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DC Announces Second Wave of Their New 52 and Some Cancellations

Official Press Release

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.”

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 10/5/11

This week was the first big test for DC as the first wave of second issues hit the stands and the X-Men’s event wraps up setting them upon a relaunch of their own…

Animal Man #2 – Um, yeah… the second issue of the series goes of the deep end into Vertigo territory with a straight up horror story.  It’s beyond weird and I feel like I should drop some LSD while reading it.  But, it looks like what we saw in the first issue of Swamp Thing might be tied into this series, which is interesting.  The second issue is still very solid, but maybe not for everyone.

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25

Batman: Detective Comics #2 – This is for teens?  The series continues it’s gruesome ways at Batman gets closer to the Dollmaker who has an interesting group of folks hanging around him.  There’s a lot interesting here, but it feels like a more gruesome, by the numbers Batman story.  It’s not bad in any way and pretty entertaining, but with two other Batman comics out there, this isn’t the best of the bunch.

Story: 8 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8

Batwing #2 – The bad guy going around killing retired heroes is called Massacre and this issue’s focus is to show how tough Batwing is.  It’s an ok story, but the art is what makes it stand out.  Not as solid as the first issue, but for a series trying to find it’s legs (or wings in this case) it’s not too bad.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Blood Red Dragon #0 – The lead up between the much hyped new series from Stan Lee and Yoshiki.  The series is a big yawn, been there done that.  Mechanized demons want to take over the world, but a champion in the form of a pop star is there to stop them.  It’s very anime influenced, but just feels like a bad knock off.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75

Chew #21 – One of the most entertaining comics on the market shakes it up by firing Tony Chu, well really transfering him.  The story is funny and beyond fun as expected.  There’s a lot of plot threads that are out there, but each issue is such a pleasure to read, I don’t mind how long it takes to get to any of them.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Men of War #2 – Two stories again, neither really hold up.  Sgt. Rock continues his mission to grab a Senator held hostage while some weirdness goes on.  Then there’s a back up story of another squad.  Neither work very well and all together it’s a jumbled mess.  I said I’d give the series another chance with the second issue, but it heads to the chopping block for me.

Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.5

Moon Knight #6 – Such a good series.  Moon Knight and Echo make up and there’s some great play on the fact that Moon Knight has been seeing folks.  The art is fantastic, story pacing is solid and interaction and dialogue really great as well.  This is a definite must read series and one of the best Marvel is putting out right now.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Red Lantern #2 – Atrocitus is still figuring out his Corps.’ role in the universe, but really it’s the DC version of Ghost Rider.  He’ll enact revenge on those who can’t do it themselves.  It’s not bad and there’s something poetic to the writing, but the series and the character has a long way to go to make it stand out on it’s own.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75

Spider-Island: Heroes for Hire – I didn’t pay enough attention and thought I was grabbing a new issue of Heroes for Hire, but instead it’s a one shot.  The story is ok and there’s development of the characters, but being tied into yet another event isn’t helping the series.  A yawner and not needed unless you’re really into the Spider-Island story line.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.25 Overall: 6.75

Stormwatch #2 – I wasn’t very familiar with the series before reading last month’s first issue, but this is just out there.  I’m still torn as to what to think about it, but will give it the first arc to play out before I really make my final decision.  Overall though it’s not quite as easy to follow as it probably should be,

Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7

Superior #5 – That other “Mark Millar book” takes a look at what happens when a super hero is real and what he’ll do to keep the power he has.  It’s a much better series than that other one with some great moments and feel to it.  Hopefully it can start coming out on time again.

Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8

Swamp Thing #2 – A very interesting second issue that seems to tie in a lot with Animal Man.  The series explained really what’s up with Alec Holland and his time as Swamp Thing.  It’s a lot of rewriting of history (I think) but it puts the series in it’s own place.  A solid read that cements DC as a go to company for horror.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Thunderbolts #164 – There’s lots of talk about changing history and it’s all good.  Not the best the series has been, but I’m interested in seeing where it goes.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7

The Walking Dead #89 – Rick has been having some doubts about his leadership and by the end of the issue there’s no doubt the bad ass is back in charge.  Just a great issue that really focuses on the human aspect of it all.

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

X-Men #19 – A pretty meh story arc, but the best part was the interaction between Magneto and Doom.  I’d love to see more of them together debating the line between villainy and heroism.

Story: 7 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7

X-Men: Schism #5 – The first half of the comic was very blah, but the second half was solid.  The debate between Cyclops and Wolverine was fantastic and that last page gave me chills.  The line of “X” comics has needed a shake up and it looks like this is exactly the thing to do it.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

X-23 #15 – So bad, so very very bad….

