Last week DC Comics’ New 52 began with Justice League #1 and even though it didn’t meet my expectations, it did not dampen the excitement I have for these upcoming weeks and months for a few dozen titles. And for those of you who skipping out on this relaunch–especially those most critical and vocal without even reading a single issue–leave your cynicism at the door. Either embrace what some of these great creative teams have come up with, or kindly let your wallet or purse do the best expression of your opinion (by buying something else). Me? I’m going to eat this up, not because I’m the biggest fan of relaunches, I’m the biggest fan of a great story paired with jaw-dropping art and if DC pulls this off like I believe they can, then this could be the beginning of something special.
So today, the real fun begins. This is the present-day DC Universe and while those more enthusiastic and far better financially well-off than I, will scoop up every issue, I have to admit that my own lofty goals of trying out at least half is still a noble feat.
Now before I begin, let me say there are a few no-brainers like:
• Action Comics by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales
• Superman by George Perez and Jesus Merino
• Batman by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion
• Detective Comics by Tony S. Daniel and Ryan Winn
• Green Lantern by Geoff Johns and Doug Manke.
• Green Lantern Corps by Peter Tomasi, Geraldo Borges, Scott Hanna and Alex Garner
• Flash by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
Seriously, all seven of those should be bought and eaten up like slices of New York Pizza. In fact, I am willing to bet that most of those were ordered the highest out of the 52. But to me, what makes the New 52 so fun is trying out new titles, new concepts, no matter how many or how far out there they may be. Many of the featured titles in this story have outstanding talent working on them, but when you mix their creativity with the concept or the character they’re working on, well that’s a recipe for comics I want to read. And since I am a betting man, I believe that many of these will sell out by the end of the day and if shops did not place enough orders, or adjusted their reorders for this week, then that could entice people to try some of this digitally.
I know that many of you will fall back on familiar titles, but I really do challenge each and every one of you to try something new, or buy a few books you normally wouldn’t and give them as gifts to people who don’t normally read comics. This is a great opportunity to share in this exciting beginning of the new 52!
The following titles may not be made for each and everyone one of you, but the comics industry as a whole is at its healthiest when there’s more readers, with a broadening horizon of what they want in a story. So whether they find them in print or by digital, it doesn’t matter. Just help them get into the hands of people who would enjoy them.
Please click through the next four pages to see the books we are excited by the most in the coming weeks.
Week 1 : On Sale September 7th, 2011
Animal Man #1
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Travel Foreman
Why you want it
The creators working on this title should be enough to lure you in as Lemire has stunned readers on a monthly basis with his creator-owned Vertigo book Sweet Tooth, Essex County for Top Shelf, and Superboy for DC, but here he resurrects a book made famous by Grant Morrison and Jamie Delano. But this isn’t the meta-fiction brain-benind, Lemire is focusing on Buddy Baker the family man who can borrow the powers of animals. We’ll see how these powers affect him and his family and what the consequences of those powers are. Things get interesting when he discovers that his daughter has powers as well. The preview art on this book is astounding and is going to be one of the more talked about series in the relaunch. Believe it!
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes
Covers by Adam Hughes
Why we want it
Yes, Batgirl is back, and Oracle as we last knew her is gone. A huge part of this relaunch is seeing Barbara Gordon up on her feet and fighting crime on a street level. And while many of us loved Oracle, Batgirl died in The Killing Joke when the Joker paralyzed her. Now she’s back, but DC wouldn’t have brought her up out of the wheelchair if they didn’t have something good planned for her. Simone (Secret Six) is one of the best in the business, so we can’t wait to see how she repurposes Barbara back into the DCU and how she elevates Batgirl back into the pantheon of Batman books.
Written by Judd Winick
Art and covers by Ben Oliver
Why we want it
I can hear you saying already, “Batwing?” Seriously. Give this book a chance, I have a feeling it may be a sleeper hit this year. This isn’t just Batman in Africa or some half-assed politically correct-driven book. If you had the pleasure of reading Joshua Dysart’s gritty and haunting African take on the Unknown Soldier for Vertigo, then you might have an idea of the setting I’m talking about. We’d like to think that all of the DC Universe happens on American soil but Batwing stretches it out to over the hugeness of Africa, a continent full of corruption and violence and this is real life to draw some scary fiction from. Winick hopes to give readers an idea of what Africa is as a continent, the different nations and people that make it whole, and a compelling and very real landscape where a superhero or superheroes are needed. This book promises to deliver something truly unique to the DCU by opening the world to Africa to mainstream comics, and hopefully someday mainstream comics to Africa.
Swamp Thing #1
Written by Scott Snyder
Art and covers by Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn
Fill-in art by Francesco Francavilla
Why we want it
We’re big fans of Snyder and American Vampire, so we have complete faith that he will do the history of Swamp Thing proud as he plans to build on the work that’s been done prior by Alan Moore, Andy Diggle, Joshua Dysart, and Len Wein. Alec Holland is back, spit out by the swamp with the history but wants to know why he was brought back. Also look for crossovers with shared stories with Animal Man and other DCU Dark titles and that just makes us even more excited how the two tiles will relate to one another.
Men of War #1
Written by Ivan Brandon and Jonathan Vankin
Art by Tom Derenick, Covers by Viktor Kalvachev
Why we want it
Why is it that war comics typically cover the same wars, World War I and II, The Civil War, and Vietnam? Why is it that no one’s capitalized on the popularity of the Call of Duty Modern Warfare video games? It’s long overdue that DC do a modern take on Sgt. Rock and place him in the DCU. Brandon and Derenick’s take puts the grandson of Sgt. Rock, Joe Rock, an Army man who is fighting wars that continue to exist despite the world of super heroes and villains running rampant. Joe takes control of Easy Company, a team of ex-miltary operatives, now contractors as they try to clean up the problems left by man and super-villains alike. What’s interesting about this is that it looks at the problems of soldiers trying to conduct their work with super powered beings and why those with powers still can’t wipe away the problems created by humans. This title, like Batwing will be grounded in some real world areas and should take on an international flavor since many of the areas of conflict are on foreign soil
Next: Week 2 Comics: On Sale Sept 14