But over the past two years I’ve dropped half the series I was collecting, and the others (the ones I liked) have been canceled. I’m down to one DCU series. (Again)
The New 52 DC universe no longer feels like the same DC universe I used to follow. The tone is off (though to be fair, it had been shifting ever since Identity Crisis), and it’s now just different enough to feel unfamiliar and off-putting, but not different enough to feel like another fictional world that I can enjoy on its own terms.
A few years back I came to the realization that a shared universe I knew well, like DC at the time, was a hook that would encourage me to try more comics set in that world, while one that I didn’t know so well, like Marvel, actually discouraged me from reading it. The Marvel books I read tend to be those that are either not the Marvel universe, or set off in a corner of it. Since the New 52, the same has been true of DC.
Previously posted as a comment on Reddit
I think my biggest disappointment with the New 52 is that they didn’t go far enough.
They had a chance to completely reinvent the DC Universe to an extent that we haven’t seen since the dawn of the Silver Age. Instead, we have the same basic characters: Superman is still Clark Kent, Batman is still Bruce Wayne, Wonder Woman is still Diana, Flash is still Barry Allen, Green Lantern is still Hal Jordan (and John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner, and Guy Gardner), etc.
They could have tried to recapture the sheer creativity that made the Silver Age such a success. (What if instead of a guy with a magic ring, we make him a space cop? What if instead of a small guy who’s really strong, he actually shrinks to microscopic size?) Instead, they tried to recapture the success of the post-Crisis DCU. That’s still ambitious, but it has nowhere near the same level of potential, and I think that’s thrown a wet blanket over the past two years.
But the New 52 seems to be this weird combination of top-down heavy-handed editorial mandate and throw-things-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks. The post-Crisis on Infinite Earths universe felt a lot more open and creative, like almost anything was possible.
Then again, I’m thinking of the first five years or so after COIE (before it accumulated enough complexity that they started doing things like Zero Hour and all the gimmicks we now think of as exemplifying the 1990s), and we’re only two years into the New 52, and I do remember there being a bit of a shakedown period — and I’ve had 20 years to forget the stuff that didn’t work in the late 1980s in favor of what did. So I could be seeing it through nostalgia-colored glasses.
Edited together from a pair of comments I originally posted on Reddit
I’m completely uninterested in the mainstream part of the DC Comics relaunch, but then DC’s been slowly killing off my interest, dismantling everything I liked about the DCU for the last several years, so it’s more of a final nail than anything else. I checked out Justice League #1, which basically confirmed my opinion. I’m going to give Flash another shot because (a) I hate letting go and (b) that art is just amazing.
On the plus side, some of the offbeat books look really interesting, and I plan on checking out Demon Knights, Frankenstein, Resurrection Man, and Justice League Dark.
Originally posted as a comment on Reddit
I’ve always considered myself a DC fan. I think it’s mainly that it’s where I got started, so I got invested in the DC Universe. That’s what’s familiar, while Marvel always seemed like I’d need to do a ton of research just to get started. (Not necessarily true, of course, that’s just how it seemed.) Most of the Marvel books I’ve read were either stand-alone or set off in their own corner of the universe (Alias, True Believers, Astonishing X-Men when Joss Whedon was writing it, etc.)
In short: the complexity of the universe I knew kept me in, and the complexity of the universe I didn’t know kept me out.
These days I still consider myself a DC fan, and I follow all the DC-related news and commentary, but I don’t actually read many of their books anymore. It’s down to one: The Flash. The rest of the line just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. But neither does Marvel’s. Actually, about half of my pull list is from BOOM! right now, with the rest of it scattered around DC/Vertigo, Dark Horse, Aspen, Image, etc.
Previously posted on Reddit
DC Comics has launched a digital comics program, starting with the iPad/iPhone and the Playstation network.
And by launched, I mean launched. As in, you can download the app and buy comics right now.
I’m really looking forward to the day when they expand this to more platforms (desktop PCs, Android and Windows–based tablets, etc) and start reaching into their back catalog. I’ve griped about the lack of Golden Age Flash reprints before, and the Bronze Age is also virtually invisible in reprints (though at least with comics from the 1970s and 1980s, you can usually find the back-issues at a reasonable price).
I haven’t had time to read all the interviews, but I’ll definitely be reading them tonight:
With Jim Lee so heavily involved in this project, I can’t help but think of a moment at WonderCon this year. Saturday was the day of the iPad launch, and the Apple Store in San Francisco is just a few blocks from the convention center. Jim Lee was conspicuously missing from the DC Editorial panel. He showed up partway through the panel and stood in the Q&A line, where he planted a few questions…and then pulled out the brand-new iPad that he had stood in line for that morning!
Sadly, judging by ComiXology’s new releases, DC hasn’t brought Flash to the iPad just yet. But I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.
Update: Comics Alliance has another article I won’t have time to read just yet, on why this is a big deal.
Cross-posted at Speed Force