East Of Gotham: Comments on Every Book of DC’s New 52 5 Months In

In no particular order, I thought I’d give some twitter style thoughts on all the books of DC’s New 52 now that we’re 5 months in.

 

Action Comics – This is the least Grant Morrison feeling Grant Morrison comic I’ve ever read.  I’ve hated every issue since two and only read it still because I can’t imagine Grant staying this bad, especially with the Legion showing up.

 

Superman – George Perez is a good writer, but just too old school for me.  I like Jurgens and Giffen, so I’ll check it out when they’re on board.

 

Supergirl – The art on this one is the draw, and it’s gorgeous.  However, the story is so abysmally slow I cannot get this in single issues.  I may hunt the trade, but I may not care enough to.

 

Superboy – A good book that I’m not reading mostly because I don’t like the same exact writer on Titans and Outsiders.

 

Teen Titans – Trying to figure out how this fits in with both DC and Batman gave me a headache, and there wasn’t enough fun for it to be worth the trouble.

 

Red Hood and the Outsiders – Like everyone else, I hated issue 1.  I got issue 2 and didn’t like it, so it just went away for me.

 

Voodoo – This isn’t as bad as the cheesecake would make one think; Ron Marz can really craft a story.  If you’re only reading this, though, the title seems a bit meandering and could use a bit more focus.  This will be important in the crossover stuff to come.

 

Grifter – This is my favorite unsung book of the New 52.  Edmundson is telling a good identity story with fun action, and I actually kind of like Grifter.

 

Stormwatch – This was a wildly uneven run and I’d bet big money editorial had a lot to do with it.  It’s Cornell’s weakest work I’ve read and it was still solid.  I do not like Jenkins, but love Stormwatch and hope Jenkins is temporary.

 

Birds of Prey – One of the very few books I didn’t give any kind of a chance to.  I just don’t care for any of these characters without Gail Simone.  I’ve heard it’s good yet still don’t care.

 

Catwoman – This isn’t bad for what it is, but surely isn’t for me.

 

Batwing – Another I didn’t give a shot to, and judging on the good reviews of Catwoman, which I don’t like, with good reason.  Judd Winnick isn’t a writer I enjoy.

 

Batman and Robin – I really dislike this title, which is weird since Peter Tomasi was formerly a favorite.  I just feel like he’s too exposition heavy and generally heavy handed with his handling of both plot and characters here.

Detective Comics – Why does Tony Daniel still have his own Batman book?

 

Bamtan: The Dark Knight – This is as bad as Daniel’s book with prettier art.  Both should absolutely not exist.

 

Batman – A jewel of the new 52, Batman is getting the best work of Capullo’s career, but it’s still too much a step down from Snyder’s Detective Comics run to really be a favorite.

 

Batgirl – This was a major misfire.  I actively hate this book despite loving Gail.

 

Batwoman – The opposite of Batgirl, Batwoman has more than lived up to the hype.  This won’t read as well collected as Rucka’s work, he’s far more subtle, but the pacing is better and it’s paid off in single issues.  The book is fantastic.

 

Nightwing  – This book is good fun. There’s not a lot of depth, and it clearly reverts Dick Grayson, but it’s just an enjoyable read with good action and likable characters.  Sometimes that’s enough.

 

Green Lantern – I read this and am not entirely sure why.   I hate Hal Jordan, but love Sinestro.  We’ll see how long it survives when Sinestro is back to a supporting role.

 

Green Lantern Corps – I read this, but barely remember it.  Ah for the days when Tomasi rocked everything he touched.

 

Green Lantern: New Guardians  – The jewel of the Green Lantern line, this is both smartly written and likable while managing to go over the top in some of the best, most-comic-y ways.

 

Red Lanterns – I hate this book and hope it doesn’t exist long.

 

Justice League – This has really grown on me.  That’s not a shock – Johns is usually best with groups where his tics are hidden amongst the different characters.  I don’t love it, but do enjoy it.

 

Justice League International – This doesn’t feel like Booster Gold to me and since he was the draw, I dropped the book.

