DC’s New 52 Week Four – What to Buy This Wednesday!

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Once more DC is releasing 13 new number one issues this week. How can anyone possibly be expected to determine which of these new books they should really buy? There’s just so many of them! To make your life easier, I’ll offer my ill-informed, not-quite-expert opinion on what “New 52” titles are worth picking up today.

On this fourth week of the “New 52″ DC Universe, it seems like there are really only two high profile books shipping in my opinion, Geoff John’s Aquaman and Scott Lobdell’s Teen Titans. I guess a case could be made for both Superman and The Flash, but since those books are written by individuals better known as artists than writers, they haven’t really reached my radar. Batman the Dark Knight would probably have been a book I considered high profile had the first volume of the series been better.

Aquaman #1 – Let’s face it, Geoff Johns has had a pretty strong track record in recent years. Teen Titans was great. Green Lantern has been great. The Flash was great painfully boring (I guess everybody slips up once in a while). Johns has been working diligently to redeem Aquaman since Blackest Night and this series is really the conclusion of that rehabilitation project. Hopefully it lives up to expectations. I have to say that in his work with Aquaman leading up to this series, Johns has been far more successful in making Aquaman interesting than he ever was with Barry Allen.

Teen Titans #1 – This title is one of those books that’s been on my radar since the moment it was announced because it just looked so crazy. I hated the idea of it in the beginning. There was nothing wrong with the old Teen Titans series except the writing. This series is expected to tie very closely to Scott Lobdell’s Superboy series. In my mind, Teen Titans and Superboy were supposed to be huge train wrecks like Catwoman or Lobdell’s other book Red Hood and the Outlaws, but I actually thought Superboy had a pretty strong debut issue. In fact it might have been the most pleasant surprise of the entire relaunch. Hopefully, that momentum carries over into Teen Titans, which hasn’t been good since Geoff Johns left the series many years ago. This series will focus on the first meeting of Superboy, Robin, Kid Flash and Wonder Girl and will be Tim Drake’s main home in the new DCU. I have an open mind now. Hopefully, it’ll deliver. Below is a trailer DC released for the book.

Batman The Dark Knight #1 – David Finch on Batman AND teamed with a writer (DC Universe Presents: Deadman‘s Paul Jenkins). Yes, please. The first volume of this series looked awesome, but really wasn’t well-written. Paul Jenkins isn’t Grant Morrison but he can definitely write, which means this volume is guaranteed to be an improvement over the first. That’s exciting. I’m really optimistic about this series. Now DC just needs to team Tony Daniel with a writer on Detective Comics.

The following titles are books I’ll be checking out that I’m hoping will be good, but about which I definitely have reservations.

Fury of Firestorm the Nuclear Men #1 – Firestorm is a character with a cool look and neat powers, but I haven’t been able to get into him because one of the two characters that has inhabited his body since Blackest Night, a college student named Ronnie, is too annoying. From what we’ve seen so far, this series seems to be a true reboot of the character. I’m wondering if Ronnie and Jason will both be able to become individual Firestorms and then maybe even merge like Voltron into a super-Firestorm. The characters seem to have been de-aged and I’m guessing the post-Brightest Day thread about Firestorm being days away from destroying the world has likely been abandoned. I’m mostly buying this book because of co-writer Gail Simone’s track record. I’m not completely confident this will be great, but I’m genuinely curious about it.

Green Lantern New Guardians #1 – When the line up of characters for this team was finally released, this series became the biggest disappointment of the entire reboot in my opinion. I was very excited for a monthly dose of Larfleeze and it turns out he’s not actually on the team despite being the only real Orange Lantern. That’s just stupid. Tony Bedard is writing this book. He’s usually does a pretty good job with the Lantern characters and hopefully he’ll prove me wrong about Larfleeze. I’m checking out the debut issue and hoping for the best.

I Vampire #1 – This series is kind of my wild card for the entire New 52. I have no real reason to suggest buying it except for a gut feeling that it might be good. I know nothing about writer Joshua Hale Fialkov. It’s just that so far the Vertigo Light DC Dark titles that I’ve read have all been pretty strong. Don’t make me look stupid, Fialkov. I know where you live. Not really. I don’t even know who you are.

Justice League Dark #1 – This series seems to be basically about a group of ex-Vertigo characters led by John Constantine joining together to battle a power mad Enchantress. Writer Peter Milligan is a guy whose work I find to be hit or miss and he’s coming off a Flashpoint series about a power mad Enchantress that I didn’t particularly love. Still, the Vertigo Light DC Dark titles have been enjoyable so far. I’m just not sure I approve of this series being called Justice League. Seriously, John Constantine leading a Justice League? It’s ridiculous. It’s crazy enough to work?

Those are my picks for this week. A couple of DC Dark titles are shipping this week after I complained about their absence last week. Since this
is the last of these New 52 columns that I’ll be writing, I think it’s fair to say in retrospect that I didn’t pay enough attention to the DC Edge titles. I’m guessing that All Star Western will be a decent read based on the handful of issues of Jonah Hex that I’ve read over the last few years. I’m just not the target audience for that book.

While technically not part of the New 52, one of the best books DC publishes this week is guaranteed to be the latest issue of Scott Snyder’s American Vampire series published through Vertigo. Since this is a light week on books that I expect to be good, maybe consider buying American Vampire in place of one of the New 52.

Below is the entire list of new DC Comics #1 titles shipping this week according to Previews:

  • AQUAMAN #1
  • FLASH #1
  • I, VAMPIRE #1
  • VOODOO #1

Read more about DC Comics’ “New 52″ on MyLatestDistraction
and keep up with each week’s picks for September:

Week Three

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