How Rebirth Failed Where DCYou Succeeded (Opinion)

I’ve bitten my tongue for far too long. I’m tired of the silence. Friends, fellows, and pals, I don’t like DC Rebirth. I don’t like where DC is right now.

And I think DCYou did it better.

Allow me to explain.

I want to make something clear. All of my opinions here come from a deep affection for the DC Universe. I love DC. Superman is my favorite fictional character. All-Star Superman and Mister Miracle are my favorite comics. That’s why I can’t bear to see it as it is.

It’s fair to say that the problem we’re in is largely a result of the New 52. Yes, the New 52 has root causes that go deeper, but I don’t feel a need to go into those. Because those problems are in the New 52. N52 was a failure, I think most can agree. It didn’t do anything new with its characters, it kept the same, tired, ultra-dark aesthetic present in the DC books of the mid-to-late naughties, and all in all, there just wasn’t anything new. The art was all just Jim Lee imitation that somehow looked worse than actual Jim Lee art, and editorial forced a singular (and very well-worn) feeling across all the titles.

Point being, it was a creatively fallow period. Yes, Snyder was doing Batman and Morrison was doing Action Comics, but, really, outside of a number of smaller titles that, unfortunately, very few people read (Demon Knights, parts of Dial H, Earth-2, etc.), N52 was just devoid of new ideas.

And it is for precisely this reason that Rebirth was not a whole lot better than New 52. And it is also for this reason that DC is failing right now.

Rebirth is the definition of that popular ‘70s band you love trying to play the hits and not realizing that they’re sixty years old and they can’t do it like they could when they were twenty. People talked about Rebirth being a “fresh start,” and while I definitely preferred the tone becoming more lighthearted and fun, almost nothing else changed. The books had the same New 52 creators, this time simply shuffled around and put on different books. Sometimes they just stayed on the same book. The stories were mostly unoriginal, just playing on what’s come before without doing anything genuinely new or interesting.

Again, like with the start of New 52, there were good books to be found, but they certainly weren’t at the forefront. I was a defender of King’s Batman for a long time (longer than I probably should have been), but looking back, the destination didn’t justify the journey. There were good arcs here and there, even towards the back half of the run (Cold Days is a personal favorite), but overall? Just kinda lackluster. Superman had a similar feeling (up until Bendis BUT WE’LL GET THERE). The first ten issues of that run? Excellent. Everything I could have wanted. I just didn’t want it more than once. Tomasi’s Superman felt like a broken record, repeating itself endlessly and never doing anything more innovative than the first deluxe hardcover’s worth of comics. Which, I would like to be clear, are some great, great Superman comics. Justice League? I don’t think I have to go into that one. It was bad. We can move on. Bryan Hitch is a good artist but not the best writer. The best Rebirth books had to be sought out. Red Hood and the Outlaws was a surprise. Both Batgirl books were entertaining. All-Star Batman was just a ton of fun. Supergirl was solid. Green Arrow was really well done. But on the whole? Net loss.

Especially as we find ourselves in the fourth year of the relaunch.

The books have gone back to moodiness. Somehow the Watchmen stuff has managed to miss even my exceedingly low expectations. Wally West is pretty much permanently ruined. Everything just feels aimless. Except for Bendis’ corner. Again, I’ll get there.

Overall? I just want a return to DCYou.

You may be asking yourself: “What? Why? Wasn’t DCYou that failed relaunch that nobody cared about?” The answer is yes, nobody did care about it. And I’m still questioning why. Because DC during DCYou? That’s what The New 52 and Rebirth should have been all along.

