Fallen Angel (Peter David) – Edgy & mysterious. Hard to categorize. I’m not sure there are any “good guys” in town, including the main character. Things are still vague, but it’s got me curious. I’m definitely on board to see how this shakes down.

Teen Titans (Geoff Johns) – I’ve been burned on the Titans too many times. I tend to give the team more slack than I would others, since the Wolfman/Perez series is what really got me into comics. I hung on through “Titans Hunt” and “The Darkening,” grumbled through the Arsenal-led team, and was ready to drop it by the time it was cancelled in 1996. I skipped the Dan Jurgens series, since it was just new characters with the same name. The 1999 revival had me really excited, but that excetement faded quickly. Each time I was ready to give up, they brought in a new creative team, and each time, it didn’t help.

So then I heard the series was being cancelled and relaunched as the Teen Titans. I thought, “Fine, whatever, so they’ve merged it with Young Justice, who cares. I’ve got my back issues.” Then I read that Geoff Johns, the current Flash writer, was doing it. And I thought, “Dammit, I’m going to have to try this.”

Well, so far so good. The YJ characters clearly have some issues to work out, so I expect it’ll take several issues to get a feel for the book, but I’m willing to stick around so far.

Outsiders (Judd Winick) – The other book to spin out from the old Titans. I wasn’t particularly interested in the lineup or the description, nor did the fact that the author also wrote Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day count as a ringing endorsement, so I did little more than skim the first few pages of issue #1. That turned out to be a mistake. Based on several recommendations, I picked up issue #2. Except for the excessive expository narration (which may only be there for the sake of new readers), it’s like reading a good action film – one that has a sense of humor, but doesn’t descend into the silliness of the later Lethal Weapon installments. Lex Luthor’s dialogue alone is worth the price of issue #2. After I tracked down the since-sold-out #1, I remarked to Katie, “I could buy this just for the banter.”

Supreme Power (J. Michael Straczynski) – I only know a bit about the original Squadron Supreme – namely, that they were an homage to the Justice League who first appeared in Avengers. (Not long afterward, the JLA encountered a very Avengers-like team.) With this new series, the Rising Stars comparisons will be inevitable, but even from the first issue it’s clear JMS is taking a different approach. The Specials all had a common background, both in the source of their powers and in their upbringing. Based on the two we’ve seen so far, the Squadron will at least have different backgrounds, although there are hints that at least some of their powers may be linked. Probably the biggest difference, at least in this first issue, is the focus on the people around the future heroes, rather than on the Specials themselves. Issue #1 in particular focuses heavily on the US government’s efforts to raise the future Hyperion (Superman) as all-American as possible… and the inevitable snags that develop.

Throw in the long-awaited returns of Planetary, Fray, Astro City and Empire, and it’s a good summer for “new” comics.

Counting down to 1602 and Sandman: Endless Nights