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Grumpy Old Fan | Can the New 52 count on the Next Six’s Earth-2?

"You're not going out in *that*?!?"

Although they won’t be solicited for a few more weeks, DC has already been talking up the six new(ish) titles coming in May. G.I. Combat, Dial H, Ravagers, and Worlds’ Finest join the returning Batman Incorporated and the long-rumored Justice So– I mean, Earth 2 — as the replacements for most of the New-52’s lowest-selling books.

As with the original New-52 group, every new title except one is familiar to longtime DC fans; and as with the original New-52, that book spins out of an existing feature. (Then it was Batman Incorporated begetting Batwing; here it’s the Teen Titans/Superboy nexus spawning Ravagers.) However, where the New-52 tried noticeably to make many of its books accessible — or at least uprooted them from established DC lore — most of the new titles seem to require some prerequisite reading.

For me, this is not a problem, because I’ve been reading Batman Incorporated (and the rest of Grant Morrison’s Bat-work) since the beginning; and I grew up on the annual JLA/JSA multiple-Earth team-ups. However, I am not exactly the target audience for the New-52, and it’s curious to me why DC would head back towards the deep end of the continuity pool with at least half of its new offerings. In fairness, it is possible to boil hairsplitting topics like parallel Earths into easily-digestible packets of information. It’s not so much that there’s an alternate Earth, it’s that there’s an Earth which doesn’t tie into forty-odd other monthly comic books. Likewise, the new/old Huntress and Power Girl need not be throwbacks to comics from the ‘70s and ‘80s, just plausible takes on their extremely-familiar superheroic heritage. After all, “Batman and Catwoman’s daughter” was good enough to get that “Birds Of Prey” TV show on the air (even if what the “BOP” show did with it was something else….)

Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s look at the newcomers in detail.

The New-52 books have already “reclaimed” a number of Vertigo characters, but with Dial H the line between the two imprints gets blurrier as uber-editor Karen Berger helps relaunch one of the Silver Age’s quirkier concepts. Let me repeat that: Dial “H” For HERO was quirky for the Silver Age because it invited readers to design their own superheroes, who would then be worked into the stories. These days, that kind of thing practically dares a publisher to craft some social-media reader-participation component, but it sounds like writer China Miéville has enough of his own ideas about where to take the series. Specifically, its protagonist looks to have a hard time adjusting to the endless cycle of random powers and/or identities which once were governed only by the whims of DC’s readership. To tell you the truth, that makes it sound like Daffy’s descent into madness in the classic “Duck Amuck” — where another capricious omnipotence kept changing the rules of Daffy’s reality — but I’m sure that is just a facile comparison.

A better one may be to the New-52’s Animal Man which, ‘way back when, made the transition from DCU to Vertigo and has come back working a good bit of that smart-and-cool Vertigo mojo. Dial H sounds like a good-enough-for-Vertigo superhero comic, and it certainly has the pedigree (the original Dial H even debuted in the old House Of Mystery, looong before that book was annexed by Neil Gaiman’s Sandman). Thus, my expectations are high, but with good reason.

G.I. Combat replaces Men Of War perhaps in name only, since on the face of it I’m not sure that much distinguishes the two military/paranormal mashups. MOW stars a new Sgt. Rock and had an anthological backup feature, while GIC will pair The War That Time Forgot with rotating backups like The Unknown Soldier and The Haunted Tank (the latter a staple of the original G.I. Combat). In fact, this version could easily have been called Weird War Tales (which eventually featured the original “War That Time Forgot”) for its more direct melding of the battlefield and the strange. Oh, heck; titles are irrelevant: the Unknown Soldier was the last regular feature of Star Spangled War Stories, “WTTF’s” original home.

All three of these features have been revived fairly recently — WTTF as a 12-issue DCU miniseries, Haunted Tank as a 5-issue Vertigo miniseries, and Unknown Soldier as a Vertigo ongoing series. As you might expect, the Vertigo versions made some changes, placing the Tank in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the “Soldier” in 2002 Uganda. Regardless, these features arguably have some residual name recognition (besides being perennial favorites and entertaining concepts), which may have contributed to their inclusion in the new G.I. Combat. In the end, I’m glad DC is sticking with a military-oriented book set in its main comics line, because it makes the line more diverse.

