By Beau Smith
As you probably know, DC Comics has recently announced that they are re-booting, re-launching, re-doing or re-cleaning, the bulk of their superhero comic books. Geoff Johns and Jim Lee have been all over the national media as well as the internet news answering questions and explaining what their plans are. I’m not going to rehash and bore you with information that has already been shoved in your face from a hundred different spoons. The details are there. All you have to do is click to get the general idea.
Reactions have been all over the place, from well wishes to hate mail. It’s come from readers, from creators, from retailers and from distributors. Most everyone has dropped their two cents into the DC Comics suggestion box. Everyone has some passion on the matter, and it’s nice that they are displaying it in a civil tone for the most part.
Since I have this soapbox to stand on, I thought that I’d throw my small change into the box as well. After all, it’s not a party until some guy shoves a lamp shade over his head, dances around and makes everyone else uncomfortable. That’s my cue. I’ll be very honest with you, my thoughts aren’t that long and complicated. I think a lot of other people have already over-thought this and they didn’t really have to. Just a little common sense will tell you what you need to know.
Renumbering the books has been done and redone before by both DC and Marvel Comics. Maybe it hasn’t been done on such a massive scale, but it’s been done a time or two, and I’m sure it’ll be done a few more times. The only people that’ll be upset are those that enter data in price guides. Now they’ll have to peck a few more keys to enter what era or edition a comic book is from.
If they stick to it, it should be a good thing, like cleaning up your attic. There’s nothing wrong with a little organization. Hardcore collectors should embrace this because it will only make their back issues worth more because now they will be “pre-52”, or “pre-reboot”, whatever term they come up with. Of course one can only hope there will still be printed price guides to list this stuff.
DC isn’t really taking a big risk by renumbering or even reinventing some of the characters with cosmetic changes and new slants on their origins. Comic book sales haven’t been that great in the last decade and if by some miracle of a chance this turn increases those sales, WONDFERFUL!
If it doesn’t increase sales, within a year we’ll see DC go back to the old numbers, the original origins and original costumes. If some of the new stuff sticks, they will continue to milk that cow in an assembly line and give you more and more of the same new changes. It all truly depends on this, making the readers care about these characters, old and new. If the stories and characters aren’t compelling, then the new situations and costumes aren’t gonna mean a thing. It’ll be the same ol’, same ol’. If they don’t come out of this and FINALLY give readers an Aquaman, Firestorm, Blackhawk or Wonder Woman they feel they know as a friend, and as a hero, then you might as well start shoveling dirt on them now.
The TV show, Lost made viewers care about the characters first. They made you love or hate them, but most of all, they made you interested in them. Because they made you care about the characters, the mystery of the island and all the strange changes the characters were put in meant more, they meant something! A huge event in comics is nothing more than a bad bowel movement with an empty roll of toilet paper unless you know and care about the characters.
They can’t take it for granted that everyone “knows” these characters. Even if they have been around for 70 years, they cannot assume that everybody knows the personality of the characters. In many ways, Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are like the neighbors you’ve lived beside for decades. You’ve waved to them, brought their dog to them when it got out of the fence and maybe even had them over for some BBQ, but in reality, you don’t even know where they work, or what their kids’ names are. That, amigos, needs to change.
If readers really knew and cared about these characters, then the sales would be much higher and still growing. There would be an immense word of mouth on these characters that only followers of pop culture can provide. If the characters don’t come first then the topic of print vs. digital, iPad, iPhone, Android, PC, Apple, none of it matters.
As a lifetime reader of comics, I realized many years ago that the characters I grew up on would never come back. What I learned was that there will be new writers and artists that will bring new slants on the characters that carry on the name. My true hope is that they will be able to entertain me. That’s why I read comics. I won’t continue to to buy a comic book that can’t entertain, I have no loyalty to comic book with the name Wonder Woman, Batman or Superman on the cover, I have to know that character that’s inside that comic book, I have to care about them, if not, they might as well be a perfect stranger to me.
So DC Comics isn’t taking a big risk renumbering the books, or releasing the digital versions the same day as the printed copies, where they’re taking the HUGE risk is not creating characters that I care about and that I’m truly interested in.
An icon cannot stand on its own. it needs the emotional investment of others to endure.
Let Me Be Your Guide
Most of you regular Knuckleheads know that I am a big supporter of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. I can tell you that I refer to mine on a daily basis and have for many years. It’s always filled with incredible information on the history of comic cooks as well as useful price information so you can stay on top of your collection. The 2011 41st Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide has three very special covers by three of the best artists in comics, Walter Simonson, Amanda Conner and, for the Hero Initiative Limited Edition, the legendary John Romita, Sr. Romita’s image has a cover full of Marvel superheroes such as the Hulk, Captain America, Spider-Man, Mary Jane and many more. Simonson’s cover has Thor, and Amanda Conner gives you Supergirl and Batgirl with their dukes up and ready to fight.
Make sure you place your order for one of these great books so you’ll always know what’s going on. Look for them to be ready in July 2011.
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The Week: Avengers #151
Every now and then a comic book cover will depict just what a superhero should be. This is one of them. Enjoy!
Busted Knuckles Babe(s) Of The Week: The Price Is Right Models
Morning game shows never looked this good. The Price isn’t the only thing that’s right with Drew Carey’s The Price Is Right game show. The models on the show are all show stoppers. These four beauties would make any man sport a smile. Slot your time in for The Price Is Right.
I want to apologize for this edition of Busted Knuckles being late. I had some eye surgery done. (Yep! I’m okay and doing fine.) And then we had a power outage on the hottest days of the year for about 48 hours that didn’t help matters ?n ot that I could see that well anyway. Anyway, I’m sorry, amigos.
I’m glad to report that the weather has changed and it’s been beautiful here the last couple of days. I’m hoping it sticks around for a little bit. I could get used to this.
I’ll see y’all soon, so keep those emails and postings a coming.
The Flying Fist Ranch
Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!