Story: 6 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.25

Comic Book Weekly Reviews – 9/7/11

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It’s the first big release week for DCnU.  Was it worth it and how many of these series will be around for the long run?  Find out my thoughts below.

Action comics #1 – The big behemoth of a title of the DCnU launch has a very green and new Superman dealing with a Metropolis and world that’s just discovered him.  The issues here is this Superman comes off as arrogant and cocky and just an overall dick.  He’s not the icon anymore, he’s just another snot nosed punk.  Add in some questionable artwork and a story that doesn’t totally makes sense at times and this first issue just has a lot of issues.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.75

Animal Man #1 – I didn’t know a whole lot about the character, but this excellent put together comic book has enough story to get you caught up on the characters and any powers, put you into a dangerous situation, but the majority of the book is focused on Buddy Baker and his family.  It’s a great comic for that reason.  Quiet, focused and more about a family dealing with the father’s powers more than anything else.

Story: 9 Art: 8.25 Overall: 9

Batgirl #1 – Gail Simone takes over the reigns on Barbara Gordon’s return to wearing the cowl.  There’s some issues of how they dealt with her previous condition/situation, but it’s better than forgetting what happened and adds some depth to the character.  Overall, it’s a decent read and more than enough to get me to come back for more.

Story: 7.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Batwing #1 – A series I went in hoping it’d be good comes out the other end as a solid read with fantastic art.  The story has more than enough there to make me want to come back, but so far it’s just “Batman in Africa” with not enough there to really make it stand apart.  The art though is fantastic and the comic overall is one of the surprising solid debuts.

Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.25

Detective Comics #1 – I can’t say everything in this first issue makes sense, but all of the right notes are hit.  In general though, the story is too quick, dumping you in the middle of the action and with no build up.  The highlight of the issue is the end, which goes for shock value more than anything.  I’ve always been a Batman fan, but this comic seems to be more of the same than something really new.  But, more of the same is still entertaining.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Green Arrow #1 – If there was a write by numbers, this would be it.  The hero fighting bad guys and dealing with personal issues.  The monologue as to why he’s doing just that.  The comic isn’t bad in any way, but it’s also not particularly good either.  It’s ok, it’s average, but worst of all, there’s not much reason for me to come back for the second issue, let along the third or fourth.  This is Iron Man with an arrow, not the character we know.

Story: 6.75 Art: 7.25 Overall: 6.75

Hawk & Dove #1 – The issue’s writing isn’t what I have problems with, it’s Rob Liefeld’s mismatched style.  It doesn’t fit for the book and odd positioning, too many pouches, and a lack of mixed emotions for the characters makes me wonder who thought this would work?  The issue itself sets a lot up, but overall, I kind of feel like this is “white people problems the comic book.”

Story: 6 Art: 6 Overall: 6

Heroes for Hire #11 – The new lame bad guy has a name now, and it’s about as solid as the character itself (not so much) and the fight with Purple Man continues.  I can’t wait for this series to get back on track, cause it’s been derailed since it’s been a part of Fear Itself.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Irredeemable #29 – Plutonian is back and continues to lose his shit as some of the remaining Paradigm do what they can to plan to take him on.  The remaining world leaders also make a deal to end the madness.  There’s also one hell of a twist at the end.  Mark Waid continues to break down the super hero mythos.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Jennifer Blood #4 – Jennifer continues her war against the mob and checks off a few other bad guys, but not before she takes care of some paid assassins too.  the series is over the top violence with a strong female lead.  The ending also brings a twist that should make the comic stand out from being a female version of The Punisher.  The comic is so wrong in so many ways, but it’s entertaining.

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

Justice League International #1 – The tenuous relationship between the members of the team has made the series somewhat interesting, but it’s not enough to really blow me away to the point I want to come back for more.  The ending also seems like a poor copy of something the X-Men might fight.  Again, this is a comic that there isn’t really anything that’s wrong, but nothing that blows me away either.  The series does seem like it has a lot of potential though.

Story: 7 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7

Mega Man #5 – With the first arc over I wasn’t sure where the comic would go from there.  The original robots have been defeated and Dr. Wiley is in jail, but sure enough, the world seems to be expanding with a fun action comic aimed at kids and their nostalgic parents.  A fun read.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Men of War #1 – An attempt to update Sgt. Rock, the series has potential but falls a bit short.  The military sends Rock and a squad in to retrieve a Senator when it looks like superhumans get in their way.  There’s also a back up story that’s a bit of a throwback and feels like propaganda.  Both together are just ok.  There’s so much potential in this series, but it doesn’t meet it in any way.  The art even is a bit of a let down with figures that seem too boxy and fat.

Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Moon Knight #5 – Moon Knight has to deal with the cops now as his presence on the west coast isn’t appreciated.  Bendis does a great job of a character who has lost his mind, but at the same time has kept it somewhat together.  One of the best Marvel comics on the market right now.


Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5

The New Avengers Annual #1 – The Revengers come calling and put the beat down on this team.  I can’t say that Wonder Man doesn’t have a bit of a point.  What’s more impressive is this is the first annual I’ve enjoyed in a log time.  Just a brutal fight and some great art.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

O.M.A.C. #1 – When you say the name Jack Kirby so many would give you the impression the man could do no wrong.  While I appreciate his contributions and his art style, I’ve never been the biggest fan of a lot of the characters he’s created.  O.M.A.C. comes off as two people attempting to do Kirby, and it’s not done very well.  I’m sure there’s people who will gush over it, but it’s just not for me.

Story: 6.5 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.5

The Punisher #3 – The Punisher versus the Vulture in a forgettable third issue.  There’s nothing horrible with the issue, but there’s nothing that makes it stand out or makes it a must read in this story arc.  The art is really good though, but it’s just one part in a much larger story and it seems like a non-vital one.

Story: 6.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7

Static Shock #1 – There’s some I liked and some I didn’t.  The issue is ok, but the tone, the story just didn’t work for me.  It was rushed at points, not explaining enough and other scenes dragged on for too many pages.  There’s also a few spots that made me pause and linger to figure things out.  This isn’t the launch I’d have hoped for with this series.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Stormwatch #1 – A first issue that’s all set up.  Characters are set up as to how powerful in relation to one-another they are.  Powers are explained.  Mysteries are thrown out there.  It’s all set up, and for that, it doesn’t really blow me away.  This is 3 or 4 short scenes as opposed to a long coherent narrative.  Even with that though, there’s enough here that I want to see what the second issue holds.  Hopefully, it’s more of a narrative than scenes played out.

Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.25

Swamp Thing #1 – See the expand review here.

Thunderbolts #163 – The Thunderbolts in the present reflect on their screw up while the Thunderbolts in the past figure out that’s where they are.  Along comes an interesting pair.  There’s something fun, campy and retro about the comic, like it’s back to focusing on bad guys being somewhat bad.  Fun overall.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Wolverine #15 – Fifteen issues in and the series is finally getting good.  Logan is dealing with the damage he’s caused and his actions in the last arc.  The story has a lot of heart and ok art.  Hopefully this is the beginning of an uptick in the series.

Story: 8 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7.75

X-Factor #224.1 – If the point one comic’s goal is to introduce new readers to a series, this one does it’s job.  You get a rundown of the team, a good sense as to what the comic is like, but my issue is I’m not convinced it’s enough to bring in a new reader.  Overall, a decent comic, but nothing special.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

X-Men #17 – The X-Men and FF are in another dimension and learn the evil bad guy’s plan.  I yawn.  It’s a pretty average story with some solid art.

Story: 6.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7

X-23 #14 – X-23 is still with the FF and weirdness is going on.  There’s some great moments here as she has to deal with the FF and children, but the story overall is only ok.  the art I also think has taken a dip from the beautiful last issues.

Story: 7 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75

Around the Tubes

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It’s looking like it’ll be another solid week for DC comics, so make sure to get to your comic shop early tomorrow if you haven’t pre-ordered any comic books being released.   While you scramble, here’s the news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

CBLDF – CBLDF Liberty Trading Cards in Stores this Week – Support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund!

The Mary Sue – Amazon’s New Netflix-Style Library for eBooks Coming Soon?Will comics be a part?  How long before we see that?

Comicvine – Is DC Reviving the Comic Book Industry?Isn’t it too early to ask this question?

The ComiChron – Early DC relaunch sales help erase half 2011’s decline – We’re starting to see how the DC shake up is starting to play out in sales.

Con Coverage:

Comics Girl – Small Press Expo 2011!

Spandexless – SPX Day 2: Consummate Professionals

Spandexless – SPX Day One: God, Look at this Haul

Around the Tubes Reviews:

CBR – Action Comics #1

Cartoon Movement – The Big Lie #1

CBR – Men of War #1

CBR – Moon Knight #5

Nerdage – Animal Man #1 and other The New 52 week 2 comic book reviews

MTV Geek – Dark Horse Advance Reviews: B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth – Russia #1, and The Guild: Clara #1

Around the Tubes

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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.

Around the Blogs:

Bleeding Cool – Grant Morrison Responds To GD-Gate – To this I say, god dammit.

