DC Relaunch: Superman and The Final Four

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Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s plane! Wait… is that Superman? Today, DC Comics announced the final four titles in their line-wide relaunch of 52 comics being released in September. And those four titles showcased a very different take on The Man of Steel and his Kryptonian cohorts.

This is what we’ve all been waiting for! The big Superman announcement that DC made us wait an entire week for! Aren’t you excited?? I was! And in my ongoing coverage of DC’s relaunch, lovingly dubbed “The Relaunch of Doom,” I’m listing all of the titles announced along with my running commentary, so join me as we discuss the fab four Superman family titles.

Action Comics #1Action Comics #1 – My favorite writer Grant Morrison, writer of All Star Superman, will team with one of my favorite artists Rags Morales to bring us a story unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Superman will be existing in a world that doesn’t trust The Man of Steel, but how will he react? Obviously by wearing jeans and a t-shirt, but what else? Well, since it’s a Superman story “unlike any you’ve ever read before,” I assume that we’ll be seeing The Man of Tomorrow saving the world by day, while spending his nights dealing with people’s mistrust by frequenting local Metropolis night clubs! Superman will be enjoying mojitos while dancing the night away! Oh joy! Of course, I’m only kidding, I would totally read that, but I’m kidding. The only reason I speak in jest about this is we’ve seen Superman interpreted in many different ways, especially on other Earths in the DC Universe, so I’m not sure that they can actually deliver on this promise. I know that Morrison loves and respects the character, so I just hope he doesn’t make Superman dark. The rest of the company’s comics are dark, let Superman the beacon that we can all look towards again. Please. Fans deserve it after the past few years.

Superman #1Superman #1George Perez, the legendary artist of Crisis on Infinite Earths and The New Teen Titans and writer of one of the most important runs of Wonder Woman, will be writing this title alongside the artwork of Jesus Merino, who I love, will be showing us the new status quo on Superman and how it effects his (former?) girlfriend/wife Lois Lane and his pal Jimmy Olsen. This title, I assume, will focus more on Superman and his relationships with those in Metropolis rather than the big storyline that Grant Morrison is concocting on Action. I have no reason to doubt this book, so I’ll probably check out the first couple of issues to test the waters, but if this goes the way of so many other Superman stories, then it runs the risk of a muddled creative direction tied to the standard story of alien attack on Metropolis, Superman fights them, game over. There’s only so many times that can happen before it gets a little old. So, I’m cautiously optimistic in regards to Superman.

Supergirl #1Supergirl #1 – DC describes this new characterization from writers Michael Green and Mike Johnson and artist Mahmud Asrir as having “the unpredictable behavior of a teenager, the same powers as Superman and none of his affection for the people of Earth.” Well, doesn’t that just sound spectacular? Another dark take on Supergirl! Hopefully, that’s just a misdirection. I mean, how dark of character can someone be with knee-less boots on? But does anyone actually like Supergirl when she’s written like an angry brat? Because I sure don’t. I prefer a fun, light take on the character while also never losing the sensibility that she kicks ass, much like we’ve been seeing from James Peaty’s recent arc on the title. Judging by the look of these announcements, it seems like DC doesn’t seem to realize that their characters can be fun and be tough at the same time. And if I’m being honest, I’m not interested in this title in September. Until then, however, I will be purchasing every issue of Kelly Sue DeConnick and Chriscross’ upcoming arc.

Superboy #1Superboy #1 – The other new DC golden boy, Scott Lobdell will be teaming up with artists R.B. Silva and Rob Lean to bring an all sort of new take on the character of Superboy. And that’s really all I can think of saying regarding the title. Although I typically enjoy Silva’s art, I’m not terribly interested in this title. The strange thing about what we see from the cover of this is that this character design is a far cry from what we see from the cover(s) of Teen Titans. So, how knows? The one thing I know is that I probably won’t be picking up this title in September. It just doesn’t really grab my attention, at all.

That is finally it for all of DC’s titles coming in September! YAY!! We’ve finished this chapter in our lives together! Wait… are you telling me this is only the beginning of DC’s relaunch!? In the immortal words of Kel Mitchell from Keenan and Kel, “Awww… here it goes!”

