Given that the Illusive One has been reviewing the DC relaunch for the site, and the New 52 being something I’ve paid some attention to myself, I figure this would be a good time to give my own take on the New 52.
For the last few months, there has been a great deal of attention paid to the DC reboot, from the massive amounts of media attention, the rants and ravings of outraged comic fanboys, or the sudden up-tick in people paying attention to comics again. Dubbed DC Comics’ New 52, you may remember having heard in the news about DC Comics dramatic attempt to bring in customers by essentially hitting the reset button on their entire in-comics universe, including long running Action Comics and Detective Comics, cancelling or restarting all existing comic lines (including titles under the Vertigo or Wildstorm imprints) as fifty two new comic lines in a modernized DC Universe.
Needless to say, throwing out seventy years of comic history turned some heads, earning DC Comics just as much attention as the massive advertising campaign they ran prior to the August reboot. Needless to say, many comic readers lamented having seven decades of past history and story lines discarded, and others decried having various cultural stables greatly altered. Thankfully, as the comics came off the presses. reviews from critics and comic fans generally agreed that the reboot offered some high quality work, and in return, gave DC Comics its best sale numbers and profits in recent memory.
Reviews of the comics have flooded the Internet, even on sites that typically ignored comics. With the initial hype gone, and the beginning story arcs fleshed out, I figured that it is at last time for me to offer my own opinions of the New 52. While I’d been wanting to talk about this for a while, I decided to hold off a couple months, allow for comics to flash themselves out, and begin the first few story arcs. As a childhood comic fan, who had admittedly fallen out somewhat since, the announcement captured my attention, and for the first time in years, brought me back to my old childhood comic shop to see what they were doing to my childhood heroes. With that said, here are a few of my thoughts and opinions on the DC reboot.
First let me praise what I think the most important development with the New 52, that DC Comics is offering digital versions of their comics, as well as selling them on various eBook readers like the Kindle Fire. Comic Books are perfectly adapted for the digital medium, and this was a move that should have come a long time ago. The store is no harder to use than iTunes or the Kindle store, the digital comics read easy, and the ability to buy back issues is a great option to have. While I do question that they charge the same price as they do for the hard copies, this is a long overdue move in the right direction for both DC Comics and the industry as a whole, and I’d like to see it developed further, perhaps by offering some of the older comics from the last seventy years for 99 cents a piece or something to that effect. There is a lot of potential here, and I hope DC takes advantage of it.
Another good thing about the reboot is the combination of allowing easy access to new storylines for new readers. There is little doubt that a huge reason behind rebooting the DC Universe was to attract more readers who might be intimidated by having to play catch-up with an admittedly complex mythology. One noticeable shift in that mythos is that many aspects of it have been modernized, with nanotechnology, alien invasions, secret societies and shadow governments forming many of the villains, the heroes increasingly tech-based or if powered, how that isolates them from the general public, and the general public is, at least so far, distrustful, or in many cases hostile to the rise of masked vigilantes, super powered or otherwise. This is a huge shift in tone and theme for DC, and if handled well, it could make comics resonate with readers in ways they haven’t for the better part of a generation.
That’s not to say there are no problems with the New 52. One big complaint I have about the DC reboot is that the reboot seems to have been a spur of the moment idea. It was announced in May, and the way they accomplished this change was by utilizing an already planned Flash storyline as the final act of the old DC Universe and the opening act of the new one. Considering the scope of the very act of rebooting seventy years of established comic history, you think DC would have aimed for a Crisis on Infinite Earths scale event to reboot it, or even something akin to the more recent and much publicized Blackest Day event. Instead, it was shoehorned into Flashpoint, and while that makes sense considering rumors have been swirling that this move was a spur of the moment thing forced on DC by Warner Bros, it could have and should have been much better handled, and it was a huge missed opportunity.
Another issue I have is that the layout what was/was not included in the relaunch. With fifty-two titles, you really think that DC could manage to get a solid line of titles, yet there are a number of questionable inclusions or exclusions among its ranks. Most obviously, you have a total of nineteen titles dedicated to Batman, Superman, and the Green Lanterns, not coincidentally, the three DC series’ that have movie franchises, giving some credence to the idea that Warner Bros is pulling the strings behind the relaunch. Worse yet, of those nineteen, only about half of them are any good, and a reboot that somehow managed to squeeze in eleven Batman-related titles alone managed to not include a title for long-time DC staples including Steel, Lobo, Batman Beyond, Captain Marvel, the Seven Soldiers of Victory and a dozen others, to say nothing of not including a single original title. Just like the choice in avenue for the reboot, the inclusions in the New 52 are somewhat questionable.
