DC Comics’ New 52 Reboot: The Complete Guide

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 7:06 am,

Guide to the DC New 52 DC Comics New 52 Reboot: The Complete Guide

The DC Comics Reboot – or the DC relaunch, or The New 52, or whatever you want to call it – is probably the biggest thing to happen to comic books since Crisis On Infinite Earths nearly 26 years ago. Not just in terms of changing the canonical status quo, but also in terms of the way comic books are sold.

Every DC Comics book from here on out will be digitally distributed “day and date.” This means that on the same day individual issues hit the shelves of your local comic store, they’ll also be available to read digitally on your iPad, your iPhone, your Android, and so forth. In a world where print is dying, the economy is drying up, and comic book sales are laughable, this is a big deal—at least as far as comic books are concerned.

Courtesy of Hero Complex, The New 52 is already on its way to dominating the comic book market share in September – a rare feat for DC in the past, uhm, four decades - with six books that have preorders over 100,000. A little context for you – it has not been uncommon for entire months to go by in 2011 where not a single DC book has reached 100k in sales. Six in a single month, you say? Well, bless my soul!

You can click any of the links below to skip to a particular week of the guide:

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For visual aid, Check out all 52 covers on one poster, via the DCU Source Blog:

CLICK TO ENLARGE

DC The New 52 Poster 280x364 DC Comics New 52 Reboot: The Complete Guide

Furthermore, Justice League – technically an August book – has sold out with preorders of over 200,000 units, which would make it the best-selling comic book of 2011 so far (by far). Whatever your thoughts are about The New 52, it’s obvious that DC’s gamble has paid off … at least in the short-term. Only time will tell if those numbers stick around, or if digital sales (which are unlikely to be available for public perusal) can save the industry as we know it. Spoiler Alert: Yes, they can…they just can’t save comic book stores.

Check out The DC New 52 trailer below:

 

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For superhero movie fans looking to acquire any miniscule amount of information as to what forthcoming DC Comics film adaptations might entail – from Man of Steel to Wonder Woman to The Flash to Justice League – the New 52 is the place to start, which is why we’ve created this extensive guide to help you navigate all 52 new titles, from Action Comics on down to Wonder Woman. After all, 52 comics is a lot of comics.

We will also rate the worthiness of each “New 52″ title according to the criteria outlined below. WARNING: These ratings are just my opinions and recommendations as a longtime comic fan. The final decision, of course, will be up to each reader to decide for his/herself:

  • BUY means what it sounds like it means. There are enough reliable variables in place for the comic to be worth an immediate purchase.
  • EH means there are reasons to buy a particular comic and reasons not to, so you should probably wait for critical consensus or word-of-mouth before you put money down. But hey! It’s your money, so whatever!
  • DO NOT BUY means do not buy, because why the heck would you even think about buying something like that until you know for a fact that it’s worth your hard-earned cash? 

Covers: Click any of the comic covers in our guide to check out a larger version of the artwork.

Launch Day & Week 1 of DC’s New 52…

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TAGS: aquaman, batman, green arrow, green lantern, hawkman, justice league, superman, superman man of steel, the flash, wonder woman

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  1. Like Man Of Steel’s Superman costume, i don’t like Superman’s costume in the picture above. Everyone else is pretty much the same in costume except for Superman & Wonder Woman. On ComicBookMovie.com i found a artistic picture of Henrry Cavill in a traditional/revision image of the actor as Superman in what he could of looked better in Man Of Steel. Picture is by Michael Stribling & can be seen on ComicBookMovie.com or http://www.michaelstribling.com Anyways, imo by that picture seen of Henry Cavill looked great as Superman & would get me to see the film.

  2. I’m mostly a Marvel guy, but I’m definitely getting the new Justice League and (of course) the new Batman.

    I really hope this reboot bodes well for DC… they have a lot of catching up to do to reclaim their glorious reputation.
    I really don’t want to see the former #1 comic book publisher (DC) go under :(

    Long live comic books! :D

    • I’m also MARVEL fan but DC is ok.i’m really disappointed that martian manhunter not is founder members of JLA.Aggghhh I hate Cyborg he’s crap he’s from teen titan and now he’s in JLA :)

    • @ TheAvenger

      Just curious if you checked ou that artist drawing of Heny Cavill in the traditional Superman costume in the link above?

  3. I don’t know about all of you dissing some, but this has got to be one of the reasons to look forward to. Comics never had it so good. Wish I could say the same for our local industry here where I live. Still, one of the best entertainment in the world is COMICS.

