Unless you’ve been living under a rock or perhaps don’t give a crap about comics, you know that DC Comics is about to embark on an audacious journey that will either make them or break them. What does this mean, comic readers? This means a LOT of your favorite characters’ backstories will change and some titles will be canceled altogether come September. I will provide you with quick little summaries of each of the 52 titles as well as links where you can read more about the relaunch. Most comic book shops are also providing a free little booklet with a breakdown as well in case you want to stop by and pick one up to have on hand. Why is DC doing this you might ask?
Their reasoning is simple: entice new readers and retool what wasn’t working.
Some things about this relaunch aren’t so bad, merely some heroes get a new wardrobe, but some things are completely erased, like Lois Lane and Superman’s marriage. Any of these changes alone may be enough to make you cringe BUT please, if you’re a DC reader, pick up Flashpoint. I understand most of you guys have been with these characters for years but if you’ve been reading Flashpoint, I don’t see where else this arc could go, in my opinion.
Before you get your panties in a twist and say I don’t know what I’m talking about, I work in a comic store. It is part of my job to stay up to date about things like this and I can’t be expected to interact with people if I don’t read comics, now can I? Everyone is entitled to an opinion, trolling or not, so please, leave your thoughts below, I would genuinely love to hear them. With that said, let us begin!
(be sure to click on each image to enlarge it so you can see the covers in detail)
Flashpoint #5 – This is the issue where it all begins and it all ends. With the war between the Atlantians and the Amazons coming to a head, The Flash will hopefully be able to fix it amidst his confrontation with Thawne/Reverse Flash. The last couple of pages are crucial to the beginning of the new 52 so this issue should be high on your priority list.
Justice League #1 – This inaugural issue is helmed by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee and begins with a new evil uniting the World’s Greatest Heroes.
Action Comics #1 – Once again we follow the Man of Steel’s adventures! Written by Grant Morrison and art done by Rags Morales.
Animal Man #1 – Buddy Baker thought he’d left his superhero days behind but now his daughter is exhibiting signs of powers. Written by Jeff Lemire and art by Travel Foreman.
Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1 -Frankenstein is working for the government and shall be protecting us from things worse than him. Be sure to check out this series about this reluctant hero written by Jeff Lemire and art by Albertyo Ponticelli.
Batgirl #1 – This title has some controversy around it as Babs Gordon is back as Batgirl after a long stint in a wheelchair as Oracle. We don’t know specifics of it yet but this series will be written by Gail Simone and art by Ardian Syaf.
Batwing #1 – I haven’t read all of Batman Inc, but I’m assuming that is how there is a Batchapter in Africa. Meet African Batman in this series by Judd Winnick and art by Ben Oliver.
Green Arrow #1 – Vigilante Oliver “Ollie” Queen will be shooting first and asking questions later. Written by J.T. Krul and art by Dan Jurgens
The Savage Hawkman #1 – Carter Hall’s language skills land him an archaeologist job but with risks that include an alien plague. When it threatens NYC, Carter becomes the Savage Hawkman! Written by Tony S. Daniel and art by Philip Tan.
Hawk and Dove #1 – Hawk is unhappy with Dove as his partner as much as he’s unhappy about her boyfriend and some behind the scenes manipulation in the United States! He sounds grouchy. Written by Sterling Gates and art by Rob Liefield.
Blue Beetle #1 – Jaime Reyes is struggling with his powers as well as the normal trials of a teenager. I’m hoping this series will have dubious amounts of humor. Written by Tony Bedard and art by Ig Guara.
Justice League International #1 – Ripe with conflicting personalities, the UN gathers together a group of superheroes to protect the world. Written by Dan Jurgens and art by Aaron Lopresti.
Men of War #1 – Finally! Young Sgt. Rock is the star of this series but younger and quite possibly not yet a sargeant. Written by Ivan Brandon and art by Tom Derenik.
Blackhawks #1 – Meet the Blackhawks, an elite military force with only the best at their disposal. Their goal is to take care of the bad guys. You know, before they can kill us all. Written by Mike Costa and art by Ken Lashley.
