23 Aug, 2011

Thoughts on the NEW DCU

Posted by in .Blogs|Opinion

New DCU Lead

Midtown Bloggeroni’s, Raph here with something I haven’t done in a while. I’ve been really fortunate to interview major players at both Marvel and DC the past few months, and that won’t stop. This time, I just wanted to talk about the NEW DCU, and what that might mean for comics, both as a fan and as a retailer.

I’ve heard a lot of differing opinions on this massive change over at DC comics from all types of readers at the store. Part of the benefits of being in retail is I know exactly what fans like myself are thinking. There has been a bit of consternation on the side of the fans, and I thought I might talk about this, because I think what DC is doing is very important.

Superman Red/Blue

Remember this?!? I sure do!!

As a comics fan, I started reading comics in a very tumultuous period, the late 90’s. Marvel was still in bankruptcy, and the comics market had “crashed”. The most significant thing about the period is that both of the major comic companies, Marvel and DC, had begun experimenting with their characters, continuity and tradition be damned. Everyone from Superman to Spider-Man underwent some type of change. For a 12 year old kid who had only been enjoying comics on the periphery, this was very fun and exciting. A new Green Lantern who made cool constructs, a Superman who was pure energy, and a revamping of both companies biggest superteams (JLA and Avengers) took my brain by storm, and have made me a fan of comics since then.

House of M
Gamechangers… everything going on has basically come from these two!

Since I became a fan, both companies have taken to utilizing a very long-form, event driven, storytelling method. You can track the status quo of the Marvel Universe basically back to House of M (2005), and for the DC Universe, Identity Crisis (2004). You can trace the themes of each major arc of both universes  back to those keystones. That’s roughly 6 to 7 years of cohesive, linear story across a majority of the characters. That’s a lot to take in for a fan. “Event fatigue” is a term that’s come into popular usage since this cycle of storytelling began, and I don’t blame people for leaving… but now I think these same people have the same opportunity to jump on, and the people who have jumped on via comic book movies now have a new point at which to begin.

Say what you will about the New DCU, but it’s a chance for people who were like me in 1997, new and interested in jumping in. With a new universal starting point, it’s easy for me (the master salesman) to point people in the direction of DC and bring aboard a new fanbase, which is what any company wants to do, bring aboard new blood. I understand that some people may be upset that the characters they knew and loved are changing, but Superman is no longer “Electric Blue”, Kyle Rayner is no longer the only GL, and there are MULTIPLE Avengers teams. Nothing is the same from when I started, and that’s for the better.
Shiny Armor JLA

Shiny Armor is SO COOL!!! Can you tell I’m a 90’s kid?

Ultimately if you’re on the fence on the New DCU or are ready to quit, I say this to you: Give it a shot. Take a look at what you may like and buy it for an issue or two. It may surprise you. I’m not 100% thrilled with every book, and maybe you won’t like anything, but don’t dismiss something before it starts. Change is good. DC is trying to shake up the way things have been done, and it needed shaking up. I look forward to seeing new faces at the store giving the books a shot, hopefully I’ll see you there. Next Time, I’ll be back to talking to some big names, Big Shots specifically. Greg Rucka was kind enough to answer 5 Questions about his new run on Punisher. Also, my friends over at Action Lab have released Fracture #2 this week (On August 24th specifically), go check it out!

I Haz Comics and So Can You!
– Raph

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