The GeeksverseHow Would You Do It? #2 – DC’s The New 52 Part 2

How Would You Do It? #2 – DC’s The New 52 Part 2
Published on Friday, December 9, 2011 by

Yesterday I starting talking about how I would have done the New 52 differently and looked at a couple of books; Green Lantern and Teen Titans. Today I’m going to continue with that and hit on a couple of others I would have done differently.

Red Hood And The Outlaws/Outsiders
Along the lines of taking and merging books (Teen Titans/Young Justice with Gen 13), I would have done the same with Red Hood And The Outlaws and The Outsiders.

Pick a name, Outsiders or Outlaws, either one works. And depending on what is done with Batman’s Robin problems, Jason Todd may or may not be available. But that’s okay, Red Hood And The Outlaws is fairly directionless book (and I like it), so taking Jason out of it and just keeping it The Outlaws or Outsiders would be okay.

I’d solidfy the direction and purpose of the Outlaws team. I’d really make them Outlaws/Outsiders. This would be a group that operates in the shadows, helping people, but sometimes illegally. The rest of the world wouldn’t know if they were really heroes or outlaws, putting them in conflict with other super-heroes.

If Jason Todd is out, Owlman would be a good substitute. I’d change up the costume and make him closer to how Todd operates in the current book. Now you can keep Starfire but can add some of the Outsiders (Halo and Looker would be my choices) and now we can dip into Wildstorm and find characters that would fit into the new idea of Outlaws. I’d personally grab Warblade and Sublime (from DV8). Could even add some newly created characters as we get those in the new 52 anyways (Lady Godiva, Adam-One, Blackhawks).

I might even keep Owlman as is and add John Colt to the mix. He’d basically be what the Red Hood is now. For those that don’t know, Colt is a Wildstorm character that was a former super-spy and an alien, which could add to the “this team is different” dynamic.

Why make this change? Well because it would bring in fans of the Outsiders, other Wildstorm characters and give The Outlaws a direction, which it seems to be lacking right now. And depending on what ended up doing with Batman, Jason Todd might not be the Red Hood.

Legion Lost/Legionaires/Legion Of Super-Heroes
This one is really only because I don’t understand the point of Legion Lost. Why take some of the team and bring them to the past? I just don’t get it.

So instead I would have gone back to the two Legion book concept from years ago. Okay, back then it was because there was a whole group of younger clones that had been discovered, so the two books were needed (and Legionaires had some beautiful Chris Sprouse artwork).

But this time around I’d just use it so that more of the dozens of team members would get the spotlight. Use it as a “special missions” type of book. It could even have rotating creators that come in and tell a Legion story that they’ve always wanted to tell.

There’s all sorts of possibilities with this. The two books could tie together, could tell seperate stories, be seperate teams (like the X-Men’s Gold and Blue teams back in the day with X-men and Uncanny X-Men). Lots of directions that would make both books compelling to pick-up and read.

Batman
Batman suffers from the same problem that Green Lantern does: too much has happened for it to make sense in the five year period. Dick Grayson was Robin and quit and became Batman for awhile. Jason Todd became Robin and died and came back. Tim Drake became Robin and quit. Now Damien Wayne is Robin. All in five years? Also have to mention that Batgirl was in the mix at some point.

And Batman also had the time to create Batman, Inc?

Really?

I know it’s Grant Morrison’s storyline, but why was Batman chosen to continue and not be relaunched like other titles? Really only Batman and Green Lantern somewhat kept their continuity and picked up from relatively where they were prior to the relaunch.

For this I’d get rid of Batman, Inc and have Tim Drake as Robin. For the timeline I’d have it that Grayson was Robin for four years and Jason Todd recently took over and died. The wounds are still fresh and Drake has come into the picture. Five years still isn’t long enough for me to be happy with all that happening but it’s a helluva lot better then what is going on currently.

This would help clean up Batmans current continuity and allow for future stories (like the return of Jason Todd). And in this case, you could get rid of a couple of books but it wouldn’t matter.

Make each book’s purpose distinct. Batman is the more super-heroic stories. Detective Comics would be more mysteries. Batman: The Dark Knight could be the darker and more “mature” stories. I probably would get rid of Batman And Robin and put back a Legends of the Dark Knight style book with rotating creative teams (I’ve never been a major Batman fan but I would pick up Legends depending on the creative team).

Really my biggest problem with Batman in the new 52 is that it didn’t relaunch and picked up at a point that makes no sense for the newness of the new continuity.

Those are really the major books I would have changed. Obviously those changes would have been reflected in Batwing, Superboy, Birds of Prey and others (Batwing could still work, he could be someone that was inspired by Batman or someone that Batman had met and started training, this could be where he starts to develop the Batman, Inc concept) but really each could easily work with the changes.

But we’re still short of the 52 books. The whole idea behind doing this was so that DC could end up getting a bigger share of the market and try to pass Marvel as the #1 publisher. They were doing 52 books prior to the relaunch, so it really made no sense to relaunch with less than 52 books right?

Yes and no.

The market difference, as well as the physical sales, could have been made up in the quantity change in what DC sold. But I can see why they would have wanted to go with 52 books at relaunch.

And it’s a relatively easy solution. Just find 52 more books. Between Wildstorm, Vertigo and DC they couldn’t find the 3 or 4 more books needed to reach 52?

Me personally, I would have brought back James Robinson’s Starman.

With Robinson attached of course.

I know JSA is coming as a mini-series and apparently takes place on Earth-2, well if that was the case why not launch JSA as a monthly at relaunch and also launch 2 or 3 books that also take place on Earth-2? If you’re going to do it (Earth-2), why not go all the way?

This would have been a good way to get Wally West back as a Flash.

But even if Starman didn’t come back (because Robinson didn’t want to do it) or they didn’t want to launch a couple of Earth-2 books, there is still plenty of material to mine in the DCU/Wildstorm. The have access to Hardware and Icon and are already doing a Static book. Why not an Icon one?

Why not bring Wetworks or Backlash into the DCU? Why not bring back older books like Power Company?

But the biggest change I would have made to the New 52?

Have some damn editorical control over the books. The continuity is a horrible mess and we’re only 4 months in. Did a Teen Titans team exist prior to this new one or didn’t it? Did Superman die? Did the Crisis happen? There are so many inconsistencies that it’s starting to get bad. Okay, it’s not starting to, it is bad, and it’s affecting my enjoyment of the books.

But even if the continuity wasn’t completely solid, they could have made it so that having 4 Robins, 4 Green Lanterns and Batman, Inc at least makes some kind of sense.

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