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?

Views: 5605

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Figs, you seem disappointed in the Johns/Lee Justice League title, and I'm not really sure why.  I don't know how realistic it is to expect this book  - heck, any book, by anybody - to pull in truckloads of new readers, if you mean people who don't read comics at all.  The best they can hope for, I think, is someone like me, who hasn't regularly followed JLA in years, and people who have avoided DC in general because they believed it to be so darn convoluted. 

As for the sales, the Johns/Lee JLA was the best selling book in the industry for its first five issues.  Not only that, I think a lot of DC books are at least in part riding its coattails.  In January, DC had every spot in Diamond's top ten.  My guess is everybody involved is over the moon about that.

You're certainly entitled to your opinion that "a lot of money and potential was wasted here", but I have to disagree.  I think DC as a whole was in a downward spiral before the reboot, with only the GL and Bat franchises being successful.  The Superman books, Wonder Woman, Flash, and JLA - all a mess imo.

And I'm not trying to be a jerk about this, but is it fair to deride the content of something you haven't read? 

 

Figserello said:

Well, thanks for not pointing out that I don't have a leg to stand on, not having read any of it.  When I get it from the library though, and come back to this argument ...

 

I'm really disappointed that the sales have already fallen to just about what a Johns/Lee Justice League reboot would have been before the Nu52. 

 

Somehow a lot of money and potential was wasted here, and I'm pointing my finger at the content.

 

 

Figserello said:

  • Suicide Squad -- NOT BUYING. I thumbed through the first issue on the stand, came across the torture, and put it back. Not for me. Plus, no Gail Simone.

 

I'm not too interested in this myself.  Looks like a terrible version of the previously charming Harley, and then I'm even more prejudiced against it because it would seem to be for this that Secret Six got the chop, in terms of the characters used.  (I know Secret Six really got axed to make way for Batgirlin Simone's schedule.)

 

However!  Seeing your props for Gail Simone and presuming you were a fan of Secret Six, your statement above is somewhat ironic.  The same Simone started off Secret Six in Villains United with a storyline where the team bond by being tortured together.  I'm no fan of torture myself, but that one storyline probably did the most to get me buying DC comics again in the run up to Infinite Crisis. I loved it!

 

This also leads me to the question of whether Beechen was stealing or 'paying tribute' when he had his replacement Secret Six team bonding by being tortured in his first storyline...

Yes, indeed, I was a fan of Secret Six, starting from that Villains United miniseries, and the ongoing Secret Six title did show all kinds of sordid stuff. So why didn't I cotton to this one? Beats me. Maybe the rats proved to be that 11th impossible thing ... 

I didn't cotton to it because I guessed the ending on page two.

John Dunbar said:

Figs, you seem disappointed in the Johns/Lee Justice League title, and I'm not really sure why.  I don't know how realistic it is to expect this book  - heck, any book, by anybody - to pull in truckloads of new readers, if you mean people who don't read comics at all.  The best they can hope for, I think, is someone like me, who hasn't regularly followed JLA in years, and people who have avoided DC in general because they believed it to be so darn convoluted. 

As for the sales, the Johns/Lee JLA was the best selling book in the industry for its first five issues.  Not only that, I think a lot of DC books are at least in part riding its coattails.  In January, DC had every spot in Diamond's top ten.  My guess is everybody involved is over the moon about that.

You're certainly entitled to your opinion that "a lot of money and potential was wasted here", but I have to disagree.  I think DC as a whole was in a downward spiral before the reboot, with only the GL and Bat franchises being successful.  The Superman books, Wonder Woman, Flash, and JLA - all a mess imo.

And I'm not trying to be a jerk about this, but is it fair to deride the content of something you haven't read? 

 

Figserello said:

Well, thanks for not pointing out that I don't have a leg to stand on, not having read any of it.  When I get it from the library though, and come back to this argument ...

 

I'm really disappointed that the sales have already fallen to just about what a Johns/Lee Justice Leaguereboot would have been before the Nu52. 

 

Somehow a lot of money and potential was wasted here, and I'm pointing my finger at the content.

 

 

 

I don't mind reading it, but it's just paying to read it...

 

I was extrapolating from the lack of conversation about each issue of JLA, which a lot of people here seem to be reading, after all; from what I've read about the 1st issue; and from the preferred house style of DC comics these days; to guess that the individual comics are low on real incident and event and relevance to the real world.

