As some of you know, I fell off the DC comp list with The New 52, and decided that was a sign from Zeus to start trade-waiting. And with the April solicits, I see decision time has arrived.

That is to say: Which trades or HCs will I buy? I'm certainly not going to pop for all 52, so I have to pick and choose. So let me ask you, Legionnaires:

  • Which titles are so intrinsic to New 52 continuity that they are musts?
  • Which titles are just so flaming good that they are musts?
  • Which titles lend themselves to collections the best?
  • Which titles can be "safely" skipped?
  • Which titles are YOU buying?


And so forth. Sound off, folks! Which New 52 titles would you choose for the Captain Comics bookshelf?

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Batman by Scott Snyder is a must.  The Flash and Batwoman have amazing art; I don't think, yet, that the stories quite measure up, but each issue is better than the last.  

My brain went exactly where Doc's did (except for Batwoman, which I admit has amazing art, but the story in issue one wasn't enough to bring me back to issue two).

Beyond that... I couldn't speak to (or care about) what's intrinsic to continuity, but Swamp Thing and Animal Man are really good horror comics that work hand-in-hand with a shared continuity; Action Comics hasn't lived up to expectations, but is still a worthwhile read; and Justice League Dark is a title I enjoy, but not at all one you need to seek out unless you want to. And I think those are all the DC books I read. :-/

Here's my recommendations:

Batman- probably my favorite. Not a lot of change in this title from the old DC. Still feels fresh though with an exciting story.

Action Comics- This isn't my favorite. It's still solid and it's Grant Morrison. If the HC contains the back-up stories it'll be a nice collection to have.

Green Lantern- Once again a direct continuation from the old 52. But if you liked what Johns was already doing with Hal then you'd want to keep with this.

Batman & Robin- I was on the fence at first with this. Bruce and Damian's bickering was overwhelming. But with the addition of a new enemy the first arc has really pulled out the stops.

Nightwing- This has been a lot of fun. Great art. The story has an overarching mystery but several issues can act as stand alone stories.

Justic League- Long time league fans might not like this one. The story telling is very decompressed but would probably be the best out of the 52 in a collection. It's a fun action packed story. Jim Lee's work has never looked better.

Aquaman- Geoff Johns has a good take on the character. Plus Mera is a great female character.

Flash- The artwork alone is what makes this great. The story while decent felt like small potatoes for an opening arc for the world's fastest man.

 

Stuff you may like

Animal Man- Creepy horror story featuring Buddy Baker and his family. The art fits the story but I know a lot of folks haven't warmed to it.

Frankenstein Agent of Shade- Frank is  fun but the art takes some getting use to.

Deathstroke- A good take on Slade Wilson. Pretty violent though.

DC Universe Presents Deadman-  If you like Deadman then this is worth picking up. A fun supernatural quantum leap-esque story with great artwork.

Detective Comics- I put this in here because I already had three bat titles in the recommendations. It's about the early days of Batman in the new 52. It's kind of got a Seven vibe to it. It's pretty good but not a must read unless you really like Batman.

 

Passes-

Green Lantern Corps- the arc started out ok but got kinda boring.

Green Arrow- Probably one of the most drastic changes to a more popular character. However, it's basic superhero stuff nothing to write home about.

Aquaman and Batgirl have been the best so far. 

Green Lantern and Green Lantern New Guardians have been solid continuations.  GL focuses on Hal and Sinestro.  New Guardians focuses on Kyle and the Rainbow Warriors.  If you liked them pre-new-52, you should still like them now.  I agree with Jason in that Green Lantern Corps hasn 't been that good in the relaunch, despite having both John and Guy in it.

 

Justice League has continued to get better with each issue and may work very well as a trade.

I have loved Batman, Wonder Woman, Deathstroke, Flash, Animal Man, Swamp Thing, and--unlike the rest of the general populace--OMAC.

Wonder Woman is like no other version of the character you've ever seen, but that's exactly what her book needed.

