This is part three of the transcript of the New 52: One Year Later edition of the Podcast of Doom, in which Jim Doom and Doom DeLuise reflect back on the past year since DC’s cancellation of all titles and subsequent relaunch of 52 new books. To read part one of the transcript, click here and for part two click here.
JIM DOOM: Green Lantern Corps.
DOOM DeLUISE: Not even a single issue. You?
JIM DOOM: Nope.
DOOM DeLUISE: Nope.
JIM DOOM: They should’ve used The New 52 as an opportunity to bring back Ted Kord. And then he could realize that he’s supposed to be dead. Wait, has there been a story like that? That seems really familiar.
DOOM DeLUISE: Kind of, yeah. It was in Booster Gold.
JIM DOOM: They should do stories they’ve done before. That would be cool.
Legion of Super-Heroes. I guess that answers my question from before.
DOOM DeLUISE: Is that different than Legion Lost?
JIM DOOM: I guess so.
DOOM DeLUISE: Well, either way, I don’t read it.
JIM DOOM: I’m doing some research. Apparently Legion Lost was written by Abnett and Lanning! We should’ve been reading that!
DOOM DeLUISE: I saw that earlier. No, they created it back in 2001. Fabian Niceiezezaza writes this one now.
JIM DOOM: Oh yeah, I get it. They wrote volume 1, he is writing or did write volume 2.
DOOM DeLUISE: Right.
JIM DOOM: Fabian’s version is apparently so worthless it gets only a tiny mention on the wikipedia page. I have more of a wikipedia presence than Fabian Nicieza’s Legion Lost.
DOOM DeLUISE: haha
JIM DOOM: I really got in to the Legion of Super-Heroes a few years back when that series was relaunched. Stuck with it for a few years. They had this writer who was good, and he wrote good stories.
That’s when I liked it.
DOOM DeLUISE: Neat!
JIM DOOM: After that they had a bad writer, or at least a writer who wrote stories I didn’t like. That’s when I stopped reading it.
I stopped buying it too.
DOOM DeLUISE: I don’t read that, no. They didn’t have the first couple issues at the shop, so I just never bothered.
JIM DOOM: I bought the first issue and thought it was pretty lousy, so I dropped it. I see it on the shelf at the store and it continues to look dumb.
The latest issue says something like “The secret of the suit!” on the cover. This makes me think two things — first, I thought we learned about his suit in Action Comics. Secondly, you want me to buy a comic book to learn more about Superman’s clothes?
DOOM DeLUISE: I was kind of hoping that they’d use this relaunch to slim down their various series with the same characters. Instead of Superman, Action Comics, etc, just have one. Know what I mean?
Do we need Batman, Detective Comics, Batman and Robin, The Dark Knight, and Batman Inc? Or just Detective Comics?
JIM DOOM: Yeah, but I can see keeping both of those because they have such a long history. I’d trim Batman down to Batman and Detective, because those two have a long history, and Batman & Robin, because it really focuses on the relationship between Bruce and Damian. There’s a purpose for an extra series there.
I’m guessing Batman Inc is just throwing a bone to Morrison so he can finish his big series.
And there’s no reason whatsoever for The Dark Knight.
DOOM DeLUISE: Yeah, that makes sense. If there’s no purpose, though, I don’t see why they keep publishing some of these. Is it just to keep the number at 52?
JIM DOOM: Well they’re going to keep publishing The Dark Knight because Batman books sell.
DOOM DeLUISE: Right.
JIM DOOM: They probably had a meeting and one guy was like “We have too many Batman books” and the other guy was like “But people buy them.”
DOOM DeLUISE: “Meeting adjourned!”
DOOM DeLUISE: I guess they do have a bit of a point. One of my buddies has a seven year old son, and they bought an iPad awhile back, so the son wanted some comics to read. My buddy bought him Action Comics and Superman. The kid didn’t care for Action, but he keeps reading Superman. Likes it a lot. So I won’t rain on the parade too much. If some people dig it, I guess it’s okay.
