So there’s some pretty big news going around in the comic book industry right now. DC Comics is updating their entire universe in terms of their characters’ appearances and histories, will re-launch their entire line of comic books with 52 new #1 issues and will also be releasing all of their comics digitally the same date they hit the shelves at retailers.
I very rarely read comics (maybe 2 or 3 every couple of months) and I certainly haven’t bought one in about two years or so but I still have love for them and especially for the DC characters. So, I felt like throwing my own opinion in though it’s probably a bit outdated and not as well-informed as others.
Here is what I posted on someone’s Facebook page in response to all of this:
I just don’t see it working. I love the DC characters but DC as a company has been such a mess for years. They don’t know how to promote or use their creative talent (the Kuberts and JMS immediately spring to mind), characters or concepts (return of the Multi-verse, Red Circle anyone?) or books (Countdown was their biggest mess in recent years and then there’s needless spinoffs like JSA All-Stars that actually hurt more than help). They always talk a big game but rarely can follow up with action. If they can’t properly handle isolated incidents, how are they going to re-launch the entire line at once?
The line-wide “day and date” digital stuff is something that Marvel & DC were gonna have to try at some point anyway. I know it may hurt brick & mortar and retailers are up in arms over it, but it’s 2011 and this is just the way things are. It’s not like DC *wants* to harm retailers but they need to do everything they can and pursue every avenue in an effort to maximize their profits. The evolution is necessary.
As for the redesigning of characters, I’m okay with that but it was either CBR or Newsarama that brought up the good point that if Lee is designing the majority of them… that’s a pretty homogenized looking DCU when you leave it in the hands of just one artist (and one writer if Johns is having input, and I’m sure he is).
I’m just so over them constantly revamping, retooling, rebooting, relaunching and renumbering all of their books & characters. It frustrates long time readers and I don’t see how it brings in new readers because they’re immediately lost in all of the past histories and volumes that DC themselves constantly references in their own books. DC has spent the last 10 years living in the past, catering to silver age/bronze age fans and now they want to jump to the future all at once?
The #1 stuff is a complete gimmick that will get them 1 month of decent sales before the majority of these books go back to their usual 15k-30k sales. #1s don’t really pay off in the long run anymore, I don’t see why Marvel & DC can’t realize that. Who cares about a new Birds of Prey #1 or new Red Robin #1?