Number Six

Back in August, DC launched the New 52.  As I had blogged, I was very excited to start seriously reading comics.

Now, 6 months later, I’m still just as excited as I was prior to the launch of the New 52.  I’ve added, removed, experimented with a variety of books.  I’ve also taken the digital plunge (I definitely prefer the paper copies, but sometimes the price is right!) and overall, I’ve been really happy with what I’ve read thus far.  I do need to say many thanks to James Leask and Brandon Schatz from Comics! The Blog for helping me navigate this strange new world.

So, most of the books in my file are six issues in.  What are they?

Batwoman – when Brandon gave the first issue of the Elegy run in Detective Comics, I thought he was a bit crazy. Who honestly reads Bat-anything-that-isn’t-man?  Alright, so I was so wrong.  J. H. Williams III has some damn pretty pictures.  Williams is taking an arc off of art, so #6 was a little inconsistent, but the story was still very strong.  My favorite book.

Batman – Scott Synder has amazing talent.  His take on Batman is fantastic and puts the character right into the stories I want to read.  Amazing stuff.  The mind-bending #5 was worth every penny I’ve spent on comic books through this whole new-hobby thing.

Detective Comics – The first arc of DC was shocking, a little horrifying, and well, off putting (to some).  Personally, I loved it.  Was definitely walking a fine line – I could easily have seen it going a few steps too far for my tastes, but I think it stayed right where it needed.  Now Batman is facing off against the Penguin and the tone of the story is quite different and welcome after the heavy first arc.

Batgirl – I got sucked in by the hype of this book on Twitter.  It’s not my favorite title, but, it is a nice change of pace from some of the darker/heavier things I read.  Barbara Gordon is still scarred from the events of the Killing Joke, and that makes this a good book – Batgirl is hesitant and overly analytical, which gets her into trouble.

Grifter – This started out great.  It’s fizzled for me.  I’ll be hanging on until #8, just to complete the arc and get out when the switch writers (which, has me miffed…).

Justice League Dark – One of two “large” team books in my file.  Reading comics has me realized that I like lone-wolf stories.  This realization (and a rather un-inspired read) lead me to drop Justice League proper.  Dark however, is different.  I like the subject matter more, the story drew me in.  I don’t see Dark leaving my file anytime soon, as it’s currently one of my top 5.

Severed – A 7 issue mini-series that captured my attention.  A slow-burning horror book that ended perfectly.  Some people don’t like it.  I quite enjoyed it and I’ve passed it along to a friend who is also enjoying it.

Ultimate Comics: X-Men – I discovered that this series restarted a few months late, but I was able to pick everything up.  I wanted to read a Marvel Ultimates title SPECIFICALLY because they were going to include a digital copy for free with all copies.  I’m really digging the world that currently exists for the mutants.  #7 was a bit meh until the end, but I expect very exciting things to start happening pretty soon.

Last of the Greats – After 5 issues, the status of this title is up in the air.  I’m a little torn.  The first issue was amazing, then the books declined slightly until #4, which completely turned me off.  Since I knew that #5 might be the last, I kept with it – and I’m not sure if #4 was so awful that anything would look great, or if #5 was actually a return to great.  I don’t know if this book will see any more issues, and if it does, if I’ll continue.

So, that’s about half of my current books.  I’ll talk about the others in a future post.

Colored pages…

One of my good friends has always been into Comic books.  I’d read them here and there, but never collected.  As I got older, I became more intimidated by the huge history of the characters, which hindered me getting into the books.

Along came the Ultimate line from Marvel.  Everything was reset.  It was a great starting point.  I read Ultimate X-Men and The Ultimates for a while, in trade paperback form, but I found that the stories weren’t very strong as time passed.  I stopped reading them.

I discovered Gaiman’s Sandman, which I enjoyed and also benefited from me starting from square one with that character as well.  The Watchmen was another that I really enjoyed (and of course, I read because of the movie).

For my birthday one year, I received the Batman: Hush trade paperbacks.  I loved it, but the six or so titles that featured Batman confused me.  I didn’t understand why there were so many titles, what the differences were and how important it was to follow them all.

This year, I heard about DC relaunching their titles, starting everything back at #1.  I talked to Brandon, the manager at Wizard’s Comics University about the relaunch and got a good sense of what the different titles would be like and to just get an idea of what was out there.  I wanted to read Batman stories.  He pulled out a copy of Detective Comics #854 from his personal collection and gave it to me to try out.  It was the first issue of the Batwoman: Elegy story.  The art was amazing.  The Batwoman character blew me away.  I promptly picked up the Trade Paperback (at Chapters, it was close and available, sorry Brandon!).

Anyway, with the relaunch, I’ve got three titles that I’m definitely putting in a file: Batwoman, Batman, and Detective Comics.  Several other titles were of interest, but I was unsure about them.  On a one-issue  trial: Justice League, Justice League Dark, Batman: The Dark Knight.

In anticipation, I re-read Hush.  I caught something I hadn’t caught before, which I really liked.  When in Gotham, everything seems to have a sense of darkness or dread about it.  The city isn’t a pure place.  You can tell by the way everything is depicted.  The action moves to Metropolis, and the city is completely different.  It’s bright and hopeful.  Every panel shows this.  It was really need to realize and really added depth to the locations.