The New 52 – Six Months In

As I look at my pull list this month, I see a recurring number, which, suddenly, became a theme: 6.

Yup, we are halfway through the first year of DC’s Not a Relaunch.  Halfway through the most anticipated comic book new story in recent memory, one that was designed to breathe new life into the comic book world, delighting old and new readers alike with fresh new stories and new takes on classic characters.

Six months in, how is it going?

When this all started, I actually believed, for a second, that I would go for it and pick up the first issue of each of the new comics, to really give this thing the old college try. I did not do that. Oh, I picked up a lot of the issues, but after the first two weeks, I understood that there was no reason to do so: some of the books just did not warrant the expense, and, if for some reason my first instinct was wrong, well, I could wait a few months and pick up the books for less money–hello, O.M.A.C.!

Starting off, I guess I was most interested to see how DC would “rethink” Superman and Batman, but for different reasons. I was a vocal critic of both Superman and Action Comics, and was very curious to see what DC would do to re-engage me as a reader, but I was more than happy with what was going on with the Batman franchise, especially given how good Detective Comics had been with Snyder and Jock on the book.

Well, the results are fairly clear, right? Superman, as far as I can tell, is unreadable, and Action Comics, which began with so much promise, just kind of went off the rails as soon as we stopped following Clark’s first years in Metropolis and got bogged down with the current storyline, involving our friend from the Legion of Superheroes, which, with the exception of whenever Geoff Johns’ writes them, succeeds in making a book confusing. Action Comics is not bad, it’s just not as good as I thought it would be, as it should be. That being said, I did really like the backup story in issue 6, probably because it was a kind of prologue to the earlier issues (which, of course, it another prologue to the current Superman timeline). Superman started off so poorly that I dropped it immediately, which saddens me. I believe in the character and want to pick up the book, but as a far as I can tell, this new Superman is kind of a jerk — and my is filled with more than enough jerks, thankyouverymuch.

The Batman family of books has, as you well know, not really changed at all from before. The new creative teams have been solid, though I am not sure why Batman: The Dark Knight is still around. It really does not add anything to the conversation; I would think it would just make sense to roll those stories into Detective or something.  While I have found the recent story to be a bit ponderous, Batwoman continues to be one of my “go-to” books, though watching another artist try to ape the work of J.H. Williams was just kind of painful.  Batwing looked interesting at first…just not interesting enough to hold my attention. (I’m curious to read what you all think of it.)

Nightwing has been kind of fun, if only to get back into Dick’s history and see him do his own thing for a while. I have not really been that impressed with the art, but over the past few years, I have found myself really enjoying Dick Grayson, watching him “grow up” a bit while Bruce was dead, taking over the Bat-mantle, and return to the Nightwing role with a different kind of experience, a different sense of responsibility. Similarly, watching Damien starting to let go a bit and actually let himself be Bruce’s son has been very rewarding.  I have to hand it to the creative teams behind the various Batman titles — there have been some really great themes and personal journeys explored in these titles, and I would not be surprised if we look back on the past few years as a kind of golden age for the modern incarnations of these characters. The best thing DC has done is to get out of the way of where these stories have been going — the Bat-books continue to be among the best books they have going.

If I had to admit to a guilty pleasure in the New 52, it would have to be Catwoman. I dunno; I just really enjoy all aspects of the story. Sure, the art can be a bit over-the-top pinup for some tastes, but there’s a confidence in Selina’s story that doesn’t make me think it’s “too much”–whatever that means. Selina is one of the most beguiling characters in the DCU — she’s one of the few people that literally lets us see the very private life of our favorite detective — and I think the title represents her very well.

Clearly, as we hit the halfway mark, the seams are starting to show. After a promising start, I feel that both Justice League is starting to turn into a confusing spectacle, especially when Batman unmasked himself in front of Green Lantern for no apparent reason. I find myself starting to tune out whenever someone mentions “Doomsday” or “Darkseid” – I think DC should really take a break from these characters; whenever they turn up it, the books start to unravel. I want to like Justice League because it was supposed to be awesome, but if you asked me what is actually happening, I honestly couldn’t tell you.

I won’t go through all of the DC books I am collecting, but it’s kind of relief to know that if I did, this article would be far too long. I have fully embraced the “horror” books (which I just refer to as “DC’s Vertigo-but-not books”); I caught up with I, Vampire and have really been enjoying it, just as I have with the terribly named Justice League Dark, which makes me think that it’s the Justice League but with dark chocolate instead of milk.  The initial storyline was kind of all over the place but I am glad I stuck with it. The magic stuff can be really trying at times, but DC seems committed to giving these books a chance, and during a time where I have been getting bored by superheroes, it has been kind of fun to check out different kinds of stories.

I am going to resist talking about Wonder Woman, Resurrection Man, Swamp Thing, Animal Man and Demon Knights (let’s return to them in six months) and step back a bit. When I think about these stories, I find myself thinking about them in the same way, like, I feel like the stories are good, but they just feel like they are kind of dragging, and I think I know why—most,if not all, of the titles are on the sixth installment of their story.

Now, I had mentioned something similar to this a few months ago, but I a beginning to really feel it this month. I think it was a mistake for these books to all go for these long arcs at the beginning. It seems clear that they are trying to make these stories trade-friendly, but I think it’s made following the overall stories kind of a slog, especially if you are reading lots of DC books at the same time. Most of the stories all seem to be in that “second reversal” stage, where things are really heating up, right before the climax of the story happens. Like, important things are happening in the story, but, for me, everything just seems to be taking forever. Almost without exception, I open the first page of a sixth issue and I need to go back to the end of the fifth to figure out what was going on. Not a big deal if you have do it once or twice in a given week, but any more than that, it just gets kind of tedious.

Yes, I read a lot of comics. Yes, this is not a terrible problem. Yes, I am being picky…

…but am I, really? We all loved serialized story lines, we like how we can get deeper into the story and into the characters, but how about new readers? How about the ones who came back to the story but don’t always go once a month? For those who do not have a pull list? Yes, thanks to digital delivery, it is easier to get caught up, but that means to get the full benefit of your $3 comic, you may need to spend an extra $2-$5 to get caught up.

I think DC should have presented shorter arcs for their key titles. Have some one and done issues, showed some variety with the creators and the kinds of the stories they were presenting to the readers. I think this would have maintained a sense of dynamism to their books, to keep readers on their toes a bit, as opposed to having the readers struggle to remember what happened a month ago, book after book after book. This would be especially reasonable for titles like DC Universe Presents and All-Star Western (which, to be fair, has had some good backup stories, so it is definitely going that direction),  which have not really lived up to their promise of bringing a variety of stories to readers month after month.  I think having more single issues would have relaxed the stress the creative teams have been under, which would, in turn, make the titles more consistent — it’s just not fair to have a fill-in artist in the middle of a longer story, especially when the artists are folks like Cliff Chiang and J.H. Williams. Shorter runs would have kept the art consistent, while opening doors for other artists to do some interstitial stories, which could add more texture to this new universe, which, so far, isn’t all that new (I wish they had just put everything in the Flashpoint reality, like I originally that was the situation, at least for a year or two, that would have been awesome.)  And for those of you who might doubt that formula, I would point you to Paul Dini’s excellent run on Detective.

