Tag Archives: The New 52

Next on the New 52 Chopping Block

DC Comics’ cancellation zone seems to be somewhere under 20,000 units sold. Of the titles not already cancelled, these are the titles that fell under that mark in the month of October: Ravagers, DC Universe Presents, Dial H, Batwing, Firestorm, Savage Hawkman, Legion of Super-Heroes, Demon Knights, Deathstroke. That doesn’t mean that these are the titles that will be cancelled next. Some of them most certainly will be cancelled, but others will probably be given extra time to regain lost readers with a change in focus or creative team. These are usually the signs of a book before cancellation. Sometimes you can even tell a book is going south before the sales figures can even be posted.

https://i1.wp.com/media.dcentertainment.com/sites/default/files/comic-covers/2012/10/PHSTR_Cv4.jpg

Hatpalm

1. Phantom Stranger doesn’t sound like a title that will make it very long. It was kind of a surprise that it even existed in the first place. I figured the Stranger would be walking around somewhere, but definitely not in his own title. It’s kind of hard to see this book even making it through its first year. While the title has seen better sales than probably expected (people love Phantom Stranger), the book has already seen a 35 spot drop in its second month of publication. Many other New 52 books have been cut short after issue #8 and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was one of them.

The problem with the book stems from the Phantom Stranger character himself. He’s been traditionally depicted as a mystery. Where did he come from? Why is he doomed to wander the Earth alone forever? Was he a fallen angel? Was he the biblical Judas? No one ever knew and it was really fun to be able to guess about it. But in the New 52? No. He’s definitely Judas Iscariot, he was punished to wander the world looking like he’s a crime noir coachman and he wears a necklace made out of the thirty pieces of silver he sold Jesus for. Now he has a secret identity and he has a mission and a motive. This is not the Phantom Stranger. Elimination of all the mysteries surrounding him does not make him a more compelling character, it makes him feel hollow. Especially when he’s a religious figure. I can only imagine what actual religious people think about this.

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Discussion: What’s Wrong with the New 52?

We decided to discuss what we felt was wrong about DC Comics’ New 52 and compare it to Marvel NOW! We talk about costumes, Jack Kirby, Superman, Spider-Man, Hulk, Daredevil and a lot more.

Jason: There’s nothing interesting happening in the New DCU. It’s all just repetition of old comics and stories we’ve already seen.

Superman looks like he’s wearing a big blue diaper now

Johnnie: Yeah, that was my impression as well. I mean, ideally the New 52 was designed to bring in new readers. But what they’re doing with it is so uninteresting to me, I just didn’t bother with 99% of the revamp. The only one I’ve gotten into is Batman. And even then I was already interested in reading Batman. Plus those costumes. My God.

Jason: We could write an entire book about why every costume in the New 52 is absolutely horrible. Superman has so many lines going all over his body that it’s hard to know what to look at. It’s like they tried so hard to make the costumes look ‘real’ that they look so unbelievably overdrawn and unrealistic.

Johnnie: Yeah, I think Superman is probably the worst offender I’ve seen. But it goes beyond just those totally unnecessary, goofy lines. His suit is also not like, cloth. It’s this weird alien technology. Like, I don’t even know how to describe it. What is it exactly?

Jason: It’s some kind of technology that materializes when he wants it to. No more itchy costume under his business attire. He can just rip off his shirt and mentally command his suit to materialize! It’s so necessary!

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Comic Books Are Not Porn

I started this post as a reactionary rant against sexism like this (this post has since been taken down and lost by Google Cache, so you can find exactly what I am referring to here, with the first post without sexist/homophobic/misogynistic commenting here) and this, but I feel that I have nothing to really add to the arguments that haven’t already been made here and here. Instead I decided to focus on my own feelings about comic books and how the industry tends to act towards women.

In the interest of providing documented proof on the practice of maiming and punishing women in comic books, as well as the the push back against such practices, I present to you Women in Refrigerators

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(Some of these links may not be work safe)

DC Comics seems kind of confused about how they want to portray women in the New 52. Sometimes they’re respectful and other times they’re not so much. I tried to put together a pattern, but I don’t think one actually exists.

At first it seemed like they were turning over a new leaf; DC deemed fishnets to be illegal and both Black Canary and Zatanna were given new costumes. Wonder Woman has been desexualized in the pages of her own book in order to actually focus on the story. Mera is an equal in the pages of Aquaman and is a total badass.

Then Voodoo #1 took place inside of a stripclub and everyone was naked. Catwoman had her boobs out for no good reason, culminating in a bizarre Batman-Catwoman sex scene on a roof, in their costumes. Supergirl went from a modest teenager in a tasteful skirt to a much more alien warrior-like woman in a bathing suit bottom that conveniently accentuates her crotch. Red Hood and the Outlaws reintroduced Starfire as a hyper-sexualized alien who could not really tell the diference between men or even really remember who she slept with in the first place.

