The recent DC relaunch has been a real head-scratcher thus far. What seemed to be an effort to clean up the DC continuity by simply doing away with the hundreds and thousands of extraneous characters, dangling plot threads, confusing story arcs and unresolved loose ends has instead become a means of further complicating the entire DC universe, making it more difficult than ever for a first-timer to begin reading or for a former comic reader to jump back into the fray.
Much like 52 and the various post-Crisis storylines, this attempt to clean up the DC continuity seems to be little more than another in a long line of befuddling, plot-heavy, confusing tie-ups for events that took place in the comics twenty, thirty years ago surrounding the original Crisis storylines.
That said, the DC relaunch has not been without its bright spots, and no, the ridiculous Superman redesign is not one of them.
In an effort to stylistically revamp the whole thing, DC has been making an effort to hire writers and artists on the cutting edge who can provide a more contemporary take on the new books. Batman has received a wonderful overhaul in this sense. The new Batstories are full of great shots of dark caves and alleyways with barely-illuminated figures lurking in the shadows.
Characters like Nobody represent that darker edge, as well, and there have been some great issues, like Batman and Robin #4, which explores the complex relationship between Bruce Wayne and his borderline-sociopath son Damian.
All in all, if the stories remain as focused as they have been thus far and DC takes some effort to trim the fat, they may well have us convinced that the relaunch was worth the effort.