CBR also did the thing that DC does not seem to have done at all … a little market research. They gave the 14 books that have come out so far to totally new readers and got their reactions. Only ACTION, BATGIRL, DETECTIVE and MEN OF WAR were completely understood, and of these the only books the subjects would voluntarily buy again are ACTION and DETECTIVE. Of the majority of books that readers had trouble understanding, the only ones thought worth buying again were JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL and GREEN ARROW.
Most of the books just didn’t have an intro clean enough for true noobs. For instance, critical darling SWAMP THING was too confusing: “I got that the main character was Dr. Holland, who had made some kind of chemical compound that would restore plant life, but something went wrong with it, and that is where I got confused,” Rosie, our “Swamp Thing” reader, told me. She then accused me of giving her the comic only because it had scientists in it (Rosie is a Ph.D. candidate studying ecology at University of California-Davis, and yes, she is correct). When it came to the plot, Rosie said she was taken out of the story. “I was not very clear on how/why he had ‘died,’ and I was confused as to whether he was the Swamp Thing or just had its memories, somehow, or where the memories came from, or why he was working in a construction site.”