Who’s Blue About The New 52?


5.5 million??

Last week, and not for the first time, I found myself wondering whether Marvel NOW!!! was the business-revitalizing blockbuster Marvel thought it was going to be, or whether people besides me actually saw it as more of a jumping-off point. Any number of series were coming to natural conclusions (without even realizing I was doing it, I read the last Punisher just an hour ago), several more were being canned outright, and many of their replacements were befuddling for pokey, addlepated old-timers like myself.

Based on the number of comments it got and the number of times it got passed around online, I came away reassured that my column was not actually the frothy raving of a madman (that time). I had asked “Is it just me…?” and the normally savage cyberweb had answered with a resounding, “No, buddy. We’re all in this together. Come in and have some cocoa.”

Still, there were more than a few optimistic and surprisingly polite dissenters who took the long view of history, and they tended to make the same point: “People said the exact same thing when DC’s ‘New 52’ was announced.”

Did they really?

That’s not the way I remember things, although to be fair the way I remember things mainly involves reading the tattoos on my abdomen every time I wake up. I remember the New 52 as a nonstop breathless cavalcade of enthusiasm. Maybe that’s because I worked for the site that was making all the lists, reviewing all the books, and talking about the whole shebang to the exclusion of everything else for most of last September. Maybe it’s because I know a couple of people who used to be comics-curious who are now full-fledged New Readers because they saw the New 52 as an ideal entryway. Why, I myself started reading a freighter full of titles last fall that I wouldn’t have touched a year earlier. (Blackhawks? Resurrection Man? Who were these people?) Whatever the reason, I knew the DC reboot was a universally praised triumph. Right?

Oh, no. Emphatically wrong, as I learned the other day when something hilarious happened.

I don’t know how deep your commitment to comic bookery runs, but if you’re devoted enough to follow DC Comics on Facebook you may have briefly witnessed a breathtaking disaster over the weekend. The other day, whichever intern gets high and then handles DC’s social media output decided to run a poll that asked: “With Zero Month drawing to a close we’re wondering: How do you want to learn more about the history of the characters in DC Comics-The New 52?”

Let’s leave aside the Grammargeddon taking place in that question for the time being. The problem with the poll was not its punctuation allergy; it was the fact that, in addition to the answers DC wanted you to select, they (inadvertently? I hope?) left the poll open for any imbecile to add any answer they wanted.

“Oh, my God, was it DC’s first day on the internet?” I know, I know, but not everyone can be as web savvy as you, me, and our retired conservative uncles who were 40 before the web even existed. The good news is, if you’re a digital agency, this is the perfect week to pitch yourself to DC Comics.

Anyway, the answers people chose to add were amazing. There were over ninety in the half hour between DC posting the poll, realizing their huge mistake, and taking the poll down again. Scrolling through them, I noticed something of a theme:

Bring Back the old DCU

Crisis on Earth-New52: How the experiment ends and we return to the “real” DCU

Give Booster Gold his own new 52 title and let him fixt the DCnU mess

Go back to the old DCU and we all promise to pretend this mess never happened

Put all the DCnU shenanigans on a different numbered Earth

Leave all pre-reboot original DCU history intact on their own numbered Earth

Just end the New52 for God’s Sake!

Quit flailing, dammit!

“Mess”? “Shenanigans”? “Flailing”?? What game are you watching?

Spider-Man fought this. Never forget.

I don’t know who I’m mocking. There’re clearly more of them than there are of me.

Nonetheless, while I’m by no means reading every DC title– or even half of them, for that matter– my satisfaction with the ones I am reading is stratospheric. I’ve never bought so many of their books on a monthly basis in my life. I know Rob Liefeld is very angry about something (and being super professional about it, by the way) and there are nonstop behind-the-scenes complaints about editorial meddling (just like there were a year ago, and two years ago, and three years ago) but someone who’s reading Swamp Thing, Supergirl, and most of the Batbooks can only walk out of the comic shop with a smile on his face. Where else could a Demon Knights exist in 2012?

For that matter, would it be the worst thing if Marvel did something similar? Can I really never be satisfied unless Spider-Man’s battle with Big Wheel is a part of the canon?

Of course, I can’t be annoyed by DC’s current continuity much because I know nothing about DC continuity. I started reading most of this stuff a year ago. Maybe this whole thing is an unmitigated travesty to someone with some background. Or maybe there’s just yet another whiny minority banging their heads against the brick wall of Change. I have no idea; I’m clearly not the weather vane of fandom. Is it just me?….

Jim Mroczkowski would admittedly like to know how there can be like six Robins in the span of a couple years.


  1. “I started reading most of this stuff a year ago.” – So why would you be upset? You wouldn’t be, but a lot of the fans who have been invested in the DCU for years were upset when their baby was thrown out with the bathwater. All of the books that you love in the DCnU could have existed in the old continuity. Now you are panicing a bit about Marvel’s reboot. That’s likely because you are more invested in Marvel’s characters and books then you were with DC’s.

    • Could they have? Maybe. Would they have launched with any kind of interest? I really doubt it. Animal Man would have likely been your standard “everyone who reads it loves it but no one actually buys it” book. Demon Knights probably wouldn’t have lasted 6 issues being a regular launch in a sea of books we were already getting. I doubt Frankenstein would have even been approved if they had already had a full line going. DCs “low tier” boks really benifited from the New 52 launch.

    • @Joker I totally agree. I never bought DC before so I didn’t care about the history, my friends that did were really upset and saw it is a dropping off point.

      Messing with the history hasn’t bugged me, what has is the pour execution of the New 52. The writing just isn’t on par with Marvel and Image (excluding Synder, Morrison and Tomasi on a good day). The Batman time table debacle is annoying as well. Its not that they messed with it, its that the new one just doesn’t make since.

    • Hardly anything has changed. Besides those really slow people confused about Batman and that five year thing, I don’t see what the fuss is about. Am I really the only one who was sick of the old continuity and was happy to get something new? My God, Justice League 12 alone was the greatest thing to me since the taco. I try not to be bitter with the old DCU enthusiasts but it is hard not to see an old man shaking his cane and talking about the old times that really weren’t as great as they said it was.

    • @jpriester73 You dont think Cornell or Lemire or Azarello or Johns haven’t had any good writing in this relaunch? Demon Nights, Swamp Thing and Justice League Dark, Wonder Woman and Aquaman haven’t been good enough for you?

      I think the bar is being set too high by most readers if the only thing they like is Batman, Batman & Robin and Batman Inc; that is, unless all most readers want are good Batman stories.

    • I couldn’t agree more. They could have done nearly all of their changes without any reboot. For my money the only two books that have gotten better are Wonder Woman and Aquaman. They have destroyed the Teen Titans and Tim Drake. I hope there is another Crisis that takes the few successes and some of the new costumes and blends them back into the old DCU.

    • @mark To be fair I haven’t read Wonder Woman (which I hear is awesome) but I’ve read a ton of other books. Most were ok, but those 3 authors are the only Marvel level talent to me. Its like saying that only 3 NBC shows are as good as most CBS shows. You’re saying just compare NBC to NBC.

      I would take Remender, Aaron, Waid, Hickman and even Fraction on Hawkeye over every DC title not written by Scott Synder right now. BKV, Hickman, Kirkman and Brubaker on Image are writing better stories than everyone but Synder as well. I’ve even enjoyed Valiant books more than most DC titles.

      As for All Star Geoff Johns, one of my best friends in college absolutely loved his Green Lantern stuff and had talked him up. Until the last 2 issues of JL I’ve thought his 3 titles have been average.

    • P.S. @mark. Earth 2 has had its moments and I would totally dig Shazam if it was an ongoing.

    • @jpriester73 I get the all-star’s at Marvel being Remender, Aaron, Waid, Hickman and Fraction but I think that Snyder, Azarello, Lemire and Johns are just as big “super star” writers. Johns might not be at his peak with JL but Aquaman is fantastic and not every book a writer puts out is going to be considered genius (unless you’re name is Jonathon Hickman). How many Marvel titles can we really say are, week after week, amazing?

      Daredevil (which everyone is feeling less enthused about lately)
      Hawkeye (which is on issue 2)
      Uncanny X-Force
      Wolverine and the X-men
      Fantastic Four

      Most of the other titles Marvel is releasing are either loved or hated but I’d include Amazing Spiderman by Slott and Winter Soldier by Brubaker. Both of those are coming to an end and so is the Fantastic Four and Uncanny X-Force. I just don’t think the “Marvel level talent” is a fair comparison to make because tastes are very different. If you go by sales numbers and critical praise I think DC and Marvel are pretty equal (even with Ultimate/Max and Vertigo titles).

