Feature: A Glance at Some of DC’s New 52

By Bernice Watson

One of the primary goals of the DC re-launch was to provide a jumping in point for new readers. As someone who has long been interested in the DC Universe but was bewildered by where to begin exploring it, I am one of the very people that this re-launch was aimed at. Consequently, contrary to the dismay and horror of some established DC fans, I was excited about the re-launch from day one. The re-launch meant being given the keys to the kingdom, I could confidently pick up any title I wanted, it was all there for the taking. So when the big day arrived (August 31st) I enthusiastically gathered up as many shiny new first issues as my poor beleaguered bank account could support.

Here’s what I, a new arrival in the DC universe, thought…

Justice League

Writer: Geoff Johns // Pencils: Jim Lee

DC’s pick to lead the re-launch, Justice League felt like the beginning of something awesome. Opting to take it easy, this first issue mostly deals with the meeting of Batman and a very cocky Green Lantern. We also meet, in passing, a young Cyborg and we get a glimpse of Superman. As someone new to Justice League I really enjoyed the fact that they’re not dropping the reader into the midst of the whole team all at once; it feels like maybe we’re going to get a chance to meet the individual characters in a controlled way. This first issue was fairly lighthearted and good fun to read.

8/10   Buy the second issue? Yes

Action Comics

Writer: Grant Morrison // Pencils: Rags Morales

The new Superman is perhaps the most indicative of DC’s aim to ‘shake things up’, he’s not your super powerful boy-next-door anymore that’s for sure. I have to say I was a little taken aback by the re-envisioning of the most iconic of comic book heroes, suddenly he’s egotistical, unpredictable and frankly a little bit scary. And then of course there’s that outfit. A T-shirt with a cape. And jeans. I see what they’re going for but I’m afraid I’m just not buying it. Overall an interesting first issue but it didn’t immediately appeal to me.

4/10   Buy the second issue?  No

Animal Man

Writer: Jeff Lemire  //  Pencils: Travel Foreman

Animal Man, along with Swamp Thing, is one of the two unexpected stars of the New 52. Personally I had never heard of Animal Man but I’ve read and enjoyed Lemire’s work before (Sweet Tooth) and was curious about this mysterious character. This is a great first issue: it introduces a character who has reached a crossroads in his life and has some decisions to make, and then it throws him a whopping great curve ball. The story had an originality and a freshness that I really enjoyed. It left me eager to see where events will lead Animal Man.

8/10   Buy the second issue? Yes

Batgirl

Writer: Gail Simone  //  Pencils: Adrian Syaf

Batgirl has a special place in my heart because it’s written by a woman and female writers are a rare treat in mainstream comics.  I enjoyed this first issue: it’s light, sometimes funny, and it introduces a Batgirl who has some demons to come to terms with and a lot of growing to do. Like many readers I’m curious to know how she recovered from her paralysis but the subject is referenced here so I can only presume that this nugget of backstory will be dealt with all in good time.

7/10   Buy the second issue? Yes

Detective Comics

Writer and Pencils: Tony S. Daniel

The first issue of Detective Comics is a treat in classically grim Batman style. A series that is written and drawn by the same person can sometimes be a cause for concern, but Daniel does a great job here on one of DC’s biggest titles. Batman and Batman-related stories are some of the few DC comics I have read previously so I felt fairly at home in Detective Comics. Despite a seeming overabundance of Bat-themed titles I have to admit that they were consistently some of the best.

9/10   Buy the second issue? Yes

Green Arrow

Writer: J.T. Krul  //  Pencils: Dan Jurgens

I’ve always liked the idea of Green Arrow, I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s just that I like the bow and arrows gimmick. Unfortunately issue one was very disappointing. From start to finish it was incredibly clichéd and just not that interesting. I actually felt myself wincing at some of the lines given to the title hero. I can see that the dialogue was probably designed to allow the reader to get inside Green Arrow’s head but it just came off very cheesy.

2/10   Buy the second issue? No

Batman and Robin

Writer: Peter. J. Tomasi  //  Pencils: Patrick Gleason

Batman and Robin sees Damien Wayne continue as Robin (as seen in Grant Morrison’s Batman series) but with Bruce Wayne returning as Batman. Damien is an interesting character: he’s at times a smart-mouthed little punk but he does provide a very entertaining and irreverent counterpoint to Batman’s grim sobriety. The dynamic between father and son in this first issue promises many issues of enjoyable reading to come.

 7/10   Buy the second issue? Yes

 Continued on page 2

Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below!

Discussion

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  1. Pingback: Book Festival focus on Doctor Who, comic books and SF | Sci-Fi Bulletin - August 12, 2013

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