East Of Gotham: Ranking DC Comics Relaunch New 52

I wanted to discuss all of DC’s new 52 comics and what better way than to discuss based upon my interest.  So, here’s my list and thoughts on all 52 comics from those I’d not buy in a million years to those I’d walk through hell to get to.

No Chance in Hell    No way, no how am I getting these.  They have nearly insurmountable odds to get me on board due to some questionable decisions on either what title to push or what creative team to put on it.

52. Detective Comics by Tony Daniel – Tony Daniel’s Batman has been one of my least favorite incarnations of what might be my favorite character.  He’s had years on the title.  When Grant Morrison wrote it, Daniel’s art was the worst part, and then Daniel wrote and drew and left it irredeemable.  I’d have just decided maybe Daniel wasn’t good at Batman if he wasn’t given this and just Hawkman, but being on this really even turned me against his other book.

51. Legion of Superheroes by Paul Levitz and Francis Portela – Speaking of books I hated before the re-launch.  I’m a huge Legion fan, and really like Levitz earlier run, but this has been every bit as bad as Claremont’s return to X-Men was.  I see no reason for this to improve upon re-launch, so I’m not interested.

50. The Savage Hawkman by Tony Daniel and Philip Tan – See? Told you that Daniel was still on Batman turned me off here.  Seriously, Daniel is first and foremost an artist.  Why is he writing two books when a guy like Roger Langridge or Brian Clevenger could not?

49. O.M.A.C. by Dan Dido, Keith Giffen, and Scott Kollins – Last on the list of many because of the quality, or lack thereof, of Didio’s Outsiders, Giffen wrote the first Annihilation and, if Didio gets too busy with, you know, his real job, this could end up being quite good.  It is a Kirby concept afterall.

48. Batman: The Dark Knight by David Finch and Paul Jenkins – Finch is a hell of an artist and a hell of a poor writer, as the first arch of this book showed.  Jenkins, luckily, will be writing.  I’m not a big fan of Jenkins, but he’s generally readable, even if his usual tone has no business being near a Bat-book or Finch’s work.

47. DC Universe Presents by Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang – Again, not a huge Jenkins fan, but this should, at some point, have rotating creative teams.  A good one will sooner or later show up and I’ll likely pick up that arc.

46. Captain Atom by JT Krul and Freddie Williams – Krul has yet to impress me and his own grand version of Dr. Manhattan sounds really useless to me.  I didn’t like the original Captain Atom, but I hate this.

45. Green Arrow by JT Krul and Dan Jurgens – I like Jurgens, but GA has always been a character that works best to me in small, self-contained doses.  Still, this is a very different Arrow than the horribly mutilated one prior to the re-launch.  If the reviews are absolutely insanely good, it could end up being a read, but with Krul’s output so far, that seems quite unlikely.

44. Hawk and Dove by Sterling Gates and Rob Liefeld – It’s a testament to Gates that this isn’t the bottom of the list.  Hawk and Dove are far less interesting than Cloak and Dagger, despite being a strikingly similar concept, and Liefeld is absolutely terrible.

43. Suicide Squad by Adam Glass and Marco Rudy – This would be a buy were it not for the atrocious re-designs and the insanity of not giving this book to either Ostrander, who’s lost nothing off his fastball, or Gail Simone, who essentially wrote a stellar version of this with Secret Six.

42. Voodoo by Ron Marz and Sami Basri – Jim Lee really does have pull. Voodoo is a character that barely worked when Alan Moore wrote her.  Ron Marz is no Alan Moore.

41. Catwoman by Judd Winick and Guillem March – The teaser art is really playing up the cheesecake, and as I like my women, well, let’s just say not inked, no thanks.  Also, Winnick really did not need two books.

40. Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang – I feel badly putting this here.  Azz and Chiang are great together, but really not to my taste and I’ve never enjoyed Wonder Woman as a character.  This isn’t the A-list team to change that, though I’m sure it’ll be good.

39. I, Vampire by Josh Fialkov and Andrea SorrentinoJames Fulton for this plucked from the very bottom of my list, and if in his Weekly Roundup he praises it enough, I’ll be getting this in trade.  As done as I am with modern Vampires, American Vampire has shown me I’d still be fine if they were done well.

38. Batwing by Judd Winick and Ben Oliver – Seriously, Winick on this?  Batman in Africa (not a part of Africa, the whole continent) is annoying enough, but they chose Winick? This will either die quickly or get a new creative team that will make it amazing.

37. All-Star Western by Justin Grey and Jimmy Palmiotti – I got the better arcs of Jonah Hex in trade, but as he was the only DC Western character I cared for, and now this book will be about all the others I don’t… things aren’t looking up.

