DC’s New 52 – One Year Later: The Report Cards

Last Summer DC Comics rebooted their entire universe. Starting every one of their books over with number 1 issues. The longest running comic book of all time, Action Comics which had just hit issue number 904, started over again with number 1. It was a bold move, some might say crazy, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Let’s take a look at the report cards of those 52 comics from last year and compare them to this years grades.

Justice League – Last Year

Geoff Johns and Jim Lee kick start the new DC Universe with a the flagship title of the company. The art is classic Jim Lee and if you like comic books you like Jim Lee Art, but the story by Johns was juvenile and portrayed these iconic superheroes has ill-tempered, cry-babies fixated on “what are your powers?” (see how I  felt about the series here.)

Last Years Grade: C-

Justice League – Now

Cover for Justice League # 12

Jim Lee bailed after issue 6, which is no surprise, but the fill-in artists were top-notch and did a nice job. Lee is back on art at issue 10, but it remains to be seen if he can make it another 6 issues (this just in, Lee is off the book for good after issue 12). Story wise, Geoff Johns has brought the team into present day but unfortunately they still all act like brats and can’t seem to get along.

This Years Grade: C+ (UP 2 points for bring the story into the present day and for good fill-in artists)

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Action Comics – Last Year

Things started off great for this Grant Morrison penned story. A young Superman in jeans and t-shirt was just what the character needed to resonate with fans. Awesomeness! (and Idle Times #1 pick of the best of the New 52!)

Last Years Grade: A

Action Comics – Now

Cover for Action Comics # 12

After issue 4 this comic went off the rails and Morrison all but abandoned the t-shirt wearing superhero and brought in The Legion and Steel and other shit that just made this comic a chore to read. Also, artist Rags Morales work was spotty and rushed, and that was when he was even drawing the comic, which was rare after issue 4. But it is Grant Morrison and it’s still better then most books on the stands today – just wish he would have followed through.

This Years Grade: B- (DOWN 4 points for everything I just said. Fuck!)

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Superman – Last Year

Jesus god there were a lot of words in this first issue of Superman. George Perez is old school and tried to bring back kind of comic where EVERY FUCKING THING is explained to you in captions. But todays readers weren’t digging it and most didn’t even make past page 8 of this book.

Last Years Grade: D

Superman – Now

Cover for Superman #12

So after 1,000,000,000 words DC kicked Perez off the book and brought in new talent, but instead of bring in new, young creators they get old fogies Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen, who were great….. 25 years ago! This title stays grounded. It’s sad that DC can’t get it’s number 1 guy to soar.

This Years Grade: D+ (UP 1 point for getting rid of the wordsmith Perez)

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Batman – Last Year

Holy Shit this comic is fucking good! Scott Synder and Greg Capullo knocked it out of the park with the relaunch. Batman hasn’t been this fun to read in a long time. Excellent writing and stellar art – this series is my favorite comic. (and Idle Times #2 pick of the best of the New 52)

Last Years Grade: A

Batman – Now

Cover for Batman #12

After almost a year this title is just keeps getting better. The current storyline and crossover “Night of the Owls” is the most exciting thing happening at DC comics right now. Each and every issue is a blast to read and always on the top of stack when it comes out. Love it!

This Years Grade: A+ (UP 1 point for being the best thing in comics period!)

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Wonder Woman – Last Year

Poor Wonder Woman, for years DC just couldn’t get this character right. Then two dudes named Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang came along and did things right. They made WW at last a joy to read and relevant. See what Lazy Bear thought of the series as it was Idle Times # 3 pick of the best of the new 52!)

Last Years Grade: B+

Wonder Woman – Now

Cover for Wonder Woman #12

Even though Cliff Chiang missed a few issues, the series continues to be great and fun to read. Azzeralo also shook things up by doing away with Wonder Woman’s “made out of clay” origin and made her the illegitimate daughter of Zeus. Nice.

This Years Grade: B (DOWN 1 point for Chiang missing issues)

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The Flash – Last Year

This new Flash started off great. The artwork by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato was phenomenal. The story was a bit lacking but those page layouts more than made up for it. Looking good so far.

Last Years Grade: B+

The Flash – Now

Cover for The Flash #12

Oof, remember what I said about the story lacking? Well, it lacked and lacked and lacked until I dropped the title around issue 5. Just couldn’t get into The Flash (to be honest I never was much a fan of the character). The art is still pretty cool but that’s all this title has going for it. Later Flash.

