Now, I know there are a lot of mixed feelings out there in the world of comic book-geekdom, but I’m actually getting rather excited about the upcoming DC New 52. Seeing as my primary purpose in life these days seems to be all about converting the non-believers to a life of comic-reading bliss, it was very considerate of the higher powers of the DC Universe to reach down unto this little no-name blogger and say, “Here, let’s make this easy for you. Here are 52 coattails for you to ride.”
Now, as much as I appreciate DC completely revamping 75+ years of the numerical ordering of issues to better fit with my platform (please sense the sarcasm here. I have had, in reality, no influence upon the business strategies of the DC Comics Company) I will also admit that the wariness around this issue seems to also have its merit. What is to become of some of the loyal fans’ favorite characters and their histories, plot arcs, and even their outfits! Is DC just going to end up alienating old fans in an effort to bring in new ones? Will there even be any new fans considering the lack of marketing push outside the same old already comic-saturated circles?
So far the changes have generally been minimal. Sure, Lois and Clark are no longer married and that’s a bummer. Apparently married people aren’t as interesting – I get that. (But truly, how many decades can they possibly milk the tension in this on and off again relationship.) In similar news, some of the older characters will be reverted back to their youths, because much like married people, old people aren’t interesting either. Those two probably go hand in hand, though. And, on a different note, Wonder Woman just can’t seem to pick an outfit to wear. (Seriously, why is this such a big issue? Superman’s in friggin’ jeans now yet that hardly caused a peep!). But when it comes down to it, no real judgment can be made until, at the earliest, August 31st after the whole world runs to the store to pick up Justice League #1.
Therefore, judgment aside, it is time to sit down and read through all the synopsis of issues in order to pick those that seem the most appealing. Unfortunately choices will have to be made. According to my calculation, even at the completely reasonable price $2.99, buying all 52 issues will cost the average reader $155.48. Perhaps that is doable for those who ‘gotta catch em’ all in order to collect every new #1, but that would be a bit of a heavy reading load to continue week after week. I’ve done my personal research, and here are the series that have peaked my interest. Granted, this is a very biased and personal list. I would LOVE (in fact I’m not above begging) to hear what any of you comic book buying Lytherians plan on picking up and why.
(All plot descriptions from the official DC website)
In a universe where super heroes are strange and new, Batman has discovered a dark evil that requires him to unite the World’s Greatest Heroes!
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
This is the first issue kicking everything off. The gateway comic, if you will. Of course I’m going to buy this issue! Additionally, I whole-heartedly advise team-based books for those who are using this as a jumping-in point to comics. You get to learn about lots of characters at once, pick your favorites, and then go explore their individual titles from there.
Here’s what else we know about Justice League:
Justice League #2 Plot summary: What happens when the World’s Greatest Detective takes on the world’s most powerful alien? You’ll find out when Batman and Superman throw down. Batman will need all his intellect, cunning and physical prowess to take on The Man of Steel.
Justice League #3 Plot summary: The superstar team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee continue to make history as they unleash the amazing Amazon, Wonder Woman, who joins the battle against a bizarre threat! And the not-yet World’s Greatest Heroes need all the help they can get!
The one and only Grant Morrison returns to Superman, joined by sensational artist Rags Morales (IDENTITY CRISIS), to bring you tales of The Man of Steel unlike any you’ve ever read! This extra-sized debut issue is the cornerstone of the entire DC Universe!
Written by GRANT MORRISON
Art by RAGS MORALES and RICK BRYANT
Cover by RAGS MORALES
Who doesn’t want to say they own Action Comics #1. Is it the same Action Comics #1 selling for thousands of dollars that one usually only sees securely locked, bolted, and bagged within glass cases at Comic-cons? Nope. Totally not the same at all. Still, this is the new series debut of the man who is, arguably, DC’s biggest character of all time. While I’m not sure if I will continue this series regularly, I think Superman deserves a chance to see if he has really been able to step into the modern story-telling society in a way that makes me beg for more. Check out the summaries of issues 2 and 3:
Action Comics #2: In his weakest moment, Superman is taken down – but by whom? And if the world wasn’t ready for a man with super powers, they’re utterly unprepared for the rage of a Superman cornered! The cornerstone character of the new DCU continues his debut adventure!
Action Comics #3: “Superman, Go Home!” In a startling tale only Grant Morrison could bring you, the people of Metropolis turn on their new champion! But why? Plus, shocking secrets from Krypton revealed!
