A while ago, I speculated on what it would take to get the uninitiated (or perhaps a lapsed reader) to pick up a comic book. Well, this past weekend saw DC debut its New 52 initiative that will relaunch all of the publisher’s comic books from issue one, starting with the flagship Justice League title, which has the high-calibre team of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee working on it. The book has performed very well, selling over 200,000 copies, getting two extra printings after just days on-sale and even breaking digital records, as it went day-and-dat on electronic platforms with the print release.
So, at this point, I’m wondering again: does this make you want to read a comic book? I read Justice League issue one at the weekend, and it was so newcomer-friendly that I don’t actually think it was targeted at me, a well-versed reader. It was literally Batman meeting Green Lantern for the first time, a little bit about Cyborg and the first unveiling of the ‘new’ Superman. I enjoyed it, sure, but I’ve read issues involving these characters that were definitely more interesting to me (the time Batman popped on the Green Lantern ring, for example, and projected his inner demons around him is just one of many). It’s a book that assumes so little knowledge of the DC Universe from the reader, and I suppose that’s a good thing for attracting a new readership – but does that prospect and editorial direction actually urge you to pick up a comic book?
The level of media blitz DC has created, in order to push the books, shows just how serious they are about revitalising a medium that has been dogged by comic book store closures and unfairly marginalised since the Nineties. Something needed to be done, and it appears they’re doing it.
But does this work on you? We’ve talked extensively about the relaunch since it was first announced, here on the website, but the test isn’t whether we pick up the books, as the converted – its success hinges on you. So what do you reckon?