Amazon.com Widgets

From: http://geeksofdoom.com/2011/06/10/dc-relaunch-superman-and-the-final-four/

DC al Fine*: The Great Superhero … Reboot? Relauch? Revamp? Retread?

WE'RE NUMBER 1! Uh, literally. Cover of JUSTICE LEAGUE #1, due in September.
Enlarge DC Comics

WE'RE NUMBER 1! Uh, literally. Cover of JUSTICE LEAGUE #1, due in September.

Last week, DC Comics — the house of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Beppo the Super-Monkey — called a do-over.

A bit of background: A summer crossover event called Flashpoint is currently wreaking merry havoc across the DC Universe. Just about every superhero title DC publishes is experiencing temporal quakes and reality rifts and throwdowns with alternate-timeline doppelgangers — the whole “EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW IS WRONG!” schmear, really.

We true-believers have seen this before, of course. A threat to the very fabric of space-time is a rite of the superhero summer: It is the very zinc oxide. The ice cream sandwich. And, at times, the prickly heat.

What we didn’t appreciate, however, is that this particular crossover event will have real-world ramifications. Come September, DC’s entire superhero line will start over: Some 52 different titles will get all-new “first” issues.

Also? From now on, all of them will be available digitally on the same day the physical comic arrives in stores.

 

So What’s the Big Deal, Here? The Renumbering?

Depends on who you are. To collectors and speculators, yeah. I mean, superhero titles relaunch all the time — hell, there’ve been like seven Aquaman #1s over the years, if you count mini-series — yet still they get snapped up.

To folk like me, who read superhero books for the characters, stories and face-punching, the number on the cover has never mattered much. Oh sure, when I was a kid, I knew several guys who could reel off the issue numbers of various character’s origins, deaths, costume changes, etc., but lately? Not so much. I’ve a feeling this very particular skill set is going vestigial, the appendix of comic book nerddom in the age of Google.

No, the renumbering’s all about people like you. You, the non-comics reader.

It is an attempt to underscore a point the people at DC are making VERY EMPHATICALLY: You don’t need to know a blessed thing about these characters to pick up any of these #1 issues. They are wiping the spandex slate clean.

So, It’s the Rebooting of These Characters? That’s the Really Big Deal, Here?

Well, it’s a big deal, anyway. Not in the sense that rebooting a superhero is in any way unprecedented — editors at DC and Marvel do so much rebooting they could moonlight in shoe repair — but the scale of this endeavor, its company-wide simultaneity, that‘s notable.

There have been similar wholesale, company-wide changes to continuity, over the years, with names like New Universe and Crisis on Infinite Earths, and all of them – every last one – has been driven in part by the desire to reach beyond the likes of me and my pasty colleagues in comics nerdery, to you. The vast sea of yous, out there, with your money, and your income, and … your money.

For we have arrived at the great, abiding myth that the superhero comics community clings to: “The reason normals don’t read about superheroes is because they’re put off by the dense continuity, so all we need do is give them a clear jumping-on point, AND WE’LL HOOK ‘EM.”

See also: “The reason more people don’t read romance novels is because they don’t like the naughty bits, so all we need do is clean ’em up, AND WE’LL HOOK ‘EM.”

And: “The reason more people don’t watch bridal reality shows is because they hate weddings, so all we have to do is make a show about the rehearsal dinner, AND WE’LL HOOK ‘EM.”

The salient reason that more people aren’t reading about mainstream superheroes, of course, is not because they are unaware of their existence, or confused by backstory — it’s that they don’t happen to be particularly interested in mainstream superheroes.

Any genre self-limits its audience to a greater or lesser extent. My love of the goofier aspects of superherodom, for example, is deep, and it is shared by many different men and women of various ages. But man, is it niche-y.

And while someone who isn’t particularly interested in superheroes might catch The Dark Knight on opening weekend, the experience isn’t going to turn that person into … well, me, for example.

Now: Can a genre like superhero comics, with a bit of proselytizing (hi there!) and innovation, achieve a wider appeal? Sure.

