Thursday, July 14, 2011

DC Comics - The New 52

Scott and I are the big comic collectors in KGS. Me a bit more than Scott, each week I read about 60% of the new comics that come out for the week. This is actually a pretty decent feat since there are probably 100 different new comics each week. I have about 10,000+ comics in my personal collection and have been collecting regularly since the mid 1970s.
Here is my take on the New DC 52:

I hate when companies screw up the series numbering or start series numbering back at issue #1. It’s a big gimmick that affects the long time collectors and store owners in a major way. But the big two companies (Marvel and DC) have been doing it for so long now I am polarized to it. In fact, this complete relaunch of DC may be a genius move. With the announcement that DC is going day and date with new comic digital releases this is the perfect time to relaunch all titles with a new number 1. This way the digital collectors can collect all of the issues as well as the ‘true’ collectors who will be sticking with the physical paper. The numbering system is antiquated and with all the gimmicks done in the past the numbers just aren’t true numbers. Even Action Comics numbering is skewed because it went weekly for some time in the 1990s which artificially elevates your numbers.

New costumes.
Maybe my biggest problem with the New 52. I am hating the new Superman costume. How can they change the iconic Superman costume so much? It even looks like they gave Kal-El an armored outfit. What is that? My hopes are that many of these early images of costumes will be changing before the finished product comes out in September. They have already drastically changed the costume of Wonder Woman from the original pictures that were released. I love some of the changes, I love the fact that they are modernizing some costumes making them more like costumes found in some top selling video games like Arkham Asylum (aka Harley Quinns new look) but you can only go so far. This is the biggest factor that I will be looking at come September and will be a main deciding factor if I stick with a book or not.

Better Stories.
There have been no great comic book stories recently. Ok I lied a little bit; the most recent DC Epic FLASHPOINT is some of the best comic book story telling I have read in probably 10 or 15 years. DC has told its writers there is no more 5 or 6 comic book story arcs (perfect size for trades). If you have a good story and it is only enough to fill 2 comics then run with it. I love this concept. I hate knowing that ok I am reading part 4 of a story so I know they are going to start wrapping it up since the trade will only hold 1 or 2 more issues. Or even worse when they stretch a story that could have been told in 3 issues to 6 just so it is enough to fill a trade.
Along with this new edict comes another new concept I have always been against. Different issues of universe related comics taking place at different times. I have always been a fan of continuity. If it is winter in Batman then it should be winter in Superman. Well along with the better story format DC has announced that some books will take place outside of the ‘standard’ time. Justice League and Action are two books that will focus on the past. So everything you see in these two books would have taken place well before the happenings of the regular monthly Superman, Batman, or Green Lantern titles. Again I’m gonna give this a chance because I have heard some really great things about the Justice League book and I am very anxious to read it.

In Summary:
It remains to be seen what happens with the New DC 52. We know in September there will be 52 new #1 issues for DC Comics. I have added all of these #1s to my pull list at my local comic book store. Will I be getting every issue #2. No, I doubt it. There are already 2 or 3 comics out of this 52 that I have no interest whatsoever in. Will I get more DC titles than I currently get? Yes. Does it seem like this relaunch of DC is going to work? Stay tuned. I do know the local comic store (Comic Store West) has seen customers adding more DC comics to their pull list then they normally do, so initially it seems like it’s a win/win for all. We will wait and see what happens 3, 6, 12 months down the road.
I am also planning a special weekly podcast to review each of the 13 #1s that come out each week of September. Stay tuned to this website for more information.

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