Of course, one major issue with the new 52 brought up in several places, are that it’s portrayal of female characters, with Catwoman and Starfire in particular drawing the fire of critics and readers. While I will address my feelings on that in my opinions on some of the issues below, it would seem that DC has turned many of it’s notable female characters into little more then walking sexpots, and deservedly is taking flak for it. One of the things I’m sure DC Comics wanted to do with the reboot was prove comics can do more then cater to infantile fanboys, so the move in turning every other female character into fan service dispensers is questionable.
As for the individual comics themselves, the quality and content are surprisingly diverse, with a number of non-Superhero titles, and the quality of the comics themselves giving us some great titles, some dreadful ones, and most ending up somewhere in the middle. Keep in mind, these are my opinions and impressions of the titles, and if you have a different one, please leave it in the comments below, I’m more than happy to hear your own thoughts. Without further adieu, here they are:
Action Comics – I will admit, I am slightly upset with the direction they are taking Superman in the reboot. Truth, Justice, and the American way seem to be taking a backseat to efforts to make Superman more isolated, less idolized and more violent. The first few issues felt a lot more like Batman than it did the Man of Steel, something tragically ironic considering Batman is in most of the titles more lighthearted than Superman in the New 52. Still, it’s headed by comic legend Grant Morrison, and seems to be headed in a lighter direction, so I would recommend you give it a chance.
All Star Western – Forget the horrifyingly bad Jonah Hex movie, this is the kind of Hex you need to become acquainted with. DC has a surprisingly rich history of Western Comics, and they take full advantage of that here with All-Star Western. The main story arc follows Jonah Hex as he ventures into industrial age Gotham to collect a bounty, and instead, has to deal with a secret society of murderers. With the initial narration done by Amadeus Arkham, you get a unique approach to the exposition. The art, story and dialogue is top notch, and the secondary story of El Diablo was very enjoyable as well. This has quickly become one of my favorite titles of the relauch, and is without a doubt one of the best of the bunch, and I recommend it highly.
Animal Man – Back in the 90s, Animal Man was a comic by then newcomer Grant Morrison, and it’s combination of going against long-time tropes, braking the fourth wall, and a focus on character development made the series, and its creator, legends. So it makes sense that DC brought it back for the New 52, and much to my surprise, it may end up the best of the relaunch. It still plays host to Buddy Baker, family man and superhero with no secret identity, as his life may face some of the darkest forces at work in the DC Universe. I’ll say it again, this may be the best of the New 52, and I recommend it highly.
Aquaman – As you might have surmised from various mentionings, I’m a long-time fan of Aquaman, much to the amusement of some of my friends who, like so many other people, bought into Superfriends picture of Aquaman as some sort of sea-horse riding fish-chatting chump. This comic takes no prisoners in dispelling that idea, reminding the reader that Aquaman is as strong as Superman, as badass as Batman, and every bit as regal and cunning as you’d expect someone who lords over seventy percent of our planet to be. The art is top notch, the story and cast interesting, and there’s plenty of action and humor to be had. It’s easily my favorite title of the New 52, and I recommend it highly.
Batgirl – There has been a lot of controversy over this title, with Barbara Gordon having been paralyzed from the waist down ever since Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, reversing one of the most notable events in comic history. The title itself has been handled well thankfully, with Gail Simone not only making sure she’s one of the few females in the reboot not to be treated as just fan service, but as a well developed three-dimensional character. A tad dialogue heavy at times, it is one of the reboots more interesting titles, so take a look.
Batman – Needless to say, this is the best of all the various Batman comics of the New 52, and oddly enough, it’s the one that takes the last risks and is most traditional. The initial story arc involves Batman’s attempts to uncover the plans and identities of a mysterious order known as the League of Owls, who recently marked Bruce Wayne for death. Ending on a recent cliff hanger, it’s top notch, one of the best of the reboot, and easily a must buy.