Not helping diversity as much is The Ravagers, which spins out of Teen Titans and Superboy. From what I can tell, DC is doing “edgy Teen Titans” in Teen Titans itself, so if Ravagers is “even edgier,” I don’t know if there’s much of an audience for that. Actually, the premise sounds more like Gen13, it includes at least one Gen13 alum, and “on the run from shadowy organization” is a decent starting point. Still, I have a bad feeling it will try too hard to be edgy and/or extreme, in keeping with its ‘90s roots. Much of this goes back to artist Ian Churchill, whose work on 2008’s Titans relaunch couldn’t quite overcome his tendencies to exaggerate and/or objectify. I do like Superboy’s Rose Wilson and Caitlin Fairchild — well, I don’t dislike them, and artist R.B. Silva draws ‘em in a nice, non-exploitative manner — so I will give this a chance. I’d like to think it will be better than Red Hood and the Outlaws, but that’s not exactly grounds for a commitment.

I have already committed to Batman Incorporated, so I’m glad it’s back on the schedule. There might not have been more to say, except for editor Mike Marts proclaiming that BatCorp Volume 2 is “the final, unbelievable act of a saga six years in the making.”  If you’ve been reading Morrison’s Batman for the past six years, that’s one thing. Otherwise, I’m sure DC would love to sell you a few collections (or at least the hefty Leviathan special) to bring you up to speed. That’s a lot of material, even digitized. It’s good stuff, don’t get me wrong; but again, there’s six years of it. In that context, the Earth-Two Huntress may be an easier sell, even having been out of circulation for most of the past twenty-five years; because that kind of break surely means that Worlds’ Finest will go out of its way to be accessible. Six years of Batman comics? You can get through that over a long weekend.

And that brings us back to the two parallel-world — excuse me, next-generation superhero — titles, Earth 2 from James Robinson and Nicola Scott and Worlds’ Finest from Paul Levitz, George Pérez, and Kevin Maguire. I will be getting both of these eagerly, mostly because of my stated affection for the old Multiverse. Again, though, I wonder how many of the New-52’s newer readers will be interested in a pair of books which (re)introduce another Earth’s worth of continuity? The old Earth-Two was basically the home of Golden Age DC stories, which had apparently occurred in real time (or in whatever faithful-to-the-originals order Roy Thomas arranged them) so that, starting in the early 1960s, DC’s writers and editors could distinguish Then from Now.

Soon enough, though, Earth-Two became its own ongoing concern — got its own Now, as it were — and Power Girl and the Huntress were very much a part of its unique identity. Like Supergirl, Power Girl was Superman’s first cousin; but she landed on Earth almost forty years after he did and was more like Clark and Lois’ adopted daughter. The Huntress was Helena Wayne, Batman and Catwoman’s actual daughter, who became the new Darknight Detective after her mom’s death drove her dad into retirement. These are not difficult concepts to grasp. Regardless, Earth-Two was full of just-different-enough characters, even if (from the Golden Age fan’s perspective) the new folks were the different ones. Green Lantern wasn’t a space-cop. The Atom didn’t shrink. The Flash wore a helmet. Hawkman … ugh, let’s not get started with Hawkman. Then there was Doctor Mid-Nite, Doctor Fate, Mister Terrific, Starman, and various others who hadn’t gotten Earth-One counterparts. When I first learned about the Justice Society and Earth-Two — when I was six, so it’s been a while — I wanted to know more. I recognize now that I could have also dropped that issue of Justice League like a hot rock and run for something less complicated.

With that in mind, I understand why DC didn’t advertise the current Huntress miniseries as a prelude to the Earth-2 series, since (SPOILER ALERT, maybe?) it features Helena Wayne posing as her not-related-to-Batman counterpart. That wouldn’t have been a bad hook for an old-school Huntress fan, but I wouldn’t have wanted to market a New-52 book to an old-school fan. Still, I didn’t pick up Huntress originally, because my interest couldn’t quite overcome budgetary concerns, and now I’m wishing I had. (Haven’t had time to download the issues yet, either.)

