I would be horribly remiss in not posting anything about this topic (but what else would be new, there?), so here goes. Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC Comics broke the news to USA Today they are rebooting the DC Universe and relaunching some 50 titles at issue #1.
I have relatively mixed feelings on this. One is I am insanely behind (going on five and a half months worth of comics) reading my comics, so this news lights a fire under my butt to get caught up and get the existing comics collection sorted before the reboot. The other is knowing that this could either go really well and be really good or turn out completely horribly and my favorite comics publisher will suffer and I won’t get to read the stories I love so much (not that I’ve been keeping up even though the pile we have is growing) anymore.
Reboots are not uncommon in comics and least of all for DC. Recently, however, DC has been King of the Crisis. Crisis on Infinite Earths, Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, Countdown to the Final Crisis, Final Crisis . . . Every two years there was another freaking crisis. Seriously? Having a crisis so often really cheapens the impact of those that came before it and numbs fans to the whole idea. After every crisis is some flavor of reboot.
I’m unsure on the idea of resetting comics numbering back to #1. For some titles like Justice League of America, Green Lantern, and Birds of Prey (the first is confirmed to be in the 50, the latter two I’m sincerely hoping will be among the chosen) have been reset to #1 a couple of times now. JLA most recently in 2006. Whereas Superman, Batman, and Detective Comics all number in the 600+; having runs continuing from the 30s and 40s.
50 titles may seem like a lot, but it certainly doesn’t comprise the entirety of the current DC comics catalog. A lot of the titles in the current catalog are duplicate titles. There are mulitple comics featuring Batman and the adventures of the various Green Lanterns in the DCU. Most of Batman’s former sidekicks and associates have branched off and have their own titles (Robin, Red Robin, Batgirl, and formerly Nightwing). Are all these extra titles really necessary? Fans of them will argue that yes, indeed they are necessary. But if we include all those bonus comics which are really an excuse to have Batman cameos and Batman villain cameos, we don’t get to have the unique, different titles like Secret Six or Birds of Prey, instead. It’s probably a difficult choice figuring out who makes the cut and I’m girding myself for some disappointment on that front, already.
Mostly, I’m cautiously optimistic that DC’s bold new direction doesn’t blow up in their faces. I have a vivid memory from Comic-Con last year of J. Michael Straczynski asking DC fans to “give him one story arc” in regards last year’s Wonder Woman reboot and he left the book after 6 issues without even finishing the arc we’d promised to give him. So, you’ll excuse me if I’m a wee bit gunshy on this one, folks. That being said, I need Gail Simone’s name on my comics to be a happy comic nerd. So much
The bigger news that I have more concrete feelings about is the same day digital sales of their titles. That comment is: YAY. I admit to not yet consuming my comics in digital form, but without a doubt, this move of DC’s has much stronger staying power and a more lasting positive impact on reaching readers in a much broader way. I will continue to support local comics shops, but I can’t possibly see same-day digital sales as anything short of exemplary.
UPDATE: Also THIS. So much this. This to infinity.