Comic Book Rankings: 02/21/13-02/27/13

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Rank #1: Batman
 Ever since his run on Detective Comics (pre-DCnU), Scott Snyder has been hitting a home run. Since switching over to Batman (DCnU), Snyder has delivered such fantastic concepts as the Court of Owls and Harper Row. The epic “Death of the Family” arc that just completed is yet another success to add to the pile of accomplishments. The man in charge of DC’s most successful franchise deserves his spot atop the pile and if I did an overall comics ranking this would be #1 on that list as well.
Last Week’s Rank: #1

Rank #2: Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman has increased in quality since the DCnU was born. The reason: Brain Azzarello and Cliff Chiang. The story is engaging, the art is fantastic. I look forward to each issue this duo provides and enjoy her portrayal in her solo series much better than in Justice League. My main complaint: why isn’t Azzarello writing more DC comics?
Last Week’s Rank: #2

Rank #3: Batman Incorporated
Grant Morrison ending his run on Batman is sad to think of. Though sometimes hard to follow, he nonetheless delivers a quality story each time he steps up to the plate and will sorely be missed.
Last Week’s Rank: #3

Rank #4: Batwoman
No one can hope to match J.H. Williams III’s style and Batwoman as a series benefits greatly whenever he steps up to the plate to draw. Words alone can’t do this series justice as his panel transitions and outside the box thinking are truly revolutionary.
Last Week’s Rank: #4

Rank #5: The Flash
Francis Manapul. Isn’t that really all I need to say? His art is amazing. I read each issue twice: once for the story and then again to stare again at his gorgeous art. He, along with Brian Buccellato, have held their own after Geoff Johns left Barry Allen in their capable hands. Flash Fact: This series is awesome!
Last Week’s Rank: #5

Rank #6: Justice League
Geoff Johns writing the DCnU Big 7? What more could you ask? The “Throne of Atlantis” crossover with Aquaman has recently ended, new artist Ivan Reis is nailing it, and combined with the “Shazam” back-up they make a terrific one-two punch.
Last Week’s Rank: #6

Rank #7: Action Comics
If you only read one Superman family title, this is it. Grant Morrison has done wonders for the character and I dread Issue #18 when he is leaving. You can always count on him delivering high concepts and quality writing. I sure wouldn’t want to follow him.
Last Week’s Rank: #7

Rank #8: Green Lantern
Geoff Johns’ run on Green Lantern (pre-DCnU and post) has been legendary. He has brought the character into the limelight setting him up to be mentioned in the same sentence as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. His current arc revolves around the new lantern Baz. So far I’m not feeling the love for this new character, but maybe he’ll grow on me like Guy Gardner has. Johns will be leaving this title after Issue #20 which has me concerned and saddened at the same time…
Last Week’s Rank: #8

Rank #9: Batman and Robin
Batman and Robin has thrived because of the portrayal of Damian Wayne. In fact I wish they’d just drop Batman from the main title and just make this a solo Robin title. Listen up DC! It climbs a rank due to the fantastic last issue that just came out.
Last Week’s Rank: #9

Rank #10: Batgirl
I was at a loss for words when Bryan Q. Miller’s Batgirl run was over and Stephanie Brown was sidelined in the DCnU but Gail Simone’s run is finally coming together, slightly lessening the blow. It falls a spot due to the fantastic last issue of Batman and Robin that just came out and also because this series is currently engaging in a fill-in arc sans Gail Simone. You may not have seen the last of this series falling as the arc is for two issues.
Last Week’s Rank: #10

Rank #11: Smallville Season 11
 Bryan Q. Miller wowed me on his pre-DCnU run of Batgirl. He continues to wow me with the best Superman related book not named Action Comics. The first arc introducing the “Cyborg Superman” was a solid start but his previous arc which finally introduced Batman to the Smallville universe was even better. The dialogue pops off the page and he has certainly demonstrated that he truly “gets” the essence of these characters. It’s like watching a brand new episode of Smallville but in comic book form.
Last Week’s Rank: #11

Rank #12: Legends of the Dark Knight
Ever since this series debuted five issues ago, it hasn’t produced one sub-par tale. In fact, whether it be an issue with one self-contained story or an issue with three separate ones, Legends of the Dark Knight has delivered nothing less than stellar issue after stellar issue.

