My thoughts on the DC relaunch

By time you read this Justice League #1 has been on the shelf for a week, and shipping this week were the #1s for Action Comics, Batgirl, Batwing, Green Arrow, JLI and Swamp Thing (to name a few).  Before I was a supporter of the DC relaunch, now… I am on the fence about it.  I read JLA #1 and it was Ok.  It wasn’t amazing.  It didn’t make me want to rush out and buy #2.  It was just Ok.  That isn’t good enough for a relaunch of a franchise.

My original plan was to buy the big ones (JLA, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Green Lantern, Flash, etc), then I sat down and figured out the cost of these issues.  Adding these to the monthlies I buy already didn’t seem to be cost-effective.  I am not keen on increasing my monthly spending on something I can’t get excited about.  So I trimmed down my new DC wish list.  Only 2 titles appear on my list.  Wonder Woman and Batwoman.

Now you may think that these are two odd choices.  But I have been waiting for Batwoman since the beginning of 2011.  This is a book I am excited about.  I don’t have to worry about Batwoman fitting into, and interacting with the rest of the DC Universe with this book.  The first 6 issues were finished earlier this year, so they are tied to the previous universe, but could fit into any continuity.

Wonder Woman is another title I am interested in reading.  Wonder Woman has been tinkered and toyed with too many times during her 70 year history.  She has moved locations, professions, outfits and history so many times, it is difficult to follow the character now.  A relaunch and new introduction to Wonder Woman is a good thing.

So out of the 52 new titles, 2 is all I am interested in right now.  I am not saying I am never going to read them, I know I will.  I will just wait until there is enough for a collected edition.  I would rather wait until they have some stories together first.  It will make the read more enjoyable (in comparison FF is more enjoyable to read now, after my previous rant).

After reading Justice League #1, I see this new universe has only seen Superheroes for 5 years.  The heroes are new and frightening to the public and the authorities.  Justice League introduces these heroes to each other.  Batman meets GL for the first time, and GL has heard of rumours of a “Bat Man”.  Later in the issue GL and Batman meet Superman for the first time.  This idea is a difficult proposition.  All these heroes meeting for the first time.

In the ’30s when Superheroes were created (namely Superman and Batman), each character was introduced and evolved before the next character came onto the scene.  Now there are “hundreds” (maybe an exaggeration) of heroes that need back story and motivation for their being all at one time.  I can’t see this happening right.  Some of these heroes are going to get screwed up.  It is just too much information coming at us at one time to digest it all.

In an earlier post, Scott reported on the “New 52 Collected Edition“.  This collected edition would save you time and money so you don’t have to buy all 52 #1’s alone, you could just get a nice big book.  I commented at that time that I will buy the book.  My stance has backed off to “I would buy the book”.  As you can see I said “would”.  I can’t commit to the point yet of saying “will”.  I know this will be an expensive book (not as much as buying 52 #1’s, but it does come out at Christmas time… hint… hint), and includes a lot of books that are going to suck and may not even live to 6 issues old.  The DC relaunch is an event and this book celebrates the event.

As it sits now, I will be buying my Wonder Woman and Batwoman monthlies (and possibly Batgirl; I thumbed through it last night and I am intrigued) and I’ll glance over the other new DC titles at the comic shop to sort of stay in touch with what’s going on.  Then depending on if I like the stories I will probably pick up some trades in about 8-9 months from now.  At that time I’ll play catch up with the new DC and decide whether the reboot was a good idea or not.

After reading Walter’s recent column, did I miss the boat?  Am I missing out on the resurgence of comic book collecting?  Are we now living in the crazy comic speculation times of the 1990s?

How many of the new 52 do you plan to buy?


Ed Campbell
Ed Campbell

Ed Campbell is a collector of comics and action figures, primarily G.I. Joe. He is also a Cosplayer with Thor and Captain America as just a few of the characters in his arsenal. When not fulfilling his Comic Book Daily duties, he's "working for a living", volunteering his time for his local Fall Fair, and spending as much time with his family as possible. Use the links below to get in contact with him.