 

No-one has offered a contradiction to that yet. Rather, the people who have defended JLA have said that they like it despite its widescreen, written for the trade, decompressed style. Even one of the creators apparently said he was deliberately making it in exactly the way I am criticising it for. I don’t have to read it! By definition, that style doesn’t allow for a lot of incident in each issue. It almost guarantees that you get not a lot of content spread over 6 issues.

 

I’m saying the widescreen, minimal panel per page decompressed etc is a major mis-step that both DC and Marvel are engaged in. Regular comics readers, those that are still buying mainstream comics, lap it up, but “regular comics readers, those that are still buying mainstream” are a shrinking pool. This was one of the reasons DC themselves gave for the whole Nu52 project.

 

I’m a longtime avid comics fan and this is the single biggest push comics have ever had into the mainstream in my lifetime. Justice League is the self-declared flagship of that, helmed by two of DC’s biggest names – 2 of the 3 Creative Whatsits, at that!

 

Justice League is the one to study to gauge what DC as a company think is the blueprint of what they are trying to do. Surely I’m allowed to comment on Justice League based on what seems like very sound deductions?

 

I’ll go off and read it if you insist, but I don’t see that really adding to the sum total of happiness in the world. Please don’t insist.  I've served my dues and paid for and read many horrible decompressed, house-style DC comics over the last 7 years.  Maybe this one is marvelously different, but I've yet to read anything to suggest this.

 

My point is that DC’s current house style will be perceived by non-fans curious about modern superhero comics as very poor value for money. All that cost, combined with 10 minute reading bites spread over 6 months will just seem like low value for money and low bang for their buck. (Not to mention the extremely low relevance to what goes on out here in the real world. Successful superhero comics have tended to find a way to work in a world recognisable to the readers.)

 

And DC are hurting themselves twice over with their current output. I’m a fanatic, Cap is a fanatic, there are quite a few fanatics on this board who have seriously reduced their comics buying habits concerning mainstream Marvel and DC superheroes. We’re their bread and butter, but they are driving us away, as well as ensuring their output isn’t very palatable to the casual tryer.

 

The top ten in January, 4 months after their unprecedentedly hyped reboot is great, yeah, but we are already seeing the numbers fall down to the pre Nu52 levels. What was it all for? That they can sell comics to their core audience is the one thing they can do well, but wasn’t that the problem before last September? How is still doing it, and no more, an improvement?

 

I think DC as a whole was in a downward spiral before the reboot, with only the GL and Bat franchises being successful.  The Superman books, Wonder Woman, Flash, and JLA - all a mess imo.

 

They gave themselves only 6 months to address the fact that they were hitting so many misses.  Apart from the one idea of the reboot, I'd have thought there would have been some thought given to the form they were producing the comics in, which as it turns out, dictates minimal content.

 

 

I don't like decompressed comics, Fig, but I've noticed that sometimes I don't want to spend a lot of time reading a comics story, so I think there might be an audience that wants comics that take less time to read and are very visual.

My biggest question/concern/gripe has always been "Did DC need the Reboot in the first place?" The most obvious changes were the elimination of longtime marriages (Clark & Lois, Barry & Iris, Carter & Shiera, Ollie & Dinah [sorta], even Swamp thing & Abby) and the apparent negating of its Golden Age past. The new costumes are cosmetic and could have been applied to the previous continuity just as easily. Characters have been altered, true, like Green Arrow but he was 100% dead in the past so anything is possible. We still don't know what did or did not happen in the heroes' backstories....yet.

Figs has stated, and I agree, that not rebooting Batman and Green Lantern will haunt them as compared to the extensive changes to the others, e.g. Wolfman & Perez's Teen Titans gone but the Rainbow Lantern remain. Morrison restarted the Justice League without throwing away its past. Could not Johns and Lee do the same?

Changing Superman's costume, supposedly permanently, would have been a major news story without the new #1s. Speaking of which, that's great for a deliberate break and a sales boost but you can only get away with it so many times. Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, DC Comics Presents, Peter Parker-the Spectacular Spider-Man and even West Coast Avengers were exciting because they were the first new titles about established characters in decades. The bloom is definitely off that rose now!

And Mark said if every new writer takes Wonder Woman in a different direction and a different reality every time, then this reboot becomes unneccessay and redundant. The "Five Years Before" gimmick condenses a LOT of background like the various Robins, Green Lantern's roller coaster ride through insanity, death, redemption and rebirth, Green Arrow and Arsenal's relationships and ordeals and there are many missing characters and moments.

