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The DC Revamp will Inject Much-Needed New Life Into Comics

There's no need to panic as the DC revamp will not erase everything you know and love about the characters.

With the news of DC's revamp or relaunch of its series in September with 52 #1s, readers have been very vocal. The panic has died down a little but there are still moments of hatred as we've seen the titles, characters and creators that will be on store shelves in a few months. It's natural to fear change or the unknown but from what little we've seen, there is a lot we can say.

Let's be clear that this is not a reboot. The decades of comic book history isn't going to be erased. Characters will not be magically changed into new versions, at least that clearly is the case for the majority of characters. The announcement for Batman and Robin #1 tells us that Bruce will be teaming up with Damian. That means Damian still exists. Nightwing #1 mentions Dick coming off of wearing the Batman identity and returning to his Nightwing persona. Tim Drake is still Red Robin. The only curveball will be Barbara Gordon returning to being Batgirl. But as many have observed, it appears as if she might have some sort of cybernetic suit that could be assisting with her paralysis. Nothing is being erased.

I mentioned decades of comic book history not being erased. That's actually not true.

== TEASER ==
Imagine if Alfred and the Golden Age was never redesigned or revamped.

We're not talking about decades of continuity here. The Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman we currently have are not the same characters and do not have the same exact history as the original Golden Age versions. They are not even the same as the Silver Age versions. I've mentioned before how Alfred's first appearance in Batman # 16 indicates that Bruce Wayne was not raised by Alfred. That has changed.

The biggest recent change was Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985. That was a reboot. The entire universe did change. That was actually when I first started reading comics (just out of coincidence) so it didn't make a bit of difference to me. I still bought back issues of Batman and Superman and didn't notice a huge change even though some big tweaks were made.

I should make it clear that I do not have any insider information. Everyone involved has been sworn to secrecy. Some of my beliefs on this might come down to wishful thinking but there is also a matter of common sense. Why is DC doing this? The answer is they are trying to attract more readers. While there is a business aspect to it, it is also something that is crucial to DC and to the comic industry. Simply put, we need more people to read comic books otherwise the industry will suffer. We've seen too many quality titles get canceled due to low sales. If the top selling titles barely reach one hundred thousand copies sold, that's a pretty scary thought.

What I have heard from a lot of people is they are excited about this. This is coming from non-DC readers. It's not necessary to start reading a series at issue #1 to understand what's going on but there is an appeal to starting at a lower number.

For us existing readers, it's looking like we're still going to have the same characters but with a glossier package. Characters will get redesigned looks or costumes. The information released, for the most part, is telling us that these characters are not going to go through magic changes between August 31 and September 1.

Even if some things were changed or brushed under the carpet, how much would it really matter? I brought this up before but many things that have happened in the 80s or 90s are not acknowledged. They happened but unless it was a major event, it's pretty much just ignored. When was the last time it was mentioned that Lex Luthor faked his death when suffering from Kryptonite poisoning and transfered his brain into a cloned body? There's been no mention of Batman having Ace the Bathound live in the Batcave with Harold, Hal Jordan used to have grey sideburns, there used to be someone named Linda Danvers that had the Supergirl identity. There hasn't even been any mention of Bruce Wayne having his back broke and that was a huge story arc. All these things happened. They are part of the characters' history.

These past events just aren't necessary parts to their current storylines. Sometimes a new arc will build on a past event. For the most part, they are set aside and almost forgotten. We know characters don't age like we do. Getting a fresh start once in a while keeps the characters fresh. For all the adventures Tim Drake has gone through, you would expect him to be in his 30s by now.

The main thing is, DC Comics, Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Dan DiDio and anyone else making these decisions know what they're doing. They have stories they want to tell. They have books they want to sell. They aren't looking to piss of loyal fans and lose readers in the process. That would be a poor business plan to have. A lot of the negative comments have been over one image and a sentence or two. I would be willing to bet that there will still be some changes made before the first #1 (Justice League) is on sale. We need to be patient. People need to actually read the first issue and then decide whether they think it's good or not. Some people may not believe that Barbara Gordon should be able to leave her wheelchair but read the first issue then decide. If you think it doesn't work, don't buy more issues. That action will speak louder than making complaints.

