Batgirl Walking Through The DC New 52 FAQ

Bleeding Cool first published the DC New 52 FAQ yesterday. It answered questions. But raised a few more, as well as some points to ponder. So let's ponder.

1) How widespread exactly is this "focus on the earlier part of the careers of each of our iconic characters.  A time when they didn't have as much experience defeating all their nemeses.  A time when they weren't as sure of their abilities. A time when they haven't saved the world countless times" – we know Action Comics and Justice League are set in the past, at least initially. Any more surprises?

2) "Batgirl.  The Killing Joke still happened and she was Oracle.  Now she will go through physical rehabilitation and become a more seasoned and nuanced character because she had these incredible and diverse experiences." So I guess Batgirl isn't an iconic character… But no internet Batgirl, no exoskeleton Batgirl, she's going to be proper walking? And jumping? And flipping? I hope she at least gets flat shoes.

You know, it's weird. The Killing Joke was never actually meant to be in continuity…

3) "Take Batman for example.  In the early days he was a vigilante who brandished a gun.  Then he morphed into a whimsical character and then in the 1960′s he became more of the gritty, grim avenger of the night.  We can all agree that we are glad Batman evolved."

"In the early days" means a few issues. Here's a  couple of scenes from Batman #4 and Batman #7 from 1940 and 1941…

Batgirl Walking Through The DC New 52 FAQBatgirl Walking Through The DC New 52 FAQ

The character changed rapidly early on, before settling down  to a status quo that lasted decades. Was that the best example to choose?

4) The first issues of the following books will be heavily discounted to retailers to encourage them to order more.


Which means if you really want to, you could probably beat your comic shop owner down on the price of these comics, especially two or three weeks after they go on sale and they find themselves stuck with a few… is this an expected reaction?

5)  "Retailers will receive copies of DC COMICS – THE NEW 52! # 1 PREVIEW BOOK on July 20 in quantities equal to five times orders at FOC on FLASHPOINT #1, providing you ordered at least five (5) copies of FLASHPOINT. These copies will be provided to retailers at no charge by DC Entertainment."

Will every piece of art shown at San Diego Comic Con be in this volume, given away at the show at the same time as stores? Currently between the initial announcements and the Calgary presentation, we're basically recycling images right now. Are they saving them all up for this? I suppose we'll have the logos exactly a week before…

6) "UK retailers please note: Due to the Monday, August 29 Summer Bank Holiday, the midnight sale option will not be available to UK retailers."

Boo hiss. For once this year, on the very day that the Relaunch starts, Brits won't get the new comics before the US. The next week however, when twelve or so issue ones hit…

7) The quotes they use are very specific. I wonder if there were any alternatives in the articles that DC referenced? You know, I think there just might be.

"Unprecedented" – Gawker's io9 – "With 52 new issues, a bunch of these won't make it past a couple months,"

"Game-changing" – Big Shiny Robot – "Digitizing comic books could spell the end for shops, and that scares me."

"Bold" – Popmatters – "is this yet another message being sent to its readers that astonishing feats can only be performed by those under the age of 40?"

"Can't wait" – ScreenRant – "Jim Lee obviously isn't a huge fan of the Green Lantern film's character design either, as the new one looks just like the old one."

"Sets a precedent" – Blastr – "Hawkman, Vampire and Voodoo?  What?  We're just at a total loss.  This was another chance to bring in some fresh characters in new and existing books, and it feels like DC is just missing the boat."

"Dramatic" – The Onion AV Club – "Presumably it will also retell the story of how Superman, Batman, Green Lantern et al. got together in the first place in a way that the kids can relate to, such as having them all meet up through the 'People You May Know' finder on Facebook."

"The ballsiest move of the decade" – Comics Alliance – "if this blows up, DC is completely screwed."

"The comic book world is a-buzzin'" – Ain't It Cool News – "&%$# YOU, DC!!!"

8) "We are working with ComiXology to change our "go live" time each Wednesday to 2:00pm ET/11:00am PT.  We expect to be able to make this adjustment prior to the 8/31 in-store date for Justice League #1 with ComiXology and the DC App.  Apple sets their own release times for the iTunes stores, as does Sony for their PlayStation Network.  We will attempt to have their release times in harmony with the ComiXology release times, but that may not be possible."

iTunes, DC Comics App, Comics App and Playstation/PSP. Any more for any more? British stores may rejoice as that timepoint (as I'll now be calling it) will be after most stores have closed…

9) "Are the print and digital the same price?"

"Yes, for the first 4 weeks, a $2.99 print comic will be a $2.99 digital comic.  After 4 weeks, the digital price will drop to $1.99.   Following that pattern, for the first 4 weeks, a $3.99 print comic will be a $3.99 digital comic. After 4 weeks, the digital price will drop to $2.99."

Apart from that bit as it doesn't look like it'll be anywhere near true for the UK market.
But the release times aspect really does seem to be an issue, with Apple's processes often taking longer than the printing process. How soon will those hiccups first start, and are they going to be the rule?

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.