The Gods walk among us. To them, our lives are playthings. Only one woman could dare to protect humanity from the wrath of the strange and powerful forces. But is she one of us – or one of them?
Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
Art and cover by CLIFF CHIANG
This is personal opinion (but hey, it’s my editorial I can do that. Please feel free to disagree.) but Wonder Woman is one of the most underappreciated characters around. She is an icon for female strength and independence and she has been filling that role longer than anyone, yet she has been written and revamped over and over by writers who just can’t seem to figure her out. I would have loved to see a woman writing this series at this particular time (yes I know that’s been done before too), but I am certainly willing to give Brian Azzarello a chance while crossing my fingers and sending a prayer upwards to the DC gods asking ‘please, let this be the time where Wonder Woman shines.’
Wonder Woman #2: Hera, Queen of the Gods, does not take her vengeance lightly – and if Wonder Woman is so foolish as to stand in the way of her whim, then Wonder Woman is her enemy. But it’s Hera’s daughter Diana should truly fear – the goddess of discord is coming to Paradise Island, and murder always follows in her wake!
Wonder Woman #3: Hippolyta, the queen of the Amazons, has kept a secret from her daughter all her life – and when it’s revealed, Wonder Woman’s life will shatter like brittle clay. The only one more shocked than Diana by this revelation? Bloodthirsty Hera herself – so why is her sinister daughter, Strife, so eager for the truth to be told?
Be here for the start of a new era for The Dark Knight from writer Scott Snyder (AMERICAN VAMPIRE, BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM) and artist Greg Capullo (Spawn)! A series of brutal killings hints at an ancient conspiracy, and Batman learns that Gotham City is deadlier than he knew.
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art by GREG CAPULLO and JONATHAN GLAPION
Cover by GREG CAPULLO
Ok so obviously I’m covering the big-dogs here. I’m probably picking up Batman purely out of ‘I feel like I should.’ I’m a comics blogger. It would probably be rather hypocritical of me to not at least check it out. Actually, mostly it’s the Batman family of comics surrounding this one title that mostly appeals to me. Of course Batman is all sorts of awesome, but there are just so many titles to choose from that I find myself wondering how different things will be for ‘ol brooding Bruce this time. I have to admit, though, by issue three things seem to be getting rather interesting:
Batman #2: Bruce Wayne is back in the cowl, hunting a new and deadly killer in Gotham City – a killer with a vendetta against Bruce Wayne! But who is this mysterious killer in an owl skull mask? And is he the key to unlocking one of Gotham’s oldest and most terrifying secrets? Be there for their first brutal encounter!
Batman #3: As Bruce digs deeper into the mystery of the recent owl murders, he soon finds himself face to face with a shocking enemy – an enemy the Wayne family has secretly been at war with for centuries. Be there for the first shots of the war for the soul of Gotham City. Friends will become deadly enemies and secrets will be revealed – revelations that will change the Bat-family forever.
One is wanted for a murder she didn’t commit. The other is on the run because she knows too much. They are Dinah Laurel Lance and Ev Crawford – a.k.a. Black Canary and Starling – and together, as Gotham City’s covert ops team, they’re taking down the villains other heroes can’t touch. But now they’ve attracted the attention of a grizzled newspaper reporter who wants to expose them, as well as a creepy, chameleon-like strike team that’s out to kill them.
Written by DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI
Art and cover by JESUS SAIZ
This is a series I’ve always wanted to read and I’m going to take this opportunity to finally do so. I’ll admit it, Birds of Prey appeals to my feminine side. I’m ready for some girl-power out the wah-zoo with this one (I hope).
Birds of Prey #2: An explosion in a secure Gotham City airport terminal hurls Black Canary and Starling headlong into a nightmare involving stolen pharmaceuticals, terrorists for hire and killers in stealth suits who can appear – and disappear – at will. When Canary calls in backup, Starling’s not so sure a vengeful samurai who talks to her dead husband in a sword is the best choice.
Birds of Prey #3: Someone’s come up with a way to turn ordinary citizens of Gotham City into undetectable walking bombs…and only Black Canary (a.k.a. Dinah Laurel Lance), Starling (a.k.a. Ev Crawford) and new team member Katana (a.k.a. Tatsu Yamashiro) can stop them. But will Canary’s choice of a fourth team member, a notorious bioterrorist, tear them apart first?
Dick Grayson flies high once more as Nightwing in a new series from hot new writer Kyle Higgins (BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM)! And as he embraces his destiny, Haley’s Circus, the big top where Dick once performed, returns to Gotham City – bringing with it murder, mystery and superhuman evil. Nightwing must confront his past, among former friends and enemies from his circus days, while uncovering a much greater evil!
