The Old 52

With the most recent announcement that 4 original DC titles are getting the ax (Superboy, Birds of Prey, Batwing, and All-Star Western) in August, the remains of the “New” 52 are all but gone. Of all the books DC publishes now, only 21 original titles remain. That’s less than half of the books that were launched. While their are exceptions (Suicide Squad and Teen Titans are getting relaunched, JLI was scrubbed for story purposes, etc) it is still rather alarming to think that the original New 52 has dwindled this far. While DC has added solid replacements such as Earth 2 and Harley Quinn, those serve as the exceptions to DC’s line. The ongoing series’ and the once that have survived are the 21 I have noted above. Of all the books launched to replace books, very few of them exist. Of the Second Wave only Earth 2 survives, with Worlds Finest now joining Batman Inc, Dial H, The Ravagers, and GI Combat. Of the Third Wave, we Phantom Stranger is joining Talon, Sword of Sorcery, and Team 7. The next few launched were JLA and Katana, also now gone.

While I will give DC credit for trying new things, with only 23 books on the shelf that have proved to be tried and true, a problem has emerged. Only time can tell if some of DC’s more recent gambits such as JLU, Infinity Man, Constantine, JL 300, and the Superman-Batman/Wonder Woman books will test as well as Earth 2 and Harley Quinn have thus far. To truly succeed and gain back market share, DC is going to need to be bold, but also smart. I posted previously how I felt Marvel’s Hawkeye strategy was effective, and should be emulated. DC needs some help adding titles that can survive in the long run. And with characters like Cyborg, Captain Marvel, and even Lex Luthor gaining increased popularity, DC has the characters to do it. Once again, I’m all for them trying new and bold things, but they need to balance that with books that can and will sell. I may not know exactly what those books look like, but I’m pretty sure all of us out there have many ideas that DC could utilize. For that we’ll have to wait and see what we get to replace these books come October.

What are your thoughts on the matter? What do you think DC has done right and how do you think they could improve for the future?

Until the next time, Rn

Advertisements

Review the 52.2: Batman Incorporated #1

Once again I find myself reviewing a new comic, one with much anticipation and buzz surrounding it. It has been a while since Batman Inc. Last was in comic form, however this comic picks up right where the last series left off, with plenty of references to past events and events in the New 52. Grant Morrison is a master writer and his story flows brilliantly. So, without further explanation, her is what I liked.

1. It has a good pace, balanced and engaging, while not being being hasty or rushed.
2. The formation of a group of Batman’s allies. While Batman Inc. is all about a team of Bat-Men, this team will serve as the special ops of Batman Inc if you will. Read it and find out.
3. Humor, Batman (and comics in general) are often lacking in humorous moments. This issue had one of the best lines ever. It was so funny that I will personally quote it often.
4. It serves to better flesh out Damian’s character more. Referencing Dick as Batman and Bruce’s death.

Rating before reading: 7

Rating after reading: 8

It was a solid read, and was better than I had anticipated. The only issues I had were the villains that appeared in it. While we have not gotten to see much of Leviathan, all of his cronies were not really what I’d expect from a criminal master assassin from the League.

All in all, a good read and great for new fans to jump onto. A definite hit, and I expect it to easily be within the top 15 sales.

Until the next time, live long and prosper.

Rn

The Death of the New 52?

Last month DC finished publishing the 6 lowest selling franchises. They then began replacing them this month. The goal was to refresh and invigorate the New 52, to cut off the bad and bring in potentially new titles (one of which is already a hit). This maintained 52 series’, but allowed newer series’ and stories to take place. DC also stated that they had plans for a third wave of cancellations, which would most likely reinvigorate the line sometime in the winter, and cut off some of DC’s other lower selling titles (Grifter, Deathstroke, both Legions, Resurrection Man, Captain Atom, Blue Beetle are a few of the lowest money grabbers).

However today it was made public that Justice League International (which sold 67th in April, well ahead of the titles mentioned above) would be cancelled. This came as an unparalleled surprise, as on friday it was announced that the creative team of Geoff Johns and Dan Didio would write a JLI annual. What hurts the most perhaps, is that no press was ever made about it. There was never a formal statement, nor any hint. Instead today when solicitations were released for August, the Justice League #12 solicit also stated “FINAL ISSUE”. This has left fans scrambling for answers. And many in panic.

I, being a smart nerd, who may or may not have analyzed and crunched numbers based on the sales of every new 52 title since released (what I’m a nerd, it’s what I do) knows that there is some plan behind this. Many people feared that DC may be folding after two months in which Marvel trounced DC. However numbers still indicate DC on top of new comics. Marvel is only ahead because of higher prices, playing games with shipments, the fact that most marvel fans purchase comics once or twice a month instead of weekly, and of course Marvel’s big AvX crossover (it’s what crossovers do, they make money). While DC isn’t under any pressure, it feels strange that this series would get cancelled after no warning.

Furthermore on the subject, I enjoyed JLI. While I had originally thought it’d be in my top ten, it fell off of my radar, as the brilliance of the New 52 dazzled me. Despite this, it is a comic that I frequently attempt to obtain back issues of, and one I would like to read but can’t fit into my budget. It is a series, that while not super, will still be missed by me and many other people.

I firmly trust DC’s decision, and expect that this is all apart of the epic storytelling that DC is capable of. I will still read the JLI annual, and am certain that a replacement series will be found.

Until the next time, live long and prosper

Rn.