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Monday, August 29, 2011 

Nashua Telegraph fawns over DC's reboot

Now, here's the Nashua Telegraph's own puff piece fawning over DC's reboot for sake of publicity, which begins by insinuating that fans are fools and sensationalizing the case at hand:
Comics fans and the mainstream media have been talking about this for months. By necessity, when DC released its September solicitations to comics-shop retailers two months ago, the Catwoman was out of the bag. (And, yes, there is a new “Catwoman” No. 1 in September, thanks for asking.)

Predictably, the Internet broke in half. Many comics fans, like many ordinary people, fear change. There was much hair-pulling, teeth-gnashing and exploding of heads. After all, nobody believed DC’s official explanation for the relaunch, which was some sort of corporate-speak boilerplate that I don’t even remember.

“What awful future,” some fans wondered, “does this massive relaunch portend?”

To quote the Sage of Highland: “Settle down, Beavis.” Seriously, it isn’t the end of the world, nor even a serious omen. Titles get canceled and relaunched all the time.

For example, Marvel recently canceled the old Hulk title to publish “Incredible Hulk” No. 1 in October, the third or fourth comic book to bear that name and number. Ditto for “Daredevil” No. 1, “Moon Knight” No. 1 and “Punisher” No. 1, all launched at Marvel in the last several months to replace previous versions.

What’s unusual here is that DC is renumbering 52 new titles simultaneously, just to get people talking. Which is obviously working.
Just so we'll talk? See, that's the problem, they're not interested in entertaining us so much as they are in annoying everyone. If they really wanted to entertain us, people would certainly be chatting about their output for the right reasons. But as it so happens, the problem anyone could have with relaunching is that that's about as far as things go, and doesn't guaruntee good storytelling.
Also, DC emphasizes this isn’t a re-boot, but a re-launch. That means titles that are already working well – read: the Batman and Green Lantern franchises – will continue as if nothing happened, just with new numbering. But DC will take the opportunity to fix a few things it thinks are broken.
Yes, what they think is broken, not us. And it's definitely not Identity Crisis, which, if the prior info is correct, will still remain as their PC-canon, showing what an unhealthy obsession they've got.
One other change has some fans fuming: When DC says it’s rebooting all of its superhero titles, that includes the two oldest in America.

“Action Comics,” which just reached issue No. 904, is now reverting to No. 1. And “Detective Comics,” the 1937 title that gave DC its name, is also resetting the odometer.
And what's the problem with that? They seem intent on trying to encourage people to buy premiere issues as collectors items more than for story value; they're obviously counting on collectors to eat them up in hopes they'll become valuble someday. But even that's been growing old today, after the market collapsed in the mid-90s when just about everyone started wrapping the books in plastic. No premiere issue published since the 1990s is ever likely to gain serious monetary value, and besides, that's not what people should be going into comic books for.
Another change is more diversity in the DC lineup of heroes, most of whom were created as interchangeable Generic Square-Jawed White Guys in days of yore.

Cyborg, an African-American, will now be a founding member of the JLA. Other characters of color, such as Batwing (African), Blue Beetle (Hispanic) and the new Atom (Asian-American) abound.

Nor is the LGBT community ignored; “Batwoman” features one of DC’s many lesbian crimefighters, while Apollo and Midnighter, stars of “Stormwatch,” are a gay couple.
Diversity alone does not good stories make, and certainly not when they become so obsessed with pandering, they'll even shoehorn the Wildstorm creations into the mess.
And the last big change is that DC will release digital issues of its comics “day and date” – that is to say, at the same time the print versions hit the comic shops. I’ve heard differing views from various retailers about how good/bad this is, but for now it seems irrelevant, since the digital copies cost the same as print, and therefore shouldn’t cannibalize sales.
Actually, it could: those titles that are nearly 4 dollars could discourage people from trying them online as well. Indeed, why would anyone with common sense want to spend so much money even on digital programs they might be more comfortable reading in paper format, had it not been so costly?
But it will position DC for the future, when digital is expected to become more important. And if there’s any lesson here, that’s it: The future is coming, and there’s no use fighting it.

Let’s embrace the new DC as we did the old one, and see what the tomorrow’s Man of Tomorrow brings.
No, let's not. Because it's becoming clearer than ever that it'll only be more of the same PC-mess run amok that's been plaguing their output for more than a decade now, and from the same people who've been running the store in all that time. The future they're coughing out should be fought, and can be done by having the strength to resist buying what they're currently selling, even digitally.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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