In May of 2012, DC Comics will release a “Second Wave” of titles as part of its historic DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 initiative. Six new, ongoing series will build on the shared universe and bold concepts introduced in September 2011 with the renumbering of DC Comics’ entire line of comic books.
Featuring a variety of different genres and storytelling sensibilities, the titles in the “Second Wave” will be helmed by some of the most legendary writers and artists in the comic book industry, and will also feature the first ongoing comic book series written by acclaimed novelist China Miéville.
“The excitement of the initial launch of DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 was in seeing the re-imagining of these classic characters and concepts,” said Bob Harras, DC Entertainment Editor-in-Chief. “The ‘Second Wave’ is all about world-building.”
DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 “Second Wave” includes:
BATMAN INCORPORATED – Writer: Grant Morrison. Artist: Chris Burnham. The acclaimed ongoing writer of ACTION COMICS, Grant Morrison, presents a fresh take on BATMAN INCORPORATED, in which the Batman brand is franchised globally in preparation for a major international threat.
EARTH 2 – Writer: James Robinson. Artist: Nicola Scott. The greatest heroes on a parallel Earth, the Justice Society combats threats that will set them on a collision course with other worlds.
WORLDS’ FINEST – Writer: Paul Levitz. Artists: George Perez and Kevin Maguire. Stranded on our world from a parallel reality, Huntress and Power Girl struggle to find their way back to Earth 2. Perez and Maguire will be the artists on alternating story arcs.
DIAL H – Writer: China Miéville. Artist: Mateus Santoluoco. The first ongoing series from acclaimed novelist China Miéville, this is a bold new take on a cult classic concept about the psychological effects on an everyman who accidentally gains powers to become a hero.
G.I. COMBAT – Writer: J.T. Krul. Artist: Ariel Olivetti. Featuring the return of a classic DC Comics series, THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT, along with rotating back-up stories and creative teams – including THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER, with writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti and artist Dan Panosian; and THE HAUNTED TANK, with writer John Arcudi and artist Scott Kolins.
THE RAVAGERS – Writer: Howard Mackie. Artist: Ian Churchill. Spinning off from TEEN TITANS and SUPERBOY, this series finds four superpowered teens on the run and fighting against the organization that wants to turn them into supervillains.
The six new series will replace BLACKHAWKS, HAWK AND DOVE, MEN OF WAR, MISTER TERRIFIC, O.M.A.C. and STATIC SHOCK, all of which will conclude with their eighth issues in April.
“Many of the characters from our canceled books will appear in DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 titles, and in some very surprising ways,” said Harras. “We’re developing stories that reach from cultures around the globe to parallel worlds. We’re just getting started.”
After a great night hanging out the the BOOM! crew, Roger Langridge and Garry from The Laughing Ogre it’s off to the Small Press Expo. Expect some coverage throughout the day through tweets and of course posts and photos after. Until then, here’s the news you might have missed.
So, for the fun of it, I’m going to be collecting all 52 DC #1 issues. And I’m going to review them all. Keep in mind, though, that I’m generally a Marvel fan and, while I’m working may way through DC’s recent big events, I’m only up through the middle of Countdown and I haven’t read any of DC’s non-event comics in a long time, so I’m coming at these stories with a bit of a disadvantage in terms of chronology and character knowledge. Since DC is certainly trying to attract new readers, though, this makes me come at them with a perspective similar to their hypothetical new fans…
Action Comics #1 (DC) – This starts off really, really strong and then completely falls apart. In the beginning, Supes is hardcore, very different than what we’re used to seeing and there is some great art that shows him in this more menacing (to evildoers) way. He even drops a criminal off the top of a building to get him to confess (he catches him before he hits the ground). It’s all downhill from there. The art deteriorates. The story gets weaker. Superman’s alter ego is apparently Harry Potter. And Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen apparently take out Will Eisner’s The Spirit on a train that may actually kill Superman and, at a minimum, makes him bleed from the brain (presumably because of the strain). Oh, and Superman is wearing cuffed blue jeans. Really.
Story: 7 Art: 4 Overall: 5.5
Animal Man #1 (DC) – Now we’re talking. I’ve heard the tales of the quirky and entertaining Animal Man comics of the past without ever having read them. If they are anything like Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman’s brilliant debut, then I’m a big fan. This is my favorite comic of the bunch. It has amazing art that takes chances and has a tale that starts out funny and revealing and then gets creepy as hell. This is comics at its best.
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10
Batgirl #1 (DC) – I’ve heard a lot about Gail Simone from people whose opinions I respect a lot but I think this might be the first thing she’s written that I’ve read. For the most part, it’s good stuff. The story is entertaining and the character is compelling. But when the work the Killing Joke plotline into this one and explain how Barbara Gordon is not only able to walk again, but be a full-fledged superhero, they explain it simply by saying it’s a “miracle.” That’s it. I’m not a fan of that at all and it makes me a bit angry as a reader. Maybe they’ll explain it better in future issues, but it seems like they are cheating at this point. The issue is still a good one, though, because the end is a shocker that is quite amazing.
Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25
Batwing #1 (DC) – To be honest, I have no knowledge of this character before this issue and the split timeline in the issue coupled with the cliffhanger ending is a bit confusing. I’m sure they’ll clear it up next time around, but it left me with some major questions that weren’t satisfying. The ending is hardcore, though, and guarantees I’ll read issue #2.
Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75
Detective Comics #1 (DC) – This really follows in the footsteps of the Dark Knight movie, creating a dark world where the Joker is freaking insane and we’re not really sure that Batman is much more sane. The action is brutal and intense and the story is actually creepy and scary. I’ve never heard of Tony S. Daniel, the writer, before, but I’ll pay attention to him in the future. The final panel in this one is one of the more shocking panels I’ve seen in a superhero comic.
Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9.5
Green Arrow #1 (DC) – This one is a bit of a disappointment. Not because it’s bad, but because it isn’t good enough. This is the most badass Green Arrow I’ve ever seen, but he may be a bit too badass for his actual skill set. At one point he fights some electricity-shooting villain who chats with him for multiple panels without ever attacking Green Arrow for some reason, allowing GA to just come up and knock him out, despite being much more powerful than our hero. And while I love the cover, the interior art is a bit too cartoony for my tastes.
Story: 7 Art: 6 Overall: 6.5
Hawk And Dove #1 (DC) – A few things some up this issue: 1) Deadman appears as a guest, but he never has feet in any shot. 2) Early on Hawk appears to be beating up some S.H.I.E.L.D. agents because he envies their pouches, of which he has none. 3) In the middle of the comic there is a massive shot of a blonde woman saying something that appears to be very important. It’s an incomplete sentence, though, and she isn’t identified and doesn’t appear in any other panels anywhere in the comic. Maybe Dove is blonde when she’s a civilian, but I don’t know, so this baffles me to no end. 4) Despite what the comic tells you “Hawk” and “Dove” are not magic words. Many people have used them in conjunction without turning into superheroes. 5) Hawk appears to hate women. 6) This is exactly what you’d expect from a comic with Rob Liefeld’s name on it.
Story: 3 Art: 1 Overall: 2
Justice League #1 (DC) – This is a good superhero comic, in my mind. Unlike a lot of these other issues, this one really is about establishing the series and the universe and the characters. It’s good to have an issue do that. I found it unexpectedly funny and thoroughly entertaining. It’s a small part of a bigger story, but it’s one that I want to keep reading. When this first arc is collected as a trade, I fully expect it to be a great read.
Story: 9.5 Art: 9 Overall: 9.25
Justice League International #1 (DC) – This one has potential, particularly with the trio of Booster Gold, Batman and Guy Gardner. Their interplay seems like it will be one of the driving elements of the series. I don’t like that the international characters come across quite stereotypical and the overall premise seems a bit contrived, but it’s worth a read.
Story: 7.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.25
Men Of War #1 (DC) – Conceptually this one baffled me more than just about any of the new 52. The execution doesn’t make any more sense. It’s not bad, but I’m trying to imagine why I would want to read this. The Sgt. Rock opening story is largely dull, although having the soldiers at the forefront and the super-battle as the backdrop is an interesting idea. I don’t know where the second story is going, but I found it a bit too jingoistic for my tastes. Maybe it’s an ironic story that will flip the tables on the annoying characters from part one, but I can’t figure out any reason I would come back for issue two to find out.
Story: 5 Art: 6 Overall: 5.5
OMAC #1 (DC) – I love this. It’s a pure Jack Kirby tribute and it’s very well executed. The story leaves a bit to be desired and hopefully it’ll be explored a lot more as the issues come along, but this issue is fun and has a nice surprise at the end for longtime DC readers.
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9
Static Shock #1 (DC) – I know nothing about Static Shock. This seems like it’s aimed at kids (there’s a television cartoon, right?), but it has adult themes. And I don’t really like the characters. And the villains don’t make any sense to me. Why am I reading this?
Story: 5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 5.75
Stormwatch #1 (DC) – Another series I know has some history, but I don’t know that history and this comic only barely makes me want to learn more. Martian Manhunter’s presence helps ground the series for me, but the story jumps right in with characters I’m not familiar with and doesn’t tell me much about them, so it’s hard to follow or care about them. It isn’t bad, though, and once I learn more about the characters, I might like it more.
Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7
Swamp Thing #1 (DC) – This is good stuff, too. I remember reading some of the Alan Moore Swamp Thing issues from back in the day and I have good memories of them. This seems true to what I read back then, with a strange tale being told that is mysterious and leaves you wanting more. It isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough to bring me back for multiple issues to see where this goes.
Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25
So, for the record, I am already done with Static Shock, Men of War and, obviously Hawk and Dove. Stormwatch and Action are hanging on by a thread. I’m not sure yet about Batwing or JLI, although the Batman presence keeps them alive. Batgirl is solid and Green Arrow has potential. I’m all in for Animal Man, Detective, JL, OMAC and Swamp Thing and will keep reading them.
DC comics is undergoing the biggest shift in it’s line ever, relaunching 52 comic books with brand new number 1 issues and updating the characters for modern times. It’s the prefect starting off point for new readers, but there’s numerous series and characters I could tell you anything about. This is a breakdown each week of that week’s releases as well as suggestions on previous arcs that’ll get you introduced to the characters.
The one and only Grant Morrison (ALL-STAR SUPERMAN) returns to Superman, joined by sensational artist Rags Morales (IDENTITY CRISIS), to bring you tales of The Man of Steel unlike any you’ve ever read! This extra-sized debut issue is the cornerstone of the entire DC Universe!
This is year 0 of the DC universe. It chronicles the first hero and the public’s reaction to him. I’ll admit I’m nervous about this one, as I didn’t dig Morrison’s work on Batman, but this is a pillar of the DC universe and it’s Superman. He’s an iconic character who hopefully won’t be updated too much.
ANIMAL MAN #1– Writer: Jeff Lemire, Art: Travel Foreman and Dan Green
Buddy Baker has gone from “super” man to family man – but is he strong enough to hold his family together when Maxine, his young daughter, starts to manifest her own dangerous powers? Find out in this dramatic new series from writer Jeff Lemire (SWEET TOOTH) and artist Travel Foreman (The Immortal Iron Fist).
This is one of the series I know nothing about. Jeff Lemire can write, but as a whole that first issue better really draw me in. This is one of the series I put of there as a good chance to be cancelled. That description does nothing to introduce me to the character who is able to borrow the abilities of animals around him. It has potential, but who knows. Grant Morrison had a well respected run on the character.
BATGIRL #1 – Writer: Gail Simone, Art: Adrian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes
Barbara Gordon is back as Batgirl – and she’s going to have to face the city’s most horrifying new villains as well as the dark secrets from her past. You won’t want to miss this stunning debut issue from fan-favorite BIRDS OF PREY writer Gail Simone!
Barbara Gordon is back as Batgirl, which is odd since last we saw, Barbara was in a wheelchair. But in the hands of Gail Simone, I expect a solid series that puts the once former Batgirl right back into the uniform. I’d want it in the hands of no one else. The drastic change in the character brought a lot of news with it, and a lot of criticism, here’s hoping Simone puts all of that to rest.
Africa, a land of beauty – and of great horror. A land of creation and conflict. It is in desperate need of a defender, and from the ranks of Batman Incorporated comes a soldier to carry on the legacy of The Dark Knight in the most tumultuous region on Earth. Meet Batwing, the Batman of Africa!
There’s a lot of unknowns here and I’m pulling for the series to do well. Winick is going to be tip-toeing a line with the latest franchisee in Batman Inc., this one centered in Africa. It’ll either come off as completely missing the mark on African issues, being overly preachy or balance activism and story telling.
A killer called The Gotham Ripper is on the loose on Batman’s home turf – leading The Dark Knight on a deadly game of cat and mouse.
I’m not quite sure where in Batman’s life this is taking place. Is it in the beginning, where he’s a bit more inexperienced? Is this post Batman, Inc.? Batman is an iconic character like Superman, so a lot will be riding on this series.
Hank Hall is not happy. He’s not happy to have Dawn Granger as a new partner in his war on crime. He’s not happy that she’s dating the ghostly Super Hero, Deadman. He’s not happy to learn that someone is trying to plunge the United States into a new civil war! Now it’s up to Hawk and Dove to root out the forces behind this conflict and stop them before they turn the U.S. into a wasteland!
And who is the monster lurking in the shadows, watching Hawk and Dove from afar? Find out in this new series from Sterling Gates (FLASHPOINT: KID FLASH LOST) and artist Rob Liefeld (X-Force, Youngblood)!
Brightest Day set up a decent dynamic between Hawk and Dove with Dove’s interest in Deadman, and it looks like that’s carrying over. There series will hopefully have a good buddy aspect to it, my worry is the art by Liefeld, which I’m not a fan of.
With the growing presence of super beings around the world, the United Nations resolves to create a new group called Justice League International.
Batman, Booster Gold, Green Lantern Guy Gardner, August General in Iron, Fire, Ice, Vixen and Rocket Red are charged with promoting unity and trust – but can they reach that goal without killing each other first?