    • @mark I think that list is lower because most authors have fallen off books as the gear up for Marvel Now! Venom, Secret Avengers, FF, are all examples. Also don’t forget Ult. Spidey, I don’t read it but iFanboy has said its the most constantly good Super Hero comic out there.

      When Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Uncanny Avengers, New X-Men, Avengers, and New Avengers start up and with only Fantastic Four and Uncanny X-Force losing their talent the list could be 11 books better than everything DC has besides 3 titles: Batman, Wonder Woman, and I’ll give you Aquaman.

      Thats not including anything Gillian, Slott, and Humphries writes or the 2 other Fraction books coming in Marvel NOW.

      All of that is to say IMHO Marvel is writing better Superhero books than DC. DC books aren’t garbage they’re just not as good.

  2. Personally I don’t think the Nu52 has actually made things better. The big titles (Batman, Green Lantern, etc) haven’t changed quality since the change. A couple of books like animal Man saw a big jump in interest because of the creative teams involved but those titles have dropped down into obscurity recently. The rest of the line has seen a huge drop in quality. Does anyone really think the Superman titles are better now? What about the Teen Titans? Would you prefer Jonah Hex or All-Star Western?

    I really feel there’s been a “90’s Image-isation” of the Universe without realising the mistakes that that era brought. Everything seems to be a poor imitation of what came before it. It’s what Wildcats was to the X-Men back in the day. The best I feel I can hope for with this initiative is that DC will actually do a Heroes Reborn and completely undo the entire reboot.

    The Nu52 made the biggest mistake of jettisoning what I and many others feel was the best part of the DC Universe: Legacy. The universe had such a rich history that it made the connections between characters and eras important. The old DCU had JSA by Geoff Johns, the Nu52 has Hawkman by Liefield. The only books that I find in any way interesting are The Shade and Batman Inc, neither of which have any real connection to the new universe.

    Sorry for the rant, but I’ll leave you with one question: Can anyone tell me what titles have gotten better since the Nu52?

    • Wonder Woman.

    • Damn, but you’re right!

      Name TWO?! 😉

    • Aquaman. There was no Aquaman solo title, and now it’s one of the best selling books in their whole line.

    • Aquaman wasn’t in the old DCU, and I’d take Johns and Reis on GL above this. It’s also being abandoned by readers and the creative team because it’s not selling. I’d probably list it as the weakest of John’s DC stuff in recent times.

    • Justice League
      Wonder Woman
      Birds of Prey
      Action Comics
      Teen Titans
      Batman Incorporated

    • “Justice League.” Not as good as the heyday, but WAAAY better than anything of that title post-Infinite Crisis.

    • Batman got much better with Snyder and Capullo, but Detective got worse with Snyder leaving. Wonder Woman, Aquaman has a rocking solo book finally, Justice League (while not great) is better than before, Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Batman and Robin are all great titles.

    • Aquaman is “not selling”? After the relaunch, Aquaman has retained the highest percentage of its initial readership (only dropping 17%). For August 2012, Aquaman #12 was still in the Top 20 (it hasn’t left the Top 20 since it started), and it’s’ the highest selling Solo title in the Justice League section (over Wonder Woman and Flash, among others). The only Marvel comics it didn’t outsell were AvX and Avengers. Might want to check your facts on that.

      And yeah, Aquaman is totally being abandoned by readers and creative… so much so that DC’s winter stuff is centered on an Aquaman/Justice League crossover to lead into their line-wide Trinity War stuff in the Spring.

    • @monsterduc100: I’d honestly say that Snyders run pre Nu52 was much stronger than post (althought it is still very enjoyable). I believe The Black Mirror will hold up as a classic story for years to come but I honestly don’t think Court Of Owls will.

      @BC1: Pretty sure Meltzer’s run came after IC and I’d rate that much higher. The single issue story he did with Gene Ha was one of the best one and done’s in ages. I’d also put the JLI series that ran along Brightest Day as being better.

    • @Billington: Maybe I should have quantified that a little more. For a series that Johns is writing and Reis is drawing it is selling horribly poorly. These guys are big guns and if their books aren’t top 5 there’s a problem. They’re moving to better properties with bigger sales which only makes sense for them and DC.

    • @davivtobin100: I totally agree, and with Lark and Francavilla on art it truly is a masterpiece, but that was Detective, not Batman =)

    • I see you’re point about them being “big guns”… but to say that if it’s not Top 5 it’s a problem seems excessive. First off, not only do you have AvX and Before Watchmen to contend with, but you’re also talking about Aquaman. As was mentioned, Aquaman didn’t have an ongoing solo (and hadn’t had one in about a decade). He had long been a joke in the comics world. Pretty much deemed ‘dead’ as a character (and in storyline was “dead”.) Then New 52 comes along, and Aquaman debuts in the Top 10 (and remained there until all the Summer Crossover stuff started happening) and has outsold nearly every Marvel comic on a fairly regular basis? That’s a huge point in the win column for New 52.

    • “The old DCU had JSA by Geoff Johns, the Nu52 has Hawkman by Liefield.”

      The new DCU also has JL written by…Geoff Johns.

      I’m also going to second people’s support of Wonder Woman. I don’t know much about Wonder Woman pre-New 52, mostly because her arch nemesis was a cheetah and I never bought that an Amazon was having trouble with that fight. Azzarello has reframed her beautifully in this epic, mythology-drenched family drama, and Cliff Chiang’s art (when he’s there) has been outstanding. I’m in for the long haul with that one.

    • @batverine: I think what’s made Wonder Woman so good is that Azz is writing it as if it’s a Vertigo book. Nothing in it really ties it into theNu52, and other than the very broad strokes, nothing really ties into the old DCU. It’s been a clean reboot and reinvention of the character rather than the watered down rubbish we’ve seen other characters subjected to. It’s what everything else should have done.

      I can’t disagree more with you in regards Johns on JSA and JL. JSA was amazing and easily the best run on that title ever, whereas JL is a fun summer blockbuster and nothing more.

    • Wait a couple months and you’ll get Johns on JSA.

      Im not sure about Books that have gotten better because most of what I’m reading wasn’t being published before the New 52. Some of the favorite books I’m reading: Batwing, Red Hood and The Outlaws, Demon Knights, Dial H, Swamp Thing, The Shade. They just weren’t available before. I think thats the real brillance behind the new 52. Risky titles that can find an audience and dropping books that dont sell.

    • I second Wonder Woman. It also happens to be the only New 52 book I’m still reading from a list that also once included Frankenstein, Demon Knights, Action Comics, Animal Man, Swamp Thing, and Aquaman. While I could spend pages discussing the reasons why I don’t read these books any longer, I would rather reaffirm what davidtobin100 said about why Wonder Woman is not like the others. It is an independent, self-contained, almost wholly original universe with a Vertigo-ish vibe and depth of story-telling. Amazing. Unfortunately I think its the exception to the rule. I had high hopes that Animal Man might reach similar heights but after Foreman left alas.

    • davidtobin100 i agree with your comment whole heartily,as a dc fan for 15 years i would go back and look up histories of characters i didnt know of and thats the problem people do not want a legacy because they are to lazy to learn about a character and btw even though i read teen titans and jl trust me they are not up to par they seem just as sucky as it was 2 years ago same with most of the books but the difference is there is no more history involving them,i know live in a dcu world where even Billy Batson is a dick really cant we have one good old fashion thing anymore?

    • @zero2680: Billy Batson learning to *not* be a dick and becoming a good person is going to be the entire point of the current SHAZAM! story.

    • @Conor: Agreed. I’m hoping John’s can pull something great off with this character. He wrote him really well in Flashpoint and the back-ups have been consistently more interesting than the main story in JL.

      @zero2680: I completely agree with what you’re saying about going back and discovering old stories after reading about new characters. That joy of discovery is part of what makes comics so good. How satisfying is it to direct a non-comics friend to Year One or DKR after they say they really enjoyed Batman at the movies?

    • iFanboy 12 issue avg ratings for the continuing titles..

