Like any other MAJOR EVENT from DC Comics, the whole “Flashpoint” storyline kind of went over my head. The core books were easy to follow, but all the side books (basically alternate reality versions of the regular books) just kept me scratching my head. I can’t say it was because of the writing. It’s just that I’ve always felt DC has been mired in a convoluted continuity, and it was always a chore to try and get solid back-stories on the characters I thought were interesting.
DC seemed to have a solution for that. The end of the Flashpoint event saw The Flash combine the three separated universes, Vertigo, Wildstorm and the current DC universe, into one. What? Superman and Batman co-existing in the same reality with Jonah Hex, Constantine and Grifter? AWESOME! That was my initial thought. I’d been a dabbler in Wildstorm and Vertigo over the years. This was an interesting concept. And with DC ensuring that this will be a great jumping on-point for new readers..
I was sold. I pushed through ‘Flashpoint’.. kinda following the whole thing. And when the reboot of the entire universe started, I cleared all preconceived notions on what to expect from DC Comics and tried to keep and open mind. Over the past four weeks, I got to read the entire catalog of new books.. all 52. Some I thought were great. A lot of them weren’t exactly my cup of tea. But all in all, I have to say I’ve tripled the number of DC Comics I’ll be buying and following for the foreseeable future (that would be from 1 book to 5). Here’s a shortlist of the issue #1’s that I love and will be continuing the read. I won’t be going into detail on the books. I’ll just give you my quick takes.
The African Batman? That’s about right. Simple premise. Excellently written book. One of the heroes tied to the international Batman Incorporated brand. We get to see a young Black hero, being mentored by Batman in superhero AND detective work. Winick does a great job of not ‘over-africanating’ the story and dialog and keeping the character interesting, even though it’s rooted in the Batman style of story. My rating: 4/5
Batman: Detective Comics
When I first opened this reboot of DC’s flagship book, I got this warm and fuzzy feeling from the first page. It took me back to the days when Tony Daniels was my favorite artist penciling Marvel’s X-Force, and then Image Comics’ Spawn. I was a little skeptical of the whole writer/artist combo thing. That is until we first meet the rebooted Joker. Great action and an ‘oh shit’ ending makes this one of my main MUST READS from The New 52. My rating:4.5/5
I know, I know.. Don’t hate me for this one. I read a friends copy just for the hell of it. I NEVER liked Aquaman. But when Geoff Johns’ name is on the cover, you give it a chance. And I’m glad I did. Somehow, Johns addresses the big elephant in the room: Aquaman being the joke of the DC Superhero community, AND managed to foreshadow him being a bad-ass. Add in a horrifying threat rising from the ocean to attack the surface world, and you get the makings of a classic ‘redemption’ story. My rating: 4/5
I have to admit, I initially missed the classic run J.H. Williams did penciling Batwoman’s mini-run in Detective Comics, Although I skimmed over his incredible artwork, it took me a few months to go back and read Greg Rucka’s story. After racing through the whole storyline in a day, i was ready for more. And after a ton of delays, W. Haden Blackman’s first issue was worth it! My rating: 4/5
I can BARELY remember Jim Lee’s initial WildC.A.T.S. I just remember I thought they were 3rd rate X-Men knockoffs.. except for the dude with the rag on his face. Grifter was such a standout character, I wished he’d show up in the Marvel Universe. The next best thing has happened. He’s in the new DCU and he has his own book. The first issue wasn’t that strong, but I love this character (kind of like Wolverine with guns instead claws). I’ll try and hang on for a few more issues. My rating: 3/5
There are a couple other series that I’m looking at, but you can spend only so much money on comics. Unfortunately my pull list is pretty much set now. I had to dump a few of my main books that have been getting a little tired, so these five books will fit in nicely for the time being.