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  1. #1
    Extraordinary Member superduperman's Avatar
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    Default It's been ten years since New 52. What went wrong?

    This year marks the ten year anniversary of the New 52 continuity reboot. Now, I know we've been down this road before but I'd be curious to hear what you all think of it and why it didn't work. What could have been done to fix it? What should it have done differently? Was there any way it could have worked? What would you have done differently?
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  2. #2
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    Personally I felt it was general confusion not just as a reader but you could tell even the teams didn’t know what the hell was going on. It goes beyond what was canon/not canon. When George Perez comes out years later and states he’s pretty sure chunks of his Superman run weren’t written by him you’ve got issues.

    Honestly if your going to reboot actually reboot. Everybody starts at zero including Batman and Green Lantern. No protecting characters history’s because the writers involved. To this day Earth-2 is the only book I liked as it’s actually lived up to its promise of something new.

  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member sifighter's Avatar
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    I think it suffered from not having a roadmap or timeline similar to zero hour. Because while they tried to start over again with things fresh and new they didn’t let go of what happened before and referenced it in a way that didn’t make sense anymore, like the idea that at some time maybe Superman died, was there ever a New Teen Titans, or the fact that everything recently that happened to characters like Batman or Green Lantern still happened. They couldn’t cut the cord and stories therefore suffered for it.

    However I’m not going to say not everything worked. Because of new 52 some characters were able to get a good shot in the arm that they needed or we saw whole new ideas. Geoff John’s Aquaman is what got me really liking Aquaman, Swamp Thing and Animal Man were good horror series, I, Vampire, Dial H, and Demon Knights were stories I never thought I’d read at dc, Vibe was actually fun, & Peter J. Tomasi’s Batman and Robin run was pretty good.

    It had some good stuff in it, but it had some big blemishes
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  4. #4
    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    They botched it, pure and simple. Some fans were angry that their favourite characters (such as Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, and many of the Titans) were gone. Other people, including those writing the books (Lobdell on Teen Titans for example), were confused about it being a reboot or not. Batman and Green Lantern didn't properly reboot at all, so their timelines made no sense - Damian had to have a very un-Batman-like sci-fi edit to his origin, as he had to be given accelerated aging to explain how a 10 year old could have been parented by Bruce and one of his enemies when he only became Batman 5 years before (Rebirth restored the original 15 year timeline, retconned the origin change, and aged Damian up by three years).

    What they should've done is had a much smaller reboot line, similar to the Marvel Ultimate Universe, while keeping other books in the existing continuity. For example, Superman could be what we got in New 52, while Action Comics would follow the older, married Clark, who goes on to have a kid (that way, they can still introduce Jon). Justice League could've had a rebooted version involving Cyborg, but also another book (called Justice League OF AMERICA) continuing with the team led by Batman Dick Grayson. Batman would be the New 52 story, except with Dick as Robin, but Detective Comics would be set in a world where Steph is still Batgirl and Damian is Robin.
    Last edited by Digifiend; 03-29-2021 at 11:05 AM.
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  5. #5
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    I definitely would of been more fond if the New52 was treated like the Ultimates Universe. Definitely a missed opportunity.

  6. #6
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    The original promise of N52 was that it was a new take on the heroes and we were going to read them accomplish their classic achievements but with modern reading for the present(2011). Like GA/Superman/WW being the classic hero they were before, but then when the issue 0s came out I think it was apparent that they had no interest in fulfilling that

  7. #7
    Mighty Member Timothy Hunter's Avatar
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    The Pre-Crisis designs of DC characters were in large, iconic. The genius about the classic designs of Superman or Barry Allen is that they are simplistic enough that the costume will look good no matter the artist. The Jim Lee New Fifty Two designs aren't bad per say, but they only really work with Wildstorm/Top Cow artists like Brett Booth and Kenneth Rocafort.

  8. #8
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    Wasn't clean. They took a relaxed approach with some properties when that was in direct contradiction to other stuff being wiped clean. That can't fly in a line as connected as they want. In a shared universe you do it all or don't at all. That creates risks by omitting certain characters till much later yes, but sometimes you can't avoid risks. They weren't willing to take the risk so in the end they just shouldn't have done it, or made it a companion Earth and revamped main continuity another way and sold the whole thing as a new era. But using that approach and things like a five year time jump, but insisting on things that logically shouldn't have fit into the lore yet, they shot themselves in the foot right off the bat despite some good ideas. They entered with the same type of problems they had before.

