Posts from 13th October 2011

Oct 11

We Are The 52

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I have now read 48 of DC Comics’ “New 52” launch titles and a bunch of the second issues: when I’ve finally slogged through the lot of them I’ll post some kind of belated quality scorecard maybe, but I don’t know if the quality of the books is the most interesting thing about them. (Unshocking summary: some are good, some are bad, some boast interesting ideas, some have an air of jaded competence, only one has – and this will live long in the memory – Rob Liefeld being asked to draw Barack Obama.)

I’ve read a couple of round-up pieces – the one in Grantland was very good, for instance, and took the reasonable line that this gigantic relaunch talks the “new readers” talk but doesn’t really walk the “new readers” walk, blaming self-delusion as much as cynicism. This is surely true but just as surely unsurprising: superhero comics are too far down the fan-service rabbit hole for dramatic change to be tried or accepted. We’re looking here at renovation rather than innovation and the relaunch should be judged as such. But even on those terms some interesting patterns emerge from the blur of fists, explosions, lycra and first-person narrative.