The New 52

October 3rd, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on The New 52
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This month DC, one of the big two comic companies in the US, have released The New 52. This is a relaunch of 52 titles, now all beginning with a new issue #1. DC’s senior Vice-President has called this “an epic and ambitious initiative that ushers in a new generation of comics.” This means well-known characters have been redesigned, many with new costumes and backstories inevitably leading to mixed reactions from fans.

The New 52 has given the company a chance to encourage new readers who may have been previously daunted by the complex backstories of the DC multiverse.

One of the most interesting debates the launch has sparked on the Internet is how DC may have wasted this opportunity to gain a greater female readership. They have reduced the number of titles with female leads and the new version of Batgirl has resulted in nullifying one of DC’s only disabled characters.

Hopes that DC would make more female-friendly titles have been largely disappointed. The new Catwoman and Red Hood and the Outlaws that has not only failed to interest female readers, but has actively offended many. Complaints have been that characters with great potential have been made into two-dimensional eye-candy. The changes made to the character of Starfire may be one of the worst decisions. The most popular incarnation of the character was in the children’s TV series Teen Titans but rather than taking advantage of its popularity, DC has done more to alienate fans of the show. Michele Lee’s blog did a particularly good job of demonstrating how poor a decision the character change was by interviewing her own 7-year-old daughter, a huge fan of the character.

Now that DC have hired Nielsen to survey readers for the first time, perhaps they will learn from their mistakes but considering how female comic fans have been pushing for better representation within the comic industry, they should not have those mistakes in the first place.

~ Anna Keville