Six months in, I can say that the New 52 has been a success. I am staying with more books than I thought I would — in the end I dropped Superman,Superboy, Supergirl, Green Lantern, Captain Atom, Stormwatch and Batwing, which makes sense. I tried, and I may go back again, especially if there is a digital sale or it’s a particularly slow week.  So far, the biggest revelation for me with the new paradigm is the chance to see Greg Capullo’s art, hang out with Catwoman and Deadman more often, continue to love the art of Francis Manapul, and enjoy hanging out with a bunch of magic-wielding characters I’ve never heard of before. Oh, and hang out with some cool vampires (I am really liking I, Vampire, and see Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman carve out one of the best family comics I’ve read in years.

By “best” I mean “harrowing.”

How about you all? Six issues in, what do you think of the New 52?  Worth it?

 


Mike Romo is an actor living in Los Angeles. You can reach him through email, visit his Facebook page, connect with him on Google +, and collect his tweets on Twitter.

Comments

  1. I think the New 52 has been successful in at least one regard — I’ve met at least three new readers, one of them a woman, who started reading comics because they felt they had a natural jumping on point.

    • And to purists, to me, the cost of getting to Detective Comics #1000 ultimately would never have been worth the cost of alienating new readers with what has become a meaningless number.

  2. Hate to be a prisoner of the moment, but Snyder’s Batman is one of the best ever. All evidence points to him potentially losing sanity/becoming very strange and unrelatable within the next 30 or so years, which will result in him releasing equally crazy, strange crap. Cherish him while you have this great talent.

  3. I still enjoy Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, OMAC, All Star Western, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, and Frankenstein but I admit I let them stack up on me.
    Suicide Squad and Deathstroke are fun but I plan on dropping them with their writing and art changes.

    I dropped Action Comics, Justice League, Justice League Dark and JLI (which I loved at first). If you ask me the Justice League books are kind of a mess and all over the place.

    • Eh Suicide Squad is getting a better artist. Have you seen the new artist’s art?

    • I am a few issues behind on the SS. I really enjoyed the first arc but this second one is mediocre. I might just drop it until the new artist comes on and try it again. I haven’t checked out the new artist yet. I can only assume it’s an improvement though.

    • By the second one, did you mean hunt for Harley Quinn? That one is even more exciting to me than the first arc. And yeah he is the artist for Resurrection man and I love the pencils, the look gorgeous.

  4. Its been successful yes. the only titles I have dropped is Savage Hawkman, Grifter and Firestorm. But would be picking 2 of them back up in issue 9. Nightwing is close to being dropped because its basically the WORST TITLE in batman family. A pity because I love dick grayson. But I’m dropping it to make way for better books like Batwing, BOP and maybe B&R.
    I’m holding on to Superman,Superboy, Supergirl, Green Lantern, Captain Atom and Stormwatch with my life.

  5. Personally I’m still culling the 30+ comics I picked up at the start of this. Either that or natural culling (I was reading Static and OMAC) has lead to me not having to worry about certain titles.

    Still, with the mini-series included I’m up to something like 23 titles, which is still over half the line if you cut the eight titles that just got canceled. It’s definitely worth it, though I concur that it would’ve been better to have more arcs ending at different times.

  6. I tried about half of the new 52, and now i’ve cut all that down to a very small few. I agree with your takes on the Superman Books as well as the Batman books. Batman and Batman and Robin are really fun. I was really disappointed that even with a reboot, the Green Lantern books are were completely unaccessible to me. I still am waiting for a fun Superman ongoing that i can love.

    Most of what i’m sticking with, i was already reading before the relaunch. Deathstroke and Suicide squad have been my surprise additons in the bunch.

    I plan on dropping a few more in the next few weeks as well. There is nothing inherently wrong with The Flash, Aquaman, Justice League and a few others, but i really don’t care about whats going on enough to justify the expense. I’d love to have the time/money for a few more titles like Superboy/Girl etc but its just not there. There’s too much being published right now that’s all slight variations of the same thing. I can only take so much DC superhero stuff before i get burned out and need to look at other things.

    • The more that i think about it, the real problem for me isn’t content…its quantity. There are only so many hours in a week and so much money in my pocket that i want to devote to comics. So i’m always holding that baseline. Anyone else have that issue?

      Also i’d like to mention that the same day digital was a game changer for me. It pushed other publishers to go that way now instead of later, and that has single handedly kept me in the single issue comics game.

    • Twenty books a month maximum. I make allowances for titles that come out once a year.

    • kmob181: That’s about where I’m at.

      (And I subscribe directly to Marvel for about half of them, otherwise I couldn’t afford that many.)

      Otherwise the shortboxes fill up too fast.

      😀

  7. I kept going with Superman and I think after this first story arc I’m finished. Confusing, yes? Not as fun as Action? Certainly. But what gets me is that this first six issues of Superman seem to be a retread of the Sand Superman story from the 1970s. Or at least a variation of it. Meh…

    I agree with you, Mike, that Justice League went off the rails and the last issue was just perplexing with how Batman revealed his identity to Green Lantern. Whaaaa?

    We’ll know if DC is truly serious about the reboot and making it permanent and not some stealth “event” when we start seeing the new character designs and costumes showing up on store shelves at Target, WalMart, etc. in the form of action figures, t-shirts, etc. Right now I bet DC is in wait and see mode for reaction and to decide if they try to revert back.

    • New 52 toys are coming out end of this year. It is slowly integrating into other forms of media, like Cyborg in Justice League Doom. Posters for Wonder Con, all the comic conventions are naming their panels New 52.
      T-shirts are also selling with the new 52 covers for issue 1. Haven’t you seen them online? But the main thing is Iconic symbols are still Iconic symbols. The Superman and Batman t-shirts are still the same logo on both of them, as of such, there isnt much reason to change it per say.

  8. I can see that DC is selling more and that they have more buzz, so I can’t fault them for what they’re doing, it’s working. However I got 3 issues of everyone of the new 52. Then I pared down to Batman, Batwoman, GL Corpse, New Guardians& , Captain Atom. By issue 6 I was down to Batwoman, New Guardians, & Captain Atom plus I’m going to give the ‘Beyond’ books a shot. But I just can’t justify 3.99 books, especially when I find backups are no fun during a re-read and having to shift through all my back issues. Also Action and JL are just not good enough to warrant that price tag.

    Before the 52 and flash point I was picking up far more DC books, more than any other publisher, and after, I can barley read any of their books. I was always in the minority though, I loved books like Welcome to Tranquility, Secret Six, REBELS, Detective, every Green Lantern book, Birds of Prey, and usually a book that would come and go.

    I want to want to be reading more DC, but none of the books are grabbing me now, and I feel a large part is this whole relaunch was just a marketing thing, gave creators a chance to start with a breath of fresh air, but because of a lack of overall planning (like the books poorly interweaving with each other, Batman and GL just continuing while all the other books are reset causing a whole pile of confusion, the purple lady all but being forgotten now, creative teams leaving and rejoining left and right, Leifeild getting too many books, and so on) I think it’s going to be awhile before I can jump on with DC again.

