10th Jun2011

52 Thoughts…

by Will

So, I already talked about the future of DC Comics in this post. At that time, I figured it was best to be optimistic, and just wait and see what was in store for us. Now, the 52 launch titles of “DCnU” (yes, I hate that, but it seems to be catching) have been announced, so I thought I’d give BRIEF thoughts on each one.

1. Justice League #1 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee

Great idea, but we all know that this is the creative team for, at best, the initial arc. By #6, we’ll still Johns on board, but we’ll have a Kubert or Scott McDaniel on art. You could do worse, but this is a book that deserves to ALWAYS have A-list talent on it.

2. Justice League International #1 by Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti

I like Booster Gold, so I’ll give it a shot. I just don’t have the love for the JLI that a lot of fans seem to have. I’m here for Batman and Booster.

3. Teen Titans #1 by  Scott Lobdell, Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund

All hail our Image overlords. Seriously, this is more DV8 than Teen Titans. At least Tim Drake’s still around…

4. Suicide Squad #1 by Adam Glass and Marco Rudy

Another concept for which I’ve never had much love. It’s got Harley in it, though. Crazy, redesigned Harley.

5. Action Comics #1 by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales

This is an iconic comic cover:

This is NOT:

Good luck with that.

6. Superman #1 by George Pérez and Jesus Merino

Meh. This would mean something in 1988. Perez doesn’t exactly “bring all the boys to the yard” these days.

7. Superboy #1 by Scott Lobdell and R.B. Silva and Rob Lean

Loved the writer 20 years ago, but don’t know those artists.

8. Supergirl #1 by Michael Green, Mike Johnson and Mahmud A. Asrar

These guys kept Superman/Batman chugging along, but I think I was the only one buying that book. Liked Asrar on Dynamo 5, though.

9. Batman #1 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.

Same problem as Action – this  cover isn’t dynamic enough for a book that’s being relaunched after 700 issues:

 

10. Detective Comics #1 by Tony Daniel

Can’t believe Daniel’s still on this franchise. He came along because Kubert couldn’t stay on schedule. Then, they reward him by making him the artist AND writer once Morrison went off to do what he does, resulting in a run that felt like filler. Now, they shift him over to Detective to do more of the same?

11. Batman: The Dark Knight #1 by David Finch

Relaunched after 2 long-delayed issues. Yeah, this’ll work. Paul Cornell or Peter Tomasi will be on this book in a year.

12. Batgirl #1 by Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes.

She is HEALED! Barbara Gordon can WALK, and it is a MIRACLE! This one’s causing a lot of chatter online. I’m kind hoping hoping the last panel of #1 shows her getting shot.

13. Batwoman #1 by J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder

Do we really need this is the one, true Batchick is back on the prowl? I get that it contributes to DC’s “diversity”, but she feels pretty redundant at the moment. Plus, Williams is the draw. No one’s gonna care once Calafiore gets put on the book.

14. Catwoman #1 by Judd Winick and Guillem March

Winick, eh? How long before Selina gets a trusted confidante who’s then diagnosed with HIV? That’s the Winick Special right there!

15. Red Hood And The Outlaws #1 by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort

I like Rocafort, but Red Hood is kinda like Hush: less is more. Don’t keep him in the spotlight. Plus, a team comprised of Arsenal and Starfire hardly makes it a “must read”.

16. Batwing #1 by Judd Winick and Ben Oliver

‘Cause we’ve all been wanting to read Bat Panther. Nobody likes reading Black Panther, so who thought putting bat ears on that concept would be a winner? This is an affirmative action ploy right here.

17. Nightwing #1 by Kyle Higgins and Eddy Barrows

Surprise, surprise. Not. We knew it was coming, but we thought it would come through a more organic process than what’s seemingly taking place.

18. Batman And Robin #1 by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason

Why does this book still exist? It was created as the “new flagship”, a la Astonishing X-Men so that Morrison would have his own sandbox to play in. Once his stuff expanded to other titles, this book’s purpose ceased to exist. It’s superfluous.

19. Birds Of Prey #1 by Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz

No Gail and no Oracle. This title hasn’t fared as well when Gail’s not at the helm. Also not sure about the lineup. However, if they’re still in Gotham, I’ll check it out.

20. Green Lantern #1 by Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy

Doesn’t seem like anything changes here. Good for its fans.

21. Green Lantern Corps #1 by Peter J. Tomasi, Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna

See #20

22. Green Lanterns: New Guardians #1 by Tony Bedard, Tyler Kirkham and Batt

This will be the first Green Lantern book of DCnU to be canceled.

23. Red Lanterns #1 by Peter Milligan, Ed Benes and Rob Hunter.

This will be the first Lantern book of DCnU to be canceled.

*NOTE: Since there seems to always be a Green Lantern mega event on the horizon, I suspect this book, along with New Guardians will be canceled “as a result of those events” – even though it’ll really be due to sales.

24. Aquaman #1 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis

It’s Johns, so it shows DC’s committed, but Aquaman, at his best, has still been considered a joke.

25. Wonder Woman #1 by Brian Azzarello #1 and Cliff Chiang

I came for the art, but I stayed for the story. Seriously, I love anything by Cliff Chiang. Can’t say the same for Azzarello, but I’ll give it a chance.

26. Flash #1 by Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul

Who? I mean, I know Manapul – he’s supposedly the reason the last series was so late, but this other guy. I assume Flash will have a high profile, due to Flashpoint,  but this ain’t a team that instills confidence.

27. Green Arrow #1 by JT Krul and Dan Jurgens

JT Krul, huh? He did the lambasted Rise of Arsenal, but people swear he’s good. Pass.

