I'm finally back, I've been busy reading all these new DC books, and I figured instead of doing a bunch of reviews I'd list some random thoughts.
*I guess Justice League was fun but really sucked as an introduction to the DC universe, sure it was a good idea pairing up the heroes from DC's most recent movies but I don't know if stringing those potential new readers along while they wait for the Justice League to assemble is the best long term strategy. Ah well, it sold 200,000 copies so what do I know?
*Aside from the unquestionable sales success I think DC's greatest accomplishment is finally having critically acclaimed creative teams on the Trinity. Action Comics, Batman, and Wonder Woman rank among those books everyone should be reading, after the whole debacle with JMS, I though this would never happen.
*Okay, so I guess I was wrong about Animal Man, though I would say the success of that book has a lot more to do with the strength of Jeff Lemire as a writer than it has to do with a general interest in Animal Man, though there's definitely a fair amount of that too.
*I wasn't sure even Grant Morrison could come up with a take on Superman that would click with today's audience but his arrogant, working class hero strikes the perfect balance of the different and the familiar. Going to dread seeing the character in that new costume after this first storyline though.
*I hate to say it but Paul Levitz has lost that Legion magic. I couldn't even bring myself to finish this first issue, as I had long since forgotten why I ever liked these characters. Not a good sign when even a dedicated fan doesn't know why he should care, especially when you consider the target audience are new readers.
*My votes for books that will get canceled first? Voodoo (obscure character, critically panned), Men at War (lacks marquee talent combined with a $3.99 price tag), Resurrection Man (a book canceled due to lack of interest in the 90s with no trade paperback to boost interest), and OMAC (because it's Kirby, and unless we're talking about Marvel or Grant Morrison, no one but Kirby could make Kirby work)
*I don't know if I'll feel the same way several months from now but Frankenstein ended up being my favorite of all the books. It's exactly like BPRD except goofier, stranger, and uglier. A lot of people hated Alberto Ponticelli's artwork, but I think his rough style helps the feel of the book.
*Swamp Thing looked gorgeous, I've always felt Yannick Paquette was an artist always on the verge of something amazing, and this book shows it. Scott Synder also delivered an engrossing story with genuine scares. However I must add that it's probably only engrossing to previous Swamp Thing readers, as it fails to make for a compelling introduction to the character what with him appearing only on the very last page. And yes, I think we can all agree that Superman cameo screamed editorial mandate.
*Sword & sorcery, family horror drama, supernatural team book, and even superheroes. I appreciate the sense of variety on these books, each time I picked up a different book I was delighted by how unique a reading experience it offered.
*Yes, Flash did end up being significantly better than I had expected. Francis Manapul and Brian Bucchelleto are providing the kind of visually fresh art that's become a bit too rare these days. Fingers crossed that this will become DC's artistic response to Marvel's current Daredevil ongoing.
*But this whole thing was really soured by DC's response to those who spoke out against Starfire in "Red Hood & The Outlaws" and that infamous scene in "Catwoman". They responded by reminding readers to be sure to pay attention to their ratings, even though sites like Bleeding Cool have shown how inconsistent those ratings are. I think it would have better to just not say anything if their response was going to be so dismissive.