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"Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."

~Ephesians 5:16

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The New 52: Positives and Negatives

It wasn't too long ago that DC announced that they would be "revamping" their universe with new origins and the numbers starting back at one. The fans were outraged, the comments nothing but bashing and bashing this controversial move. For me, it was just another article. I haven't bought a DC comic since Infinite Crisis, I collect Marvel and IDW's Godzilla. So this whole thing didn't bother me, DC has always seemed like a messed up continuity of elseworlds. I still had no intention of checking any of the series out, I was tied up with Marvel and Godzilla. However this changed. I was handed a free sampler of the New 52 at my comic shop. Looking through it, it seemed not bad, but something clicked when I read the Justice League one. The art was what grabbed me, it just looked like the best art I have ever seen in comics. Watching Batman and Green Lantern interact for the first time in so long was a treat for me, the comic itself  looked really, really high-quality. The sampler did its job, and I bought the first issue of Justice League yesterday. (My review here:

Now that I'm done with the life and times of myself, I can really begin this editorial.

If you read my review, you would know that I thought the issue was excellent. It was everything a first issue was supposed to be. I know the Justice League from the cartoon years back, so I know the characters pretty well. See, with DC, it's hard to get into a series with so many storylines going on. Marvel on the other hand, has always been more new-reader friendly. Their events have always done a good job of making it new-reader friendly while at the same time continuing the saga for the fans. I rented DC's Final Crisis from my library not too long ago. While it was very interesting, I didn't really understand a lot of it, due to me having no prior knowledge of what was happening before.

Before the New 52 I've always read articles on DC online, it wasn't getting the best reviews. (Superman: Grounded? I mean really?) They have a history of elseworlds, different earths, it was hard to keep track. Every so often they would have this thing called a "Crisis" where it would involve a lot of different earths characters, so much, that it's just hard to concentrate when too much is happening at once. A character called Arion from a 2006 Superman comic said it best. Dialogue as follows:

Superman: "Wait. We just stopped a crisis like this, turned back a tide of darkness and chaos..."

Arion: Yes. And yet you never notice, do you, that it always returns, always worse?"

I am surprised that they do never notice. They keep happening and happening, to the point where it gets old. These crisis are just so huge, and way too many characters that for people that haven't read previously wouldn't get it that much. A new reader just wouldn't know where to begin, because too much is happening. That is why I think the New 52 was a great idea, it brought all those other versions and messed up continuities under one earth. I, someone who hasn't been interested in picking up a DC comic, is now collecting one. Though I do get why the fans still don't approve....

I'm going to pretend for a moment that the same thing is happening with Marvel. I'm going to pretend that at the end of Fear Itself, Thor goes back in time and destroys the Serpent before he was ever created. That sends a ripple effect changing the whole Marvel universe. It is then announced that Marvel will be starting over from scratch, revamping everything with updated origins and number ones. Would I be annoyed to have to read how the Avengers become a team after years of knowledge and reading them? Maybe.

For the Avengers, I wouldn't be that annoyed, cause they first banded when I wasn't around, back in 63. So it would be fun to see how an updated origin would look. To start out fresh. However, to watch Spidey get his powers all over again would be very annoying, since I know everything about him, and how far he's evolved as a character. In other words, I could see why the longtime readers would be annoyed. Will they stop buying? I don't think so, they might buy them grudgingly, but I could see them accepting it over time.

There was one thing I thought was wrong to do on DC's part. It was to release it right now. Why? Both Marvel and DC like to market their films so that the audience can run to the comic shop to purchase the movie character's series.  Let's face it, right now all DC has is Batman. They failed with Jonah Hex and they sadly failed with Green Lantern. Not much people have any interest in reading about either character. I think it would have been a much better decision to put off Flashpoint and the New 52 until 2013, when the new Superman film comes out. I can picture people coming out of the theater and not wanting to have to wait to see Superman's next adventure on the big screen. So, imagine seeing a powerful Number 1 in the comic book store. And once Batman concludes his trilogy next year, I'm sure non-comic fans of the film will want more. The following year, they'll see Batman alongside Superman on the Justice League, two of their favorite characters under one series. Releasing the New 52 alongside The Man of Steel would have been better marketing for DC. That is why I think it wasn't a wise decision to release the New 52 this year. I mean, by the time the Man of Steel comes out, the comics will be up to like what, number 46?

Writing so much about DC makes me want to buy more comics from them, but I could only afford Justice League. Alas, was the New 52 a wise move? Yes, I think it was, I know some people who are now getting into the DC universe thanks to the new Justice League series. Superman may look a little strange with the belt, but I am looking forward to future issues. Go to your comic book store and purchase Justice League number 1, it is worth it.

Thanks for reading.


  1. decent review, though you picked two TERRIBLE DC stories to read before. Final Crisis and Grounded are just awful. They're like One More Day, for comparison. but I hope that this move from DC helps make them more successful to new readers, because without new readers sticking around, comics are a dying breed.

  2. Thanks Kyle. I haven't read Grounded, I just know about it from people I know who have read it. I've read a lot of DC comics in the past, some from 80's, some from 90's, some from the 2000's. I don't think Final Crisis was awful, just.....confusing. This new direction is sure to bring in the new readers, it's just a perfect starting point for people that have been waiting to get into comics.

  3. yeah, it really is so hopefully it works. and if you've not read it, Sinestro Corp War was fantastic.

  4. Kyle,

    Yes, I've read the whole Sinestro Corps War thanks to my library. I've also read Blackest Night from there, not bad of an event.

  5. My wife had made a similar comment about the timing of it. I believe that the timing was based on the Uberhigh expectations of Green Lantern. It is a shame that that didn't go over as well as everybody had hoped.

  6. Darth Nearl,

    That's DC's fault that it didn't go well. It's trying to be like Marvel's Iron Man, with a failed Star Wars feel I hear. Once TDKR and the Man of Steel comes out, I'm sure the comics will get a boost in sales.