28. DC Universe Presents #1 by Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang

Anthology books don’t do well, but Jenkins is a good name to have on this. Plus, it’ll serve a key purpose in the beginning, as it will help to explain the new status quo in areas not covered in the established series.

29. Savage Hawkman #1 by Tony Daniel and Philip Tan

Ha! Hawkman’s always been a continuity bitch, and Daniel’s writing it. I saw it won’t last 2 years.

30. Blue Beetle #1 by Tony Bedard and Ig Guara

Glad Jaime’s back. It’s another diversity book, and it could be DC’s Ultimate Spider-Man if handled right.

31. Fury Of Firestorm #1 by Gail Simone, Ethan Van Sciver and Yildiray Cinar.

This is just City Guys with nuclear powers thrown in. Look at that cover. They should really be back to back, with their arms crossed. “They’re from different worlds, but they find out they have more in common than they thought.” Sitcom 101.

Plus, Gail doesn’t have the best track record as co-writer on a book about young heroes. Her run with Byrne on The Atom left a LOT to be desired. It’s debatable whether that was due to her or Byrne. Then, her Gen 13 run was also pretty lackluster, but that could also be attributed to that fact that it was a stale franchise. I just don’t think she has the same grasp on the “young voice” that writers like Bendis and Kirkman have.

32. Mr Terrific #1 by Eric Wallace and Roger Robinson

Affirmative action hire! Kiss this goodbye.

33. Captain Atom #1 by JT Krul and Freddie Williams II

JT Krul again, and another character nobody really gives a shit about. Won’t see year 2.

34. OMAC #1 by Dan DiDio, Keith Giffen and Scott Koblish

Didio on a Kirby concept. Since it’s Didio, they won’t cancel it until it’s only selling 10 copies, but the writing will always be horrible.

35. Static Shock #1 by John Rozum, Scott McDaniel and Jonathan Glapion.

Who? Only one I know here is McDaniel. He’s got a nice, kinetic style, but I don’t know how this’ll play. Basically, Static and Blue Beetle are courting the same audience. If they’re aiming for a new audience, this is good, as it could bring in diverse readers. If we’re counting on those already reading comics, they hate minority characters.

36. Hawk And Dove #1 by Sterling Gates and Rob Liefeld

This is a joke, right?

37. Deathstroke #1 by Kyle Higgins, Joe Bennett and Art Thibert

He’s had his own series before, but he’s another character where less is more. Don’t try to turn him into an anti-hero, or try to make us sympathize with him.

38. Legion of Superheroes #1 by Paul Levitz and Francis Portela

Levitz knows the Legion, I’ll give him that. This is also, like, their 9th reboot since I’ve been born.

39. Legion Lost #1 by Fabian Nicieza and Pete Woods

Fabian Nicieza AND Scott Lobdell? DC really broke out the time machine, huh? Hope we get some hologram covers out of the deal!

40. Grifter #1 by Nathan Edmondson, CAFU and BIT

So, Wildstorm’s back, eh? It could work.

41. Voodoo #1 by Ron Marz and Sami Basri.

Wasn’t she a stripper? I don’t entirely remember. Based on the cover I’ve seen, and the fact that Marz is writing it, I get the feeling he’s just gonna use some of his Witchblade ideas over here. After all, more people will read this than those buying Top Cow books.

42. Stormwatch #1 by Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda

Martian Manhunter’s in The Authority? It might work.

43. Animal Man #1 by Jeff Lemire, Travel Foreman and Dan Green

Jeff Lemire is that indie darling DC keeps trying to push on us, but just like “fetch”, I don’t know if it’s gonna catch on.

44. Swamp Thing #1 by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette

Here’s your Swamp Thing, hippies. It’s even got that Scott Snyder y’all love so much. I feel like this might be a “be careful what you wish for” situation, where having ST in the main DCU isn’t as awesome as you thought it was going to be.

45. Justice League Dark #1 by Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin

Better hope this is a mini. Sure, it’s Milligan, but this is just Shadowpact all over again.

46. Demon Knights #1 by Paul Cornell, Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert

See #45

47. Frankenstein: Agent Of SHADE #1 by Jeff Lemire and Alberto Ponticelli

I like Frankenstein. I like SHADE. I also realize this is just Hellboy and the BPRD. Luckily, I like this character more than I do Hellboy – that is if it’s the same characterization as in Seven Soldiers.

48. Resurrection Man #1 by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Fernando Dagnino

Doesn’t see year 2.

49. I, Vampire #1 by Josh Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino

Might’ve worked as a low-selling-as-singles-but-sells-respectably-in-trade Vertigo title, but I don’t see it working as a mainstream DCU book.

50. Blackhawks #1 by Mike Costa and Ken Lashley

A cool, honor-bound group of pilots is now updated into a band of infojock mercenaries. Like Checkmate, I think this concept would be cool woven throughout the universe, and maybe given a mini here and there, but I don’t think it’s a viable ongoing concept.

51. Sgt Rock And The Men Of War #1 by Ivan Brandon and Tom Derenick

There are folks who love war comics. Then again, that war is typically WWII. The Big One. All that. Not sure if modernizing it will work, based on common opinions of our current wars. However, it’s the DCU, so all the battles will take place in fictional places, like Bialya, so it won’t matter.

52. All-Star Western #1 by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Grey and Meridat.

It’ll march along  just like Jonah Hex did. “A rose by any other name…”

So, those are my initial thoughts. I hope I wasn’t too mean. If anything, I kinda wanted to make a note of this point in time so that I can come back to it when the books ship, and see if I still feel the same. What are your thoughts on the new lineup?