Comics Keep Relaunching

The recent comic book relaunch by DC called "The New 52" is barely a year old and Marvel's "Point One" efforts to give readers a chace to jump on the storyline of some of their popular series have been sporadic at best, but that isn't stopping the two largest comics publishers from continuing the relaunch trend. DC will renumber their titles at zero for "Zero Month" in September and Marvel will overhaul its own universe with "Marvel Now," a culmination of its Avengers vs. X-Men event.


DC is coming off its recent highly publicized mass relaunch and this new effort might have some folks fear that this will become an annual event. That doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad idea if they tell decent year-long stories that grab readers' interest, but if it feels too forced and it just appears as if its a marketing tactic rather than a creative choice, fans will eventually feel cheated. We've already seen DC start over from scratch after its "Crisis on Infinite Earths," so big universe-wide events are a commonplace business move nowadays.

Marvel is another story altogether. I can understand capitalizing on the movie adaptation successes and relaunch Thor, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and other titles to re-introduce them to movie-goers who haven't read comics in a while and are looking for further adventures of their cinematic superheroes, but to start up their entire line seems like a copycat move after last year's DC relaunch (which was a huge financial success if not a critical one.) 

This isn't anything new for Marvel -- they rebooted their universe back in the 1990s with "Heroes Reborn" (which was a short-lived flop) and then again with the alternate universe "Ultimate" line. Will this new effort succeed and create some synergy with Marvel's printed/digital/cinematic properties, or will it be another fiasco?

Have relaunches become a too-commonplace practice in the comics industry?

Comments