10 Ways DC Has... Benefited From The Reboot

A year has passed since the start of DC Reboot and naturally, now is the time to assess whether or not it was simply as success or not. Obviously it's difficult to come up with a straight black and white yes or no answer but undoubtedly, there has been failures and successes.

This is the first part of a two part list assessing how DC has benefited and suffered from the reboot in a good ol' fashioned Top 10 list. First off is how DC has benefited from the Reboot!

10. THE TALENT

When organising a huge event like the New 52, you have to have the chops to back it up. And DC have done that in style, bringing fan-favourite artist Jim Lee to draw the flagship title, Justice League. DC also took some of the industry's best writers and artists to helm many of their new 52 titles on a regular basis including Kenneth Rocafort, Francis Manapul, Scott Snyder and Grant Morrisson, just to name a few. This consistent array of talent was a great incentive to buy the rebooted books that DC was asking many skeptical readers to believe in. In fact, a readers favourite artist or writer is enough to convince a reader to buy and maybe even stick with a title they would otherwise have no interest in. DC has also managed to keep a lot of these creators on board their respective titles creating a consistent title that readers can believe in.

9. THE JUSTICE LEAGUE

Undoubtedly, the Justice League is DC's premier team, collecting the companies biggest and most popular heroes into one team. The reboot took the team to it's very beginnings creating a new origin with new dynamics. The opening arc felt like it was written for a movie, creating an un-complicated and enjoyable read for new and old readers.

This may cause some debate as some were unhappy with the title. However, from a marketing perspective, the Justice League has been a complete success. The title was one of the easiest titles to jump on board with as new readers didn't need to know a thing before picking it up. Cyborg was a fresh perspective in the series in which readers could relate to, not only as he was new to this world (like the reader) but also because he represented youth and diversity in a team of practical Gods. 'Justice League' was also written like a blockbuster action film with some of the most famous fictional superheroes known whilst simultaneously giving them an arch-nemesis. With A-List characters and creators, 'Justice League' presented the perfect jumping on point for new readers while also giving old readers something to enjoy which perfectly fitted in with the Reboot's MO.

8. CROSSING OVER

One unique feature of the first issues of the new 52 was the mysterious Pandora, appearing in the background of each #1 issue, readers were intrigued by who she was and what she meant. Since then Pandora has shown to be a very important player leading into the 'Trinity War' that, although highly talked about, no one quite knows what it is. A prospect of DC's first major event is exciting and DC have planned it to the letter. One big complaint about Marvel is 'event fatigue', meaning many fans are getting tired of the constant 'game changing' events which take over their titles. But the prospect of the 'Trinity War' is something to get excited about as there have been no major, crossover-ing events yet, well not on the scale of 'AvX' anyway.

While we've had no major events or crossovers, we have had some 'little ones'. A few titles have had some successful crossovers with other titles like the I, Vampire/Justice League Dark crossover 'Rise of the Vampires' and the Swamp Thing/Animal 'Rotworld'. But the major success story of the New 52 crossovers is the Batman family orientated 'Court of Owls'. The event was critically acclaimed and presented the sheer potential the reboot has for new, original storylines, events and crossovers.

7. AQUAMAN

One of the biggest successes of the reboot has been the successful re-invention of Aquaman. While Aquaman is an A-List comic book character, with non-regular comic book readers knowing who he is, he has always been a bit of a joke. This portrayal of Aquaman as a useless merman that 'talks to fish' is often shown in the media from 'The Big Bang Theory' to 'Family Guy'. However, with a few years out of the spotlight (before Brightest Day anyway), the reboot came with an opportunity to turn that around. By using that exact joke in the title, Aquaman proved he was no longer that character. The first issue of his series quickly, but efficiently, re-invented his character. With a new, more aggressive attitude and use of powers, Aquaman has not only become one of the best, most consistent titles in DC, but he's also become the poster boy of what a reboot can do.

