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Liveblogging: The New 52
DC Comics Micro-Reviews All Day

Today is a rare weekday off and yesterday was my first chance to get to my LCS in a month. That means I’ve just picked up my first DC Comics from “The New 52” and I’ve got all day to read them. Sounds like a good recipe for some liveblogging…

My schedule the last couple months has been particularly crazy. A promotion at work has soaked up my free time like a sponge and life threw me a few curveballs to keep the positives that come with a promotion in balance. Yesterday was the first time I could swing by my shop in September and I had a nice stack of “The New 52″ waiting for me. I’d perused a few at the comic shop in the mall, read some reviews, and I couldn’t help but look at a spoiler here or there – so it’s not exactly all fresh to me, but I’ll be reading everything anew today.

As I’m prone to crazy blog experiments (let’s not talk about DailyThor, okay, I’m going to get that worked back into the schedule, darn it!), I had the silly idea to liveblog my thoughts about each issue as I read it. Fifty-two comics is a lot to read in a day, but let’s face it – these are modern comics, $3 for 7-8 minutes of entertainment. It won’t really take all day to read each one and do a little write-up. And I do mean little – just some first thoughts, what I liked/didn’t, a rating, and a simple yes/no system for if I’m going to keep reading beyond this issue.

I’m going to use one of Searchable/Sortable tables (like we used for our New 52 Solicits a few months back) and I’ll update it as I read each #1. To help make this article not boring at the outset, I got a head start this morning and have Week One ready to go.

As I’m reading along, I’d love to hear what you’ve been thinking about these new titles this month and how much agree or disagree with my assessments!

And, yes, there will be some spoilers

TitleInterestRatingThoughtsBuying #2?
Justice League #1MildServiceableThis issue didn't give me a lot to dislike, but it didn’t give me much to love either. I did enjoy it, but the characters felt one-dimensional (Johns’ way of showing them as young?) and the issue was really a Brave & the Bold Batman/Green Lantern Team-Up. It was good, but it didn't work as the opening bookend for the DCnU. What I liked? Batman & Superman pwning Hal Jordan. What I didn’t? Where’s the Justice League?Yes
Action Comics #1HighInterestingThe writing was clever and the ending was pretty awesome – more powerful than a speeding locomotive, faster than a speeding bullet? I think not. And that’s not counting that he was smashed into a tall building for good measure. That’s why I love Morrison. But Superman as an authority-hating punk? That just felt wrong. I know this is an all-new Universe, but I could shake the feeling that this wasn’t my Superman. I love reading Morrison’s work, but I cringe at the thought that I'm going to keep buying Action Comics. Morrison experimenting on characters is cool, but in continuity? That’s a scary proposition. What I liked? The overall story, Luthor in particular. What I didn’t? I don’t think I want to read about young, jerk Superman.Yes
Animal Man #1HighExceptionalAnimal Man ended up being my kind of book. I’ve been a fan of the character for awhile and I was happy to see him get a new ongoing, even better that it was so well written. Plus, a superhero having a wife? Kids? A normal component to his life? Unheard of in The New 52! I don’t want to spoil this one, but simply recommend it: genuine conflict, believable characters, real motivations, and a great ending that insists I buy the next issue. What I liked? The writing and the spooky connection to Swamp Thing. What I didn’t? Not a thing. Best book from Week 1.Yes
Batgirl #1LowInterestingI love Gail Simone (and her work), but the previous Batgirl title was the hardest one for me to lose when DC relaunched. That made this the one book I didn't want to read. As expected, it's a well written story and I found it enjoyable. I enjoyed Barbara’s characterization and I’m intrigued by her shaken confidence. What I liked? Barbara’s enthusiasm for getting back in the game and seeing her relationships with other characters. What I didn’t? Glossing over why Barbara's up and walking. I’d rather it just get addressed and moved past then be left dangling out there.

Maybe
Batwing #1LowServiceableI feel like I should give his book a little more love, but nothing in it really grabbed me. There were some plot points (like the Kingdom heroes and the relationship between hero & villain) that really show some promise, but a lot of the book felt like they were just writing Batman in Africa and not letting Batwing be his own character – he even got a Batcave and an Alfred in this issue. I like the concept here, but nothing about this book felt unique or compelling. What I liked? The possible connection between Batwing & Massacre. What I didn’t? Batwing needs to stand on his own and not just be another version of Batman.

No
Detective Comics #1MildServiceableI couldn't figure out if this was the first meeting of Batman and the Joker or if Joker is relatively new to Batman's world, but that aside it was an okay issue. I was interested throughout, even though some of the writing made me outright groan or laugh in the wrong places (like Batman thinking “I’m Batman” and then getting stabbed with a knife he failed to notice). The ending was a good shocker, but I'm not really interested. The villains seem to be getting an even more raw deal in the Relaunch Universe and it's a turn-off. What I liked? I liked the storytelling and writing because it kept me interested despite my not liking the ending. What I didn’t? The ending. Joker’s gonna need that back and there’s no way that plot point doesn’t get glossed over in a few years. No
Green Arrow #1LowUnremarkableI have a tough time saying anything about this issue. I just didn't really care about anything going on in it. There was some unintentional hilarity at the beginning with the CEO talking about how awesome and fortunate they all are as a preface to worrying about how they’re screwed. There were a lot of new villains (named and unnamed) and I find myself wondering where the old villains are (that’s endemic to a lot of the 52 it seems). Anyway, there was nothing really objectionable here, but nothing I found terribly interesting either. What I liked? The computer hacking arrow. I’m not sure how that works. What I didn’t? The fodder villains. Villains are still supporting cast members, but here they just seemed like plot devices. No
Hawk & Dove #1LowUnremarkableTo be upfront, Liefeld art isn't the way to my wallet. I'm just not a fan. This book appeared relatively free or relaunched continuity (spinning more out of Brightest Day), but the revelation about why Dove is Dove was laughable to me - everything you thought you knew is a lie! Also, Gail Simone did a lot of work last year to redeem Hawk as a character to me and that appears to have been wasted. I don't think it was a bad issue, but nothing here was compelling. What I liked? Hawk getting scolded by his Dad (I’m stretching here, I know). What I didn’t like? The revelation between the Doves and… the art.No
Justice League: International #1HighUnremarkableI really wanted to like this book, but I didn't feel that satisfied after reading it. My first problem wasn’t endemic to the book itself, but an early preview page showed Plastic Man, B'Wana Beast, and Frankenstein - all characters that aren't on the team. I was bored by the subterfuge from the people running JLI, but got over it once the heroes started to show up because some of them were just weird. Guy (possibly the most interesting character in the title) quits the team and walks out right away and some of the story’s potential goes with him. What I liked? Batman was more like Mr. Rogers than he’s been characterized in the other titles. I found that funny, but I liked it. What I didn’t? The sniping between August General and Rocket Red. No
Men of War #1MildInterestingThis issue was the one from the first week that really surprised me! I’m glad to see war comics making a return and this one exceeded my expectations. The book spent some time setting up the characterization of Sgt. Rock's grandson, but we also got a glimpse of what the title will hopefully be more like: showing how war & soldiers are affected by being in a superhero world. It’s a great concept and I'm looking forward to this title and hoping to get some exceptional issues out of it. What I liked? The superheroes duking it out above our special ops teams. I hope we find out they were. What I didn’t? Not a thing. Great issue. Yes
O.M.A.C. #1LowInterestingI’ll be honest; I wanted to not like this book. This relaunch is Didio’s thing and that doesn’t endear him to me all that much. But this book really managed to draw me in with some crazy art and being a really easy read. There wasn't any confusion about what was taking place when or any weird plot points or retcons for me to have to keep track of. That was refreshing. This book is a cusp book for me, even I have some spare room in the budget, I’ll keep buying. What I liked? Brother Eye. The last line is particularly hilarious. What I didn’t? While I like the Kirby imitation art, it’s still not Kirby art. I’d almost like to see the book be given a new, unique style.Maybe
Static Shock #1MildServiceableThis book was enjoyable even though I didn't know a lot about Static or the Milestone Universe in general going in (I was still happy to see Hardware appear). This was another book that I found to be really accessible and a fun read even if I wasn’t always sure what was going on. Much like OMAC though, it's going to come down to money on if I keep buying it or not. What I liked? The upgrade to Static’s costume and character; using Hardware as a mentor. What I didn’t? I wasn’t completely sold on the threat or the villains in this issue, this one might be best read collected.Maybe
StormWatch #1MildInterestingCornell had some of the highest expectations to live up to, but that's because of how much I've enjoyed his stuff in the past. I've read some Authority, but I think my not being terribly familiar with the characters helped me here. It felt new & fresh and the weird, out-there concepts fit right into the book, giving it a much-approved Morrison feel. Definitely one of my favorite reads so far. What I liked? The crazy concepts – the moon attacking the Earth and super power that are social media based. Cool stuff. What I didn’t? I wanted more. This was a good start, but I wanted more story at the end. Yes
Swamp Thing #1HighExceptional I was stoked to have a Swamp Thing return to the DC Universe, but the portrayals in Brightest Day & Search for Swamp Thing didn’t do much for me. Even though Swamp Thing is hardly in this issue, this book definitely made me feel good about what’s to come! Some great writing had me loving this issue even though it’s mostly about one man’s internal struggle while thinking about his destiny. There was a so-far unconnected antagonist that was delightfully creepy. Another favorite from the first week. What I liked? The writing. Top notch. And Superman – it was refreshing to see one of my favorite characters acting like one of my favorite characters. What I didn’t? Nothing. Loved this issue from the opening to the cliffhanger. Yes
Batman and Robin #1MildServiceableAfter losing so many of my favorite characters in this relaunch, I really want to keep reading about Damian. He's one of the best characters to come out of DC in recent years, but I'm not sure if I want to keep reading this book. I liked the writing of the book overall, but either Tomasi doesn't have a good handle on how Bruce & Damian should interact or they shouldn’t be interacting at all. The idea is that Damian’s a little, cranky Batman and that means he needs a positive foil. Reading them trying to outcrank each other isn’t particularly enjoyable. What I liked? Damian. He was a little more bristling that I like, but I’ll chalk that up to being with Bruce. What I didn’t? Bruce with Damian. I enjoyed the book most when the characters were separated. Can we get a Nightwing & Robin?