The Years Grade: C+ (DOWN 3 points for the creators not making me give a shit about The Flash)

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Green Lantern – Last Year

One of problems I had with how the Pre 52 Green Lantern series was how Geoff Johns had gotten away from Hal Jordan as the focus of the book and brought in the Colored Ring’s. Every fucking color in the Crayola box had a power ring and oath. So when this New 52 issue came out and it showed Hal Jordan trying to pick up the pieces of his life after spending so much time in space battling red, orange, and poka-dot army’s, it was a breath of fresh air and was awesome.

Last Years Grade: A-

Green Lantern – Now

Cover for Green Lantern #12

Well that didn’t last long. God fucking damn it the colored rings are back and everything has gone to “Nok” once again in the Green Lantern series. After a few issues Hal was back in space and to hell with everything else. I had such high hopes for this series at the reboot, but it has gone back to the same ol’ same ol’. Fuck. The only reason I am giving it a B minus and not a C is because Doug Mankne’s art is just too good to give a C to – he’s why I collect this series.

This Years Grade: B- (DOWN 3 points for all the goddamn colored rings!)

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Aquaman – Last Year

Who gives a shit about Aquaman? That’s been the running joke for years, and for years DC has tried to make this “talks to the fish” hero cool. The New 52 Aquaman almost got it right, the art is fantastic and story and villains pretty fun, but enough with lame Aquaman jokes. It got old after the first 100 times. We get it, Aquaman isn’t as cool as Batman – let’s move on Geoff Johns.

Last Years Grade: B-

Aquaman – Now

Cover for Aquaman #12

Well, Geoff Johns hasn’t moved on and still giving us the same thing he did in issue 1, cool art and villains and lame jokes. Not a bad comic, but not outstanding either. I dropped it for budget reasons only. Sorry Aquaman, guess you just weren’t cool enough for me.

This Years Grade: B- (No change)

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Batwoman – Last Year

Go read my review of Batwoman #1 and see how it was totally fucking awesome! One of the best of the New 52!

Last Years Grade: A

Batwoman – Now

Cover for Batwoman #12

What the fucking fuck happened?! Well for starters J.H Williams III stopped drawing the damn thing, and they got some copy-cat artists (but you can’t copy-cat J.H Fucking Williams III!), then the story went off the rails and I stopped giving a fuck about Batwoman. Why should I give a fuck about Batwoman when the creators have clearly stopped giving a fuck about her? Sad, sad case. Batwoman is the Titanic of the New 52. Fuck.

This Years Grade: C+ (DOWN 5 points for fuck! )

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Batgirl – Last Year

Never really got into this comic. I’ve read every issue and still, I just can’t get into it. It fucking bores me. The art isn’t bad though, so it gets a C.

Last Years Grade: C

Batgirl – Now

Cover for Batgirl #12

Still fucking bored.  Still gets a C. Nothing at all is happening with this title. They need to out Barbara Gordon back in that wheelchair and make her Oracle again. She was 10 times more exciting there then in this snooze fest.

This Years Grade: (no movement)

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Nightwing – Last Year

I like Nighwing. He’s always been the heart and soul of the DCU. Issue one shows just how Dick Grayson deals with being the golden boy and in a nutshell he handles it pretty well. Nice art by Eddie Burrows too.

Last Years Grade: B

Nightwing – Now

Cover for Nighwing #12

Unfortunately this title is going nowhere fast. Still decent art but enough of the circus shit man. Also, the first main villain wasn’t all that cool and never seemed like a true threat. But still, Nightwing is hella cool and I’m still reading, but for how long? Who knows. Shit better start getting better soon.

This Years Grade: C+ (DOWN 2 points for being a tad boring and keeping this title in the circus for too long)

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Green Arrow – Last Year

Green Arrow is another one of DC heroes that suffers from “trying to be too cool for school”. Why can’t they just make this character a dude that can shoot the shit out of arrows and place him in fun exciting stories. No, this title is boring as hell and GA suit has too much going on with it. Too many pouches and belts and seams and, and, and…

Last Years Grade: C

Green Arrow – Now

Cover for Green Arrow # 12

After a year this comic book still sucks green balls. DC tried infusing some life into it by changing the creative team and giving it a more sleeker style, but it’s not working. Time for reboot number 578 for Green Arrow.

This Years Grade: C- (DOWN 1 point for uncoolness)

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Captain Atom – Last Year

I could give a rats ass about Captain Atom. Wanna know why? Because this comic does jack shit to make me care. This first issue I know next to nothing about the man Captain is or was or could be. And the art is god awful. You get a D+ Cap, and stop trying to rip off Alan Moore’s Dr. Manhattan from Watchman!

