Written by: Laura Hong-Tuason, CC2K Comics Editor
New 52. New DCU. DC Relaunch. DC Reboot. Call it what you will, DC Comics will not stop emphasizing how “new” their new comic line is. While it was a bold move for DC to start fresh and bring forth some excellent comic titles with brilliant creative teams that readers may not have otherwise been exposed to, readers also lost some memorable stories. Titles with great potential ended too soon, characters were thrown out of continuity, and some stories, though still a part of the new continuity, just feel like they never happened. That’s why I’m taking you five years back on memory lane with my Pre-New 52 picks!
Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War (Vol. 1 and 2)
Since the return of Hal Jordan in 2004, “The Sinestro Corps War” has in my opinion been the best Green Lantern storyline that crosses over with other Green Lantern titles. It is the ultimate battle between Willpower vs. Fear. This isn’t the typical Hal Jordan saves the day kind of story. It includes Sinestro, Kyle Rayner, members of the Green Lantern Corps, Superboy-Prime, and Cyborg Superman. With such a powerful and symbolic theme that hits close to home, you’ll wonder who the true villain really is. This story is one of universal longing, loss, and wanting to be apart of something more.
Batgirl: All Three Volumes by Bryan Q. Miller
I was initially hesitant to read this Batgirl comic starring Stephanie Brown. Barbara Gordon and Cassandra Cain have always been my Batgirls. It didn’t help that issue #1 portrayed Stephanie as a bubbly college student trying way too hard. Though I stuck with it and fell in love with her, as did so many others. Miller does a superb job chronicling Stephanie’s growth in becoming a relatable character worthy of the mantle. Unlike other Bat books, this one is more light and comical. Every issue up to the bittersweet end was a page-turner. I don’t normally shed tears reading comics, but Miller knows how to pull your heartstrings in the final issue before the NewDCU. Farewell for now, Stephanie Brown.
Superboy: The Boy of Steel
Full-disclosure: Superboy is one of my favorite teen heroes. This story follows Connor as he faces his greatest fear: Is he innately good like Superman or evil like Lex Luthor as he’s the clone of both of them? Overall, this story is a mediocre one. I for one enjoy it though because it sums up the essence of who Connor Kent is and what he’s all about. He’s the boy with the mission to become his own person. What really seals the deal is the art. If you want to see beautiful, stylistic art, look no further than Francis Manapul in this trade. When I think of Superboy, Manapul’s version is what I always imagine. Too bad this Connor Kent I hold so dearly is gone. You win some, you lose some.
Red Robin: Collision (Vol.1) and The Grail (Vol. 2)
Tim Drake is my favorite Robin. Someone may or may not have brainwashed me to say this. Anyways, Red Robin Vol. 1 and 2 is an incredible story that takes place after the death of Batman. You cannot read one without the other. Tim refuses to believe Bruce, his father figure, is dead. He has a hunch that Bruce is alive, but no one believes him. With his awesome detective skills, Tim journeys off on his to prove people wrong, collecting his own gallery of allies and rogues along the way. Though still an intelligent and good guy, he now has to be more brutal and merciless, treading into gray waters as the newly minted Red Robin. The ending of this arc is sure to wow you.
And those are a few of my picks! As you may have noticed, I have quite the appreciation for sidekicks and non-lead characters. I hope you do too. If you can get a hold any of these trades, let me know what you think.
Author: Laura Hong-Tuason, CC2K Comics Editor
Laura is a writer from the San Francisco Bay Area, but currently resides in Southern California. She drinks too much milk tea, talks too much about Green Lantern, and would marry Barry Allen if he were real.