I‘ve never really been a comic book reader, other than gobbling up Archie and Uncle Scrooge when I was a kid, and delving into the occasional graphic novel more recently. But I’ve been more and more intrigued by them, and kind of fascinated with the idea of weekly comic reading. Mostly what’s stopped me from getting into comics is the sheer overwhelming nature of long story arcs, high issue numbers, and the feeling that I could never catch up sufficiently. So when I heard a few weeks ago that DC was going to reboot all of their series (and start a few new ones), it piqued my interest immediately. Granted, this is kind of a publicity stunt from DC, desperate to get new readers and pull lapsed ones back in, but whatever. It’s working (and not just on me – the New 52 has been selling much better than hoped, with most of the #1 issues going into second and third printings – how long that will last is anyone’s guess).
Now that all 52 series have released their first issues, I thought I’d run down the 13 series I read this first month. Is anybody else checking out the New 52? What are your favorites so far?
Swamp Thing #1
I had absolutely no intention of buying this book. I didn’t know the character, and I had little interest in finding out about a superhero version of the Creature from the Black Lagoon (my uninformed mental image of what this must be). But everybody, and I mean pretty much everybody I know who reads comics told me I had to check it out. And they were right. This is probably one of the best written books of the ones I read; it has a lot of voiceover text boxes, which I don’t always like, but in this case, the monologue is thoughtful and almost poetic – an inner voice that made me want to know about this man. The art is more than solid, too, with the introduction of the big bad done almost wordlessly in one of the most disturbing reveals of this subset of #1s. I will definitely be back for more.
Writer: Scott Snyder Artist: Yanick Paquette
Action Comics #1
I’ll confess, Superman has always been one of my least favorites of the major superheroes. I just find him kind of boring, with his eager do-gooder attitude and his essentially unbeatable powers. But this Superman isn’t boring – he starts off tearing up an office building and holding a crooked company owner over the balcony, threatening to drop him if he doesn’t answer for his mistreatment of the people of Metropolis. This Superman is young, volatile, unpredictable, and dangerous. You understand why the police want to catch him. I love that. I even love the jeans-and-Superman-t-shirt costume he’s wearing. Yeah, I’m in.
Writer: Grant Morrison Artists: Rags Morales, Rick Bryant
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