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DC Comics: The New 52 Hardcover Compilation Review (1200+ Pages!)

What it's like to read every #1 issue of DC's The New 52 in one sitting with this massive tome.

On August 31, 2011, DC Comics changed the way we read comics. Or at least they changed the way we read their comics. With JUSTICE LEAGUE #1, we saw the beginning of 'The New 52.' The DC Universe had changed. All DC titles had a fresh start with a new #1. In the four months since it all started, there have been some major evolutions with some characters while others have remained relatively untouched.

It was a bold and daring move on DC's part. The goal was to make comics fresh and exciting for new and old readers. For the most part, the reaction has been positive.

On December 13, 'DC Comics: The New 52' arrives in bookstores. This is a collection of every single #1 from 'The New 52.' At first you might think this is just a collection of reprints but it's also a piece of history in some ways.

== TEASER ==

Right away you'll notice it's an impressive collection. We're talking 1216 pages and 7.6 pounds of comic material. Unfortunately the dust cover features the same cover to JUSTICE LEAGUE #1, an image we've seen so many times. Then again, that image became the known for launching 'The New 52.'

Removing the cover you'll see another familiar image, the shot of the team that was revealed right before San Diego Comic-Con. What's interesting in how the cover looks. It isn't printed with your typical hardcover material and almost has a textbook look and feel to it (if you've ever seen a brand new textbook, you'll have an idea). It's not a bad thing and gives it a sturdy feeling. The slight bit of gloss to it also makes the image pop out a little more.

One of the deterrences might be that this collection contains comics you already own. That may be the case but how many people can say they purchased all fifty-two #1 issues? Personally, I see this as a great reference tool. There have been so many times I've referred back to these issues and have had to dig through stacks of comics to try to locate the one single issue I was searching for.

Besides that, there is the size. I didn't measure6 my copy but according to Amazon, the dimensions are 11.2 x 7.4 x 2.9 inches. That makes it bigger than an actual comic. It almost adds a different feel to your reading experience. Enlarging the pages just that little bit allows you to see everything a little clearer.

What comes across as a little odd is the way some of the pages fall into place. This is a minor thing but because there there aren't any advertisements, a page that originally was on the left might now be on the right. This means that some thought had to be put into the order the issues appear since some contained two-page spreads. There are some filler pages in between to divide the 'sections' of the book. You also get nice clean images of the covers (without the logo and UPC covering it up).

As for the reading order, this was something I was immediately curious about. The issues aren't presented in the order they were released. JUSTICE LEAGUE is the first one here and that makes perfect sense. But it's followed by JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL and then AQUAMAN. If you recall, JLI did come out during the second week (first week of September) but AQUAMAN came out during the last week of the month. I wasn't sure if this was meant to be the essential or proper reading order. It's more that the issues are grouped by families.

It starts off with the Justice League titles (including CAPTIAN ATOM, FURY OF FIRESTORM, SAVAGE HAWKMAN and MISTER TERRIFIC), then followed by the Superman books, Batman, Green Lantern, Dark books, the Edge books and the young Justice books.

This is where some of the problems come in. Let's say you wanted to read BATWOMAN #1. You can see from the inner sleeve of the dust cover where if fits in with the other books. There just isn't an easy way to get there. There are no page numbers at the bottom (which would be more annoying when it interfered with the art on the page). You just have to have an idea what's before and after and start flipping through.

The other problem is some of the two page spreads are a little difficult to see. Because the book is over a thousand pages, it can be hard to fully open the book without fear of damaging the binding. But this book has such a solid feel, you probably couldn't damage the binding if you tried (I don't suggest you make the attempt).

Perhaps the question should be, would you actually be reading this book or is it more of a collectible? Chances are you've probably already read most of the titles but there might be some that you didn't get around to or sold out before you could purchase them. Now they are all here.

This actually brings about a third problem. If you now find yourself really impressed with one of the titles you didn't pick up before, you're going to have to scramble to try to locate issues 2-4 at your local comic shop.

This book really isn't for the reader that hasn't picked up a single 'New 52' issue. It is a great starting point. You literally have all the issues here to read over.

I mentioned before that this is a piece of history. That's where the collectibility factor comes in. I've found myself talking to people that knew nothing about comics because of this relaunch. It's clearly a big conversation piece if someone comes over and sees it sitting on your coffee table (I don't know if it would fit on your shelf or if it would take up your entire shelf).

Now the part I've been putting off. How much does this cost?

