Jon Jordan on DC Comics & the New 52

_DCAnyone who reads comics, especially superhero comics knows that continuity kills. When the young men were sitting around coming up with Batman and Spider-Man and all our other favorites I really doubt they factored in these characters being so enduring. Batman has been around for 72 years. That’s at least three generations of people reading this character. Keeping track of all the stories over the years and using them as a bible for the character has got to be stifling for a writer, and crazy for a fan to try and keep track of. Over the years we’ve seen DC and Marvel take their heroes and revamp them. Usually a big event precedes it. I’ve lived through a couple. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. A lot of time it seems within a year or two we’re right back to the standard we were used to. Other times it just ends up making a really big mess. (Power Girl is the really obvious one) And all along I keep reading. I love comics. I do switch which titles I buy and read. I have a love hate thing going with Wolverine right now.

A while back DC announced that they would be doing something big. They were going to reset the clock and start fresh.

Hmmmmm. I’ve heard that before.

They kicked it off with something called Flashpoint. A three month run that was basically an alternate timeline that was created when the Flash changed something in his history. What happened was a giant butterfly effect that screwed up everything. As a reader it meant getting some really fun comics that were very different than what I had been reading.

At the end of Flashpoint the Flash goes back and resets things, hopefully making them right again. This is what leads into the New 52. All of the regular comics ended and DC started 52 new series with #1s. The more I thought about this as I was reading Flashpoint the more I liked the idea. The reset is kind of the same, but a little different. And what it really means is that the back stories are wide open, no more worrying for the writers about fitting what they do into the mythology that’s been built up for years. DC also really shook things up with who would work on which title. Gail Simone off of Birds of Prey?? And Duane Swierczynski is on? Brian Azzarello on Wonder Woman? Crazy !

So far I am really enjoying the books. Animal Man is a real stand out. Great writing, great art. Wonder Woman, Great. Batgirl is Barbara Gordon again! The way the characters from Wildstorm are being incorporated is also loads of fun. I loved the first issue of Stormwatch. Swampthing is also becoming really spooky and fun again. And the new Justice League is incredible. In the first issue the exchange between green lantern and Batman is worth the cost of the book.

There are only a couple that didn’t really hit me with the first issue. Batwing is good as an idea, though I don’t think Winick is doing a very good job with it. I’m still luke warm about the Blue Beetle, but that just might be me preferring Ted in the role instead of some punk kid.

DC has really kicked this all off with a band and if they can keep it up I know my weekly pull list will be about twice what it was this summer.

I’m also digging the Fantastic Four, er um… Future Foundation from Marvel. Since Johnny Storm died it has been really character driven and great reading. I am also loving Victor Gischler on X-Men.

So, Get thee to a comic book store!!!!

Jon