Wednesday, October 05, 2011

New 52: Final Thoughts

It's the first Wednesday in October and I've got my first batch of DC #2 issues. What were bold experiments last month are now the new status quo.

It was a unique experience; at least 17 years since I knew everything that was going on the the DC books. Never have I read them all. It's a unique look into the publishing philosophy of a a company. What kind of range do they put out? Like anything it's a wide range of quality. Some books were the best they've been in years, some soldiered on with the same level of mediocrity and some were just bad. I'm sure the batting average across the board was the same last year.

The "soft reboot" approach was confusing. basically, they rebooted anything that needed it. the Batman and Green Lantern franchises were left alone. The #1 issues could easily have been the next following. Because these titles were doing well. Some like Swamp Thing and Aquaman followed the new direction set in last year's Brightest Day. Others like Wonder Woman just got new creative teams starting new stories. Still others like Fury of Firestorm, Blue Beetle and Flash were so new they ignore everything that's happened before. All of this is immaterial if you're planning on reading one book. But when these titles cross over, be prepared for some major headaches.

More confusing were the Wildstorm titles now in the DC Universe. Not one established themeselves in the preexisting universe (other than shoving Martian Manhunter into Stormwatch) of DC Comics. And that's the problem. I don't know what the DC Universe is. This is 52 books with almost nothing in common between them. When I first started reading DC Comics after Crisis I knew how they all fit together and seeing characters meet one another was exciting. Now with some rebooting and others staying teh same I don't know if these charcaters will recognize one another.

More disturbing was the IMAGE style creeping into the DCnU. Whether it's 90's nostalgia or creators playing to their old strengths, books like Supergirl, Teen Titans were pretty splash pages with no story. And let's not get started on the sexism of Catwoman and Red Hood. Beware the bad girl comeback.

And Justice League is late. Nothing says IMAGE more than Jim Lee blowing a deadline.

Was it a success? Definitely more than the "One Year Later" reboot of 2006 which lasted as long as its initial stories. And it got me hooked again. This morning when I picked up my books, I thought, "that can't be all there is". I went back and grabbed two more DC titles I thought were okay. If the new DC can get me to buy casual titles a decade after I've trimmed down to my favorites, how many more readers are doing the same? Then again, who knows how long it will last?

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