The New 52 is over; long live DC Comics. After more than three years of sticking to their rigid, grim and gritty house style, the second biggest publisher in comics has decided to try something different — and I couldn’t be happier. I quickly soured to the New 52 and have barely hung on all these years later.
When DC rebooted their entire comics lineup in 2011 — including everyone from Superman and Batman to Green Lantern — they decided that the best way to reach fans was with dark, gritty comics aimed at teenage boys and young men. They published 52 comics a month and called the whole event the ‘New 52’. But comic book fans are prone to change, and nowadays we want a variety of different comics and styles, definitely not just grim and gritty. Marvel Comics, the biggest publisher, understands this and routinely beats DC in sales.
So starting in June, DC will abandon their New 52 way of thinking and will start offering new comics with new styles for new audiences. It’s a great plan! But before it’s gone, I wanted to take a look back at 6 things I liked and 6 things I loathed in the New 52. Hopefully DC can learn from this.
Breaking comic book news today is that DC Comics is going to do a little rebranding of the New 52 this June. They aren’t producing 52 comics a month anymore, so the name doesn’t make any sense. The New 52 continuity and characters will remain the same, but they’re bringing in 24 new comics and basically just doing away with the ‘New 52’ name tag. All of this will launch after the April-May Convergence mini-series. IGN has part of the scoop. And CBR has some more! And Newsarama has even more!
Chief among the new comics will be something called We Are Robin. I have no idea what this is, but I am hugely excited!
I’m going to be scouring the Internet for any news about this series. Will it star the various Robins already hanging out in Gotham City? Or, like the cover implies, will it be about a bunch of street kids who wear Robin-branded clothing? Who knows! I am beyond excited to find out.
Also announced is a new solo series for Damian Wayne, which will replace the Batman and Robin ongoing. Robin: Son of Batman will be written and drawn by Patrick Gleason, a true superstar!
No word yet why Robin will be teaming up with a giant red monster.
There will also be new comics for Bat-Mite, Bizarro, Black Canary, Cyborg, Dr. Fate, Martian Manunter and many more. My favorite comic book artist, Bryan Hitch, will also be taking over both writing and art duties on Justice League! Check out the various titles at the links above.
Another announcement I’m excited about will see Starfire split away from the long-running Red Hood and the Outlaws comic into her own series, written by the Harley Quinn team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, with art by Emanuela Lupacchino. That sounds pretty amazing, considering I love me some Harley Quinn comic. The Outlaws book will be shrunk down to just Red Hood/Arsenal. Could this be an attempt to finally cater to fans of the Teen Titans cartoon? Starfire’s new costume seems to suggest as much (though she’s still wearing incredibly short shorts)!
That is a damn good idea, since everybody was pretty soured to Starfire in the New 52, whereas she could be getting a ton of fans.
I’m going to try to update this post throughout the day with new information as it comes in! For me, I’m just excited to see Robin getting some attention! I can’t wait to find out more about We Are Robin!
What do you henchies think? Any of these new comics look good to you? Or do you think DC should do away with the New 52 entirely? Looks to me like they’re going to take a play out of the Marvel NOW! playbook and just introduce waves of new titles to see what takes off. The focus of this new rebranding is to reach out to a wider audience. When the New 52 launched, it was rigidly tied to DC’s grim and gritty house style, but then both Marvel and DC had much more success with a wide variety of comics (like Ms. Marvel and Batgirl). Now it looks like DC learned their lesson. The house style is out and variety reigns!
I like the sound of that!
Sound off in the comments!
Justice League: War is the next animated movie from DC, and the first trailer has blown me away. It’s based on the opening story for the New 52 Justice League, which I thought was pretty terrible. But it looks like that story might make for a good animated movie.
I’ve been pretty lukewarm about the DC animated movies for awhile now. They’ve all been pretty shallow, by-the-numbers adaptations. I’ve really felt like the people working on them could be put to better use, because their skill in animation is second to none. But nope, they keep popping these out to medium amounts of fanfare. Well now the movies have entered the New 52, which I feel is long overdue. DC needs this kind of synergy, and I hope this movie pays off.
Better for DC to animate their New 52 comics than spend a good chunk of their efforts glorifying the old, pre-reboot stories.
So Clark Kent quit his longtime reporter job at the Daily Planet last week, in Superman #13. For some reason, major news outlets thought this was news, and it was splashed all over the Internet and mainstream media. I didn’t write anything about it at the time because I don’t consider this news. And not just because it’s a story in a comic book – that stuff is totally news worthy.
And while I don’t think it’s news, I do think it’s a symptom of a larger problem at DC Comics: They’ve had zero patience in this first year, telling big, important stories without taking the time to establish and grow their characters. They’re screwing themselves over in the long run with the New 52.
I’ve wanted to write this article for awhile now, and it’s taken many forms. But the big deal made out of Clark Kent quitting the Daily Planet really underlines exactly what I think is wrong with the New 52: they’re publishing for the short term only. Their events and stories are all designed for immediate sales and popularity, with seemingly little thought put into what the comics will look like 5 or 10 years from now.
Join me after the jump for more, and a deeper exploration of what it really means for Clark Kent to quit the Daily Planet.
When Teen Titans #0 comes out next week, we’re going to learn that Tim Drake never took on the mantle of Robin. Instead, from the moment he became Batman’s sidekick, he called himself ‘Red Robin’, a name that he still uses today as leader of the Teen Titans. We’ve known this retcon since San Diego Comic-Con, where Teen Titans writer Scott Lobdell let the cat out of the bag. This is a big change to Tim Drake’s continuity in the wake of the New 52 reboot, and considering I’m both a huge Robin fan and a huge Tim Drake fan, my reaction might surprise you.
The change actually doesn’t bother me in the least. It’s so incredibly minor and stupid that it’s rolled off my back like water on a duck.
Tim Drake will always be the best Robin, whether DC wants to retroactively add a silly adjective in front of his name or not.
The real problem is whether or not the Joker is going to kill Tim in the upcoming “Death of the Family” storyline. But more on that later.
Join me after the jump as I explain the change and tell you why I think it’s so stupid that it should just be ignored. Then we can all move on with our lives.