Feeling the New 52: The Youth

For all 5 of you who follow my blog (my counter says 88... but i know better), you may remember my two (count em! one and two) blogs expressing my concerns about the New 52. The blogs were a combination of my knee-jerk reactions and truly thought out hopes and fears. Well... September is here and gone, and i havent blogged in a while, so lets kick this off with some focus on the titles i was most looking forward to: the Youth Titles.

Static Shock

If you read back into my earlier blogs, this was one of the titles i was very much concerned about. The new tech look was never something in Statics range of capability, and it seemed he was getting a total re-haul, powers and history and all. Boy was i wrong. Static's title seems to be the one that played the most to my love and history of the character by pretty much keeping him exactly the same. The excuse for the new look and gear (a gift from Hardware, who has taken Vergil under his wing similar to the Spiderman/Ironman relationship from Civil War) works beautify in respects to both his and Hardware's characters. The only concern i have now is with the last page of issue one, which seems like an alteration of his powers. But if that all were looking at, this seems about perfect, and i think McDuffy wouldldnt hate it.

Blue Beetle

Blue Beetle #1 (2011).

While Static's comic was a fear diminished, Blue Beetle was my hope shattered. The removal of his awesome origin (replaced by this rushed thing here), the full out thugging of his best friend Paco (who only joined a gang in the old continuity because he was depressed that he lost both his friends), and what seems to be the total liquidation of his parents backbone (they were super strong and wise in the old stuff, but here they are just plan afraid) is very upsetting. And the insight into the Scarab's past is interesting, but it changes the Reach from a group of weak-yet-intelligent planet drainers to a race of Conquerors. Its a subtle difference, but one that will drastically change the threat of their invasion. It will turn it from a slow undermining of our humanity to a quick destruction of the populace. Sigh... just like every other invading force.



The absolute medium here is Superboy. My favorite character of all time. So of course, this one was most important to me. Surprisingly, it invoked the smallest emotional response of the lot.

This is in no way shape or form My Superboy. It seems like DC is trying to remove the "Dont call me SUPERBOY" Conner kent/Kon-El from existence, instead replacing him with this bland clone character. As a matter of fact, the new Superman seems to have adapted Conners old state of mind, being hot headed and angry and sharp witted... but thats something to save for the main titles blog.

Conner here has very little personality. While its obvious they plan on having him build one as the story progresses, i can hardly see him becoming the leather jacket wearing hero i know best. Its not all bad. They seem to have added emphasis to his TK abilities, and more than likely his personality will eventually mirror that of the t-shirt wearing Conner we saw before the revamp. Its a damn shame that the world is FINALLY going to know Superboy and Young Justice, but only as the TV shows incarnation, and not the more interesting comics one of most of my life. In the end, i just dont care that much. Excited to see where its headed, but not expecting much as i bottle my hatred for this pointless change.

The Fury of Firestorm

The Fury of Firestorm #1

This is obviously an attempt to hit multiple markets at once. Black males and White. Ronnie fans and Jason fans. The resulting concept is interesting. The downside to it is that it simplified that animosity between the two main characters. Originally Ronnie hated that Jason was his replacement, and Jason hated that Ronnie's slacker ways had caused repeated unnecessary troubles and deaths. Add the struggle for the attention of the Professor (Stein? i cant remember), and the standard stress of being a hero, and there goes your feud.

Fury simplifies this to high school. Jock vs smart kid. Not as deep. Kinda generic.

The cool part of FoF comes from the idea of the Firestorm protocol. The idea that the firestorm power set is more or less the next step in nuclear physics, and is therefore capable of empowering multiple people is an exciting one. In this issue, it seems like Jason can use his intelligence to trans-mutate things, while Ronnie just blasts Raw power. When they do share a body, they become a firestorm/Hulk creature, which im sure is easier to control when they get along.

The fights against other firestorms will inevitably be more interesting since they will not be crippled with only half their powers, but the character driven part of the story will probably be lacking.

Teen Titans

New 52 Titans

Of course i end with the the teen team itself. My comics life is almost entirely owed to Young Justice. Tim and Conner are my all time favorite characters, and so creation of a super hero team around them was absolutely epic when i was younger.

Teen Titans... takes an immediate shit on Tim Drake by making him bitter and ashamed of his days as Robin. Apparently he was so upset with it that he quit and became more or less an Oracle/Anarky hybrid character. Apparently, the only thing that pulled him from this was the personal visit from N.O.W.H.E.R.E, the group that seems to be a emerging new "we have a plan for teen heroes" group. Their visit drove him to ran and save Cassie Sandsmark... who as far as i can tell is half her old character (when shes herself) and half belligerent and angry powerhouse (when shes wonder girl). It looks like there is also a bit of criminal crossover as a result, as Cassie was apparently driving a stolen car.

Teen Titans #1

They also made Bart a moron, which was to be expected. Thats the easiest way to write him, and unless you have a real love for his brand of character, all you see is filler and comic relief when your trying to write his dialogue. Whatever. At some point some writer will show him respect, and everything will change just like before. It seems like this team of Titans will be more about having a diverse group to point to than building a similar team. And yeah... whatever.

come back later to check out my blogs about The Big Titles and The Other Stuff... and possibly a full overview of the new 52.

Posted by pahphoenix

Nice Blog.I'm gonna play devils's advocate here.Sometimes DC sends out stuff undercooked(ahem...Flashpoint.)But,I'm trying really hard to give New 52 a decent chance.Like we have a choice anyway.So I'm hoping that if they're scrapping this much history ,they're gonna re-tie all of it back together satisfactorily for everyone.I hope at least.So lets give all of these first arcs a chance before we get too critical too early.Ditto for all the Justice League titles.

