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

What We’ve Been Upto: Summer Edition.

Hey out there to everyone who accidentally stumbled onto the Ravingnerd page. This is for you. We here at Team Ravingnerd have all had incredibly busy summers. I worked 40 hours a week fixing computers in the Geek Squad at Best Buy. It wasn’t very exciting. Ravingnerd has been slaving away in the salt mines at Kroger grocery store and The Writing Writer has been doing his thing. We are poor college kids who need money. But we have so many things to look forward to in the future as a result of our hard work and saving our monies. We now have the opportunity to move into what we here around the Ravingnerd headquarters (which is a real thing now that Ravingnerd and I are now roommates) are calling Ravingnerd Phase 2. We will be revealing more details about it in the upcoming weeks, but it is safe to say that things will only get more awesome from here. Expect to get more articles about more variety of topics, and more articles about things you have come to expect from Ravingnerd (Ravingnerd Reviews, ADAM REVIEWS STUFF, Web.comics.info).

What are all the changes that will be made? You’ll just have to wait to find out. But we plan to unveil the changes in the next few weeks. Regular content production will commence asap and for THAT you should celebrate.

Welcome to Phase 2.

Ravingnerd Reviews: Astro City #1

Greetings everyone! I’ve been battling what is being called the Kryptonian Flu. I am definitely not getting into the details, but I have been struggling to cope for quite a few days. Hopefully I’m on the mend now, and thus will be able to serenade you with the copious amounts of reviews that I just wasn’t able to get to yesterday.

The first is arguably the biggest release to come out recently, the anticipated return of Astro City. I have long been a fan of Busiek and Anderson’s vibrant universe, and am ecstatic to have this book as apart of the Vertigo line. It seems like such a good fit, so without further set up, let’s get right into what I liked.

1. Brent Anderson out does himself here. While I criticized his heavily lined and shaded Phantom Stranger, it is nice to see him step out of a moody book and into what suits him best. This book is just beautiful to read.
2. It offers a fresh start, while this is not the first Astro City comic, and it certainly does fall within the Astro City continuity, reading that doesn’t matter. It helps to get attached to some of these characters, but not necessary to get invested in this story.
3. Busiek has a definite story to tell, and that story feels unique while familiar at the same time.
4. We get a glimpse of most of the familiar characters. We see the Samaritan, Winged Victory, The Confessor, and Crackerjack. The only one missing was Jack-In-The-Box.
5. The use of the Broken Man to tell the story is fascinating, funny, and quite interesting.
6.. Seriously, it’s the return of Astro City. It’s finally here!

Rating before reading: 7
Rating after reading: 9

What a well done story and introduction/re-introduction to the Astro City universe. Busiek hits the ground running, and is evenly paced with Anderson’s pitch perfect art for the book. Whether an ongoing or limited, this is going to be one fantastic ride. My one complaint would be the lack of nostalgic feel. We only see limited glimpses of the characters that we have grown to love. While I understand the importance of appealing to new audiences, I find myself missing the characters. Of course I just re-read all of the Astro City volumes, so that would explain my extreme sense of nostalgia for the series.

So despite it all, this opening issue blew me away. From the Broken Man to the door, I am hooked once again in the magnificent city (and world) of tomorrow that Busiek and Anderson have created.

So if you missed it, pick it up. This is the perfect opportunity for new readers to hop aboard, and a fabulous start for Astro City fans to venture back into this wonderful universe.

Until the next time my friends,

Rn

AstroCityNowLeaving

 

The Tragedy of Stephanie Brown

By now most of you are probably aware that Dan Didio has confirmed that Stephanie Brown will indeed not be appearing in Smallville Season 11 as previously stated. Rumors have been flying since the start of SDCC that she was replaced, and even yesterday as fans questioned whether or not Stephanie would be returning. Many news sources criticized certain fans for asking the question, which is in itself wrong. I have yet to discuss why I really picked up blogging about nerdy news and such, it’s because major nerdy media are rude and out of touch with the modern fan.

But I digress, my main point is that Stephanie Brown is not going to return to the current comic books, in any form. I earlier praised DC for giving the character a chance to appear in a small comic, but now I can do nothing but criticize DC on the matter. Smallville Season 11 is not a huge comic, digital first comics are generally not as big as main stream comics. Adding Stephanie Brown to Smallville Season 11 would have expanded the readership for that series exponentially. Perhaps only in the short-term, but still people would have flocked to the book to see Stephanie Brown. Instead, DC has turned away many prospective readers. The bitter sting of what could have been will prevent me from ever reading this title. While that may sound ignorant and close minded I think that DC has been close minded on this matter.

DC advertised that Stephanie would be returning, dodged all sorts of questions when someone somewhere suggested that she had been replaced, and has been insensitive to the change since it was made official earlier today. DC offers no explanations to fans, they give us no reasoning for the switch, and they act as if they haven’t made a mistake at all. Like we as fans are stupid, and don’t actually know what we want. Smallville is a small time comic that is made for a digital market, it means literally nothing to DC comics in the scheme of things, yet DC can’t even introduce a new version of a character that they said would not appear in the New 52. DC has made so many mistakes on this matter it’s not even funny. While at the end of the day I will still love DC and read their comics, they have lost serious credibility. My dislike for the way Dan Didio runs press announcements (and the comic line itself) continues to prove frustrating.

While I am nothing more than a humble nerd like you, my dear reader, the time has come. We can seek change by organizing, and focusing our efforts into one task. We are not trying to cause problems, nor are we believing that we can get Stephanie Brown into comic books. All I want is to get #bringStephanieback trending on Twitter. If enough people tweet and ask for retweets, then we can make this goal a reality. By trending this, we can effectively send DC a message that fans are not happy with their decision, and that we can organize to prove this. Fans often get upset with companies, rarely does this frustration organize into something productive. So please, tweet with my hashtag and ask for retweets, let’s see if we can’t inform DC that we are unhappy.

Until the next time, live long and tweet.

Rn