DCYou was great for a couple of reasons. First and foremost? It did new stuff. It seems so simple, and yet pre-DCYou, nobody seemed able (or, perhaps, willing) to do anything new. In DCYou, creators were allowed to run wild. The books had boundary-breaking art, inventive storylines that built on the established characters they followed, and most importantly: a voice. The creators felt freed from the strings that editors had tied them up with for so long. I’m thinking of Gotham Academy, a fun YA-aimed book that explored the Batman books from a genuinely new perspective. I’m thinking of Gotham by Midnight, a cool, supernatural-flavored take on the classic Gotham Central. I’m thinking of Batgirl of Burnside, a truly modern take on the character that felt contemporary in its attitude and charmingly retro in its aesthetic. I’m thinking of The Omega Men, one of the only examples of science fiction I’ve seen that genuinely pulls off the “no one’s really good or evil” thing well. I’m thinking of Gene Luen Yang’s Superman run, the most fun and original take on the Man of Steel we’d had since Morrison. I’m thinking of Superman: American Alien, a wonderful, whimsical take on the standard Superman origin. And, hell, all the good New 52 books? They just kept coming out! Greg Pak stayed on Action Comics and did a great job. Snyder kept on doing his Batman thing. The point is: DCYou is everything I could have wanted from DC in the 21st century.

And no one bought it, so editorial shuttered it.

Okay. I get it. Economics and art are frequently at odds and nowhere is that more abundantly clear than comics. I’m just saying that what DC did for that magic year-and-a-half or so should have stuck around, and the fact that it didn’t just bugs me to my core. Maybe that’s why I don’t like Rebirth. It rebooted a reboot I liked. And DC is still just kind of meandering through its publishing schedule.

Maybe that’s why I love the Bendis-run corner of the current DCU. All of the books that he’s overseeing (whether it be the Wonder Comics imprint, the Superman corner, or the Legion) feel the most like DCYou. All of them feel like they’re actually trying to break new ground. Both of the Superman books, Event Leviathan, Jimmy Olsen/Lois Lane, the recently-finished Wonder Twins, I can go on. I say we should give him the keys to the kingdom. After all, that’s the part that seems to be working best.

Love to all,
-Batwing52

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I began reading comics in the mid 70’s, and quickly fell in love with all things D.C. (got love for some !arvel as well-and Dark Horse, but always DC first and foremost). I thought New 52 was a breath of fresh air. Younger Supes hooking up with Wonder Woman, Earth-2’s willingness to cross boundaries and be creative, the last time Justice League was worth reading. The problem is that fans don’t want everyone and everything they know about the DC universe to be wiped out. We need to let the heros age and die, let the mantle be passed onto a new generation.

They can keep the old guard the same way the JSA was kept around, but over time they would fade and the new generation of readers would have their own heros and their own mythos.

It is what keeps Dr Who on television, what sports fans can argue over who was the best-what generation. Change is natural, and necessity being the Mother of Invention, adaptations for each generation will be made and will help keep the characters fresh and relevant to a new age of readers.

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While I think there were definitely people who were afraid of everything they knew being blotted out, I genuinely wanted a fresh start. I don’t know if I expressed this clearly enough in my original post, but one of my biggest problems with the New 52 was that it simply didn’t go far enough. All the heroes were somehow younger, but (likely in an attempt not to lose trade sales) DC editorial kept all of the heroes’ most famous stories intact, which makes no sense to a longtime reader and even less sense to a newcomer.

I mean, I said in the OP that all I wanted from a reboot was change. Again, that’s why DCYou worked so well. It was DC Comics changing for the 21st century, while N52 felt kind of like a return to the mid-‘90s; immediately outdated.

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I disagree that rebirth wasn’t full of new content. Some of the new ideas:

  • New Super-man (The hiden gem of rebirth)
  • Mera being queen and the creation of tons of new Ocean Mythology in Aquaman (Kelly Sue DeConnick)
  • The Dark Multiverse and Dark Knights Metal
  • Batman who Laughs
  • Super Sons (Arguably the biggest new team of the decade)
  • Green Lanterns (Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz)
  • Tim Drake’s quest for perfection
  • The Oz Effect/Lonely Place of Living
  • The Button Story
  • You may dislike how they treated Wally, but his story in Titans Vol. 1 and Flash #750 were Excellent.
  • Snyder’s Justice League-- New Lex Luthor Origin, Drowned Earth, Ultraviolet Lantern Corps
  • The Justice League of America Series was fun
  • The Handling of Zod across three different titles was excellent.

