The New 52: Because It's Far Too Early to be Asking This, I Will Ask It, Because That's How I Roll!

Based on the extremely cursory look that you've had at the "DCnU', how do you think it's going to work out for DC? Smash? Trash? Mixed bag?  As for me so far, I'm going with "mixed bag".  I don't think it's going to be the resounding success that will propel DC to the forefront of the comics industry, leaving Marvel in their metaphorical dust, but neither do I think it will be an utter flop, to be un-done with all due haste at the next possible Crisis.  I'm sure there will be an inital upsurge of interest, but I imagine that by early next year, things will have settled back down again, and DC will be hard at work on their next desperate publicity stunt.

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Yeah, you got it about right.

Honestly, if they wanted it done right, it should have been a 100 percent fresh, brand new, reboot to outdo all reboots.  You know, an "it doesn't exist until we publish it" type of reboot.

I have the same sneaking suspicion now that I did back in dinosaur times, in the aftermath of the Crisis on Infinite Earths - As inconceivable as it may seem, they did not plan out the aftermath of Flashpoint nearly as thoroughly as they should have.  Maybe I'm wrong - I even hope I'm wrong - but that's how I feel.

Was Flashpoint supposed to be the lead-in to the new DC Universe?

 

I ask because, well, I didn't read any of it. You know; crossover fatigue. 

 

It sounds like they didn't think through Flashpoint itself very well, never mind its aftermath.  DC in the run up to it was talking about consolidating after all the changes before that, not yet another universe reboot.

 

There's no doubt the DCnU was initiated in haste.  Both Batman and Green Lantern's major mega arcs  of the last few years had ended with what could have been full stops in the year or so before the DCnU was anounced.  Both started new mega-arcs that were only half completed when the DCnU took effect.  Brightest Day looked like a series of set-ups for new status quos rather than a story in its own right, which doesn't make sense just before a linewide reboot.

 

Batman and GL should have ended and rebooted like all the rest, or else Morrison finish his Batman run in the old continuity, no matter how long it took.  The rest of the Batman line seems to be popular just as a series of shortish creator-driven runs, where the creators would probably rather not be bound to Morrison's continuity anyway.

 

My point is that lots of the old continuity will have to come into play over time because of those two properties, and that may put off new readers. 

 

There were persuasive opinions on the net that this was a last throw of the die for DC (or more likely for the triumvirate there who presided over the last 5 years or so of 'the DC way').  I'm somewhat cheered at the recent opinion polling by Neilson for DC.  This would seem to show that this is just the first wave of an series of proactive moves to boost the readership.  Why poll if they aren't going to base their next moves on it?

 

I don't know if the negative publicity about the misogynistic culture of DC will be bad for the brand and affect success.  I know it sours me on everything they produce, not just the books involved.  Possibly the opinions of people like me won't matter and DC are counting on pulling in huge numbers of a certain type of male 15-35 fanboy, even if it loses other groups of readers.

 

Internally to DC, I wonder how Diane Nelson feels about moving from chief architect of publishing's biggest ever multi-media property to presiding over Didio and Co's sweaty little softporn-infused boy's club.  That's where I see the bad publicity really hitting home.

 

Has anyone interviewed her? Not that she would speak out against DC unless she was totally fired, but it would be interesting to get a take on things from her.

 

Figserello said:

Internally to DC, I wonder how Diane Nelson feels about moving from chief architect of publishing's biggest ever multi-media property to presiding over Didio and Co's sweaty little softporn-infused boy's club.  That's where I see the bad publicity really hitting home.

 

She's head of licensing, movies, computer games etc so the comics are small fry to her, and I don't see her answering for the missteps of folks so far down the totem pole.  Still, the publicity means it will be an item on the agenda when she meets the 'comicbook guys'.  I'd love to be a fly on the wall, or an Atom, or an Ant-Man.
Comics will never be TV, and comics will never be movies. I think "DCnU" will be as successful as it is possible to be successful in out little niche field (I avoid the term "industry" for obvious reasons).

I think it's a mixed bag, too. There's some really good stuff in it, and some of it from surprising corners (OMAC, for Pete's sake!). My hope is that, just by virtue of the existence of these odd titles, there'll be some emphasis on them -- and that emphasis in these formative years will deliver us a different, fresher DCU.

 

Not all books will succeed, but that's fine; it's the way it's always been. Creative teams will change (some changes have already been announced or leaked) but that's okay, too. This is a starting point.