I do understand that we all have our favorite characters. The idea of a crazy drastic change happening to them is enough to piss anyone off. It was Amazing Spider-Man #252 (Spider-Man's first appearance with the symbiote suit) that got me buying and reading comics week after week. When Brand New Day happened, I wasn't happy. What I did was read the issues that followed and found the stories were interesting and entertaining. It was still Spider-Man. Only some things had been changed. I'm still upset but I have enjoyed most of the stories that have followed and I'm not going to throw away the experience of reading a character I truly care about.

DC is not doing a Brand New Day. We've heard rumors that Superman and Lois's marriage will be gone. We'll have to wait and see on that. If nothing else, these past two weeks have shown that people are excited. We have seen different media outlets reporting on this. Having more new readers is great. The excitement we've seen from the creators involved tell us we have good things to look forward to. Not all of these redesigns/revamps will be to our liking. Some might even fail. But change can be a good thing. Why settle for the same old stories again and again when the publisher as a whole has decided to add a little spice to things. There's no reason to panic right now. Check out the books in September and you'll probably be pleasantly surprised.

To hear the other side of this, check out Mat's article about why the revamp is a bad idea.

132 Comments
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Posted by cattlebattle

then why change it at all?

Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

i'll do my best to help this revamp stick. i sincerely hope though that creeper shows up more in the new dcu than he did in the last one.
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Posted by Kurrent

What about Wally West???

Posted by The Stegman

very well spoken, and yes, i agree that people are jumping the gun on hating this, personally i won't judge a comic  book by its cover, i will wait for the issues before i say yay or ney

Posted by The Hobgoblin

Give me a Vic Sage as the Question series already!
Posted by papad1992

Ehhh.... I'm still at bit angry!!
Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt
@Kurrent said:
What about Wally West???

its possible that he's post reboot kid flash. we dont know for sure yet
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Posted by They Killed Cap!

I have to say I am seriously disappointed by the thought of losing Current Legion Of Superheroes continuity and Batman Beyond Continuity. Really bummed.
Posted by RedRobin92
@Kurrent said:
What about Wally West???
Exactly
Posted by doordoor123

Thank you.

Posted by Billy Batson

New stuff, new readers, new opportunities...

BB

Posted by mark5
@Avenging-X-Bolt said:
@Kurrent said:
What about Wally West???
its possible that he's post reboot kid flash. we dont know for sure yet
that should be bart allen...
Posted by CaptainCyke

One thing to remember is Marvel kind of recently "revamped" their line too with the Heroic Age.

Posted by mark5
@Kurrent said:
What about Wally West???
He should appear in the Flash title.
Posted by doordoor123
@mark5 said:
@Avenging-X-Bolt said:
@Kurrent said:
What about Wally West???
its possible that he's post reboot kid flash. we dont know for sure yet
that should be bart allen...
There are rumors of a Speed Force comic in December that Geoff Johns confirmed near the start of the recent new Flash series.
Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt
@mark5 said:
@Avenging-X-Bolt said:
@Kurrent said:
What about Wally West???
its possible that he's post reboot kid flash. we dont know for sure yet
that should be bart allen...

it probably is. im just stating the possibility
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Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt
@CaptainCyke said:
One thing to remember is Marvel kind of recently "revamped" their line too with the Heroic Age.

how was that a revamp? it was a new mood yes  but i dont think of it as a revamp
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Posted by Grim

their changing everyone who isnt a main stream seller. Look what they did to my teen titans! Wonder Girl The belligerent thief? And by removing the young Justice years from their lives, you destroy key parts of their personality. 
  Twin Firestorms? Weird Birds of Prey?
 this is most defiantly a reboot. If you re-write the origins of the characters, its a reboot. And thats what DC is doing with a majority of their characters.