    • I agree, unfortunately stupid ol’ South Africa (where I live) hardly has a comic book store.
      There are book shops where TPB comics are stocked (but most of them suck).
      I have to buy my comics over the internet and (thank god for Marvel) I can subscribe to 12 issues of Marvel comics without needing to break bank with international-delivery costs (it’s only like $14).

      I’m just hoping that the ONE book store in my city will stock the new DC comics (they are stocking the old run, so I’m hopeful).

      • Don’t understand these dissers, though. If they don’t like something, then why waste time ranting about it? Sheesh. Couldn’t wait to grab a hold of one or more of these fine piece of comic art.

  4. Unquestionably imagine that that you said. Your favourite reason seemed to be at the net the easiest thing to be mindful of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed at the same time as other folks think about issues that they plainly do not realize about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and also outlined out the entire thing without having side effect , other people can take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thank you

  5. As someone that’s been out of comics for years (granted, I’ve been buying TPBs) this is a perfect opportunity to jump back in. I’m definitely going to look into JLA and Batman, but I might give Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Detective Comics and Action Comics a look. Those creative teams (except for Detective Comics) look pretty exciting to me.

  6. THIS IS EXACTLY WHY THE COMICS SALES ARE DOWN!!! AND WHY THE F***K THE COSTUMES HAS TO LOOK LIKE ARMORS?!!! We don’t need new costumes or new esthetics, wee need NEW AND ORIGINAL STORYS. COMICS HAS ALWAYS BEEN A VANGUARD WAY TO TELL STORYS, WEE NEED THAT BACK!!!

    • Wow. Too mush caffeine can make you type all-caps like that. Ease up, bro, no one is pointing a gun at you to buy these.

    • The caps-lock is strong with this one.

      • Use the caps-lock, he must ;)

        • I just need some attention…

    • it makes sense that supermans custumes would look like an armor, because it would help him absorb ore solar energy

      • @ game

        Not to me. When he’s known to be “The Man Of Steel” Id have to ask as if i was a comic book character why needs to wear armor for? Makes him look as he needs more protection from getting blows from villains. Heck he can fly into space long enough to absorb enough sun to fly back to earth & deliver crushing blows no problem.

        • Totally agree, even if it is the Kryptonyans dress would be something very uncomfortableto wear. I think they did that to sell more toys, as they look cooler, but functionally not make any sense … plus it is very rare and loaded to the eyes

  7. This reboot looks pretty awesome. Think I’ll check it out sometime :). Its perfect for me cause I always wanted to get into DC but I just didn’t know where to start.

  8. I’m sort of glad that the Green Lanterns were seemingly unaffected by the reboot. I was a little worried since they just brought Hal Jordan back to life and they have three other earth GLs established but it’s good to see Sinistro brought back into the core. I’ve always found his character to be held to a code that he firmly believes in and will do anything to keep intack.

    • I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the two franchises least affected by the reboot — Batman and Green Lantern — were also the biggest sellers.

  9. I’m not saying that SMALLVILLES was original (maybe they got the idea from something else) but this description for JLA #1 sounds a lot like the series finale in SMALLVILLE except that here Batman is the one bringing everyone together to fight the dark evil and in SMALLVILLE Clark Kent was the driving force behind it (I don’t want to say too much in case anyone has not seen the finale of the show).

    I just watched the last season of SMALLVILLE the past week and I must say it did an incredible job of closing the series and was far more entertaining then most of anything DC has put out in years save for Nolan Batman films. If you ask me the SMALLVILLE folks were on track to taking that version of the DC Hero-verse to the place where DC should take its reboot and maybe thats how it will play out.

  10. @Ben (Or anyone else) is there any on line/internet resource that details how DC or Marvel produces an issues of a comicbook? Not the artistic side soo much as the physical process such as how is each page created from concept to final product? I did a google search but all were about how to make your own comic book and I want to see how DC/Marvel does this.

    Thanks

  11. One thing not mentioned here is the price for the new 52. I have talked to my local comic shop to see if DC Comics is holding the line at $2.99. I was told for the new 52 they would, except for Justice League and Action Comics. They will be $3.99, as you have extra pages. As you may know, Marvel Comics raised comic prices to $3.99. DC Comics and other independent comic companies still hold the line at $2.99

  12. I think the reboot isn’t a bad idea, but saying that, I think one of the biggest problems, and maybe not a true problem, is that the characters literally don’t get to grow. One of the best things to me, is that Robin became Nightwing, etc., and I know we love our characters and don’t ever want to see them die/get old, but maybe that’s a fact of life that needs to be faced, and that sort of realism needs to get into comics. I mean, actually have Batman get old, and having to pass the baton (I know, I know, Frank Miller and Batman Beyond dealt with this, but I’m talking about in the regular series. It would open so many possibilities, but alas, that’s not the deal.)

