Sunday, October 23, 2011

Editorial Issues I'm starting to have with the NEW 52

I think enough time has gone by and I've read all the new 52 and have a fair idea of what DC is calling their new universe. I couldn't really put a finger on what was wrong with this reboot. Yes we all have nit-picking things. But I couldn't figure out a way to put into words my biggest problem with this "relaunch". But I just saw an ad for the Omnibus Collection of Geoff Johns' run on Hawkman. And I thought about all the hard work and great story telling that went into his issues... and it clicked with me. DC is doing to the DC Universe what they did to Hawkman. In short... really F' it up.

Now I'm not going to go through all of Hawkman's history. I don't have the patience or time to document each incarnation. Here is a wiki link that show some of it. It lists some of the history revisions, but I doubt you could argue that any character has had as many corrections and changes as Ol'Hawkie. So whats the issue? Find me one person who knows what the hell is going on with Hawkman. I don't mean just now. I mean ever. Is he the Alien from Thanagar? The archeologist? The hawk God? The Wind Element? The Son of another Hawk person? I have no clue. Which in small doses seems fine. If this was one many reboots... sure. But its not. This is who Hawkman has been since the 1985 Crisis. The man is all over the place. Geoff Johns did the best condensing and fixing ever on Hawkman. And I'd highly recommend this Omnibus. But even Johns messed things up for Hawkman in Brightest Day, by resurrecting them... turning them into Air elements, and then killing Hawk woman. (Don't get me started on Hawkwoman)  Then to re-re introduce Hawkman in the NEW 52. Confused? ME TOO.

Ok, DC is in fact doing this to everyone of its characters with this latest reboot. When I feel like it should have wiped the slate clean. Why, WHY WHY... keep a few things and not others? Why fix characters like Firestorm, Blue Beetle, Oracle, and Supergirl... when there was nothing wrong with them? Yet keep something like Batman Inc? Superman died and but there was never a Justice League International, All the Batman Inc off shoot characters like Bat-wing and Australia Dingo-batman get financial support from Bruce... BUT BARBARA can't afford rent? I feel like we have 3-4 different Supermans. One in Action... is amateur and cool and unsure and new, One in Superman that is cold and brooding and quiet, one in Justice League that is fun and zippy and a bit of a bragging showoff, and finally the compassionate one in Supergirl. Which one is right? I understand they may be different timelines... BUT COME ON. This was a unified launch and a change to sync continuity... and you blew it!

Ok, some books, (even the ones that didn't need to be re-introduced) were great. Some stunk. Some are ok. But I'm missing the point of the relaunch... other than to make a quick buck and confused the hell out of all your readers. Really, can you argue that this new universe is somehow less confusing. Cause, its WAY more confusing. I'm annoyed DC. I'll lay odds on a re-reboot within the next 5 years. Where we can get the next version of Hawkman.


  1. Now this is just me but the feeling I am getting from DC is that they are treating it similar to Silver Age continuity and reading patterns. Which is more or less everything now stands on it's own, which allows you pick up what you want and not have to worry about having to picking up extra books. This relaunch was in part about trying make comic reading a casual experience again, opening up the hobby to people who haven't been following all the bits and pieces over the last few decades. The fact of the matter DC needed to do something drastic since catering to us was leading them nowhere fast.

    All that said I have issues with the relaunch too, but overall I see this as a positive. Also we need to remember we are barely two months in and there is still more to be revealed. Has DC fumbled a bit? Yes, but should we call the game when we are still in the first half? More than anything though I am looking forward to the next stage of relaunch at the 6 month mark. By then we will see how the relaunch did out of the gate and how DC will handle their success and failures.

  2. I'm not saying your wrong. And I'm not critiquing book quality. I'm upset sole on this ONE PERFECT change to fix continuity and I think they actually made it worse. Much worse. Their argument for characters like Oracle/Batgirl was this is the Batgirl everyone knows best. Well now, NOONE knows this Batgirl. I think there have been lots of positives from DC in this revamp, but WHY revamp only to make it more confusing? Why not clean things up, rather than really muddy it up?

  3. Honestly it doesn't bother me much since the two biggest offenders here, the Batman and Green Lanterns books, will no doubt get a similar overhaul once Morrison and Johns are off their respective books. Plus I can see DC releasing some annuals sometime next year that sets out the history of each character. Like the Year One annuals crossed with Zero Hero 0 issues.

    Also DC continuity is always going to be a mess until they just start from square one again. I mean total scorched earth here.