The book has a suggested retail price of $150. Of the 'New 52' books, forty-eight had a cover price of $2.99 and four were at $3.99. That means they all would cost $159.48. But here, you get a nicer package and oversized pages (with no ads). Also, the $150 retail means you'll be able to find it cheaper elsewhere (for example, Amazon has it for $89.99, way less than the $159.48).

But there is something nice looking about the whole presentation. It's very impressive. It's great to have in your collection, especially if you plan on going back to certain issues from time to time, this is a handy resource. The price might be an issue, especially if you already have most of the issues. It's not the best starting point for completely new readers since they'll have to scramble if they want to continue reading a certain series. It will look great in your collection.

Here's some more shots to get a feel for what you'll get.

102 Comments Refresh
Posted by Buddy9000


Posted by NightFang

That's an lot of comics.

Posted by Adnan

It's an interesting idea.

Posted by VDPloeg

Did you buy it or did DC give it to you for review? Makes an impact on your recommendation.

Posted by Sky_Jokiel

I would love it but I don't got the $150 to shell out for it :(

Maybe when chapters puts it on sale

Posted by ThePRez

want it

Posted by Deranged Midget

Thats quite impressive.

Posted by kennybaese

I just actually be interesting in picking this up just to have. It seems like a cool idea.

Posted by BurnSide

i want this pretty bad... does anyone know if it's the same size as the "75 years of modernmythmaking DC" book?

Posted by Billy Batson


Posted by TheGoldenOne
That is a big book O_o
Edited by themanwoaname

@VDPloeg said:

Did you buy it or did DC give it to you for review? Makes an impact on your recommendation.


i hate being that minority that think this new 52 is a big line of bull that's just delaying that inevitable going back to the way it was. ive been so let down by the dcnu that i cant even bring myself to look at other comics because i dont want to get into something, love it for what it is, and then have them wreck it and turn it into an abomination paling in comparison to what it was.

Posted by ltbrd

@VDPloeg: Why does that make an impact on the recommendation? How does G-man needing to shell out $150 bucks equate to him giving the book a positive or negative review? This is the form of entertainment that he's devoted his entire livelihood towards, so why wouldn't he get this book? Have you seen the man's garage when he does videos about vintage comics? There was no way the price tag was going to stop him from getting this.

But really I just find your comment funny because of a G4 feedback video I just watched this morning in which they talk about why suddenly people are starting to question the validity of entertainment reviewers and why the public at large believes that such people are "on the take" by the companies that put out these products (in this case the discussion was about video games not comic books) and instead more people are saying they trust the companies that make the product (who are financially dependent on people buying their product) then non-affiliated reviewers because for some reason they think the companies are going to be more honest about their product.

Posted by DarthShap

Pretty useless. None of theses stories are self contained so if you are interested, you will have to look for the following issues or wait six months for the trade. This is just a collectible for die-hard fans who probably already own these issues.

Posted by danhimself

yeah I would probably only get this as a collectible....just doesn't seem practical to throw this in my backpack like other trades

Posted by ltbrd

with that rant completed I wish they had made a similar book more about filling in the years leading up to the current timeline so that old readers would know exactly what is still a part of continuity or at least give us some general events that writers could expand on later in their own way. I get the necessity of keeping history a bit vague so that future stories don't have to contradict old plots but at least some clue as to what the heroes have been up to would be a great help in knowing which of the things we loved in the past are still applicable to the characters.

Posted by G-Man

@BurnSide said:

i want this pretty bad... does anyone know if it's the same size as the "75 years of modernmythmaking DC" book?

That book was bigger and weighed about 16 lbs. See our review here (with user comments) or just look below.

Posted by Baddamdog
Posted by Or35ti

That is huge!!

Edited by azza04

Doesn't seem worth it for anyone other than a hardcore comic collector.

Posted by kingoftheworld

So unneccessary.

Posted by Renchamp

@VDPloeg said:

Did you buy it or did DC give it to you for review? Makes an impact on your recommendation.

Legally, it doesn't matter. The FTC only cares about non-professional bloggers reviewing freebies and not disclosing how they got the stuff to review. G-Man is paid for his insights so they don't care if he got it for free or not. Besides, I think he was fair enough in listing the positives and negatives, especially that there are no page numbers. That's a deal breaker for me in a book of this size.

Posted by Toastalchemist

This is really stupid. Few people are going to want all 52. I'd end up with like 10 I actually want and 42 I don't. Is this how they are going to release the other issues? Like with a book of all the #2's and #3's and so on.

