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DC plans comic line reboot in September

Interesting news from USA Today

DC will re-number its entire line of superhero titles, beginning with all-new No. 1 issues starting Aug. 31 ? 52 in all, including a new Justice League No. 1. Fittingly, the publisher put its creative superteam on its trademark superhero superteam.

Guided by writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee, Justice League will begin its first year with an updated secret origin reflecting DC’s new initiative, giving the group a reason for coming together that it lacked when the league first appeared in 1960. And while it will ultimately boast 14 members, at its core will be DC’s A-list do-gooders: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman.

From another story in USA Today:

“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.”

I’m not into comic books enough to understand the impact of this, but I did have to laugh at what Caleb Mozzocco observed with the promo art distributed with this announcement.

The first thing I did, of course, was look closely at the image running with the story (above), and noted that everyone has those dumb collars that Aquaman’s new, post-Blackest Night costume has. Even Green Lantern Hal Jordan’s, which is widely regarded as one of the best superhero costumes ever, and Superman’s, which defines superhero costuming. Wonder Woman has a little necklace echoing the effect too.

Community Comments

#1 Tony Piro
June/1/2011
@ 11:09 am

Everyone seems to missing the REAL story here, which isn’t the reboot, but that DC will be releasing these comics in both digital and print versions on the SAME DAY. I don’t see how floppy comics and comic book stores will continue to exist as we know them know with this change.

#2 Jules Rivera
June/1/2011
@ 12:48 pm

The same-day digital distribution is a nice touch, but what I’m looking at seems to be the same thing in a slightly different package. So DC wants to market to “today’s audience.” Who are they talking about when they say that? Do they mean teenagers? Do they mean kids? Do they mean the current crop of Wednesday comics crowd who would buy the current storylines anyway? Who are these “new readers” DC is aiming at? They should be aiming at younger readers (especially children) for sure, but I suspect that’s not what’s going to happen and DC’s marketing department is sitting on their thumbs on this one.

All the major comic publishers (not just DC) need to radically address their current marketing strategy if they want to reach these so-called “new readers”. Unless they’re branching to other methods of media to advertise besides within the comic stream, this is going to turn out to be just another gimmick, no new readers will be reached and we start all over again.

#3 Darryl Heine
June/1/2011
@ 2:11 pm

So D.C. is rebooting all it’s Superhero comics (except for MAD Magazine, Looney Tunes, and Scooby Doo) with #1 issues? What’s next? Marvel starting over all its issues with #1 issues as well?

#4 John McNamee
June/1/2011
@ 2:34 pm

With Jim Lee drawing it, JLA will have the cool modern artistic sensibility of the early 90’s. Keep up that forward thinking DC.

#5 David Jones
June/1/2011
@ 2:37 pm

DIGITAL STRIPPING

I see this as an easy way for the black market to screw over DC… Piracy will be running ramped.

REBOOT

I do not lie this idea either. I would have rather seen the young sidekicks get their own titles and leave the mentors alone for us old dog readers….

#6 Jeff Stanson
June/1/2011
@ 11:43 pm

The way the entertainment industry works today: when creative juices begin to ebb, reboot! Basically, modern day publishers are still trying to repeat the successes of the silver age. Unfortunately, the toughest demand by modern comic readers is continuity… and publishers can only take storylines so far because that means characters must age. As characters age and follow natural life courses, they begin to lose appeal with the “money” demographics, which brings us back to, you guessed it, reboot.

Can a comic maintain continuity and continue without rebooting?Look at two newspaper comics which should be continuity fans’ dream, Gasoline Alley and The Phantom. Gasoline Alley was designed for characters to age. As time as marched on, it should have been focusing on various generations of family members. And while it still does to some extent, it mostly keeps going back to characters who might should have died long ago. The Phantom on the other hand, should die about every thirty years or so to make way for his heir(s) to become the next Phantom. But instead, adventures continue to follow the same Phantom, who fought in pre-WW2 days as well as in post-modern 2011… how could this be the same guy, with the same horse, the same wolf, and same girlfriend/wife? What has kept these characters alive, the fans or the syndicates? Why can’t we move on? And when creative teams try to move us on, too many times they have royally killed the goose that layed the golden egg. Take Dynamite’s attempt to reboot The Phantom… they should have simply built on the legacy by bringing us the next generation. Instead, they’ve given us a textbook example of how bad a reboot can be by taking away too much of the essence of the original character.

Meanwhile, in the comic book world, Barry Allen and Hal Jordan once replaced Jay Garrett and Alan Scott so successfully that DC keeps bringing back Barry Allen and Hal Jordan every time they try to kill them off or replace them. No one has been able to recapture the silver age magic. But even the silver age went back to cover their tracks by bringing us Earth-2. So what do you do?

#7 Michael Hawkins
June/2/2011
@ 8:00 pm

I think I read somewhere that DC’s top selling comic in February was Green Lantern, with 77,000 copies. That’s pitiful. They simply need to get their readership up. Hopefully this new launching will come with a lower digital price (99 cents?) with easy digital subscriptions available. Also, the stories should go back to being like a tv series: complete stories in one or two issues with an overarching subplots (that build up into a season finale-type of story) to get the readers coming back to find out what happens next, instead of 7-8 issues making up one story at a $2.99/$3.99 price point per issue. These DC Universe titles should be PG or PG-13 and aimed at their movie-going audience. Other titles can be aimed at kids.
Hopefully this will get DC more readers and they can sell collectors deluxe hardcover editions of the comics.
The DC team is respecting the previous continuity by creating an event before the new comics launch (Flashpoint) which, I believe, is to “create” these alterations at the end.

#8 mikecrachiolo@gmail.com
June/4/2011
@ 9:50 pm

I AGREE WITH MICHAEL HAWKINS ABOUT MAKING THE STORIES SHORTER FOR THOSE WHO MAY STILL REMEMBERVA SUPERMAN COMIC HAD THREE STORIES WITH THE THIRD ONE BEING THE FEATURE STORY SHOWN ON THE COVER AND THE NEXT ISSUE WAS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT AND THE SAME FOR ALL THE TOP GUNS AT DC WHICH WAS KNOWN AS NATIONAL THEN AROUND 1967 I BELIEVE THAT STARTED WHERE YOU HAD TO READ CROSSOVER STORIES AND GO BROKE DOING IT

#9 Eddie Pittman
June/5/2011
@ 12:36 am

Dude, you’re waking my kid up.

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