Wednesday, 6 July 2011

DC Comics: A Reboot Too Far?

The DC Comics reboot of their whole universe has been causing a lot of controversy and speculation since its announcement. The comics giant is completely erasing the last seventy years of pop culture history from their line of superhero comics and is starting everything over again from issue 1. Thus, none of the greatest stories ever told in the comic book medium ever happened, and nothing is canon any more.

While I have to agree that this is a very brave move for DC to make, I can’t help but feel, as a comics fan and someone who spent 9 years selling their titles, that it is also the wrong move. I am reminded of the debacle that was 52, the company’s year-long event from a few years back. Huge sales for the first few weeks, and then a rapid slump in numbers to the point where a lot of fans don’t even know how it ended.

The big two are awful for crossovers and reboots at the moment, with much-loved characters being killed, resurrected, redesigned and re-imagined left, right and centre. It just ends up confusing new readers and frustrating long-time fans.

I can understand the motivation behind such a massive reboot for DC- doing away with decades of complicated continuity will make the titles a more enticing prospect for people dipping their toes into comics for the first time, but it does wipe out all of the greats from continuity, which in my opinion weakens the characters and what makes them who they are.

The huge stories have now been erased, the momentous occasions that rocked the industry, the big events and small events that shaped the characters into the icons that they now are, which could either be a good thing or a bad thing. Personally as a fan and former retailer, I would suggest that a simple streamlining of the DC line would have had the same effect without annoying so many people.

I cannot help but wonder how long it will be before DC roll back to the old numberings on titles and reinstate continuity as it previously was. I mean, no comics characters ever stay dead, so why should their universe? I smell a gargantuan crossover coming in a couple of years, but by then, will anyone be reading?

1 comment:

michaelbondholistics said...

See we are both linked on facebook and on the same blog site lol. I have to agree with you on this; although never a great DC fan,I have dipped in and out of their universe over the years, but am aware of the history of the bulk of the characters via comics, cartoons, flms etc; To create a brand new universe with younger characters, no background or depth to them seems a bit desperate to me, and, as you said, will flat on its face after a few months. 2 years down the line, there will be some massive "Big Event" where the older universe/characters start reappearing again, yawn. Didnt they read marvels attempt at that after the whole Onlsaught event in the 90's?