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DC Comics New 52 - The Verdict: Part 2

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To close our comprehensive coverage of the DC Comics New 52 here at Digital Spy, we've asked each of our three comics experts to talk us through the good, the bad and the ugly from the titles they reviewed during the controversial relaunch.

Today it's the turn of Tom Ayres, who celebrates the King of Atlantis while mourning the missed opportunity for some great espionage.

The New 52 - Aquaman

© DC Comics

Standout Title
Aquaman #1 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis.

Geoff Johns achieved something truly incredible with the launch of this new Aquaman series by managing to wash over years of ridicule aimed at the character in the space of just a single issue.

By directly addressing people's feelings that Aquaman is the 'lame' member of the Justice League, Johns swiftly gives Arthur Curry a reason to be angry as well as a reason to prove his naysayers wrong.

This opener also gives credence to the notion that Johns could be the greatest mainstream comic book writer in the industry, having somehow been able to make the much-derided character seem genuinely cool and, more importantly, interesting once again.

With Aquaman to appear on the Justice League roster as well, now is the best time to get reacquainted with the sometime King of Atlantis and to enjoy Ivan Reis's stunning pencil work.

The New 52 - Blackhawks

© DC Comics

Biggest Disappointment
Blackhawks #1 by Mike Costa and Graham Nolan.

While there are unfortunately several duds in DC's initial relaunch lineup, Blackhawks is the one that hurts the most, simply because it's obvious from reading the book that it has the potential to be a great espionage series.

Any DC Universe series set outside of the main franchises is bound to struggle at first in terms of establishing its identity and character, but Blackhawks simply can't seem to decide what it wants to be.

Penciller Graham Nolan is just as equally responsible for this disappointment as Mike Costa, because his artwork doesn't fit with the book's serious tone and eventually becomes something of a distraction.

Hopefully Nolan will flesh out the team members over the coming months, which may help readers engage more, but there is a high possibility this series could become the first casualty of the New 52.

DC Comics logo

© DC Comics

New 52 - The Verdict
Generally speaking, DC's New 52 seems to have been a resounding success so far, both in terms of increased sales and creativity, and it seems likely this renewed interest will continue unabated for a good few months yet.

While DC picked some admittedly odd choices to lead the big relaunch with (no-one was exactly crying out for a new OMAC series), the majority of titles have been relatively strong and a select few really have been top quality (Detective Comics, Batwoman, Animal Man).

It will be interesting to see whether this risky move pays off in the long run but, regardless of the outcome, DC's decision to go same-day digital will undoubtedly leave its mark on the comics industry.

> DC Comics New 52 - The Verdict: Part 1

Watch the extended trailer for the DC Comics New 52 below:

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