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26 of 52: Wrap Up with Starman

by on October 5, 2011

A lone opinionated blogger’s list of DCnU titles that they are going to purchase next month… well maybe that doesn’t mean too much in the wild west of the Internet. However, if you get 2 opinionated bloggers, well then maybe you have something. (Twice the arrogance, from a single blog post!)

So, me, RJ Schwabe, (from and Starman (from have collaborated to review the DCnU titles that they read, and give their final verdict to determine which DC Universe titles will be purchased going forward.

The major difference between us is that Starman read all 52 titles, and I went with only the 26 that seemed interesting.

Must Reads:

These are the best titles of the week that would have been tremendous with or without the reboot. Comic books that not only capture our attention, but practically demand to be read monthly.


To me, there are three must read titles: Wonder
Woman, Batman, and I, Vampire. All three of these titles, I am really excited to read issue #2 and see what happens. I don’t want to wait for the trade paperbacks. I couldn’t imagine these titles going sour anytime soon. These three titles would jump to the top of my pull list.


Thinking back, I was surprised by how many books I decided I MUST keep reading – one quarter of the new line, it turns out! Going by RJ’s criteria, my picks for the best of each week were Action Comics, Mister Terrific, Supergirl & Aquaman. I’d recommend those books to anyone, regardless of what you usually read. I love comics built around fantasy and mythology, so I’m picking up Demon Knights and Wonder Woman. The original Resurrection Man was a favorite of mine and will be a real hit with those who like unique concepts that mix superheroes with horror and the supernatural. I loved Batgirl because I love almost everything Gail Simone writes, though I am anxious to see more of Barbara’s past in the new reality explored. Out of all the new Batman books, Batman was easily the most accessible to new readers and the one I enjoyed the most personally. Finally, I’m a die-hard Green Lantern fan and I had all the GL titles on my pull before the reboot, so Green Lantern & Green Lantern Corps will remain and New Guardians will be added. I can’t recommend them to new readers, so go get GL: Secret Origin and start catching up! Finally, I like what they’ve done to redefine Ollie Queen in Green Arrow and am anxious to see what else they do with my favorite hero.

Likely to Purchase:

All of these are good comic books, but the story wasn’t strong enough to compel a monthly purchase. If it’s not a burning desire, why not save a few pennies along the way?


I have four titles on my list: Stormwatch was really an enjoyable mystery, Swamp Thing had me wanting more, Batwoman was a really beautifully drawn comic book, and Savage Hawkman pleased me with a new exciting direction for Carter Hall. All of these titles could also have a bad second month, that could sink my enthusiasm.


I enjoyed Static Shock but I’d like to give it a few more issues to make sure the quality remains constant now that one of the creators is leaving. Grifter and Nightwing both surprised me with how good they were but I’d like to give them a little more time to see if they grow on me. I’m not much of a western fan, but I do like All-Star Western enough to stick with it through the end of the first storyline. Superman was brilliant but I like Action Comics just a little bit more.

Wait for Trades

These are also good comic books, but they are written like the first chapter of a bigger story and will probably read better with the rest of the story readily available.


Three of these are easy: Green Lantern, Red Lantern, and Frankenstein Agent of SHADE. All three were very enjoyable, but I’m happy to skip over them for now.

The other three, are tougher, and have more to do with my personal comic book budget, than anything else: Animal Man, All Star Western, and DC Universe Presents: Deadman.


Animal Man and Swamp Thing both had interesting hooks in their first issues but I prefer to read my horror stories in one sitting. I’m holding off on I, Vampire for the same reason. DC Universe Presents is a title I’ll lightly pick up depending on who the creative team is or who is the focus of that issue’s storyline. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy Red Lanterns but I don’t quite like it enough to get it every month.

Second Go Around

This is the list of comic books that just need a second month to see if they can define their direction just a little better. Every comic book series doesn’t hit the ground running, and sometimes creators try too hard in an opening book.


For me, the following titles may not have been perfect, but they have a certain quality that makes me want to give them a second chance as a monthly title: Justice League, Nightwing, Grifter, Batgirl, Justice League Dark, and Detective Comics. However, if I am met with much the same in the second month, I definitely will drop them.


I think Birds of Prey and Voodoo may wind up surprising us all. I enjoyed the first issues of Stormwatch, Justice League International, Justice League and Justice League Dark but I want to see the whole team come together before I make a final judgment on any of these titles. Superboy and Teen Titans haven’t done much to impress me yet but they do seem to be building toward something big. I really don’t like Fury of Firestorm as a concept but with Gail Simone writing, I’m willing to give it time to grow on me. I’m not liking what Tony Bedard has done with Blue Beetle so far or the announcement that – unlike the original series – Jamie will keep his superhero life a secret from his family and friends, but Bedard has earned enough good will for his past work to make me give him a chance.

Money No Object

The comic books that were fine, but just didn’t make the list due to budget issues. All are titles that may get better, and maybe one day will return to the pull list, but just not this month. Hopefully, we have friends who like these and are willing to share.


At the top of this list are Demon Knights, Captain Atom, and Superman. All were good, but just not enough to make my budget. Aquaman is probably going to get much better, but I didn’t like the villain or the take on Aquaman to get it again.


Frankenstein Agent of SHADE is good for what it is but I’m not a big fan of monster books. The Flash is decent enough but I’m indifferent to Barry Allen as a character. Batman and Robin is well-written but my love of Peter Tomasi’s writing isn’t enough to overcome my indifference towards Damien Wayne. Batman: The Dark Knight is an okay Batman title but with a limited budget, I’d rather get Batman. Batwoman is a gorgeous book but I’d need the money to pick up the original series to understand it. OMAC is a great tribute to the art and writing style of Jack Kirby but I don’t have the money to spend on books just because I approve of the aesthetics.

Not Interested

This is the rest of the lot. Covers comic books that just doesn’t capture us as an audience, to the awful where we would have to be paid to read it again.


I avoided most of the dreck out there, thankfully. Only Legion Lost and Hawk and Dove did I consider mediocre titles with little/no merit.


Comic fans are passionate, whether it’s about what we like or what we didn’t like. Perhaps that’s why half of the New 52 line occupies both ends of the spectrum for me? I didn’t care for a full quarter of the line for one reason or another. For instance, the Legion Lost and Legion of Superheroes were not friendly to new readers and even a geek like me who is broadly familiar with most of the Legion characters was confused by them. I don’t like war books, so Men Of War is a pass for me despite being a well-written title.
As for the rest, since my mother said that you shouldn’t say anything nice you shouldn’t say anything at all, I have absolutely nothing to say about Batwing, Blackhawks, Captain Atom, Catwoman, Detective Comics, Deathstroke, Hawk And Dove, Savage Hawkman, Suicide Squad or Red Hood & The Outlaws.


Hard to make specific conclusions from both our recaps, especially when one of us didn’t purchase all of the titles. Both of us are continuing with Wonder Woman and Batman. And we both want to continue reading the stories from Animal Man, Swamp Thing, I Vampire, and DC Universe Presents: Deadman, either as monthly titles or trade paperbacks.

Neither of us would read Legion Lost or Hawk and Dove. And I (RJ) would agree with Starman’s opinion about Legion of Superheroes, Men of War, Catwoman, Suicide Squad, and Red Hood & The Outlaws.

Hopefully this gives you some help in figuring out your purchasing decisions for the DCnU titles going forward.


RJ Schwabe and Starman

P.S. Special thanks to Starman for helping out with this project.  A true gentleman and a excellent partner.  Thank you sir!  Check out his comic book blog at


From → Comic Books, DCnU

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