4 Oct 2011

Thought Balloon: That Was The New 52 That Was

By Matt C
The New 52 experiment is now complete, or at least the first stage is out of the way, as DC will be hoping the momentum will continue as fans snap up the 2nd and 3rd issues of their 'new' books. Judging by sales, with several titles breaking the 200,000 barrier, the experiment has been a resounding success and reader reaction seems to back that up (bar some inevitably controversial titles that have garnered more column inches than they perhaps deserve). Personally, I've had a blast with the New 52 - I like giving new #1s a shot as it is, and I don't believe I've ever picked up so many DC titles in a single month before.

My final tally was 25, just under half of the total output and probably a few more than I planned to get before September began. There was greatness amongst that tally, some expected, some totally not expected, resulting in several pleasant surprises. Out of that 25 there are 14 I'll be coming back for #2 at the very least. They are:


Action Comics
All-Star Western
Animal Man
Aquaman
Batman
Batman And Robin
Batwoman
Deathstroke
Flash
Justice League
Justice League Dark
Men Of War
Suicide Squad
Wonder Woman

A lot of those were safe bets from the start although the likes of Suicide Squad, Justice League Dark, Men Of War and Deathstroke weren't titles I imagined myself investing in initially. Of course there's no guarantee that I'll make it past #2 with all of these books - impressive debut issues are occasionally revealed to be one-trick ponies, and any surprise or invention quickly disappears as the stories become stuck in a rut. We shall see.

There are 4 books that have a good chance of making it home, but they were far from slam-dunks when the first issues arrived. They are:

DC Universe Presents
Grifter
Nightwing
Swamp Thing

Out of those, I'll most likely to pick up Swamp Thing again - even though the first issue didn't exactly blow me away I'm a fan of Scott Snyder's work and I'm curious to see how he links it into Jeff Lemire's Animal Man (my personal favourite of the New 52 so far). The other three have their merits, alongside their flaws, and probably the deciding factor as to whether I'll look at the second issue will be what other comics are out (and how much money I'm spending on them!) that particular week.

So what about the other 7 books? They look a little something like this:


Batgirl
Catwoman
Detective Comics
Green Lantern
O.M.A.C.
Stormwatch
Superman

A couple were decent (O.M.A.C. and Superman) but didn’t inspire me enough to make me want to return, a couple more were so-so (Batgirl and Stormwatch), one offered an opportunity to finally take a break from a character I’d grown a little tired off (Green Lantern), one was massively shown up by other books using the same character (Detective Comics) and one was an embarrassment, talked about for all the wrong reasons (Catwoman). Having said that, I’m glad I gave each of them a whirl, even though I won’t be coming back for more.

I was picking up 4 of my new DC pull list before September (I’m cheating a bit by treating Batman as the new Detective as it’s Synder at the helm, and including Batwoman even though we’d only previously had an issue #0) so to add a further 10 to the monthly pile is truly impressive. Anyone who’s been following comics long enough knows the zeitgeist pendulum swings back and forth between Marvel and DC, so Marvel will be back on top sooner or later. For now though, it’s DC’s turn in the sun again, and I think they more than deserve it for perhaps the most audacious gambit seen in the comics world for a long, long time.

So those were my New 52 highlights – what were yours?

4 comments:

Stewart R said...

Nice summary Matt!

Well I gave 16 of the New 52 a try, 6 of which I had been getting regularly before the relaunch and others I had sampled in recent years. I'll be dropping a couple following the debut issues and there are a couple of titles I shall be sampling once the second printings for their issue #1s come along.

The winners for me (so far)...

Animal Man
Batman and Robin
Batman
Batwing
Green Lantern Corps
Nightwing
O.M.A.C.
Superboy
Wonder Woman

Getting a second issue audition...

Batman: The Dark Knight
Batwoman
Green Lantern
Justice League
Red Lanterns

Saying farewell for now...

Batgirl
Green Lantern: New Guardians

And I'll be looking to get hold of Suicide Squad having heard a few good things about it, may give Teen Titans a look depending on the strength of Lobdell's writing on Superboy after two issues and may even have a look back on the shelves for the likes of Blue Beetle and iVampire.

At the end of the day I've gone from 6 regular, monthly DC titles (it's 7 when the soon to return Batman Beyond resurfaces) to over double that for the months of September and October. Hats off to DC, they've played a good gamble so far and have got comic readers looking at the breadth and depth of their product! The numbers look impressive but we'll have to see if they can maintain it.

Tom P said...

I picked up 20.

All Star Western #1
Aquaman #1
Flash #1    
Superman #1
Batman #1
Catwoman #1
Nightwing #1
Wonder Woman #1
Batman & Robin #1
Batwoman #1
Green Lantern #1
Grifter #1
Suicide Squad #1
Superboy #1
Detective Comics
Action Comics #1
Animal Man #1
Batgirl #1
Stormwatch  #1
Swamp Thing #1

The one's that I won't be adding to the pull list

Catwoman #1 (vile)
Green Lantern #1 (dull)
Grifter # (ok but not financially viable)
Batgirl #1 (see above)
Stormwatch  #1 (same reason again)

Detective Comics and Nightwing get another issue before I decide if they get the chop.

So that's

All Star Western #1
Aquaman #1
Flash #1    
Superman #1
Batman #1
Wonder Woman #1
Batman & Robin #1
Batwoman #1
Suicide Squad #1
Superboy #1
Action Comics #1
Animal Man #1
Swamp Thing #1

Added to the pull list, and pre-52 I was only getting 3 DC comics not including Batman Inc and Flashpoint stuff.

So that's something. Would be interesting to see how this stands in a year, but great move DC and great fun.

Atomic Edge said...

I'm going to go a bit listy as my insight is pretty light as a recent comic returnee...

Okay so I (digitally) picked up 22 of the new 52:

Action Comics
Animal Man
Aquaman
Batgirl
Batman
Batman and Robin
Batwoman
Detective Comics
The Flash
The Fury of Firestorm
Green Arrow
Green Lantern
Green Lantern Corps
Green Lantern: New Guardians
Justice League
Red Lanterns
Stormwatch
Superboy
Supergirl
Superman
Swap Thing
Wonder Woman

A lot more than I intended to get!

Batgirl, Firestorm and Green Arrow didn't really do it for me, so those are done.

Batwoman, Red Lanterns, Superman, Supergirl and The Flash are going to get an issue 2, but I will see how I feel about them after that.

I'm definitely going to get the following 14 for issue 2 onward:

Action Comics
Animal Man
Aquaman
Batman
Batman and Robin
Detective Comics
Green Lantern
Green Lantern Corps
Green Lantern: New Guardians
Justice League
Stormwatch
Superboy
Swap Thing
Wonder Woman

All in all DC has done great! The day and date digital really makes the difference for me, as I am incredibly impatient and spontaneous with stuff like this, so on demand works perfectly! I was getting 0 issues before, and now I'm getting... 14, so I guess that's a win!

The biggest surprise for me was Aquaman, they treat the character in exactly the way I (and I'm sure others) think of him. Kinda goofy! I hope he turns it around and becomes a bit bad ass.

Looking forward to more!

David H. said...

does it bother any body out there that Alec Holland is back from the dead with out any explanation? and is Swamp Thing 52 a relaunch or not?