As discussed above, you’d think Earth 2 and Worlds’ Finest would make a special effort to be new-reader-friendly. I’m also interested in how old-reader-friendly they’ll be. If this is the Earth-2 glimpsed briefly during Geoff Johns’ run on JSA, it’s had a while (since the end of Crisis On Infinite Earths, in fact) to develop into something even more distinct. It shouldn’t be a replacement for the pre-Flashpoint DC-Earth, because it wouldn’t have had any Silver Age characters or their legacies — so no Green Lantern Corps, no Barry Allen, Wally West, or Bart Allen, no Jason Todd, Tim Drake, or Damien Wayne, etc. I wonder if there’ll even be the full complement of Starmen. Of course, the hypothetical new New-52 reader might not know what s/he’s missing, but I suspect us oldsters will make even more assumptions about what Earth-2 “should” be, well in advance of May’s first issues. It’s kind of like J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, creating a new setting with enough of the old to seem familiar, but not enough to be a duplicate.

At the very least the two books should look great. Nicola Scott is an asset to any team book — she handled crowds pretty well when Birds Of Prey guest-starred the Secret Six — and I can’t wait to see Pérez and Maguire trade off on Worlds’ Finest.

Not surprisingly, I hope these books find a decent audience beyond the core of JSA/Power Girl readers. It’s not that the New 52 needs the stylistic alternative of an Earth-2 as a safe harbor from all those high collars and ‘90s callbacks. For a long time, being a DC fan meant buying into the Multiverse and/or the legacies, so it’s nice that some of that is coming back. How much of it, and for how long, are questions for another day.

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53 Comments

I CANNOT WAIT for Earth 2 and Worlds’ Finest. They will be bring me back to the comic shop (or digital storefront, haven’t decided) for a regular title for the first time since the launch of the New 52, which was my clean break from monthly comics.

I’ve read enough reviews, interviews, etc. to know which collections I’ll want to pick up, but with the possible exception of Snyder’s Batman, I’m not regretting the wait.

But a return to classic Earth 2? SOLD!

“It’s not that the New 52 needs the stylistic alternative of an Earth-2 as a safe harbor from all those high collars and ‘90s callbacks. For a long time, being a DC fan meant buying into the Multiverse and/or the legacies, so it’s nice that some of that is coming back.”

But for some of us, it can be both. I’m one of those rare creatures who just doesn’t like the new 52 Wonder Woman at all, so having a Golden-Age Marstonian (bringing peace and love to Man’s World, and so on, rather than running people through at every opportunity) version available would make me VERY happy, even if she’s in retirement.

Dude, have you read Wonder Woman? It’s the best of the 52

Who is this Paul Levitz fellow? Some new writer on the scene? (sigh)

Is David speaking to himself?

I’m really really looking forward to Dial H. I just hope it doesn’t get canceled, and gets to run for as long as Miéville feels like doing it.

“I suspect us oldsters will make even more assumptions about what Earth-2 “should” be, well in advance of May’s first issues.”

This is where I’m at. My pie-in-the-sky hope is that this is the earth where things moved on, with new generations of heroes replacing or co-existing with their predecessors. Specifically I want to see Wally West and Jack Knight in addition to the JSA regulars. This book could be a balm to readers like me who think the DCU was strongest in the years between COIE and Infinite Crisis. But I’m probably dreaming there.

“no Green Lantern Corps, no Barry Allen, Wally West, or Bart Allen, no Jason Todd, Tim Drake, or Damien Wayne, etc.”

I don’t think this necessarily has to be the case. If Helena Wayne is the daughter of Bruce Wayne, and Power Girl is Kal-El’s cousin, then there’s a precedent for new 52 characters having different versions on Earth 2. So it’s not too far of a leap to have an Earth 2 Barry who died in some noble way. Or a defunct GL Corps. Or a succession of Robins.

One small error; during Dial H’s original Silver Age run, readers didn’t create the characters. That didn’t happen until the Bronze Age revival in Adventure Comics, where they also designed civilian clothing for the leads, the villains, etc.

