Hard to believe about what could happen in an entire year.
One year ago, DC Comics began a publishing initiative that would become the biggest thing to happen to comic books in a long time. They took their entire line of comics, one that had a continuous flow of publishing for close to 30 years, and they turned it all on its head.
They made a reboot.
Not just to one book, mind you.
They took every single series and started it over. This meant that they were able to launch 52 brand new comic book series, each beginning with its own issue #1. This was done with the hope of attracting new readers and new comic fans in general.
As a success, well, it’s tops in the charts for months on end, always holding multiple places in the Top 10 comics for the month. Plus, without any previous records, they were able to restart some characters and reinvent others while changing the character histories for people to easily get into.
Overall, opinions on the relaunch have varied. While talking with other readers and folks in the comic shops, it’s apparent that many people are on board for the newness that the New 52 brings, while others cannot stand that they are taking characters that they have known and loved for years and doing things with them that they do not approve of.
It all comes back to the ownership that many comic book fans feel that they are entitled to.
I believe, and again this is only my opinion, that DC has succeeded in making their line of comic books a success.
If you are going to call something a “NEW” 52, you need to stand by your product and put to bed all stories and characters that you thought you knew.
One such change occurred when DC decided that Lois Lane, longtime admirer of Superman, no longer married Clark Kent. At the time she knew Clark Kent to be Superman, but DC decided to make Superman a more connectable character, so they dissolved the marriage.
True, Superman and Lois Lane’s marriage was not the only one to go away, but it’s cause certainly led to the biggest effect.
Superman and Wonder Woman are now romantically involved.
Something only thought of in different timeline stories or otherworld tales, is now official. Their romance is given light in the newest issue of Justice League #12.
Whether or not you agree with it is irrelevant, seeing as how this is the New 52. This means that new readers and fans will be seeing this as the definitive relationship. That’s the point. This is the new 52.
So, welcome to the 2nd Year of stories meant to entice and blaze of path of novel foundations for new comic book fans.
So, as a salute to the DC New 52 and what they’ve already put forward, as well to what’s coming, I’ll let you guys know about the biggest stories coming out of the New 52 in the next year that seem to stand above the others.
Batman: Death of the Family
This storyline has been more than a year in the making, featuring the long anticipated return of The Joker.
The last time the Joker appeared in a DC Comic was all the way back in Detective Comics #1. He was shown to be alive and well
in Arkham Asylum, when the Dollmaker, a new villain, appeared and stripped The Joker of his face.
Literally cut his face off.
By doing the math, rounding up, if there have been 52 new series constantly being released, over the course of 12 months, then that means that close to 540 issues of comic books have been published without the Joker in it.
Clearly, he’s planning something big.
This is a massive storyline, crossing over all the major Batman titles, with the main story taking place in the series titled “Batman”, written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Greg Capullo.
These two were responsible for creating The Court of Owls Storyline that I wrote about recently.
Obviously, these two know Batman.
With the Joker making his return to the Batman world, things seem to be getting off to a great start.
Green Lantern: Rise of the Third Army
As disappointing as the Green Lantern movie was, the comics have still continued to hold a high degree of excellence over his cinematic counterpart.
Most recently, Hal Jordan has been through a lot. First, he lost the right to be a Green Lantern from his commanders, the Guardians of the Universe.
Then, he was given a ring that was controlled by his arch enemy, Sinestro.
Now, it appears he’s destined to die and be replaced by the first Muslim-American Green Lantern, known so far as Baz.
Who he is and why he’s the new Earth Green Lantern is still to be determined, but his role is stationed as one of the biggest ones in the oncoming space war.
Author and DC Comics CCO Geoff Johns has been in charge of the Green Lantern mythos for a long time, close to 8 years actually, so his plans are usually longer in scope and scale.
The Guardians of the Universe are planning on getting rid of all of the Green Lanterns and sending to war a new army. One without humanity. Or emotion. Or fear.
We, as fans of science fiction, benefit from this.
Swamp Thing and Animal Man: ROTWORLD
This was a surprise to me in the best way.
Swamp Thing was a series that I had picked up from the very start, one that interested me with its incredibly dark and twisted take on nature and the wild.
While keeping a strong air about itself, this series maintained that this is a serious, planned venture into a dark world.
Animal Man, on the other hand, took me some time to grow into. It had a take on a character that I could never attach to.
A man channels the wild into himself to fight evil.
As it turns out, though, these series became more connected than I could possibly imagine.
Animal Man became connected to The Red, the living force of nature throughout the planet that creates animal life. Swamp Thing, with his horror tales, is connected to The Green, the powerful world force that channels the plants and vegetation of the world.
These two are in complete opposite of The Rot, the undying entity that takes life and kills it, mutating it into living death. Birds rotting out of the sky. Whales breathing death through the sea.
This is the Rot.
And RotWorld is coming to our planet.
So, congratulations to the New 52.
It has a large amount of #0 issues coming out today. If you seem interested in any of these upcoming storylines, then I suggest you start there.
DC Comics is giving you one more chance to start at a beginning, and these #0 issues take place before the New 52, leading into the next big year of stories.
In addition to writing for the column “Comic Matters” for the Tucson Citizen website, Bobby Acosta is also a 5th Grade Elementary school teacher, frequenter of local comic book shop Heroes & Villains, and explorer of the importance of comics. He recommends each and every comic he writes about.
Contact him at email@example.com
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