Con Coverage:

MTV Geek – Back To The Future With Christopher Lloyd At Dragon-Con

MTV Geek – Dragon-Con 2011: Anatomy Of A Cosplayer

The Beat – Giant SPX Who’s where and what — WOW

The Beat – Nerds Nerds Nerds at SPX 2011

Around the Tubes Reviews:

CBR – Batwing #1

CBR – Punisher #3

MTV Geek – New 52 Review: Green Arrow #1, Justice League International #1, Hawk & Dove #1, and O.M.A.C. #1

MTV Geek – New 52 Review: Batgirl #1, Men of War #1, Stormwatch #1, Static Shock #1, and Batwing #1

MTV Geek – New 52 Review: ‘Detective Comics’ #1 Is The Batman Joker Fight We’ve Been Waiting For

The Mary Sue – New 52 in Review: Week 1

Comics Alliance – ComicsAlliance Reviews Every Comic in DC’s ‘New 52’: Week 1

52 Reviews, Part 1

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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.

This Week in the DC 52

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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.

ACTION COMICS #1Writer: Grant Morrison, Art: Rags Morales and Rick Bryant

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.

Key reads: All Star Superman, Vol. 1, All Star Superman, Vol. 2

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.

Key reads: Animal Man, Book 1 – Animal Man, Animal Man, Book 2 – Origin of the Species, Animal Man, Book 3 – Deus Ex Machina

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.

Key reads: Batman: The Killing Joke, Batgirl: The Greatest Stories Ever Told, Batgirl: Year One (Batman)

BATWING #1 –  Writer: Judd Winick, Art: Ben Oliver

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.

Key reads: Batman Incorporated, Vol. 1

DETECTIVE COMICS #1Writer: Tony S. Daniel, Art: Tony S. Daniel and Ryan Winn

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.

Key reads: Batman: Year One, Batman R.I.P.

GREEN ARROW #1 – Writer : J.T. Krul, Art: Dan Jurgens and George Perez

Green Arrow is on the hunt. Driven by inner demons, Ollie Queen travels the world and brings outlaws to justice…by breaking every law.

Now, armed with cutting-edge weaponry and illegally gained intel (courtesy of his team at QCore), Green Arrow is shooting first and asking questions later.

Green Arrow is the liberal ying to the Green Lantern’s conservative yang.  Billionaire Ollie Queen is the bow wielding hero who is out to stop crime and hopefully espousing his liberal views.

Key reads: Green Arrow Vol. 1: Into the Woods (Green Arrow (Graphic Novels)), Green Arrow: Year One, Green Arrow: Quiver (Book 1)

HAWK AND DOVE #1Writer: Sterling Gates, Art: Rob Liefeld

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.

Key reads: Hawk and Dove, Brightest Day, Vol. 1, Brightest Day, Vol. 2, Brightest Day Vol. 3

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #1Writer: Dan Jurgens, Art: Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan

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.

Key reads: Justice League International, Vol. 1, Justice League International, Vol. 2, Justice League International, Vol. 3, Justice League International Vol. 4, Justice League International Vol. 5. (Justice League 5), Justice League International Vol. 6

MEN OF WAR #1Writer: Ivan Brandon, Art: Tom Derenick

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.

Key reads: The Sgt. Rock Archives, Vol. 1 (DC Archive Editions), The Sgt. Rock Archives, Vol. 2 (DC Archive Editions), The Sgt. Rock Archives, Vol. 3 (DC Archive Editions)

O.M.A.C. #1Writer: 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.

Key reads: Jack Kirby’s O.M.A.C., Checkmate Vol. 1: A King’s Game (DC Comics), Checkmate Vol. 2: Pawn Breaks (DC Comics), Checkmate Vol. 3: Fall of the Wall (DC Comics)

STATIC SHOCK #1Writer: 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.

Key reads: Static Shock Vol. 1: Rebirth of the Cool

STORMWATCH #1Writer: Paul Cornell, Art: Miguel Sepulveda

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.

Key reads: StormWatch, Vol. 1: Force of Nature, Stormwatch: Team Achilles, Vol. 2, StormWatch Vol. 3: Change or Die, StormWatch Vol. 4: A Finer World, StormWatch Vol. 5: Final Orbit, The Authority Vol. 1: Relentless, The Authority Book 2: Under New Management

SWAMP THING #1Writer: Scott Snyder, Art: Yanick Paquette

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.

Key reads: Saga of the Swamp Thing Book One, Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 2, Saga of the Swamp Thing Book Three, Saga of the Swamp Thing Book 4, Swamp Thing Vol. 5: Earth to Earth, Swamp Thing Vol. 6: Reunion