Renumbering. It’s a tried and true method of bringing up sales, as well as introducing new readers into the story. Renumbering a popular title is most often done when a high-numbered series is receiving a new creative team, new storyline etc. Spider-Man has done it a few times, The Ultimate Marvel line has done it a few times, but DC has remained relatively unscathed by this trend.
Welcome to the DCNu. DC is taking the renumbering to a whole new level after the events of Flashpoint, and releasing 52 new #1’s. This is monumental for some titles, considering this will be the first Batman #1 since 1940. And just when you think DC can’t do anything else with the number 52, they keep on rolling with it.
So this is a first in a series of articles that will take a look at the new “First” issues coming out. And since he is easily one of the favorite characters here at Grizzly Bomb, let’s start with Batman.
It is a bit of a sad time as for the first time in a while Bruce Wayne returns as the only character using the Batman name. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s how it should be, but I really enjoyed Dick Grayson’s turn as Bats, but I would probably enjoy Grayson as Angle Man, so don’t judge that too much. Scott Snyder writes, and Greg Capullo (probably best known for his work on Spawn) makes his DC debut as Bat-artist.
Detective Comics #1
In another milestone, this will be the first debut issue of Detective Comics to feature the Batman. This series follows Wayne on the trail of a vicious killer known only as the ‘Gotham Ripper’. It is brought to us by writer/artist Tony Daniel, a mainstay of the Bat-titles as of late.
Batman and Robin #1
The moment most Bat fans have been waiting for has arrived. With Bruce back as the only Batman, where does that leave Robin? By his side, where he should be. It’s the father and son team of Bruce and Damian, brought to us by Peter Tomasi and Pat Gleason. I have high hopes for this series. I loved Dick and Damian’s Batman and Robin, but this is how it should be, when it all comes down to it. Batman and Robin, Father and Son, Pure Gold.
Batman: The Dark Knight #1
David Finch continues to bring us his take on Batman, with help on pencils from collaborator Jay Fabok. The series takes us on twisted tale through the halls of Arkham Asylum, so I would expect a wild ride on this one.
The long-awaited series featuring Kate Kane as Batwoman finally arrives in the DCNu. This series has been highly anticipated and will be brought to us by J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder.
And one of the most controversial things to come out of the DCNu camp, is the return of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. I’m equal parts excited and sad. We get to see the return of a great character, while losing out on 2 others. I’m speaking about Stephanie Brown, who filled the role of Batgirl until recently, and Oracle, Barbara Gordon’s previous alias. Oracle was a key element to the Bat family, and a shining point in the DC Universe to feature such a strong character, despite of/because of her handicap. You can read a great article on that over at Newsarama. Batgirl will be brought to us by Gail Simone, with Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes on art.
Dick Grayson returns as Nightwing! Easily the title I am most looking forward to, as I have made no secret of my love for the character of Grayson. I love the new costume, although it seems a little bit like a pre-cursor to the Batman Beyond uniform worn by Terry McGinnis. Either way, Dick is back where he belongs, and with Barbara back as Batgirl, who knows what kinds of stories we’ll be seeing come out of this. Brought to us by Kyle Higgins, with art by Eddy Barrows.
Catwoman has been a part of the Bat Family for years, so obviously she will be getting a new #1 along with the rest. This series will dive into what makes Catwoman tick; Batman, danger, the thrill of the night, etc. It will be written by Judd Winick and drawn by Guillem March.
Bird of Prey #1
Birds of Prey will be getting a bit of a revamp, as Gotham City’s Covert Ops Team, tasked to take down the villains other heroes can’t touch. Almost seems like a mix between the old Birds of Prey and Gotham City Sirens, but we’ll see more when Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz bring us the first issue.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #1
Jason Todd returns as the Red Hood (which I thinks suits Todd the best out of all the roles he’s taken since his return) to lead a new team of Outlaws. This group of anti-heroes will include Arsenal, who has been dragged through the dirt for a couple of years now, and Starfire, most recently a prisoner of intergalactic war. It will be written by Scott Lobdell with art by Kenneth Rocafort.
Batwing follows the first Black character to wear the mantle of the bat and the first to star in his own ongoing series. Batwing is the Batman of Africa from the pages of Batman, Inc. and I for one am excited to pick up this issue. However, I do think they could have gone with a better name. Batwing has always been the Batplane to me, but I can adapt. It will be written by Judd Winick and drawn by Ben Oliver.
And speaking of Batman, Inc., while I don’t have a cover to show you it has been announced that it will return with a new #1 in early 2012. I have no word where Tim Drake will be seen throughout all of this, whether it be as Red Robin and his Outsiders, or with the Teen Titans. Hopefully time will tell on that one.
And that wraps up our look at all the Bat Family’s new #1’s, and while I was a little hesitant to get behind the DC renumbering, I think I just may be excited. Also being considered widely as a company wide ‘reboot’, I’m hoping for a more flexible history for some of the characters, while retaining the legacy that we’ve all come to love.
For the next installment of Grizzly Bomb’s look at the DCNu, we’ll be going Green…
What do you think of the Brand New #1’s? Do you think it’s merely an attempt to drum up sales? Are you actually excited to jump on board some of the series you may have fallen behind on?
Sound off in the comments section below!