Will September’s company-wide reboot help? It could: The full line-up hasn’t been revealed yet, but there signs and portents that the new line-up will include horror comics, Western comics, war comics — the kind of fare that took over the comics racks in the 50s, when the superhero’s appeal first went into retrograde. (Granted, DC seems to be hedging its bets by making these titles SUPERHERO horror comics, etc. Even so.)

There’s more to say about the changes coming to the titles — including some surprising returning characters and an apparent editorial effort to increase diversity among the super-ranks — but we’ll wait until we get closer to the pub dates, and know more.

What About That Same-Day Digital Distribution Thing?

For my money … literally, for my money … that’s the big deal, here, the part of this whole initiative that’ll have the longest-term effects.

According to DC, the physical and digital versions of a comic released on a given day will sell for the same price (say, $3.99); four weeks later, the price of the digital version of that issue will drop (to say, $1.99).

Retailers and readers alike are sharply and vocally divided on how this will affect comics shops sales. It’ll be fascinating to watch.

And Finally: Batman in Culottes. You Heard Me. BATMAN IN CULOTTES.

In the aftermath of the initial announcement, various DC artists and writers took to Twitter to offer cryptic/cruel teases about what lies ahead.

Writer Gail Simone won the day, the week, and the rest of the fiscal year by threatening to put all female DCU characters in culottes, and following that up with a call for sketches of Batman himself — Batman! The Dark Knight Detective! The Caped Crusader! The Lone Avenger of the Night! — in culottes.

Thus was born a meme. Go here, and make your day better.

——

*”DC al Fine!” You got my snooty musical-notation-nerd joke, you snooty musical-notation-nerd, you!

From: http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2011/06/09/137069771/dc-al-fine-the-great-superhero-reboot-relauch-revamp-retread

Worst. Crisis. Ever: DC Comics “Reboots” Superman, Batman and Co.

Meow.

Is there anyone on the planet who doesn’t know how Superman became Superman? How about Batman? Despite the fact that everyone already knows the stories, DC Comics is going to relaunch these and the rest of its superhero comic books in September.

DC is calling it a ”reboot.” As far as I can tell, this means restarting the issue count at #1, adding blood and making the superheroines’ clothes even more revealing — if at all possible. (See Catwoman sample at right.)

The Time-Warner (TWX) subsidiary says the move is about adding diversity and a more modern look. This means we may actually get a second African-American superhero (Luke Cage, a lonely nation turns its eyes to you). Nor is that the only addition. As Marissa Meli put it: “So you can definitely expect at least somebody besides Batwoman to be gay. It’s about time, Wonder Woman. It’s about time.”

The real reason, of course, is to make the comics more interesting to new readers and therefore sell more of them.

Hey, DC! Alienate this!

Unfortunately, doing this also means running the risk of alienating long-time customers. And there is no one so ready to be alienated as comic book fan. These are the people (your author included) who have no problem with flying people shooting mysterious rays out of their eyes and destroying entire cities (which are always re-assembled for the next issue), but somehow find it illogical when the weapon or villain destroyed 150 issues ago suddenly re-appears without explanation. Your average comic book fan can pick a nit so fine that Talmudic scholars gnash their teeth in envy.

As one fan put it:

This dismissiveness is offensive to loyal readers. It implies (although wrongly) that all past continuity is irrelevant, and what you’ve read before doesn’t matter any more. Storylines old (”Invasion”, “Legends”, “Judas Contract”, “Knightfall”, “Death of Superman”) and new (”Blackest Night”, “Final Crisis”, “Batman, Inc.”) don’t matter. If true, why are you buying these books any more? Why not quit now and — if you have the stomach for it — start again in September?

And that is one of the nicer posts.

DC fans in particular have every reason to be rolling their eyes and snorting dismissively. This is at least the fifth time the company has tried a restart from scratch (three of those restarts were in the last decade).

  • 1985’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” – a villain called the Anti-Monitor ripped reality apart
  • 1994’s “Zero Hour” — Homicidal Green Lantern tries to blow up the universe;
  • 2005’s “Infinite Crisis” is my favorite: A homicidal version of Superboy punches the universe so hard it resets history.
  • There is debate in the fan community as to whether 2008’s “Final Crisis” was a genuine reboot or just an ironic comment.

