The rebooting of the DC universe has so far been a huge success. DC Comics released 52 new first issues in a massive relaunch last September. In a prior post I had mentioned my reservations along with some enthusiasm for the new direction. Now that we're five months into the new 52, here are my reflections:
Superman - I've always thought of George Perez as an artist and he is one of the best. But this book proves that he can also be an awesome writer. I like the fact that there is a lot of dialog. It takes me longer to read this title than any other, so I feel I'm getting more than just a picture book. It's deep and not fluffy. With the Daily Planet being purchased by Morgan Edge and the Planet staff adjusting to the mass media market, including Lois' promotion, it strikes a chord of reality with so many that have to constantly change with the times in the workplace. Characters, like Lois, must make hard ethical decisions in this book. The Clark and Lois relationship is back to its traditional formula. Clark likes Lois, but he doesn't seem to be on her radar, except as a co-worker. The exceptional art also makes this book worthwhile.
Action Comics - While relaunching Superman, in some respects Grant Morrison actually returns the Man of Steel to his roots. A younger and less experienced Superman whose alter ego, Clark Kent, is working for the rival publisher of the Daily Planet while getting to know Lois and Jimmy. I'll keep the Superman titles.
Supergirl- They haven't ruined Kara after all. The stories are great and you can sympathize with the character. I do wish she had a more modest costume though, especially in light of this character being a minor.
Batman - With at least four relaunched Bat books and at least that many more Batman-family titles, I had to be financially responsible about which titles made my pull list. I began with Batman, Batman and Robin, Detective Comics, and Batgirl. I have so far dropped Batman and Robin and Detective Comics. I found both titles too gratuitously violent. I dropped All-Star Western for the same reason after just one issue. I don't mind some action in my comics, but with people being hanged, skinned alive, and knifed in the first couple of issues I'd had enough. I felt that this was gore for the sake of gore. Agreeing with several online reviewers, I don't think it was just me. If more of us simply stop purchasing when the product isn't doing it for us, maybe DC will get the message. Comics are too expensive for us readers to purchase anything that is short of awesome.
As for the Batman title, I have been enjoying it up to the fifth issue which I did not feel moved the plot forward at all. It was good, however, to see Robin show up at the end and find out that maybe the little cuss has a heart in there after all and is concerned with his senior partner. The different format for the panels on several pages was also a nice touch, helping us to experience Bruce's surrealism along with him.
Batgirl - I still think that if they were going to take Barbara out of the wheel chair that they should have done a hard reboot of the entire universe, wiping the slate totally clean. But so far the stories have been really good. I look forward to each issue because I wonder what's going to happen. I actually care about the character. This is how comics should be written. I'd heard about the great writing Gail Simone does and I am convinced. The art by Ardian Syaf is very good. And Barbara Gordon actually has a personal life. I like that.
Justice League - I love almost everything about this book--especially the team of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. The witty dialog, the humor, the way characters are drawn and introduced, the plot itself. This book has everything going for it. If I could only read one DC comic a month, this would be it.