There are big things going on in the comic book industry right now. The internet is abuzz with news about the DC renumbering to take effect in September. Now, on a very basic level what this means is that 52 of our favourite titles will get shiny re-imaginings, starting off again at issue #1. On August 31st, we’ll see Justice League No.1 by Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and bestselling artist and DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee.
Naturally, this has sparked a lot of debate, and comic lovers are in a tizzy.
One of the prominent issues: is this a reboot?
DC says no. Various official information from the publishers refers to this massive undertaking as either a “relaunch” or a “renumbering.” Fans hold that there is a vast difference between a relaunch and a reBOOT, and I agree. The spelling of the second syllables are hardly comparable. Yes, that was snark, because really, I think the two terms suggest the same thing: old heroes, new stories.
But that raises questions, too. What do I mean by new? Are we going to be reading about new villains? Different back stories? Again, DC has a response, but it’s pretty vague if you ask me. In an interview with USA Today, Justice League No. 1 artist Jim Lee (you know him from titles like All Star Batman and Robin) says, “This was a chance to start, not at the beginning, but at a point where our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today’s audience.” It looks like characters and costumes alike will be getting revamped (there’s another “RE” for you guys), but the basic origin stories will remain the same.
I think Booster conveys my sentiments about this pretty well.
As my title suggests, I don’t know how to feel! This is big stuff, my friends. This is huge. And honestly, I can’t tell what the real motivation is behind it. Are DC really trying to help the fans? Are they just in it for more money (probably)? Are they sick of trying to keep track of multitudinous, convoluted story lines? It’s probably a bit of all three, but who knows? It could be that aliens controlling their brains in a twisted experiment to see how the comic book community responds to change. There’s got to be an easier way, aliens. There just must be!
Certainly, there are pros and cons, as Blastr attempts to outline in this article, but here’s the rub: I’m not really sure we can know what the pros and cons are. I’m impressed we’ve even reached a point where we can acknowledge their existence. Now, I don’t mean that as an insult. Comic book lovers tend to be intelligent people, and if they’ve stuck with the characters all these years (see MULTITUDINOUS and CONVOLUTED above) they must be pretty good at wrapping their heads around things, however, this is a biggun.
Never fear, gentle readers! I may not be a super hero, but I do have one on my shoes.
Thus, I feel qualified to give my opinion on the matter. And here it is: I’m excited.
WAIT! STOP! Don’t stone me to death! (That picture’s really handy.)
Let me explain.
I love comic books, but I would call myself an amateur comic book reader. Is there really such a thing? I don’t know. What I mean by it, though, is that I haven’t read very many of the big DC or Marvel titles, and I certainly haven’t been able to follow the stories of my favourite superheroes. The comics I actively read are more along the lines of Sandman, The Ultimates, Buffy Season 7, and graphic novels like Watchmen and V for Vendetta. In other words, graphic literature with an expiration date. When I first read Sandman, I knew it would end, which was sad, but it also meant I didn’t have to scramble to read five hundred issues of a story that wasn’t even finished. And I’ve always been a little bit cranky about the fact that I can’t just pick up a Green Lantern comic and start in. I wouldn’t know where to begin with any of those big names. There are series and spin-off series and companion stories and alternate universes and it’s all a little brain-explody.
So, yes, it’s kind of nice that DC is letting me start at the beginning, perhaps in a manner similar to that in which the Ultimates gave me a comprehensive story about the Avengers. (Or perhaps not like that at all. We’ll have to wait and see.) I’m excited for Justice League No.1 and I’m going to keep an open mind about other titles as well. Maybe this will be my chance to up my nerd-knowledge when it comes to comics, maybe it’ll just put a strain on my bank account, but either way, trying new things is good for the soul. It keeps me interesting. And you guys would probably be the first to tell me, I could use all the interesting I can get.
I know. I think I’m so funny. But if you do still have questions, here’s a handy dandy source list:
DC Universe: The Source: DC’s press release
The USA Today article referenced above
The Comics Reporter’s blog
Geeks of Doom’s post