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DC Comics New 52 - The Verdict: Part 3

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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.

Lastly, it's the turn of Mark Langshaw, who looks at the two sides of the return of the Caped Crusader.

The New 52 - Batman

© DC Comics

Standout Title
Batman #1 by writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo.

Snyder and Capullo have a strong grasp of what makes a character like Batman so iconic. They emphasise all of the Caped Crusader's best qualities in Batman #1, celebrating his role as the DC Universe's greatest detective.

The launch issue was faced with the difficult task of introducing a sizable cast to new readers, and Snyder rises to the challenge. Introducing the Dark Knight's new identification scanning technology was a pragmatic and organic way of tackling the problem.

Capullo's artwork is dark and gritty enough to delight the mature readers, providing a take on Batman and Gotham's rogues that sits somewhere between Frank Miller and Christopher Nolan.

Batman #1 pulls off with ease the difficult task of pleasing the diehards while accommodating newcomers. There's a lot at stake when handling a character of this magnitude, but with the current creative team at the helm, the future's bright from one of DC's darkest properties.

The New 52 - Batman The Dark Knight

© DC Comics

Biggest Disappointment
Batman: The Dark Knight #1 by writer Paul Jenkins and artist David Finch.

This title had a lot to do justifying its existence given that we're practically drowning in Bat books now, and sadly it didn't do anything that Batman and Detective Comics don't pull off better.

There are few legitimate criticisms we can come up with, aside from pointing out that it feels unnecessary. Bruce Wayne's life is already being examined from every angle in other titles, so Jenkins and Finch's series simply serves to water down the broth.

However, Finch's artwork is a saving grace, even though he stoops to Rob Liefeld's level when drawing the book's potential love interest. Shadow and colour are used effectively, it's just a shame that the writing isn't of the same standard.

Batman: The Dark Knight still has a lot to do to justify its place in the DC Universe. With numerous other Bat books giving fans their Caped Crusader fix in generous measures, it's running the risk of becoming obsolete.

DC Comics logo

© DC Comics

New 52 - The Verdict
It's perfectly understandable why some fans have taken issue with DC hitting the reset button. The removal of the Crisis events from current continuity alone is enough to make long-time readers feel less than rewarded for their loyalty.

That said, some very promising titles have emerged from the initiative - Grant Morrison's Action Comics, All-Star Western and Geoff Johns's Aquaman, to name but a few. Comics like these are loaded with potential, and offer much to both newcomers and diehards alike.

There's certainly a fair argument that DC's previous continuity, with its multiple universes and alternate realities, had become convoluted, and if nothing else, the promotion has succeeded in increasing the general public's interest in comics.

Only time will tell whether this increased awareness in the public eye will equate to a strong reader base over time, but we can safely say that the standout titles will go on to thrive.

> DC Comics New 52 - The Verdict: Part 1
> DC Comics New 52 - The Verdict: Part 2

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

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