Sunday, September 18, 2011

Random Thoughts on the DC Relaunch at the Halfway Point

DC is only half way through the rollout of their New 52, but I think that as far as I'm concerned, it's over.  The only titles that I was really interested in checking out, because of the involvement of Grant Morrison and Keith Giffen, two of my favorite creators, came out the first week. 
I'll admit to being a little curious about Blackhawks.  I've always liked the Blackhawk concept, and I'm kind of wondering how DC has brought it back into the modern DC Universe and what the connection, if any, is between this new series and the classic World War II team.  Still, I think I'm going to wait until the reviews are in before I decide whether or not to pick up an issue. 
Maybe if I've got three bucks burning a whole in my pocket in a couple of weeks, I'll spend it on Superman #1 to check out the present day new incarnation of the Man of Steel and how it compares to the version in Action Comics. 
I'd actually considered buying Green Arrow #1, even though, being written by J.T. Krul, I knew that it was going to suck, simply because I have every other Green Arrow #1 that DC has published over the past thirty years.  Fortunately, however, I came to my senses in time.
I flipped through Hawk & Dove #1, and promptly put it back on the shelf.  There may be a decent story somewhere under Rob Liefeld's art, but I have no desire to find out.  Liefeld's drawings are....well, they're Liefeld's drawings.  If you like his work--and the fact that he continues to get work attests that he must still have some fans out there somewhere--then you'll like it in Hawk & Dove.  If you have taste, then you won't.  
I'd already decided, because of Krul writing it, that I was going to pass on Captain Atom, and this preview of the first issue confirms for me that I've made the right choice.  Apparently, Krul has never actually read a Captain Atom comic before.  He has, however, seemingly read quite a bit of Firestorm, as that is who he seems to think he's writing.  Not only is Captain Atom drawn with Firestorm-like flames popping out of the top of his head, but on the second page of the preview, in the course of battling an erupting volcano, Krul has Cap transmute the lava into snow.  Since when can Captain Atom transmute matter?  Since NEVER, that's since when, because he isn't friggin' Firestorm.  The new DCU already has a Firestorm comic, and it doesn't really need another, especially not one written by J.T. Krul. 
I did decide to check out the new Batgirl, based on Gail Simone's writing it, but by the time I went back to the Laughing Ogre to pick up a copy, they were sold out of it and several other New 52 books.  I suppose this bodes well for the success of the relaunch.  I wonder, though, who's buying these books.  Is it the new and/or lapsed readers that DC hopes to attract or is it just the same folks who come to the Ogre week in and week out?  More importantly, how many of the people who snapped up those first issues are going to buy subsequent releases? 
If DC is really hoping to attract new readers to comics, then I think that redesigning Superman's costume might have been a bad idea.   Not only is the new look kind of hideous, but won't people who know Superman only from his appearances in other media be expecting him to look like the guy they've seen on TV?  It also occurs to me that this theoretical new reader might be slightly confused by the presence on the stands of both a Batgirl and a Batwoman comic.
There's one thing I'm wondering about future developments in OMAC that I didn't mention in my post on the first issue.  I'm curious to see if the presence of Mokkari deep in the bowels of Cadmus means that OMAC is going to come into conflict with Darkseid.  Now I don't think Mokkari had any connection with Apokolips in his previous incarnation, when Jerry Ordway brought him into The Adventures of Superman in the 90's, but the character was introduced in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen by Jack Kirby in the early 70's as a servant of Darkseid.  I also hope his partner Simyan shows up sometime as well.
Anyway, to wrap up this rambling and disjointed post, I'll be sticking with Action Comics and OMAC for a while, so for me the relaunch was pretty much a wash.  I was buying two DC books before the change, and I'll still be buying two DC books, just different ones.  It's basically a case of the more things change, the more they stay the same. 

1 comment:

  1. Just earlier today, while you and I were at Packrat Comics (shameless plug) I was making small talk with one of the customers who came in and began browsing the same wall display I was. He said he was interested in DC's new 52 titles. I was ready to ask him about what sort of comics he liked reading, when he began to brag about his collection of #1 issues of various comics. I got the distinct impression he wasn't buying comics because they were fun stories or were pretty to look at, so much as he wanted to beef up his collection of various number ones.

    Remember this story the next time you're on the verge of losing your senses and buying a Green Aroow comic by a writer you can't stand.