Robot 6

Grumpy Old Fan | Checking up on Earth-August

Now I want to see the New 52 Congorilla

Now I want to see the New 52 Congorilla

Although the five-years-later setup of Futures End won’t be here until May, it got me thinking about a not-so-new New 52. The current comics take place some five years after Superman and company debuted — plus, apparently, a year for the face-free Joker to recuperate — so if you add five more years, it’s like double the amount of history! Well, double the amount of history that “matters,” I guess.

As I have been pretty critical of the present timeline, I’ll be curious to see how Futures End treats those additional five years. I suspect that, for the most part, they’ll be five years of “filler,” in the sense that mostly bad, Futures End-specific things happened during that time to bring DC-Earth to whatever sorry state we see in FE #1. I’ve heard that when all the New 52 books jump ahead five years (in September, naturally), they’ll reflect where their creative teams would like to take the characters in five years — but those will only be single issues, as opposed to the year-long weekly installments of Futures End. Besides, my bitter, resentful impulses remind me that it might well have been simpler just to start off with a 10-year timeline that would only have tweaked the old pre-relaunch status quo, not thrown out huge chunks of it.

All that said, however, the pre-relaunch DCU (which I like to call “Earth-August”) was getting kind of unwieldy. The surviving first-generation heroes were closing in on their 90s, while those of the fourth were about to exit their teens. Second-gen A-listers like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman had each gotten at least one temporary replacement, with Dick Grayson becoming the new Batman around the same time that Superman moved to New Krypton. Indeed, as a group the third-gen heroes (i.e., Dick and his peers) were only starting to come back into the spotlight, after being squeezed between the dominant second generation and the rising fourth generation. As all these characters contributed to the overall shared universe, the collective weight of history got harder to manage. Accordingly, I can understand the impulse to reboot, even if I don’t agree with the process.

* * *

At this point let’s get a few things out of the way, because reboots tend to evoke strong feelings and I’m not going to spend much more time on them per se:

• Reboots are a pain, not least because they upend many readers’ investments in the existing status quo. Everybody has something they loved and have since lost.

• DC has a reputation for doing too many reboots, and/or doing them capriciously. (I would argue that the latter is at least marginally different from making specific changes capriciously.) I’m not sure DC deserves that reputation, but there it is.

• I would probably endorse a system of “scheduled relaunches,” such that at the start of every (or every other) new decade readers would expect the whole shared universe to start over. That way you get a different DCU for the 2020s, 2030s, etc.

* * *

However you feel about the New 52 relaunch, Earth-August would still have had some structural issues even if Flashpoint had put everything back in place. The year-long Brightest Day miniseries (2010-11) had revitalized a handful of characters, most notably Aquaman, Hawkman, and Firestorm, as well as reintroducing Swamp Thing and John Constantine to the shared superhero universe. Indeed, a good bit of the main-line DCU had been revamped in 2010, with Brightest Day tying into revived series like the Barry-centric Flash, the revamped Birds of Prey and Green Arrow, and Batman Incorporated. Thus, part of what made the New 52 relaunch so jarring was its abandonment of some pretty definite moves set out in Brightest Day and assorted other titles. Today I want to look at several of those elements, to see how a New 52-less DCU might have dealt with them.

1. Damian Wayne’s death and the end (?) of Batman Incorporated. While the New 52 tried pretty hard to leave the Bat-books alone, the very nature of Grant Morrison’s mega-arc strained the credibility of the five-year timeline. Morrison sought to incorporate all the divergent, inconsistent aspects of Bat-history into an overarching framework, and then tie it into Batman’s larger place in DC history, namely by having Darkseid zap Bruce Wayne into the timestream. That story became a lot less resonant once the relaunch reduced Bruce’s Batman career to five-plus years (and never mind whether Final Crisis is still in continuity). The relaunch also reordered the Dynamic Duo, from Dick and Damian starring in Batman and Robin and Bruce in Batman Incorporated to Bruce and Damian in B&R and Inc. on hiatus. This shifted the focus from Dick and Damian to Bruce and Damian, and thereby deepened the relationship between father and son, making Damian’s death more poignant for Bruce. I always thought that Morrison told the Bat-stories the way he wanted to tell them, and only made concessions to the relaunch when he absolutely had to (see, e.g., Jason Todd as Wingman, or the brief appearance of Stephanie Brown), so I suspect we got a good bit of what Morrison intended. What’s less clear to me is whether Batman Incorporated would have continued, with or without Morrison. You’d think it would have fit better in the “older” Earth-August, but maybe it too was never meant to be permanent.

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2. The closed-off Multiverse. When the 52-part Nu-Multiverse debuted in 2007, DC went parallel-world crazy, populating it with settings out of various Elseworlds and making it a core element of the year-long Countdown miniseries. The Multiverse, and the Monitors who policed it, were critical parts of 2008-09’s Final Crisis event, and Countdown was supposed to get readers excited for FC. However, outside of the Earth-22 Superman joining the Justice Society, and Power Girl making a brief trip to Earth-2 (both written by Geoff Johns in Justice Society of America), DC really didn’t do much with the Multiverse. Maybe it was waiting on Grant Morrison to finish writing his Multiversity project (which, of course, he’s presumably still doing). In any event, with the companion series Earth 2 and Worlds’ Finest, and Forever Evil’s invasion from Earth-3, the New 52 has done considerably more with its version of the Multiverse. Whether Earth-August would have reached this point is unclear — although the Trinity miniseries did create its own little parallel world, apparently outside the Multiversal structure — but I think it would have taken a while.

3. The next-generation Justice League (and the new JLI). I mentioned above that DC’s third generation was starting to reassert itself towards the end of the Earth-August days. This started in 2008 with a new Titans series, written by Judd Winick and drawn by Ian Churchill, which once again reunited the former New Teen Titans. However, Titans wasn’t that good, and after a couple of years the book dumped most of its stars and changed its format. Not long afterward, however, a handful of ex-Titans and their contemporaries — including Dick/Batman, Donna Troy, Cyborg, Starfire and Golden Age offspring Jade and Jesse Quick — formed the core of the new Justice League, under writer James Robinson and artist Mark Bagley. The focus was on Dick, Donna, and Supergirl (who was reintroduced in 2004 as a fourth-gen teenager), as well as less traditional Leaguers like Mikaal “Starman” Tomas and Congorilla, and the team got a little over a year’s worth of adventures before the New 52 relaunch. Still, I’d have liked to have seen how much longer it could have gone, especially since the Justice League: Generation Lost miniseries all but promised a revived JL International to run alongside the main series.

4. Fallout from Justice League: Cry For Justice. Part of Robinson’s JLA work involved this miniseries (drawn by Mauro Cascioli), an overwrought, ill-remembered potboiler about creating a “proactive” team of Leaguers. Originally intended to launch a separate Justice League team featuring Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Supergirl, Batwoman, the Atom, Mikaal and Congorilla, and the Freddy Freeman version of Shazam, it eventually became a bump in the road on the way to Robinson’s eventual lineup. More to the point, though, it ended (SPOILERS!) with the villain Prometheus destroying Green Arrow’s hometown of Star City, which included the death of Roy Harper’s daughter Lian. Not only did this make GA mad enough to hunt down and kill Prometheus, it drove Roy crazy enough to star in one of the worst miniseries ever produced. Thankfully, the New 52 relaunch apparently wiped away this miniseries and its effects.

5. Rehabilitating Titans. With half its roster moving to the Justice League, Titans used Brightest Day to change its format, focusing on a team of Titans-oriented villains and antiheroes led by Deathstroke. It kept this format for over a year, from issues 24 through 38, but I doubt it would have continued much further along those lines. DC already had Secret Six, and I don’t think the market would have borne two villain-oriented DC series. Either Titans would have been cancelled, or it would have changed back to a superhero-team title. Earth-August had plenty of ex-Titans to populate the book’s roster.

6. Maintaining Teen Titans’ ties. As long as we’re talking about the original Teen Titans, it’s worth mentioning the bonds their fourth-gen successors formed. The last iteration of Earth-August’s Teen Titans were a tight-knit group centered around Tim Drake, Cassie Sandsmark, Kon-El, and Bart Allen, who had been together since the Young Justice days of the late ‘90s. I have the sense that their New 52 counterparts may be growing closer, but they’re not there yet. However, the fourth generation was starting to grow out of their teenage years, and as with their predecessors, might well have begun drifting apart. If the pre-relaunch Teen Titans didn’t address this, it might therefore have struggled to keep its cast from growing up too quickly.

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7. What God hath joined together … Speaking of severing relational bonds, the New 52 marked the end of many DC marriages, including Clark Kent and Lois Lane, Barry and Iris West. In addition, Hawkman started the New 52 without a Hawkgirl, and there was no Wally West to marry Linda Park. Prior to the relaunch, Clark and Lois helped raise “Chris Kent” (f/k/a Lor-Zod), Wally and Linda had super-powered kids, and Barry and Iris were Bart’s grandparents. I don’t want to generalize about the appeal of superhero-parent storylines, just to note that the Earth-August comics were starting to go there.

8. Too many Flashes? Jay Garrick was The Fastest Man Alive from 1940 to 1951, Barry Allen held the title from 1956 to 1985, Wally West introduced himself thusly from 1985 to 2006 (and again from 2007-09), and Bart Allen appropriated the tagline for his own book’s subtitle from 2006 to 2007. By the early ‘90s, Wally’s speedster colleagues also included Max Mercury and Jesse Quick. When Barry returned for good in Final Crisis, Wally’s daughter Iris had joined the group of lightning riders as the new Impulse (as Bart had gone back to being Kid Flash). However, Wally took a backseat to Barry and ended up in limbo following the New 52 relaunch, which left only Barry and Bart (and Earth 2’s Jay) as the fastest folks alive. Absent the relaunch, it seems safe to say the Flash family would have stayed intact, but DC probably still would’ve been pressured to find a spotlight for Wally. Arguably, that’s better than two years of “where’s Wally?” questioning, but since Wally was still around, DC would have had to produce something.

