The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Does that apply to what DC is doing?  I don’t know, just thought it sounded like a clever way to introduce this month’s advance Previews for DC.  Anyway, by now you likely know the deal.  DC is not rebooting, it’s not revamping, it is in fact, re-starting with an entirely new DCU line.

Is this significant?  Let see, new takes on classic characters?  check, it’s been done before.  Renumber comics? check, its been done.   Hot new creative teams to forge out a new direction? check. done.  But what puts this in a slightly different ball park is that’s all current titles have been cancelled.  The new 52 titles (some familiar, some new) are all renumbered, all ‘restarting’, all with changes, big and small.  That’s pretty bold.  Renumber the two long running comics in history which are both getting near the mythical 1000th issue?  Blimey.

DC is putting a lot on the line here. This will either work or it won’t.  Personally, with the talent on board, it’s hard to see it falling over.  At worst, they’ll have to give a few titles CPR along the way, and continually tinker with things till the whole restart becomes relatively pointless.  At best, we’ll see characters we’ve enjoyed, continue to entertain and marvel at the greater, while new, continuity Geoff Johns and the crew weave over the coming years.  No doubt some of these titles will fall to low sales or running their course over time.  But for now they’ll are stars in the new line up.

I read through the new listings tonight and honestly was surprised at the excitement I was starting to feel.  I certainly don’t advocate you need ’em all (though feel free) but there’s a few in there beyond the obvious ‘must haves’ that will be worth looking at.  Check out the full list here at CBR.  This round, less thought on the stories (since they’re all new) and more just things that occur to me looking through the list…

JUSTICE LEAGUE, ACTION COMICS, SUPERMAN

Of all the tiles, these promise to set the scene of the biggest players in the DCU, particularly Superman.  Grant Morrison will reintroduce Superman in Action Comics, Geoff Johns will finally write what should be DC’s flagship title in Justice League.  So why Superman?  For one thing, George Perez is writing and helping on art but also this will confirm the status of Lois and Clark and the general status quo.  If there are any must haves (at least for the first month) this is them.

AQUAMAN, GREEN LANTERN

  Both penned by Geoff Johns. As architect of the new DCU, anything he’s writing is probably worth following if you’re wanting to keep up with the main beats in the new overall DCU storyline. Plus, Johns is promising a new Green Lantern.  DC has struggled since the 90’s when Peter David has a great run on the title, to make him relevant again.  Let’s hope Johns has some luck and Arthur can take his place again as one of DC’s heavy hitters.

SWAMP THING, ANIMAL MAN

These two fringe characters certainly had some classic runs when Alan Moore and Grant Morrison wrote them respectively.  DC are giving them  new lease of life with new creative teams.  If you like your mainstream titles just a bit different, a bit darker these would be worth getting on board for the ride.  Check out an overview on Animal Man here if you’re not familiar with him and find out why you just might like to be.

BATMAN – The restart of Batman is notable as artist Greg Capullo has been lured to DC from Image’s Spawn.  This will give this new Batman series an exciting look.  All the new Bat books sound interesting and from a pure collecting point of view, a new Detective Comics #1 will look impressive.  While Grant Morrison’s Batman Inc hasn’t survived the cull of titles, what he set out in that series looks set to resonate for some time in many of the new books, particularly Batwing, an ‘Inc’ character himself.

OK, have fun checking out the rest, Nighwing’s back, the Teen Titan and Legion of Super-Heroes will continue.  Also have  look at Justice League Dark (The League of Magic!)   The Wildstorm universe make a showing with Voodo, Grifter and Stormwatch #1s.  Note that Vertigo titles continue under the status quo.  Useless fact, Hellblazer is now DC’s highest numbered series at #283!

ALL-STAR SUPERMAN TRADE PAPERBACK – Finally under in one volume, what was till now considered to be one of the best definitive Superman stories ever by none other than new Action Comics writer, Grant Morrison.  In some fashion, this makes it even more intriguing just what he’ll do now in Action Comics.  Regardless, this story is now history and if you like Superman, a cornerstone book to own and have on the bookshelf.