My Top 10 of the New DC 52 So Far…

by Angela Outlaw

Top ten lists are really fun.  I try not to make them too often because that would kill it and I live in a no-kill-fun-zone.  Before we begin and you see something that you will undoubtedly disagree with and/or have your nerd pride offended-there are a few things you should know about me:

1. I work on a comic book store so I have opinions that carry far more weight in the often unrealistic, condescending, and silly variety.  Worry not, for I am not nearly as invested as I sound.

2. I’m a woman.  So add a dash of “irrational” to the opinionated check list.

3. I’m a terrible adult.  I know, it’s kind of implied in #1 but I’m quite skilled at this and figured it deserved its own #.

Here’s a list of things that I find cool: If you don’t find much of these things as cool as the stuff on your list, then you might not like what comes next.

Here it goes!

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10) Batman and Robin

I never got Damien.  Yeah, he’s Batman’s love child, whatever.  Let me rephrase that, I didn’t care.  However, Peter J. Tomasi has been flexing his writing skills through this strangely provocative adventure.  Bruce has to be a father to a child that shows scary signs of psychopathy.  Watching this reprogramming/relationship has been uncomfortable yet mesmerizing.

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9) Wonder Woman

It doesn’t matter what she wears, she’s Wonder Woman.  Try telling her not to fight crime in a bustier and hot pants- see what happens.  With Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) taking the helm for this icon, there’s a lot to enjoy.  The art may not be for everyone but I think it’s a good addition to a field dominated by the same body types. A tweak to her origin, a peek at modern day mount Olympus, a little white trash girl on an island full of amazons… I am entertained.

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8) I, Vampire

I know, right?!?  But don’t let the crappy covers fool you.  It’s the basic lovers’ quarrel: Andrew wants to coexist in peace.  Mary is bent on world domination.  The story drops us in the midst of a holy war waged by vampires against the human race.  I can’t wait to see how they’ll incorporate this gritty apocalyptic tale in the shinny spandex world of Superman.  The interior art is fantastic and the vampires are just as sexy as they are terrifying.  Go DC!  Taking it back from sparkle motion to where vampires really belong…the homoerotic Anne Rice variety.

Haters gonna Hate.

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7) Batwing

The Bat titles are usually the strongest.  What sets Batwing apart is its continuation of the Batman Inc. franchise (if you can call it that) where we follow the ‘Batman’ of the Democratic Republic of Congo–and not some fictional country in the darkest of Africa because nobody wanted to tackle anything remotely realistic to the modern conflicts that are happening.  Yeah, I’ll say it, f*ck you, Marvel.

Now, don’t get me wrong, DC is just as guilty (if not more) of giving anyone other than white men a bad rap (don’t even get me started on Vixen).  But Batwing does a little something more than an interesting story with fresh characters.  Whether Batwing is comparable to other superheroes in the DCU or if the real life horrors of genocidal civil wars and corruption are being exploited; it inspires more to think about than just how crappy Batman Inc. was.

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6) Supergirl

Thigh high knee-less boots don’t make sense.  They just don’t.  And they’re not even cute.  That being said, Supergirl has and always will be in my heart.  The Peter David run in the mid 90’s was my first love in the mainstream world of superheroes.  She’s one of those characters that can have a Madonna-like reinvention every couple of years that people won’t fight.  Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s lame, this time we get an awesome Leeloo (Fifth Element) experience as she’s dropped in the middle of Russia, speaking her native tongue and under attack.  She’s confused and just trying to figure shit out- an easy theme to connect to and I love her for it.

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5) Batwoman

I haven’t seen this kind of innovation in the Pepsi/Coke of comics since…well…ever.  From the intricate panel layouts to the Betty Page necktie on the skull faced villain (oh yeah, I caught that), Batwoman is my first grab on Wednesday.  If my only complaint is Kate Kane’s grey pigmentation then, clearly, something awesome is happening.

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4) Wtf Aquaman?!?

Did not expect to love this title as much as I do.  “No one’s favorite superhero” is making a pretty big dent in my monthly picks.  It was the right move to incorporate real-world opinions of the fish-guy into the DCU.  This is the perfect example of how I take my comics- fun and action packed. Love it!

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3) Justice League

For most of my life, The Lamest League encouraged little more than a glance from me.  I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, why would I bother with the Hanna-Barbera ethics of that super team when I had the X-Men?  There was a freaking love triangle (Wolverine/JeanGrey/Cyclops) for God’s sake!  What could Superman possibly do to beat that?

It was the first release for the grand reboot and I had to read it for work.  The end result was enough to make it apart of my top three and I even wrote a special piece that you can find here.

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2) Animal Man

I don’t know what I was thinking when I read the first issue–more work, perhaps.  I wasn’t thinking that I was about to read the strongest title for the New 52 (and it is DC’s strongest title).

Animal Man hits all the high points with such an ease that I feel like he’s always been there.  It’s no question that DC made the right move by bringing their vertigo writers on board for the reboot.  Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, Essex County) has, once again, been able to seamlessly pull me into a story without any shred of hesitation. In Animal Man we see more than just a C-list superhero.  The raw and often eerie artwork only adds to the intricate characters that have quickly nestled into one of my favorite current titles.

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1) Catwoman

Oh please, you totally saw this coming.

I’ve always respected Catwoman.  So when I saw the shit-storm that erupted from this first issue, I was actually amazed.  Sure, in comics there’s always going to be that guy but for so many people to see it as “too much,” too scandalous–t’s freaking Catwoman!  She’s a saucy little, diamond loving, temptress and Batman’s real weakness.  Where do you think the name for the cat-suit came from?!  I was impressed that they had the balls to bring her to that next level of maturity; pushing boundaries, where she rightfully belongs.

She likes money, she likes the rush of doing bad things, and (oh my god) she likes sex!  How dare she!  How DARE a modern woman enjoy having her way with “The World’s Greatest Detective”!

Since when did feminism ever equate Victorian standards on female sexuality?  I guess we’ll never know…

I think I’ve hit the overall point with my #1- Maturity (which this article lacked).  DC is growing up, as they should because that’s kind of how the world works.  I’ve heard several complaints and praises towards the new reboot but money talks, and great stories always sell.  It’s no secret that comics are in trouble but with content like this, there’s hope.

I love this business and want to see it continue long after I’m gone (I’ll be watching it from Hell–which is probably where I’ll end up.  Fun Hell, though with all the Gays and street performers).

Honorable Mentions

Voodoo

When I first saw this little gem listed in Previews, I was all: Dark girl in the south named ‘Voodoo’ doing mystic thangs–disaster waiting to happen, so I’m going to read it. Surprise, surprise, it works!  We follow a hyper sexualized alien disguised as a stripper named “Voodoo” Who appears to be a part of an undercover operation for…perhaps…an ALIEN INVASION?! Yes please!

All-Star Western

The first story arch took place in Gotham, not the wild frontier. Even still, I am a sucker for period pieces and can’t deny a good read when I see it.

 

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