A Station Eight Fan Web Site
Displaying 1 record.
I was wondering your opinion on the New 52. Not the execution, I have a hunch you don't have the time to read much of any of it, but the idea of it.
Although I have found a few books I really like, in general I object to heaving aside continuity and trying to rejam the history back into a too short time frame while wiping out character development. The idea of accessibility is a red herring because if they were capable of sticking to self contain arc inviting to new readers they wouldn't need a reboot to do so. Then again, I came into comics after Crisis on Infinite Earths and am conditioned into thinking it was necessary.
As you noted, I have NOT had the time to read the New 52, so I will not comment on that specifically. Whether or not it works creatively depends more than anything else on execution. Since I haven't seen the execution, I can't respond to how it works creatively. But I KNOW that commercially it's been a HUGE hit. I like to believe that it wouldn't have done quite so well, if it wasn't executed well too.
But generally, on the idea of reboots, I do have a handful of thoughts:
1. I don't want to be a hypocrite. When we started Spectacular Spider-Man and again on Young Justice, we were effectively doing a continuity reboot. I feel when adapting something to a new media, that's essential, but it doesn't change the fact that (a) we did it and (b) I was relieved to be able to do it. Relieved to be able to jettison elements that I felt didn't work or were redundant or confusing, etc. Our goal, particularly on Spider-Man, was to come up with something Classic, Cohesive, Coherent, Contemporary and Iconic. So how can I object if the comics themselves want to do this?
2. In the end, whether or not either SpecSpidey or YJ was/is successful depends on our execution of our ideas, additions and cullings. I like to think both shows are successful, but that's a judgement each individual viewer would have to make for him or herself.
3. I was working on staff at DC Comics during the publication of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths. In fact, during my very first editorial meeting, I raised the question as to why we weren't starting ALL our books over (with the numerical exceptions of Detective and Action Comics) with issue #1. I remember very clearly a collective groan rising up from the conference room table. (They had dealt with this question for months before my arrival.) On the one hand, they wanted Crisis to be a real sea-change, a true reboot (before we knew that term). On the other hand, if you truly reboot Batman, then Robin doesn't exist yet. No Robin, no other sidekicks either. So no Teen Titans. And at the time, the New Teen Titans was the company's best selling book.
4. So the end result was that some things got rebooted and some did not.
5. This was complicated by the fact that certain creators came late to the party, and certain characters got reboots too long AFTER Crisis.
6. And so, as a READER, I couldn't help feeling that - rather than simplifying the continuity - Crisis made it more complicated. This will happen in general, naturally, as time passes and more and more comics are produced by a variety of creators and editors, but Crisis seemed to exacerbate the problem for me personally.
7. In part this was because, I really liked the DC Multiverse. I agree that it was abused to the point of confusion. (And I think it was nuts that Earth TWO had the forties heroes and Earth ONE had the sixties heroes. Just the odd backwards numbering itself created additional unnecessary confusion.) But if limits had been placed on the number of parallel earth stories and crossovers, I think it could have been fine.
8. ESPECIALLY, if they had created a new Earth-THREE, starting over with heroes of the eighties, with Superman and Batman (being new to the hero thing but) remaining relatively constant. But with a new Green Lantern (for example) as different from Hal Jordan as Jordan was from Alan Scott.
9. But that didn't happen. And in fact, though I've read very few comics since 1996, my understanding is that reboots have hit over and over at both DC and Marvel. That negates reader trust in the worth and weight of the stories they're reading. It's more insidious than obvious. And you risk alienating old readers, even as you may or may not attract new ones. You'll always get a short term gain off of a reboot, because everyone wants to check it out. But long term...
10. And going back to my first point - which is that most everything depends on execution - I personally didn't love the execution of some of the post-Crisis rebooting. Some people may have loved it. And that's totally legit. But some of the rethinking on certain individual characters didn't work too well for me.
11. Though personally I think the Bates-Weisman-Broderick reboot on Captain Atom from his Charlton incarnation was brilliant. ;)
12. So, personally, my feeling on reboots in general is that you either do them or you don't. You've got to be thorough and ruthless about it, or don't bother, because otherwise - long term - you're creating more problems than you're solving.
13. And still and all, ultimately, it all depends on execution.