      +1.14 Batman 3.47 – > 4.61
      +.74 Wonder Woman 3.61 -> 4.35
      +.61 Justice League 3.36 -> 3.97
      +.35 Batman And Robin 3.74 -> 4.09
      +.32 Superman 3.02 -> 3.34
      +.23 Supergirl 3.61 -> 3.84
      +.16 Birds Of Prey 3.66 -> 3.82
      +.10 Green Lantern 3.97 -> 4.07
      +.06 Action Comics 3.80 -> 3.86
      -.03 Teen Titans 3.66 -> 3.63
      -.06 Flash 4.14 -> 4.08
      -.13 Jonah Hex 4.28 -> All-Star Western 4.15
      -.15 Legion Of Super-Heroes 3.78 -> 3.63
      -.29 Superboy 3.87 (11 issues) -> 3.58
      -.48 Batgirl 4.23 -> 3.75
      -.61 Green Arrow 3.49 -> 2.88
      -1.21 Detective Comics 4.55 – > 3.34

    • to davidtobin100: I consider these improved:
      entire Superman line
      Animal Man
      Batman and Robin
      Blue Beetle
      Earth 2 (=JSA)
      I, Vampire
      Justice League
      World’s Finest (=Power Girl/Huntress)
      Legion Lost
      Legion of Super-Heroes
      Phantom Stranger
      Swamp Thing
      Teen Titans
      Justice League Dark

      Worse after reboot?
      Dial H
      Green Arrow
      Green Lantern
      Savage Hawkman
      Wonder Woman

      Most of the Batbooks are a wash (no difference after reboot)
      My jury is still out on:
      Team 7
      Suicide Squad
      Sword of Sorcery

      I like the way the DCnU is slightly tweaked every 6-8 months. Keeps me on my toes, I miss most of the cancelled titles but Wednesday is much more interesting now…and yes, there are senior citizens like me who walk with canes and read DC’s (oops, National Comics) before Marvel existed! I still cherish my old friends, but I sure like making new ones…

  3. Ah, the Big Wheel! We need more of this in Spidey – I vote this as the focus of the first post-MarvelNOW! story arc.

    Speaking of Spidey, one of the biggest issues with the New 52 is the same as the OMD/BND Spider-Man stories – what stories were told that couldn’t have been told before everything was magically poofed? The only one I could see is “Action Comics” going back to the very beginnings of Superman and telling that story in a whole new way, and even that hasn’t been batting 1.000. I’ll grant, too, that “Justice League” needed something drastic to fix it, but it could have been done differently. Snyder/Capullo “Batman” is really good, but did you need a cosmic reboot to make that story possible? Same with “Wonder Woman.” Heck, “Green Lantern” didn’t hardly change at all. So, it’s nice that they made a “jumping on” point for their comics and gave the new titles some traction to get going, but it was more than what was necessary. But switching back to the old continuity won’t fix that issue, just exacerbate it more.

    • i don’t think JLA needed anything to be done to fix it creatively to be perfectly honest. What it really needed was to be freed from editorial shackles. All we’ve seen is those creativity-killing shackles applied to EVERY book in the Nu52 rather than select ones in the old universe.

    • i have to take issue with BC1’s assertion that Wonder Woman and Spider-Man could have told the same stories without a re-boot. In both cases fundamental elements of the characters make up, being WW parentage and SM’s marital status (as if we need reminding about that one!), were changed and as such the first 12 issues of WW and many many issues of SM are telling stories not possible before their change. I don’t know about the other books, as I don’t read them, but as said elsewhere; there are plenty of books existing now that would likely have died a quiet death, without the benefit of the New 52.

    • If you really do want to see more Big Wheel, then let me point you to what a group of my fellow local comic reader are going, called “Marvel Rebooted”, a more serious take on Fan Fiction. (there is now “Slash” in this Fiction)

      My brother is writing the new Spider-man story (co-plotted with me) and we have Web-Head facing off Big Wheel in the first story. A lot of people say it was balls to do, but I though it fit in quite well.

      Hope you enjoy it.

  4. I jumped on with New52. I was a kid in the early 90s, and my first trip of intention to the comic book shop was stunted by the confusion of 3 Superman titles, and that whole triangle number fiasco. I was also intimidated by the unknowable amount of back-story that at least appeared necessary to enjoying and understanding the current books. It was overwhelming enough that I didn’t buy anything that day, and it’s taken DC until last year to actually reel me in.

    I just checked comixology – my pull list is now around 19-20 titles. I got back in because the reboot made the whole universe as accessible as possible to someone like me, and now I’m way into the deep end. I’ve also gone back into a lot of old universe material. I’m somewhere in the middle of a digital collection of most major story arcs between IC and CIE. I’ve also scavenged Blackest Night, Brightest Day and Flashpoint books with nearly all crossover titles. Don’t take this as a means of bragging, I only offer it as evidence that I probably exist in the “ideal new market” category for DC.

    That being said, I’ve looked into Marvel NOW, thinking it might be a good entry time. Most of the Marvel universe is still foreign to me, and that it’s simply a restructuring doesn’t really excite me.

    • I think you hit the nail on the head. Marvel NOW isn’t as appealing to new readers (though don’t underestimate the power of the #1). As a current fan I’m pumped because I trust the creators and already like the most of the characters. Still try Marvel books. I had little knowledge of anything X-Men but now 2 of my favorite books are X titles. A good story is a good story, even if you don’t have all the previous ones.

  5. DC was spiraling a bit post Blackest Night. Brightest Day wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and frustrating scheduling issues were really hurting DC’s bottom line. Yeah it’s annoying that we lost a lot of stuff, but I’d say that overall more good has come from the New 52 than bad. I feel like the majority of folks who New 52 bash are continuity whores who need more fun in their lives.

    • Agreed.

    • I just wish these titles had legs. They started great, the arcs were new and exciting (especially to a non-DC guy like myself) and now I’m stuck selling these runs because most of them are going or have gone nowhere. The whole Rotworld mess ruined Swamp Thing and Animal Man fr me, and why Swampy looks so much like a superhero is beyond me. Aquaman got corny real quick (I’ve learned I’m not a Johns fan), Flash thinks I’m a 12 year old and there’s so many loose ends that don’t get covered that is not even interesting anymore. I could go on, but in the end the only new title I’m reading is Action Comics. I’m sure sales are up so that’s good, but it won’t last. With Marvel now doing something similar, I see it as a major chance for the smaller companies (valiant maybe?) to grab some market share in the next year with genuinely fresh ideas, creative freedom, and a bunch of fans who just saw their favorite titles take a dump on them. I could care less about continuity (except maybe Batman), the stories just aren’t good.

    • @sirfox89- It’s whorish to love what came before and to be unhappy with what exsists now? Well then, call me Mary Julia Magdalene-Roberts…

  6. I was definitely reading more Marvel at the time the New 52 launched. I still feel a stronger connection to Marvel as those were the books I read the most as a kid. But, at the moment, I’m buying more DC titles than Marvel and I’m looking to jump off several more Marvel titles as NOW launches. It’s not to say I won’t come back later. I think there’s an ebb and flow to the whole thing. I’d hate to think I’d be married to any title or publisher for life. The loss of DC continuity has little or no effect on me and I find myself wishing at times that Marvel could start fresh too. Two examples might be the Hawkeye and Fury Max books which have little or nothing to do with continuity and are my 2 favorite Marvel books now. I just want good stories without the added burden of needing to remember something Cyclops said in a panel from 4 years ago.

  7. I’ve been reading and collecting comics since 1963. Guess I’m more of a Fan-Daddy than a Fan-Boy. I’ve watch evolutions for close to 50 years. Overall I like the idea of what the New52 wanted to accomplish. However, titles today (in my opinion) can’t all afford to take up to a year to tell a story (other than Snyder’s BATMAN). People have shorter attention spans, it’s true. I was truly enjoying titles I never even considered before, but if the story took too long to move forward, I lost interest: OMAC, All Star Western, Animal Man, Swamp Thing. Resurrection Man, Demon Nights, Frankenstein, (to name a few). I do miss some of the old Legacy and wish they did not have to toss out the proverbial Super-Baby with the Bath-Water. I miss the old JSA, I miss Barry Allen and Iris and Wally and the Flash Family. I think Superman is doomed. THe new JLA is a step up from before but they didn’t need a reboot, just good writing, art, and better costuming, same with Aquaman and Wonder Woman. So I started out strong and am now down to Aquaman, Batman, Batwoman, Earth 2, Flash, Stormwatch, some of the Before Watchmen. When Marvel NOW starts I will try some new titles there too, we’ll see where we end up. The cost of comcs does not help either, at least with DC I havethe option of waiting a month for the price to drop a dollar. I now rate my books by: “Will I want to reread any of this?” Some of the X-Men and Avengers stuff is very intriguing… esp the old X-Men coming to the present. At the end of the day Comics are a business. I feel less faithful to titles than ever before. It’s like listening to politicians, they try to tell you what they think you want to hear all to insure their position and their future. It’s not really about us.