Batman and Robin – Aside from the titular Batman title, this is the best of the half-dozen or so Batman titles of the New 52. Surprisingly, crime fighting takes a back seat to the relationship between Bruce Wayne and his son Damien, with Bruce struggling to be a good father, and Damian struggling to both make his dad happy, as well as keeping a leash on his more violent nature, and it makes for a compelling comic, and I recommend it highly.
Batman Dark Knight - This was the worst, and in my opinion, least needed of the spew of Batman titles. The art is over-the-top, the story even more so, and compared to the other Batman titles, it is a giant step backward for the Caped Crusader’s comic career.
Batwing – Featuring one of Batman’s global protegees, in this case, Batwing of Africa, as he attempts to do for the Congo what Batman did for Gotham. Needless to say, disease, poverty, warlordism and civil war may pose just as big of a threat to this goal as any super-villain. The art style is superb, and the story itself is interesting, I recommend giving it a chance.
Batwoman – Let me start by saying the art is just fantastic for this title, and it goes in a lot of directions with the story and cast that not a lot of comics care to tread (in one example, Batwoman is a lesbian). For whatever reason though, this comic never really clicked with me, though I have no doubt this was personal preference rather then any issue I had with the comment, so feel free to browse it for yourself.
Birds of Prey – Without a doubt, this is one of the weakest titles of the New 52. It never really held my attention, mainly due to bland characters and a slow story, and not even a story arc involving nanotechnology or the artwork could save this one.
Blackhawks – Originally, the Blackhawks were another line of DC’s often underrated war comics, but for the relaunch, they seem to have been re-branded as a UN-sponsored GI Joe-esque special ops unit. While Men of War really nailed war comics on the head, Blackhawks tends to walk more on the absurd side, though this is not necessarily a bad thing. It really has some potential, especially with being one of several comics to use nanotechnology as one of the themes, so I advise giving it a look.
Blue Beetle – Certainly not a bad comic, but I’ve just never been a big fan of the Blue Beetle, so this title was never going to really catch my interest, but with any luck, maybe it will catch yours.
Captain Atom – Considering that Captain Atom was whom Alan Moore based Dr. Manhattan off of, to say Captain has the potential to be overpowered is an understatement, and to see them begin the story as Captain Atom is coming to terms with his powers is a great way to keep it from being dull. I’ll give this line a few more issues before I cast final judgement, it certainly has potential.
Catwoman – Catwoman has graphic sex with Batman, and by telling you, I have eliminated any need for you to pick up with what is, in my opinion, the worst title in the New 52 hands down.
DC Universe Presents – I have high hopes for the future of this title, as the anthology offering a window into various characters of the DC universe has great potential. I just wish they’d picked a better character than Deadman for the opening profile arc, and I will keep my fingers crossed that they pick someone more likable for the next serial.
Deathstroke – Ah, Deathstroke, always one of the DC Comics’ guiltier pleasures. As violent, over-the-top and gloriously uncomplicated as ever, it looks like everybodies favorite anti-hero mercenary is up to his old tricks. While I can’t speak for newcomers, long-time fans of Slade Wilson like myself will be greatly satisfied with this comic, and it’s earned a spot as one of my favorites.
Demon Knights – This had to have been one of the most pleasant surprises of the reboot. Taking place in the Dark Ages, it follows seven heroes (and villains), including Jason Blood/Etrigan the Demon, Vandal Savage, and Shining Knight to stand against
a force of evil known as the Horde bent on conquest. One part Seven Samurai, one part Dungeons and Dragons (the seven protagonists even meet at an inn), and filled with plenty of action and humor, Demon Knights is one of the best of the New 52, easily one of the top 5, and one I urge you to buy with all haste.
Detective Comics – This was without a doubt, the most violent title of the New 52, with Batman hunting a serial killer/organ trafficker known as the Dollmaker, and make of that as you will. At least in my opinion though, the rebooting of Detective Comics was the most tragic of the restarted DC Universe. Unlike the equally historic Action Comics, which was resorting to gimmicks like Superman giving up his American citizenship to get readers, Detective Comics was blazing off in bold new directions, with Dick Grayson assume Batman’s mantle with Damien Wayne as his Robin, while Bruce focused on creating an international crime fighting syndicate. So in many ways, Detective Comics in the New 52 is big step backwards, certainly with better titles like Batman or Batman and Robin among their number.
