The New 52 Power Rankings-February 2012

Top 10 Books

Ranking

Title

Last Month

Total Months in Top 10

1

Justice League

 5

 5

2

Batman

 1

 5

3

I, Vampire

 N/A

 5

4

OMAC

 N/A

 2

5

Green Lantern

 7

 6

6

Action Comics

 3

 4

7

Swamp Thing

 2

 5

8

Stormwatch

 8

 3

9

 Wonder Woman  N/A  5

10

N/A

 N/A

N/A

February saw the release of the sixth issues of the New 52. We’re officially halfway into the first year of the New 52. The first story-arcs are wrapped up (well, mostly) and the foundations have been laid. Because of this, there were some really exciting developments this month. However, you may notice that I only have 9 comics in the top 10 this month. Each month I’ve cut back on the New 52 books I’m reading in an attempt to get to a reasonable number. It is my hope that I end up reading the cream of the crop, the best the New 52 has to offer. However, this month I had only had 9 books that rated above an 8.0/10. I did not feel like a comic that rated below an 8 on my scale deserved recognition in the top 10, so I left it empty. If you’re interested, my next highest ranking book was Aquaman, which featured a one-off tale of a day in the life of Mera. The issue started off weakly, but ended up getting a lot better. It was the book’s art that really ended up hurting it for me. Anyway, click to read my impressions of the top 9 New 52 books of February.

The star of the month for me was Justice League #6, the conclusion to Geoff John and Jim Lee’s opening story arc that tell’s how DC’s greatest super team first got together. There really is only one way, however overused it is, to describe this book, and it is epic. Every page is filled with earths shattering scenes to the point that you’ll think the book itself is shaking. The fight against Darkseid is short but each team member gets a moment to shine. We get hints of things to come, as Superman catches a glimpse of the multiverse and Darkseid declares he will be back for his daughter. I’ll be the first to admit that this book doesn’t have a lot of depth. It’s the Transformers of the comic book world. But the fact is, Geoff Johns and Jim Lee are far better story tellers than Michael Bay. All in this would have been a completely respectable conclusion to an above average comic book, had it not been for the mind boggling back up feature. In a 6 page story featuring art by Carlos D’Anda, Johns gives us our first real introduction to Pandora, the purple woman from Flashpoint and the first issues of the New 52. In an intriguing revelation, the character has ties to the Phantom Stranger, a character who has been around a very long time but is nearly as mysterious as Pandora. Add in a discussion about Pandora’s altering of the DCU in Flashpoint, name dropping the Spectre, and a look into the plans and motives of Pandora and you have a mystery brewing of Lost-esque proportions. In true Lost fashion this back up raises more questions than answers, but this doesn’t detract from the enjoyment I had reading it. As a whole this is a book that I couldn’t help but smile as I read it. Johns is the master of laying out long form stories interlaced with secrets and conspiracies and I can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve.

Batman #6, while not as mind-boggling and disorienting as the last issue, was still an outstanding issue from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. The two continue to lay the groundwork for the upcoming Night of the Owls crossover in May. Batman is consistently the most well made book in the New 52.

In this month’s issue of I, Vampire writer Joshua Hale Fialkov throws a status quo shattering curve ball that I never would have expected. This one development sets up for a two month crossover with Justice League Dark. I refuse to spoil it, and I’m not even sure if the change will last, but if it does then I will say this is the kind of stuff that needs to happen in mainstream comics more often.

This month’s issue of O.M.A.C. was the best one yet, which makes the book’s upcoming cancellation even more bitter. This issue saw a complete immersion into Jack Kirby’s Fourth World concepts. I was initially a little disappointed when I found out Scott Kolins was filling in for Keith Giffen on art, but I’m happy to say that Kolins nailed the look and feel of the book. I can’t help but wonder what could’ve happened in this book were it given a chance to grow. As it stands I’ll read the last two issues and remember this book fondly when it’s gone. Maybe it’ll lead to a Fourth World book penciled by Giffen (Please).

Oh Green Lantern, how I’ve missed you. After a relatively low-key opening arc, issue #6 brings us back to the twisty turny epicness of days past. This comes in the form of a one page spread in the vein of the prophecy of the Blackest Night from GL #25. The page sets up for the upcoming war with the Guardians and the Third Army and featured images of Sinestro as an Indigo Lantern and a Guardian holding a White Lantern ring. I was wondering if Johns would be getting back to the mystery of the White Lantern and it looks like I just got my answer. I can honestly say that this book would have probably been my top book of the month had it not been for the art. Filling in for Doug Mankhe this month was Mike Choi, an artist I’m unfamiliar with outside of his recent Demon Knights covers. His style is completely unsuited for a book like Green Lantern, coming of pale and static compared to the frantic rainbow Mankhe gives us each month. Thankfully Mankhe will be back for issue #7 which begins the Indigo Tribe story arc.

Action Comics #6 concluded Morrison and Andy Kubert’s two issue interlude featuring the Legion of Super-Heroes. The issue was typical Morrison zanity (I made that word up), but it didn’t quite deliver in the way I expected it to. There’s still two issues left in this long running opening arc and I’m eager to see how Morrison wraps it all up.

The rest of the books in the top 9 were really good, if not entirely noteworthy. Swamp Thing continues to move toward its crossover and the next issue promises the true return of Swamp Thing. The question is, will it be Alec Holland or someone else? Stormwatch #6 wraps up the first story arc and ends Paul Cornell’s run on the book. The status quo at the end of the book feels almost more Planetary-esque than Authority. Even so, I believe that Cornell’s departure will result in my departure from the book as well. The book will see a two issue fill-in arc by Paul Jenkins, after which Peter Milligan will take over as permanent writer. Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman is still a delight to read, but I’m extremely glad that this was Tony Akins last issue filling in. The book fares better when it is being rendered by Cliff Chiang.

That’s my two cents on my favorite DC books in February. If you aren’t tired of my ramblings yet, check back next month when I do it all over again!

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