The New 52 and me, then and now

I’m in a bit of a retrospective mood, so it seems that now is as good as time as any to check back in on my DC New 52 buying habits.  (Doing it at the two year anniversary would be too cliche.)  For a refresher, here’s how I ranked the titles.  More detailed thoughts can be found here.

  1. Batman – written by Scott Snyder, art by Greg Capullo.
  2. Batwoman – written by J. H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman, art by J. H. Williams III.
  3. Action Comics – written by Grant Morrison, art by Rags Morales.
  4. Detective Comics – written by Tony Daniel, art by Tony Daniel.
  5. Aquaman – written by Geoff Johns, art by Ivan Reis.
  6. Demon Knights – written by Paul Cornell, art by Diogenes Neves.
  7. Batman and Robin – written by Peter Tomasi, art by Patrick Gleason.
  8. Justice League Dark – written by Peter Miligan, art by Mikel Janin.
  9. The Fury of Firestorm:  The Nuclear Men – written by Gail Simone & Ethan Van Sciver, art by Yildiray Cinar.
  10. Wonder Woman – written by Brian Azzarello, art by Cliff Chiang.
  11. Green Lantern Corps – written by Peter Tomasi, art by Fernando Pasarin.
  12. Green Lantern – written by Geoff Johns, art by Doug Mahnke.
  13. Batgirl – written by Gail Simone, art by Adrian Syaf.
  14. Nightwing – written by Kyle Higgins, art by Eddy Barrows.
  15. Justice League  – written by Geoff Johns, art by Jim Lee.
  16. Superman – written by George Perez, art by Jesus Merino.

Let’s check in on how they’re doing, in the original order. 

  1. Batman.  It still has the original writer and artist on the title, and is still my favorite of the bunch.  The Court of Owls and Death of the Family story lines were excellent.  Still my favorite New 52 title.
  2. Batwoman.  The art on this book has faced some turbulence, but seems to have settled in on a nice rotation with J. H. Williams III and Trevor McCarthy.  It’s been a pretty weird ride, but still pretty nice.
  3. Action Comics.  Grant Morrison’s run was fun.  I had looked forward to Andy Diggle and Tony Daniel taking over, but Diggle left after one issues.  With the announcement of Scott Lobdell writing some issues, I quickly dropped the book.
  4. Detective Comics.  It is now being written by John Layman.  I liked Daniel’s run, but honestly, I’m kind of lukewarm about what Layman has done so far.
  5. Aquaman.  Geoff Johns is still there, but Ivan Reis has left for Justice League.  I’ve enjoyed Johns’ run.  He’s been slowly expanding Aquaman’s universe, and it’s still interesting.  It was weird though have an Aquaman centric cross-over with Justice League in “Throne of Atlantis,” but I imagine there’s something larger in store.  There usually is with Johns.
  6. Demon Knights.  Robert Vendetti took over for Paul Cornell, and the book did not lose any quality.  Unfortunately, it lost readers and is ending with issue #23.  This is one of the cases where I hate all of you that are not buying this book.  It was just good ole Medieval fun.
  7. Batman and Robin.  Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are still on this title and still kicking ass.  Even after a certain major story event greatly impacting the dynamic of the book.  If you read this book, and don’t love Damian Wayne, then you don’t have a soul.
  8. Justice League Dark.  This book is a tricky one for me.  Jeff Lemire has taken over the writing duties, and is doing a fine job.  But there are times when it seems like the book has been trudging along, waiting for Trinity War to start.  Like, maybe a previous story was a bit drawn out to fill up an extra issue or two.
  9. The Fury of Firestorm.  I got this title because Gail Simone was attached to it.  Simone quickly left, and Joe Harris took over.  Realistically, the book should have ended after Harris left with issue #0.  Instead, Dan Jurgens came on to write, and gradually guide it to cancellation.  Not that it was bad, but it was definitely a thing where everyone knew it was going to get cancelled and he’s there to write until then.
  10. Wonder Woman.  Azzarello and Chang are still on the title, with the occasional fill-in artist.  I’m not sure why I initially ranked this book so low.  I love this title.  Even wrote an article saying you should be reading it.  The adaptation of the Greek gods and goddesses has been fantastic.  Seriously, read this title.
  11. Green Lantern Corps.  After Geoff Johns finished his Green Lantern epic, there was a huge shakeup in the Green Lantern world.  Looking ahead and seeing more line wide crossovers, I figured it was a good time to drop this title.
  12. Green Lantern.  Geoff Johns’ run got very weird at the end.  I didn’t like the Third Army and First Lantern crossovers, but his last issue, #20, was a perfect way to end it.  With all of the shakeups and looking ahead, I felt it was a good time drop this title as well.
  13. Batgirl.  First Gail Simone was fired, then it was announced that she was the replacement writer.  Overall, the book has been alright, but it would probably be one of the next titles to get cut, should I feel the need to do some trimming of my pull list.  There has been some good story work with James Gordon, Jr. that was initially set up in Snyder’s pre-52 run on Detective.
  14. Nightwing.  Kyle Higgins is still writing.  Nightwing is now in Chicago chasing after Tony Zucco, and this title would probably be second on my list of things to cut.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book.  It’s just that I’m beginning to enjoy it less and less.
  15. Justice League.  Geoff Johns is still on writing duties.  Jim Lee did two story lines and then left, which is really more than I was expecting.  The book got much better once they got past the boring “team building” phase.
  16. Superman.  This book started terrible and stayed terrible.  I dropped it around issue #18, having had enough.  I didn’t not like Lobdell on this title so much that I preemptively cancelled Action Comics because of him.

