Why new 52 Failed

WNK4dualid

It didn’t fail you say?  Then why did Action Comics’ (the former flagship of the DCU) order numbers fall to all time lows?  Why have Future’s End, Convergence, and Rebirth if the new 52 was doing so great?

The problem with new 52 was DC Entertainment didn’t understand the fundamentals of building a DC Universe.  Not a Wildstorm or a Marvel universe, but a DC UNIVERSE!

Yes, the new 52 had the ‘characters’ dressed in new costumes and it had a lot of splashpages.  But what it didn’t have was full throttle mythologies.  The new 52 was the experiment from hell, complete with a five year gap, no character development, and lots of infighting behind the scenes.  There was no clear vision.  There was no destination or a road map.  Connection between story and legend was gone.

First fundamental of any DC Universe — you have to have Clark/Lois/Superman.  Take a look at the panels above.  This shows why people have loved this story/character/legend/icons for generations.

New 52 barely lasted 5 years because they obliterated this fundamental.

Clark Kent wants Lois Lane.  He’s a stranger from a distant plant and he’s not disinterested.  He thinks humanity (and Earth girls) are great because he’s met Lois Lane.  Sure, she has her flaws (as every good character should).  But her flaws endear her to him.  He could have any woman in the multiverse.  He chooses and desires LOIS LANE.

This makes the dual identity a plethora for stories and character development for Clark.  It also catalysts the triangle for two which also gives readers insight into how this extraordinary being functions in a normal human world.  He desires a human existence because of Lois Lane (at first) and the Kents (who were written about much later).

The DC Universe would never have gotten off the ground if it wasn’t for Action Comics #1, 1938.  No Batman. No Wonder Woman.  No purchasing other comic companies with characters inspired by Superman.  No such word as superhero.

To give you an example, here is a panel from Action #1, 1938:

Loisdefendingherself

Clark has finally gotten Lois Lane to say yes to a date.  Unfortunately the mobster wants to dance with Lois.  Despite her resistance to the idea, Clark still yields (because he’s not acting as Superman).  But Lois doesn’t yield.  She defends herself.  Within this panel, we see the dual identity and the triangle for two.  Clark/Superman knows Lois Lane is the woman for him despite what he says aloud.  He’s proud of her.  Admires her Chutzpah.  Lois Lane slaps a mobster because she doesn’t take shit from anybody.  Including Superman/Clark Kent.

I can just hear it now.  But in the Silver Age . . .   Even in the Silver Age the DC Universe was founded on Clark/Lois/Superman.  The Lois Lane comic was one of it’s best sellers for years.  In the Bronze Age, they brought back Golden Age Clark and Lois as a married couple.  It was called Earth 2.  The start of the Multiverse.  Clark & Lois are just that powerful of characters – they build universes.

So when new 52 made Superman nothing but a battling alien with no real Clark Kent identity or human ‘tethers’ like Lois, we knew this universe was doomed to fail.  Reducing the mythology just to Superman was never the point or the original creation.  When there are no “human tethers” or humanity, there’s not reader connection to the character or story.

WNK4humanity

Same issue as the top panel, World of Krypton #4, 1988.  Superman has brought Lois Lane flowers and is telling her his Kryptonian family history.

This is what the Post Crisis/Pre-Flashpoint Superman is based upon.  A Superman which lasted 25 years. AND he still exists .  .  . He has been in the new 52 (mostly unbeknownst to readers or other characters) for ten years.  WHY?  Because he has a Lois.  And also, a son, Jon, who is both Human and Kryptonian.  The only way to rebuild a failed DC Universe which exiled Clark Kent and Lois Lane is to bring back what a true DC Universe is about.

In the new 52, there were no true love relationships except Animal Man and Aquaman/Mera.  The true iconic loves were as exiled as Clark and Lois.  It was a dismal universe.

In Rebirth those iconic loves are back, all except for new 52 Clark and Lois.  Currently, they’re dead.  Pre-Flashpoint Clark/Superman, Lois and Jon are up front and center.  Action Comics has been revitalized and order numbers are growing instead of plunging (something unheard of after a #1).

Would we like new 52 Superman/Clark and Lois redeemed and resurrected?  Absolutely.  There were writers who wanted to write their true story, but weren’t allowed to by DC Entertainment.

Superman fans as well as their hero believe everyone deserves a second chance.  And maybe that’s what Rebirth is all about.  Getting new 52 Clark and Lois right. Showing that this generation of writers and artists are just as capable of constructing a solid DC Universe as any creators before them.  The fundamental building block.  The dual identity.  The triangle for two.  Hope, aspiration and inspiration.  The full throttle Superman mythology.

Let’s hope Rebirth brings back hope so Superman fans can believe once again.

 

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August 23, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , . BaudyBlahBlahBlah, Lois Lane, Superman.

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