The original Detective Comics #27, which featured the first appearance of Batman, recently sold for $1 million. How much will the new one fetch? If you said about $2.99, you are a winner.

Picture: DC Comics

Related:

From: http://www.bnet.com/blog/sports-entertainment/worst-crisis-ever-dc-comics-reboots-superman-batman-and-co/434

Is Clark Kent and Lois Lane’s marriage on the rocks?

Busiek said the marriage also makes dramatic stories a little harder to accomplish when writing Superman. “It’s harder for Clark to be in a bind at work if he’s got someone there covering for him. And of course, it’s harder to do stories where he explores the idea of romance, or of finding a place to belong that isn’t necessarily with Lois. It makes him feel less like an outsider, more like a homebody,” he said. “Which is nice for those of us who like those things in our own lives, but it’s not as dramatic. And while there’s drama in marriage, it’s not always easy to bring that kind of drama to the kind of sweeping action-adventure story that’s usually Superman’s wheelhouse.

“None of this is to say those challenges are insurmountable,” Busiek added. “I wrote a married Superman and had very little difficulty with it. But the one pre-marriage story I wrote felt even sharper, livelier in the Clark/Lois relationship. It can definitely work either way, but I think there’s more immediate juice in having their relationship unresolved, more competitive and subject to change.”

But Beatty wonders if the marriage isn’t actually a chance to explore something new, instead of simply exploring the old “love triangle” created by clueless Lois Lane, Superman, and bumbling Clark Kent.

“I think the main benefit of having Clark and Lois married is that it grounds Superman in a very human and adult experience,” he said. “We’ve seen the Man of Steel struggle to balance the life of Clark Kent. … with the role of superhero. And the romantic triangle has been played out for nearly three-quarters of a century.”

Marvel did it

In 2008, Marvel rocked the comic book-reading audience by magically eliminating the marriage between Peter Parker and his wife, Mary Jane. Through a story originally written by Straczynski in “Amazing Spider-Man” — then famously rewritten by Marvel executives — a magic character made it so that Spidey’s marriage never existed.

Yet Straczynski isn’t a big fan of eliminating a character’s marriage, despite being involved in the Spider-Man revamp. “This is an argument we had over and over at Marvel about Spider-Man, and there really isn’t a good answer to it,” he said. “You can tell good stories with them married, and good stories with them single. It’s really a function of what the company wants to do with them, and the image they want to present.

“I enjoy writing strong relationships, and I liked writing both of those relationships [with Spider-Man and Superman] as marriages,” he said. “I was happy leaving the Parkers married, and in terms of Clark and Lois, again it can play fine either way.

“Really, the only difference between the two is that if they’re single, they can fool around with other folks,” he said. “But if it’s a monogamous relationship, and they’re never going to date others, then there’s really not a compelling argument not to have them married.”

Yet the fact that Marvel did put an end to Peter Parker’s marriage, and has maintained the character’s single status since, points to a precedent that may interest DC.

DC has come in second to Marvel every year since 2002 in market share, according to Diamond Comics Distributors, which maintains sales numbers for the comic book industry. With its September revamp, DC is hoping to close that gap.

Flashpoint Lois Lane

Lois Lane has gotten new attention in “Flashpoint,” being given her own series, “Lois Lane and the Resistance.”

In the three-issue story, Lois Lane is single. She’s never met Superman, and she never reported about his existence.

“Lois is exactly the character we know and love, except just remove from her equation the fact that she’s ever met Superman,” said Dan Abnett, co-writer of the “Flashpoint” tie-in series with his collaborator, Andy Lanning. “She’s the spunky, snarky reporter she always was, who hasn’t necessarily had the breaks she’s had in the DC [Universe], because she never got that star scoop story of Superman.”

The story centers on Lois as a reporter who becomes stuck in the middle of a war zone, and she eventually gets caught up in the local resistance movement.

