Have you ever wanted to collect comics but are put off by that pesky continuity which has been built up for decades? Fancy a fresh look at some tired and warn out characters? Well have no fear gentle reader DC Comics has come to your rescue. This week sees the beginning of the new DC universe as they throw away everything that has come before in favour of a new streamlined universe free of continuity and tailored for the new reader. Throughout September they are releasing 52 titles (starting this week) and we are going to look at the 10 titles which promise some interesting surprises (or are just interesting).
From the masterminds behind the reboot (Geoff Johns and Jim Lee) comes DC comic’s flagship title. The greatest heroes of the DC universe come together for what is promised to be a large sprawling superhero epic. The roster boasts the likes of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg (WTF?) and the first arc deals with how these heroes come together to make the greatest super team in the world (and known universe.)
Another Geoff Johns book, but this time he is paired with the fantastic artist Ivan Reis. Together these two made the Green Lantern the most bankable character in the old DC line up and the prospect of them on a book together brings high hopes. What can they do with the king of Atlantis and how can they make this iconic character, a man with the power to talk to fish, into a serious force in the DC universe again.
This is a massive curiosity of a book, as the character has not been in the spotlight in a long time. Resurrection Man basically gets a new super power every time he dies and resurrects himself. An interesting concept, and a little darker than the other superhero concepts on offer in this list. But the fact that Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are on writing duties brings even more intrigue as both writers have completely revitalised the Marvel Comics space faring characters in recent years and they are probably the right pair to takle such an interesting concept.
Of all the Batman titles on offer (there are a few) this probably has the best to offer. Written by the fantastic Scott Snyder, the mind behind the wonderful American Vampire and also helming the other DC reboot title Swamp Thing, with art from the equally impressive Greg Capullo (Spawn, Haunt) and it promises a back to basics Batman and if Snyder’s previous work on Batman is anything to go by I would suggest everyone keep an eye out for this one.
Green Lantern Corps
Once again helmed by Peter J. Tomasi, this is probably the most interesting Green Lantern title (well this writers). Dealing with John Stewart and Guy Gardner and the rest of the GL honour guard, expect crazy sci-fi action and a look at the inner workings of the Corps. The Green Lanterns work best as a whole unit rather than a single man in a solo book and this might just steal the show when it comes to super heroic action.
Promising more fem fatale action than you can swing a cat at (I had to say it), Judd Winick’s taking the character back to her thieving roots and he is teamed with Guillem March who draws a very sultry Selina Kyle. This is the right time to jump on board and see what Anne Hathaway might be doing in the next Batman film. Also it’s nice to see a strong, sexy and underappreciated character get her own book once more.
Justice League International
With the only really recognisable character on the team being Batman (it needs to sell) this is perhaps more for the fans than the new readers. It brings together some B-list (possible lower than that in some cases) heroes and puts them on a team that flies around the world and deals with the usual problems heroes face. However with the likes of Booster Gold, Rocket Red, Vixen and August General in Iron the team boasts an international feel (it’s in the name) and promises a lot of internal conflict. Also with the legendary Dan Jurgens on writing duties and the great Aaron Lopresti on art it could be a very interesting book indeed.
Legion Of Superheroes
No list will be complete without the Legion. A super team that live in the 31st Centuryand having a roster that seems to be in the hundreds the Legion is an unusual beast indeed. Marrying sci-fi concepts with pure super hero action the stories of the Legion spread across the universe and with legendary Legion writer Paul Levitz in control expect some great character interaction and fantastical ideas. Also to keep it friendly to new readers the book promises to focus on a core cast and with Francis Portela on art this could be a winning combination.
The first of two books that seem quite controversial (to this writer). This comic merges the characters from the Wildstorm universe with the main DC universe (like they where never a separate entity). So we see characters from The Authority playing alongside flagship members of the DC universe, mainly Martian Manhunter. How will characters like Apollo and The Midnighter (the gay Superman and Batman) work in a world where their heroes don’t kill? This book is more of curiosity than anything and with Paul Cornell writing (the man behind some great Dr Who episodes and the fantastic Captain Britain and MI13) it could be an interesting ride.
Finally we come to the one title that has had the most reaction. Batgirl you ask? Controversial? How? Well it comes from who is under the mask. The first Batgirl Barbara Gordon is back and no longer in a wheel chair. A character who’s had an amazing journey in the old universe, from the events of Alan Moore’s seminal Batman story The Killing Joke to her adventures as the wheelchair bound information broker known as Oracle in the pages of Birds of Prey. Barbara was the voice of an entire fan base and will be surely missed. However according to writer Gail Simone (an amazing writer and everyone should read all her stuff) Barbara’s history is still there, she was shot and paralyzed as the Joker and she did spend time as Oracle. But why keep it? Well we shall find out when the character comes back with a vengeance in the costume that made her famous.
So that is only 10 of 52 and is there others that you would prefer? Just comment. Also if your not sold here is the trailer for the whole thing to get you in the mood (It’s perhaps very 90s which could be a bad sign)