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Superman and the Dangers of Aging Your Characters

Following up on the recent news that Superman was able to locate Krypton with the help of Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Superman has also now watched the destruction of his home planet. According to science,

The data from all of the telescopes are integrated and assembled by Superman to create images of Rao and Krypton. The images of Krypton’s tragic death have just reached the Earth, twenty-seven years after the event. Surrounded by astrophysicists, Superman witnesses the destruction of his home planet. In other words, Krypton was located on its final day of existence.

I’m not entirely sure how science is able to take images from the depths of space and turn them into 3D HD holographic movies. Maybe Superman has a Kryptonian projector with him.

DC has described the events that took place in Action Comics #14 as ‘game-changing’. But I’m not sure how that could be. Even people that know nothing about Superman know that Krypton blew up. The top five things people know about Superman: 1) He’s Clark Kent, 2) He’s crazy about Lois Lane 3) He’s vulnerable to Kryptonite 4) Lex Luthor hates him 5) Krypton blew up. How can this be anything other than more retreading of the Superman origin story? Can we maybe move on yet?

For me the biggest story out of all of this is dating the destruction of Krypton to 27 years ago. That in itself immediately dates everything that has to do with Superman. The old DCU was very careful never to date anything because it would age their characters. They simply used phrases like “many years ago,” or “Before” to tell you when something occurred, and that was it. I’m not creating a timeline of the DC Universe, I don’t need to know in what year Batman’s parents were killed in order to compare it to the arrival of Superman.

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Happy Valentine’s Day from DC Comics; No Rage Cats

I’ll continue to wait for this to go away

DC Comics are giving you a Valentine’s Day special called Young Romance: A New 52 Valentine’s Day Special #1 (Say that out loud). The 64-page anthology book will be out on February 6th for all of you out there that don’t have a date. I think that’s what this is for. The book even comes with perforated Valentine’s Day cards featuring the characters included.

Superman and Wonder Woman will obviously be the main attraction in this book. Batgirl, Catwoman, Batwoman, Aquaman and Mera, Apollo and Midnighter, and Dick Grayson (doing everyone) will also be making appearances. I like Aquaman and Mera in the pages of Aquaman, but Geoff Johns has a tendency to get carried away with giant story lines and events, which ultimately leads to the abandoning of the more subtler, character driven moments. If this special can deliver that, than this could be a lot more fun than it makes itself out to look. It could be interesting to see if Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon have any of the sexual tension they had in the old universe. The inclusion of Batwoman must also mean that she must be developing a relationship with someone. Maybe this could mean the return of Renee Montoya!

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10 Things to be Learned from DC Comics’ February Solicitations

DC Comics released their solicitations for February 2013 and now we know what the DC Universe will be like in three months time. It’s given us clues as to what will be happening soon as well as down the road. There’s plenty of guesswork, but it’s all we can really do.

1. Justice League Expansion? The solicits for Justice League #17 mentions the possibility of the Justice League finally expanding its roster. While it might not be right away, it still could be happening in the very near future. Maybe we’ll finally see the likes of Firestorm, Atom, Deadman, Element Girl, Mera and Lady Luck(?) We were told would join the Justice League eventually.

The odd part about this is the inclusion of Hawkman and Green Arrow in this picture. The two will soon be appearing in Justice League of America and this picture was released before that title was even in a twinkle in Geoff Johns eye. It’s pretty obvious that the title was not something they had on their schedule at that point, since Justice League International was supposed to be the ‘other’ Justice League team. Then again, Deadman is there and he’s been in Justice League Dark since the beginning, so maybe I should be giving them more credit.

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New 52 News: Arsenal, Reverse-Flash, Batman of Africa

Next up on the rotating feature reel that has been DC Universe Presents, a title that provides a variety of characters and creative teams a place to shine, is Green Arrow’s ex-sidekick, Arsenal. Issue #17 offers a one-shot story about Roy Harper’s altercation with Killer Croc in the streets of Japan. The issue also guest stars Arsenal’s co-stars in the pages of Red Hood and the Outlaws, Red Hood and Starfire.

Previously starring Deadman, The Challengers of the Unknown, Vandal Savage, Kid Flash, and Black Lightning and Blue Devil, DC Universe Presents puts the spotlight on the more obscure characters of the DCU in their own adventures. Challengers of the Unknown, Vandal Savage and Black Lightning and Blue Devil all made their re-imagined debut in the pages of this book. Kid Flash had previously starred in a one-shot that was closely connected to the Teen Titans, where he appears regularly, before another multi-issue story came in, so you can expect another story arc to come in after Arsenal has gotten his moment.

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