The end of the main “Flashpoint” series, which will be released on Aug. 31, is supposed to be the precursor for the big changes DC is making in September. But it’s the tie-in story of single reporter Lois Lane that opens the door for the character to be single even longer.

Superman in other media

The marriage of Lois Lane and Clark Kent originally occurred in comics to coincide with the characters’ marriage on television. At the time, Warner Bros. was supporting the hit TV show “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” starring Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain.

In 1996, the two television characters got married. So DC Comics timed the comic book wedding to happen at the same time.

But now, Warner is concentrating on its movie universe, with the release of “Green Lantern” this year and the “Man of Steel” film next year.

Starring Henry Cavill as Superman and Amy Adams as Lois Lane, the movie will tell the origin story of Clark Kent, leading up to the early days of his life as Superman.

In other words, his unmarried life.

Despite the success of former “Superman” movies, this film will reboot the story, relaunching the franchise for what is expected to be more than one movie. Along with other characters, Superman will also be part of DC’s current plans for a “Justice League” film.

And if the marriage was used to align the comics with other media, it would stand to reason that the marriage might be ended to align the comics with the new Man of Steel.

New readers

Publishing is a business, and this fact is behind everything DC does. And it’s all about selling comics. So one of the most obvious reasons to make a big change to Superman’s marital status is to not only give the character a clean slate for new readers “outside” the normal comic reading audience, but also attract the attention of the “mainstream” media, to help reach those potential readers.

Giving Superman an effective “divorce” accomplishes both with one stone.

“If we can convince the people here we’re doing something brand-new and fresh, we have a good chance to really get the people outside on board,” DC co-publisher DiDio said.

Comic books, which are primarily sold through small, local comic shops, have experienced a drop in sales over the past two years. DC’s revamp announcement included efforts to add digital customers to its distribution, but the real issue for DC’s characters is the fact they have 76 years of history behind them.

“We’re allowing people who have never bought a comic book in their lives to download them on portable media devices and take a look,” co-publisher Jim Lee said.

The attention the end of the marriage would likely receive new, curious readers learning about it on the same device they can download the story — a combination DC might not be able to resist.

More from Newsarama:

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Silver Age Remix Comics: ‘Superman: Grounded’ [Original Art]

From Blackest Night to Flashpoint, today’s super-hero comics are all built around the Big Event. But what if those stories had happened forty, fifty, or even sixty years ago? That’s the question that ComicsAlliance is trying to answer with the help of artist Kerry Callen (who drew the incredible “Silver Age Marvel” pieces), by reimagining how the biggest modern-day DC Comics event comics would have looked in the Silver Age! This week, we take a look at what Superman’s walking tour of America might’ve been like if “Grounded” hit shelves in the Silver Age!



Check out the full-size cover below!

Visitors from all over the world come to the great city of Metropolis for the chance to see Superman soaring over its buildings! But now, they’re seeing a much stranger sight when Superman becomes a Super-Drifter walking the highways and back roads on a trip out of Metropolis and across the country!

What strange force could have possibly compelled the Action Ace to abandon his home city in favor of boxcar rides and odd jobs? Will he use his X-Ray vision to cook a can of beans or carve strange sigils into a fencepost? Will he construct a Shanty of Solitude?

Find out why the Man of Steel becomes a Man of the Road in this exciting story, when Superman becomes… Grounded!

Back Issues:

Green Lantern’s Silver Age War of Light

From: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/06/06/silver-age-superman-grounded/

Will DC Comic’s Reboot Affect Snyder’s Man of Steel?

As of May 31, fans received the news that DC Comics are going to reboot the entire DC Universe. Along with that news, we got to see the first look at the New Justice League that fans with lukewarm feelings toward the changes with Superman’s costume in particular. I personally believe that Superman’s costume should have stayed the same because it’s basically Superman. The question that leaves fans is whether or not the changes in Superman’s costume will influence the upcoming film “Man of Steel” starring Henry Cavill as the man of tomorrow.

