Back to the drawing board
There’s a reason characters like Superman and Batman are considered legendary.
When you look at their dates of origin in 1937 and 1939 respectively, both characters are slightly older than WWII and only our great grandparents would remember a time when they didn’t exist. These characters have stood the test of time and there’s something to be said about their unwavering popularity, even after all those years.
Over 70 years is a lot of history when you really think about it.
With that much back story to build on, anyone interested in starting a comic book series like Action Comics (Superman) or Detective Comics (Batman) has to be prepared to do some research that is essential to understanding the characters and their relationships.
Even with the ease of finding information on the Internet these days, keeping up with storylines can sometimes be a daunting task.
However, one company is giving new readers a chance..
DC Comics is re-launching all of their comics at issue No. 1 this month, with what they are calling “The New 52”.
This launch hopes to introduce new readers to the wonderful and magical world of comic books, but to start fresh by building on the old characters with brand new ideas.
According to an open letter from DC Comics to comic book retailers, “The new #1 issues will introduce readers to a more modern, diverse universe of DC Comics characters.”
There will still be some back story involved, but it also means changes for certain characters.
After being married to Lois Lane for over a decade, Clark Kent/Superman is no longer attached, in fact, Lois Lane has another boyfriend. After 23 years Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl, is out of her wheelchair and back as Batgirl again.
There are many other character changes, as well as old characters such as Batwoman, Catwoman, Aquaman, and Nightwing coming back.
Comic book reader Dennis Hall said he plans to regularly pick up at least 40 of the 52 new books.
“You have to respect that DC is trying something new,” Hall said.
“They’re throwing away the possibility of having an Action Comics 1000, which is a huge milestone,” he added. “Same thing with Detective Comics 900 soon.
“They’re throwing away all of that and all the history just to try something new. “It’s quite ballsy.”
Hall said he’s excited for the change, mainly because of the strong writers and artists on each new book.
However, the change doesn’t sit well with all readers, especially those who have invested so much time into their favourite books and characters.
Jacque Fennell, who’s been reading DC Comics for over 30 years, said she has doubts about the re-launching and changes, but also thinks it’s all necessary to save the dying industry.
“I have to say as an older reader, it was hard at first,” Fennell said. “I’ll be honest, I was very upset about this because I don’t want to see everything go back to one.
“I understand that there has to be change, we need to bring readers on board,” she added. “We need to.”
Of course this is big news for comic book stores all over North America. Heather Schaaf, who works at Calgary comic book store Comic Kazi, echoed the belief that it’s what the industry needs if it wants to interest new readers.
“I think although people are going to be hit with a change, it’ll be good,” Schaaf said. “Every once in a while you need a change and if it doesn’t really last or it’s not great they can just go back to the old system.”