It’s been an entire year since DC’s “The New 52” premiered, and with a year of new comics under our belts I thought it might be fun to take a look at my five favourite titles, one year later. Originally I was going to do a Top Ten list, but it turns out I’m not even buying ten DC books right now!! I’m barely buying five. So “Top Five” could also read “the five books I actually buy”. Let’s get to the list:
5) Dial H
Yes, it’s part of the Second Wave, but again, I’m not buying a lot of these books. I’m very surprised by this, honestly… I assumed I was getting more. Anyway, Dial H has been very fun so far!! It’s weird and random, but a good time all around. It’s fun to have China Mieville doing comics (have you read Perdido Street Station or The Scar? If you haven’t, stop reading this article and go check them out now!!), and Mateus Santoluoco’s art has been great as he draws a variety of bizarre heroes each month.
The story is fun, albeit a little bit slow, but the reason I like Supergirl so much is because when Mahmud Asrar is on his game and can pencil and ink the entire book it’s just absolutely gorgeous. The dude has skills. Plus there’s been some cool villains with that weird alien gang and the Silver Banshee and such. I do like the story, it’s just all about the art for me.
I am pleasantly surprised by how well J.H. William III and W. Haden Blackman are doing writing this book. The first arc was great, and while the second arc went off the rails a bit with the weird time breakup and such it was nonetheless impressively ambitious. Greg Rucka is a hard act to follow, and they’re doing a really good job. And the book looks amazing… whether it’s Williams or Reeder or McCarthy, Batwoman’s been consistently beautifully drawn.
This is just a ridiculously good comic book. Scott Snyder knows how to write a killer Batman story, and Greg Capullo is starting to grow on me as an artist (I like his Batman but not his Bruce Wayne, if that makes any sense). The whole “Night of the Owls” storyline was great, and that issue where Batman was trapped in the Owls’ labyrinth was just amazing, both in terms of art and story. Plus Becky Cloonan did a fill-in issue!! I hope she, and Harper Row, are back soon. Batman is the best it’s been in years now.
1) Wonder Woman
This is probably not a surprise, but a) it’s been AGES since Wonder Woman was even a Top Five book at DC, much less their best one, and b) it was touch and go for me for a while there with the whole Amazons murdering and raping dudes situation. However, after the last few issues the book is back on track and firing on all cylinders. Brian Azzarello is building a crazy, fantastic story and Cliff Chiang is drawing the hell out of it, along with Tony Akins sporadically. New characters like Hermes and Strife are some of my favourites now, and the reveal at the end of Wonder Woman #12 is just all sorts of fun. I’m so happy that Wonder Woman is good, and that Cliff Chiang is drawing it. Chiang makes everything better.
So that’s my Top Five!! It’s so weird to be getting only five mainline books. When the New 52 started, my best friend and I picked up at least 20 of the new titles, but we really pared it down over the months. Part of it was the freedom from what I’d always bought, I think. I used to buy Batman, Detective Comics, Action Comics, Superman, and some other books because I’d ALWAYS bought those books, even when I didn’t like them, but now that completism is gone for me with the renumbering and the new universe.
Another part of it is the sheer number of awesome new books that came out this year from other publishers. My budget is only so big, and books like Saga, Captain Marvel, Hawkeye, and others have bumped a lot of DC books from my pull list. I used to get 10-12 DC books and 2-3 books from other publishers, but now it’s around 5 DC books and 7-8 others.
I know the New 52 has been pretty decent for DC in terms of increased sales, but I’m getting a lot less than I used to. However, what I do get I really like, which is fun. When I used to get more DC books, I didn’t actually dig a lot of them. So while I may be a worse customer saleswise, I’m a much happier customer with the books I do get.
Please feel free to leave your Top Five in the comments. Are there books I’m crazy for not reading? Let me know.
Tags: Batman, Batwoman, Brian Azzarello, China Mieville, Cliff Chiang, DC Comics, Dial H, Greg Capullo, J.H. Williams III, Mahmud Asrar, Mateus Santoluoco, New 52, Scott Snyder, Supergirl, W. Haden Blackman, Wonder Woman