The Editor’s Notes is an opinion column allowing our writers to express their truest feelings about comic books, the comic book industry, and all that it inspires. The views expressed within belong solely to their author.
DC Rebirth began about three weeks ago with the DC Universe: Rebirth #1. That’s enough time that everyone who cares to has had their chance to digest the events and formulate an opinion on it. I’ve gone cross-eyed reading all the various opinions and theories about Geoff Johns’ universe-altering story, so I’m not going to waste time complaining or defending the reboot. I just want to take some time and say: Thank you, DC Comics. Without Rebirth, I wouldn’t have taken the opportunity to explore other publishers.
You’re probably thinking, “Wait! You said you weren’t going to complain about Rebirth, you hypocrite!” I’m not complaining. Most of the new series have released their Rebirth one-shots at this point, and some even their first issues. It’s really too early for anyone to label the relaunch as a success or failure. I’ve read exactly two other issues (Batman #1 and Wonder Woman #1), so I am in no way qualified to pass judgment.
My gratitude towards DC lies within the nature of reboots. Rebirth is meant to attract new readers. Those who simply never got into a series because there was no good jumping on point. Here’s the opportunity for everyone to start fresh with the characters. It is the same philosophy that drove the the DC Universe from Flashpoint into the New 52. On the flip side of this is the notion that reboots are also a really good time to cut and run.
Throughout the entirety of the New 52, I was always up for whatever DC threw at me. I religiously read Batman because it was just so gosh darned good. I stuck with Superman because I just knew it would get better at some point. I read the entirety of Wonder Woman because Brian Azzarello created something special, and I figured that magic would still influence the series once his run ended (I was wrong on that, but the subsequent run wasn’t terrible). There were other series sprinkled in there, too, that brought me genuine enjoyment like Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Starfire, and Justice League. Really, what I began noticing was that my enjoyment was at its peak when specific creators were driving the series.
I should have dropped Wonder Woman after Azzarello. There’s a Snyder/Capullo shaped void in my pull list now that their run on Batman is over (Thank goodness for All-Star Batman). Harley Quinn and Starfire were entertaining because of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. Teen Titans saw a few different writers and never really got close to Marv Wolfman’s storytelling that I remembered from my childhood. I stuck with the series though.
Now, with the entire DC line filled with new creative teams and new starting points for stories, I’m jumping into a different role as a consumer. I know from my New 52 experience that there are specific creators I really enjoy. Instead of throwing my money at a bunch of series with writers and artists I’m unfamiliar with just because I love the character, I’m putting more time into searching out stories from those creators I know I like–even if I don’t know what they are writing.
Writers like Gail Simone, Matt Kindt, Robert Venditti, and Marguerite Bennett all wrote for DC during the New 52. Now, they write for Image, Dynamite, Valiant, and Dark Horse. Without Rebirth, I would probably still be pulling series based on the character instead of the content. Since the Rebirth announcement, I’ve discovered characters like Red Sonja, Ninjak, Rai, and XO Manowar. After holding out forever, I’ve finally boarded The Walking Dead bandwagon by reading 157 issues in the matter of a week (seriously why was I not reading this series!?). I’ve delved into stories about espionage, apocalypse, and murderous preparatory schools. I’ve read some really creative stories that were previously blocked from my line of sight because I was too busy being loyal to a favorite character.
So, I’m not being sarcastic or judgmental when I say thank you, DC. I appreciate the opportunity to explore other avenues of comic book wonder. I’ve grown into a more critical consumer because of your decisions. I’m sure that I’ll find my way back to the DC Universe once I can make an educated assessment of the quality of the new line, and I’ll still drop by for a few stories. What it comes down to is that I don’t need you to entertain me anymore, I want you to entertain me.