If you are a fan of comic books at all, you may already know…. DC decided to reboot their entire line of comics starting off every line with a #1 in the month of September. An obvious ploy to garner sluggish sales yes, but the move could be uniquely genius. Many people have left the purchasing of graphic novels over the years despite the bigger publicity of having movies out there selling the brands. Thus, DC felt something needed to be done. The real question is, did it work?
I went out and bought several of the new DC comics for a few reasons. 1) I have a friend who talks about comics all the time and now I am wanting to get back into them at least a little. 2) I have always wanted to like DC, but have never been given a huge opportunity to get into any of them. I take the idea of a reboot to be perfect timing to get into them. And 3) I really get into #1 issues. When I did buy comic books over a decade ago, I was always on the look out for a good #1. I think these later two reasons were really the target of DC’s new 52 and I think it worked at least for one month.
Very quickly though, I learned one important note about the reboot… it isn’t really a reboot at all. I think a reset might be a better term. There are a few comics in the New 52 that actually do start at the beginning, or at the very least start at a new beginning. But most of them seem to not be a true reboot. I felt left out of a ton of story which was a big reason that I never really gave DC a chance in the first place. I never felt there was a great time to be brought into any series, and still I feel left out.
But they didn’t want to totally alienate their current subscribers, and I totally understand this problem. Many of their comics have a rich history and old fans don’t want to go through everything again, they already have. They want to experience new things. So DC went with the idea of keeping much of the history in tact and then making dramatic changes to reset a lot of stuff that has happened in recent years.
For instance, I am a fan of Batman, but I never realized Barbara Gordon was paralyzed and now went by Oracle from a wheel chair instead of Batgirl who was apparently someone else now. Well a miracle occurred and she is now able to be Batgirl again, you know what? I prefer that, but then I don’t care about the history. Again apparently Bruce Wayne had retired as Batman and given the mantle to Dick Graysen, yuck. And oh yeah he apparently had a son who became Robin. Yikes. Well they kept the son around but apparently only in Batman & Robin which I will likely avoid because of it, but Bruce Wayne is back as Batman. Overall, the changes I’ve heard seem very positive.
Onto thoughts of individual comics…
This was a very surprising comic to me. I had read a lot of really positive reviews of it, so I decided to give it a shot. Still, I didn’t know what to expect from it, being in DC’s dark line I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. However, it impressed in a number of ways. A great original story and great art. There were certainly morbid aspects to it, but it fit with the story well. If you wanted to know it is basically about the struggles of a retired super hero trying to have an acting career and family. It is just an interesting premise and I look forward to reading more of it.
I don’t know what the hubbub with Oracle was about, but I don’t care. I like Barbara Gordon as Batgirl but I don’t really care for Batgirl. If there is going to be one, I just assume it be BG. It was a decent comic, I wouldn’t mind picking up another or two, but I honestly don’t care for the villain. It is an interesting thing he is doing, it just doesn’t match his name or outfit.
So I guess previous to the reboot, DC made the brilliant idea of having a whole bunch of Batmans from around the world in a series called Batman, Inc. Batwing is essentially the remnants of that series, being the Batman from Africa. I must say I was quite interested in the idea of a Batman from Africa, it is an interesting idea. This particular issue didn’t have a whole lot of… well… anything. About all you get from the comic is that Batwing is a police officer in the Congo, that Batman helped him set up, and that there is a big bad guy out there killing everyone. I’m likely going to at least get one more issue before I decide on this one just because I like the premise. But I really got almost nothing from the character when it comes to motives or even personality. I don’t have a lot of hope for the series, but I want it to work.
Where DC gets its name and the main Batman comic. I’ve seen mixed reviews on this issue but I liked it. I do think if you are giving Batman a new start that you have to have Joker in it. I am more puzzled by the previews which talk about the Gotham Ripper targeting Joker. After reading the actual comic I felt that the previews might have given away future issues which sucks, I don’t think the preview did it justice at all and I think this story so far is very interesting and worth the read.
Justice League International
I didn’t buy Justice League because I never really cared about teams built of all-star solo super heroes (I also don’t like Avengers). When I want a team, I tend to like a team that was built for a team. I didn’t know who Booster Gold was before this comic, he is an interesting choice for a team leader though. I don’t know what he does, I don’t know his past and I know even less about the rest of the team. I don’t understand why Batman is in this group either, he doesn’t like working with others but is in nearly every team DC can fathom. A weak comic overall, I have no interest.
I was really looking for a good team from DC so I picked up Stormwatch too. I do like team comics but so far I gotta say that DC doesn’t really have what it takes. Stormwatch I felt was a little better than DCI overall, but still not great. A lot of it is over-the-top and silly… I mean the moon is attacking the Earth? Come on, really? Martian Manhunter is an interesting retro super hero but more powerful than Superman who is already a too powerful super hero… meh. I’ll say no to this one in the future too.
I don’t really know what to think of Swamp Thing after reading it. It was good, it gave a good brief explanation of who this guy is. But I don’t really know what is going on with him and I don’t really know where it is going. The art was pretty good, but I gave this comic a try based off good reviews and I don’t feel that it lived up to them. It was worth the read and I think I will give the second issue a try just to see what happens but overall am unsure of this comic.
I have actually bought many from Week 3 too, but I have a few more I plan on buying on Wednesday so I thought I’d wait to review them all until I had them all. So far I think DC has a mixed start to the New 52 comics. Not the reboot I was hoping for but some have been worth reading all the same. Will they hook me in the future as the #1s stop? I have no idea. They might.