So, that makes 6 out of the 16 original titles that I no longer plan on buying.  Four drops and 2 cancellations.  I don’t think that’s too bad.  I have not decided to pick up any of the original titles that were not on the list.  But here’s some of the later wave titles that I buy/bought.

  1. Dial H.  The book is weird, and I love it for it.  An ordinary guy finds a rotary dial that can give him a random superhero persona, and it drags him into a conflict he couldn’t imagine.  The story has been so unique and good.  The perfect title for people who complain there are too many Batman books, or Avengers books.  Unfortunately, no one really bought it so it’s ending at issue #15.
  2. Earth-2.  I’ve enjoyed the world building, and I really like Nicola Scott’s artwork.  I only wonder before we get our first, big Multiverse crossover.  James Robinson has been writing it, but I think he’s leaving the title.
  3. Batman, Inc.  This book will also be ending shortly, but by design.  Don’t have much to say about it, except DAMN YOU GRANT MORRISON!!!!!
  4. Talon.  This title’s purpose is to further explore the Court of Owls, introduced by Snyder.  If follows a Talon that was able to escape their influence.  It’s been okay, but it isn’t very far from the chopping block, unless it gets cancelled first.
  5. Team 7.  This was a covert government team that had a nice cast of characters, but was cancelled at issue #8.  It’s a shame.
  6. The Movement.  I think Gail Simone is at her best when she’s writing team books.  This book falls into my “youth movement” that I may explain.  Basically, it’s a group of powered teens tired of the supposed authority abusing their neighborhood, so they’re taking matters into their own hands.
  7. The Green Team.  This is being written by Art Baltazar and Franco (Tiny Titans), and is pretty much the opposite of The Movement.  Here, it’s really rich kids that want to have super powers.  In a nutshell.  Enjoying it so far.
  8. Superman Unchained.  Written by Scott Snyder and drawn (for now) by Jim Lee.  Like the first two issues (review), and plan on to keep buying it.
  9. Batman/Superman.  Written by Greg Pak and drawn by Jae Lee.  First issue was a little weird (review), but I’m going to buy it for now.

So, that’s 7 of the additional 9 that I plan on buying.  Well, until they cancel the two teen books.  We all know it’s just a matter of time.  Unless you, our glorious readers do me a favor and buy those books.  Pretty please.

So, what are your thoughts?  What DC books do you still enjoy?

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