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DC New 52


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Monsoon
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No. 27430 Posted: Sep 21 2011, 15:06:20
Subject: DC New 52
[quick quote] [quote]

I can't be the only person that's at least a little intrigued by this, right?  A few of the reboots are getting great reviews (Batman, Green Lantern), a few are apparently really bad (Birds of Prey), and still others have so much random sex that it's basically porn (Red Hood, Catwoman). 

Anyhow, if anyone here has read any of them, speak up.  I might buy Batman #1, just to, you know, actually buy a comic book.  I actually own zero comic books - I only buy trade volumes.
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Rucas
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No. 27432 Posted: Sep 21 2011, 22:59:56 [quick quote] [quote]

After soothing my nerd rage I decided to read Flashpoint and was surprised by a lot of things. It was an experience to say the least. I've acquired all the new number ones to date but haven't started them yet. Gonna go ahead and read them all but I'm most likely only going to stick with the Bat Books like I did before all this nonsense.

Probably gonna follow Wonder Woman also for at least as long as Azzarello is writing it

AND I STILL HAVE TO CATCH UP ON MY SUBSCRIPTION BOX FULL OF NOW CANCELLED BATMAN ONGOINGS. FUCK ME.
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batkittenfaegirl
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No. 27440 Posted: Sep 21 2011, 23:39:01 [quick quote] [quote]

I wanna read them all, but I'll probably only buy a few. I bought Batgirl last night and I liked it, mind you I am relatively new to the comic book thing. It's my first comic book! ^-^
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Monsoon
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No. 27443 Posted: Sep 21 2011, 23:48:57 [quick quote] [quote]

I read some reviews, and I'll definitely check out Action Comics, Wonder Woman, Animal Man, and several pieces of the Bat-family.  These'll be my first comic books too!
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batkittenfaegirl
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No. 27445 Posted: Sep 21 2011, 23:54:07 [quick quote] [quote]

YAY! I'm not the only late bloomer! =^_^=
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Monsoon
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No. 27470 Posted: Sep 22 2011, 01:02:44 [quick quote] [quote]

I am a superfan of DC's superheroes, but almost 100% due to the 90s cartoons.  I've bought a few trade volumes of older, famous comics (Batman Year One, The Long Halloween, etc.), but never straight-up followed a comics series.  Hopefully not anymore!
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Monsoon
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No. 27487 Posted: Sep 22 2011, 20:21:19 [quick quote] [quote]

Loooong post ahead.  I understand if it's TL;DR.  Really, I do. 

I just went a little nuts and definitely bought eleven comic books.  And then I went home, read all of them in like thirty five minutes (you know me...) and then immediately researched the FUCK out of the new DC universe.  Here are some snap judgements and observations I came up with:

The big-ticket series are Action Comics (Superman), Detective Comics (Batman), and Justice League (a bunch of guys).  These cost $4 instead of $3, have some of the biggest-name writers handling them (Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, etc.) and have the most "origin story" flavor of any of the New 52.  I thought that Detective Comics was quite good - it boils down to Batman vs. Joker, Batman is quite young, no Robin, very Frank Miller-esque melodramatic "I'M THE GODDAMN BATMAN" vibe to it.  Action Comics was also solid, with a very young Superman beating up on corrupt businessmen and men who abuse their wives.  Lex Luthor is hunting him, but it's very, very early in Supes' career; he can't even fly yet.  Justice League clearly takes place after those two stories (Superman's costume is much newer, for one), but still early in their careers.  Hal Jordan is the Lantern, and Cyborg is a... puzzling choice as a core member of the team along with Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman.  Justice League isn't as good as Action or Detective.  The banter wasn't bad, but too little happened for me to call it engrossing or even above-average. 

I sampled Batman, Batman: Dark Knight, Batwoman, Batgirl, Batman & Robin, and Batwing in the Bat family in addition to Detective Comics.  It's clear that this part of the storyline takes place after Detective and maybe after Justice League, because there are four Robins instead of zero.  Each of the Robins (Dick, Jason, Tim, and Damien) has their own series, which range from good (Damien stars in Batman & Robin) to pretty bad (Jason is one fucked-up dude along with Starfire and Speedy/Arsenal in Red Hood & The Outlaws).  Batman #1 was quite strong, with some Bruce Wayne action in addition to Batman and a strong plot hook at the end.  I liked Batgirl and Batwoman both, but it felt weird seeing Barbara Gordon in action as something other than Oracle, and with full use of her legs.  Really, the only bad one of the ones I looked at was Red Hood.  Oh, and Catwoman, too.  That's just about showing Selina Kyle in various stages of undress. 

