Monday, October 3, 2011

Count Down to NCCC Class 18: 2 Days: DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshakes

(Note: Chocolate Milkshakes and DC Comics is the name of a song by the band Art Brut, which has served as the inspiration for this coming series of illustrations.)

So all my life of reading comics I have been primarily a marvel man with the X-Men being my main go to family of comics. As I got older I branched out a little more, read more manga, (though I had been doing that for a while too.) read some indie stuff, but for the longest time, with the exception of some Vertigo Titles, most of which were not part of main DC continuity I had refused to even touch a DC comic. Why? most of the reasons very stupid, especially since most of the comics that I got from my dad's collection when I was little were old DC books and a lot of the comics I got at the time were also DC (Young Justice, Green Lantern, ect.) and on top of that I loved the 90's Batman cartoon, but aside from brand loyalty to Marvel (like I said stupid reasons) my main reason for avoiding DC all the way up into adult(ish)hood was that for new readers DC continuity seemed almost impossible to figure out. Between all of the Crises, reboots to previous continuity, Superboy Prime literally the foundations of reality (one of my co-workers had to explain to me what the #$%* a Superboy Prime was and now that I get it it's actually pretty funny) no point just seemed like a good jumping in point, and I sure that people who read DC their whole lives could say the same thing about Marvel.

It wasn't all that long ago when DC announced what they dubbed "The New 52" their wide line reboot of their entire universe making it more friendly to new readers and old fans alike. I thought, "Hey now's the perfect chance okay DC you have caught my interest." My co-workers, all of whom that read comics, were pretty loyal DC fans had some mix feelings about this reboot, I didn't want to go into it not knowing what it's replacing so I got some recondmendations from them for some good DC reads. So I read a lot of Geoff Johns' Green Lantern, The New Teen Titans, Gail Simone's Wonder Woman and her Birds of Prey, as well as the most recent incarnation of Batgirl pre reboot, and I got to say I liked all of it quite a bit. I felt more then confident going into this reboot.

So now that all 52 of the first issues are out what's the verdict? Well, it's a bit of a toss up. Out of the 15 or so of the 52 comics that I bought I liked most of them, and that was me buying more than I had originally intended to buy. Some comics that were surprise hits for me were Superboy and Supergirl, I'm not really a huge fan of the Super-family especially The Man of Steel himself but the way that these two characters have been characterized in their respected series as of this first issue have made them their own distinct characters separate from the one they share their name and S insignia with. Comics I was really expecting greatness from and had my expectations (with the exception of a few which I'll get to in a little bit) met, were in the Batman family, in particular Batwoman, Batman and Robin, and just plain old Batman. Other titles that I really enjoyed were Aquaman, The Flash, and some books that show great promise include Green Lantern New Guardians, Teen Titans, and Birds of Prey.

Now some of the other were disappointing and one that I read was just plain awful. Justice League, the first of the 52 to be released on midnight of August 31st was, although very pretty and had some interesting set up didn't get much accomplished as far as plot goes and was a super quick read, (in all fairness so was Supergirl, but that one left me less unsatisfied) and only introduced four of the eight characters who are going to be a part of the team, all of whom appear on the cover which bugs me when you have characters on the cover that aren't in the comic. Green Lantern number one was also very new reader unfriendly, I had no idea what was going on and I had read all the way up to Blackest Night in pre reboot cannon. As for Batgirl, well that was a bit of a disappointment. A lot of my problems with that one are very nit picky and have to do with the art and some of the dialog I'll get more into that with a more Batgirl focused post, but for now I'm willing to give Gail Simone another issue with this one because I trust her and I know this is a character she cares about.

And then there's Red Hood and the Outlaws, oh man this one, I can't even start here, it's going to have to be it's own post. It has been getting some huge amount of internet press lately for the huge sexist mess that it is and I'll be going more into it with my next post.

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