In the course of talking to comic creators this year, I started to think about their unique talents and what I think they would be best suited to. Inspired by all kinds of wonderful ideas I’ve seen online and heard from creators, I’ve put together my New 52. These are the 52 books I would publish if DC’s offerings were up to me and, as my friends and I have had a good time discussing them, I thought I would share them with you.

I tried to consider the actual feasibility of these titles, not only in the sense of immediate sales but in their ability to expand DC’s brand long-term. I also recognize that this is a dramatically simplified version of what DC actually has to do. As such, I made a couple of rules for myself.First, as I don’t have the same knowledge of the creators’ availability and timeliness as an actual editor, I decided that I would allow myself access to any writer currently working in comics, but that I could only assign a creator to one book. Second, I tried not to put a writer on the same book that they’ve already worked on, though some were moved to similar concepts or allowed to expand short work they’ve already done. Finally, while an actual relaunch might do well to include some new books, I limited myself to preexisting titles and IPs for this project.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, on why I’m right or why I clearly screwed up, and I hope you enjoy this.

Our second title’s not the most established, but I think it will shine given the chance. Meet The Ray.

 

THE RAY BY JIMMY PALMIOTTI AND JUSTIN GRAY

Jamal Igle’s concept art of Lucien Gates as The Ray

Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray have been longtime collaborators and have worked on a huge array of different comics. Particularly in their work for DC and Marvel, however, they’ve demonstrated a knack for making mid-level characters into bankable, well-received series. They brought that to bat in February 2012 when they released the first chapter of The Ray.

While the plotting of the initial miniseries was odd, Lucian Gates was, by far, one of the most interesting characters to come out of the New 52. A Korean-American child adopted by two California Hippies, Lucian Gates was struck by an experimental particle beam while working as a life guard, which transformed him into a living ray of light and gifted him the powers of superspeed, light manipulation, hard light constructs, and super-nakedness!

Full of charming characters like Lucian’s parents; his girlfriend, Chanti; and his best friend, Darrius, the brief The Ray miniseries that introduced us to the characters was one of the first additions to the New 52. The character was consciously designed to stand out from the increasingly gritty DC Universe without devolving into full out comedy, Honestly, Lucian would probably get along well with Kamala Khan.

The character received widespread support from readers, but the miniseries didn’t reach enough of the audience and the character only reappeared in the other, even less successful Freedom Fighters miniseries.

Lucian Gates is part of a new wave of superheroes, one lighter and more relatable than the batch that preceded him. While it may take time before this trend spreads to the public at large, the success of titles like Ms. Marvel demonstrates that there is a growing demand among comic readers for books that reflect the beauty, diversity, and complexity of the world around them, the world that they see and feel around them. Lucian is a brilliant character (no pun intended) and there’s no reason not to give Palmiotti and Gray a real chance with him. These two had a great understanding of what they wanted to do and gave us a startling number of great characters in just a few short issues. Imagine what they could do with an ongoing.

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Tomorrow…The Justice Society of America.

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