DC to the rescue

by limebirdsophie

Hello Limebird friends, resident geek Sophie here. I thought I’d do a little post all about the wonderful world of comic books, to be specific, DC’s New 52. I do currently have an ear infection and I am medicated up to the eyeballs so I apologise if what’s written below makes no sense!

If you do not read comics you probably have no idea what I’m talking about, but do not fear I am here to teach you and hopefully get a few of you picking up some books and enjoying the massively unappreciated form of literature that is comics!

Comic books have been around for a  long long time but when Superman first appeared on the shelf in June 1938 in Action Comics #1 it was immediately a huge success. America were still in the throes of The Great Depression and the vibrant colored filled pages depicting a super powered alien that took out corrupt business tycoons and thugs alike put a smile on all the hard working, low paid citizens of the USA. Soon there became a Superman frenzy, he was everywhere from advertising to lunchboxes to Radio shows, America couldn’t get enough of him. This soon spread to a ton of other heroes being created like Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, The X-men, The Fantastic Four…. I could go on all day. My point is that comic’s boomed!

I’m not 100% sure on dates but roughly around the 1970’s people were rapidly loosing interest, comic sales declined and although the industry saw a small boom in the 1990’s, sales have never been the same since. Why? you might ask…Well there are lots of reasons, the internet came out which gave teens all the entertainment they could ever want, colour TV arrived with fast paced bright coloured crime shows that you could watch while eating your dinner, as well as the simple fact that teenage boys stopped reading, not just comic books but anything and without them experiencing comics they then didn’t show their children comics and so forth. It also didn’t help that by the year 2000 most books were at issue 4/500 (Detective comics were well into the 700’s), this meant that it’s extremely daunting for a new reader to get into the hobby and that’s without mentioning the different continuities (maybe I will discuss this in another post).

Anyway DC knew it couldn’t just sit back and let the comic industry fade away to nothingness and so it decided on something very drastic. They would reboot their entire line of comics and start over with issue #1’s, the characters are younger, the costumes are different, events that have happened have no longer happened! Characters that had their own books no longer exist and new characters would be added to the line. They decided they would bring out 52 books, within those books there would be something for every one. If you want horror they have Swamp Thing, you want crime you have Batman, you want superheroes you have The Justice League, you want cowboys you have All Star Western, they have everything, Sci-fi, Vampires, Teen books, Team books, dark books, funny books guaranteed you would find something you like or your money back! (you don’t actually get your money back I was just getting a bit over excited). Even if you had never read a batman book in your life you could pick up issue one and just enjoy without the worries of reading 800 back issues and 30 mini series.  Not only that but they also announced that come the relaunch, digital copies of the books would be available THE SAME DAY AS PRINT, this to me is a huge deal, the fact that people no longer even have to go out to the stores or even wait for the postman to deliver you the books… you can simply go online (or on your iphone) and download the books in a couple of seconds!

Now as I’m sure you can imagine this caused an uproar within the community, the internet message boards were alight with cries of dismay but whether they accepted it or not the relaunch was happening. So as the months ticked by the critics silently lay in wait for the first book to come out Justice League #1, and to many astonished critics the 200,000 first prints were sold out within hours of going on sale. The second printing of JUSTICE LEAGUE also sold out in less than 24 hours and the issue is now in its third printing.

Justice League is one of ten titles so far with print runs of more than 100,000 (ACTION COMICS, BATGIRL, BATMAN, BATMAN AND ROBIN, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT, DETECTIVE COMICS, FLASH, GREEN LANTERN, SUPERMAN). All 13 of the Week 2 titles have sold out and are going back to press, and all 13 of the Week 3 titles have sold out in advance of publication and are going back to press, including BATMAN AND ROBIN, BATWOMAN, DEATHSTROKE, DEMON KNIGHTS, FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E., GREEN LANTERN, GRIFTER, LEGION LOST, MISTER TERRIFIC, RED LANTERNS, RESURRECTION MAN, SUICIDE SQUAD and SUPERBOY.

Basically it worked and it worked well,new people are giving books a try and enjoying them and old fans are kept happy with enough easter eggs and hat tips to keep the forum boards alive (for instance there is a mysterious glowing pink lady in every issue #1).

