Is The NEW MU The Same As The New 52?
… … … … … …Okay, make that two lies. lol I’m sorry, but with the news regarding Marvel Comics’ NEW MU being revealed, and people making comparisons to DC Comics’ New 52 (which is ironically being dropped next month, even though it’s the same continuity set by that), I need to discuss this. Specifically, I need to look at whether or not this really is the same thing that DC did back in 2011, and if Marvel is on the verge of making the same mistakes. However, because I got my anger at DC out last time I talked about it, those that are bothered by angry ranting can rest easy in knowing this’ll be a bit more controlled.
In fact, before I go on, I should probably clarify something: While I consider the New 52 as a whole to be a mistake, it’s not like EVERYTHING that resulted from it was innately bad. Scott Snyder’s Batman has been frigging epic, and while I personally have no desire to read a book about Jim Gordon standing in as Batman, I’m sure it’ll nonetheless be well written. Vibe getting revamped into someone I could actually see myself WANTING to be on my team was a good call. And while certain concepts in some of the books rubbed people the wrong way, Animal Man, Aquaman, Batgirl, Frankenstein, and others were all good. However, with the good came the bad and at times outright awful. The abandonment of multiple great stories in a misguided attempt to do them over again, lack of communication leading to confusion over what was canon and not canon, overuse of grimdark stories, too many crossovers, the whole ‘heroes can’t be married/happy’ controversy, practically everything that’s been done with Lois Lane and Wonder Woman (with one or two exceptions, like the Lois Lane one-shot or more recent issues of Justice League), the mistreatment of women in general, and countless broken promises by the higher ups to their writers leading to disappointments and walk-outs. It was a mess, and it continues to be a mess even with the New 52 banner being dropped.
So, with the NEW MU being announced, people are getting increasingly concerned that Marvel may be looking to copy DC’s ‘success’, only to make the same mistakes. And, for the record, the name “NEW MU” was a mistake, just gonna say it right now. I get that’s probably meant to parody the New 52, but I think that concept may have been lost on some. On top of that, for reasons I stated above, and the fact that the moniker was used long after the New 52 was new or maintained 52 books, it pretty much parodies itself. There’s really no reason to go there. However, beyond the name, is there reason to believe this is the same situation as DC’s September 2011 reboot?
First of all, let’s get something out of the way right now: This is not a complete back to square one reboot of the Marvel Universe. Want proof of that? Read All-New, All-Different Avengers from Free Comic Book Day. Sam Wilson is still Captain America. Jane Foster is still Thor. Characters like Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales as Spider-Man, and Sam Alexander as Nova are still around and carrying their current hero names. Past continuity is still addressed. Alternatively, when the New 52 started, we had the Justice League being formed in what was considered the first time for that continuity, represented by six of the seven original members of the team, and retelling the origin story of Cyborg.
Then there’re the stories that ended the old universes and started the new ones, DC’s Flashpoint and Marvel’s Secret Wars. Now, the great thing about Secret Wars, as I’m coming to understand, is that a lot of various concepts, characters, locations, and even whole books that tie into it are going to carry over into the NEW MU, so really, it’s more of a preview of things to come. So far, among things confirmed to continue on in the new universe, we’ve had Maelstrom, the all-monster version of the Howling Commandos, and much to my delight, the all-female contingent of the Avengers, A-Force. Flashpoint also introduced some concepts and characters that carried over to the New 52, but I’m not sure how much of it was intended from the beginning. I think the only one that was would be Element Woman, although I will say that I DO absolutely adore her as a character, so I’ll give them that much…Speaking of which, we really need to see a Doom Patrol book, now that she’s hanging with them, and we need to see them toss Caulder to the side for his bullcrap.
Lastly, let’s compare tones. As I said before, the New 52 has been very dark and dire, relying a lot on grimdark stories and fridging characters. And while Secret Wars kicked off with the destruction of two whole worlds and most of the people on them, let’s again look at All-New, All-Different Avengers, where the team’s focus and intent is to help people, and where we’ve got three relatively young and light-hearted characters on the team to keep things from getting too serious. Also, I’m 99.9% sure that many of those shown to be lost in the destruction of the two worlds will be back in some way, shape, or form. So it’s looking like, tone-wise, it’s gonna be at least slightly lighter than the New 52.
So, ultimately, are they making the same mistakes as DC did with the New 52? Ultimately… … …no, they aren’t. It’s not a complete reboot, since history is maintained from the previous universe (although I’m sure the dates certain stuff happened will get pushed closer to present day, like when Steve Rogers was defrosted, when Tony Stark became Iron Man, etc.), it’s not going to rely on the same crap that DC did, it’s introducing new ideas while keeping the old ones, and they have the advantage of doing this after the New 52 and learning from its mistakes. So, no, this isn’t the same thing, or at least not in my opinion. At the very least, I personally am not gonna worry about it, at least not yet. And, as I’ve said before, if THIS is the new look for Marvel comics…
…I think we’re good. 😀 Anyway, lemme know what you think about all of this, and we’ll see how things develop. Ja né!
Posted on May 18, 2015, in Comic Books and tagged A-Force, All-New All-Different Avengers, All-New Captain America, Avengers, DC, DC Comics, Flashpoint, Howling Commandos, Justice League, Marvel, Marvel Comics, Ms. Marvel, New 52, NEW MU, Nova, Secret Wars, Thor, Ultimate Spider-Man, Uncanny Inhumans. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
No, they aren’t making the same mistakes as DC with the New 52. But by putting everyone through this multiverse-destroying event and throwing a bunch of different concepts and characters from many different universes into a single universe and expecting us to appreciate it as something with the richness and history of the pre-Secret Wars MU, they might be making a worse one. At least with a reboot we can give everyone the same history so the universe feels cohesive and something we can imagine ourselves living in.
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