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DC Comics is re-launching 52 titles in an attempt in an attempt to breath new life into their brand. Unfortunately, several underrated titles did not make the cut. It seems to me that several bat and Green Lantern-related series could have been scrapped in favor of the following great series.
A title that I thought would surely be part of the New 52, Red Robin chronicles the adventures of Tim Drake, a former Robin who became his own solo hero when people thought Bruce Wayne was dead. The series always had an interesting plotline with Red Robin, the only one who refused to believe that Bruce was gone for good, constantly looking for his mentor. Ra’s Al Ghul, a more “sophisticated” Batman villain and leader of the League of Assassins, made several appearances in the series and would be a great returning character, as would Red Robin’s newest ongoing enemy Anarchy, notorious for being the Joker’s son.
Booster Gold is in a great New 52 series, Justice League International, as a leader, but his solo-series was a lot of fun. Booster Gold, an egotistical man from the future, would travel through time with the help of Rip Hunter and meet an array of heroes and villains. This forced the series to come up with creative ideas for characters to cameo in the series every month, featuring such greats as Batman, Joker and Jonah Hex. It was always fun to see where he would go next. Blue Beetle was also a regular on the series, since it introduced an interesting dynamic of Booster meeting the new Blue Beetle when his best friend, the former Blue Beetle, had been killed. Booster does seem to be a “fun” group leader, but as a solo-time traveler he was always at his best.
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Who else wants Mary Marvel out of her mini-skirt and back on the good side? When Mary Marvel, whose powers rivaled her famous ally (Captain Marvel), was turned evil, many fans of her character were upset, because of the less than satisfactory writing of her transformation. A series featuring the Marvel Family would give her a chance to become good again, but she would not be the only focus. Captain Marvel, secretly a little boy who hasn’t even hit puberty yet by the name of Billy Batson, would be a great way to attract new, younger readers who could identify with how young Batson is, his immature actions and how he develops into a teenager. The book is also a great excuse to bring back two great villains: Black Adam and his love Isis.
Only reaching issue 16 before the re-launch, Zatanna was a series with its ups and downs. It focused on the sorceress Zatanna and consistently had great artwork and mostly enjoyable storytelling. She is in Justice League Dark, but her solo series is missed. It was her first and only ongoing series and barely got off the ground before being cut short.
A super heroine with as much power as Superman, Kara Starr was a great intellectual character known more for her bust than her brains, something the series always had full knowledge of, often resulting in hilarious moments. The action was great, the art was good and Kara was always fun to watch because of her dialogue and physical “gifts.” The series was cut short for the New 52 and Power Girl makes no regular appearances in other titles, so here is the perfect excuse for giving her a solo title.
Adding to the quotient of Bat-Books (and yes, I know Batman and Robin have this half-covered), Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s son and the latest Robin, deserves his own series. Dick Grayson got his own series as Robin, Tim Drake got his own series as Robin, so Damien should get his own solo title. It could help explain his crappy attitude to people annoyed with him, hopefully introducing new traits to his personality that make him somewhat sympathetic – or qualities that make you hate him more. Either way, it would be interesting to see what this Robin could accomplish alone with his own series, possibly bringing in old Robins like Dick, Tim and even Stephanie Brown to show how much Robin has changed over time, and another excuse to have Damian’s mother Talia and her father Ra’s Al Ghul in another series, since both villains are some of Batman’s better and lesser known villains that newbies could get into.
The newest Question, police officer Renee Montoya, never got her own solo-series and was instead hidden in a secondary feature in Detective Comics. Since Detective Comics has currently become a “Batman-only” territory, Question has no ongoing series for herself. She could make an appearance in Batwoman, her former girlfriend’s book, but can accomplish a lot with her own title. She has worked with great characters in the past that could make cameos, like Batwoman and Huntress. She herself is also interesting enough and her sexuality is definitely something that could attract a crowd as Batwoman’s book has.
The killer assassin who is the daughter of Deathstroke, but much like Question, Ravager always offered a great secondary story in the Teen Titans and never got her own solo series. Her father has one that started off well, so it would be interesting to see if his daughter could pull off a title of her own, since she is no longer in the Teen Titans and only makes a small appearance in Superboy (though her appearance there was greatly appreciated). She has proved how effective she could be in a solo series.
The many fans of the classic series Secret Six were all disappointed when they heard the series was not going to be continued in the New 52. The Secret Six were originally formed by Lex Luthor in his attempt to defeat the Secret Society of Super Villains and was composed of eight villains: Bane (the man who broke Batman’s back), Catman (originally a sorry excuse for a villain who turned into a real threat by the series’ end), Deadshot (an assassin who is now in Suicide Squad), Scandal Savage (daughter of the infamous Vandal Save), Jeanette (a centuries old banshee), Ragdoll (a man who can bend his body beyond what would normally be the breaking point for the average man), King Shark (a humanoid shark with a bone to pick with everyone and another new member of the Suicide Squad), and finally, Knockout (a former female fury). Deadshot and King Shark would have to be removed since they have positions on Suicide Squad, but everyone else, who all have a huge following now, could return as the Secret Six, a title where all their distinct personalities and powers make a fun issue.
A great contemporary horror series, Xombi only lasted six issues before the New 52 re-launch sadly cut it short. It was written by now Static Shock writer John Rozum and had art by Frazer Irving, named the best artist of the year on our site in 2010 and who has done fantastic art for both this series and the old run of Batman and Robin. A great title cut at its prime – with every moment of every issue being just that.
Do we really need several bat-related titles? Several Green Lantern books? No. Unfortunately these series did not make the cut despite being some fan favorites that will hopefully return in the future, but in the meantime there are some great New 52 title to enjoy. Is this list missing any titles you wanted in the New 52? Talk about them in the comments section below.