    I’m such an old fuddy-duddy, I like the old printed comics, i want them, I’m not totally into the digital thing. I probably wont’ evolve past my laptop computer, and certainly not getting an i-paddy or somesuch silliness (can’t afford it anyway)…. Just spleening here..

  13. Just wanted to comment on this article to say thanks for what clearly seems to be a lot of effort put into it.

    I’ve always been a Marvel guy and thus don’t know my way around the modern DCU all that much, so this relaunch seems like a good time for me to jump in. I’m definitely bookmarking this page and using your recommendations.

  14. I can’t believe some of these titles CD decided to go with in the New 52 and they did not retcon/reboot Vigilante, Cyborg, or Raven with their own edgy titles.

    You have got to be kidding me DC! Pass!

    • CD = DC sorry I got really passionate about not seeing my favorite characters in the new 52.

    • Well Cyborg is gonna be in the new Justice League Title. And I’m sure Raven will be in the Teen Titans book. I’m not real sure on Vig though, but I’m sure he’ll be popping up somewhere. I mean, this IMO is the perfect time for DC to reintroduce their historically second-string characters so that they play a more vital role in the new DCU. I’m particularly excited about Animal Man (although I would have preferred if they had gone with Vixen), Mr. Terrific, Etrigan, Captain Atom, Deadman, and Hawkman. They really need their turn in the spotlight.

  15. I just read “FlashPoint” #5 and “JLA” #1, and I must say I really like the way they’ve transitioned into the rebooted universe between the two issues. I thought FP5 did a great job of closing out the altered history, showing Flash to be the hero he always has been and Batman to be a man of more than just cold, calculating logic and strategic preparedness. JLA1 portrayed the various heroes quite accurately and (in several cases) quite humorously…So far, so great.

  16. One gripe though: Martian Manhunter should be on the Justice League!!! Wth! Lol still looks really cool though. Also whats all the different Batman titles?

    • He will be eventually but he’s starting out as part of Stormwatch.

      • In Stormwatch, it’s stated that Martian Manhunter has been on the Justice League at some point.

  17. It’s going to take A lot of getting used to. I’m left wondering how many of my favorite charters are going to change or just dissapear. Two of my favorites Dona Troy & Starfire. The second looks like she will become A villian. And the first I don’t know if she’ll be back.

  18. I’m glad to see they’re finally trying to streamline some storyline, but it’s still not enough I think. The main problem with drawing in readers is the massively confusing and intimidating way comics presents its stories to the reader. It’s very reader unfriendly to expect someone to know so much canon and have to do so much research to get into a title. It’s the main reason I dropped comics years ago and haven’t gotten back into them, and in talking to some friends I find similar reasons. There’s a good reason Japanese manga beats comics in sales, they really need to start emulating their model more before western comics die completely. Which would be a great shame. Going digital was a good starting move too. Thanks for such an exhaustive list.

  19. Out of this list, it’s only two things that really stand out for me are Swamp Thing and Resurrection Man (not familiar with the character, but Abnett’s stuff is usually pretty OK).

    But, I’ll just wait for the trades and buy them based on word of mouth.
    Many a moon has passed since I bought regular issues of anything anyways.

  20. Of course, I’m hopeful that the pile of new books that challenged all the local comic shops wiht their ordering challenge were able to order appropriately and not get caught with piles of unsold JLA #1s for three months from now.

    I hope that this new event proves successful so that the citizens out there who might be interested in a fresh, new serialized series of comic book characters will put out $2.99 a month for their favorite heroes for a long time to come. I hope that it will be enough to allow those few comic book stores still extant the ability to stay open and provide that service to local fans.

    I hope that the digitalized versions of these comics are reasonably priced and don’t do a whole lot to cut into the bottom line of comic shops’ income…but it all depends on the digital pricing.

    I hope, I hope.

  21. DC Comics is going to do better than Marvel.

    Even though I am a massive Marvel fan, killing off Peter Parker was a BIG mistake. Instead of killing off a main character, DC Comics created a spinoff character to a main character. As a result of having Batman and Batwing active, they can merge storylines in a celebration of tolerance, unity, and diversity.

    DC is promoting cultural diversity and unity.
    Marvel is killing off one social group in favor of another.

    If DC Comics can see the wisdom in having two Batmen, Marvel could have pulled off having two Spidermen. Since DC Comics had taken the morally high road, I can only see these new changes as something very-very positive.

    DC will have the final word, and I am now 100% behind these new changes.