  9. I think your comments are fair, and I am in line with your selections as well. The stories are unraveling poorly for me, showing no over arching connective tissue. Supergirl – Superboy… Action Comics and Justice League – I was willing to give instant nostalgia love to these characters if they kept the promise of the first 3 issues (in JL’s case – the first 2). Even Wonder Woman is on the cusp. The Flash final issue of the first arc was weak and if it was not for the amazing colours and art – I would have let it slip. Conversely, Batwoman I bought only for the art and now find myself loving that book

    But I am a DC fan through and through and will always give them a chance, but they are regulated to a month ago cost of $1.99 instead of spending the $2.99 immediately (as you can see I am a 21st Century Digital Boy – and I got a lot of toys). And spending my release day dollars on stuff like:
    Chew; Planetoid; Prophet; Irredeemable (till May!); Justice League Dark; I, Vampire; Frankenstein, and others

  10. The new 52 has been a success to me, I was at a point were I was about to stop reading comics because all the Marvel stuff like Avengers, Spider-man, FF, Captain America, Hulk were becoming so overly priced and boring. Dumbed down arcs like War world Hulks , the constant death issues being poly baged , the 4 Avenger books , the horrible writing on Un X-men and they still had the balls too double ship at 3.99 made me question why I was wasting so much money on entertainment that sucked.

    I’m back into enjoying comics again with titles like Batman. Animal Man, Swamp Thing, I vamp, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, Demon Knights, Frankenstein, Action, Green Lantern, JL, JL Dark, Bats and Rob, and Flash I’m really been enjoying comics again. I can get 6 titles that really entertain me for less the $20 a week..Thumbs UP

  11. I’m loving every book I read from DC. I double my pull list and am really loving how expanded and fresh the DCU feels now. Firestorm, Justice League, Animal Man, Swamp Thing, and I, Vampire are the standouts for me. I know people generally seem to hate Firestorm, but I’ve found the two main characters not liking each other and bonding at the same time to be very refreshing. Why does every teenager have to act super smart and open and understanding? I don’t know teens that act like that.

  12. Still enjoying Wonder Woman, Frankenstein, Batwoman, Animal Man and Swamp Thing.

    I dropped Action Comics, Justice League and Justice League Dark but I’ll probably be picking it back up and dropping Frankenstein when Lemire switches books.

  13. I started with about 12 or 14 books and now I’m down to 4. Pretty much, I’m reading less DC books now than I was before the relaunch. Granted I’ve had to drop a lot of books in the past 2 months due to budgetary concerns, but the only 2 DC books that are really setting my world on fire are Animal Man and Wonder Woman.

    I probably will go back and pick up the trades for some books I missed out on, though, like I, Vampire. Overall, the New 52 has kind of been a bust for me, but I’m not the audience they’re going for in the first place.

  14. I’m down to Batman and woman, Swampthing, Animal Man and Demon Knights.

    6 months in, Demon Knights is really my jam. I didn’t even pick it up right at first either. After reading about it I had to go back and grab issue one. I love it so much. Yea, we’re still in the first arc, but there is something about this book that really feels like it is just for me (like X-Force and Ron) and everytime I finish an issue I put it down smiling.

  15. I’m not trying to be rude, but it really blows my mind when I hear that ACTION has gone off the rails are is too confusing

    • Personally, I dropped Action because of two reasons…

      1) It felt like Morrison was being mystifying just to be mystifying

      and 2) I was sold on the ‘blue-jean and cape’ Superman, but was not given that except for maybe two issues.

    • agreed. as a Morrison fan (appologist?) i felt the most recent issue was one of the best yet. Was it confusing? maybe, but it all clicked for me at the end and made the beginning more clear (and ultimately more interesting). I love it when Grant introduces insane concepts and plays with time/space, it challenges me as a reader and rewards me when i understand it

  16. Well, I went from reading one DC book (Green Lantern) to reading a dozen so I’d say it’s been great. Though I’ve recently dropped Action Comics, All-Star Western and Catwoman, all for different reasons.

  17. I really wanted to like Firestorm and Hawkman as I really really want to like both of these characters. However, not going to happen. Dropped after issue 2 or 3.

    Red Lantern was worth a shot. But nope….gone.

    Still sticking with Superman. Close to losing Superboy and Supergirl. Action Comics…for a bit longer I suppose.

    DC Comics Presents was the title I had high hopes for, especially in the New DCU. I liked the one and done stories that were in Brave and the Bold and thought that this would fit that spot. I hope they go to much shorter arcs, no more than 2 or maybe 3 issues. Also, I would like to see this title feature more “B” and “C” list characters. Maybe Mr. Terrific could have been featured here and had a chance to grow on us inch by inch.

  18. Of the new 52 I guess I tried about 30. Each month I have whittled down to about the 10 I get now. Really disappointed in Superman and Detective Comics has been off, especially recently. Also Batgirl started strong but the tone seems off. I am really enjoying Batwing. I like the setting and the whole new backstory. I’m kind of bummed he’ll be coming to Gotham for the Court of Owls. What made Batwing great was the Africa-centric storylines.
    I like Justice League for the big action plots and the world building, but I have to admit the”Batman takes of his mask” thing was kind of inexplicable. I’m hoping for a turnaround for Superman with the new creative team next month and I’m really looking forward to the Court of Owls stuff from Snyder.

  19. Success in the short run, not in the long though…

    I started picking up a lot more DC books, but have now narrowed it down to about the same number of title I was reading before the relaunch (maybe less in the near future). Here’s my list of DC titles I’ve picked up at least one issue of.

    Still reading:
    Animal Man
    Batman
    Birds of Prey
    Green Lantern
    Nightwing
    Swamp Thing

    Considering dropping:
    Action Comics
    All Star Western
    Aquaman
    Catwoman
    Justice League
    Red Hood
    Wonder Woman

    Dropped:
    Batgirl
    Batman & Robin
    Batwoman
    Demon Knights
    Detective Comics
    Flash
    Frankenstein
    Grifter
    I, Vampire
    Resurrection Man
    Red Lanterns
    Superboy
    Supergirl
    Superman
    Teen Titans
    Voodoo

  20. For me…

    LOVING: Animal Man, Swamp Thing, I, Vampire, Batman & Robin, Batman, Batwoman, Demon Knights, Flash, Wonder Woman

    ENJOYING: Green Lantern, Green Lantern: New Guardians, Supergirl, Stormwatch, Resurrection Man, Justice League Dark, Batwing, Blue Beetle, Birds of Prey, Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E, Aquaman

    ON A SHORT LEASH (aka “Probably going to be dropped”): Action Comics, Superman, Justice League, Justice League International, Nightwing, Teen Titans

    DROPPED (but made it more than one issue): Batgirl, Detective Comics, Grifter, Superboy, Red Lantern, Fury of Firestorm

    The rest, I either only read one issue (e.g. Hawk & Dove) or never bothered to pick up (e.g. Legion of Super-Heroes). Based on this list, I would say the DCnU was a success! I went from reading maybe four-five titles to that long string of titles I’m either loving or enjoying slightly less. By contrast, I’m only reading one Marvel title regularly (Ultimate Spider-Man), so clearly DC did something right to draw me back into a heavier rotation of comic reading…. although the $1.99 price point for one month later “new” releases certainly didn’t hurt, either.

  21. I started with 11 Books (Demon Knights, Frankenstein, Animal Man, Swamp Thing, All Star Western, Action Comics, Batwoman, Batgirl, Batman, Detective Comics, Wonder Woman) and am still subscribed to all but Demon Knights, Detective, and Batgirl. I’m considering cutting Action Comics and Wonder Woman, depending on how the next few issues go, but I’ve enjoyed the rest of the remaining titles quite a bit.

