In a short-story kind of sense, I owe this entire blog and everything we’ve accomplished over the past year to DC Comics. The New 52 has become a gateway for me, as well as many others I believe, to jump back into comics. It helps when you have friends who put the comic bug in your ear as well (@The_ScottToomey). But overall, I had no expectation to be blogging comics and I had no idea I would be enjoying the books and this industry as much as I am right now.
Sadly, not everyone has enjoyed the reboot by DC. Many comic veterans have been disappointed by some of the stories and designs, as their heroes are not the same characters they used to be. Below is just one example quote of someone disappointed with Superman.
People who think that DC’s new 52 is a “success” are delusional. They have destroyed my love for Superman and pretty much all of DC except for about 10 books maybe. I can’t believe the kool-aid some people are drinking. Give me the old DC and actual characters I care about. Also Marvel “copied” it….no, they didn’t mess all their old continuity to try to win the market share.
Unfortunately, the newer readers like myself don’t know much different as we naturally embraced the starting off point. As a new reader or someone who steps into a comic shop a few times per year, it can be really frustrating and overwhelming to select a few books that are already on issue #78 or #22 even. Understandably, some long-time readers want the depth and history behind their characters to exist, as they have invested a lot of time and money into the characters they love, and they want to continue to follow them with that familiarity or closeness. In this sense, I appreciate both sides of the coin. Some of DC’s titles and arcs have been very entertaining as they didn’t completely recreate many (or most) of these characters, and the way they marketed the New 52 has been ultra fantastic. The social media push, advertising, and large number of artist and writer signings has really propelled the entire market. DC didn’t just blow up their own universe, they shook the entire industry. Comixology and digital comics are also playing a huge part in that, but really, every other comic publisher in existence should be thanking DC Comics. Why? Because the New 52 has become a gateway for new or renewed comic buyers to follow other titles from other publishers.
That said, I was a HUGE New 52 Kool-Aid drinker for the first 6-8 months and Comichype.com most likely wouldn’t exist without it. The New 52 was a gateway for me to jump back into comics in general, where I did find some New 52 titles that I enjoyed, but it also got me into other publishers and stories as well. I am sorry to hear that some veterans have been slapped in the face with the relaunch but I hope it was all for a good cause. I hope that long-term, these stories and characters will mature, and that DC will suck those longtime readers back in for everyone’s sake. I do think the relaunch sparked the industry a bit which is good for everyone… then again, what do I really know about the industry? Have shop owner’s revenue gone up on average over the past year? Are they selling more DC titles? If so.. then this is a success and it’s good for DC obviously, but also comics in general. I also believe that the growing success in comic based movies is contributing to comic sales and everyone who enjoys these movies should also give the books a chance. I still get the feeling that many people immediately dismiss the idea of comics or think they are childish or meant for teens and younger, but the truth is, comics are fiction at its finest. I have NEVER enjoyed novels as much as I’ve enjoyed comics. Here’s a movie idea or incentive, hand out a free comic at the next big comic movie premiere. Show those people who are there on marvel now preview1 DC Comics New 52 The Gateway to Comicsopening night that the movie doesn’t end and that they can follow these stories on paper.
Whether you are a fan of the New 52 or not, all of us comic fans should be thankful for this relaunch. Superman is still Superman, Batman is still Batman, we have a few new characters to learn about, a number of older or continued characters still exist, and overall, comic shops and digital sales have performed well over the past year. The DC ‘Gateway’ has really opened my eyes in discovering the quality content being put on the shelves each week by multiple publishers, and without the New 52, I most likely would have missed out on this hobby in which I sincerely enjoy. Thanks DC.
What’s new this week? The Marvel Universe has been a bit overwhelming for me and I have not tried many books from this publisher. The battles in AvX were fun and I enjoyed the mini-series called Battle Scars but when can I really jump into a Marvel series? How about NOW! With Marvel NOW! starting up and the debut of Uncanny Avengers #1, I’m jumping into Marvel the same way I did with the New 52 last year. Part of me thinks that I will never be a devoted Marvel follower simply because I feel more connected to the DC Universe but I owe it to myself as a fan of comics and fiction to support Marvel NOW! and have some fun with this. What do you think? Was the New 52 good for the industry as well as good for DC Comics? I encourage feedback on this post! Has starting off on a reboot or relaunch encouraged you to begin picking up books from other publishers as well? I hope so!
Yes this post is an excuse to talk about the New 52/people experience with the New 52.