co. get their own series, and it’s very unexpected. The Red Lanterns are supposed to be mindless raging maniacs, but Atrocitus is extremely introspective, and when he introduces his minions to the rage sea, they come out intelligible as well. The Red Lanterns seem to be looking for vengeance now, and deliver their lethal form of justice. It’s been a little slow going, but there may be some developments with the previously deceased Krona!

 

STATIC SHOCK

Gotta get up, gotta go! Static’s moved to New York, and has to deal with a syndicate of super criminals. Vergil Hawkins is a brilliant kid, and the series does make nods to the Milestone universe that gave birth to Static. It’s a decent title, but not particularly attention grabbing, most likely the main reason it was cancelled.

 

STORMWATCH

This one is really intriguing. It takes two Wildstorm teams (Authority and Stormwatch), mashes them together with DC mainstay Martian Manhunter and then puts the team in the wildest and craziest situations. The first enemy was the moon. Seriously. The MOON. The book is a lot of fun and is one of my favorites. The Wildstorm characters blend naturally with the New DCU, and Paul Cornell is doing a  really good job on this book; he’s managed to take covert ops, superheroes and blockbuster action and mix it very nicely. Peter Milligan is taking over, and he’s also a known quantity in terms of talent. We’re looking forward to seeing where Peter takes the book!

 

SWAMP THING

Scott Snyder is awesome. He’s known for doing Batman, but Swamp Thing is equally as good. Call it a companion piece to Animal Man, because Swamp Thing’s Green also has a common enemy with The Red: The Rot! Alec Holland is traveling across country trying to find a way to beat the Rot, but it may not work out! The book has done a very good job of making me doubt that Swamp Thing/Alec Holland can win, and this book always makes us eager for it when we see it on the list for Wednesday. If you love Animal Man, check out Swamp Thing!

 

That’s it for this week! Tune in next week for more New 52 talk, until then—

 

Stay Bloggy My Friends!

-          Raph

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