    Frankenstein and All Star Western have both been very pleasant surprises and Batman is probably the best book on the spinner racks right now. I thought at the end of his run on Detective that we’d probably look back on Snyder’s run as one of the best Batman runs of all time, I think he’s just been hitting it out of the park for the past six months.

    I’m curious to know when everyone thinks they’ll return to the original numbering. I’m sure it will happen when Action Comics hits 1000, but I wonder if they will do it earlier than that since issue 1000 is still a ways off.

    • I wonder if they will go back to the original numbering. Maybe they keep the same numbering, but put a banner on the book that says 1000th issue of Action Comics. So it’ll be the 100th issue, but the issue number will still be Volume 2, Issue# X

    • It sounds strange to say out loud (or “write it quietly” in this case), but I never even considered the possibility that they wouldn’t go back. I guess that say something about how entrenched re-numbering has become in my comic consciousness.

  22. After having bought every first issue, at the six month point I currently still read the following…

    Batman, Batwing, Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Flash, OMAC, All-Star Western and Frankenstein.

    I will pickup JL Dark again once Lemire begins and I also will give Superman another try at issue #7.

  23. I’d say it has been a success SO FAR judging by sales. The standard read/drop ratio is probably the same if they hadn’t changed anything, just inserted new writers and artists. However, I’m going out on a limb:

    What pisses me off (and Conor made this statement several podcasts ago) is that they didn’t truly fulfill what they said they’d do. And that is create practically all new, COMPLETELY DIFFERENT versions of famous characters to attract new readers, and engage those interested in some fresh ideas.

    I’m glad Batman hardly changed – but he’s my main DC hero. What I wanted to see DC do was literally start over like they did with Silver Age versions of Golden Age heroes. Keep the names like Green Lantern and Flash, but create completely new characters, perhaps new or slightly different powers (Flash has a little of that but he’s STILL Barry Allen), definitely new costumes, new settings etc. Take Flash. I love the current book and the exploration of new powers, but longtime readers still discuss how Barry Allen “isn’t dating Iris anymore.” We aren’t supposed to be comparing anymore, aren’t we? Or, yes I still enjoy this book, Birds of Prey, but the only “relaunch” is that the team has a couple of new team members.

    Wonder Woman is closer to a successful example of relaunching the character. Sure, she’s still named Diana, and other characters in the book keep there names too, but this “new Diana” is almost completely different from the Diana before. If DC hadn’t kept the conflict of her formerly living as a clay baby and started her origin by discovering she’s the real daughter of Zeus, it would be absolutely perfect as a “relaunch.” (Although you’ve still got those familiar names…)

    Remember the old “Stan Lee Imagines the DC Universe” prestige books? A lot of them were less than spectacular, but there were some really unique elements differentiating the real DC characters vs the Lee heroes. I wouldn’t want Lee’s DC people to come back, but this is sort of what I’m talking about.

    I love the DC books I’m reading, but I really thought they could be a springboard for new readers to experience new imaginary stories, not a reactionary response to “we need another change.”

    • new readers have no problem catching up, Comics are a quick read that anybody can jump into no matter what. because the current story never matters because it is always trying to pull in new readers.

    • The two new readers I know are reading Batman and Green Lantern…. the two books with the least continuity changes.

      Odd

    • i wouldn’t say odd, Batman is freaking awesome and accessible, and green lantern (although with plenty of backstory) is pretty simple when you think about it. An exiled Hal losing and gaining the ring and forced to work with his (former?) arch nemesis.

  24. Before the new 52 I was getting 1 DC title with zero interest in anything else. Six months after the new 52 I am locked in at 6 DC titles. It’s a success as far as I’m concerned.

  25. The relaunch was a sucess for me because I had recently got back into reading comics and it gave me the perfect starting point to hop onto some titles I was intereste in but was not sure where they were in term of story arcs. I dropped Men of War, which I really wanted to like but just could not get into. Action comics was really good the first few issues but I am thinking about dropping both Action Comics and Superman. i am enjoying Superboy and Supergirl. I like all of the Batman titles. I am hoping that Justice League gets better and was thinking to my self what the hell when Batman took his mask off. Over all DC eneded up with me reading more DC titles than I was before the relaunch.

  26. If you typically listen to Rock or Metal music your entire life and then suddenly find yourself liking Lady Gaga, that would be a guilty pleasure, as you feel guilty for liking something you either ignored or actively hated for many years.

    If you listen to pop music your entire life, and then like Lady Gaga, it’s not really a guilty pleasure.

    This is how I feel about Catwoman. It irks me to see it repeatably called a ‘guilty’ pleasure. If you’ve been reading super hero comics for 15 years exactly what makes you feel ‘guilty’ about liking it? The one sex scene? If it’s the boobs, do you always feel guilty when something is drawn booby? Did voodoo’s cover last week (boob torpedoes) make anyone feel guilty about reading it? Has every issue of green lantern that had a Star Sapphire make you feel guilty? etc. etc.

    Sorry to rant, it just really sticks in my craw you know? haha.

    • Catwoman Is a wonderful book…I agree with you comments, Great story beautiful art but the main complaint is she too sexy and she not the brubaker catwoman..boo hoo still a great Catwoman.

  27. I don’t know how anyone can consider this “relaunch” a success, any more than they could consider poly-bagging and variant metallic covers a success.

    Initial sales jump and interest with a majority of people now saying “I’m reading less DC books now than I was before the relaunch.”

    I don’t think they could have handled this worse actually. A relaunch that references past events? Some characters not relaunched at all while others are creating a disparate continuity? How does that make sense? Barbara Gordon is a perfect example. “I was paralyzed but then I got better.” If it’s a relaunch just erase the event. She was never paralyzed and no one would say “Weren’t you paralyzed?”

    Is it a new universe or not? Apparently, not even the brass at DC know the answer.

  28. the #1 selling book prior to relaunch was close to 80,000. After the relaunch, every title in the top ten sells more than this. People were saying that only name brands could sell before the relaunch…Animal Man and Swamp Thing are massive hits.

    I don’t see how people can say it’s a failure.

    • It’s the internet. Never let actual fats cloud your judgement here! People just have knee jerk reactions to things and need to piss all over something, whether the actual facts warrant it or not.

  29. The budget dictates that my magic number of titles per month is 21.
    DC currently makes up more than half of that, but after hearing those Image announcements things are definately going to change.

  30. Parri Parri (@pazzatron) says:

    Like a few people on here, I had never bought a single issue book until the New 52 happened. Weeklies scared me and I lived for trades. My pull list run down on the last six months:

    Tried a whole bunch and stuck with:
    JL
    JL Dark
    Action Comics
    Aquaman
    Batman
    Batman & Robin
    Batgirl
    Nightwing
    Catwoman
    Detective
    Green Lantern
    Flash
    Wonder woman
    All star western
    Swamp thing
    Animal man
    Resurrection man
    Grifter
    Voodoo
    I vampire
    Demon Knights

    Dropped:
    Batgirl
    Voodoo
    Demon Knights
    Action Comics
    JL
    Grifter
    Nightwing

    At first dropping books seemed like a big deal, especially flagships like Justice League and Action Comics. Josh mentions on the podcast quite often about how if he’s not enjoying a book he’ll drop it without the fear of “what if it gets good again?” or “but I need to know the end”. It’s a good mind set. I only have so much money for comics so why spend it on ones I’m not enjoying?