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. – Certainly one of the odder titles in the New 52, it follows a secret organization that uses Frankenstein and other horror movie influenced agents as they combat various paranormal threats. Any fans of the old Hammer horror films or similar works like Hellboy will be right at home with this title, and it is an interesting work in its own right, well worth a look.
Green Arrow – Aside from the (tragically still female) Shining Knight in Demon Knights, Green Arrow looks to be the only one of the Seven Soldiers to make an appearance in the New 52. Oliver Queen is the same cocky SOB he’s always been, mixing his Corporate jet-set career with his crime fighting activities, using a mixture of martial abilities and hi-tech gadgets to say one step a head of the bad guys. Also speaking of bad guys, the ones in the first arc of Green Arrow are rather creative, a band of punks that kill people and post the videos online for an online TV show. As a whole, it’s smart, well-drawn and enjoyable, so I recommend it highly.
Green Lantern – As I mentioned above, along with Batman, it seems the various Green Lantern titles also were an exception to the resetting of the DC Universe, with the new Green Lantern line starting off in the same place the last one left off, with Hal Jordan impeached from the Green Lantern Corps and Sinestro taking his place. As they both struggle to find their new place in the universe, they must join forces for their own sake, and I have to admit, its a decent read, certainly with issue 3 leaving us with a cliff-hanger. A must read.
Green Lantern Corps – This book had me right from the start once I saw that it revolved around my two favorite Green Lanterns, John Stewart and Guy Gardner, but add in an epic fight against a mysterious enemy that is largely immune to the Green Lantern’s rings? It’s neck and neck with Green Lantern for which is the better Lantern title, but both are well made and well worth reading.
Green Lantern New Guardians – There was an interesting concept behind this title, looking into what would happen if one person managed to get one of each of the colored lantern rings. Problem is, the protagonist they use to explore that concept is Kyle Rayner, and as usual, he provides a weak, uninteresting lead that kills any interest I might have had in this title.
Grifter – One more of the Imprint line merged with DC, this time following sweet-talking con artist Cole Cash as he becomes the most wanted man in America after a string of brutal murders, all of people Cole sees to be possessed by aliens. While intriguing, I’d urge you taking a look for yourself before making a choice. Not the best, but certainly not bad.
Hawk and Dove – There is not one single redeeming quality about this series. The dialogue is contrived, the art is out of proportion, the story is dull and the characters are unlikeable. The only reason you should even pick up a copy of it is so you can destroy it, thus removing another issue from existence. The only thing saving this from being at the bottom of the bunch is that Catwoman managed to be worse.
I, Vampire – I admit, when I heard about this title, I was the first to rage about caving into the Twilight fan girls, but upon reading it, it’s actually not a bad series. It follows a civil war between two factions of vampires, and how these creatures of the night are dealing with losing their top spot on the food chain to superheroes. It’s got an interesting story, is fairly faithful to vampire lore, and thankfully avoids the pitfalls of supernatural romance that has plagued nearly every other supernatural title of the last few years. A pleasant surprise, and one I’ll keep an eye on.
Justice League – Considering this is what DC is headlining the New 52 with, it makes perfect sense that this is one of the best titles of the New 52. It has some of the best men in comics behind it, some of the best comics inside it, and DC is making a serious effort to make the Justice League an A-list brand name here. For anyone who wants to take the first step into the DC Reboot, this is a great place to start.
Justice League Dark – Following various supernatural heroes, which includes the likes of Constantine, Deadman and Zatana, as they deal with various magical or supernatural threats that the more traditional league members cannot handle. Though I wasn’t a fan, it has a lot others may like, so I urge you to browse it for yourself.
Justice League International – If Justice League was great, and Justice League Dark OK, then Justice League International is the rotten egg of the trio. Following a UN sponsored Justice League team led by Booster Gold and made up of various international heroes as they fight an invasion of alien robots, this comic is a train wreck. The whole thing just seemed really phoned in, and on top of other issues, several of the characters come across as racial or national stereotypes, especially Russian Rocket Red and Chinese August-General-in-Irons. Huge Disappointment.
Legion Lost – Following a portion of the Legion of Superheroes as they travel back in time, and subsequently get trapped in the past. Much like the affiliated Legion of Superheros, the potential is crippled by lack of an introduction to the cast and story, leaving new readers like myself out in the cold. One of the comics I really didn’t like, though maybe fans of the Legion will enjoy it.
