As we enter into the massively hyped 2016 we here at DCN thought it would be wise to reminisce on 2015 and discuss what we think DC Comics did well and what they could have done better. This year brought forth a lot of changes in the status quo and while many people debate whether or not they were well-executed or even necessary, you have to admit it certainly made things interesting.
What happened in 2015
As far as the comics go the biggest event of the year was of course the “Convergence” crossover event. Treasured characters that many thought would be lost in the New 52 were brought back in force. It was fun to see characters such as the redheaded Wally West, Post-Crisis Superman and Lois, and the Batmen, Thomas and Bruce Wayne interacting with one another. Though retailers and critics were not totally impressed with the story’s execution, the after effects of the event has opened up new, creative possibilities that have already begun to be explored.
2015 was also the year that DC Comics firmly asserted themselves as the kings of superhero TV shows. From The Flash to Supergirl, DC has been knocking it out of the park with all of their TV properties. DC has flourished despite them saying they were going to keep their TV universes separate from the movie universes in order to let the show writers create whatever they want without any hindrance. It’s an approach that differs from Marvel’s connected universe and so far it has been paying off.
DC has shown that they are able to produce very unique shows, each one is different in tone and each of them has a very supportive fan base. Gotham on one hand is enjoying a much more successful Season Two as it focuses on the dark and corrupt city before Batman was ever around. On the opposite hand the very lighthearted Supergirl has steadily improved with each episode and it is a fun show that people of any age can get behind and watch.
What to look forward to in 2016
Obviously the thing to look out for is the start of the DC Movie Universe. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s hype levels can only be topped by Star Wars. If the movie is a major success then DC will have a shot at dethroning the box office giant that is Marvel. People have begun to wonder about superhero movies fatigue but if DC hits a homerun with BvS then you can imagine those talks will dwindle.
In regards to comics though, the DC You is an initiative that has put forth great efforts to expand the audience with fresh, engaging new titles such as Omega Men, Starfire, and We Are Robin.
These titles along with the new status quo in the universe is sure to keep things interesting. Jim Gordon is parading around Gotham as the new Batman, a depowered Superman’s identity is out in the open and the seemingly indestructible Darkseid has been killed by the Anti-Montior. We’re entering new grounds in 2016 and it’s sure to be one hell of a ride.
A couple reviewers for the site have also given their opinions on how 2015 went and what they’re looking forward to in 2016!
DC had a big year, The Multiversity stands out as a top choice. Grant Morrison introduced a lot of new character concepts as well as revisiting some classics. This mini series opened up the new Multiverse for play. The Multiversity led into Convergence which provided a lot of nostalgic looks at older versions of the DC Universe, the Pre-Flashpoint, Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths etc. While these may not have always been executed top-notch, they were fun and they allowed DC to bring these older versions of the characters back into the new Multiverse.Seeing the JSA and other classic Earth-Two characters back in action was a true treat, I hope it comes around again.
Batman Eternal showed that the weekly series can be successful, but its sequel Batman and Robin Eternal which has shot the ½ way point in December and is beating its predecessor. The launch of the DC You post-Convergence allowed DC to try new genres and approaches.
Whether a success or failure sales wise, the attempt is laudable as books like Prez and Doctor Fate hit the shelves and offered readers something different. In the last quarter of the year, Titans Hunt and Superman: Lois & Clark have been highly anticipated. For me, however, the most consistent title has been Grayson. It was hitting high notes before Convergence and it continues to do so as the year ends, plus it’s beautifully drawn. This dovetails into “Robin War” which along with Batman and Robin Eternal and Grayson are celebrating the 75th anniversary of Robin’s first appearance in Detective Comics #38. I tell you Dick doesn’t look a day over 25.
As a first year contributor of DCN I must admit I’ve enjoyed every bit of what I’ve covered. And some particular books stand out to me. The first would be Superman #45-47, this book has to be one of the best titles I’ve covered so far and it’s really because I went into it not expecting much. Why? Well when I first covered Superman #45 I wasn’t big fan of a depowered and now identity exposed Superman. Everything that for years I was so comfortable with the Man of Steel being—was tossed out the window, and I hated it. However Superman #45 and #46 showed me otherwise. Here we see Clark Kent without the suit and depowered to a great degree—but in his heart he’s still Superman. It’s a story that made me basically appreciate the person Clark is, and how even with so much thrown his way—he still chooses to do the right thing and stay the course. Superman #45-#47 I can admit that I misjudged—and I love that I did.
Another series that I’m loving right now is Detective Comics #45- #47. This is NOT the Batman that we know rather this is Jim Gordon! It was a concept that I wasn’t at liking…until I read the book. Here we have Jim Gordon being a hard ass marine who in a suit of bat armor made by the GCPD becomes the new Batman. There’s even an issue of him working with the Justice League! I totally loved the concept and how well Jim fit in right with the other heroes.
Often times I’m usually not a fan of big changes to the core of certain characters because I hate unjustified changes “just cause”. In this case I can admit the shakeup of changing the Batman was an awesome read and I can’t wait to see what else occurs with Gordon in the future going into 2016. A series that I really hopes picks up traction going into 2016 would have to be the Teen Titans. I reviewed issues #13 and #14 and although they were decent I feel the story could’ve been improved. I feel like the Titans for all their amazing powers make too many rookie mistakes, and it’s a common theme in the books. Nothing wrong with it, but I just feel that the Titans with their members being such powerhouses and all should be looked at as a threat in their own right. Each book comes off with them making rookie mistakes, and then rallying together at the end to save face. Now I’ve only read three books from the Teen Titan series that I’ve covered so far but the character of Red Robin makes it all a great read. Hopefully this year in 2016 more characters like Raven or Beast Boy can show off and make the series really stand out.
Let us know what you thought about 2015 and what you’re looking forward to in the comments below!