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  1. JL was a letdown… of this week’s books I would only recommend Swamp Thing and Action Comics. I did not care for Batgirl, Detective or JLI. Green Arrow was better than I expected it to be because of the quality of the art (Jurgens and Perez) and that it seems like a follow-up on the character seen on Smallville. I avoided OMAC, Batwing, Static Shock… I’m still waiting for my copy of Stormwatch.

  2. I can see it being a hard time for comic shops for October, how many #2’s do you order?

    If Static Shock sold out this week, how many of those people are going to buy Static Shock #2. 

    Or even worse than that, what do you need to order for issue #6 or how many of these titles are going to survive.

    The relaunch was an interesting idea originally, but maybe Marvel has it right with introducing a couple #1’s like Daredevil, Captain America and Punisher.  It is a good spot for a new reader to jump on, but their original books are going too.  If you want original numbering for Cap, you change it from Captain America and Bucky to present day Cap book.  You want original numbering for DD, he goes back to Man Without Fear and Black Panther goes back to Wakanda.

    It may be too early to tell, but if DC wants to go back to the way it was another Flashpoint event could fix that.

  3. The relaunch is a brilliant marketing move, but we all knew from the start that the quality of all 52 titles would not be the same. It isn’t possible to create 52 amazing works at the same time in any artistic endeavour. NBC won’t score wins with its entire fall line-up. 

    What is surprising is that JLA, arguably the flagship title, was at best ho-hum and at worst nonsensical trite. If the relauch was about re-introducing a universe slowly with high quality books we would have seen 10 titles, not 52.

    I haven’t had a chance to read any of this week’s books yet, but out of the 52 I decided to add 3 to my pull list: Action Comics, Swamp Thing, and Green Lantern. I picked up JLA as well and will not be buying issue #2.

    I used to give books a chance for a year , then it changed to the first story arc, then 2 issues, now I cut after one. There is too much out there for my entertainment dollar and I don’t feel like giving Marvel and DC extra money to see if mediocre pap gets better.   

  4. That is also narrow minded thinking on the shop keeper.  You would think you should never turn away a sale.

    My theory with sales is “I’ll sell you anything that isn’t nailed down.  If it’s nailed down, I’ll pull out the nails and you can buy them too”.  Everything can be sold.  I can see the shop keeper wanting to keep his numbers low so he isn’t stuck with a bunch of Action #1’s but I think that is a guaranteed sale.    He could’ve order a dozen extra for walk in traffic. 

  5. On Wednesday, a person I know in London, ON walked into a large downtown comic shop on his lunch break and asked to buy a copy of Action Comics #1. He was told by the retailer that he couldn’t sell my friend a copy because he had to hold all of his existing copies for his store members and that if there were any left on Thursday that he would be able to sell him a copy then. My friend walked out and ordered a digital copy instead along with some other books he was curious about. Is our existing retailer methodology/mentality driving the new customers that DC is hoping will emerge to go digital instead of traditional? If you can’t provide the “fix” on schedule, you will lose your customers.

  6. Kev, I had the exact same experience at a North York shop. I overheard the guy saying he had a stack of FF 587s (death of Torch) that he was keeping behind the counter. When I went over to ask for one, he said that they were all reserved for his regulars… However, if I bought a $30 book, he would sell me a copy. As you know, I’ve very shy and reserved in person which women love… so I just smiled and thanked him for his help. 

  7. The stupidest thing about that whole situation is that the store should have had plenty ordered, DC was allowing them to be returned if they didn’t sell so people should have upped their orders especially for Action Comics #1.

  8. I actually saw something kind of interesting in a shop in Kitchener.  They were limiting all #1 DC issues 2 per customer. Shop owner felt like everyone should get a shot at each book during the first couple of weeks.

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