I’ve always felt underwhelmed by the magical landscapes of Marvel and DC. I grew up reading a lot of prose with deep and varied magical lore, and the Big 2’s versions of magic always felt weirdly half-baked and overly complex. DC has at least had some ambitious endeavors to explore the space – Books of Magic, Shadowpact, and Justice League Dark are all fairly modern attempts to flesh out this side of the universe. Marvel, on the other hand, has only really had James Robinson’s really rough Scarlet Witch and the Doctor Strange side of things in recent years. They’ve been in desperate need for something to shake that corner of their universe up for a long time. [Read more…] about Strange Academy Vol 1: First Class review!
The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s been nearly 10 years since the New 52. DC’s messed around with their continuity some more, between Rebirth and Metal and Doomsday Clock, but everything’s even more convoluted now than it’s ever been before. And ultimately, that’s okay. In around a month, DC will be relaunching their line again with their new Infinite Frontier line, spinning out of a 2-month linewide initiative called Future State. But the real question we’re asking – okay, the real question I’m asking – is whether or not DC has actually learned from the lessons of the New 52. What makes this relaunch any more likely to succeed? [Read more…] about The Old 52: DC’s New 52 10 Years Later – The Launch & What We Can Learn
And at last, we reach the books that I actually want to talk about. The best part of a line-wide relaunch is always the successful books that come out of it, and these successful books usually indicate the strongest ideas behind the relaunch. But what’s interesting about the New 52 is how many of these really strong books exist almost to spite the reboot. Let’s dive in. [Read more…] about The Old 52: DC’s New 52 10 Years Later – The Launch & What Went Well
As with all major line-wide relaunches, the New 52 had plenty of books that filled out some gaps without really feeling innovative or must-read. Not everything can be a classic, and these kinds of stories serve as a baseline for the publisher. What’s fascinating about a lot of these books, though, is that they’re not just forgettable or unremarkable. No, a lot of these books took risks in their own way, even if they didn’t pay off as successfully as the creators or readers would have liked. Oftentimes these books are the ones most emblematic of a relaunch – which can’t be defined by its worst or its best offerings; it needs to be defined by the average of what it puts out. [Read more…] about The Old 52: DC’s New 52 10 Years Later – The Launch and What Went Okay
In 2011, DC rebooted their universe spinning out of Flashpoint, and called the initiative the New 52. 52 as a number has had a level of significance at DC since their standout weekly series 52, which was fantastic and ran for a whole year (52 weeks). The New 52 is pretty much unrelated to this series, but since DC loves the number they made sure it had its own significance – namely, the reboot started with 52 monthly ongoing series at launch, 13 per week.
If there’s one thing that can be learned immediately from this initiative, it’s that 52 monthly series all starting in the same month is just too much. For a comparison, DC Rebirth ran with a much lower 22 launch titles, with a few of them running twice a month. The upcoming DC Infinite Frontier line is starting with 2 anthology books and 17 monthly titles in March. But if there’s one good thing about launching way more titles than anyone can reasonably read in a month, it’s that there’s an incredible variety of stories, and there’s all but guaranteed to be at least some good books in there. This assumption led me to embark on a quest that some might call foolish, as I decided to read every single New 52 launch book. And now for you, dear reader, I will be revealing the results of my research. What didn’t work here? [Read more…] about The Old 52: DC’s New 52 10 Years Later – The Launch & What Went Wrong