Tuesday, June 28, 2016


So DC's 'NEW 52' is finally fucking over and 'REBIRTH' appears to be pretty damn good (so far). I've had a few friends ask me if there was anything good/decent in the New 52, so I thought I'd post some recommendations for those wanting to pick up some cheap books in Convention Discount Bins this summer.

I could devote an entire blog about what I hated about the New 52, but instead I'll try to focus on the positive....

For the most part, I thought there were only TWO really good, note-worthy single issues out of the New 52. So we'll hit those real quick....


Action Comics #9 (by Grant Morrison and Gene Ha):
President Superman of Earth 23 and lovely motifs about creator rights and the dilution of character properties.

Superman #51 (by Tomasi and Janin):
Part 1 of "The Final Days of Superman". I found this one touching, particularly his relationship with Lana Lang. 

Now onto noteworthy runs/arcs....


The best books of the New 52 were those LEAST effected by the reboot - those titles that were more-or-less an uninterrupted flow from an in-progress run:

by Tomasi and Gleason

I hated the character of Damien when he first appeared, but Tomasi actually made me love him during his run. Issues 1-18 are a must have for your Batman shelf. 

by Snyder and Capullo

The first story arc, "The Court of Owls" (#1-7), is a fantastic Bat-Story and also worthy of your Bat-Shelf. I advise stopping here... "Night of Owls" was disappointing and the title shits the bed after that.

by G.Johns, Mahnke, Bunn and others.

This recommendation is about the Sinestro stories, which flow right out of Johns' pre-New52 'Green Lantern'. I love John's Sinestro and later Cullen Bunn continues the "right voice" with the 'Sinestro' solo series. Recommended Reading: GL #1-12 and Sinestro #1-23.

The above books are all Shelf Worthy, IMO.

Now onto the others....


Okay, so now let's move onto the "REALLY GOOD, BUT NOT NECESSARILY STELLAR CLASSICS" group of books:

by Azzarello and Chang

What if WW was a Vertigo book? I enjoyed this run, but didn't care for Diana's retconned origin. Instead of "Born of Woman", she's now "Bastard Child of Rapie Zeus". But the story that transpires from that setup is intriguing and Chang's art is fantastic. Again, think of this more as a self-contained Vertigo/Elseworlds book and you'll enjoy it more.

by G. Johns and Reis (and Pelletier)

It's a bit quirky in parts, but overall this is a really fun read. The first 2 storylines are nice setups for the next 2 more epic storylines "Throne of Atlantis" and "Death of a King". The coloring by ROD REIS and later RAIN BEREDO is superb and holds it all together! 

by J. H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman

This is more-or-less an continuation of sorts from the pre-New52 run by Greg Ruck and JH Williams III. The story is ok, but the Williams art is gorgeous. Despite DC Editorial fucking the ending, it's still a nice story. I recommend the issues with JH Williams' art, but the McCarthy issues are pretty, too.

by Robinson, Taylor and others

This is set on a different Earth entirely (Earth 2) and is not bound by ANYTHING. If I was to describe this book with just one word, it would be "EPIC". The first arc sets up the world and characters, then goes through a semi-slow world-building burn and about a 3 issue boring arc (IMO) with Dr Fate. But by issue 18 things kick into gear and never lets up! So power through the great world-building issues and then enjoy the crazy, epic adventure of Earth 2 #18-32, then Earth 2: World's End #1-26! 

by Various

I'm a sucker for Kryptonian Imagery and the New 52 had some really fun takes on Krypton and its history.  Superman #0, Supergirl #0 and the first 7 pages(?) of Action Comics #3 have some great Krypton visuals. I really dig the design work here.

Then we have Batman/Superman #3.1 :Doomsday, Superboy #0 and Action Comics #23.2: Zod for some great History of Krypton. The new take (within these issues) of Doomsday and Clones are interesting ones. 


And lastly, here are some "FUN, BUT NOT GREAT" books. These are especially ripe for Quarter Bin binge reading:

by G.Johns, Reis and Finch

This is a fun story of the Injustice Gang invading Earth, defeating the Justice League (off panel) and wrecking havoc to the planet. The Villains we know and love must fight back to save the day. There's also a nice offshoot book "Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion" which is a lot of fun if you're a fan of the Flash's Rogues.

by Lemire and Sorrentino

This is what the New 52 Green Arrow should have started with. While the stories are ok-to-decent, and Oliver Queen is kind of a lame kid who talks empty talk, the real appeal is Sorrentino's artwork. The storyline "Outsiders War" was pretty sweet. This is collected in an oversized hardcover.

by Green and Johnson

I really enjoyed the first dozen or so issues of this primarily due to the art by Mike Johnson. I dig the new costume design (even with the weird red crotch patch) and his Kryptonian designs are really cool. I've been very pleased with the New 52s demise and rebirth with "Rebirth", but will mourn the ending of this incarnation. 

by Soule, Daniel, Tomasi and Mahnke

The first issue is abysmal, but if you power through (or skip it entirely) the first arc is really fun (#1-6) - ZOD and FAORA!!! Then you can jump to issue 13 when Tomasi and Mahnke take over. From there until the series' end is pretty fun, which is exactly what you'd expect from that creative team.

by Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder

When these 2 get together with Superman, fun happens! There are 2 arcs I found to bring a fun smile: Issue 25-28 and 41-44.

by Snyder, Paquette, Lemire, Foreman, Soule, Saiz

These are hit-or-miss for me. Some interesting horror stories with some great art. The concepts of The Green, The Red and The Rot are compelling. And I loved Jesus Saiz's Swamp Thing artwork/design! But overall, they felt a bit lacking. Worth a read if you find in the discount bin and want some funky horror that comes with Swamp Thing.

(Action Comics #23.1 and Superman #23.4)

Ya know, I'm also going to include these 2 one-shots. The art is sweet and I enjoyed reading them. If you see them in the Quarter Bin, check em out.


So there you have it. 

Now, please take note that I have not read everything under the New 52 banner. But I read a decent amount through friends' copies and other means... enough to have the opinion most of if was crap, but also enough to deem some hidden gems buried in the turd that was the New 52.

These are but my opinions and recommendations.

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