There has been a lot of news around DC Comics decision to reboot their entire line of comics come this September. In the video embedded below DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan Didio says it best:
“In a lot of ways I say our characters are more famous than DC itself”.
This is a very true statement. After sitting through Green Lantern a couple of weeks ago, the guy sitting behind me was impressing his friends with his comic book knowledge. He kept going on and on about how Stan Lee was so involved with the making of Green Lantern, and how Stan Lee is still running the day to day world of the Batman franchise. Now, I know what you are thinking… hey snobby fanboy, leave the guy alone.
I’m not, my comic book universe mashing-up fellow movie-goer is exactly the reason DC is making this move. They are desperate for new readers, plain and simple. DC Comics has over 75 years of rich characters and storytelling, and they feel like it is time they got back to the top of the hill. They need to compete with Marvel again, of course they could follow Marvel’s strategy (putting Wolverine into every book and then making him the leader of 10 different X-teams), and take their most popular character, Batman, and put him into any book they can.
Batman running amok in the DC Universe is not the plan. DC wants the DCU to be a diverse place where any new reader can identify with any number of characters. Keep this in mind, just because there are 52 new books coming out this September, it doesn’t mean there will be 52 books still being published come February. I know I have books I’m looking forward to adding to my pull-list to see what has happened to some of my favorite characters (you know Batman, Nightwing, Teen Titans, Static Shock, Green Lantern, Firestorm & Green Arrow to start). I’m also excited about some books that will be new to me, books like Frankenstein, Swamp Thing, Grifter, Deathstroke, the Suicide Squad and Blackhawks.
This is an interesting time for comic book publishers, fans and anyone interested in good storytelling. Publishers need to figure out a way to leverage the success of the big screen comic book characters into comic book sales. As we are firmly entrenched into the digital age perhaps with each ticket to any of their movies they include a code for a free digital download of a comic book. Or even crazier, give away a free comic book with each ticket. Don’t make the theater’s pay for the book, don’t charge movie goers for the books. Simply slide the book under the plexiglass window with the ticket and receipt. Getting a truly free comic book, not just a part of the book, but a whole book could go a long way to helping this struggling industry survive.
Regardless, on Wednesday, August 31st, DC Comics will launch a historic renumbering of the entire DC Universe line of comic books with 52 first issues. This is their chance to capture an all new fan base, we 20 – 40 something fanboys and girls out there can’t keep the industry afloat forever.
Want to find the new #1 for you? DC Universe: The Source has this handy guide to all that is new… HERE.