There have been quite a bit of shuffling at DC of late. A few months ago, DC Comics announced another re-launch with DC Rebirth. This seems to be in response to slipping sales and low interest in their events and characters. Now, just a few days ago, DC has revealed a new logo to emphasis their new direction and focus. Yes, changes are happening at DC. But will they translate into success. Will, it’s time to consider these recent moves by DC, consider their purported new focus, and speculate if it will translate to success.
Part 3: The DC Rebirth Event
I have always considered myself a Marvelite. This is due to the Xmen. Xmen is my favorite comicbook franchise. They are the reason I got into comics in the first place. But there was a time where I had just as many DC titles, if not more that Marvel titles in my monthly pull. Marvel focused so heavily on their annual summer events, while DC’s characters seemed to have the more engaging stories.
Events and team books, that is what Marvel did best. Before the popularity of the MCU, teams were what they were known for. Fantastic Four, Xmen, The Avengers, it seems longstanding members of each of these groups have their best tales as members of teams. DC however, was known for their individual characters. Sure DC has their team books like the Justice League, but it is their solo titles that DC did the best. Characters like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Lantern all had riveting adventures without feeling like they needed a team to thrive.
However, recently DC’s ability to tell riveting stories, had been overburdened with universe shifting event after universe shifting event. DC has been over encumbered by the weight of their continuity. By trying to clean up some continuity issues, they have created further issues, to the point where fans have lost faith in the product. But DC hopes to return to the good graces of their fans with the Rebirth event.
While Rebirth is the latest in a long line re-launches, this one feels different. DC seems to have awoken to the fact that their fans are tired of the newer directions they have taken. For example, here are some of the things top executives at DC are claiming about the Rebirth event.
Geoff Johns has repeatedly emphasized that DC has been missing something and Rebirth is about a return to grand story-telling for the comicbook company. He seeks to honor the past while looking to the future. In an interview with Newsarama, Dan Didio stated that Rebirth will return the characters to their core concepts of what they are and what they do well. Jim Lee, in the same interview, said that he doesn’t envision a return to an event like this in the foreseeable future. overuse of such mega-events creates “Diminishing Returns”
In fact, every piece of marketing involving DC has emphasized a return to core competencies. From Geoff Johns to Jim Lee and Dan Didio, DC seemed focused on returning the comic universe back to something familiar to what it was before flashpoint. So maybe DC has learned their lesson. They do not have to create change in their universe just for change sake. Change should come organically over time, as the result of narrative.
Yes, Geoff Johns is right, the newer DC direction did seem to lack the soul of the characters. And while the New 52 and DC YOU were not completely horrible, (there were some redeemable story arcs for some characters), most of their characters suffered from the re-launch. Not that the DC Universe is returning to its proper self, we will once again get some old characters that we missed. Those relationships and legacy friendships will be returning. But above all, hopefully the focus on engaging storytelling will once again reign supreme at the offices of DC.
So what besides the story narrative is returning to form? Well, with any re-launch, the titles will see a renumbering. All titles except for Detective Comics and Action Comics will get new number 1s. Detective Comics and Action Comics return to their original numbering. That’ll make some hardcore fans happy. With those accumulated issue numbering, come tradition and legacy. Both are topics the top executives at DC have been mentioning since the announcement of this event. Perhaps best of all is the new price tag. DC Comics will be returning to the 2.99 price point. To balance out the price, some of their most popular titles will be bi-monthly from now on. That’s more substance for your hard earned bucks folks. What’s not to like about that.
I guess we will all have to wait and see if Rebirth can return DC back to the quality it once was. Things are looking up. DC has done a lot to lose the faith of the comicbook fan community. This however, feels like a proper step in the right direction. The talk of core concepts and returning the heart and soul of the DC Universe sound amazing. With an emphasis on story telling like Geoff Johns claims, this could be a defining moment for DC Comics.