I’ve been following the DC Comics reboot with a lot of interest. I’ve always been a comic book fan but for the last several years have felt a bit left behind. Too many conflicts in the so-called “continuity” had made it hard for even a fan to explain what was happening. Some heroes had died and come back, others gone evil and back. Or both, in the case of Green Lantern.
So I’m glad they’ve decided to start fresh and renumber every comic back to #1. I know some people out there are miffed at the lost history, but I personally was getting tired of having to go to Wikipedia every time a comic referenced a mysterious super vortex first seen in issue 367. I was also getting sick of all the crises constantly afflicting the DC universe. Seriously, they had a “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” an “Infinite Crisis” and a “Final Crisis,” and the last two happened in the span of a few years. I don’t care about earth-shattering events; I just want to read a good story!
And good stories they are. DC so far has only released about 14 of the planned 52 books labeled #1 this month, but there have already been some winners. I’ve read five of them — Justice League, Action Comics (Superman), Detective Comics (Batman), Swamp Thing and Batgirl. Justice League is a great introduction to the DC Universe and has more action than a Michael Bay picture (in a good way). If you’re looking for something a a little darker and more sophisticated, check out Detective Comics, which is a classic Joker story with a twist, or Swamp Thing, a devilish tale of horror (environmental horror?)
Action Comics reminded me of old-school 1940s Superman, but didn’t wow me as much as the others (though I guess some might find it interesting seeing Superman in jeans and a T-shirt). But then, I’ve always been more of a Batman fan. The Batgirl book has strong writing, but feels very much like the first in a larger story arc. Oddly, it also seems to require some knowledge of the character’s past.
The thing I think is really going to boost sales at DC Comics isn’t the narrative reboot, though. It’s digital comics.
Have you heard about this yet? You can now buy digital versions of all of the new comics, the day they are released, and read them on your PC, smartphone or tablet.
This addresses two of the main reasons I stopped buying actual issues of comic books:
- I had to make special trips every time I wanted to go to a comic book store. The two shops I know of in Washington, DC are in Georgetown (which takes a Metro ride and a bus transfer to get to), and Union Station (which also requires a $2 Metro ride)
- I have very little space to store comic books.
Digital solves both of these problems. I can buy a comic with a mouse click or a tap on my phone’s touch screen, and they’re all stored online so I don’t have to buy an entire filing cabinet. The price per comic feels a little steep since it’s the same as what you’d pay for a print edition, but damn if it isn’t convenient. Longtime comics fans might scoff at the idea, but I am sure it’s going to bring in a lot of people like me who were having trouble keeping up.
What do you think of the DC reboot? Does digital distribution make the difference? Please leave a comment below!