Think of it like DC Comics turning into Hollywood, with everything going back to the origin state, except in this case it’s only happening once. A lot of fans are in uproar about this, but an even bigger amount of fans are extremely excited, myself included, and DC is looking to pick up thousands of new readers in the process. Getting into it, things get a bit complicated. At first, I thought this was a full reboot.
Considering DC is rebooting the currently longest running series (Detective Comics) back to number one (it currently sits at 878 and will end at 879) along with Action Comics, the decision has to be a full reboot. There will be no turning back now, you are touching some icons here. However further reading proved that this is being considered a “soft reboot” and what that means is they are “keeping the best” and tossing the rest.
What exactly will be kept in the new issues? That’s where things get tricky. Currently DC is saying its iconic names are getting new costumes (that is evident with the backlash Superman is getting) and new origin stories to their lore. Some characters, nobody too major, are even being taken out entirely. Need a good example of changes to origins and continuity? Joker will no longer have Harley Quinn, at least for the time being. So the question is, what exactly is DC deciding to keep? It’s like digging through your old memory box to clean out your closet in hopes to get rid of stuff, then suddenly you realize you got rid of nothing.
Since origin stories are indeed being touched, how will this translate to other mediums? Rebooting a title here and there doesn’t show they are backing the reboot and shows they can easily back out. Wouldn’t the same have to go for upcoming movies? Upcoming TV shows? Superman is still being made, but it still has a script, will it be changed? Will he have a new costume? WB has indeed stated they don’t tend to follow the comics when it comes to the movies. However when an entire sub company is rebooting and changing everything you get your material from, wouldn’t it be respectful to at least take some things into consideration?
Which leads us to a recent rumor floating round the web. Supposedly WB is finally (FINALLY) making a Justice League film to be released in 2013. If you read my past articles you know I have been asking WB to do this forever. Anyone that knows Justice League knows this is where all things go first before the entire DC Universe accepts it. All the heroes get together and so on. A problem with some of the recent DC movies is their heroes focus more on powers, and its really hard to accomplish a sense of realism when your main character can fly. The new DC Comics however are supposed to bring things more down to earth, make them more modern. With the Justice League being the flagship title, this could very easily translate into the idea of a Justice League movie and be the main cause of all these rumors.
Then there is always the option of this being a failure and pretending it never existed within a few months. Comics are really good at this. Some major change takes place, it turns out to only work for a short term, and then somehow in some way the characters find a way to put things back to normal. So the question is will the changes be big enough and developed enough to go into the upcoming movies and help make it stay?
Personally I am super interested to see where this goes. DC said it themselves, they are all in and not partially in. Now the question is, is this a big enough of a business move to gain the interest of WB? This entire reboot is to attract new readers, if they read the origin of Superman as some guy in jeans and shirt, then why does he have a full body suit in the movies? We saw something similar with Smallville, but in my opinion this is a much bigger scope. You are talking about young readers that want to see these stories come to life before their eyes. I’m not saying it needs to happen now. You can still bring the old stories we all grew up with to life on the big screen, but perhaps Justice League or something down the road should be geared towards this new audience.
The first step that needs to be taken though is we need to know what exactly is changing. Maybe everything is simply just more modern, and that is something movies have always changed and done well. They put heroes in today’s world and change the costumes as they see fit. If its little cosmetic changes like this, I don’t think we need to worry all too much about movies adapting. However the character tie ins and origin stories are what I am worried about the most. Will the comics be playing follow the leader with the movies now?
Overall I am not entirely sure how I feel this will work on the bigger scope of things. Going all in like DC suggested means everything needs to be redone. All their merchandise will need to change, including shirts, action figures, posters, and so on. Video games, such as the DC Universe MMO, might feel dated unless the comics are the ones adapting to everything else. Movies won’t feel right if they are not following the stories new readers are getting their hands on. If DC doesn’t look out for the broader scope of things, this reboot might not work and the predictions of it only lasting a few months might be right. However if they can find a way to have all this stuff work together, perhaps it will work extremely well. The question is does DC have the power and money to do it? Having a full refund available to comic book resellers is one thing, redefining heroes to the casual audience is another.