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

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Greatest Hits- April 2013

Well hello there. Though you may have forgotten me, and my horrible syntax, I am back. I have to apologize to all of my former dedicated followers, my schedule has been in flux with a constant mix of both professional and personal troubles. While not an excuse, my blog got away from me, and honestly my interest in it waned. Thus I am treating 2013 as the first year of the nerd, even though my first year of blogging is about at an end. So hello everyone. I’m back, here to serenade you with the the mind of one of the greatest nerds you will have the pleasure of chatting with. A bit too arrogant for you? Well it’s my blog so, I’ll do what I want. With all that being said, let’s begin.

This post will be a two parter, I will discuss the much broader and far reaching hints impacts of April’s solicitations you may not have seen. The latter post will be out tonight. But as always I discuss what I we should look forward too most from the latest round of solicitations.

10. Superboy #19- Starting off the list is Superboy. While not a comic I follow, Superboy literally started at the beginning in issue 1. Meaning anything could be amended in his backstory. This personally left me wondering if Lex was indeed involved with his DNA, and in April we’ll get our answer. As all of the covers are designed to do for April, we only get half of the cover. This leaves a certain sense of suspense, as we wonder what the other half reveals. The cover does seem to indicate that it hides who Superboy’s other parent is. Though if you observe the DNA strand on the cover, as it spirals off the edge of the panel, the color seems to change form yellow to green. It would appear Lex’s involvement in Superboy is the same, regardless of universe.

9. Team 7 #7- Team 7 has had a long history on my list of Greatest Hits, only missing a month on my lists. This month is no different, the potential for Team 7 is unbridled, as April will not only see the addition of a new member to the team, but the introduction of a character not yet seen in the New 52. Who that will be is anyone’s guess, but counting out this comic would be a grave mistake. The first arc is over, and it appears Team 7 has finally found its place in the DCU.

8. Earth 2 #11- As Earth 2 closes in on a year long run, the second arc concludes with a fully realized Doctor Fate. Aside from re-introducing one of the most important heroes in DC’s history, it see’s some sort of team start to come together. As of April we will have a team of at least 4 members, and April’s solicit promises to introduce other heroes as well. Who else will be added into the fold? We’ll have to wait and see.

7. Green Arrow #19- Jeff Lemire continues his dissection and recreation of the beloved Emerald Archer. His third issue on the series see’s Lemire explore and recreate Arrow’s origins. Will his time from Year One be changed in the first real exploration of his New 52 origin, or will it stay true to the seminal work? Whatever the answer, this issue is can’t miss for fans of the character and the creator.

6. Justice League of America #3- While the starting goal of the JLA was unclear, the short term importance of the new team will be made abundantly clear in April. With the rise of a new Justice League, the rise of a new Secret Society will rise to oppose it. This is an idea that any fan can get behind, and makes the release of this series all the more anxious.

5. Swamp Thing #19- Scott Snyder made magic with his Swamp Thing relaunch, with his run over, April will see the rise of a new creative team. The new team of Charles Soule and Kano will send the series in a bold new direction, with the original Swamp Thing look returning in April. What else will change, and can current fans of the series cope with the loss of Snyder? All of that will be explored come April.

4. Detective Comics #19- The official 900th issue of Detective’s may not be billed as a milestone, but DC isn’t letting it go unnoticed. The second longest running comic still being published turns to the ripe old age of 900 in April, and John Layman and Jason Fabok get to helm this important celebration. In a giant sized issue worth $8 Batman will achieve new status as the second longest running super hero on the market. This issue will be fun for everyone, and shouldn’t be missed for anyone.

3. I, Vampire/ DC Universe Presents #19- It is always a sad day when DC announces its cancellations, and the latest round certainly hit much closer to home than anyone wanted. Though not the best seller, I, Vampire was one of the best received comics of the relaunch. It’s great run, with talented Joshua Fialkov sees its end in April. In addition to that the rotating series that has been used to explore multiple corners of the DCU has been retired as well. Despite this, both will leave off with a bang. Should Andrew Bennet escape the series’ conclusion alive, his presence in the greater DCU would be a boon to the entire line. Additionally, DCUP will see the return of a “time displaced hero” who apparently has a penchant for blue and gold…

2. Stormwatch #19- Though a decent series, issue #19 is extremely notable for two reasons. The first being the introduction of long time Marvel architect Jim Starlin, his presence on the title and in the DCU in general is an interesting spectacle  one that can only lead to amazing things. The second being that the solicit essentially gives us the answer to what will replace the two titles listed above. But more on that a little later.