6. SHARED UNIVERSE

Along with a rebooted universe came a shared universe, with the worlds of Vertigo and Wildstorm joining the DCU. While many were skeptical about this move, the reboot has presented an opportunity to get these fan favourite characters out there without them fading into obscurity. And although these characters no longer exist in their respective companies they do now exist in titles that certainly feel like them.

5. CONSISTENCY AND SCHEDULE

The set number of titles along with allocated release dates was a genius move. There's nothing more frustrating for a comic book reader then not knowing when the next issue of their favourite title is coming out. Not only was this a bold move, but also an unrealistic one, creators are only human and they're bound to fall behind their writing/art duties, especially if they're doing multiple titles at once. But DC has managed to pull it off with little to no disruption in the schedule they originally set a year ago. This way fans know when their titles are coming out whilst providing an even spread of diverse titles, creating consistency within a company before the title has even been read.

4. BRAND RECOGNITION

The reboot not only changed the titles and characters, but also it's whole marketing brand. With a new logo and new merchandise, the reboot has opened a new look to everything, even outside of comics, including film, animation and toys. The reboot's successfully rejuvenated the brand itself which is no easy task.

3. UN-COMPLICATING THE MULTIVERSE

I'll admit it, I'm more of a Marvel guy. In-fact before the reboot, I only picked up a few DC titles. After the reboot I now pick up lots of DC titles. So therefore, the whole purpose of the reboot as worked on me. But one of the things about the DCU that put me off before was it's complicated relationship with alternate/future universes. All the many 'crises' that DC have had over the years made the whole multiverse thing extremely complicated. I couldn't even look into it without getting confused. SO many different characters from different universes, so many dead heroes replaced by their alternate versions and so forth. So with the reboot I was extremely pleased to learn that that had relatively, been scrapped. The new 'Earth 2' has a brand new slate and a brand new series with only Huntress and Power Girl in the main DCU. While the Worlds' Finest title isn't as consistent as Earth 2, the whole concept feels new and un-convoluted and we get to see what appears to be the forming of the new JSA and what will hopefully be a cross between both worlds. I men, we all can't wait to see ol' Bats reaction to his 'daughters' presence.

2. WOMEN ON TOP

Batgirl, Batwoman, Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman, Voodoo, Supergirl, Catwoman, Worlds' Finest and Swords and Sorcery. What do they all have in common? They all feature female leads. The role of female characters and female creators has always been debated. This was a controversial issue when the new 52 first came out with some very explicit and seemingly sexist things going on books like Red Hood and the Outlaws, starring Starfire, Mister Terrific, with Powergirl, and Catwoman. The books featured barely clothed females, respected superheroes in their own right, with a casual sexual demeanor. This, along with the lack of female creators, led to a backlash, with DC being criticized over the role of females at DC. However, since then, a lot of changes have been made. While Catwoman still needs a bit of work, and Voodoo suffered heavily from creative changes leading to cancellation, Starfire's role has drastically changed in the Outlaws and more and more women are being employed from Amy Reeder to the epic Nicola Scott. While things still aren't perfect (Like the Catwoman #0 cover), things are certainly much better and DC women are kicking ass. Along with the female solo and team titles, the future looks bright with characters like Harley Quinn, Amanda Waller, Dawnstar, Zatanna, Bleez, Mera, Fairchild, Mary, Queen of Blood, Wonder Girl and Carol Ferris taking big roles in their respective titles and the upcoming ongoing Swords and Sorcery, staring fan-favourite Amethyst. Hopefully even more female creators can break through and change some comic book stereotypes. There's a time and a place for Cheesecake.

Plus just look at the amount of titles led by women. DC have faith in their females!

It also put into perspective the state of female characters over on the Marvel side in the wake of an X-23 and Black Widow cancellation, leading to Marvel beginning to up it's game with Captain Marvel, an upcoming Red She-Hulk ongoing, Sif taking charge in Journey Into Mystery and hopefully more fixes in Marvel NOW!

