Seriously, what did the New 52 that rebooted the continuity of the DC universe really bring us? (Yes DC, rebooted, not relaunched!)
- The Teen Titans were cooler pre-New 52.
- The chronology for the Bat-Family in the New 52 makes no sense and has been altered for the worst. (Jason Todd blaming Bruce for ‘letting the Joker kill him’ when in the previous continuity he actually didn’t blame him for that but rather for not having killed the Joker after. The fact that there are too many Robins for a five-year span. Even if you consider that Batman has been around a bit longer, then you’d have to make Batman older than the other heroes. And while I’m fine with an older Batman [I even prefer Batman to be in his thirties], I’m less fine with the idea that Superman is younger than him. Either way…)
- The heroes are acting like they used to anyway for the most part. There was no point. Batman or Superman don’t act like they’re in their early to mid twenties anyway, nor do the writers write them as such. Except for Nightwing/Dick Grayson, who is acting and looking much older than he should be now. Might as well have kept guys like Batman, Superman, Hal Jordan and others of that generation in their early to mid-thirties! (I’m just happy they messed with Batman very minimally)
- The Flash lost just about ALL of his extended cast!
- Barbara Gordon was so much better as Oracle. And just to clarify, it’s not about the wheelchair. I just thought she was more useful to the DC universe as Oracle, and different from all the other heroes out there.
- The integration of the Wildstorm characters wasn’t a bad thing, I think Stormwatch is a cool addition to the DCU. That’s one thing.
- A lot of the good stuff that happened in the New 52 happened despite it, not thanks to it. Scott Snyder was already doing a great job with Batman in ‘Detective Comics’. ‘Swamp Thing’, ‘Animal Man’, ‘Demon Knights’, etc… They could all have gotten made in the old continuity with very few changes, if any. (And if some changes needed to be made, there’s always the soft retcon that happens more discreetly rather than re-starting everything, like they did with Superman in the past few years before Flashpoint) I think the only series where I can see a full retcon was needed for the current approach was ‘Aquaman’. That’s the one place where I’d agree, because previously he was respected in the DC universe and to have him become laughing stock out of nowhere would have been odd.
- Superman. He lost his wife and red undies and gained a hard to pinpoint characterization. At least I used to know who he was… In fact, I still know who he is. He’s Superman. This retcon shall pass… Not in the sense that they’ll officially undo it, but a few years from now writers will make him more and more like he used to be.
My final opinion? If they wanted to restart all their series with new creative teams, they didn’t need such a drastic rework of their continuity to do it. I honestly cannot think of any changes I’ve liked other than for Aquaman and Stormwatch, which do not make up for all the good that was lost.