Happy birthday New 52! Oh wait, are you unsure what the New 52 is? Well today’s you’re lucky day because I’m in the mood for explaining ..at the time of writing this.
So if you’ve picked up a DC comic in the past two years you probably noticed that on the cover it’s probably come with the words ‘New 52’ on it. Basically we can trace the origin of this strange wording to two years ago (or people reading this a year later, 2011).
It was the summer and for the past six months we had been teased with promotional images of a this summers story event called Flashpoint. Images implied some kind of alternate reality in which our beloved heroes were more a menace to society. Examples included Green Arrow becoming a mercenary and Bruce Wayne being shot by the mugger and his dad becoming Batman and his mother, the Joker. And this was all the Flashes fault.
Earlier in 2010 Barry Allen, the second Flash returned from the dead after many years of people postulating and keeping his memory alive. Barry was plagued by a new motivation in life. His arch nemesis Professor Zoom had returned to life and his the mystery of his mothers death loomed over his head. Eventually he missed his mother so much that he went back in time to save her.
This act severely altered the timeline moving everything off slightly but just off to now create a depressing new reality. When The Flash corrected his mistake he arrived in a new a reality. One in which the lives of everyone had been rebooted. Fresh new origins for characters. Modern looks had been brought in like no more tights or underpants.
The New 52.
The first in a long line of continuity obsessed DC’s rectons as they desperately try to stay modern. These reboots go back as far as the 80’s with Crisis on Infinite Earths, which got rid of camp 60’s Batman. So DC re-launched with 52 new titles all starting from issue 1. Sadly not all are with us today but plenty more seem to be set on joining us.