1.THE UNORTHODOX SIDE OF THE DCU

One of the biggest successes and benefits from the DC reboot, has been the critical and sales response towards some of the strangest ongoing titles DC have offered in decades. When the full solicitations of the new 52 were released, I'll admit I, along with many other people, rolled their eyes at titles like I, Vampire and Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. and immediately thought the titles wouldn't last long before cancellation.

But now I eat the biggest slice of humble pie as titles like I, Vampire and Animal Man are some of my favourite ongoing runs ever. Not only this but the 'Dark' and the 'Edge' side (as DC have affectionately named them) of the DCU offer some of the most critically acclaimed titles of the new 52. However, sometimes critical acclaim doesn't always meet sales and O.M.A.C. was one of the first titles to be cancelled. Despite this, the other titles are still going strong, surviving the second and third waves of the DCnU. If DC have any wits about them, they'll leave it that way as the 'dark' and the 'edge' offer a different and unique side to not only the DCU, but also to comics.

So that's my list and the 10 biggest ways I believe DC has benefited from the Reboot. I welcome any kind of comments and would love to hear what are your 10 are. If you disagree with any of my choices, stay tuned for my second list '10 Ways DC has... suffered from the Reboot' as I explore the Teen Titans, Stephanie Brown, Rob Liefeld, pissing off creators and diversity.

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Avengers Academy and Sexuality, Julie Power Bi & Striker Gay

In Avengers Academy #23, it will be revealed that Veteran AA member Striker is gay and newcomer Julie Power is bisexual:

Not only this, but Striker reveals he was sexually abused in his youth:

This is another major change to Avengers Academy including a new base of operations, teachers leaving, new teachers, students leaving, lots of new students, a regenisis tie-in, a death of an Avenger and a major plot twist regarding Reptil. Many regard these changes as an attempt to boost the un-exciting sales estimates the series has been producing. But are these major changes a natural progression of character or just a cheap attempt to boost sales?

Undoubtedly this will bring up the age old debate about changing a previously established character's sexuality. One that even writers have commented on in the past. Many are familiar with Rob Liefeld's comments about his creation Rictor's sexuality being changed:

“… I have nothing against gays, I have gay family, nuthin’ but love here,”he wrote on his message board (registration required). “Ditto gay characters if that’s what their true origins are.
“As the guy that created, designed and wrote his first dozen appearances, Shatterstar is not gay. Sorry. Can’t wait to someday undo this. Seems totally contrived.”

However, while Striker has been with lots of women and has constantly shown flirting with other females, Gage stated quite early on in his twitter that he always knew about Striker's sexuality, including hints about his sexuality from way back in issue #5.

