I’ve always thought the New52 was largely unnecessary, and the execution caused more problems down the line than necessary (and Geoff Johns’ involvement makes me wary of him). I get they wanted to get new readers, but they went about it in a very short-sighted manner. I tolerated a lot of pointless changes that added nothing good, while reading multiple titles that largely didn’t need a big reboot to happen.
But what do I know? I’m just the guy DC expects to give them money.
The changes to character origins, in particular, were perhaps the biggest of their problems. A lot of shock value, grim, gritty, and stuff being different for the sake of saying its different. Nothing improved or innovative. Hush may’ve gotten the best reinvention, but his original origin wasn’t all that great; hardly an accomplishment. I missed Stephanie Brown (a character that I had to acquire an appreciation for) and my favorite Batgirl, Cassandra Cain, but given how terribly everyone was retconned, I was glad they were “safe”. Then Tynion more or less made them second fiddles, in their own origins and development, to his mentor/buddy’s “original” character. Long-winded stories that never met their intended point, sold weekly for anniversaries in a cash-grab gimmick, resulted in infantilizing one of my favorite comic characters of all time (among others), and I’m expected to believe the writer “loved” her, or any of them, and that his 'Tec run does Cass any justice, and isn’t just nostalgic lip-service and fan-fic level amateurism.
Right. And maybe if we give Michael Bay another shot, he’ll make the best Transformers movie ever.
Rebirth comes along, alleged by many to be an apology for the New52. Dan Didio, one of said reboot’s architects and loather of characters the paying customers like, even [sort of] said they messed up. But even though Supes lost his reboot nonsense and the Flash that I grew up reading in Morrison’s JLA was back, the damage was done. Cass was screwed up, and she’s apparently stayed screwed up, because even though both continuities are alleged to happen , Tynion does not seem to have elaborated how two histories for Cass (or Steph, or Azrael) can work together when they’re so different. If I’m being honest, I don’t think he cared to reintegrate Cassandra’s good history; he’s too enamored with his version where the only character that matters to anyone, at anytime, is Bluebird. Who doesn’t even matter enough, according to some, to appear more than a couple times in two years. Yet her absence doesn’t solve all the problems done by bad writing promoting her so obnoxiously and hollowly, to say nothing of it being so at the expense of other, beloved characters.
But what do I know? I’m just a reader that pays attention and am supposed to just “go with the flow” and keep my expectations rock bottom because it’s easier for the writer.
I admit I can’t comment on the direction of the DCU as a whole right now. What I can say, is that they try “shaking up” the status quo too often, every story of every book is supposed to be “the most important” or a “game-changer” when it’s just the same stuff they’ve done before, if more “EXTREME” or grisly or whatever they think they need to do to get attention. Short-sighted leadership led to poor decisions by DC’s higher-ups, most of whom remain in positions of authority after many years of screw-ups. Their lack of skill has caused a trickle-down effect of mediocrity, and I have no reason to give them any benefit of the doubt because characters I don’t follow are (according to some skuttlebutt) being written better.
That said, I could be persuaded to pick up another DC title. As long as it featured Cassandra Cain, not as Orphan, and it establishes that the Eternal stories were retconned away, and everything they established, from the new origins to Mother to the lousy iteration of David Cain to the nonsensical importance of Harper Row, was thoroughly extracted and disposed of. I’m tired of settling. I’m tired of having to move on when someone else is causing the problem. I’m tired of clearly incapable people flourishing where they don’t belong. I’m tired of the stupid.