As for Justice League, I like the character interaction but yes, it is taking too long while Cyborg's origin speeds along so he can be there at the end. 

If I had known then what I know now, I would have tradewaited Justice League. I think it will read better in a single sitting, although I doubt it will take any longer to read than a “real” comic book (whatever that is). I read your most recent post to this thread, Figs, and take it from someone who is reading JL, I think you’ve got a pretty good handle on it whether you’re reading it or not.

I hereby excuse you from having to read it. ;)

CAP: Weird. I just counted more than 30 books that I haven't been talked into buying. Those will be the first superhero books published by DC in more than 40 years that I won't read.

I was going to point out that, in scanning your All-Caps, the ones you were reading were not plentiful, which says a lot considering how readily you do buy in. I think that's why most super-hero comics like to keep stories running and don't consider done-in-one issues: every jumping-on point is also a good jumping-off point.

That's pretty insulting to the creative team, to think that readers are habitual buyers just looking for a good reason to stop the insanity and drop out. But that seems to be how things work these days.

FIGS:  guess that the individual comics are low on real incident and event and relevance to the real world.

I decided to buy the JLA periodicals to sample all the characters at once and to see if I'd like this version, since I'm always a JLA fan if they do a good job with them. But I already know I'm stopping with #7, because these guys just aren't that interesting, and it takes forever to tell an actual story. But I DO have the right to fully rag on them, because I paid for it and read it! It's a fully informed opinion.

PHILLIP: not rebooting Batman and Green Lantern will haunt them as compared to the extensive changes to the others, 

They apparently learned nothing from Crisis. I didn't even consider buying any of the Batman and GL books, because they were way overcomplicated to try before, and nothing would change in that regard. But now a Batman and all those GLs have all that back history and Superman and Flash have...what? That's pretty bizarre. Who knows what anyone knows?

JEFF: If I had known then what I know now, I would have tradewaited Justice League.

I definitely think it will read better that way, and it was clearly intended to be read that way. But JLA was the flagship book for this revamp and is the one to set the tone, having the first week all to itself. It seems to have as much discussion about individual issues as anything, if only because each issue is slowwwwwwly adding one more character to the mix. All the rest seem to be discussed generally, but not much about specific scenes or plot points.

So I'm glad I picked it up, but I'm not impressed. Actually, I'm the opposite of impressed--they had a nearly completely blank slate, and this is the universe they created. That was the way they wanted to introduce their new universe to readers? I wonder how many lapsed readers--let alone completely new readers--are still around? I hear most sales are falling back to pre-New levels. Many people seem to be sampling and not finding a lot that really excites them.

My biggest question/concern/gripe has always been "Did DC need the Reboot in the first place?"

They did, if only to eliminate all those drama-killing marriages that were going nowhere. It's still discouraging to see them do something this big, with some actual marketing muscle behind it, and produce this result that seems like such a mish-mash of continuities. The most publicity I've seen for content has been over how insulting all the soft-porn images are, which probably not what they wanted. But maybe that's all that's stood out to me based on the sites I visit and the Friends I have on FB.

-- MSA

"I'm glad I picked it up, but I'm not impressed." - That's me.

 

"Many people seem to be sampling and not finding a lot that really excites them." - That's me, too.

Mr. Silver Age said:

 

PHILLIP: not rebooting Batman and Green Lantern will haunt them as compared to the extensive changes to the others, 

They apparently learned nothing from Crisis. I didn't even consider buying any of the Batman and GL books, because they were way overcomplicated to try before, and nothing would change in that regard. But now a Batman and all those GLs have all that back history and Superman and Flash have...what? That's pretty bizarre. Who knows what anyone knows?

 

Yeah, that is pretty bizarre. I didn't mention Green Lantern specifically above because, like you, I didn't even consider it; it's way overcomplicated to try. And I want to read Batman, but I'm the longtime reader who has been driven away. And okay, maybe DC doesn't care to hang on to me.

 

I think the alleged benefit of a line-wide reboot is -- or is supposed to be -- so new and old readers alike can explore this new and different and uncharted territory without having to keep track of 70-plus years of continuity. For that matter, the writers and artists can, too. That's what Marvel did with the Ultimates line.

 

So now, we've got a new and different and uncharted past for the Justice League -- but not for two key members, Batman and Green Lantern? There was no Teen Titans, but were there kid sidekicks? And on and on ... why didn't they learn from Crisis? We're still left trying to keep track of 70-plus years of continuity!

