Tuesday, December 23, 2014

New 52 Cancellations in March 2015—Is this the end of the New 52?

By: Nicole D'Andria

DC has been making a lot of waves since their event, Convergence, was announced. This event will bring DC comic book characters from the 90s, New 52 and pre-New 52 together (if you’re interested in learning more about Convergence, check out Jay’s coverage). Many fans, like myself, thought this event may mark a return to the pre-New 52 Universe and possibly end the New 52. While I would be okay with the New 52 continuing (but the pre-New 52 taking prominence) it looks like the New 52 may be ending.

DC Comics recently released their solicitations for March 2015 right before Convergence starts. Seventeen New 52 titles will be cancelled. Many of these books were not selling well, or members of their creative team were jumping ship to Marvel. Still, you may be surprised by some of the titles on the chopping block.

March 4th, 2015 Final Issues

Aquaman and the Others #11

Aquaman and the Others will be ending with issue 11. This series spun-out of the Aquaman series which introduced Aquaman’s former team, the “Others.” The final issue will feature the final battle between Aquaman and the Others and the group Mayhem. KGBeast and Cheshire are planning on destroying the world if that’s what it takes to bring down Aquaman and his team. The story will be written by Dan Jurgens (Justice League International) with art by Lan Medina (Cable/Deadpool) and Allen Martinez (Spawn).

Another series I’m sorry to see go is Swamp Thing which will be ending with issue 40. Penned by Charles Soule and illustrated by Jesus Saiz (Manhunter), this final issue is actually the most secretive of any series on this list—I couldn’t find any information about it except that it has a special sideways format cover. I reviewed some of this series before Charles Soule took over the title from Scott Snyder (Batman). I’ve actually been enjoying his run more, despite a couple missteps (that could easily be corrected with some universe tampering). It is possible the series is ending because Soule has signed an exclusive deal with Marvel, just as another writer has on this list... Marvel seems to be swooping in and taking a couple of DC’s finest.

March 11th, 2015 Final Issues

Klarion #6

I’m also sad to see a relatively new series, Klarion, will be coming to an end with issue 6. The final tale will be written by Ann Nocenti (Daredevil) and drawn by Trevor McCarthy (Nightwing). In this issue, the witch boy Klarion has reached a point of possibly no return—will he become a villain or remain a hero? 

Another young series that is reaching its end is Arkham Manor #6. The series is probably ending so soon because the writer, Gerry Duggan (Deadpool), has been signed exclusively to Marvel. It’s unfortunate that fans don’t get to see the series to continue with a different writer, especially since the series has been getting rave reviews. The series was drawn by Shawn Crystal (Deadpool) who will also be illustrating the finale. The series was about the destruction of Arkham Asylum which leads to Arkham inmates being transferred to… Wayne Manor? Yeah, I’m sure that will end well.

World's Finest #32

World’s Finest, which featured characters like Power Girl and Huntress (actually Supergirl and Robin from another universe), will be ending with issue 32. The series finale will be written by Paul Levitz (Legion of Super-Heroes) and illustrated by Jed Dougherty (Satellite Sam). This is the end of a secret history—witness the death of Lois Lane and the beginning of an invasion.

Another big name regular series coming to an end is Green Lantern Corps via issue 40. John Stewart must face his greatest failure, the destruction of Xanshi, head on. This is an extra-size issue. It will be written by Van Jensen (The Flash, Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer) and drawn by Bernard Chang (Demon Knights, Turok). There will also be a movie poster variant cover by Tony Harris.

March 18th, 2015 Final Issues

Trinity of Sin #6

Trinity of Sin #6 will mark the end of that short-lived series. In this final issue, the Trinity (Pandora, Phantom Stranger and The Question) must save Earth from Nimraa’s living hell which may destroy them. The story will be written by J.M. DeMatteis (Justice League Dark) with artwork by Yvel Guichet (Stormwatch) and Jason Gorder (Witchblade).

I forgot Infinity Man and the Forever People existed and now it’s ending with #9. In this final issue, Big Bear learns the secret origins of The Infinity Man. Highfather made a decision that impacted the New Gods and created The Infinity Man—which is apparently not a spoiler since it says it in the description of the issue. This will be penned by Dan Didio (Action Comics, Batman) with art and cover by Keith Giffen (Legion of Super-Heroes) and Scott Koblish (Deadpool).

Batwoman #40

One series that I know has a lot of fans and will be ending with issue 40 is Batwoman which made headlines when Batwoman proposed to her girlfriend Maggie. The final issue will be written by Marc Andreyko (Manhunter, Chastity) and drawn by Georges Jeanty (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8). The series follows Batwoman and her “anti-team” The Unknowns and what is next in her civilian life.

Another Green Lantern series bites the dust this week as Green Lantern: New Guardians ends with issue 40. Kyle Raynor must accept his fate as a White Lantern and discover his purpose—even if it requires him to die in the process. The final issue is written by Justin Jordan (Superboy, Deathstroke) with art and cover work done by Diogenes Neves (Demon Knights, New Mutants) and Marc Deering (Smallville Season 11). Just like the other Green Lantern series, this issue will be extra sized.