Of all the ensemble comics I looked at, most of them were either confusing and cluttered, or just underwhelming.  I'm disappointed in Justice League International #1, which stars a bunch of my favorite C-listers like Booster Gold, Fire, and Ice in addition to Batman, but this comic was either too serious for Booster Gold or not serious enough for a high-drama superhero comic.  Poor overall.  The best one of them was probably Stormwatch #1, which has Martian Manhunter and a bunch of unknowns working behind the scenes to quell evil, and was just cool in general but didn't ramp up enough to make me want to subscribe.  Birds of Prey #1 was probably the worst of all the comics I read today - no idea how they turned Black Canary into such a boring character. 

All of the Green Lantern books were confusing as shit, as there are at least four or five human Green Lanterns floating around and at least three versions of Hal Jordan.  Sinestro is Earth's GL in Green Lantern #1, and Hal Jordan has lost his powers.  Green Lantern Corps #1 seemed alright, with John Stewart and Guy Gardner leading a large team, but I was weirded out by Kyle Ranier's team of one character from each spectrum in Green Lantern New Guardians #1, and turned off a bit by Red Lantern Corps #1 utter rage and destruction thing.  Won't be going deep into any of the GL comics. 

Wonder Woman was very good.  Mysterious gods trying to kill children of Zeus, Centaurs ambushing Hermes, and Diana being a badass.    Great stuff.  Swamp Thing was just... bad.  Disappointing considering its pedigree.  Resurrection Man was confusing as fuck, with a guy who dies two or three times an issue and resurrecting with a different superpower each time, plus random demons/angels/shinigami trying to steal his soul, except for the time they randomly cut to a pair of co-eds systematically murdering hospital staff.  Seriously.  I was actually intrigued, but I'm not sure if I'll continue it. 

My surprise MVP of the books I browsed or bought was Animal Man.  Never heard of the guy, read the first few pages, and I was hooked.  It was almost Watchmen-esque as we get a superhero in retirement who's trying to raise a family and isn't sure how to handle his past life.  Animal Man gets you attached to multiple characters, has some Oh Snap! moments in the second half, and a final-page hook that made me want issue #2 the hell right now.  His powers (similar to those of Vixen) are also handled in an extremely interesting way.  Subscribed. 

So, bottom line, I'm definitely subscribing to Action Comics, Detective Comics, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Animal Man.  I feel those five all head good writing and great potential.  On the fence about a couple of the Bat-family titles and maybe Resurrection Man or DC Universe Presents (different origin story every month of a lower-tier hero; #1 was Deadman).  If Justice League or some of the other ensemble titles raise the stakes a bit, I could see myself reading them.  Regrettably, the two comic shops I visited were out of Grifter, Deathstroke, and Demon Knights.  Those all seemed cool from what I read about them, but I never got to see them in person.  There is still another week of New 52s to debut, including Flash, Aquaman, Superman, Teen Titans, and a bunch of others I'm forgetting or don't care about.  Will look at those too. 
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batkittenfaegirl
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No. 27494 Posted: Sep 23 2011, 01:34:27 [quick quote] [quote]

You just got me even more excited about this new 52. Between your post and Texts From Last Night, I don't think I'm gonna sleep tonight!!! :D
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Rucas
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No. 27498 Posted: Sep 23 2011, 02:49:56 [quick quote] [quote]

All I really have to say in response to your legitimately fascinating textwall is that Cyborg's inclusion of the Justice League makes sense if you read all the Flashpoint stuff, and Green Lantern stuff, as far as I can tell, has always been convoluted nonsense so yeah not gonna bother much with those either even though I really like the idea of the character.

