Comic Books & Graphic NovelsOpinionTelevision & Film

DC Gets A Makeover – Again

Since 2002, DC Comics has been #2 in sales behind Marvel Comics.

Now, the new strategy is to become #1 by re-numbering almost every title in the DC Universe. That’s right. Superman #1, Batman #1, Wonder Woman #1 (and the costume?… well…).

Starting August 31, DC begins the revamp with Justice League #1, featuring not quite all of the classic line-up: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Cyborg. Ultimately, the roster will include fourteen heroes. Black Canary? Green Arrow? Zatanna?

USA Today broke the story, and quotes co-publisher Dan DiDio:

“We really want to inject new life in our characters and line. This was a chance to start, not at the beginning, but at a point where our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today’s audience.”

Jim Lee had these tweets over on his Twitter account, @jimlee00:

It begs the question: is DC reacting to Marvel? Back in February, your intrepid reporter opined that DC always seems to be playing catch-up to Marvel’s ever-expanding movie franchise machine. And despite the announcement of a Batman reboot (another one?), the Flash feature, and possible Hawkman movie (where’s Black Canary?), DC still seems to be taking a “wait and see” attitude towards anything big – like Justice League.

And this reversion back to younger versions of favorite (and not-so-favorite heroes) has already been compared to Marvel’s Ultimate line of titles.  So is this more of DC trying to keep up?

And further, does this mean that Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, Identity Crisis, Crisis on Two Earths (wow, that’s a lot of crises…), 52, Batwoman, A Death in the Family, Knightfall, All-Star Superman, Blackest Night & Brightest Day, and The Killing Joke never happened? How will this impact all of the continuity in the ongoing titles? Have all of the writers been told to wrap things up in August, or is everyone just going to hit the “reset” button mid-story? Or is Flashpoint the button?

Gail Simone, frequent DC writer, had this tweet in the wake of the big announcement:

Justice League #1 will also mark the start of DC’s new day & date distribution, where the digital editions will be released on the same day as the print editions. How will this affect DC’s bottom line? With the money coming in from the movie franchises (and you can bet they’re watching Green Lantern very closely…), the comics publisher is poised to either do really, really well with this move…

or not.

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

3 thoughts on “DC Gets A Makeover – Again

  • My jaw dropped at hearing this. I’m a little stunned I gotta say. I mean obviously the biggest repercussion would be what you were wondering. How this change to younger versions affect all the storylines in the past decade or more? If they get… forgotten… this would be similar to the Peter Parker/Mary Jane fiasco… but on a ginormous scale.

    I mentioned to the wifey (who doesn’t follow much comics other than what I tell her) that they could renumber the issues and focus on individual stories that don’t need much referancing of past events to drive new readership. But this seems drastic. The only light at the end of this for me is maybe at the end of FLASHPOINT, there is a story driven reason for the changes. But still…

    • Yes, I’m guessing FLASHPOINT is the catalyst for all of this. It’s disappointing. Comments I’ve seen have been more negative than positive. I find it interesting that they’re launching JUSTICE LEAGUE as the first one. Seems like they’re throwing all of the main ones out at once so long-time fans can get over the shock.

      I wonder what this does to JSA?

  • I also notice in their cover image for the new JL issue that there’s some significant (in my mind) changes to the costumes as well. WW seems to be sporting her iteration of the JMS revamp costume minus jacket. Supes seems to have a higher collar with a modified ‘S’ symbol. Also Bats’ logo seems to have reverted back to the black silhouette instead of the new redesigned yellow oval.

    May be nothing, but interesting to note. Also the exclusion of Martian Manhunter from this cover replaced by Cyborg seems odd. Along with Arrow and Canary like you mentioned.


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