Last Years Grade: D+

Captain Atom – Now (Cancelled)

Cover for Captain Atom # 12 – Final Issue

Still don’t care about this title. I’ve read like an issue here and there but it is still not grabbing. There was a nice story line about a kid with cancer that Captain Atom and his powers could save – that was okay, and the art got a little better, but not enough for me to buy this book – and apparently no one else bought it either and with issue 12 the series ends.

This Years Grade: C- (UP 1 point for better art)

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The Savage Hawkman – Last Year

I absolutely hated this first issue of Hawkman, so then why did I read like 7 issues of this crap? I don’t know, maybe cause I’m into punishment like some kinda of comic S&M freak. Anyways, this book is bad. Bad. Bad. DC needs to fire Tony Daniel. Just cause dude can get his scripts and art in on time doesn’t mean he is worth keeping.

Last Years Grade: F+

The Savage Hawkman – Now

Cover for Savage Hawkman #12

So how do you make one of the worst of the New 52 ever more worseereer? You get Rob Liefeld to write the fucking thing. Dude. What. The. Fuck? Be afraid. Be very afraid.

This Years Grade: F- (DOWN 2 points, if that’s even possible)

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Superboy – Last Year

Who knew Scott Lobell, who’s been writing comics since  1781 could deliver such a relevant and hip comic like Supeboy #1? I sure didn’t. But after reading this issue I was a fan and was in for the long haul.

Last Years Grade: A-

Superboy – Now

Cover for Superboy # 12

Aaaaaaand, I’m out. After one too many Teen Titans cameos and a storyline that started going south, I dropped the book. Too bad, there was a lot to like in the beginning.

This Years Grade: C+ (DOWN 4 points)

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Supergirl – Last Year

I never read a Supergirl comic in life before this issue. Pretty great 1st issue and I was digging it for a couple of months there.

Last Years Grade: B

Supergirl – Now

Cover for Supergirl # 12

After about issue 5 or 6 I dropped the title, not cause it wasn’t good (but yeah, it was losing steam in the story dept. The art was still superb), but because my wallet just couldn’t handle it.

This Years Grade: B- (DOWN 1 point for storyline starting to suck a little)

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The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men – Last Year

This comic just blew right from the get go. I never liked the character of Firestorm (maybe it was the puffy-shirt he wore), and the first few issues didn’t change that. Plus, what the fuck man, why make 3  Firestorms when you can’t even make 1 interesting? Lame.

Last Years Grade: D

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men – Now

Cover of The Fury of Firestorm #12

This title has been through more writers and artists then I can remember. DC keeps trying to find the right combination to make this title work. But it’s not. I will say that the art did get a little better with Ethan Van Sciver handling the duties, but still, shitty shitty book.

This Years Grade: D+ (UP 1 point for better art)

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Blue Beetle – Last Year

I was into this title when it first came out. I loved the character of Jaime Ryes, and thought the dialog was spot-on and current. Loved the art and all in all was looking forward to getting into this series.

Last Years Grade: C+

Blue Beetle – Now

Cover for Blue Beetle #12

Damn it, had to drop this one because it never capitalized on the story it started out with and traveled down that road. Nope, it started getting boring and fight of the month type of shit. The art was still good but not good enough to keep me around. Expect this one to be canceled soon.

This Years Grade: C- (DOWN 2 points for sad ass story arc)

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Batwing – Last Year

Batwing – Now

I have a love/hate thing with writer Judd Winick. Batwing landed on the love side of things. This book is brutal and the character of Batwing was one of the more interesting of the New 52. The action also took place in Africa which was a nice change of pace from the big cities. Loved the art. Pretty fucking good book.

Last Years Grade: B

Cover to Batwing #12

You know sales are down when suddenly Batman is a guest-star for like 5 issues. Fuck man, why even call this book “Batwing”? Dude is like a supporting character in his own comic. And the location moved from Africa to Gotham City. And, and, and, the art sucks now. Dropped this book. Too bad, had a lot of potential.

This Years Grade: C- (DOWN 3 points)

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Mr. Terrific -Last Year

Mr Terrific suffers from a bad case of sucking balls (like those floating balls that swirl around him all the time). His costume is horrible. Those Tattoos make no sense. So this dude is supposed to be the worlds smartest man but unfortunately he is written by stupid ass writers. And it’s too bad because Mr Terrific is one of only 3 black heroes in DC’s New 52 with their own title (Static Shock and Batwing being the other two). This title is doomed.

Last Years Grade: C-

Mr. Terrific – Now (Cancelled)

Issue #8 – Final Issue

Yep. Doomed. Later for Mr. Terrific. But wait, it gets worse, DC decided that Mr. T sucked so bad that they not only canceled his title, they exiled him from the DC Universe proper. He ended up going through some wormhole and got shitted out into the Earth 2 Universe. Let’s hope he does better there.

