Saturday, February 07, 2015

DING, DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD: 'New 52' To End As Midnighter, Cyborg, Dr. Fate, Martian Manhunter, Black Canary And More Debut

Can you have your cake and eat it too? Seems DC Comics is going to try it's best. Today it announced the 'New 52' branding that defined its relaunched universe will cease in June, as a new onslaught of titles flood in. The only catch - the New 52 continuity established is staying put. However the media release also states "story will trump continuity" - meaning writers don't have to stick to the '52' history if they don't wanna.

Confused? Essentially it's the only road DC could have taken. Having spent years establishing the 52, the revamped continuity has amassed its own universe of fans. Getting rid of it completely would see blasphemy yelled across the internet, while not ending it at all would also see the same reaction. Throwing continuity out the window and publically saying it's the creative teams choice is the only scapegoat left in the field of choice.

Yes you may think the core difference of DC vs Marvel's is 'legacy', and to have legacy you need continuity, but DC is hiding the 'L' word for a while, and brandishing a back to basics approach with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, along with words like "contemporary," and "accessible" instead.

That said, the 24 new titles are:

Out of the gate, my two favourit titles to see are instantly Martian Manhunter by writer Rob Williams and artists Ben Oliver, Paulo Siqueira, because he is one of DC's most overlooked and best freakin' characters ever. Plus Midnighter by writer Steve Orlando and artist ACO. This book will no doubt get a lot of press for being the first ongoing series starring a gay lead from one of the big two, but if Wildstorm is going to live on in just one title, Midnighter is the one to lead it it - especially if in line with his authoritarian roots.

Cyborg by writer David L. Walker and artists Ivan Reis and Joe Prado sees the on the rise Teen Titan get his due before his movie debut - with DC's trump artistic team onboard. But with light continuity in place, will his titanic history still hold place?

Dr. Fate is long overdue his own title, and gets one thanks to writer Paul Levitz and artist Sonny Liew. Earth 2: Society by writer Daniel H. Wilson and artist Jorge Jimenez seems to hint that Fate's old classic Justice Society mates may be back to claim the earth they originally made famous, while back on earth one, the Justice League of America soars in a seemingly continuity light series by writer/artist Bryan Hitch.

Writing tag-team Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner will produce both Harley Quinn/Power Girl with artist Stephane Roux, and Starfire with artist Emanuela Lupacchino.

Damian Wayne could be the first Robin to have his own range of titles. Robin, Son of Batman will debut from mega-talented writer/artist Pat Gleason, while We Are Robin by writer Lee Bermejo and artists Rob Haynes and Khary Randolph seems to portray a gang inspired by the boy wonder to fight crime.

A surprise addition to the roster is Omega Men by writer Tom King and artist Barnaby Bagenda - possibly expanding the DC Cosmic library. New concepts seemingly include Prez by writer Mark Russell and artist Ben Caldwell, Mystic U (tentative title) by writer Alisa Kwitney and artist Mauricet, as well as Doomed by writer Scott Lobdell and artist Javier Fernandez.

Section Eight by writer Garth Ennis and artist John McCrea will spin characters from 90's series HitmanBlack Canary will be "reinvented" by writer Brenden Fletcher and artist Annie Wu, DC states it will please fans of the character on TV show Arrow.

Bat-Mite by writer Dan Jurgens and artist Corin Howell marks a move back to funny comics, along with Bizzaro by Batman: Assault on Arkham writer Heath Corson and artist Gustavo Duarte.

Green Lantern: Lost Army by writer Cullen Bunn and artists Jesus Saiz, Javi Pina replaces Green Lantern Corps, bringing the G.L. line of titles down to three. Justice League 3001 by writers Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and artist Howard Porter refocuses Justice League 3000, and Red Hood and The Outlaws is replaced by Red Hood/Arsenal by writer Scott Lobdell and artist Denis Medri.

Dark Universe by writer James Tynion IV and artist Ming Doyle renames Justice League Dark to become inline with the rumoured upcoming movie based on it's pages. Constantine: The Hellblazer by writer Ming Doyle and artist Riley Rossmo also gets a name change, while Batman Beyond gets a new lease on life, thanks to writer Dan Jurgens and artist Bernard Chang.

Thanks to CBR, IGN and Newsarama who got all the juicy exclusive deets.  What do you think? 


  1. Pensol2:15 pm

    HAH! I knew it! This is just DC's way of quietly axing the New 52 without actually admitting it. Whatevs, I look forward to reading some of the new titles, especially Midnighter (I see they got rid of the chinspike), Cyborg and Earth 2: Society among others. This is gonna be great!

  2. Hey Pensol! Yup it sure is welcome news. Now we just need a few more visuals. I want to see that Earth 2 in art!

  3. Hmmm. Typical move to flood the market with books that'll be cancelled by #6 from what I see.
    Glad Dr.Fate's geting a book, as well as the Justice Society, but which one? The Earth 2, or the pre-NU52 one?

    Section 8'll be good for laughs, but a very odd choice outside of 1998.
    A Bat-mite and Bizzaro humor book? I'll give it a look, but seems more like indie creators or Keith Giffen, Tony Millionaire, and/or Jeff Parker would be a better fit writer-wise for these.
    Hell even the massively underrated Sholly Misch.

    The Hitch League will at least look gorgeous....

  4. Thanks Dale - doomed to be cancelled titles are the ones I gravitate too at the moment from the big two. I still can't believe Elektra's latest series went in the can. That was truly going great places, artistically and plotwise too.

    I still reckon Hitch drew the best league ever in JLA Heaven's Ladder - that scene where Aquaman saves The Flash always sticks in my mind as a defining look for both heroes. Now that the New52 continuity doesn't have to be adhered too, I wonder what Flash he will use?

    Cyborg, Martian Manhunter, Midnighter, Dr Fate, and Earth 2 all have my initial interest and that's a good thing to say about the publisher who was my favourite by a country mile prior to the DC52, as I haven't been able to say either of those statements since.

    Kinda sad that some of the characters out of the Multiversity Handbook weren't given a title too - Etrigan's League especially - that looked wicked!

  5. I'm with you on Cyborg and Dr. Fate. Both are favorites of mine and I'm always interested in reading them. Ultimately, though, I just hope they allow writers and artists the creative license to kick ass in a good direction. And not hem them in with a bunch of arbitrary rules. I want good stories. Good heroes. Bad villains. And someone to cheer for at the beginning and end of ever book.

  6. It sounds so simple put like that huh Random, yet as we've seen recently also easy to trip up. Fingers crossed these books don't!

  7. I've said it to a few people, but it's a crime Morrison's first team, the S.O.S. don't have they're own ongoing.
    The same for the rest of the entries in that georgeous Guidebook.
    Hell, I'll even go for a Kamandi one with the same artist.

    1. Good point Dale - I am surprised Kamandi dipped out again. The dude has been in so many DC events of late from Final Crisis and Wednesday Comics all the way up - it's odd not to find them building him up like that for a solo series or something.