Written by KYLE HIGGINS
Art and cover by EDDY BARROWS and JP MAYER
Good ol’ comic-crushworthy Dick Grayson. I’m really excited to see him step back into his role of Nightwing. I posted a few days ago some preview art for this series and, with my curiosity button pressed, secured this title on my ‘to buy’ list.
Nightwing #2: When a mysterious assassin targets Dick Grayson, Nightwing must work fast to uncover the killer’s plot before he strikes again. But as Haley’s Circus continues to perform in Gotham City, Dick finds himself torn between two lives: His old one as a circus performer and his new one as a Super Hero. And they may be more connected than he ever realized!
Nightwing #3: The Big Top comes to the Windy City! After the massive events of issue 2, the circus heads to Chicago – and Dick Grayson is along for the ride! But as Nightwing puts pressure on ex-Haley connections in search for answers about his past, one lead may be far too explosive to handle! Be here as Nightwing takes his quest for the truth to the Second City!
Tim Drake, Batman’s former sidekick, is back in action when an international organization seeks to capture, kill or co-opt super-powered teenagers. As Red Robin, he’s going to have to team up with the mysterious and belligerent powerhouse thief known as Wonder Girl and the hyperactive speedster calling himself Kid Flash to stand any chance at all against a living, breathing weapon with roots in another world! They – along with a few other tortured teen heroes – will be the Teen Titans in this new series from writer Scott Lobdell (WILDC.A.T.S, Uncanny X-Men) and artist Brett Booth (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Art and cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
Teen Titans is another series I just never got around to reading. Therefore, why not give this new version of the series a chance. Sure, its characters that I’m not particularly familiar with, but it certainly sounds promising and I am a fan of Scott Lobdell. DC seems to be telling us that old people are boring, so let’s at least throw one young justice title in the mix.
Teen Titans #2: A strange creature haunts the streets of Los Angeles… and because of this creature’s age, both Red Robin and N.O.W.H.E.R.E. are racing to find her – but neither side is prepared for the horror known as Bugg!
Meanwhile, Superboy is on a collision course with the team, and Kid Flash plots his escape from N.O.W.H.E.R.E. with the most unexpected of allies!
Teen Titans #3: It had to happen! A new Teen Titan shows up without so much as an invitation – and here Red Robin already had his hands full trying to get Bugg from Los Angeles to New York by train! Don’t miss the dazzling debut of The Wall! Meanwhile, Kid Flash is trying desperately to flee the arctic N.O.W.H.E.R.E. prison with a mysterious young woman who is unable to control her own super powers. And Wonder Girl investigates a lead that is going to bring her face to face with a certain halfhuman/half-Kryptonian clone!
They’re a team of death-row super villains recruited by the government to take on missions so dangerous – they’re sheer suicide! Harley Quinn! Deadshot! King Shark! Defeated and imprisoned, they’re being interrogated about their mission – and about who’s pulling the strings behind this illegal operation. Who will be the first to crack under the pressure?
Written by ADAM GLASS
Art by MARCO RUDY
Cover by HOWARD CHAYKIN
I find the idea of villain-heroes amazingly intriguing (also a big fan of the current Marvel Heroes for Hire, which is going in that direction and a great under-the-radar series at the moment). So I’m giving this a try. Having been mostly a Marvel fan for most of my comic-reading career, titles like this have gone completely without my notice, yet have such potential in them to make me a long-term fan.
Suicide Squad #2: 80,000 ordinary people vs. the Squad! Well, they’re not really “people.” Not anymore. With an entire sports stadium on lockdown following the outbreak of an unknown virus, Deadshot, Harley Quinn and the rest of the Squad must sneak past a military perimeter and fight their way through the infected to retrieve… “it.” What is “it”…? Brace yourself for a stomach-churning reveal as the most brutal version of the Suicide Squad soldiers on! Plus: Bring a body bag – it’s the team’s first Squad fatality!
Suicide Squad #3: After last issue’s harrowing mission, the covert Squad must “disappear” until Task Force X can safely (and secretly) extract them from the field. Can a team of super villain soldiers maintain a low profile in a small town? Plus, another Squad member bites the dust – and King Shark eats a guy.
As typical of my editorials, the length on this got way out of my control. Thanks so much for sticking with me. I really hope to hear back from those who are planning on picking up some titles for themselves. Which ones are catching your eye? You can check out more series descrpitions at the DC Universe New 52 website.