So: the New 52

I always get way too worked up when I'm reviewing something like this as it comes out, so with DC's September title push I decided to just sit back and wait until the first wave was over until I started spouting my opinions onto the e-webs. And then I got sick and ended up waiting another week. So: my final verdict after reading most of the new number ones? 

Eh. About the same. The ratio of quality to terrible comics is likely equal; the stupid changes to the barely-altered continuity are balanced by the interesting ones... and that's about it. 

Slightly more detailed breakdown:

Okay Comics:

Batgirl - Putting aside the various arguments against re-Batgirling Barbara Gordon, I thought this book did an okay job of doing so without completely pushing aside her time as Oracle. I enjoyed Stephanie Brown's book more, though.

Batman & Robin 

Detective Comics - I may be the only person I know who didn't react to that number one with violent revulsion. It was okay! Not great, just okay.

Static Shock - I missed out on Milestone entirely, so Static is basically a blank slate for me, character-wise. As such, this is the only book that I'm coming to as one of those new readers that this whole exercise if ostensibly aimed at. It's doing an okay job, though I do feel left out in the continuity cold more often than I should. We'll see how this'un goes.

Stormwatch - Could turn out to be terrible or decent, though the fact that the first issue gives no clue to that is troubling. 


Superman - Although reading about Clark Kent having to listen to Lois banging another dude is cold.

Good Comics That I Expected to Be Good:

Action Comics - Possibly my favourite of the whole bunch. I thoroughly enjoyed the idea of Young Superman bopping around Metropolis in his homemade costume, getting up to his Golden Age-style social justice antics.


Batwoman - Could probably go in the next category as well.

Comics That Were Exactly the Same:

All the Green Lantern books - And these are the ones that probably needed rebooting the most. Keep the same concept, the Rainbow Corps, even the Black Lantern garbage, just trim away half a dozen of the times that the Guardians went crazy or died or both and this would be a much more accessible part of the DCU. All the reboot really did was require that things like Kyle Raynor rebuilding the Corps be dredged up again in order that the number ones have context. 

The Legion books - I love the Legion with all my tiny heart, but they're pretty dang mediocre right now.

Way Better Than I Expected:

Animal Man - This and Swamp Thing! Creepy horror stuff in the DCU! Delightful!

Aquaman - Not perfect (Brave and the Bold Aquaman would, of course, be the perfect choice) but fun. I like an Aquaman who will order up some fish and chips.

Flash - The last year of Flash has been kind of so-so, but this book appears to have done what Green Lantern and its pals so abjectly failed at: reboot the character to a point that he is interesting again. Plus, the erasure of Barry and Iris' marriage seems to have introduced some delightful plot fun, instead of being all weird and wrong like Clark and Lois'.

OMAC - Delightfully odd and fun! As Dave pointed out to me yesterday, it's not quite Kirby level, but Giffen and Didio (!) come damn close.

Superboy - As with Flash, this book looks to have stripped away a lot of the baggage of the last couple of decades and left behind some solid fun. Plus, it seems to be hearkening back to that Superboy character that was virtually the only good thing about Countdown: Arena.

Swamp Thing 

Wonder Woman - If DC's tactic was to entice new readers with minors in Classics, then this book is a resounding success. I mean, it's a fine yarn and a good interpretation of the character (still waiting for the pants, though) but a modern retelling of the age-old tale of Zeus knocking someone up and Hera trying to kill off both mother and baby in a fit of jealous rage? That is delightful! I am delighted!

Comics With a Lot of Potential (to be Favourites of Mine and Also to be Cancelled)

All Star Western - It's hard to go wrong with Jonah Hex.


Blue Beetle

Demon Knights - If pre-megalomania barbarian-style Vandal Savage ends up on this team and maybe even has a character progression toward the evil mastermind version of himself I will squeal with glee.

Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE - Not quite as amazing as I'd hoped but all of the elements are there. I shall bide my time.

Men of War - Honestly, this one hasn't been great, but the idea of regular-style soldiers in a world full of super-humans has a lot of potential so I'm giving it a chance. This would actually make a more interesting WWII comic, but I guess that that doesn't jibe with the the whole idea of Superman being the world's first public super-hero. Which is kind of dumb, anyway.

Resurrection Man

Disappointingly Bad Comics

Batman: the Dark Knight - I love Batman, but this was just unconscionably bland.

Blackhawks - Another idea that works better in a WWII context. Heck, maybe if they'd gone the Lady Blackhawk-in-Birds of Prey route and played it as 1940s flyboys in a modern context it would have been fun, but this update to Top Gun 2099 is beyond dull.

Firestorm - Could still be good! The concept of Firestorm being two super dudes who merge to form an even more super dude is an interesting update of the idea, and the character interaction was decent, but my god did the last third of this book fall apart. It was not fun to read, nohow.

Justice League - Bland, bland, bland. A terrible showcase of the new line.

Justice League International - Highly disappointing considering how fun Generation Lost was. I'm sticking with this one, but it'd better pick up and be entertaining soon, I'll tell you.

Mister Terrific - I didn't enjoy the art, which is admittedly a personal preference. More troubling was the hamfisted way in which Terrific was written as a "smart" character. He came off more as someone with an overinflated opinion of themself that they enjoyed expressing, while the purported smartness was in actuality merely mildly clever. Boo.

Suicide Squad - Hey! Terrible character redesigns and decent art plunked into a plot lifted directly from an issue of Checkmate from 2006! Read about people being tortured! Hooray!

And the Most Disappointing Book: 

Red Hood and the Outlaws - Because reinventing Red Hood and Speedy as Bro Vigilantes is actually an amazing idea. Both characters work perfectly as fringe characters who have terrible pasts but have put things behind them (finally). If there's one thing that my love for Archer has taught me it's that a super-competent dick is a very entertaining character indeed. Only problem is, Scott Lobdell looks to be getting in on the act as a third bro, and instead of providing the boys with an interesting foil along the lines of Archer's Lana Kane he just plopped Starfire in as a super-powered sex toy, reducing the team dynamic to two dudes doing the Eiffel Tower over a Realdoll. Huzzah.

But Enough of This Bullcrap:

Do you know what came out this week? Casanova! Chew! I, Zombie! Invincible! Moriarty! Skullkickers! Sweet Tooth! A new Axe Cop trade! Plus the first issue of The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, which looks amazing, as well as very violent! Hooray!