Let me start this post by admitting that money’s a problem for me at the moment, but even so, I admit I’m as excited/nervous/scared about the DC Relaunch as the next guy. So what follows is pure hypothetical talk, meaning that even if I could afford all 52 books and I didn’t already previously have a habit of waiting for the trade when it came to DC, this is my thoughts on whether or not I would be likely to get the DC Relaunch titles on a case by case basis. Here goes:
Justice League (Geoff Johns & Jim Lee) – I used to love the second Super Powers mini-series as a kid. It was what I thought DC comics should be – a wide variety of heroes coming together to battle a threat to the world. That is what I want from this book and any book bearing the JLA title or some variant thereof. I liked Geoff Johns’ work on early Green Lantern (I’m behind quite a bit on those, so I felt the need to specify the early period in case I don’t like the later stuff when I get around to it.) I loved Jim Lee on X-Men, Alpha Flight, WildCATs, and pretty much anything else of his I’ve bought. I don’t buy everything of Jim Lee’s, but I did buy both volumes of Hush in hardcover because it was him. Whatever else the Relaunch might screw up, this one would be one of my top picks to get, because I love a good team book.
Wonder Woman (Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chiang) – Under the right circumstances, I could be persuaded to buy a Wonder Woman title. These are not those circumstances. I haven’t read much, if any, Azzarello. I haven’t seen much of Chiang’s work, to my knowledge. I don’t like this look for Wonder Woman. Just not interested. Besides, she’s in JL, so I can check in with the character there. Pass.
Aquaman (Geoff Johns & Ivan Reis) – Johns is okay, and Reis does good enough work, but my Aquaman is Dirty Pirate Hook-Hand Aquaman. This one is doubtful, but a bit more likely than Wonder Woman because of the art. In all likelihood, however, I’ll stick to JL for Aquaman action. (Side Note: It is frigging hard to type “JL” instead of “JLA”! It’s like a bad reflex or something.) Pass.
The Flash (Francis Manapul/Brian Buccellato & art by the same) – Never been into Flash, not likely to start now. Thanks, but no thanks, guys.
The Fury of Firestorm (Ethan Van Sciver/Gail Simone & Yildiray Cinar) – Gail Simone is a capable writer. Ethan’s a good artist, except he’s on writing chores with Gail. The cover looks great, and the original concept for the character is a solid one. I’ll give this one a cautious maybe.
The Savage Hawkman (Tony Daniel & Phillip Tan) – I recently read the first Hawkman Showcase volume and thought it was fairly decent. The idea of a Savage Hawkman does jar with that original image of an alien police officer. Having said that, it fits right in with the image I always had of Hawkman as a kid from the Super Powers action figure, as a savage winged warrior who will bash your head in with a mace. Hmm, maybe.
Green Arrow (JT Krul & Dan Jurgens) – I haven’t had all that much exposure to the character. I don’t dislike him, but I wouldn’t say that I like him either. I have read the “Hard Traveling Heroes” arc from the 70s featuring him and Green Lantern, which I did enjoy, but I dunno. I’ll probably pass on this one.
Justice League International (Dan Jurgens & Aaron Lopresti) – Another team book, so I’m down for this, with almost no questions asked. I question the need for a Batman on this team, except as a nod to the classic JLI run (ONE PUNCH!) which I need to get more than just the first trade I currently own. If Batman Inc. will be returning, must this Batman be the American one (be it Bruce Wayne or whoever winds up under the cowl)? Why not have the Japanese or Mexican Batman be on the team instead? I must admit, though, that I am glad to see the return of August General In Iron from the Great Ten. It does serve to remind me, however, Great Ten will not be one of the relaunched books, which is a shame, but at least we see him here.
Mister Terrific (Eric Wallace & Roger Robinson) – While I approve of DC wanting to diversify its lineup with non-white headlining heroes, I am just not interested in Mister Terrific. His look doesn’t interest me (though it is an improvement on the “big black T” on his face from before). I know next to nothing about him, and I’m not in that big a hurry to find out anything either. Sorry, but I don’t plan on buying this book.
Captain Atom (JT Krul & Freddie Williams II) – Another character who has just never interested me in the slightest. The cover is pretty, but not pretty enough to get me to buy it. Pass.
DC Universe Presents (Various) – I used to love Marvel Comics Presents and its various spin-offs or variations that let you check in with various corners of their universe without the need to buy twenty billion titles every month. Same premise here, therefore an automatic buy for me.
Green Lantern (Geoff Johns & Doug Mahnke/Christiam Almy) – I’ve always loved the idea behind the Green Lantern ring and power set. Even though Kyle is my Earth GL of choice, I’ll probably get all the GL-family of titles, including this (presumably) Hal-centric one.