While gay heroes are appearing more and more frequently in comics, the coming out process is one that isn't often showcased in superhero comics. Characters either debut as gay (Batwoman) or their coming out happens off-panel (Rictor and Shatterstar). How much of Striker's internal coping and self-realization will be highlighted in "Avengers Academy"?
Gage: Hopefully, a fair amount. Whether Striker likes it or not, it's going to be an ongoing process for him. He may think it's as simple as saying, "Okay, I'm out," and that's it, but it's going to be more complicated. It's interesting that you mention how most superhero characters' coming out hasn't been tackled directly; that's one of the reasons I didn't make Striker an out gay guy from the start. We've come a long way in terms of there being positive depictions of gay youth in popular culture; what we haven't seen as much of is kids who are struggling with their sexuality, and I wanted to acknowledge that experience. Conditions today are a lot better than they've been in the past, but not every gay kid lives in New York or San Francisco -- a lot of them have to face bullying from their peers and disapproval from adults, telling them there's something wrong with them -- which has led to tragic suicides. Right now in North Carolina, which is my wife's home state and a place I love, there's a measure on an upcoming ballot to impose a state constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage -- and North Carolina is one of only two Southern states (along with New Mexico) that, up to now, hasn't had one. So what I wanted to say to gay kids who may still be struggling with who they are is not just "it gets better" but "you're not alone." I wanted their experience -- in a general sense, obviously it's different for everyone -- to be reflected in what they read. That there are other kids who may be struggling with this, and you don't have to be Batwoman from the get-go -- there may be a journey to getting there.
In Striker's case, though, it's not only about being gay. His personal struggles have a lot to do with the fact that he was sexually abused as a child, by the man who served as his acting manager at the time. My wife and I wrote for "Law & Order: SVU," which led to doing a good amount of research on child sexual abuse and its effects. And quite often, whether the abuse survivor is gay or straight, they end up struggling with their sexuality in general. Some avoid or repress it, either because it's too painful to deal with or because they somehow blame themselves for what happened. When Striker began to feel he might be attracted to males, he wondered if that was who he was as a person, or if it was the influence of his (male) abuser somehow affecting him -- a thought that deeply disturbed him and made him want to reject those feelings. The process most of us go through, where we figure out what kind of people we are attracted to -- I don't mean being gay or straight, necessarily, just whether we're drawn to certain personalities or body types or whatever -- was a minefield for him. It's very painful for abuse survivors, because they can question their own sexuality and frequently blame themselves for what happened -- as Striker did, wondering if he somehow encouraged the abuser because he enjoyed the attention of a father figure, or if being gay, even before he had any awareness of his sexual orientation, somehow meant he brought it on himself. (In point of fact, most child abusers who target children of the same sex identify as straight, and have no interest in adults of the same sex.) So I also wanted to reach out to abuse survivors and say: 1) It's not your fault. That's actually one of the things abusers count on -- that the victim will blame themselves and avoid talking about it to anyone. And 2) You're not alone. Others struggle with this too.
In Striker's specific case, the journey is about being an abuse survivor as well as coming out. Now that Julie has given him the support he needs to discover his sexual orientation at his own pace, he's going to be able to focus more on the coming out process -- and being Striker, he'll probably make some colossal blunders along the way. But hey, how many of us look back at our earliest dating experiences and think, "You know what? I got that exactly right!"

While Striker is still relatively a brand new character, Julie power has been around for a few decades. Is it okay for writers to change such drastic aspects of such old characters? Arguably, Julie has basically been a child all her comic career and has only recently started to be shown to be growing into teenage hood (See The Loners), leaving these issues wide open for writers to pick up on.

What do you guys think? Are you shocked by these reveals? Do you see them as cheap writing ploys to bring in sales or as essential character developments? Do you think revealing previously established characters as Lesbian, Gay or Bi is wrong or just a realistic representation of today?

In my opinion I think Julie puts it across very well:

"Everyone's all 'pick a side'... When I have feelings for a person, it's for that person. Not their gender. Can't you just like someone without it being a political statement?"

Right on sista.

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How often do you treat yourself?

How often do you treat yourself? In fact, what do you even consider as a 'treat' when it comes to buying yourself comics. With the rising prices of comics, a simple trip down to your LCS and getting the titles you want could be considered a treat (Especially now during the new DC 52!). I ask this simply because of the wonderful comic book merchandise that is available today, but with so much of it being so expensive, how often can you reward yourself with something special? Weekly? Monthly? Yearly!?

Comic book companies are constantly releasing new, shiny, exclusive, deluxe and expensive merchandise, do you even go near that stuff or avoid it like a plague sticking only to comics?

A comic book made of pure gold? Say it isn't so!!

I'll admit it, I love to treat myself to something special. I absolutely adore Absolute and Omnibus editions of comics. I'd recommend any avid comic book fan in purchasing one...or many. But they are expensive and limited. You miss the boat on one of those bad boys and the price can raise to ridiculous heights. The Alias omnibus staring Jessica Jones is priced around 350 dollars and a new copy of Grant Morrison's New X-Men omnibus will set you back around 500 DOLLARS. Which makes me go green with jealousy regarding the lucky people who have a copy of that glorious omnibus. But is that just ridiculous? Who would pay that much? Someone must shedding out serious dollar for these items otherwise there would be no point in pricing them that high. Although, if I was a millionaire or had some meja money in the bank (wishful thinking of a teenage student...) I would get them straight away without blinking an eye lid. And I dare anyone to say differently.

