Teaser Thursday Post – Bright Spots in DC’s New 52 Reboot Campaign

I am a huge DC Comics fangirl. I have loved Batman & Wonder Woman since I was old enough to sneak away to the comic store while my mother was shopping. Bruce & Diana opened up a whole new world to me.

In September DC launched 52 new #1 issued comics featuring characters from across the entire DC universe. Many fans have been underwhelmed with the reboots (myself included). But now that several series have appeared in collections, with some reaching their double digits in issue, I wanted to talk about four of the reboots I’ve found myself enjoying:

4.  Superman (Action Comics)* by Grant Morrison, Illustration by Rags Morales

Supes may be my least favorite of the DC greats, but with Grant Morrison behind this new Man of Steel story, I was sold. I am an avid Grant Morrison fan (he is one of the greats) and I find he delivers very compelling superhero comics. This took longer to grow on me then Morrison’s other Superman works, but I’ve grown to look forward to each new issue.

I love how Morrison has taken some elements of what made Golden Age Superman great, and applied them to Superman’s new contemporary persona. The new Man of Steel is a edgy vigilante who’s rather unrefined. This reboot has him back in action as a super hero, not the boring, invulnerable, super god he’s become in recent years.

*(Be careful not to confuse THIS Superman with the other reboot, authored by George Perez & Jesus Marino.)

3.  Animal Man by Jeff Lemire, Illustration by Travel Foreman

I don’t typically do comic horror. I also have NEVER heard of Animal Man before now. I picked this up on a whim and I wholeheartedly believe I found one of the better things to come out of The New 52. This new story about Buddy Baker almost feels more like a Vertigo comic than DC, but I appreciate the more adult-oriented, smart story that Jeff Lemire is delivering. The artwork is… very distinct, and it might not be everyone’s cup of tea- but I think it fits the feel the new Animal Man is striving toward.

2.  Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello, Illustration by Cliff Chiang & Tony Akins

I have read hundreds of Wonder Woman comics. I rarely find her believably vulnerable in most series (save, perhaps, Greg Rucka’s work, especially The Hiketeia). Her supporting cast of characters are not only funny, but  they are also very well developed. I especially liked the direction Azzarello takes the pantheon of Greek gods in this origins story – I have missed seeing the pantheon in recent years! This is an absolute MUST read for WW fans- but even regular comics readers will most likely enjoy this new Wonder Woman.

1. Batwoman by J.H. Williams III & W. Hayden Blackman, Illustration by Amy Reeder

I have never cared much for Batwoman, a character who is often arbitrarily added to plots for extra “sexy” or whatever. As a heroine, she has rarely been interesting in her own right.

That has completely and totally changed with this most recent iteration. Batwoman is working independently of the caped crusader, and she’s all the better for it. With the exciting blend of detective sleuthing, action, romance, betrayal and loss of innocence (all wrapped in delicious artwork), I have been positively riveted by this reboot. This series is my absolute favorite of what’s come out of the DC New 52.

__________________________________________________________________________________

While none of these reboots are perfect, I’ve certainly enjoyed them. Overall, I feel like many of the reboots are lukewarm in their execution, but most of them are worth at least looking at. As always, I appreciate any recommendations for comic reading.

– E.B.

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3 thoughts on “Teaser Thursday Post – Bright Spots in DC’s New 52 Reboot Campaign

  1. About Action Comics: I like dark comics, so Superman definitely is not my cup of tea, but I’m going to buy some back issues: the 4th one because Steel, a character I’m in love with since I was a child, makes a guest star appearance in it, and the 9th one because I read it was a wonderful stand-alone story.
    About Animal Man: I agree, it definitely is one of the best New 52 series. The detail I enjoyed more was the homelike atmosphere: I can’t tell you why, but it reminded me of Daria, an MTV cartoon I was deeply in love with when I was younger. And the decision of setting this series in a small town, instead of choosing a metropolis, is another detail that pushes Animal Man near to Daria (and to indie comics as well, since this is their typical setting – I bet this is not a coincidence). I’m not going to buy Animal Man regularly (I’m already doing this with Grifter and Nightwing, and I can’t afford to do it with a third series), but I will definitely buy the second TP when it comes out.
    As you can guess, Grifter and Nightwing are the New 52 series I am enjoying more. Nightwing was no surprise: the character is so interesting that it’s almost impossible not to do something good with him. I didn’t know Grifter before the New 52 had started, but I loved it from the very first issue. Do you remember the action movies in the 90s? There was a Rambo – like leading character (usually played by Stallone himself, or by Schwarzenegger) forced to fight against innumerous enemies: any other man would have been doomed, but our hero, with his guns, muscles, fight techniques and (last but not least) brain, was always able to find a way out. Grifter has the same storyboard, it is the exact translation of those movies in the comic book language: no matter how many enemies he has to face and how complicated their plans are, you can be sure Grifter will find a solution to all his problems. The stories are easy but well written, and the art is simply explosive. Edmonson’s run was amazing, especially from the 4th issue on, and Liefeld’s one got off on the right foot, so I’m very satisfied with this series so far. It is definitely one of the best DC comics right now, so I can’t understand why it doesn’t sell: it should be at the top of the list of every comic book lover. You’re a girl, so probably Grifter is not your cup of tea, but, since you asked for some recommendations, I do advise you to read Nightwing.
    About Wonder Woman: I’ve been reading mixed reviews of Azzarello’s run: for example, you can find a lot of negative comments about it on Weekly Comic Book Review and the same quantity of enthusiastic opinions on Retcon Punch, and this made me curious. I bought WW # 8, and I didn’t like it very much. When I wrote this on Retcon Punch, a reader replied me: “While we liked WW8, I think it’s mostly because we like the series as a whole. On it’s own, WW8 would be a frustrating, borderline-pointless read. WW has a lot of things going for it – self-contained stories isn’t one of them.” This makes me think that WW probably works better as a TP.
    About Batwoman: I didn’t read much of it both before and after the reboot (as I told you, I have a very narrow budget), but each time I picked it up I was impressed by its wonderful art, exactly like you wrote. For example, “Batwoman Elegy” is one of the most beautiful comics I have ever read, from an aesthetic point of view – and story wasn’t bad, of course, since it was written by Greg Rucka, a man I will always look up to because of his amazing stories on Gotham Central.

    • Wow- thank you for that extensive response! I’ve actually heard mixed things about Nightwing from my friends who are Batman universe junkies- what exactly about Nightwing is it that you love?

      I am also going to pick up Grifter because I’m a big fan of Schwarzenegger’s action flicks.

      • My favourite comics are the ones with a dark style and urban setting (in a word, Batman and all the comics related or similar to it). Since I’m a big fan of 90s teen dramas like Beverly Hills 90210 and Dawson’s Creek, I also enjoy comics about young superheroes who face not only this villain or that, but also their youth problems. That’s why I love Nightwing so much: it’s a dark and urban series, focused on a young adult with a much more interesting private life than the one of his adoptive father. Thank you for your reply, and congrats for buying Grifter! : )

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