Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Look at the DC Relaunch

DC comics has a massive relaunch set for September 2011.  In an attempt to attract new, younger readers, and make their hallmark comics easier for readers to jump onto, DC has decided to reset or kick off 52 comics at #1 in September. 

In some ways I can see this being a good plan.  As a relatively new comic reader, one of the reasons I've steered well clear of many of the popular DC and Marvel titles is because I would feel pretty damn lost picking up a random Batman issue and trying to figure out what has been going on with the character since I last read a Batman issue back when I was twelve.  In that sense, by DC relaunching all these titles, It would be much easier for people like me, and young readers to jump on and hypothetically become life-long readers.

Taking a look at the list of writers and artists working on the 52 new titles, it is pretty clear that DC is playing for keeps and putting their best writers and artists on the titles they really want people to read.  They've got Grant Morrison on Action Comics #1, Scott Snyder on Batman #1, Geoff Johns on Green Lantern and Justice League to name a few of their big titles.

I'll admit, I have a pretty high level of nostalgia for a lot of the DC characters, and I'll also admit that I'm intrigued by a few of these titles.  I could definitely see myself reading the Action Comics trade, and maybe some trades of the Batman titles, but what really interests me are the comic written by guys who are currently working creator owned material.

Nathan Edmondson has been kicking serious ass with Who is Jake Ellis? and I had a feeling it was only a matter of time before one of the big two scooped him up.  Edmondson makes his DC debut with Grifter #1, a book that might have some potential.  From the looks of things it has a bit of espionage, a bit of the supernatural, and plenty of action, all areas in which Edmondson excels. 

Jeff Lemire, of Sweet Tooth notoriety, has two comics he'll be penning in the DC relaunch.  The first, Animal Man looks like it might call upon Lemire's ability to deliver some writing that'll punch you right in the emotions. 

His second title, which I'm actually pretty excited about, is Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. Hmm...Frankenstein battling monsters even more ridiculous than himself?  And it's written by Jeff Lemire?  Sounds pretty awesome to me.  That cover looks pretty damn promising too!  Gattling Gun? Check.  Broadsword?  Check.

Even though from my standpoint I see some positives for this relaunch, I still think it could be a blunder by DC.  It seems crazy to me that they would reset some of their long running, well-read titles like Batman and Action Comics.  I'm pretty sure Action Comics is up around 900 issues so far and it seems crazy to reset that comic to #1.  That's like 75 years of comics!  Crazy I tell ya.  It just seems disrespectful to their long time readers to make such huge changes to titles that already have a readership.  Perhaps an Ultimates style approach would work better here, and have a separate universe for their big characters and get new readers on while still maintaining their long-running titles. 

I know many people have stronger opinions on this than me, but whatever happens, it'll be interesting to see how it all shakes out.  In the meantime, it looks like I'll be reading some cool comics.  I'm sure they already thought of that, but still, DC should hire me. 

For more information on the DC relaunch...well it's just about everywhere on any comics site.  For the sake of this post I referred to the coverage at Comics Alliance

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