A few months back, I bought The Absolute Sandman Volume One. And it is stunning. Take a look...

This thing is huge as well. It's such a lovely item to own and it fits perfectly with the tone of the actual book. Now this set me back a bit. I've never payed so much for a comic book item. But I do plan to do it again. Are purchases like this your bag? Is a purchase like this a usual thing for you? Would you ask for something like this as a Birthday or Christmas present?

But is your treat an actual comic book, like an Absolute edition, a tpb or hardcover, or is it something else liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike statues, figurines or a convention sketch? I've always admired busts and statues but never bought one, I simply cannot pay so much for an item like this, but I will for a comic book? Strange.

However a new world I ventured to recently is; the world of buying art by comics book artists. There's countless artists sketches and drawings that you can buy from your favourite artist, but at extremely high prices. I would kill for a J. Scott Campbell, Humberto Ramos or Adam Hughes drawing because they cost. So. Damn. MUCH. But as a few of you may know I am a huge Psylocke fan and I found a piece on Ebay which I fell in love with and had to have...

Psylocke/Day of the Dead

I had to have it. And I received it today. It's beautiful. Even better in real life. It's by little known artist Erik Jones who does some beautiful work. Now this wasn't that much considering how much comic book art is. Around 80 dollars initially, it's gone to a little over 100 with p&p and vat (GODDAM YOU), which translated to English pounds is around £80. But some of you maniacs shed hundreds of dollars for small sketches by famous artists! I bought this because I loved it and it was relatively cheap, but if it was saaaaaaay $500, I wouldn't of looked at it twice!

But how often do you buy yourself an item like this? If at all!! And when you do treat yourself, how much are you willing to spend!? Personally, I like to treat myself every now and again, and anything going over £90/£100 pounds is too much unless someone else is helping towards it! We all like nice things and I don't see anything wrong with rewarding yourself every now and then. I already know what my next treat to myself will be....

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It's My Birthday!! :D

It's my Birthday!! 17 today! Just wanted to share it with everyone :)

EDIT:

It's exactly one year later and this time I'm 18! I'm officially an adult!! Woo!

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X-Men Anime (Plot, Logo, Screenshots,Character Designs & Trailer)

Some of you may of already been familiar with this blog, but due to all the new information revealed, I've had to majorly updated the info!! Including an updated plot line, logo, character designs(which reveal the cast) and the trailer.

Plot 

The  series is set a year after the death of Jean Grey as the disbanded X-Men are summoned by Charles Xavier to find the abducted Armor . There, they confront the U-Men, a lunatic cult that steals and transplants mutant organs to further strengthen their own army, and the battle for justice is on.     
 
 The new series will be produced by Madhouse for Marvel Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television, Inc, and will make their exclusive U.S. TV Premiere on G4 in 2011.     

Logo

 Logo 

Character Designs and Cast

 
    

 
Beast, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Armor and Professor X as the X-Men 
 
Cyclops: Toshiyuki Morikawa
Wolverine: Rikiya Koyama
Professor X: Katsunosuke Hori
Storm: Aya Hisakawa
Emma Frost: Kaori Yamagata
Yui Sasaki: Yoshiko Sakakibara
Jean Grey: Yurika Hino
Hisako Ichiki: Yukari Tamura
Beast: Hideyuki Tanaka       
  
(Thanks to Raionherustsu    for the voice actor info and revealing the fact that Emma Frost will be in the show!!)

Trailer  

 
 

Screenshots

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New X-Force lineup revealed?Name being changed to Uncanny XForce?

Hmmm this may not be 100% but....       
 
The article says that the New X-Force title will star WolverineArchangelPsylockeFantomex and Deadpool!! Now I don't know about you but these were my guesses!!! They all seem appropriate for X-Force and imagine all the kinds of awesome it would be!?!?! 
 
I just hope Psylocke, Fantomex and Deadpool get X-Force type costumes!!     

Also the article says the title now be Uncanny X-Force

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