Okay, comic fans, I have a confession. I have first date jitters for DC’s “The New 52”. I know, I know, how could I date such a controversy?? According to DC’s Senior Vice President Bob Wayne, this is more of a “new beginning” for 52 of DC’s characters, not a true reboot. Those 52 comics will be starting at #1, hence the branding “The New 52”. Whether you like it or not, this revamp is coming to comic book stores everywhere this September. I couldn’t be more excited.
I need to mention that I am very new to the world of comics, which I’m sure explains a lot in regards to my opinion. However, my raw perspective about comics is what’s making this revamp work for me and for many others like me. We call those kinds of people newbies, right? Noobies? N00bs? Anyway, I don’t have an expectation of what these DC comics are supposed to be like, which leaves me less affected by the approaching DC Universe changes. Nonetheless, I do have a level of sympathy for DC fans that are quite upset and devastated over the revamp. I am quite invested in other fandoms, so I can imagine the shock of storylines and character history suddenly changing or disappearing.
However, I’m here to talk about how awesome I think this revamp will be for me. As previously mentioned, I’m quite new to the world of comics. I’ve been on the scene for almost a year solid, though I do remember picking up one or two books over the previous 10 years. As of late, I’ve found myself leaning more towards independent comics, more supernatural stories rather than superhero stories. But there’s this illusion of superheroes that takes me back to a safe, warm, brave place in my childhood, and I want that safety, warmth and bravery as an adult. So, I scan the shelves at my local comic shop looking for a hero, see issues numbered somewhere around 600 or higher, and cringe. I don’t know anyone at that party, so to speak. There’s no catching up at that point for me. I put the issue down and walk away, defeated by the numbers.
Now, the #1 is much more inviting. It signifies the beginning of something (possibly) great. #1 softly whispers, “Yeeeesssss, come, pick me up, hold me in your hands, let us adventure together through this magical place.” DC is enabling new readers to feel included, from the beginning this time. I am going to have so many books whispering sweet nothings to me come September. I fear I won’t be able grab titles off the shelf quickly enough.
I respect longtime fans not sharing my enthusiasm, but I ask those fans to try and understand my perspective. I believe “The New 52” is a genius marketing move. Dan DiDio, one of DC’s publishers, has said this is a strategic move by DC to re-energize a market that is “shrinking”. No matter how awesome us comic fans believe comics to be, I feel confident in saying the general population does not have the same dedication we do to this art. From a business perspective, I support DC’s move to keep their brand afloat. From a fan perspective, I say thank you for creating an opportunity for me to be part of the DC Universe.
Come September I’m off the market, people. I’ve got dates lined up with Superman, Batman, Barbra Gordon; I’ll stop there as the list is quite long. The nervous anticipation is almost too much to handle. This is just the beginning for me and my new love affair with the DC Universe.