DC Comics’ post-“Convergence” lineup revealed: The New 52 branding’s dead (sort of)

DC Comics today announced its lineup of comics once its upcoming crossover/West coast relocation time-killer “Convergence” is finished. Among the news announced include new ongoing series for Starfire and Cyborg. There’s also remarks by head honcho Dan DiDio about appealing to new, diverse new readers. Finally, DC’s dropping the “New 52” branding, as there’s fewer than 52 books post-“Convergence.”

The Mary Sue and Comic Book Resources have more details. The full lineup of books is as follows (information taken from CBR):

New books

  • Batman Beyond: W: Dan Jurgens, A: Bernard Chang
  • Black Canary: W: Brenden Fletcher, A: Annie Wu & Irene Koh
  • Constantine: The Hellblazer: W: Ming Doyle, A: Riley Rossmo
  • Cyborg: W: David Walker, A: Ivan Reis
  • Dark Universe: W: James Tynion IV, A: Ming Doyle
  • Green Lantern: Lost Army: W: Cullen Bunn, A: Jesus Saiz & Javi Pina
  • Doomed: W: Scott Lobdell, A: Javier Fernandez
  • Earth 2: Society: W: Daniel Wilson, A: Jorge Jimenez
  • Dr. Fate: W: Paul Levitz, A: Sonny Liew
  • Justice League of America: W: Bryan Hitch, A: Bryan Hitch
  • Justice League 3001: W: Keith Giffen, A: Howard Porter
  • Martian Manhunter: W: Rob Williams, A: Ben Oliver
  • Midnighter: W: Steve Orlando, A: ACO
  • Mystic U: W: Alisa Kwitney, A: Unknown
  • Omega Men: W: Tom King, A: Alec Morgan
  • Prez: W: Mark Russell, A: Ben Caldwell
  • Red Hood/Arsenal: W: Scott Lobdell, A: Denis Medri
  • Robin, Son of Batman: W: Patrick Gleason, A: Patrick Gleason
  • Starfire: W: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner, A: Emanuela Lupacchino
  • We Are Robin: W: Lee Bermejo, A: Khary Randolph

Ongoing books

  • Action Comics: W: Greg Pak, A: Aaron Kuder
  • Aquaman: W: Cullen Bunn, A: Trevor McCarthy
  • Batgirl: W: Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher, A: Babs Tarr
  • Batman: W: Scott Snyder, A: Greg Capullo
  • Detective Comics: W; Brian Buccelato & Francis Manapul, A: Francis Manapul
  • Batman/Superman: W: Greg Pak, A: Ardian Syaf
  • Catwoman: W: Genevieve Valentine, A: David Messina
  • Deathstroke: W: Tony S. Daniel, A: Tony S. Daniel
  • The Flash: W: Robert Venditti & Van Jensen, A: Brett Booth
  • Gotham Academy: W: Becky Cloonan & Brenden Fletcher, A: Karl Kerschl
  • Gotham By Midnight: W: Ray Fawkes, A: Juan Ferreyra
  • Grayson: W: Tom King & Tim Seeley, A: Mikel Janin
  • Green Arrow: W: Ben Percy, A: Patrick Zircher
  • Green Lantern: W: Robert Venditti, A: Billy Tan
  • Harley Quinn: W: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner, A: Chad Hardin
  • Justice League: W: Geoff Johns, A: Jason Fabok
  • Justice League United: W: Unknown A: Unknown
  • Lobo: W: Cullen Bunn, A: Cliff Richards
  • Secret Six: W: Gail Simone, A: Dale Eaglesham
  • Sinestro: W: Cullen Bunn, A: Bradley Walker
  • New Suicide Squad: W: Sean Ryan, A: Carlos D’Anda
  • Superman: W: Gene Luen Yang, A: John Romita, Jr.
  • Superman/Wonder Woman: W: Peter J. Tomasi, A: Doug Mahnke
  • Teen Titans: W: Will Pfeifer, A: Kenneth Rocafort
  • Wonder Woman: W: Meredith Finch, A: David Finch

Miniseries

  • Section Eight (6-issue limited): W: Garth Ennis, A: John McCrea
  • Harley Quinn/Power Girl (6-issue limited): W: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner, A: Stephane Roux
  • Bat-Mite (6-issue limited): W: Dan Jurgens, A: Corin Howell
  • Bizarro (6-issue limited): W: Heath Corson, A: Gustavo Duarte

Comments

The good points of this revision:

  • DC’s not only losing the “New 52” branding (since it’s not new anymore), it’s also finally loosening its DiDio-era obsession with the number 52. Besides being odd (unless you’re a numerologist), it was probably also just a way to shove other books off the shelves at comic shops by publishing an unsustainably high pre-set number of books. For continuity purposes and shorthand, however, I’ll continue to call the post-2011 books the “New 52” (a la “post-Crisis” for books from 1986-2011).
  • The Bat-Mite miniseries sounds fun.
  • Someone got a clue (or a memo from the TV side of Time Warner) and revamped Starfire to resemble her TV self, who’s way more familiar to the general public and the would-be “new readers” wanted. Which is what DC should’ve done with the New 52 in the first place, versus, erm, this.
  • Cyborg getting his own book makes sense, given he’s the other popular Teen Titan from TV (or Justice Leaguer in the New 52’s case), and has an upcoming (some years out) movie.
  • Some of the previous attempts at more diverse books (like “Gotham Academy” and “Batgirl”) will continue.
  • DC now has two books starring LGBT characters, Constantine and Midnighter. No surprise DC favors Midnighter over his partner Apollo for an ongoing, given Midnighter’s a Batman pastiche.

The bad points:

  • It’s still the same New 52 continuity. Not surprising, given DC’s never completely undone a line-wide reboot; they fully believing in bridge burning, consequences or criticism (or learning anything from the previous reboot) be darned. However, it’s still disappointing that we’re stuck with the ugly briefless costumes, plus that the “official” versions of these characters include a Clark Kent that calls Lois’ dates a “booty call,” the Superman/Wonder Woman romance, and the New 52 versions of the Amazons.
  • We’ve gotten the “we’re going for new readers with a diverse lineup!” spiel before—it’s the supposed justification for the New 52 reboot in the first place.
  • It still doesn’t fix DC’s (or superhero comics’) fundamentally flawed business model long-term.
  • The lineup is still heavily Batman-centric: by my count, 12 of the 45 DCU set titles (27%) are tied into Batman or Bat-related characters in some way, and that’s excluding the Justice League titles and miniseries. While the new books are less Bat-related (a good thing), I’d hate to see a repeat of the initial New 52 books that were quickly were axed and replaced with more Bat-books.
  • The Superman “family” isn’t such anymore; we’re down to just “Superman,” “Action Comics,” “Batman/Superman,” and “Superman/Wonder Woman.” Two of those are tie-ins to other characters (Bruce and Diana), and they seem to have cancelled Supergirl’s and Superboy’s books. This despite upcoming plans to give Supergirl her own TV show on CBS.

It remains to be seen if there’ll be any other major changes in how DC’s run with their west coast move, however.

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