I could keep going on (note I’m excluding the things you mentioned were really good), but I think Rebirth started out really strong and organized. I would like to note, most of my choices were Year 1 and 2 titles. I am with you, DC needs to let the old characters slowly be less important and be unafraid to do new things (look at how Marvel has re-energized the X-Men), but I also think Bendis is not the answer.

I’m sure you’ve heard this countless times, but Bendis in my opinion doesn’t understand what people liked about Tomasi’s Run. Tomasi’s run was always an exploration of who superman is and how being a father changes that. At his core, Superman is a warm kind individual who cares deeply about his family and friends and comes from a small town. As he raises Jon, you see Clark more than you see Superman and ultimately it is a sweet, telling story. With Jurgens, while you see more Superman, Clark is very much present. With Bendis, I’ve lost the Clark aspects. Clark and Lois sleep apart from each other now. Jon has become irrelevant and been changed so dramatically and given so little room to even exist. The Clark identity reveal was good, but everything around it has SUCKED. Supergirl has become unimportant in the line. The leviathan story fell apart and has proven uninteresting. Naomi has been somewhat forgotten (where is Naomi 2?) and Young Justice has failed to be anything more than a kids comic, and I could keep going on. Bendis never understood who Clark is and because he can’t figure out how to write Clark, he’s removed the element altogether. The United Nations stuff has been super messy. Mongol is not interesting. He’s introduced way to many ideas in the 20 issues of Superman and Action Comics and given then zero time to be fleshed out and more. (Jimmy and Lois stories/Wonder Twins/Dial H for Hero aren’t written by Bendis.

Now maybe you see something in Bendis that I don’t. Maybe you didn’t like or read enough of rebirth to understand just how many good comics there were at launch. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on 5G though and WANT to be clear, you are allowed to like whatever you like.

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I haven’t finished reading your comment, but I’d like to bring up New Super-Man from your initial list.

I just want to say: New Super-Man is amazing. It’s just that I wanted to bring up his DCYou Superman run and felt that touching on the same creator’s work on (ostensibly) the same character made for a weaker argument.

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I think you bring up some good points, but, I do still disagree on some key aspects. Also? Don’t worry.

I’ll talk about 5G.

I want to talk about your list of good (or, at least, enjoyable in your opinion) Rebirth stuff. Yes, New Super-Man is excellent as I said in the post above, but (IMO) the Dark Multiverse and The Batman Who Laughs are uninteresting at best and downright unoriginal and uninspired at worst. The only stuff I enjoyed that’s been done with them have been written by their creator, Scott Snyder. (I’m thinking primarily of the seven issue series BWL was in and Metal) But all the stuff with the Dark Multiverse in Flash? Boring. The first arc of Batman/Superman? Beautifully drawn, but painful to read.

Also, I didn’t enjoy any of the Rebirth Justice League titles that I read, JLA included (which is a shame, because I generally like Steve Orlando; I think I even mentioned Supergirl in my OP). And other team books? I didn’t like Titans. I know that’s an unpopular opinion, but I really would have liked if Wally West II just was Wally West and old Wally was left in the past. And that’s coming from someone who loved Mark Waid’s Flash run. I just feel like everything Wally post-Rebirth is just DC getting too mired in its past to be able to try and carve a new path for itself. I like Wally a hell of a lot, but sometimes it’s okay to leave things we love behind. And Brett Booth’s art was… well, very Booth-y. But Teen Titans, Suicide Squad, and most of the other super-teams just kind of floundered. The only one I really liked was Detective Comics. That run was actually pretty fun.

Which brings me to A Lonely Place of Living, which brings me to The Oz Effect.

