Unless you've been in a cave, with your fingers in your ears, then you're aware of DC Comics' plan to revamp their company, characters, and stories. Now, this isn't a reboot, so don't get those two confused. When something is rebooted, continuity is thrown out the window and restarted. Think about when the Ultimate universe at Marvel was started, or when Batman Begins came out. Reboots tend to be a good thing because it's predecessors failed to hit the mark, or creative teams want to try something completely new.
Revamping is a bit different. The characters in question will get new creative teams, new costumes/looks, and new stories. These characters exist in the world of DC that has been set up for years, but the revamping device is supposed to make the books more accessible to new readers, and as DC Co-Publisher Dan Didio stated, "we really want to inject new life in our characters and line." He also stated they want to tell stories for today's audiences where the characters are a bit younger. While the idea of revamping the line does seem pretty cool, does it alienate current DC comics fans?== TEASER ==
As I sat back, the week this was announced, I was pretty bummed. There's a lot of changes that have been made over the years, many of which I found brilliant, that were seemingly thrown out the window with this revamp. Dick Grayson as going back to Nightwing, Batman Inc disappearing until 2012, and Barbara no longer in a wheelchair are just a few of the examples of change in the DC Revamp of 2010. As a loyal DC Comics reader, which I still will be no matter the outcome of this revamp, I feel like with DC making a bunch of these changes that they're forgetting about their readers who have stood by them through it all. I've really enjoyed everything that's been set-up over the past few years, especially Dick taking over the roll as Batman or the years of story set-up in Green Lantern. However, with this new revamp, all of those stories just disappear. Sure, we get to see Batman Inc in 2012, but what about those of us who really loved Dick as Batman?
To me, DC is really alienating many of its fans. Sure, I understand that the books in the revamp are probably going to be good. In fact, I'm excited for a bunch of them: All-Star Western, Grifter, Swamp Thing, Resurrection Man, and Aquaman just to name a few. We all read DC books, follow the stories, and then "poof" revamped stories and the old ones are forgotten about. It leaves an awkward feeling in the pit of our stomachs as we try to understand why so many of us feel left out in the cold. The biggest hit to me as a fan is that Swamp thing and John Constantine are appearing in DC books now. It is true that both of these characters got their start in DC books, but since then, I've always associated them with Vertigo, so seeing them in a regular DC book just feels like a bit of a bummer. At the same time, this whole revamping and renumbering seems a little too familiar to me.
Back in the 90s, many readers may remember when Marvel did this. Well, they ended up doing it a few times, but not at the same exact time if my memory serves me correctly. Times were different back then and people were comic-hungry for #1 issues of anything they can get their hands on. It lasted for a little while, but eventually, every book returns to the old numbering, especially for milestone issues. Sure we may see Action Comics start at a new number, but don't tell me they won't go back to the original numbering for the 1,000 issue. That's a landmark achievement. I really don't think this revamp will pull in the numbers DC thinks it's going to pull in either. Sure, they'll get a few people here and there, but most comic book fans know that if you want to start reading a book, you just have to dive right in and piece everything together yourself, and most people are fine with that.
As for new readers that have never read comic books before, I'm not too sure. I don't know if a 14 year old kid, who's never read a comic before in his or her life is going to hop onto DC because of the revamp and start reading Firestorm, Aquaman, or Batwing. It just doesn't seem very realistic. Sure, comic book fans will do it, but I don't think they'll be pulling in new blood with this. Time will tell though, and I'll probably be stuck with my own foot in my mouth.
I have a feeling, one of those crazy conspiracy theories, that this all ties into Superman. Doesn't DC have to change Superman's origin so they can get away from the lawsuits? Maybe this is a way to get away from all of that without losing the rights to the character. I also have a theory that all of this ties into Flashpoint. Maybe Flash doesn't get back to his real Earth and ends up on one very similar to it, but not exact (::whisper:: "SLIDERS"). Who knows?
While this revamp leaves us hardcore DC fans bummed out, there's no reason to get up-in-arms about it, like I just did. It's comics, and in comics, everything eventually returns to normal, and to be honest, a lot of the revamped characters look cool. The biggest problem is that some of us feel like we were left out in the desert in our underwear and now we got to walk back home. What do you guys think?
For a look at the other side of things, check out Tony's article about why the revamp is a good idea.