The 52 Have Arrived! (updated - 13 Sep 2011)

It's been two weeks since Justice League #1 was released. Some fans camped outside for the launch. DC Staff like Jim Lee, Geoff Johns and Scott Snyder were at the launch giving out some Pizza for the faithful fans (a very nice gesture I might add). 14 new #1's have been released so far. So I thought to myself, "self what do you think about the new titles so far?" Well I am about to go through the 14 titles that have been released and let you know my thoughts.

For those that haven't read any of the issues yet, there will be some spoilers. I will try to keep them to minimum.

Going forward I will wait a week or so before I review the rest of the 52 #1 titles. That should give people some time to read the issues and give their feedback as well.

I will also have a Pick Of The Week section after every week. Week 1 (Justice League #1) wont have one. As part of my picks I will choose a Panel of the Week, Book of the Week, Cover of the Week and Moment of the Week.

So here we go:

Release for August 31, 2011:

Justice League #1

Written by: Geoff Johns

Art and Cover by: Jim Lee and Scott Williams

Scores:

Story - 3/5

Art - 4/5

Overall - 3.5/5

Verdict:

Story: This is the book that kicks it all off. It is being marketed as the flagship title, and rightfully so. We have two of the biggest names at DC on this title, Jim Lee and Geoff Johns (a two-man Justice League in their own right). Jim Lee is one of my favourite artists. I own a copy of his Icons book and I am so excited to have him drawing again. Geoff Johns has revamped, and rebooted some of DC biggest titles. His most notable success for me was Green Lantern. With no other competition for the week, did this book stand up to all hype? The short answer is Yes!

The issue starts off really well. In my opinion they started it off with the best character possible, Batman. That first double page spread is amazing. Batman's revamped costume is done really well. I understand that some people dont see it as a new costume but a re-hash of an old costume. Your thoughts?

This issue for me was always going to be an introduction the new JL team and when you read it, it certainly feels like it. Batman is somewhat on the run from the GCPD (not that they are doing a great job of catching him) while chasing down a Parademon in typical Batman fashion. Without giving away too much, Hal Jordan receives an alert of an "Extraterrestrial Presence" in Gotham and he arrives in Gotham and interrupts Batman in the middle of his interrogation. This basically starts off a whole series of witty banter between Batman and Hal. Most of the issue is about Hal and Batman.

Hal feels like a new character, and I am still trying to figure it out but he seems a bit arrogant and over-confident. He also keeps referring to himself as "The Green Lantern". He keeps trying to take control and creates more problems then he solves.

After some more bravado between our two supeheroes, they head off to Metropolis in search of Superman. Now I could go into more detail here, but it will spoil a lot for those who haven't read the issue as yet.

The Good: It is a nice introduction to the Justice League, and the interaction between Batman and Hal is quite witty. We also get introduced to Vic Stone in this issue, but the best is saved for last with the introduction of Superman. And what an introduction it is.

The Bad: The story was a bit slow and dragged out. We dont get to see the rest of the team which is quite sad, although it does give us a reason to buy the second issue. I am not sure what is going to happen with Vic, and I hope we dont have to wait too long before we see him as Cyborg.

Favourite Moment/s: Batman taking off Hal's ring without much effort (lack of concentration from Hal apparently) and the Superman intro (wont tell you what happens, but it is a worthy ending to the issue)

Favourite Panel: Page 37, Superman intro and the we also get to see the new costume for Superman. Definitely my favourite costume from the 3.

Get Next Issue: Yes, just to see Batman and Superman's first meeting. From the solicits we might not see anyone new in the next issue.

Releases for September 7, 2011:

Action Comics #1

Written by Grant Morrison

Art by Rags Morales and Rick Bryant

Cover by Rags Morales

Scores:

Story - 4/5

Art - 5/5

Overall - 4.5/5

Verdict:

Story:

Action Comics has never been a firm favourite of mine, and I never really had much time to go back and read all the issues I missed (who has time to go back and read 900+ issues.). I am also not a huge Grant Morrison fan (I know), but I do like Rags. I don’t dispute that Grant Morrison is a good writer; I constantly go back and read All-Star Superman at least once a year. The main reason that I am interested in this book is because I love All-Star Superman so much. Combine that with Rags and I would be stupid not to take a look at this book. Rags Morales did some amazing art in Identity Crisis.