9. Dead/Alive. Ted “Blue Beetle” Kord and Ralph and Sue Dibny were just a few of the deceased characters not brought back to life by the events of Brightest Day. Furthermore, that miniseries ended with Shayera “Hawkwoman” Thal turned into an Air Elemental, which (as I wrote at the time) left us once again with Angry Hawkman Is Angry. However, the New 52 relaunch lets DC reintroduce characters who were dead as of August 2011; namely Ted, who’s supposed to come back at the end of Forever Evil. No word yet on the Dibnys, or on Carter Hall’s significant other. While Shayera seemed set to return in a hypothetical Hawkman storyline, the Dibnys might well have stayed ghost detectives, and Ted was apparently dead for good. The New 52 can bring any of these back, although it may not do so right away.

10. Retiring the Justice Society. As with the fourth-gen Titans discussed above, the elder heroes of the Justice Society had to deal with growing older. For them, though, that was saying a lot. Super-energies like the Speed Force or the Green Flame of Life could explain Jay Garrick and Alan Scott’s youthful vigor, but they would still be tied to World War II as the rest of Earth-August went further into the 21st century. Since its late-‘90s relaunch as JSA, the Justice Society had been integrating younger members, from the third-gen heroes of Infinity Inc. to newer legacy characters like Jakeem Thunder and Cyclone. However, at some point the original JSAers would have had to retire, potentially leaving the team without a Flash or Green Lantern. (I suppose Jesse Quick and Jade would have moved over from the JLA, which would have allowed Wally and Kyle Rayner to rejoin the League, and maybe the ex-Titans would go back to the Titans book so their mentors could come back to JLA as well. We’ll probably never know …) In that respect, it may be for the best that the New 52 “reassigned” the Justice Society to its own parallel Earth, albeit one that’s not in the best shape right now.

* * *

There’s probably more we could say about the state of DC’s superhero line in August 2011. It featured a decent lineup of series, a few of which used their August issues to offer glimpses into futures that would never come to pass. In light of those elegies, it’s easy to romanticize the old regime. Certainly I think the DCU as it existed from 1986 to 2011 had a lot going for it, particularly since the New 52 still hasn’t quite got its collective act together.

Regardless, Earth-August is probably gone for good. Although the New 52 may end up reintroducing many of its predecessor’s hallmarks (legacies, relationships, etc.), DC should recognize that toward the end, some seams were starting to show.  Maybe that will inspire future creative teams to make a more durable universe.



I’ll forever be saddened that we never got the JLI series that Generation Lost seemed to promise. Booster Gold, Jaime Reyes, Fire, Ice, Captain America, the new Rocket Red, Power Girl, Wonder Woman and Batman was a great friggin’ line-up.

That said, outside of some mini-series and Vertigo books, it looks like I was only reading Justice Society of America, Xombi and Superboy at the time. I read a few more DC books now (not counting mini-series and stuff that’s ending like Animal Man and Nightwing) — Green Arrow, Red Hood & the Outlaws, Flash, Swamp Thing, Detective Comics as of next month, Superman as of June, Justice League United when that starts — so I guess they got what they wanted.

It’s not what dc does so much as the way they do it. The re-launch was a great idea, handled badly. EVERY book should have started with a 5 head start from the appearance of Superman. If you wanted to launch your character from day one fine but it’s day one five years after Superman’s first appearance. They could establish that there were masked adventurers and odd things before, because that makes sense in context and allows for some flexibility in the dc history. Morrison should not have been allowed as much reign as he had, there should have been an origin book with two stories in, the five years allows you to cherry pick from classic universe history so it doesn’t feel like it was all a waste of time AND no one should be beholden to any continuity from other books beyond a little common sense.

But no, instead we get a flagging superman book and a million crossovers and bat books.

I call the Earth/Multiverse prior to the New 52 “Earth-Omega,” and my own thoughts on it–and other such continuities–are here:

I really need to fill this out more, but essentially I treat its future as the futures suggested in those final issues, and more or less I treat the non-continuity stories in Adventures of Superman, Legends of the Dark Knight, Batman Black and White, and a few other projects (like Judas Coin and the upcoming Dini Black Canary/Zatanna graphic novel) as all being “untold tales” set in that world.

Personally, I think that the prior continuity might have worked a lot better as the new “Earth-Two”–the latest incarnation of the Justice League disbanded in its final issue, and what if, after that, Superman, Batman, WW, etc. had joined the JSA? Then we would have had an Earth with older characters, some with legacy heroes having taken on their roles, some with kids, some dead, etc., with the JSA as the main hero team, and the new Earth with its younger heroes and its own JLA could have eventually met them. No need to fret over Wally, Donna, etc. because they’d be all still happily ever after on their own world, but of course DC has this unhealthy love of ripping up everything they’ve had before and crying “Nyah nyah nyah! All that never happened or was destroyed!”

But as far as I am concerned, those characters and their world live on. :)

Judd Winnick wrote the hell out of JL: Gen Lost! I found it so much better than Brightest Day and wish we could have seen what he had in mind for an ongoing series.

As a DC fan since 1986 I was very invested in that continuity, but it was getting cumbersome and I was genuinely looking forward to what the New 52 promised. Sadly it felt thrown together and ill planned in comparison to what happened post crisis. Morrison’s Batman work suffered the most for it and I almost wish he would have addressed it “in-series” with Bruce cluing in for just a panel or two that yet another strange occourance/era was happening to him. Also having Snyder’s Joker storyline happen at the exact same time as Morrison was killing Damien was IMO an exercise in bad editorial planning and robbed both storylines of energy. I want to love the DCU but they’re making it quite hard for me these days. I do have a few DC series that I quite enjoy, so I’ll stick with those for the time being.

(Also, in that world, we got to see a bunch of other continuities merged with the DCU: Milestone, Red Circle, THUNDER Agents, even The 99 as part of the DCU…)

“Although the five-years-later setup of Futures End won’t be here until May, it got me thinking about a not-so-new New 52. ”

–I really don’ get this whole “not-so-new” stuff. The universe is not even 3 years old yet. How is that not new? I could see if it was 10 years in, but it’s not. It’s just a little over 2 years old.

If you buy a freshly built house that you are expected to live in for 30 years, and you’ve only been in it for 2 years, isn’t it still New?

Or are people going by dog years?

“I’ve heard that when all the New 52 books jump ahead five years (in September, naturally), they’ll reflect where their creative teams would like to take the characters in five years — but those will only be single issues, as opposed to the year-long weekly installments of Futures End. Besides, my bitter, resentful impulses remind me that it might well have been simpler just to start off with a 10-year timeline that would only have tweaked the old pre-relaunch status quo, not thrown out huge chunks of it.”

–There is no proof that the DCU’s 5-year jump will be a permanent one. In fact, all evidence (via interviews and such) leads to the opposite being the case. I believe Didio himself stated that maybe those books will arrive at that 5 year place, and maybe they wont.

In the meantime, this is merely crying over milk that hasn’t even been spilt yet.

“• DC has a reputation for doing too many reboots, and/or doing them capriciously. (I would argue that the latter is at least marginally different from making specific changes capriciously.) I’m not sure DC deserves that reputation, but there it is.”

–Who says this is their reputation? DC has rebooted/relaunched their Universe exactly ONCE in 20 years. And it was done no less capriciously so, than it was the last time. Some elements were kept both times, others were discarded. There are publishers out there that reboot their Universe far more often than DC does.

I think what you might be referring to, is retcons. If so, then that is something that virtually all publishers do as well. This is not something that’s DC specific.

“1. Damian Wayne’s death and the end (?) of Batman Incorporated. While the New 52 tried pretty hard to leave the Bat-books alone, the very nature of Grant Morrison’s mega-arc strained the credibility of the five-year timeline. Morrison sought to incorporate all the divergent, inconsistent aspects of Bat-history into an overarching framework, and then tie it into Batman’s larger place in DC history, namely by having Darkseid zap Bruce Wayne into the timestream. That story became a lot less resonant once the relaunch reduced Bruce’s Batman career to five-plus years (and never mind whether Final Crisis is still in continuity). The relaunch also reordered the Dynamic Duo, from Dick and Damian starring in Batman and Robin and Bruce in Batman Incorporated to Bruce and Damian in B&R and Inc. on hiatus. This shifted the focus from Dick and Damian to Bruce and Damian, and thereby deepened the relationship between father and son, making Damian’s death more poignant for Bruce. I always thought that Morrison told the Bat-stories the way he wanted to tell them, and only made concessions to the relaunch when he absolutely had to (see, e.g., Jason Todd as Wingman, or the brief appearance of Stephanie Brown), so I suspect we got a good bit of what Morrison intended. What’s less clear to me is whether Batman Incorporated would have continued, with or without Morrison. You’d think it would have fit better in the “older” Earth-August, but maybe it too was never meant to be permanent.”

–1) I think the problem with this lies more in the lap of Morrison, than DC. BM Inc doesn’t really work very well in the New 52, and barely does if you squint real hard. This, IMO, was one of the blessings of not giving Morrison the lead Bat-book, as he once had in the previous DCU. He always marched to the beat of his own drum, and DC stumbled whenever they tried to follow the “path” he was setting. They made the right decision by given the reins to someone who was more of a team player (i.e. Snyder), especially when they wanted to (re)build their Universe from semi-scratch.