So what are you waiting for? Go and get a book, any book in paper or in digital format, most are Ā£1.99 (digitally) what have you got to lose? Below I have listed the books I recommend checking out of the new 52 with a brief note about each one.

Thanks for taking the time to read through all this and if you decide to give one a try or if you already have let me know how you feel in the comments šŸ™‚

Batman (absolutely brilliant Just read it PLEASE)

Aquaman (WOW they rebooted this guy from “that guy that talks to fish” to one badass [insert profanity])

Demon Knights (English writer Paul Cornell starts a brilliant first issue that includes; Demons, Assassins, Warriors, Beautiful women and DINOSAURS need I say more?)

Action Comics (Basically going back to Superman’s roots after he’s left the Kent farm but before he’s recognised as a Hero, he doesn’t even have a proper costume yet just a t-shirt and a cape.)

Batgirl (Barbara Gordon has had a miraculous recovery after being shot and made paralysed by The Joker now she’s back as batgirl kicking butts and taking names.)

Suicide Squad (The suicide squad are a group of villains forced to take on the missions that no one else wants to do, great book that’s entirely underrated, If nothing else buy it just for Harley Quinn’s hilarity)

Detective Comics (another Batman book but a lot darker edging more towards the horror genre definitely not for kids!)

There are so many I could go all day if you want some more information check out DC’s website here for info on all the books.

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6 Comments to “DC to the rescue”

  1. Great post Sophie, really enjoyed it! Comic books aren’t normally my thing, but this has made me want to read more! You’ve made it sound really exciting. I’m a bit more looking forward to heading to Comic-Con with you! Please can we dress up.. please?

    • You can dress up! I may wear a storm trooper helmet but that is all lol :). And you really should give a comic a go I’d suggest wonder woman the art is great and it’s all to do with Greek gods etc very cool x

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. Hmm! I’ve never really read any DC Comics. I’ve flicked through a few, but they always seemed to smell of deux ex machina. However for many years I was a great fan of 2000AD and Judge Dredd and some of the graphic novels that came from them. Halo Jones, Chopper, America. From that I found myself reading some more Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta) and then found myself reading Preacher and Maus. Maus was a stunning idea – depicting the holocaust in a graphic novel using animals as the people! Sensitively done and scarily real.

    • Thanks for the comment Gavin!, I admire Alan Moore but struggle with his writing style ( i know this is almost blasphemous to say!) but i have to agree Preacher is one of my favourite graphic novels and Garth Ennis gets a lot of stick but his The Boys is equally excellent, I’ve never read Maus that does sound very interesting (buying as we speak!). I understand your trepidation towards DC they have had a very Up and Down history but i will almost guarantee that you will find at least one book you LOVE from the NEW 52 available especially some of the “lesser known” books like resurrection man, which tells of a guy that dies and resurrects each time with a different ability or if you prefer a bit more horror based take a look at Voodoo or Swamp Thing (Which has had some amazing reviews.) Either way there has never been a better time to jump in and give these books a try, and at the same time your contributing to saving a literary art form that is otherwise dying out. šŸ™‚

  3. Great post!

    I have a comic book store 2 minutes walk from my office (which is dangerous!).

    I have to say that I am more of an anthology person now (although I have bought MANY individual comics in my time). And I have so much reading on my desk, by my bed, by the loo, by the pool, on my Kindle etc. etc. that I will probably wait until they bring out the anthologies of the first 20 issues or something.

    Glad that they’ve made Aquaman a badass as I tended to agree with Rajesh Koothrappali on him…

    Finally, totally agree with Gavin on Maus (I have the hardback that brings together the two volumes) I hope you enjoyed it.

    D

    • Wow, a 2 minute walk! i would be broke by the end of the week, although i am cutting down a bit now, i get 12 current books a month but i’m struggling to find the time to read them, so i’m cutting a few out such as Wonder Woman, Batgirl and Superman and waiting for them to be collected into trades. I really need to get round to reading Maus.

      Totally agree about Aquaman he is now officially awesome, i also like what Grant Morrison is doing in Action comics and i think this initial 12 issues could set a really good groundwork for Superman in the forseeable future.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for coming by šŸ™‚

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