Final Grade: D (DOWN 3 points for never giving Mr T a fighting chance and throwing him out of the DCU – now that’s just rude)

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Justice League International – Last Year

I was a huge fan of Giffen and DeMattes’ Justice League International from the late 80′s / early 90′s, and this series looked towards that run as both inspiration and guidance. While not as good as that old run, this new series still was a great read and a fun team book – something DC has trouble doing right.

Last Years Grade: B

Justice League International – Now (Cancelled)

Cover to #12 – Final Issue

Things started to sour around issue 6 of this title. after the first story arc finished this book just didn’t seem to know where to go to next – so what to do? Let’s kill a main character and get rid of the lighthearted feel and give the book a darker tone. No man! Fucking mistake. Those things are what made JLI a fun read. Now it’s canceled because of those bad decisions. Come on DC, get it right goddamn it!

Final Grade: C (DOWN 3 points for making the book darker and suckier)

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Detective Comics – Last Year

I hated what Tony Daniel was doing on the Pre-52 Batman title. Completely fucking boring. So when this 1st issue came out and was fun and looked great and reminded me a little bit of Frank Miller, I was flabbergasted! I really liked it and the first few issues had a real tense feel to them. Digging it!

Last Years Grade: B-

Detective Comics – Now

Cover to Detective Comics #12

Well it wasn’t too long until Tony Daniel started sucking the ballsack once again. Fucking a man, this title hit the wall of suck so hard it’s like a totally different book. And then to had insult to injury DC raises the price to 3.99. Why am I still buying this book? Because for some reason I can’t drop Detective Comics. I just can’t. But this book is bad. (This just in! Tony Daniel is off Dectective! Yes! Let’s hope DC brings in someone great to replace him.)

This Years Grade: D (DOWN 5 points)

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Batman: The Dark Knight – Last Year

David Finch is a fabulous artist and I love his work, but I hate this title. Pretty art can only take you so far. The early 90′s are over bro and this isn’t Image Comics.  Maybe I’m just too old and need a story to go with my comics now. Dark Knight has NO story.

Last Years Grade: D+

Batman: The Dark Knight – Now

Cover to Batman: The Dark Knight #12

Looks like Finch realized the error of his ways and he is now just sticking to the art duties on this book and brought in Paul Jenkins in to write the thing (update: Jenkins is now gone and award winning writer Gregg Hurwitz is in) Smart move bro but those writers have a lot of work to do to get this title out of the D’s and C’s and into the B’s – which I doubt will happen.

This Years Grade: C (UP 2 points)

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Batman and Robin – Last Year

In the Pre 52 DC Universe, this title was created to give Grant Morrison a vehicle to go “crazy” with his Batman stories and do some pretty cool things in a retro sorta way. Then he left the title and it kept going under the creative team of Tomasi and Gleason. The book took a nose dive. Enter the New 52 Universe – and I guess that was the spark Tomasi and Gleason needed because this new Batman and Robin is kicking ass right from the start. Beautiful art and meaningful dialog. A great start.

Last Years Grade: B

Batman and Robin – Now

Cover to Batman and Robin #12

And things just keep getting better. Holy shit this book is good. And if it weren’t from Synder Cappllo’s Batman title this comic may be THE Batman comic to beat. As it is, it is one of the best of the New 52 and as if this typing in my Top 10 comics I am currently reading. The first story arc “Born to Kill” was a wrecking ball of a story and gave us a fantastic new villain. Gleason’s art never looked better and each issue I can’t wait to see what he has drawn. Tomasis’ is building on the relationship of Bruce and Damian like no other writer before – even Morrison (who I have to say does write the best Damian. See Batman Inc for more proof).

This Years Grade: (UP 3 points for being awesome)

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Catwoman – Last Year

I hated this title when it came out. It was a poor excuse for a comic and degraded the both the character of Catwoman and Batman by having them fuck in this horribly written scene that I guess was supposed to make this book contersevial and draw attention to it. It was just stupid and made the comic look stupid – which is too bad because the art was pretty good – but tit’s and ass never looked so lame as it did in Catwoman #1

Last Years Grade: D

Catwoman – Now

Cover to Catwoman #12

Since those early days this book has grown in leaps and bounds. No longer about the titties and super-hero fucking, Catwoman is actually delivering a decent story and making the character someone who not only has big breastesess, but also struggles with conflicting emotions about her line of work (thief) and the fact that there is a blood being split because of her. This comic has come a long way. Nice work there.

