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
I love the Scarlet Witch.
When I signed up to write about the She-Hulk by Dan Slott Omnibus, I was coming in with the context of it being a fairly popular run that I saw a lot of people hold up as the definitive She-Hulk run. What I got instead was a very uncomfortable depiction of a textually strong female character as essentially a stereotypical (in 2004) comic book fan’s ideal female protagonist. Right from the first page, Jen is depicted as a woman who is so insecure in her self image that she just has to sleep with different men almost every night to cope with it. And while, sure, Slott points out that this isn’t a healthy way to live, the entire thing just feels like the creative team is leering at her. Every single page of this book reminds the reader that it was created entirely by men. [Read more…] about She-Hulk by Dan Slott Omnibus Review!
An incredibly important part of revitalizing interest in a franchise is a big opening – the kind that keeps people talking for a long time after it releases. When Morrison did it with the X-Men in 2001 with E is for Extinction, it became one of the most talked about books running, and still spawns countless discussions to this day. When Hickman did the same for the X-Men in 2019 with House of X/Powers of X, it brought a franchise that had once been the highest selling of all time back to its rightful on top of the industry. When Bendis started his Avengers run in 2004 with Avengers Disassembled, it was instantly unforgettable and something that people had to talk about. With the launch of the Legion of Superheroes in 2019, Bendis seemed to want to capture that kind of energy, announcing a prologue miniseries titled Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium with an all-star lineup of artists and one of the most striking covers of the year. What actually resulted, though, was an incredibly forgettable two-parter that killed so much momentum of the Legion of Super-Heroes ongoing just months later. [Read more…] about Legion of Super-Heroes Volume 1 by Brian Michael Bendis & Ryan Sook Review!