The Best of the New1 of 12Over the weekend, we reposted the solicitations from the "Big 2" publishers of Marvel and DC Comics and asked a simple question: What are the top three series, the three books you're enjoying the most from each of these publishers?
If you were to just look at sales numbers, they would tell one story, but of course, sales don't tell the whole story, nor are they an indication of quality.
Now, we acknowledge that this is a relatively small sample size - according to Facebook, the DC post (which we're covering first, in case you didn't catch that yet) was seen by a bit more than 38 thousand people. Still, we saw some trends begin pretty quickly, with some obvious choices, and some surprises.
First thing's first: Nearly every book is a favorite to someone. There were forty-one books submitted from the DC Universe (including out-of-continuity digital-first series). While a few people named some Vertigo books, we're keeping it to DCU here.
Honorable mentions go to all those that didn't hit the top ten. Books like Action Comics had multiple comments praising the book since Greg Pak took over, for instance, and books like Batman '66, Suicide Squad, and Justice League Dark had multiple fans (amongst many others).
Here, then, are the top ten books at DC Comics right now, according to you, the fans.
TIE: Batman/Superman, Li'l Gotham2 of 12This is a wacky bit of a tie, but an interesting testament to the popularity of Batman - and the variety of stories that can be told with him.
Greg Pak and Jae Lee's Batman/Superman tells the story of the famous duo in the New 52 universe. It started off with an arc all about juxtaposition, giving readers a chance to see a young, inexperienced Batman and Superman who had just met alongside the older life-long friends of the Earth 2 universe. It was a treatise on friendship, on trust, experience, and the love of a real friendship. And that resonated with fans.
Meanwhile, Li'l Gotham is a zany series made for all-ages and centered around holidays. It's a digital-first comic that was originally going to be a one-shot and got expanded because, frankly, it's genius. The work of longtime collaborators Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs, there is no cuter version of Batman out there. Oh, and Damian's alive, Stephanie is Batgirl, Nightwing wears blue, and Barbara is Oracle in that world. So if you haven't checked it out, pretty sure we just gave you four more reasons to
Aquaman3 of 12What a world it is that we live in. Aquaman, as relaunched by Geoff Johns, took the fact that Aquaman was known as a "joke" head-on, and said to both readers and the rest of the DCU simultaneously: Aquaman is a bad ass. Deal with it.
With an expansion of his mythos, a definition of "The Seven Seas" that taps into his mystical history, the excellence of Mera, and on, and on, Aquaman saw sales often in the top ten, something unheard of for "that dude that talks to fish."
Jeff Parker has the unenviable job of taking over for Johns, and is furthering Arthur's connection to the seas, the Earth, and showing why he should be taken seriously.
Animal Man4 of 12Well, this one is kind of a bummer - You see, Animal Man #29, out in March 2014, is the final issue. But can we talk about the fact that an Animal Man comic is one of the ten best as voted by fans? Wow!
Jeff Lemire's take on Buddy Baker has been almost universally lauded, and let readers look at superheroes through a completely different light: one of horror. The story of Animal Man was also used to build a deeper mythology for the DC Universe, helping to establish the Green, the Red, and the Rot - and connecting characters like Beast Boy, Swamp Thing, Poison Ivy, and even Earth 2's Solomon Grundy and Green Lantern in surprising ways.
Animal Man did nothing short of build a new foundation for the DC Universe, and fans are going to miss it when its gone. Hopefully they will join Lemire and Buddy in Justice League of Canada next year.
Swamp Thing5 of 12Fitting for these two to be back-to-back, as they were quite inextricably linked for the majority of the first two years of their runs.
Writer Scott Snyder started out Swamp Thing for the New 52, bringing the character firmly back in the DC Universe after a long stint with Vertigo. Working with Animal Man, the series established the new DCU mythology of the Green, the Red, and the Rot, and made Animal Man into an absolutely essential part of that world.
Charles Soule took over the series earlier this year, and has kept the quality up, according to reviewers. With Swampy also showing up in Justice League Dark of late, we (and readers, apparently) look forward to seeing Swamp Thing continue to plant his roots deeper into the DCU than ever before.