I’m hoping James Robinson will have the creative freedom necessary to create something wonderful with Earth-2. His Golden Age mini-series and his revamp of Starman make Robinson my all-time second-favorite comics writer (after Alan Moore, of course).

I’m just praying DC editorial doesn’t force Robinson to dumb it down for today’s readers. And that they don’t gag him and tie his hands behind his back, like they did when they forced him to write the Justice League without any of the real Justice Leaguers. Good grief.

Earth-2 seems like it would be THE place for legacy characters. I have a feeling it’s where Wally, Donna, etc… are going to be living from now on.

And I like Mieville’s writing, but maybe he’s over thinking the whole concept? Dial H for Hero is a wacky concept of fun and unexpected new superheroes each issue, not a deep exploration of possible personality fractures. But I hope it’s good and surprising.

I have been eagerly awaiting anything Earth-2. And the Worlds Finest book is a huge added bonus.

One of the comics I first read as a kid was the issue where the Earth-2 Batman died. Side note: Joe Staton was one of the first artists whose style was instantly recognizable to me back then.

Given that my favorite DC book is currently The Shade, I HAVE to be psyched for Earth-2. Robinson has been more and more on his game the past two years.

Dial H has my attention simply because I love the idea of DC hiring people like Mieville. We need more SF/fantasy novelists in the fray.

While I am not getting GI Combat, I am thrilled that one of the writers on board is John Rozum.

John Rozum isn’t on GI combat, is he? John Acrudi is.

DC Comics. What’s DC Comics?

snoooooooooooooore

Man, I hate the art on that Huntress cover.

I was eagerly awaiting the Earth 2 series, but now am wary of the whole mess due to the ‘trapped on Earth 52′ premise of World’s Finest. The interest for me in Power Girl and/or Huntress is precisely their status on their OWN Earth, and messing with the ‘continuity’ of a not-yet-established new DCU doesn’t seem like a very smart move on DC’s part, unless the sales figures are much worse than we’ve been led to believe.

Hopefully the heroes of Earth 2 won’t need so many extra seams on their costumes.

Im really excited for the Ravagers. I think people are putting too much thought into these titles before they even come out. A lot of the 52 I thought I was going to hate I ended up liking a lot and vice versa for the ones that i thought I was going to love. Stop prejudging and wait for the books to come out.

It doesn’t HAVE to be the case that there’s no latter-day “legacy” characters in ‘Earth 2,’ but it would be tidier if that were the case. That said, tidiness of continuity – whatevs. That’s pretty much out the window anyhow, eh?

I wonder if we may have some holdover aspects – if some of those characters who were kind-of-sort-of the same through continuity changes (as established a few years back) might feature? We already know Power Girl is a character, but what about Donna Troy and the Psycho Pirate? Could be interesting. May be best left out.

I would love to see Wally. He’s one of my favorite characters ever, but I’m not going to hold my breath. And I won’t hold it against anyone if he doesn’t turn up, so long as the book is good. Between James Robinson and Nicola Scott, I see no reason it shouldn’t be … so long as editorial actually goes hands-off and trusts in the exceptional creative team.

“Hopefully the heroes of Earth 2 won’t need so many extra seams on their costumes.”

Ha! Fer sure. I echo that sentiment.

China Mieville is an awesome writer, and I’ve always liked the concept of Dial H for Hero, though I’ve never really read it. I’m really looking forward to that book. I love Nicola Scott too, so I’d get that Earth-2 book but it’ll probably be 3.99 or something and that’s more than its worth, so I’ll probably wait for the trade. Ravagers I might give a try to, but dark books suck so if it is all edgy and dark in a thoughtless way then I wont bother with it. What I would have liked to have seen more of is different genre books. They should throw out a romance comic, and something to do with pirates, and maybe some straight up adventure books. This is just more superheroes.