Jor-El got the short end of the stick. I like ALPoL as a Tim story, but not as a JE story. It’s my least favorite part of that (pretty great overall) run. But The Oz Effect? No. Just… no. I’m going to admit, I didn’t really read Jurgens’ Action Comics. It’s one of my major Rebirth blind spots. I felt like it would just feel like a ‘90s-esque take on a Superman that I had grown to love over those first Tomasi issues (which, again, I loved at first, but they got stale, particularly Jon; I’ll come back to that). I read the first five or six issues (however long the first arc was, I can’t remember), and it just wasn’t that interesting to me. I read The Oz Effect through a ComiXology sale later on, and I just really wasn’t interested. Which gets me to Jon.

I really liked Jonathan Kent. Emphasis on liked. I liked the idea of Superman having a son. I liked Superman having to be a father. All of that stuff was done well. Even now, I still have that first Rebirth Superman collection in print. But I don’t think the rest of that run did that first bit justice. The multiverse story just felt like a weird Spider-Verse riff, the road trip across America was downright offensive at times, and all the while, I tried to convince myself that I liked Jon.

I gotta admit it: I don’t anymore. He became less of a character, instead becoming an emotion-triggering device for Superman. Yes, he had a personality, but it wasn’t one that I felt got significant development. So, Bendis’ take on the character? I welcomed it; gave it a chance. And I’m not going to say it’s flawless, but I think there’s more merit to it than a lot of people give it.

By the end of Rebirth Superman’s run, I was done with Jon. I just wanted a new thing with him. I didn’t want him to become the next Damian Wayne. Then Man of Steel came out. And, even now, I still like that comic, but I’ll say: the Jon stuff wasn’t great. The idea of him going off and “tutoring” with Jor-El was kind of intriguing, even if the eventual pay off was lackluster, at best. But, now we got Legion of Superheroes. And I love Jon in the Legion.

Bendis’ Legionnaires are fun, modern, and change just enough while keeping the spirit of the old team alive and well. Jon in Legion? Fun, cool, interesting, and, most importantly, would not have worked with Jon as a kid. He understands space travel and he’s seen some s**t, and he’s been trained: he’s ready for the big time. But, also, he’s a teenager: he’s not too old to be “over it”.

That said, I’m not sure how I feel about the whole one, true Superman thing from the most recent Legion issue, but that goes more into my feelings on 5G.

As for Clark, I think Bendis’ Clark is the most Clarkiest Clark we’ve seen since Clark first Clarked. Hyperbole, of course, but I do really like Bendis’ Clark. From getting excited about being captured in Leviathan Rising to all the stuff at the Daily Planet in Man of Steel to the current identity reveal, I think BMB has proved time and time again that he knows how to write Superman well. Mostly because he doesn’t write him like a Bendis character. He writes Lois like a Bendis character, because Lois, for all intents and purposes, is pretty much a Bendis character. But he knows not to write Superman like that. And it shows in every interaction that the two have. They’re flirty and fun together in a way that emphasizes the characters’ differences. I don’t want to get too specific, as this post is already super long, but I’m thinking of stuff like Action Comics 1010 and the Event Leviathan miniseries. Point being, no, he isn’t the quite father archetype he was with Tomasi, and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, but I could see big fans of that run being turned off.

I think I’ve touched on all your major points. Let me know if I haven’t. But, now, as promised, on to 5G.

I’m not excited for 5G in the least. Do I want DC to try new stuff and be okay with taking risks? Yes. It’s basically all I want. But everything that I’ve seen of 5G so far just terrifies me. From Wally as new Doctor Manhattan to Jon replacing Clark as Superman to the ending of Doomsday Clock, I just don’t want anything to do with 5G. But, that’s because I know it’s going to interrupt the Bendis corner.