  • Which titles are so intrinsic to New 52 continuity that they are musts? Which titles can be "safely" skipped?
You probably intended this the other way around, but the "musts" are ones I'd skip and the ones that can "safely" be skipped--in that they don't impact cross continuity, not because they aren't good--are the ones I'd get. I have no interest in getting sucked into some wide-spanning mega-epic that's all sound and fury.
So far, I'm liking Action and All-Star Western best and I'm fairly sure they aren't suddenly going to need me to buy many other titles to understand what's going on. Likewise, I decided not to continue with JLA because I don't know who these guys are any more. But it would definitely work best as a TPB.
Actually, I think they ALL work best as TPBs, unless you want to talk about each new issue in chat rooms. They're mostly written to be read that way, and I prefer to read stuff in the format the writer intends.
-- MSA

...I am not the only one here who seems to have an interest in FRANKENSTEIN , AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. , MSA , and it's connected , perhaps , to Grant Morrison's " Seven Soldiers " and the Weird Age DC ( Whooper !!!!!!!!! You don't like that term , do you , MSA ??? ) more'n anythin' else.........

Mr. Silver Age said:

  • Which titles are so intrinsic to New 52 continuity that they are musts? Which titles can be "safely" skipped?
You probably intended this the other way around, but the "musts" are ones I'd skip and the ones that can "safely" be skipped--in that they don't impact cross continuity, not because they aren't good--are the ones I'd get. I have no interest in getting sucked into some wide-spanning mega-epic that's all sound and fury.
So far, I'm liking Action and All-Star Western best and I'm fairly sure they aren't suddenly going to need me to buy many other titles to understand what's going on. Likewise, I decided not to continue with JLA because I don't know who these guys are any more. But it would definitely work best as a TPB.
Actually, I think they ALL work best as TPBs, unless you want to talk about each new issue in chat rooms. They're mostly written to be read that way, and I prefer to read stuff in the format the writer intends.
-- MSA

Mr. SA, you are right -- non-continuity books are doubtless a better read, and I plan to get plenty of them. But I do have to maintain SOME level of overall comprehension in order to earn my own title!

Anyway, here's my take so far:

