The 5th week of the Great DC Reboot of 2011 has come and gone. Now that I’ve read all 52 new #1 issues, I can finally say that overall, I was disappointed. But I was also pleased. There are enough interesting books in this pile of new issues to make me declare that the whole thing was not as horrible as I thought it would be. Let me take you through the last batch of new #1 issues as I group them in YES, MEH and BOO piles.
My favorite version of Aquaman will always be the outrageous one from Batman: The Brave and the Bold. People laugh at him because he’s actually funny unlike the Aquaman from Super Friends. In the comics, Aquaman has gone through a lot of interpretations and not one of them has appealed to me — except the latest one. In Aquaman #1, we are introduced to a seemingly classic and very grumpy version of Aquaman.
I like how the issue focuses on re-introducing Aquaman by giving us a glimpse of his origin, his abilities and how the world sees him. Apparently, the opinion of the new DCU public mirrors the thoughts of the real world (that’s our world, buddy). It’s not all about Aquaman’s courageous verbal sword fight with random people in a diner, though. There’s also some action and this is where we see that this version of Aquaman means serious business.
On top of all that, Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis give us a threat that is actually sinister and kind of terrifying: The Trench. They look like human piranhas. Really hungry ones.
The Flash #1 doesn’t have a threat that is as scary as Aquaman’s. I can’t believe I’m saying this but the action here is not even as exciting as the short Aquaman vs. regular crooks battle in Aquaman #1. Actually, if not for Francis Manapul’s gorgeous art and dynamic layouts, I would’ve thrown this book in the MEH pile.
Justice League Dark #1 puts a fresh spin on the Justice League concept and I’m looking forward to how this group comes together. Individually, these characters are already fun to read. It only makes sense to expect a crazy fun time once they come together, right?
Green Lantern: New Guardians #1 puts Kyle Rayner in a sticky situation and I love it whenever he’s in danger of getting his butt kicked. Never really liked the guy. But seriously, I like the promise of chaos and fun that this book offers. The same goes for JLD, Aquaman and Flash. I just hope they all deliver in their next issues.
On the MEH pile, we have All Star Western #1, Blackhawks #1, The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #1 and The Savage Hawkman #1. These books are actually entertaining and they show a lot of promise, but they just don’t pull me in. I’m still not a Jonah Hex fan. I’m still annoyed with Firestorm and the fact that all stories I’ve read about the character mostly focus on out-of-control powers and two guys bickering. I’m still not convinced that the Blackhawks offer something no other DC team can offer. I’m still confused about Hawkman.
Superman #1 did an awesome job of re-introducing Superman and his supporting cast while still delivering plenty of action. I love George Perez for his compressed storytelling style but I think it’s a little too old school for a rebooted title. I’m looking for a more contemporary execution on Superman stories here. I still prefer this over super decompressed stories, though.
As for Voodoo #1, beyond the really pretty art, I don’t see anything here that requires me to get #2. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to, though.
I can appreciate the art in Batman: The Dark Knight #1 but the story? Can we have a Batman story without people breaking out or breaking into Arkham Asylum? It just feels like we’ve all seen it before and I’m just wondering if we really need 4 Batman-centric titles in a month. OK, who am I kidding? Of course we need 4 Batman-centric titles in a month. I just hope we get a different story from each of them.
I, Vampire #1 isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I like the prospect of vampires coming out of the shadows and getting it on with superheroes. The problem is Marvel has done something very similar recently. So right now, DC’s venture into vampires does not feel as fresh as it should’ve been.
Oh, Teen Titans #1. What can I say. Aside from having the same problems as Justice League #1 (team coming together slowly, not all team members appear, etc.), this book also suffers from ’90s-team-book-itis. Someone watches a bunch of people with powers in a creepy way then decides to gather them so they can fight or be protected from evil people who are also keeping tabs on them. On top of that, Kid Flash is a douche and Wonder Girl is kind of a bitch. Also, Red Robin is a blogger who wears really tight clothes, flies using Vegas showgirl wings and monitors other teen heroes like a true creep.
Looking back at the last few weeks, I can say that DC did not screw things up the way I expected them to (really bad). I have 22 books (including Justice League #1) in my MEH pile, 18 in my YES pile and a dozen in my BOO pile. That’s acceptable by my standards but I’m a little sad that the industry-changing epic revolution that we were promised did not come to pass. Or maybe it did and I just didn’t care enough to notice. It’s probably just too early to tell.
Have you read some — or maybe even all — of the New 52 books? What’s your verdict? Are you coming back for more? I know I will. But I’m only going to pick up the YES books and maybe some of the MEH books just to see if they get better.