The new 52 promised more diversity in the line, and while to some degree its there, it isn’t very far reaching. They also said they’d be done in one and yet every story of every book I used to buy was part of a longer story. *shrugs* I wasn’t as impressed as I first thought I’d be. But new books are always a new thing. I like this policy of, “if it doesn’t sell, end it.” Instead of trying to float a book for a long time, I’d rather have new books to choose from more often. I feel more characters might get attention that otherwise might not, and all books will have to work hard to keep their readers.

more of the same, from the more-of-the-same guys more of the same, from the more-of-the-same guys more of the same, from the more-of-the-same guys more of the same, from the more-of-the-same guys more of the same, from the more-of-the-same guys more of the same, from the more-of-the-same guys more of the same, from the more-of-the-same guys more of the same, from the more-of-the-same guys

When will it end?

“…I wonder how many of the New-52′s newer readers will be interested in a pair of books which (re)introduce another Earth’s worth of continuity?”

As we all know, this is the “New 52.” Yes, we all assume that the phrase refers to the 52 books that relaunched the line, but I think it also refers to the “New 52″ Earths. ALL of them have been rebooted. There isn’t a long continuity you have to know about to read the multiverse books. I’m sure Earth-2 and World’s Finest will be written with the same idea the others were: for new and lapsed readers who need a good jumping-on point without having to worry about continuity.

I think we as older readers get a bit worried about continuity because of what we know. “There’s so much continuity!” Yeah, WE know that, but for someone who doesn’t, what difference does it make? The only important thing is the issue that’s in their hands.

Wonder Woman is indeed one of the best of the new 52.

For the record, a ‘Multiverse’ is a huge mistake. I wish Earth 2, Quality, Fawcett, Charlton, Wildstorm etc. were all completely separate.

re: Wonder Woman

Not really

Read Jim Shooter’s blog, where he – rightfully – picked it to pieces

It’s also a boring and lifeless book

I dunno, I prefer my universe more streamlined but if its well written then it doesn’t matter in the end. Still, I’m a little annoyed that Bertinelli is gone.

@marc: assuming your question about paul levitz isn’t some weird attempt at humor, he’s been writing at DC for at least 30-40 years. he shifted to more editorial/administrative roles for the past couple of decades. he’s most famous for his Legion of Super-Heroes work in the 80s including the great darkness saga.

I’ll be picking up 3 of these. Looking forward to Batman Inc (with Burnham art!). I’ll give Earth 2 a go, even though Robinson has yet to impress me with his recent Superman and JLA work. And Dial H is my third. I like the concept, and I LOVED (!!!!) Pfeifer’s HERO series. So I’m hoping this new series is like that one.

I’m on the fence with Worlds Finest. I like Huntress (although Bertinelli is my black sheep huntress!) and Powergirl and art by Maguire are all positives. But Levitz writing? and Perez on art? Levitz is not my taste at all, I think hes more for readers over 50. And Perez is waaaaaay to slow. I’ve boycotted his work after waiting so long for Legion mini series. So 3 for and 3 against. So probably not. Not liking a writers work is a major no no.

And the other 2? I wouldn’t read them if they were free. No interest in them at all.

I’m very excited about the return of Batman Inc., but my feelings on the other launches range from curious to utter disinterest. Dial H is the wildcard of this batch, and I’m really interested to see what the book is going to be like. I also like that the protagonist is apparently a chubby dude. Kind of refreshing to see that. I’ll also give World’s Finest a shot, for the cast and the art team. I’ll probably pass on everything else.

I’d love to get excited for the Earth-2 stuff, but I think folks who are expecting the Pre-Flashpoint version will be disappointed, and I honestly don’t see this book lasting for very long in this market.

@Percane…your original hunch is correct. I know who Paul Levitz is and I am not a fan of his writing or editorial work. What I have read about him is that he sounds like an editorial stifler. He may have an arcane knowledge of the LoSH and a devout following going back to the 70’s, but how is he new? My one big disappointment with the new DC 52 is the penchant for recycling writers. I am not a Liefield hater, but three books to someone who is such a divisive figure? Seriously? I suppose he works well with deadlines, but apparently so does Lemire (who is likely getting a third DC book–4 including Sweet Tooth). Lemire is a newish writer, can meet a deadline–so far and is trying to do something “new” with his books. Why can’t DC find more Lemires and Snyders? They are out there. Heck, if DC hired a few more Canadians they could stop worrying about how much their health insurance is costing Warner Bros. Anyway, I see the Levitzs and Giffens as hires pandering to the “old guard” of comic book fans (40-60 year old white men who don’t want new, but the same old that allows them to stroll down the memory lane that is their childhood reminiscence). Of course, this is just my opinion and not the Gospel.

