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The DC 52 Relauch – Final Recommendations and Review Summary

With the DCU relaunch month over, it’s time to wrap up the recommendations so you can try and get a second printing or buy a digital copy of the comic (for better or worse, it sounds like the first prints are pretty hard to come by at this point.  If you want to review the full capsule reviews click here for: Weeks 1 &2; Week3; Week 4.

Recommended Without Reservation

  • All-Star Western
  • Batwoman
  • Green Lantern
  • I, Vampire
  • Wonder Woman

Recommended With Reservation

Action Comics – Well crafted, but I just don’t like the angry hipster take on Superman.

Animal Man – One of the best first issues, but interviews reveal it’s going to be running in parallel and then crossing over with Swamp Thing.  It also sounds like being in the middle of an EVENT is a possibility.  I can’t endorse things heading straight for a cross-over, but perhaps you’re more forgiving than I.

Batman (no adjectives) – Mostly a set-up issue, but a set-up issue that showed some thought was given to the book’s parameters.  This is probably the flagship book for the “family”/”universe” take on Batman, with his entire supporting cast reintroduced… Dick, Tim and Damien all get face time.

Batman: The Dark Knight: It’s possible I’m just too happy to see a Batman without Damien and all the goofy 50s/60s retro trappings Grant Morrison reintroduced into the character in recent years.  If you miss the 70s-early 00s more serious take on Batman you might like this.

Let’s See What Happens In Issue Two (books that had some promise, but I wasn’t sure where they were going)

  • DC Comics Presents / Deadman
  • Detective Comics
  • Resurrection Man
  • Suicide Squad (though I wouldn’t be surprised if it falls off a cliff in issue 2)
  • Superboy
  • Swamp Thing

The Guilty Pleasure

Legion of Super Heroes – There just really isn’t a good way to acclimate new readers to the Legion and this first issue barely tried.  Still, I like Levitz’s take on the Legion and if you’ve ever dabbled in Legion, it’s OK to come back.  If not, you might want to start with some back issues.  This is a continuity-heavy series with a large cast.  In either case, avoid Legion Lost.  Legion of Super Heroes is the Legion book to look at.

On the whole, this relaunch has been an improvement.  Let’s face it, DC was a mess.  I’m still not on board the way I’ve been in the past, but I’m not as universally disgusted as I’ve been the last year or so.  There’s definitely a trend towards more gore.  The line is overwhelmingly in the “gritty” direction that was normally reserved for Batman and a couple other books.  There have been some rather blatant attempt to sex it up for the teenage boy market.  It ain’t like this reboot was a royal flush for quality.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents will be back soon.  James Robinson is back with The Shade and the promise of an Earth-2 based Justice Society.

DC being DC, there’s the lingering suspicion that editorial will start messing around with things and the wheat and chaff will be thrown out in the same bucket.  We’ll also have to see how the sales are in a few months, once everyone’s had a look.  Still, this went a LOT better than I was expecting.   If only they’d relaunched Xombi and let it get some real exposure.  Xombi was what the disappointing Frankenstein book is trying to be.

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