My thoughts on the DC Comics revamp

My take on DC's newest shakeup

Editorial Opinion

Hey, guys, this is my first time writing an article for the site. Let me know what you think!

Let me start by saying how big of an impact comics have had on my life. My first experience with them came with reading the hardbacks of the old Batman and Justice Society adventures from the 1940s. Before that, I had watched Batman the Animated Series, Batman Beyond and Justice League, but I had never actually read a comic book. Despite this, I can safely say that DC Comics have had a more of an impact on me, just because those shows were so awesome. As I got older, however, I started to move towards Marvel, specifically their Essential collections, and while I still read the occasional DC graphic novel (Kingdom Come and The Long Halloween ftw), my allegiance was laid with Marvel. It’s only been in the last couple of years that I started reading more of the current DC works, such as 52 and Blackest Night. It’s also been the first time that I started regularly collecting monthly series, rather than getting a trade paperback from the bookstore or library. It’s definitely been enjoyable following parts of a story each month and waiting in anticipation to see what comes next.

Which brings me to the news that everyone woke up to on Tuesday; that the DC Universe would be revamped in September following the events of Flashpoint. Not only that, but there would be 52 new titles for the heroes, which would involve renumbering several of already existing titles, such as Wonder Woman and Justice League. The purpose of this revamp was, according to USA Today, to introduce “stories that are grounded in each character's specific legend but also reflect today's real-world themes and events.” They also announced that they would be releasing digital copies of these titles on the same day they were released in stores, but for the sake of this editorial, I’ll skip talking about it, considering how Marvel has already been doing that for a while, and frankly, it’s a good decision business-wise.

From what I read on the comment sections on this site, as well as others, many of my fellow comic lovers were skeptical of this move, some even going so far as to say they would quit DC Comics forever. Me, I’m definitely not that hard-core, but I had mixed feelings. While I have read Crisis on Infinite Earths, I wasn’t alive during the time it was first released, so I didn’t get the joy of experiencing the backlash of fans who were angry that the stories that had been around for nearly 50 years were no longer relevant. This is essentially my first experience with a revamp of an entire comic universe.

My first concerns came with the series I’m reading right now, Green Lantern and Batman. Over the past 6-7 years, these two characters have effectively become the poster children for DC. Geoff Johns (yes, I’ve drank the Kool Aid) and Grant Morrison have doing wonders with each of these characters and the stories they’ve written have been among my favorites, especially with Green Lantern.

Before I started reading Johns’ GL work, my sole experience with the character had been with the Justice League cartoon and some old issues from the 60s. It was after reading Rebirth, The Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night that the character became one of my favorites. I was afraid that everything that Johns had been able to do with the character would have been for naught. If it turned out all of GL’s adventures of the past couple of years would be erased from continuity, I would be extremely pissed and may even join with the “Kill DC” group. However, after reading the press release today on the new GL titles in September, it seems that at least some of my fears can be laid to rest. While there may be changes in store for the character, it looks like the important events of the past will still have relevance in the future.

This brings me to my thought-out opinion on the DC revamp: this is a good move for them. Let’s face it, even with the comic book films that have been coming out and the gradual shift of nerd/geek culture from socially weird to being cool, the comic book medium is not doing well nowadays. Sales have been slowly going down, and due to the massive amount of history and the constant retcons, comic books are not easily accessible to the public. If you were to hand someone an issue of Batman, Superman, or basically any current DC series, I guarantee you they would be massively confused. Nowadays, you have to read about comic events that happened 4 years ago just to understand what a character may be talking about in one panel. For someone like me, that’s not a problem, but for those who just want to read a good story, it can present a problem. As someone who's tried to explain the concept to the multiverse to my friends, trust me when I say that it's not easy.

By doing this revamp, DC is opening up a new market for people who want to get involved in comic books, but have been afraid to do so. By creating these new series, people can jump along for the ride right at the beginning, and get invested in comic books for the first time. Maybe now I can finally talk about comic stories to friends of mine who before had no idea what I was talking about.From 52 titles, there bound to be something for everyone, right? And for those of us who still plan on following DC, if what they say is true, this new direction isn’t a total reboot. The stuff that’s important will still remain. Considering how Flashpoint that is the most likely catalyst for this change, I for one can’t wait to see how they’re able to mix the old with the new. From the writing teams I’ve seen so far, it’s seems like good things are in store.

This revamp is essential not just for gaining a new audience, but to help make some old characters popular again. As much as I love Superman, it’s painfully obvious that the character is in need of modernization. It’s definitely time to hang up the red underwear and join us in the 21st century. Same goes for Wonder Woman, Hawkman, etc. These characters have potential, and now they have the opportunity to be better for not just the old fans, but for the new fans also. It also allows for obscure characters like Captain Atom and Mr. Terrific to be introduced to the mainstream. Imagine if in a couple of decades, they’re held in the same regard as Batman and Superman. Okay, maybe they won’t become that popular, but there is definitely endless possibilities.

So while some of you may have already decided to jump ship and seek permanent asylum in the land of Marvel, I urge the rest of you to just wait it out until September, and even a couple months after that. This is a chance for DC to accomplish something great, and I for one can’t wait to see where it takes us. It’ll be interesting for my some of my favorite heroes to enter a new stage in their history for the modern age.

And hey, if this ends up being a massive train wreck, I’ll admit I was wrong :P

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