DC Comics marked the first anniversary of the company-wide overhaul of its superhero line by publishing “issue zeroes” of all 52 of its titles, depicting early events in the careers of its costumed crime fighters that occurred before the first issues of the revamped series. All of those untold stories are collected in this massive hardcover volume. The quality varies wildly: The best tend to feature DC’s most iconic stars, such as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, who get leading writers like Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, and Brian Azzarello; or outré creations like Swamp Thing and Animal Man that somehow seem to fly under the corporate radar. Too many of the rest are undistinguished (and somewhat indistinguishable) products that frequently veer toward the sordid and sport the frenzied, cluttered visual approach that serves as DC’s house style. Only the most-avid fans will have been following the exploits of all 52-plus of these characters, making the collection an opportunity for readers to sample some of DC’s less-familiar comics (some of them already canceled). --Gordon Flagg
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Featuring the work of Geoff Johns (GREEN LANTERN, ACTION COMICS, THE FLASH), Grant Morrison (ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, BATMAN INC., NEW X-MEN), Jim Lee (BATMAN: HUSH, ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, X-MEN), Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS, JOKER), Scott Snyder (DETECTIVE COMICS, AMERICAN VAMPIRE) and many more!