The New DC 52

So several months ago, DC Comics announced that they would be relaunching 52 new #1s of their comics. Some were actual relaunches, while others were brand new solo series. As someone that is a DC fanboy, but primarily follows Batman, I figured it would be a good point to jump in and see these other series  — some of which I have previously checked out, usually when the heros’ path crossed with Batman at some point. Though it’s about a month after the fact, here are my quickie thoughts on each of the new 52.

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5

Week 1
Justice League #1 – Obviously familiar with this title and comic, this one starts out with Green Lantern meeting Batman for the first time. They head off to go find Superman together by the end. Seeing the JLA come together is an awesome prospect, so I’ll be checking this one out monthly for sure.
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Week 2 Back to Top
Action Comics #1 – Superman as a fairly new arrival in Metropolis also is fun to see, as he is having a blast doing what he does. I liked this one a lot and will continue as well.
Animal Man #1 – I was not all that familiar with Animal Man. I’d seen him before in crossover events so I was aware of him, but I didn’t really consider his series here to be a must-purchase. And while it sill isn’t (the artwork here seems very basic), it was a good read with an interesting story. I definitely want to check out the next issue.
Batgirl #1 – Barbara Gordon back as Batgirl. Although this issue does not exactly explain why or how, it’s definitely a nice jump-in point as well, setting up a story arc with a new villain and ending on an interesting note. I’ll check out the next issue and follow this story arc for sure. We’ll see beyond that, but I like it so far.
Batwing #1 – I was not familiar with this new character at all. He basically came across as quite literally just “Batman in Africa.” Meaning, I dug what I saw, and it was like reading a Batman that took place in Africa instead of Gotham City. I’ll check out the next issue.
Detective Comics #1 – This issue was great, and the last panel really set things up nicely for issues to come, making me very interested to see what comes next in the story.
Green Arrow #1 – The artwork was not what I was expecting, and the story was not anything compelling compared to other issues I’ve seen. I’ll check out the next issue to see if this changes but, right now, I’m disappointed in this title so far.
Hawk and Dove #1 – This is a title that I did not know much about, beyond a few appearances in DC’s previous Crisis events. The duo does not seem very mainstream at all, and I’m not sure this is a series I’d be buying long-term, either. The most compelling part of this issue was that it left me wondering what Dove’s secret is that she can never tell Hawk. But, if she really won’t ever tell him, then there’s not much that was left here to compel me to keep reading/buying.
Justice League International #1 – This came across as a series to stick characters that had nowhere else to go. That being said, I’m a big fan of Booster Gold, and Batman also made a cameo. The team and story was set up nicely, and I’ll probably check out this ongoing story arc to see where it heads. Too early to tell long-term, as it’s a brand new assembled team that has yet to adjust to each other, and I don’t know most of them, either.
Men Of War #1 – I was very surprised by this comic, as it is (so far) the only one that I see as having nothing at all to do with any other of the 52 series. By that I mean that, should there ever be a future mega-crossover event, I don’t see the characters here ever being involved; this reads as almost a separate entity from other DC titles. Dealing with soldiers and war, it’s an interesting read and I’ll have to check out a few more issues to really get a feel for it. I did like what I saw in its initial issue, though.
O.M.A.C. #1 – I never was a fan of the Brother Eye/O.M.A.C. elements of previous DC titles. This didn’t do much to change that, either. I gave it a shot but it’s not something I’m likely to continue with.
Static Shock #1 – I was not familiar with this character/series at all and, having now read it, it came across as one of those 90s attempts at being “extreme.” The character seemed to over-the-top in attitude, as was even the artwork, and it seemed more aimed at kids than adults. I’ll pass on this one as well.
Stormwatch #1 – A team-based story with not much of an introduction to who they are. I recognize Martian Manhunter from the Justice League, but everyone else here was foreign to me. This issue did not do enough to draw me in for another round.
Swamp Thing #1 – I’ve always found Swamp Thing as a concept to be cliched since it’s just something that’s been around since before I discovered it myself. However, this issue intrigued me in its story, and it seemed set up very nicely. I’ll check out the subsequent issue to see where this series is headed.
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Week 3 Back to Top
Batman and Robin #1 – Bruce is back as Batman, along with Damian as Robin. The issue mostly served to showcase the tension between father and son here, as well as introduce a new villain. I thought both were done well and will of course continue with this series.
Batwoman #1 – I admittedly have not been a fan of Batwoman, though I’d heard good things about this relaunch. However, I did not like this issue. I know the new 52 is supposed to be drawing in new fans who might not be familiar with these characters, but I don’t think it’s necessary to be explicit about the character being a lesbian as having the very first woman she runs into initiate a “hey we’re both lesbians” scene. It comes across as being done for the sake of being done, and probably would’ve served much better coming in a later issue after the establishment of both characters. It ended on an intriguing note, so I may check out the next issue, but I was put off by this initial one.
Deathstroke #1 – This guy is an extreme badass, which he ultimately demonstrates by the end of this issue. It was a bit much, in fact, but I may check out the next one to see the direction this series is headed. It was a bit difficult to tell in this issue by the way it ended.