Still haven't gotten around to reading any of these myself even though they'er all sitting on my harddrive :/
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Monsoon
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No. 27507 Posted: Sep 23 2011, 15:53:36 [quick quote] [quote]

Starfire is... kind of a skank.  Is she usually a skank? 
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Rucas
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No. 27511 Posted: Sep 23 2011, 16:12:55 [quick quote] [quote]

Hahaha oh wow

I have no idea. Though it seems like a few of the heroes have some personality shifts in this new timeline

I love how much of an asshole Superman is in Action Comics, and Hal was pretty hilarious in Justice League

I read those two, Animal Man, and JLI so far. Animal was very...WHAAAA, and JLI was kind of boring
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本屋
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No. 27575 Posted: Sep 27 2011, 17:49:34 [quick quote] [quote]


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batkittenfaegirl
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No. 27583 Posted: Sep 28 2011, 03:16:46 [quick quote] [quote]

I find that amazing actually. I kinda hope the new Starfire chokes and dies. Yeah, I meant it that way....
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Monsoon
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No. 27585 Posted: Sep 28 2011, 07:10:21 [quick quote] [quote]

The Red Hood comic is trying really, REALLY hard to be dark and tortured.  Starfire's a former slave, Speedy is recovering from a heroin problem, and Jason Todd is all messed up about coming back from the dead.  I wouldn't be surprised if one of the core cast dies, because that's just so EDGY. 

I'll probably write another ridiculous New 52 treatise when I pick up a few more issues this afternoon (posting from work right now). I know that Superman (again), Batman (even more again), Aquaman, Flash, and Jonah Hex all have comics out, so I'll get those and whatever else looks interesting.
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Monsoon
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No. 27593 Posted: Sep 28 2011, 18:24:30 [quick quote] [quote]

Read 5 or 6 New 52 earlier in the week, plus five more bought today, plus more research / pretending the comics shop is a library.  Thoughts:

If you must read one comic that concentrates on a large, diverse group of superheroes, DO NOT choose Suicide Squad.  It tries to execute the fan-favorite of villains teaming up to do good, but fails in creating characters anything more interesting than caricatures and turns up the T&A with a bondage-esque outfit for Harley Quinn.  Not good.  Deadshot was a clear standout among the cast as a badass mercenary, but the world of comics and cartoons has plenty of those already. 

A second- or third-worst choice for a team-oriented comic could be Legion of Superheroes or Legion Lost, both of which are confusing as fuck.  They're both about a group of young superheroes from the 31st century, with the former being about adventures continuing from an earlier storyline and the latter about a part of the team that's stranded in the present.  I didn't recognize ANYONE in the comic other than some version of Superboy (although there were so many characters I might have missed something), and not being previously acquainted with these characters, I was pretty lost myself. 

Captain Atom #1 reminded me a LOT of All Star Superman, but that's probably because you have an ultra-powerful character getting MORE powerful, realizing that this new power might come at a cost of his life, and then doing CRAZY shit while possessing a greater sense of his own mortality.  Anyhow, the good Captain meditates on his new powers for most of the issue, then tries to stop a simultaneous volcano and nuclear meltdown in the middle of New York City.  Yup.  This could get better, but right now I'm iffy on it.  I liked the first issue, but I'm not sure I like where it could go from here. 

Flash was... unimpressive.  The book does a fair job of introducing you to Barry Allen and a few of his supporting characters, but the art had a weird newspaper-drama feel to it and I wasn't wowed by any of the action, characters, or ideas in play.  Flashbacks to Barry's college days seemed out of place, getting philosophical about running from things and shit.  And there's also the Flash's weakness of not being Wally West.  I miss that guy.  He's probably in Teen Titans or something, but I didn't pick that one up. 

Batman & Robin was better than Flash, but not my favorite or even fifth-favorite Batcomic in these new runs.  This builds off the Batman, Incorporated storyline from 2010 and earlier this year, except Bruce Wayne's worldwide network of Bat-men is Snape killed off systematically by a new villain.  In this story, Bruce Wayne realizes that his obsession with the death of his parents and inner darkness might be negatively affecting those around him, namely his son (and current Robin) Damian.  Bruce decides to stop visiting they alley where his parents were slain and start celebrating their wedding anniversary instead.  Yeah.  It seems weird and out of character, but the art is good and most of the dialog flows pretty well.  Also, Damian Wayne is even more of a dick than Jason Todd or Superman.  Hate that punk.  Not going to subscribe. 

Demon Knights is fantastic.  Literally, it's a fantasy comic.  DC decides to go balls to the wall with its fantasy characters, having seven of them team up in what is going to be something very awesome indeed.  Mordru (a powerful DC sorcerer) is the Big Bad here, and he needs to send his horde through a tiny village in a mountain pass to access a very powerful magical trove of some sort.  Unfortunately, at the time of the horde's advancement the village counts Jason "The Demon Etrigan" Blood, Madame Xanadu, Shining Knight, Vandal Savage, and a few other DC fantasy heroes.  I'm really excited by this comic, and I hope it lasts.  Second issue is called "Here Be Dragons." No joke. 

