DC New 52: Success or Disaster?

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Admin

A recap and thoughts on the current state of the DC Universe

Recently DC unveiled their latest gatefold cover: Batman and Red Robin #19.

batman and red robin 19

The fold revealed the Caped Crusader’s newest partner to possibly be Carrie Kelly from The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. With her introduction to the New 52, DC is bringing her into continuity for the first time similar to the way they brought Terry McGinnis and Batman Beyond a few years ago.

It is perhaps the most shocking news as of late.

DC has not been having such a good track record with many things as of late, and this is one thing many will ring as a success and great surprise for many readers. With Andy Diggle leaving Action Comics and foregoing it to Tony Daniel and now Scott Lobdell along with Joshua Fialkov leaving two of the Green Lantern titles, it starts to beg the questions whether the New 52 has been a success or a failure.

Bringing back Carrie Kelly for the amount of fans she has is certainly not a bad thing but it may come off as laziness since you could create an interesting and difference character like Scott Snyder did with Harper Row. However, I think it’s a fantastic idea, and I have always been for the inclusion of characters from other mediums especially with Batman Beyond. I was also a huge fan of how Grant Morrison included all the different elseworld iterations of Batman into his Return of Bruce Wayne miniseries that was pure awesomeness at its core. Cave Man Batman, Cow Boy Batman, Detective Batman…. I was hooked.

However, this is different from what has come before because it is a little bit of a change for the character from being just a teenage girl looking to Batman for guidance to a girl who knew Damian and is in college. Her look and personality will not change obviously but her position in life will. With the character remaining intact and DC seeing the merit in bringing her in, the question now becomes what areas has DC failed in that have made the New 52 a questionable if not riskier project.

The first problem area has been the cancellation of many different titles that have as of late in the solicitations taken them down closer to the New 50. Titles like Voodoo and Men of War were interesting different takes on the DC Universe and quite welcomed. However, they lost out in the advertising and marketing campaigns when it came to bigger books like Action Comics and Batman. Unfortunately, this left a lasting imprint early on in the project, and what further occurred in the case of those books would occur across their lines.

Creative teams would decide to drop off the books or be fired. This occurred first in Men of War with writer Ivan Brandon. He decided early on to leave the book after creative differences with the company. His story was getting rave reviews I saw as I looked on the back of the trade papaerback edition, and he used a different technique not often used in comics to illustrate the story: stream of consciousness. It made me feel as if I was reading Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I thought it was that good but DC would not stop there. They then ended up firing fan favorite writer Ron Marz off of Voodoo which ended up changing the character and her arc completely when writer Josh Williamson came onboard.

She became two different characters, and while it worked as his story unfolded, it did away with a lot of the stuff that was working better in Marz’s run. Unfortunately, DC just didn’t realize the potential in it. They also didn’t understand another large portion of the narratives that did work although may have upset some fans.

The issue was dealing with more adult tones in the New 52. Some of these were Starfire in the first few issues of Red Hood and the Outlaws or Catwoman in Catwoman. The problem was making the female characters unrealistically beautiful and portraying them as perfect goddess like characters. It was very similar to what they really would be in real life or in films if portrayed realistically. It had a cinematic effect akin to the old femme fatales in old detective films. Sadly, DC ditched it, and decided not to be realistic and brave about their portrayals.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not one for portraying women incorrectly and being misogynistic but it simply didn’t strike me as such. It was instead women using their bodies to seduce men, and that was a bit realistic and added some intrigue to who they were and why they did that. Why Voodoo got ditched probably was because the main character probably did way too much of that in the series. DC wanted to be safe, and got rid of that idea of portraying bad women realistically which in the end was quite sad.

While I see those as some of the negatives, I also saw a lot of good done. They kept all of Batman and Green Lantern’s histories intact, gave good writers the reigns to the main characters such as Kyle Higgins on Nightwing and Scott Snyder on Batman and also made it one consistent universe.

Don’t get me wrong…. I think the New 52 has had a lot of misfires but I think it has had more positives before the negatives came about…. It’s just that we are reading about the negatives right now as DC did away with a lot of what worked.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not one for portraying women incorrectly and being misogynistic but it simply didn’t strike me as such. It was instead women using their bodies to seduce men, and that was a bit realistic and added some intrigue to who they were and why they did that. Why Voodoo got ditched probably was because the main character probably did way too much of that in the series. DC wanted to be safe, and got rid of that idea of portraying bad women realistically which in the end was quite sad.

While I see those as some of the negatives, I also saw a lot of good done. They kept all of Batman and Green Lantern’s histories intact, gave good writers the reigns to the main characters such as Kyle Higgins on Nightwing and Scott Snyder on Batman and also made it one consistent universe.

Don’t get me wrong…. I think the New 52 has had a lot of misfires but I think it has had more positives before the negatives came about…. It’s just that we are reading about the negatives right now as DC did away with a lot of what worked.

Comments

comments



  • Bernie

    Geez, dude, proofread your articles,,,Sheesh!



Upcoming Events


Sunday, April 2, 2017


For FULL information on this upcoming event click this banner!


Partners & Sponsors