My two core dc titles are batman and catwoman, I really can not wait to see worlds finest! Never been much interested by power girl, but to see Bruce and selina react to Helena will make it totally worth it! I’m very excited for earth 2 as well, will be nice to see what I hope is an older generation of heroes.

I_Captain Blanco

January 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm

“Read Jim Shooter’s blog, where he – rightfully – picked it to pieces”

Anything Shooter says is sour grapes by this point. This is the best WW since Rucka.

So “Earth 2″ isn’t a book about WWI era JSA? What a waste of potential! I’ll be buying it anyway, because James Robinson’s worst work is still better than most writers’ best, but I’ve been waiting for a Robinson-helmed Golden Age/JSA/All Star Squadron book and got my hopes up with the JSA announcement. Golden Age and his occasional period pieces in Starman should show how awesome that kind of book could be. The man made “The Jester” (!!!) an interesting character to read about. He could turn so many of those goofy 40s characters into comic book gold… how long will I have to wait to see this happen? Maybe there’s a parallel earth where DC recognizes projects that would be like licenses to print money (Alex Ross’s “Portraits of Heroism/Villainy” for instance) and actually puts them out. Maybe on that world “Firefly’ is in its 10th season and anthology books sell like they should (Solo? Waid or JMS on Brave and the Bold? Marvel Team-Up helmed by Kirkman and/or Bendis? Alan Moore writing every comic character ever? I’ll cross over right now, forget the danger to the fabric of reality!).

RE: Wonder Woman

…Because I’m SURE Jim Shooter is a credible source of what’s right or wrong in modern comic books at this point. It’s fine if you think WW is boring and lifeless, but come on…Shooter? Guy’s been talking smack about everything since before Valiant sunk in the 90’s. Of course he doesn’t like WW…he’s not writing it.

To return to the topics at hand, I’m now really looking forward to World’s Finest and Earth-2 after reading this column. Mostly, I hope the costumes are Silver Age and the general “attitude” of the books read more light-hearted than doom-n-gloom, but the overall mystery of what we’re getting really drives the interest for me.

LOL – the difference is, Shooter can articulate why a comic is or isn’t good. You can’t. Instead of making one cogent point about why WW is good, you just sling mud at Shooter.

Yeah, I think I see who here has a brain and who doesn’t

Let’s see – what’s there to like about the new WW. Is it the mind-numbingly glacial pace? Is it the terrible, pun-filled dialog? Is it how they’ve made Wonder Woman the most bland and uninteresting character in her own book? Is it the focus on all of the weird greek gods who I could care less about? Is it the numerous plot holes?

Best since Rucka’s WW. OK, so it’s less crappy than the s****y WW books from the last few years – wow, that is some yardstick for quality

“Glacial pace” means written for trade, a standard long established for over a decade. Yuo can like that or not. I like the puns, and they were mostly restricted to Apollo. Diana herself is going through some tumultuous times and it has made her moody and tempermental. And the gods are awesome. The new theme for the WW comics is about family and Diana has to confront hers.

I would rather see a thoughtful and strong reinvigoration of Wonder Woman then a retread of the past. Azarello and Chiang have made something of substance.

so something of substance for you is glacial pace, puns (and some really bad ones “hello brother” “hell low, indeed”), and family – wow

As far as family goes – it’s the same stupid infighting, backstabbing junk that we’ve seen on a million TV shows, such as the Tudors

Something of substance – yeah, “substances” fall into the toilet from time to time too

I don’t watch the Tudors or a lot of tv. Im more reminded of Hellboy. The simple novelty for me is that I get to read a Wonder Woman comic that’s well plotted, even if it’s slowly paced. I have trust in Azarello that he put a lot of though into how he and Chiang would present a new take on Wonder Woman and so far I’ve been convinced. Im interested in brand spanking new characters like Lennox and Zola. By not relying on old characters like Etta Candy or Barbara Minerva the new characters have to hold ground by their own merits.

