Saturday, June 11, 2011

The DC Relaunch

Considering that this blog is 90% comics related nowadays (hopefully that will be changing a bit for the summer) I thought I'd take some time to give my thoughts on the big DC Comics relaunch. Basically, they're canceling all their titles and launching 52 new first issues in August. The idea is to create a jumping-on point for new readers. Of course, like every decision made in comics, you have your fair share of detractors. Some readers are calling the end of the various existing titles as a good "jumping off" point. Personally, I don't really get that. I mean, I suppose that I'd stop reading all of DC's books if all of the new first issues were done by creative teams I didn't like and absolutely all of the pre-existing continuity was wiped out. However, that doesn't seem to be the case. So, here's what I'll be picking up and why:

Justice League - Well, this is kind of a no-brainer, isn't it? Geoff Johns and Jim Lee? And the correct lineup of heroes (with Cyborg replacing the Martian Manhunter)? That's right, there is a correct lineup for the JLA. You need Superman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. Personally, I'd prefer it if the Martian Manhunter was in there, but so long as you have the most recognizable characters, that's the line-up that's required to make the book really work. Sure, you can toss in The Atom or Green Arrow for a few missions, but the series started with the big guns and that's what it's all about. Besides, I haven't read the title on a regular basis since Grant Morrison's JLA, and he understood that you need the major heroes for this book.

Wonder Woman - I have only a small handful of Wonder Woman comics, but I've always liked the idea of the character. Plus, Brian Azarello is writing? That's what has me curious enough to at least pick up the first issue. I also have to say that her new costume is growing on me.

Aquaman - Last time I read an Aquaman book was back when Peter David was writing it. That was some good stuff, and even though the character is often the butt of jokes, he's pretty cool when done right. With one of my favorite writers and favorite artists on the title, I have to at least give this one a chance.

The Flash - I'm getting this one for the artist, Francis Manapul, who drew the just-cancelled Flash series. He's writing this one now as well, and while I don't know how good of a writer he is, I like his art enough (especially on this character) to at least give him a chance.

Green Lantern - As far as I can tell, one of my favorite series is basically just starting over with a new first issue. The writer's the same; the artist is the same. All that's different is the numbering. Why not pick this up?

Batman - They've moved Scott Snyder from Detective Comics over to this one. Considering how much I liked his writing there, I have no problem following him over to this one. The only thing I'll miss is how he wrote Dick Grayson as Batman, as it looks like Bruce Wayne is going to be back under the cowl in this series.

Batman and Robin - As I've mentioned before on this blog, I liked Peter Tomasi's short-lived run on the original series. I'm going to give this new one a chance as it seems as though he's going to be the regular writer on the title. It'll be interesting to see a new dynamic with Bruce and Damien instead of Dick and Damien.

Batman: The Dark Knight - This relaunch seems the silliest to me, as we're only a few issues into the original series. Oh well, I liked those issues, so I'll keep getting it. From what I can tell, David Finch can tell a story, so here's hoping he can keep it up (and get the book out on time with him still doing the art).

Batwoman - I just couldn't get into the first series as much as I liked the art of JH Williams III. I guess I just can't ever seem to get into anything that's written by Greg Rucka. Anyway, Rucka's gone and Williams is going to be doing the writing. I'll give it another chance.

Action Comics - All Star Superman featured some of the best Superman stories ever. Considering that the man behind that is now writing a regular Superman book, you can count me in for this series. I think it's the one I'm most excited about.

Click here if you want to see the full list. Some others look interesting, but I'll flip through them first before deciding. Considering this list represents more DC monthly titles than I currently get, I'd say that it's a successful idea on the part of DC - at least as far as this one fan goes anyway. Time will tell if it has a long-term impact on the company or not. I suppose that I could also go into their whole plan to make all their comics available digitally on the release date of the physical comics, but I don't really have much to add to that conversation.

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