USA TODAY reports that in the aftermath of its current Flashpoint multi-comic “event”, DC Comics will be re-vamping it’s entire line yet again.
Superman, The Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, et al, will be re-started as younger, different versions of their former selves.
Beginning in September, 51 first issues titles will debut, with the stated intent of making the stories more relatable to the real world, always a dubious idea for characters whose essential appeal is precisely that they exist in a fantasy world of their own, with it’s own history and rules.
Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC Comics, is quoted as saying:
“We really want to inject new life in our characters and line. This was a chance to start, not at the beginning, but at a point where our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today’s audience.”
As can be seen by the artwork, artist and co-publisher Jim Lee has redesigned the Justice League heroes appearances to various degrees, Superman and Wonder Woman most noticeably. Superman’s been given a high collar that does not work well at all with the arrangement of the cape (and the idea that he wear the suit undernear his Clark Kent street clothes), and seems to have lost his trademark red shorts. The ‘S’ Symbol is also somewhat squared off. Wonder Woman’s costume appears to be a combination of her recent and controversial mini-series redesign and the similar costume made for the failed TV pilot.
Interestingly, Green Lantern’s costume seems influenced by the new movie’s ‘peeled flesh’ look. As Geoff Johns, creative head of Warner Brothers’ DC Entertainment is involved in the re-vamping, including writing the Justice League opening story arc, I would not be surprised if the whole venture was undertaken in part with modern and simplified (in terms of looks and continuity) movie and television adaptations in mind.
In a nod to changing times for the comic book publishing business, all of the re-numbered comics will be available digitally as downloadable apps and through a DC website, timed to be accessible the same day they are supposed to arrive in comic book stores.
Jim Lee told the site: “We’re allowing people who have never bought a comic book in their lives to download them on portable media devices and take a look. To give people access to these comics with one button click means we’re going to get a lot of new readers.”
That remains to be seen. Personally, all of these every few years total re-launches and make-overs have left me with less and less desire to keep up with the comics at all, and concentrate only on the film and TV output.