Friday, August 17, 2012

DC New 52 - one year later

Over a year ago, I wrote my thoughts on the DC Comics then-upcoming relaunch.  In that blog, I said that I'd be reading Justice League, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Batwoman, Green Lantern, Batman, Batman and Robin, Batman:  The Dark Knight, Batwoman, and Action Comics.  I wound up getting a few others including I, Vampire; Demon Knights, Batgirl, Detective Comics, and Superman.  Some I've stuck with; some I've dropped.  Here are some general thoughts:

Biggest disappointment:  Superman and Action Comics - I dropped Superman several months before dropping Action.  This is mainly because I had a hard time getting into it from the start.  This isn't so surprising in retrospect, now that we all know that writer George Perez was having such a frustrating time on the book.

Even worse was how I lost interest in Action, as it was the one that I was looking forward to more than any other from the relaunch.  Grant Morrison has written some of my favorite comics, and I really liked the approach that he was taking to the character by bringing him back to his Depression-era basics.  Unfortunately, there just wasn't enough being done with that, and the fact that the series couldn't get Rags Morales to draw a full issue beyond the first issue was annoying as well.  Plus, the title started rehashing stuff from Superman's origin that had just been rehashed shortly before the relaunch.  Too bad.  I was really thinking that this would create a significant Superman section in my collection.  Oh well.

Not bad, but not good enough to keep me interested:  The Flash; Batwoman; Batman:  The Dark Knight; Batwoman; I, Vampire; Detective Comics, and Demon Knights - Probably the toughest one to drop was The Flash, as I absolutely loved the art.  However, when I tried re-reading the issues that I had, I just didn't feel very engaged.  I might actually start getting Batwoman again now that JH Williams III is back on art duties, as I feel that the series is nearly pointless without him.  I dropped I, Vampire because it started to cross into other titles, and I just wasn't engaged enough in it to pick up more titles.

Good stuff, but that's what I expected:  Green Lantern, Justice League, Batman and Robin, Aquaman, and Batman - I suppose the only one that surprised me a bit was Batman and Robin, as it was even better than I expected it to be.  Green Lantern is pretty much a continuation of what was already one of my favorite comics, and Scott Snyder had already won me over with his arc on Detective Comics before the relaunch.  I don't absolutely love Aquaman or Justice League, but they're both solid enough to keep me reading.

Pleasant surprise:  Batgirl - I was surprised that I didn't originally have this on my list of titles to pick up.  Go figure that, as it has been one of my favorite books of the week nearly every time it comes out.

Major surprise:  Wonder Woman - I had written that I'd pick up the first issue mainly out of curiosity.  I wasn't expecting this to become one of my favorite titles.  There was a slight hiccup for a couple of issues, but overall I've always found this series to be pretty engaging as every issue seems to keep raising the stakes.  Plus, I love the new take on Greek Mythology which is completely refreshing yet makes complete sense for anybody who's familiar with it.

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