DC’s New 52

So, DC rebooted their entire comics universe in September after a 5 issue event called Flashpoint. As per my previous reboot post, reboots attempt to re-interest consumers and gain new ones. It is useful for comic books, especially the big publishers like DC, to reboot their comics line because some of the story arcs are so complex, and so long-lasting that it is difficult for new readers to jump in and get interested. Reboots start everything over, so, assuming new readers know that the reboot is happening, it offers them a chance to start reading and stay on top of it. Well, DC’s reboot seems to be a big success, and coupled with their fantastic digital distribution through Comixology, it seems DC is riding pretty high right now.

On a quick sidenote, I don’t think Marvel has ever rebooted their main comics line. I could be wrong, but Marvel instead chose to expand earlier in the 2000s with their Ultimate line that somewhat served as a reboot, but was also published in tandem with their main line.

Okay, back to DC. I was so excited about the reboot in September, and for the first time in a long time I found myself in a comic book store setting up a box and pull list. I couldn’t read everything (funds are always limited when you’re a starving grad student), so I’ve had to be selective in the series to read. I settled on the two big guys, Batman and Superman, and two that are a bit more cult in The Flash and Batgirl. Maybe when (and if) I start a career in the next few months I’ll buy the e-versions of the other 48 series and continue my readings from there, but until then I’ll stick to these four.

I’m pretty pleased with the little I’ve read. The new Batman series went right to work with a long arc called “The Court of Owls” that looks like it is going to be going for a while yet. It has been a fantastic arc and even crossed over into the other Batman related series like Nightwing and Batgirl. It’s anyone’s guess what is going to happen next with the Bat, but I’m looking forward to whatever comes.

Superman has been pretty interesting too, but it seems I should have read the new line of Action Comics in tandem with Superman as the first arcs tied together pretty nicely. Superman hasn’t entered any long arcs yet, and they’ve done a good job giving the new series emotional “oomph.” Let’s face it, without some strong emotional bent Superman can get pretty boring because his powers are so, well, powerful. But the writers and editors have done a good job keeping me emotionally invested in Superman, Clark Kent, and their relationship with Lois Lane. As one might expect being a flagship title, the art is wonderful and the creative team is doing a great job making the Superman series be the best it can be without starting a long arc.

The Flash started out great! Of the first issues that I read, it was easily the best. Unfortunately it seems to have lost some focus and it is really hard to tell where it is going. The art is fantastic, however, and the writing is strong so I’m sticking with it for now.

The biggest surprise for me has been the new Batgirl series, and it remains my favorite of the series I’m currently reading. They brought Barbara Gordon back as Batgirl, and it just feels right. Gail Simone is the writer and, seriously, that lady knows how to write an awesome comic book! Barbara and the other characters are extremely well-rounded from book to book, the action has been almost non-stop, and there is quite a bit of dry, fun humor. It has let me down here and there, but the writing is still too awesome for me to hold it against the series. It seems they haven’t really set Batgirl off on her own big story arc yet because they’ve been waiting for the “Night of the Owls” crossover last month. But maybe now that is over they’ll get started on an arc, and they’ve hinted a big one could be on its way. I’m way excited!

Really, I can’t recommend the New 52 enough to any fan of DC’s characters. I’ve heard there are some series that are not very good, but I can’t comment on them having not read them. However, it doesn’t seem you can go wrong with a large number of the other series. Also, DC is publishing the first arcs of the new series in trade paperback format throughout this year! So with the trade paperbacks and DC’s awesome digital distribution through Comixology, the new series are perfectly available for anyone to jump in and start reading!

I know I said I’d talk about the TMNT reboot in this post, but this is long enough. I’ll talk Turtles next time.

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  1. Eric

     /  May 29, 2012

    Do you think that they might be better served creating new and original characters rather than changing the core of old ones? I was reading an article the other day about how DC is going to make one of their classic comic book heroes come out of the closet. It seems to be a lackluster and insincere way of boosting sales while bastardizing a comic book legend. I have often wanted to get into comic books. I think when I do I will pick marvel. Lately I have gotten into a little game called HeroClix. Perhaps we will play sometime.

    • I do think DC should invest more time and effort into the creation of new comic book super heroes while still trying to maintain their popular characters. Maybe that will happen with the New 52 eventually. As far as the character coming out of the closet, supposedly it is going to be a VERY long defunct Green Lantern who is going to be their new gay character. I mean, they haven’t used this Green Lantern extensively since the late 50s or early 60s! They already have a fantastic gay character in Batwoman, but I can see why they may want to expand. I don’t think it will make as big a splash as the gay wedding coming up in X-Men though.


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