Maybe
Batwoman #1HighInterestingFinally. I feel like I've been waiting for this book forever because… well, because we have. I wondered if the Relaunch would affect it and it seemed to at the beginning - No Colonel Dad, Flamebird added to the cast, Montoya dead? All but the last one actually work with her previous titles though and I have hope Montoya will be back. I waited awhile for this book, but it was well worth it. I’m glad to have these characters still around in the DCnU. Also, I don’t talk much about the artwork, but Williams is a genius. He’s not drawing panels, he’s composing. That said, I hope to see some Amy Reeder art back in the title soon. What I liked? All of it, but I did enjoy seeing the cameos by Chase & Mr. Bones! Glad to see the DEO is still around and it’ll be interesting to see how they play into Batwoman’s story. What I didn’t? I would say that Jake was gone, but he came back – hopefully he’ll still be a series regular. Yes
Deathstroke #1LowInterestingTo be upfront, again, I just don't care about Deathstroke. That said, this New52 is my chance to try books outside of my comfort zone. After reading it, Deathstroke is… still not something I'm interested in. I did enjoy the issue, it portrays Deathstroke as the usual badass of the millennium, but it suggests that he's getting old, aging out of his prime. This issue shows that isn't the case, but this book could be interesting if taken in that direction. What I liked? The young, hip assassins were annoying by themselves, but everything gelled for me when they were paired up with Deathstroke. Sad how that turned out for them… Also, I enjoy the idea of “old Deathstroke”. What I didn’t? The lack of a flaw or an overlooked detail that might suggest he is getting too old. Fans of Deathstroke may not appreciate that though, so I’m not surprised it wasn’t present. No
Demon Knights #1HighExceptionalThis was one I was really excited for and it didn't disappoint! The Demon Knights “team” forms (well, not yet, but it will) because they're the ones in a particular bar when the antagonists attack. It may be DCnU history (I loved Vertigo's recent Madame Xanadu), but seeing a book use the medieval DC characters together as a group is a great concept and being well written was the icing on the cake. There’s a lot of characters here, but we did get some characterization for the key players (Etrigan, Xanadu, Mordru, Vandal Savage). I’m not terribly sure how Cornell is going to utilize the Shining Knight, but I’m glad it’s Morrison’s version. We got some tidbits on the new characters, but the book had a bit too much crammed in to really feature them. Looking forward to next month for sure. What I liked? The whole thing from exploding babies to dinosaurs. What I didn’t? We hit the ground running and there was a lot going on, but I’d rather have that than too little happening.Yes
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1HighInterestingAnother book I was excited for. The sign of a good book is when you’re reading it and the ending comes out of nowhere. I don’t mean some shocking cliffhanger, I mean you find yourself dismayed that that was the last page. That was Frankenstein for me. The story itself was simple, a mix of demon invasion and contagion, but the characters made it interesting. This is the Morrison Frankenstein I’ve come to love and the rest of the cast, while slightly different post-relaunch, are some favorite characters as well. I know we’ll get some good plots from Lemire, but I’ll be reading this book to learn more about the origins and history of these characters. That said, the foreshadowing on the Humanids was thick! I’m looking forward to that story. What I liked? Little Easter eggs like Man-Bat’s serum being modified to make a vampire or Ray Palmer working for S.H.A.D.E. , but mainly the strong characterization. What I didn’t? I’m totally sold on Father Time’s new form as a little girl, but my bigger issue was with using the computer captions to download lots of information. I liked that we learned so much, but I never quite like that technique. Yes
Green Lantern #1MildInterestingI was skeptical about Sinestro as Green Lantern, but I’m always up for a (*cough* in-continuity *cough*) change of pace, so I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was also a little excited. Plus, Hal Jordan is just about my least favorite Green Lantern. That made this issue right up my alley. I know Hal will be back on top sooner or later, but if Johns actually manages to make him a more well-rounded character from dealing with his personal issues, I’m all for it. The book was relatively Relaunch-Free, so it just picked up where it left off for the most part. Sinestro is interesting as GL, but I have a feeling none of this will last as long as I’ll want it to. What I liked? GL got so plot-focused over the last few years that it felt like Hal went back to being his usual one-dimensional self. I’m looking forward to him getting some depth back. What I didn’t? Just some odd plot skips because of the Relaunch. Was Sinestro still tortured to get the ring off? Was Ganthet still accosted by the other Guardians for sending away Krona’s body? I’m not clear on some of the little details. Yes
Grifter #1MildUnremarkableGrifter came highly recommended to me from a friend who loved the character and the new writer working on the book. That same friend later told me “Grifter sucked”. I think that’s probably the best sum up I have for it. The cover looks promising, but inside we’re treated to an origin story that doesn’t really tell me anything I need to know about Grifter. I’m not as familiar with WildC.A.T.S., so the brunette he kept calling and his brother may be characters I’d be excited over if I knew who they were, but I don’t. All I know is there is thief who aliens are trying to kill and that anyone can get a Grifter mask Louis’ Mardi Gras Costumes in New Orleans. What I liked? The opening. Grifter’s on a plane and various passengers are possessed and trying to kill him. What I didn’t? The opening being the opening. The rest of the issue is in flashback which means the cliffhanger was page five and that when Grifter puts his mask on at the cliffhanger at the end, he’s going to the airport to get on a plane. I wonder if he felt stupid when he had to take the mask off to board?Probably Not
Legion Lost #1LowServiceableI was a little confused at first. I’m not sure if the Legion books are rebooting at all or picking up where they left off in August. I loved that there was so much plot, but it was so dense and I had no idea what was going on – and remember, these books are supposed to appeal to new readers. That said, it seems like the book would appeal to long-term LSH fans. If you are one, let me know what you thought of this issue. I’m intrigued to keep reading, but it’s hard to be interested when the book didn’t really explain anything. What I liked? Dawnstar spending the first half of the issue barfing. What I didn’t? This book was really inaccessible. I know my Legion somewhat, but I could’ve used a Roll Call or those fancy bubbles that explain to me who’s who and what they do. I had to be told who Tyroc was and I was unfamiliar with Chameleon Girl before this issue. Also, they might have killed Gates. Sad day, right?Probably Not
Mister Terrific #1LowServiceableMr. Terrific’s solicit and new costume didn’t instill me with any confidence about this book. I was pleasantly surprised though. This guy isn’t too much different from the Mr. Terrific that I know and love (but somebody get this guy a jacket). The characterization was interesting and the removal of the JSA & Spectre from his origin was relatively painless. What I liked most was that the book spent some plenty of time with Michael Holt and not just him battling villains as Mr. Terrific. That said, even though we’re spending time with Holt as a businessman and scientist, the trouble still comes looking for him. Looking forward to the next issue. What I liked? The dialogue. The book was well written all around, but the characters were written to be believable and it helped the book feel like I was buying into a better and longer story. What I didn’t? I’m not sure what’s going on with Karen Starr. Will she be Power Girl? Does she even have powers? The writer using her specifically should pay off in some way, but in this issue it’s not aiming for that. Hopefully, we’ll find out soon. Maybe
Red Lanterns #1HighServiceableI was really anticipating this book and may have overhyped it a bit in my mind. Atrocitus isn’t going to be an easy character to write and while I think Milligan’s up to the task, it’s still going to be a rocky road. While Johns made Atrocitus a great one-note character, a solo title (which this more or less is despite the name) requires a bit more depth. Milligan adds it well and the book could become something great, but the setup issue here gives us a mopey, self-doubting Atrocitus. That wasn’t cool, but it was still well written and I’ll take it in stride if the next handful of issues are great because of it. What I liked? Dex-Starr and “What are you doing to my cat?” when Atrocitus bursts in on some alien sadists intent to harm the kitty. What I didn’t? Seeing Bleez reverted to being a dumb ‘zombie’ Red Lantern. The supporting cast needs to be fleshed out a bit more… and be able to talk if this book is going to keep everyone’s interest long term. Oh, and Atrocitus and Krona were like lovers? I didn’t need to read that… Yes
Resurrection Man #1HighInterestingYou can’t see it, but I’ve got the biggest smile on my face. It’s because I just read the first new issue of Resurrection Man in twelve years. This book is being written by his creators, Abnett & Lanning, so I had high expectations and they were absolutely met. I get the feeling that the first story arc springs from an idea the pair may have had in the intervening years. It seems Heaven & Hell are tired of Mitch’s soul being denied to them and they’re willing to take it by force. Just a great read and I want you all to go buy this book to ensure we keep getting it! Thanks! What I liked? Just having this character back eases the entire Relaunch for me and I love the high concept of the first arc. Plus, the appearance of Madame Xanadu at the end was a nice bonus! What I didn’t? Nothing. I feel like this book was written for me. Yes
Suicide Squad #1LowUnremarkableThis was another book I really didn’t care to read. To say I didn’t like the writer’s last work on Flashpoint: Legion of Doom would be an understatement. I can at least say Suicide Squad was better, but the twist at the end was telegraphed right away and it kinda makes the whole book pointless to read. One problem with the Relaunch is that some creators took the opportunity to change things for shock or fun instead of anything compelling – like making King Shark a hammer head or Amanda Waller sexy. It distracts from the storytelling and that’s what you get here. A story that didn’t matter with most of the talk focusing on odd, unnecessary changes for change's sake. What I liked? I did like King Shark even though his Relaunch look is stupid. Also, I don’t dislike Harley’s choice of clothes. I’d “like” it on Facebook or DeviantArt. What I didn’t? I don’t think that needs to be her regular costume in the comics though.No
Superboy #1LowServiceableI have to admit that Superboy surprised me. I was unfamiliar with Scott Lobdell before this Relaunch, but his response to people disliking the Teen Titans costumes made me cringe. It put me off even wanting to read his books. The early word on Red Hood (which I’ll get to all too soon) is similarly off-putting, but this issue surprised me. It wasn’t really about Superboy so much, but rather a young redheaded scientist (who may or may not be Fairchild from Gen13) that is the only person willing to treat the test tube Superboy like a person and not an experiment. When he survives the first attempt to kill him, she ends up as his caretaker. I wasn’t expecting to read this book, but her character is almost enough to get me to buy a second issue. What I liked? The supporting cast (Except Rose) and the little hints about the future of the title strewn throughout – who donated the other half of the DNA (still Luthor?)? Who was in test tube #1? What I didn’t? I was thrown off by the simulated Smallville in the second test tube, both transitioning to it and out of it. It was oddly placed – and ironically, I was really interested in the meek, demure Rose from the simulation and was disappointed by the surly reality of her character. Probably Not
