All of DC Comics are being rebooted to #1 in September 2011. DC hyped this up as the mother of all events and Editor in Chief Dan DiDio and Jim Lee truly were optimistic about DC’s New 52 at the San Diego Comic Con. DC has used social media to advertise this new continuity.
DC has stated its goals, so I believe in the future we could judge DC’s New 52 as a success or failure:
1) Increase sales.
2) Go digital.
3) Make DC Comics mainstream to kids again.
4) Create high quality easily accessible stories that are not smothered in continuity.
DC has lined up dream team creative teams. Justice League #1 already has set a preorder record (it’s the first appearance of everyone.)
As it stands now, I am reserving judgement UNTIL I READ DCnU. Repeat: I am reserving judgement UNTIL I READ DCnU. That being said, allow me to pontificate.
There are too many conflicting reports from DC…DC seems to insisting that is is NOT a full reboot, and won’t even say “soft reboot”, but it obviously is due to Kal-El being an orphan, having a different costume, and being hated/feared for being an alien. He’s not married. He’s also “the first superhero”, which is something I always saw him as but was totally retconned post-Crisis until August 2011.
DC has went on the record and said many pivotal events in the DCU have occurred, such as The Killing Joke (which is ironic, since that photo Batman looks at in the Batcave had Silver Age stuff, even though Killing Joke was post-Crisis) and Identity Crisis.
To make matters even more confusing, it seems as if the first seven issues (months) of Action Comics will occur at the beginning of Superman’s career, and then flash forward 5 years to present day in #8.
At first I thought DCnU was like Ultimate Marvel, which would have been easy to accept, but DC is still clinging to some established and famous storylines. Also, DC will not totally erase all the great work Geoff Johns has done with Green Lantern, so it appears GL will continue with Sinestro being Green Lantern of Earth and Hal Jordan being stripped of his ring.
DC is compromising. No wonder it’s not called a full reboot.
Anyway, I showed a “mainstream” person the new Superman, and he wasn’t buying. He said the costume wasn’t different enough (I assume JMS’s Superman would have been better to him visually) and that the artwork was retro-cartoony. He said the police officer’s hat was from 1938. He said he was passing.
I asked another man who has watched comic book movies what he thought and he said buying comic books at a store or for his iPhone was not something that interested him.
Two teenage girls I spoke with had no idea what I was talking about.
It’s a shame because I dug this piece of art, and liked Grant Morrison going with the “Americans hate immigrants” angle.
Let’s face it:
1- The DC Comics fanbase will buy DCnU.
2- Speculators will buy all the #1′s.
3- Some Marvel fans may give DC a test drive for the first time.
4- It’s possible there is a market of techies that want to read (and will pay cover price for the right) DC Comics on their mobile device via comiXology.
I believe DC’s main goal (besides increased sales) is to convert Marvel Zombies to get back their marketshare. Yet no matter what they say, kids, teens, and young adults would rather spend their time doing other things that read comic books in 2011+. The mainstream marketplace has no curiosity.
It’s just a matter of time before DCnU becomes bogged down in its continuity. I doubt they can retain easy to read ongoing issues like Grant Morrison’s self-contained All Star Superman maxi-series. It’s only a matter of time before DC reveals this is really a new earth, just part of the multiverse, and everything we’ve read is still in continuity.
I do tip my hat to DC for FINALLY restarting its universe, but am disappointed they STILL can’t blow up their previous universe and truly start from scratch.
DC is pitching DCnU as its last hurrah…so there is a chance that if this doesn’t achieve their goals, they would scale back and only keep the top selling titles or even sell out to Disney/Marvel in a few years. Stranger things have happened (WWF buying WCW).
DC/WB does have good visibility with cartoons, DVDs, toys, video games, etc. and they are just trying to make its inaccessible comic book line simple and marketable, but at $2.99 a pop it’s a tough sell for kids/teens. Inflation purists be dammed: when comics hit $1.25 I knew this hobby was too expensive. $1.00 got my mother’s attention. I believe the price point should be $.99 cents (like an iTunes song).
Naysayers have said that selling DC comics online as digital downloads (it’s happening right now) would kill the back issue and new comic market- that DC would be hurting mom and pop comic book shops. Comic book shops have been risky business since the 1980s! Trust me, I’ve been friends with comic book shop owners outside of their shop.
Ultimately, I believe DC will lure in some Marvel fans and some curious tech fans. DC will survive, but not all 52 comics will last a year. The digital push will eventually crush paper printing and will kill mom and pop shops years from now: that is the digital revolution. But it won’t happen overnight. When will newspapers be dead? Wanna take a bet on that?
Will I be buying DCnU? No…I can’t afford it. I will be borrowing them from friends.
I will be covering DCnU on this site when my buddies lend me the issues, and I will have an open mind. My only fear: it’s treated like Amazing Spider-Man and is disrespectful to their old fanbase.