Posted by HubrisRanger

Problem #3 (scrambling to find the other issues of a series if impressed with the #1) is a bit of a red herring. Most of the later issues are readily available at my local stores, and for those few that might be picked over there is always the digital option (at a dollar lese, if the book is more than a month old).

Posted by trailofdead

When I first heard about DC releasing this tome I thought it was pretty lame...Now I know for sure. Stupid.

Posted by kartron
@azza04 said:

Doesn't seem worth it for anyone other than a hardcore comic collector.

I agree!
Posted by zombietag

collectibility is the only thing i see in this.

who wants to read 52 chapter ones with nothing else? thats terrible. if youre judging on story alone, this is the worst. i understand the history thing behind this and yada yada, but outside of "omg so cool all of the first 52 in one book!" this book doesnt serve much purpose to me besides a good chunk out of my wallet.

Posted by shawn87

It's pretty cool but I'm not about to go buy it especially for that price

Posted by kfhrfdu_89_76k

@TheGoldenOne said:

That is a big book O_o

You took the words out of my mouth, so to speak.

I think that since the book is that big, and alot of the artwork will be covered like...well...just look at the image:

See? That splash just looks weird, and alot of it isn`t seen. That`s one of the most irritating things with books this big.

Posted by ScarecowAA

want want 

Posted by BlackArmor

@Sky_Jokiel said:

I would love it but I don't got the $150 to shell out for it :(

Maybe when chapters puts it on sale


Posted by Diamondblade

want it for Xmas! *.*

Posted by Gordo789

this doesn't seem like a great value any which way you cut it. Too expensive and impractical for the casual reader, and the serious collector is bound to have most if not all of the books that are in here already. Who exactly is this for, people with too much free shelf space?

Posted by Herx

meh. A nice idea, but with the all the #1's (as far as i kow) being the first parts of other stories it kinda seems annoying more than anything. I'd just wait for the collected hard/soft covers of the individual titles. But im guessing that it is made more as a collectable item rather than a "pick it up and read" collection of issues.

Posted by higher_evolutionary

1200 pages Who the F---'s idea was this ?????

Posted by Wolverine0628


Posted by JonesDeini

@DarthShap said:

Pretty useless. None of theses stories are self contained so if you are interested, you will have to look for the following issues or wait six months for the trade. This is just a collectible for die-hard fans who probably already own these issues.

Agree, especially considering how few of the DCnU titles I feel are worth actually investing in. Out of 52 titles I avidly read about 7/8. This would be nothing but a grossly overpriced paper weight for me.

Edited by _Zombie_

I can't even afford $89.99. Considering it's only the #1's.. and not all of the #1's were good, it's not worth it's hefty price-tag. So I think I'll pass until there's a big price drop.

Edited by RedR0bin

I can't wait to get my hands on this. I think this is a great way to introduce friends to comics without busting out my whole collection to find one that they might like. This way they could skim through all of the number ones and they could find a story that might intrigue them.

Plus there were a few titles I wasn't sure about and didn't get. This way I can read them and either confirm my doubts, or change my mind.

Posted by 00MirageKnight00


Posted by Ganthetsward20


Posted by tronie66

I'm really exited to get this!!

Posted by ReVamp

Dernman and Octopus. (Don't remember which)


Posted by King Quisling

lol that's nuts. A must get for anyone who's waaaay into New 52.

Posted by Bestostero

I wished I had the money for this!!!

Posted by fables87

That's a big book. I'm just going to wait until the titles I want come out individuality though.

Posted by SuperDoahBoy

I've been tight on money so I had to miss out on the launch of the New 52, and this is gonna be one of my first purchases as soon as possible.

Posted by papad1992

Now if they could only do that for entire series instead of having various volumes where u buy 1 and cant find the 2nd one but bought the third kinda banged up and cheap... etc!! It would save time for looking for them. Then BAM there it is in one huge ass book!! But we would probably have to sell our souls for them!! Imagine a huge book like that for the Uncanny X-Men series or the X-Factor series... I would defiantly buy them. Or how about doing this for older series that have many issues lost or unable to locate for purchase... that would be a very cool idea!! Imagine looking in a comic shop and seeing a huge book comprised of an entire series... would u buy it?? It could also bring new readers to the table. But lots of money is a factor!!! Ok nevermind LOTS of money is THE factor!!!

Posted by Entish

I must remember to get this although I now have a bunch of #1s laying about

Posted by The Poet

wish THAT was my school text book...