2) Damian’s death was quite poignant, not just for Bruce, but for the fans overall. The creation of Damian was one of the best things that Morrison had ever done with BM.

3) BM Inc as a concept was always hit/miss. The New 52 version was just a poor man’s version of B&R (with various Bat guest stars). Still, DC made lemonade out of it, after Morrison’s bad acid trip was said and done.

4) BM Inc is still around, as evinced in a recent issue of TALON.

Alot of your other statements just sounds like the usual pining away for the Old DCU, which is what makes this column more redundant than informative.

Wasn’t Shayera used in the Savage Hawkman series as a villain?

And I agree that the reboot is not a bad idea on itself, but it was handled very poorly.

Before the reboot, JLA offered up some fun possible future storylines like Congorilla forming his own team in Africa, Starman going back to Opal City (the home of the Shade) and even Jesse Quick becoming a mother. Sad that none of these came to be.
Also if not for the reboot, I am sure we would have seen more of Cassandra Cain. She was prominent in Gates of Gotham and with Batman Incorporated, Birds of Prey and Stephanie Brown’s Batgirl all baout…she could have had a long career being a guest character.

Random Cassandra thought, right now they have a character named Strix that is involved with the Birds and Batgirl. She can’t speak, trained to kill and her loyalties (and social skills) are sometimes questionable. Did they basically create a poor man’s Cassandra for the New 52?

My own opinion of the state of ‘ the DC Earth-August-verse’ concurs with the observations in this article. Looking back at my pull-list for March 2011, there were a lot of titles I was enjoying, in spite of the macro-messiness. 23 of them, in fact;

The poor execution of the new-52 has changed things. This month I’m pulling 4 issues. Way too many below-average quality titles. Going forward, I have no interest at all in a series of slow reveals of what might or might not be canon in the new-52’s first five years.

Earth-2 is the only fresh title that was relaunched effectively.

Actually, DC’s had a fair number of “soft reboots” over the years. Not counting unofficial ones like Hawkmess (first Katar had been around for years, then when Hawkworld started its ongoing series, he was just coming to Earth post-Invasion, etc.), in Zero Hour various histories got changed, and in Infinite Crisis various histories got changed. As my link above suggests, I treat the world we had from Infinite Crisis till just before Flashpoint as a world separate from, say, the DCU from Crisis till before Zero Hour, because honestly they just don’t fit together. (Not to mention, perhaps more crucially, writing style and general “feel” of the way the books were written at various times.)

And I PRAY TO GOD we’re not “expected to live in” this DCU for thirty years. Yikes.

We are almost three years in and people are *still* complaining about the New 52? Fanboys really need to get over it. The Post-Crisis era is over. Too bad the internet didn’t exist back in 1986, because I bet people would have complained about Post-Crisis the same way they are complaining about the New 52.

The New 52 reboot just doesn’t do it for me. There were a few good new books but nothing that couldn’t have happened in the previous pre New 52 universe. Now I know how people must have felt when Crisis on Infinite Earths happened.

I miss my old DC continuity. I felt things were in a good place before Flashpoint happened.

No need to “get over” stuff we consider to be crap. Sorry!

I’m still holding out hope that Didio and his band of Didiots will be thrown on their ears and the real DCU will return. How many more gimmicks does Didio have to goose steadily dropping sales? I haven’t bought any of the new 52 books and will not until the old continuity is restored. If it never comes back, so be it. I have enough long boxes to keep me happy for the rest of my life.

I was a DC fan from the late 80’s onward, but my interest started to wane around 10 years ago when Didio and Johns started to really “darken” the characters with pointless violence, death and retcons, like the events of Identity Crisis and Infinite Crisis, the treatment of Stephanie Brown, and the deaths of Ted Kord and the Dibnys. I still bought several DC books though, mentally ignoring as much of the general tone of the DCU as the books would allow me, and completely skipping their “event books” like Final Crisis and such.

I approached the New 52 with mixed interest because as much as I nostalgically loved the post-Crisis DCU, I knew a clean slate approach could hopefully “fix” some of those breaks that had occurred. Sadly, DC botched the situation TERRIBLY. I tried a good dozen or so of the DCU books when they came out and buy none of them anymore, dropping most within months. The best of the books were mediocre at best, an editorial and artistic nightmare at worst. People have well cataloged the many sins of DC editorial in the last 3 years so I won’t bother listing them all (nor could I) but as long as the current regime remains in place at DC, I have no faith that the books and characters will be handled any better than the shabby treatment they were given in the decade prior to the reboot.

I’m glad DC relaunched. It was fun for a minute, but really helped me see that I just need to move on. I really loved DC in the 90s, but the last decade or so was hit or miss and this new stuff is just weak. Really used to enjoy comics. Oh, well. Don’t make ‘em like they used to. On to other things. Excelsior!

Firestorm’s appearance in Brightest Day were my favourite segments from the series. But the totally unreadable NU52 series that followed was a big let down.

Generation Lost was also a great read. But again, the NU52 series?? Bland and boring. Its could cure those with insomnia.

And Futures End looks to be really uninteresting. Or at least the characters involved. Future Batman (what does his series make? 8k? .. big draw there!) And a whole heap of Wildstorm characters who, again, had their series canceled. Good job with the books cast DC.

Wow, this column really brings out the DC haters… People who are stuck in the past, holding onto nostalgia, and afraid to embrace change, and try something new.

I’m betting most of the folks complaining, haven’t read 5 consecutive issues of the New 52.

I see this column as not so much being full of DC haters, or prople stuck int he past but fans of the old DCU throwing around some ideas about comics they loved. There’s nothing hateful or “nostalgia masturbatory” about that is there ?

Anyway, I enjoyed the column and I too would have enjoyed seeing the JLI taking centre stage in a series which followed up on the amazing set up of JL:Gen Lost. I also loved seeing the ex-Teen Titans in the Justice League. having grown up with Wally, Dick, Roy and Donna it seemed logical to me they would live up to the promise of their legacies and joined the “big leagues”. There was the chance to tell so many cool stories of characters building on their skills and confidence to “level up” and take on world conquerors like Darkseid, Sun-eater, Amazo etc

Too many Flashes ? I say “NEVER !” As long as each charatcer has their own personaility and place in the “speed force” mythos then there is a place for them. Again, there are many story possibilities to explore with a confident hero reaching for the next level of power and respect (Jesse Quick), a hero reaching the end of their effectivenes (Jay Garrick), the impulsive Bart surprising everyone with his abilities and the zen master of the speed force himself Max Mercury exploring the speed force itself. Again, opportunities sadly lost.

As for Wally and his family, having a comic focussing on them would be almost unique in the comics multiverse. There is only the Fantastic Four in Marvel, First Family in Astro City and the Just Causes folks who fill the niche of superhero families, and Wally and family would be the only ones in the DCU.
Hey, if us hardcore comics fans are all old farts then why not have a series that appeals to us ?
I can relate more to Wally’s potential struggles with having his kids keep their powers under wraps, or his fear of them being injured in battle than I do with a young hero struggling with their adolescence. After all, I am an old fart with a family !!!

Finally, I posit the above not as someone who hates the new 52, or pines for the old DCU (I have a heap of comics from that era to re-read when ever I feel that urge. which is why currently I am going back through Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle’s runon Detective Comics) but as an enjoyable mind game to play on a day where my incoming calls are few and far between at work. So, judge my thoughts based on that, not as a rabid hater of DC and/or a nostalgia nut.

Anyway, thanks Tom for giving me some intersting food for thought on a Friday afternoon.

Samauri36, full of it, as always.

When the new52 launched, I picked up 27 x issues. I was stunned by the sheer ineptness of Firestorm, Savage Hawkman, Green Arrow, Legion Lost, Mr. Terrific, Suicide Squad & Superman, in particular; Eight months in and I had dropped Action Comics, Batwoman, Green Lantern, Stormwatch, L.S.H. & J.L.D. Then zero month happened, which was a month of really poor filler. I subsequently dropped Animal Man, B.O.P. & Swamp Thing. Following March,(3013) I dropped Batgirl, Demon Knights & The Flash. In July, I dropped Batman, Batman & Robin, Justice League & J.L.A.; cross-over-itis.

Make no mistake, I gave each of these titles and the new52 a real shot. I didn’t want them to be dissapointing. They just were. I now have zero interest in the new52verse.

I expect to drop Wonder Woman when Azzarello & Chiang’s fine run concludes. I will cling to Earth 2, hoping that DC Editorial don’t screw it up down the line.

And, I thank the source for Image Comics!

Please excuse my typos above; notable corrections, Samurai36 & (2013).

Jake Earlewine

March 14, 2014 at 6:57 am

@Samurai, who tosses around the phrase DC-haters without understanding:

Those of us who complain about Nu DC and Didio are NOT DC-haters. We’re DC LOVERS! And we have a right to complain about the REAL DC-haters, like Didio, who have destroyed everything that was once great about DC. When somebody KILLS something you love, and you complain about it, that is not hate.

And Samurai, you said “I’m betting most of the folks complaining, haven’t read 5 consecutive issues of the New 52.”

Every comic book should be judged on its own merit. You only need to read one issue to determine that it sucks. Why would you read five sucky issues? Would you burn your hand on the stove five times before you decided it was hot? Would you hit your thumb five times with a hammer before you realized it hurts to do that?