That being said I was excited about this book and yet I wasn’t expecting too much from it. The first couple of pages of this issue really made me smile. Rags nailed this issue and the art is just amazing. This issue was really amazing to look at read. A perfect picture to a somewhat perfect story. So how did I get to this conclusion?

This is not the Superman you have come to love over the past of couple of decades. So if you are looking for a nostalgic trip back to your youth, you not going to find it here. There are touches of pure brilliance in Morrison’s revamped Superman. He is pure bad-ass as Superman, and a reserved “good guy” as Clark Kent. This contrast between Clark and Superman is satisfying to follow throughout this issue. One of the most visible differences you will notice is the appearance of Clark and Superman. Clark looks quite scruffy and geeky, Superman looks like the High School football captain that all the cheerleaders want to date and all the guys envy. I got this picture in my head as soon as I saw Superman standing on the balcony ledge intimidating both the cops and the “rat”. I could so see a jock doing that to some kid just to make a point. This issue is all about making a point.

The costume now makes more sense and somehow it makes me love it. Clark stays in a rundown old apartment, so having a “home-made” costume is the perfect fit here. It really reminds me of Peter Parker in Spidey movies.

There are some really cool cameos from General Sam Lane, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Superman’s old nemesis Lex Luthor. The story is setup quite nicely for the next few issues.

The Good: We get to see a refreshing side of Superman and Clark Kent that reminds us all of what an amazing writer Grant Morrison can be. He is aggressive, headstrong and willing to get the job done. He is powerful, but not invincible. He gets beat up really bad throughout most of the issue and there are moments that make you say “poor kid”. I loved reading this issue and hope that this sets the tone for the rest of the 52.

The Bad: This issue is the exact opposite of Justice League #1, I had this feeling that way too much was squeezed into this first issue. This is a story I would have been comfortable reading over 2 issues. This is the only blemish on an otherwise perfect issue.

Favourite Moment: This moment stands head and shoulders above the rest. This was touching and gave that scratchy feeling in my throat. WOW.

Favourite Panel: It makes sense that my favourite panel is the same as my favourite moment. It is a picture that I won’t forget very soon. If you are looking for a nostalgic moment in this issue, this panel would be it.

Get Next Issue: Yes, without a second thought. This is going to be a book you will want to read for as long as Grant Morrison writes it and Rags draws it.

Animal Man #1

Written by Jeff Lemire

Art by Travel Foreman and Dan Green

Cover by Travel Foreman

Scores:

Story - 2/5

Art - 3/5

Overall - 2.5/5

Verdict:

Story: This is one of the titles that I know very little about. I never read any of the original Grant Morrison stuff, so you could say I went into this with a completely open mind. I really didn't know what to expect. I really didn't enjoy the story much and that could be down to the fact that I don't know much about the character. I do enjoy Jeff Lemire's Sweet Tooth, but this was a bit too boring for me. Granted this is the first issue and there is probably quite a bit of story to come, I wasn't really blown away by the story. Jeff is a good writer but I feel he didn't do enough to introduce me to Buddy Baker. When I first saw the cover for this issue I was intrigued to see what was on offer. It is really gruesome looking cover and that carries across in some of the issue. I am not a huge fan of this style of art, and I am not 100% sure who did most of the art.

Towards the end of the issue I was a little bit more interested, and the "dream" sequence was more my style of story. I would have loved to have seen more of that. The issue did however end really well.

The Good: The end of the book was a pure "Oh $h1T" moment, coupled with the dream sequence.

The Bad: After reading this story I know very little about Buddy Baker, if anything I was more confused. I have no real attachment to any of the characters and it might be down to the fact that I know very little about Animal Man. For those who have never read and issue of Animal Man, I doubt you are going to know the character better after reading this issue.

Favourite Moment: The absolute last page of the comic. It is setting up something for the next issue. Not sure what we going to get though.

