As previously blogged about in the PiercingMetal Musings; DC Comics recently re-launched a number of titles and started them off from issue #1 under the branding of “The New 52”. The initiative’s prime objective being to up the number of titles available each month and to offer new readers an easier chance to jump on board with their characters. New costumes and beginnings are par for the course with the reboot but a number of the company’s most historic moments shall remain unaffected. The New 52 appears to have segmented the titles into a number of different groups based on the relation of the character – for instance there is a Superman and Batman grouping to enjoy and each title relates directly to the character. From these segments I have opted to share my thoughts on the first issues for your reading pleasure. “The Dark” appears to deal with those heroes and villains and others that go bump in the night and that made me think immediately to the nineties and Marvel’s oddly received “Rise Of The Midnight Sons” line of books. There were some winners there and of course losers as well. The Dark line did strike a chord of intrigue for me and those titles are Justice League Dark, Swamp Thing, Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E., Animal Man, I Vampire, Resurrection Man and Demon Knights. I did NOT manage to get copies of every title so those are only presented in their cover art. I do apologize to my readers and should I obtain them going forward the views will be added in post-mortem.
Justice League Dark #1: The existence of a Justice League Dark piqued my interest quickly and it was a reminder of the whole Legion Of Monsters and the aforementioned Midnight Sons angle that Marvel Comics once did. You might recall those stories where the more questionable powers for good had free reign on the world’s villainy and dispatched them with little worry or mercy. As you know the DC Universe has a lot of mysterious powers of their own and this title rounds a bunch of them up and finds them working together for the sake of the world. That being said we find Madame Xanadu being put to a proper use along with Shade The Changing Man, Zatanna, Deadman and John Constantine (Hellblazer) who have joined together against the madness of The Enchantress in the debut of the new team. What intrigued me was how a number of Vertigo characters were now firmly ensconced in regular continuity and I will say that I was fine with that as periodically the Vertigo line was too “out there” for me. Several members of the Justice League make an appearance to show just how helpless they are against the forces of magic as a whole (with the exception of Zatanna) and while this took more pages than I felt were necessary to establish, it leaves us plenty of room for this team to build into something very interesting. I was happy to find Madame Xanadu in this title because she has a lot of potential as a character and never seems to be used as good as she can be. I also felt that it might be more interesting to see a return to original form for Shade than what his Vertigo title was doing. I am on the fence about Constantine though but remain open minded to see what the Brit brings to the table in this kind of scenario. Deadman barely makes an appearance but Zatanna comes off as a strong and independent character and before you ask, no, there are no fishnets and top hat in this one. Sorry to disappoint you but perhaps she will change over time as well. I am interested in the second issue for sure and hope that we find The Phantom Stranger, Mr. E. or perhaps even Doctor 13 paying a visit. The story is penned by Peter Milligan with art by Mikel Janin. Nice stuff from Mikel for sure and a solid read from Milligan.
Continue reading DC Comics “The New 52” First Issues: “The Dark” Titles