Two and a half years ago, when DC announced the New 52, The Outhouse – your home for all things intellectual – began a study of readers whose personal, professional, and imaginary lives were adversely affected by the company’s continuity reboot. Now, two years later, in an overt homage to the British documentary series, Up, The Outhousers catch up with the surviving members of the study group to see where they are now.
First up is Charlie Colt. Charlie, a reactionary at heart, declared that once the New 52 launched, he would boycott DC Comics until such a time as his original, Post-Crisis, DC continuity was returned. We caught up with Charlie in his one bedroom apartment in Kent, Ohio:
OH: So, Charlie, two and a half years ago you stated that you would be boycotting the New DC. How has that decision treated you?
Charlie: So far so good. Every week I make sure to read every new DC book that comes out so that I can complain about them on the internet.
OH: So you decided to abandon the boycott?
Charlie: No, not at all. I said that I read them, not that I buy them.
OH: You borrow them from friends?
OH: It must be refreshing after all this time to have the free time to spend on activities you enjoy. Have you picked up any new hobbies or interests?
Charlie: No, my day is still pretty much filled with being mad about comic books in between shifts as a pizza delivery man.
OH: As you know, Charlie, this is an academic study and because of that we have to ask some difficult questions. Is that ok?
Charlie: Of course.
OH: To be blunt, have you ever considered focusing on things that make you happy? In other words, you are 40 years old, living in undergraduate student housing because that’s all you can afford, stuck in a dead end job with co-workers half your age, and, no offense, it is easy to tell form the state of your apartment and hygiene that you are not in any kind of romantic relationship.
Charlie: I do not understand the question.
It was here that our interview was cut short as Charlie was interrupted by an email notification letting him know that someone had posted a comment in a thread he had subscribed to regarding the leaked images of an unpublished draft of an idea that was pitched at SDCC 2009 that just surfaced by DC Comics’ Co-Publisher, Jim Lee.
Charlie: Can you believe this guy, ArachnidRobert, saying that something from 4 years ago doesn’t matter just because it was never published? That’s like saying we can’t use Claremont interviews about stories he never got to write as continuity. Someone has to put Bobby boy in his place!
In fear for our own sanity, The Outhouse decided to cut this interview short so as not to get too much crazy on our nice clothes.
Next we visited Nick Wrist, a Canadian comic book fan, whose life has taken a very surprising turn since he swore off all New 52 books. We met up with Mr. Wrist in a local Tim Hortons:
OH: Nick, we understand that the past two years have been very busy for you. Would you mind telling us your story?
Nick: Eh? No, not at all. Aboot two years ago, I can’t believe it’s only been two years, eh, I bought myself the New 52 Justice League #1 using a toonie my gran sent me for my birthday and sat down at the Tim Hortons over on 5th Street to read it. I don’t want to upset any of the creators involved with the book, but I did not much care for it. The story wasn’t really aboot anything all that exciting, and I have never really been a fan of Jim Lee. I am not sure what came over me, but after I finished to book I realized how little I cared about the New 52. It was then that I caught the eye of an attractive coastie and after offering to buy her a cup of coffee (double-double) we started talking, and, to make a long story short: I’m married.
Nick: No, you don’t understand. I am married! I have no idea how this happened. One moment I am a comic book fanboy reading Justice League, in public, and the next thing I know I have a wife and a child on the way. Do you not understand the implications here? I had sex! I don’t even know what to do anymore.
OH: You sound upset with your new life.
Nick: You are darn correct, I’m upset. I no longer live in my mom’s basement; I have touched a woman, more than once, and had enough sex to have to paint “the baby’s room” this weekend. This is not the life I was building for myself. I am as mad as any red blooded Canadian can get about this. I’m sorry I yelled, eh.
OH: To be clear; you met a girl, presumably dated for a while, proposed, got married, and are now expected a child, and you are upset?
Nick: Well, when you put it like that, it seems rather stupid to be mad that my life took this turn after I dropped DC Comics.
OH: Have you considered returning to the fold? Many of us have fulfilling social lives and read comics, you could too.
Nick: Maybe, I’ve heard good things about Batman and Flash, but with comics being $5 CAD (Canadian Dollars) each, I just can’t justify the expense right now. Not with a baby on the way.
OH: Yes, we get it
Nick: No you don’t: I HAD SEX!
Once again, our reporters had to leave an interview due to the behavior of our subject. This time he just sat there rocking back and forth whispering “I had sex. I had sex. I had sex, eh.” To our surprise, no one in the Tim Hortons even seemed to notice.
Finally, our travels took us to Portland, Oregon, where Dr. Tarri Hutchinson invited us to diner at her house:
OH: Dr. Hutchinson, thank you for this lovely meal.
Tarri: “Tarri,” please, and it’s no trouble, I like to cook.
OH: We can tell. After this fine roast, we are shocked you are ever let out of the kitchen.
Tarri: Aren’t you guys in enough trouble? *laughter*
OH: So, how has the first two years of the New 52 affected you?
Tarri: Not much, to be honest. I read the books I like, don’t read the books I don’t like, and generally still enjoy my hobby. As a brain surgeon, it’s nice to have the escapism that books like Wonder Woman, Flash, and All Star Western provide.
OH: No drama, trauma, major life changes.
Tarri: Due to comics? No. You do know they are just comics, right?
OH: You’d be surprised what we’ve seen while writing this story.
Tarri: Not really. Just the other day some deranged sycophant who swore off all DC but somehow knows what happens in every issue became very agitated when I made the argument that a newly discovered, unpublished sketch wasn’t that big of a deal.
Tarri: Yes. Unfortunately, as a woman, I find it easier to interact on the internet if I use screen names that imply that I am a male, in this case my persona of ArachnidRobert got into it with another poster named Harbinger, a truly dangerous person who is in dire need of some sort of medication.
Well, that’s it for this installment of Two Years Of New 52, join us next time as we visit a Montana resident, only known as The Big Bear, in the bunker he built to fend off the fanboys who would, someday, come for all of his X-Men #1 (1990.)