The event that DC Comics has been psyching everyone up for is finally happening: the roll out of their so-called “New 52″, which is a continuity restart for 52 titles. Some new, some old, all starting at #1. This is a big deal in comicdom. Titles like Detective Comics, and Action Comics, were creeping close to issue #1000. Action Comics would have made it in less than a decade. Now as a whole, these wouldn’t be the first comics in the world to make that milestone. There are titles around the world that have hit the 1,000 milestone. Opinions and questions fly rampant about the reboot and what impact it will have.
So why did the co-publishers of DC, Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, and Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns decide to make this monumental leap? Here are a few reasons for this endeavor:
Earlier this summer (as is usually the case) DC was behind Marvel in market share (the amount of titles from each publishing house that are ordered, bought, etc.), monthly sales were trending down, etc. So, the thinking goes, this is the shock to the system that DC needs by using this “reboot” as a public relations cornerstone. Sure, you’re going to have some perturbed, or even downright enraged readers and subscribers that are going to throw a fit about the renumbering (starting back at #1), and dropping storylines, and characters. But the potential for sales to skyrocket is massive. News sites, reporters, etc., always will write or talk about big changes, and happenings in the comic book universe. Look at all the comic conventions year round. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the country, pour into what’s become a hell of a mainstream annual event, which in turn, always holds the attention of major reporting outlets.
Making the announcement of halting the current continuity with some of the highest–grossing properties in the world will make anyone worth their salt drop what they’re doing and pay attention. Big shake-ups mean more of that attention than normal. Which equals curiosity. That, in turn, will bring deals to comic stores and dealers. For instance, subscribing to, or buying an X amount of these new #1 issues. It’s bringing bodies in the stores, peaking the interest. And so far, it seems to be working. Early results say sales are building, and could continue to grow. This may be the genius move DC needed to make for the chance to wave at Marvel in their rear-view mirror.
52 Teams Strong
52 titles. Some of these are re-launches of current ones, and some are brand-new titles. Fresh and new ideas written down, and drawn out by a 2-man creative team (the standard in the industry. 1 writer, 1 artist) some have more, some do not. There’s as many chances to succeed as there are to fail. You’ve got industry veterans, new blood, and guys that have just gotten their feet wet in the last few years. To the reader (consumer), this can be exciting.
And for those who just fell off the proverbial turnip truck, this initiative gives newcomers to the brand a chance to not feel like a fool, or intimidated by reading an issue numbered in the high 500’s or 600’s and left feeling like it’ll be impossible for them to catch up or understand what’s going on. Every series that’s given a restart and makeover will also being able to stand on its own, without any of the scattered continuity crossovers. DC streamlined their characters and continuity in a little universe saga known as “Crisis On Infinite Earths” in 1986, and was a hit, and helped revolutionize, and usher in the “modern” way of comics, and DC is looking for that again with the “New 52”.
Change in the comic industry is good. You can’t let your books get stale, with repetitive story telling, and sometimes locking your characters into a certain way or place. A lot of this is done by “retcon” (adding in history after the fact in the simplest way to sum it up) but this can only be done so much before it begins to look ridiculous to the reader. Yes, this is a fantasy world in print, but I pay my 3 to 5 dollars per issue to be entertained and enthralled by the words I’m reading, in combination with the art that is flying off these pages and assaulting my frontal lobes. So, in short, sometimes a little revolution is a good thing.
To see a full list of the “New 52”, and other info, click me. Hard.
By Q101.com Blogga “Comicbookjockey”
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