This Years Grade: C+ (UP 4 points for focusing on a story and not tits)

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Birds of Prey – Last Year

Some pretty cool characters here and pretty great art but the writing is a little “by the numbers”. Over all I did like this one but not enough to spend an extra 2.99 a month to read it. Maybe if it was a .99 cents I’d subscribe to it.

Last Years Grade: C+

Birds of Prey – Now

Cover to Birds of Prey #12

Things are pretty much the same here almost a year later. Good art. Cool characters. And a story that fails to suck me in and demand that I buy this book. I’m not buying it – even with art by Travel Forman now. And at this point I’m not sure I would buy it even if it was .99 cents.

This Years Grade: C (DOWN 1 point for not doing anything with all the cool characters)

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Red Hood and the Outlaws – Last Year

I hated this book. Hated that Scott Lobell made Starfire a fucking whore and Hustlers Beaver Hunt winner. Plus, I’m just not a fan of reading a book devoted to a “bad guy”. Red Hood is a dick and crazy person and I have no connection with this villain. And he is villain. Only reason this one even got a D was the art by Kenneth Rocafort.

Last Years Grade: D

Red Hood and the Outlaws – Now

Cover to Red Hood and the Outlaws #12

After Red Hood #1 came out, the shit hit the fan over Starfires portrayal. I think DC got the clue and things really toned down in the T&A dept in this series now. And that’s a good thing because without all that shit getting in the way there was a fun story to read underneath. Who knew? I still don’t like villains getting their own comic but the Red Hood is turning into a interesting character and perhaps he is changing his ways? My curiosity is peaked enough to keep an eye on this series. And the art is fantastic. Good work Red Hood and the Outlaws.

This Years Grade: C (UP 3 points)

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Green Lantern Corps – Last Year

I like Green Lantern. Not sure I like the Corps though. Might be Green Ring overkill. This first issue was pretty cool in that it started things off a little slow by showing us Lanterns Guy and John’s lives when they aren’t busy saving the universe, but then things get all crazy and green and boring.

Last Years Grade: C+

Green Lantern Corps – Now

Cover to Green Lantern Corps #12

Still giving us the same thing. Nothing new happening here and the art even is going downhill. Dropped.

This Years Grade: C- (DOWN 2 points for same old same old and declining art)

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Green Lantern: New Guardians – Last Year

I can’t stand the rainbow rings so why on Earth would I want to read a whole comic devoted to them? I don’t. The only thing worth reading in this crap is Kyle Rayner’s Green Lantern, which is the only reason I give this thing a C.

Last Years Grade: C-

Green Lantern: New Guardians – Now

Cover to Green Lantern: New Guardians #12

Again, no thanks. I’ve read this series here and there just to see where things were heading and it still kinda sucky. The art can be cool at times and of course Kyle Rayner’s character is great – too bad he is being wasted in this series. They need to bring him over to the Corps pronto.

This Years Grade: C (No change)

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Red Lanterns – Last Year

This title is horrible. For one thing, again, I can care less about a comic book devoted to “bad guys” – and dudes, you know how I feel about all the different colored rings. Enough! And finally, artist Ed Benes loves to draw asses a little too much. All this book is in an excuse to draw asses.

Last Years Grade: D+

Red Lantern – Now

Cover to Red Lanterns #12

How many ways can a dude draw asses? Well look no further the Red Lanterns for the answer to that question. God this book sucks. Do people actually pay money money to read this shit?

This Years Grade: D- (DOWN 2 points for too many asses)

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Teen Titans – Last Year

I was sorta into this book at first. It was bit a throw back to the early 90′s with the art sure, but the story was fun enough to keep me coming back. I was liking Red Robin and looking forward to seeing him lead this new team.

Last Years Grade: C+

Teen Titans – Now

Cover to Teen Titans #12

Things went south pretty damn quick for the Teen Titans – or maybe it’s just that I’m a grown man trying to find meaning in a comic book called THE MOTHERFUCKING TEEN TITANS! Yeah, it’s my own fault. I no longer read this comic about kids doing kid super hero shit. The art was starting to get on my nerves too.

This Years Grade: D+ (DOWN 3 points for living up to its name Teen Titans)

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Static Shock – Last Year

Another missed opportunity with one of the few DC minority superheros. Created by the late Dwayne McDuffie , Static Shock has never been treated with the same respect of other similar characters like Kid Flash and Damian Wayne, and as a result this comic suffered from the start. Not a very good read.

Last Years Grade: C-

Static Shock – Now (Cancelled)

Cover to Static Shock #8 – Final Issue

No surprise here, part of the first wave of casualties Static Shook bowed out with a whimper. After issue 8 hit the stands, the creative team on this book went to verbal blows – accusing each other of fucking the series up. Sorry Static, you got a bum deal.

