As many who have been reading my blogs, it is popularly known that I hate the New 52 over at DC Comics. Basically, they took 60 years of continuity and flushed it down the toilet in order to offer up a flashy redo in order to reach a younger demographic. Abandoning quality for flash. I’ve read some of the books since this launch and I’ve tried to get into it, but I just haven’t been able and I think I just realized today exactly why. It’s the lack of respect for the artists that came before.
In the comic book industry, there’s always been a sort of reverence for the past. Characters and other elements would carry the name of a beloved writer or artist as an homage. These would always be little nods that many fans would pick up on. It was usually done because the artists of the time owed their careers and inspiration to the artists of the past who blazed this path in the first place. Today I read a comment on Facebook about a current issue of one of the Batman titles and the story had to do with Harvey ‘Two-Face’ Dent’s past and in true New 52 fashion, they changed it from the original narrative. I haven’t read this book so I don’t know how it has been changed, and that’s not really the point. Someone left a comment that was critical of ‘The Long Halloween’. For those who don’t know, The Long Halloween was a special 12 part story written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Tim Sale. It set a new bench mark due to the scope and quality of the story. It is a classic, but because of the New 52, that story never happened. The new turks at DC took the helm and in their way said ‘thanks for the hard work people, but we’re dumping your story and doing things OUR way from now on’. It’s an insult to the great work that has come before to disregard those efforts so callously. I’m sure in their heads they still respect these artists and their contributions, but by erasing the continuity from the canvas like this, it’s a real back hand. I realize the New 52 doesn’t remove the story in real life. The story exists and is in print, but something feels wrong about the information it revealed being removed from the history of Batman and his characters. This is the kind of lack of respect that plagues the New 52 and that’s why I can’t get into it. Every page, while well drawn, drips with a subliminal disdain. Especially when you consider how many titles have been cancelled and how many characters have been dropped since the launch. It tells me this new universe wasn’t quite as well planned and thought out as they would have you believe, and isn’t that their job? They need to figure out every detail. They need to know which characters are in the universe and which aren’t. They need to know the relationships that exist between these characters as well, and so far, I don’t see that they do. It’s like a bunch of kids came up with a cool idea and without really thinking it out, went ahead and did it and now we’re stuck with a mess of colossal proportions.
BTW, the latest horror is that the new Joker’s Daughter is getting her own monthly title. Really? I haven’t read any good press about this character and they’re putting her in a monthly? I hate this new incarnation of Joker’s Daughter. The last one had a little sex appeal at least. This one is horrible. She’s dressed like a lesbian and instead of her face being made up, she has the Joker’s rotting face strapped to her head like a mask. I’d say they’re getting their ideas by pulling suggestions out of a hat, but I think that’s giving them way too much credit. They really should have just used the New 52 as a branch universe like Marvel did with their Ultimate line. Do all the crazy crap you want and twist the DC universe however you like, but leave the main universe alone and let it flourish on its own. Let the readers decide which stories they will follow rather than cram this crap down our throats. God I hate the New 52. This is one case where DC could have taken a lesson from Marvel.