If so how will fans react if the new costume is the official for the film? Will people praise the costume or will they pan it? As of six years ago when the official costume of Superman for Superman Returns was finally released, I really did not see Superman. I tried to accept it but could not wrap my head around the suit. People may hate me or criticize me when I say this about Superman’s costume; however, you should know from my previous articles that I do not write to please everyone. Now to Superman’s costume, the classic costume and the earth one costume will always be the best costume. I trust Snyder in keeping the classic suit after watching “300” and “Watchmen”. I am going to leave it plain as this “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix”.

From: http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/UltimateSuperman/news/?a=38790

DC Comics relaunching most of its titles at No. 1

PHILADELPHIA — DC Comics is going back to the starting point in September, renumbering its entire lineup of DC Universe titles with No. 1 and retooling nearly all of its major characters, including Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman.

At the same time, the company, which has been publishing comics for 76 years, also said it would start selling digital copies of its printed ongoing superhero titles through apps and a website the same day they’re released in comic shops, a move dubbed by the industry as day-and-date sales. That will affect the company’s superhero titles.

That means DC is joining a movement already embraced by Archie Comics, which began same-day digital and print sales in April, along with other smaller publishers.

DC’s rival, Marvel Comics, has not yet implemented such a move but has routinely held more market share every year since 2002, based on sales statistics from Diamond Comic Distributors.

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From: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110604/news/706049931/

Alt Text: It’s Makeover Time for DC Comics Superheroes

The biggest news this week — if you ignore politics, technology, sports and weather — is that DC Comics will soon be rebooting its universe. Again.

bug_altextDC owns such iconic superheroes as Superman, Batman and Matter-Eater Lad, and the company carefully stewards its charges by periodically killing them off, maiming them or driving them insane every time sales dip.

When sales really dip, the DC honchos pull out the old reboot trick. They rewrite the universe from the ground up, shaking up the status quo and leaving no sacred cow untenderized. Then 45-year-old action figure collectors complain, and DC changes everything back.

DC needs to hand the reins over to me for the reboot, which will start with Justice League No. 1 later this summer. I’ll ignore the wailing fans complaining that I’ve rendered the events of page 12 of Issue No. 138 of Batman: Legends of the Cash Cow obsolete. When I undermine the work of a generation, it stays undermined.

Here’s what I’ll do to make these incredibly popular, universally recognized characters palatable to 21st-century readers.

Batman

The great thing about Batman is that he has no powers. That makes him just like you and me, the main difference being that he goes out and gets exercise instead of reading comic books.

I want to take things a step further. In my universe, Batman has no powers or money. He’s constantly Dumpster-diving in the middle of missions to find something he can use as a batarang, or maybe just some leftover pizza.

Most of his scientific investigation is done on the computers at the library. The Batmobile is a shopping cart with plastic bags hanging from it. It does have fins, though.

Wonder Woman

Even though she’s a household name and a synonym for “soccer mom,” Wonder Woman hasn’t had a hit series since Lynda Carter hung up the hairspray. This must not stand. I’m going to make Wonder Woman popular, dammit.

The three biggest womanly names in entertainment are Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart and Lady Gaga, so the new Wonder Woman will run around giving away cars, scrapbooking and wearing a dress made of meat. Ka-ching!

Green Lantern

The problem with Green Lantern is that his one power is just “his imagination comes true.” He’s a damn Muppet Baby in tights. Wait, didn’t Gonzo wear tights? The point stands.

We need to compress Green Lantern’s portfolio a bit. From now on, he will have the power to control anything that’s green, and anything that’s a lantern. So he’s pretty much unbeatable in a Coleman outlet store, but otherwise he’s going to have to work a little harder.

Superman

Every so often, the writers try to tone down Superman’s powers, but they always end up ratcheting them back up again, because when you get down to it, Superman has just one power: being more goddamned powerful than anyone else. So screw it, let’s give him even more powers:

  • Can turn a frozen chicken into a thermonuclear bomb just by touching it.
  • In addition to supercold breath, he has superhot nose mucus.
  • Every child in the world, at the moment it is born, starts following his Twitter feed.
  • Can taste anything from 10,000 miles away.
  • Gets Call of Duty Elite premium membership without even having to buy Call of Duty.
  • New team name: “The Justice League of Superman.”
  • Lois Lane agrees to threesome with Zatanna.
  • Mayor of the solar system on Foursquare.
  • When he squeezes anything — not just coal — it turns into a diamond.
  • When he eats pork, it’s vegan for some reason.
  • Can control sea life with his mind, just to piss off Aquaman.
  • His Pandora account has a rewind button.
  • Able to create obvious rip-offs of Chuck Norris Facts without anyone noticing.