Batman #1HighExceptionalCould it be? A DCnU issue of Batman that doesn’t set out to ruin a long-time villain? Give it time, I suppose, give it time… I’m a huge fan of Snyder’s work, particularly on Batman, and was really looking forward to him continuing his run (even if it will be with Bruce instead of Dick). The issue doesn’t disappoint with strong storytelling, a great mystery, and some cute little twists to take advantage of the Relaunched continuity (by not really changing anything, by the way). The art was a little off in places, but the story more than made up for it. What I liked? The twists and ending. Batman appears to work with Joker (telling Jim that’d be ridiculous when he asked about the CC footage), but it turns out that it was Dick in disguise. But the cliffhanger points us to a new killer stalking people in Gotham and the evidence points to Dick. Ridiculous, you say? What I didn’t? Just the art here and there. I’m a fan of Capullo, but the facial expressions caught my attention here and there when they shouldn’t have. Minor complaint though, as I loved this issue. Yes
Birds of Prey #1LowServiceableI’ve been waiting to run into a book like this. One that’s well written, intriguing, and that I just don’t care about. I give you Birds of Prey. The story is captivating, the characters well-defined, and I was interested even though I have no idea who Starling is and Black Canary’s new costume is downright awful. If you’re just buying BoP for the first time, it’s apparently not brought anything forward from the original – Barbara’s history is pretty much toast and BoP with it. It’s a nice piece, but I’m going to spend my money on things more familiar. What I liked? The writing was strong throughout, I enjoyed the themes between the opening and the ending, as well as the Birds ultimate failure. I’m mildly curious where it will lead. What I didn’t? The lack of back story and the team not being assembled yet. There are some mysteries to resolve (like Dinah being accused of killing a man) and only half the team exists. Much like JLA, I’d rather these new books hit the ground running. No
Blue Beetle #1MildInterestingDo you have books you feel bad not picking up? Blue Beetle is one of those for me. I want to support the character, but my wallet usually finds him on the cutting room floor of my pull list. I enjoyed this issue by Bedard and I find myself back in that enviable position of whether or not to buy this book. As I’m writing this, I think it’s time I finally pick up Blue Beetle. This is an origin story, Jaime Reyes will be the new Blue Beetle again, but this time there apparently weren’t any Blue Beetles before him (at least not associated with the Scarab anyway). If you’re a Blue Beetle fan, you might groan at starting over, but at least not much appears to have changed. What I liked? The ancient origin. The book opens with with the Reach enslaving a planet centuries ago before jumping to the scarab that will ultimately end up on Jaime. We get to see a GL from this period too (and now I want to learn more about him). What I didn’t? I grew tired of origin stories a long time ago and this is why. The first issue is in the can and while it was a decent read, we’ve had exactly one panel of our hero powered up. That stings. Maybe
Captain Atom #1MildInterestingI’ve always had a soft spot for Captain Atom, but this isn’t quite him. There’s a little more Dr. Manhattan mixed in then he normally has despite what DC has said to the contrary. It’s an interesting issue, but some weird stuff happens for reasons I don’t understand – like the volcano springing up in NYC or how that connects to the little alien rat thing. It could just be me though because I also didn’t pick up on what the clock meant either. That said, and this will sound dumb, I still enjoyed the issue. I liked the characterization of Captain Atom and my interest in the character will surely carry me on to #2. What I liked? The art. Captain Atom goes without any ink to show his being pure energy. It makes for a cool effect. What I didn’t? I was a little confused about how some of the events tie together. I’m hoping subsequent readings and/or issues solve that and I can enjoy the title a little more. Yes
Catwoman #1LowUnsatisfactoryUp until now, I’d been putting unremarkable down for the books I’m deeming on the lower end of things. Well, unremarkable isn’t the right word for Catwoman… it’s note-worthy, but for all the wrong reasons. I’m not against some cheesecake or even featuring sex in comics, but this is how I think it should be done. I know this book did have a story in there somewhere, but it’s completely lost under the characterization of Catwoman. That’s also all anyone wants to talk about and I think that makes this book a failure. It makes me long for the days of Exiles. I know Winick can do better than this. What I liked? Nothing. I wanted to find a bright spot for each issue, but this one’s tough. What I didn’t? I like Catwoman, but I want to take her seriously as a villain, anti-hero, whatever they want to try. That was next to impossible in this issue. No
DC Universe Presents #1MildServiceableI’m still somewhat in shock that DC is trying an anthology title. I love them, but they never work anymore. Anyway, the first issues will focus on Deadman. I did find the first issue interesting, but it’s so damn depressing. It stars Deadman, so that’s somewhat to be expected, but this Deadman is more depressed than normal. His origin is essentially the same, so I’m not sure why we had to spend all issue on it (I really hate origin stories). We do learn that his powers are different, he is still working for his atonement, but he must also atone for the crimes of certain people he must inhabit. He can still enter anyone (and does), but there are specific people he’s called too. The issue was a bit of bummer though; it even ends with Deadman ready to kill one of his charges to get Rama’s attention. What I liked? The characterization of Deadman. He’s relatively the hero we’ve always known and I’m interested in how he’s dealing with the burden he bears. What I didn’t? That everything was such a downer. Hopefully, the story will take an upswing in subsequent issues. Maybe
Green Lantern Corps #1MildInterestingThis book was another example of nothing really changing. If you were just reading Green Lantern titles, you could happily ignore this Relaunch as they all fell under Johns’ protective curtain. This issue is a mix of cool stuff and same old, same old. I enjoyed the middle which re-introduces us to John Stewart and Guy Gardner and how they have a hard time being GLs with no secret identities. What I didn’t really care for was the larger plot – there’s a new big bad spiraling out of Unknown Sectors (or whatever they’re called) and the alien GLs again cannon fodder for this new threat. Six GLs are killed and a planet destroyed all to make some guy with a green glove super-credible as a threat. Still, I enjoyed the issue despite it relying on the usual GL-crutches and I’ll keep reading the goings on of the GL franchise. What I liked? John Stewart & Guy Gardner being normal guys struggling fitting their daily lives in with being GLs. That’s three of them so far, I wonder how Kyle’s doing? What I didn’t? The body count. Killing things doesn’t make villains credible. Try better writing! Yes
Legion of Super-Heroes #1LowServiceableHaving read both Legion books, I still have very little understanding of what’s going on, but it would appear these Legionnaires think the Legion Lost ones are dead and that something big just happened in the books prior to the Relaunch. I guess. I’m still not sure. This book did feature those fun little captions that let me know the characters and give me a loose sense of what’s going on. Both the writing and the art are strong, but I have to question the purpose of the Relaunch here. The Batbooks and GL books were made accessible in their new no. 1s, but the Legion books really make you feel like you’re missing some key information. What I liked? I still liked the A story, a group of Legionnaires infiltrating a world that’s been corrupted by Dominators. I just don’t know what it has to do anything. What I didn’t? Other than being densely written and in dire need of a “What’s come before” page at the beginning, I liked what I read.Probably Not
Nightwing #1MildInterestingHaving just finished up the collaboration between Snyder & Higgins on Gates of Gotham, I was interested to see if Nightwing will tie into Snyder’s Batman. It appears that they will, so I’m buying this book for awhile for sure. Luckily, it was a good read even if it’s the standard “I’m Dick Grayson and this is my post-Batman, reaffirming my own identity” story. I like his history being included with the Circus and him being an accused killer does tie into the Batman story, but not as directly as it might seem. This was a well written issue and Dick is still in a capable writer’s hands even if he should still be Batman. What I liked? I like that Nightwing is still in a good place and I think Higgin’s handle on Dick Grayson will make sure this is a successful run. What I didn’t? He took some time to change into his Nightwing costume and two cops died as a result. I’m not sure if that’s going to factor in or is just incidental. I don’t like it either. Also, did I mention he should still be Batman?Yes
Red Hood and the Outlaws #1LowUnsatisfactoryI pulled out the unsatisfactory for Catwoman, but I almost wish I could add a lower rung for this book. I usually like when things are so bad that they come back around to being enjoyable, but this book doesn’t quite make that journey. The relaunch should’ve helped some of these characters – Jason Todd is crazy, Roy lost his arm and wielded a dead cat, and Starfire… well, she was fine. The only way her character could go was down… and I’ll leave that pun right there, thank you very much. I don’t have much to say about this book, the controversy is well documented, but I just want to say it was dumb. What I liked? I actually liked the idea that Starfire couldn’t tell humans apart, it’s just a shame that had to be showcased with sex instead of something funny like blasting one of her buds with friendly fire. I was also mildly amused by the fat preacher outfit. And I'd like to learn more about Essence, just not in this book. What I didn’t? Everything else, I won’t miss not picking up this book. I still wish Jason Todd was dead anyway – and why didn’t they give him his red hair? This was DC’s one shot at and all ginger book. No
Supergirl #1MildInterestingI still miss the days of the Matrix Supergirl. I never particularly cared for the previous version that replaced her and my first instincts with this issue were to recoil from it. How many times do they have to wipe out the old Supergirl and have a new one crash in the same ten years? But this issue quickly won me over, even though it’s kinda like an origin story. It details Kara’s first 5? 10? minutes on Earth and her first experience with her powers and having to deal with some government agents trained (but unable) to handle when an alien comes crashing down. The ending is obvious, but still enjoyable and it leaves you really wishing you already had #2. I’m glad I decided to give his book a chance. What I liked? I like the science fiction aspect of her slowing discovering what was happening to her while she was completely clueless. Apparently, she missed the memo about Krypton because she thinks she was still there when she came crawling out of her pod. What I didn’t? The ending was predictable, but that’s because we’ve seen Kara crashland eleventy billion times now. Not much any new writer can do about that (except for make a cool Matrix Supergirl, but I digress…)Yes
Wonder Woman #1HighExceptionalAs a longtime DC reader, Wonder Woman has often vexed me. She’s part of the DC trinity, but her book can never approach the sales of the other two. Every writer that’s worked on her in my lifetime has seemed to struggle with her nature one way or the other. I enjoyed Rucka and Simone’s runs and all but abandoned the character during last year’s Prelaunch. I would’ve skipped this one too, but Azzarello & Chiang made sure I’d read it; their being the creative team behind the last Doctor Thirteen series and all. And this Wonder Woman was very different than anything I’d read before, it almost feels like it’s replacing the Zatanna title more so than the previous Wonder Woman. For the first time in a long time, I’m excited to be picking up a Wonder Woman book. It was a great read and another instance where I’m dying for issue #2. What I liked? I love that the scarier aspects of her mythology are being created. I loved that the book focuses on the problem first and then Wonder Woman coming in and kicking ass. What I didn’t? I did want a little more focus on Wonder Woman, but I’m sure that will come in time. Yes
All-Star Western #1HighExceptionalAll-Star Western was another book that I was really looking forward to. I mean, yeah, maybe a groan at first when it was just Hex going to Gotham, but then the idea percolated a bit… and Gates of Gotham was released (they’re set in the same time period) and I really started to like the idea – that would be furthered cement by the issue, mentioning the Gates Brothers, Mayor Cobblepot, Alan Wayne, etc – this is how the DC Universe should work. What I really liked though was not only the clash of Hex being out of his element in a non-frontier town, but also his juxtaposition with Dr. Arkham. They made a great team and I fell in love with this book. It’s sad because at one point it was the least ordered, but they’ve all sold out since, right? What I liked? Another credit to the writing in general. I’ll follow Palmiotti & Gray just about anywhere (I love Monolith, kids) and they didn’t let me down here. What I didn’t? We’ve got to get Hex out of that CSA uniform somehow…Yes
