I Got 52 problems but a reboot ain’t one.

The Logos combine to make a Voltronesc logo...or Captain Planet whichever one comes first

With the DCnU in its sixth-month of existence, I thought I would just comment on the reboot in general. While the sales of their titles have been quite good, that doesn’t mean that the re-launch is a complete success.

The reboot didn’t start off all that strong with its first comic Justice League #1 confusing people. The book started five years before the main events of the universe at the foundation of the league, with Batman and Green Lantern meeting each other for the first time.

The highlight of the book, in my opinion, being the earthman with an alien power ring, glowing green and floating five inches off the ground looking at a man in a suit with pointy ears and asking, “Batman, Your Real?” without a hint of irony.

While the comic’s would improve with later issues, it was a slow way to introduce the new universe to new readers, when what they needed was a strong opening to kick it off.

The confusion based around the reboot would continue with the books not giving a clear idea of what alls changed. For example the Green Lantern titles, for the most part, weren’t affected. So we’re left to think that the last twenty years of Green Lantern Comics (Hal Jordon killing all the Lanterns as Paralax, bringing them back, becoming the Specter, becoming a lantern again, The Sinestro Corps, Blackest Night, War of the Lanterns) all happened in five years all while fighting Darkseid as a member of the Justice League…that’s a lot in a small amount of time.

Suffering from the same editorial decisions, the Batman titles, had to play catch up with the new universe. While Batman Incorporated doesn’t re-launch till May, it seems kind of shoed in. The titles are doing there best to get around that with Batman appearing in other books recruiting the members, but it’s still confusing. Not to mention the Batman Incorporated Leviathan Strikes #1 release during the reboot, but taking place before the reboot. That’s ok but, why did they jam the new Batman character Batwing into the story and end on a “to be continued?”

One aspect that was worrying about the change is from the creative teams behind the titles. There weren’t many women working on these Books. While that might seem like a secondary issue, it doesn’t help the company look good if men do all the books. Plus with DC letting Rob Liefeld work on some of the titles, it makes the company look a bit like a boys club. (By the way, who let Liefeld work on a comic? I thought he was locked away near a sun like Superboy Prime. Did I miss the memo?)

Despite the confusion and Liefeld the reboot has had some good points. I like the fact that there are three different Justice Leagues. One in America (A Team), another as a International team (B Team) and the Justice League Dark (Z Team) looking after the magic side of the universe. If you’re trying to give your universe a large group of heroes all over the world, these teams make sense.

The company is also showing some quality control with DC cancelling the titles that aren’t working (even if I collected two of them) and replacing them with more books that will help them build the universe. Bring the JSA back to Earth-Two makes is a cool call back to the original company (I might still confuse some new readers) plus more titles like World Finest and G.I. Combat that feature a rotating cast of characters and creative teams gives them a lot of material and people to work with.

Despite a few titles (Liefeld doing Hawk and Dove…really?) the current batch of comics are good and keep the readers coming back every month, to the point that of DC owning the largest market share for the last third of 2011.  With titles like Batwoman, Batgirl, Batman, Animal Man and Swamp Thing it’s easy to see why.

Together with the company’s new logos, DC Entertainment is looking to light a fire, and get new readers so they can continue to challenge Marvel for the market share.

What DC needs to do now is start focusing on more multi-media projects. More movies (More Batman, less Green Lantern) more television shows like Young Justice and maybe move focus on more motion comics.

They’re going to have to try and take on Marvel comics and the large advantage in the film and media space.


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One thought on “I Got 52 problems but a reboot ain’t one.

  1. wwayne says:

    Animal Man is the best New 52 series (along with Katana and Vibe).
    What makes Animal Man so special is the way Lemire deconstructs the superhero mythology. For example:
    1) Superheroes tend to monopolize the attention of the reader, while Animal Man is constantly upstaged by the supporting characters of the series.
    2) Superhero comics usually don’t give much importance to the private life of their main character (they tend to focus only on the “costume on” part); in Animal Man, on the contrary, the private life of Buddy is the main theme of the series. In fact, it is rather infrequent to see Buddy with his costume on.
    3) Buddy is not perfect, and is not perceived as perfect by other people: in fact, in the 11th issue, when he tells his wife “It’s going to be okay”, she replies “Don’t give me anything of that superhero crap, Buddy.” That cut and thrust perfectly enlightens the philosophy of the series.

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