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 Miéville. I have little interest in the basic concept, but I’m really curious to see what Miéville 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).