Monday, 13 February 2012

Is the new 52 darker universe a good place

As the hype of the new 52 dies down and comic fans begin to get an understanding of the new DC Universe, one significant change seems to be standing out - this new universe is a lot darker place than the old one used to be.

In the new 52 most heroes are feared there is a level of mistrust from the public to these new would be gods, vampires are in open war with humans, John Constantine is in a main DC book, even the shining light that is the Justice League are not held in the high esteem they were previously held in.

It is a change that has been picked up and discussed on several blogs and podcasts over the last few months, now I don't read all of the book (around 35) but there is definitely a darker tone to what I am reading now to what I was reading previously.
The story's I have read are good, in fact in some books the story's are brilliant, fresh life has been breathed into some under used and failing characters who had become bogged down with years of continuity.

However, I will ask the question, will this darker universe continue, should it continue and is it good for DC or comics as a whole?

Looking back at the pre-flashpoint universe there were dark books most of them however resided in the world of Vertigo, the tone of Batman had become darker after the Dark Knight books but mostly the rest still had a brighter feel to them. Superman, JSA,Robin, Power Girl and the Titan books to name a few,were all comics that were not only a fun reads, they seemed for me to be beacons of hope within the DCU.

Who could ever forget (if you read it) Power Girl issue 7 Lust in Space which featured the character Vartox, who could only be described as a throwback to the 70's adult film star, a good book that was fun to read but I'm not sure it would fit in this new DCU.

The present Aquaman comic  has an element of that fun read brought about by the in jokes about him been a rubbish hero,
(he isn't by the way) but there was still a sinister and dark side to the story line.

For what it is worth I will add my thoughts to the debate and say I like this darker universe, do I miss the lighter story's hell yes. However, I believe we are getting more consistently good books than we were before because of this change, there is a reality and a more joined up feel to the new DCU than there was before.

If super powered people did suddenly appear in the world who among us wouldn't regard them with suspicion, the media would be full of questions ''what do they want, whats their agenda, are we safe''. These are all things that would fuel paranoia within the public, police and armed forces, all things we are seeing played out in the new universe DC are creating. It is something Marvel has always done well with their books, as heroes are treated with suspicion and even hate by the public and media. There was also more character cross-overs within Marvel comics, as they often appear in other comics for the odd issue making the Marvel world feel like one big interconnected universe.
We are starting to get that same feel to the DCU now as characters interact with each other more outside their own comics, and remember we are only 6 months in so it can only improve.

So I will answer my own questions :
Will this darker universe continue - I do hope so
Should it continue - Hell yes
And is it good for DC or comics as a whole - Yes i belive it is.

You may disagree and that is your right to do so its what make debate on comics such fun, let me know if you agree or disagree Im not saying im right its just my opinion.



  1. Bah, Rob. Bah, I say! I'm all for some dark books, but plenty of others should be generally optimistic in tone - the Superman Family, for one. And as you say, the teenagers should be having more fun. Instead we have the Titans on the run, Superboy chasing them and the Ravagers about to escape a death camp after years of captivity. I wish there were room in the DCNu for a Blue Devil or Ted Kord Blue Beetle book, but it seems we're back in the days of gloom being associated with cool.

    1. I do agree with you Martin that a fun read book would be a welcome addition, but I don't know where thematically it would fit in at the moment which is a shame.
      I am hoping that the new earth 2 book will have a lighter tone to it and we will get some fun story's , it seems pointless to me to have second earth story's that are similar to the new ones.