DC UPDATE: The New 52: First Impressions

Wil Avitt
Wil Avitt's picture

Now that the first issues have all been released in DC's The New 52 line of reboots, and having read the first issues (at least those of the series I'm interested enough in to keep up with) my feelings are very mixed about the whole thing.

First of all, it seems to be the Batman books which have stood up as the best line of the new DCU. Batman, Detective Comics, The Dark Knight, Nightwing, Batwing and Batgirl were all amazing. Of the Batman line, outside of the actual Bruce Wayne books, Batwing seems like it has the potential of being a great series, in spite of Batwing being a member of Batman, Inc., which has always been and forever shall be a STUPID idea.

Justice League seems like it might be going back to the feel of the JLA book, mostly scribed by Grant Morrison, and that has me very excited. Most of our guys have gotten new costume designs, very true to their traditional looks, but with a lot of seams and zippers which make them look a lot more real world, which is another thing I like.

There are some things I'm not too thrilled about, however. Superman got the Brand New Day treatment. His marriage to Lois Lane, and any history of them having actually dated, has been erased. That annoys me, because we're back to undoing all the evolution this character has gone through. Also, I don't believe the creators have really completely thought this reboot thing through. For instance, the DC Universe is about five years old. Superman first appeared around five years ago and helped to found the Justice League around that time. That said, most of Green Lanterns history has remained intact as well as Batman's. All five of Batman's Robins seem to be accounted for, Damian is currently Robin with Dick Grayson returning to being Nightwing after his latest stint as the Caped Crusader and Tim Drake is Red Robin (with a MUCH cooler outfit). The trouble is, how did he go through all those partners with all that history in only five years? It doesn't make any sense. Dick Grayson alone was Robin for six years in the old timeline. I've made jokes before about Batman going through kids like water, but now it seems to be the truth. Another issue I have is with Green Lantern. Most of his history seems to remain intact, in fact Green Lantern #1 immediately follows War of the Green Lanterns, but in Green Lantern: The New Guardians, Kyle Rayner is just now getting a green ring for the first time, even though he was a major player in the War story. Like I said, it doesn't seem like the creators put much thought into this reboot.

I read all of the books in the Superman, Batman and Green Lantern franchises as well as Justice League (though just the main team, none of the secondary titles) and Green Arrow and so far I'm not too disappointed with any of them, story or artwork. My main disappointments lie with the company as a whole and their complete lack of getting the (expletive deleted) together and figuring out exactly where it was they wanted to go with this. I'll wait and see if they get their heads out of their fourth points of contact (Airborne terminology), but as I've said from the beginning, I expect this to last no longer than a year. Next summer's company-wide crossover (which seems to be a Crisis of some sort every year now) will see the DCU returned to a path more in keeping with its traditions. Otherwise, I may have to finally grow up and stop reading comics all together (and no one wants that, right?).