    • WOW you definitely put some of my feelings into words. I dropped both Swamp Thing and Animal Man because I became too frustrated with their pacing. I found myself bored with two books that were very good.

    • Dead on, ryanwhodat. The year long story lines is one of the biggest mistakes in the New 52, IMO. Sure, Snyder was able to pull it off by being insanely captivating. But the rest? I ended up dropping a good deal of books due to falling out of interest with dull story lines that seemingly never ended.

    • wow spot on

  8. I buy less now than I did a year ago, but the books I do buy (Batman and Animal Man) I love more than anything I was getting a year ago.

  9. I just don’t see how switching back would attract new readers.

  10. A year or so later, the New 52 kinda burned me out on Big 2 comics for the time being. I think i tried about about 65% or so of the new titles. Stuck with about 50% of those for several months…now i’m down to Batman and Batman and Robin. I dabble in a few others here and there based on the individual story arcs and such. I know there are other good titles from DC, but right now that’s all i’m really interested in. Same goes for Marvel. AvX and all those tie ins gave me a great dropping off point. I think i got sucked into the hype of all the relaunches and got into waaaay more titles than i could afford and had time to read. As a result i just kinda walked away from most of them.

    For me, i was reading all those titles and i had this grand revelation, that all of them were basically the same thing with different costumes (flavors), and just could not keep my enthusiasm up week to week. Not to mention by budget was ballooning out of control, and i had no time to read all that stuff, so i cut waaay back and i started looking towards creator owned stuff to quench that thirst for new and exciting.

    Reading less books, having way more fun.

    I also realized how small the online comic website community is when you’re not reading big 2 books in large quantities.

    • I don’t buy the event books for just that reason.

      I refused to buy Secret Wars, and stuck to my guns as much as possible ever since.

      That’s what reprints and library trades are for, if and when I get curious about the specifics.

      Otherwise I just stick to my titles and hope the events don’t suck the life out of them.

      But I see your point. For the third time in my life I’ll be going very independent again very soon.

      I’m dropping the very last couple of DC titles I was following, and falling back to one corner of the MU-616.

      Glad you’re enjoying the funnybooks again.

      I’m a hoarder, not a day-and-date guy. I gave up being up-to-date when I first got into comics and saw all of the stuff that was printed before I was even born.

      There really isn’t time to read it all, unfortunately, even if the budget existed.

      You’re right about the community for independents being smaller, but it’s out there. It has its own elitism, but that’s an entirely different subject.


  11. The sales charts prove that the New 52 has been at least somewhat worth it for DC. If you look at how many books they sold in the last 2 months versus previous years and how they sit in the charts right now versus Marvel, clearly it has had a significant short-term impact. What the last 12 months of sales don’t tell us is what effect the New 52 has had on quality or long term success.

    The quality of the line seems to be just as hit or miss as it was before the reboot. The continuity tweaking has been a bit take or leave it as well, with many of the changes just replacing the old confusion with new confusion. The noticeable editorial influence and revolving door of creators on many titles has not helped certainly. The complete failure of the New 52 to sort out the state of the Superman line has to be seen as its most clear cut failure. They needed to get that brand in order and right now it is a disaster.

    The long-term sales success seems a bit shaky to me. Only a year in and they are only just staying even with Marvel. A big improvement, certainly, but they are leaning on the biggest trump card they had in their deck, Before Watchmen, to hit those numbers. They won’t be able to keep repeating stunts like that, or the New 52, forever and the gradual slide of the sales numbers seems inevitable.

    The New 52 has only been definitively successful as a sales stunt, which is likely exactly what we can expect from Marvel Now, a successful sales stunt. What we’ll have to wait and see is just how good the books are once they come out.

  12. I am reading less. I keep up with what is going on in the Big 2 overall and mostly grab trades and special collections and whatever else the podcast recommends if it piques my interest.

    I held out hope for the Nu52 but realize like most of us that what they changed didn’t really change for the better. There have been surprises and gems here and there but it has been too slow to really pick up steam.

    My biggest problem is the convoluted timeline they established from the beginning with stuff happening in 3 different eras of this new DC (Superman in jeans, Superman at the start of JL and Superman 5-years post-JL). I just hate that they made things that complicated from the start.

  13. When i first heard about the New 52 i was also up in arms. And this was that i wasnt’ reading Comics at this point, much less dc titles when i had been. I was just outraged at the idea that my stories were being wiped from history. Then i thought wait, Dark Knight Returns isn’t in continuity now. Neither is Kingdom Come, or The Golden Age. So why can’t Year One still be awesome and out of continuity? Year 100 isn’t in continuity. I relaxed. And then i started reading. Batman, Inc. is one of my favorite titles right now. Action Comics has been phenomenal, and i was ecstatic to see Dial H getting a book again after the mid-2000’s series i had loved. So with Marvel Now!!! i’m being optimistic. Mike Allred and John Cassiday drawing books again is enough for me to pick those up. I was anti Brand New Day too, and through the glowing reviews from other people i’m back on Amazing Spider-Man and playing catch up on all the issues i missed during my years of protest against no one in particular. So, maybe if we unclench our fists, we’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  14. I think the backlash is primarily for the characters that have really suffered with the new 52: To me, that consists of characters like Superman, Hawkman, Booster Gold, Tim Drake, Kid Flash… and others like the still missing Wally West, Donna Troy, Stephanie Brown, etc.

    Then you have other comics that weren’t necessarily accessible from the very beginning like anything involving Green Lantern (or Legion of Super-Heroes), since those stories pretty much just carried over with no change. It’s good to be the king, isn’t it, Geoff Johns?

    So for me, the biggest flaws of the new 52 are
    a) It wasn’t a full-on reboot, start the characters from day one, which created a lot of inconsistencies and ambiguous “did it or did it NOT happen” questions?
    b) they forced the establishment of Superman as the “first” super-hero (because that’s what Morrison wanted?), thus eliminating a lot of the brilliant legacies and legacy characters that really worked well in the post-Crisis universe once the dust settled, and
    c) the old DCU wasn’t really given a proper sendoff. The main titles all just kind of fizzled out, and Flashpoint, the series that supposedly laid the groundwork for the New 52, did absolutely nothing to honor the history that came before it.

    So in many ways, the New 52 has felt very disjointed and poorly planned. Very clear roadmaps for all major characters and titles should have been established, at least internally, so that the questions fans have been asking (Did Crisis happen? Did Superman die? Was Batgirl ever Oracle? How did Batman go through so many Robins so quickly?) would have had clear, concise answers since day one, with clear ideas of how those past continuity questions would be addressed by current or future creators.

    Instead, in many cases, it feels like the writers and editors don’t have an idea of how to resolve these questions or they just answer them on the fly, having to retract them later when they realize they’ve boxed themselves in.

    Don’t get me wrong: I’m enjoying many of the titles that DC is producing now, particularly things I never would have given a second glance to, like Animal Man, Swamp Thing, and I, Vampire, but I think DC really did themselves a disservice in many ways with the establishment of this “new, but not really in certain places, and don’t look too closely at Green Lantern or the Big Three’s history or your head will start spinning” universe that they’ve created.

    • I with you on point a. They should have went all in on the reboot or not at all. It would have been far more appealing and eliminated some of the issues. With that said the writing would still have need to be good regardless of what they did.

    • I think the establishment of Superman as the “first” superhero is less about Morrison or anyone and more legacy in general. He did pretty much start the superhero genre as we know it. Internal to the continuity, if we assume that one guy sort of started the brightly-colored-costumes trend, it would probably be the larger-than-life one in a bright red cape capable of tremendous feats of strength, not the guy who dresses like a bat and hides in the shadows (or whoever else they could’ve chosen). These days there’s this need to justify why these characters dress in gaudy costumes, and they could’ve picked a worse reason, I think.