I think I mentioned this in the OP, but I am aware that Wonder Twins, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen aren’t written by Bendis. That said, those books wouldn’t have existed if it weren’t for him. LL and JO are spin-offs of Event Leviathan, and fall under the Superman corner that Bendis oversees. Wonder Comics is a whole imprint that Bendis commissioned. I’m not saying Bendis needs to write everything. His time at Marvel is proof enough that if you stretch him too thin, the books start to suffer. What I’m advocating for is a higher-up position in editorial. Maybe give him Jim Lee’s (I’m sorry if it seems like I have something personal against Lee; I don’t, I’m just not a fan of his art or the direction of DC under his supervision) chair. That kind of thing.

I just don’t want another New 52.

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The idea of Bendis getting Jim Lee/Didio like powers is terrifying to me. I don’t even want to think about it… I get what you are saying about Bendis, but I feel like the many people who like the entire Tomasi’s Superman loathe Bendis because Bendis changed/removed/and ignored many of the wonderful thinks about Tomasi. Tomasi’s run is a series I’ve read roughly 5 times from #1-24. My only complaint is the Veterans Day arc which felt like Tomasi was writing a children’s textbook. Otherwise I really liked his run. I have a podcast to prep for so that is all I’m going to say.

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Bendis is a destructive writer. He doesn’t build from existing continuity or characters. He does the bare minimum to clean house on a title, and then he builds his own ideas. Creative? Yes, I think so. Team player? Not that I’ve ever noticed.

I can’t say I enjoy his writing, but that’s more of a personal opinion. His dialogue sounds like a middle-schooler wrote it.

Overall, I think I might end up enjoying his stories. But he simply doesn’t transition from previous storylines. And Jon is a great example. I can hear the brain-storming sessions. “We need to reintroduce the LoSH. And Superboy was a great leader and selling point, back in the day. But Clark is too established, and Jon’s too young. Ah, we’ll just agree him up. Drop the current storyline, drop all family dynamics (which affects every character), no problems!”

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Warning: Maybe a little touchy and rant heavy

This is how I see it, it failed because the new writers did not understand there characters and kept jerking the wheel to the point where they were unreconisable.

I will stick with whatever happens, I am a loyal DC fan, but the second that our character acts different or is forced to change because of this is how the writer wants it without natural progression, then I have a problem. There has to be a natural progression to these characters. I’m ok with Superman having a kid, because I see a story oppertunity and they were correcting there mistake with a even more interesting story that progressed the character. However, The minute you introduce a character in the middle of a story arc, and they are surpost to be a better or “the true version of a hero”, with no character, no traits, and only appeases to people on the internet because they are diverse or gay bothers me. There need to be CHARACTER to new characters. if they are as bland as a pancake, then the book will go down and you can only blame yourself.

I don’t know if you guy’s know, but Marvel recently created a new duo called Snowflake and Safespace apart of the new New Warriors series, and I don’t like the way that it’s looking, and it worries me that DC may be going the same direction Marvel did a few years ago. There are good writers that were at Marvel who now work at DC like Matt Fraction, and I think he is doing a fantastic job. Same with Tom King, Even though I hate his Batman run, But writers like Zoe Quinn, who has done only one comic that I know of and is somehow still employed, brue this garbage and Force it down fans throats. If people don’t like it and critisize it, then they just say that they are terrible people.

DC needs to understand there characters and not just suddenly jerk the wheel and say “look how progressive we are” They need to have a sense naturalness to them. Also, let these characters be, Chuck Dixon wrote most of the Batfamily and was clearly having a good time with it, he loved these characters. Please DC just let these characters be, let them grow in a natural way and create stories that are good witout forcing things down our throats. I don’t care if things change, just don’t force it, because we will not swallow it.

I think this is the best awnser I can give, please critic it if I missed the point.

