I’ve never read comic books.
Well, maybe once or twice when I was a kid and someone gave one to me, I might have skimmed it, but I never really got into them, certainly never voluntarily bought any, and never collected comics. This is nothing again comic books. I was just too busy with other things: science fiction, Little League, and the usual trouble that a 10-year old will find himself in. By the time I became a serious fan of science fiction (that is–by the time I recognized there was a fandom and I was part of it) my preferences had been molded. Given the choice between a new science fiction novel or a new comic book, I’d always choose the former over the latter.
On the other hand, I’ve always been a fan of Superman. When I was a kid, I’d watch reruns of The Adventures of Superman. I’d run around the house with a towel hanging from my shirt like a cape, pretending to fly. I watched reruns of Superman: The Movie and Superman II on HBO endlessly. I was delighted by the Lois & Clark series, watched every episode of Smallville breathlessly. I even enjoyed the Superman Returns reboot of a few years ago. To this day, however, I’ve never read a Superman comic.
Part of the reason is that I didn’t grow up with comics. But my interest in comics has increased over the years. Comics are a big part of fandom, and besides, I’ve gotten to know people who are big comic fans–and have even written for the comics. But the biggest reason that I haven’t read a Superman comic is probably because I’d want to start at the very beginning. And that is virtually impossible. As I understand it, that Action Comics that featured the first appearance of Superman is extremely rare. But then, DC Comics announced this renumbering…
Not being a comic book fan, I’m not sure what this means. It read it as meaning a number of possible things:
- DC is reissuing all of their comics with some kind of consistent number scheme.
- DC is “rebooting” all of their comics with a more contemporary story line, in much the way that Smallville was a contemporary re-telling of how Clark Kent became Superman.
- None of the above
On the Interwebs, comic book fans seem to be upset with this move by DC Comics and as purists, I can understand that. But as someone who has never read comic books and is looking for a way in, this seems like it would provide a perfect entry point for me. It has the added bonus of making the comics available in digital format the same day they are released in paper format. I must say that I am impressed by the DC Comics app for the iPad and it would be nice to be able to subscribe and receive the comics in the same way that I subscribe and receive Analog and Asimov’s for the Kindle. Digital clutter is easier for me to manage than paper stacks, and it fits nicely with my paperless lifestyle.
So I have a question for comic book fans about the whole DC Comics renumbering thing: what exactly does it means? Keep in mind I know nothing about comics, but from what I’ve read about this change, it is aimed at people like me, who want to get into a particular comic from the beginning. Am I understanding this correctly? Is it a renumbering? A reboot? If I get the new #1 will I really be starting at the beginning of a new story line? Or is it the same story line, “renumbered”? Help a fellow understand what this all means. I’d appreciate your expertise and insight on the matter.