Demon Knights #1 – I’ve never been a big fan of the over-the-top elements of fantasy; Batman is my favorite because he is a normal human being. This comic deals with demons and other fantasy creatures, and it starts that way by beginning during the Camelot era. That being said, by the end of the issue (specifically that last page), I was very interested in seeing what comes next.
Frankenstein,Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1 – This was another team-based comic and the fantasy elements here were explicit, in that the team consisted of wacky creatures and so forth. I may check out the next issue to see where this story and series heads but there was not much time here to establish a sense of attachment to these characters once they were all introduced, late into the issue.
Green Lantern #1 – I haven’t followed this series since mid-Blackest Night, so it was interesting to see that Sinestro now is a Green Lantern and Hal Jordan is not. Each character worked well in their new roles, coalescing in a final page that definitely made me want to read the next issue.
Grifter #1 – Not at all familiar with this character, this issue mostly served as a full introduction to him. It was very odd and I’m not sure of its longevity, not to mention that it did not end on any kind of compelling note. I may check out the next issue to see if there is anything to this series, but the first issue did not leave me with that need feeling.
Legion Lost #1 – This series seems a bit too foreign to me. I knew absolutely none of the characters and reading it just felt like I was hopping into the middle of a story; there was no attempt to explain each character of this team nor their superpowers. It ended on a semi-interesting note, but not really enough to make me want to keep reading this monthly.
Mister Terrific #1 – I thought that this issue did a tremendous job of introducing a character that I knew nothing about and making me feel for and care about him. However, around four pages from the end, starting with an awkward (and seemingly editorially-forced) confrontation between two women, it just becomes… weird. I’m not sure what to think of it and will have to check out the next issue to see where this series is headed. But I did like the early part of this.
Red Lanterns #1 – Dealing with the rage-filled versions of the Green Lanterns, this issue mostly consists of inner dialogue of the leader, Atrocitus, as he struggles to find direction. It appears that he settles on becoming DC’s “Punisher” by the end of this issue, but that there may be a challenger to his leadership amongst his own Lanterns. A nice setup for the subsequent issue, which I will probably check out. I am also curious to see if Atrocitus’ quest for vengeance will see him as a Boondock Saints-style antihero as opposed to an indiscriminate monster killing for the sake of killing. It would be quite the character development, and so I am interested to see it unfold.
Resurrection Man #1 – This was an interesting story in its own right, but I am not sure of the longevity of this title. A man that dies and resurrects with a new power seems interesting by itself but it also lends itself to too much convenience and not a whole lot of a sense of worry about the character, since you know he will just come back. I might check out the next issue, but it’d be very low priority and I could see myself being just fine skipping this series altogether from here out.
Suicide Squad #1 – Another team-based series, which has thus far been hit or miss depending on how the team members get introduced. This one is handled extremely well, introducing us to the team in media res and highlighting individual backstories as narrated by significant team members. By the issue’s conclusion, I was definitely excited to read the next issue and will be checking this one out on probably a monthly basis — which was not my original intention or expectation, for what that’s worth. Check this one out.
Superboy #1 – Great introduction to Superboy here, showing his literal creation and, by the issue’s conclusion, tying it into the Teen Titans as well as setting up a desire to see this story arc play out in subsequent issues. A really good launch issue here.
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Week 4 Back to Top
Batman #1 – Flawless. I know I’m partial, but the art was amazing throughout and the story was very compelling as well, leading to a final page that makes you want to pick up the next issue as soon as possible. It’s likely that DC put the best they have into this issue, given its stature and how it ended up coming across. Naturally, this is a must-buy that I will be continuing with on a monthly basis.
Birds of Prey #1 – This issue introduced only two of the team that will comprise this series, despite cramming a bunch on its cover. It’s quite evident that it will take some time in this series to get it off the ground. Did it deliver a story that made you want to pick up the next issue? It was okay, and there was definitely a shock ending to it, but it wasn’t really set up in any kind of compelling way. With 52 issues of these new series coming out per month, I think the pacing shown here did not do this series a service. I might flip through the next issue in the shop to see what’s in store, but I could probably do without this series for now while it takes its time to develop.
Blue Beetle #1 – When I first started getting heavy into comics in 2007, I went back and read all previous DC Crisis events and important events in between. I really dug Ted Kord as the Blue Beetle, only to find him murdered in Infinite Crisis events. Sadly, I did not dig the new Blue Beetle, which is what this series continues with. Jamie Reyes is a Puerto-Rican kid in high school, and the reason that I mention his ancestry is because editorial constantly beats you over the head with “hey guys, we have a minority here!” And I don’t mean to come across as xenophobic either, but the dialogue here is peppered throughout with Spanish that I did not understand. If that’s the route they want to go with this, that’s fine, but it doesn’t pull me in and actually pushes me away because it creates a disconnect. Just like I had mentioned with Batwoman above, the “minority demographic feature” of this character need not be so in-your-face or else it just seems forced. However, I understand they are trying to cater to a specific demographic. I’m just not part of it. All that aside, the story was alright, but it took a while to get its legs, with the character’s origin story only completing on the final page. I suppose they’re banking on people checking out the next issue to actually see Jamie as the Blue Beetle in action, because that didn’t happen here. I may flip through it in the store, but I don’t think I’d continue with this on a monthly basis, at least based of the initial issue.
