With the exception of almost all aspects of the Batman, Green Lantern and Legion of Super-Heroes franchises being kept relatively intact, the rest of the DC Universe (DCU) underwent a significant relaunch, reboot, rewriting in September’s New 52 initiative. The below is a list of the glaring omissions in DC Comics Relaunch’s New 52.
- Justice League International by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire.
After a surprisingly successful Justice League: Generation Lost weekly maxi-series in 2010/11, it was surprising that DC went the wholesale reboot for the JLI. It was originally a fun book from the 1980s that coined the “Bwa-ha-ha” phrase from the laughter through action throughout the series.
From the first issue of the new 52 series it appears that this is the first team this case is getting together. Although Captain Atom was rebooted, DC Comics could have removed him from the JLI back-story, but no reason others should.
I am enjoying the current JLI, but I feel that it’s JLI-in-name-only.
- Young Justice by Peter David and various artists.
This is a title that has many fans for its irreverent take of youthful super-hero side-kicks. It seems that even before the DC Comics Relaunch, the TPTB at DC already wiped out David’s Supergirl run through Jeph Loeb’s Supergirl epic in the pages of Superman/Batman (and both are now written out the new DCU), but it looks like other critically acclaimed YJ run is out too. I know these books were written at a different time, but it showed the evolution from tween heroes and heroines to teens.
While I enjoyed the DC Comics Relaunch’s New 52 debut Teen Titans issue, I just found the characters a bit more jaded than previous incarnations. When looking at YJ, it was a fun book that showed tremendous character growth. You can still have that in the new Teen Titans series, but it the past the characters started off as being a bit naive, not hard-edged. Interesting that Geoff Johns’ Teen Titans run is out of the new DCU too.
- Superman: Secret Origin by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank.
With the new Action Comics book in the New 52, it does appear that the most recent revamp of Superman’s early years never happened. He likely has not been Superboy so that Morrison can square this new version of Superman with his early Golden Age portrayal as a strong man in tights who can leap great bounds, but not fly. Perhaps some of TV’s Smallville series could have occurred thematically, a boy in highschool struggling with growing powers and doing good covertly as the “blur”.
In fairness, Johns’ SO was the last in a long line of reboots of Superman that even pre-date John Byrne’s classic 1980s Man of Steel. It seems that Superman’s beginnings has been in flux and subject to change or tweaking every decade or so. I guess this new version by Morrison happens very early in a new decade.
- Blue Beetle, Ted Kord, by anyone.
DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio has mused that Ted Kord was not the inspiration for the current Blue Beetle Jamie Reyes. While I have not been able to find a direct quote, I do remember spying a comment on Dan’s facebook page a few months ago shortly after the DC Comics Relaunch was announced. Time will tell if this comes to pass.
After reading the New 52 Blue Beetle, it certainly seems that Jamie Reyes doesn’t even know who Ted is, which is a bad omen. Even in the new JLI series, Booster Gold doesn’t reference Ted at all and perhaps that’s not surprising since JLI is also rebooted from scratch.
So no Blue and Gold, well with Carter and Ted anyway.
- Justice Society of America, all incarnations, post-Crisis on Infinite Earths.
While Superman in the New 52 sparking the modern age of super-heroes doesn’t preclude an earlier age of “mystery men” in the DCU, the musing by Dan DiDio and key creative talents make that seems highly unlikely. The New 52 provides a ground-floor entry into its universe, a younger universe one at that. Having colorful costumed heroes active around WWII may undermine that from the DC Comics TPTB’s perspective.
I’m still hoping that isn’t right, but it may be that the only JSA we will get is as part of Grant Morrison’s Multiversity which could include Earth 2 where an incarnation of JSA exists on a parallel Earth. This could kick off the announced new JSA series written by James Robinson and pencilled by Nicola Scott. Well, if DC has a multiverse, I guess it should publish a few books placed on a few, and the JSA is a good candidiate for that.
What else did you notice as big omissions in the DC Comics Relaunch so far?
There were some tweaks here and there too that will be interesting, e.g. JLI #2 indicated that Green Lantern Guy Gardner only dated Ice a few times or Shade #1 preview teasing that blue-alien Starman is friends with Congorilla, yet their Justice Leagye likely didn’t occur in this new DCU.
Also, please note, that Captain Marvel and the Shazam family have not been listed above, not because it hasn’t been overlooked in the initial DC Comics Relaunch, but because DC has indicated some kind of Shazam-in-the-new-DCU project will be part of a future relaunch wave.
So, any omission leap out at you so far in DC Comics Relaunch’s New 52?
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Tags: Blue Beetle, DC Comics Relaunch, JLI, JSA, Justice League International, Justice Society of America, Kid Flash (Bart Allen), Red Robin, Robin, Superboy, Supergirl, Superman, Teen Titans, Wonder Girl, Young Justice