Legion of Superheroes – The Legion of Superheroes is revered by its fanbase, but as someone really not versed in their lore, this comic had me lost and confused, as it jumps right in without so much as an introduction to who the Legion is, resulting in a comic very hostile to newcomers. It has some superb art, so maybe Legion loyalists will love it. As for myself, I hated it, and the similar Legion Lost comic line.
Men of War – Maybe it’s just that I’m former military, but this title really struck a chord with me. Following the grandson of Sergeant Rock, the epitome of DC’s often overlooked war comics, as he earns his own NCO rank, and fights alongside the ironically named Easy Company, a special ops unit that deals with various threats, including the occasional Superhuman. In addition, it has a secondary comic in the back following a Navy SEALS unit going on far more typical missions. Always one to wonder what happens to the soldiers, cops and other guys we usually have deal with trouble in a world of caped crusaders and super-villains, to say nothing of a superbly military oriented title, I’ll be following Men of War eagerly, and urge you to give it a chance too.
Mister Terrific – Following the adventures of the third smartest man on earth, who uses his inventions and knowledge to make the world safer, I can see why this character has a following. The art is great, the character unique, and there is a lot of attention to detail given to science and technology in this comic. There’s a lot to like, but this really wasn’t my cup of tea, but if it sounds like something you’d like, give it a shot.
Nightwing – Not to reveal spoilers, but what they are doing with Dick Grayson, separating him from his typical ties with both Batman and Gotham is very well handled and I can’t wait to see what they do with it. Its a fun title with a great protaganist and a good story, it is certainly one of the better titles of the New 52.
OMAC – Considering some of the talent behind this title, including the man who created Lobo, which was one of my childhood favorites, it actually does pain me to say just how awful this line is. OMAC follows the misadventures of a big blue mohawk-sporting berserker whose habits of smashing hordes of bad guys and yelling monosyllabic chants of ‘I am OMAC’ and ‘Kill’ or ‘Smash’ makes the Incredible Hulk look like a Shakespearean creation. The only interesting thing about this comic is they managed to make a comic revolving around a computer program that possesses people before going on a murderous rampage seem pedantic.
Red Hood and the Outlaws – This title has stirred a lot of controversy for it’s sexualized depiction of Starfire, and combined with unlikable protagonists, horrid puns, a mediocre art style and a weak story, it’s without a doubt one of the weakest titles of the New 52, bottom five easily. Unless you’re a teenager aching for fan service, don’t give this line the dignity of being read.
Red Lanterns – Just as the Green Lanterns feed off the willpower of the universe, the Red Lanterns feed on the universe’s rage, and act to give retribution where it is deserved. In spite of an interesting concept, poor execution makes this one of the relaunches weaker titles.
Resurrection Man – Take one of the most interesting and sadly underused superpower and combine it with an interesting and compelling protagonist, and take it in a darker direction, and you get Resurrection Man. The comic follows Mitch Shelley, a man who cannot die, and gains a different power each time he resurrects, and the forces of heaven and hell, both seeking to lay claim to Mitch’s never ending life. It really surprised me, and I urge any of you to give it a chance.
Static Shock – One of the few successful new superhero lines of the last decade, here we finally get to see Static Shock get treated as an integral part of the DC Universe. For fans of the successful animated series from earlier last decade, this is a must buy, for everyone else, give it a read to see what you think.
Stormwatch – Taken from the Wildstorm line, let me begin by saying how odd it is to see the Martian Manhunter in a comic that does not have Justice League in the moniker. That said,t he idea of a secret society operating under the thumb of a shadow government to protect the Earth from extraterrestrial threats is an interesting concept, and from what I’ve read, a well executed one that’s well worth taking a look at yourselves.
Suicide Squad – I’m really divided over this title. On one hand, it’s got a decent start, and the charachters and concept are interesting enough to keep reading. On the other hand, Harley Quinn is now a juggalo. It’s not a bad title so far, but I’d approach with caution, it could go either way at this point.
Superboy – This was yet another weak title from Scott Lobdell, who also is behind Red Hood and Teen Titans, and all three are among my least liked titles of the New 52. A lot of stuff goes on in this title, and sadly, from the creation of a human-kryptonian hybrid to hints at his mysterious parentage, and for one reason or another, none of it manages to hold the readers attention.
