22
Aug
2011
The Watchtower
10 Titles to Keep an Eye On in The DCnU
Chris
So 52 new titles is a lot for any fan to handle. Come September DC fans are going to have to make some tough choices about what they pick up, and what they leave on the shelves. But where to start? Well the safest bets from the new line up are Grant Morrison's Action Comics, Geoff Johns' Justice League and Green Lantern, and Scott Snyder's Batman. These are the highest profile titles of the relaunch boasting the biggest characters and biggest creators and a sure to be instant hits. You can't go wrong with these four. These four titles make a good start, but what next? Well I've identified ten titles that I'm most excited about and that I think are worthy of (at the very least) a quick flip through in the store.

Aquaman: Written by Geoff Johns and Pencilled by Ivan Reis, the future of the king of the seas is looking bright. This is the same creative team that gave us Green Lantern and Blackest Night. Geoff Johns has a unique talent for making oft overlooked and dismissed characters fan favorite and has already begun to work his magic on Aquaman in Brightest Day. Over the past 6 years I've watched Ivan Reis grow from a buzz worthy artist into one of the most talented and popular pencillers in DC's stable. His detailed backgrounds, iconic figure work, and kinetic action sequences are a perfect match for the tough as nails Aquaman and the vibrant undersea world which he inhabits. Popular culture might have you believe that Aquaman is the joke of the Justice League, but give Johns and Reis one issue and they'll sink that misconception to the bottom of a watery grave.

Swamp Thing: Written by Scott Snyder and Pencilled by Yanick Paquette. Scott Snyder caught our attention with American Vampire. He hooked us with Detective Comics. And now he's going to blow our minds with Batman. But let's not overlook the other title he's scripting in the DC relaunch. You know what was the best elements of his run on 'Tec? The mood of suspense and horror he brought to Batman's adventures in Gotham. Snyder is perfectly suited to what will essentially be a horror book set in the DCnU, and the fact that he has listed Swamp Thing as one of his favorite characters and has a killer hook for the new series means this book is gonna be hot. And let's not forget the versatile and impressive talents of Yanick Paquette who knocked the first few issues of Batman Incorporated out of the park. This book has all the makings of a critical darling, get in on the ground floor.

Batgirl: Written by Gail Simone and Pencilled by Adrian Syaff. This book is notable for returning Barbara Gordon to the mantle of Batgirl after being paralyzed by the Joker in Alan Moore's the killing joke. Gail Simone has quickly risen to be one of DC's most popular writers in part because of her strong character work and knack for creating some of the most terrifying villains around. She has been writing Barbara Gordon as Oracle for the past several years, and since it is no secret that Babs is her favorite character, we should all be excited for what Simone has in store

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men: Written by Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver, and Pencilled by Yidrilay Cindalar. Firestorm is one of those characters that try and reboot as they might DC just can't seem to make stick. Which is crazy because the character has a great visual design, almost limitless power that is incredibly dangerous and hard for him to control and a killer hook: Firestorm is actually made up of two people, currently two volatile teens, Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch who cannot stand each other. I've already mentioned Gail Simone's incredible character work and excellent ear for dialogue, and Ethan Van Sciver although primarily known as an artist had some early forays in writing indies and contributed plot ideas for the series he pencilled. These two writers have distinct and unique voices which is perfect for a book about opposites whose conflicting powers could lead to a devastating nuclear meltdown. If a book about science gone wrong and deadly power in the hands of two guys who he hate eachother's guts sounds cool, check out this book.

All-Star Western: Written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, Pencilled by Moirtat. For the past few years Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti have been pumping out one of the most critically acclaimed titles at DC: Jonah Hex. And although this title could never have been described as a sales juggernaut, it was definitely a hit among reviewers and comics professionals alike. This series will allow this duo to continue chronicling the adventures of tough as nails bounty hunter Jonah Hex only this time with more linear ongoing story lines as opposed to the done in one adventures that jumped around Hex's time line (which were awesome but I think it's cool that their mixing things up). In addition the book will feature back up stories focusing on the rotating adventures of DC's stable of other western heroes.

Blue Beetle: Written by Tony Bedard and Pencilled by Ig Guara. Jaime Reyes is arguably DC's most popular new character in years, and it's easy to see why. A charismatic character, great visual design, an awesome supporting cast, and powers that are derived from an alien super weapon sent to destroy all life on earth. This book has all the makings of being DC's answer to Spider-Man and this #1 issue is the perfect time to find out why fans and critics alike love Jaime Reyes.

Stormwatch: Written by Paul Cornell and Pencilled by Miguel Sepulveda. Ok, ok I know I said I wasn't a fan of DC incorporating the Wildstorm characters into their universe, so why am I looking forward to the book that focuses on that imprints flagship characters the Authority? Simple: Paul Cornell. Known for great team dynamics, in depth character work, and a razor sharp wit, Paul Cornell has been responsible for some of the most buzzed about buzz comics of the past few years. I have been looking forward to seeing Miguel Sepulveda on a monthly series ever since he drew the hell out of Marvel's last cosmic event, The Thanos Imperative. Stormwatch is known for starring one of comics first openly gay couples: Apollo and Midnighter, as well as some characters with the most unique power sets in comics, like Jack Hawksmoor the god of cities and urban environments, The Projectionist, the god of the internet, and Jenny Quantum, the spirit of the 21st century. Additionally this book has raised some eyes with the inclusion of Justice League mainstay Martian Manhunter to the cast. The mystery of how he ended up with this group of ultra violent heroes is more than enough to get me to pick up the first issue.

Demon Knights: Written by Paul Cornell and Pencilled by Diogenes Neves. I've listed the reasons why I like Paul Cornell above. Why is this book special though. It has been described as the Magnificent Seven in the Middle Ages with a real Gave of Thrones kinda vibe. Swords, Sorcery, Dragons, and Super Heroes. Do you really need more convincing?

Legion Lost: Written by Fabian Nicieza and Pencilled by Pete Woods. This book focuses on a group of Legionaires (the super heroes of the 31st century) traveling back to the 21st century to prevent a terrorist from their era from releasing a deadly bio plague. They fail, become stuck in the past, and desperately try to contain the fallout of the weapons release. Fabian Nicieza's run on Thunderbolts is one of my all time personal favorite comic stories. Nicieza knows how to handle team dynamics, especially when he is working with a group of lesser known characters whom he can really put through the physical and emotional ringer. Having been a staple of the Superman titles for many years, Pete Woods is no slouch in the art department and his preview pages look absolutely gorgeous. Aside from Legion fans, I feel like this title is one of those most likely to be overlooked in the comics deluge that is the new 52 which is a real shame because I think this book has critical sleeper hit written all over it.

Batwing: Written by Judd Winick and Pencilled by Ben Oliver. Introduced in the pages of Batman Incorporated, Batwing is the Batman of Africa. All of Africa! A place that in the words of Judd Winick is already home to super villains in the real world. Coming off of Justice League: Generation Lost with a higher and stronger profile than he has had in years, Judd Winick is focusing on passion projects in the new 52 and this title is perfect for the elements of social conscience and real life issues that Winick brings to his stories.
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