Happy Birthday DC Comics! The New 52 is now one year old, and as my present to you here’s my story. I won’t lie, when the reboot was announced I was among the disenfranchised. Think of the new customers they wanted as a newborn baby, and I was the older child wondering why I lost the favor of my parents. I even boycotted the company and participated in “anti-New 52” protest groups online. Ironically those protest groups were what brought me back into the fold. To make a long story short I eventually realized that there was no way things were as bad as they made them out to be. Their continual mocking of everything that DC put out even ended up serving as my guideline for where to jump back in. I don’t mean this to be a defense of the reboot – DC has their own paid publicity people and doesn’t need me as a cheerleader. What I came to realize though is that the New 52 actually does honor the long storied history of the publisher, without making the creative teams be bound to it.
This is not a guarantee that every experiment will be a success, but being against the reboot on principle is no reason to ignore the hard work and imaginations of the many people contributing to DC Comics today. I’m not even against it on principle anymore, especially given its success. The New 52 initiative boosted sales across the board for every comic book publisher, and while sales eventually leveled out they are higher than what they were before. The fact is our cherished hobby has been at an impasse. With the roaring 90’s behind us the financial system that kept our favorite form of art and entertainment afloat almost collapsed, and while many of us value art over profit – movie deals, reboots, and digital sales will probably prove essential to keeping caped crusaders alive. In some ways I’m scared to expose the fact that what DC comics has done, while bold, is not truly that revolutionary. At the end of the day some of these stories are great, and some of them are forgettable. The idea of a company wide reboot may be a scapegoat for some books’ failures, and also a figurehead of their successes, but you know that they have to sink or swim on their own, and I do too. Universe shattering events are probably not a thing of the past, and many aspects probably will probably return to old standards, but here’s to you New 52, and Happy Birthday!