Green Lantern Corps (Peter J Tomasi & Fernando Pasarin/Scott Hanna) – Don’t particularly care one way or the other for either John Stewart or Guy Gardner, but it’s GLC, so I’m on board, no questions asked.
Green Lantern: The New Guardians (Tony Bedard & Tyler Kirkham/Batt) – The Rainbow Corps, led by Kyle Rayner? They had me at Kyle Rayner, those should have been the first two words out of their mouths. Plus, y’know, Green Lanterns.
Red Lanterns (Peter Milligan & Ed Benes/Rob Hunter) – I really question the need for this book at all. I admit I’m way behind on my Green Lantern reading, but aren’t Red Lanterns supposed to be killer bad guys fueled by rage, bent on destruction? That’s the impression I always had from previews and stuff, so this series that has them “battling against injustice”? I’m just confused. I’d get it, but only because it’ll most likely tie in to the GL titles at regular intervals. Plus, Ed Benes is a pretty decent artist and draws hot women quite well.
Batman (Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo) – I have a dilemma when it comes to Batman. I like the general idea of Batman, though I tend to prefer the Adam West approach or the Englehart/Rogers Batman of the 70s to the DARK KNIGHT approach favored by modern writers and artists. What I would like is a single Batman title to follow, preferably with small story arcs of three or four parts (or six at a modern-day trade paperback stretch). This title claims that Bruce Wayne will be “the only character taking on the Batman name.” This doesn’t make any sense if Batman Inc is continuing next year. If it were set in the past, wouldn’t it just say that instead of wording it as if to appear that the status quo of Batman=Bruce Wayne (and only Bruce Wayne) is being restored. If it were set in the past, this would be my Batbook of choice. As it is, though, I’m afraid Damian Wayne will be there. And I don’t like Damian Wayne at all. So depending on that, I may pass on this one. For now, I’ll say pass anyway, just to be on the safe side.
Detective Comics (Tony Daniel) – Ditto my concerns for Batman above. Ditto also my answer.
Batman & Robin (Peter J. Tomasi & Pat Gleason) – Damian Wayne? Easy Pass.
Batman: Dark Knight (David Finch) – Why do we need four Batman titles? Even if you like Batman, four is two many. Two, I could understand. Three, if the third one was a Legends of the Dark Knight style with stylish story arcs by random creative teams. When you have three, even if that third one definitely has Damian Wayne in it, why do you need a fourth? The answer is, you don’t. This slot should be given to something else, anything else but Batman. Again, easy pass.
Birds of Prey (Duane Swierczynski & Jesus Saiz) – Birds of Prey was a clever pun when the original title first started. Looking at the characters (and being, admittedly, not completely knowledgeable when it comes to second- and third-string DC characters), I don’t know that Birds of Prey should be the title of this book. Still, I never read the original, and this one doesn’t appeal to me much either. As a side note, why is Black Canary wearing armor- or bullet-proof-looking tops and then wearing what looks (from the cover) to be fishnets and sandals? The design just…isn’t that great. Anyway, pass.
Catwoman (Judd Winick & Guillem March) – To paraphrase the great Officer Barbrady from South Park, “All I know is, she ain’t Julie Newmar, and if she ain’t Julie Newmar, I don’t give a rat’s ass.” Less crudely, I’ve never cared for the comic book Catwoman, so I’ll pass on this book.
Batgirl (Gail Simone & Ardian Syaf/Vicente Cifuentes) – Barbara Gordon is Batgirl? I don’t care who’s writing it. I don’t care who’s drawing it. Sign me up immediately. I never agreed with what happened to her in the Killing Joke, and when comic books can fix just about anything wrong with any character, up to, including, and even surpassing death, and DC keeps bringing back Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, even Jason Todd, there is no good reason to keep Barbara in that chair. There just isn’t. A hero with disabilities would indeed be cool and a prime representative of the diversity that DC claims to want to embrace, but they can create a new character for that. As far as I’m concerned, Babs is back where she belongs.
Batwoman (J.H. Williams III/Haden Blackman & Amy Reeder) – I have no problem with this character, what little I’ve read about her sounds interesting, but after the announcement of Batgirl, I don’t need this book. I’ve got the redhead I wanted in the cowl already. Pass.
Nightwing (Kyle Higgins & Eddy Barrows) – I have nothing against Dick Grayson. At the same time, his is a character that has always been “just there” for me. That said, the blurb for the first issue does sound intriguing. I’ll give this book a Maybe.
Red Hood and the Outlaws (Scott Lobdell & Kenneth Rocafort) – Hello, Batman and the Outsiders! Seriously though, I don’t knokw what to do about this one. I hate Jason Todd. I love Starfire. Arsenal was okay. Um, Maybe with a 10% chance of Pass?
