Quick Thoughts: The New 52, Wave 2

DC has announced the second wave of the New 52, with more details at USA Today. They’ll be adding six new series in May, and dropping six after #8 to keep the total at 52. Update: CBR interviews Bob Harras about the focus of the new books.

First off, I don’t think keeping it at 52 is a great idea, because the first time they change their line-up to feature 51 books, or 52, or anything else, people will read way too much into it.

Anyway, the canceled books:

  • Men of War and Blackhawks. War books are a tough sell these days. No surprise.
  • Mister Terrific. A gamble from the beginning, and the only praise I’ve heard about it is from the skeptic community for portraying an atheist in a positive light.
  • Static Shock. After all the effort DC went to to get Static (the only Milestone character they seemed interested in), what went wrong?
  • Hawk & Dove. The series’ biggest selling point was Rob Liefeld. Make of that what you will.
  • O.M.A.C. This always seemed to me as a — I don’t want to call it a vanity project — but basically, a chance for Dan Didio to have fun writing something. My guess is they didn’t really expect it to sell, but positioned it as an ongoing just in case people liked it.

And the new books, after the cut.

  • Batman, Incorporated. We knew this was coming back for Grant Morrison to finish his Batman epic. The only question is: are they planning to keep this going past the end of that story, the way they kept Batman & Robin going after Morrison moved onto this one? IMO, they should let the series end when the story does, and make room for another title.
  • Earth 2. The James Robinson/Nicola Scott Justice Society book DC has been hinting at for a while. It sounds like they’re going to get involved in the multiverse, which may or may not be a good thing. The JSA book might be better off focusing on them as the greatest heroes of their world. I wonder why they’re calling it “Earth 2” instead of “Justice Society of America.” To differentiate it from the Justice League lineup? And where does it fit with the “Earth One” branding?
  • World’s Finest by Paul Levitz, alternating George Perez & Kevin Maguire on art. The Earth-2 Power Girl and Huntress are “stranded on our world” and trying to get home. At first I misread the description as them lost in the multiverse, which sounded like fun, but if it’s set in one universe, I’m not interested enough in the characters to pick this up.
  • G.I. Combat replaces the two canceled war books with a single book that will rotate through DC”s various war characters & settings. Not interested myself, but probably a better sell than the books it’s replacing.
  • The Ravagers spins off from Superboy and Teen Titans, with super-teens on the run from an organization that wants to make them into villains. I’ll pass, but it sounds perfect for those who like what DC is doing with the other two books.
  • Dial H, a more adult take on the “Dial H for Hero” concept written by science fiction author China MiĆ©ville. I have little interest in the basic concept, but I’m really curious to see what MiĆ©ville does with it. And Brian Bolland art doesn’t hurt.

No new Flash book (not that I’m surprised), though we should finally see Jay Garrick again in Earth 2. (No sign of Wally West either, but that’s to be expected.) Actually, there’s a strong nostalgia component here, bringing back the Justice Society, Dial H for HERO, all those old war comics from the silver & bronze age. Even Batman, Inc. is literally a continuation of a pre-Flashpoint series (though since so little has changed in the Bat-verse, it’s easy enough to just transplant it to the new universe).


12 thoughts on “Quick Thoughts: The New 52, Wave 2

  1. Brett Booth

    Being a part of the ‘Skeptic Community’ I have to disagree about Mr. T being a ‘positive’. Loosing ones faith due to a death is purely a religious reaction. Loosing ones faith due to study and research is a skeptical reaction. That really bothered me about the first issue, basically a knee jerk reaction to something that takes years of searching. It’s how the religious cope or deal with others who don’t think like them. It MUST have been something so large as the loss of a wife or child, he hates his god so he rejects him! It simply couldn’t be studying learning, which is how most people make the change.



    1. kyer

      I agree with you on Mr. Terrific. Why not have the man be an atheist based on his logic saying that it just didn’t make sense. (Note, Kyer is neither religious nor atheist, as she has..well, seen too much *and* too little so to speak.)

      As for the books both canned and created….I’m hoping for Jay in JSA and Wally just about anywhere, but can’t really scrounge up the enthusiasm as yet. My relationship with DC is still very much degraded into Show Me The Goods And Then Maybe I’ll Show You My Money.

  2. Lee H

    Static will be appearing in Teen Titans #6, and Scott Lobdell has teased an eighth member of the team. Maybe that will be is new home?

  3. Lia

    I have a strange fondness for Hawk and Dove that I don’t for most heroes, but sure as hell wasn’t going to buy a Liefeld book. It’s too bad about that.

  4. Kamau

    Given the success of the new Flash series this would seem like an opportune time to add a 2nd Flash series featuring the heretofore unseen other DCU Speedsters.

  5. papa zero

    I’m guessing that calling it Earth 2 rather than Justice Society will allow them to riff on the hooks and themes we are all familiar with but allow room to change central characters and explore new territory.

    1. Thunderbolt_005

      I agree and it keeps with DC’s nonreboot while bringing in some safe DC classic characters. Earth 2 feels like it might be like a Brave and Bold for the pre-new 52 universe. I would by this book if Wally is in it.

      1. papa zero

        I have mixed feelings about Wally appearing in Earth 2. First off, I’m betting that Earth 2 would take a very new direction and Wally could be unrecognizeable – but even if you feel something is better than nothing, throwing Wally into a separate world that could fold on poor sales may preclude Wally coming back into the fold of the regular DCnU for a much longer duration. I’m not saying Earth 2 won’t be a huge success, I just wouldn’t want Wally’s future tied to it if it flopped. On the other hand, it could be a huge success and facilitate a situation where Barry and Wally are both the “mantle holders” on their respective worlds. Earth 2 seems like a more likely place for legacy stories and revisiting the Flash family.

  6. Esteban Pedreros

    Well, the cancelled books are the lowest selling books, so there’s no surprise there (well, actually Captain Atom sold 97 copies less than Hawk & Dove, so technically it was the 6th lowest selling tittle… so it may have dodged a bullet there. For now).

    None of those books appealed to me for different reasons, but I really can’t understand why DC would give 3 books to Liefeld to write and also bring back Howard Mackie from comic book retirement. IMHO they have no talent, but more important than that, they don’t seem to have a fan base big enough to guarantee commercial success despite the lack of talent… so, if they can’t produce an creatively interesting product that may reach critical success and therefore, a moderate sales success because they are unable to do so (they don’t have any talent), and they are also unable to attract readers who’ll follow the books, even if every single review out there has people pulling their hair out in despair, because they like Liefeld’s work and Mackies’s writing beyond reason… what’s the point behind the decision?!

    The only announcement that caught my eye was the new Dial H book.. with some luck t’ll turn ut to be a surprise hit like Animal Man


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