I knew this was going to happen. I sat down, picked out which of DC’s New 52 titles I was going to try this month, and I was convinced that I’d figured it all out. I wouldn’t have to worry about buying lots and lots of new comics, because all I cared about was Batman and Robin, Red Hood and the Outlaws and Catwoman. Like I’ve said before, I’m relatively new to DC, and while I’m still a bit opposed to the relaunch in general, I’m using it to try and expand what I read.
I got bored last Wednesday, started fiddling around with the DC Comics app on my iPhone (which is super convenient, by the way, and you should all try it out if you haven’t already) and decided that I’d download Justice League just for the heck of it. I’ve never read a Justice League comic, and never really ventured into the DC-verse at all outside of Batman.
Now, I’m not sure what long-time readers of Justice League thought of the relaunched title (I’ve actually heard that there’s been a bit of disappointment, but nothing from anyone I personally know), but I absolutely loved it. Forty pages of Green Lantern and Batman just snarking at each other? Maybe not perfect, but damned entertaining.I liked it so much that I ended up picking up Green Lantern today, just to get more of Hal Jordan. I thought both titles were easily accessible to a new reader: in fact, Green Lantern had no idea that Batman was even real at the start of Justice League #1. So, for someone like me, who’s only vaguely familiar with the Justice League and Green Lantern in general, it made picking up the title extremely easy. It’s great to watch the two characters getting familiar with each other and bantering back and forth to test each other’s limits.
And Green Lantern’s solo title was just plain fun, I thought. I’m really liking reading about Hal’s personal drama now that he’s not a Lantern anymore. One of the things that always bugged me about DC comics in comparison to Marvel is that Marvel characters tend to have more drama outside of their hero duties, and seeing Hal with regular-guy problems has really enamored me to the character.
Somehow, last week, I also found myself picking up both Batgirl and Detective Comics, neither of which I’d intended to read when I decided which of the New 52 I was going to try out. I was pretty sure that Detective Comics was going to pull me in, if only because I’ve really been digging Batman stories lately. It seemed to me like just a great, classic Batman versus the Joker story, with an amazing cliffhanger at the end that pretty much guarantees that I’ll be back for more next month.
Regarding Batgirl, I enjoyed what I read, definitely, because somehow I’d gotten the impression that this was a complete universe reboot, and that the events of The Killing Joke were going to be completely null and void. I think I’m mostly insanely curious to find out if there’s more to Barbara being able to walk again than just “oh, she did some physical therapy,” because if that’s the case, then I call cop-out. You don’t build up a character like Oracle only to completely undo it all, even if The Killing Joke DID still happen. But my thoughts on that are neither here nor there. I still enjoyed the title, and the ending was a nice bit of character development that It’ll be really interesting to see play out. Mostly, I’m really enjoying Barbara as a character and lines like “I’ve got upper arm strength like a mother at this point” are my kind of writing.
I can’t say I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read, though. On the opposite end of the spectrum for me was Batman and Robin, which was one of the titles I’d planned to pick up because I’d gotten into the most recent run and Jason Todd’s escape from Arkham. I’m not entirely sure what it was about the issue itself, but maybe I had unrealistic expectations for it. I think that I prefer Dick and Damian as a team over Bruce and Damian so far, to be honest.
On the whole, though, I think they did a good job of making Batman and Robin #1 a good jumping-off point for people who are hoping to get into the title during the relaunch. There’s a lot of nostalgia to it, a lot of looking back on Batman’s beginnings while setting up this new partnership of Bruce and his son. I’ll likely pick it up again, just for Damian being a little brat, but I don’t know how long just that can sustain my interest.
The bottom of the barrel for me, this week was Suicide Squad #1. If I didn’t already know the basic premise of the comic, I feel like I would have been completely lost, and maybe the title just isn’t for me, but it seemed like such a jumbled mess to me on an initial read that I doubt I’ll be buying it again. The ending seemed over the top and ridiculous to me, and to be honest, I felt like it came out of nowhere.
And lastly, I really wish I could write about Batwoman, but my local comic store sold out of it even before it hit the racks. So maybe people are still skeptical about the relaunch, but it definitely seems to be doing what DC wanted it to do.