The New 52

I am not, nor have I ever been, a comic book geek. I’ve read comics and graphic novels, certainly, but the whole big “DC Comics and “Marvel Comics” never really demanded my attention in comic book form. What graphic novels and comic compilations I do own come from web comics and fairly independent publishing (I’m too fat and genre savvy to be a hipster, but owning all six Scott Pilgrim graphic novels got me pretty damn close).

Part of the reason is the sheer weight of material you have to familiarize yourself to really get into a comic book series. It’s hard enough trying to catch up on 20 years of Batman cartoons; it’s another thing entirely to read 70+ years of Batman comics, especially since tons of them are basically antiques that people would literally kill you for looking too intently at them (and thus ruining the collector’s value with your filthy eyes absorbing all the precious photons), let alone picking them up to read.

So there are these things called reboots, where they basically say “we’re starting over, new stories, new background lore, everything before doesn’t count anymore”. Ideally, it means giving would-be readers a chance to jump in on the action of a character they like but feel held back from embracing by the sheer weight of comic book canon; the character is theoretically the same “person”, but ideas impossible to implement in previous continuities can be embraced, bad ideas can be disposed of, and details can be developed in a more contemporary fashion.

I have no idea how many times this has happened in the comic book world, but for the DC stuff it just happened again, and this time it might just work for me. I’m actually curious about it, and willing to give it a shot. Without ever becoming an avid reader of DC Comics comic books, I’ve always been some sort of fan of the entire “thing”. I grew up watching Batman: The Animated Series and not only did I love it as a kid, I still love it today. As I got older they added a Superman cartoon series, and then some manner of Batman and Superman thing, and eventually a whole Justice League.

(Tangent Time. The idea of a Justice League always kind of strained the limits of credibility to me, because I just can’t get around the idea of such different heroes working together on a regular basis. It’s one thing for Wonder Woman to team up with Superman to fight off some alien gods: she’s on a similar level of power to him (usually), and won’t get instantly splattered by the kinds of villains who can give Superman a good fight. Not so much with Batman. I love Batman, but every moment he spends fighting along side superheroes with actual superpowers just feels endlessly contrived. Please, just stop having Batman being anywhere near any super fights, and stop pretending he wouldn’t be liquefied in two seconds by pretty much anyone. Tangent Time over)

So I’m thinking of getting Issue #1 of a few of these things. Definitely Batman, and maybe a few others as well. Generally speaking, I prefer the “ridiculously awesome but still on a more or less human level” characters to the flat-out super heroes, so I don’t think I’ll be getting Superman or Wonder Woman or The Flash (might consider the Red Lanterns because rage is always fun). Definitely won’t bother with Justice League or Teen Titans (see Tangent Time above) unless they are practically or literally giving them away, in which case I’ll upgrade the definitely not to a maybe. Guess it all depends on how disposable my income is feeling.

And don’t worry, I’ll definitely be reviewing everything.

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2 Responses to The New 52

  1. Alar says:

    Seeing as how I don’t actually have the money to purchase any of these on my own and see how they’ll be, I look forward to hearing your review of them.

    Hopefully fans everywhere haven’t taken this giant reboot as a big, “Screw you!” That would just be sad.

  2. AJBulldis says:

    Alar, someday you will have more money than you know what to do with. Perhaps you will invest in a new way to begin your comments.

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