It doesn't feel like a particularly huge change from the DCU of recent history for a longtime DC reader, but any rebooting will most certainly leave many longtime fans feeling put-off (see: 95% of the commentary at Supermanhomepage.com). The Superman, Wonder Woman and Flash books seem to be the most changed, but I'd make an argument that in doing some remodeling on this house that's seen so many changes and tenants, DC may find that there's been a lovely original wood floor under the carpet all along.
No, I'm not thrilled with every decision made, and I won't follow even half of the DC titles within a few months of their launch, but I agree with a few things:
1) I salute DC for attempting to show a not-all-white DCU by bringing Mr. Terrific and Static into the limelight (but I do have to note that Hispanics remain underrepresented and I don't know that DC had one Asian character in the foreground of a single cover).
2) Speaking of making the DCU look a little more like your workplace (well, mine, anyway), we'll have two books featuring gay characters, in Batwoman and then with Apollo and Midnighter in Stormwatch.
3) Its never going to be a good time for a reboot. The more I ponder this and the more I ponder the last 20 years at DC, the less I've been asking "but why now?" Now is never a good time, so, sure. Now is fine.
4) If you feel that Superman's 1920's circus-performer look may be standing between your superhero selling lots of movie tickets or comics, its probably time to make some alterations. I'm not sure this is the optimal change (I don't immediately get it), but it could have been worse.
5) From a business standpoint, the JLA needs to be composed of at least a handful of DC's most recognizable characters.
6) Given how complicated Green Arrow had gotten since his "rebirth", I have to think "guy dresses as Robin Hood, stops crime" is probably a good place to bring it back to.
7) Its interesting that loved heroes who don't sell great on their own have been tucked in here and there across the DCU. Martian Manhunter. Booster. Tim Drake. Its a welcome strategy.
My personal sadness about the relaunch
- No sign of Krypto or Steel at this time
- If DC were going to do a war book, I wish it would have been a bit more of an anthology like All-Star Western. Then I'd have a chance to see Enemy Ace and the original Losers.
- I have no idea what's become of the JSA, and I have a big fondness for Alan Scott, Wildcat, Jay Garrick, etc...
- How can you do a major relaunch and not give Jimmy Olsen his own title? (oh, yeah, right. That's just me, is it?)
- Truthfully, my biggest reservation is that DC seems to be trying to do something new with the same old writers. I really don't know what they think is going to happen.
I read at Bleeding Cool that DC will run TV ads to support the relaunch this September. If so, then the rumor I heard on day 1 about DC moving out of the direct market is likely true. We KNOW DC will be doing digital day-and-date release of digital and print, but I strongly suspect that DC will be moving into your local bookstore, newsrack and chain big box store. I can't imagine they would spend that much money on a national TV campaign only to push people to their local comic shop (especially when much of the country is underserved by comic shops) and the iPad is far from ubiquitous.
Look, Direct Market, I know you think this is a threat, but its not. Your industry is not growing, which means it is failing. And if you're over the age of 30, its highly, highly unlikely you bought comics exclusively at comic shops until the mid-90's. But I bet you learned to love comics at the comic shop.
This is nothing but good for you. You will have Walgreen's and Target doing the legwork for you to teach kids to buy comics. Its your job to make it a hobby and cultivate all the fun parts of comics culture. You already have your regulars, and they won't stop coming to your shop just because they can pick up some man-handled copies of JLA at the Piggly Wiggly.
I'm excited about this push, even if its going to make the next eight months as a fan a bit less predictable.
And I'm very, very curious about what seems to be Grant Morrison's Superman: Year One approach to Action Comics (if I had to guess from looking at the cover).