Friday, July 3, 2015

Top 5 Fridays: Story-Arcs of The New 52 Part 2

Welcome back to Top 5 Fridays! This week I'm going to be wrapping up my Top 10 Favorite Story-arcs of the New 52.  Just a reminder this is the second half of a two part list.  If you haven't seen part one, or just want a recap of what I have chosen so far, click HERE.  As usual these are my opinions, and if you don't like what you see, I apologize. Enough talk, lets begin!

5: Lanterns/New Gods: GODHEAD

Do you know whats awesome?  The Lantern Corps.  Do you know what is also Awesome, BUT we rarely see?  The New Gods of New Genesis.  Combine these things, and you get one badass crossover event.  There are so many reasons to love this story-arc, but my main reason for loving it is the love they give the New Gods.  I can go up to anyone and get an answer on who Darkseid or any other gods from Apokolips are, but most probably can't tell me who the Highfather, Lightray, or Metron are and how big a threat they are.  We focus so much on the villainous Apokolips we forget that there is an equally powerful force of good gods, granted a tad more brutal with their pursuit to fight Apokolips.
This story also is great as it brings the three cancelled Lantern books to a head in the best way.  Kyle learning he has become essentially a god and how he has to handle it, John learning to put aside his hate of the Star Sapphires to fight this new force and even Guy's survivor's guilt (Yes, that is survivors guilt no matter how you cut it) from the Red Lantern Civil War.  It's big on action, big on character so Godhead can be considered one of the Lantern Mythos' best stories.

4: Swamp Thing/Animal Man: 
Rot World

Last week, I explained how I felt about the New 52 Swamp Thing run; I loved it!  While I read the Soule part of the series, I went back and found this interesting crossover. It made so much sense to team these two up, I'm surprised it hasn't been done before.  The outcome of this crossover amounted to one of the coolest story arcs to spin out of the New 52.
This crossover is like a horror AND war movie in the best ways possible. We see these two heroes with legendary past runs team up together to fight horrifying monster versions of our favorite heroes, all the while searching for their loved ones.  We delve into the character's psyche as they go on this cross country journey to save their world, even though by the looks of things they can't. Then both sides of Rotworld end on this somber note that only war movies can end on; that they can't save everyone and sacrifices have to be made.  If you want a great horror story with some interesting characters, go Red or Green and have a ball.

3: Wonder Woman(Azzarello run)

I never read a Wonder Woman comic before I read this run.  I felt that she was never as cool as Batman or Superman and she was just added because they needed a female to the Justice League roster.  Then when I finally got around to reading this run, it made me shut my big stupid mouth.
This run not only made me realize how amazing this Amazon actually was, but also told one of the most epic myths of all time.
People say that comics are the Greek Myths of today and in many respects they are.  I feel however, Azzarello's run is the bridge between those myths and our own.  They don't tarnish the reputation of any of the gods, nearly matching the personalities that have been told over the years, but also creating interesting new looks for them.  This doesn't stop Azzarello from creating these new demigods that you can sympathize with, as well as probably one of the greatest villains in the DC villain roster; The First Born.
If you think Wonder Woman comics are lame in any shape or form, pick up this run, and get ready to take it all back.

2: The Flash: Reverse

Bet a bunch of people weren't expecting this to be on the list, especially true blue Thawne fans.  Not only do I think this Flash story is a fantastic mystery and time travel story, but also a good story to help you kind of understand who the Flash is.
Daniel West and Barry Allen are two sides of the same coin.  Both lost their mothers, their fathers are considered criminals (though West was a cop, he was a brute to his kids, hence both considering him evil) and both tried to find a way to get through their lives to make them better....This is where they become different.  While Daniel tries to find the easy way out and lives in the past, Barry works hard and instead of living in the past, uses his mother's death as motivation to move forward to become a hero.  When these two characters collide, it makes the character of Barry Allen so much more interesting.  He could have been Daniel.  If he didn't feel that push to move forward, he could have become the criminal Daniel had become.  If you want one of the best Flash stories out there, hit the Reverse and come back to this one.

1: Earth 2 (Volumes 1-5)

This series is what got me back into comics and might have been the underdog of the New 52.  First issue, the big trio were killed off.  No Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman to piggyback success off of.  We've heard of Green Lantern, Flash and Hawk Girl, but we have never seen them like this, with newer origins and newer personalities.  This new Trinity became just the start to a whole new world of Wonders to enjoy.
These volumes didn't feel like comics...they felt like movies.  Epics of great heroes battling villains and overcoming their own problems.  An example of this was in the 5th volume with the Flash. Throughout the series we have seen Jay Garrick doubt his ability to be a hero in comparison to the god-like Green Lantern and driven Hawkgirl.  The moment Beligular, a god from Apokolips, threatened his friends, he jumped into action, and proclaiming he isn't afraid of being hurt anymore, cranks the speed force up to 11 and pushes her into infinity.  It's moments like that that make Earth 2 almost, if not more cinematic than the Prime DC Universe, filled to the brim with epic moments and heroes that stand as equals to the Justice League.  If you haven't read this series yet, get to it, because with Earth 2: Society starting up, the fun is just beginning.

That's it for the second half of the Top 10 best story arcs of the New 52!  What were your favorite arcs?  Leave a comment and I'll see you next time!


  1. My Favourites:

    5. Batman: Zero Year.

    There's a real joy in seeing decent origin stories, and Zero Year was it.

    4. Green Lantern: Rise of the Third Army/Wrath of the First Lantern

    A great political thriller and fitting send-off the Geoff Johns' GL run.

    3. Action Comics: Superman and the Men of Steel.

    See my comments on Zero Year. Grant Morrison absolutely nailed it.

    2. Talon: Sourge/Fall of the Owls


    1. Nightwing: Traps and Trapezes.

    This was my first Nightwing experience and it was amazing. Character-defining and plenty suspenseful.

    Honourable mention:

    The Flash: Gorilla Warfare
    Aquaman: The Trench

    I hope there'll be a "worst stories" section and, damn you, The Culling better be on it.

    1. Great list! I might do a worst stories list. Problem is: i kinda go for books i like so its gonna be hard pointing out those that sucked. THAT BEING SAID: i do have a few i really do hate, and see im smart and stayed the duck away from the culling :P