1. Batman and Robin #19- Damian’s absence form the solicitations has been quite disturbing for his fans thus far, and with Death of the Family about to wrap up Damian’s fate is up in the air. The most recent solicitation doesn’t seem to add any better news. In an homage to the Dark Knight Returns, a much darker and different Batman appears on the cover of the this comic. Just on the side is a yellow cape, symbolic of the original Robin. Whether the cape is that of a new Robin’s, or whether Damian has had a costume change has yet to be seen. But all fans will be biting their nails until at least next month, if not longer.

So there you have it. These comics are the comics that stand out the most form April’s solicitations. What are you looking forward too? And if you stay tuned, in just a bit I’ll post the follow up in which I reveal all of the juicy tidbits I deduced from these solicitations.

Until then, enjoy my terrible syntax

Rn

How to make the Super Family Super

I have made it clear just how disappointing the Superman title has been, I have also stated how tragic it is to lose Morrison on Action Comics (one it’s Morrison, and two it’s Morrison). That being said the future of Superman is currently up for grabs. I will address how I think DC can best solve this problem, and how a strong Superman could positively affect the line.

First, let’s look at each one of the titles.

Action Comics is by far the best-selling Superman title and is one of the best sold comics in the industry. I honestly can’t think of a future for the title without Grant Morrison. That doesn’t mean it has no hope. Let’s give Action Comics over to another character, I vote Steel. This will not only add diversity to DC’s line but will stream line Superman readership to their Superman title. It will also allow for the expansion of the Superman family which is desperately needed. The title doesn’t have to belong to Steel, but should be some other member of the Superman family that hasn’t had a lot (if any) air time in the New 52. Keeping things diverse and fresh is what the comic book industry is about, what better way of following up Morrison’s run then to do something different? Morrison is a god of the craft, and DC should not try to emulate his work without him.

Next, make Superman better. As I have stated before, Scott Lobdell has done great work so far in the New 52. He has proven that he has the skill to take on the Man of Steel. Superman has struggled with “monster of the week” plots for an entire year. Let’s change that. Supe’s has a pantheon of villains that have done nothing but gather dust for a year, why not give them a spin? 4-6 issue arcs dedicated to a struggle between Superman and a villain would be refreshing wouldn’t it? It doesn’t have to be that, but seriously. All year Superman has dealt with aliens. Let him do something else.

From what I hear, Supergirl is doing “alright” in the New 52. She now has a better character and look than the previous Supergirl, but has been stuck in neutral doing nothing of any significance. If she is to have a solo title, let her be doing something significant and different. Perhaps struggling with being a hero and a normal girl (except don’t do that, it’d be horrible). Make her get involved with a government organization or a secret society or something. Let her be a big girl and go off on her own adventures. She should be independent from the family, but be involved with the family when they need her help.

Superboy is doing fine. He’s off doing his own thing with the Titans and N.O.W.H.E.R.E, let him continue to do that. However, tie him in a bit more with the Superman mythos. Make Superman appear, or make him struggle a bit more with the symbol that he’s wearing. Do something with it tie it in more with the family.

So, Action should do something different. Superman should come down to Earth. DC should let Supergirl be a big girl. Superboy should acknowledge why he’s “super”. These are just some steps that I would suggest taking to revamp the Superman line. While I am not terribly excited about it, DC is heading in the right direction with H’el on Earth. Crossing the three titles over should help to establish a better sense of family. Then hit the ground running. Use that event as a jumping off point, to send each one of the characters in their own directions. Have a writer prepped for taking over Action and give them a different character and story to work with. Make all four of the titles tie in and fit as a family. So far it’s worked for Batman, it should work for Superman. I want to follow a Superman title, or even titles, but as of now the quality of the Super family isn’t so Super.

Until the next time, stay “super”.

Rn