The Martian Manhunter

Gone. Poof. He, his ridiculous backstory and his luchador Liberace outfit never existed. He doesn’t exist in another dimension, he doesn’t exist in another timeline, he doesn’t even exist in comic books.

Those issues of the lame mid-’80s Justice League you bought? Imaginary. I don’t know why it’s OK to have a Kryptonian who looks exactly like a Calvin Klein model while it’s not OK to have a green Martian — it just is.

Next week: More DC remakes, or possibly something else.

Photo: Nathan Lewis/Flickr

– – –

Born helpless, nude and unable to provide for himself, Lore Sjöberg eventually overcame these handicaps to make more superhero jokes on Twitter.

From: http://www.wired.com/underwire/2011/06/alt-text-dc-comics-reboot/

DC Comics goes for No. 1, fans conflicted

SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know what DC Comics is doing in September, and if you didn’t notice Tuesday’s story in USA Today, be warned. There are images and information in this story that could educate you.

(CNN) — Fifty-two superheroes are getting a makeover, and comic book fans can’t stop talking about it — even though they’ve seen this sort of thing before.

DC Comics announced Tuesday on its blog, and in exclusive interviews with USA Today, that come September, not only will many of its titles get a more modern look under respected artist Jim Lee’s direction, but they’ll also get renumbered, starting issue counts back at No. 1.

(DC Comics, like CNN, is owned by parent company Time Warner.)

For readers emotionally invested in the stories of superheroes like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, this kind of announcement can be threatening. Based on fans’ Twitter reaction, it’s obvious that anxiety, or at the very least skepticism, has set in.

“I’ve seen their attempts to revamp before,” said David Whitehead, a 39-year-old client performance strategist who has been collecting comic books for 20 years.

“So, I guess I’m going in with some guarded skepticism,” he said. He wonders what kind of stories DC has up its sleeve, and how interesting they could be. He hopes the iconic publisher can pull it off, he said.

“I was the biggest Jim Lee fan in the ’90s, and then after seeing what he did to the Wonder Woman costume, I’m a little hesitant to see what he’s done with the rest of the Justice League and the rest of the DC Universe,” Whitehead said.

Fans also know that any kind of reboot is, in part, a business decision for the comic book publisher.

“What they’re shooting for is the opportunity for readers to jump on at an issue No. 1,” said Kathleen Saracen, manager of Titan Games and Comics in Smyrna, Georgia. “New readers feel like, ‘Oh, it’s a No. 1, I could start reading it now,'” she said.

Comic book sales often jump up with a No. 1 issue, she said, “but I think it gets tiresome, from a collector’s point of view, to constantly have to renumber your collection.”

With comic books, she explained, many titles order story lines by volumes. At the beginning of a new volume, the issue number of a comic book may or may not roll back to No. 1. So for hard-core, superorganized collectors who have been following one comic book for a long time, she said, the chronological order of their copies isn’t always so logical.

And renumbering hasn’t always been appreciated in the past.

“One book that comes to mind is Wonder Woman,” said Erika Peterman, a DC Comics fan and blogger for girls-gone-geek.com.

The Wonder Woman comic book was relaunched by DC in 2006, and by last year the new volume had reached issue No. 44. After a fan write-in campaign, DC revised the issue numbers to reflect the original starting date of the title, resulting in the next issue being numbered 600.

“Fans were like, ‘Yes! (Wonder Woman) deserves that high number because she’s been around since the 1940s, this puts her right up there with Superman and Batman,'” said Peterman.

