One of the things that has kept me a miles length away from comic books is the barrier to entry. What do I mean by this? The winding road of convoluted story lines that are created when trying to make comic books make sense.
I come from the opinion that if I’m going to put my time and effort into a particular character or series, I want to know everything there is to know about it up until the point I jump on-board (if possible within reason).
For example, it’s hard for me to watch a TV series in the middle of the franchise. Although their are some exceptions for the less over arching series, most of the time, a solid foundation is needed to truly pickup on a series. And while most of the pain of this could be alleviated by the Internet and the various synopsis’ that are available, you are still often times missing an important nugget that a die-hard of a franchise may pick up on and get the extra sense of satisfaction from.
I’ll be the first to say that this may be more of a short-coming on my part, rather than a true barrier to entry, but the need to know all about a character or series is not unique to me.
But what if you did want to start from the beginning and learn all there is to know about a character or series. In most cases, this is often impractical and impossible. Although with the various cloud based solutions that various comic outlets have created, this is becoming less of an issue going forward, if your willing to pay up.
There is a reason every comic book movie starts of with the origin of the character, this connection is needed as the basis for your relationship with the character or series moving forward.
Suffice it to say, with a series the has been going on for fifty years or more, this is a problem. And without getting into particulars about how continuity has been attempted to be fixed as it pertains to DC Comics (Crisis of Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis), lets just say things are a mess.
On the Marvel side of things, they have garnered great success with their Ultimate Marvel franchise. Which are reboots of some of the popular Marvel characters, with an modern spin on things and an arc totally separated of that of the main franchises. These series have been growing in popularity since their inception, bringing new fans into the fold, and has been embraced by long-time readers as well. And while technically, this is a multi-verse itself, it is its own self-defined storyline that is clearly set apart from the rest of the continuity that is consistent across all the books with the Ultimate moniker (to be fair, their are multi-verses associated with the Ultimate universe as well, although minor).
Enter the DC reboot, although according to Bob Harris this will be a soft-reboot, which entails all DC Universe titles being cancelled or restarted at a new issue 1, same day release of physical comics with digital platforms, and the former Wildstorm imprint being rolled into the greater DC Universe. This also involves universe changes designed to make characters more modern and accessible (new outfits, back history, and stories). Yes, finally, if you have ever-even been remotely interested in starting to read DC Comics, the time is now!
The impact here is even more so than that of what Marvel did back in 2001 with Ultimate Marvel, as this is a complete reboot across all series. Will fans embrace this? I think they will. First, it will allow new people to join the fold and energize a new generation of fans. Secondly, by cancelling the old arcs, it will in a sense force all old readers to adopt the new material. After nearly three-quarters of a century of continuity missteps, this should be a welcomed change.
Through the eyes of someone who’s been wanting to get into DC Comics for some time now.