    As a newcomer to the Wednesday crowd the New 52 has given me a load of books I’ve loved reading but, more importantly, it’s given me the confidence to pick up books from other publishers too — be it an issue 1 or an issue 601 — without a fear of being lost in 60 years of unknown continuity.

  31. I would say it has been a success overall. We’ve had a few casualties announced, but the replacement books sound very promising.

    Still Reading:
    Batgirl
    Batman & Robin
    Batwoman *
    Demon Knights
    Detective Comics
    Flash
    Frankenstein
    I, Vampire *
    Animal Man *
    Batman *
    Green Lantern *
    Nightwing *
    Swamp Thing *
    All Star Western *
    Aquaman *
    Justice League
    Wonder Woman
    Stormwatch *

    Titles with * are ones I am particularly enjoying.

    Likely to Drop:
    JLI – started off fun but it just isn’t fun anymore. Having the big baddie of the first arc be a cheap Galactus knock-off with Celestial knock-off giant robots didn’t help. This book could use an infusion of humor and comradery of the Giffen/DeMatteis variety.

    Dropped:
    Birds of Prey
    Action Comics
    Red Hood
    Grifter
    Resurrection Man
    Red Lanterns
    Superman
    Voodoo

  32. Action Comics – the 1st issue is still in the top 5 best issues of the entire relaunch. every issue has been weaker than that, and it’s really a shame that it hasn’t been more about “commie” Superman for the people. It just doesn’t make sense. The first year should’ve been like the first issue, now it’s just jumping around and it’s the worst Rags Morales’ art of his career. I still like the book and will continue reading it, but this SHOULD be the best book in the line. It’s not.

    All Star Western – More or less my favorite book of the bunch, but I’m biased because Palmiotti and Gray’s Hex is my favorite character and I’m a big Western fan. Loving Moritat’s art. Issue #5 was really great in the cave. Just big panels, great coloring and great writing. Do I miss the previous Hex stuff? Sure – but this is workign better than it could have been and while the backups haven’t been great all the time, they’re fun.

    Animal Man – For sure deserves the praise it’s gotten. I don’t think the writing itself is anything spectacular, but it’s really fucked up and I love that it just WENT FOR IT. Sad to see Foreman go, but it’ll still be good.

    Aquaman – Reis’ art is great, but the story and the writing is pretty subpar so far. I dropped it at #5 (which was the best issue of the bunch), but I read #6 this week from a friend, and it was horrible. Anyway, I’m glad that a top-tier writer is writing Aquaman, but the book isn’t good enough to follow religiously.

    Batgirl – Really disappointing. Not terrible or anything, but just nothing truly interesting happening here.

    Batman – Astounding work for the most part. Terrifying, beautiful. Deserves every bit of praise it got at the CGS awards.

    Batman and Robin – The most underrated book of the relaunch? Way better than I expected it to be and some of my favorite art/coloring in comics right now.

    Batman: The Dark Knight – Dropped after issue 2. Terrible.

    Batwoman – I feel like JH Williams upped the ante even higher than from his amazing work with Rucka. Just a great book and I love that he ends issues without a huge cliffhanger like all other books. Haven’t read the Reeder issue yet, but I’ve been enjoying the supernatural elements of the book a lot. Really great.

    Batwing – Mixed feelings here. I’ve been enjoying Ben Oliver’s art a lot and I think it’s much better than Winnick’s Catwoman, and I’m glad he is a mildly successful NEW character, but it’s a bit inconsistent. I dropped it, but my good friend counts it among his very favorites so I’ve been reading them – interesting to see where it goes.

    Birds of Prey – Definitely my surprise of the relaunch. Had no tie to the female characters in DC before or anyone on the creative team and while this isn’t groundbreaking, it’s quietly one of the most consistent books in the line. I love Saiz’ work here and am interested to see what Foreman does. (though part of the draw originally was Saiz’ really clean lines)

    Blackhawks – Shame it got cancelled because the last couple issues (5 & 6) were really great and I think Costa is getting his footing. Really like the concept and would have loved to see it work, but knew it was doomed from the start. Sad to see it go.

    Blue Beetle – This is a book I definitely WANT to succeed. I love Blue Beetle and think Jamie Reyes is an important character moving forward in the DCU (just like Kate Kane is), but the book definitely left a lot to be desired. I dropped it, but downloaded #6 digitally after seeing CBR gave it 5 stars and it really blew me away. Will see if it continues in an upward swing because I really want to support the book. Love how bright the book is too.

    Captain Atom – One good issue, 5 mediocre to bad issues.

    Catwoman – ^^^. I like March as an artist a lot, but have no buy-in for this book. I know some people think it’s great, but I think it’s mostly subpar.

    DC Universe Presents (Deadman) – I love the concept of DCU Presents, so I’ll probably get this book as long as it’s pretty good. This was the case for this arc. Nothing great (writing and art), but decent enough. Doesn’t do much for the Deadman character though to me. First issue of Didio’s “Challengers” was both awesome and terrible, so we’ll see where it goes.

    Deathstroke – Totally fun, but I dropped it. Bummed Higgins and Bennett are leaving because this would be the kind of book I would pick up if it was a slow week and wanted some popcorn fun. No interest in Liefeld doing it though. The scene where Legacy throws a submarine at Deathstroke? Awesome.

    Demon Knights – After the first issue, I think I had this ranked as the 2nd best book in the relaunch. It’s fallen, but I’m still glad it exists and I think that it’s still on it’s way to become something special. Cornell just has to introduce these characters to a new audience. Once that happens, shit is going to get real good.

    Detective Comics – Has no reason to exist.

    Flash – Beautiful book, competent storytelling. I know a lot of people who think it’s the best “superhero” book in the relaunch, and it’s pretty fun and all and The Flash is one of my favorites, but I didn’t really care for the opening arc as an actual story. Really excited for the Captain Cold arc though.

    Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. – Totally adore this book. Lemire’s totally just having fun here and it’s unlike anything else he’s written, and it’s great. I think Ponticelli is the perfect artist for this and it’s some of my favorite stuff. Just dark lines and huge monsters and it’s insane. Really excited for what Kindt will do on this book, think it’s a perfect fit for him.

    Fury of Firestorm – Maybe the most disappointing book of the relaunch? Firestorm was supposed to become one of the most important characters in the DCU – I read the first 4 issues and they were all a pain to get through. One of the absolute worst. Maybe it’s better now, but I doubt it. Really wish the Atomic Robo guy’s story idea got picked up, if this book was FUN and could still convey Ronnie and Jason as insanely powerful, we would be a lot better.

    Green Arrow – Somehow Giffen and Jurgens ended up writing a book worst than JT Krul. What a joke. Fingers crossed for Nocenti and Talibao. Green Arrow is one of my favorite characters in theory.

    Green Lantern – Just burnt out on Green Lantern and I don’t think this is as good as it should be.

    Green Lantern Corps – It’s been kind of fun and epic, but pretty poor writing compared to the past. Dropped it.

    Green Lantern: New Guardians – Again. Just too much Green Lantern at this point. Art is pretty but no interest in the rainbow corps anymore.