  • Action Comics: BUY, for Grant Morrison (and history/continuity).
  • All Star Western: BUY, because I love Gray & Palmiotti's take on the character, and the first issue was terrific.
  • Animal Man: BUY. I like horror books, and the praise is unanimous.
  • Aquaman: BUY. It sounds like Geoff Johns might have finally made the character interesting. Plus, I've had a crush on Mera since Nick Cardy drew her.
  • Batgirl: MAYBE. I love Gail Simone's writing but the character herself doesn't do anything for me. I have a prejudice going waaaaay back to 1967, when a librarian became a Batman-level combat gymnast by virtue of putting on leotards. ("Holy origin story, Batman, we sure wasted a lot of time training for this job!") And I really, really, really liked Oracle, so there's that. So y'all have to talk me into Batgirl.
  • Batman: BUY, because Scott Snyder is so excellent on American Vampire and I liked what he did with Detective in the Old 52.
  • Batman: The Dark Knight: MAYBE. I love Finch's art, but he seems disorganized as a writer. Anyone want to talk me into it?
  • Batman & Robin: MAYBE. I've grown to like Damian as a character, but I'm on the fence about this book. Anyone want to give me a nudge?
  • Batwing: NO. Too many Bat-books, got to draw the line somewhere.
  • Batwoman: BUY. An automatic buy for the art.
  • Birds of Prey: UNKNOWN. Need info, please!
  • Blue Beetle: UNKNOWN. Need info, please!
  • Captain Atom: UNKNOWN. Need info, please!
  • Catwoman: MAYBE. Need a shove. 
  • DC Universe Presents: SAMPLE. Logically, this book will vary widely in quality. I'll probably buy based on my interest in a given character -- which might not be the character I know, given this is The New 52. Gah! That makes it a Whitman's sampler, where you don't know if you're getting coconut (ugh!) until you bite into it.
  • Deathstroke: NO. What's the point of this book? If we're supposed to admire a murderer for competency or cleverness, you can leave me out. If that's not the case, somebody tell me, but I warn in advance that Rob Liefeld in the credits is a huge turn-off for me. (When it was announced he was going from one book to three, one wag on Twitter tweeted "I can't believe that someone at DC looked at their line and said, 'What The New 52 needs is more Rob Liefeld.'" That was my reaction as well.) 
  • Demon Knights: MAYBE. First issue was an enjoyable romp, and I like most of the characters. Somebody nudge me.
  • Detective: MAYBE. It seems like a gimme, but nobody has said a word about it. Sound off, Legionnaires!
  • Flash: BUY. I was on the fence -- the first issue was only so-so -- but I've been talked into it by this thread.
  • Frankenstein: MAYBE. He doesn't really interest me as a character. Is the book worth getting for the supporting cast/premise?
  • Fury of Firestorms: NO. My interest left with Simone.
  • Green Arrow: NO. Looks generic.
  • Green Lantern: My favorite DC character, and I loved what Johns did in the Old 52.
  • Green Lantern Corps: MAYBE. Hadn't thought about it until it was mentioned here. Need a nudge.
  • Green Lantern: New Guardians: NO. Gotta draw the line somewhere, and this looks to be the weakest of the GL titles.
  • Grifter: NO. Looks stupid.
  • I, Vampire: MAYBE. I loved the first issue, but the premise seemed kinda limited (to basically two characters). What do y'all think?
  • Justice League of America: BUY, because I love team books (and history/continuity).
  • Justice League Dark: MAYBE. I hadn't considered this book until Alan M. mentioned it, and now I'm on the fence (it helps I like most of the characters). 
  • Justice League International: NO. I wasn't as big a fan of the Bwa-ha-ha Justice League era as some, so I don't feel any nostalgic warmth and without that, I don't see any point getting a book that stars Booster Gold and Lady Godiva.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes/Legion Lost: MAYBE. I've always loved the Legion, and have followed them wherever they've appeared since the early 1960s. But I'm kinda burned out on Legion revamps, you know? So someone tell me this one is going to last -- and is saying something new.
  • Nightwing: NO. Too many Bat-books, got to draw the line somewhere. 
  • Red Hood: NO. Looks aimed at somebody other than me.
  • Red Lanterns: UNKNOWN. Need info, please!
  • Resurrection Man: MAYBE.  I love me some Abnett & Lanning, but the character is kinda one-dimensional. Anyone reading it?
  • Savage Hawkman: NO. Liefeld. 'Nuff said.
  • Stormwatch: NO. The first issue has plot holes you can drive a truck through, and I love the old Martian Manhunter so much that I don't think I can bear to read this version.
  • Suicide Squad: NO. Like with Martian Manhunter, I am fond of the old Harley Quinn. She was unique ... and now she's not. I'm actually offended by this version, so I don't want to read it.
  • Superboy: NO. Looks aimed at somebody other than me.
  • Supergirl: UNKNOWN. Need info, please!
  • Superman: NO. I didn't care for the first issue, which I found to be entirely by-the-numbers. But it is Superman, for heaven's sake, so if someone wants to talk me into it, feel free.
  • Swamp Thing: BUY. I like horror books, and the praise is unanimous.
  • Teen Titans: NO. Looks aimed at somebody other than me.
  • Voodoo: BUY. I trust Ron Marz.
  • Wonder Woman: BUY. I have waited all my life for a successful revamp of the character -- Perez didn't quite do it for me -- and this looks like the one that might finally make the Amazing Amazon viable. 
  • Static Shock, OMAC, Men of War, Mr. Terrific, Blackhawks, Hawk and Dove: MAYBE. All canceled. Any reason I should pick up the trades? When the "second wave" arrives, I will buy Earth-2 and World's Finest, because I love Earth-2, so I'll get Huntress and Shade, too. Was Mr. Terrific set on Earth-2? And anyone have any thoughts on the Penguin miniseries?

Thoughts, anyone?

...BTW , has DC launched yet that THE RAY mini I a few read pages of , oh sparrow ?????????

First off, Liefield hasn't started on some of the books you mentioned, like Hawkman. So you could at least get the first trade, Liefield free, if you wanted to.

  • Batman & Robin: MAYBE. I've grown to like Damian as a character, but I'm on the fence about this book. Anyone want to give me a nudge?

This series has gotten a lot better as the story progressed. It explores Bruce's need to be an actual father to Damian, who is on the edge as is.

  • Detective: MAYBE. It seems like a gimme, but nobody has said a word about it. Sound off, Legionnaires!

It's pretty good. If you think you've got too many bat books, then you can skip it. The opening arc was kind of Seven-esque but the current arc with the Penguin is just average.