 

Maybe that's what DC needed to do -- create an "Ultimates" line.

One thing that always strikes me in these conversations is the constant reference -- by creators and fans alike -- of the need to jettison "70 years of continuity." 

Well, maybe so. I'm not a normal person, so my perspective isn't normal, and I don't know what normal people want. But, personally, what drew me into comics was continuity. I didn't start reading Marvel with Fantastic Four #1 -- I started in fits and starts with different books from different years and realized that, oh boy, there was a linear story here for me to piece together and stuff that happened that I don't know about and all kinds of mysteries and surprises out there that "mattered" -- that the characters in the fictional universe remembered and acted upon

And this was precisely why I was a Marvel reader in the 1960s, and only a dilettante DC reader. I didn't start buying DC in large numbers until the late 1960s, and I didn't buy line-wide until 1970 or so ... because that's when continuity began to matter at DC. Prior to that, what happened in any given Superman book, or Batman book, or Green Lantern, was pretty much done in one (often two or three stories done in one) and all characters were returned to status quo by the final panel, and none of the characters would remember this issue next issue, as if each issue happened in a vacuum. If Green Lantern figured a way around yellow in issue #21, he'd forget that maneuver by issue #22 and have to think of a new way -- which not only didn't make sense to regular readers, but made Hal Jordan look like something of a moron. Nothing "happened" -- at least nothing that "mattered' -- so I was less interested in DCs than Marvels, where if Captain America fought Hydra in Tales of Suspense, he'd remember them over in Avengers. What happened to each character in each story "mattered" -- they remembered it, just like the reader did, and the character's stories, like our own lives, would progress in a linear fashion. I needed to read every issue of Amazing Spider-Man, because every issue mattered.

As another example, my favorite DC comic book in the 1960s was "Crisis on Earth-One" in Justice League of America #22, which introduced me to hordes of characters and history (the Justice Society) I didn't know. And discovering that there was 20 or 30 years of history (I dare not call it continuity) I didn't know didn't turn me off, as today's common wisdom would have it: It excited me, turned me on, lit a life-long urge to find out everything I could about these fictional universes.

If it wasn't for continuity, I never would have become a comics fan. And today it seems like a dirty word. Have potential comics fans really changed that much, or is the current fear of continuity a mistake. I tend to think the latter, as it is now the ELIMINATION of continuity that is shoving me out the door at DC.

But what do I know? I'm old. And who cares what a Crothedy Old Fart Fanboy (COFF) thinks? 

Captain Comics said:

If it wasn't for continuity, I never would have become a comics fan. And today it seems like a dirty word. Have potential comics fans really changed that much, or is the current fear of continuity a mistake. I tend to think the latter, as it is now the ELIMINATION of continuity that is shoving me out the door at DC.

 

But what do I know? I'm old. And who cares what a Crothedy Old Fart Fanboy (COFF) thinks?

I don't know. On the one hand, I'm reading the new Catwoman title in large part because I haven't read much of the previous ones -- so I haven't seen whatever they do there a thousand times before, and it all seems fresh to me, whether or not it really is. But on the other hand, I gave up on the new Wonder Woman title in large part because they rebooted it again, and what I got this time didn't appeal to me as much as the version I was already reading. (Did I mention that I really liked what Gail Simone was doing? Just so you know.)

I can say definitively that fear of continuity keeps me away from the X-Men titles and the Legion of Super-Heroes; there's just too bloody much to know about stories I haven't and likely will never read to enjoy the stories that actually are before my eyes. 

But I think something like the Ultimates approach worked because I didn't have to square anything that happened in those titles with anything that happens in the mainstream Marvel titles. It's like being a fan of, say, Law & Order and NYPD Blue; they're both TV shows about detectives in the New York Police Department, but they each have their own histories and never the twain shall meet. So when I watch Law & Order, I don't open that compartment in my brain that houses my NYPD Blue memories and give no thought to how the two mesh, and vice versa.

Rebooting the DC Universe without rebooting Batman and Green Lantern forces that blending. And it makes my head hurt.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Welcome!

No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.

SOME ESSENTIALS:

RULES OF THE ROUND TABLE

MODERATORS

SMILIES FOLDER

TIPS ON USING THE BOARD

FOLLOW US:

OUR COLUMNISTS:

Groups

© 2020   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service