I’m a girl who reads comics. I like the idea of an ongoing series that creates a visual world and then fills it out over time. What I haven’t ever gotten into are capes-and-tights comics. Those worlds are just too big and too full for me to wrap my head around. It’s a daunting task, diving into a world that has been building over decades upon decades, introducing parallel universes and alternate versions of just about everything. Comic lines have surpassed 500 issues in many cases. As someone that needs to know a whole story, it’s impossible to read capes-and-tights books without feeling like you’re missing something or more likely an entire universe of somethings.
Which is why I think the DC reboot is a great idea. This is going to be the huge story out of Comic Con this year. DC is holding panels for each individual division (the Bat Family, the Super Family, the monsters, etc.) and a panel specifically about the new universe every single day. I'm incredibly excited to see what they present and what I can get my hands on and here's why.
It’s not even a reboot. According to reports, the Powers That Be are simplifying origin stories, redesigning aspects of costumes, and selectively ret-conning decades of history to make it easier for a new reader to come on board. For the most part, it’s not going to resemble a new start, building from the ground up, but a pared down version of the current characters. There will still be history and relationships and references that I probably still won’t understand, but at least it won’t be entire issues I can’t follow. Then again, I don’t think anyone outside the walls of DC really knows what is going to happen in September just yet. What we do know is:
- DC will introduce new #1 issues to 52 stories, including all your classic DC heroes
- Many books are getting brand new creative teams, though often times it’s just DC talent being laterally shifted to a new book
- Many of the characters have redesigned costumes (Wonder Woman still has PANTS!)
- Barbara Gordon has functional legs
That last one caused a bit of a kerfuffle in fandom when it was announced, reverting a handy capable character back to her pre-injured state. Due to my lack of familiarity with the story line beyond the basics, I’ll refrain from comment.
On the surface, it doesn’t sound like much. How will the fact that Superman no longer wears red underoos over his tights bring in new readers? Well, it probably won’t. What might bring new readers in will be the #1 on the front of the issue. The number 1 is far less daunting than #672. It’s a way in, a new beginning without the heavy burden of history over the reader’s head, even if it’s just a superficial feeling of inclusion. For a moment, a new reader won’t have to know if Batman and Robin is the same story as Detective Comics (for the record, I don’t believe they are, but then again, what do I know? I don’t read them). It won’t matter that there have been 18,000 Robins and which ones turned evil. The story begins anew!
Not only will there be new #1 issues, there will also be new books. Batwoman is finally coming back with a monthly series. Catwoman has a new series. Barbara Gordon is now Batgirl and readers will most likely not need to know her history as Oracle in the Birds of Prey, which means the Birds of Prey line is going to be completely different. Superboy seems to have turned into a cybernetic organism based on the cover shot, which could be interesting.
The worst thing about the DCnU 52 (that’s what people seem to be calling it) is Harley Quinn. I like Harley Quinn. She’s a fun crazy character. She seems like the perfect person to head up the Suicide Squad, a pack of criminals that go on deadly missions that includes a giant dinosaur, so you’d think in theory I’d like the idea. But then they went and whored her up. What the hell, DC? Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that you’ve given most of your heroines pants this go around and, thank god, breasts that are not larger than their respective heads, but seriously… What. The. Hell.
But overall, good idea. I find myself wanting to pick up issue #1 of many of these series just to see what they’ve done, especially with the classic characters, but also to see how a decades old universe can be renewed and sold to (sort of) newbies like me. While many long term fans are upset by the potential change, I find it exciting and look forward to the new DC universe coming in September.
Mandroid is taking the crew to Comic Con! Hopefully we’ll be coming back with more information regarding what’s happening in the comic ‘verse, an arm full of shiny new books and lots more. Posts should still go up each day, all dedicated to comics this week, of course, and we’ll drop by when we have a free second to breathe and a functional wifi connection.