WLG #381 "The Experiment Really Begins!"

A column article by: Kyle Garret

Now the experiment really begins.

The first month of DC’s new 52 was a huge success, and while it far exceeded expectations, we all still expected it to do well. The real question, as has been repeated ad nauseum all over the internet, is how the new batch of titles will perform in the future.

I don’t think anyone needs to worry about the fate of Action Comics. The first issue got rave reviews and sold like crazy, as you would expect of anything with Morrison’s name on it. It will be interesting to see how the sales drop after the first month, though.

Animal Man and Swamp Thing were two books that seemed to get lots of love, yet that I only kind of liked. Part of me feels like the legend of these two titles is driving a lot of the praise they’re getting, more so than the reality. Still, I liked them enough to pick up the second issues. I just hope the color palette on Animal Man changes, and that something actually happens in Swamp Thing.

Omac is a book that I’m pulling for. I thought the first issue was big comic book fun, with great art by Keith Giffen. I don’t know if there’s a big draw for a comic like that anymore, particularly one that looks like Omac does. It would be great to see this book survive the inevitable rounds of cancelations that will come to the new 52.

I have a feeling that, by the time this column runs, people will know who Joshua Hale Fialkov is. And if they’re smart, retailers will know enough to promote The Last of the Greats from Fialkov and Brent Peeples. Fialkov’s books always get a look from me, and while he doesn’t seemed to be burdened by a lot of editorial control on I, Vampire, I would imagine he has free reign on a creator owned book, and only good can come of that.

Fialkov has 2 books out this week, both from Image. The second is the first in the new Pilot Season line from Top Cow. Pilot Season: The Test also reunites Fialkov with his Echoes partner Rahsan Ekedal. This book sounds nothing like that one, but these two make great comics.

A funny thing happened while I was railing against the Big Two yet simultaneously buying all of the DC first issues: I started buying comics from Marvel again. The new Daredevil series pulled me in, and once I was back I decided to try and look past my…issues…with Marvel. The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was the fact that I am automatically turned off by the never ending crossovers and events. This was, in fact, the main reason I had never read Thunderbolts, even though I’m a fan of Jeff Parker’s work. But I grit my teeth and dove in, and a few collected editions later I’m on board. Please, Marvel, back off the crossovers so that you don’t drive me away again.

On a personal note, I would like to take this opportunity to bid farewell to my adopted city, Los Angeles. I’ve lived here for over nine years, during which I started writing for Comics Bulletin. I got to shop at the greatest comic book store in the country, Meltdown Comics, and made some great friends. I learned a lot of things living in this city, one of which being that for as much as the comic book industry struggles and sputters, the art form is more vibrant than ever.

Kyle Garret is the author of I Pray Hardest When I'm Being Shot At," available now from Hellgate Press. His short fiction has been published in the Ginosko Literary Journal, Literary Town Hall, Children, Churches, & Daddies and Falling Into Place. He writes comic book reviews here at Comic Bulletin and blogs for PopMatters. He can be found at KyleGarret.com and on Twitter as @kylegarret.

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