    • @Dix — Meh, I thought WW2 was a sufficient explanation for super-heroes/mystery men, even in the post-Crisis DCU. You had these people who had developed/obtained fantastical powers at the beginning of the Atomic Age, who decided to use those powers for good to combat the Axis powers wherever they could (even if the Spear of Destiny prevented them from getting directly involved on the front lines). Yet, in order to protect themselves from those who would harm them or their families, they wore masks and costumes.

      I liked that Superman, considered in the DCU to be “the greatest of them all” took inspiration from that to try and make his adopted planet a better and safer place.

      Granted, as we get further and further away from World War 2 in the real world, it becomes harder to justify their existence in 2012 if they’re still alive today… but maybe they shouldn’t be any longer. I would have been fine if, as in the original post-Crisis, Superman was the “first” of the modern heroes who had taken his inspiration from the original super-heroes from the history books. They don’t necessarily have to be alive today in order to be inspirational.

      Instead, it’s just… a random space alien with super-powers, who decided to wear his family crest on a t-shirt and a cape, so now everyone else thinks that’s a cool idea.

  15. I’m currently reading about a bit more DC than I was prior to the reboot. But I really don’t think it has anything to do with rebooting the universe or the freeing up on old continuity. Jim touched on it a bit. To me, the main thing getting me in on the new books that I added from the reboot was new creative teams giving a character or book a new creative vision or breath of fresh air.

    The gimmickry of the who “New 52” did get me to give more of those new creative teams a shot than I would have. So kudos to it for that. But honestly, I can’t think of one single instance where having less continuity, back story, or baggage was the draw. Then again, I am a reader who always enjoyed seeking out older stories to fill in any continuity gaps I came across.

    I don’t have a problem letting go of past continuity. But it has to be done right. And IMO, that isn’t happening for the most part. Perfect example is the new Batman timeline. They wanted to keep most of his past history, but not all of it, and are applying it as they deem necessary. And with the amount of different Bat titles, it’s all over the place. If you are currently reading multiple Bat titles, there are continuity and timeline errors and contradictions up the wazoo.

    If DC really wanted to do away with the old continuity, they needed to make a hard line stance and do away with all of it. Not some here and some not there. I’ve read multiple DC writers admit that they are clueless as to what is and what isn’t still in continuity from the old books. That’s a problem.

    I think the reboot WAS a success. It garnered buzz and attention, and got a lot of people checking out books they previously would not have. But it’s a year later and and that’s history now. As far as DC’s current standing is concerned, I think it’s a wash at best. And depending on you’re level of critical objectivity, possibly a net loss. Once you get past the whole “new” stage and the benefits it brought, now you’re dealing with the aftermath. And that currently seems to be super screwy continuity, many characters without strong identities, constant creative changes, and a bunch of terribly redesigned costumes.

    If I were to give a quick immediate knee jerk assessment of the reboot. I’d say that DC sacrificed the long term in exchange for the short term. They enjoyed a nice shot of relevancy for the time being. But over the long term, once the new buzz and small number of new readers wears off, DC is going to be left with mostly the people Jimski was quoting. Comics are simply too small a niche to not think those people matter.

    But hey, it’s all good. I’m sure they’ll be able to whip everyone into a frenzy once again in a couple years when Pandora is able to open that skull box of hers and bring back the old DCU.

  16. And just for the record. Jim, if this was done to the Marvel U, I’m guessing you’d be one of those Facebook posters. 😉

  17. * Jim Mroczkowski would admittedly like to know how there can be like six Robins in the span of a couple years *

    This may seem trivial in the midst of all these grand arguments being made on the subject. I, for one, am really bothered by this aspect of the Batman reboot. I am enjoying most of the New 52 offerings that i have tried, and have picked up many more DC books than before. Batman and GL had to be my biggest concerns once i heard the announcement, but overall i don’t think they have missed a beat. Once i read all the #1’s the only gripe I had was how they handled the Robins. Can anyone explain how “6 years ago” a young Bruce Wayne is battling the Red Hood Gang, and present day he has ran through 4 Boy Wonders?

    • This is a core problem with this reboot. If something was successful, like GL and the Batman books, they just didn’t do a full reboot.

    • While I agree the Robins thing is dumb, I really don’t care. I just ignore it like all other continuity that doesn’t work for *me*.

  18. “Of course, I can’t be annoyed by DC’s current continuity much because I know nothing about DC continuity. I started reading most of this stuff a year ago. Maybe this whole thing is an unmitigated travesty to someone with some background. Or maybe there’s just yet another whiny minority banging their heads against the brick wall of Change. I have no idea; I’m clearly not the weather vane of fandom. Is it just me?….”

    Yeah, I don’t think you minded since you weren’t reading DC comics before the reboot. Imagine reading these titles for years and keeping track of all the continuity etc. All of a sudden DC says, “Ok, forget everything we just told you the last however many years. We are going to start over. Everybody is de aged and young again. Barbara Gordon isn’t paralyzed anymore. In fast she can walk just fine and is now Batgirl again. What’s that? Stephanie Brown was Batgirl in the old DCU? Oh yeah, we don’t need her anymore. We’ll just throw her in the trash can. Oh, and even though she was the 4th Robin in the old DCU that never happened in the new 52”.

    These were some of my rants when this reboot happened. Outrage. But since then I now get more DC books then I did before the reboot. I got over it and am enjoying the stories. Was it a good idea? I don’t know. But I do see how it is necessary every so often. I mean if they didn’t de-age people etc once in a while Bruce Wayne would have died from old age a long time ago. And also after a while continuity gets so complex it makes it so hard to write new stores. You would have to go back 70 years to make sure what you are doing isn’t going against something that was done in a story before or something. In fact I would find Marvel Now! much more attractive if they did the same thing. A full reboot. But then again I’m not a long time Marvel reader so I would feel for them if that happened.

  19. I’m thrilled with Green Lantern, Batman (except for the existence of Damien and the “Batman, Inc.” concept) and Aquaman and feel rather “meh” about Justice League. For the flagship title of the DCnU, I feel that it’s pretty well phoned in, particularly the art. I’m hoping when Reis takes over things will pick up a bit.

    As a BIG Superman fan, I’m incredibly disappointed at both Super titles. All I see when I read Action Comics is Clark as Superboy and I have no interest in Superboy. And God knows what’s going on in the Superman title. All I know is the new suit looks ridiculous. I’ll take red trunks over unnecessary Kryptonian ceremonial camouflage body armor any day. And please – PLEASE – bring back the classic S-shield. I can’t stand the way that’s drawn these days.

    • “Unnecessary Kryptonian ceremonial camoflage body armor”. Of course that’s what he’s wearing right now, he needs to be able to fit in when he joins WildC.A.T.S. in a few months…

    • Can’t agree more. Supers is a train wreck and the tracks look broken for as far as the eye can see. Costumes are horrible but his really stinks, in fact the Earth2 version actually looked better, at least the ‘S’ was really up to date. And Wonder Woman, still in a thong? Really? The leggings would have been taken more seriously.

  20. Also one last point. I can not agree more with Conor from a week ago on the podcast. DC really screwed up with the 90’s Image approach to the character designs and story lines for the New 52. When he said that the more simplistic approach of the Young Justice and Batman Beyond books made this clear, he hit the nail on the head. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that some of Marvel’s newer successes like Daredevil and Wolverine & the X-Men, all followed that direction. Keep it simple. Keep it about the characters. Tone down the sensationalism and keep your character designs classic and simple.

    IMO, Daredevil and Wolverine & the X-Men are the blueprint DC should’ve been following. Not 90’s era Image EXTREME titles. Sure, some darker, grittier books are needed in the line. But again, I feel DC should’ve taken a page from Marvel and gone with an Uncanny X-Force type slant. I know that the level of competition between the two companies is so fierce that it probably precludes them from wanting to do anything that gives credit to the other. But I’m sorry, the 90’s Image era was not the era to be emulating in 2012.

    • I agree 100%! If the New 52 had gone the route of Young Justice in terms of its reboot, I think it would be great. Continuities cleaned up, characters connected in new, interesting ways and polished costume designs that don’t just scream “NINETIES EXTREME!!!”

  21. The thing that bugs me most is that they did this reboot to simplify continuity to bring in new readers, and therefore, garner more sales. But what DC has done so far just makes the continuity more complicated. By having some stories still exist and others that didn’t in a 5 year timeline, it just makes it all the more confusing to pinpoint what happened and what didn’t. Whatever way they choose to resolve this, either by stating what happened and what didn’t or just neglecting it, just digs a deeper hole for them. By getting rid of only some of the continuity and leaving some parts of others (i.e. BATMAN and GREEN LANTERN), it just creates this convoluted mess that is the opposite of what they wanted to do in the first place.

