So anyway, back to this.

§ January 4th, 2012 § Filed under dc comics, retailing § 8 Comments

I…really wasn’t sure what I was planning when I asked you folks what you thought about DC’s New 52 thus far, whether I was going to comment on the responses individually, or do some kind of meta-analysis, or what. And frankly, my need to address that post, at least in my mind, has been looming over me like a really large thing that loomed over me.

I think what I’m going to do here is borrow this list of the New 52 that Siskoid already typed out in his comment, and briefly discuss each book (or family of books) in regards to customer reaction, sales, etc., and let that stand as my final (or at least part one of my final) response to the matter. But honestly, thank all of you who took the time to leave comments…I read every one, and found them informative and interesting.

So, here we go…the first half of my comments on the whole shebang:

Action Comics – Like I said the last time I attempted this, there seems to be a vague level of disappointment from some quarters regarding the pacing of this comic, but plenty of people seem to like it just fine, and it’s certainly one of the top sellers of the New 52 here at the shop. And I think people who haven’t liked the last couple of issues may enjoy #5, due out…today, in fact, and I’m not saying I’ve already read it, but may very well have, and it may respark some interest from those of you out there who have been less than enthralled with the title. (Also, I saw some folks out there in Internet-land who are somehow using what they’ve seen in previews for #5 as more ammo for their ol’ “Grant Morrison hates superheroes/the Silver Age” complaints, which is just crazy-talk from Crazytown, frankly.)

All-Star Western – Started off well, but seems to be back down to the folks who had already been buying the Jonah Hex…plus one or two more, so, you know, there’s been some improvement.

Animal Man – Probably one of the Big Surprises of the New 52, selling well and critically acclaimed — nice when those two qualities actually match up with each other on the same thing. The comic is very good, though (like I feel with many of the other comics) the pacing could stand to pick up a bit. It is quite a compellingly-disturbing story, one of the few true examples of a superhero horror comic. (Steve Gerber and Gene Colan’s The Phantom Zone (scroll down to #1) being another strong example, I think.)

Aquaman – Another surprise hit, and one customers seem to be talking about the most. Mostly in the context of “wow, I can’t believe I’m digging an Aquaman comic this much!” …It has been pretty good, I think.

Batgirl – This one’s been getting pretty mixed reviews from the get-go, though I thought it was pretty entertaining. And it’s certainly selling very well for us.

Batman, Batman and Robin, Batman: The Dark Knight, Detective Comics – All these Batman books have seen a definite uptick in sales since the relaunch, though most of them had been selling pretty well to begin with. Detective probably benefited the most.

Batwing – A low to mid-range seller, still doing better than expected considering it’s a Batman spin-off not featuring one of the main Bat-family.

Batwoman – Solid mid-range seller…the art definitely sells the book. Brings in people who don’t normally buy comics.

Birds of Prey, Blue Beetle, Deathstroke – Selling okay, which is really better than I expected Deathstroke to do, to be honest. But otherwise, not really generating a whole lot of chatter or specific enthusiasm from the customers.

Blackhawks – Probably one of the lower-selling of the New 52. Have had a couple of customers note that the art really didn’t do anything for them.

Captain Atom – Good mid-range seller…haven’t really paid any attention to it, though people telling me (at the store and in the comments to that post) that it’s kind of a riff on Watchmen‘s Doctor Manhattan sort of has me intrigued.

Catwoman – I know people complained about the ridiculousexy in the first issue, but man, people do like Catwoman, regardless. Solid midrange seller.

DC Universe Presents – Good seller, will be interested to see if sales change when this series switches from Deadman to the Challengers of the Unknown. (Just had the thought that the series should just cumulatively add characters to the rotating stories. The first arc would be just Deadman, the second would be Deadman and the Challengers, the third would be Deadman, the Challs, and, oh, I don’t know, the Omega Men, and so on. Would be quite the sight by the time issue #50 rolled around.)

Demon Knights – Considering the setting is in Ye Olden Dayes, and that it stars a lot of the magical DC characters…actually selling a lot better than expected. …There’s probably more characters in here than the book can really comfortably handle, but it makes for an entertaining read nonetheless.

Flash – Strong seller, and I’m being told it’s actually quite good. Alas, I’d pretty much hit my limit on how many Flash stories I can read, and dropped the franchise a year or two back, but people telling me it’s good got me to poke my nose into an issue or two recently. Sadly, it still didn’t do anything for me, but I’m glad people are enjoying it.

Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. – One humdinger of a book…maybe a little too out there for most folks, but quite the treat for the reader who dares peek inside its covers. Like OMAC (discussed tomorrow), it’s one of those well-admired titles that has a small but loyal following. …It’s kinda like the DC Universe version of Hellboy, and that’s just fine.

Fury of Firestorm – Mentioned this in my initial post (which I’m not going to link to yet again in this post)…didn’t grab me at first, but it’s slowly growing on me now that I’ve wrapped my mind around the idea that this particular take is different from the one I’ve been used to for the last decade or three. Maintaining okay sales at the shop.