I did notice that when DC did the reboot, a lot of the new series seemed to feature the stars of “Brightest Day.” There was Aquaman, Hawkman, Captain Atom, Hawk and Dove, Firestorm, the JLI , Deadman in DCU Presents. I think they must have wanted to do a reboot, but also didn’t want to waste all the exposure they’d been giving those characters.

Of course, now all of those titles are defunct except Aquaman. I don’t know if they would have done better without the reboot. But it seems like giving the characters their own books after de-canonizing the book that made them famous was the worst of both worlds.

@Jake Earlwine
You’re completely wrong about how many comics you need to read to tell a comic sucks. Comics are a serial medium that tell long-running stories. It’s quite possible for an issue to be bad by itself, but good as a part of the greater story that’s being told (or vice versa). What if you read a single issue that was full of awesome buildup for a story to be completed in the next issue, and then the story in the next issue sucks? Or what if you read a single issue that is all boring setup, but that setup pays off spectacularly in the next issue?

Imagine applying the same logic to movies. “Every minute of a movie should be judged on its own merit. I only need to watch one minute of a movie to tell if it sucks. I shouldn’t have to watch the whole thing.” You’d never watch any movie because every movie in existence contains at least one individual minute that is boring or confusing unless you’ve seen the minutes that came before it.

u certainly unfamiliar with Grumy Old Fan Column.

*Grumpy Old Fan,sorry

Gotta disagree with Displaced. If your first purchase is so bad that you regret buying the thing, I see no reason in rewarding that creative team with three or four more purchases. Opinions differ, but in my mind, many of the New 52 first issues WERE just that bad. The same logic applies to cinema: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with walking out on a film that begins terribly, but nobody wins when you continue to support things that you know just aren’t very good.

Comic book fanboys: an unpleasable fanbase. No wonder Big Bang Theory makes fun of them.

Can I just point out the irony of SAMURAI36 accusing all of DC’s critics of being blinded by “nostalgia” and “new things” while he is currently defending the New 52, a movement that has had barely any new ideas worth mentioning?

I’m a DC lover, and began back in the mid-eighties with the Man of Steel reboot, and the post-Crisis reboot. But I was still predominantly a Marvel fan. But I continued to dabble in the DC universe, particularly the Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Hawkman, and JLI (and spin-off series.) I’ll pick up anything with Aquaman.

I seriously got involved with the Infinite Crisis era (which oddly enough, most DC fans hate) which coincided with my growing disdain for the directions Marvel Comics had headed. Let’s just say I hate decompression and Bendis! I went from reading most of Marvel to reading only Captain America.

When the New 52 reboot hit I went in open-minded and bought at least 30 – 35 books out of 52. Supermans, Batmans,Nightwing, Aquaman, Swamp-Thing, Hawkman, Green Lantern titles, All-Star Western, Justice League, OMAC, DC Comics Presents and so on, and so on…

Then a funny thing happened. The books I liked kept getting cancelled (like OMAC, Dial H for Hero, and DC Comics Presents) and the books I wanted to like (like Superman, Action Comics, many Batman and Green Lantern titles etc) started to get progressively worse, and didn’t capture me the way they used to. So I dropped them. I stuck in for at least 6 – 25 issues before making this decision. The Kyle Rayner Lantern I knew and loved wasn’t the same one – he was a watered-down and badly written version who had been historically castrated. The same thing happened to my Dick Grayson. Superman, a beacon of hope in my eyes, was now a jerk. And I kept thinking to myself, “Why am I doing this? Why am I continuing to read about characters I love, but who are being so badly misrepresented that it seems to be an Ultimate version of DC Comics?” At least when I read the Ultiimate Captain America (who was also a jerk) it was easier to take because the “real” Cap was still there. I could still enjoy both. But this was not the case with my New52 Superman, Green Lantern, Dick Grayson, Wonder Woman.

So now I am down to a handful of DC titles like Aquaman, All-Star Western, Batman and Robin (Tomasi is the BEST Batman writer) and Justice League (only because, as bad as Forever Evil is, I still need to see it through! Pity me!)

Am I a New52 hater, jerking off to memories of the Old DC as Samurai, and others seem to like to accuse? I don’t think so. I just can’t see the point in continuing to read about characters that I used to love, but have taken a back-step in characterisation, don’t even resemble the characters they used to be, and/or are involved in adventures that are exactly like the ones I read about 20 years ago. I don’t mind reboots – but a reboot is usually put in place to IMPROVE on the previous series. Apart from a handful of titles (Aquaman has at least been given some prominence, and Jonah Hex is still the same character by and large) I haven’t seen that happen.

So I have pretty much said goodbye the New 52 Universe. No bitter feelings or resentment, or feelings that “DC owes me/ has abandoned me etc, etc” Just a lack of interest.

I personally gave the New 52 a chance, then whittled away at the titles as DC made stupid decisions about creators and characters. The death knell was getting Rob Fucking Liefeld to work on three titles, but the last to go was Batwing, which I dropped after they decided to swap out the main character for no good reason. (I still get Astro City, but that doesn’t count as a DC book.)

There are so many missed opportunities, and what’s worse, DC’s editorial staff doesn’t seem to notice that they’re making mistakes. Marvel, Image, Dark Horse and Valiant are all embracing amazing artwork from the likes of Francisco Francavilla, Jamie McKelvie, Paolo Rivera and more. DC… is hedging its bets on weekly series and variant covers.

Oh, and I forgot my best piece of proof that DC, and Warner Brothers as a parent company, has no idea what it’s doing. There’s a whole line of Cartoon Network properties in comics form that are doing very well… and they’re published by IDW. WB has an in-house comics producer–one that needs help getting into the kids’ market! Add that into Cartoon Network constantly mucking about with any DC-related programming and there’s a lot of trouble on all fronts for that company.

I would probably endorse a system of “scheduled relaunches,” such that at the start of every (or every other) new decade readers would expect the whole shared universe to start over. That way you get a different DCU for the 2020s, 2030s, etc.

I really like this idea for both DC & Marvel. It would make more sense than all the soft reboots from DC or Marvel’s sliding timeline.

Awkward Octopus

March 16, 2014 at 7:14 am

I admit I didn’t give New 52 much of a chance, but I have a pretty simple story about that.

I got into comics via John Roger’s run with Blue Beetle. It was only a bit before the reboot, and I loved the series. I was happy they decided to keep Jaime Reyes as the Blue Beetle with the reboot, but I honestly couldn’t get beyond the first issue. Everything I loved about the series was different – it had become “dark and edgy” to the point of nearly being a parody, the bad guys that before had been sympathetic now had zero redeemable qualities, Jaime turned into a ball of poorly written teenage hormones who fights with his parents over stupid things (instead of, you know, telling them what’s going on), much of the previously awesome supporting cast became a cultural stereotype (Paco as a gangbanger!?)… it simply wasn’t anything like the comic I loved.

Did it get better? I don’t know. I just couldn’t bring myself to read any more.

Then I kept hearing about how many artists and writers kept leaving the company, and the poor work environment, and some questionable editorial decisions that smelt of discrimination. I decided to stay away. Eventually I found comics I enjoyed at Marvel and became invested in that universe.

I guess that’s my story about New 52. I had little experience with DC beyond the cartoons I grew up with as a kid (and those were awesome, and still are – I grew up to be an animator – the loss of GLtAS is tragic), but one comic was apparently enough to turn me away. Probably not fair, but I also doubt my experience was unique. It’s one thing to change a series, but to change the entire point and tone of a character’s series when it was so unique and was bringing in new readers like myself? Probably not the wisest decision.

Nut Scented Alien

March 16, 2014 at 7:34 am

If it weren’t for The New 52, I would not be reading DC at all. In particular, I love what Brian Azzarello has done with Wonder Woman.

Good article.

One thing: coming straight off the heels of Forever Evil, you might want to refrain from abbreviating either that or Futures End as “FE”.

Change can be good. Reboots, ret-cons, and relaunches can be good too. The New52 however, as a whole, was definitely poorly handled. Most of these characters and books are irritating (SHAZAM and Teen Titans especially) and not because I miss their previous incarnations of them. They are just annoying, whiney characters that lack any good redeeming qualities – I find it hard to believe these characters/heroes do good for the sake of good and not for fame and glory. My 7yr can’t stand them and would rather read my old TPBs, and is moving onto Marvel books – BTW, we’re DC fans in our house but good new stories are hard to come by, the move is easy and understandable. I had 26 books on my pull list prior to the New52, that went up to 32 books at launch, and now I’m down to 4 books (Batman, Batman & Robin, Aquaman, and Green Lantern) only because they’re my favourite characters and the most unaffected by the New52. I’ve been collecting comics since 1986, have amassed thousands of comics and hundreds of TPB and graphic novels, maybe it’s time I quit and begin re-reading my old collection…the good stuff…the classic DCU.

I think Wally West was ruined much earlier than that. He was actually fine until Infinite Crisis and then things went downhill from there. Most of us Wally fans remember him from before that time, but we tend to forget the mess the Flash universe had become by 2005.

There were three books I regret greatly by the new 52 reboot: Secret Six, Booster Gold and the then-upcoming Justice League International.

I actually think the new 52 was a great concept but the execution has been horrible. I gave the new 52 a chance but sadly, it kept disappointing me. I was not expecting anything like the old DC, and in fact welcomed a new take, but this new one has been a mess for me.

The overall creative direction of the New 52 is pretty bad. Everything from the self consciously “gritty” storylines to the house style of art that most of its books imitate. I am already nostalgic for the Old 52.
I’ve always been a huge DC fanboy, but lately I have found myself reading more Marvel books than I ever have in my life. Marvel seems focused on creating good comics that are creator driven. DC seems focused on gimmicks and stunts.