Aquaman #1MildInterestingFirst a small caveat, if you will. Geoff Johns didn’t make Aquaman cool. Aquaman has been written well many times. Kupperberg. David. Pfeifer. I will not entertain any notion that Johns “fixed” Aquaman by simply writing him better than Busiek or Veitch. Anyway, what we have here is a very solid Aquaman story. The story was mostly about people making fun of him, them being wrong, and a good showcase of his abilities and status quote. Speaking of, Mera is thankfully by his side. I’ve waited for this book for awhile and I enjoyed it like I thought it would. It’s nice to be able to read an Aquaman comic again. What I liked? He’s still married! Geoff Johns had the good sense to not make Aquaman young and single just so it was easier for him to write the book. What I didn’t like? Johns used just about every bystander in the book to point out that Aquaman is a joke (and further reinforce the myth that he’s always been a joke). It wasn’t really necessary. We get it. Hopefully, Geoff Johns got that out of his system and the book can be about people taking him seriously without the derision.
Best book of Week 4.
Yes
Batman: The Dark Knight #1LowServiceableDark Knight was a decent read, but it’s lost in a veritable sea of Batman books and it was the one I liked the least unfortunately. The writing and pencils were solid, but the only thing that sticks out to me is that Jaina Hudson is hot and Two-Face… excuse me, One-Face has been hitting the gym too much or got a dose of venom that he didn’t need. Granted that last part was the cliffhanger and it should sit with you, but it’s not sitting with me for the right reasons… What I liked? Great pencils from Finch and a solid writing assist from Jenkins. What I didn’t? One-Face? Seriously? No
Blackhawks #1LowServiceableFirst off, yes this book kinda feels like GI Joe with different Joes. It features covert, highly specialized military strike force made up of multinationals using codenames. So yeah, Joes. But I don’t think that takes away from the book at all. It was good. It opened on action and was an interesting thrust into this world. After that cool opening though, it kinda descended into this weird place that didn’t mean as much since we really didn’t know any of the characters. We got some light background on some that proceeded not to really do anything and then no background on the characters the writers chose to focus on. Kinda odd. What I liked? I like the Blackhawks and I’m happy to see a 21st century team… What I didn’t? … but we need some connections to the old squad. Something. Accessibility was spotty throughout the relaunch, so I don’t think it’s valid to say winging it without a reference to WW2 was necessary. Probably Not
Flash, The #1LowUnremarkableUnder the current management, the Flash franchise has been beaten, abused, drowned, and decimated. And the sad thing is, I’m still not sure why. It hasn’t netted a huge increase in sales or critical success. It’s just been awkward and not enjoyable to me. This issue was more of the same. I want to read the Flash. I love the Flash – even Barry, though I’m happier when he’s dead it turns out. I haven’t been able to read the book the last few years because they did away with the parts I enjoyed and then the Relaunch came along and made the parts I enjoy never have happened. I held hope for this Flash book to still be really good. It read superfast, which I guess is appropriate in a way, but it wasn’t really enjoyable. The story we got could have a great first 2-3 pages What I liked? Making Flash a bachelor was pretty high on the stupid list, particularly when the excuse was letting the writer have more freedom. That said, I loved the scene where he first sees Iris in the story. It was cute and makes me hope they’ll eventually get remarried. What I didn’t? The plot of the book was really thin. Flash fights guy, guy dies, guy turns out to be dead childhood friend, and then dead childhood friend turns out to have hundreds of clones. What? No
Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men, The #1MildUnremarkableThis book was really forced. There’s a mercenary team hunting something and treating just about everyone in the book like cannon fodder. Ronnie and Jason are both high school kids, and they’re both jerks, but Jason has a secret. Some physicist from somewhere sent him some nuclear canister that he secretly keeps in his locker (maybe he carries it with him all the time, who knows) and when the mercenaries come to their high school and start killing people to find them, Jason activates the canister and they become Firestorm! Both of them, separately. Ronnie, who’s about as confused and unclear as the reader proceeds to get really angry and two end up combining into a big Ghost Rider version of Firestorm called Fury. I love Firestorm and I’m willing to let someone mess with the concept if it works. This didn’t. What I liked? While the overall plot was off-putting, I did like some of the juxtaposition and characterization Ronnie and Jason received when they weren’t together. Also there was a panel that possibly introduced five other Firestorms (though the book would require there be six). What I didn’t? The overall plot was just a big turnoff. The Ronnie/Jason thing has been messy ever since Brad Meltzer had the bright idea to kill Firestorm with a sword - making them two separate Firestorms seems like a bad idea only outdone by the fact they turn into a big angry skull-faced Firestorm when they do combine. Oh, and Stein is presumably dead. I hope not, because that’s a colossal waste. No
Green Lantern: New Guardians #1HighInterestingI think we’re finally well past the Kyle’s not dead yet (or again) that seemed to take over the GL franchise of late – he’s back to having his own title! Well sorta, he’ll ultimately shre it with a “GL”A of sorts, but this issue mainly focused on establishing Kyle. The story opened on his origin which I kinda feel like was a waste of space, but it works thematically with the ending when the six other rings come for him, followed by four other color Lanterns who want to know why their rings are being stolen. What I liked? A great two-page spread of Kyle making three bulked up construction workers to catch a falling crane. Kyle has been my favorite character since I got back into comics in ’97 and this issue spends the time on him that I wish I could get for a few other favorites. What I didn’t like? Nothing, really, though we have yet another team book where the team isn’t even close to being assembled by issue’s end. Thought we at least have five of the seven present in this case. Yes
I, Vampire #1MildInterestingI really liked I, Vampire, but it was a chore to read, mostly because it was told slightly out of order. The basic gist is that there’s our I, Vampire who wants to get along with humans while his love interest, Mary, tends to want to kill lots of people. The book switches back and for the between our main character trying to peaceably talk her down and another where he viciously fights against her army sometime later. I liked everything, but I was confused towards the end about the order of events. What I liked?The setup for something greater. The dialogue. This was a well-written piece and it’s almost a shame it’s a comic. I love to see this story unfold without my imagination moving the panels. What I didn’t like? The flashbacks jumping around. I’m still not sure if the attack on the subway is before or after the main events in the book and I think the last page is actually a flashback to right before where the book started? Maybe? Maybe
Justice League Dark #1HighInterestingJustice League Dark was my another of the titles I was excited for and it was good, but it ended up being yet another book where the teambuilding is going to slowly… seriously, if these team books adding members at this pace, it’s going to be 2012 before any of the teams are completed! This issue did at least spend time getting to each of the major players if only for a panel or two. The premise is simply, there’s magical threats the JLA can’t deal with (in this case Superman, Wonder Woman, & Cyborg are stopped because a tornado of nasty teeth and fingernail clippings prevent them from even getting close enough to help), so what do you when there’s strange noises in the middle of the night or are experiencing feelings of dread in your basement or attic? You call the “Justice League Dark”. Or something like that because I bet they won’t actually call themselves that. At least I hope not... What I liked? I like seeing the JLA get stopped in their tracks, but I really enjoyed the roster for the book: Zatanna, Deadman, Shade, Madame Xanadu, Constantine. There are a lot of my favorite characters all under the roof of a great writer here. What I didn’t like? This issue was really slow, but I expect great things. Yes
Savage Hawkman, The #1MildUnremarkableHawkman was another one of those first issues where you feel like you got about five pages of story from the whole book. Hawkman, wishing to be Hawkman no more, burns the suit but the resulting inferno claims him as well. He wakes up at home, only slightly crispy when he should be dead. Later that day a threat arises at his day job (an ancient alien menace wakes up) and the Hawkman Armor grows out of him and forms around him. He is still defeated. Four sentences? I’m going to predict that this is not the way to make Hawkman a successful character. What I liked? The look. His new armor is cool, but that’s not enough to get me to keep buying. If the alien somehow ends up creating the DCnU Shadow Thief, I’ll throw him in as something I liked too. What I didn’t like? There just wasn’t enough here to keep me interested. And there’s none of the stuff that made Hawkman cool here (yes, Hawkman has, in the past, been cool).No
Superman #1MildServiceableI’m not really sure if Superman was good or not. I could get hung up on the costume (I don’t really mind it) or the reboot voiding the marriage (which I really do mind), but the irony of this issue is that it just seemed like a run-of-the-mill Superman story. Some of it was technical, the art had that late 80s vibe, the captions being third person narration or panel summaries instead of internal monologue. It just didn’t feel very new at all. What I liked? Superman dealing with the hijackers and acting like he I think he should. And even though I loathe the loss of their marriage, I did appreciate the ending where Clark inadvertently interrupted Lois while she was having a “friend” over. What I didn’t like? Just the old feel of it all, some parts of the book felt like a retroactive book instead of a relaunch title. No
Teen Titans #1LowServiceableTeen Titans started horribly, but it ended well so I’m going to stick with serviceable. The book was told in four segments each focusing on introducing one of the main players. The sections introducing Red Robin & Wonder Girl were decent enough and make the book feel like it’s on the right track with Robin gathering together a team of young heroes because an evil clandestine group has similarly set their sights on them. Superboy is introduced on the last couple of pages as a tie-in and that’s fine too. But the opening with Kid Flash and his home made costume? Ick. Not only was he written to annoy the reader, he actually does annoy the reader. What I liked? Tim still being Tim despite the chicken wings. Wonder Girl’s costume. The integration with Superboy. What I didn’t like? Bart and his homemade costume. No
Voodoo #1MildServiceableBoobs. It’s kinda unfortunate this one ended up being last. I should’ve thought about that. It’s not that Voodoo is a bad book, it’s just that there’s more boobs than story. I think there are maybe four pages in the book where you’re presented with something other than a half dressed stripper. I don’t find it as objectionable as Catwoman or Starfire because the characterization is still there though. She has a reason for being a stripper and the T&A is present more in the art than in the writing like the other two books. The main thing the book suffers from is drawing out this opening. It might have been better served to get a few more beats in there and compress the time in the strip club.
What I liked? I won’t lie, I didn’t mind the artwork though. I did laugh out loud at the mysterious stranger appearing in the background. Despite the odds… she managed to appear outside the strip club. I guess that’s not her thing. What I didn’t like? The slow pacing. I think that’s probably my biggest beef with most of the Relaunch tales – so much space wasted for reasons I can’t fathom. DC as a whole needs to pack a few more plot points into these books.
Maybe

