Why does it seem that comic books don’t know what to do with themselves anymore? We’ve gone through several reboots, character deaths and subsequent rebirths, time travel, alternate realities, etc. Entire books have ended only to restarted under a new brand or idea, with revamped characters. It’s a never ending cycle.
I will admit that sometimes they have good ideas. Crisis on Infinite Earths and Age of Apocalypse are two of my all-time favorites. These multi-issue, cross brand arcs are what the comics need, from time-to-time. But lately, they seem to be doing it more for sales than content.
DC did the “New 52” back in 2011 after the Flashpoint crossover to give the characters a “jump start” into, what I would consider, their DCEU personas for the movie franchises. However, that didn’t last as the DC universe was rebooted again in 2016 with its Rebirth, as they called it.
So let me get this right… The original DC characters, in their first incarnations, lasted more than 60+ years until the New 52, which only last five years? What does that tell you?
Marvel is better at hiding these changes and reboots, but they’re terrible at killing characters off. In DC, three members of the Legion of Superheroes–Invisible Kid, Ferro Lad, and Chemical Kid–died and have stayed dead. Can you say the same for Jean Grey, Nick Fury, or anyone Deadpool killed in a dozen alternate realities? They even revived Scott Lang in the comics just to make the Ant-Man movie!
They’ve tried subtle reboots to invigorate the brand, like during the Onslaught crossover where Rob Liefeld got to create a new universe for the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, but it failed miserably. They tried to create a new “Ultimate” universe with new renditions and origins of classic characters, but then decided to combine them into one in the new Secret Wars (and I’m not talking the one where Spidey got his black suit).
Not all reboots are bad. Some bring fresh characters into the mix. During the Inhumanity crossover, we got a new Ms. Marvel as Carol Danvers finally became Captain Marvel. Two thumbs up for that one! And DC’s Dark Nights: Metal gave us one of the most twisted renditions of Batman ever seen in The Batman Who Laughs. Unreal!
So, let’s review. Reboots can be good at introducing new characters but some consistency please. We don’t need one every couple of years. It’s making “Silver Age” readers like me antsy!
Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.