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September 22 2011

Examining DC’s New 52

When DC announced that they were effectively “rebooting” their entire comics lineup, I admit I was a little disappointed. I finally started getting familiar with the DC universe’s considerable backstory, and now they were going to toss much of it away? Argh.

But I can see why they do it, and if they can do it well, I’m more than happy to play along. Having a major jumping-on point can be quite useful to a lot of people, especially me.

Anyway, I decided to check out every single new Issue #1 that DC is publishing – all 52 of them – and offer my thoughts on each one. Many of these characters are unfamiliar to me, or they’ve changed, or whatever. But some I’m very familiar with (hello, Batman) and I could be pretty irritated if they change too much. Let’s take a look.

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September 11 2011

Justice League #1

This book takes place 5 years before the “current” storyline. No, that doesn’t mean it takes place in the aftermath of Infinite Crisis. Just think of the New 52 as existing in an alternate timeline. And in this timeline, none of the heroes we’re familiar with have ever met each other. So this issue primarily features the first meeting of Batman and Green Lantern, and finishes with the two meeting Superman.

Overall, it’s a pretty good start. I never read about how the JL got its start in the comics, although I did get a version of it in the JL animated series, so it’s nice to witness it for the “first time”.

I’m not one of those people who dislike how the new costumes look. In fact, for the most part, I think they look great. No more spandex underwear on the outside of the costume (for the most part), and the slightly-more-armored look works great in most cases. It works great on Batman, makes sense on Green Lantern, and although it doesn’t make sense for Superman to wear armor, neither does spandex; Superman could fly around naked and he’d be just as protected as he always is.

Also, what happened to Wonder Woman’s pants? Early versions of this cover had WW wearing long pants instead of running around in her underwear like she always has, which I thought was a good change (and also makes the character more immune to being called a sexist character).

Finally, I’m a bit disappointed that Martian Manhunter isn’t part of the team anymore (he got moved to Stormfront) but Cyborg seems like a good replacement. It’s obvious that part of DC’s decision to go with Cyborg instead was to add some racial diversity to the JL, but that doesn’t mean he’s just the token black character. We get to see some of his backstory as a football player, and he hasn’t even become Cyborg yet in this issue, so we’ll probably be seeing how and why he got his armor.

Verdict: Hell yes.