Justice League6 of 12The elder statesman of the DC New 52, Justice League was the first series to launch the new universe. As the backbone of the DCU, this series has crossed over with Aquaman, launched Forever Evil, and shown us how these godly creatures that live amongst regular humans can be both perfect and deeply, deeply flawed.
Didn't hurt that it was launched by the superstar team of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, and when Lee had to move on, Reis and Prado took his place.
Forever Evil7 of 12Seeing a mini-series crop up on this list, and so high up, admittedly surprised us. But that goes to show, while there is always a vocal minority that objects to line-wide crossovers, deep down inside, readers dig seeing these fantastic universes we love be truly universal.
Forever Evil also likely benefits from a couple of massive mitigating factors. First, it didn't start for two entire years, letting the DC New 52 become its own fully established world before throwing all of the characters in it so closely together.
Second, the sheer scope of Forever Evil, taking nearly every hero completely off the board, pitting villains against dark versions of those heroes, flipping the script so-to-speak.
Regardless of the reasons, it's clear fans are responding to the first-ever line wide event for the New 52… which means more will be on the way, for better or for worse.
Green Arrow8 of 12Fans wanted to clarify, it's Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino's story they've responded to, and it's clear why. Following the massive success of Arrow on the CW, DC gave the reins over to this new team, and they took their favorite elements of the show, integrating them into the comic book, creating a beautiful sort of feedback loop.
The emphasis on "The Island," the importance of Shado (differently important here, comic book fans, but very important none-the-less), and even the appearance of one John Diggle have all hit in the past few months, but the big thing that has made fans love this take on Green Arrow is that it's all about Ollie overcoming impossible odds. Interestingly, he doesn't always do it with smarts, or even with his very natural skill, but often out of sheer will - something his pal from the pre-New 52 version of the DCU knows something about.
Wonder Woman9 of 12It seems like every time a major event hits in Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang's Wonder Woman, the internet explodes. She's now Zeus's daughter in the New 52? KABOOM! The book has a huge ensemble cast of other gods, old and new? KABOOM! She did what to who and became the god of what?! KABOOM!
But apparently, something here is working, because this was the third-highest vote getter. Whether it's Diana's take-no-guff attitude, the expansion of the Greek Pantheon, who have been reinvented alongside Diana and the New 52, or just Chiang (and the other artists who have helped out on the book)'s beautiful line art, readers love the New 52 Wonder Woman, but not as much as these last two books...
Earth 210 of 12Talk about a dark horse victory. Earth 2 at number two, the second most-loved book in the New 52, is an incredible win for the idea of something different.
Launched a little more than half a year into the New 52, Earth 2 tackles a world where Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman died saving the universe against Darkseid and his forces, and the world was left, permanently changed, to pick up the pieces. While some version of these characters have each recently been revealed, the story is still very much about a world different from the "main" DCU. Green Lantern is connected to the Earth, not to space. The Flash was charged by the gods to run. The forces of Apokolips still threaten the world.
While James Robinson has departed, writer Tom Taylor's young run on the book has found great critical success (with no harm done by the great Nicola Scott sticking around to lend a sense of creative continuity). As we said, a Batman, Superman, and even some kind of Wonder Woman analogue are all around again, but the glory of Earth 2 is that they are not the story, or at least not its focus. What happens in a world without the Trinity? It becomes the second favorite book DC Comics publishes, apparently.
Batman11 of 12This one shouldn't surprise anyone, and matches up with sales charts perfectly. Easily the best-reviewed, and easily the best-selling book that DC Comics has published for the last two years, since rebooting the universe with the New 52, is Batman.
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo dove into Batman head-first, with a younger Bruce Wayne, at times an angrier Bruce Wayne, but overall, a character who showed that if you take the essential factors - the determination, the dedication, and the love for a city and people he may never truly know, and knows better than anyone else in the world - he'll work in any universe.
Batman has had world-building, it's had mysteries, it's had family, a reexamination of his greatest villain, and now a reexamination of how he became, and what it means to be, Batman.
This title was the top vote-getter by a wide margin, appearing on over a third of the ballots. Batman: It's Newsarama reader's favorite DC Comics title.
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