Final Grade: D (DOWN 2 points for the writers and artists being a bunch of big babies)

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The Legion of Super-Heroes – Last Year

I’ve never been a fan of The Legion, in fact I’ve never read one single issue of the series – ever. But in the spirit of the New 52 number 1′s I gave it a shot. And you know what? It wasn’t half bad. Sure the names of the characters are dumb as hell, but they are handled nicely by writer Paul Levitz. I’ll stick around for a bit.

Last Years Grade: C+

The Legion of Super-Heroes – Now

Cover to Legion of Super-Heroes #12

Glad I stuck around because this series is pretty fucking fun. Also it’s the only New 52 series that refers to the old DC Universe. The series Flashpoint was the last comic series that took place in the old DCU, in The Legion the characters talk about “Flashpoint” and the changes it caused in the universe. Very cool. I think that The Legion is the “Reset” button that DC will hit if things don’t work out with the New 52.

This Years Grade: B- (UP 1 point for cool storyline and Flashpoint references)

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Legion Lost – Last Year

Now While I dig the Legion of Super-Heroes I’m not digging this Legion Lost shit. Comics shouldn’t feel like a chore to read and this one felt that way.

Last Years Grade: C-

Legion Lost – Now

Cover to Legion Lost #12

Still feel the same here – not into it. Don’t care. Cancel this shit now.

This Years Grade: C- (No Change)

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All-Star Western – Last Year

This comic was pretty good. Nice to read an old fashion western comic that felt new and fresh and relevant. Loved the art and story and the character of Jonah Hex channels “The Man with No Name” and makes for a fun comic book.

Last Years Grade: B

All-Star Western – Now

Cover to All-Star Western #12

I was into this comic for about 5 issues then something happened – I stopped giving a shit about it. Not sure why, it just seemed to slow down in the story department and felt un focused and haphazzardly put together. Or maybe I’m just not into western comics as much as I thought. Dropped.

This Years Grade: C (DOWN 3 points for losing steam)

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Deathstroke – Last Year

Another villain title that I have no interest in reading. But I did read this one and yeah, it was bad. I like violence as much as the next dork but this comic turned my stomach. Violence for the sake of violence is lame, Deathstroke is all about that. Chopped off heads and bullets exploding brains can be kinda fun, but this comics tone makes those events dark and depressing. Yuck.

Last Years Grade: D-

DeathStroke – Now

Cover to Deathstroke #12

Deathstoke is another comics that DC was on the verge of canceling, but in a last dig effort to gain buzz they gave the book to Rob Leifeld. And hey, I gotta say things are more “light” with Rob at the helm and this book doesn’t seem so serious anymore – so all the violence, under Leifeld’s guidance, feels a little more “comic booky”. Still a shitty comic, but the difference is, now it embraces the shittiness.

This Years Grade: D+ (UP 2 points for embracing the shittiness)

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Suicide Squad – Last Year

I didn’t really dig this book when it first came out. I’m not a fan of Harley Quinn or any of the other villain characters that made up the Squad (well, Deadshot is kinda cool). The art is pretty good so I’ll give it a C, but yeah, not really my cup of tea.

Last Years Grade: C

Suicide Squad – Now

Cover to Suicide Squad #12

But I stuck around and holy shit, this book got good. While still not the biggest fan of “villain” centered books, the Squad was well written enough to make me start to care about some of these dudes. The Issue that dealt with Harley Quinn’s origin was great and the shit she does to Deadshot? Fuck man, up 2 points!

This Years Grade: B- (UP 2 points for great writing and making me care about these characters)

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Stormwatch – Last Year

I wanted to like this comic but after reading the first 3 issues I had to drop it. I gave it a shot and wanted to get to know these characters but it was written as if I already knew Midnighter and Apollo. I didn’t. I never read the Image Stormwatch series. DC’s Stormwatch is for devoted fans of the original series not for new readers.

Last Years Grade: C

Stormwatch – Now

Cover to Stormwatch #12

Even though I dropped the title I still read a few issue here and there – hoping for a change. But no. Still the same problems it had from the beginning. Plus, I absolutely hate the way Martian Manhunter so written in this series. Horrible. Bring back the Oreo loving Manhunter!

This Years Grade: C (No change)

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O.M.A.C – Last Year

I’ve loved Keith Giffens artwork since back in the 80′s when I discovered him on Ambush Bug, Hex, and Dr. Fate.  So it was nice to see him handling the art chores on OMAC –  a fun comic but one that just didn’t hook him they way I hoped. Maybe it was the bad writing of Dan DiDio.