Not sure my thought about this series. With Justice League and Stormwatch, I’m not sure if another major team like this is needed. The roster seems interesting enough, but I’m not totally convinced. The concept of a UN backed team though has me interested though.
On the ground and on the front lines, a young, headstrong soldier known as Joe Rock assumes command of Easy Company – a team of ex-military men turned contractors. Will they survive the battle-scarred landscape carved by the DCU’s Super-Villains? Find out in this explosive new series from Ivan Brandon (Viking, DOC SAVAGE) and Tom Derenick (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!
This is the updated Sgt. Rock taking the war comic and updating it to modern times. I’m pulling for this one to do well, mostly because I want to see a cool war comic on the shelves.
O.M.A.C. #1 – Writer: Dan Didio and Keith Giffen, Art: Keith Giffen and Scott Koblish
The all-seeing Brother Eye satellite has unleashed a new beast upon the DC Universe in this smashing new series! Kevin Kho has become an unwilling participant in a war between Checkmate and Brother Eye as he is transformed into the One Machine Army Corp known only as O.M.A.C.!
This is the series this week I’m most iffy about. Keith Giffen is likely what will save it, but it reminds me of the numerous Kirby ideas that DC is grasping on to.
STATIC SHOCK #1 – Writer: Scott McDaniel and John Rozum, Art: Scott McDaniel and Jonathan Glapion and LeBeau Underwood
The brilliant, slightly awkward high school student Virgil Hawkins transforms into the cocky electromagnetic hero Static!
A mysterious tragedy forces the Hawkins family to relocate from Dakota to New York City! Virgil embarks upon new adventures in a new high school and a new internship at S.T.A.R. Labs!
As Static, he dons a new uniform and establishes a new secret headquarters! But is he ready to take on the new villains who lurk in New York City’s underworld?
The most successful of Dwayne McDuffie’s Milestone comics, I’m cheering for the character and hope he does well. This is a young character that has a following and has a good chance of being a new generation character that goes the distance and builds into something bigger. I’m not holding my breath though.
They are Stormwatch, a dangerous super human police force whose existence is kept secret from the world Directly following the ominous events of SUPERMAN #1, Adam One leads half the Stormwatch team to recover the [INFORMATION REDACTED] from deep in the Himalayas. Meanwhile, Jack Hawksmoor and the rest of the Stormwatch crew look to recruit two of the deadliest super humans on the planet: Midnighter and Apollo! And if they say no? Perhaps the Martian Manhunter can change their minds…
This series is going to be one of the bigger ones in the long run, putting together a secret group that’ll eventually lock horns with the Justice League. It’s been hinted that the next major event will come out of whatever happens in this book, which makes it that much more important.
One of the world’s most iconic characters has returned to the heart of the DC Universe, and every step he takes will shake the foundations of the Earth!
Alec Holland has his life back…but the Green has plans for it. A monstrous evil is rising in the desert, and it’ll take a monster of another kind to defend life as we know it!
It’s clear Swamp Thing is going to be a big deal in the new DCU. Scott Snyder can do horror and hopefully the series keeps up a gothic horror feel to it. If Snyder keeps it up and brings his “A” game, there’s a good chance we’ll see a modern day classic run of the series, but it’s got Alan Moore’s classic run hovering over it for comparison.
Following the announcements of new first issues starring many DC’s legendary characters, we are releasing news of first issues for several of DC’s teenage heroes and young superteams.
Seven heroes from the 31st century have traveled back to the present day. Their mission: Save their future from total annihilation. When the future tech they brought with them fails, they find themselves trapped in a nightmarish world and an ultimate struggle to survive. LEGION LOST #1 will be written by Fabian Nicieza and illustrated by Pete Woods, fresh off an acclaimed run of Action Comics.
In the 31st century, the Legion of Superheroes is reeling from the loss of seven of their finest — and trying desperately to keep their youngest recruits alive against a series of terrible new threats. LEGION OF SUPERHEROES #1 will be written by fan-favorite Legion writer Paul Levitz and illustrated by Francis Portela.
The Next Generation of Justice
Tim Drake is forced to step out from behind his keyboard when an international organization seeks to capture or kill super-powered teenagers. As Red Robin, he must team up with the mysterious and belligerent powerhouse thief known as Wonder Girl and a hyperactive speedster calling himself Kid Flash in TEEN TITANS #1, by Scott Lobdell and artists Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.
Virgil Hawkins has been gifted with incredible electrical powers. Adopting the persona of Static, he faces super-powered street gangs, raging hormones, homework, and girls in STATIC SHOCK #1, co-written by John Rozum and Scott McDaniel, with McDaniel also illustrating.
It’s up to the living avatars of war and peace to root out the hidden forces who look to plunge the country into a deadly civil war in HAWK AND DOVE #1. The exciting new series will be written by Sterling Gates and illustrated by legendary superstar comics artist Rob Liefeld.