131 comments to Liveblogging: The New 52
DC Comics Micro-Reviews All Day

  • Adrian

    You’re crazy. But we knew that already. ;)

    Sounds like a cool idea. I’m interested to see what you think when you get to the Green Lantern books!

    • Yes. My craziness is well documented at this site. Now that I’m a little over halfway done at 3pm, I’m starting to rethink this idea… LOL :D

      I enjoyed GL, I’m sure I’ll like the other two too. We’ll find out soon… :)

  • manekochan

    Can’t wait till you get to Catwoman and Teen Titans.

  • Benning

    I’ll warn you. Weeks 1 and 2 are going to suck, but Week 3 and Week 4 will pay off in spades.

    I still hate that they’ve done this, but I have to admit we did get some good comics out if it.

    • Monaghan

      Good god, yes! I couldn’t believe DC let so much of the slop out at first and made us wait on the better titles. And like Noisy sorta mentioned, they were stupid to release JL #1 by itself with so little story and so little impact on the overall line for us to have to sit there for a week with no better idea of the DCnU. Stupid.

      • Personally, I wish they wouldn’t sell bad books at all. It’s not like there’s a lack of talented writers and artists they could be using…

        Anyway, I think it’s been an okay balance. I’ve read some great stuff already today and I know there’s some awfulness ahead.

  • TomB68

    It’s cool that you’re doing this, but my comic reading stopped back in August. I’m too old to start reading a new universe and making sense out which of my memories don’t play into it. I wish DC well, it was a good run.

    • There’s a few books you could conceivably still buy if you were already buying Batman and Green Lantern appear to have just picked up right afterwards. It’s not all flushed away.

  • Nakamura

    Cool idea, but so much to read. LOL

    My favorite books from the first week were Batgirl & OMAC. I know there was a lot of nerdrage about Barbara being up and walking around, but I think it was long overdue!

    • I… liked her better as Oracle. And I loved Cassandra & Stephanie. It’s going to be really difficult for Gail to overcome that much of a deficit.

      OMAC is fun, I’ll be interested to see if it stays that way and I may go back and pick up issues I missed.

  • Fisto's Foot

    Great idea, Noisy!

  • McGowan

    I love Batwoman. The art on the back is ****ing beautiful and the new issue was no exception. I’m so happy that its finaly out and DC better not plan on cancelling it any time soon!

    • Monaghan

      Agreed! JH Williams III is a ****ing genius.

      But Montoya better be alive. That’s crap!!

      • I’m sure Montoya isn’t dead. They can’t just kill her in a relaunch… Think of it this way, we’re questioning if she’s even alive. ;)

        As for Williams. Absolutely. That book is art moreso than anything else from the Relaunch. I do hope Hadley still fits into the Relaunch plans somewhere though, I enjoy her work.

  • John F.

    I was so bored by Stormwatch and Demon Knights! I felt like there was a lot of larger plot going on and the writer didn’t bother to fill us in. Those books are written for the trade which is something Didio promised would stop.

    • Yeah, they are bigger pictures books (and appear to be slightly connected on top of that), but they were so well written, I’m willing to let them slide for only being part of a story.

      And writing for the trade is here to stay, no matter what Dan Didio says.

  • Melanie

    I gotta take exception with Batgirl being serviceable! Gail Simone knocked that issue out of the park! It’s wonderful to have Batgirl back and be so full of life. I’m looking forward to her being in Birds of Prey, yeah, but it’ll be better with her as Batgirl than as Oracle!

