BearSleuth Opinion Piece: My Bottom Five New 52 Graphic Novels

There was a lot of great work that came out of the New 52 era of DC Comics but unfortunately some storylines and series simply didn’t work. Last week, I gave my top five New 52 graphic novels (which you can view here), the novels on this list are not necessarily terrible, but for different reasons they represent a lot of the problems with the New 52. So here it is, my bottom five New 52 graphic novels:

All pictures are screenshots from the Marvel comics app. [Accessed 22/06/2015]

Number Five: Talon Volume One: Scourge of the Owls


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The Court of Owls was amazing, brilliant in fact. It made the top of my list last week because it was a great edition to the batman mythology and seemed to justify the entire New 52. Unfortunately, the Court of Owls then dominated the next year of the New 52. There were a lot of great tie-ins and ideas connected to the Court of Owls but Talon may be the weakest contribution. It struggles to find a heart as it doesn’t have the years of character the other New 52 books have to fall back on. It also continues the Court of Owls storyline which was concluded nicely in the first two volumes of Snyder’s Batman series.

Number Four: Larfleeze Volume One: Revolt of the Orange Lanterns


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There were a lot of great Green Lantern tie-ins in the new 52 but Larfleeze isn’t one of them. The dialog throughout the entire piece is heavy and slow to follow. The art is weak and the plot seems to change direction every couple of pages without many satisfying payoffs. There is little to defend the book, save it’s occasionally funny moments of dialog between Larfleeze and his butler. You can definitely give this one a miss.

Number Three: Superman Volume One: What Price Tomorrow?


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A lot of characters in the New 52 had multiple series dedicated to them, Batman had several. While Grant Morrison did a fantastic job on Action Comics, the main Superman series was sorely neglected. The story is very simple but is over-complicated with dialog that has little flow to it. The ideas seem tired and unoriginal for Superman stories and lack anything that keeps them from breaking out in the way that other New 52 stories have.

Number Two: Savage Hawkman Volume Two: Wanted


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Hawkman is a DC staple, he has always been a big part of the universe as much as any other of the Justice League members, he deserves good stories. The first volume of Hawkman lived up to the hero with a combination of brilliant storytelling and art. Unfortunately Volume Two just doesn’t keep up the pace of the it’s predecessor, it’s a slow paced ramble across the world as Hawkman fights numerous D-List villains. Each issue becomes a pattern of Hawkman tracking down a new villain and defeating them until it becomes boring and tired.

Number One: Hawk and Dove Volume One: First Strikes


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There was no Hawk and Dove Volume Two, the writers tried a lot to make it work. Before the end of the run Batman gets thrown into the mix in an attempt to boost interest. I have to say, the art is fantastic, but that is where the praise ends. The biggest problem for me with Hawk and Dove is that it tries to build a mythos, I don’t know if this was present in earlier iterations of the character, but the mythos revolves around different avatars of bird spirits. It really doesn’t work for me and I don’t think I’m alone in this. I do recommend Hawk and Dove to writers interested in writing comics as it is a perfect example of everything that doesn’t work in the medium. To any one else I say, stay far, far away.

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