Batman: Dark Knight is more similar to Detective Comics than Batman or Batman & Robin.  No Robin, huge muscly dudes, and lots of violence.  This takes place somewhat concurrently with Batman #1 (before? after? no idea.); we know this because Bruce Wayne brings up the Gotham revitalization thing in both comics.  Dark Knight's storyline involves a shady Gotham Police IA investigator, a sexy half-Indian socialite (love interest?), and the 'roiding up and subsequent rampage of dozens of Arkham patients.  I liked this one, but not as much as Batman #1.  I won't subscribe yet, but I'm not giving up either. 

All-Star Western was actually not bad.  The book wins a prize for oddest combination of characters and setting, as it stars Dr. Amadeus Arkham (whom I mostly know from his background story in Batman: Arkham Asylum on the PS360) teaming up with Jonah Hex in Gotham in the 1880s or 1890s.  The art has a 1970s deco feel to it, with a lot of browns and grays when there isn't any blood, but the sepia tones trick our brains into thinking that the comic looks old, which I suppose fits the setting.  Gotham also somehow manages to be an east-coast pillar of 19th century civilization while still having saloons, hookers, and Victorian English clothes abundant.  The story is actually very solid to the point where I definitely want to know what happens in the end, but there is too much narration and not enough dialog.  The fussy Dr. Arkham and the gruff, belligerent Hex are a great odd couple, but the comic is too much Arkham writing notes about Hex and not enough real talk.  I'm on the fence about subscribing to this one; more on this later. 

Mister Terrific.  Wow.  I liked this comic, I really did, but I still can't drop the feeling that Michael Holt is a black version of Tony Stark.  Sure, he's a widower who misses his wife instead of an alcoholic, and he has a Rafer Johnson-esque machismo and nobility to his attitude, but Tony Stark is both much more high-profile and generally more appealing.  I was interested in this one, and its ending had a solid hook, but I dunno if I'll continue reading. 

Aquaman was a pleasant surprise.  I've never really disliked the guy, but he gets a lot of hate as DC's lamest founding member of the Justice League.  This comic even acknowledges that, with everyone from bloggers ("so how does it feel to be everyone's least-favorite superhero?") to police ("we got upstaged by Aquaman!? The boys at the station will never let us live it down.") hating on him.  Aquaman is tired of the difficulties he's had over the years in trying to win over and protect the people of Atlantis, so he decides to move topside with his girlfriend / queen / hot redhead and start a new life.  I dig it.  This comic makes us both sympathize and respect Aquaman, and it did so with a well-presented origin and good art and dialog.  The introduction of a new, aquatic enemy as a looming threat also sets a foreboding tone for the last few pages, and foretells some serious fucking business.  I think I might subscribe to this one.  It's my favorite of all three of the New 52 comics written by Geoff Johns. 

Superman #1 was... okay.  Daily Planet has been taken over by a NewsCorp-esque conglomerate, and both Clark Kent and Superman are feeling frustrated and unfulfilled.  I don't feel like going on and on about this one - there are a lot of named newspaper staff that I didn't care about, the action and panel transitions are far from the best I've seen in the New 52, and the dialog and characters in Action Comics #1 were way more interesting.  No thanks. 

So, that's all.  A list:

Sollosi ranks his favorites of the New 52 in a semi-random and arbitrary manner

1. Animal Man
2. Batman
3. Wonder Woman
4. Demon Knights
5. Action Comics
6. Aquaman
7. Batwoman
8. Detective Comics
-
9. Batgirl
10. All-Star Western
11. Mister Terrific
12. Batman: The Dark Knight
13. Captain Atom
14. Resurrection Man
15. DC Universe Presents
16. Justice League
...
50. Birds of Prey
51. Suicide Squad
52. Red Hood and the Outlaws

I'm already subscribed to #s 1 through 8 in that list.  I'm still on the fence about subscribing to any of those listed 9 - 16.  I'd like to keep my comics spending under $30 a month. Other than those 19, I've read at least another 25-30 of the New 52, and have certainly forgotten to mini-review a few of them.  But the point is: I'm excited to have the opportunity to start my comics collecting career (hehehe alliteration) at such a landmark event.  I'll bring my fledgling collection to the Saturday Morning Cartoons showing in case anyone wants to see what this new shit is like. 
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