Goodbye, New52…


Comics, like any form of entertainment, are a great example of the old idiom “Different strokes for different folks”.  People are fond of decreeing their favorite comic “The best comic being published!”  That’s not to say that for them their favorite id the best thing going, but it’s not necessarily the best from my POV.

So, let’s talk about DC’s rebooted New52 Universe.  In September 2011 DC restarted their entire line of comics after the Flashpoint event with 52 new #1 issues.  Most of the heroes got new/tweaked origins, revamped costumes, and generally a fresh coat of paint.  It’s interesting to note that the books that were changed the LEAST (Batman & Green Lantern families of books) seem to be among DC’s best selling titles on a consistent basis.

I started out reading all 52 of the titles (thanks to an aggressively discounted bundle sale from DCBS), by month 3 I had cut almost half of them.  The cuts continued until I was down to less than 10.  I won’t say they are bad, a lot of people whose opinions I respect love these books, they just do nothing for me.

This came to a head today when I was chatting on FB Messenger with legendary comics Super-Fan and DC addict Mike Myers of the DC Noise and Geek Brunch podcasts.  Mike was mentioning how much he was loving comics from all Publishers he was reading of late; LOTS 0f 4/5 & 5/5 books.  I mentioned that I had just yesterday read a huge pile of New52 comics that I had picked up “on the cheap” on Free Comic Book Day (about 30 comics, 10 sample issues pictured at the top of this Blog), not a single one of those comics would get higher than a 3/5 from me.  I struggled to read many of them, resorting to skimming over the back half of at least half of the issues.  Why are these books so unappealing to me when they are gems in the opinion of others?

“Different strokes for different folks!”

That’s why!  I’ve just gotten to a point in my life where I apparently cannot enjoy New52 books on any level.  I love Vertigo books.  I love the Injustice and Batman ’66 books from DC that are not New52, but when I read a New52 book my eyes begin to roll back into my head.  At this point, Mike made a statement to me that made me feel like John Belushi in the Blues Brothers movie…

Stop reading DC that is all I can say. I think they are GREAT but that does not mean you have to.

CREDIT: Universal Pictures

Jesus H. Tap-Dancing Christ!  I have seen the light!

“Stop Reading DC”.  It’s so simple.  I don’t HAVE to read DC New52 comics, though I have 30+ years of DC comic-addiction and completest mentality working to the contrary.


One quick trip to DCBS yanking the few remaining New52 comics from my May order and I’m out (fortunately the May order was editable until May 28th….)  I’m still reading the Vertigo books and a few other “non-New52” titles but I’m done with New52 for now.

Fortunately I have some great ComicSpectrum reviewers that read & review DC books so I can keep up a decent level of coverage on the site for people who dig the comics, but for me, I’m out until the next line-wide reboot.

Mike – Thanks for helping me see the light.

Bob Bretall: Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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5 Responses to Goodbye, New52…

  1. Kevyn Knox says:

    I too have tried reading the New 52 from the beginning, and kept whittling things down and down and down and then down some more. There are still 10 titles I enjoy and read each and every month. Batman, Detective Comics, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Superman, Action Comics, Wonder Woman, Superman/Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Red Lanterns. I would probably still grab up Batgirl, Green Arrow, and Swamp Thing as well, but budget-wise, I have to make the cut-off somewhere. The rest are dead to me as well. I really hope you comic book reading days are brighter now that you have gotten rid of those you do not like. And you can always go back and read all the great DC stories of the past – all of which I am guessing you own somewhere inside that gigantic collection of yours. Happy reading.

    • GSP says:

      Red Lanterns was a little too wangsty and repetitive for me but I’ve enjoyed Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman run so far.

      • I think there are a great many DC titles that are enjoyable & enjoyed by a great many people.
        I am, alas, not one of those people at this point in time. 😦

        This Blog is not an indictment of DC, but an indictment of my personal enjoyment of DC New52 books.

  2. Just Bill says:

    I dropped all the New 52 books before the first year was up. But I’m thinking about dipping my toes back in the water for Futures End on the off chance that it might mark the beginning of another reboot.

  3. Randy Zingaro says:

    Good for you Bob. I kinda felt from the beginning that “this isn’t my DC”. The only DC book I get is Batman ’66 and love it but the rest don’t appeal to me at all. If others love it, that’s great but just not my cup of tea.

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