Im used to decompressed comics. I got into comics through Ultimate Spider-Man.

If only any of those new characters had a personality (not to mention they all talk the same, ie they all spout clever, pun dialog)

And as I said, the biggest sin is the fact that WW herself is an uninteresting moron in her own book

The book is getting way too much praise

Zola is sort of a hick. Lennox is like a Chav Constantine. They have plenty of personality. And I can’t recall any logical blunders from Diana. In fact in the last issue she made a rather clever gambit against Poseidon.

Poseidon was in the latest WW issue? nice! He was a great addition to Peter David’s Aquaman run, so it will be nice to see him again!

See. I’m a fan of the modern post-Crisis Huntress. Not that I quite dislike pre-Crisis Huntress, but I think she should stay over on Earth-2. I quite like the non-Bat-daughter modern Huntress. DC has done some good things with the character.

So color me frustrated when they junk all that to bring back Earth 2 Huntress.

And I don’t mind them bringing back Earth 2. It’s HOW they did it. They did it stealthy at first. For heaven’s sake, bringing back Earth 2 should be huge and up front. By advertising the return of Earth 2 Huntress initially as the regular modern Huntress, you don’t get any of that characters fans interested. And then by revealing it wasn’t modern Huntress but the pre-Crisis one, you just burned all the fans buying it for the modern version.

Why the heck not just have Earth 2 Huntress in her own book instead of first pretending it’s not her? Who the heck at DC thinks tricking fanboys into books instead of just announcing their damn reboot and books is a good idea? It’s mind boggling how they think being sneaky instead of just announcing things is the way to market these characters.

I actually got some flack from posters on another board over my complaints. It seems some fans are almost used to retcons like this and it’s become natural for them to consider a character who has their origin completely revamped the ‘same character’. Are comic fans so numb from retcons that they don’t even notice that creating a whole new origin for a character.. gee.. changes that character fundamentally? Whoo. Comics fans sure are a crazy lot.

@ Faust

Um.. I highly doubt you’re thinking of the same character.

wait.. was Poseidon a giant whale monster in Aquaman.. because… um..

I’d be interested to see Donna, Wally, Dick-as-Batman, Roy as Red Arrow (With Liam, please) in an Earth-2 setting. But that’s ‘my’ heroes, having come into the NTT in the 80’s.

OTOH, I’m used to disappointment.

And Helena Bertinelli is gone? Yet another nail in the ‘Barbrara must be Batgirl’ argument we heard from DC.

Damn killing/limboing all my favorite DC Characters. (Huntress, Scanda, Jeanette, Catman, Donna, Wally, etc etc)

I am looking forward to Earth 2 & World’s Finest so much that I think it would be funny if they become DC’s best selling books.

I will be picking up Earth 2, World’s Finest, and Dial H. I have become addicted to The New 52’s Vertigoish titles (I, Vampire, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E.) and The Shade is always on the top of my read pile when I bring it home from comic book store. This second wave has me hoping that a third wave will be in the planning. With the ones mentioned above I also collect Wonder Woman, Justice League, and Legion of Superheroes (which is close to being dropped) so I would love some more options from DC! Keep them coming, and keep looking at people in different fields to pen the books, that is the other main draw for me with Dial H. Do anything you can to make sure (I am opening myself to negative comments here I am sure) Rob Liefeld’s handles less books! I think the three books that Liefeld has been given are possible contenders for the wave 3 cancellations. And just so the Liefeld fans know I am not a sheep and dislike Liefeld because that is a popular thing to do, I honestly don’t understand the appeal, if someone could explain to me how to find appeal in his line work I would be more than happy to listen. Well I did not mean to go on a completely unrelated rant but there it is.

Brian from Canada

January 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm

“…it’s curious to me why DC would head back towards the deep end of the continuity pool with at least half of its new offerings.”

I don’t think that’s what it is. Having read all the Nu52 through issue five, the continuity to me is a crossbreed between earliest appearances and the classic era — classic being determined by the editors. For Batman and Green Lantern, it’s what sold recently; for Superman, a lot of the TV stuff is pre-Crisis.

