DC’s New 52—Not New, Just Confusing and Trite (Part 1)

DC’s New 52 
Not New, Just Confusing and Trite
(Part 1 of 3)

As I have perused many of the DC’s reboot effort, called the new 52 (because they are just launching/relaunching 52 titles), I am for the most part not impressed.  There is no cohesion between books, as some are set in the past and some are set in the “present.”  Also, there seems to be no rhyme or reason for the reboot other than DC needed something as a hook to promote its push to release print and digital comics on the same day.  Other than that, there is not a lot to love, and a lot of trite tripe that goes into not so good schlock, except for Batman, who remains cool even with that b@$t@rd son who should have been rebooted away, Damien Wayne.

Even though sales of the “new” #1s have been brisk, many retailers do not expect it to last.  I hope this will drive the nail into the “Jim Lee can run a comics company well” meme into the dust.  He damn near destroyed Marvel and another company (Heroes Reborn, anyone?).  Look for his run as “co-publisher” to not be long, unless Dan “DiIdiot” Didio keeps him around out of pride.  What makes matters just as bad is Lee’s “heroes reborn” cohort, Rob Liefeld, is on board with DC as well.  Let’s hope this lasts just a little less long than new Coke did.

Here are some reviews of some of the titles I have had a chance to peruse:

Justice League #1

  Story by:  Geoff Johns
  Art by:  Jim Lee, Scott Williams
  Colors by:  Alex Sinclair
  Letters by:  Patrick Brosseau
  Cover by:  Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Alex Sinclair
  Publisher: DC Comics

How could they screw up a flagship book with all of the big names?  Very easily.  No Wonder Woman in Issue 1.  Ditto for Flash and Aquaman.  Mostly, Issue 1 focuses on Batman and Hal Jordan as Green Lantern.  Wait, didn’t Hal get fired at the end of War of the Green Lanterns?  Oh, wait, this takes place in the New DCUniverse, about 5-7 years ago, and Hal and Bats are just starting out.  While Batman, with a decidedly more Christian Bale armored look to him, is characterized pretty well in terms of being at odds with Gotham’s Finest, Green Lantern takes everything everyone hated about Ryan Reynolds’s portrayal of Hal Jordan and amplifies it to an annoying degree.  He is very brash and smart alecky, and for someone who claims to understand his ring can do anything, Hal doesn’t ask it about Kryptonian weaknesses or anything, as both Bats and Hal go to Metropolis to meet Superman.  We get a glimpse into the pre-hero Cyborg, which, if we are talking about this League being the “heavy hitters”, why are we starting off with a kid who never really made it out of the Teen Titans until recently in the “old” DCU?

Geoff Johns, whose work used to garner respect, must be spending too much time in Hollywood.  The script is not even good schlock.  It is full of bad Hollywood scenes and cliches.  It is a vast disappointment.

Then there is the whole Bruce/Hal/Supes dynamic.  Part of what makes Superman such an endearing character is his naiveté and innocence.  That is nowhere to be seen in this version.  And, if this is in the past, how come Supes is wearing that dumb@$$ armor Jim Lee has him in “the modern new DCU”?  Shouldn’t he be wearing that stupid T-shirt, little cape, and jeans look Grant Morrison has him in over in Action Comics?  Bruce and Hal are at opposite ends, but not over the whole “no fear” thing.  No, instead, Hal Jordan, the guy who was the white bread to Green Arrow’s “down with the struggle” character in the Denny O’Neil Days, is now a jokester who doesn’t see the big deal in being a hero and being stealthy or having a plan.  Um.…Hal Jordan was a military man, a pilot.  Flyboys do fly by the seat of their pants, but they are not dummies when it comes to strategy.  Very poor characterization of Hal.  If this were Kyle Rayner, it would make more sense.

At least the initial villain for this “league” is a real big one.  I won’t give it away, but let’s just say he is one of Jack Kirby’s greatest villain creations.

Overall, this book uses up much of the benefit of the doubt long time fans were willing to give to Jim Lee and Co., especially being the Launch title for the whole reboot.  Better to invest your money in the number 1, get the free digital download, and wait a few months before jumping on board.  Or, better yet, just go and buy back issues in the days when Geoff Johns was still able to write well.

New Hope Patriot Missile Rating:
 2 out of 5 Shields

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