Wrapping up the New 52: Back to the Future

7 Aug

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Well, I’ve been distracting building a community and saving the world, but let’s get back to what’s important:  comics!

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I’ve been on a series describing the initial changes to the DCU when the New 52 launched in 2011.

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I didn’t cover everything.  I didn’t discuss Hawkman or the integrated Wildstorm titles.  Not interested enough to discuss them.

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Today I’ll cover the few historical and future set titles that came with the initial New 52 launch.

So first the past….

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DEMON KNIGHTS–This story was set during medieval times, featuring the Demon and Madame Xanadu.  It tied into the DCU’s new “Dark” titles, which included Animal Man, Dial H, Constantine, Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE, I… VAMPIRE, JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK, KLARION, RESURRECTION MAN, SWAMP THING, SWORD OF SORCERY, and TRINITY OF SIN.  This was part of DC’s re-integration of their Vertigo titles into normal continuity, and was focused on the supernatural/horror aspects of the DCU. Demon Knights was important for setting up the history of DC’s darker side, and also featured Lucifer (the DC/Vertigo version that has been adapted to the hit TV series), Vandal Savage (the immortal that you may know from DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) and a new version of the Shining Knight that is based on both the original golden age character and Grant Morrison’s updated Seven Soldiers version, but with the new diversity twist of being transgender.  I haven’t read the series, so I can’t judge if they did the trans community justice or if it was a gimmicky diversity thing.

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All-Star Western–I don’t have much to say about this, except that they set this in Gotham City, which has moved from it’s historical locale on the East Coast to the western U.S.  This featured Jonah Hex and Amadeus Arkham (as in Arkham Asylum).

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Men of War–Not a historical series actually, but a historical retcon.  Sergeant Rock now leads military actions in a world that had been invaded by aliens.

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And now, the future….

And this gets a little complicated, but you know, New 52…

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Batman Beyond and Superman Beyond–This was a continuation of the Batman Beyond animated series and previous comics series… except that it wasn’t necessarily set in the future of the DC Animated Universe anymore.  Now, technically, this wasn’t part of the New 52 imprint when the New 52 launched, but it did launch at the same time as the New 52, so it was confusing.  This was part of the “Beyond the New 52”, which was for titles that were adaptations of TV series, and alternate DC versions of shows.  So this is where you would find Batman’66 and Smallville Season Eleven.  But it gets complicated.  Superman Beyond seemed to indicate this was the future of the pre-Flashpoint Superman initially.  But then Multiversity ended up showing us that Batman Beyond was in fact an alternate Earth, Earth-12, in the New 52 Multiverse, but at practically the same time, World’s End, another mini-series tying into Multiversity, showed Batman Beyond to be the future of Earth-2, that then wasn’t…  Then in Convergence, Batman Beyond was part of the world captured by Brainiac that included all sorts of pre-Crisis, post-Crisis, and New 52 worlds, including Elseworlds and even the Injustice video game.  But I do believe according to the New 52 Map of the Multiverse, officially, Batman Beyond exists on Earth-12.

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Legion of Super-Heroes–Well, this one is complicated too.  So the series was relaunched continuing with the pre-Flashpoint retcons, which in fact had restored the Legion stories from 1958 to 1989, except for the constant retconning of Superman’s involvement.  And though the Legion seemed to be from the future of the main New 52 timeline, Earth-0 aka Prime-Earth, there were references that they may have been from the New 52’s Earth-2.  The Superman titles also complicated things with yet another “Young Clark meets the Legion” origin.  And the Legion apparently knew Bart Allen, and told the young heroes of the 21st century not to trust him.  And don’t get me started on the post-New 52 era Legion/Star Trek crossover, which took place just following the Great Darkness Saga, and referenced both Superboy and Supergirl from the pre-Crisis era.  Oy.

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And then, Justice League 3000…

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This featured a future Justice League and at some point Booster Gold and Blue Beetle show up, but they are from the same universe of Giffen and DeMattis’s original Justice League from the 1980s and it’s sequels featuring the “Super Buddies”, which were all from the post-Crisis, Pre-Infinite Crisis era.  In fact, Giffen said they were from that universe, not the New 52 Prime-Earth.  And not only that, the series then negates Identity Crisis, which revolved around the death of Ted Kord, since he didn’t die.

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And speaking of Booster Gold.  He was my hope from the beginning.  Why?  Because there were two of them.  The younger Booster from Justice League International (New 52 version) ended up meeting an older version of himself.  Only, it wasn’t his future version, but his version from the pre-Flashpoint timeline, which gave me hope that we might someday get some of our favorite stories restored to canon in some way.  And that ended up happening.

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So, next week, I’m going to cover Multiversity and Grant Morrison’s long game.


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