I’ve got a real love/hate relationship with weekly series from DC Comics. 52 was an incredible experiment that can probably never quite be replicated in terms of just how crazy and good it was, and I try each new weekly series, but the results have been mixed over the years.
Let’s recap the weekly series that DC has done so far and I’ll give some brief thoughts about them before I move on to Futures End.
52 – It’s the dream team of creators: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid. While there were some issues that weren’t as good as others, it’s pretty forgivable to have some misses when you’re doing a comic a week. I haven’t read the series in a long time, but they were throwing every idea they could at the wall and never had time to see what would stick. The space stuff with Animal Man, Starfire, and Adam Strange is probably the most memorable with the Batwoman story being my second favorite. Black Adam also had a great story arc that really fleshed out his character more. It even made Booster Gold into a character that I liked! It was a series that took minor characters and made them interesting. No Superman or Wonder Woman to be found in this series but Batman got his own issue. All in all, it was the prototype for what a weekly series could be; minor characters getting a profile boost and becoming cool.
Countdown – If 52 was what to do, then Countdown was what NOT to do. It seemed to be operating on the same premise of boosting minor characters into higher profiles, but the characters in question weren’t ones anyone really wanted to see. Jimmy Olsen, Pied Piper, Trickster, and a sexy/creepy version of Mary Marvel were the biggest failures. The only real success was the Jason Todd/Donna Troy/Kyle Rayner search for Ray Palmer through the multiverse, but even that was a missed opportunity that only worked in places because it allowed us to see the worlds of the multiverse. I think the biggest moment of how awful this series was came at the end when Jimmy Olsen as Turtle Man fought Darkseid. It doesn’t get much worse.
Trinity– This series focused on the relationship between Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman rather than minor characters in the DCU. I only read maybe the first third of the series and Mark Bagley’s art just turned me off the whole series. I liked Bagley’s 90s Spider-Man, but wasn’t a fan of his Ultimate Spider-Man work. Meanwhile, Kurt Busiek’s writing was fun during its comparisons between our main heroes, but his plots never really grabbed me.
Brightest Day – Though not technically a weekly series as it was bi-weekly, I thought it was a series with an incredible start and a terrible finish. Bringing back Aquaman, Reverse Flash, Martian Manhunter (I had forgotten that he was even dead . . . but yeah, he died in Final Crisis so that was a short death), Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Deadman worked. And the series ended by bringing back Swamp Thing right before the New 52 which was a surprise. Things got a little weird at the end of the series when characters were transforming into elementals, but it was a good ride.
Justice League: Generation Lost – The other bi-weekly series alongside Brightest Day. It was written by Judd Winick and Keith Giffen, so I didn’t read it. Sorry.
Batman: Eternal – It may be a little early to judge this series, but it has started really strong. Batman is a focus, but the Bat-Family has equal time as well and it is really fleshing out the world of Gotham City more than we’ve ever seen before. The art has been the best of all the weekly series as well.
Which brings me to Future’s End. Which I’ll talk about next week.