    • This. It just made no sense to do this at all.

      Even those who argue that continuity doesn’t matter… ok, fine, I understand what those people are saying and their argument only REINFORCES why there should never have been a ‘5 years ago today’ limit.

    • Five years seems too short of a time.

      Marvel tries to condense their continuity into ten years, and they have arguably less.

      If Marvel can’t cram 50 years into ten, I don’t know how DC thought they were gonna cram 70 into half that time.

      But I guess if you’re jump-starting everything, just make Superman in his early twenties and go with it.

      Couldn’t they just say Supes crashed into Earth-whatever over 20 years ago and make that Point Zero?

  22. I really haven’t read any.

    I bought a smattering, but I haven’t made the time or had the inclination to read any.

    I’ll read what I hear is the “best of” some year in a library trade.

    For now my DC point-of-access is the DCAU.

  23. Was the “New-52” launch a success? Yes & No.

    Bat-titles – across the selection, quality has improved, not that they were poor before. I’m pulling 4 per month, never did that before.

    JLA titles :- The League had a slow start creatively, but seems to be improving. Aquaman, The Flash & W.W. resounding successes, although unlike many I liked Gail Simone’s run with the Amazon.

    The Dark titles – greatest successes from my perspective. Love Demon Knights & Frankenstein, wish more folk did. I dropped Animal Man & Swamp Thing last month as I felt they were taking the mick, dragging out “The Rot” plot. Shame, as the first 6/7 months were brilliant.

    G.L. titles – no great change, still pretty good. I still think Red Lanterns is a stretch but hey, no harm in trying.

    Super-titles – I can’t put my finger on it as to why, but the re-launch has singularly failed in improving the fortunes or actual product of Superman, in comics. Supergirl, a pleasant surprise. Superboy? Never mind.

    Teen Titles/Legion etc- the “youth-orientated” titles have been an unmitigated disaster. The new-52 seems to have thrown Paul Levitz off course on Legion & I don’t understand the focus on these new characters when the bulk of long-standing, more interesting characters are being ignored. As for Titans/Red Robin/Ravagers, well DC Editorial should be embarrassed. The assigned writers have been poor in pedigree & output. Do the editors actually look at this stiff each month & think, “we’re doing a fine job!”?

    Other Shameful Disasters – Green Arrow, Hawkman, Deathstroke, Stormwatch, Grifter, Suicide Squad. All great properties. All deserve the best creative talent available. Each of them, in terms of output have been so poor, I have almost been shocked. Almost.

    JSA – this team are the reason I buy comics, at all. And yes, I miss the old team terribly. However, I did appreciate the need to try something new. I like new. So far, both Earth-2 & World’s Finest are working for me.

    I like that they have tried to be expansive with their 1st wave & I agree with the tactic of regular cancellations of titles folk just won’t buy, coinciding with successive waves, hopefully brimming with new ideas from eager creative teams.

    What this re-launch really did was get me to seriously consider my choices. As a result, I’m enjoying my purchases more than I have in a long while.

    Here’s the rub for DC though; Pre New-52, I pulled on average, 23 x DC comics per month. And now? My monthly average is about the same but only 13 going forward will be DC titles.

    • I fucking hate what they did with Teen Titans man. Its fucking awful. I loved Geoff Johns run on Teen Titans and some other stories were good after, but this is just ridiculous. They get Scott Lobdell who is like what 50 and they tell him to write a book about modern teen heroes. That in itself is just begging for disaster.

  24. “I read the last Punisher just an hour ago”

    I believe the wrap up for the Punisher title is going to spin off into Punisher: War Zone this month. A story where the Avengers are after him. Sounds pretty good. So there is still more Punisher for ya. 😉 And I think he will be in Thunderbolts in Marvel Now! too.

    • There are other versions of Punisher and other volumes of Punisher.

      There will be again.

      It’s not as if one is guaranteed continuous Punisher befitting one’s vision of the character for all time.

      That was a pretty good run. Better that it’s over. I hope the next volume will be equally satisfying.

      In the meantime, there are plenty of other funnybooks to be had, from Marvel and other publishers.

      If the OP finds himself underwhelmed, he should certainly invest his money in entertainment he enjoys.

    • After reading the first two trades of Rucka’s Punisher I’m hoping he takes what he added to the character and spins into an indie book. He’s someone whose indie work is amazing every time.

  25. Overall I like the new 52 and it is what brought me back into reading comics but the more I catch up on the old DCU the more confused I get. Some things I find confusing are did Flashpoint, which I haven’t read yet, bring about some Crisis like change that lead to the New 52? Is the earth one Batman graphic novel the Year One of the New 52, it seems like an elseworld like tale but the guy at my comic shop told me it was his new history and isn’t Earth One the main universe? And last how has Batman done pretty much all the things he did in the old DCU, like had 4 robins started BATMAN Inc and met and impregnated Talia all within 5 years?

    • “Some things I find confusing are did Flashpoint, which I haven’t read yet, bring about some Crisis like change that lead to the New 52?”

      That’s kind of what they said anyway. Flashpoint caused all this. The Flash changed everything back to the way it was at the end of Flashpoint. ‘As much as he could tell.’ anyway. Which gave DC the freedom to do whatever they wanted, like making Barbara Gordon walk again etc. It also gave them a fail safe if the new 52 was a complete bust. They could just have another story where Barry Allen fixes everything to be EXACTLY the way it was before Flashpoint. But I can’t see this happening now. All the new readers who jumped on board with the reboot would be totally confused.

      ” Is the earth one Batman graphic novel the Year One of the New 52, it seems like an elseworld like tale but the guy at my comic shop told me it was his new history and isn’t Earth One the main universe? ”

      Earth 0 is the main universe. Earth One is a different universe which is why it feels like an elseworld tale. So it’s not Batman’s new history in the current DCU, which is Earth 0. It’s his new history on Earth One.

      “And last how has Batman done pretty much all the things he did in the old DCU, like had 4 robins started BATMAN Inc and met and impregnated Talia all within 5 years?”

      Beats the heck out of me. There were actually 5 Robins in the old DCU too. But they said Stephanie Brown was never Robin in this new DCU. In fact she has yet to even appear at all.

    • Thank you daningotham for clearly that up, I never knew there was an Earth 0. I guess I should go back and read Flashpoint. And I don’t really mind the Batman timeline being off because the books have been pretty good but I love Dick Grayson and would have really liked to see him with Batman. By the time I really started reading comics Jason Todd was already Robin so I never really got to enjoy the Classic Batman and Robin and this reboot would have been a cool way to bring that back.

  26. For me, it has nothing to do with a reboot vs a relaunch, or all at once vs none at all. I am enjoying the new 52 books, buying a ton more DC than ever before, and being treated fairly as a customer. Books come out on time, are reasonably priced, and have stayed at a consistently acceptable quality.

    Marvel is charging a ton for their books, double shipping on top of that and forcing nearly all of their titles into crossovers. They are cancelling all the characters that aren’t part of Avengers, X-Men, Spider-man or Fanrastic Four.

    Marvel ending their titles gives me a good spot to walk away. DC launching a new one makes me want to try it because I know what to expect 6 months from now (6 issues, high likelihood of same artist, $2.99 price, no line wide crossover).

  27. In regards to marketing and attracting new readers… its a simple solution: Do away with issue numbers and do as magazines do: Month/Year…. or if that’s too difficult of a jump, then go by volumes. year one is Volume one. Year two is volume 2. Etc.

    The whole idea of renumbering is that some people might be intimidated by ‘Issue #689’ or ‘Issue #351″… ok, so Volume 2 Issue 1. Volume 3 Issue 1… They all sound like good jumping points when you put it in those terms.

    And to take even that idea to another level, make sure that all plots and stories in a volume are tied up by issue 12 of that year. That way each new volume is truly a ‘fresh start’ from year to year. You can still carry over past continuity, but make it a point to not rely on it. Then 1 yearly annual that actually does what an annual is supposed to do: Sum up the past year of events for new readers.

    Is any of that really so hard? They could have done all that without really messing up continuity.

    • My only worry would be that this would encourage year-long storylines that don’t necessarily deserve to be a year long (like writing for the trade but worse). But otherwise that does seem rather clever.

  28. I think they should be writing in arcs that actually pay off every six issues or so.

    It seems a lot of readers are complaining about a whole year of set up.