Captain Atom #1 – I don’t know much about this character, and this initial issue has no background or origin story. We just begin in the middle of him fighting. I felt the pacing here was off, as it bounced all over the place. Furthermore, without knowing what Captain Atom is capable of as a character, I wasn’t sure when things were going poorly for him or as intended. For a #1, this issue failed to draw me in for subsequent issues.
Catwoman #1 – This issue, along with Red Hood and the Outlaws, received a lot of internet buzz due to their hyper-sexualized content. And I’ve gotta say that I agree here. This issue is mostly dialogue that accompanies sexy shots of Selina Kyle as Catwoman, culminating in implied actual fornication by the last panel. There is an underlying story here, but there’s no cliffhanger really. It does set things up for subsequent issues, so it works well in that regard, but it also comes across as very exploitative in its depiction of Catwoman. I’ll take a look at the next issue in the shop to see if it looks interesting enough to warrant a purchase. I can’t easily tell from this initial issue though but, if they can stick to the story-telling and go light on the “look at that angle she’s posed in” shots, it may have promise.
DC Universe Presents #1 – From what I understand, this series will focus on a specific character in the DC Universe, alternating in what I thought was each issue, but it may be story arcs. This one launches with Boston Brand, aka Deadman. It’s an interesting story and I’d like to see it continue to play out. I’ve seen his name and presence in other stories I’ve encountered and this seems to delve deeper into the character. It looks like it will continue next month with the same character, so I am not sure when it would hop to a new one for this series. On the whole, this series may just be something you end up buying when a character you are interested in becomes the highlight. However, it also is nice to see light shed upon lesser-known characters as well.
Green Lantern Corps #1 – Since Guy Gardner is already part of JLI, I wasn’t sure of his involvement here, but this issue was actually good stuff. We got to see both Guy and John trying to adapt to “normal” lives on Earth, as well as see them in their Green Lantern modes. By the end of the issue, a team had formed and a discovery was made that left a compelling conclusion. I’ll definitely check out the next issue of this one.
Legion of Super-Heroes #1 – As even stated in a panel’s sidenote, the characters comprising this series are related to those from Legion Lost. And speaking of characters, there are multiple new ones introduced throughout this issue on almost every other page. It gets to be overwhelming to a new reader, keeping track of who is who and what their powers are. I don’t know anything about these guys and, having read this convoluted launch story, I’m still left a bit confused, only secure in knowing that they all have some really lame names. In fact, the big twist at the end (at least, I think it was supposed to be one) is lost on me, as I’m not sure (as a new reader) why the sudden emergence of a Daxamite is bad news. I’ll be skipping this series.
Nightwing #1 – It’s nice to see Dick back as Nightwing and this issue does a great job of paying homage to his original roots. Unfortunately, the climax of the issue left me wanting more; it seemed like they ran out of time or pages and it just suddenly ended. I’ll check out the subsequent issue(s), but this one didn’t end on a great note.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 – Certain elements of this issue left me clueless as to what was going on and was presented in such a way as to expect that I already understood, as if this was more of an issue among a normal developed series, rather than a new #1 issue. I’ll check out the next issue in the store but I didn’t get a firm feeling on this as a series from the initial issue.
Supergirl #1 – Outstanding debut issue. The origin story is told superbly, and the panel that has Supergirl hearing random quotes? They’re lines from other #1 issues from the DC 52 relaunch — awesome touch. The issue ends with an expected cameo, but the way this played out really makes me want to keep reading (which I admittedly did not expect). I’ll pick the next one up for sure.
Wonder Woman #1 – I think slow-paced is how I want to describe this… Wonder Woman herself doesn’t even appear in the issue until about halfway through it, and the story that surrounds this is a bit hard to follow. By the end, there is dialogue that I am not sure of its source, and the final couple of pages don’t really make anything any clearer either. I’d have to say that, as a relaunch styled issue, this one failed. I’ll check out the next issue in the store, but this left me with a bad taste overall. Here’s hoping it can be salvaged, as I like Wonder Woman as a character and, ultimately, would like to see her in a successful major motion picture.
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Week 5 Back to Top
All Star Western #1 – I’ve never been a big fan of Jonah Hex, but I checked out this issue and liked it a lot. The storytelling was done nicely, with good pacing, using Amadeus Arkham to narrate and describe Jonah. A plot developed from here, too, that seems intriguing to me and makes me want to keep reading this arc. Well done.