All Star Western #1 – Back when Gotham was the wild west, Jonah Hex teamed up with budding psychologist Amadeus Arkham to track down a villian. Written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti and art by Moritat.
O.M.A.C. #1 – Kevin Kho is transformed into the One Man Army Corp and immersed into a war he doesn’t want part of. Written by Dan Didio and Keith Giffen and art by Keith Giffen and Scott Koblish.
Static Shock #1 – Virgil Hawkins moves to NYC and encounters new villains and has an internship at S.T.A.R. labs. Written by Scott McDaniel and John Rozum with art by Jonathan Glapion, Scott McDaniel and LeBeau Underwood.
Stormwatch #1 – The superhuman police are recruiting and looking for something top secret in the Himalayas. Written by Paul Cornell and art by Miguel Sepulveda.
Demon Knights #1 – In the dark ages of the universe, barbarians are tearing shit up and it’s up Madame Xanadu amongst a motley of others to help save the world. Written by Paul Cornell and art by Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert.
Swamp Thing #1 – HUZZAH! Swamp Thing is back and off to battle an adversary it would take a monster to kill. Luckily, Alec Holland has the Green! Written by Scott Snyder and art by Yanick Paquette.
Batman and Robin #1 – Bruce and Damien take Gotham by storm as Batman and Robin. Somehow, I think Bruce has his work cut out for him. Written by Peter J. Tomasi and art by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray.
Batwoman #1 – Kate Kane has all kinds of stuff to worry about, from family issues to dissappearances in the barrio to strange government agencies interested in her. Written by J.H. Williams IIIand W. Haden Blackman with art by J.H. Williams III.
Suicide Squad #1 – This title also had some controversy swirling around it for the drastic change to cult favorite Harley Quinn but I will give it a chance. She’s heading a squad of villains working for the government in this series written by Adam Glass and with art by Marco Rudy.
Deathstroke #1 – Mercenary turned pirate turned mercenary again Slade Wilson has lost touch with who Deathstroke really is. Check out this sure to be action filled voyage to self discovery! Written by Kyle Higgins and art by Joe Bennett and Art Thibert.
Green Lantern #1 – If you’ve kept up with Green Lantern, you’ll know their war ended with Hal Jordan being expelled from the Green Lanterns and SINESTRO becoming the new Green Lantern. Written by Geoff Johns and art by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy.
Voodoo #1 – Follow Priscilla Kitaen as she finds out who or what she is and confronts the secrests of her past. Written by Ron Marz and art by Sami Basri.
Grifter #1 – Branded a serial killer for taking down creatures in human glamors, Cole Cash has to charm his way out of trouble in this series. Written by Nathan Edmondson and art by Cafu.
Legion Lost #1 – Heroes from the future travel to the past to correct the wrongs that end up in their timeline’s destruction. Written by Fabian Nicieza and art by Pete Woods.
Legion of Super-heroes #1 – After a horrible tragedy hits the Legion, the students of the Legion Academy must step up to the plate and fill their shoes. Should they fail, a war could ensue. Written by Paul Levitz and art by Francis Portela.
DC Universe Presents #1 – It’s Deadman versus a mystery adversary in this new series! Written by Paul Jenkins and art by Bernard Chang.
Mister Terrific #1 – Super smart, super brawny, and single, Michael Holt is Mister Terrific. He’ll be battling science gone wrong in this series written by Eric Wallace and art by Gianluca Gugliotta.
Green Lantern: New Guardians #1 – How is Kyle Rayner going to keep his ragtag group of colored lanterns from killing each other? Find out in this series written by Tony Bedard and art by Tyler Kirkham and Batt
Red Lanterns #1 – The always cuddly Atrocitus helms this title as the Red Lanterns rage their way through injustice! Written by Peter Milligan and art by Ed Benes.
I, Vampire #1 – Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned especially if you’re a vampire named Andrew and your ex is the Queen of the Damned. Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and art by Andrea Sorrentino.
Resurrection Man #1 – Each time Mitch Shelly dies and is reborn, he gains new powers, however, this does not go unnoticed. Check out this series written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado.
