Aquaman #1 by writer Geoff Johns and artist Ivan Reis launches the undersea hero in a refreshing new take. Johns and Reis quickly establish that he can be formidable out of the water and doesn’t need a "day job." His new "base of operations" is his father’s lighthouse. As all that is being revealed, Johns’ script pokes fun at the character’s "joke" status in pop culture. Also Aquaman is unique in being the only big hero that is still married in the "New 52."
Superman #1, story and layouts by the legendary George Pérez and art by Jesús Merino relaunches the Man of Steel wearing an updated costume (no shorts!) in a new but familiar Metropolis. Yes he’s still Clark Kent, reporter for the Daily Planet, but he and Lois Lane are no longer married (she’s involved with someone else) and his fair city has mixed feelings about having an alien protector. Pérez wraps in the current state of newspapers, having the Planet bought out by a big news conglomerate, Lois posting news videos online, all of which infuriates Clark Kent (and his old editor Perry White) who still hold onto the idea of print journalism and the integrity and analysis it can provide. One of the nicest features of this book it that it’s the only one of the "New 52" that is pretty much a self-contained story. Sure, there are subplots but a casual/new reader can pick up this issue and have a fun read without feeling forced to pick up the next issue to get the rest of the story. Most monthly comic books are written in 6-issue story arcs so they will fit nicely in a trade paperback that can be sold on Amazon and bookstores. I hope with the "New 52" will come more single-issue stories or shorter multipart ones. That would make comic book reading an easier, more accessible, and more enjoyable experience.