Also thanks @Batwing52 for bring this up. I appreachiate in knowing someone cares alot like I do about DC right now

So I don’t really have much to say about this, but I’m not even sure we’re really “in” Rebirth right now. I feel like once Geoff Johns lost his all-powerful CCO role, Rebirth kind of just fell apart. Whether you like what Johns (and as a result, the entirety of the DC Universe was going for, it’s hard to debate the fact that it was far more cohesive and organized at that point. Then he left, the banner was taken off the top of all the books and suddenly things started getting a little wonky. Johns was still doing his stuff in Doomsday Clock, Snyder was doing what he wanted to do, King had his Sanctuary idea that was then kind of hijacked by editorial (mainly Didio, although most of this stuff is just rumors/speculation), and Bendis came in to do his own thing, just like he always does. I feel like a lot of Rebirth’s failures are from this new nameless era.

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I…agree with you here. On basically all points. While Rebirth did things I appreciate (bringing back the original Tim Drake, for instance) it is, overall, fairly meaningless. It’s relying on nostalgia for an era that DC destroyed but isn’t willing to fully bring back, and characters and books suffered for it. Also, the lack of genuine themes and stories that are more than just surface level was a huge problem across the board (see: Tomasi’s Superman. Yes Jon is cute, but this was done better, and more meaningfully, in Last Son. It’s a story with more punch to it, and Chris as a sweet kid is more compelling as Jon as a sweet kid, because he has complexities beyond that. And don’t get me wrong, I liked Jon, but he suffered a lot from just being reduced to ‘the cute kid.’ Heck, they had to put him with Damian to really get people to care about him, and even then that was a very unbalanced team up. All in all, as a kid, Jon was rather one-note and forgettable. Sweet and cute, yes, but Jon was a more boring repeat of a more interesting character that had been done much better than him. Jon only mattered in the context of other characters- he couldn’t stand on his own, and I think there are a lot of issues with that, and why I think aging him up but still keeping those previously mentioned characteristics was a good move. Sweet kids are super common, but sweet teenage boys are rarely seen in media, making Jon rather unique)

Now, onto your other points. I definitely agree with you on Bendis (Although whether I would want him in charge of DC is a different discussion, and one I don’t really have an opinion on) his Wonder Comics are basically safeguarding some of my favorite characters, and I couldn’t be happier. (Sidenote: I know people like to laud ‘tec as a good run for Tim Drake, but respectfully, I must disagree. The only good thing that run did for him and his development was bringing back his origin story. Everything else was either derivative, boiled him down to just his intelligence, or had a whole host of other issues that I don’t feel like getting into here.) But also, Wonder Comics* tone is completely unlike the rest of DC, and I couldn’t be happier for it. It’s happy, and fun, has genuine character defining moments with actual punch behind them, (check out Conners conversation with Warlord and Cassie’s conversation with Zeus for some good examples**) and it’s actually appealing to me. A teenager. You know, the target demographic- which is something Teen Titans is totally failing*** with right now, something else that I believe is indicative of the problems with rebirth that you illustrated above (edgy, repetitive, the same authors over and over). But all in all, Bendis’ work is good, and I think a lot of that comes from the fact that it is deeper- it evokes emotion and has underlying themes, and it manages to do it without killing off characters or having unnecessary amounts of man pain (yes that was a jab at Kings Batman). That’s stuff missing from DC right now, because although writers can plot, they seem incapable of, well, innovating and thinking deeper, as you stated in your original post (again, Tomasi’s Superman, etc, etc)
And yeah, Bendis does have his issues as a writer, but I find that more and more, people hold aging up Jon against him instead of actually looking at the quality of his work- or, when they do, fail to criticize his work in a meaningful fashion. (And yes, there are things to criticize)

I feel like I repeated myself a lot here, but you get my point. There are simply issues with creativity and invoking genuine themes across the board, and it affects the quality of the books. (I would add Aquaman to your list of good titles though- it’s pretty solid and has quite a few underlying messages that are rather interesting)

*It’s also consistently good- I know current YJ is controversial, but it’s actually pretty good- some characters are themselves after a good ten years, and while progression has been slow, it’s been there and steady, not to mention several rather hard-hitting moments that have already occurred

**Naomi is also good for this- it’s gotten criticized for having too slow of a lead up, but that’s missing the point of Naomi. It’s introducing a whole new world, and it’s a mystery- of course it’s going to be a bit slower. (Also, people need to stop expecting every book to cater to them and their interests- sometimes you just need to step back and accept that a book about a teenage girl might not be for you, a 50 year old man (and vice-versa) but again, that’s a different discussion)

***I could go into a full on rant about all the problems I have with DC’s handling of their teenage characters for the past ten years, but because I have some restraint, just let it be known that the n52 and Rebirth did not mix well with them.

