The start of October saw the end of DC Comics’ “Zero Month”, where all of its titles stopped normal numbering and published a #0 issue instead, and the one year anniversary of the DC Universe reboot known as the “New 52”. With a year come and gone, I’ve collected my thoughts and opinions and wish to present the issues I have with the DC Universe reboot. First off, if you’ve read any of my DC Comics’ reviews, you can probably guess my thoughts on the company-wide reboot. What I plan on doing is presenting you with the good, the bad, and the ugly!
OMAC was a perfect hybrid of silver age storytelling with a modern sheen. I own every OMAC issue, including all of his side appearances. Hell, I even own the OMAC collection. I don’t know why I love it so much, maybe because Giffen and DiDio crafted stories that felt as if Jack Kirby himself were writing them. It also didn’t hurt that the art is gorgeous, with Giffen doing a damn fine impersonation of Kirby! Hell, even the coloring pops, which made it stand out on the store shelf the day it released.
Secondly, Scott Snyder is fantastic! I’ve never read a Swamp Thing comic in my life until the reboot. It’s not that I didn’t like the character, it’s that he’s not in my usual “wheelhouse” of traditional superheroes. While the series (and Animal Man) feel almost separate from the larger DC Universe, they still retain a superhero essence to them. Swamp Thing is the series that fills my need for dark fantasy, as it almost has a Lovecraftian feel to it at times.
While Swamp Thing is good, it’s Snyder’s other title, Batman, that is his masterpiece. The Court of Owls storyline was an amazing tale, and should be included among some of the best Batman stories ever written. Some of the stand outs were issue #2, where Snyder delves into the architecture of Gotham, especially Wayne Tower, and issue #5, where Batman is captured by the Court of Owls and is slowly losing his grip on reality. The best part about issue #5, is that as Batman falls further into madness, the panels and pages turn to where eventually you’re reading the comic upside down and backwards. Scott Snyder was able to tell a great Batman epic using brand new villains, who felt different and deadlier from Batman’s other rogues.
These are most of the highlights from the past year. I’ve like other things here and there: the first few issues of Aquaman and Demon Knights, the story behind Earth 2 and two issues of Superman, but other than that, most of what I’ve read I don’t like. In fact, most of the current books I collect from DC are non-continuity Batman titles (Batman: Arkham Unhinged, Batman Beyond Unlimited and Legends of the Dark Knight), which all started out as digital download series’.
The three series’ presented don’t represent bad stories, per se, but are examples of the problems I’m having with the DC reboot.
The first problem is uninteresting stories. I loved the first few issues of Aquaman and Demon Knights, but after a few months their stories became stale and boring. I’ve tried to get back into Demon Knights, but I find the interest is gone. DC put a lot of effort in getting people into these series’, but have done little to keep us coming back for more.
The second problem is Earth 2! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve reviewed several issues of Earth 2 and loved them. The story is fantastic and the art is great, however my problem is with the fact that we need an alternate Earth already. I thought that Flashpoint was supposed to clean up the confusing mess that was DC old continuity. I understand that DC has, technically, always had an Earth 2 counterpart to its prime Earth, but bringing back this concept only allows for other Earth’s to exist and if other Earth’s exist, why doesn’t the original, pre-Flashpoint, Earth exist? It’s a confusing, complicated mess and shouldn’t have been allowed to happen. Also, I know Grant Morrison has used alternate Supermen in his run on Action Comics…just stop already!
I know it’s being nitpick-y, but I hate some of the Jim Lee redesigned costumes, in particular Superman and Darkseid. Batman losing the “undies-on-the-outside” isn’t that bad, he’s mostly in the shadows or is being obscured by his cape, but Superman looks odd. There’s way too much blue and the belt isn’t doing enough to break it up. DC also pissed me off when they altered Darkseid. As a Kirby fan, altering ‘his’ iconic villain is an outrage. Darkseid’s ‘armor’ looks awful, which makes him look like the X-Men villain, Apocalypse.
While I don’t like Superman’s new costume, I don’t hate it, however, Harley Quinn’s new outfit is atrocious! She resembles nothing like her previous incarnation. How is a someone supposed to know that, that is Harley Quinn, the funny sidekick to the Joker from the Batman Animated Series.
Speaking of animated series’, Starfire is most likely remembered as the weird, cutesie alien from the Teen Titans Animated Series, not the sultry, ‘free-loving’ alien from Red Hood and the Outsiders. And don’t get me started on the Batman/Catwoman rooftop sex scenes from Catwoman’s #1 and #2. I understand that most of the comic readers out there are young males, but do we really want to start mixing sex with our Batman comics?
After all of that, there’s also this…
What’s so bad about New Lanterns? Nothing really! I’ve never read an issue of this series, so I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but all I know is that it shouldn’t exist! This is where I’m going to go all ‘fanboy’ on you!
So, in 1992 (our time), a little character named Superman died! Superman’s death led to four individuals appearing in Metropolis, all claiming to be the real Superman. One of those individuals was the Cyborg Superman, who was really a villain, and teamed with Mongul to destroy Coast City. Coast City’s destruction caused Hal Jordan, the current Green Lantern to go mad and try to recreate his beloved city. This led Jordan on a battle with the GL Corps, Sinestro and eventually the Guardians. To gain more power, Jordan flew into the Central Power Battery on Oa and became Parallax. Yes, this is where Hal Jordan became infected with Parallax! Hal would eventually go on to start Zero Hour, restart the sun and become the Specter before being reborn as a Green Lantern again. The Green Lantern to the left is Kyle Rayner, Hal’s replacement during his time as Parallax. So, if Superman never dies, Hal never goes insane and becomes Parallax and Kyle never becomes a Green Lantern. Also, without Hal ‘freeing’ Parallax, there should be no Sinestro Corp and no War of Light. Hell, Necron was only able to pull off the Blackest Night because Superman left the “door open” to the land of the dead when he returned.
Yes, I went all ‘comic nerd’, but this is a plot hole that I cannot ignore. If someone out there is reading any of the Green Lantern titles and they’ve explained this, let me know!
In closing, I do not like the DC Universe reboot! I know that without it, I probably never would have gotten my favorite (albeit, canceled) series, OMAC. The reboot served it’s purpose for DC though, it really raised sales for a few months, but, as of now, the sales have stabilized to slightly higher than before the reboot. I know my local comic shops sells more DC now than every. In all, I think DC increased sales by 5%, most of which were already comic fans. I thank you for reading this, probably my longest rant…er, post! I can’t stress enough that these are my opinions, I am by no means a comic expert or possess a background in sales or journalism. I wish to hear from others on this topic. Tell me what you feel, good or bad, about the DC Comics reboot.