36. Red Hood and the Outlaws by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort – DC has learned nothing, it seems.  Lobdell fully might be another Levitz or Claremont, returning after he’s done, or he might be Ostrander or Hama and still be excellent, but why not find out on one book rather than two?  Also, I hate Jason Todd and they’ve ruined Arsenal for me.

35. Birds of Prey by Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz – I like the creative team, but this book was essentially a buy because of Simone and Oracle.  Taking out those two, I’m not sure why it’s being published except that it’s a recognizable brand.  I loved Duane’s Iron Fist, but have been lukewarm on him since.  Let’s see him prove himself again before I even begin to consider buying.

34. Supergirl by Mark Johnson, Michael Green and Mahmud Asrar – This is almost one step above the no way line, as I’ve heard good things of Johnson and Green, but the solicits really don’t intrigue me, at all.

33. The Fury of Firestorm by Gail Simone and Yildiray Cinar – Gail’s excitement has nearly sold this to me, but I hated Firestorm’s part in Blackest Night/Brightest Day and it’s going to take more than hype, even from the always entertaining Simone, to sell me here, especially given that I sadly don’t get Clevinger here.

If the Reviews Are Stellar These are books I have something against, a reason for not trusting immediately, but am still going to take a look at the reviews for and potentially trade-wait.

32. Flash by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato – I can’t believe this is here, but the art and concept seem fantastic. I don’t trust Manapul as a writer, but he could well be the next Frank Miller.  I hate Barry Allen, but if the reviews are good enough, I already know the art is.

31. Batwoman by JH Williams III and W Haden Blackman – This will be gorgeous, but without Rucka, I’m not sure I care. Still, the art is even better than what’s teased for Manapul’s Flash, so here we are.

30. Superboy by Scott Lobdell and RB Silva – Lobdell can be an excellent writer and I actually like how Superboy was wiped clean, yet is still the same guy with the same history.  A good hook, but I’m really nervous about what Lobdell will do with it.

29. Blackhawks by Mike Costa and  Ken Lashley –  I like GI Joe: Cobra by Costa, and GI Joe in general.  A DC book with a similar feel might be good, but there’s something about this I just don’t really care for, probably that Costa did well with the espionage stuff and less so with the action stuff, the latter being the focus of this book.

28. Deathstroke by Kyle Higgins and Joe Bennett and Art Thibert – This was a no-way, Deathstroke has been really overexposed, but Higgins has been so good on Gates of Gotham that I may just end up getting it.


On the Fence I might get all of these or none.  I’m just not sure for a variety of reasons.


27. Mister Terrific by Eric Wallace and Roger Robinson – I like Wallace a touch.  He’s not great, but he’s solid.  I’m a real fan of Terrific, as well, but as the Golden Age seems gone, I’m not sure how he fits, and I don’t want someone unrelated to the original…

26. Swamp Thing by Scott Snyder and Yannick Paquette – Love Snyder, hate Swamp Thing – yes, even Alan Moore – so what’s a guy to do?

25. Aquaman by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis – I might be sold on the first issue of this, as Johns swears by it, but I haven’t liked Johns in a good couple years now.  His GL is my least favorite of that series, and the less said of Brightest Day the better.  Still, I actually like Aquaman…

24. Teen Titans by Scott Lobdell, Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund – This is the Lobdell book I’ll likely bite the bullet on.  I liked Generation X and loved his WildCATS 2.0, but really, 3 books?  What happened to Chris Roberson and Phil Hester?  Bryan Q Miller couldn’t get one of these books?

23. Animal Man by Jeff Lemire, Travel Foreman and Dan Green – I’m pretty done with Animal Man and haven’t loved Lemire, but I may get this simply as a reward to DC for giving a book to a guy who can be, if he isn’t for Sweet Tooth alone, an A-List creator.

22. Batgirl by Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes – I’m very upset that Batgirl and not Oracle is around, but I’m buying one Gail Simone book on principle (the she’s awesome principle), so this will almost certainly be it.


Buying, but Not Guaranteed to Stick With I like this batch enough to try out, but they don’t necessarily get much loyalty or leeway as of yet.


21. Superman by George Perez and Jess Merino – I like Perez as a writer (nowhere near as much as I like him as an artist, but still) and I want to like the new Superman, even if I don’t love the new status quo, so this gets a shot.

20. Green Lantern Corps by Peter J. Tomasi, Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna – A year or two ago and this would be absolutely must-read, but I went from loving everything Tomasi did (Black Adam, Green Lantern Corps, Nightwing) to hating most of it (Emerald Warriors, Brightest Day).  I feel pretty much the same about the Green Lantern Franchise after Blackest Night, but this should be focused on the Corps as a whole dealing with the Guardians, so it’s getting pulled for now.  Besides, Tomasi really was awesome, so hopefully that returns.