    IOW, there were two ways to give it the best chance to work: reboot the whole smash. Or the pre-Crisis dual Earth/Ultimate route, with a different selling point for established continuity.
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 03-29-2021 at 11:25 AM.
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  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member Holt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Hunter View Post
    The Pre-Crisis designs of DC characters were in large, iconic. The genius about the classic designs of Superman or Barry Allen is that they are simplistic enough that the costume will look good no matter the artist. The Jim Lee New Fifty Two designs aren't bad per say, but they only really work with Wildstorm/Top Cow artists like Brett Booth and Kenneth Rocafort.
    Yes there are ways to properly modernize and update a classic costume. I think Jim Lee Batman and Ultimate Captain America stand out as really good reworkings of classic designs. A lot of the New 52 costumes felt less like modernizations and more like something you'd have seen in the 90s, which makes sense when you remember a lot of old Wildstorm and Image guys were involved with a lot of the new looks and that bringing the Wildstorm characters into the DCU was one of the initial big goals.

  10. #10
    Mighty Member LifeIsILL's Avatar
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    It was rushed.

    Cheetah's backstory was explained in 2 pages in a Justice League comic. Post-Crisis took 4 issues to explain her backstory.

    Clayface's whole thing was done in like 1 issue, while the pre and post-crisis versions had detailed backstories and all that.

    Plus a lot of the books felt the same.

    But still, I liked a lot of the stories, I felt some of it was actually underrated.

  11. #11
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holt View Post
    Yes there are ways to properly modernize and update a classic costume. I think Jim Lee Batman and Ultimate Captain America stand out as really good reworkings of classic designs. A lot of the New 52 costumes felt less like modernizations and more like something you'd have seen in the 90s, which makes sense when you remember a lot of old Wildstorm and Image guys were involved with a lot of the new looks and that bringing the Wildstorm characters into the DCU was one of the initial big goals.
    Just look at most of the Rebirth costumes to see better attempts at modernizing iconic looks.

  12. #12
    Extraordinary Member superduperman's Avatar
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    I was always of the opinion that the New 52 should have been an Ultimates style line.
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  13. #13
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    Rushing the reboot, poor planning, a total communications failure, and the attempt to turn everyone into Batman. What needed to be rebooted was the people at the top like Didio, Harris, and Berganza. DC was a terrible place to work and unless you were a Grant Morrison you could be undercut at any moment. Even Morrison had his run on Batman interrupted by the reboot.

    The New 52 was supposed to be fresh and exciting the way Post-Crisis was, but it ended up being stale from the start. Tonally most books were the same, trying to ape Batman, which also affected the quality of the bat-line with all the books feeling the same. It was a huge step back from when the BQM Batgirl was the upbeat and hopeful book in the line. Post-crisis Superman had its early stumbles, but the editors of the time ran a tight ship with a clear vision and the line was able to sustain weekly serialization for over a decade. By contrast, with the New 52 DC couldn't even sustain communication between just 2 writers at the very start, leading to the line floundering very quickly and the entire concept being ditched in favor of bringing back post-crisis Supes.

    If they waited another year, gave the writers time to properly wrap up their runs and give the old universe a proper send-off, and really worked on it and planned it out, the reboot could have worked. But with it being so rushed there was no way it could have succeeded. As is often the case when it comes to Didio, so many of the decisions which were made were based solely on a narrow, short-term marketing point of view rather than on any vision or regard for good storytelling. Keeping The Killing Joke in continuity and having Barbara be always on the verge of being crippled again was done so they could hedge their bets in case her being Batgirl didn't sell, but it made her look like a complete idiot for even thinking about putting on the cowl again. Keeping the 4 Robins but getting rid of the Batgirls was done purely based on what some narrow-minded people thought were marketable and unmarketable characters without any regard for whether it made sense in the new 5-year timeline, what role the Robins would play without being redundant, or how bad it looked to keep the boys and get rid of the girls. Other characters were made to be more like Batman because Batman was the big seller, but no one wants to read 'Batman-lite.' The people who are already reading Batman already have that and would be bored by copycats, while the people who don't read Batman don't want their favorite characters to turn into him.

  14. #14
    Spectacular Member randomideaguy's Avatar
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    They should’ve done it at like an Ultimate Marvel type set up. Rebirth was a decent course correction, but then they just started non-stop rebooting. If you look up the sales numbers you see why - it’s responsible for a slight bump in sales. But then it slides down to worse than before. There’s a short term gain doing this but I think most of us can recognize the diminishing returns constant reboots are subjecting DC comics to.

    I’m sure publishing and digital media probably plays a big factor, too but I’m just not that informed on it. Most of the comics I regularly keep up with all have patreon accounts associated with them, so not super mainstream...

  15. #15

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    This video explains it pretty well.

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