Green Arrow – Small gain in sales since the relaunch. Haven’t really heard any buzz good or bad about this title. It’s a Green Arrow comic that’s selling okay, so I’m not going to complain. Well, Swamp Thing’s not in it, so I’ll complain about that, anyway.

Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: New Guardians, Red Lanterns – Still probably about one or two GL titles too many, but…well, they all have some entertainment value, and they’re all selling well so far. So long as they don’t add a fifth Lantern title, and honestly I wouldn’t put it past them. Anyway, Green Lantern is the best, and the best-selling, of the bunch, with the ongoing Hal Jordan/Sinestro disfunctional bromance. Man, I hope this stays a cop/buddy book, because I love reading Sinestro stories and the dynamic between him and Hal makes for a fun read. I’ve mentioned before, once or twice, about how Sinestro is one of my favorite supervillains. In fact, I’d be okay with a fifth GL book if Sinestro was kicked out of the main GL book and given his own ongoing series.

Corps and New Guardians aren’t bad, but I think I’m ready for those initial storylines to be over. But Larfleeze finally showed up in the latter series, and Everyone Loves Larfleeze so that series just shot up in quality for me, as far as I’m concerned. And Red Lanterns is interesting sort of despite itself, what with all the blood and grossness and characters being dicks to each other and whatnot, and yet still being readable. Yeah, I know, it’s hard to explain. Still needs to just turn into a Dex-Starr solo book. (And maybe he can team up with that cat from Animal Man.)

…Come back tomorrow for the exciting conclusion of my overview of the New 52! …Ah, c’mon, come back. …Please?

8 Responses to “So anyway, back to this.”

  • “Just had the thought that the series should just cumulatively add characters to the rotating stories. The first arc would be just Deadman, the second would be Deadman and the Challengers, the third would be Deadman, the Challs, and, oh, I don’t know, the Omega Men, and so on. Would be quite the sight by the time issue #50 rolled around.)”

    So, pretty much, the Waid “Brave & Bold” relaunch from OYL.

    Not arguing; one of my favorite books of the ’00s. ust sayin’.

  • I had a lot of success talking All-Star Western up to the Batman people, especially those who liked the history aspect of Gates of Gotham. Many didn’t realize how much they would like a western. Had one guy drop it because he didn’t realize it was a western (I pushed it as an early Gotham/Arkham story). When I mentioned the title he just kind of gave me a dead stare.

  • jon-el says:

    Shouldn’t that be “Everyone Loves Larfleeze (TM)” ?

  • Prankster says:

    I definitely agree that pacing has been the big problem with the New 52 books. I like my comics dense, and these have all been far too decompressed.

    I have to admit, one of my big problems with the New 52 has been the shearing off of continuity. Not because I’m a huge continuity buff, but because superhero comics are way more interesting to me when they have a history and a deep bench of characters and concepts to draw from. Starting everything from square one, with a hand-holding “introduction” to the idea of superheroes (as if everyone on Earth didn’t already know who Superman, Batman, et. al. are) renders it pretty boring as far as I’m concerned.

    I understand the desire to reach new readers, but I think the problem has far more to do with the inaccessible and unappealing way the stories are told than they do with the decades of continuity, which a good writer desn’t need to rely on. And DC’s basic method of telling stories hasn’t actually changed, which is why I suspect the New 52 is bound to fizzle out in the new year. But maybe I’m just being optimistic (I’ve been seriously underwhelmed by it so far.)

  • Bear says:

    Action Comics has been a let-down. The straight-forward superheroing has been bland and the rest of it just hasn’t been interesting. And I’m a huge Morrison fan so this was the one I was most looking forward to.

    Superman isn’t interesting at all.

    Superboy and Supergirl have been more better, if only to see the new tweaks to their personalities and powers.

    Animal Man is proper good. OMAC is crazy, over-the-top fun but ultimately not very compelling. Frankenstein isn’t grabbing me the way I hoped it would. (Something about the art isn’t sitting right with me.)

    While the art in Batwoman is absolutely gorgeous, it’s somehow preventing me from becoming involved in the story. I spend more time going “ooooh pretty!” than actually paying attention to the story.

    DCU Presents is easily in the top three for me. A really great story and probably the best Deadman story ever. (Is that damning with faint praise?)

    Green Arrow is the blandiest bland that ever blanded.

    Flash looks lovely but it’s not grabbing me at all. I just don’t care, y’know?

    And that kind of sums up the whole DCnU for me. The titles I really like could easily have been done in the old continuity and the rest of it I just don’t really care about.

  • Bear says:

    “more better?” Eeek. My new year’s resolution: PROOF READING.

  • Kid Nicky says:

    Action Comics and the new Hulk are the only monthly comics I actually care about any more. In fact,Action might be,no exaggeration,my favorite comic EVER,or at least in 10 years or so.

  • Rick says:

    So people are saying the new Captain Atom series is a riff on Dr. Manhattan. Well the Watchmen were originaly to be the Charlton heroes to begin with. So it really has come full circle as Dr. Manhattan was suppose to be Captain Atom.