If, like me, you spend way too much time reading about comics on the internet, you probably see a lot of repeat questions. And, because the DC relaunch is dominating comics news as of late, most of them have something to do with that. The ones I'm most interested in are the ones from new readers. While the reboot is designed to be new reader friendly, there are a few issues that seem to be tripping people up, and I'm going to my best give answers to all of those questions. Whether you want to know why so many books have batsymbols on them or whether you should read Superman or Action Comics, this is your guide to the DC relaunch!
There are four titles starring the eminent Bruce Wayne, a point that seems to have confused many a perspective new reader. People aren't sure what title they should read, or if they need to read all of them. Luckily, this has a simple solution: pick whatever book looks the best, and stick with that. All of the books have different creative teams and will be telling their own separate stories. If you need help deciding which title to choose, here's a guide:
stunning preview pages, and I really think readers are in for a treat. I'd especially recommend this title to fans of the Arkham Asylum video game and to those who have read a few of the better known Batman titles, like Hush and The Long Halloween. All in all, I expect this to be a great comic that most new readers can easily enjoy.
The White Rabbit, this may also be a good title for readers who want a little cheesecake alongside their action scenes. For his first tale, Finch will be building off the events of several recent Batman stories, which means this book may be slightly less new reader friendly than the other Batman books. In spite of that, I still expect this book to pretty accessible, and those of you who like Finch's artwork should give it a look.
But what about all those other comics with Batsymbols on them?
New readers, here is a secret: people really like to buy any comics that have Batman and Wolverine on them. Because of this, publishers try to use the popularity of those characters to sell readers on other, newer ones. The titles with Batsymbols on them are part of what's commonly referred to as the Batfamily. This means that the one or more of the characters in the title has some kind of connection to Batman. For example, Nightwing stars Dick Grayson, a former Robin who was once Batman himself, while Batwing stars an African hero who received funding from Bruce Wayne. While several of these titles look like they're going to be great comics, they're all pretty separate from Batman, and you don't need to bother with them unless they interest you. If you are interested in checking out a few of these comics, I'd suggest Batwoman and Red Hood and the Outlaws.
There are very few Superman titles in comparison to Batman ones, which makes his books a little easier for new readers to navigate. However, deciding between Superman and Action Comics can be tricky, so here's an idea of what you can expect from these two books.
Action Comics looks to be no exception. However, I expect this to be an added treat for observant older readers, rather than a hurdle to new ones. This title will feature art by the very talented Rags Morales, but I think there's a high chance of him being replaced on future issues, and I'd suggest against buying this title for the art alone. Overall, Action Comics is the ideal comic for new readers or readers who are just new to this take on Superman. It seems designed to give readers a strong understanding of the character and his motivations, and will give new readers an introduction to supporting characters like Steel. As an added bonus for Justice League readers, this comic will also show how Supes gets his Kryptionian armor.
What about Superboy and Supergirl?
I think that Superboy will be completely separate from Superman from a good long time. While Superboy is a clone made using Superman's DNA, any crossover action he has should be appearing in the Teen Titans title. Superman will be making an appearance in Supergirl's second issue, but I suspect his interactions with her will largely be confined to her comic, and it's nothing you need to read in order to follow Supes himself. Both books look promising, though, and if you like teen characters, you should give them a look.
The Green Lantern titles are keeping more of their status quo than any other DC titles, which makes them a little trickier for new readers. All of the titles should be fine as a jumping on point, but they'll still be reliant on what came before, and readers may come away with some questions about the universe. Fortunately, the differences between the four books are easily explained, so here's a quick overview of the Green Lantern titles.
But what about the guy in the Justice League?
The first arc of Justice League is set in the past, and Hal Jordan is no longer a Green Lantern in the present. This will be dealt with in the first issue of Green Lantern, and should also be explained once Justice League's first arc concludes.
The three Justice League titles share a name only, and the primary thing that they have in common is that they're all team books. Here's an idea of what you can expect from each one.
my review of the title here. While this is the place to read about DC's most well known characters, later arcs will also introduce readers to new or lesser known heroes like Element Woman and Firestorm. Having read the first issue, I can confirm that this should be very easy for new readers to follow, and it's a great choice for anyone who wants to get into the main characters of the DCU. Readers can expect solid art, an easy to follow story, and a strong introduction to the entire team of characters. If you haven't started the series yet and don't mind waiting, I'd suggest jumping into the series after the first arc has concluded. You should be able to get a trade paperback of the arc for a good price, or buy all the previous issues at a discounted price via Comixology, and I think the story will read better when you take it in all at once.
beautiful art by Mikel Janin, who is fairly new to the comics world. While you may see a few Justice League characters in that preview page, I don't expect the two titles to cross over at all, and you shouldn't worry about following both comics unless you're interested in them. All in all, this should be a cool read with something different to offer than the other two Justice League titles.
What about all the other comics? What if I want to read Wonder Woman or Demon Knights?
You're in luck! New readers should be able to jump into any of the new titles with very little difficulty. For a look at what titles I recommend, check out my 10 most anticipated DCnU Comics.
Read Batman, Action Comics, Green Lantern Corps, or whatever other comics strike your fancy. Most titles will be very accessible to new readers, even ones who don't like reading gigantic blog posts. ;)