Friday, June 26, 2015

Top 5 Fridays: Story-Arcs of The New 52 Part 1


This week's Top 5 Friday has been a mess to put together. I had to try and pick 5 of my favorite story arcs throughout the entire New 52, to continue my tribute towards it. This became a challenge as there were some amazing story arcs that came out from this. So with that in mind, I split my Top 10 favorite story arcs and split it between this week and next week! This week we will be tackling numbers ten through six, and I want to make this clear that these are MY favorites. If you don't see yours, then I apologize, but it doesn't mean it's a bad story. ENOUGH TALK! Let us begin!


10: SHAZAM!


Lets get things started with a kinda discrepancy. Yes, there is no Shazam series in the New 52. However that didn't stop writer Geoff Johns from bringing out his origin story. This origin gives something to the character I have never actually felt before; A relatable personality. The punk Billy Batson is something I have seen in my life so many times, including the secret nice guy buried under the punk.
This story arc has everything an origin story needs; In fact, it has hit so many origin story tropes that the entire story feels more like a movie.  An introduction to the main character that is made more relatable for the new readers, a villain that is also relatable as well as menacing, and overall just a blast to read. It even gives the possibility of a sequel! Why can we not just have a Shazam series already?!



9: Forever Evil

Do you know what people love as much(maybe even more) as Superheroes? SUPERVILLAINS! Lex Luthor, Captain Cold, Sinestro; the list goes on when it comes to the great villains of DC and the New 52. So of course when the entire Forever Evil event was announced, people got stoked! Nothing could get a person stoked more than seeing the Injustice League vs. The Crime Syndicate.
Despite the delays for the final issue, I felt that the entire story arc was a fantastic showcase of how amazing the villains can actually be in a fight. Far too often we see them tossed around as practical "Hero fodder" to show how cool the heroes are. We tend to forget, "Hey! These villains can kick as much ass as a hero can!" So how do we show this? Have them beat down the evil counterparts of the Justice League! The event was amazing and this arc is proof of it....Also Bizarro's death might be the most depressing things in the New 52.


8: Swamp Thing: Rise of the Machine

Swamp Thing is definitely one of my favorite series in the New 52. Before finding this series, I only knew Swamp Thing from those very bizarre movies made in the 80's. It is a shame  though, as I found the series right as it was making its way out the door. The character of Alec Holland intrigued me, and after reading the first issue of his final story arc, I went back and learned everything I could about the Avatar of the Green and his Mythos.
I can say without a doubt, this might be the best ending Swamp Thing can get after all of his adventures in the New 52. He faced the Rot in both present AND future, forever separated himself from the love of his life, destroyed his masters, found an old kingdom, and in the end saw the birth of a new one; One that could be considered a bigger threat than the Rot. It is able to tie up almost every story point from the past, such as the Etrigan deal from the third Annual and what happened to Alec's human remains. It also showed how far Alec has come with his power, able to take the fight to numerous places on the planet and form from any plant. This leads to not only into meeting one of the most interesting ideas of a kingdom anyone can find, all leading up to an ambiguous ending that will have true fans talking about for a long time.


7: Batman: Death of the Family/Endgame

Yes, these two are only number 7 on my top 10. They are great stories, but I found there are better ones and I've begun to get what I call, "Joker Burnout." Joker is the main villain of Batman, but recently he has been shoved out more and more into the spotlight, and I feel that the other villains are being overshadowed.
That complaint aside, the twin arcs have become two fantastic quintessential Batman stories, showing how evil, brilliant, and all around TERRIFYING the Joker is.
Death of the Family is a good way to start the New 52 Joker's return by turning the entire Bat Family against Batman in a sudden realization of the truth hidden from them. It makes it even worse when the Joker admits he wants to axe the whole Family so it can just be him and Bats again, making it sound like some sick romance between the two.
Then when things can't get any more crazy, Endgame tried to imply that Joker is actually an immortal figure, and when he grew bored of the Bat he decided to just...KILL GOTHAM! That is essentially what he does when he creates a gas that batman can't cure, invades the Batcave, AND GASSES THE JUSTICE LEAGUE! Over all, these two arcs show how dangerous the Clown Prince of Crime can get when he's serious.



6: Justice League: Origin

I want you all to take a look at the picture on the right. Most comic readers can identify this as the first issue of the New 52 Justice League run. This group of heroes gathered in the first arc of the run, which I can say is the true beginning of the New 52.
This arc doesn't rely on just one hero as being the one to cut through the problem. This isn't 'Batman and his bitches' or 'Superman and the others', this is the Justice League where everybody is on par with one another. We see the team show off their powers and specialities to fit any situation. New Readers can understand certain aspects such as, "Why is the powerless Batman in the League?" Answer: Because he is the tactician. "Aquaman can't do anything, why is he here?" Answer: Couldn't quite hear you over the fact he just stabbed Darkseid in the face, after sending sharks to eat Parademons. This Arc is what I believe people will turn to far down the line when they think of the New 52, as not only is this the beginning of the greatest superhero team of all time, but of the entire relaunch.

That's it for the first part of the Top 10 story arcs of the New 52! Whats your favorite story arc? Leave a comment and remember: if you want to see the second half, come back next week!
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4 comments:

  1. Definitely agree with you on Swamp Thing, the whole run in the New 52 is pretty solid but Charles Soule's in particular is a classic. Forever Evil was a little screwed up at the time of release because the last issue was so released, but after the fact it's a great story. I say it needs to be taken with the corresponding Justice League issues that have the origin stories of various CSA members.

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    1. I loved Charles Soule's Swamp Thing run and it bothers me that people seemed to ignore it. He really expanded the mythos and I loved it.

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    2. Personally, I think Soule's run stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Alan Moore's, though it's much shorter.

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  2. Good choices...my personal favorite story arc is throne of Atlantis

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