JIM DOOM: I like that there is a different tone for each book. They aren’t interchangeable.
DOOM DeLUISE: yeah, exactly.
JIM DOOM: Superman seems more targeted to kids, while Action is a bit more cerebral. Or at least I think you need to have more patience. Meanwhile, Batman is targeted toward people who like awesome comics, and Detective corners the idiot demographic.
DOOM DeLUISE: I wonder if that’s their intention or if the guy who writes Superman just has a short attention span and can’t help it.
JIM DOOM: He’s apparently already forgotten that we learned the secret of the suit a couple months ago. Or maybe he has more suit secrets. That’s why they say secrets don’t make suits, and suits don’t make secrets.
DOOM DeLUISE: This is what happens when you hire writers and pay them in tuna.
JIM DOOM: Speaking of tuna, let’s talk about Aquaman.
DOOM DeLUISE: It stinks!
I keep reading it, but the character of Aquaman doesn’t strike me as very heroic. He’s kind of a jerk, and he’s a murderer. It’s hard to root for him. But I do enjoy the huge backstory Geoff Johns has laid out for the character. He’s at least made Aquaman interesting, if a bit of a jerk.
JIM DOOM: I bought issue #1 because I was curious and because I love Ivan Reis’ art, but I thought it was terrible. Here was an opportunity to completely recast Aquaman, and the whole issue was making fun of him and reminding readers why the character is lame.
I’ve heard good things about it but I couldn’t get past that awful first issue.
Is there the same disparity between Aquaman’s solo-book personality and his Justice League personality like there is with Green Lantern?
DOOM DeLUISE: Not as much, no. But I can’t really think of what he’s like in Justice League. He’s not as prominent in that book. And GL in that book is just such a one-note buffoon of a character that his differences stand out way more. He’s just used solely as comic relief, whereas Aquaman’s basically just used in fights.
JIM DOOM: Gotcha. Ok, next.
DOOM DeLUISE: I haven’t read any of it. Haven’t read a Flash comic since Flashpoint.
WAIT NO, I take that back. I bought the first two or three. I don’t remember why I dropped it. It must’ve been really stupid.
JIM DOOM: I bought the first few and dropped it. It wasn’t bad, but it suffered from being just okay and also it suffered from being about The Flash.
DOOM DeLUISE: I hope they release a Flash miniseries in a few years, ala “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow” and “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader,” only title it, “Whatever Happened to Wally West?”
JIM DOOM: I am so confused by all those guys. Wally West doesn’t exist anymore, does he?
DOOM DeLUISE: Not in the New 52. I don’t think.
JIM DOOM: I thought that Kyle Rayner didn’t exist anymore either, but the Guardians were talking about him in this month’s Green Lantern.
I almost said “The Guardians were talking about him yesterday,” but just because I read it yesterday doesn’t mean that’s when they were talking about him.
DOOM DeLUISE: New Guardians. I think he’s one of the main characters. But I don’t read that series.
JIM DOOM: Man, here’s one that you might not believe exists — Fury of the Firestorm: Nuclear Men.
DOOM DeLUISE: I remember hearing about that. Doesn’t Ethan Van Sciver write that? I haven’t read it or seen it anywhere.
JIM DOOM: Yep, you remember correctly! I bet it’s so bad.
Or was so bad.
Remember when I did that Q&A with him?
I wonder why I did that.
DOOM DeLUISE: haha
JIM DOOM: I bet we had a meeting and you were like “You should waste my time” and I was like “Sure, how about I’ll waste my own while I’m at it.”
DOOM DeLUISE: I was just googling New Guardians to see if Kyle Rayner is in it. He is, but look at what else I found. Here, I printed out this thing about it. [transcriber’s note: you can see the thing Doom DeLuise printed here]
JIM DOOM: While I’m reading that thing you printed out for me, here is the Q&A I did with Ethan. I printed it out for you. [transcriber’s note: you can read the Q&A with Ethan Van Sciver here]
Oh man, did you remember that we did a podcast where we previewed all of the New 52?