Posted by Grim

@pahphoenix: ...idk. I dont think i would be very happy if they did actually. If they erased everything to change just a couple sentences?

im pretty sure most of the revamp was designed to remove all of the people who arent in current titles from the equation (Ted Kord,Elongated Man,Terra, ect) so that people wouldnt have to search and search and still never actually read that one issue from the 80's that is always referenced. And now they are fundamentally altering stories in ways that cut other characters out of the equation altogether.

while some things are very likely to be re-tied (Barry and Iris need to get together for Bart to exist unless we find out latter that bart aint related anymore) others seem to be negated forever. But yeah, time will tell

Edited by soccersss

Nice Blog but I'd disagree with you a lil on the Teen Titans bit tho
Although Tim seems to be bitter about his TT days. I wont call it a disadvantage. With all the hate teen heroes are getting, with much thanks to Bart, it'd make sense for him to stay low for a little bit. The way he escaped those NOWHERE GUYS reminded me how badass Tim can be when he wants. Hes confident and smart. I'm curious to see what they do with Cass. she does retain a lil of her personality but her apparently being more free-spirited and a thief has definitely caught my attention. Superboy is another character I'm curious to see what they do with. I hope they dont follow the animated Young justice superboy which is kinda bland imo but rather make him more like his comic origins. All in all i enjoyed the first issue and I'm definitely getting the second issue
BTW I'm gonna be a new follower of your blog.

Posted by Rixec

Hey hey! Don't go insulting Jaime's parents just yet! Is it really backbone to allow your child to go near the home of a drug lord? They were doing it for his protection. If La Dama were to come to Jaime his parents would place themselves between the two of them.

Also, with Paco in a gang we get to see that view of the world and Jaime's feelings on it.

And as for the Reach, they may be conquerors, but there may be more. Khaji-Kai will appear before Jaime and there will be some kind of bond between the two and you're never sure whether he's friend or foe. Besides, how do we know the scarabs aren't sent to learn about the planet first and then invade it when they're sure nothing can stand in their way?

Try reading #2 to see how things go. Now that the character, supporting cast, and origin have been set up I'm sure it'll go slower.

Edited by BlackArmor

@Grim: Cool blog i disagree at som points but it was cool

but since you know statics history can you tell me what's up with Sharon's clone in number two that was really weird

Posted by Grim


i have a feeling they are taking Superboy down the tv shows path. I dont know about you, but i only liked the more serious t-shirt wearing Conner because of his old wild ways. It showed that he wasnt just going to be someones joke forever, which separates the A-list Dick Grayson's from the 25 year old Beast Boys. In that regard, taking him straight to serious conner, without the rebellious youth phase... kinda cheapens the character. If hes always like that, then where will the progress come from? the only hope of me ever being a fan of this Supeboy is if he goes back to that angry horny rebel for a stint.

But maybe thats just me.

thanks for following! :)

im working on some school work and an article for Screened.com, but hopefully i can pump out the rest of these soon.

Edited by Grim

@Rixec: Oh my beef with the parents backbone is more that they are pleading his understanding then that they arent letting him go. His old parents wouldnt have let them go either, but by conversations end, he would have been apologetic and they would have been the angry ones. In old continuity he made much reference to how they yelled, and he was always very respectful. For them to be sorry and even to allow him to storm out of the room like that is what my beef is.

A for paco, i know they are going to make him the "nice gangster" and Jamie will disprove... but it still changes the character for Paco to join up just because. joining because your friends are all gone and your in dispare? fine. But Joining( and leading) a gang when your two best friends are still in the picture and objecting it? thats not the same Paco.

and my absolute favorite part of the Reach before was that they were the biggest threat that had no intention of fighting. You could tell that there were dozens of plans where they never had to lift a finger, and the Scarabs were only designed to deal with power houses like Superman and green Lanterns if a planet had them. From page one, it was clear that in the new 52, the scarabs have a mainstay purpose in their plans. And that just irks me.

Posted by Rixec

@Grim: Well, give it some time to develop. The differences might grow on you to the point where you might still like the old stuff better but you can lie this too. Just gotta wait and see how Tony Bedard develops the story. WE might even see some old stuff that hasn't been touched upon yet. Perhaps the Reach have world domination plans and settle plans where they don't lift a finger. We don't know everything yet so we just have to wait. Either way, I'm just glad to have Jaime back! :D

Posted by The Stegman

Nicely said..but i disagree with your assessment of Superboy and the Teen titans

Posted by soccersss
 Yeah I've a feeling they are taking the tv show direction too. It's not that I completely hate the tv show version is just that his personality change was too sudden. I miss the arrogant hot-headed superboy from the classic Young Justice comics. I see your point about the likes of Beastboy not taken seriously. However you can also see the likes of red arrow to some extent, and flash who have similar personality but they are up there with the best. Neverthess if superboy wants to join the A-list he's going to become more serious but where is the fun in that if we don't see glimpses of the old super boy. Even if they want to take the tv show path at least show him mature and progress from his r ebelious phase to the more serious phase.
NP whenever you're ready is cool.
Posted by Grim

@Rixec: yeah, i dont really plan on dropping many titles. I really hope this does well for DC. just think some of their decisions are just kinda... thrown out there.

@The Stegman said:

Nicely said..but i disagree with your assessment of Superboy and the Teen titans

im just glad you read it! :)