    Grifter – Another huge disappointment. Does it get worse than Scott Clark? Not really.

    Hawk & Dove – Worst of the relaunch by far. Just horrible. COuldn’t even read past issue 3. Painful

    I, Vampire – This has been really great. Love the art, love the writing and while it’s moving kind of slow, I’m really interested to where it can go and the ramifications it can have on the DCU provided enough people read the book.

    Justice League – Don’t understand the hate for this book. Has been a total blast. Awesome art, awesome splashes. Hilarious, popcorn writing. The whole “We Got This” thing that people were up in arms about is ridiculous because it’s supposed to be absurd. Really really fun.

    Justice League Dark – A bit confusing to be sure, but enjoying Janin a lot on it and still excited this book exists. Will be really intersted to see where Lemire goes with it, makes it a bit more straight-forward and horror oriented.

    Justice League International – Fun. That’s about it. Nothing too special, but a nice classic superhero book.

    Legion Lost – Another book I really want to like. Haven’t read the original mini, but I like the concept and I’ve wanted to get into some Legion characters for awhile, so a truncated cast was a good way to do it. It’s been a pretty confusing and disjointed book so far though, but pretty fun. I think with a different writer, this book could be really great – the art is certainly fantastic.

    Legion of Super Heroes – I’ve still been following this but I have almost no idea what is happening each issue.

    Men of War – Really liked the direction this book took when it had a successive story in #5-6. Still think it’s a great idea and all, wish it wasn’t going away.

    Mr. Terrific – One good issue (the really trippy #5), but mostly forgettable.

    Nightwing – On the fence here. I like Dick Grayson a lot and like the circus story here and Barrows is putting out his best art of his career as far as I’m concerned, but it’s been a bit inconsistent as well. Nothing too special, but good superhero storytelling.

    OMAC – RIP. Loved the art, it was silly and all. Wish it could stay.

    Red Hood and the Outlaws – Said something about it in the Red Hood thread. The art is amazing in this book and the actual concept is really cool, but Lobdell is overwriting the hell out of this book to the point that it totally ruins it (same as Teen titans and Superboy). Just tone it down dude and stop trying to be “clever” amidst Claremont-levels of writing. It’s not working.

    Red Lanterns – I think this book sucks and shouldn’t exist.

    Resurrection Man – My favorite concept and it’s not quite delivering. I’ll keep buying for awhile, but I hope it picks up soon.

    The Savage Hawkman – Could have been so awesome. Why is Tony Daniel writing this? I mean seriously some of the absolute worst dialogue I have ever read was in issue 2 and 3 of this book. Art is pretty cool, and the concept that Daniel has or at least pitched at cons about Hawkman sounded AWESOME. But jesus, what a joke. He’s supposed to be in the Justice League soon? Gimme a break.

    Static Shock – Deserved to be cut. Art and story were bad. Like the character a lot though, hopefully they can find a good footing down the road for the Milestone guys.

    Stormwatch – Decent, not as good as I expected it to be, but not terrible. Excited for Milligan on this though.

    Suicide Squad – Couple of good issues, couple of really poor issues. I think it’s important for Suicide Squad to exist though, so I’m all for it picking up again.

    Superboy – Really cool art, really poor story/writing.

    Supergirl – Mahmud is quickly becoming one of the best artists in the biz isn’t he? Really love this book – total surprise.

    Superman – Like this a lot more than other people do. I think it’s a ridiculous throwback and is fun for being so. Lots of words obviously, but I enjoy the art and how obnoxious and dated it seems. Will drop after the Perez arc though.

    Swamp Thing – Amazing. Can’t wait for more actual SWAMP THING stuff, but man this book is the complete package.

    Teen Titans – Pass.

    Voodoo – Getting rid of Marz was the wrong decision. Marz’s issues weren’t perfect or anything but were way better than the 2 that Williamson has put out. Dropped. Great art though.

    Wonder Woman – This is going to go down as an all-time classic, I feel. It’s not my favorite yet, but by the time the first few arcs are done and assuming this creative team stays together for the most part – I think this is going to be something really really special.

  33. I don’t think long first arcs are inherently bad. Look at Snyder’s Batman. We’re still in arc one of that story, which shows no sign of wrapping up soon, and most people cannot heap enough praise on it. Other books, like Justice League and Demon Knights are getting criticized because their first arcs are going on too long. What gives?

    I think there are a couple of factors at play. First, I think the answer is that some writers are really good at writing episodic comics, where each comic has an overall narrative unto itself, and other writers tend to tell stories in more of an installment basis, where you just get a portion of the story for 20 pages and then have to check back next month to get the next installment. Second, I think that some creators pack more “content” into each comic, whether it’s strong character development, good plot points, gorgeous art, or an unraveling mystery. Other comics seem to be nothing more than 20 pages of “fluff”, which fails to move the story along. Certainly, if the comic you are enjoying has content, you are going to feel like you’ve gotten your money’s worth.

    When I first started reading comics, back in the 80’s, most comics were written in an episodic format. Each issue would establish the conflict, create rising action, move some minor B-plots forward, and resolve the main conflict within the body of the comic. This format was inherently new-reader friendly, even if it was a little exposition heavy to make sure that new readers had all of the information they needed to follow along. (And, thank heaven for those editor’s notes!) Back then, I don’t think most readers even thought about stories in terms of “arcs”. You can look back at some collected editions of that era and see that major storylines would develop out of a B-plot that had been simmering in the background for several issues until the writer moved it up to be the A-plot.

    When I think back to Batman #1, remember the quiet scene between Bruce, Dick, Tim and Damien. That moment seems like a lifetime ago in terms of this story. As readers, we have gone on this adventure along with Bruce, traveling ever deeper into mystery of the Court of Owls, and we are certainly a long way from where we started. There has been definite forward progress, and we get the sense the Bruce (and us as well) may be changed forever due to these events once it is all said and done.

    On the other hand, you have books like Justice League and Demon Knights, where it feels as though we are essentially in the same place. Maybe it is because the locale and threat has basically remained the same. Sure, we have learned a little about our heroes, but not enough to quench our desire for something, anything more to happen. These books are unfolding at a seemingly snails pace.

    Books like Animal Man, Wonder Woman and The Flash are either novel in their approach, have fantastic art, or both. That’s not to take anything away from their storytelling, which has been top notch too. I am merely trying to say that the attraction of books like these is more than their story. It is just another reason to keep coming back each month.

    I have found that my initial impression of some books was wrong. I have recently read through #1 – #6 of Teen Titans and Superboy, which were better than I initially thought. Maybe they benefited from reading them all in one sitting. Certainly, the ease of obtaining a digital copy and the reduced price point makes it more likely that I will go back and read other books that I initially gave a pass to.

    Ultimately, the New 52 is not very different from what preceded it. Good comics are good comics. Not everything has been successful, but DC got a lot right, not by necessarily changing the formula but by continuing to put out good books, with accessible jumping on points for new readers. I would like to see them do shorter arcs if for no other reason than to give people another place to jump back on.

  34. Pre-52 the only non-Vertigo DC books I was reading were Secret Six and Xombi [really liked JMS’s Brave and the Bold but then he pulled his screw you guys Im going home routine and that was that].