DOOM DeLUISE: Nope. I do now, though. I wonder how this one matches up with that one. Like, did we buy the things we said we were going to buy?
JIM DOOM: We should print it out and read it!
I wonder why I’m such a [expletive] to that guy. He was pretty nice in that Q&A, even if he was trying a little hard to be funny. Was he maybe involved in some controversy with selling art where he was a jerk to some people? Or am I thinking of the wrong guy?
DOOM DeLUISE: I have no idea. Luckily, we have a bunch of listeners who are no doubt clamoring to comment on this thing, so hopefully somebody who has been listening to this all along will chime in with some clarifying points.
JIM DOOM: Anyway, enough about this. I hope you’re right. Now I’ve got so much stuff printed out I can’t find my list.
[sound of paper shuffling]
Oh man, speaking of awful ol’ Tony Daniel, next up is Hawkman.
Or it’s like Savage Hawkman or the Mighty Beak of Hawkman or something.
No I was right, The Savage Hawkman.
DOOM DeLUISE: The Flapping Wings of the Mighty Hawkman!
JIM DOOM: I was thinking there was a weapon in there somewhere.
DOOM DeLUISE: Well, either way, no, I don’t read it.
JIM DOOM: Apparently DC released a book called Voodoo.
DOOM DeLUISE: hahaha
JIM DOOM: Also: Blackhawks.
DOOM DeLUISE: I was almost going to respond, “Why did you say, ‘Voodoo?'”
JIM DOOM: I’m really curious about the survival rate of some of these books.
DOOM DeLUISE: I honestly haven’t seen most of these.
JIM DOOM: Me either.
DOOM DeLUISE: I wonder if they ever made it to the shelf.
JIM DOOM: I wonder if my shop is like “No one is going to believe this is real. I’m not ordering Blackhawks or Voodoo.”
All-Star Western is the next book, as opposed to a comment.
DOOM DeLUISE: Chris Schultz said he started reading All-Star Western, and he really likes it. I might pick up a trade and give it a shot, based on his recommendation, but I haven’t read it yet.
JIM DOOM: That’s a book that I was buying but not reading. The first two issues were really good. I stopped buying it but I’d totally go back to it if I got caught up on the other stuff i’m not reading but buying.
DOOM DeLUISE: That’s most of my comics. Aside from Batman, The Walking Dead, Green Lantern, Justice League, Aquaman, and Avengers vs X-Men, I don’t read any of my comics.
I just have piles and piles of unread comics.
JIM DOOM: Teen Titans.
DOOM DeLUISE: Nope.
JIM DOOM: The cover to issue #1 looks so late-90s nu-metal / early-00s emo.
DOOM DeLUISE: Wow, that sounds awful.
JIM DOOM: I’d print it out for you but there’s so much black it’d drain my cartridge.
Batman: The Dark Knight.
DOOM DeLUISE: I read that series when it first came out, before the relaunch, and I liked the first issue. I hated the rest of it, and I didn’t buy it when the relaunch happened. But I heard they just changed the creative team, so maybe now’s the time to give it another shot.
JIM DOOM: Wasn’t The Dark Knight delayed because the series of the same name was behind schedule, so they couldn’t cancel and relaunch it along with all the others?
DOOM DeLUISE: Yes, I think so.
JIM DOOM: Ok, so New Guardians. Did we talk about that already?
DOOM DeLUISE: Briefly. It’s something I’m just not interested in at all.
JIM DOOM: Me either.
DOOM DeLUISE: They should have combined Red Lanterns and New Guardians and just called it, like, “Tales of the Lanterns.”
JIM DOOM: How about just Lanterns.
DOOM DeLUISE: Sure.
JIM DOOM: L
DOOM DeLUISE: I don’t buy L
JIM DOOM: Or they could just not release them. I’d be cool.
