Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Comic Book Review: DC The New 52 #1

Technically this isn't a "comic book" per se, but with all the hype and buzz building up, plus the fact that it has a #1 numbering attached to it, I have every reason to believe that DC Comics may start producing a series of "preview books" each month that are similar to the competition (i.e Marvel Previews). So without further ado, let's begin the review proper.

Since the big announcement last month that they were going to revamp the universe and relaunch majority of their books, DC Comics has earned both the ire and admiration of its entire fanbase. After over 70 years of publishing comics and characters that have remained mostly true and unchanged in structure, the publisher (under the direction of co-publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee) has decided to give a complete makeover to their titles and heroes, paving the way for a bold and new direction which they have dubbed "The New 52".

DC The New 52 Presentation

That's right, 52 titles are all being renumbered as new #1 issues come September, and that means we're getting new modern retellings and interpretations of classic icons such as Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, and Wonder Woman. After DC Comics finishes up with their crossover event and Flash centered story called "Flashpoint" come August 31st, the entire DCU as we know it will change. Some old elements will be retained, but majority of the continuity will be rebooted. That means that we'll be saying goodbye to the old DC Continuity for some characters as they get a fresh new start, while some lucky characters like Batman and Green Lantern get the "semi-reboot" treatment, with some elements from the old universe retained and kept intact. DC Comics The New 52 #1 gives readers a glimpse into that new world, with covers and descriptions to each and everyone of the 52 titles coming out throughout the month of September. Justice League #1 however comes out the same time Flashpoint ends, which is on August 31st. As a special treat to fans, DC has placed an exclusive 6 page sneak peek preview of JL #1 into this issue, giving readers a glimpse of the book written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Jim Lee!

So what is my reaction to "The New 52"? As an old school comic book fan who grew up with the Silver Age of comics and was exposed to the singular universe created by the events of Crisis of Infinite Earths, this feels like a very ambitious move by DC. Majority of the fanbase have expressed initial disappointment over the move and raised several concerns, particularly with the "cease and desist" in the long running numberings in their flagship titles (Detective Comics, Action Comics) and the "new costumes" each and every character is receiving. One particular concern I have on the latter note is Superman's new outfit as depicted in the cover of new Action Comics #1 (which I featured and discussed in a previous post). Honestly, I haven't been too happy with the changes I've been seeing in the reboot, but I'm not shutting my doors just yet either. It's a sure bet I'll be giving Justice League #1 a try simply because Johns and Lee are the creative force behind it, but I can't say the same for the other titles just yet. The freebie preview book just gives you enough of a tease and a short glimpse into each and every title. We'll just have to wait and see how they all turn out in less than two months time.

So how should I rate this "preview book"? A perfect simply because it's FREE and a good PRIMER for fans new and old who are unsure of what they are jumping into. The special sneak peek of Justice League #1 is worth the price of admission alone, and Jim Lee's pencils never fail to disappoint. Go and pick this one up at your local comic book shop this week before stock run out. If you need more info online, go and visit the source (literally) at DC's official blog, DC The Source!

Rating - 5/5

*On a side note, DC is releasing a Hardcover of all 52 new titles come December. If you want all of them all bundled together, you can wait for that!

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