Sep. 15th, 2011

mackknopf: (Books)
For those who haven't heard, DC Comics recently rebooted most of its previous continuity to produce 52 new titles, each supposed to be an entry point to jump on to a new world, with many familiar heroes and a few new ones.  Superman, for instance, is just starting out as a hero and reporter in Metropolis, not yet married to Lois Lane.  He can't even fly yet, but the government and Lex Luther are trying to hunt him down!

The reboot includes some really good comics.  I'm greatly unsure that all 52 comics are going to make it a year, however, as there are some clunkers in there (no surprise, it's hard to find that much creative talent).  I'm also not sure if the setting as a whole will maintain continuity of history well.  I predict chaos in the near future, unless the editors keep an iron hand on the stories. But I could be wrong.  Also worthy of note, all comics will be available to digitally download online the same day they are released in stores.  Unfortunately, they still cost the same as the printed editions, so I'm not thrilled about that.  I'll always buy the printed edition over an electronic edition if they cost the same price!  However, it may help DC reach a wider audience.

I've already mentioned Action Comics #1, Superman's flagship title by Grant Morrison, and it starts out powerfully. I'm always interested in the theme of "What do you do with great power?"  and "How do you stay human, or what does that even mean?"  In the context of a brash young alien crusader, living as a not-so-meek reporter, we get to see how Clark takes on authority and is in turn feared by it.  The title surpasses my expectations and succeeds in part because Morrison does not engage (so far) in his favored post-modernist techniques, but sticks to a straighter, easier to read style of storytelling.

 It comes as a pleasant surprise, though, that a number of supernaturally-themed comics have appeared on the stands. Vertigo, DC Comics dark fantasy and horror imprint, is still around, but some characters have been integrated into the mainstream, which to be fair  had been done some before the reboot.  The new titles take the integration all the way, though, and showcase good entry points into the weirder elements of the DC Universe.  Yes, this does mean that John Constantine appears in two comics now: his own regular Vertigo title and in a recurring role (with different continuity) in the mainstream comics.  People should have no trouble telling them apart because in regular DC Comics, he's shown as a younger man, similar to the original Alan Moore era.

More comics worth spending money for
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