19. Red Lanterns by Peter Milligan, Ed Benes and Rob Hunter – I have a good feeling one Milligan book will be amazing and one will be a train wreck.  When he’s on, I like Milligan enough to see which, but my money is seriously against the Red Lantern book, which the Green Lantern War seemingly took away all reason for existing.

18. The Men of War by Ivan Brandon and Tom Derenick – Brandon is, again, getting read as a reward to DC, mostly because Viking is very good.  I like Sgt. Rock, so that doesn’t hurt, either.

17. Legion Lost by Fabian Nicieza and Pete Woods – Fabian comics are almost always good, and Woods is a growing star.  I really dig the Legion, but if this ties in too much to Levitz weak run, I’m gone.

16. Batman and Robin by Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason Mark Gray – I trust Tomasi writing Dick Grayson more than I do him on Bruce Wayne (the aforementioned Nightwing run), but this should still be good.  I’m curious how Bruce and Damian interact, even if I did prefer the previous status quo. Fill-in issues galore will pull me off this book.

15. Justice League Dark by Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin – This was higher up before Secret 7 was a mess, but Milligan writes a good dark story usually.  If he keeps his weirdness limited to where it services the plot, this is a gem, but that’s far from a guarantee.

14. Frankenstein: Agent of Shade by Jeff Lemire and Alberto Ponticelli – Lemire is being rewarded for Sweet Tooth and Frankenstein is a really, really fun concept, but I haven’t liked Lemire on Superheroes thus far.  Still, we’re onto books I’m pretty confident in now.

13. Static Shock by John Rozum and Scott McDaniel – James Fulton loved Xombi and Rozum wrote that – good enough for me.  Static should be a really good book.

12. Nightwing by Kyle Higgins and Eddie Barrows – Dick Grayson, in whatever incarnation, may actually be my favorite character in comics.  I don’t like the new costume and Higgins is unproven, but this will get quite a long leash.


Must Buy I totally trust both the pitch and the creative teams here.  These are the ones I’m looking forward to.


11. Green Lantern by Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy – I dislike Hal Jordan and wasn’t pulling this at all, but Johns writes a killer Sinestro, and I’m curious about how he’ll do as the protagonist.  Add in the Sinestro Corps being around and some new mission… this has me intrigued.

10. Justice League by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee – This seems fun.  I doubt Lee will be on it long, but as a flagship, it should be worth trying out anyway.  It gets rid of my least favorite original JLA member, with the Dues Ex Martian, and now will be showing a lot of how these new versions of characters are meant to fit.  JSA was consistently good enough that I’m sure this is right in Johns wheelbarrow.

9. Blue Beetle by Tony Bedard Ig Guara and Ruy Rose – Beetle is one of my favorite characters and Bedard has yet to let me down.  I see no reason at all to not buy this.  Sales, sadly, will be down, as DC utterly failed to capitalize on Beetle being in Brave and Bold.

8. Justice League International by Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti – Jurgens is a great writer who’s oft forgotten, but his Thor and Booster were consistently excellent.  There’s no reason to expect otherwise here, as he gets Booster and a new team dynamic.

7. Grifter by Nathan Edmondson and CAFU – Edmondson gets the Who is Jake Ellis? buy no matter what.  Cafu is likewise excellent, and Grifter is usually an interesting character, and this, as a super soldier who can see aliens others cannot, is a very good hook.  This is my sleeper hit of the relaunch.

6. Demon Knights by Paul Cornell, Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert  – Cornell has yet to let me down, and fantasy comics in the vein of Demon, Warlord, and even something like Battle Chasers or the current Dungeons and Dragons are all really entertaining.  I like this.

5. Resurrection Man by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Fernando Dagnino – I never read the original, but generally love anything DnA do, so I’m confident in this book.

4. Green Lantern and the New Guardians by Tony Bedard, Tyler Kirkham and Batt – Kyle Rayner is among my favorite characters and Bedard’s recent GLC was the best of the previous 3 GL titles once it got going.  There’s some interesting character choices here, and unless it crosses over with the other two books and they both collapse, this is entirely safe.

3. Action Comics by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales – It’s Grant Morrison writing Superman.  I mean, after All Star Superman, we’ll all be reading this, right?

2. Stormwatch by Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda – Cornell is just a money writer.  Wisdom and Captain Britain and MI-13 were great, as was Cornell’s Lex Luthor’s Action Comics.  He does really well with morally grey or outright bad characters, so Stormwatch is a perfect fit.  Add in that under Ellis they and Authority were the best thing to ever come out of Wildstorm and this is all but guaranteed gold.

1. Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo – Snyder even made the best Flashpoint tie-in with Project Superman.  He has the best Detective Comics run I’ve ever read.  He made vampires cool in the midst of the Twilight craze in American Vampire.  There’s no way this book is less than amazing.

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