02 03 Nerd Lunch: DC Reboot: Rearranging Deck Chairs on Planet Krypton 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

DC Reboot: Rearranging Deck Chairs on Planet Krypton

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CT has more of a dog in this fight than I do. He was mainly a DC Comics fan growing up, while I was strictly into Marvel Comics. But around the time we started hanging out, post-college, I started reading DC and quickly came to realize there was some great stuff. In particular, I appreciate just how incredibly convoluted the whole universe is, with your Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis and Earth-2s and such.

So when I read about the upcoming relaunch --- 52 first issues in one month! --- at first I understood that this was a clean slate, Year One, Ground Zero approach. And I loved the idea, because it's just the kind of thing to force creators to write something different, something that isn't aimed at a reader who is obsessive about 70 years of back story. Because as CT pointed out . . . not too many people are buying comics anymore. So as I see it, DC / Warner Brothers should be trying to (1) storyboard some movie franchises and (2) sell some Underoos.

But it turns out that's not what they're doing at all. The Batman and Green Lantern franchises are perceived as being in very good shape right now, so they get to continue without any retcons. Everything else is up for grabs, but while a couple of comics will kick off with "Year One" stories (Action Comics and Justice League), everything else starts somewhere around . . . what, Year Ten? Year Twelve? Long enough that Dick Grayson is a grown man and Batman is on his fourth or fifth Robin, anyway.

Much better approach: Year One, straight up reboot. Put your best creators on your core properties --- Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman, the Justice League. Do something with the sidekicks similar to the "Young Justice" cartoon. Take those second-tier characters --- Captain Marvel, Atom, Firestorm, Blue Beetle --- and introduce some diversity into the universe while building up that universe. As long as that stuff continues to flourish, DC can experiment more on the fringes . . . cowboy books, war books, hard sci-fi, whatever.

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