Batwing (Judd Winick & Ben Oliver) – A Black African Batman battling his own supervillains as well as a corrupt police force? This sounds more exciting to me than all of the other Batman titles combined. Plus, for some reason, I’ve always been drawn to comics set in other countries. Alpha Flight, Excalibur, Great Ten, this promises an interesting glimpse into a part of the world I’ll probably never visit. Gimme.
Swamp Thing (Scott Snyder & Yannick Paquette) – This character has never interested me all that much, and honestly, I think anything coming up out of the swamps should look like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. I’m glad he’s coming back for the people who enjoyed his book in the past, but I will pass on this one.
Animal Man (Jeff Lemire & Travel Foreman/Dan Green) – Again, never read the original, so this one has very little appeal to me, although I will admit the idea of a father who was once a hero watching his daughter start to manifest her own powers is an intriguing one. Still, I’ll pass.
Justice League Dark (Peter Milligan & Mikel Janin) – I don’t know any of the characters that well, beyond a single appearance here and there in Sandman or Justice League. It is a team book though, so I’m still down for it. For the first arc, anyway.
Demon Knights (Paul Cornell & Diogenes Neves/Oclair Albert) – Justice League Medieval? How can anyone not like this idea? Even if I had no idea who Cornell was or who Etrigan was, this would be an awesome idea. Let’s Get Medieval!
Frankenstein, Agent of Shade (Jeff Lemire & Alberto Ponticelli) – The idea of Frankenstein waving a sword around and bashing heads in is a very appealing one. Chalk one up for the win column.
Resurrection Man (Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning & Fernando Dagnino) – Never read the original version of the character, but the concept of a guy having to relearn his trade every time he gets killed is fascinating. Like the Man himself, I’d keep coming back over and over again to see what happens.
I, Vampire (Josh Fialkov & Andrea Sorrentino) – I have never cared for Vampires all that much. If I wanted a Vampire who fought other Vampires to prevent them from harming mankind, I’d go buy Angel. Pass.
Voodoo (Ron Marz & Sami Basri) – I’ve always liked Voodoo from her first appearance in WildCATs. Even though this sounds very much like a DC rebooted version of her, I still want to read this and see what happens to her.
Legion Lost (Fabian Nicieza & Pete Woods) – Long Live the Legion! Although I have to confess, if it weren’t for Gates, I probably wouldn’t be terribly excited about this title. I have never liked reading long drawn-out arcs of the Legion in the 20/21st Centuries. Loyalty Read only, though Nicieza is usually pretty good, so I’m not dreading it as much as I would otherwise.
Legion of Super-Heroes (Paul Levitz & Francis Portela) – Is it just me, or does that redhead on the cover look like Grace from the Outsiders? Either way, it’s Legion, I guess I’m in it for the long haul at this point. Loyalty Read again.
Teen Titans (Scott Lobdell & Brett Booth/Norm Rapmund) – Tim Drake? YES! Although I am very worried they may have screwed up both Connor Kent and Cassie Sandsmark. Also, which Kid Flash is this? Bart? I hope so. Either way, this one is a get for me.
Static Shock (John Rozum/Scott McDaniel & Scott McDaniel/Jonathan Glapion) – Never saw the cartoon, but always wanted to try the character. It sounds as if it’d have that teen Spidey vibe to it. I’d try this just to see what it was like.
Hawk & Dove (Sterling Gates & Rob Liefeld) – The duo never interested me, so I don’t see myself getting this. I actually like Rob Liefeld’s work (Note, I didn’t say it was good, just that I liked it – important difference), so unlike most people, the art will not be why I don’t get this one.
Stormwatch (Paul Cornell & Miguel Sepulveda) – I like Martian Manhunter. I LOVE Stormwatch. I don’t like Authority that much, and unfortunately, that’s what this seems like it will be, just under another name. Still, I’d get it, just on the off-chance they mention Fuji, Deathtrap, Fahrenheit, Nautica, and Diva.
Blackhawks (Mike Costa & Ken Lashley) – Mercenaries for hire? Some people have problems with Luke Cage, and while I never did, I do question how “mercenary” they are that they only kill bad guys. Sounds off, somehow. Never read the original book, don’t know about this one either. Maybe.
Sgt. Rock and the Men of War (Ivan Brandon & Tom Derenick) – I first bought the Sgt. Rock Showcase volumes for my brother, and after he read them, I would read them too. We’re both fans of the Rock of Easy Company, so we were hoping for a Sgt. Rock book to come along as part of the Relaunch. While this isn’t exactly what we wanted, it did turn out to contain the one “hook” that would get us to read, Sgt. Rock’s Grandson, leading a new Easy Company. Apparently this version of Easy are a special group that deal with supervillain threats or the aftermath of them, something to that effect. Either way, it’s an exciting premise, and one I’d be proud to read. My brother also wants to read it, and he’s much more selective in his reading material. But that’s the way it is in Easy Company, where nothing’s ever Easy, even a wide-line Relaunch.