 

But if we get an army of vampires up in Boston, and fierce angels tracking down the soul of a man who can't die -- and see that a covert superteam's legacy stretches back to a few centuries after the fall of Camelot -- and if the warring factions between the Green and the Red have replaced (or work alongside) the forces of Order and Chaos -- we could have enough changes in the overall narrative and the significant details that, even with the Justice League tentpoles, the new DCU could look and feel different than its predecessor.

 

Then again, there have been some missteps that I hope will be corrected. I expect the first drastic course-correction to involve Starfire. I don't believe Lobdell intended to her to come off as the vapid sex toy she's been received as, and I think there'll be some dialogue patches (and maybe an art correction) to help counterbalance this in issue 2 of Red Hood and the Outlaws. (I think Catwoman, on the other hand, will largely stay the same for a while; as opposed to Red Hood, I think it's having its intended effect, whether people like it or not.) Voodoo I've heard decried in the same way, but a lot of people who have actually read the book (and not just the usual T&A defenders) say it's worth a look, despite the jiggle factor. Suicide Squad, from what I've heard, had none of the heart of the old Squad, while upping the book's bloody reputation. It'll need heart to succeed.

 

But there are other books that seem to me like pale shadows of their precursors: Neither Blue Beetle nor Static Shock engaged me very much; both seemed flat. (But maybe they're for younger readers? Which would be wonderful, as a matter of fact, and I hope they succeed!) Grifter seems like another book that doesn't live up to its promise.

 

But to end on an up note, there are traditional books that creatively have been completely revitalized. Action Comics, of course, is presenting a fresh yet historically accurate take on Superman's early days. Wonder Woman offers a fresh perspective on the heroine, and especially her terrifying gods. Flash is as gorgeous as it's ever been under Manapul's pencils, but now feels untethered to the "Flash Legacy" that's weighed Barry down since his return. And Aquaman is unapologetically eating fish and chips, knowing that anyone who he hasn't saved personally thinks he's a punchline. 

 

There's a lot of creative success here, and I hope the market rewards it.

Any venture as big as this is going to have its share of success and failure.  From my POV, there's more of the former than the latter.  Since the media thrives on bad news and controversy, titles like Two Guys and an Alien Sex Toy Red Hood and the Outlaws and Catwoman will get more publicity than other, better titles in the relaunch.  Personally, I'm loving Action and Superman; perhaps the goal is to focus on his alien side, but to me, he seems more human than he has in quite awhile.  I've not been a big Vertigo fan, but I liked the first issues of Swamp Thing and Animal Man, and being a longtime fan of Mitch Shelly, I'm thrilled that Resurrection Man is back. Aquaman was a total surprise to me, Batman was better than I expected, and Wonder Woman was fantastic.

 

The best case scenario, as LJ said, would have been a brand-new, throw-out-everything-before-it reboot.  That's not what we have here, but there are quality books in this first month.  I hope that continues to be the case.

 

I think that, in the end, DC will see their business improve, though maybe not to the point they take over the number one slot from Marvel.  I applaud their decision to hire Neilsen for a survey.  The best way to find out what the market wants is to ask. 

 

 

Don Collett Johnson is right! I'm in aggreement. I think DC will see some improvement from this. I'd like to get a take from retailers, Dagwan in particular, how this month was for them.

 

 I read 25 of the new #1's. There were two books that I did not like at all (Firestorm, Hawkman). A few books that didn't work for me but weren't bad (Stormwatch, JLI, Superman).

 

I would have liked for an across the board reboot. We got what we got though. So far I'm happy with the end result. I've always been a Marvel guy but I believe at this moment, DC is winning me over.

September was the best month I've had since May 2010. (The Unicorn Party helped there, too!)

 

I've had (roughly) 40 new files opened. 75% of them are people who've been out of comics for a while. 25% are people who have never bought monthly comics before.

 

Most Marvel-dominant customers have added DC titles to their lists. Most new customers have picked up things other than DC relaunch titles. Our Wednesday traffic is now approaching double what it was pre-relaunch, as people who used to wait until later in the week are coming in on Wednesdays.

 

The excitement in the air is palpable most Wednesdays.

 


"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Check out the Secret Headquarters (my store) website! Comics and Games for Everyone!

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I'll be the first to say - I've looked forward more to Wednesdays this past month than I have in years, and I bought a number of books I wouldn't have ordinarily.  I just wonder if the interest is sustainable, long-term.

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