Aquaman #1 – I don’t know much about Aquaman and always looked at him as a joke character, but I figured I’d pick this up anyway. I was pleasantly pleased, as the initial story here deals point-blank with the notion of Aquaman being the overlooked hero, including a hilarious scene at a seafood diner. The story arc itself was slow to build up, but I’ll give the next issue a look to see how it paces and if it’s worth reading. I can’t tell yet if this is good for a monthly purchase, though.
Batman The Dark Knight #1 – The main story here is a breakout at Arkham Asylum, which has been done countless times before. Granted, this is a relaunch though, so I guess it’s “new” in a way. The issue’s conclusion is a bit interesting, but still something I’d probably flip through in the store and not just buy automatically. Then again, it’s Batman, so we’ll see.
Blackhawks #1 – The cover of this looked really cool, but the story began in the middle of action, with a team comprised of people I did not know. It wasn’t until ten pages in (almost halfway through) that the team actually got formally introduced, with a bit of backstory. From then on, it seemed to develop alright, but it still never really pulled me in by the issue’s end. This seems like a series that would be better read in a collected works / trade paperback format.
The Flash #1 – This does well with a quick intro, followed by the first emergence of The Flash, complete with a backstory presented right on the title page. From there, it’s on, and good stuff here. The ending intrigues me and I’ll check the next issue out to see where this is headed.
The Fury of Firestorm #1 – I’ve never been a fan of the Firestorm character, feeling it to be a bit too over-the-top in conception. However, I was really impressed with this issue, which is a straight reboot and serves as a great origin story. I’m not really sure exactly what happened at the very end of this issue, but I’ll probably check out the next issue and see where this story arc is headed. So far, it’s good.
Green Lantern New Guardians #1 – I was a bit confused about this comic, as there already is Guardians: the little blue guys on Oa. I also had heard that Batman and Green Lantern would retain their history, and I did not see anything about the Guardians being taken out. However, it appears that this series starts just before Kyle Rayner is chosen as a Green Lantern (in the aftermath of 1994’s Emerald Twilight). There is no initial timeframe shown here but, after this opening, it jumps to “Present Day.” What follows next is the entire spectrum of rings leaving a host to head towards Kyle, culminating in an awesome final panel. Though I’m still a bit confused as to the timeline placement of this series along with everyone else, or really what exactly is going on, I’ll probably check out the next issue since I am intrigued.
I, Vampire #1 – This was a fascinating read. Like Men of War, it comes across as secular from the rest of the DC Universe, and it’s also very dark, both in tone and art. And it works. The story bounced around a bit and was sort of hard to follow at times, but it still is something I’d like to follow up on. I can tell that this will make a great graphic novel as well, and it may do well to wait for the collected works. But, like I said, I’ll take a look and see where this story is heading.
Justice League Dark #1 – I had high hopes for this based on its premise, but I was really let down here. It’s the situation where a new team is introduced – only, I don’t really know any of these people, and this issue did a poor job of letting me know who is who and what each is capable of. Beyond that, the narrative jumps all over the place and the characters seem to randomly encounter each other without any cohesive reasoning, other than it appears that someone named Enchantress is going wild. Despite an interesting final panel, I’ll be skipping this one.
The Savage Hawkman #1 – Hawkman has made lots of appearances in crossover events that I’ve read, but his backstory has been a mess. Reading this seemed like it was already in progress, despite no clear origin. By the end of it, it seemed a bit more convoluted as well. I’ll probably be skipping this series.
Superman #1 – A fairly basic story, setting up that the Daily Planet has been bought by another company, immediately followed by heroics by Superman. This issue ties into Stormwatch #1 as well. It ends on sort of a “meh” note, however. I’ll take a look at the next issue, but I’m not overall sold on the series based just off this one.
Teen Titans #1 – With the team-based comics that have come out this month, I’ve responded negatively to ones that have had poor introductions to teammates and/or just started in the middle of a fully assembled team, expecting that we already know them all and their motives. I don’t know much about the Teen Titans and this issue did well in familiarizing myself with three of them, introducing each of them at a good pace and through well-constructed story sequences. I very much enjoyed Red Robin’s solo series and bought this to see him continue in action here. I was pleased, and the finale of this issue ties directly to the finale of Superboy #1 as well. I’ll definitely be picking this one up next month, and likely thereafter as well if the quality continues.
Voodoo #1 – This issue was sort of predictable, but I had fun seeing my predictions come true. The final page was not something I had planned on, though. Still, I’m not sure on this series. I don’t really see it as having much interfacing with the seminal DC characters, either. I may flip through it at the store but it doesn’t seem like something that would be a monthly purchase for me, despite enjoying the first issue.
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That’s all of them! One other thing of note is that the big story arc entitled Flashpoint that preceded and saw the relaunch of the DC Universe featured a Mystery Woman in its conclusion. And, when these Justice League #1 was released in August, readers noticed the Mystery Woman making a cameo as well. At first, it was thought that she would just be a JL tie-in. However, the next week saw the Mystery Woman appearing in all 13 releases. By the time all 52 issues had come out, a month-long search akin to “Where’s Waldo” concluded (see all 52 appearances of her here). What she means is a subject of discussion but a blog post yesterday we saw DC Comics finally addresses the Mystery Woman.