DOOM DeLUISE: Yeah, I wouldn’t mind.
JIM DOOM: Wow. There was seriously a series called I, Vampire.
DOOM DeLUISE: hahaha No way!
JIM DOOM: So yeah, I, Vampire. I just feel stupid even saying that out loud.
Justice League Dark.
DOOM DeLUISE: I was just reading about I, Vampire. Apparently, there’s a crossover between that and Justice League Dark.
JIM DOOM: I need to go back and listen to our preview podcast to see if we had anything nice to say about it.
I doubt it.
It’s called I, Vampire.
DOOM DeLUISE: haha
JIM DOOM: I doubt we had anything nice to say about Justice League Dark.
Since it’s called justice League Dark.
DOOM DeLUISE: Dunno.
JIM DOOM: We’re done!
DOOM DeLUISE: Bye, everybody!
JIM DOOM: So to review, we sure aren’t buying a lot of The New 52, are we? I’m still buying Justice League, Action, Swamp Thing, Batman, Batman & Robin … and I think that’s it.
DOOM DeLUISE: I had no interest in most of the stuff when they released it all a year ago.
JIM DOOM: But I think I’ll go back and give Animal Man and All-Star Western another shot. So at least then I’ll have three titles that are new.
DOOM DeLUISE: And my local comic shop didn’t order enough first issues, so the stuff I maybe would have tried out, I didn’t, because they were all sold out. If the entire New 52 accomplished only one thing, and that thing is my newly piqued interest in Batman, I’m okay with it all. That’s, like, the best ongoing comic I’ve read in years.
JIM DOOM: I wonder what the long-term ramifications are for The New 52. Whenever you’re involved in a huge project with a lot of moving parts, there are bound to be some changes that look really bad in hindsight. So first off, I wonder if a reintroduction of the old universe was ever part of the plan, whether it was a year or five or ten down the road.
DOOM DeLUISE: Putting Tony Daniel on Detective is probably one of those.
JIM DOOM: I’m thinking Earth-2. Green Arrow is another.
DOOM DeLUISE: Oh, hey, I buy Earth-2!
JIM DOOM: If I remember right, there were some major changes to Wonder Woman’s origin too. DC has just been doing a timeline-rewrite every few years, so I wonder if this one will stick any better than the others.
DOOM DeLUISE: Do you know, off the top of your head, how the sales are looking? I know they had a huge pop when the relaunch hit. Has it more or less leveled out or are they still dominating?
JIM DOOM: I honestly don’t know. Talk about something while I look that up and I’ll print it out.
Here’s a chart from June that I printed out. [transcriber’s note: you can see the chart here]
Looks like, at that point at least, sales were still above where they were in what appeared to be a dismal 2011, but a little bit below what they’d been in 2010 and before.
Here’s another article I just printed for you. [transcriber’s note: you can read the article here]
It’s from last month. The reporter doesn’t offer any figures, but quotes DC’s spin by saying that The New 52 is a “game changer” and that sales are above projections. That sounds like code for “We are above 2011 but now below where we were in 2010 and before.”
DOOM DeLUISE: Yeah, it’s kind of a worthless thing to say. Of course it’s a “game-changer.” They rebooted their entire line.
JIM DOOM: Do the new “Earth One” graphic novels tie in to the New 52 continuity at all?
DOOM DeLUISE: I don’t think so. Maybe? They’re both pretty cool, but there’s nothing that necessarily ties into the New 52. Alfred, for instance, in the Batman Earth One, is younger, has a goatee, a fake leg, and is super badass. Yet, in the Batman series, he’s just Alfred as usual.
So, no, I don’t think so.
JIM DOOM: Well, I’m about out of steam. Want to get together in a year or so and talk about these things again and see what else we’ve forgotten exists?
DOOM DeLUISE: Sounds like a date!
JIM DOOM: We’re back!
DOOM DeLUISE: We’re back!
[SFX: exit music]
[SFX: music fade out]