    • Serviceable isn’t bad, just average.

      The only value I see with her showing up in BOP is that we can figure out her history. It’s pretty screwed up at the moment.

  • IMO the books of the month are Swamp things, Demon knights, Batman, Batman and Robin, Teen titans,, and justice league Dark. I loved each and every one of those. On a side note The new Daredevil comic is OUTSTANDING and I recomend everyone give it shot.

    • I like the first three, but I just couldn’t get into Batman & Robin, too much clashing. I’m looking forward to JL Dark and I’m not sure about Titans. We’ll see soon!

      I was tempted by that Daredevil… hmm…

  • Also it certainly was a tough month for reviewing comics with all these new books coming out glad its slowed a little to just the good ones each month!

  • Chuck

    Great idea for a blog. There’s some nasties coming up on your list though. This’ll be interesting.

  • Globulus

    This is a cool read! I’ll be checking it all day! Good luck!

  • HeathLars

    I wanted to read all 52 but it was just too much money! And reading them all in one day is pretty cool. Great job so far!!

  • Grifter’s an odd title; people either loved it or hated it. I’ve been reviewing the books off and on for the past few weeks but ‘Legion Lost’ was one of the books I had the most to say about. I’m pretty familiar with the LoSH but the book was… an odd one.
    Anyway, you can see where I went on about it forever

    http://t.co/RaX0h3so

    • Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out… later tonight? tomorrow? ;) I’m interested to see what I missed from being Lost myself.

      Grifter just… maybe it will read better as part of a trade? I don’t know.

      • The main issue I had with Grifter was that there wasn’t enough to really identify him as that particular character; I’m not really familiar with the character at all but there wasn’t enough to say that they couldn’t have made this star Nightwing or Richard Dragon or somebody. But I also think that’s the problem with most of the New 52 stuff: there’s a lot of team books that don’t introduce the members well and a lot of solo books that show cool action for the protagonist but not a huge amount of character. Still, I thought Grifter was solid and I appreciated it a lot more than I was expecting. That may stem from having had zero expectations in the first place, having bought it only to review for the site, but a surprise is a surprise either way.

        Legion Lost was just… awkward. There isn’t enough to define the characters as individuals outside of Timber Wolf being a loner. Wildfire and Dawnstar are a couple but you’d just barely get that from the book. Chameleon Girl’s a relatively minor character but the book makes her seem overly disposable (if not incompetent) despite her being married to Colossal Boy. The cliffhanger was also a little forced and more than a little incomprehensible.

        I’m picking up All-Star Western, Aquaman and probably New Guardians tomorrow. I’m a big fan of Tony Bedard but I was pretty disappointed with how much was overturned or altered with Blue Beetle. Still, I do like Kyle even though Bedard’s GLC was decent for the most part; I liked that he used characters that weren’t Guy (or Kryb for that matter who was the most bizarrely overpowered Corps member ever underneath Tomasi) but he really only got to do 1 real story arc before War of the GLs started. I, Vampire sounds interesting but the only thing I’ve read by the writer was the GN Tumor, which was only ok. We’ll see. I’ve already bought more books than I was intending, just so I could write about them; in a way DC’s strategy worked though it wasn’t really what I think they were going for.

        • You’re definitely right about Grifter not being Grifter, future issues might come around and help that book be better. My buddy still has faith in the writer. You’re also right on how few books made a big “must read” splash with missing key elements or even team members.

          Most of those relationships were lost on me! I noted that Colossal Boy was upset over his wife, but I couldn’t tell you who. That book could really use a catchup page. I don’t know why DC just doesn’t do it. I don’t care if it’s “Marvel thing” – it will sell books surely.

          I think Blue Beetle hooked me early because of the backstory on the scarab and the Green Lantern, I didn’t care so much through the middle. Also, it was posited to me that Wally can’t exist because his legacy origin requires Barry. It’s possible that Jaime had Ted & Dan cut out for the opposite reason. I really enjoyed Jonah Hex, Aquaman was good and so was

          And I definitely hear you on the last part – I wouldn’t have read them all if it weren’t for my crazy idea to do so all in one day. Not even close.

  • Carlos

    I picked up about half the books and enjoyed them enough, all the books are selling out those so DC must be doing something right.

  • Bronxton

    I don’t understand all the Liefeld hate. I get that what he tries to draw sometimes exceeds his abilities, but he impacted a large portion of where comics have been the last twenty years. I’m glad to have him back on Hawk and Dove.

  • Monaghan

    Batman was totally awesome!! ‘Nuff said!

    Curious what you think about Dark Knight though given the review. Heh heh.

  • Sawlife

    Speaking as a die-hard Legion fan, I was just as lost.

    Well, I knew who the characters were.

  • CornCob

    Does it pain anyone else that Geoff Johns gets to just keep his own storylines going while Snyder, BQ Miller, and so many other great creators had to have there stories ****ed up by this relaunch.

    • Nicholai

      Except the only thing Johns has done at DC that escapes somewhat unscathed from the relaunch is Green Lantern. His runs on Action/Superman: Secret Origin, Teen Titans, JSA, The Flash (Wally West), and Superboy are all wiped from continuity. Snyder has James Gordon Jr. from his recent run on Detective appearing in Batman #1 and has said that Swamp Thing isn’t going to be much different New 52 or not. BQ Miller did get the short end of the stick along with Stephanie Brown, but that is assuredly because very few people read his Batgirl in comparison to titles like Batman and Green Lantern.

      • I saw James Gordon, Jr! I was so happy about that.

        Nicholai is right, Johns did “lose” a lot of the stuff he’d written. GL was saved more because how many issues they were printing and didn’t want to risk losing than it was his coveted baby. If other titles had been selling better, they might have been saved as well.

        That said, some pet projects did sneak through and I’m crushed that BoP & Batgirl weren’t two of them. I’d much rather have the old books back on that front.

  • Elliot

    Thanks for doing this. I love your toy reviews and I think your comic reviews are spot on too!

  • MyxzQuick

    Deadman’s book was awful! He goes into some depressed, handicapped soldier and puts a gun to his head? That’s supposed to get me to read the next issue? Forget it!!

  • Totatoes

    Legion has been very good at Levitz and I’m happy it’s continuing. People always says that Legionis too hard to get into because it’s not connected, but I don’t think so. Great books if you’re just willing to learn a little bit about them before you jump in.

    • I don’t disagree that people need to learn more backstory if they’re confused rather than just give up. That problem is so endemic that it helped spur on this Relaunch.

      The Legion does have a lot to learn though. It’s a whole ‘nother universe (future of one anyway) shoved into one or two books.

  • Totatoes

    Red Hood is next. I’m kinda excited…

  • Cunningham

    Noisy, you do the coolest stuff! You’ve been at this all day! LOL

    • It has been a long day. I turned off my phone and put on some music to make sure I got through it! It’s probably time to take a break and get some dinner before plunging into this week’s comics…

  • I’m off to get some food, I’ll be back to get the leg of these here in a little bit!

  • TwoFisted

    The key word you used Noisy was UNREMARKABLE. Being a lifelong DC fan i bought them all and out of all the 52, i’d say maybe a third were unremarkable. Top of my list is Green Arrow, Grifer,Mr. Terrific and Red Hood on the ho hum side. Most others have kept me interested to go to issue 2. My standouts were Action, Animal Man, Green Lantern, Swampy, Batman, Resurrection Man, Flash, and Aquaman

  • textual

    Some of the choices on the relaunch smack of under the table deals at DC. The Wildstorm characters have no place in the DC Universe and were probably put there to secure Jim Lee on JL (Stormwatch is okay, but the other Wildstorm characters have terrible books that waste slots that should have gone to other DC characters.) Crappy 90s Marvel EiC Bob Harras seems to have put a lot of 90s Marvel people on the books (Scott Lobdell gets 3? He writes Tim Drake the way he writes his own tweets…like an asshat.) Fabian Niceza, Rob Leifeld, George Perez, all 90s Marvel guys. And Perez on writing only? Crazy. BQM and Greg Rucka (as in “awesome writer, muthatrucka!”) are left out in the cold.

    But with that out of the way, there have been some good books to come out of this. Glad we get a follow up to Elegy at long last. I do find a lot of them aren’t new reader friendly. Wish more could be like Aquaman, which does not deny his long career in the DCU but perfectly sets up a new direction while giving you a great introduction to the character (still miss the hook hand.)

    • As much as I would love Rucka on any book, I think he’s done with DC for now; they did something to make him walk a little while back, right after before War of the Supermen. Heck, it might have BEEN War of the Supermen though I think it was more to do with Batwoman than anything else. I haven’t read his Punisher stuff at Marvel but he can make pretty much any character’s book a gripping read. Maybe someday…

      • I’d still love to have him back in there. Definitely better than the current plan which seemed to heavily involve letting artists (and no offense to all, some artists can be really good writers) pitch all these books.

    • I think the universes could be combined, but intelligently. This relaunch wasn’t done intelligently – it wasn’t a group process restructuring the DC Universe, making things more seamless and sensible, it was a bunch of people pitching ideas and getting approval – which is how it’s always been. A lot of the 52 is different, but it’s also a lot more of the same.