For me, DC died the day they made Hal Jordan the Spectre. Everything after was simply a propping up of the bloated corpse.

They should have just waited for Johns and Morrison to finish their stories and then relaunch. That way other series and title could have had a more appropriate ending.

@Awkward Octopus
I read the entire Blue Beetle series and I can tell you it didn’t get better. I was a big fan of Jaime Reyes’ first series and was excited for the New 52 one and like you was very disappointed by the needless changes made to it to make it more angsty and edgy.

I really don’t care if anyone thinks I am a “DC hater” or an “Old nostalgic pre-52″ fan – I buy and read what I enjoy!
I tried many of the nu52 titles that had some “approximation” (!!!) to my favourite characters – Wonder Woman; Earth2 etc and soon found that I hated what had been done to them!
Arzello and Johns have butchered all that was good and original and iconic and worthwhile in the characters history, origin and context!
I have been reading comics since 1960 and my very favourite books were about the Golden Age characters and the JSA etc – in the nu52 NONE of that has survived in a form that makes me want to read them in any way whatsoever.
If someone had said 10, or even 5 years ago that thee would be a book called “Earth 2 – I would have been utterly ecstatic – but the one we were given is an abomination!! It bears NO resemblance to the original characters and legacy.
The latter was arguably the ONLY thing that set DC apart from it’s competitors – and which could have been a unique story-telling focus – and it threw all 75 years away like a broken toy in one stupid, ill-advised moment of madness!
For the first time in over 50 years, I am sadly not buying ANY DC titles – which I personally find tragic as I loved the pre-reboot universe and all it’s foibles, but with it’s dynamic legacy and history.
The present universe, I find shallow, too prone to shock-tactics; gimmicks; year-long tediums and “dark and gritty” for the sake of it – it has NO redeeming features.for me.

Awkward Octopus

March 16, 2014 at 9:48 am


Thanks for letting me know I’m not missing anything!

I’m usually a fan of shaking things up – status quo is boring, change is good! But it’s usually a good idea to keep the things that are working. Or at least not alienate readers to that extent. I prefer a balance of drama and humor. And competent characters that don’t carry around the idiot ball. I’m not a fan of the angsty, edgy tone of so many comics. New 52 doesn’t appear to have any alternatives for me, as far as I’m aware.

Where do people like to claim Lois and Clark “raised” Chris Kent? Where in their lives did they truly have to go through the changes and worries that real parents experience with a child? Real parenting means you deal with the kid. You don’t get a jump in age. You don’t get to palm him off. You have to change your life to facilitate child. They had nothing like that. Unlike Bruce who took in Damien and really parented. End of the day Chris Kent was no Damien Wayne and will never be. He was that boring a character too. That attempt to make Lois and Clark parents was lousy imo.


“Those of us who complain about Nu DC and Didio are NOT DC-haters. We’re DC LOVERS! And we have a right to complain about the REAL DC-haters, like Didio, who have destroyed everything that was once great about DC. When somebody KILLS something you love, and you complain about it, that is not hate.”

–If you can’t find a single thing to speak positively about in regards to the New 52 (note: what is it with this “Nu” stuff? Where did that even come from?). then yes, that’s hating.

And, if you are sitting around blaming Didio, like he was in some back room twisting his supe villain mustache, plotting to destroy the world (of comics), then yes, that’s hating.

The reality is, DC has changed more than once. “Grumpy Old Fan” insists that it’s occurred numerous times, but it’s at least happened 2 or 3 times.

Was Didio resposible for the original Crisis?

“And Samurai, you said “I’m betting most of the folks complaining, haven’t read 5 consecutive issues of the New 52.”

Every comic book should be judged on its own merit. You only need to read one issue to determine that it sucks. Why would you read five sucky issues? Would you burn your hand on the stove five times before you decided it was hot? Would you hit your thumb five times with a hammer before you realized it hurts to do that?”

–Yeah…. That sounds dumb. A comic book, which comes out at least once a month, presents numerous opportunities to be tried. If you were turned off by one single issue, then that’s the ultimate proof of being a hater.

Folks like yourself were/are looking for reasons to view the New 52 as a failure, and as far as you were concerned, you found one.

But hey, have fun hating, and wishing and hoping for the “good ol’ days”. Some of us have some good comics to read.

Meh, I was excited when DC announced the reboot, but eventually I realized it featured a ton of guys whose work I don’t necessarily enjoy, and of those whose work I DO enjoy, their hands are often tied by strange editorial demands. I’m one of the few remaining Geoff Johns fans, so I still find his Justice League to be good…and honestly, that’s about it. Grant left Action and Batman, Inc. is over. Green Lantern took an unfortunate turn almost immediately after Geoff left. Snyder’s Batman has been stuck telling an origin story for months. Wonder Woman’s the least interesting thing in her own book. Flash was good but the creative team is moving to Detective, which was also good but Layman is leaving to focus on Chew, etc. etc. etc.

Y’know, circa 2005 when Marvel was doing their Civil War nonsense, if you’d told me there would be a time where I’d enjoy Marvel more than DC, I wouldn’t have believed you. But Marvel NOW is KILLING it–I’m reading something like 70-85% of their output. Every week I read at least 8-12 Marvel books while DC is lucky to earn two spaces.

Of course, when DC announced it’s reboot I was kinda burnt out on what they were doing then, too. Maybe they just need some creative and editorial changes. I dunno, I’m just a fan.

I didn’t read comics before the reboot aside from Brubaker’s Captain America and a brief disastrous foray into Marvel.

I am reading DC now and am enjoying them now. Proof positive that the New 52 has made at least one convert to the medium.

I have had some disappointments (I loved individual issues of Savage Hawkman but that book had all sorts of issues getting a creative team to stick)

But I have also found some wonderful stuff, like The Phantom Stranger and Pandora, Animal Man and Swamp Thing, even the Superman books despite their rocky start have been more or less enjoyable since Lobdell took over, and even I know how surprising that is.

I avoided Batman and Green Lantern because they still looked a mess to get into, but Nightwing and Batwoman were pleasant surprises that I loved and I will miss Nightwing and the old Batwoman team (the new ones not so good, makes the character typical where she was exceptional) dearly.

I won’t poke fun at you for missing the old timeline – – but I do think youre too harsh on the new one for not putting out 52 classic books at all times.

Also really surprised at the Wonder Woman hate! One of my favorite books right now is that one.

Frankie Addiego

March 16, 2014 at 11:19 am

Interesting. I’m not thrilled with everything New 52 has going for it (including the name New 52), but I’m tired of fans acting like it’s some horrible disgrace to the characters and their arguments are often less-than convincing so I’m left with the task of “defending” it and being called a “troll” for my troubles.

Before I get into speculation of what might have been, here’s my take on the bullet points regarding why reboots are a pain…

“• Reboots are a pain, not least because they upend many readers’ investments in the existing status quo. Everybody has something they loved and have since lost.”

Sure. But at the same time, this can happen in the course of a story. Suppose, for instance, your favorite character died and you didn’t like the way it happened, nor what happened when/if they returned from the dead or–worse–if they were replaced by someone else and you didn’t like them.

“• DC has a reputation for doing too many reboots, and/or doing them capriciously. (I would argue that the latter is at least marginally different from making specific changes capriciously.) I’m not sure DC deserves that reputation, but there it is.”

The real question is what constitutes “too many?” Some of their reboots have been capricious (“Zero Hour” and the JMS Wonder Woman, though that was a single-character reboot) and some have been monumentally significant (the Flash/Green Lantern reintroductions of the late ’50s, “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” and like it or not, “Flashpoint”) but in any event, when it comes to the issue of “too many,” what do we have to compare it to? Marvel, whose tried to preserve the semblance of the same continuity for 75 years? Or third-party comics which get rebooted every time whenever someone feels like picking them back up?

“• I would probably endorse a system of “scheduled relaunches,” such that at the start of every (or every other) new decade readers would expect the whole shared universe to start over. That way you get a different DCU for the 2020s, 2030s, etc.”


Frankie Addiego

March 16, 2014 at 11:21 am

Eddie: I liked Wonder Woman when it first came out, but I haven’t picked it up lately. I still hate the Superman/WW romance, though I don’t know if he even appears in the book. If there’s one thing I agree with the bizarro-hipsters about, it’s that.

But I think the beef some people have with the main Wonder Woman title can be summed up in two words: “it’s dark.”

Oh I hate that too, it especially stung because it came literally the same month as a teased thing with Clark and Lucy Lane! My only hope is that the manner in which Booster Gold was written out of the current timeline suggests its not permanent!

But he hasn’t ever appeared in Azzarellos book aside from I think one time when Orion was trying to put the moves on her, which is as logical a situation as I can think of to mention something like that. But now that I think of it, that may have happened in Soule’s SM/WW book, which is my shame I buy because…well Soule is really good guys.

Frankie Addiego

March 16, 2014 at 11:50 am

Onto the numbered points…

1. I never liked Damien. I know someone involved in the Batman books who wasn’t thrilled with the death of Damien as written, but I just kind-of wanted Tim to be Robin again. And no, the fact that he wanted to be called Red Robin doesn’t mean he “wasn’t Robin.” It’s like saying a bass isn’t a bass because the bass player insists on calling it a bass guitar. That said, Tim in the New 52 is kind-of douchey despite his gnarly costume, so… I don’t know. Forget it.

