With Wolverine, Star Trek, and (tomorrow) Terminator all sort of getting rebooted this month, it’s worth noting that this spring/summer is also a fantastic time to get in on the print relaunches of numerous DC Comics characters, if for some strange reason you want to transform yourself into a comics collector.
DC relaunches (not really planned as part of a simultaneous new era or anything) all taking place in mid-2009, give or take a couple months, include the following (all starting with an issue #1 unless otherwise noted):
•Batwoman (the lesbian takes the lead as of Detective #854)
•Batman #687 (new guy replaces the dead/time-displaced Bruce Wayne)
•Batman and Robin (the former nice and the latter nasty, in contrast to the formula in the simultaneous All Star Batman and Robin series)
•Captain Atom (as a back-up feature starting in Action #879)
•Red Circle (the non-comedic Archie superheroes)
•Justice League (adding a miniseries called Justice League: Cry for Justice alongside the regular ongoing series’ diminished team)
•Justice Society (reunited in issue #27 and guided by new writers after some dissension in the ranks)
•Legion of Super-Heroes and Superboy (in the new Adventure)
•multiple Lantern Corps(es) in the “Blackest Night” multi-series event starring Green Lantern
•Flash, Flash, Flash, and Kid Flash (they’d damn well better change their names by the end of the miniseries — I suggest Golden Flash, Silver Flash, Bronze Flash, and Dark Flash)
•Superman: Secret Origin
As with the aforementioned movie franchises: I’m happy to stop my own participation here, though, in part because I’m satisfied just to see things in good enough shape to be fun for those who come after me — sort of like watching birds depart the nest. (This summer also brings a beautiful-looking experiment from DC Comics called Wednesday Comics, a weekly newspaper-sized anthology of meticulously-drawn, accessible stories that sort of brings the artistic standards of Prince Valiant to Flash, Green Lantern, et al.)
One has to get off the renewal/remake merry go round at some point, though, otherwise you end up being suckered into watching rejiggered versions of things you just saw (and didn’t care too deeply about) sixteen years ago, like Cliffhanger with Sylvester Stallone (now they’re not even observing the wait-twenty-years rule that seemed to be in place for a while). By contrast, there’s nothing wrong with a long-awaited first attempt at adaptation, and it sounds like Riverworld, about everyone who ever lived on Earth finding themselves waking up together on another planet, is set to become a movie. I hope it’s great — and that they film all its book sequels before considering remaking it.