In 2011, DC Comics relaunched their entire line and rebooted some 70 years of continuity with The New 52. It was a monumental and divisive decision, one that alienated some longtime fans but also managed to bring in new readers. Yet, with the upcoming event series, Convergence – which will see books and characters from the pre-New 52 continuity and multiverses converge (get it?) with the publisher’s current line – the New 52 is dead.
Don’t call it a reboot.
However, the continuity that the New 52 established lives on, it’s simply the branding that’s gone. The Justice League has only been operating for roughly 5 years or so, Batgirl can still walk, and Superman and Wonder Woman remain a couple. And while this may not be the return to the ‘good old days’ that some fans may have been hoping for, the line-up DC Comics announced last week has plenty to be excited about.
After Convergence wraps in in May, DC Comics will kick-off this new era – codename Divergence – with 24 brand-new series and 25 returning, on-going series (which will thankfully continue without a break in the issue numbering). For more, read up on the full list of titles and check out the official press release for details on DC’s post-Convergence plans.
What do we think?
Here at Kabooooom we’re pretty pumped about a few of these new books DC announced, and pleased with many they’ve chosen to keep around. Read on below to learn our picks for the books we’re excited for most and those we could do without.
MOST EXCITED: Harley Quinn/Power Girl, Aquaman
Harley Quinn is one of my all time favorite characters and has been since her debut in Batman: The Animated Series. The New 52 was not kind to poor Harley, giving her a dreadful redesign and an even worse re-imagined origin. It wasn’t until Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti and artist Stephane Roux launched her own solo series that Harls began to feel like her old self again. Just recently in that series, Harley teamed up with another of Conner and Palmiotti’s go-to ladies, Power Girl, and the duo are poised for a repeat performance in the miniseres: Harley Quinn/Power Girl. It may only be six issues, but I couldn’t be more excited to see this odd couple together again.
Aquaman, on the other hand, has seen an excellent run throughout all of the New 52. After Geoff Johns gave Aquaman the boost he so desperately needed – injecting a little humor and putting his wife, Mera on equal footing – the series has continued to grow under current writer Jeff Parker. In June, Cullen Bunn takes over and I couldn’t be more pleased. I was a big fan of Fearless Defenders and am stoked to see what he has in store for Arthur and Mera.
LEAST EXCITED: Justice League of America
According to insider buzz, Bryan Hitch has been working of this new Justice League of America series for two years. I’m not sure I buy that, but even so, the launching of yet another Justice League book with an identical line-up to who’s already featured in the main Justice League title feels like a giant missed opportunity. And especially in light of Marvel’s recently announced all-women Avengers line-up, why can’t JLA feature a team other than DC’s main heroes? I realize there’s a Justice League movie on the horizon and they want these iconic characters front and center, but this book is a wasted opportunity to feature another team of heroes than the usual crew and that’s a real shame.
MOST EXCITED: Black Canary
What Cameron Stewart and Brendon Fletcher did with Dinah as a supporting character in Batgirl was my favorite part of the new series and I love the artwork of Annie Wu. I can’t wait to see what Fletcher does with Dinah in the spotlight.
LEAST EXCITED: Red Hood/Arsenal
It’s a book starring a character I like (Roy Harper) partnered with a character I loathe (Jason Todd) and from a writer I refuse to have anything to do with anymore (Scott Lobdell). Additionally, this book feels as if it’s simply rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic since there’s no indication that anything is really changing about this series apart from the absence of Starfire and the numbering.
MOST EXCITED: Justice League of America, Starfire, Constantine: The Hellblazer
It’s really a three-way tie for me here. As I look through DC’s new series announcement Justice League of America by Bryan Hitch definitely excites me. I loved Hitch’s work on Authority and on JLA in the early 2000s. He’s done well with ensemble casts before and I can’t imagine this series is going to be any different. I’m also excited for Starfire by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner. I’m a huge fan of Starfire (giggle all you want, I’m comfortable in my fanboy fascination) from Marv Wolfman’s New Teen Titans run. I think Palmiotti and Conner will do the character justice after suffering from objectification for several years.
Finally, I’m excited about Constantine: The Hellblazer. Here’s another case where the original series was a changing point in my comics reading history. It opened the door to a world of dark, twisted, and superbly written material that laid the foundation for my taste in comics now. I really look forward to how Ming Doyle plans to capture Constantine’s cynicism and humor.
LEAST EXCITED: Doomed
There are several of the new DC titles that I care very little about. My lack of interest in those titles, though, does not mean that I won’t be persuaded to check them out at some point. Doomed by Scott Lobdell, however, is a title I plan on avoiding. There’s plenty of cliched one-liners I could insert here about my feelings and the title of this book, but I’ll let you come up with your own. In all seriousness, Lobdell dug a hole for Superman that Geoff Johns had to excavate. I can’t imagine that he’d do any better dealing with the adolescence of the villain that killed Superman. Doomsday is an enigma and a series about his youth, in my opinion, will only lift the shroud of mystery that the character’s sporadic use helps establish. I also seriously doubt that Johns will have the time to rescue the villain after 32 or so issues.
These are the books we’re excited (and not too excited) to see in DC Comics’ June mini-relaunch, what titles are you most looking forward to? Let us hear from you in the comments below!