The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Comic Editorial: DC Heroes Reborn + Comic Story Tellers

Written by: Gary M. Kenny, CC2K Comics Editor

Gary Kenny comments on DC’s historic relaunch and urges his readers to check out Michael “Frick” Weber’s Comic Book Storytellers episode #1.

Dan Dido (co-publisher of DC comics) is cleaning house. He is taking over 50 beloved/iconic DC characters and redesigning their costumes, modernizing their origins, and every DC title is starting over with a brand spanking new #1. So wave goodbye to to the highest consecutively numbered comic: Actions Comics (after #904 it starts over) and fork over $3.99 for #1 and all the incentive covers that follow. Jim Lee has redesigned over 50 new costumes (first image shown below). You’ll notice Supes “S” has changed slightly, Batman has a battle armor uniform, Wonder Woman has pants, yet Aquaman still looks like a wuss, and why does Green Lantern have a machine gun for a penis (i know he doesn’t, but the gun hangs a bit low)? Did you notice how young they all look? Does that mean they are in their early twenties? Does that mean Batman INC is done? Is Tim Drake is a toddler? Ah so many questions.

First off, i’m happy Dido wants to clean up the continuity within the DC universe and bring in new readers. It should have been done back in the 1980’s after Crisis on Infinite Earths. He’s seen what they did over at Marvel with Amazing Spider-Man‘s “Brand New Day.” All in all, It’s a smart move. Plus, I can’t judge what the quality is with the revamps just yet, but this is a mighty big gamble. Right now, everything is sacred. With new modernized origins and hints that characters like Flash and Batman are going to be younger; people are questioning what will happen to certain fan favorites. Characters like Tim Drake, Daemon Wayne, Ravanger, Cassie Sandsmark,etc. are in danger of being erased.

“We really want to inject new life in our characters and line,” says Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC with Lee. “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.”

This makes sense, I mean thanks to the big summer comic movies, younger readers and fans who stopped reading comics are coming back and they are lost and can’t find a place to jump on. Marvel did the point one comics for just that reason. However, loyal DC readers are scared (I slightly altered their names for the sake of privacy, but all can be found on DC’s Facebook)

Juli4n R08ert: If you guys want to attract more new readers who need jump-on points, how about just stopping with the massive arcs that bleed into one another and just write more SELF-CONTAINED STORIES that weave references to past events into the narrative (or at least a useful Note From Ed)?
It’s not exactly rocket science.

Ed R0bzns2n: I’ll reserve judgment, but if this means an end to the current teens, Tim Drake, Cassie Sandsmark, Connor Kent, etc., DC will have lost a big customer… they’re my favorite characters, and that would definitely put an end to my DC-buying days.

Basically by grabbing new readers you’re also in danger of losing loyal readers. However there are some loyalist that are saying that this relaunch could fix continuity holes and erase some bad stories. So, like I said “this is a mighty big gamble.” Plus all across the DC Facebook lots of people are cursing off Geoff Johns, Lee, Dido and mostly because they are scared. They have a right to be scared. But, we build up our heroes just to tear them down. So yes, this might be goodbye to some beloved characters. This might be goodbye to your favorite comic book. Yet, this could be hello to your new favorite comic book or character.This is an exciting time. On Gail Simone’s twitter account she writes:

@GailSimone: Guys, it’s the Bacon Age of Comics. It’s terrible for you but it’s a thousand times more delicious. It will kill you, yes, but happily.”

This generation has produced so many great writers. Simone, Dan Slott, Geoff Johns (his Flash run and Sinestro Corps War was epic), Grant Morrison! Guess what Grant Morrison is writing the Superman reboot, that alone gives me the chills. Honestly i don’t expect Dido and crew to completely destroy characters. I’ll make my point with one character specifically: Stephanie Brown. She was liked, hated, killed, and thanks to the cries of many comic readers DC resurrected her as the new Batgirl. DC does listen to their readers (the epic Danny O’Neil killing of Jason Todd/Robin) and after the comic community gives DC their chance for change, any problems readers have will be fixed. It’s just good business. Also bringing in new readers is so important to this community. This change can give new readers wondrous and unbound stories. Imagine Superman and Wonder Woman as a couple or at least having a story trying that out. I understand that we are playing with iconic characters here. Many people associate memories and morals with these historic characters and their tales. But if continuity is more important to you then potentially amazing stories or if the numbers on books matter rather then new readership to keep this hobby, this community alive (look at tokyopop!), then maybe it’s time to move on.

Hey Dido, i’m worried, Tim Drake is one of my favorite characters. You’re potentially killing him. However, even though i’m worried, i’m happy to take this leap with you as a reader. The past few years DC has produced amazing stories: Batman RIP, Identity Crisis, The 1st few arcs in Teen Titans, resurrection of Green Arrow, HUSH (there are so many), etc. If this revamp reignites this universe’s engine, well i’m game. Just make sure to keep Jonah Hex going (though its the best cowboy book around, it actually might be the only one as well). Please share your thoughts on the forum and/or join our CC2K Facebook group and tell me your thoughts. It’s fine if you don’t agree with me. Hell, you might have a point I haven’t even considered yet.



Author: Gary M. Kenny, CC2K Comics Editor

Gary is a husband, father, fireman, comic reader, gamer, body builder, and rocker. He also is a co-owner of a bakery in upstate NY. He likes to tell everyone his favorite band is the Beatles, when his actual favorite band is the Alkaline Trio.

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