This month, DC Comics has launched an event called 'Rebirth.' This is, in many ways, an attempt by the company to address the dissatisfaction among core fans with the 'New 52' reboot. Since the New 52 debuted in 2011, DC Comics has seen their sales plummet. Older comic fans abandoned the company in droves as beloved characters were reinvented. DC had hoped that its reboot would draw new, younger fans, but that didn't happen.
Now, after five years, the company has decided to backpedal and do a 'soft reboot' with the 'Rebirth' event. This is their attempt, years too late in my humble opinion, to smooth the feathers of alienated fans and, hopefully, woo some of them back to the books and characters they loved.
I am a DC fan. I grew up watching Superfriends on Saturday morning and repeats of the 1966 Batman television show. The first comic series I made a concerted effort to buy was Wolfman and Perez's New Teen Titans.
So it says something, I think, that these days I'm only buying one comic regularly from DC. That comic is Kurt Busiek's Astro City, which isn't even part of the DCU continuity. It's published through their Vertigo imprint, but has nothing to do with the DCU cannon.
I've heard some good things about Rebirth so far. The event has given a lot of people hope that DC is going to return to its roots, invest in the history of its characters.
I, however, am staying as far away from Rebirth as I can. I've been burned once too often by DC to trust that the company and its leadership know what the fans want. DC, I think, has already dropped the ball by announcing a two-year-long story arc that will touch on all the Rebirth titles. They have also apparently decided to integrate the Watchmen Universe into the greater DC Multiverse, and replaced the New 52 Superman with the Pre-Flashpoint Superman. The last would be akin to replacing the first Darren from Bewitched with the second, only everyone knows he's different.
It just makes me shake my head, and compare DC to a bad ex. You know the one I'm talking about. We've all got 'em. That person who seems so cool and fun but then you break up with them for some reason, but they keep trying to get you to come back. They swear they've changed, that they'll change for you, but it's all a lie. They haven't changed and, you realize, that they probably never will.
So what do you do? Do you keep going back to the ex? Do you forgive their lies and misdirections? Do you open your arms and heart to them, again and again, only to be emotionally and mentally gutted?
No. You kick the ex to the curb, wish them well, and try to remember the good times. You find someone new or just take a breather from dating altogether.
That's pretty much me and DC these days. DC is the crazy ex you have fond memories of but that I would see again if you paid me money.
And that makes me sad, because even though I think the company and its leadership have made some horrendous missteps in recent years (Batman v Superman, anyone?), I still want to get back together with them.
But I don't. I don't take their calls and delete their emails and texts unread. Because they're not the person they were and I don't like who they've become. And, honestly, I just don't want to get my heart ripped out again.