After three full weeks (and one teaser week) of DC’s New 52, it’s safe to say that it’s a rousing success. Titles are selling out all over the place. DC’s willingness to allow retailers to return unsold copies allowed shops to order far in excess of what they would usually order and even that hasn’t been enough in many cases. Some of the titles are going back to press for new second, third or more printings. The #1s are bringing in new and relapsed fans to comic shops, which is a victory for everyone. I wasn’t sure how the whole relaunch was going to work, but I’ve been won over. Each week I’ve found multiple titles that I’m going to add to my monthly pull list. The major challenge for DC will be to keep up this energy, intensity and quality in these books. If they can do that, the DCnU initiative will be a complete success.
Here’s a quick look at the DC offerings I picked up this week:
Batman #1: I haven’t consistently read a Batman book in years, but this could be the one to get me on board. Writer Scott Snyder does a great job of plunging readers into the world of the Dark Knight without being overwhelming or wasting time on too much background material. Snyder takes advantage of the fact that everyone already knows who Batman is and how he came to be. This allows him to focus on an enticing story to snare the attention of readers. The only flaw I can point out is that the cliffhanger kind of falls flat, but the rest of the book more than makes up for it. The writing is coupled with excellent art from Greg Capullo. Capullo is best known for his work on Spawn and he, quite effectively, brings that experience to bear here on another dark, urban vigilante. Between the bang-up jobs by Snyder and Capullo, this one is my pick of the week.
Wonder Woman #1: Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang deliver a great relaunch of this book. They seem to be introducing a strong mythological flavor to this series with the appearance of gods, magic and monsters all in the first issue. This is a bit of a departure from Azzarello’s usual hard-boiled crime work, but he does a nice job of it here. Chiang’s art is impressive and sets a nice tone for the book. Again, I’ve never been a huge Wonder Woman fan, but I’m definitely going to stick around and see where this book goes from here.
Supergirl #1: Another mysterious visitor from Krypton crashes to Earth, but unlike Superman’s origin, this time the authorities are ready and waiting. It’s a simple premise, but co-writers Michael Green and Mike Johnson make it work. They’re helped by some of the week’s best art from Mahmud Asrar. The combination of Asrar’s art and Green/Johnson’s depiction of Supergirl discovering her new powers make this one a winner.
Birds of Prey #1: This was the clunker for the week to me. Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz don’t do a bad job. The story is passable and Saiz draws a great battle in a church, but on the whole the book just felt kind of flat. It may be that I’m just spoiled by former BoP writer Gail Simone’s top-notch work, but for a first issue this didn’t get me interested or excited about the few characters that appear in it.
Blue Beetle #1: Tony Bedard and Ig Guara revive young Jaime Reyes as the titular hero. In this one, Jaime finds an alien scarab that bonds to him and encases him in an alien battle suit. Jaime’s first run as the Blue Beetle didn’t last very long. Hopefully, this series will have better luck. The character has a great look and it’s nice to see DC add some more diversity to their cast of heroes. But I must admit even though he’s a Latino youth living in El Paso, much of the Spanish sprinkled throughout the dialogue feels forced and clunky. Regardless, it still seems like it could be a really fun book.
Mr. Terrific #1: This one’s from last week, but I finally managed to track down a copy. I’m glad I put in the effort because it’s a solid book. Michael Holt is the third smartest man in the DCnU and he uses those smarts(along with a boatload of technology) to help save the world. I’m a sucker for super-heroes that use their brain more than their brawn, so this book looks like it’s right up my alley.