Since last Wednesday, the internet has been lit up with a lot of talk about DC Comics’ New 52 books. Well, more specifically, they have been lit up with discussion of two that week’s releases: Catwoman and Red Hood and The Outlaws and how female characters are portrayed in both books. In my own reviews of each book, the did not rate them highly, with Catwoman almost falling into the dropped pile.
DC’s new 52 continues to roll out, but there are a number of other titles out this week that should be considered as well.
Just a few upsides and downsides I see with the upcoming DC relaunch.
Anthology potential – With the inclusion of DC Universe Presents, All-Star Western, Men of War and My Greatest Adventure, the potential of seeing more of the DC Universe within the themes of the titles is possible.
High number of “family” books – The Batman family tops out the titles with eleven, and that’s not even counting the October solicitations yet. While I realize that Batman is quite popular, that’s just too much Batman.
New characters, new titles – Mister Terrific has not had an ongoing series that I am aware of. And it had been quite a while since we’ve seen a Captain Atom, Hawk and Dove, Resurrection Man (which I liked the first time around) or Static Shock ongoing. The expansion of giving characters like this a chance at another title helps to bring in title diversity.
Number 1s across the board – Every title starts with number 1. While it is okay for some titles (Justice League, which has been renumbered many times over the years), we lose the history of longer running titles like Action and Detective. Action Comics itself just celebrated its 900 issue. Now, all that history (and all the hype over 900) means nothing.
New divisions – I’m actually pretty keen on the grouping of the titles by theme. It allows for a bit more cohesion amongst the titles, and makes is easier for people to look for something new. Like Justice League Dark, then maybe you would like to check out some of the other “dark” titles. If you like your books a bit edgier, then the “On The Edge” titles may have something for you.
Lack of continuity – At one time, DC ran number shields on all their Superman books showing the order in which each book falls. Now, it seems that the titles are a bit more erratic in nature. Action Comics seems to be covering Superman’s early years, while Superman covers now. Figuring out where titles fit in is going to be more difficult after the relaunch.
Cleaning up characters – Power Girl is the example of this. She was originally created to be an Earth 2 version of Supergirl. Since Crisis on Infinite Earths, her past has been tweaked again and again to deal with the fact that there was no Earth 2. Eventually, with the return of Supergirl in Superman/Batman (at least, the return of a Kryptonian Supergirl), Power Girl, though a very likeable character, seems a bit redundant. Now, according to sources, there will be no post-relaunch Power Girl, though Karen Starr (Power Girl’s alter ego) will remain in the DCU.
Cleaning up characters – As redundant as Power Girl seems in a universe with Supergirl, she is very popular. So are the Justice Society of America, who are also gone from the new DCU. As for Superman’s marriage to Lois Lane, gone, never happened. They are not even an item in the new DCU. A lot of fans feel very passionately about these things, and have been quite vocal about it.