World’s Finest and Earth-2 can both accommodate that. Filter a few points to tell who the characters are (which will be clearer for those versed in DC past) and hit them with a mixture of the best stories possible — like 40s All-Star Squadron, 80s JSA and 00s JSA. If it’s written with the new reader in mind, as Robinson did with JSA, then it will work really well.

What MY worry for Earth-2 is lies with its premise: it’s another world fighting other worlds that bleed into it. That means it won’t necessarily cross over with the other titles when we’re now seeing the interconnectedness of the Nu52: Stormwatch affecting Superman, Animal Man needing Swamp Thing, and both Voodoo and Grifter fighting the enemy that tried to get into Q-Core.

(Ravagers, incidentally, is hinted at in Teen Titans #5, which means it must have been triggered early.)

But I look forward to them. And I look forward to all the other second wave EXCEPT Batman Inc. — I haven’t read the previous incarnation, and feel there’s too much overlap here with Batman & Robin at this moment — because I like to be surprised.

DC has certainly shown it can rework the icons into something that works for today with new life. And this early triggering of second wave — particularly when we all know there’s enough material for a third and fourth, at least — means that they are dedicated to keeping with that energy and not sitting back for Marvel to blow past. It’s about time we got good competition there.

Brian from Canada

January 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm

realist:

I don’t think Wonder Woman is acting like a moron. She learns about the danger and stops it. Then she tries to harbour the mother and fetus on Paradise Island only to have the rug pulled out from under her with the revelation that she’s also a product of Zeus’ conquests. Now, as she’s bewildered by it, she’s sharp enough to be able to use Poseidon to her advantage and get revenge on Hera.

And Lennox isn’t the problem (he reads like a plot device just as the others do). Nor are the “bland” personalities: were this a movie, it would depend on the actress, not the push to bravado as in classics of old.

Where the problem — I think — happens is that this hasn’t been a book about Wonder Woman. She’s not the catalyst or recipient of the action: up until Poseidon, in issue 5, she doesn’t take the lead. And she’s supposed to be the lead. It needs to be written from her point of view much like Batman, The Flash and Aquaman are being written.

That said, I think this series succeeds where a LOT of previous writers have because it not only has provided a new twist on the origin story that makes sense (at least, more than the clay come to life), but it’s also used the pantheon of Olympus in a less grandstanding way that makes them more realistic as being an issue for Diana to deal with; the gods have no simple solutions when being dealt with because they’re always looking for a way out.

Just had a neat thought for all those titles getting killed to make way for “Earth2″: When DC cancels the title, also kill the characters too. In the last issue of “Men of War”, kill off Sargeant Rock. Kill off OMAC, Mister Terrific, Hawk & Dove, etc. No retirements, no happy endings, just dead. Imagine the surprise among readers as these characters all get snuffed. And imagine the speculation as other books flirt with low book sales in the future. Readers will wonder, “If ‘Hawkman’ or ‘Resurrection Man’ get cancelled, will those characters die too?”

And give it a sense of cosmological importance, as though these deaths will make the upcoming & inevitable crisis that much worse. Maybe these characters were somehow necessary to stopping an impending disaster, and their deaths now make it less likely for the existing heroes to survive the next crisis.

Even for a comics audience jaded by non-permanent death, this could be a shock that would convey that the New DC universe will operate under different rules. Kinda like how Steve Gerber killed off “The Exiles” in Malibu Comics’ Ultraverse back in the 90’s after only 4 issues, with almost every member dead by the end. This climactic finale was made at the series’ inception, so as to show that the old cliches could be upended and nothing should be taken for granted.

I just wanted to comment on something regarding this New 52 crap. I went ahead and purchased the New 52 Superman issues 3-7 and…. what the hell! THIS IS NOT SUPERMAN. Not by a long shot. If this grips a “new audience” its because its catering to pure stupidity. I saw the new costume designs and was drawn into the idea that “Hey, it is time that DC did a serious renewal” but after reading through these issues…. I am a hug fan of the Superman character (being 37 i’m old school of course) but there is NO draw nor appeal to the stories that have been given thus far. Because of this series, I have absolutely zero interest in reading ANYTHING regarding this NEW 52…

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