Favourite Panel: The panel for my favourite moment. It's not so much the art but the story that the panel is conveying.

Get Next Issue: Maybe. Just to see what happens after that last page. If it doesn't impress me, I will drop it.

Batgirl #1

Written by Gail Simone

Art and Ardian Syaf and Vincente Cifuentes

Cover by Adam Hughes

Scores:

Story - tbc

Art - tbc

Overall - tbc

Verdict:

Story: tbc

The Good: tbc

The Bad: tbc

Favourite Moment/s: tbc

Favourite Panel: tbc

Get Next Issue: tbc

Batwing #1

Written by Judd Winick

Art and cover by Ben Oliver

Scores:

Story - tbc

Art - tbc

Overall - tbc

Verdict:

Story: tbc

The Good: tbc

The Bad: tbc

Favourite Moment/s: tbc

Favourite Panel: tbc

Get Next Issue: tbc

Detective Comics #1

Written by Tony S. Daniel

Art by Tony S. Daniel and Ryan Winn

Cover by Tony S. Daniel

Scores:

Story - tbc

Art - tbc

Overall - tbc

Verdict:

Story: tbc

The Good: tbc

The Bad: tbc

Favourite Moment/s: tbc

Favourite Panel: tbc

Get Next Issue: tbc

Green Arrow #1

Written by J.T. Krul

Art by Dan Jurgens and George Perez

Cover by Brett Booth and Rob Hunter

Scores:

Story - tbc

Art - tbc

Overall - tbc

Verdict:

Story: tbc

The Good: tbc

The Bad: tbc

Favourite Moment/s: tbc

Favourite Panel: tbc

Get Next Issue: tbc

Hawk and Dove #1

Written by Sterling Gates

Art and cover by Rob Liefeld

Scores:

Story - tbc

Art - tbc

Overall - tbc

Verdict:

Story: tbc

The Good: tbc

The Bad: tbc

Favourite Moment/s: tbc

Favourite Panel: tbc

Get Next Issue: tbc

Justice League International #1

Written by Dan Jurgens

Art by Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan

Cover by Aaron Lopresti

Scores:

Story - tbc

Art - tbc

Overall - tbc

Verdict:

Story: tbc

The Good: tbc

The Bad: tbc

Favourite Moment/s: tbc

Favourite Panel: tbc

Get Next Issue: tbc

Men of War #1

Written by Ivan Brandon

Art by Tom Derenick

Cover by Viktor Kalvachev

Scores:

Story - tbc

Art - tbc

Overall - tbc

Verdict:

Story: tbc

The Good: tbc

The Bad: tbc

Favourite Moment/s: tbc

Favourite Panel: tbc

Get Next Issue: tbc

O.M.A.C. #1

Written by Dan Didio and Keith Giffen

Art and cover by Keith Giffen and Scott Koblish

Scores:

Story - tbc

Art - tbc

Overall - tbc

Verdict:

Story: tbc

The Good: tbc

The Bad: tbc

Favourite Moment/s: tbc

Favourite Panel: tbc

Get Next Issue: tbc

Static Shock #1

Written by Scott McDaniel and John Rozum

Art and cover by Scott McDaniel and Jonathan Glapion and LeBeau Underwood

Scores:

Story - tbc

Art - tbc

Overall - tbc

Verdict:

Story: tbc

The Good: tbc

The Bad: tbc

Favourite Moment/s: tbc

Favourite Panel: tbc

Get Next Issue: tbc

Stormwatch #1

Written by Paul Cornell

Art and cover by Miguel Sepulveda

Scores:

Story - tbc

Art - tbc

Overall - tbc

Verdict:

Story: tbc

The Good: tbc

The Bad: tbc

Favourite Moment/s: tbc

Favourite Panel: tbc

Get Next Issue: tbc

Swamp Thing #1

Written by Scott Snyder

Art and cover by Yanick Paquette

Scores:

Story - tbc

Art - tbc

Overall - tbc

Verdict:

Story: tbc

The Good: tbc

The Bad: tbc

Favourite Moment/s: tbc

Favourite Panel: tbc

Get Next Issue: tbc

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