DCU: The New 52 Week 4

aquaman #1 cover new 52 week 4
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

I, Vampire, Voodoo, Aquaman

Batman: The Dark Knight, Fury of Firestorm, Savage Hawkman

Comic Info

Comic Name: Various

Publisher: DC

Writer: Various

Artist: Various

# of Issues: 13

Release Date:  September 28, 2011

The final week of the New 52 hit the stands this Wednesday with a ton of interesting new titles…unfortunately, not all of them are good.  13 new #1 issues rolled out:  All-Star Western #1, Aquaman #1, Batman:  The Dark Knight #1, Blackhawks #1, The Flash #1, The Fury of Firestorm:  The Nuclear Men #1, Green Lantern:  The New Guardians #1, I, Vampire #1, Justice League Dark #1, The Savage Hawkman #1, Superman #1, Teen Titans #1, and Voodoo #1.

Not Reviewed:  All-Star Western #1, Green Lantern:  The New Guardians #1, and Teen Titans #1.

aquaman #1 cover new 52 week 4

Aquaman (5) #1

Aquaman #1  Geoff Johns—Writer.  Ivan Reis—Artist.  Johns’ goal seems to be mostly to make Aquaman a serious superhero.  He does this by pointing out all the jokes about Aquaman in the first issue.  It is a pretty good issue, but I really hope he has somewhere to go with it.  It is easy to point out a person’s faults (like in this review), but it is even harder to fix problems.  I don’t know if Johns will be able to take Aquaman to the next level but it is worth picking up to find out if he can.

VERDICT:  Pick up Aquaman...The art is pretty good and it will be interesting to see if Johns can do with Aquaman what he did with the Flash—BASEMENTREJECTS REVIEW of Aquaman Volume 1:  The Trench

batman the dark knight #1 cover new 52 week 4

Batman: The Dark Knight #1

Batman:  The Dark Knight #1  Paul Jenkins & David Finch—Writers.  David Finch—Artist.  Batman pimps his plans to change Gotham, he finds there is a break out at Arkham Asylum.  These are some of the most tired plots of Batman.  Batman has been pitching the “Fix Gotham” in most of the titles but the Arkham Asylum escape was also in Batman…but I think this is a different Arkham Asylum escape.  They couldn’t think of a different way to get Batman to face off against Two-Face…sorry One-Face (lame)…Poor writing.

VERDICT:  Easily the worst of the mainstream Batman titles.  Don’t bother—BASEMENTREJECTS REVIEW of Batman:  The Dark Knight Volume 1:  Knight Terrors

blackhawks #1 cover new 52 week 4

Blackhawks #1

Blackhawks #1  Mike Costa—Writer.  Ken Lashley—Artist.  Most have described this as G. I. Joe meets the DCU.  It is a pretty apt assessment.  The goofy nicknames and the uber cool technology all has a G. I. Joe feel.  I would like to see the Blackhawks interact more with the DC Universe and see some missions on a bigger scale than terrorists

VERDICT:  Some potential for decent stories…however not inspiring enough to get a second issue.

flash #1 cover new 52 week 4

The Flash (4) #1

The Flash #1  Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato—Writers.  Francis Manapul—Artist.  Flash-redux.  The Flash finds himself outside the law and without Iris.  The Flash kind of feels like they just wanted to try to erase a lot of the problems in the past few years with Flash and trying to re-establish Barry Allen as the true Flash.  It would be good to see one of the more extreme artists take on the Flash and really change the game.  Flash was also the center of Flashpoint, and it would be good to see some of that situation come back to haunt him.

VERDICT:  Too much story change but not enough feel like the stories are any different.  Not going to continue picking up—BASEMENTREJECTS REVIEW of The Flash Volume 1:  Move Forward

fury of firestorm the nuclear men #1 cover new 52 week 4

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #1

The Fury of Firestorm:  The Nuclear Men #1  Ethan Van Sciver—Writer.  Yildiray Cinar—Artist.  Some of the ideas of Brightest Day continued in this series with Jason and Ronnie merging, but Professor Stein for the most part has been taken out of the equation.  Part of the interesting thing about Firestorm was the relationship between Ronnie and Professor Stein, and the race issue set up in this book seems tired.  It almost feels like more Hawk & Dove territory.