Supergirl#1 – Think Kal-El without the affection for Earth and you have the turbulent teenage Supergirl! Written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson with art by Mahmud Asrar.
Superboy #1 – A Hybrid experiment by Projet N.O.W.H.E.R.E., Superboy is a weapon who becomes self aware. This series is written by Scott Lobdell and art by RB Silva and Rob Lean.
Batman #1 – Bruce Wayne is back. What else can I say?! Written by Scott Snyder and art by Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion.
Birds of Prey #1 – Black Canary and Starling team up as Gotham’s covert ops team but get the attention of a creepy reporter. Written by Duane Swierczynski and art by Jesus Saiz
Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 – Red Hood is chosen as leader when Starfire and Arsenal tag along with him around the city. He has zero interest in leading anybody. Watch out for this series written by Scott Lobdell with art by Kenneth Rocafort.
Captain Atom #1 – Captain Atom has enough energy to place himself as a God among humans but can he keep his humanity alive? Written by J.T. Krul and art by Freddie Williams II
The Fury of Firestorm #1 – Two teenagers become meshed through what can only be described as super science against a threat that could begin another Cold War. Written by Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone and art by Yildiray Cinar.
Catwoman #1 – This sexy title features the lovely Selina Kyle as she battles her lust for shiny objects and the Bat. Written by Judd Winnick and art by Guillem March.
Nightwing #1 – As Dick Grayson puts back on the cowl of Nightwing, Haley’s Circus rolls back into Gotham and he must confront the pains of his past. Written by Kyle Higgins and art by Eddie Barrows and JP Mayer.
Green Lantern Corps #1 – The other two human Green Lanterns are trying to keep the peace but have trouble taming the outrage at Sinestro being a member of the Corps. Written by Peter J. Tomasi and art by Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna.
Wonder Woman #1 – Wonder Woman struggles between her love for Earth and her duty. Can she protect us? Written by Brian Azzarello with art by Cliff Chiang.
Aquaman #1 – Arthur Curry no longer wants to be King of Atlantis but wants to protect his people from The Trench. Written by Geoff Johns and art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado.
Batman: The Dark Knight #1 – Bats has some legal troubles following Batman Inc and faces a secret villain in Arkham Asylum. Written by David Finch and art by Richard French
The Flash #1 – Straight from Flashpoint to his own title, Barry continues his adventures as he faces a foe (or friend) who can be in multiple places at once! Written by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato with art also by Francis Manapul
Justice League Dark #1 – Shade the Changing Man, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Zatanna and John Constantine team up against the crazy Enchantress. I am oddly excited about this title written by Peter Milligan and art by Mikel Janin.
Superman #1 – Kal-El must stop a threat to the city of Metropolis and has never been married to Lois Lane. This upset many long time fans of Supes so I’m hoping the writing is good enough to offset a lot of that anger. Written by George Perez and art by Jesus Merino.
Teen Titans #1 – Red Robin leads this group of teen heroes against an international organization with an otherwordly weapon. Written by Scott Lobdell and art by Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.
Detective Comics #1 – Another mystery villain is killing in Gotham City…sounds like a game of Bat and mouse ;) Written by Tony S. Daniel and art by Ryan Winn and Tony S. Daniel.
As for myself, I will read every single first issue. I already know I will pick up the new Green Lantern and the main Batman title but I remain torn between several so my purchase list is somewhere around 15. This will more than likely change as I read the first issue. I am alllll about first impressions :) Again, please let me know your thoughts below, I will get back to EVERYBODY (Except spam, cause no one likes spam. Unless it’s fried non spam ham. Now, I’m hungry.)
DC Blog for up to date news: http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/
Head honchos at DC giving their two cents: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOM9F1SOv7o
Geoff Johns on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/GeoffJohns0
Jim Lee on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/jimleeoo
update 8/17/11: ALSO CHECK OUT THE JUST RELEASED MOTION COMIC TRAILERS FOR THE COMICS HERE: http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2011/08/16/dc-comics-first-look-at-the-new-52-commercial/