It’s been over 5 months now since DC’s daring New 52 was released. The bold move brought about a drastic change in canon for the DC Universe and promised to revitalize the industry as a whole. To deny it was a success financially would be foolish, and even though we’re moving into issue 6 of the line-up, some of the biggest questions about DC’s new universe have still gone unanswered. Another thing the New 52 has managed to do is place a spotlight on some of DC’s less popular characters. Animal Man, arguably a character not many focused on prior to his new series, has managed to dominate over some of the more prominent figures in DC’s lineup of heroes. Sadly, the same can’t be said for six of the original 52’s titles. DC recently announced, via The Source, that six of their new titles will end in April, and make way for six replacements that bring about more questions for the DCnU.
Blackhawks, Hawk and Dove, Men of War, Mister Terrific, O.M.A.C. and Static Shock will all be canceled, and conclude with their 8th
issue to be released in April! I won’t’ deny a part of me will miss Static Shock, but as for the others this comes as no surprise. Most of these titles were victim to a low fan-base, where other titles (such as Hawk and Dove) were simply the victim of a poor creative team. Also announced was what DC is calling the Second Wave of the DC new 52. Six new titles that will further expand the DC Universe, and hopefully carve out more of the answers readers seek.
WORLD’S FINEST, by renowned writer Paul Levitz with art by George Perez and Kevin Maguire; revolves around Powergirl and Huntress as they find themselves stranded on Earth from a parallel world (Earth 2), attempting to find a way back to their own world. This will be a treat for longtime DC fans, as the creative teams consist of some of the most well-known writers and artists DC has.
EARTH 2, by James Robinson, with art by Nicola Scott. “The greatest heroes on a parallel Earth, the Justice Society combats threats that will set them on a collision course with other worlds.” This title manages to create quite a few questions, as it brings back a parallel world that has long been dead! What this means for past Crisis events is yet to be seen, still it should provide quite a bit of nostalgia and entertainment for long time DC readers.
BATMAN INCORPORATED , by Grant Morrison, with art by Chris Burnham. “The acclaimed ongoing writer of ACTION COMICS, Grant Morrison, presents a fresh take on BATMAN INCORPORATED, in which the Batman brand is franchised globally in preparation for a major international threat.”
DIAL H, by China Miéville, with art by Mateus Santoluoco. “The first ongoing series from acclaimed novelist China Miéville, this is a bold new take on a cult classic concept about the psychological effects on an everyman who accidentally gains powers to become a hero.”
G.I. COMBAT, by J.T. Krul, with art by Ariel Olivetti. “Featuring the return of a classic DC Comics series, THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT, along with rotating back-up stories and creative teams – including THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER, with writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti and artist Dan Panosian; and THE HAUNTED TANK, with writer John Arcudi and artist Scott Kolins.”
THE RAVAGERS, by Howard Mackie, with art by Ian Churchill. “Spinning off from TEEN TITANS and SUPERBOY, this series finds four super powered teens on the run and fighting against the organization that wants to turn them into super villains.” Superboy, and the Teen Titans already have quite a few titles that revolve around their overall story, so adding another one seems to be a bit of overkill.
Still, even more changes are headed our way from DC this year, as it seems artist Rob Liefeld will be joining three titles in the DC new 52 starting this May. Liefeld will be taking over both art and writing duties for Deathstroke, replacing writer Kyle Higgins and artist Joe Bennett. For the other two titles, Savage Hawkman and Grifter , we will only see Rob in a plotting role. “It’s great to have Rob contributing to DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 in such a major way,” said Eddie Berganza, DC Entertainment Executive Editor. Well, I disagree. I’m not one to openly bash an artist, or creator of any medium, but I just don’t see why DC is handing over the reins of three perfectly decent titles to a man that is simply not liked amongst a large portion of comic readers. Liefeld was actually the artist of one of the titles DC found wanting, and marked for cancellation. Still, it’s obvious they see something in him I just don’t, describing him via The Source as, “One of the key artists who helped to the define a generation of comic books…”
No doubt this year will hold many more changes for DC’s line-up, hopefully whatever changes come will be for the better.