Stay tuned for more!

See also: Readers Guide to the New DC Universe


So several months ago, DC Comics announced that they would be relaunching 52 new #1s of their comics. Some were actual relaunches, while others were brand new solo series. As someone that is a DC fanboy, but primarily follows Batman, I figured it would be a good point to jump in and see these other series  — some of which I have previously checked out, usually when the heros’ path crossed with Batman at some point. Though it’s about a month after the fact, here are my quickie thoughts on each of the new 52.

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5

Week 1
Justice League #1 – Obviously familiar with this title and comic, this one starts out with Green Lantern meeting Batman for the first time. They head off to go find Superman together by the end. Seeing the JLA come together is an awesome prospect, so I’ll be checking this one out monthly for sure.
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Week 2 Back to Top
Action Comics #1 – Superman as a fairly new arrival in Metropolis also is fun to see, as he is having a blast doing what he does. I liked this one a lot and will continue as well.
Animal Man #1 – I was not all that familiar with Animal Man. I’d seen him before in crossover events so I was aware of him, but I didn’t really consider his series here to be a must-purchase. And while it sill isn’t (the artwork here seems very basic), it was a good read with an interesting story. I definitely want to check out the next issue.
Batgirl #1 – Barbara Gordon back as Batgirl. Although this issue does not exactly explain why or how, it’s definitely a nice jump-in point as well, setting up a story arc with a new villain and ending on an interesting note. I’ll check out the next issue and follow this story arc for sure. We’ll see beyond that, but I like it so far.
Batwing #1 – I was not familiar with this new character at all. He basically came across as quite literally just “Batman in Africa.” Meaning, I dug what I saw, and it was like reading a Batman that took place in Africa instead of Gotham City. I’ll check out the next issue.
Detective Comics #1 – This issue was great, and the last panel really set things up nicely for issues to come, making me very interested to see what comes next in the story.
Green Arrow #1 – The artwork was not what I was expecting, and the story was not anything compelling compared to other issues I’ve seen. I’ll check out the next issue to see if this changes but, right now, I’m disappointed in this title so far.
Hawk and Dove #1 – This is a title that I did not know much about, beyond a few appearances in DC’s previous Crisis events. The duo does not seem very mainstream at all, and I’m not sure this is a series I’d be buying long-term, either. The most compelling part of this issue was that it left me wondering what Dove’s secret is that she can never tell Hawk. But, if she really won’t ever tell him, then there’s not much that was left here to compel me to keep reading/buying.
Justice League International #1 – This came across as a series to stick characters that had nowhere else to go. That being said, I’m a big fan of Booster Gold, and Batman also made a cameo. The team and story was set up nicely, and I’ll probably check out this ongoing story arc to see where it heads. Too early to tell long-term, as it’s a brand new assembled team that has yet to adjust to each other, and I don’t know most of them, either.
Men Of War #1 – I was very surprised by this comic, as it is (so far) the only one that I see as having nothing at all to do with any other of the 52 series. By that I mean that, should there ever be a future mega-crossover event, I don’t see the characters here ever being involved; this reads as almost a separate entity from other DC titles. Dealing with soldiers and war, it’s an interesting read and I’ll have to check out a few more issues to really get a feel for it. I did like what I saw in its initial issue, though.
O.M.A.C. #1 – I never was a fan of the Brother Eye/O.M.A.C. elements of previous DC titles. This didn’t do much to change that, either. I gave it a shot but it’s not something I’m likely to continue with.
Static Shock #1 – I was not familiar with this character/series at all and, having now read it, it came across as one of those 90s attempts at being “extreme.” The character seemed to over-the-top in attitude, as was even the artwork, and it seemed more aimed at kids than adults. I’ll pass on this one as well.
Stormwatch #1 – A team-based story with not much of an introduction to who they are. I recognize Martian Manhunter from the Justice League, but everyone else here was foreign to me. This issue did not do enough to draw me in for another round.
Swamp Thing #1 – I’ve always found Swamp Thing as a concept to be cliched since it’s just something that’s been around since before I discovered it myself. However, this issue intrigued me in its story, and it seemed set up very nicely. I’ll check out the subsequent issue to see where this series is headed.
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Week 3 Back to Top
Batman and Robin #1 – Bruce is back as Batman, along with Damian as Robin. The issue mostly served to showcase the tension between father and son here, as well as introduce a new villain. I thought both were done well and will of course continue with this series.
Batwoman #1 – I admittedly have not been a fan of Batwoman, though I’d heard good things about this relaunch. However, I did not like this issue. I know the new 52 is supposed to be drawing in new fans who might not be familiar with these characters, but I don’t think it’s necessary to be explicit about the character being a lesbian as having the very first woman she runs into initiate a “hey we’re both lesbians” scene. It comes across as being done for the sake of being done, and probably would’ve served much better coming in a later issue after the establishment of both characters. It ended on an intriguing note, so I may check out the next issue, but I was put off by this initial one.
Deathstroke #1 – This guy is an extreme badass, which he ultimately demonstrates by the end of this issue. It was a bit much, in fact, but I may check out the next one to see the direction this series is headed. It was a bit difficult to tell in this issue by the way it ended.
