10 Reasons Why The New 52 Did Not Work

DC's sprawling and flawed reboot unfortunately did not meet its lofty ambitions.

New 52 Textless
DC Comics

DC Comics is known for many things, chief among them its propensity to reboot once the brand's ongoing continuity becomes too complicated for fans both old and new to keep up with. The Post-Crisis and Rebirth eras are the most well-known reboots in the 21st century, and its these incarnations of various characters that are the most popular and most frequently adapted in non-comics media.

Enter, the New 52. Poised to replace the Post-Crisis (or Post-Infinite Crisis depending on who you ask) continuity, the companywide revamp was designed to streamline the DC Universe and retool it for the modern era. On paper, this sounded like a solid idea, but as the project dragged on, it was clear that it was doomed to fail.

To be fair, there were a few redeeming qualities about this endeavour. Ideas such as the Court of Owls, and giving Batgirl more agency, were indicative that the New 52 was not a complete failure. Unfortunately, the bad far outweighed the good, and its failings necessitated the Rebirth continuity do-over.

From iffy characterization and visual designs, to lacklustre crossover events and a rushed timeline, the New 52 should serve as a cautionary tale for comic book companies looking to try something new.

10. Strange And Unnecessary Character Redesigns

New 52 Textless
DC Comics

DC's heroes have striking costume designs that have endured over the last six to eight decades, and for good reason. From their use of primary colours, to simple yet creative visual cues, the outfits belonging to the likes of the Flash and Batman are etched deep within the psyches of many comics fans.

However, the 2011 revamp did not adhere to the "less is more" approach with its characters, and instead opted for costumes with complicated designs that oddly enough preceded the MCU's own strange aesthetic choices regarding its costumes.

Superman's seminal red and blue suit retained its colours, but went for an armoured approach that baffled many fans. Why would a character as durable as Kal-El need armour? Worse still, the "emo teen" appearance that Lobo sported for much of the New 52, completely missed the point of his appeal since his inception.

Other characters such as Barry Allen, Harley Quinn and Hawkman also sported poorly received designs as well, proving that some elements in DC do not require massive overhauls.


David Ng'ethe hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.