    Anyway since the new 52 I’ve tried and dropped Action Comics, Aquaman, Demon Knights, and Frankenstein. In brief, Action Comics bored me, I realized I don’t care for Aquaman the character, Demon Knights was painfully slow and when Vandal Savage wasn’t around even slower, and Frankenstein while fun and pretty to look out still came across as a second rate BPRD with much lamer characters [although perhaps slightly funnier].

    I have embraced Wonder Woman [total shocker – I had never read a Wonder Woman comic in my life], Batman [never bought a Batman series in issues as it was coming out but I am a Snyder fan and he didnt disappoint], and Animal Man [liked Morrison’s run, Lemire’s horror take could be even better though I am dismayed by Travel Foreman’s understandable decision to move on]. I am still on the fence about Swamp Thing mostly for the [again] slow pace and what seems to me like a contrived love story though the last could just be because Alan Moore’s Swampy is my favorite run of any book ever. Regarding the second wave I am pretty psyched for Mieville’s Dial H.

    So at present I am +1 in terms of number of DC series purchased before and after the relaunch with the possibility of going +3 if I stick with Swamp Thing and Dial H when it comes out. I’d call that a marginal to decent win for the company. Now bring back Simone on Secret Six.

  35. Apart from Green Lantern Corps, I’d say this has been a success for me. Hell I want to buy Flash, Demon Knights, and JLA: Dark in retrospect after seeing all of the love (and preview pages) over the last six months. But the books I still read have been either consistently great or just ‘good’ at worst. I can’t wait for Dial H and even the books I won’t be buying, I do have a good interest in trade or possible future back issue hunting.

    So my interest, six months in, for DC is still at an all time high for me.

  36. I’m subscribing to more DC books than I ever have now, so I consider the relaunch successful.

  37. Started comics with the new 52, 6 month in I’m buying 27 of them, one is cancelled though but the second wave is bringing 4 more which will bring my DC pull list to 30 starting May so the new 52 is awesome.

  38. DC lost me when their prices went up a few yrs ago. When they finally went down again I didn’t feel the need to jump back on. I fully intended to pick up Batwoman but it was delayed for so long I eventually lost interest in that too. Prior to the price increase I had been picking 10 or more monthly superhero titles from DC. I’m down to 0 and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything at all. I know there ‘s good stories but I’m involved in other good stories.

  39. I like Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman, Resurrection Man, Batwoman, Flash.

  40. I still digging batman, batman & robin, detective, batwoman and nightwing. The dark knight is the bat book that can go away and I won’t miss it. I still enjoying the three green lantern books, but dropped red lantern after issue two.

    Flash,Aquaman, Wonder Woman and JL Dark are fun reads. JL is fun for the spectacle but I need more substance after this first arc wraps.

    Demon Knights, Animal Man and Swamp Thing have been great though for some reason I feel like all three were in neutral last issue.

    The worst of the relaunch IMO were Mr Terrific, Hawk & Dove and
    Hawkman.

    Oh and Action Comics has been fun but I want more of the year one superman.

  41. Trade waiter but my list which started out at 15 has been whittled down to:

    Wonder Woman, Action, Batman, Animal Man, Swamp Thing, All-Star Western

    I was considering Batman and Robin, Demon Knights, Justice League Dark, Frankenstein but decided against them.

    Everything at DC is on an extra short leash after the decision to go ahead with Before Watchmen. I’m not going to cut anything any slack. If a book dips in my interest it’s going and I’m not going to try a book in the name of diversity. DC has exhausted all my good will.

  42. I’m in the mood to make a list so here goes. Among the New 52 books I tried…

    STILL READING: Justice League, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Action Comics, Supergirl, Green Lantern, Batwoman, OMAC (for now), Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Justice League Dark, Demon Knights, Frankenstein, I, Vampire

    DROPPED QUICKLY: Blue Beetle, Green Lantern Corps, GL: New Guardians, Batman & Robin

    DROPPED RECENTLY: Red Lanterns, Catwoman, Batman, Resurrection Man, Voodoo, Stormwatch, Grifter

    The three books written by Johns are all potential drops for me. I think they suffer from the pacing problems Mike mentioned the most. Justice League will have to impress me tomorrow to stick around. I’ll probably stick with GL and Aquaman though. Everything else on my Still Reading list is pretty secure.

    Looking back, I feel like they could’ve gone further with the “relaunch” aspect of the New 52. The largely unchanged Batman and Green Lantern books feel rather stale next to the rest of the lineup. I would’ve missed some of the stuff they’ve been building there over the last few years but I would’ve gotten over it.

    Justice League has certainly been stumbling but the one great thing about it is that is truly feels like a fresh restart. The contrast between stuff like JL and (initially) Action Comics and your Green Lanterns and Batmans makes the New 52 as a whole a strange bird. I think The Flash has done a great job of striking a balance between familiar and fresh.

    But, maybe next to all the new Vertigo-but-not books I’m enjoying, the more standard superhero stuff is going to feel stale regardless. The Vertigo exiles are by far the biggest hit for me. On the other hand, the Wildstorm exiles are the biggest failure.

    I’d also add I’m loving The Shade and looking forward to Earth 2 and Batman, Inc.

  43. I think I’m reading just about as much DC now as I was before. Lost a few here, gained a few there, but overall, DC gets a big fat “meh” out of me. They have some fantastic (To me anyway) characters that they just do not utilize well. Characters and concepts that I just did not care about before, I still do not care about. Obviously, it’s been a success sales wise, but creatively, it’s just more of the same. Oddly, I still don’t care about Wonder Woman as a character, although the book is fantastic. It could be about anyone really, Wonder Woman is just a paperdoll cutout that fills in space. They still can’t get a cross between Batman and Errol Flynn right. That is mindboggling to me. I love Green Arrow as a character, but they just can not figure him out. I was super excited about All Star Western and it didn’t deliver, so I dropped it. I was excited about Detective, and it was one of the worst comics I have read in ages. I was excited about the return of the Challengers of the Unknown, and it ended up rivaling Detective #1 for that dubious honor. I enjoyed JLI for the first few issues, then it hit a wall made out of molasses and elderly people.

    I dropped half the stuff I tried after the first issue, and they cancelled my favorite out of all of them. I’ve dropped Frankenstein, and All Star Western since, with JLI and Demon Knights on the chopping block. I’m sticking with Batman, Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Catwoman, and Wonder Woman for the forseeable future. Those are all solid, but my credit for working at my LCS is better spent on Marvel and Image books that impress me every month over DC books that are dull and boring.

    Five books. That’s a smaller percentage of titles than Batman is in.

  44. Catwoman is my fav book of the new 52, I wouldn’t even call it a guilty pleasure. Just damn good stuff. All in all, six months in the new 52 is kickin’ ass I’d say, especially the Bat line.

  45. Was planning on dropping all DC last fall, for budgetary reasons.

    The New 52 kept me in for another six to nine months.

    I couldn’t afford a lot of books, so I bought only books with solo female leads or teams on which there was near gender-parity, or a preponderance of female members.

    Below is a list of the titles, and the last issue numbers for each.

    Batgirl #6 – end of first arc, Batman comes to bless the title

    Batwoman #5 – couldn’t afford it, artist switch

    Catwoman #6 – end of first arc, Batman stops by for another booty call?