March 25th, 2015 Final Issues

Secret Origins #11
Secret Origins #11 will be the final issue of the series. It features the secret history of the New 52. In these final three tales: fans will learn the secret origins of Black Canary written by Christy Marx (Birds of Prey) and drawn by Dave Bullock (Teen Titans GO!); Red Lantern Guy Gardner penned by Landry Q. Walker (Danger Club) and with illustration by Scott Hepburn (Orchid, Sentinel); and John Constantine, with writer Ray Fawkes (Batman Eternal) and artist Richard Isanove (Ultimate Spider-Man) at the helm. 

Unsurprisingly, Star-Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie is also on the chopping block and will end with issue 8. War-related series never seem to go over well, especially in the DC Universe which has previously lost Blackhawks, Men of War and G.I. Combat. This issue, written by Justin Gray (All-Star Western) and Jimmy Palmiotti (All-Star Western) and drawn by Scott Hampton (Simon Dark), features G.I. Zombie attempting to save the world from the oncoming zombie apocalypse.

The Red Lanterns series comes to a close with issue 40. Guy Gardner finally starts to understand the meaning of being a Red Lantern for Earth, but will his rage change him or can he become the hero he once was? Writer Landry Q. Walker and artist J. Calafiore (Exiles, Secret Six) are the creative team on this issue.

April 1st, 2015 Final Issues

The New 52: Futures End #48

The New 52: Futures End #48 marks the end of the weekly series. The final issue has plenty of writers for your buck and includes Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets, Batman), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen. The artwork will be handled by Patrick Zircher (Cable & Deadpool). Brainiac’s plan is about to succeed. This is the lead-in issue to Convergence and its events will affect the Multiverse. To keep this crypt, DC put as their description of the series, “EYE AM YOUR FUTURE!”

Batman Eternal will be ending with issue 52. It is one weekly series I am going to miss as it did shake up the Bat Universe. In the final issue we’ll see Gotham city in flames, villains free in the streets and Batman’s technology on the fritz! Oh, and Batman has been stabbed. I guess it couldn’t get any worse… right? This finale is penned by a handful of writers including Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV (Batman), Ray Fawkes, Kyle Higgins (Nightwing, Deathstroke) and Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash).

The last series to end is Earth 2: World’s End via issue 26. The final issue is written by Daniel H. Wilson, Marguerite Bennett and Mike Johnson. The artwork will be done by several people including Eddy Barrows (Nightwing), Tyler Kirkham (Mysterious Ways), Jorge Jimenez (Smallville: Season 11, Beyond the Fringe), R.B. Silva (Superboy), Robson Rocha (Birds of Prey) and Paulo Siqueira (Voodoo). Keeping it cryptic, all DC says about  it in the description is: "Darkseid wins. All hail Darkseid!"

Injustice: God Among Us Year Three #12

One title not connected to the New 52 which is also ending is Injustice: God Among Us Year Three via issue 12. Presumably, this series which is tied to the video game of the same name, will resume with a Year Four series. I’ve started reading the first series and can see why this is a favorite of many readers. Despite being a video game tie-in, this comic is awesome and you’ll enjoy it if you accept the idea of an alternate universe—DC does have a lot of those.

Some new DC series will be starting in 2015. Convergence #0, Batman: Arkham Knight #1 and Strange Sports Stories #1 will all be launching in March.

Convergence #0

Convergence #0 is the lead-in to the two-month long event that has caused these cancellations. This zero issue will be penned by Dan Jurgens and Jeff King and the art will be by Ethan Van Sciver (Flash: Rebirth). The description of the premier issue of this earth-shattering event was posted on Comic Vine and reads as follows:

“Where do worlds go when they die?

The Earthquakes felt round the Multiverse, Superman’s lost days after “Doomed,” the World’s End – all these points will converge as the history of the DCU is spun from a new perspective, the perspective of a mad god and his arrogant child. The biggest story in DC history ties into literally every DC story ever told – and it all begins here.

Kingdom Come, Red Son, Wild West Justice League, Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew – all the worlds you remember can still be found on Telos. Everything matters. Every story matters.

Don’t miss the start of DC’s April/May 2015 event with this special issue!”

Batman: Arkham Knight #1

Batman: Arkham Knight is a tie-in for the upcoming video game of the same name. It will be digitally available first on March 11th. The prequel to the video game will be written by Peter J. Tomasi (Batman and Robin, Superman/Wonder Woman) and illustrated by Viktor Bogdanovic (Reality Check). There will be two variant covers. One will feature artwork from the game.

Strange Sports Stories is a Vertigo published anthology mini-series with stories by former WWE Champion CM Punk, Brian Azzarello, Paul Pope (Wednesday Comics, Dark Horse Presents), Gilbert Hernandez (Love and Rockets), Nick Dragotta (East of West) and others.

I do hope the New 52 universe that has been built for the last couple of years doesn’t disappear completely, and I doubt it will because despite many cancellations, there are still plenty of New 52 series left. There were some great elements in this universe despite its problems such as characters like Harper Row and the Court of Owls. Series like Swamp Thing and Animal Man were also worthy of praise. But I would like the decades old pre-New 52 back. Hopefully, DC can find a happy medium that represents both universes to some extent… if there end up being any New 52 books left. Or they’ll just reboot everything again.

What do you think about the cancellations and what do you think this and Convergence mean for the New 52? Which series are you the saddest to see go? Let me know in the comments below.

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