    I think each half year should be its own movie.

    A strong logline, with an actual beginning, a fun and dangerous middle, and satisfying conclusion.

    A few elements carried forward into the next self-contained half-year storyline.

    Six issue trades. Annual volumes. With actual character development.

    Although I find it highly unlikely.

    Characters in comics rarely learn anything, and often revert to their original flawed selves repeatedly.

  29. It seems like this same conversation comes up over and over. The fact of the matter is DC is a company, and the ONLY REAL THING a company will ever understand is MONEY. Comics is a small community so we like to think that our input can help, but money never lies. So if you don’t like what DC has done, STOP BUYING THE BOOKS!

    I don’t understand why this is so difficult for people to understand. If the New 52 was a big flop financially things would be back the way they were before. But, since everyone still buys the books, but just complain about them, nothing will change.

    I personally love the New 52, and have never bought so many DC books. I wouldn’t change a single thing.

  30. As much as I love some of the new titles (Batman, Wonder Woman, Action, The Shade etc.) the loss of the JSA is utterly crushing. I actually like what Robinson is doing on Earth 2, but that is not the JSA. Unless Grant Morrison has a JSA project he’s keeping on the down low this will continue to bother me. The elseworlds mini is welcomed, but not enough to satisfy most JSA fans.

  31. I realize I might be opening a can of worms with this question, but can anyone tell me why continuity (either DC’s or Marvel’s) is so important to them? I couldn’t care less about continuity; I love the 60s Batman show, I love the Batman movie from ’89, I love Snyder’s Court of Owls, and Miller’s Dark Knight Returns… why should it matter to me that they don’t take place in the same continuity? What if you go back and read a pre-Crisis book from the 70s? Do you guys get less joy out of it because the story “doesn’t matter” to current continuity? I’d like to understand why it bothers people so much because if anything I’d rather they had less continuity issue to issue so they could get more new readers all the time, not just when they go on a readership drive every 10-20 years.

    • Ok I’ll try and help. First of all let’s look at the examples you listed. All of them wonderful adaptations of the source material in their own right but none of those examples are the kinds of thing we’re talking about. No one really gets into a fervor over tv shows and movies changing things but when the actual source material starts changing it can get weird on the internet. Imagine if you will a batman show much like the Adam West show. Season 1 is fantastic and you can’t wait for Season 2. But during the summer break all the writers of the show runner are fired. Now when Season 2 starts it’s still Batman but now it’s not the same Batman you grew to love over the course of the first season. So now you can either stick with or not watch a batman show.

      See, for some people the comics are their only exposure to the characters and when that source material changes it gets scrutinized a lot more savagely. Somewhere out there is a person who’s only exposure to the Flash was Wally West. Now all of a sudden his favorite DC character might not even exist and yet Hawkman has his own series again?

    • Thanks RoiVampire, that makes a lot of sense. In your Batman example, I feel like the obvious choice (not watch a Batman show) is just easier for me to accept than it is for some people, I guess. Perhaps the problem is that I am ok with finite terms of entertainment. Well, I hardly want to call it a problem, I feel like I’m a lot happier than a lot of people who read comics. I will often pick up books specifically because they are out of continuity, because I know anything actually can happen in them. Punisher MAX and Superman/Batman were both awesome because of it.

      Wally West is actually a great example for me as well. When I was reading comics the most, in the early to mid 90s, I had a bunch of Flash comics but I had no real idea who Barry Allen was. Now Barry’s back, Wally’s nowhere to be seen, and I still love those Flash comics that I used to read, those specific issues. I don’t need DC to validate the stories I read as a teen to still love them, and if Wally does or doesn’t exist in the new 52 doesn’t change anything about those stories. If I want to read more Wally stories, there are plenty I never got to read from back then. If I somehow read all the Wally West Flash stories there are, then I should have no problem finding other comics that I like and want to read. I know this isn’t how most people see it, and again I’m not saying my way is the right way, but I definitely feel like I am one of the more content comic fans I know lol

  32. I think this is absolutely the worst thing Marvel could be doing right now, the reason being thrones of new fans are not coming in and will not be coming in. Its time we faced facts, the industry is not growing. Prices have risen to unreasonable levels and very few people who haven’t already been drawn in can justify spending $4 for 20 pages of material when they can spend $8 and get a 200+ page manga or whatever. But that’s a whole different debate…

    Marvel has had the majority of the market share for the last few years (what they were doing was working) DC saw what it was doing wasn’t working so they threw it all away. As a result DC generated interest and buzz which finally got them sales on par with marvel (a huge boost for DC). For some reason Marvel decided this automatically means re-launching titles equals a huge boost in sales so they would do it. This creates a huge problem because what they’re really doing is freeing up their established fan bases’ wallets. Now previously exclusive marvel fans have to decide do I take a chance on these new creative teams or do I try some DC titles I see getting glowing reviews like Animal man, Swamp Thing, Snyder’s Batman, etc. Even if they only say yes to one or two of those titles that’s still less money for marvel.

    I bought my first DC trade two weeks ago, I now have 36. I had subscriptions on 10 marvel titles, that is now down to 2.

  33. I like the New-52, Well as far as Action, Superman and the JL/Shazam books are concerned…but from what I have read about Tim Drake on the internet, it seems like he is the only one who hasn’t been figured out.

  34. …and for those saying nay about things for eg. Superman and WW relationship, I think most readers are not paying attention or reading their comics too fast or just forgetting what they read..Supes and WW have been giving each other that vibe long before JL#12, I actually saw it coming….honest…

  35. The New 52 didn’t change ENOUGH.

    The books that were the freshest takes were by far the best, the rest were pretty terrible and worse, uninspired. But that’s what you get when you commission someone to pitch a book they know nothing about the next morning, greenlight it, then change creative teams after 3 issues and then cancel it.

    Instead of getting a whole new start they straddled the line and tried to shoe-horn in dumb old concepts on most of the books and they suffered for it.

    If more books were like Wonder Woman and how Animal Man started it would have been great.

    • I posted similar thoughts below, then noticed your comment. So yea, I agree.

    • I agree with you guys. They kind of half-assed it and hesitated on some stuff. The angry fanboys seem to complain no matter what they do. They didn’t mix up the Batman or the GL books much, but that’s okay – they were good before and are good now.

      But some of the other stuff I wish they mixed up more, because the stuff they did mix up or start pretty new (JL Dark, Animal Man, Red Hood, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad) I’ve liked a lot.

      Still miss Secret Six, though.

  36. What need be noted first is the medium’s inexplicable knack for doing the same thing over and over and over. The New 52 was supposed to be something new. The trouble is, ‘new’ has kinda proven to be the same ‘old’, minus a few exceptions.

  37. DC are a business out to make money. They wanted new readers, and higher sales across the board, and got them. They’ll carry on developing new business, marketing and publicity strategies to get new readers and sell more books. I hate to say it because I am one of those who jumped on for new52 after being a casual tpb reader for a number of years and I still primarily buy and, for the most part, enjoy dc books. But the way of the corporate arts industry is to suck the life out of art in exchange for mo money mo money mo money.

  38. I don’t have any gripes with the New 52. Some of it impressed me (Batman, Wonder Woman, early Animal Man) and I checked out over half of the new titles’ number 1 issues. Some of those I continued to buy until the first arc was over and then dropped for budget reasons, many of them I didn’t even buy the 2nd issue. But the whole marketing push got me excited about comics again so that I now buy more DC titles regularly than I did before *and* I buy more comics in general including those from other companies. I don’t think anyone is disputing the marketing campaign’s succcess for the New 52 and I think a lot of the excitement for customers was the idea of a line-wide reboot/relaunch. Whether buyers welcomed it or not, it was legitimately newsworthy business strategy and caught everyone’s attention even alot of Marvel readers. Comic sales are up across the board as compared to a year and a half ago. I don’t think Marvel’s drips and drabs incremental debuts of their branded Marvel Now titles will have the same effect. By its very nature it’s not the same kind of shock to the system. It’s not every title re-booted all in one month. It’s not even a continuity re-boot, just a shuffling of the deck chairs for the creative talent. As a line-wide marketing event, this isn’t newsworthy in the real news. Marvel will get lots of good press, but I don’t think it’s going to get the same kind of pop culture penetration that brought in all those newbies and lapsed readers looking for the new #1’s. I saw those people in my LCS for months after the New 52 hit still asking for Batman #1, etc. DC did the right thing by keeping them around in reprint.

