Posted by:
Byron Brewer

What the D’ast? The New 52, one year later

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1967 So DC will be celebrating the anniversary of the New 52 titles with “Zero” issues, three cancellations, four new titles and a Green Lantern with a gun! You have to say one thing about the comic book company I once called the Distinguished Competition and now call “home”: they sure are trying!

More than I can say about my old house -- of Ideas.

So what has been right or wrong on the New 52 front since we began? Let’s take a Byronic look, shall we?

As far as titles go, most have received a boost from the September 2011 reboot, but no characters have thrived as have Aquaman (making it at one point to the Top 10, and probably will again when the AvX war is done, IMHO) and Sinestro.

In the hands of scribe and DC big-wig Geoff Johns, the Sea King and the former Sinestro Corps leader have flourished, as he presents new ways to express their emotions and new ways to deliver and observe the angst of their pasts.

Aquaman is no longer Namor without wings in an orange shirt, no longer a joke left over from Super Friends. He is a fully rounded superhero, a valuable member of the Justice League (itself juiced by Johns and the reboot to take its place as flagship of the DCU) and wow, is he a badass this time around!

Sinestro has virtually taken over the flagship book of the Green Lantern stable, and that has not been a bad thing. Through Johns’ delving into the red man we have all learned to hate, we have found surprising depth and emotions we never dreamed existed. And this has all come full-circle to make the younger Hal Jordan a better character in his own right as he has leapt from Sinestro’s control and is now a man beginning a dark and deadly journey of his own.

Little touched by the reboot to some readers’ chagrin (not mine), the Batman and Green Lantern stables of books continue to be popular and creative, the former taking the whole through the Night of Owls adventure which let each title retain its own flavor while contributing to the whole. The GL stable will soon, it is thought, be entering the Third Army event and that will no doubt be another Geoff Johns cosmic tour de force!

How the Third Army and Trinity War events balance against each other is still to be discovered, but two new books coming to reality in September – The Phantom Stranger and one involving the Justice League backup team of Steve Trevor, et al – promise to add more info on this aspect of Justice League and this summer’s Free Comic Book Day offering from DC.

Speaking of Justice League backups, Johns has again totally rewritten the saga of SHAZAM, and promises this too will become part of the overall JL saga soon. (Again, part of this was already observed during the FCBD offering. Talk about tight plotting --!)

I could go on and on -- Johns’ mysterious plans for Martian Manhunter, who seems to be leaving Stormwatch soon (to my chagrin) and how will Earths One and Two eventually meet --

It has been a good year for DC, I must say, and a better year for comic book readers and collectors like myself who had abandoned DC long ago to be Merry Marvelites.

I look forward to this next year with the enthusiasm of the kid who first started reading DC Comics lo, these 50 years agone.

Up, up and away!

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