VERDICT:  Not a good comic.  Another real relaunch but not worth picking up—BASEMENTREJECTS REVIEW of The Fury of Firestorm:  The Nuclear Men Volume 1:  The God Particle

i vampire #1 cover new 52 week 4

I, Vampire #1

I, Vampire #1  Joshua Hale Fialkov—Writer.  Andrea Sorrentino—Artist.  Probably the best of the week, I, Vampire doesn’t feel like a DC book.  The art is strong (though the cover doesn’t lend to this and seems a bit beneath the story).  It is a bit jarring with the flashbacks mixed in with the events in the city.  The comic has a real Vertigo feel and seeing how the characters interact with the other members of the DCU will be an interesting development.

VERDICT:  Best of the week and a definite pick-up—BASEMENTREJECTS REVIEW of I, Vampire Volume 1:  Tainted Love

justice league dark #1 cover new 52 week 4

Justice League Dark (1) #1

Justice League Dark #1  Peter Milligan—Writer.  Mikel Janin—Artist.  Take a couple of Vertigo characters and mix in some other “supernatural” DC characters and you’ve got Justice League Dark.  It is a pretty cheesy title, but it has some potential.  I have liked Milligan’s work in the past and want to see where this story goes.  It might try too hard and it could become over-the-top in a bad way (not a X-Statix way).

VERDICT:  Worth giving it another shot.  A second issue is in store—BASEMENTREJECTS REVIEW of Justice League Dark Volume 1:  In the Dark

savage hawkman #1 cover new 52 week 4

The Savage Hawkman #1

The Savage Hawkman #1  Tony Daniel—Writer.  Philip Tan—Artist.  Carter Hall merges with his Hawkman costume.  This series feels like it should be some Image series from 1992 like Shadowhawk or something.  The costume just appears out of him, and he fights a generic alien.  Not a ringing endorsement for a continuing series.

VERDICT:  If you like average Image 1990s series, pick it up…otherwise avoid it

superman #1 cover new 52 week 4

Superman (3) #1

Superman #1  George Perez—Writer.  Jesus Merino—Artist.  Action Comics felt like a game changer, and Superman #1 feels different but not as extreme.  It is strange to see Clark and Lois no longer together, and Lois not knowing he is Superman.  The series has potential but kind of feels just Elseworld like Action Comics.

VERDICT:  Not bad, not great.  With so many new titles, probably won’t pick up Superman #2

voodoo #1 cover new 52 week 4

Voodoo #1

Voodoo #1  Ron Marz—Writer.  Sami Basri—Artist.  Voodoo is interesting mostly because of the Wildstorm ties.  There was some criticism of Voodoo (along with Catwoman and Red Hood and the Outlaws) for the portrayal of women, but I didn’t really have much of a problem with Voodoo.  First it holds to the original character (she always was a dancer) and second she’s doing it to get information.

VERDICT:  Will get issue #2 but fear that Voodoo might not catch on—BASEMENTREJECTS REVIEW of Voodoo Volume 1:  What Lies Beneath

The New 52 closes its books with premieres and there are some definite pluses this week.  There were a few series I was disappointed in because they had potential to be good (Savage Hawkman, Fury of Firestorm, Batman:  The Dark Knight) but fall way short.  I, Vampire, Voodoo, and Aquaman stand out as possible good series but Justice League Dark could also be in the mix.

flashpoint pandora trinity of sin

Who is this woman from Flashpoint? Why is she in the New 52 and what does she mean for the DCU?

Overall the New 52 was a successful reenergizing of the DC Universe.  I don’t know the long term goals but internet bloggers have exposed the ties to Flashpoint with the mysterious woman from Flashpoint #5 showing up in the background of most of the comics.  This could be the “out” that DC built into the New 52 if they have to revert back to the original DC Universe, but sales of the New 52 indicate it won’t be anytime soon.  The lines at the comic bookstore were longer this month than in years and people are actually talking about comics again.  The real test will be six months from now when we see how man of the New 52 will be on the shelf and going strong.

Related Links:

DCU:  The New 52 Week 1

DCU:  The New 52 Week 2

DCU:  The New 52 Week 3

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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