Last Week’s Rank: #12

Rank #13: Animal Man
I had never read an issue of Animal Man before the DCnU. I decided to take a chance when I heard Jeff Lemire was writing it as I was a big fan of his Superboy run. I glad I took that risk. The family dynamic, the twisted visuals, and a thrill-a-minute ride was what I was met with.
Last Week’s Rank: #13

Rank #14: Justice League Dark
The main reason I put this series on my pull list when it first came out was it featured Zatanna and Deadman, two characters I love. I thought it was alright until Jeff Lemire came on board and instantly upped the quality. Now I’m primed for the upcoming Constantine series that is coming out, something I never imagined would be happening.
Last Week’s Rank: #14

Rank #15: Detective Comics
When John Layman came onboard this series taking over from Tony S. Daniels, I knew the writing was going to get better. Layman has made this book important again instead of it just being another Batman book, something that a series with such a rich history deserves.
Last Week’s Rank: #15

Rank #16: Aquaman
Aquaman’s cool. There, I said it. Geoff Johns did the impossible and actually made me like a series starring Aquaman. That in itself is worthy of a mention but add that to terrific characterization, excellent action, and a compelling story and you have one epic read. Also…how awesome is Mera in this book? A lot is the answer.

Last Week’s Rank: #16

Rank #17: Green Lantern Corps
I was never a fan of Guy Gardner. In fact I usually found him pretty obnoxious. Then came Peter Tomasi and he has changed my mind on Guy. If something was just as impossible as getting me to like an Aquaman series this would be it. It climbs a Rank due to the excellent last issue which marked the beginning of the “Wrath of the First Lantern” arc.
Last Week’s Rank: #18

Rank #18: Green Lantern: The New Guardians
Kyle Rayner is my second, sometimes verging on number one, favourite Green Lantern ever. He seerved as my introduction to the franchise and so he’ll always hold a special place in my heart. This starring-vehicle for Kyle not only shows him off in a great light but also features some of the best from the other coloured Corps including Arkillo, Saint Walker, and Carol Ferris. It also climbs a Rank due to the excellent last issue which marked the beginning of the “Wrath of the First Lantern” arc.
Last Week’s Rank: #19

Rank #19: Justice League of America
Geoff Johns and David Finch launched a brand new series this week which ushered in the creation of a second Justice League, one that the government has a stronger influence on. Besides debuting one of my favourite characters (Stargirl), the first issue also introduced intriguing mystery after intriguing mystery while ending with a nice twist. I personally can’t wait for the next issue to arrive!
Last Week’s Rank: N/A

Rank #20: Superman
Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort have moved onto Superman with great results so far. I can’t wait to see where this book will go once the “H’El On Earth” crossover is over but I eagerly wait for that day to come so they are finally free to go in their own direction. This series falls three spots due to the excellence that was Green Lantern Corps and Green Lantern: New Guardians along with the mighty debut of Justice League of America.
Last Week’s Rank: #17

Rank #21: Red Hood and the Outlaws
This series has been all over the place in terms of quality. After a rough opening, we were granted sporadically amazing issues and then came a fantastic space arc that fizzled in the end execution. This book took a stumble when Rocafort left the art duties but the last few issues have really clicked in my opinion. Red Hood and the Outlaws: you never know what type of book you’re going to get. It fell a spot due to the mighty debut of Justice League of America but then climbed a spot due to this series’ awesome last issue, thus the lack of movement.
Last Week’s Rank: #21

Rank #22: Nightwing
Kyle Higgins has done an alright job on Nightwing so far. His first arc was fantastic but after that the book has sort of just been there. Not bad, not amazing, but good. I expect more than good from a Nightwing series and hope that once “Death of the Family” is over this book will shift into high gear. It falls two Ranks due to the mighty debut of Justice League of America and the awesome last issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws that came out.
Last Week’s Rank: #20

Rank #23: Earth 2
The only series where you’ll find Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, Al Pratt, and Kendra Saunders. If you don’t know who those names are you probably aren’t reading this series. After a first arc that was treading water at times, lately the series is finally living up to its’ untapped potential and charting new ground. About time… It falls a Rank due to the mighty debut of Justice League of America.
Last Week’s Rank: #22

Rank #24: Batman Beyond Unlimited
An anthology series that not only features my favourite portion, Batman Beyond, but also includes Superman Beyond and Justice League Beyond. This series is always a solid read but I enjoy it more when Terry McGinnis pulls lead duty. It falls a Rank due to the mighty debut of Justice League of America.
Last Week’s Rank: #23

Rank #25: Birds of Prey
Duane Swierczynski’s Birds of Prey is an odd book that has its’ ups and its’ downs. Right now it’s on an upward trend but with the writer leaving this series soon I’m bracing myself for the proverbial other shoe to drop. It falls a Rank due to the mighty debut of Justice League of America.