 

Aquaman – This does nothing for me.  It’s schmaltzy and heavy handed.  I’ve bought every issue.  I don’t know why.

 

Wonder Woman – Something about Azzarello continues to turn me off completely from his work. I tried this and didn’t like it, just like every other critically acclaimed Azz work.

 

The Flash – This has entirely won me over and is everything I wanted from Grant’s Action run and more.  This is among the most innovative books on the stand and might be my favorite of the New 52.

 

The Fury of Firestorm – The racial stuff early was forced and, honestly, trite.  I left and haven’t looked back.

 

Green Arrow – I continue to not like JT Krul, but Nocenti?  The best Green Arrow writers usually are awesome with Daredevil. I’m in.

 

The Savage Hawkman – Thanks, but no thanks.  Under no circumstances should this have NOT gone to someone new trying to prove themselves.

 

Mister Terrific – I wanted to like this, but Terrific felt off – nowhere near as smart as he was supposed to be.  I let it go after buying an issue and being unable to care to finish it.

 

DC Universe Presents – I don’t like Jenkins and had no problem skipping this.

 

Captain Atom – Didn’t like issue 1 and didn’t see a reason to come back.

 

Justice League Dark – I wanted to like this and didn’t at all.  3 issues in, I quit.  Sooner or later Milligan will hit his stride and I’ll get it again.

 

Frankenstein: Agent of Shade – I wanted to like this, I should have liked this, but, like Hellboy, it did nothing for me.  The absurdity was played too straight and I dropped it.

 

OMAC – And then with OMAC the absurdity was too much and I never added it to my pull list.  Also, Didio shouldn’t be taking work from young writers, so there’s that predisposing me to dislike this.

 

Resurrection Man – The title character didn’t have enough personality in issues 1-3 to make me care and this became a casualty of my pull list. Sorry Abnett and Lanning; I’m still reading all your Marvel stuff.

 

I, Vampire – I’ve gotten every other issue of this and really liked it, but am now behind enough that I’m awaiting the trade.  It’s a really surprisingly good comic.

 

Animal Man – This is amazingly well done horror that fits in the core DCU.  The characters elevate it over its sister title, which is likewise awesome.

 

Swamp Thing – Nearly as good as Animal Man except a touch less weird and a touch less human.  It should surprise no one that Lemire and Snyder working together to make a plot has been some of the best comics on the stands.

 

Demon Knights – The humanity mixed with the epic, the mystery mixed with the familiar situations… this competes with Flash for my favorite New 52 title.  Cornell is hitting a home run every issue.

 

Deathstroke – This wants to be fun action like Nightwing, but doesn’t quite hit its mark.  Deathstroke may just not work as a protagonist to me.

 

Suicide Squad  – I have no idea how anyone finds this readable, let alone likes it.  Issues 1 and 2 were atrocious.

 

Blackhawks – I wanted to like this.  I didn’t.  The New 52 should have better with different genres.  This is bad GI Joe.

 

Man of War – I liked issue 1, disliked issue 2, then forgot this was coming out. Is it any good?

 

All Star Western – It’s fine, but I didn’t read the superior previous incarnation, so I’m not getting this.

 

Static Shock – Rozum was the draw.  Without him, I left this book behind.

 

Hawk and Dove – It is what we thought it would be.

 

Legion of Superheroes – I really, really wish they weren’t leaving this title entirely to Levitz.

 

Legion Lost – I couldn’t deal with the confusion of issue 1, so I dropped this despite liking Fabian more than most.

 

Blue Beetle – While in no way as good as the story it’s aping from a few years ago, this has become different enough to be worth a read and is still good fun.

And that’s all 52. For those counting, that’s 18 I’m still reading (counting Green Arrow), even though there are about 5 I’m not crazy about (Action, GL, GLC, Voodoo, Aquaman).  There’s just as much that I love with Flash, Batwoman, Swamp Thing, Animal Man and Demon Knights leading the pack.  I’d call that a success.

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