(Okay I may have hyperfocused a bit much on certain points here, but I think I got what I was saying across, so I’m going to stop editing this)

(Okay I have issues with Batgirl of Burnside, but that has more to do with my issues with the character regression of Babs than anything)

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I wouldn’t say New 52 was a failure. It brought expired readers back into the fold, told some innovative stories with existing characters, with a twist, told a more cohesive universe story, and brought in some great talent. Of course the built up steam didn’t last, but that is just comics. To fix comics, the companies need to find a way to fix the big barrier for entry… price and accessibility.

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I want to highlight something from your post:

I couldn’t have put it better myself. This is pretty much all of my problems with current DC in a nutshell. Also, I agree with you on the other stuff.

(Again, except for Batgirl of Burnside, but that’s a debate for another day.)

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I agree that DCYou did allow the creators to focus on creating and trying new stuff, and I think a lot of the failure comes from a lot of readers having left DC due to the New 52 at the time, and DCYou seemed like another attempt at changing things for the sake of changing things, which is what caused a lot of the complaints about the New 52 in the first place. Also the fact that while DCYou was advertised in the books it didn’t really carry over into the actual marketing all that much. You didn’t get a DCYou banner or whatever on the covers, like with the New 52 and later Rebirth, making it seem like an afterthought.

And unlike those other initiatives the books just carried on the numbering from before Convergence, making it less obvious to the readers that this was a new era.

Finally, it seems that the basic idea of DCYou had already started. For instance, the two books you mention in the part I quited actually began before DCYou. Gotham Academy was up to issue 6 by the time of Convergence and Gotham by Midnight up to issue 5, so they weren’t really DCYou titles and both carried the New 52! logo on the first issues. Likewise the critically acclaimed Grayson which I’d put in the same category of books trying something new and actually having a strong voice also began prior to DCYou.

The first month of DCYou saw the debut of All-Star Section Eight, Bat-Mite, Bizarro, Black Canary, Constantine: The Hellblazer, Doomed, Earth 2: Society, Green Lantern: Lost Army, Harley Quinn and Power Girl, Justice League 3001, Justice League of America, Martian Manhunter, Midnighter, Omega Men, Prez, Red Hood/Arsenal, Robin: Son of Batman, Starfire, and We Are Robin.

Some of those definitely fit the idea of DCYou but others were just spin-offs of what came before. Some of the ongoings did a better job of taking things to a new or different level as well, with varying success.

Personally I think that DC at the time were doing a lot of things right, but the way they went about marketing it wasn’t very good and instead of bringing back readers they ended up putting out too many new books at the same time without putting the proper support behind them.

I’m not sure I personally agree that it succeeded where Rebirth failed as I don’t agree that DCYou was really what set these initiatives in motion. They were already well underway in transforming the New 52 into something with more depth and more unique voices. And as for Rebirth I think it mostly did what it set out to do. To course correct some of the mistakes made by the New 52 without totally alienating the New 52 readers. Was it pretty? No, not always and there were definitely missteps and titles that were just as bad as what came before, but it did set a new direction for the DC Universe that was much needed.

Unfortunately, when Geoff Johns was no longer spearheading it, we started seeing some of the groundwork falling apart.

So while I agree that we did see some right moves with DCYou, and we probably could have done with more of that type of thinking in both the New 52 and Rebirth, I also think that we’ve seen similar stuff both during the New 52 and Rebirth. To be honest, while there were things and changes I absolutely hated about the New 52 we did get some great books even at the beginning that DID try out new stuff or try to shake things up.