Demon Knights #1 – I’ve never been a big fan of the over-the-top elements of fantasy; Batman is my favorite because he is a normal human being. This comic deals with demons and other fantasy creatures, and it starts that way by beginning during the Camelot era. That being said, by the end of the issue (specifically that last page), I was very interested in seeing what comes next.
Frankenstein,Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1 – This was another team-based comic and the fantasy elements here were explicit, in that the team consisted of wacky creatures and so forth. I may check out the next issue to see where this story and series heads but there was not much time here to establish a sense of attachment to these characters once they were all introduced, late into the issue.
Green Lantern #1 – I haven’t followed this series since mid-Blackest Night, so it was interesting to see that Sinestro now is a Green Lantern and Hal Jordan is not. Each character worked well in their new roles, coalescing in a final page that definitely made me want to read the next issue.
Grifter #1 – Not at all familiar with this character, this issue mostly served as a full introduction to him. It was very odd and I’m not sure of its longevity, not to mention that it did not end on any kind of compelling note. I may check out the next issue to see if there is anything to this series, but the first issue did not leave me with that need feeling.
Legion Lost #1 – This series seems a bit too foreign to me. I knew absolutely none of the characters and reading it just felt like I was hopping into the middle of a story; there was no attempt to explain each character of this team nor their superpowers. It ended on a semi-interesting note, but not really enough to make me want to keep reading this monthly.
Mister Terrific #1 – I thought that this issue did a tremendous job of introducing a character that I knew nothing about and making me feel for and care about him. However, around four pages from the end, starting with an awkward (and seemingly editorially-forced) confrontation between two women, it just becomes… weird. I’m not sure what to think of it and will have to check out the next issue to see where this series is headed. But I did like the early part of this.
Red Lanterns #1 – Dealing with the rage-filled versions of the Green Lanterns, this issue mostly consists of inner dialogue of the leader, Atrocitus, as he struggles to find direction. It appears that he settles on becoming DC’s “Punisher” by the end of this issue, but that there may be a challenger to his leadership amongst his own Lanterns. A nice setup for the subsequent issue, which I will probably check out. I am also curious to see if Atrocitus’ quest for vengeance will see him as a Boondock Saints-style antihero as opposed to an indiscriminate monster killing for the sake of killing. It would be quite the character development, and so I am interested to see it unfold.
Resurrection Man #1 – This was an interesting story in its own right, but I am not sure of the longevity of this title. A man that dies and resurrects with a new power seems interesting by itself but it also lends itself to too much convenience and not a whole lot of a sense of worry about the character, since you know he will just come back. I might check out the next issue, but it’d be very low priority and I could see myself being just fine skipping this series altogether from here out.
Suicide Squad #1 – Another team-based series, which has thus far been hit or miss depending on how the team members get introduced. This one is handled extremely well, introducing us to the team in media res and highlighting individual backstories as narrated by significant team members. By the issue’s conclusion, I was definitely excited to read the next issue and will be checking this one out on probably a monthly basis — which was not my original intention or expectation, for what that’s worth. Check this one out.
Superboy #1 – Great introduction to Superboy here, showing his literal creation and, by the issue’s conclusion, tying it into the Teen Titans as well as setting up a desire to see this story arc play out in subsequent issues. A really good launch issue here.
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Week 4 Back to Top
Batman #1 – Flawless. I know I’m partial, but the art was amazing throughout and the story was very compelling as well, leading to a final page that makes you want to pick up the next issue as soon as possible. It’s likely that DC put the best they have into this issue, given its stature and how it ended up coming across. Naturally, this is a must-buy that I will be continuing with on a monthly basis.
Birds of Prey #1 – This issue introduced only two of the team that will comprise this series, despite cramming a bunch on its cover. It’s quite evident that it will take some time in this series to get it off the ground. Did it deliver a story that made you want to pick up the next issue? It was okay, and there was definitely a shock ending to it, but it wasn’t really set up in any kind of compelling way. With 52 issues of these new series coming out per month, I think the pacing shown here did not do this series a service. I might flip through the next issue in the shop to see what’s in store, but I could probably do without this series for now while it takes its time to develop.
Blue Beetle #1 – When I first started getting heavy into comics in 2007, I went back and read all previous DC Crisis events and important events in between. I really dug Ted Kord as the Blue Beetle, only to find him murdered in Infinite Crisis events. Sadly, I did not dig the new Blue Beetle, which is what this series continues with. Jamie Reyes is a Puerto-Rican kid in high school, and the reason that I mention his ancestry is because editorial constantly beats you over the head with “hey guys, we have a minority here!” And I don’t mean to come across as xenophobic either, but the dialogue here is peppered throughout with Spanish that I did not understand. If that’s the route they want to go with this, that’s fine, but it doesn’t pull me in and actually pushes me away because it creates a disconnect. Just like I had mentioned with Batwoman above, the “minority demographic feature” of this character need not be so in-your-face or else it just seems forced. However, I understand they are trying to cater to a specific demographic. I’m just not part of it. All that aside, the story was alright, but it took a while to get its legs, with the character’s origin story only completing on the final page. I suppose they’re banking on people checking out the next issue to actually see Jamie as the Blue Beetle in action, because that didn’t happen here. I may flip through it in the store, but I don’t think I’d continue with this on a monthly basis, at least based of the initial issue.