All-Star Western (Jimmy Palmiotti/Justin Grey & Moritat) – I would have preferred a War anthology to a Western one, but I did enjoy the Jonah Hex movie, so I am definitely willing to give this title a try. Aside from the Hex main feature, it does promise back-up strips featuring DC’s other Western characters, so hopefully I’ll get to see Bat Lash again.
Deathstroke (Kyle Higgins & Joe Bennett/Art Thibert) – I always considered Deathstroke to be somewhat overrated. His main job was to kill the Teen Titans, and he was never quite effective (understandably so, but still…). If I were to get this, and that’s a big IF, I’d only do it because his daughter Ravager was going to show up. Since I don’t know if this will be the case or not, I’ll pass on this one for now.
Grifter (Nathan Edmondson & Cafu/BiT) – I loved WildCATs, but I never cared for Grifter. Voodoo, Warblade, and Maul were much more interesting to me. Void and Zealot were okay, but I never liked Emp or Grifter. So of the WildCATs characters that are returning as part of this Relaunch, they pick my favorite and my least favorite. Yeah, not going to get this.
OMAC (Dan Didio/Keith Giffen & Keith Giffen/Scott Koblish) – I’ve never read any version of OMAC in my life, but that could very well change on the basis of the cover alone. It looks very Kirby-esque, and as a recent convert to the works of the King, this one is a very tempting title. I’ll say an Optimistic Maybe.
Suicide Squad (Adam Glass & Marco Rudy) – The description of this one sounds like current Thunderbolts, which I’m kinda fond of, so this one might be worth a try. I question Harley Quinn’s inclusion on the team, but then it does make me wonder what she might have done that she is on Death Row when someone else, say, the Joker, isn’t, but I suppose that’s one of those things we’ll never really know. Not that the Joker would be on such a team, it just makes me wonder who gets put on Death Row in the DC universe, and for what. Either way, a cautious maybe.
Blue Beetle (Tony Bedard & Ig Guara) – Hispanic teen hero sounds interesting. It helps that I’ve enjoyed his appearances in Teen Titans over the years. Yeah, I’ll try this one.
Action Comics (Grant Morrison & Rags Morales) – The solicitations for this sound like Superman Year One, with people not knowing what to make of the newly debuted Man of Steel. That…might not be a bad read, actually. I give it a Maybe.
Superman: The Man of Tomorrow (George Perez & Jesus Merino) – This book asks us to consider what Superman’s “startling new status quo” will be. Superman not at the Daily Planet, I’m assuming, since he looks like he’s trashing (or saving, whichever) the Daily Planet globe? Hmm. If George Perez were drawing as well as writing this, I’d be more inclined to say yes to this one, but as it is…no. Just not quite enough there to interest me, sadly. Plus, I don’t think a non-Daily Planet Superman would last for very long without being put “back to normal”, so that hook doesn’t sell me, I’m afraid. Pass.
Supergirl (Michael Green/Mike Johnson & Mahmud Asrar) – You know the old saying, “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape”? Forget that one. The important one to remember is that you do not, under any circumstances, get rid of Supergirl’s skirt. It’s fun. It’s sexy. It’s iconic. It’s entirely missing from the new-look Supergirl. I know the point is to give these characters a makeover, but Supergirl HAS to have the skirt. Since she does not, I will not be getting this. End of discussion.
Superboy (Scott Lobdell & R.B. Silva/Rob Lean) – Why does (I’m assuming it’s) Connor look like a Cyborg? Why does he look nothing like the version of him running around in Teen Titans? Eh, Pass.
Okay, now for the totals:
DEFINITE – 22
MAYBE – 8
PASS – 22
Roughly half and half then, with a few on the fence. Not bad. When I bought monthlies on a regular basis, I think I had maybe 5-8 DC titles, so that’s definitely a win overall for them. I still think a couple of choice titles are missing. Where’s Gen13, for example? But again, these are the first titles to come out of the relaunch. Batman Inc is being held over until next year, and there could be others. I still have questions and concerns about the Relaunch, but that’s to be expected. Hopefully, most of them will be answered in August. If I’m lucky, I may revisit this list and give reviews of titles I can get a peek at or borrow from a friend. We’ll see. In the meantime, congratulations to DC! You got an unemployed Marvel Zombie interested in approximately half of your titles. I still don’t forgive you for losing Supergirl’s cape, though.