Posted by Xenozoic Shaman

The idea of Barbara Gordon using a cybernetic-assisted suit to move is appealing to me, especially if there are limitations placed on how often she can use it before requiring a rest, etc...  This would allow us to have it both ways.  At times she would be confined to the chair, and solve problems without the costume, and in other scenarios she could be fighting crime the way she used to, as Batgirl.  The cybernetic thing would also give her another weakness, as it might be possible to disrupt function of the suit.
 
Everything else about this revamp leaves me somewhat concerned, with questions like "Will I still like the characters I currently enjoy in DC?"

Posted by noj

Awesome article. Its refreshing to see someone who has a little faith in DC

Posted by Wattup

I think Superman should be wearing underpants.

Edited by bigsoto74

I really like the new Robin look.
Posted by G-Man

@The Stegman said:

very well spoken, and yes, i agree that people are jumping the gun on hating this, personally i won't judge a comic book by its cover, i will wait for the issues before i say yay or ney

So funny that you say that. That's what we're all doing. Judging the future of DC based on the covers of the new #1s.

Edited by Jordanstine

This is a PARTIAL Reboot (see Crisis of Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, Zero Hour, etc.)
 
How can there not be a reboot, when DC's Vice President of Marketing - Bob Wayne, said himself initially:
 
Bob Wayne: "In addition, the new #1s will introduce readers to a more modern, diverse DC Universe, with some character variations in appearance, origin, and age. All stories will be grounded in each character's legend. Some of the characters will have new origins, while others will undergo minor changes."
 
New Origins?
New Ages?
Hello Barbara Gordon!
 
How is that NOT a reboot?
 
Answer: It's a PARTIAL Reboot, with some characters being changed (see Oracle - Batgirl) while others stay the same, but with Retcons spread out.
 

Oh the Retconning!
 
Bob Wayne 3 days later after his statement eventually backtracked calling it not a reboot, but the truth is (credit to who said it), this is a PARTIAL Reboot disguised as a "Revamp" coz hey, revamp has a better ring to it! 
 
Even DC writer Michael J. Straczynski was told by Dan Didio himself this was a Reboot:

http://comics.cosmicbooknews.com/content/dc-relaunch-j-michael-straczynskis-reaction-didnt-matter-whether-i-stayed-or-left
 

Michael J. Straczynski: When Dan DiDio comes out to the West Coast, we tend to get a bite for dinner to discuss projects, ideas, books and just hang. Dan is a great guy and an energetic speaker, chockful of ideas and aspirations for DC. As part of that, he share d repeatedly on and off for really more than a year his dream of rebooting the DCU and starting over. 

So I felt confident that it was coming soon (which is one reason why I felt there wouldn't be a problem in the long run leaving the monthly books, since most of the things done in Superman and Wonder Woman would be erased by the reboot anyway, so ultimately it didn't matter whether I stayed or left. I just couldn't say anything at the time because I wanted to respect Dan's privacy and his desire to do what he thought was right when he thought it was right to do it.

Taking that approach to rebooting the majority of the DC line is a gutsy move on an unparalleled scale, and I think Dan deserves a massive round of applause for making it.

 All together now!
"PARTIAL Reboot "
"PARTIAL Reboot "
"PARTIAL Reboot "
"PARTIAL Reboot "
"PARTIAL Reboot "
Posted by brc2000

I was skeptical as well, but I'm pretty excited about most of these titles. The DCU did need a bit of a kick to be honest.

Posted by DickDanger

I'm one of those new readers you were talking about and I'm excited to start over with some of these heroes that I don't know much, if anything about. I just got into comics a couple months ago and I view this as a less intimidating start. Then once I'm mroe comfortable I can try some back issues and novels from the old days.
Posted by mark5

This is basically a reboot if you're not going to have some characters come back and reintroduce old characters at a younger age or different origin. 

Posted by afierce

I have no problem with trying new things, but to change everything all at once like this?! It's a little heavy for me... and what about small retailers? 52 new #1's in one month is a little difficult to order for.
 
I just don't get how DC thinks I should react to some of this news. It's hard to see some of your favorite books being revamped or not coming back at all. Batgirl, Birds of Prey, Powergirl... this news leaves me wondering what's going to happen to some of my favorite characters.
 
