#Rebirth was the headline of the day last Friday and boy oh boy, did it ever get the wheel bound hamster in my head running. So yet again after a massive reboot back in 2011 and a soft one last June, here we are again; on the precipice of yet another possible reboot from DC Comics. At least that is what is flowing through the digital rumor-mill. As reported by www.bleedingcool.com, the #rebirth is actually may be a relaunch as opposed to an actual reboot. which if we’re splitting hairs, same difference. This is exactly what happened back in June with DCYOU. The soft reboot/relaunch that followed Convergence quickly petered out and went silently into the night. The burning question here is whether or not a reboot of any kind would be a positive thing.
Firstly, let’s look at the reasons for a re-anything. DC Comics since Convergence back in June has seen their overall sales lower, according to www.comichron.com. Statistics aside the purpose of a reboot is to fix what is not working. Given their whole creativity over continuity mantra, it is small wonder that their sales have reflected the inconsistencies that come with the promise made in those very words.
While creativity is an amazing thing, people are not always so accepting of inconsistencies and change when they are coupled. Not only is it confusing but it also inherently breaks immersion. It still bothers me to see Batman Bruce Wayne in Justice League but then have Jim Gordon in every other book as Batman. While the idea is interesting it still is very jarring. The sad part about it is is that it would be so easy to place a time stamp somewhere on one of the panels which would give so much clarity and resolution to what many fans are dying to know.
Another reason to to rationalize a relaunch or reboot would be to give the above mentioned clarity. While it seems like a solid idea, it can also be viewed as an over complicated answer to a very simple problem. Okay, being honest maybe the problem is not that simple, considering the creative process and the multi-pronged process of making comics, that complicates things. However it does not mean that it is an impossible task. Guys, it’s not rocket science; you’re only building a universe.
When a person sets out to create a world, plot holes happen and it is an editor’s job to patch them up. With the numerous writers, editors and artists dipping their hands in creative crock-pot it is definitely not an easy thing and fans for the most part understand that. To give up every time things get a little messy and throw in the towel is not only insulting to fans but also to the people who put their blood, sweat and ink on those beautifully printed pages. We all know that new #1 issues sell and that is a good thing for all those involved. However to restart or renew inorganically leaving threads of a story hanging and bare is also an all affecting disservice to creators and fans alike.
Now I know that thus far I’ve spoken pretty poorly about the idea of a reboot or relaunch but I think it is fair to say that they come at a hefty price. I do not however think all of them are bad. I honestly Loved the New 52, while that may not be the most popular opinion, across the board, those first six or so issues were generally awesome and consistent. (I said mostly.) In the end the comic gods will decide what to do regardless of what the opinions of the masses are. Let’s just hope that the reasons for this relaunch, if it is in fact that, are the right ones.