2. Personally, I don’t care how much or how little the multiverse is used, but when I was growing up they’d taken it off the table. That didn’t stop them from coming up with other reasons to have similar plot-devices (hyper time, pocket universes) and it was made all the more confusing when they used the term “Elseworlds” as an imprint for what were essentially imaginary stories.

3. It was an interesting idea. But without Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and EITHER the Flash or the Green Lantern (preferably both) it just isn’t the Justice League. Those five heroes make it what it is and you can add whoever else you want, but without them, I just don’t call it the League.

4. I didn’t even read it.

5/6. I’m not familiar with this either, but I don’t like the way it sounds.

7. Personally, I prefer a single Superman. There’s so much you can do with the character when he’s not already married to Lois, and that was displayed in the first issue of “Superman” when he has that wave of envy is just something that was missing since they’d gotten engaged in the pre-Flashpoint universe (but don’t tell that to a certain comic critic who dresses like Indiana Jones and I guess thinks it’s invalid to like a Superman moment because you relate to it) but whatever the possibilities, they’ve squandered it with this Wonder Woman romance. What’s really effed up is that they managed to make Steve Trevor seem pretty cool when I wasn’t crazy about him at first.

Now, you touched on something else that bothered me and that’s the absence of Hawkgirl (except in Earth-2 and I haven’t been reading that, so IDK, maybe they’re writing her just fine there) because as arbitrary as it was to use her the way they did in the animated series, she rocked and became a part of the consciousness. I’d have loved to have seen them do the character in much the same way. The only thing is, can’t they call her Hawkwoman? I mean, she’s not supposed to be a teenager, right, she’s supposed to be at-least in her twenties right? And Hawkgirl just kinda sounds weird. Like when I say it out loud, the G kind-of catches the K and it’s… ugh.

8. Not being a hardcore Flash fan, I think Barry Allen was one of the most important superheroes in the DCU, arguably second only to Superman himself. And if you doubt that, think about how his first appearance ushered in a new era for D.C. and how central he was to “The Flash of Two Worlds” (obviously), “Crisis on Infinite Earths” and “Flashpoint.”

Plus, I have a theory that the reason Hal and Berry came back from the dead around the same time was that D.C. realized that they had to make some decisions regarding how to brand these characters. Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne are household names. So is Peter Parker over at Marvel. Marvel has also managed to turn Tony Stark into a household name (I mentioned that congressman Pete Stark was voted out of office and someone said, “is that the Iron Man guy?”) and if Warners plays their cards right, they’ll do the same thing with Oliver Queen.

But there have been a number of superheroes who call themselves the Flash. The original was essentially a different character as far as many people are concerned (if they’re even aware of him) but on the one hand, Barry did have a short-lived TV series, while Wally was one of the stars of a more popular animated series (Justice League Unlimited, natch) but his real name was rarely used. So it worked to just bring Barry and his origin and just make him a little more witty.

9. No real thoughts/feelings.

10. And this one is where I have to respectfully state that after a while, they’d have to either ditch the World War II roots of the Justice Society or put them back on another Earth where it’s just simply another “year” as I think some fans have had in mind. When the first crossover between the Flashes took place, World War II had ended less than twenty years earlier. Today, it’s been over 70. Something had to give, but “Smallville”‘s solution–having them appear later in history, like the late ’60s/early ’70s I think–robbed them of the significance of that particular part of history. Just as their presence arguably robbed Superman of some of his majesty by saying “well, he was the first of a new era, but these other characters came before him.”

So all of this is to say I think the New 52 (and again, I hate that name) was a good thing even if we could argue about some of the particulars.

DC made a mistake in 1985 by being too short-sighted to realize that the Multiverse was not an impediment to sales/accessibility; it was, and still is, the key to pleasing all fans of different generations.

Granted, the comic book reader of ’85 (esp. those new ones DC wanted to attract) might have been tired of the Multiverse idea, but that doesn’t mean DC had to use the old model.

Had DC simply used COIE to establish that somehow, the pre-COIE universe (universes as well) had been cut off from one Earth which would be a brand new Earth and the sole focus of DC’s storytelling, there would have been no loss of old readers. Their beloved stories had not only still happened; their characters and worlds and universes were still out there, though cut off from New Earth. From time to time, DC could have tested the waters with a few minis set on those pre-COIE Earths, giving faithful readers an update on the past incarnations of their beloved characters.

DC decided to do a half-hearted reboot in ’85, not really establishing a clean slate in all comics, even while new origins like Man of Steel and Batman Year One were launching. As time went by, there were hints that other universes existed, and we even had Hypertime introduced (a great concept, IMO) to establish that “everything had happened” and was still valid and even, still continuing.

If someone at DC had looked at COIE and its fallout at little harder and given things a little more thought, Infinite Crisis could have been the PERFECT opportunity to not only restore a Multiverse, but to do what DC should have done in ’85: establish that the post-COIE stories are still there and are still continuing, but that after Infinite Crisis, the focus would be on another New Earth with “ground zero” versions of DC’s pantheon.

Instead, IC brought back a strangely limited (52?) Multiverse and then did little to nothing of real substance with it. A few years later, after establishing new GL franchises and some of the best-selling Batman comics of modern times, they do another half-hearted reboot so as to try and somehow keep the stuff that sold well (and which was still a source of non-comics cash) intact while rebooting everything else.

The perfect solution would really be to use a storyline (maybe Flashpoint could have been this) to establish a new publishing paradigm: families of titles branded with mastheads designating what Earth these titles are set on. The bulk of titles could be on “Earth Zero,” which is “ground zero” of a new DC Universe, i.e., the New 52 but without any ties to past storylines like the GL sagas or Batman Inc. Yet DC wouldn’t lose the money they wanted to make from merchandizing those stories, because they’d still be continuing in titles set on another Earth. A brief example: Earth Zero, brand-new, anything-can-happen entry level Earth for new (or continuity-weary) readers. Earth-One: Superman and Batman OGNs, with other heroes eventually getting their own books. Earth-Two: an amalgam of the New 52 approach to younger heroes and no Trinity. Earth-Three: titles featuring villains as the main characters, as well a title devoted to heroic Alexander Luthor’s war on evil. Earth-Four: the post-COIE continuity, with titles like Hal Jordan: Green Lantern and Wally West: Flash continuing those heroes stories along with JLA featuring Superman, Batman, Hal, Barry, and the rest. Earth-Five: one title starring Shazam, the only superhero on his Earth. And so forth.
Bottom-line, there was (and still is) a way to make everyone happy. Either DC knows this and doesn’t have the creative courage to make it happen, or somehow, this idea has never dawned on them. Maybe it’s a case of both.

I was actually excited about the New 52 before I read it. After that… I was … really disappointed.

I don’t at all expect, or even actively desire, the pre-Flashpoint DCU to come back as the main DCU. (Having it come back in some “infinite, or at least very many, worlds exist out there, and this happens to be one of them, along with many others,” with Wally and his family living happily ever after, etc. — or perhaps the way that the DCAU lives on in the Beyond book — would be nice.) What I was expecting and hoping for, and still hope will come after a much-needed regime change at DC, would be a fresh but not unrecognizable DCU, accessible to a wider age range than the current not-for-kids-at-all world, with a more clear-cut sense of heroism and mature, non-jerky attitudes on the part of the “big guns,” and a restoration of things like the mostly benevolent and wise Guardians, Amazons, WW Greek gods, etc. A Legion in the future (and, yes, a rebooted one with its roots in the classic Legion ideas would be fine). A world which doesn’t start things off in the middle of everything, and which has a clear-cut history from the outset of “what the average person in the DCU would know” (was there or was there not a Teen Titans group, and who was in it? etc.).

Essentially, a world which is more rooted in the sensibilities of, say, the DCAU, the LSH cartoon, the Teen Titans cartoon, and so on, but with a somewhat (not excessively) more mature approach, with “mature readers only” titles or graphic novels as the stories demand. Oh, and get back to a more classic style of costumes, especially for Superman, with the red briefs and such.

It could even have a several-year plan, starting with the individual characters in their own books and then building up to a Justice League title, some sidekicks or the like building up to their own Young Justice or Teen Titans series, and so on.

I bought and read every New 52 series for one year. How many do I get now? Zero. Huge fan since 1986, but very disappointed in how the reboot was handled. Looks like Marvel, Image and Valiant for me.

As I posted elsewhere recently, here is my own March list of comics from DC, with some of my reasons for liking. About half of them are not set in the New 52 at all, and about half of the remainder aren’t set in the present-day “main Earth” New 52 either; they are as follows:

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #29 (by DeMatteis)
JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000 #4 (by DeMatteis)
WORLDS’ FINEST #21 (by Levitz and Earth-2-related)
EARTH 2 #21 (by Taylor and Earth-2-related)
ACTION COMICS #29 (by Pak)
LARFLEEZE #9 (by DeMatteis)
ALL-STAR WESTERN #29 (set in the past and with the same great writing team as Jonah Hex pre-New 52)
THE MOVEMENT #10 (by Simone)
BATMAN ‘66 #9 (non-New-52)
BATMAN: LI’L GOTHAM #12 (non-New-52)
ASTRO CITY #10 (non-New-52)

When I can afford them as back issues or in trade form, I will get the Parker and Jurgens Aquaman books and Gail Simone’s Batgirl.

