The New 52: The Second Wave

Today DC announced on their blog, The Source, that a second wave of titles would be launched into the New 52 this May. Six books from the New 52 will be canceled in April to make way for the six new books being launched. Of the six new books, there are a few that were expected, a few surprises, and a few that are just odd. Here I will give my initial thoughts on and interest in the six new titles and the titles that are due for cancellation

Batman Incorporated
Writer-Grant Morrison
Artist-Chris Burnham

 

This is a book that has been promised for a while, so it’s nice to finally have it officially announced with a concrete release date. It’s also been confirmed that the book will take place in New 52 continuity, so I’m interested to see how Morrison connects the dots from the way things were at the end of Leviathan Strikes! to where they are now. This was a book that pre-Flashpoint was notorious for delays, so here’s hoping the title will be able to ship on time under the New 52 structure.

Interest Level: 4.5/5

Earth 2
Writer-James Robinson
Artist-Nicola Scott

This is another book that has been teased for a while and is now seeing official announcement. It’s interesting that the book is titled Earth 2, suggesting that it will focus on more than just the Justice Society. It will be interesting having an entire comic book universe distilled down into one single book, as opposed to 52 books, as is the case in the main DC earth. James Robinson has a great track record with the JSA, and Nicola Scott is an extremely talented and fan favorite artist. I’m hoping the Robinson uses this blank slate to make some really innovated choices and not limit himself to the way Earth 2 or the JSA has operated in the past.

Interest Level: 5/5

World’s Finest
Writer-Paul Levitz
Artists-George Perez and Kevin Maguire

This one is definitely a bit of surprise. This book comes spinning out of Mr. Terrific and the Huntress mini-series also written by Paul Levitz. World’s Finest takes the Superman/Batman concept and uses two female analogues of those characters, Power Girl and Huntress. The twist of the book is that Power Girl and Huntress are actually from Earth 2, but are somehow stranded in the main DC earth. The book’s creative team features a who’s who list of industry legends. While I don’t plan on picking this book up, it’s great to see DC pushing more books with female leads, especially ones with such high quality talent attached.

Interest Level: 3/5

Dial H
Writer-China Miéville
Artist-Mateus Santoluoco

One of the things that has come about due the New 52 is the reintroduction of obscure DC concepts in exciting new ways, with extremely talented writers and artists. The Dial H for Hero is cult classic concept from the 60’s-80’s involves different individuals receiving super-powers from a special dial. The concept was most recently used in J. Michael Straczyski’s run on The Brave and the Bold. Critically acclaimed novelist China Miéville was set to start a run on Swamp Thing under the Vertigo label, but the book was scrapped due to the upcoming use of the character in Geoff Johns’ Brightest Day. Now the writer gets the chance to “Vertigo-ize” another cult DC character. With art by Mateus Santoluoco and covers by the legendary Brian Bolland, this book promises to be an intriguing addition to DC’s stellar Dark line of books.

Interest Level-4/5

G. I. Combat
Writer-J. T. Krul
Artist-Ariel Olivetti

Another attempt by DC to present their various military style titles, this book will feature multiple classic DC war concepts, including “The War That Time Forgot,” “Unknown Soldier,” and “The Haunted Tank.” Back up features will be handled by writers Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and John Acrudi and artists Dan Panosian and Scott Kolins. While DC’s other war book, Men of War, did well critically it was one of the lowest selling books of the New 52. J. T. Krul seems to have been on more DC books at this point than any other writer and I admit I have trouble keeping track of what books he is or isn’t still writing. All in all this book seems the shakiest of all the second wave books.

Interest Level-1/5

The Ravagers
Writer-Howard Mackie
Artist-Ian Churchill

Spinning out of events in Scott Lobdell’s Superboy and Teen Titans books comes The Ravagers, a book about 4 teenage metahumans that have to overcome their super-villain indoctrination. Honestly this is the book I’m the most neutral on. The book’s title certainly suggests that Rose Wilson, formerly known as Ravager and currently featured in the Superboy book, will be a central character. To me the book we be made or broken by the cast of characters included. I’m not familiar with Mackie’s writing but I do like Ian Churchill’s art. This one is kind of a toss-up for me, color me…not uninterested.

Interest Level-2.5/5

The titles being cancelled to make room for this second wave of books are Hawk and Dove, Men of War, Blackhawks, O.M.A.C., Static Shock, and Mr. Terrific. Of this titles, the only one I will miss is O.M.A.C.. The book was one of the most unusual of the New 52 and I really enjoyed the homages to Jack Kirby in style and theme. The book was even starting to incorporate the Kirby Fourth World mythology. I hope that the character, as well as other Kirby concepts find their way into another book somewhere down the line. As sad as it is that the book has to end after only 8 issues, it is a fair price to pay for books like Batman Incorporated and Earth 2.

I really like the way that DC is keeping interest up through mini-launches like this. It’s a great way to trim out titles that aren’t selling well or performing well critically, and replace them with new books and ideas. I also like makes it more easily accessible to new readers. I hope this is a model that DC follows for the long run.

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