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Jeremy
So the big news in comics last week was that DC is rebooting their line of superhero books. Come August, a lot of things are ending, and come September, there will be 52 #1 comics hitting stores as DC starts fresh. Some stuff will carry over, but it's not clear how much. But even series that have continuously run since the 30s are not safe. Detective Comics, the series from which DC got its name (Yes, DC Comics is technically Detective Comics Comics), a series which will be hitting issue number #881 come August, will get the reboot treatment. No word yet on the premier super hero comic series, Action Comics, which just celebrated issue #900 last month.

(In an aside, the venerable Detective Comics will be illustrated by Greg Capullo, a guy who has been doing Spawn for over a decade and has become a Todd McFarlane clone. Batman will be both written and illustrated by Tony Daniel. Yeah, he's been doing some Batman comics for a little while now, but he's still best known The Tenth, a very 90s-tastic Image title. As an amusing bit of trivia, both guys worked on X-Force in the 90s. Don't people make fun of 90s Marvel and Image comics? Yes, they do.)

But bigger than that is that fact that DC will be releasing digital copies of all of these titles at the exact same time that the hard copies hit the shops. Not a couple weeks or even months, if at all, as things stand now. Nope, same date. Shops are fretting, it's difficult enough to figure out how much to order of a brand new series, and it appears that quite a few things are going to be new, but now they have to figure in the digital cut as well. Order too many and they are stuck with overstock that they can't move. Order too few and customers could be driven to the digital or even another shop. Neither outcome is a good one.

Now, I don't see shops closing overnight, we didn't see record stores, book stores, and video stores close overnight as those things moved to digital. But we did see them cut back. And we did see more than a few wither and die. So, yeah, when shops look at other things that have gone digital they don't get encouraged.

On a personal level, all this talk of digital comics has caused me to really show my comic snobbery. It got me thinking about how I prefer the physical books and the sense of timeliness they provide. With reading old comics I find it interesting to read the letters pages and editorials, and to see what else came out around the same time without, say, having to go and hunt around on the internet. Those things give a book context which is an important piece of the experience for me. There is an entire tapestry of comics as a whole which gets lost not only in digital copies but also with collected editions.

Hell, show me an ad from a comic book that was done after, say, 1975, and I can probably guess when it is from within 3 years.

I'm serious.

So if I bought a copy of the original Amazing Spider-Man #1 from 1963, a rather valuable comic, (I just spotted a copy on Ebay for almost $16,000), and one that I have read in reprints, I would still page through it to get the real experience.

Context.

Anyway, the big DC reboot. I'm sick of DC rebooting things. It's lazy writing. They do soft reboots, you see, instead of a hard reboot. A hard reboot says that everything that came before has been wiped away and they're starting new. Is that the height of laziness? Not in comparison to a soft reboot, and at least a hard one shows some real guts. A soft reboot says that everything that came before may or may not have happened as depicted, it's too complicated to get into right now, and we'll just deal with that later.

I repeat, "we'll just deal with that later." So what typically happens is that the writers are as confused as the readers, different writers have different opinions about what does and does not carry over, contradictions abound, and they end up feeling the need for another reboot "to clear things up" a couple years down the line. Rinse and repeat.

That's not just lazy writing, that's downright bad writing paired with a distinct lack of planning and foresight.

So, overall I saw the DC reboot as a good way to dump a couple of series.

Then they announced that Justice League International will be one of the new series. It is written by Dan Jurgens, who has done a wonderfully brilliant job on Booster Gold. And the series features both Booster Gold and... wait for it... Guy Gardner. I can't pass that up, I love Guy. But this announcement wasn't really a surprise, the finale of Justice League Generation Lost said that this was coming. The announcement was more a relief. I was strongly thinking about getting it, but to find out that it is written by a great writer and stars a couple of my favorite characters just makes me feel good about it.

No, the surprises came today. First off, Resurrection Man by original series writers Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning. Yes, the very same Abnett & Lanning that I have consistently been raving about. And they are back to writing a series that I loved a great deal and that ended well before its time. Holy crap!

Then...

Holy unbelievable fucking crap!

Justice League Dark... featuring Shade the Changing Man and John Constantine. It's going to be written by Peter Milligan, who wrote all 70 issues of the Shade series under the Vertigo imprint and is also the current writer on the Vertigo Hellblazer series (he's written about 30 issues at this point). John fucking Constantine is on the mother fucking Justice League. The original hard smoking occult bastard, a manipulative son of a bitch with more dead friends than live ones, should make the DCU an interesting place.

I was going to talk about the X-Men First Class film, but that will just have to wait until later.