This August sees the third anniversary of DC Comic’s New 52 reboot. It was used to “soft relaunch” on their titles for newer readers who found it too hard to catch up on current titles, while not completely getting rid of everything for long time readers.
The New 52 has had its share of good and bad titles, as well as numerous cancels and relaunches. Here are our Top 5 New 52 Titles that everyone should check out.
#5 Green Arrow
Green Arrow has had a rough time since the New 52 launched. The original teams that worked on the title provided dull action and dialogue that came off as cheesy at best, and just was boring at worst. Oliver just felt like a vanilla Tony Stark, only with a bow.
Starting with issue #17, the team of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino took over and made Green Arrow one of the best current running titles DC currently has. Introducing a new villain that tested every skill Oliver has learned, as well as exploring his time stranded on the island made Green Arrow a more noteworthy title and added depth the originally boring character.
#4 Swamp Thing
One of the lesser-known characters in DC’s universe was one of the original New 52 titles, and quickly became one of the best monthly titles they have. Written by Scott Snyder (who may or may not appear later on this list) Swamp Thing has reverted back to his human form and only has vague memories of being the monster. He soon gets involved in a struggle between The Red, and The Rot, life forces that represent living things and death and decay. This forces him to become Swamp Thing again to become the avatar for The Green, the life force that represents plant life.
While not one of the most popular New 52 titles, Swamp Thing is still a great series that gives some much needed attention to other not well-known DC character such as Constantine and Animal Man.
#3 Wonder Woman
She may not be getting her own movie any time soon, But Wonder Woman’s New 52 series is definitely one of the best.
Wonder Woman’s series is based around Greek mythos, and has her protecting a pregnant woman who is carrying the Demigod child of Zeus that may have the power to overthrow other gods.
The series has Wonder Woman fighting many mythological creatures and gods. These action scenes are near perfectly paced and give a great reminder why Diana is one of the best and most capable fighters in the DC Universe.
The first arc of the series ended late last year with an interesting and greatly satisfying ending and never felt too drawn out. Diana is given plenty of time to be characterized and to be represented well and respectfully.
Wonder Woman is a gorgeous to look at and fun to read title that both pays respect to it’s source material while providing new twists to the long running character.
#2 Animal Man
While the New 52 was controversial as it ret-conned many DC characters, it also gave a chance for lesser known B and C-list ones to gain popularity and recognition. Jeff Lemire’s Animal Man was one of those titles.
Animal Man tells the story of Buddy baker, a hero who’s pretty much retired from the hero business to be closer to his family. Soon he becomes dragged into the struggle between The Red, The Green, and The Rot (mentioned earlier in this list) and has to go on the run with his family to save them, and the world.
The tone of Animal Man is incredibly dark. There is a large amount of blood and gore, as well as animals and nightmarish decaying creatures trying to kill Buddy and his family. At times, it feels like Buddy and his family is just delaying their inevitable deaths, as they can’t truly escape or defeat the true nature of death itself.
However, Lemire does a fantastic job of balancing all of the dark with light moments of Buddy interacting with his family. These moments feel incredibly human and make the reader care about the Bakers.
Unfortunately, the series ended earlier this year, but it still remains as one of the absolute best titles ever published in the New 52.
Only one of the twenty Batman titles that have been released during the New 52 has been consistently great, and that’s Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman.
Even from the first issue, the quality and respect they provide to the hugely popular hero is present.
The first arc that they created added not only additional character to Batman, and to a new evil organization, but to Gotham City itself in a way that makes sense in the Batman mythos.
The second arc of Snyder and Capullo’s run incorporated all of the other Batman titles at that time. These titles were a little lagging, but were all elevated in quality when brought into the story that Snyder created.
Currently the series is nearing the end of it’s year long “Zero Year” story, which reimagined Bruce Wayne’s past before he became Batman. Instead of just rehashing the same origin, Snyder brought new elements to it which gradually showed Bruce’s transformation into The Dark Knight.
Batman has been, and still is the best title under the New 52 reboot. There has not been a single issue that has ever been less than great and needs to be picked up by any and every Dark Knight fan.