    • Just so you know, they only killed off Peter Parker in the Ultimate Comics continuity. The regular Marvel continuity still has Peter Parker. Also, as my wife always reminds me, in comics characters never stay dead, so I’m hoping Peter will still be back someday in Ultimate Spider-Man.

    • Yeah, Peter Parker is alive and well.

    • LOL@ Wow! Must have heard that on FAUX news!

  22. Fantastic article. As far as never being able to follow the old continuities, i cant say i ever had that problem, the vast majority of issues are written in a way that you can absolutely enjoy the issue youre reading without knowing everyones full history but if you wanted to you just scan a wikipedia page real quick. Not too big a deal. As for Supermans new costume, aside from whoever explained he would need armor on Krypton theres also the fact that while Supes is invincible a regular cloth costume wouldnt be and with the amount of explosions, fire, slices and dices hes victim to he would be butt naked at the end of half his fights.

  23. I’ve always been a comic Character fan. I never bought many comics due to price and un-reliability of publishers to hit their date on time. The first time I tried a subscription was with an online seller and I seemed to get more dupes with different covers than different books. I’ve mostly gotten my comic fix from toons like 90′s Batman and the excellent (sometimes more political than West Wing) 00′s Justice League.

    The re-boot intrigues me though. So I will be going to my local shop to do more than peruse t-shirts, figurines, or secretly giggle at the guys playing Magic cards. I’ll be getting my own box behind the counter.

    My wife & I are soon adopting 2 children out of the foster system and I’m excited to see they’ve added Static Shock to the lineup. This was a great TV toon, and because our children will be Black/African American (choose your fav term – we just say ‘loved’); we’re so happy to show them a book that can engage them & fill their minds with fanciful hopes & dreams.

    So to the author, I thank you for your in depth analysis of each new book. Some believe comics to be a waste of time and money. I see this as an opportunity to bond with my future children by reading and growing their imagination.

    My Buy list: Action Comics, Static Shock, Green Lantern Corp, &… Aquaman??? yep. That 4 page preview was genius.

    • @ Christian Lee

      I dunno if you collect action figures or not but i noticed you liked Static Shock so i thought id let you know that Static will be within one the final sets of the JLU collector figure line. Future Static anyways. I think he’ll be in a 3-pack w/ Micron & Aquagirl.

      • @WallyWest

        That’s great to know. Is there a website that I can get these from without having to wait/hope they show up at the store?

        I saw a Batman Beyond with Old Man Bruce Wayne on the back of a box and would also love to grab one of those.

        • @ Christian Lee

          There’s Mattycollector.com You can look for it there aswell as Amazon.com or Ebay. Im not sure when it’ll be released though. I just know it’ll be one of the last 3-packs in the JLU line.

          • @WallyWest

            Well, I thank you for the information. I’m going to keep my eye out, as that would be a great present for these kids.

            • @ Christian Lee

              You’re welcome. Hope they like them, i got good size collection myself already. Just recently got STRIPE added to it.

    • Christian,

      I have mad respect for you brother. Thanks for getting those kids out the system and thanks for being cognizant of their needs.

      I wasn’t hip to Static being brought into the DCverse (thanks), so now I’ll make sure to keep an eye out for some episodes and see what else DC has up their sleeves.

  24. I like this change, I think it’ll add a lot of freshness to DC Comics. I have been reading comics for a few years now and although DC’s stuff is among my favorites, I always had a problem keeping up with the canon from another storyline when starting a title. That’s why I’m behind this new DCU. However, I will say this; I hope that they don’t do too much of an overhaul in that it completely disrespects the old continuity and changes the major characters too much because that would be a shame. Also, I’m confused as to why they started with the Justice League book. Although I liked the comic itself, it’s kind of confusing because, why have the team up book before you even establish their new origins? If I were them, I would have held off on the Justice League until all the necessary characters had been established and instead I would have done it the way it was done back in 1938 and come out with Action Comics #1 starring Superman as the first title to be released. You know, sort of like a repeat of history type thing, but….alas, that’s not the route they chose.

  25. So far…

    Skip: “Justice League” #1.
    Buy: “Batman: Detective Comics” #1.

    • Yes. Detective Comics was pretty great. Not just for the cliffhanger, either.

    • Skip Justice League? I just read JL #1 and it was freakin awesome! (the story could have been better, but the art is more than enough reason to buy it).

      Detective Comics #1 was pretty awesome as well – it had a wicked story and was full of suspense (I just don’t think it’s the type of book I’d want my 10 year old cousins to read…)

  26. Okay. The time of print media is rapidly coming to a close. Soon digital media will be the only media. So what happens to collecting and trading comics? How do you preserve great old comics? Or books even? No more first editions. Digital media isn’t particularly long lived and is pretty vulnerable. How do you get your comic collection off a destroyed ibook?