    BOP #9 – I’ll stick with it through the big reveal

    JLD #5 – end of first arc, or thereabouts

    Supergirl #6 – end of first arc, or thereabouts

    Wonder Woman #9 – intriguing, wish I could afford more

    Voodoo #5 – that’s enough

    I also bought the Huntress mini and both volumes of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.

    By May I will be buying Mostly Marvel, and most of that (over half) will be by subscription.

    My budget only allows for about 20 titles, and of those, about ten to twelve are mail-order and the rest I get from my LCS (the unavailable-for-subscription titles, the trial balloons, the minis, the maxis, the limiteds, the canceled continuings, etc.) If they offered Daredevil, Thunderbolts and Winter Soldier for subscription, I’d only go to the store once a month. Maybe less.

  46. I think that the relaunch combined with the price point commitment (aside from a few books) helped really sway me towards DC. I have dropped most marvel books (especially the 3.99 books) and am largely an image dc reader now. Five years ago I was much more heavily invested in all things marvel. I think cost and general event fatigue have taken their toll.

  47. There have been some definite in the new 52, Wonder Woman is better than she has been in years-maybe even ever. Batman is equally great. I went into justice league and JLI wanting to love both books. However, JL just kinda, well sucks. It looks good but the story is just boring. JLI has potential, I just wish it would embrace a little of the humor from the Bwa-ha-ha league. I’m getting ready to drop Action, Detective, and maybe GL. I didn’t think I’d BoP without Gail Simone at the helm but I’ve enjoyed it so far. I may bail when they switch artists.

  48. for me a great jumping on point as i was reading more indie (then dc , marvel) i got batman, dark knight, bat + robin, detective, action comics, swamp, animal man, catwoman, the only ones im gana drop after the arc is action comics (over priced crap) detective and catwoman just because im checking out the next wave when they come out in may plus ive still got a lot of indie comics i enjoy and im trying not to spend to much in all…

  49. Didn’t we have an article like this last month? With all due respect to the excellent ifanboy website, I am getting a little fed up with the sub-standard grammar and proofreading of its contributers and editors. Boo, rant, poo-poo, sneer, nit-pick etc.

  50. I had started out reading all of the New 52, and I have held out to this point; the end of most story arcs. I do not agree with the Justice League review in this article at all, the story is super easy to follow and as it unfolded the characters were starting to bond quickly under such a huge devistating situation. Darkseid is fine as this is a reboot everyone, this is not the same old D, and as far as Doomsday, I will agree; he had his usefullness.
    As a good majority are going to list our keepers, on the fencers, and dropped lists in these comments maybe IFanBoy can put together a pole of DC’s New 52 on top 10, keeper, fence, and dropped and see how it really goes? I think that would be fun, or maybe even a permanent drop list for all comics DC, Marvel and so on like the pull list and see what the opinion is? Just some thoughts, maybe there is better way to word it or put it together. Anyway…..heres my list:

    Top 12 (not in this order though)

    Justice League
    Suicide Squad
    The Flash
    Aquaman
    Catwoman
    Batman TDK
    Batman
    Green Lantern
    Voodoo
    Red Lanterns
    Justice League International
    Red Hood and The Outlaws

    Keepers

    Birds of Prey
    Detective
    Batgirl
    Green Arrow
    Hawk and Dove (being cancelled)
    Stormwatch
    Swamp Thing
    Batman and Robin
    Batgirl
    Deathstroke
    Grifter
    Superboy
    Supergirl
    Woder Woman
    Teen Titans

    On the Fence

    Animal Man
    Demon Knights
    Firestorm
    Resurrection Man
    Green Lantern Corps
    Green Lantern New Gaurdians
    Nightwing
    Superman

    Dropped

    Static Shock
    Men of War
    Omac
    Blackhawks
    Batwoman
    Justice League Dark
    I Vampire
    Frankenstein
    Captain Atom
    Blue Beetle
    Legion Lost
    Mister Terrific
    DC presents (as of these last two story arcs)
    Legion of Super Heroes
    All Star Western (Had me at the begining, don’t know what happened)
    The Savage Hawkman
    Action Comics
    Batwing

    I think thats all of them??

    K

  51. The new 52 didn’t change my reading/collecting habits much. I’ve always had on-again, off-again relationship w/ Superman and Action… The New Krypton storyline lost me about halfway through and I just didn’t care and quit.

    With prices being what they were, I had narrowed down collecting to a few select titles, and after checking out various new 52 titles, pretty much an in line with what I paid for before the new 52: Bat-books.

    I am the only person who really didn’t care much for the first few issues of Action apparently. I didn’t like ‘avenger’ Superman.

    I enjoy these titles each for what they are, but as a cohesive whole, they make no sense to me.

    All-Star Western is top notch, along with Animal Man. I have deep love for Resurrection Man, owning the entire original run, so I can’t stop that (love it so much, I also picked up the Villains For Hire mini those guys are doing for Marvel… that’s pretty good too and literally the only Marvel book I buy).

    I dropped The Dark Knight prior to the new 52 and should have known better when picking up the new title. I understand what its supposed to be, but that’s just not my cup of tea. Not when you got Snyder out there writing some of the Batman stories ever.

    I like the new 52 because I guess I could be labelled as a DC fanboy. I won’t defend it though, its got some huge problems and criticisms and even though I like it, I can’t see how it really succeeded in its mission. I’m sure they may have drawn a few new comic readers, but for the most part, all things point to veteran comic readers who are making these sales. Once all their curiosity is past, we’ll be back to where we started. And with Earth 2 stories on the horizon, its really just the same old DC with a few a costume changes.

  52. I picked up 12 of the titles when they relaunched. I dropped Mr. Terrific and Birds of prey right away. I’m on the bubble with Action Comics and Wonder Woman. Enjoying Batman, detective Comics ad batman & Robin, Flash, Justice League international, Flash. Justice League……I’m not sure how I feel about this one. I’m always excited to read it, but it doesn’t seem to earn that excitement after I have read it. IDK why I don’t connect with it like I feel I should be. Animal man is really good, too.

    For me, the biggest surprise has been Fury of Firestorm. This might actually b my favorite of the New 52 titles. it’s a book that a lot of people are either not reading, or ARE reading and not enjoying. But when I read most of the criticisms, they aren’t really complaining about the book itself, they are complaining that the book isn’t what they want it to be: it’s not just Ronnie and professor Stein. It’s something new, a fresh take on the character. And people don’t want new, they want the same thing they have seen a hundred times before.

    I think the concept behind Firestom is really cool: a scientific means to create an insanely powerful human…..which then becomes the most sought after item for terrorists looking to cause chaos and destruction. It’s easier to sneak a man and an atomic bomb into a place when the man IS the bomb. It’s like the arms race all over again, with various nations and terrorist cells all trying to get their hands on a Firestorm.

    The tragedy that occurred in issue #5 was a very modern, very powerful event. Ronnie’s reaction to it in the following issue was great and refreshing to see in a super-hero book, and the art was fantastic. Ronnie’s facial expression when he realized they were breathing in the ash of the vaporized concert goers was chilling.

    Firestorm seems to be the only book that really delivers on the whole purpose of the New 52: relaunching a universe and given updated, fresh spins on classic concepts. The other books all seem like the same old thing, just done either very well (the Batman books, Animal Man) done average (Justice League) or done poorly (Mr. Terrific.) Only Firestom (from what I’ve read at least,) is taking a concept and rethinking it from the ground up.