Gadzooks! There is a shake up in the world of comics –DC Comics that is. The Warner Bros. subsidiary and comics giant revamped 52 of their premiere graphic novel series late August. All-time favorites: Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and the rest of the Justice League are all getting makeovers, all the way back to issue.#1.
DC Comics hopes that the “do-over” will invite new comic readers to jump on the crime fighting fantasy bandwagon and boost staggering sales the company has seen in recent years. DC Co-publisher, Jim Lee, explained that the reissue would also allow DC creatives to explore new story-lines and short-lived ones, as well as look into new aesthetics, and development. The idea is to make it easier for Sci-Fi fans to pick up any issue, start reading, and not have to worry about back-tracking on an ambiguous back-story.
Never fear though, the revamp does not entail a total makeover. Small adjustments to the superheroes’ aesthetics and character, such as Wonder Woman’s do-away with the vintage jeggings to the scantily clad shorts, or Superman’s intrinsic change from the All-American go-getter to a slightly despond personality, will be noticeable to long time comic book fans –allowing for fans to have a little bit more of a connection with their favorite do-gooders.
Another revision to the DC classic series is the patchwork of lost detail found in it’s preceding issues. Writers will go more in depth with character storylines and grant readers more insight into their superhero’s [or super villain’s] development over the course of a few issues, rather than illustrating such complex storylines through a few story panels. In the first issue of the Justice League, readers will find the initial meeting between the Green Lantern and Batman surprisingly uncongenial. The two heroes clash because of their strikingly opposite personalities: a sententious loner -the Dark Knight, put against an egotist -the Green Lantern.
Does the great comic book reissue do itself ‘justice’ and warrant an increase in comic book readership, or will it lose it’s fan base, as well as it’s goal of gaining new readers?
DC claims to have it covered. Aside from the traditional publishing of comic books, DC Comics is aiming to make it’s “new” series more accessible via digital platform. Anticipating readers can purchase their newly released issue on digital tablets, enhancing their graphic novel reading experience to a new a level. Readers with tablets and computers can enjoy seeing their favorite hero or heroine on color saturated, illuminated screens. Price point of the DC’s basic comic book will be kept at a reasonable $2.99 –another part of how DC plans to gain readers.
Whatever the case may be, our favorite graphic novel heroes will always be there –whether in print or in digital – it’s all in a matter of keeping up with them on the story of their lives.