      I was thinking about the writers you mention today when I read about Perez. You have a high profile book changing teams and you just go to Giffen? C’mon. Call back BQM, Diggle, Pfiefer – someone fresh that can bring something to this new 52.

    • I think the universes could be combined, but intelligently. This relaunch wasn’t done intelligently – it wasn’t a group process restructuring the DC Universe, making things more seamless and sensible, it was a bunch of people pitching ideas and getting approval – which is how it’s always been. A lot of the 52 is different, but it’s also a lot more of the same.

      I was thinking about the writers you mention today when I read about Perez. You have a high profile book changing teams and you just go to Giffen? C’mon. Call back BQM, Diggle, Pfiefer – someone fresh that can bring something to this new 52.

  • Cunningham

    Noisy, I’ve read them all and come to one earth-shattering conclusion!

    You should do this every week!

  • HeathLars

    I enjoyed the Dark Knight quite a bit, but I do think you’re right. Daniel got our attention better, Snyder wrote a better book, and Tomasi had Damian. Dark Knight didn’t really stand out from the others.

    • I did like it, but one of the books had to be fourth and it just turned out to be that one. Though I think the other 3 were all distant to Snyder’s Batman.

  • HeathLars

    Aw, c’mon!! Firestorm was awesome! Tons of action and crazy conspiracies! I loved that book.

  • HeathLars

    You skipped Aquaman and Green Lantern New Gaurdians!

    • I missed Aquaman on accident, but skipped Kyle’s book. I figured I should get a few that I wasn’t excited about out of the way before I left myself with a bunch of ones I wasn’t sure about at the end!

  • CornCob

    You skipped Aquaman’s and Kyle’s books!

  • CornCob

    Aquaman was totally kickass. What were Kupperberg, David, and Feifer runs like?

    • Kupperberg wrote Aquaman back in the sixties when they first introduced Mera and the family. Lots of good back issues in that era. Peter David (wrote the hooked Aquaman which I absolutely loved. We need a DC Classics of that look, damn it. And Pfeifer (& Arcudi) wrote the middle part of the last title between Veitch and Busiek – the Sub Diego era which is probably one of my all-time favorite periods. Speaking of, I hope Lorena survived the Relaunch…

  • CornCob

    Kyle’s book was really good I thought. I didn’t really understand Justice League Dark. I hadn’t heard of a lot of those characters.

    • I enjoyed both of those books immensely. Justice League Dark could’ve been a little more clear on the Enchantress’ back story, but that is what wikipedia is for. :)

  • CornCob

    The going joke on Voodoo is that it was Rated T & A.

    • That’s an apt description!

      • dayraven

        question: is anyone who’s currently reading the wildstorm relaunches a fan of the origins of any of those books? i’d be curious to see if we had any wildc.a.t.s. fans in here who kind of give me an idea of where they’ve gone w/ the new titles from the original. i will say, i was a fan of the original series, but it got old. i wonder how much of that mythos has been preserved and how much has been discarded. thanks for any input.

        • So far it’s just been some of the Authority, Grifter, Voodoo, and Fairchild. I can’t speak to the originals but the Authority seemed slightly different while the other characters really don’t seem to evoke much of the originals.

        • Rich

          It’s funny, in the Flashpoint minis, they put together a rag-tag “Team 7″, just to kill them all off.
          In the DCnU, there’s been no mention of Team One, or Team 7, and the foundations of Stormwatch seem to go back to the dark ages or possibly farther, not just the 1960′s. Seems more Century-babies-oriented than Team One…
          There don’t seem to be any Gen-Actives, yet. If that is Fairchild in the NOWHERE facility, she hasn’t shown any Gen-Active powers yet.
          Grifter also seems to have no Gen-Active abilities, and no mention of Coda training, rather just one mention of being a “Delta Operator, turned con man”.
          I liked how in the Wildstorm universe, the most powerful were labeled “Majestic-class”. Without a Mr. Majestic, Stormwatch now refers to Apollo as “Superman-class”. Doesn’t have the same ring to it.
          Voodoo is definitely half-monster, but whether that’s Daemonite or not, who knows. They were far more interested in the “T+” scenes than they were in telling you anything about her in her first issue.
          For a title called “Stormwach”, it’s been only Authority characters so far. Other titles have featured behind-the-scenes schemers/manipulators that could have easily been Jackson King, or Henry Bendix, but they decided to use new characters from Central Casting, rather than, you know, write something interesting…
          Despite getting three books in the relaunch, Wildstorm seems to have suffered the logic bombs worse than the other two co-joined universes. It seems pretty easy for the Vertigo characters to walk out of the reboot unscathed. DC got shaken up without much rhyme or reason, and Wildstorm, which never needed a past other than covert action teams in the 60′s, a glowy comet, and an interstellar war, suddenly contributed ‘immortal guides’ and ‘century babies protecting the world from little green men since AD 1′ to the merged universe. Hunh?
          Not really sure what glowy Red girl did to mix the universes when Flash un-saved his mom, but it makes very little sense, yet. I have zero hope that it ever will. She said it was going to make the world stronger, but so far, I have to think that she lied.

          • dayraven

            thanks… that seems a real shame, since as you point out, there was a lot of potential in those original wildstorm titles… like why half the wildstorm characters aren’t gen-active… that could be played in a really cool way, like these two generations of heroes, deriving their powers from a new mutation (or however they want to retcon gen-active abilities) facing off w/ the old school heroes and kind of leaving them behind… like what would you do if you were superman and suddenly the next generation of really powerful heroes were called “majestic class” after a hero who has similar abilities to you? superman’s ego is still very human in capacity, so what happens to him when he’s not the top dog anymore? what happens to batman when grifter is taking out the scum of gotham before you can even get there? that could have been some offered some great chances to craft story.

  • BumblebeeZ3

    Nice to read your thoughts on these! Kinda curious what your pull list looks like.
    I was dreading reading Teen Titans yesterday, but I think it worked relatively well, considering.
    I think I’ll stick with the Lantern books, Batman, Batman & Robin, Nightwing, Teen Titans, and Resurrection Man. Might pick up some of the others too, but leave them off my pull list. I’m fairly certain I’ll want to grab the trade of Demon knights when it comes out based on all the reviews I’ve read, watched, and heard.

    • Teen Titans gets a star for not being as bad as we were all expecting, I think! :)

      My current pull list will be the top 20 or so from the above list as well as FF, Captain America, Thor, JiM, SHIELD, & whatever Crossgen Marvel is throwing out. Nothing too spectacular.

      You’ve got some great choices on your list!

  • j1h15233

    I saw these tweets all day but couldn’t find time to read it until this morning. Awesome job and we agree on most of the titles that I read from the 52.

  • Clutch

    Heck of a task you undertook, Noisy. Now, that’s what I call dedication! Thanks for your hard work in putting together this project for the rest of us.

  • you_will_forget

    I’ve not got around to picking these up yet, but a few comments based on your reviews and the comments here:

    Wildstorm – I’m an lifelong Wildstorm fan, and the characters don’t fit with DC. THe whole point is that their world is a lot more accepting of violence and morally grey SPBs, and that just doesn’t fit with the main DCU

    Flash – was there no mention of Wally at all? WHere is he in the new world?

    Deadman – as a disabled person and the member of a number of disabilty organisations, I hate the way disabled people are portrayed. We’re not all villains these days, but I hate the emphasis from both here and Avatar that losing the use of your legs is the end of your life and you should kill yourself. Do what a real man does, adjust to your new situation and go on to have a fulfilling life like most people do.

    Jo
    I’m ill, tired and cranky, and I’ve had enough of work already today

    • you_will_forget

      Oh, and I forgot to say – outstanding work on that huge chunk of reviews.

      Now we just need you to do the same every week ;)

      • Thanks! Every week is a bit much… DC would need to send ‘em to me. :)

        Wildstorm – I can see that, that the nature of the world was too different. They definitely seem like echoes in a sense, even the relatively unchanged Authority members.

        Flash – I don’t know. He’s basically useless to them it seems. One thing I thought of that might be cool is if the Earth-2 heroes are old and Wally is Jay’s successor on that Earth. I doubt anything like that will happen though. Barry and Iris are barely connected in the book and we’re still not even sure if Bart is still related to Barry.

        Deadman – The man in the wheelchair didn’t really get much screen time to himself, but I hear what you’re saying. He had some PTSD issues I believe, but he was shown as staring off into a mirror. Definitely a reverse image from Oracle.

    • dayraven

      are they trying to maintain that in the relaunch titles, the morality ambiguity? i actually liked that, for the most part, that no one was good or evil in the traditional sense, they played out a lot more like people. my beef w/ the old wildstorm titles was, eventually, too many characters who were in essence cookie cutters scenarios every month.

      • Stormwatch acts like they’re the higher authority, dealing indiscriminantly with real problems while the JLA plays hero. Grifter didn’t get enough development to know what’s going on and Voodoo is a loner.

  • Excellent work! Any conclusions?

    I’m personally torn: DC has managed to get the spotlight and sell a lot of comics, and I’m probably going to be buying two more books than I was previously. (Two more than none, everything I like gets cancelled…) But some of the books have generated a lot of hate, I don’t like the haphazard rebooting of some things but not others, and was this the absolute best that DC could do? Really? I don’t know.