And let's not kid ourselves here... these new costumes... =/

Posted by CATPANEXE

Under and above all else, they've definatly got everyone's attention and done a hell of a job marketing themselves right now.

Posted by RareCheshire

I just hope I won't be let down, and I hope Cheshire will still be in this and Lian will be alive as well!

Posted by .o0Johnny0o.

I have a bit of apprehension, I just hope they don't try and make it all too modern and sexy.  I've re-read a lot of the Marvel Ultimate stuff I got when they first came out (which I really loved when I was younger) and I realise now that they were targeting people my age and it's not very 'timeless' (read as, aged pretty badly) If a writerr tries to make it too mature/modern/gritty I can often feel a bit isolated and patronised.
 
And regarding the new costumes, hey why not modernise a bit now and again?  Otherwise we'd still have pixy boots.  What's sorta annoying is the over keen use of red everywhere.
 
End of the day, it's not like I can go get my Batman fix from a competitor.

Posted by zombietag

wait if dc never rebooted they would be... marvel????

Posted by Emperormeister734

this kills me all the stories here have been great we gotta start over though sigh maybe its for the best

Posted by Decept-O

I think a lot of the concerns about this are a bit premature. I think it all can be a fun ride even if its temporary. Some things I don't like but overall it looks interesting and should get more potential readers interested, which I believe is DC's intention, naturally. I agree, no reason to panic.

Posted by CrimsonAvenger

This revamp is the best idea DC has had in years. Don't know why people hate it but I'm looking forward to it as DC needed new life injected into them and they've found it. 

Posted by Blindside002

I am personally on the fence about all of this. I hate their new "policy" about female characters, that they obviously can't keep because of Harley Quinn, and we're still missing some pretty important characters of the last couple of years, like Cassandra and Stephanie. As long as I see them soon, I think I'll ultimately get over the new female costumes, since they will probably alter them if fans outrage enough.

Posted by AirDave817

@cattlebattle 
 
The best definition I've ever heard for "insanity" was to do the same thing over and over and expect different results. 2 + 2 will always equal 4. But if you change one of the numbers, you might get a higher number. You can't get a 5 from 2 + 2. {So, if you give James Robinson Teen Titans but the book is called Justice League, what do you get? :) } If you want different results, like say an increase in readership and sales figures - and good books not getting cancelled for low sales figures - then you have to do something different to get different results. That means change...Change can be good...Maybe Rob Liefeld has been working on feet...and proportions... 
 
 
 

Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

i still wanna know who those 3 in the Titans pic are. i severely doubt that they're new characters but for the life of me, i cant recognise em.
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Posted by Pokeysteve

As a Birds of Prey fan I'm not really embracing this. Who leads the team, what the hell is Canary wearing and where are Huntress and Lady Blackhawk? The other book I was reading, Wonder Woman, they've already effed that up so it can't get much worse there I guess.  
 
Great article here trying to calm us down (worked a smidge) but the loyal readers are probably very pissed. I am. 

Posted by caesarsghost

agree with all things said in the article
Posted by pspin

As long as there is still a Secret Six, I don't care

Posted by Soldier zero
@cattlebattle said:
then why change it at all?
Quoted for truth. This half-reboot is only 3 months away or so. This  changes seem too radical for sucha  short time, even with Flashpoint in the middle.
Posted by JimmyOlsen1

If this isn't a reboot - WHY there are so many changes? Wonder Girl is/was a thief, why is Poison Ivy a Part of the Birds of Prey ... I'm sorry but for me is this a reboot. Maybe not for every character but for the most.
 
The Storyline from the first Teen Titans sounds totally like a reboot.

Posted by Battlepig

You know, I hope they throw it all overboard. Start anew. Why? Because when they had an all-changing event with Ultimatum and didn't go through with it, the entire universe was a bigger mess after the event than it was before. And besides, if you change your universe and you want to incorporate stuff that's happened before, you need to be an amazingly skilled writer. 
 