Captain Atom #1 – I don’t know much about this character, and this initial issue has no background or origin story. We just begin in the middle of him fighting. I felt the pacing here was off, as it bounced all over the place. Furthermore, without knowing what Captain Atom is capable of as a character, I wasn’t sure when things were going poorly for him or as intended. For a #1, this issue failed to draw me in for subsequent issues.
Catwoman #1 – This issue, along with Red Hood and the Outlaws, received a lot of internet buzz due to their hyper-sexualized content. And I’ve gotta say that I agree here. This issue is mostly dialogue that accompanies sexy shots of Selina Kyle as Catwoman, culminating in implied actual fornication by the last panel. There is an underlying story here, but there’s no cliffhanger really. It does set things up for subsequent issues, so it works well in that regard, but it also comes across as very exploitative in its depiction of Catwoman. I’ll take a look at the next issue in the shop to see if it looks interesting enough to warrant a purchase. I can’t easily tell from this initial issue though but, if they can stick to the story-telling and go light on the “look at that angle she’s posed in” shots, it may have promise.
DC Universe Presents #1 – From what I understand, this series will focus on a specific character in the DC Universe, alternating in what I thought was each issue, but it may be story arcs. This one launches with Boston Brand, aka Deadman. It’s an interesting story and I’d like to see it continue to play out. I’ve seen his name and presence in other stories I’ve encountered and this seems to delve deeper into the character. It looks like it will continue next month with the same character, so I am not sure when it would hop to a new one for this series. On the whole, this series may just be something you end up buying when a character you are interested in becomes the highlight. However, it also is nice to see light shed upon lesser-known characters as well.
Green Lantern Corps #1 – Since Guy Gardner is already part of JLI, I wasn’t sure of his involvement here, but this issue was actually good stuff. We got to see both Guy and John trying to adapt to “normal” lives on Earth, as well as see them in their Green Lantern modes. By the end of the issue, a team had formed and a discovery was made that left a compelling conclusion. I’ll definitely check out the next issue of this one.
Legion of Super-Heroes #1 – As even stated in a panel’s sidenote, the characters comprising this series are related to those from Legion Lost. And speaking of characters, there are multiple new ones introduced throughout this issue on almost every other page. It gets to be overwhelming to a new reader, keeping track of who is who and what their powers are. I don’t know anything about these guys and, having read this convoluted launch story, I’m still left a bit confused, only secure in knowing that they all have some really lame names. In fact, the big twist at the end (at least, I think it was supposed to be one) is lost on me, as I’m not sure (as a new reader) why the sudden emergence of a Daxamite is bad news. I’ll be skipping this series.
Nightwing #1 – It’s nice to see Dick back as Nightwing and this issue does a great job of paying homage to his original roots. Unfortunately, the climax of the issue left me wanting more; it seemed like they ran out of time or pages and it just suddenly ended. I’ll check out the subsequent issue(s), but this one didn’t end on a great note.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 – Certain elements of this issue left me clueless as to what was going on and was presented in such a way as to expect that I already understood, as if this was more of an issue among a normal developed series, rather than a new #1 issue. I’ll check out the next issue in the store but I didn’t get a firm feeling on this as a series from the initial issue.
Supergirl #1 – Outstanding debut issue. The origin story is told superbly, and the panel that has Supergirl hearing random quotes? They’re lines from other #1 issues from the DC 52 relaunch — awesome touch. The issue ends with an expected cameo, but the way this played out really makes me want to keep reading (which I admittedly did not expect). I’ll pick the next one up for sure.
Wonder Woman #1 – I think slow-paced is how I want to describe this… Wonder Woman herself doesn’t even appear in the issue until about halfway through it, and the story that surrounds this is a bit hard to follow. By the end, there is dialogue that I am not sure of its source, and the final couple of pages don’t really make anything any clearer either. I’d have to say that, as a relaunch styled issue, this one failed. I’ll check out the next issue in the store, but this left me with a bad taste overall. Here’s hoping it can be salvaged, as I like Wonder Woman as a character and, ultimately, would like to see her in a successful major motion picture.
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Week 5 Back to Top
All Star Western #1 – I’ve never been a big fan of Jonah Hex, but I checked out this issue and liked it a lot. The storytelling was done nicely, with good pacing, using Amadeus Arkham to narrate and describe Jonah. A plot developed from here, too, that seems intriguing to me and makes me want to keep reading this arc. Well done.
Aquaman #1 – I don’t know much about Aquaman and always looked at him as a joke character, but I figured I’d pick this up anyway. I was pleasantly pleased, as the initial story here deals point-blank with the notion of Aquaman being the overlooked hero, including a hilarious scene at a seafood diner. The story arc itself was slow to build up, but I’ll give the next issue a look to see how it paces and if it’s worth reading. I can’t tell yet if this is good for a monthly purchase, though.
