Thursday, January 12, 2012

The New New 52

Or rather, The New 6.

DC is still committing to publishing 52 ongoing books so when "Wave 2" hits in May, they're going to cancel 6 books and replace them with new ones.

The books being canceled are, somewhat unsurprisingly, Men of War, Mister Terrific, OMAC, Hawk and Dove, Blackhawks, and Static Shock.

There's some bitter disappointment for me, seeing Static Shock on this list as I've been really pulling for this series to succeed and I was hoping that the addition of new writer Marc Bernardin would bring interest and sales up on the book. It's a shame that DC isn't even giving him that chance. Static's a character that should and can succeed. Hopefully it won't be too long before they give him another shot.

It's interesting that Hawk and Dove is getting the axe when it's actually still selling better than, say Captain Atom, which remains untouched. I'd happily let Captain Atom or Green Arrow take the fall, if it meant a repreive for Static.

So what's replacing these titles? More of the same, with maybe one big surprise.

First we've got the return of BATMAN INCORPORATED from Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham. DC is calling this a "fresh take" so I don't know if that means they've had to reboot/retool some things thanks to the compacted timeline of The New 52 or what.

Next, we have the long-teased EARTH 2 by James Robinson and Nicola Scott. Robinson could really use a win and EARTH 2 sounds as good a chance as any. Nicola Scott is brilliant and definitely raises the level of this series.

WORLDS FINEST is kind of an odd choice, featuring Huntress and Power Girl, trapped in "our world," trying to get back to their home in Earth 2. It's being written by Paul Levitz, who's currently penning the Huntress mini (which I guess now counts as a prelude) and drawn by the rotating art team of Kevin Maguire and George Perez.

The big surprise is DAIL H from novelist China MiƩville and artist Mateus Santoluoco. I was a huuuuuge fan of when DC last tried to reboot the Dial H for Hero concept under writer Will Pfeifer and artist Kano. It's a fun concept with a lot of potential. Last time around they took it in a Twilight Zone meets 100 Bullets sort of direction. I'll be curious to see what they do with this.

G.I. COMBAT sees DC trying again to make the war comic work. In place of Men of War and Blackhawks, we get a bit of an anthlogy series split between THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT by J.T. Krul and Ariel Olivetti, UNKNOWN SOLDIER by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and artist Dan Panosian and THE HAUNTED TANK with writer John Arcudi and artist Scott Kolins. If there was just a Haunted Tank book by Arcudi and Kolins, I'd be all over it. Otherwise, I'll pass.

Finally, we get THE RAVAGERS, a Teen Titans/Superboy spin-off which, like Titans, sees the return of two more 90's Marvel stalwarts, Howard Mackie and Ian Churchill. Just who the "four superpowered teens on the run" are meant to be is up in the air. I'll be surprised if it's Fairchild and her ilk because you'd think if they were going to put them in their own book, they'd go with the Gen 13 title people already know. But odds are, with the title, Rose Wilson will be among them.

After hearing so much talk and promise of Wave 2 I was expecting more. More books, more creators we've been waiting to hear from. Anytime someone would ask about this writer or that artist, DC would just reply "Wave 2." We already knew Robinson and Scott were accounted for in this wave (and that Batman Inc would return), but for the rest, we've got more from Krul and the Gray/Palmiotti team, Levitz spinning his Huntress into an ongoing and the only real surprises being China MiƩville's DIAL H and the return of Howard Mackie, which is someone everyone speculated/joked about when all the 90's Marvel hires happened in Wave 1.

I'll give EARTH 2 a chance, if just for Nicola Scott, but also in the hopes that James Robinson can recapture that spark he once had; The prospect of Kevin Maguire drawing Huntress and Power Girl is mighty tempting but I don't know how interested I am in the characters being reverted back to their pre-Crisis status somewhat (and I didn't read Levitz's Huntress mini); I'm super curious about DIAL H and just mildly curious about RAVAGERS, just because I read and enjoy Titans and Superboy. The addition of EARTH 2, DIAL H, and RAVAGERS only makes up for the loss of Static and the fact that I dropped Firestorm and Nightwing.

So I guess we're breaking even again, DC.

1 comment:

  1. Frankly I like a lot of these announcements, World's Finest makes me super happy in particular. Helena Wayne is one of my favorite characters, while I like Helena Bertinelli she is a bit too anti-heroish for mt taste. Plus a return to the Earth-2 concept is always welcome, which is honestly one of the most undervalued concepts in comics especially after Roy Thomas got his hands on it in the late 70's.

    While I am sad to see Static go I am positive he'll show up soon, I mean he was already teased in Teen Titans. OMAC is the real kick in the pants for me though, it is a fun book that was really picking up steam. Though my current theory is that OMAC and all the various aspects of his story are going to get mixed into JLI, just for Maxwell Lord alone.

    Part of the issue I think with Wave 2 being so small is that Wave 1 went beyond everyone's beyond everyone's expectations. Honestly I believe DC expected at least a quarter of the books to flounder, but even the lower tier ones are still performing rather well. More than anything I think they choose titles more on how they are going to fit into a bigger scale. My guess is that Captain Atom was saved because they are planning some big nuclear being crossover, which will probably lead into a new series afterward. Small reason I think the likes of Voodoo and Grifter are save for a bit longer, and also explains the recent creator changes. I am guessing that Wave 3 is probably where a lot more titles are going to end but also bring with them new related series. I mean with the increased Daemonite presence a "WildCATs" relaunch is nearly unavoidable. Plus with Superman fighting Helspont I am figuring that Kryptonians are going to be reviled to be Kherubim off-shoots.