Last year, DC’s “The New 52” rebooted the company’s entire comic book universe from the ground up. The changes went beyond simple costume changes – although there were lots of costume changes, mostly of the “Let’s Nolanize this outfit! You know, armor lines and stuff!” variety. Grant Morrison reimagined Superman as a kind of Marxist superprole. Wonder Woman suddenly had an origin that actually made sense for the first time in decades. Hawkman’s origin still didn’t make sense, but now he was referred to as “The Savage Hawkman,” which is awesome. DC also led with some intriguing series that explore off-the-beaten-path subjects: The military-themed Men of War and Blackhawks, the Jack Kirby-esque O.M.A.C., and even a few African-American hero books like Mr. Terrific and Static Shock.
All five of those series were interesting. Unfortunately, none of them starred Batman. So sales were low. DC has announced that, as of April, they’ll all be canceled. But there is good news! For one thing, it’s not only the good comics that are dying young. Hawk and Dove, the latest mediocrity from steroidal ’90s casualty Rob Liefeld, is also coming to an end, which will cut the amount of gritted teeth in the DC Universe by roughly 500 percent.
More importantly, DC is trotting out six new series to replace the departed. And, in a remarkable show of restraint, only one of them prominently features the Caped Crusader. And Batman Incorporated is being written by Grant Morrison, who’s allowed to do whatever he wants. Two of the series are set in a parallel universe – Earth 2 and Worlds’ Finest – and it’s an easy bet that an alternate version of Batman will show up in those eventually, probably with a cyborg arm. The Ravagers is a Teen Titans spin-off in which four superpowered teenagers try to escape from an evil organization, and since they’re on the run, they’ll presumably swing by Gotham City for just long enough to get Batman on the cover.
The final two new comics sound intriguingly Batman-free, though. G.I. Combat is an anthology series which reboots a few beloved war-comic classics, including The War That Time Forgot (soldiers vs. dinosaurs!), The Unknown Soldier (soldiers in disguise!), and The Haunted Tank (self-explanatory!) Meanwhile, sci-fi/fantasy author China Miéville is creating a new series, Dial H, about “the psychological effects on an everyman who accidentally gains powers to become a hero.”
Fellow readers, are you interested in these new comics? Sad to see the canceled series go? Who should play the Haunted Tank in the movie? Is Russell Crowe available?
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