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MORE disjointed thoughts on the DC Reboot


dcrelaunchAs I knew would happen, listening to one single podcast (a Comic Geek Speak special), I found my views on the DC announcement this week if not 100% changed, at least far more “open” with some positive thrown in. Plus, the whole thing is such a HUGE announcement with so many unknowns and waves of implications that it takes more than a few minutes to begin really processing.

Some more thoughts, questions, ideas, and musings:

Since there’s going to be day-and-date digital release…many people will acquire “issues” electronically without ever setting foot in a comic shop. BUT…what if each digital issue came with some sort of way to get ahold of a local comic shop for a print edition, or “for more information” about related material?

What if buying digital-only means any given issue is only 99 cents? BUT–if you buy the print edition, you get some kind of card or code good for a “free” copy of that issue in digital format? That way–the casual reader never going to a comic shop gets a cheap digital comic…the new generation of comic reader. But for the old generation of fans, who prefer to buy the print edition, there’s that chance to access an electronic edition, which might spur one to try buying issues that way.

The social networking thing would definitely need to be addressed. Have something where at time of purchase/download, one can send a post to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and so on. “I just got BATMAN #1, written by _______ and art by _______!” (and associate a cover image, and perhaps the equivalent of solicitation text for the issue). Perhaps even allow a user to go back in and “rate” the issue and write a short review…which could then be posted the same way. Let the things go “viral” or some such.

I wonder what the relaunch and pursuing of the digital crowd might mean for the collectability of the comics. If “anyone” can simply acquire a “copy” of the issue digitally–does that largely remove the collectability even of a first issue (at least among “the masses”)? (Surely a certain amount of people will still see value and collectability in the print editions).

I am a collector in the sense of getting the long runs, and having full stories as single issues if I haven’t simply waited for the collected edition. I’d prefer to see the things enjoyed rather than hoarded for supposed value. (I thoroughly enjoy buying 25 or 50-cent copies of various issues that were THE big sellers and “hot items” in the ’90s, now relegated to bargain bins and otherwise forgotten.)

I don’t like the idea of the renumbering, but…they’re gonna do what they’re gonna do, and I’ve made my views on renumbering and variants quite well known…and will SURELY post to address my thoughts on that front as the general announcements are made in the coming months.

That said…I hope that WITH this relaunch, they take it all the way. Yeah, events and stories (Blackest Night, for example) happened, or can be referenced such that the reader who is new doesn’t need to read the other story/event…but where it might add depth to things for the older reader that did.

If this is just a mass tweaking of origins and points in the status quo…yuck. But make it a hard reboot. Let Superman BE a new character. The more I’ve thought of it, the more I’ve realized that my complaints with Superman the last few years has been that they’ve been in many ways trying to REVERT the character to something it was before, instead of moving forward.

So–whatever the character–with this relaunch, make them NEW. Let Superman NOT be the “Crisis to Crisis” Superman of the late 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. Let him be something new. So long as the character is moving forward instead of being dragged backward…I like to think I’m ok with that. And if this is a whole new continuity (with some reflections of stuff read in the last 25+ years)…then nods and homage could be highly awesome.

I hope that stories will be more compressed. Instead of the 6-issue arcs, cut back to 3 issues or 2 or even done-in-ones. Maybe the digital follower will buy Superman regularly, but will they come back every 4 weeks for consecutive issues? Make them welcome into the universe of the stories by allowing for them NOT coming back for every single issue consecutively. Or, don’t force them to do so for more than 2-3 months at a time.

I can see where DC has likely tried sticking to the old fanbase, the existing audience. But if numbers are truly shrinking, then I can see that maybe they’ve decided that ok, that’s not working: so now reaching out for a whole new audience. Maybe some of the old will come along. They can’t go back to the 1990s, and everything they’ve done with Superman has just left me more and more frustrated, with limited exceptions. So–since they’re not going to “win” with me, it’s about time they got the hint, and do something new. And maybe I’ll be unable to resist and come check things out.

While there’s still no way I’d be able to afford the whole line at the shop…if DCBService were to offer a hefty discount–making each debut issue roughly $1…I actually think I might be willing to go for that, in order to give everything that first issue to hook me, to impress me.

Perhaps my biggest concern with the “universe” or (dare I use the word? CONTINUITY) is what characters will still exist. Specifically–the Tim Drake Robin, as well as the Connor Kent Superboy, John Henry Steel, the Eradicator, and the Cyborg. Tim Drake’s been around for nearly a quarter century (longer than Wolverine had been when I got into comics in the early 1990s!), while Superboy/Steel/Eradicator/Cyborg have been around for 18 years. I would hope that might be long enough that they’d BE “iconic” enough to have a place.

Even if it’s a matter of some alternate Earth or something.

Still loads of other questions and thoughts and possibilities. Two days in, and at this point…I’d say I’m nervous about this–a relaunch flies in the face of my past 20+ years of following DC to one degree or another. But I feel almost like I did with Smallville. I resisted it for so long for NOT being “my” Superman, for not being part of the story *I* already knew and liked. But once I accepted it simply as its own thing, I fell in love and followed the series faithfully for its final 2 full seasons.

Plenty of potential for good. Plenty for bad. And anything/everything between.

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