As the DC event Convergence approaches, and a reboot (?) or revamp of the current New 52 nears, here’s my top 10 highlights of the New 52.
Part 1 – top top 6 to 10.
10. JUSTICE LEAGUE FORMATION
From the get-go, the first pages of the first issue of Justice League was a delight to read. The way the heroes came together in the light of a major catastrophe was thrilling, exciting and an overall good read. As with typical team-ups, the heroes getting together would always result in the collision of massive egos, the same can be said about the Justice League. You have The Flash testing Superman, Green Lantern challenging Batman and Batman using slight of hand to remove Green Lantern’s ring, and Aquaman choking Batman (gasp!). Yep, you read correctly, Aquaman choking Batman. What more can you ask? The debut issue also relied on comedic relief to great effect, with Lantern learning that Batman doesn’t have powers, Flash asking why Batman’s voice sounds like that, and all other types of fun.
The opening story arc also focuses on a villain worthy of battling with the League, Darkseid. From that moment on everything the DC universe would never be the same with the rise of the Justice League.
9. CREATIVE TEAMS
Lets face it, no matter how popular the comic book character is, if you do not have a good creative team helming that particular character or book, odds are the book would suffer. But the good thing about the New 52 is that it put together some of the best creative teams on books that needed it the most.
Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and even Green Arrow benefitted immensely from the stellar creative teams helming the books. Batman continues its stronghold as being the premiere comicbook of DC with Snyder and Capullo leading the creative team from the first issue up until present. Superman got a boost from the creative team not only from the Superman comicbook but also from Superman: Unchained. Not to mention the superb work of Manapul and Buccelatto on The Flash and Detective Comics.
With the New 52, rarely was there any not so good stories published with top-notched creative teams, and with the dawn of a new era in DC Comics one could only wish that the trend continues.
8. THE BATMAN FRANCHISE
It comes as no surprise that DC Comics banks on Batman for most of its profit when it comes to comicbook sales, and with that DC expanded the Batman Franchise or the Bat Family with great success, mainly due to the stories that the Batman Franchise chugs out. From Batman, Detective Comics, Batgirl, Batman & Robin, to the more recent additions Gotham Academy, Gotham by Midnight and the weekly Batman Eternal, the franchise came out firing on all cylinders.
The beauty of the franchise is that DC was willing to shift the focus away from Batman and instead focused on Gotham itself. Particularly in Gotham Academy, it shifted the focus on a group of youngsters studying in the premiere school in Gotham and the adventures that they have in the school. The book itself went away from the typical Batman art and went with a different look, one that fits the vibrance and energy of a youngster. Speaking of a different look, Gotham by Midnight is by far the most different and most interesting in the line of comics from the Batman franchise. Gotham by Midnight focuses on the paranormal occurences investigated by a special group of the Gotham Police and from the opening pages would instantly hook you in. The eerie sights are only highlighted by the art and the story-telling. And with Batman celebrating his 75th Anniversary, DC came-up with Batman Eternal, an epic 52 weeks worth of comicbooks which ended its first year run just last week.
Just shows how awesome anything and everything Batman is.
7. FOREVER EVIL
The Forever Evil story arc posed the question “what would happen if the members of the Justice League die?” The answer – awesome epicness. No, really, it was awesome. An evil version of the Justice League ‘kills’ the Justice League and unites the villains of the world, only to be thwarted by an all of a sudden heroic Lex Luthor. Sounds weird right? But truth is the whole story arc worked. It changed the guard. All of a sudden villains were defending the Earth until the heroes could return. It even resulted to Lex and Bats teaming-up which resulted in Lex discovering who Bats is which again resulted in Lex becoming a member of the Justice League. The story arc also shone the spotlight on Cyborg cementing him as an indispensable part of the New 52 Justice League.
6. REENERGIZING AQUAMAN
Just ask anyone about Aquaman and people would start laughing. For the longest time Aquaman was the butt of superhero jokes, but everything changed with the New 52. As stated earlier much of that could be attributed to the creative team. Aquaman was all of a sudden a badass, steering into danger, carrying a chip on his shoulder and even at one point telling of people in a restaurant for eating fish. His badassery was even more highlighted when he fought the trench, a seemlingly infinite army of sea creatures. And to even boost this new-found awesomeness, as stated earlier, he choked Batman. Who does that?!
Even throughout the New52 run, Aquaman has continued the strong start with his ever growing mythos. Just recently the Maelstrom arc was concluded. And in that arc Aquaman was given another layer of character and even united him, albeit for a short time, with his mother Atlanna.
DC even rewarded the strong showing of Aquaman with a franchise in the form of Aquaman and the Others. Though, not as successful as the main book, the franchise also provided for a wider and more in-depth look into who Aquaman is.
Heck, were it not for the New 52 iteration of Aquaman, we might never had Jason Momoa depict him in the upcoming Justice League movie.
Stay tuned for numbers 5 to 1…
@geeknow0218 Gino is the Gladiators resident comicbook reviewer and a lawyer in the making by day and full on comicbook geek at night. #AgeOfTheGeek