Last Years Grade: C+

O.M.A.C – Now (Cancelled)

Issue #8 – Final Issue

Poor OMAC, only made it 8 issues. Feels like it never really had a chance to catch on. I think the market for “Kirby” influenced comics is a small one these days. Too bad, the world needs more fun comics. Later OMAC.

Final Grade: C+ (No change)

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Hawk and Dove – Last year

Complete crap.

Last Years Grade: F

Hawk and Dove – Now (Cancelled)

Issue #8 – Final Issue

Still complete crap.

Final Grade: F (No change)

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Grifter – Last Year

Grifter use to be cool back when he was part of WildC.A.T.s, the Image Comics series that Jim created after he left Marvel Comics. Years later Jim Lee took all his Image Comics characters and gave then to DC. DC merged them into the New 52 DC Universe – like they always existed there. But they were better at Image – this series isn’t that good, and Cole Cash can’t seem to find his footing in a world inhabited by Superman and Batman.

Last Years Grade: C-

Grifter – Now

Cover to Grifter #12

This series plodded on aimlessly for a few issues and pretty much on the verge of cancellation. And like Hawkman and Deathstroke DC decided to give the book to Rob Liefeld to turn things around. Yeah, he’s turning things around – and driving it right off the cliff. Unlike the Liefeld powered Deathstoke, Grifter is suffering from Leifeld’s craziness. Grifter deserves to be written a little more realistically. Stay away from this shit.

This Years Grade: D- (DOWN 3 points because of Rob Liefeld)

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Voodoo – Last Year

Comic books are written and drawn primarily by horny dudes. This series is a perfect example of this. Tits and ass all over the place. But hey, boobies sale comics that’s a fact, and 12 and 13 year boys ate this up. Me? Naa, not into to it so much. I at least need a decent story to go along with my breastestess. Nice art though.

Last Years Grade: C-

Voodoo – Now (Cancelled)

Cover to Voodoo # 12 – Final Issue

Still a pretty bad comic, they did at least tone the sex factor down a bit. In fact a new writer came in and changed things up so that Voodoo was not really a stripper – that was her evil clone. Nice save but too little too late, this series is over as of issue 12.

This Years Grade: C- (No change)

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Justice League Dark – Last Year

Even though this series has the worst name ever it does has some awesome art and awesome characters. John Constantine? Come on, dude is like the coolest character in all comics. Throw in Deadman and a sexy Zantanna and shit man, I’m in. The first story arc did a nice job of introducing the team and their powers and gave them a decent menace to defeat in The Enchantress. I’m a fan.

Last Years Grade: B-

Justice League Dark – Now

Cover to Justice League Dark #12

This comic just keeps getting better. New Writer Jeff Lemire came on board with issue 9 and brought his flair for more personalized stories and characterizations. He is a welcome addition to an already great book. Oh, and he got rid of the weak link, Shade the Changing Man. That dude kinda sucked. Still a big fan of this series, but come on DC, change the fucking name of this comic!

This Years Grade: B+ (UP 2 points for bringing in Jeff Lemire)

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Swamp Thing – Last Year

One of my all time favorite comics is Swamp Thing from the 1980′s. It was my first series that I collected religiously and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read those issues. They hold a magic for me that comics these days just don’t capture (and sure, I know most of that magic came from being 13 and not 41. Age has a way of diminishing that magic). So this new Swamp Thing series had a lot to live up to for me. But writer Scott Snyder got it right and infused just the right amount of nostalgia to make old fans like me happy. He brought his own spin on things to make things new and fresh – and with fantastic art by Yanick Paquette this series is at the top of my reading stack. Awesomeness!

Last Years Grade: A-

Swamp Thing – Now

Cover to Swamp Thing #12

Love love love this series. Snyder is doing everything right and making this comic a joy to read month after month. From giving Swamp Thing and Abby a new look, to bringing back old villains like Arcane back – I can’t get enough of Swampy. Some people complain that Yanick Paquette’s panels make things hard to follow but I disagree – the flow of the comic is twisted just like a characters that populate it. This series is giving Alan Moore’s classic tales a run for their money. I can feel that magic starting to come back. Thanks Scott Snyder.

This Years Grade: A (UP 1 point for bring back the magic)

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Animal Man – Last Year

I had never read Jeff Lemire’s work till this series – but for now on I’m going to read anything this dude does. Wow, amazing work on this series and this title is one of the best of the new 52 (I don’t know why it didn’t make it higher up on the the Idle Time’s Best of list. But whattagonnado?). Travel Forman’s art takes a little getting use to but after a few issues you grow to love it and understand that this series would be lesser without it. Fantastic.

