Thursday Morning QB #1: The “New” DC

I’ve been thinking about this whole DC relaunch business a lot lately and it’s only going to work if the books are good.

Keen, right?

As we all know, change is hard. At the DC Retailer Roadshow in Burbank, John Rood (EVP, Sales and Marketing) brought up the Kübler-Ross model, also known as The Five Stages of Grief.

It was both accurate and amusing. The stages (for those of us who don’t remember) are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

Sounds familiar, yes? Aren’t we all going through some part of this right now in regards to the “New DC” news?

Let’s face it – reboots happen all the time now. They are honestly a fairly regular occurrence in the funny books these days.

Back in 2007, Marvel decided to make Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man, a single guy again. In the One More Day storyline, he and Mary Jane would be “un-married”, reversing 20 years of storytelling.

Other recent Marvel restarts include: The New Avengers, the Fantastic Four, The Hulk, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight, Alpha Flight, The Punisher and more. Their longest running book, “Uncanny X-Men”, is being cancelled and relaunched later this year, too.

Even the “Ultimate Universe” (a mere 10 years old) is being refreshed in Ultimate Fallout, a weekly event this summer.

DC has been just as busy the past couple of years, restarting The Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and even Batman (well, Bruce Wayne, at least).

Never one to be outdone, Superman had two books in 2010 – “Earth One” and “Secret Origin”, both of which offered updated versions of the Superman mythos.

Seriously.

So this year DC has decided to relaunch everything* – and all at once, too.

And why not?

A comment I often hear in-store is: “I don’t mind if ‘they’ are updating things as long as we get good stories out of it.”

This works because years (or even decades) of continuity can naturally limit story development.

Restarting things every couple of years allows: new stories to be told, new jumping on points for the new readers, and fresh takes on classic stories for the next generation…

Spider-Man’s recent One More Day storyline resulted in a more “Classic Recipe” feel to the book. Making Peter both single and struggling was familiar (and fallow) ground to readers new and old.

DC is basically doing the same; only they are restarting the whole thing this time around – with crazy talent on most of the books this September, too.

I feel they’ve probably wanted to do this for a couple of years now, but there was just no way they were going to interrupt the instantly classic Grant Morrison Batman books.

Or the Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, and Final Crisis events.

Or any of those Blackest Night/Green Lantern books, either.

We have 5 comic book movies out this summer: Thor, X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern, Captain America and Cowboys & Aliens.

What better time than now to restart?

And why not?

It’s only going to work if the books are good.

(And a lot of them look great.)

*Except the Vertigo and Kid’s line.

(Here are my best guesses for the relaunch – these are for entertainment purposes only, of course!)

HITS: Action, All Star Western, Batman, Batwoman, Blue Beetle, Flash, Green Lantern, Justice League, Nightwing, Swamp Thing, Stormwatch, Superman

MISSES: Batwing, Hawk and Dove, OMAC, Static Shock

SLEEPERS: Animal Man, Aquaman, Batgirl, Catwoman, Frankenstein, Fury of Firestorm, Grifter, Men of War, Savage Hawkman, Suicide Squad, Voodoo, Wonder Woman