[Earlier today we ran an essay by longtime Beat contributor Mark Coale on The DC Flashpoint Reboot. In it he stated he was going to stop reading DC entirely. In the interests of fairness, we reached out to find readers who are excited about the changes. We’ve gotten several great responses and we’ll run them over the next day or so. And yes we’ll get back to non-DC news very very soon!}
As someone who has been a very staunch and passionate DC Comics fan, I’m very much in favor of the DC “reboot.” I started reading DC books around the time of Crisis on Infinite Earths but really started to prefer DC over Marvel in the late 80’s/early 90’s when it seemed as if Marvel stopped speaking to me on a fan level. As I matured as a person and a comic fan, I began to identify with the “core” JLA members (especially Superman) more than I had as a youngster. I immersed myself in DC lore and would consider myself a reasonable expert on DC Continuity. As such, I’ve come to realize that “expert status” can be a detriment to attracting others to share in my passion/habit and am very much open to this measure as an initiative to attracting more people to the party.
Ultimately (no pun intended), I just want great stories and art to tell those stories. I’m not concerned anymore with continuity that “violates” stories I’ve already read as long as the core tenants of the characters stay true (Superman – last son of a dead planet, has a weakness to kryptonite, always does the right thing), than I am if Superman references the last or the last dozen times he’s stopped Lex Luthor from completing his plans. It’s fun to have those for some frame of reference, but they shouldn’t be the elephant in the room preventing the best authors and artists from presenting the best stories that appeal to a wide audience. These aren’t some indie band playing to a small group of people in a dingy bar. It’s Superman, and his story should be accessible and available to all people across all races, colors, creeds, etc. That’s the only way the character will stay active and viable to future generations, which I hope will be the case.
I’m excited about the possibilities of seeing these characters tweaked and/or reinterpreted for the current generation. I’m sure there will be some hits and some misses, but I appreciate that the powers that be at DC are attempting to keep the media form viable and I will keep supporting characters and stories I like. I also realize that there’s the possibility that the stories told with these characters will no longer speak to me and if that’s the case, so be it. I will always have my mountains of back issues to read through and hopefully others will find something they like in these concepts I’ve enjoyed reading about since I was a teenager and into adulthood and middle age.
Having become friends with the owner of the comic shop I frequent, I do worry about his long term prospects for staying in business with the “day and date” electronic availability of the books, but I’ve worried about being able to get my weekly publishing fix for years and this is just the latest “threat” to that stability for how I like to experience my habit. I’m hoping that print can co-exist with digital going forward, but progress is progress and if keeping the publishing “locked” to the direct sales market is killing the industry, then I’m all for finding a way to keep it alive and hopefully expand it.
I’m wishing the creative minds at DC the best of luck with this and I will definitely be sticking around to see what they can do. I hope they don’t let what I think will be the vocal minority of “fans” on the internet (most of whom are lapsed readers anyway it seems) deter them from what I believe are exciting long range plans for the DC universe to continue well after I’m dead and gone and my kids and grandkids are reading them (whatever platform that will be on at that point!).
@DublDownDrew (on Twitter)
St. Paul, MN
As a comic book fan, having a title renumbered, even back to #1, is nothing new. Every time there’s an event book, or a celebrity writer that takes an interest in a character, you can usually expect to have to change your long-boxes around to accommodate new titles or numbers. Sure that makes sense from a marketing angle, but as fans, how many times have we seen these “new beginnings” quickly go back to “the same as before”, often readopting the old numbering? The exciting thing about what DC’s doing with their relaunching of titles is really the extent to which they’re doing it. Continuity, long the bane of any but the most rabid comic readers, never survived in the old system. Wasn’t Final Crisis supposed to have killed off half the world? Isn’t Huntress the daughter of Catwoman and Batman? Is the Green Lantern weak to yellow or wood, or neither? The nature of the medium is that new writers are going to pick up old characters and start making changes, and, as fans, we’ve always just been along for the ride. DC is acknowledging that yes, there are tons of convoluted back stories that are often so tied together that just rewinding one story isn’t going to be enough, and they’re doing something about it. And it’s being done intelligently- by having all reboots under the supervision of one editorial team they’re insuring that there’s going to be less redundancies or inconsistencies. At least for a while fans aren’t going to have to try and figure out such annoyances as where in continuity a story takes place, or which version of the back story is being referenced, or even smaller issues such as why Alan Scott is wearing his old costume in one JSA title and a new one in another (and where did his eye patch go?). By taking the renumbering and putting them in the hands of the people who write comics professionally and consistently, DC stands to not only breathe new life into their titles but also keep those titles breathing fresh breath for longer than the old system of event or celebrity driven false starts, and for that I’m excited.
— Cesare Venegoni
As a long time comics reader who has shifted from being a Marvel zombie to a DC Comics enthusiast the older I get, I’m definitely interested in what the company plans on doing with the reboot of the universe later this year. Frankly, I feel that a lot of the comics have gotten so far away from what the characters are about even as Geoff Johns has gone to great efforts to bring back all of the original characters like Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, Hawkman, Aquaman, etc. It was especially a concern as DC Entertainment has been trying to the big screen and it’s quite evident that it would be impossible for new fans of the characters to jump on board with all of the events and crossovers that’s become the norm in the comics. I highly doubt I’ll be buying all 52 new series, and like everything else, I’ll pick and choose based on the character and the creative team, but I’ve generally been happy with what’s been going on and if they can produce a Teen Titans or a Legion of Super-Heroes or a Justice Society of America comic that’s on par with the Green Lantern books I’ll be very happy. If they can get even more new people reading comics, even better. (And I have to add that DC Comics’ “drawing the line at $2.99” has put them high up in my book in terms of giving them the benefit of the doubt.)
New York City