Supergirl – Supergirl was always used to explore some of the isolation and alienation that Superman never really had to deal with having been never seen Krypton and been raised entirely on Earth. They do a superb job with showing her adapting to Earth and exploring her powers already, but with the new darker direction they’ve taken Superman, you really gotta wonder why Supergirl is needed to explore the same themes. Give it a shot though.
Superman – I’ll say once again, I’m not real happy with what DC has done with Superman in the relaunch, but this comic is much more traditional than the Action Comics incarnation, at least so far. While I’m still wrapping my head around a DC Universe where Superman is more grim than Batman, for fans of the more traditional Man of Steel, this is your title.
Swamp Thing – Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing is one of the most innovate, creative and critically acclaimed comic series’ of all-time, so it makes sense DC brought it back for the New 52. In a lot of ways, it is similar to Animal Man in regards to taking a completed series and reintroduced to a new crowd. While my feelings on that are similar to mine for Animal Man, my opinion of the comic is also similar, with Swamp Thing easily earning a spot among the best of the relaunch.
Teen Titans – Much like Red Hood and Superboy, as all three are penned by the same author, I was really not a fan of this comic, but unlike the other two, I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m not the target audience here, but I can’t get into it myself, and frankly, I wouldn’t ask any of you to try either.
The Flash – Most of the comics covering DC’s main pantheon were for the most part fantastic, and Flash proves no exception. The art is fantastic and the initial story arc is interesting enough to earn a recommendation.
The Fury of Firestorm – This is another one of the comics that is really hard to follow, and is a strange comic in general. Despite some incredible artwork, the comic is crippled by having unlikable protagonists and an unclear concept, and ends up somewhere near the bottom of the New 52 as a result.
The Savage Hawkman – There are a lot of comics that the DC reboot is emulating for the New 52, and with Hawkman, they try to emulate Wolverine. Even before the relaunch, he was a hot-headed loner whose lived many past lives and whose love interests always seem to die, and his mask even looked like the old Wolverine mask. It seems for the relaunch, DC has taken it even further by giving him amnesia, making his armor and weapons (which includes metal claws) retractable, and making just a cigar short of standing next to Professor Xavier. Despite, ahem, emulating a fantastic hero, this line was very underwhelming, dull, and one of the weakest of the reboot.
Voodoo – Yet another comic seemingly printed to appeal for people who get off to cartoon boobies, this time revolving around a shape-shifting alien spy who poses as a stripper, about the only thing to be said for Voodoo is that in addition to copious amounts of fan service, it manages to prove Kyle Rayner fails on even the basics of being a superhero. Well, that and avoid it entirely.
Wonder Woman – Though the comic has earned some scorn from fans of Wonder Woman for taking some liberties with the character, there is a lot to like here, and both the art and story have drawn me in so far. While not one of my favorites, its one well worth taking a look at.
So what is my final opinion of the New 52?
There is a lot to like about some of the comic lines of the new 52. Of course, some are so unneeded, similar, or just plain bad that I expect it to be reduced to about 40 lines within a year or two. As I pointed out before, it seems like the reboot was shoehorned into what would have just been a Flash storyline. Why force the reboot instead of drawing it out, Crisis on Infinite Earths style, and use that time to plan and develop fifty two, top caliber lines instead of the collection of variable quality they have?. For that matter, had DC been putting as much effort into the creation and sale of the New 52 into it’s creations for the last few years, odds are good the reboot itself would have been unneeded in the first place.
In the end, for whatever complaints I have about the inclusions or execution of the DC relaunch, I have to ultimately tip my hat to DC Comics. Despite an imperfect execution, and dropping the ball in a few areas, the New 52 has a (for the most part) varied and strong line up, and it has made millions of people like me to not just care about comic books, but to care enough to buy them, and by extension, in combination with the beginnings of DC’s digitization efforts, it may prove the savior of the previously struggling comic industry.
The New 52 is in general a strong offering and a genuine attempt to make comic books appeal to non-comic readers, win back old fans, and retain the old ones, and I have to say it has succeeded. Time will tell if DC can keep this up, but if they can, the gamble they took with the New 52 may be the smartest move they’ve made in years, and regardless, it will be one that I will be watching, and reading, eagerly.