Despite all the apprehension, fans say they want DC to be successful in this latest endeavor. They know that more people reading comic books means they get to keep collecting. So even if DC’s across-the-board revamp isn’t engineered to please loyal fans, it’s a move that they understand — because it’s designed to bring new readers into the fold.

For the most part, said Peterman, comic book collectors are in their mid-30s, which may surprise outsiders who think comic books are juvenile. Younger people are not collecting comic books the way they were 20 years ago, she said.

Whitehead points out that comic books aren’t generally available at the corner store anymore, so the impulse buys he made at the drug store in his youth are less likely to happen. These days, comic books are sold almost exclusively in comic book stores.

That’s where the second part of DC’s announcement comes in: With the renumbering, they’ll be offering day-and-date digital. That means that the same day new issues of comic books are in stores, they’ll be available for download as well. Whitehead said he thinks younger readers are more likely to read comics electronically.

“We’re having a party,” said DC Executive Editor Eddie Berganza. “We want as many people coming to that party as possible. If day-and-date digital is a way to get more people involved in comics and see what we’re doing, I think that’s great.”

“It seems to be the way the whole world is going,” he said.

In addition to the announcement Tuesday that the comic book “Justice League” would be starting again at issue No. 1 in September, DC officials told CNN the publisher would also be renumbering and modernizing such titles as Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, The Fury of Firestorm, The Savage Hawkman, Green Arrow, Justice League International, Mister Terrific, Captain Atom and DC Universe Presents.

The characters brought to the fore with the reboot will be interacting in ways they never have before in the DC universe, said DC Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras.

“For me, I wanted to get into the Cyborg character, who will be part of the Justice League,” Berganza said. “He’s always been one of my favorites from the Titans and now to see him step up, really take his place among the bigger pantheon of heroes is excellent. He’s such a cool character.”

“We’re doing a book called ‘Savage Hawkman’ and to see the excitement between the artist (Philip Tan) and the writer (Tony Daniel), taking a classic DC character, and to see what they’re doing with it is so amazing,” said Harras of the energy he sees in the pages of the rebooted title.

“It’s an epic that we’re putting together, and we’re incredibly excited about it,” he said.

Even so, fans still have unanswered questions about the upcoming reboot. As DC continues to announce its 52 superhero titles getting the treatment, fans can’t help but wonder what will change. For example, after giving Wonder Woman pants, what will Lee do to modernize DC’s other heavy hitters, Batman and Superman?

DC wouldn’t tell CNN. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.



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From: http://www.cnn.com/2011/SHOWBIZ/06/02/dc.renumbering/

DC Comics goes back to square one; resets all 52 titles, including Superman …

Wednesday, June 1st 2011, 9:31 AM

Batman and Green Lantern are starting from scratch as DC Comic resets their comic book titles back to #1.

Holy reset buttons, Batman!

DC Comics officially announced Tuesday that the company will reset the numbers of all its comic titles back to #1 later this summer.

All 52 titles under the publisher will be affected, including Action Comics, which is up to issue 902 – numbering that began with the first appearance of Superman in 1938.

“DC Comics will be making history this September,” said co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee in a statement. “We’ll be renumbering the entire DC Universe line of comic books with 52 first issues.

“Not only will this initiative be compelling for existing readers, it’ll give new readers a precise entry point into our titles.”

The move is meant to give new fans intimidated by the long continuity of many characters like Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the Flash easier access into comic books, but also will include new writer-artist teams for about three-quarters of the books.

Rebooting individual titles has been done many times in the industry over the years, but this is the first time a publisher’s entire line of books has undergone that kind of massive change.

In addition, Lee told USA Today that many of the publisher’s superheroes will be getting costume redesigns as well, a move that may jolt change-adverse fans. Lee’s update to Wonder Woman’s famous star-spangled shorts and red boots last year had many fans ready to storm the Hall of Justice.

“You’re trying to have your cake and eat it, too,” Lee told the newspaper. “You’re trying to keep the iconic elements there, but at the same time freshen up the look so that people are intrigued by what they’re seeing and hopefully come and sample the wares.”

From: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/2011/06/01/2011-06-01_dc_comics_goes_back_to_square_one_resets_all_52_titles_including_superman_batman.html

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