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I didn’t get a chance to dive into the actual posts here yet, but I honestly don’t even know what DCYou is.

I am an extremely regular comic book buyer, getting comics every Wednesday (it used to be Fridays) at local comic shops, so I was definitely around during whatever time this happened and bought plenty of comics before and after the DCYou thing apparently happened. Generally speaking, I try to ignore big line-wide sales promotions as much as possible, having learned not to take them too seriously.

The change to DCYou, from my perspective, was so minimal that I didn’t even remember it happening.

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I too don’t know what DCYou is either

I missed the end of new 52 and the start of Rebirth no longer being able to get to a comic book.store but not yet doing digital

Between 52 and rebirth there was Convergence and then DCYou? And it might have something to do with DC moving to the west coast and needing to still publish something?

If DCYou was an issue or two and it didn’t have to folow comtinuity , that is a lot easier than producing a title twice a month

There is very little now that I like in.curtent DC but early rebirth gave me great hope

Wonder Woman Year One
Detective
Superman
Green Lanterns
Flintstones
New Superman
Red Hood and the Outlaws

Then these titles ended or were cancelled or the writer ,left or the mai .plot changed in a bad way.

Now only

Hawkman
Justice League Dark

Remain

And Hawkman got caught in a recent Batman who Laughs event and Tynion is leaving Dark

Leaving

Justice League Odyssey who just recently became good

And Batman under Tynion.

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I could type a ton, but I won’t. I’ll just say I dislike New 52 so much that I quit reading DC by around Christmas 2011. Even in Rebirth am very selective. I also like older characters the older I get. Oliver Queen being in his late 40’s was appealing to me. All the pubescent heroes weren’t for me. I’m happier now just because post crisis Superman is back. I prefer the characters as they were from 86-2011.

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See, I never read any DCYou because I’m very picky with what I spend money on and I’m only interested in certain characters that weren’t featured in DCYou. Same with this Wonder Comics imprint. And I think that’s part of the problem, all these different imprints are confusing and just feel unnecessary. Like why does there need to be a new imprint to say “hey, we’re trying new things”? All writers and books should try new things as long as they keep the characters intact.

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I think @A1waysAJ is on point. As a writer, you should try something new. But keep the characters intact. If you want something dramatic (like baby Arthur Curry Jr being killed), make sure the characters react in a way that makes sense. And don’t do something for the shock value (like Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend being killed).

Having Lois and Clark act unconcerned that their young son was being taken billions of miles away with a known villian is crazy. It doesn’t make sense. It makes readers upset.

Btw:


https://comicbookreadingorders.com/dc/events/dc-you-reading-order/

Personally, I was so turned off by New 52, I completely skipped DCYou.

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Same here, which is probably why I don’t remember anything distinct about it. I was reminded (thanks to a YouTube video I recently watched), that it was supposed to be “about characters rather than continuity”, which doesn’t sound bad at first, but nor did it entice, since they’d gone to such lengths to thoroughly screw up certain characters. [angrily shakes fist at Tynion]
As for Rebirth, I dropped the two Bat-titles I was getting beforehand and got Action simply because Jurgens did such a good job with “Lois and Clark”. That felt like Superman. When they explained his revised history that mostly ignored the New52, I was hoping to hear of similar, if not more sweeping fixes in the same vein with certain other characters in Detective–but it didn’t happen. [angrily shakes fist at Tynion]

As it is, I’m not exactly thrilled with Bendis on Action Comics. I liked his Ultimate Spider-Man, but it feels like he’s meandering, making issues drag out so stories are longer than they need to be. His dialogue doesn’t have a very natural feel, more like he’s stalling. Because I’m a completist, I’ll probably wait until the story arc is done, at least, but I may drop it from my pull list, which will mean no more DC titles at all.

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