There's another thing about bringing over old stuff into the new world that makes it a bad idea: Not every reader will understand the all-new, all-better comic. If you want to attract new readers, they shouldn't feel like their maybe-new-favourite characters have a history before their debut. Maybe reveal some of that history a year or two after the change, because then everyone has gotten acquainted with the characters, the world they inhabit and so on. To attract new readers, it is crucial that you give them something they can read and will understand completely.
 
And if that means that us older readers get left behind a bit, then so be it. I'm certainly game. Why? Because all those nice stories, all those bad stories, all those things that have happened before, they're not lost. They might be lost continuity-wise, but they were still read. We've read them, enjoyed them, hated them and whatever else you can do with stories. And now there's something new.

Posted by batman_is_god

Rumors about this reboot is why I started logging in again. I'll be getting tons of books due to this reboot, more than I have ever gotten before.
Posted by Mucklefluga

I'm gonna wait for a review on here before i buy any of them.
Posted by MrUnknown

It will certainly be a reboot. It won't just be a Brand New Day; it will be a Brand New Universe.
And how else do you judge comic books if not by the cover? How else would you decide what you were going to buy? The cover has the most voice in that decision. If people want to complain, they have a right to. Otherwise, what I think the reboot will be is a mixed bag - some stuff looks promising and I'm looking forward to but there are definitely going to be repercussions.

Posted by TheMess1428

Hal Jordan's sideburns went back to normal because he died and came back to life. Batman's back was still broken but just never mentioned because he healed and moved on. The reason why I know that is because I've seen a relatively recent appearance of Bane saying he still remembers that Bruce Wayne is Batman. How could he know that if he didn't go after him and break his back? 
 
And I don't understand why everyone is assuming specific stories are being erased? I haven't heard anything about these stories being erased in the articles about it. Nobody has said that Young Justice never existed. That's like saying that Dick, Jason, and Tim were never Robin but started their superhero careers as Nightwing, Red Hood, and Red Robin, respectively. But they didn't. None of that would make any sense because of the Batman history. Especially since Bruce Wayne is not trusting of other heroes in Gotham, so he wouldn't be too happy about these random orphans taking up these roles on their own. As for Barbara Gordon, I don't see a cybernetic suit causing her to be able to stand and walk. I see a heavily armored costume just like Bruce's is. 
 
But we'll see when we get closer to the release dates.

Posted by Outside_85

Sadly with Johns, Didio and Lee runnign the show this reboot has shown that only their usual stock of big name characters have been safe. Thomas and Martha are still dead, Superman still fell to Earth as a baby...it's when you reach the youngest generation that the reboot becomes apparent. TT is apparently a first meet between the decade old YJ crew, Conner is more cyborg than clone and Cassandra appears to have been a cross between Catwoman (thieving is apparently the major character trait about her now), Wonder Woman and Omega Red if Booth is to be believed (the barbed wire is apparently something her bracelets generate). 
Also the misplaced Deathstroke hype continues, wasnt bad enough Titans were destroyed by him and his crew, now he gets to do it in his own monthly, while most other Titan-characters are either missing or a footnote of a team.   
Lastly, if they get some new readers on board with this, those readers are in for a surprise when they find out that some characters they liked were quite different only months ago. 
 
See this is what irritates me and alot of people I bet, the lack of infomation. Right now all we are getting worked up about are short announcements based on; "We are resetting all our numbering and tweaking our history." 
That is enough to start a landslide of speculation thats pointing in every direction. Who lives? Who dies? Who have come into existence? Who was never born at all?  
And most of all, people will ask; What is going to happen with my favorite characters?  
I personally perfer Raven over Batman, Superman and most of the Big 7 any day of the week and as of today; I have no idea if she's alive or not or simply changed so much i cant recognize her when she finally does show up. (She might even be that Charcoal Girl as Booth called her) And thats what i really want from DC; a hint. 
 
On a positive note, yeah this could turn out for the better both for DC and the industry in geneneral, but its just that Didio and John have such lousy track records which makes success unlikely.

Posted by MrMazz

This reimagining or what have you has me FAR more interested in DC than I've ever been mainly a marvel guy the most DC ive read is well Batman

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