DCU: The New 52 Week 1

new 52 week 1 justice league #1 cover
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 7/10

Action Comics, Animal Man, Batgirl, Swamp Thing

Justice League, Hawk & Dove

Comic Info

Comic Name: Various

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Various

Artist: Various

# of Issues: 14

Release Dates:  Justice League #1 (August 31, 2011); Other titles (September 7, 2011)

The New 52 actually kicked off last week with the release of the new Justice League #1, but the New 52 really gets going this week with Action Comics #1, Animal Man #1, Batgirl #1, Batwing #1, Detective Comics #1, Green Arrow #1, Hawk & Dove #1, Justice League International #1, Men of War #1, O. M. A. C. #1, Stormwatch #1, Swamp Thing #1, and Static Shock #1.  Also included are links to review of the first collections of each volume.

The comics not reviewed are Batwing #1, Green Arrow #1, Men of War #1, O.M.A.C. #1, and Static Shock #1.

new 52 week 1 justice league #1 cover

Justice League #1

Justice League #1  Geoff Johns—Writer; Jim Lee—Artist.  Actually, I feel this is one of the weaker books.  It just feels like kind of a bad Elseworlds book.  The Justice League story really doesn’t need to be “reimagined” and I don’t see much purpose to it.  It also indicates that the “super heroes” of the DC Universe have only been around for 5 years, but that doesn’t seem to mesh well with some of the titles.  It introduces Superman’s new costume…which is awful.  The red tights can be debated but the bad armor looking costume looks like something out of a 1990s Image comics…and that isn’t a compliment.

VERDICT:  Stop right here, but if you’re really interested, just wait for the trade—BASEMENTREJECTS REVIEW of Justice League Volume 1:  Origin

new 52 week 1 action comics #1

Action Comics #1

Action Comics #1  Grant Morrison—Writer; Rags Morales—Artist.  The relaunch of Action Comics is one of the better titles.  It is interesting (mostly in its writing style), but the story feels a bit forced with a young Clark Kent living in the slums of Metropolis and working for a paper rivaling Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane’s Daily Planet.  It is unclear where this story takes place in relation to Justice League but it must take place before it since he still hasn’t established his costume.  If this is the case, does that mean it will jump forward in a matter of issues to catch up with the “present day” timeline?

VERDICT:  Give it a chance and a few issues.  Morrison was great on All-Star Superman.  If Superman doesn’t get more direction it could be a problem—BASEMENTREJECTS REVIEW of  Superman—Action Comics Volume 1: Superman and the Men of Steel


Animal Man #1

Animal Man #1  Jeff Lemire—Writer; Travel Foreman—Artist.  The Animal Man book is one of the more unusual titles and one of the ones I am most excited about.  I loved Grant Morrison’s Animal Man and this seems to harkens back to the weirdness it had.  The art goes well with the creepy story and scenes like the last panel really make this a book I’m going to check out.

VERDICT:  The non-mainstream story and unusual art gives this book a bit of an edge, but stacked up next to the big guns of the DC Universe, it might have a hard time keeping a foothold—BASEMENTREJECTS REVIEW of Animal Man Volume 1:  The Hunt

new 52 week 1 Batgirl #1 cover

Batgirl #1

Batgirl #1  Gail Simone—Writer; Adam Hughes—Artist.  Batgirl can walk.  The controversy before the new 52 mostly circulated around this story change up, but I’m kind of unsure if that is completely true from events in the book.  There is a mystery surrounding the walking of Batgirl and that does have some appeal.  The “girl talk” between Barbara and her new roommate could have been cut down a little though in place of more action like the last few pages.

VERDICT:  Pick this one up.  It is interesting and has a lot of different directions to go.  It might only be good for the first story arc but it should be a good one—BASEMENTREJECTS REVIEW of Batgirl Volume 1:  The Darkest Reflection

new 52 week 1 detective comics #1 cover

Detective Comics #1

Detective Comics #1  Tony Daniels—Writer/Artist.  This story didn’t seem to really justify much of a #1.  It feels like for the most part that Batman just kept going with its storyline unaffected by the events of Flashpoint.  It is an ok Batman story (Gordon looks younger), but can’t rave or hate this one.

VERDICT:  The story is typical Batman.  If you like Batman, you’ll like it.  If you don’t, you aren’t missing anything that seems revolutionary—BASEMENTREJECTS REVIEW of Batman—Detective Comics Volume 1:  Faces of Death

new 52 week 1 justice league international #1 cover

Justice League International #1

Justice League International #1  Dan Jurgens—Writer; Aaron Lopresti—Artist.  The original JLI (or when it started just Justice League) was the comedy book of the super heroes.  It was full of goofiness and goofy characters.  This one is kind of undetermined now.  It has a lot of the original characters of the JLI in the line-up, but they seem to be playing it a bit serious.  It has potential for being funny, but I think they’re going to stick with real Justice League type stories which may be a mistake.

VERDICT:  On the fence with this one.  The JLI could end up being decent, but I don’t know if I can justify buying it—BASEMENTREJECTS REVIEW of Justice League International Volume 1:  The Signal Masters

new 52 week 1 hawk and dove #1 cover

Hawk and Dove #1

Hawk & Dove #1  Sterling Gates—Writer; Rob Liefeld—Artist.  Horrible, horrible Rob Liefeld art.  Didn’t love it in the 1990s and still don’t like it now.  The story doesn’t really go anywhere and it is a shame because I like the characters of Hawk & Dove, but it feels like I’m reading an some off title of the Image line from 1992.  Plus, why does Hawk’s face look like someone’s giving him an enema…Ugh.

VERDICT:  The worst book of the week.  Go ahead and skip this one—BASEMENTREJECTS REVIEW of Hawk and Dove Volume 1:  First Strikes

new 52 week 1 stormwatch #1 cover

Stormwatch #1

Stormwatch #1  Paul Cornell—Writer; Miguel Sepulvedas—Artist.  I have to say this is one of the titles I’m a bit more interested in.  The idea of the merging of the Stormwatch team into the real DC universe could be really interesting since they were such powerhouses in their own world.  It will be interesting to see how characters that were powerful enough to take over the world, will handle the fact the Justice League is already there (and J’onn’s tie also puts things in question)

VERDICT:  This book has potential to be a good title but it might take a bit to get going—BASEMENTREJECTS REVIEW of Stormwatch Volume 1:  The Dark Side

new 52 week 1 swamp thing #1

Swamp Thing #1

Swamp Thing #1  Scott Snyder—Writer; Yanick Paquette—Artist.  This book is kind of a real “new” book.  It is unclear how Swamp Thing now relates to the DC Universe since Alec Holland found, he wasn’t Swamp Thing.  There are also questions about what really happened in the DC Universe that Swamp Thing was part of (he claims he never met his wife Abby).

VERDICT:  Keep getting this book.  It feels like a real #1 and has a bit of mystery surrounding it—BASEMENTREJECTS REVIEW of Swamp Thing Volume 1:  Raise Them Bones

Bottom line, a lot of hits, misses, and big question marks.  So far, not much from Flashpoint really has seemed to come into play.  It is a bit unclear if Flash had to “remember” what happened for it to occur in the reconstituted DC Universe because of the encounter at the end.  I don’t agree with the complete relaunch of all the titles, but if it energizes the industry that is a plus.

Related Links:

DCU:  The New 52…Week 2

DCU:  The New 52…Week 3

DCU:  The New 52…Week 4


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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