The World According to Keitho

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The DC reboot

Posted by keithosaunders on September 2, 2011

When I was eight my Mom, Aunt, brother, and I drove from Los Angeles to Bakersfield to go to a cousin’s Bar Mitzvah.   After the service there was a party at my cousin’s house.  At some point I found myself alone in his room, and there I discovered his comic book collection.  He had dozens, if not hundreds of magazines.  I spent my remaining time at that house holed up in that room reading Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Hawkman comics.

When we returned home I started asking my parents for spare change so I could buy my own comics.  In the next two years I amassed a fairly respectable collection.  The Justice League of America, which consisted of most of the aforementioned heroes, was my favorite title , but I also liked the Legion of Super Heroes, as well as some of the Marvel books, such as Iron Man, Thor, Spiderman, and the Avengers.

Comics cost 12 cents when I began collecting, and by the time I stopped they had gone up to a quarter.  These days they’ll set you back between $2.50 and $3.00. 

One day, when I had reached the ripe old age of thirteen, I was walking down Hollywood Boulevard when I came across a collectible store, filled with old movie scripts, posters, and yes, comics.  There I learned that you could make cold, hard cash by selling your comics to the store.  It was that easy.  So, like the idiot I was, (and would remain) I sold my entire collection.  For $20.00.

A few years later I was nineteen, and thanks to a drummer friend who had saved his comics, I got back into collecting.  At that time, if you weren’t that picky about buying mint condition, you could still get the old Silver Age comics for decent prices.  [The Silver Age generally refers to the comics made between the ’50s and the early ’70s.]

I was able to replenish most, if not all of my collection, and this time I was smart enough to hold onto them.  They exist today 3,000 miles east of where I live in an upstairs garage in Shokan, New York. 

This is top of mind because of all things, DC comics is in the news.  In the last week I have heard a segment on All Things Considered, as well as read an article in the Oakland Tribune, about DC comics.  DC is the older of the two big comics companies — that’s where Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman come from.  Marvel has Spiderman, Hulk, and Captain America, among others.

But I digress.  This month DC is in the process of rebooting their entire catalogue of comics.  Every book — I believe there are 52 of them — is starting over at #1, and the heroes are going to have different origins, and in some cases, different powers.  In the case of Action Comics this is a shame.  Superman originated in Action Comics way back in 1938, and the book has remained in existence all of these years, making it well into the 900s.  How cool would it have been to have a chance to buy Action 1,000? 

A lot has said about the rebranding of these heroes, but I have read very little about what the differences are going to be — just that they want to make them more relevant to modern times.  What does this mean?  Are the heroes going to use smart phones and have tattoos?  I hope this isn’t a lot of smoke and mirrors about change.  (I’m looking at you, Obama!)  If they’re going to the trouble of starting over, I want to see some real change. 

I’m actually considering checking out some of these books.  I may even subscribe to the new Justice League.  I hope they do a good job, but if they don’t, I hope they revert to Action Comics #945.             

7 Responses to “The DC reboot”

  1. I just read about this myself today on one of the internet news sites. I’ve never been a big comic book collector, but I do find it interesting that they are re-starting all of these stories and characters. Should be good for sales, at least in the short term, which is, of course, the whole point. I wonder if teens and twenty-somethings read these anymore. I think I’ll pick up a few for my eight-year old, and see what he thinks.
    Happy Reading, Bill

    • The price is pretty steep — $3.99, for both the books, as well as digital reader downloads. They’re selling like hot cakes, at least for now. Most stores are out of them, but ordering more. I’ll probably buy one or two when the hubub dies down.

  2. Lee said

    Great article. For a moment I thought you were going to dwell more on the Washington DC comics.

  3. zapple100 said

    I can understand why DC will do this even though it might piss off the old comic buyers. You got to keep things fresh so that there’s a new crowd to buy the comics.

  4. zapple100 said

    I just wish they had a series where they had the old art style. I think those are so much better then the “Heavy Metal” magazine style art work.

    • I agree. The person that got me back into collecting in the 1980s was my drummer friend. He was also an artist, as well as a comic book collector. I remember him showing me the Curt Swan stuff for Superman and the Legion of Super Heros, which was done in the late 50s and throughout the 60s. That guy was amazing. Compared to the metallic look of today’s comics, that was soulful stuff.

  5. […] I follow this person on Twitter who posts pictures of silver age comic books from the 60s and 70s.  He’s running an ebay business and the photos come with a link where you can purchase said comics, some with a price tag north of $100.00. Still, I enjoy seeing the photos of the comics, many of which I bought new, before tragically selling them for a pittance after deciding I had outgrown them. I wrote about that here. […]

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