By HubrisRanger 14 Comments
1. The Phantom Strange: Dan DiDio's OMAC title was a surprising delight of rather sincere, old school Kirby-tropes wrapped in readable, often one-off stories. His Challengers of the Unknown relaunch, conversely, was a bit of a mess and had pacing issues from the word go. Add the fact that it is a series that will likely reveal the origins of a character who's who schtick has always been that he's unknown. So...this could go either way really. Nice to see the always reliable Brent Anderson get a prestige ongoing to do though, and this will likely be required reading for the upcoming Trinity War.
2. Sword of Sorcery: An odd and unexpected addition, but in all the right ways. Writer Christy Marx is a long-time veteran of the children's TV market, most famous for creating Jem and the Holograms; she also wrote a female-centric fantasy series for Epic in the mid-1980s called Sisterhood of Steel which people tell me is pretty alright. So it is an established, if slightly obscure, pedigree revitalizing an equally obscure female heroine property, benefited from the always gorgeous art of Aaron Lopresti. Has every opportunity to be the surprise hit of this wave, and shows that DC is serious about diversifying the kind of books that can be published within the New 52.
3. Talon: Of note for being the first character created after the New 52 relaunch to get his own title, plus (and I'd have to go back through the Night of the Owls issues to confirm this) a new character who is actually debuting IN the first issue of his series. Unheard of in this day and age. In the creative department, James Tynion has done some excellent work in the past few months with Snyder, and Guillem March has been killing it on Catwoman. A little skeptical if the world needs yet another Gotham title, but there is enough good stuff here to catch my attention.
4. Team Seven: The hinted Team Seven ongoing series is now a reality, but certainly not in any form that I was anticipating. Justin Jordan is best known for his recent title the Strange Talent of Luther Strode, which is best described as "cerebral but hyper violent." He is certainly not in the wheelhouse of DC's house style, that someone like Johns or DiDio would be, but it is that outside-the-book thinking that perks my interest. Jesus Merino has been doing a admirable job on Superman, though his art is fairly standard American capes-and-tights. Add an incredible cast of characters and a genuinely interesting premise, and Team Seven is probably just behind SoS in terms of books I can't wait to read.
BONUS THOUGHT for Zero Month: DC has never shied away from gimmick months, and this one at least has a function of helping to fill in the holes that might be left with the relaunch. Particularly impressed with their use of DC Comics Presents to give a tip of a hat to the books that are no longer with us (Hawk & Dove, Mister Terrific, OMAC and Blackhawks). That said, I fear if creators are going to be able to across the board find those aspects of the plot that need to be filled. And who gets to retell the Batman origin when you have four titles starring the same character? More interested to see the creative team shake-ups that go along with this. All said, an interesting and relevant way to celebrate one year of New 52, and I'm always down for one-off issues.