    • Wow. That’s a really tough question. While I found some stuff to love, I think I have to say I’m rather unimpressed. (isn’t that such a mean word? perhaps meaner than I intend.)

      I think you hit the nail on the head. This wasn’t the best DC can do. They’re clearly making a effort to get books on time and that’s very important despite any creator protests.

      But they didn’t make that same commitment to quality and it shows. Granted, quality is a fickle thing. The books I found atrocious have been lauded elsewhere while some of the books I drooled over where blasted on other sites. There were some that overcame the disagreements – Swamp Thing was highly praised almost everywhere, Catwoman was similarly derided. But so many of the titles weren’t well put together or well conceived.

      Things didn’t connect. Top talent wasn’t recruited (the talent appears to have been recruited via the same good ol’ boys network as always). Artists that had yet to prove themselves as writers were given books that sorely needed trained writers.

      This wasn’t a big orchestrated relaunch. Reading through – plot points are different, historical data is in doubt, characterizations have changed, but the whole day felt like reading a lot more of the same comics I always have with the names changed.

      After the dust settles, I’ll be back to my normal routine – not reading Superman or Justice League, but enjoying the fringe titles where quality writing is much more important. All this upheaval, but in the end, I imagine my pull list will look very much the same.

  • toyman2581

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together, it was cool to see someone else’s thoughts on the whole new DC. It looks like we had really different interests going into this. I liked a lot of the books that you had little interest in or found unremarkable. I enjoyed most of the Batman titles except Batwoman, Hal is my favorite Green Lantern, and I absolutely despise Grant Morisson – LOL! I’d have to say on the whole, most of it has been a bit underwhelming but I hope the new Universe finds it’s footing soon.

    • Thanks for reading! It just goes to show that tastes are so different. I think my overall thought is that it just isn’t different enough – any why should it be, they’re using the same people, the editors are still the same, etc. I wish there had been something larger, more orchestrated. It didn’t feel like a new Universe, just ours with random changes made for no coherent reason.

  • TwoFisted

    Even tho first issues are an easy sell, i think these first issues are tough in this reboot setting. Its one thing to take a long gone character out of comic book limbo and tweak and redesign and then send them out into battle for our comic book buying dollars. Its another thing completely to take a character that we just saw a month ago and see them changed around. I personally think that DC should have changed the mixture of keeping built in fans happy and hooking new readers just a bit. Maybe 70/30.

    I most of your reviews would have been better had DC taken a different approach editorially. I enjoyed most of the new 52 and i will stay with most of them at least thru their first story arc, but i felt that most of the books had the same formula. Action in the beginning, a little vague set up for whats to come and a surprise last page. Some of the books didnt even show their title character till the last couple pages. I think it would have made for a better book if they had their title characters already in the thick of things and then thru flashbacks or internal monologue to explain origins or backstory.

    I also feel that in this day and age with our instant satisfaction and extremely short attention spans that the current storytelling techniques are not working. I’m a 30+ year collector of comics and will continue to buy comics on a monthly issue basis. But when you read that the trades sell so well and are sometimes outselling the monthly books, that should tell you something. I think the days of telling self contained, single issue stories are more or less a thing of the past. BUT on the other hand i think its also tough to sell monthly episodic comics as well. We could some day see a tapering off of monthly 30 page comics and see more original trade formatted stories. Seems these days people just dont have the patience to read monthly comics

    • I definitely agree. The comic industry has been adamantly doing the same thing over and over for years and then wondering where the readers are going. DC has this weird dichotomy going where they Rebirth GL while decimating Aquaman or bringing back Barry, but completely distorting the Captain Marvel franchise.

      I know I don’t need self-contained stories – Jonah Hex had a hard time keeping me interested because I wanted longer epics, but they still need to tell a story. It’s not easy to tell a story in 20 pages – some stories don’t take 20 pages, some take more. I think things would go a little better if writers made sure that the arc packed a punch and the issue packed a punch. It may be difficult, but there are plenty of other writers out there that can do it, surely more than 52. Get those people writing these books.

    • I definitely agree. The comic industry has been adamantly doing the same thing over and over for years and then wondering where the readers are going. DC has this weird dichotomy going where they Rebirth GL while decimating Aquaman or bringing back Barry, but completely distorting the Captain Marvel franchise.

      I know I don’t need self-contained stories – Jonah Hex had a hard time keeping me interested because I wanted longer epics, but they still need to tell a story. It’s not easy to tell a story in 20 pages – some stories don’t take 20 pages, some take more. I think things would go a little better if writers made sure that the arc packed a punch and the issue packed a punch. It may be difficult, but there are plenty of other writers out there that can do it, surely more than 52. Get those people writing these books.

  • Nicholai

    I will be buying the second issues of: Action Comics, Animal Man, JLI, Swamp Thing, OMAC, Demon Knights, Frankenstein, Superboy, Batman, Birds of Prey, DCU Presents, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Justice League, Aquaman, I Vampire, JL Dark, and Superman. There are a couple I’m on the fence with and a few I loved (All-Star Western, Flash) that a friend will be picking up.

    • As you saw, I agree with a lot of your list. Do you mind telling me more abotu what you saw in JLIU, DCU Presents, and BoP that kept your interest? Do you think there was something I might’ve missed?

      • Nicholai

        I liked Justice League International because I’m a big fan of B-list teams and like the dynamic with Booster Gold leading the team. The different take on Batman was nice too. Plus, I’m happy to hear that Jurgens is going to be rotating in different characters for the team. While it isn’t the JLI I know and love I’m still going to give it a shot.

        DCU Presents I like because I’m a big fan of giving characters like Deadman or other B, C, or D-list characters a chance to shine. I’m a big fan of the Silver Age and loved anthologies and such that spotlighted different characters. This first story set a good stage for Deadman and I hope keeps his push (being in three different #1s is pretty cool for such a character).

        Birds of Prey I’m happy with because I like the idea of taking the team in a different direction than it has been before. More of a outside-the-law and respectability team than has been seen before. An X-Force lite if you will. I like to see if new characters (Starling) will develop and I hope this book gives a different feel than so many other books out there. I like stuff the writer has done before (I dare not attempt to spell his name) and think it could be good.

  • cbomb23

    Good job with the reviews! I picked up 21 of the 52 and I only 2 were books I didn’t enjoy (Green Arrow and The Flash). But I will continue to ppick up all 21 of these titles at least thru issue #4. And quite a few others have piqued my interest in trying (Demon Knights, Wonder Woman, Frankenstein, Superboy, Batwoman, Batgirl, VooDoo). Just getting back into comics after being away for a few years, seemed like a good point to start:)

    • Thanks! I added that “Will I buy #2″ thing on there to help articulate my feelings, but it did seem a bit harsh. Some of these books just aren’t going to get into a stride in that timeframe. Props to you for sticking with it. My LCS only carries the pull lists, so I’ll be buying up through whatever the last issues he ordered for me… I need to check on that. :)

      It’s surely a good place to start, but I do wish a few of the writers took better advantage of it. Levitz would be a great example – he got to continue his previous work, but it would’ve been so much better had they taken an introductory track. They really blew their first impression on that front.

  • textual

    I had no idea Rucka had bad blood with DC. Googling him got me some information, he was kicked off Detective before he could do Alice’s origin story (What the hell DC?) And I guess he wanted to write his own characters…except isn’t he doing The Punisher now? I guess he might have been diplomatic about things. The only other thing I could dig up was that some people behind the scenes at DC have bad mouthed Batwoman (used the dy-word) despite using her as an example of diversity in press releases and stuff.

    Makes me really sad that we’ll never get another Batwoman story out of Rucka. Hopefully he and JH Williams discussed Alice and her origins so it can be followed up on at some point. When Alan Davis took over Excalibur he managed to make the book as awesome as when Claremont was writing it AND wrapped up all the storylines left hanging.

  • TwoFisted

    I’d have to say that having read all 52 like you Noisy, i enjoyed them all. Some better than others. Some had faults and some had less. Some i cant wait for number 2 and some i’m ok with waiting. Hehe how’s that for being diplomatic!!

    Now that i’ve read them all and i’m looking at them covering my dining room table, i’d have to say if there were any books i’d actually pass on…it’d be the Grifter and Voodoo. I bought all the Image books when they came out back in 91 or 92 or whenever they first came out. After most of those early Image books proved that they were all hype and no substance, i stuck with Spawn and dropped the rest. I don’t really have any love for any of the Wildstorm characters at all…no time invested in reading years of their storylines. So i could let those 2 books go. I DID however read Authority and loved the first couple of arcs. Add in Martian Manhunter and i’m very interested to see what happens in the Stormwatch book. Perhaps if DC put Grifter and Voodoo in a team book, it’d be an easier transition for new readers and not having to commit to a solo book. I’m sure that’d anger die hard Wildstorm fans…but DC has sole custody now. hehe

  • Smitty

    Agree with your Animal Man review. As a long-time Animal Man fan, not only was I pleased to see him get a solo book, but I thought this particular effort was a home run.

    I really don’t like the new uniform–I miss the orange and blue, plus the goggles. Aside from this, I thought the writing was outstanding, and the art was nearly perfect, better than anything in the Grant Morrison days.

    Mostly, I’m just pleased that Buddy is getting another shot at his own book.