So for me the stuff which is set on the present-day main New 52 Earth, rather than far out enough in space as to be almost unrelated (like Larfleeze), in another time (JL 3000 and All-Star Western), or in/connected to another dimension (E 2, WF), are… Action, Batman/Superman, Movement (ending soon, and apart from a guest shot by Batgirl, could almost be outside the DCU), and Phantom Stranger/JLDark (again, only because it’s DeMatteis). No Justice League, GL books, other Super-books or Bat-books, definitely no WW (the horror, the horror), and so on. I am sure that Parker and Jurgens can make a silk purse out of the sow’s ear that Aquaman has been, but I must watch my pennies. Any crossover stuff, I am only getting the bits by the writers I like, so I hope that the two issues of the Doomsday thing that Pak is involved in will be enough for me to make sense of the story, because I’m damn well not buying Lobdell’s title or SM/WW.

The moment DeMatteis leaves PS or JLD, unless it’s by a writer I like, is the moment I drop those books. I like this stuff in spite of the overall New 52 DCU, rather than because it’s a part of it, and regime change at DC cannot happen fast enough for me.

PS: As SageShini said, “Y’know, circa 2005 when Marvel was doing their Civil War nonsense, if you’d told me there would be a time where I’d enjoy Marvel more than DC, I wouldn’t have believed you. But Marvel NOW is KILLING it” — wholly agreed!!

Oh yeah, and Captain Marvel being actually called Captain Marvel, and not this silly “Billy Batson turns into Shazam” nonsense.

The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s disinterest. That’s what I feel towards DC.

You know what the reboot made me realize? That I had been reading a lot of DC books out of inertia. I was reading Superman, Batman, Justice League, Teen Titans, and JSA because I had always read them. Those books weren’t doing anything for me, yet I continued to buy out of habit.

I tried about twenty books when they launched the New 52 and I’m down to four now. Some of the books that disappointed me and why:

Legion of Superheroes. I loved Paul Levitz’s run when he brought the series back a year earlier. But I found this run unreadable. Characters and story-lines I didn’t care about. Maybe it had something to do with losing a chunk of his cast to Legion Lost. I was excited to see Keith Giffen come back and heart-broken to find out he wasn’t sticking around…
Green Arrow. Whose idea was it to make him a twenty-something cross between Tony Stark and Steve Jobs? They took everything interesting about Oliver Queen and threw it out. That’s not even how he’s portrayed in the TV show.
Batwoman. Beautiful artwork by JH Williams, but the story was a confusing mish-mash of non-linear never ending plot lines. I get what they were trying to do, but you have to be really good to pull that off. They weren’t.
The Flash. Again, beautiful artwork by Francis Manupal, but ho-hum stories to go along with it. Once Manupal stopped drawing it, I was gone.
Superman. Wordy scripts by George Perez. Made reading the book feel like a chore. I understand that Perez stated there was editorial interference on the book, so that may not be his fault, but since his name is on the credits, he’s the one who gets the blame.
SHAZAM. Really Geoff Johns? You had to turn Billy Batson into a jerk?

Most of DC’s relaunched books felt like warmed over Marvel books from the 90’s, a period I disliked. It’s not surprising as most of the people making creative decisions early thrived at Marvel in the 90’s. Guys like Bob Harras, Bobbie Chase, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicienza, Scott Lobdell, Ann Nocenti, Howard Mackie, and Tom Defalco. I think they’ve tried to steer themselves away from that, but first impressions can be damaging.

There are a few books I still read in the New 52. Charles Soule is writing an epic run on Swamp Thing right now and All-Star Western is pretty good too (although I miss the old format of Jonah Hex). Geoff Johns’ Aquaman run was pretty decent.

Hey, I’m a realist. I’m a 42 year old guy and DC isn’t aiming their books at me. I’m fine with that. They want to hook teenagers who will sustain their output over the next twenty years. I’m not going to invest myself in their cross-overs and events though. I don’t feel the macro-story of the DCU is a place I need to care about anymore, at least not like I used to. If DC puts out a book that sounds interesting to me, I might check it out. I’m not going to follow them blindly though.

Here’s the big question: Three years in, has anything been accomplished creatively that couldn’t have been without the reboot? I think the answer is no. Aquaman and Wonder Woman needed A-list creative teams (and maybe another soft reboot for the latter). Sales-wise, the only result is a confirmation of what was already known: People like Batman, event books, Jim Lee art, and stunts.

I do appreciate some of the chances the company takes (and continues to take) with their B-list and C-list characters, but, again, that could have been done without the reboot. The big properties are a mess for long-term fans, because we’ve been told these aren’t the characters we love and to let go of the shared history of the universe, but not enough has changed to make that seem sincere. Or the changes have drastic but clearly not for the better (like the mess they made of the Titans).

We all know that the big two mimic each other. The New 52 was DC looking at Brand New Day and saying “How can we do this on an epic scale?”

I like the idea of playing with time. What I thought DC was going to do with the Nu52 was to have one book explore the early days/origins and another book tell of the future (say, 5 years forward)–at least for a while. Nope. I would be interested in an Action that explores origins and a Superman 5 years on. Same with Detective and Batman. Third+ title could be used for any time in between.

David, you mentioned you’re not reading any of the Bat-books. One of the best-kept secrets of the New 52 is that the best Batman book is the one that seemed to be the least necessary before and after the reboot: Batman: The Dark Knight. Hurtwitz is writing a Batman that seems distanced from the current DCU and the art, especially by Ethan Van Sciver, is truly astounding. I highly recommend it over the vastly-overrated Batman by Snyder and Capullo.

Frankie Addiego

March 16, 2014 at 4:22 pm

“Three years in, has anything been accomplished creatively that couldn’t have been without the reboot?” I think the Superman books improved due to the reboot, at-least at first. I mean, I really hate the “Superman/Wonder Woman” book but in the first year-or-so of the new comics, there was a certain freshness to it. Some of you will laugh, but it felt like Superman again, even if the costume was given a more contemporary makeover: he wasn’t married to Lois, so there was some romantic tension even if it was later squandered (though not irreparably), the supporting cast was back as a result of him not being on New Krypton nor wandering the streets of America looking for non-specific existential problems. Heck, they even restored “truth, justice and the American way,” which had been poo-pooed in “Action Comics” #900.

The only real loss was that Superboy was turned into this unlikable (at-least at first) lab rat, but on the other hand I have mixed feelings about Supergirl but that’s way better than the distain I had toward how they were writing her before Flashpoint.

Maybe a reboot wasn’t necessary, but I think it was time to just let that aspect of it do the talking–along with the new costumes–and just get back to writing solid stories. Whether or not they accomplished the later is of course a matter of opinion, but I’m tired of, “it all sucks!!!” as an axiom.

David had a great idea. Turn Earth 1 into the new “Earth 2″ by that being the older established heroes and create a new “Earth 1″. I still think they need to start from scratch. The whole New 52 is a mess and sticking with 52 titles, and 52 week events, etc. is crap. How does WB allow this to continue is beyond me? Marvel is slowly beginning to click on all cylinders and Lee and Didio are running DC into the ground.

I have no problem admitting that I’m in the minority by saying I’ve been enjoying the New 52 for the most part since it launched. That’s not to say I like it better than the pre-Flashpoint DCU, but it’s impossible to accurately judge either as a collective, because there are hits & misses among both. Yes, it was sad to see the old status quo relinquished to the history books, and I wish we could’ve seen where a lot of pre-Flashpoint stories, characters, concepts, etc. would be right now, but I’d rather enjoy what IS happening versus feeling bummed over what would’ve/could’ve/should’ve been.

There are stars & clunkers among every era of comics, going all the way back to the beginning of published four color pulp. DC has hit low points before, but managed to rebound (and Marvel is no different), and every long time collector here has witnessed it firsthand. You all know it’s just a cycle, so to act like all that you loved about DC is dead & buried forever, well, you should know better, and if what they’re doing right now just doesn’t do it for you, maybe their output next year or the year after will blow your mind & make you fall in love with them all over again, at least until they hit the next low point in their cycle. So go elsewhere for now & come back later when you think it’s getting good again. That’s the beautiful thing about comics, you can come & go from each universe as you please. You don’t like the current landscape of the DCU, go hang out in the Marvel-verse til something you consider good or exciting or interesting happens in DC, or vice versa.

For me personally, Marvel just has no appeal at the moment, but I loved the hell out of their books in the mid 80’s – mid 90’s. They represented the bulk of what I was buying, compared to the four or five DC titles I was purchasing per month at the time. Then the Clone Saga happened, the X-Men started doing too much time-screwing, and with the exception of the Ultimate universe, they pretty much lost me. I keep going back to see what they’re up to, but nothing’s really grabbing me, and the only title I’ve been getting from them on the regular is Superior Spiderman, which honestly annoys the s#*t out of me, but I’m just too damn curious to see how it gets resolved to ignore it. But I can’t say I’m truly enjoying it either. The way some fans lament the loss of the old DC status quo is how I feel about Peter Parker being taken off the table for the last year & change. Yeah, it’s been interesting to watch, but I don’t like it at all. And that’s ok, because I know that a new creative team will eventually come around & I’ll love it again (the hatred that many reserve for Dan DiDio is comparable to my hatred for Dan Slott).

DC on the other hand, hey, Batman is still Batman, the Superman/Wonder Woman romance is one of the most popular “What If…?” tales never published finally happening before our eyes, the Multiverse is alive & well, Earth 2 & Injustice both rock in plain English, I’m looking at Lex Luthor in a new way, and Captain Cold just made the (pardon the expression) coolest face turn in recent memory. I never gave two craps about Capt. Cold, but his development in Forever Evil changed that & he received a rather shining moment in the last issue. No, it’s not an Earth-shattering event primed to set message forums ablaze, but at least it’s got me rooting for a B-grade character at best, that up until five months ago, I had absolutely zero interest in. I’m looking forward to how he & Luthor are going to change the dynamics of the Justice League. It could turn out awesome, it could result in me dropping the book, just gotta wait & see.

