Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Preview: DC's New 52 Ever Expanding

Just like the "Big Bang" pushing the edges of our universe ever outward, DC Comics' New 52niverse has been expanding every month, and by the look of these sneak peeks we've just received, they aren't slowing down going into 2012!

The titles I've been reading have reached major peaks that provide a sort of cliff hanger leading into the new year...or rather a launching point for a higher level of action to start the year off right. Animal Man has been confronting The Rot and will soon need the strength of Swamp Thing to come out alive. Batwoman has had a major shakeup in her nightly Bat-tivities, forcing her to make a choice that may put her at odds with big poppa bat himself. And the Justice League? Ohhh..they have just started their battle with the being known as DARKSEID!! Can you dig it? I knew you could. There is zero chance of me abandoning any of these titles, but since you may be aware I read just about all the 1st issues of the new 52, here's a run down of what I abandoned and what I'm sticking with.

Action Comics - This had a strong start with a Superman I really enjoyed watching in action, but there was just something missing in the story to grab me and hold me past issue 2.
Catwoman - Batsex. hm. I'm not a prude or anything, but if I wanted to watch Batman have sex, I'd search for those freaky Anime sites where budding young artists spend their nights drawing lurid pictures of their favorite comic characters entangled much like a Kama Sutra with bad comic art. Not for me.
Batwoman - The sheer beauty of this book would keep me coming back for a while, but this story is so interesting and original, I look forward to the next book more than any others. Batwoman pushes the boundaries of what you have come to expect from a "Bat Family Book" and I wish the other Bat titles would soak up some of that raw energy.
Batgirl - I loved the first issue, so why didn't I buy number 2? This may have come down to expense. I could only afford so many books a month so only the ones I absolutely couldn't live without made the cut. While watching Batgirl in action was a blast, it just wasn't enough.
Nightwing - I read Nightwing for years and have a stack of trades to prove it. Out of the gate, the direction the book was taking didn't make me want to continue. I'm an old dog not looking for any new tricks, admittedly, but in this case, it seemed the creators were trying to capture that old feeling and it showed.
Justice League Dark - Too many characters I was unfamiliar with sort of leering at each other or shooting the unholy stink eye. Way too heavy for me with too many characters I care nothing for...which is funny because I love the hell out of Hellblazer. That may be my consistently favorite book of 2011!
Deadman - Zero interest in following this story. Just very unappealing. On top of that, one comic suggested Deadman was still alive while this one brought back that old body jumping story line. Confusing!
Hawk and Dove - I can't handle pages upon pages of people bearing their gums at each other. Sorry, Rob. Dick comment, I know.
Swamp Thing - You know, I wish this comic were grabbing me more, and the visuals are cool enough to keep me coming back every month, but I'm on the edge. If things don't pick up soon (which they look to be), I'll bow out.
Animal Man - Hooked. Completely. It's vicious and interesting and fun and oddly real all at once. Did I ever think I'd be reading Animal Man??!! NOPE!
Men of War - I stuck around for three issues but there doesn't seem to be much interest in setting up a unified story line, so there isn't much to keep me plugged in every month. I might go back if I have some extra cash to spend, but as of now I'm onto other books.
Red Lanterns - Read issue 1 and wasn't compelled to continue. The characters are so different from what was set up previously, and I felt the changes weren't for the better. Not sure what I was expecting from the monthly tale of blood acid spewing aliens, but I'm not into what I was handed.
Batman - Allllllmost hooked, but I keep falling off. It may be my love for Batman and Scott Snyder that makes me come back after missing a month, but something is keeping me at bay. I think the focus on one bad guy I'm not familiar with who has little personality is playing a big part in my apathy.
Wonder Woman - The horse beheading in issue one turned me off. I write for a horror website as well, so It definitely isn't my own timid nature holding me back. It's just a little red for what I've come to expect from WW.
OMAC - Ridiculous...fairly formulaic...over the top...and I'm loving every minute of it. It could be that I'm just revisiting my youth with the style in which these tales are written and certainly the art applied to every panel..and that seems to be enough for me! If there were several more titles done in this style, I'd probably get bored very quickly and ditch the lot. The promise of mainstream characters appearing in this book in the future will surely keep me coming back for the time being.
Red Hood and the Outlaws - Love the art, love the writing, love the take on all three main characters. If this book had lips we'd be making out. Non stop fun at every turn with a dash of sexy thrown in, but not over done. It also amuses me that the characters seem to not give a crap about each other on the surface, but they can't seem to walk away. The dynamic is excellent.
Justice League International - Held on for two issues and just got bored. Nothing more to it. If I'd cared more for this group of characters, it might have helped.
Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE - I really thought this book was trying way too hard to be Hellboy and the BPRD. Strike one. I'm also reading Marvel's Legion of Monsters which is 10 times more strike two. That's all I need. 2 strikes. I don't play sports.
Suicide Squad - I don't think i made it past issue 1, and me not remembering if I even got to issue 2 isn't a good sign. Catman's team was just way more fun, engaging, and better written than this.
Justice League - My love of this team is the only thing holding me in. The snappy banter is becoming a little repetitive, so I hope DC notes this and picks up the pace now that Darkseid is on the scene. They've probably got me for 2 more issues before I get distracted by shinier things.

These are the titles I had any strong feelings about. Honorable mentions go to Aquaman and I, Vampire which had great first issues but lost to stronger titles that lurched at my pockets and nabbed my cash before I knew what was happening. Gotta be quicker, boys! Other books I've been reading (in sigle issue format) include Legion of Monsters, PIGS and Buffy Season 9. Last year I was all about Marvel, and while I still pick up trades of Deadpool, I seem to have completely gone over to DC when buying single issues. Never thought that would happen!

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