What caused DC's New 52 to flop?

Originally published at: What caused DC's New 52 to flop? | Boing Boing


I never read the New 52 comics but I have some questions about Superman’s costume.

  • Nehru collar and extended shirt cuffs: How the heck does he hide that outfit underneath a standard business shirt now? Does Clark Kent show up to the Daily Planet in gloves and a turtleneck sweater?
  • Knee pads: Why would a hero as invulnerable as Superman need armor plating to protect his knees? What is that plating even made out of that is tougher than a Kryptonian kneecap anyway?
  • Utility Belt? Man, Bruce must be ticked off at Clark for stealing his idea.


Maybe they are to soften the blows to people he hits with his knees?


Gotta keep his glasses somewhere.


Disguise. "Wait a second, you and Clark Kent have the exact same kneecaps…”.


I’m so out of it. From the title I thought this was a restaurant in Washington.


Disco is dead after all :pensive:


If it is a restaurant in DC, then Superman is Peter Chang.


It was a dumb name.


And there was tons of criticism for the increasing misogyny- and woman creators going down to just 1% of their employees.


Didn’t they wardrobe Superman in a t-shirt (with his logo on it) torn bluejeans and lumberjack boots for this launch?

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One would think that “artistic license” would not be a risk in the comics, for cripes sake… but I assume it does when it somehow conflicts with established lore.

PS: Could the utility (?) belt (so wrong for the Supe’) be seen as a nanotech device that transforms the Clark suit into… Taaaaaaa-daaaaaaaahhh!

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I’m so out of it I thought your post was about the northwestern border state


I hit MY chin with my knee once, so a sensible choice.


Doing a rebrand shortly after New 52 doesn’t mean it itself was a failure, though. They sell more comics during special events like a rebrand, so if a rebrand sold a ton of extra comics, which the New 52 apparently did, that ironically could have inspired DC management to want to do it again all the sooner. I mean, it’s not like they give a shit about the creative integrity of the work, they just want to sell more units. In this case, once the sales bump from the New 52 wore off, they did another rebrand - that they had mismanaged the various comic lines (and had no plan for the New 52 continuity) doesn’t sound like it was relevant, really.

I have to say though, comic book continuity for any comic line that’s been around for a while, whether it be DC or Marvel, is just completely screwed. If I pick up a comic, I usually have no clue what’s going on, in part because I have no idea what’s part of their backstory at any given point. You can’t have characters with 50+ years of continuity and also have it make sense if they’re supposed to still be 20 or 30 somethings, so they have soft-reboots where some things are reset and others aren’t, but that just make continuity even more complicated.


… well they could if each arc was six issues and took a week of story time

but what they can’t do is have Peter Parker be born in 1950 and still be living with his aunt in 2022

They’d have to pick a time period for each character and keep them there


Literally one of the only things I know about it are that they ruined every popular female character, and especially Starfire—this was her new 52 introduction.


I’m so out of it I thought your comment was about a university.


Lots of franchises just keep their main characters more or less the same age without bothering to explicitly update previous continuity to make chronological sense. For example, Ian Fleming’s James Bond was a WWII vet born circa 1920 but was still in his early/mid-30s in Fleming’s final novel in 1964.


Are the Bond stories particularly concerned about “continuity”?

AFAIK it’s pretty much, “He’s a spy, posh or passes for it, don’t get his drink wrong.”


The James Bond novels treat continuity more or less the same way that comic books do. James Bond encountered Blofeld several times over the years in much the same way Peter Parker encountered Doc Ock several times over the years. “Ah, my old nemesis—we meet again!” (But don’t make any mention of exactly what year they first met.)

Cartoons do the same thing all the time too. Bart Simpson should be in his mid-40s by now but they still treat events from early seasons as canon.