Lastly, ever since the launch of the New 52, I’ve had this whacked out idea (& I didn’t notice it mentioned here yet, if it was & I missed it, I apologize) that I often wonder if the fans of pre-Flashpoint DC have taken in to consideration: Since DC has made it crystal clear that the Multiverse is not only alive, but flourishing, what if that DCU that you miss so dearly ISN’T gone after all? What if it not only really happened, but still exists in one of the 51 other universes? What if the DCU that we last saw prior to Flashpoint, where the old Titans just disbanded their incarnation of the League, a new JLI born out of Generation Lost is about to take flight, Stephanie Brown & Cassandra Cain are beating the snot out of some ninja in a Gotham alley as Batgirl & Black Bat respectively, Superman & Lois Lane are still married, etc., all on Earth 49 or something? Until DC definitively designates each & every one of the 52 universes, I’m going to hold to my belief that that world still does exist & is still turning as we speak. Maybe that notion is just how I’ve been able to reconcile the more ill-conceived aspects of the relaunch in my own head, or maybe I’m on to something. Until DC makes us privy to every single alternate universe/timeline/reality/whatever, I might not be able to say “Yes, this IS definitely happening”, but no one can tell me “No, it’s definitively NOT happening” either, so think about that & try to take some solace in the fact that there’s a very slight chance that we might not have seen the last of that universe after all.

I think ‘Forever Evil’ would still happen if there was no New 52.

Hmm.. If it wasn’t for DC’s “Flashpoint” and “New 52″, as well as Marvel’s “Marvel Now!”, I wouldn’t have the extra money to spend on better-written, more fun books like Tim Seeley’s ‘Revival’, BKV’s ‘Saga’, the relaunched Valiant Universe (‘Quantum & Woody’!)! Thank you, Marvel and DC, for helping to guide me away from yet another round of “reboots” that strip away the things we liked about existing characters, as well as proving that “Hey, kids, marriage doesn’t work..”. Brilliant!

Prior to its launch, I was really looking forward to the 52-reboot. Here was a chance for for DC to sort out their convoluted history, streamline their charactors and their histories to get rid of the dodgy stuff and inconsistancies, before commencing a new era. Or so I thought.
What we got was an almost total dumping of everything that came before without much improvement on what had gone before. I gave them a year to sort out the teething problems and sort themselves out. They failed miserably; it only got worse.
There have been winners though – BOOM, IDW, Image, Dynamite, etc – who would have the increased market share they are enjoying without the tosh that the new DC and Marvel NOW (for the most part) stand for.

On a separate issue raised: I still see no reason for the jettisoning of the JSA. As pointed out the JSA GL and Flash were now virtually immortal, while Wildcat, with his nine lives schtick, could also be strung out for years. No-one ever said that all the original JSAers had to survive, or even any of them for that matter. That was the whole point of introducing legacy characters. That the JSA started in the 1940’s, tying the original characters to WWII is a red herring. Are we to assume that the major sporting leagues should reinvent themselves every 10-20 years “because todays fans won’t be able to relate to an organisation that started before WWII”? It is rubbish thinking.

I feel things were starting to become a mess in the old DCU, to congested.
Why DC just didn’t make a clean reboot when the started the new52 how is what I’m confused about.
Action, detective, sensational, JLA, Green Lantern, showcase (for the Flash) and Teen Titans all take place at the beginning of the new52

Where superman, batman, Wonder Woman, GL: new guardians (Kyle main character) flash (Wally main character) justice league unlimited, young justice take place years later along with animal man, swamp thing and others take place

Earth-2, captain atom, static shock, wildstorm, Uncle Sam, and Shazam all take place on different earths in the multiverse

Rewritten histories and a new clean slate to work from.

“[Morrison] only made concessions to the relaunch when he absolutely had to (see, e.g., Jason Todd as Wingman . . .”

Not sure about this – during Revenge of the Red Hood, Morrison said Jason was still a hero at heart who could/should be redeemed, so I don’t think the reveal of Jason as Wingman was a Nu52 addition per se (his dark-haired appearance though; sure). I haven’t read any Red Hood and the Outlaws, but I was under the impression that Jason’s appearances in Batman Inc were slightly at odds with that comic, especially regarding his relationship with Bruce.

It’s becoming apparent that DC has painted themselves into a corner with the New 52. Making a bigger mess than the old continuity ever was. What did they expect, this is the same bunch who ran Marvel into the ground in the 90’s. To the point that they were in spitting distance of going out of business.

Marvel Now was a face lift. The New 52 was like a root canal with a chainsaw.

The lesson from this big page of comments is that people are still quite passionate over the reboot. I tried about 20 titles at the reboot and found them horribly average. Now I read any of the titles stocked by my local library. I used to read more DC than Marvel before the reboot, but I found that the reboot sort of changed my perspective on the DCU.

Instead of being an active fan, I’m now more of an observer. I’ll read Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc., and I like to think I can recognize the issues when things are done well. But I feel absolutely no desire to start collecting DC comics again. I don’t even read the solicits.

It makes me happy that some folks really like the Nu52. I think this clean break sort of gives the next generation their own DC Universe. That’s OK; mine had a hell of a run!

MrTimbotron = great comment!!!

I think “The New 52″ was one too many reboots. The same thing could have been accomplished without rebooting and re-launching the entire line. Green Lantern and Batman didn’t need a new #1. Aquaman did benefit from a reboot. The whole effort felt to me like DC throwing things at the wall to see what would stick, There were titles I wanted to like. I used to read more DC books. I’m sticking with Aquaman. I wanted to like Cry For Justice – but it seemed to fall apart into a steaming hot pile – and I like James Robinson’s writing.

The reboot is here and I have to live with it and that’s fine, I’ve made my peace with that. But there’s a ton of multiple DC universes, so I don’t understand why they couldn’t relaunch Brave and the Bold as a rotating cast of creative teams writing stories set in the old DCU that we used to love. I think that book would sell as well. And that would be a way to bring back the old titles even if only in single issues . . .

That’s what I’d like to see DC do.

I know they constantly talk about not looking to their past, but that’s BS, all they ever do is obsess with their past stories otherwise we wouldn’t have constant reboots and reinterpretations of their characters . . .

I feel sorry for many of you. I think CBR, with good intention, just trolls to cater to the disenfranchised. I just don’t know what you hope to accomplish other than winning a political argument. The bitterness and utter displeasure to DC and Marvel cannot be overlooked. I just don’t think all of you understand the generational changes businesses must endure to survive, and ultimately, thrive. You guys are the same people who feel threatened by digital. The day will come when digital will be the consumers first choice, but last time I checked, retail is doing well. Well, not lately.

And that’s the point. The industry is going through a funk that Marvel was going to be its savior with its new lineup of relaunch titles. But that hasn’t got people motivated. Ms Marvel, which I havd talked about plenty of times, sold on par with Black Widow #1. It was as I predicted(before realizing Forever Evil didn’t come out in January, which got the estimate right for sales). 50 K is a good number, but if you’re looking for trends, that number will drop significantly in two months. Just look at Black Widow 3. The title sold less than 30K in a short period of time. Loki and She-Hulk did OK, and Punisher did alright too, but not enough to shake the market. Fantastic Four arguably met expectation, but it did not exceeded it. Batman was the only 100K book sold in February. And I think Wolverine is just getting overexposed.

The reboot by DC was necessary. One thing I give DC is that they have a vision, as oppose to Marvel. But unfortunately for DC, patience is all they have. And even with Batman guiding their vision, is clear that DC needs to shake things again.

I admit that Futures End is not interesting me as much as Eternal, but I think because the idea behind it is a bit misrepresented. I agree that ten years ahead may have been the ideal approach. I think that would have made sense. And until April comes along, the market will experience another funk in March. And that’s the point of all this:

Image, Dark Horse, Dynamite, etc cannot have the impact like DC and Marvel. Is clear those who feel disenfranchised went to Image or to Dynamite. I bet they like the reboots and relaunches, because DC and Marvel are making their jobs easier. However, they cannot impact the market in a positive way. And in this business, it is clear the pre- New 52 would not have been a viable solution in the long-term.

Ugh, any sort of criticism gets swept away as “haters” or “bitter” or some other empty invective, like the last guy assuming that if you don’t like DC, you must not like digital. Typical internet. You like something for whatever reason you do; respect that our reasons for disliking something are just as legitimate.

We only need a DC Universe without DiDio, Johns, Harras and Lee. That’s all.

Frankie Addiego

March 19, 2014 at 9:50 am

Other Chris: not saying everybody has to like the New 52, but when I hear, “oh, you know, I’ve been a huge fan since 1986, but this is all horrible, and I’ve dropped all their comics,” a hundred times worded almost exactly the same way, it makes it seem like there’s a certain status people hope to get by not liking it.

That’s not to say there aren’t legitimate reasons not to like the new comics, but for every valid–if often subjective–reason you get for not liking it, there are an awful lot of people who give no reason, hate it just because it’s “modern” and they have a problem with the audience, criticize it for things that were already true about it (e.g. “oh no, Superman’s not married to Lois anymore”) and get awfully offended when people defend it.

In fact, I can’t shake the feeling that the guy you’re responding to is a parody of me, because his name is “Franky” and a lot of his criticisms seem like strawman arguments of the kind of fan I’ve been accused of being.

Status symbol of not liking the New 52. Priceless.

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