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The DCnU in Review (Week 1)

It’s been over a month since DC Comics has introduced us to the DCnU. It’s a complete reboot of the DC universe starting with 52 titles all starting with #1 issues. Their gamble paid off in retail and online sales numbers. But now the question is, “How do the books rate based solely on their content?”  I’ve taken it upon myself to read and review every book (so you don’t have to, even though I KNOW you’re so curious) and share my thoughts with my fellow Nerdists (you lucky things, you).

Here are the basics:

• There are 52 titles (I’ll be reviewing in 4 parts, 1 for each week)

• I’m not going to cover plot points.

• Each review will be bare-bones, around 2-5 sentences.

• Each review will feature a 1-10 rating (1 worst, 10 best… I know very innovative)

• My goal is to approach each title with fresh eyes and not compare them to what’s come continuity/story-wise before now, just my initial impressions as a fanboy who’s been reading comics for more years than you’ve been alive.

• The reviews will be SPOILER-FREE.

• The reviews will be without creative credits. Check out dccomics.com for all the particulars.

Here we go…


Week One:

 

Justice League 01 (technically before week one, sue me)

I love that this title takes place 5 years in the past. The art is fantastic, and so far the League (Green Lantern, Batman & Superman) looks young and eager and awesome. We get the start of the origin of Cyborg, whom I feel will become the rookie/everyman in the League. A fun, action packed book.

Rating: 9

 

Action Comics 01

The art is gorgeous! This book also takes place in the past and gives us nice intros for Clark/Superman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olson, Lex Luthor and General Lane. Utterly enjoyable.

Rating: 8

 

Animal Man 01

Starts out as an everyman superhero story and ends quite weird. The art suits the subject but didn’t blow me out of the water. Worth a read.

Rating: 6

 

Batgirl 01

I love seeing Babs back in the Batgirl uniform, but I don’t know that this controversial title lived up to the hype.  I’ll stick around to see what happens next. Unremarkable.

Rating: 5

 

Batwing 01

The art is outstanding. This is a perfect first issue. We get character intros, guest stars, plenty of action and TWO total “Oh Shit” moments. Can’t wait for the next issue.

Rating: 9

 

Detective Comics 01

This issue comes out swinging. It takes place in the past and Batman is not on good terms with the GCPD or the criminal underworld. We get our first glimpse of the Joker and he’s cah-raaaaazy. This issue is jam packed with frantic action and art and end with a straight-up “What the eff?!”

Rating: 8

 

Green Arrow 01

The art is so clean and pleasing it could be used as style guide art. It’s nice to see a young Ollie acting with a sort of “Birds of Prey” motive with his own support team. Basic Superhero fun.

Rating: 7.5

 

Hawk and Dove 01

I can’t tell what’s sloppier, the art or the writing. 2D characters leave me with a whole, “who cares?” attitude.

Rating: 4

 

Justice League International 01

Great art and a great cast. I’m not blown away by the story and the characterization so far. I’m worried that one cast member in particular has been added merely to kill somewhere in the next few issues. I hope I’m wrong.

Rating: 6

 

Men of War 01

A double-story issue. One features the descendant of Sgt. Rock versus superheroes and the other features a bunch of military jargon. Meh.

Rating: 5

 

OMAC 01

Kirby-esque art with out the charm. I did like the old-school narrative boxes, but it wasn’t enough to make me want more. It’s a HULK story without the angst. I have no idea what’s going on.

Rating: 4

 

Static Shock 01

It’s Spider-Man with monetary backing, a headquarters, a mentor, and lackluster art. Nothing here I haven’t seen 100 times before.

Rating: 5

 

Storm Watch 01

This issue asks way more questions than it answers… which could be good. Curious to see what they do with Apollo, Midnighter and the Martian Manhunter. We’ll see.

Rating: 6

 

Swamp Thing 01

Absolutely beautiful art. We’re given a Swamp Thing who’s firmly established in the DCnU with guest stars. It’s horror meets superheroes. This issue features some seriously effed up imagery… SERIOUSLY.

Rating: 8.5

 

So far I think DC is off to a great start. I got some real pleasant surprises with books I normally would never have given a second look (Batwing, Swamp Thing). Also, please note, these books are NOT all ages; They are seriously dark, and violent. By the time you read this, all of the first issues have gone into second printings and should be easily available at your local comic shop.

 

In a nutshell:

Do NOT miss: Justice League, Action, Detective, Batwing, and Swamp Thing (if you like horror)

AVOID • Hawk and Dove

The other titles are various states of medium and worth a looky-loo.

Thanks for reading.

Your Pal,
Arnie

Follow me at twitter.com/yourpalarnie

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18 comments

  • I hope these reviews will become regular.
    I have Detective, Action and Justice League.
    So It seems I should pick up Batwing and the new Green Arrow. Love Ollie, favorite series is Green Arrow v Black Canary. :]

    Thanks for the reviews Arnie.

  • Week #1 was my favorite week of the relaunch and the second issues of Animal Man, Detective, Action, Swamp Thing, Stormwatch and OMAC were all great too. I think you’re undervaluing OMAC and Animal Man here.

  • Animal Man was probably one of my favorites of the first week. I kind of hated OMAC. I don’t care about anything that’s happening, and it all just feels like it belongs in lower-tier 90s comics.

    And I must say, I really dislike Green Arrow so far in the DCnU. I love Ollie, but I don’t like the new look for him (most of the redesigns are hits for me; Ollie’s is a big miss) and it’s one of the most generic of the new books. The second issue didn’t help that. Neither the story nor the art grabbed me.

  • Batwing truly is amazing in art and story, the winner out of The New 52 in my eyes a character who can really go somewhere in DC.

    I wish Static Shock would have stayed in Dakota or at least will keep the concept of Bang Babies it is only 2 in so we will have plenty of time for that, 1st was not real good but the second issue was much better.

  • I’ve seen varying reviews for Detective all over the Internet, some say it’s amazing, other say it’s not that good. Personally, it’s one my favorite comics from the entire new 52 (together with Wonder Woman and Batman). I liked the high pace of it and the potential the story has. The last panel of the comic really leaves you wondering what the fuck will happen.

  • :/ Animal Man’s low-er score is a shame. I think it’s the only book I got from the relaunch and it was awesome. #2 followed suit.

    To each their own! :/ atleast there’s some comics coverage on the nerdist podcast.

  • I agree Animal Man is a major 9 for me as well. It was a book that really shocked me and I ended up loving every minute of it. Issue two carried on the love for me, and so far only Resurection Man has come close to this book. On the other hand I really disliked Green Arrow. I love the character a lot and this just feels like a generic version of him. My wife put it best when she declared “But he didn’t call anyone a facist or go off on a rant”. These aren’t things that are necessary for the book to be good but they also make it feel like something else. Have to give Batwing a try when I pick up my books today though. I had skipped it but I think I’ll give it a shot.

  • The #1s that I’ve read so far are Detective Comics, Action Comics, Swamp Thing and Animal Man.

    Personally, I’d rate Animal Man a little higher and Swamp Thing a little lower, but those aside I agree completely.

    With that said, I’ve picked up Swamp Thing #2 because I have it on good authority that it picks up.