From time to time Outright Geekery brings you a slanted and biased opinion on some trivially specific topic of geekery. We call it Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot.
It doesn’t seem like that very long ago at all that DC Comics announced their plans to relaunch every single title in their comic book line. Despite those feelings, however, the New 52 is, in fact, ending, and while we took a look back at the best books that were part of the initial launch of the moniker, this week we’re looking at those New 52 launch titles that should have lasted, but just didn’t finish the race. DC threw its best and brightest characters and talent at readers, and while a lot of it ended up making it all the way to the New 52’s end, a few brilliant stars burned out way sooner than we wanted them to. So, without further ado, we love good writing, adore quality artwork, and are really going to miss that logo, in Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot: The “Worst” of the New 52.
Honorable Mention: The Fury of Firestorm
The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men was one of those launch titles that no one was really looking forward to when it debuted alongside other New 52 launch titles. The character didn’t have as high of a profile as other DC characters, and while Gail Simone on writing duties was promising, Ethan van Sciver was not known as a writer and artist Yıldıray Çınar was a relative unknown. Little did we know that Firestorm would be a huge part of Forever Evil and Futures End, while van Sciver’s writing ended up being a treat and Yıldıray Çınar is now the powerhouse behind Superior Iron Man. This book should have been given a lot more attention by the fans, and could have been an important tie-in for a lot of books, but it only got 21 issues.
5. Legion of Super-Heroes
One of the biggest fan services of the entire New 52’s First Wave, I knew people who were praising the New 52 as “the best thing DC has ever done” singularly because of the inclusion of this title. But thing just never panned out. The Legion is a property that almost every comic book fan knows of, but hardly any comic book fans actually read, and sales never justified the book. At least fans got 24 issues, because 2 years is better than no years, which is exactly what Legion will see in the foreseeable future. Sorry, Legionnaires.
4. Justice League International
JLI was certainly not the New 52-launch Justice League book that I thought wouldn’t last. With Booster Gold and Guy Gardner (there’s even a Batman on the cover!) headlining a team book, I figured the DC fans would rush to comic shop each month for this title. Writer Dan Jurgens just never really found an audience with the book, however, and it ended after only 12 issues and an Annual. Booster and Guy have showed up elsewhere, so not all was for the worst.
3. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
If it wasn’t for S.H.A.D.E. being associated with this title it would be number 1 in this Lot. This book had everything going for it at launch: A compelling, well-liked character with not a lot of cemented history and backstory; prime material for a creative team; and a superstar writer in Jeff Lemire to back it all up. But we only got 17 issues of Frankenstein despite him being an outstanding part of Justice League Dark and a huge part of Futures End. It could have been so much more, and it was terrible that it wasn’t.
2. Blue Beetle
Although Blue Beetle ended up having 17 issues (more than other series in this Lot), this is the Blue freakin’ Beetle! Everyone loves this character, everyone wanted to see him back in his own series, yet somehow writer Tony Bedard just couldn’t draw enough of an audience to this title to keep it viable. Still, 17 issues is a pretty good run for a B-Lister (at best), but there’s one New 52 launch title that beats that in this department.
1. Static Shock
Static Shock got only 8 issues. Read that again, and then ask yourself, “How the hell did that happen?” I still have trouble believing that one of the best DC animated series ever didn’t find a comic book fanbase when it launched. But, it was a lot more than that. It only got 8 issues! That suggests sales in the hundreds of books a month…and that’s unbelievable. Did I mention I can’t freakin’ believe this still?!
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