Last Week’s Rank: #24

Rank #26: Teen Titans
This series failed to make an impression when it debuted with the rest of the New 52. Its’ main plot point focusing on the villainous organization known as N.O.W.H.E.R.E. led this whole series to be onslaughted by needless crossovers, sacrificed character development, and literally had it going nowhere. The last few issues have started to erase that dreadful storyline from the forefront of my mind and overall this series is on an upswing. That is good for me as I love the characters of Tim Drake, Wonder Girl, and Bart Allen and was severely disappointed at what I was witnessing. It falls a Rank due to the mighty debut of Justice League of America.
Last Week’s Rank: #25

Rank #27: Supergirl
Supergirl used to be one of my favourite series Pre-DCnU, but after the New 52 took place this series has been just okay. The first few issues dragged and Supergirl not being able to talk English got really old, really fast. Fortunately that problem is solved and I do have to admit I love the new take on the Silver Banshee that this series presented. Things are looking up. It falls a Rank due to the mighty debut of Justice League of America.

Last Week’s Rank: #26

Rank #28: Batman: The Dark Knight
This series pre-New 52 was one of the worst ones I purchased but the art was great. It was short-lived before the DCnU took over and it got slightly better but it was still pretty bad. Then came Gregg Hurwitz and he delivered a really good Scarecrow arc and he looks to continue that momentum with the Mad Hatter. He just gets the intricacies of what makes these villains tick as his Penguin: Pain and Prejudice series established beforehand and now teamed with Ethan Van Sciver he looks to take this series to new heights. It falls a Rank due to the mighty debut of Justice League of America.

Last Week’s Rank: #27

Rank #29: Green Arrow
  This is used to be my worst DC series that I currently bought. It wasn’t the best to begin with but when Ann Nocenti took over as writer it went completely down the drain. Now she’s finally gone and Jeff Lemire has taken over teamed-up with the excellent art of Andrea Sorrentino. Their first issue was fantastic and impressed me so much that it enabled this series to skyrocket up seven spots on the Rankings. I look forward to the next issue coming out, something that I’d previously never utter in regards to Green Arrow. It falls a Rank due to the mighty debut of Justice League of America.
Last Week’s Rank: #28

Rank #30: Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad is a book with a consistently changing roster but as long as Deadshot and Harley Quinn remain I’ll be happy. The story itself has its’ ups and downs and can’t really measure up its’ spiritual predecessor Secret Six, but it shows potential. It falls a Rank due to the mighty debut of Justice League of America.

  Last Week’s Rank: #29

Rank #31: Threshold
 I’m not a big fan of cosmic based comic books besides the Green Lantern franchise  but I decided to give this series a shot since Blue Beetle is going to appear and the back-up feature stars one of my favourite characters in Larfleeze. The first issue was okay but I need this series to step up with the next few or not even Larfleeze can save me from dropping it. And step up it did in a big way. The second issue was awesome and a big reason for that was the inclusion of Blue Beetle and Captain K’Rot. It fell a spot due to the mighty debut of Justice League of America but then climbed a spot due to the sub-par issue of Catwoman that was released, thus the lack of movement.
Last Week’s Rank: #31

Rank #32: Catwoman
Sometimes it seems like the whole point of the series is to see Catwoman show more and more skin, be it torn costumes, changing outfits, etcetera, etcetera. When Ann Nocenti came on board as the writer I had hoped that her horrible Green Arrow run was an  anomaly. While her turn on this series is better than that book she also sometimes makes this one into a confusing mess. At least the art is great… It falls two Ranks due to the mighty debut of Justice League of America and the sub-par issue of this series that came out.
Last Week’s Rank: #30

Rank #33: Superboy
Oh how the mighty have fallen. Superboy was the one character that underwent the most drastic of changes due to the New 52 and it certainly didn’t benefit him one bit. They got rid of the supporting cast that Lemire had built-up, they turned him unlikable, and then they saddled him with boring story after boring story with good issues few and far between. After the “H’El On Earth” crossover is completed, I’m giving this series my three strike rule and if it doesn’t improve it is out of here. It falls a Rank due to the mighty debut of Justice League of America.

  Last Week’s Rank: #32

Rank #33: Arrow
 This anthology series’ aim is to fill-in the gaps and expand on the mythos of a television show that I’ve quite enjoyed so far. I found it disappointing however that this series paled in comparison to its’ source material with the release of the first two issues. Just as I was about to drop it, in came the third issue and with it I saw a glimpse of what this series could be. It managed to stave off its’ execution and I eagerly await to see if this uptake in quality was a mere blip on the radar or a sign of better things to come. It falls a Rank due to the mighty debut of Justice League of America.
Last Week’s Rank: #33

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