  • DC Universe Presents: SAMPLE. Logically, this book will vary widely in quality. I'll probably buy based on my interest in a given character -- which might not be the character I know, given this is The New 52. Gah! That makes it a Whitman's sampler, where you don't know if you're getting coconut (ugh!) until you bite into it.

Well, the first arc was Deadman. So if you like him it's worth getting. The current arc is Challengers of the Unkown, the first issue of that was just ok.

  • Demon Knights: MAYBE. First issue was an enjoyable romp, and I like most of the characters. Somebody nudge me.

The first issue was excellent but it has slowed down considerably. The characters haven't been fleshed out as much as they should have. I just read issue 6 and the first arc isn't over yet. There's one issue left for the opening arc, I'll let you know then.

  • Deathstroke: NO. What's the point of this book? If we're supposed to admire a murderer for competency or cleverness, you can leave me out. If that's not the case, somebody tell me, but I warn in advance that Rob Liefeld in the credits is a huge turn-off for me. (When it was announced he was going from one book to three, one wag on Twitter tweeted "I can't believe that someone at DC looked at their line and said, 'What The New 52 needs is more Rob Liefeld.'" That was my reaction as well.) 

Well Leifeld isn't on it yet. I liked it but I suppose it's not for everyone. It focuses on Slad Wilson being close to retirement but still doing what he does. A lot of people doubt his ability. He's set up in the first issue and is trying to find who did. He kills a lot of people along the way.

  • Green Lantern Corps: MAYBE. Hadn't thought about it until it was mentioned here. Need a nudge.

I'd say pass. I also didn't stay with New Guardians either. The best is still Green Lantern.

  • Flash: BUY. I was on the fence -- the first issue was only so-so -- but I've been talked into it by this thread.

The story is just average, Cap. That seems to be the general consesus. The art is great though. This wouldn't be a bad one to have just don't expect anything earth shattering.

  • Nightwing: NO. Too many Bat-books, got to draw the line somewhere. 

If you decide to not get some other Bat-books then pick this up. It's a lot of fun. It explores Dick's ties to the circus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Static Shock was apparently a terrible handling of Dwayne McDuffie's concepts.  It might be worth reading, from a scholarly point of view, because there was a bit of a behind-the-curtain sh*tstorm about it all over the internet, with the creators all pointing the finger at each other and going into detail as to why it went wrong.

 

I thought the first issue of Supergirl seemed to indicate the creators had a good handle on a likeable teenage character finding herself in a strange situation, and the art was good, but boyoboy was it light on content!  I'm looking forward to getting this from the library.  I would definitely have bought it if there had been more 'bang for my buck' going forward.

 

Actually that's why I fell off Animal Man, too, and Swamp Thing seems to be too concerned with old continuity for a supposed reboot.

 

I got a few issues each of Demon Knights and Frankenstein.  On paper, Demon Knights is trying to forge new ground with DC's superheroes, but it was too "written for the trade" for me.  Each seperate issue didn't really have a focus, and again, not much bang for your buck.

 

For me personally, the fact that Frankenstein and Shining Knight in Demon Knights aren't really the characters in Morrison's Seven Soldiers is a bit of a disappointment, and I would have had more buy-in if they were, although I see that that ties the creators hands a bit.  It's an old comics conundrum.

 

Actually Cap, you may be amused to hear that I perceived Cornell's Shining Knight to be a bit of a 'Celtic stereotype' - drinking and wasailing, vaguely threatening and hard to fathom - compared to how sensitively Morrison portrayed her and her rich culture.  Funny that, with Cornell being an Englishman and Morrison a Scot... :-P

Red Lanterns: UNKNOWN. Need info, please!

I think you're safe to skip it.  The premise sounded interesting- casting Atrocitus as a Tony Soprano type who has to make sure that his evil minions don't turn on him.  But I gave up on it after a few issues.  As I wrote in my last review, it's a sub-plot in search of a main plot.  Atrocitus keeps telling himself that he can't let his Red Lanterns get the upper hand but he doesn't really do much about it.  The character backstories have been interesting but the main story hadn't moved much since the first issue.  In fact, other than Atrocitus, the Red Lanterns have yet to leave their home planet. 

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