We are on the verge of discovering the brand new DC Universe. A lot will be the same but at the same time, we'll be seeing many changes. From the moment the announcement was made about the relaunch, readers formed an immediate opinion. Many are on board and excited while others have voiced disdain over what appears to be a reboot.
DC has been adamant that this isn't a reboot. Despite this, it's clear that some characters are getting fresh starts while other appear to be picking up where this months titles leave off.
Once the #1 issues start rolling out, a decision has to be made. 52 first issues is a lot for most readers. They'll want to continue reading the stories with their favorite characters but some of the changes might be enough to turn them off. This is also the perfect time to start reading the characters that they never read before. Once a new series is picked up, how long will it take to determine the commitment to the series? These are just some of the factors that need to be considered over the next few months.== TEASER ==
Regardless of how much complaining people do about changes being made, if they are already invested in a character, they will want to continue reading about them. One big change we know of is the end of Superman and Lois Lane's marriage. I've mentioned before how ending their marriage won't really matter. They can still get back together. This might seem like a step backwards but the relationship between Superman, Lois and Clark was always more interesting before the marriage happened. After they said "I do," most writers took their relationship for granted. There was very little interaction and most stories could have been written the same if they were just dating.
Lois has been seen with a new boyfriend. Does that mean Clark is going to be moping around because she's not available? We don't know yet. I've always enjoyed Superman comics but the fact that Grant Morrison is writing one and George Perez the other, I am completely sold on both titles.
Other characters getting apparent changes are Roy Harper and his missing arm, Starfire with her origin and costume, Superboy's origin, Green Arrow and Nightwing becoming a few years younger than they currently are, Barbara Gordon apparently walking as Batgirl and the history of the Teen Titans. Are these changes necessary? Probably not. Will they completely change the characters? It's possible.
There are changes that have me concerned but I can't make my buying decision based on a couple images and few sentences in the solicitations. I'd like to be optimistic that any changes have been thoroughly thought out. I can't see the editors or DC willing to take an unnecessary risk in changing a character for the wrong reasons.
In other words, you can't rule out or even fully commit to these new titles until you read them. Sinestro as Green Lantern seems so wrong. He's not worthy of being one and has been great as a villain to the Corps and as a leader of the Sinestro Corps. But there is that curiosity of how will he and other characters deal with it.
Not all of the relaunch titles will be successes. We've seen several comics from different publishers get canceled after low sales. Money talks. If the new direction a title takes isn't successful or accepted, it won't stand a chance of continuing. There are also the characters that are missing from all the issue information. Books will get canceled and other ones featuring these missing characters will likely take their place.
There are some series I'm unsure of. Without reading, it's hard to make a firm decision. It's always a drag in skipping out on a new series only to find out after several issues have gone by that it's a great read. We all love to start a series at issue #1. Some new issues might not have the strongest start. The creative team might need a couple issues to really find their groove. How many issues is enough to give a new series a chance? Three issues? Six issues? One story arc? There really isn't an easy answer. But with 52 new series, most of us can't commit to that many titles especially when we know we'll be seeing more new series in the coming months and there are also books from other publishers to consider.
The best way to decide is to first stick with the characters you love. Don't let the possibility of changes scare you away. Characters have gone through major changes numerous times over the years. They will still be true to their roots even if some tweaks have been made.
Consider characters that might be new to you but you've always had an interest in. Don't know a lot about Deathstroke? Pick up his book. Never read a Swamp Thing comic in your life? Why not start now? It's hard to take risks if your comic buying budget has restrictions. It would just be wise to take advantage of these jumping on points rather than continue to miss out on stories with great characters.
Pick up books by your favorite writers. If you've never cared for Wonder Woman but dig what Brian Azzarello does, you'd better pick up Wonder Woman #1. If you've loved Scott Snyder's Detective Comics or American Vampire, how could you not consider Batman or Swamp Thing? Even if some changes like Barbara Gordon going back to being Batgirl and being able to walk sounds crazy, think about who's writing. Gail Simone knows Barbara Gordon. You know she will write the hell out of that book and make the new change work.
The hard part, at least for me, will be deciding when a book or direction isn't working. I have a tremendous sense of loyalty to my favorite characters. But with so many titles, I will be drawing a hard line when I decide I'm not thrilled with a comic. Unless I am absolutely appalled, I will stick through the first arc and probably the first issue of the second arc. If by that point I'm not convinced, the title will be removed from my pull list. If a book isn't worth it, not buying the issue will speak volumes to DC. A drop of sales will catch their attention rather than just complain.
The New 52 is happening. It's time to fasten your seat belts. Get the popcorn ready. This a big moment for DC. Everything is going to change yet be extremely familiar. I have some fears and doubts but I honestly can't remember the last time I've been this excited. Now it's up to the creators to make sure they do a top notch job otherwise it will be time to say goodbye.