What the D’ast? The New 52


(Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of irregularly-scheduled op-ed columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with the issues of today’s comic book world from the perspective of a 53-year-old and aging fanboy. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of Cosmic Book News. He welcomes both raves and opposing views in the CBN Forum.)

picThis may be the last OPED piece you read about DC’s Relaunch and the New 52 as the #1s spill next month into comic shops worldwide, and the OPED pieces become instead breaking news and analyses, but I guarantee you will not read one as enthusiastic.

I will leave it to others to pontificate on what retailers will do/have done about the monumental decision by DC Comics ED to relaunch 52 new versions of its key (and non-key) books, including venerable titles Action Comics and Detective Comics. I am not interested (at least in this opening column of the new What the D’ast?) in sales charts on or how these #1s and the issues that follow will be collected into trades.

My perspective this day is as a fan of these characters, a longtime one that has spent most of his comics reading days in the House of Ideas but has now – because of Marvel ED’s pure mismanagement of its cosmic characters, their great storylines and the mushroom treatment they have given their fans – returned to the land of Superman and Batman, of Green Lantern (especially!) and Wonder Woman with the enthusiasm of the child who first discovered these characters and their comic books long, long ago.

I know how some fans who have invested in the DCU for years feel. What good does it do to follow the continuity of a universe that pulls the rug out from under you every few decades? To them, I say meet the challenge with the energy and “glass half-full” attitude that men like Lee and Johns are investing into this DCnU.

If you ever walk around most comics shops, it is more those aged 25-50+ that you will see thereabouts, ruffling through their weekly folders. While the kids are on the X-Box enjoying fantasy worlds of which I have never heard and have no interest, it is we (53-year-old fan here) who are keeping the Marvel and DC Universes alive.

And what better way to do that than present the classic all wrapped up in a nice package, with a fresh #1 on it? Not that this will make first volumes of any comic more or less valuable, but it does serve the purpose of the continuation of a medium we all love and cherish.

(Yes, I know there are digital comics and those projecting that as the future for this medium in a New Millennium, but that is another issue for another column.)

Bottom line, will DC’s sales charts be a tad busier in September? I say yes. Will that momentum stay with the #2s? For a plurality of them, I am guessing so. Will the New 52 strategy bring readers back from 616 to DCnU, or create new readers in and of itself?

It already has, and here I am.