Last Years Grade: A

Animal Man – Now

Cover to Animal Man #12

Still going strong a year later, Animal Man is one of the titles I look forward to the most each month. Lemire is still bringing his A game and is in my opinion one of the best comic book writers working today. And even though Travel Forman is now off the series, they brought in superb artist Steve Pugh to take over – and his work fit right in. In fact, I think I like it better then Forman’s.

This Years Grade: A+ (UP 1 point for Steve Pugh’s art)

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Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E – Last Year

I kinda hated this series when it first started. The art sucked and the story was not hitting the right beats for me (even though it was written by Jeff Lemire, the dude I just got done raving about in the Animal Man review above). But check out what “non-comic-reader” Isey thought of the series here

Last Years Grade: C+

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E – Now

Cover to Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E #12

Nice review Isey! After giving this series a fair chance I started to like it. Lemire started to hit his stride around issue 5 and I got into the art as well. In fact, I think artist Alberto Ponticelli changed his style a bit. Anyway, I was digging the series and then Lemire leaves the book! Fuck dude. Oh well, will see if the new writer can keep me around for a second year.

This Years Grade: B- (UP 1 point for better art and story)

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I, Vampire – Last Year

Along with zombies, vampires are getting played out these days so I wasn’t really looking forward to reading about them here in I, Vampire. But to my surprise this series is very well done. Lovely story about two vampires with one dysfunctional relationship and some beautiful art to boot. Coolness.

Last Years Grade: B-

I, Vampire – Now

Cover to I, Vampire #12

Another comic that is getting better each month. I like the vampires portrayed in this series – they don’t glitter or wear the latest fashions – they are monsters. This a is nicely done horror comic. A rare thing for DC to do. Keep it up!

This Years Grade: B (UP 1 point for being a true horror comic)

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Resurrection Man – Last Year

Who the fuck is The Resurrection Man? How did he get these powers? Where did he come from? After reading the first 4 issues of this series I still don’t know the answers to these questions. Poor series, I’ll pass.

Last Years Grade: C-

Resurrection Man – Now (Cancelled)

Cover to Resurrection Man #12 – Final Issue

After 12 issues you still don’t have any connection with Mitch Shelly, the Resurrection Man. I will shed no tears for the final issue of this series.

This Years Grade: D+ (DOWN 1 point for going nowhere)

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Demon Knights – Last Year

Really dug the art in this series and the story was a nice sword and sorcery adventure that reminded me of Conan the Barbarian craze of the 80′s. Fun characters that were a blast to read and great art made Demon Knights one of the better titles of the new 52.

Last Years Grade: B-

Demon Knights – Now

Cover to Demon Knights #12

Still a fun comic but one that I had to stop reading because of budget issues. But yeah, still great art and story. Etigian is an awesome character to read and this series beat the odds to make it past 12 issues and not get canceled. Good work Demon Knights!

This Years Grade: B- (No change)

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DC Universe Presents – Last Year

This anthology series started things off with a Deadman story, which was entertaining but ultimately forgettable. Decent art though. Not too bad.

Last Years Grade: C+

DC Universe Presents – Now

Cover to DC Universe Presents #12

After the Deadman arc ended, The Challengers of the Unknown were up next. This story was really poorly done and caused me to drop the book. Too bad, this series could have been great, highlighting some lesser known, but fun characters from the DCU. Instead we got poo poo.

This Years Grade: C- (DOWN 2 points for missed opportunity’s)

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Men of War – Last Year

I use to read the old Sgt Rock comics growing up. I would take one of my red magic markers and go thru the comic and drawn in blood where it was needed (back in the days thanks to the Comics Code Authority couldn’t show red blood – most of the time it was colored black, if it was shown at all. Anyway, those old Sgt Rock comics ruled – this one didn’t capture the awesomeness of that old comic.

Last Years Grade: C-

Men of War  – Now (Cancelled)

Issue #8 – Final Issue

After 8 issues DC saw the light and pulled the plug on this half-ass attempt to resurrect Sgt Rock and put him in a modern war setting. Dudes should have just kept him in World War II – would have been way cooler.

Final Grade: D+ (DOWN 1 point for not taking place in World War II – that’s where Sgt. Rock belongs)

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Blackhawks – Last Year

A G.I Joe rip off that doesn’t even do that right. Too many characters that you give a rats ass about. Give me Howard Chaykin’s Blackhawks instead (killing Nazi’s and getting blowjobs. What’s not to love?)

Last Years Grade: D

Blackhawks – Now (Cancelled)

Issue #8 – Final Issue

No surprise here at all. I have a feeling The Blackhawks will forever be just a back-up feature – at best.

Final Grade: F+ (DOWN 2 points)

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