Only in the past few months have I felt a desire to pick up comics about superheroes like Thor (I'm reading Matt Fraction's The Mighty Thor) and Captain America (Ed Brubaker's most recent run). I picked those comics up as a direct result of the recent movies, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I find Thor to be entertaining, but Captain America? I have fallen in love with this character. This is the superhero who made me realize why it might be worth investing my time in the capes sides of comics.
Given my revelation and the fact it happened right before DC's New 52 launch, I felt I had to pick up some of the new issues. The New 52 is a ready made jumping on point for a reader like me - someone who doesn't know much about Batman, Wonder Woman, and can't name all the members of the Justice League. The past canon and continuity all still exist and it's not a complete reboot, but here are brand new stories I could walk right into. So I asked for recommendations from friends who know these characters, I picked a couple just because of the writers, and a few just showed up in front me. I read these 16 titles:
Animal Man #1
Action Comics #1
Batman Detective Comics #1
Birds of Prey #1
Demon Knights #1
Green Lantern #1
I, Vampire #1
Justice League #1
Justice League Dark #1
Justice League International #1
The Fury of Firestorm #1
Wonder Woman #1
Of that list, five titles made a strong impression on me. And by strong impression I mean the stories grabbed my attention beyond mild interest, gave me enough information about the characters so I wouldn't feel lost, and made me care enough to think about going back into past stories to learn more. The other 12 titles weren't necessarily bad or boring, they just didn't spark for me. Green Lantern left me utterly confused, and I couldn't make it through Justice League International. Action Comics was fun, but I didn't feel like there was anything for me to grab onto. Though I'll ditch some entirely, I'll stick around through issue two for about nine titles (total).
The five stories I really enjoyed? Animal Man, Aquaman, Batgirl, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The reasons vary. I know a few people complained because there wasn't much action in Aquaman, but I got to know him as a person first instead of as a superhero and it gave me something to connect with. Animal Man thoroughly disturbed me, but in the best kind of way. Batgirl dealt with trauma recovery and heroics and a striking way. Wonder Woman and Batman both had me drooling over the art, and both those stories were paced in such a way that I couldn't read them fast enough. I actually read both of those twice.
As a result of picking up first issues for the New 52, the big two have actually dominated my last two purchases at the comic book store lately. That's not the norm, and I don't see it being a continuing trend. However, four months ago, I wouldn't have saw that happening at all. Superheroes aren't so bad. Who knew.
I realize I've only talked briefly about a few issues, but there's no shortage of sites that reviewed each issue of the new 52. You can find opinions from seasoned superhero comic readers to people who have never picked up a comic book. Personally, I've been following along with C.S. Daley's reviews and power rankings; he's a good source for short and solid reviews and insight. Plus, he's sticking around and reviewing at least through second issues.