    • I agree… it’s pretty scary :(

      But I doubt we’ll stop seeing print comics… you can’t replace something so special and memorable with some digital tablet that can be destroyed by a hammer. Digital is a nice way to be able to “read on the go”, but print comics will never die out… going to the store with your friends every Wednesday and looking for new additions to your collection, spending HOURS online looking for that ONE issue you need to complete a series, passing down your comics to the new generation: those experiences can never be killed off by tablets and phones (and if that’s what the world will be like in 20 years, then I want no part of it).

      Also, you can throw a comic, you can smash it with a hammer or a baseball bat and the damage would be minimal… you do that with an ipad, and you can kiss your “collection” goodbye.

      Nah, I’m not too worried… the magic of print comics will never die out…

      • Amen! Plus, I find it easier to enjoy the art and read the printed comics. They are bigger than most electronic readers, and you never have to scroll to see the whole page.

        • You are so right… all that scrolling is a b****.
          It’s so much nicer to just turn a page…

          And “zooming” with a printed comic is also so easy: all you have to do is move the comic closer to your face ;) (you can’t do that with a tablet unless you’re alright with getting cancer…)

      • Personally, I read both. When I’m away at school and can’t get to a comic shop, I use my DC Comics app to get new comics (I have a Marvel app too). That way I don’t have to go home to catch up on things I might have missed. But when I am at home and the comic store is just a short drive away, I usually buy them there. But for the new 52, although all I’ve read so far has been on my iPod app, I still plan on getting print when I go home for this weekend. I’m even planning on buying the ones that I’ve already read digitally, just so I can have them in print.

  27. OK, just read Action Comics #1 on my iPod Touch and absolutely loved it. The art was fantastic and I really liked the way Morrison portrayed Superman’s character. It was very unique to for once not see Superman as the beloved boy scout but as a vigilante feared and chased by the government. It may have been hectic in some parts, but the ending was awesome. I can’t wait for the next issue. And tomorrow I plan on getting the other ones that I’ve missed from the comic shop, Detective Comics being at the top of that list.

  28. I’ve read four of the New 52 titles so far and I’m gonna rate them:

    Justice League #1: 3.7/5: good story overall, but it lacked the sufficient backstory to support a team up book just yet. I feel like it just jumped into the action without a proper build-up, but it did contain really good character dynamics and interactions between Batman and Green Lantern. The art is amazing, like really amazing.

    Action Comics #1: 5/5: the story was great. We get to see a side of Superman that is rarely used, yet ironically was part of his original creation. We get to see him as the social crusader, someone who is willing to take on corruption at the top in the name of helping the little man. We also get to see him as more of a badass than he’s been made out to be by a lot of people and as a rebel against the government, who surprisingly has teamed up with Luthor. The ending was also really great and unexpected and the art was great as is anything from Rags Morales.

    Detective Comics #1: 5/5: again great story which really stayed true to the characters of Batman and Joker. It was suspenseful and gripping and while the characters were still in line with who they were before the reboot, they’re action still seemed unexpected and were able to surprise me. The cliffhanger ending was also a really great way to lead into the next issue. Art was also really good. If Tony Daniel keeps writing like this for Hawkman then I can’t wait for that to come out.

    Static Shock #1: 4/5: story was really good, but still a little hectic. Virgil was characterized pretty much the same way as he was in the animated series, he makes wisecracks, quick to think of a sciency solution in a time of crisis, and is a bit of a show-off. He’s a typical teenager who let’s his powers get to his head sometime, which is basically how a teenager would act if they had superpowers. Like the rest of the titles, the art was really good. It was refreshing to see some lesser known DC characters from Milestone get their chance to shine.

    I’ll continue to add reviews as I read the rest of the titles that I’m planning to get. Next is Animal Man and Stormwatch.

    • I appreciate your reviews! Keep ‘em coming! I’m subscribed to five of the Batman titles (Batman and Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Teen Titans [for Tim Drake]), so it’s great to hear what I’m missing in the other issues. Thanks!

  29. I’m a new comics reader and so far I have ever released issue of the new 52, but am yet to read Stormwatch, Hawk & Dove and Men Of War.

    Don’t know anything about Flashpoint or what really went down before this whole reboot, I just saw it as a chance to get back into reading comics after 10 years!

    So far I am loving all the different characters/stories and art. The stnadout title for me above and beyond all has been Swamp Thing though.

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