  39. I’m dropping New 52 title more and more.

    A few tiles (Earth 2, World’s Finest, most of the Bat-books) are very enjoyable to me, but books that I once felt great excitement over when they were launched a year ago are just not having an impact on me anymore.

    And all but one of the Third Wave titles left me cold.

    How many waves does it take to get to the center of a really good comics universe?

  40. “Where else could a Demon Knights exist in 2012?”

    That pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter. Same goes for Frankenstein which has somehow become even more awesome since Kindt started writing it. The New 52 remains a net gain in my eyes. I’m still reading 10 DC titles. But I’m not the type of person that gets worked up about continuity.

    The reboot does have its flaws. We’re still stuck with some tragic costume re-designs. They tried to have their cake and eat it to with the level of continuity they kept. In retrospect I would’ve preferred a harder reboot. I’m thinking the treatment Wonder Woman got for all DC’s big characters.

    Superman was fumbled hard. Action Comics started out such a fresh take then lost it’s way trying to fit into the new continuity. I’m still reading Supergirl and enjoying it so at least they got that one right.

    • Agreed across the board. Based on interviews I’ve seen with George Perez after he left Superman, I get the impression that Morrison was allowed to remain very quiet about his plans for Action Comics, thus leaving the Superman title (and presumably Justice League) with very little info to plan how the modern-day Superman would be reflected in the DCnU. That never should have been allowed to happen. The editors should have had full knowledge about what’s coming so they could ensure that it all fit into a cohesive narrative. Now we’re left with an Action Comics that kind of seems to be set in its own universe and a Superman title that’s on its third creative team in a year.

      And Superboy (at least until I stopped reading it) is a real tragedy, too. Such a shame, too, because I was really enjoying Kon-El’s title right before the reboot.

  41. I think the problem most long time readers, like myself, have is that throwing out the old continuity and starting from semi-scratch was across the board unnecessary. It only makes sense if all the books become Year One type stories. Otherwise you just get a muddy backstory. None of the characters really needed any drastic change to improve.

    If in September of 2011 DC had come out with all new #1’s across the board and kept the original continuity and just TOLD NEW STORIES the same people would have tried these books. Court of Owls would be fine. Wonder Woman would be fine. Animal Man and Swamp Thing would read the same. Books like Justice League Dark and StormWatch would carry alot more weight. And for pity’s sake, they could do a Teen Titans book that is a fraction as good as the Young Justice series.

  42. Although I was very excited for the reboot, I am very much out of love with The New 52 and buying less DC than I was before it.

    I think my problem is less in the big-picture side and more in a case-by-case scenario, but I feel like most of my favourite characters became less interesting post-reboot.

    Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, Superboy, the Teen Titans, The Flash, Green Lantern… It’s simply not on the same level for me as it was beforehand.

  43. Said it before, I’ll say it again – the new 52 is terrible. Did away with the things I liked the most in the DCU and made the mediocre worse. Animal-Man & Swamp Thing seemed like they were going to be good, but they seem to be treading water now. Superman is abysmal along with all of the teen hero books, don’t even get me started on Red Hood & the Outlaws…

    Part of the problem is their integration with the Wildstorm universe. I mean, who really gives two shits about any of that crap?

    • I do… but I’ll admit that the integration has been half-hearted at best, particularly with Martian Manhunter now off of Stormwatch (and he wiped their memories of his time there to boot, for some poorly defined reason).

  44. The problem is that none of it makes a lick of sense.

  45. The pre-52 universe will always exists, just like the silver age DCU. The comics are still on sale, digital or otherwise, and if any new readers who jumped on after the launch of The New 52 ever care to experience the old DCU then that stuff is easy to find. As a long-time DC reader I honestly prefer the old DCU, but how many old fans said that of the pre-CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS DCU in 1986 (a year after Crisis happened?) My point is, there were good stuff that came out of this New 52 relaunch, and there were bad stuff, but the same can be said of the previous relaunch in 1985. Things will become good again, just like they did after Crisis, then we’ll have a dip in quality again, ad infinitum. If there’s stuff you don’t like NOW, don’t despair. It might get better again down the line. Bad titles wil be cancelled, and new ones will be solicited, just the way it’s always been. As long as most of the writers and editors at least TRY to strive for quality I will keep reading DC, and there are at least 10 of the new titles that I’m enjoying immensely month in and month out…

    • Agreed, and in 10-20 years, we’ll be bemoaning the fact that our beloved New 52 is being wiped out with the latest issue of Final Infinite Crisis on Flashpoint Zero! 😉

    • LOL – With event titles like those, DC’s gonna snatch you up to write those tales one day. Brilliant

  46. I’m in between i was reading dc pre 52 i liked jsa and still miss them but now justice league has the big three back and as far as superman its not great but I like it better than before remember grounded. I know some are up set but we who read comics know things never stay the same at least we got justice league dark out of it.

  47. I remember being (partially) excited for the New 52, then the books shipped. It’s taken a year, but I’m pretty much done with DC for the most part. I’ve even dropped All-Star Western finally coming to terms that one of my favorite titles, Jonah Hex, has been shoehorned into a pre-Batman Bat-book. For a while Hex was the only DC book I read.

    It’s not that I’m territorial with the New 52 — “that’s not my DC” — but it’s been an absolutely boring year as far as my enjoyment with DC.

    Marvel NOW! is becoming a guilt-free jumping-off point. I’ve wasted so much money on AvX tie-ins shipping bi-weekly in titles was already reading making me a bit resentful having WATXMj, UXM, New Avengers and Avengers hijacked for half a year and wasting so many issues on a crossover I’m not even reading. I’m done. I haven’t subscribed to any of the upcoming NOW! titles. I’m sticking with WATXM and DD and that’s it. Amazing Spider-man is done at 700 and so am I.

    What I am excited about is having a bunch of money freed-up from allowing the Big Two to sack my wallet and budget and being able to explore comics elsewhere. I’m eyeballing some Dick Tracy reprints, Usagi Yojimbo, Hellblazer OGNs and I want to experiment with some pre-Vertigo Vertigo titles. Punk Rock Jesus looks cool, too.

  48. You can have old continuity and still keep things simple. The problem is being a slave to continuity. Simply restarting your universe and continuity doesn’t on it’s own make things more accessible or easier to understand. If anything, what DC’s has done has made things more confusing. You don’t need to do away with your history and character back stories to make things simple and easy. Just look at Greg Rucka’s Punisher, the beginning of Mark Waid’s Daredevil, Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye. All those writers did a great job of simply telling a new story with an old character. The past still happened and is a part of the character’s history, but the focus was on the now. Like I said before, continuity isn’t the problem. Being a slave to continuity is. And IMO, the new 52 is already bogged down in it’s own, new confusing continuity. With most of the books, I’m more confused now than before. It’s not about what you do. It’s about how you do it.

  49. My only comment on this subject is this.

    My first comic was Captain America and the Falcon #204. I was ten and even though I didn’t know completely what was going on, i got hooked. Over the years, I gradually learned more and more about the Marvel. I didn’ t need to be there for Captain America #1 to enjoy that comic. There’s nothing I enjoy more than going to a comicshow and buying a random comic and jumping into the storyline. I still do it today. I read on this site that Red Hood and Outlaws was a good title and I picked it up starting with issue 4. Been getting it ever since. I didn’t even bother to trying to find the first three. Part of life is the mystery and discovering it slowly.

    At some point Marvel and DC came to the conclusion that they needed to restart issues at number one to garner interest from new readers. Short term sales seemed to support this theory. I don’t know if people have gotten lazy over the years and just want everything presented to them upfront but this is what’s killing the industry. People just want everything to be easy and convenient. I’ve reluctantly accepted that Marvel and DC will always be “restarting” every few years because that is what’s keeping them alive.

    Which is why even if I skip MARVEL NOW, there’s be another MARVEL REALLY NOW in a few years I can jump on.

  50. I would pay money to be the intern who gets high and works at DC.

  51. My biggest gripe about the New 52 is ‘Zero Month’. It absolutely killed all momentum of the comics that I have been reading and every much enjoying.

    • Looking back at the 0-issues I read (I still need to get to a few I bought but haven’t gotten to yet), I see your point. Some were good, but did stop the thrust of the story.

      One retailer said sales/pulls have picked up from the 0-issues, so that is good. But it had me only add one title to my pulls and drop 2 others.