Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rebooting DC Comics #1

DC is rebooting every comic.  I'm not sure if this means they'll be starting every single comic with a new #1, or just the majority.  In either case, supposedly every comic coming out in September will feature stories designed for new readers along with new(ish) creative teams.  In conjunction with all this creative upheaval every will also, for the first time, be available for purchase digitally on the same day as they are released brick and mortar comic stores.

Predictably, this has led to an implosion of the comics-centric spaces of the internet (humorously illustrated here).  A lot of the worry seems to stem from fans losing "their" stories or from concern that the books they're collecting will suddenly "no longer count."  As I've previously mentioned, I think the whole notion these arguments are pretty silly, so I'm not really concerned about that aspect of all this.  I'm sure the amount of actual change will be relatively minimal.  But even if everything changes, the old stories will still exist to be read.  I'm also mostly unconcerned that DC is going to restart Action Comics and/or Detective Comics.  Action Comics is only a few years from 1000 continuously published issues, and Detective Comics isn't that far behind. Even if they do get renumbered, DC as a company seems far too focused on the past to ignore these numbers for very long.

Though few details have been released so far, I think this could actually be a pretty good move.  A lot depends on how everything is executed of course, but the decision to start releasing everything digitally is about 10 years overdue.  If the stories are good, and I'm sure some of them will be, then I think the creative shakeup is worth it.  If going digital actually gets people to read comics again, then almost any change is probably worth it.  Frankly, catering to new fans is what both major publishers should be focused on all the time.  Maybe if this works, they'll finally realize it.

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