My Overall Take on the New 52

So, I did it. I bought all 52 of the new DC reboot first issues. So DC wins the first round. And they got me in the regular habit of buying comics every Wednesday again, so Marvel and Image win, too, with the possibility of other companies picking up some of my dollars, too.

But does DC win in the big picture? They obviously got huge sales this month, and that’s likely to carry over for the next few months as well, with the newness still being a novelty and with enough quality comics being produced to keep some issues going. But what happens after that? Did it work?

My take is that no, it didn’t really work. For my own part, I’ll buy a few more DC comics than I was buying, but most of my money will go to Marvel for a variety of reasons. 1. I think Marvel has better characters. 2. I think Marvel has better stories, particularly the big events. 3. Marvel’s continuity, as crazy as it is, makes more sense than DC’s, particularly now that Flashpoint has made it even more ridiculous. 3. I like more of Marvel’s writers and artists. 4. I think Marvel does a better job, most of the time, of presenting us with diverse characters, strong characters that aren’t white, American, straight men, and characters that are more realistic and connected to things I identify with. 5. Seems like Marvel’s overall take on the world is more progressive than DC’s.

This isn’t to say that Marvel is without its faults — for instance, if the reports I’ve read are correct, Marvel has no African American writers (DC has only one) — but they just seem to do the “big comic book company” thing a bit better than DC. That’s also not to say that DC doesn’t do some things well, they obviously do. But I think they did miss a big chance to change the game here. I don’t know if it was because they rushed the whole reboot, or that the people in charge don’t know what they are doing, or if they just don’t have enough quality creators or if it’s just the fact that their properties, for the most part, aren’t as good. Or, more likely, the fact that they didn’t really take any real chances, didn’t think outside the box, didn’t do research on their fans and potential readers and decided to go with the same old gimmicks and tricks. The New 52 includes quite a bit of good work, but I’m not really seeing it as more good work than they were doing before the New 52 and I don’t see how this gets them a lot of new fans or changes the game in any way. My prediction is that before long, the shine will wear off and they’ll revert to the old numbering system, or reboot again, or have another crisis or something like that. Yeah, they already had a “Final” crisis, but since none of those crises is canon anymore, they can start all over!

Some of the breakdowns follow…

The verdict:

I will keep buying: I, Vampire, Animal Man, Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E., OMAC

I will continue to read, in trade or used form: All Star Western, Detective Comics, Batwoman, Suicide Squad, Batman, Justice League, Aquaman, Justice League Dark, Green Lantern, Superboy, Superman, Batman and Robin, The Flash, Red Lanterns, Blue Beetle, Green Lantern Corps, Batgirl, Swamp Thing, Wonder Woman, Teen Titans, Nightwing, Batman: The Dark Knight

I will definitely give a chance, for at least for a few more issues: Blackhawks, Batwing, The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men, Birds of Prey, Mr. Terrific, Supergirl, Legion of Super-Heroes, Action Comics

I might give another chance, but am skeptical: Green Lantern: New Guardians, Voodoo, Deathstroke, Demon Knights, Legion Lost, Justice League International

I am not likely to read any more: Stormwatch, Resurrection Man, Captain Atom, DC Universe Presents, Green Arrow

I will never buy or read again: Red Hood and the Outlaws, Catwoman, Hawk And Dove, Grifter, The Savage Hawkman, Static Shock, Men Of War

Overall ratings:

10: 2
9-9.75: 12
8.8.75: 11
7-7.75: 17
6-6.75: 4
5-5.75: 3
4-4.75: 1
2-2.75: 2

Best art:

5. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1
4. All Star Western #1
3. Batwoman #1
2. I, Vampire #1
1. Animal Man #1

Best writing:

5. Batman #1
4. Suicide Squad #1
3. Detective Comics #1
2. Animal Man #1
1. I, Vampire #1

Ten best overall comics

10. Aquaman #1
9. Justice League #1
8. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1
7. Batman #1
6. Suicide Squad #1
5. Batwoman #1
4. Detective Comics #1
3. All Star Western #1
2. Animal Man #1
1. I, Vampire #1

Ten worst overall comics

10. Legion of Super-Heroes #1
9. Grifter #1
8. Green Arrow #1
7. The Savage Hawkman #1
6. Static Shock #1
5. Action Comics #1
4. Men Of War #1
3. Red Hood and the Outlaws #1
2. Catwoman #1
1. Hawk And Dove #1