The 10 BIGGEST SURPRISES of the Revamped DCnU1 of 12So DC's initial wave of revamped new #1s for September 2011 have been revealed. We say initial wave (not be confused with First Wave) because we hear strong indications that other, new DCnU series are already in development, and of course we already know Grant Morrison's Batman, Incorporated will return in 2012 with a new #1.
The 52 titles introduced in piecemeal fashion were like a bride's ensemble a mix of something old and something new, something borrowed, and something Blue Beetle. Along the way there was of course the completely expected (who didn't see a Geoff Johns iconic Justice League coming down Broadway?), but also a handful of the unpredictable and even a few head-scratchers here and there.
Click on the Start Here button on the upper left of this box and take a quick look at what Newsarama thinks are the Top 10 Surprises of the first 52 DCnU titles.
I, VAMPIRE2 of 12Not the OMG kind of surprise. More like the really? kind.
Now we're not prejudging the quality of this series by writer Josh Fialkov and artist Andrea Sorrentino at all. It could go on to win next year's Eisner for Best New Series for all we know. It may, however, be the DCnU answer to the standard I.Q. question, which of these things is most unlike the other?
It's not just that this are-you-sure-this-isn't-Vertigo? series stars a somewhat obscure-ish character created by J.M. DeMatteis in 1981 for House of Mystery, but for an initiative aiming for 'modern, young, and fresh', are these the teeth you want to show, DC? This is about marketing as well as storytelling, isn't it?
Yeah sure, Marvel has gotten some mileage outta bloodsuckers the last few years, but does anyone else think the vampire zeitgeist has maybe reached its twilight?
(See what we did there?)
Barbara Gordon as BATGIRL3 of 12The fact that DC wants to reestablish Barbara Gordon as Batgirl shouldn't come as too big a surprise to anyone, despite the visceral reaction some fans had to the news. After all, it was five years ago DC announced the development of All-Star Batgirl by Geoff Johns and J.G. Jones. So it was clear interest in the original incarnation of the iconic character existed at the highest levels of the DC brain trust and that there was a belief in the commercial appeal of the concept.
Why it makes our list as the 9th biggest surprise is the perhaps false assumption on fan's part that the DCnU revamp makes the All-Star imprint superfluous. After all, if DC now wants to reinvent a character, they have an open door without the need of a special line to make sense of it.
But here's thing - Newsarama hears All-Star isn't going away at all, and in fact there is at least one new All-Star project in at least some early stage of development.
So it stands to reason that DC could have had their Batgirl and Oracle too.
MR. TERRIFIC4 of 12No doubt the addition of the still-rare series starring an African-American hero will be welcome by some fans. It also indicates DC is following through to some degree on their emphasis on diversity in the revamped DCnU.
But did anyone expect out of a pretty large family of Justice Society characters, revived in large part in recent years through the efforts of one Geoff Johns, that Mr. Terrific would be the only man standing ... at least so far?
Dick Grayson as NIGHTWING5 of 12To be fair, this was never matter of if, but when. Bruce Wayne would eventually have been reestablished as the sole Batman proper of the DCU, sooner or later. And in retrospect we suppose it makes perfect sense to clear up what could some something of a confusing fact two Batmans for the hoped-for new readers with this launch.
But given the recent lengths the Bat-office went through to tuck Bruce away for a little while so Dick could have the opportunity to graduate to head and then co-head of the Bat-class, that his tenure will ultimately be so brief comes off as something of a surprise.
And not to play armchair editor-in-chief, but wouldn't this have been a perfect time to maybe introduce a new persona for Dick? Something fresh, something modern, particularly now that Batwing is getting his own title?
Harley Quinn in SUICIDE SQUAD6 of 12Ummm, paging Paul Dini and Bruce Timm ... paging Paul Dini and Bruce Timm...
And that's all we gotta say 'bout that.
There's a puddin' joke here somewhere but we're gonna leave it alone.
Martian Manhunter in STORMWATCH7 of 12By the time we all saw this one, DC had already announced a Voodoo series and there were rumors of Grifter getting his own series days before, so a Stormwatch series wasn't a total shock to the system or anything. No one expected DC co-publisher Jim Lee's babies to be sent off to boarding school forever.
But Martian Manhunter, conspicuously absent from the Justice League line-up, showing up standing alongside Apollo and Midnighter was good for a hearty WTF (in a good way) response the first time we saw the image.
The OUTLAWS of RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS8 of 12Okay, Starfire, a two-armed Roy Harper, and the former Robin readers once voted to have killed?
We suspect if you programmed that IBM supercomputer Watson to run a simulation of all possible three-character combinations of DC superheroes to make up a new team, it would have taken it weeks to come up with this one.
You gotta hand it to the newly re-prolific writer Scott Lobdell, though, he isn't shy about doing the unexpected.
In fact, Lobdell shows up twice more in the remaining three surprises in some fashion.
And on that note...
SUPER-Alienation9 of 12According to DC, the DCnU Supergirl has no affection for the human race in her new series. Superboy is described as something of a lab rat in his new series by Lobdell a failed experiment ... a deadly weapon ... and he looks like one too.
On the surface it looks like DC is de-emphasizing the girl and boy in these characters and emphasizing the super.
Now this is just teaser information, so it may paint an incomplete picture and it may read that way intentionally to get fans talking, but what was always one of the greatest appeals of the Superman family the juxtaposition of super and human doesn't seem evident in DC's first information salvo.
And that isn't even mentioning the fact the 'Patriarch' Superman defends a world that doesn't trust him.
But we'll keep an open mind.
And then there is also the issue of Superboy's conflicting "costumes", which brings us to...
The TEEN TITANS Costumes10 of 12The Lobdell trifecta.
Now if course, he's just the writer, so we don't know how much of Lobdell's ideas informed the radical new looks of the Teen Titans, but perhaps no image of the now 52 DC has officially released as of Sunday as stirred up fans as much as this one has.
Wings for Red Robin?
What the hell is going on with Superboy's shirt? And the ink?
Wonder Girl doesn't just look different, but Cassie as a belligerent powerhouse thief? Really?
And the Teen Titans image is one of the few with completely unfamiliar new characters in it.
If buzz were sales, Teen Titans (along with Batgirl might be the biggest chart gainer come September, based on the image alone. But that's always the rub, isn't it? Getting the two to match?
SUPERMAN is Wha..?11 of 12Finally, perhaps the surprise with the greatest line-wide implications comes in one of the very last bits of information DC released over the last week-plus
Since a couple of Tuesday's ago when DC first announced the line-wide revamp, there has been some strong clues, some informed hypothesis and speculation, and even a little seemingly conflicting words by creators about how much the DC Universe is going to change after Flashpoint.
But this official DC-penned copy pretty much lays the continuity question out on the line, doesn't it?
This momentous first issue will set in motion the history of the DC Universe as Superman defends a world that doesn't trust their first Super Hero.
Superman is the DCnU's first superhero.
The implications of that single sentence may reverberate for months (and maybe years) and opens up a floodgate of new questions about the true nature of the DCnU.
We'll be doing our best over the next few months to try to bring you answers...
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