I'm Warming to the New 52
I am writing this review after having read about half of the first five issues of each of the New 52 Comics. The ones I have read in their entirety so far are Superman, Superboy, Supergirl, Green and Red Lantern books, Detective Comics, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad and so forth. My focus has been on the core characters and stories.
I can pretty much sum up everything in one word. Violent. Another word would be "Sex" but I'll leave that one alone. Depends on which book you are reading.
As you can see, I have rated the New 52, optimistically, with a rating of 4 stars. Some of the books I've read like Catwoman I thoroughly enjoyed. Catwoman is edgy and fun at the same time and it doesn't hurt that she's easy on the eyes. Since Blackest Night, I have been impatient for every issue of any of the Green Lantern books and the more Lanterns the better! I'm enjoying the Red Lantern series as well and, personally, would like to see a Lantern Series for every Corps though I'm sure that is not financially feasible for DC. Perhaps Limited Series for each at some point.
Now to some specifics as each story, the art and so forth have been mostly up to snuff.
Suicide Squad. Now this is one Series that they can go on and on with and I'll be there every month. There is one reason. Harley Quinn. Although I have liked Harley in most of her incarnations, there was always one thing that bothered me about her. Joker. It is hard for a character to shine when overshadowed by such a powerful character and I always wanted to see Harley in adventures where she was allowed to really shine (and be a woman too, see her and Deadshot). Now in every book so far they have killed a team member, more or less, but I'm hoping that they will keep Harley around for a while. It didn't take long for her to really come out in the book and then stir up trouble and the artistry where she, and all of the characters, are drawn with only expressions to convey their thoughts are amazing! Harley, from one scene to the next, goes from clown to deadly serious when she learns of Joker's fate back in Gotham. But I won't spoil it. This is a good read all in all. I like the thinner, sexier Amanda Waller as well. Flashpoint really did her some good!
Wonder Woman. Let's hear it for the Justice League Unlimited Series. They really let Diana be an Amazon and the New 52 is doing that as well. She is both smart and naive, sexy and yet innocent, forceful and not overbearing and she is BIG! Wonder Woman, at times, just didn't seem that big to me, larger than life, six feet of but kicking Amazon. But now you have that. Love the work and will keep reading.
Superman. All I can say is that he is finally interesting again. And I like what they've done with Superboy and Supergirl. Unless my mind wandered though, there has been no mention of Luthor for the most part. Maybe that's good and maybe it's bad. But like Joker with Batman, I think there might be a reinvention in the works that will blow us all away. At the rate DC is going, I don't think we'll be disappointed.
New Guardians. What more could I ask for than a rogue Green Lantern and members of each of the other Corps together kicking Galactic butt! And they even managed to fit in some of my favorites. Star Sapphire Fatality, Yellow Lantern Arkillo, Blue Lantern Saint Walker, Red Lantern Bleez and even Orange Lantern Glommulus! I knew less about Kyle Rayner than any other as well other than the basics and I'm really glad he "leads" the team. He deserves his own book. This is another read that I look forward to every month and can't wait for the next chapter.
Green Lantern. All I can say is kill off Hal Jordan and keep Sinestro! I don't know why (and maybe you share this sentiment) but Hal just doesn't do it for me anymore or perhaps ever, not since Superfriends anyways. Sinestro is just good at being bad and good at the same time. I'm sure they will eventually have him return to the Yellow Ring, but DC can take their time about it. I won't mind.
Batman. All in all, I'm glad to see that he and Catwoman (in Catwoman #1) hooked up definitively with no questions. I'm glad to have that answered and glad they moved on more or less quickly. I'm enjoying the more balanced but still dark Batman as well. He is a little more open, there is a little more Bruce in the character and he is still Dark and moody and maintains the essence of Batman.
I look forward to reading Grifter and Voodoo. I'll let you know how that turns out. The addition of the Wildstorm characters in several books is a big plus to me on several levels.
I won't belabor the points for each book I've read. Many of the comments I have already made apply to several titles instead of just the one.
To summarize the positives, so far, although darker, more violent and sexual than the norm for the previous DC books, in my opinion, DC needed this relaunch and there is only so many times Batman can catch Joker and Green Lantern can catch Sinestro and Doomsday only comes around once. So far so good.
Now for the negative (not too bad all things considered). Here is a piece of advice. Look up the page for the New 52 Concept here on Comic Vine and read it before you read any of the series. I was downright confused until I did. Why? I didn't realize that Justice League was 5 years in the past and Batman and Superman and the others were in the present and so forth and so on. I spent half my time trying to reconcile how the world could know all about Superheroes in one book and then act like they had no idea in the next. Hey, I missed the memo, ok? I've been busy. But there is some jumping around and you have to be on your toes. I hope this does not create continuity issues down the road, but I think this may be the nature of a relaunch. Hopefully the seemingly jumpy stories will settle out by issue 6 or 7.
Characters. I was trying to figure out who some of the characters were only to figure out they were completely new. Maybe it is because they were similar in some way to someone else or something of that nature, but the truth is, I spent a lot of time looking them up here on Comic Vine just to make sure. Maybe that isn't a negative, but it gave me some fits when I thought I recognized and old character only to realize they were new.
Back to the Violent aspect. My opinion is that they overdo it just a bit. It isn't the so much the character violence but the background violence, if you will. As I recall, nearly every book for Superman had something in it where they talked about how many people were killed during his latest fight. That sort of ruined it in that I realized I started viewing Superman as a criminal. I mean, lets face it, if you or I went out and took down a team of bad guys but there were 300 people killed when we did it, we'd be prosecuted. It is like a police chase in LA. Sometimes it is better to let them run and catch them later instead of trying to chase them down in rush hour traffic at 100 miles per hour. Not always, but sometimes. DC might want to play this one a little tighter and not so flippantly. I knew that the New 52 was going to be more violent just to keep up with Marvel and to put some grit in their books. I did not think they were going to be casual about it but it does seem that way a bit. Some violence, ok. But you don't have to cram it down my throat. I get it. Just a thought.
All in all, I'm pleased with the New 52 and I'm glad to see it. The core books are there and there are plenty of new books to read and the addition of Wildstorm is awesome in my opinion. You have the characters, use them! So far I'm enjoying everything and hope they keep up the good work. I've been so engrossed, I haven't read any Marvel in a couple of months so I'll have plenty of reading to catch up on when I do. Until then, I think I'll be thoroughly entertained!