Batman The Dark Knight #1 – The main story here is a breakout at Arkham Asylum, which has been done countless times before. Granted, this is a relaunch though, so I guess it’s “new” in a way. The issue’s conclusion is a bit interesting, but still something I’d probably flip through in the store and not just buy automatically. Then again, it’s Batman, so we’ll see.
Blackhawks #1 – The cover of this looked really cool, but the story began in the middle of action, with a team comprised of people I did not know. It wasn’t until ten pages in (almost halfway through) that the team actually got formally introduced, with a bit of backstory. From then on, it seemed to develop alright, but it still never really pulled me in by the issue’s end. This seems like a series that would be better read in a collected works / trade paperback format.
The Flash #1 – This does well with a quick intro, followed by the first emergence of The Flash, complete with a backstory presented right on the title page. From there, it’s on, and good stuff here. The ending intrigues me and I’ll check the next issue out to see where this is headed.
The Fury of Firestorm #1 – I’ve never been a fan of the Firestorm character, feeling it to be a bit too over-the-top in conception. However, I was really impressed with this issue, which is a straight reboot and serves as a great origin story. I’m not really sure exactly what happened at the very end of this issue, but I’ll probably check out the next issue and see where this story arc is headed. So far, it’s good.
Green Lantern New Guardians #1 – I was a bit confused about this comic, as there already is Guardians: the little blue guys on Oa. I also had heard that Batman and Green Lantern would retain their history, and I did not see anything about the Guardians being taken out. However, it appears that this series starts just before Kyle Rayner is chosen as a Green Lantern (in the aftermath of 1994’s Emerald Twilight). There is no initial timeframe shown here but, after this opening, it jumps to “Present Day.” What follows next is the entire spectrum of rings leaving a host to head towards Kyle, culminating in an awesome final panel. Though I’m still a bit confused as to the timeline placement of this series along with everyone else, or really what exactly is going on, I’ll probably check out the next issue since I am intrigued.
I, Vampire #1 – This was a fascinating read. Like Men of War, it comes across as secular from the rest of the DC Universe, and it’s also very dark, both in tone and art. And it works. The story bounced around a bit and was sort of hard to follow at times, but it still is something I’d like to follow up on. I can tell that this will make a great graphic novel as well, and it may do well to wait for the collected works. But, like I said, I’ll take a look and see where this story is heading.
Justice League Dark #1 – I had high hopes for this based on its premise, but I was really let down here. It’s the situation where a new team is introduced – only, I don’t really know any of these people, and this issue did a poor job of letting me know who is who and what each is capable of. Beyond that, the narrative jumps all over the place and the characters seem to randomly encounter each other without any cohesive reasoning, other than it appears that someone named Enchantress is going wild. Despite an interesting final panel, I’ll be skipping this one.
The Savage Hawkman #1 – Hawkman has made lots of appearances in crossover events that I’ve read, but his backstory has been a mess. Reading this seemed like it was already in progress, despite no clear origin. By the end of it, it seemed a bit more convoluted as well. I’ll probably be skipping this series.
Superman #1 – A fairly basic story, setting up that the Daily Planet has been bought by another company, immediately followed by heroics by Superman. This issue ties into Stormwatch #1 as well. It ends on sort of a “meh” note, however. I’ll take a look at the next issue, but I’m not overall sold on the series based just off this one.
Teen Titans #1 – With the team-based comics that have come out this month, I’ve responded negatively to ones that have had poor introductions to teammates and/or just started in the middle of a fully assembled team, expecting that we already know them all and their motives. I don’t know much about the Teen Titans and this issue did well in familiarizing myself with three of them, introducing each of them at a good pace and through well-constructed story sequences. I very much enjoyed Red Robin’s solo series and bought this to see him continue in action here. I was pleased, and the finale of this issue ties directly to the finale of Superboy #1 as well. I’ll definitely be picking this one up next month, and likely thereafter as well if the quality continues.
Voodoo #1 – This issue was sort of predictable, but I had fun seeing my predictions come true. The final page was not something I had planned on, though. Still, I’m not sure on this series. I don’t really see it as having much interfacing with the seminal DC characters, either. I may flip through it at the store but it doesn’t seem like something that would be a monthly purchase for me, despite enjoying the first issue.
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That’s all of them! One other thing of note is that the big story arc entitled Flashpoint that preceded and saw the relaunch of the DC Universe featured a Mystery Woman in its conclusion. And, when these Justice League #1 was released in August, readers noticed the Mystery Woman making a cameo as well. At first, it was thought that she would just be a JL tie-in. However, the next week saw the Mystery Woman appearing in all 13 releases. By the time all 52 issues had come out, a month-long search akin to “Where’s Waldo” concluded (see all 52 appearances of her here). What she means is a subject of discussion but a blog post yesterday we saw DC Comics finally addresses the Mystery Woman.

Stay tuned for more!

See also: Readers Guide to the New DC Universe


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About the author

Jason L. Hubsch

Jason L. Hubsch

I love music, video games, comic books, pro wrestling, politics, and God -- and not necessarily in that order! If you like any of these, chances are we'll get along.

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