Saturday 30 July 2011

The DC New 52 (and why I am so excited about it).

Are you as excited as I am about the DC New 52? If you're not sure what I am talking about then where have you been for the past two months? On 31st May DC announced that starting in September 2011 they would be relaunching a huge number of their titles, taking the numbering of these comics back to #1. This means that titles such as Justice League of America, Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and many, many more will, over the course of September, all have brand new stories. Technically not a complete reboot, as DC very soon added that much of what has gone on before in the DC Universe will still stand, but what they hope is that they will bring these fantastic characters to a whole new generation of readers, without these readers having to worry about having missed out on key plot details. 

On the day this was all announced I mentioned this to several groups of boys at school, and their reaction was one of the main reasons why I am so excited about the DC New 52 (the other reason is far more selfish). They were so excited about it, with one sixth former pretty much demanding more information about titles, cost, etc. and since then emails have been flying around between me and them, and amongst themselves, as they decide who is going to buy which titles, and how (we do not have a comic store in our area). Standing orders have been placed with the likes of Forbidden Planet and GOSH, and here's me still trying to decide which titles I am going to buy for myself. These emails have even continued into the school holidays, as news and images came out of the San Diego Comic-Con almost on an hourly basis. 

It has been proven that boys can be encouraged to read for enjoyment through graphic novels and comics. When I was at school it was frowned upon to admit that you loved comics, these days it is embraced by many modern-thinking teachers and librarians (though sadly not all), and this DC relaunch will I believe have quite an impact on young male readers around the world. Yes, I know that sounds like a rather exaggerated statement, but don't underestimate the popularity of some of these fantastic characters, Batman being the most obvious thanks partly to the recent Christopher Nolan films. Of course, this will also be a little pricey, and sadly the school library budget does not run to buying comics, but I am can pretty much guarantee that when some of these stories are eventually released in graphic novel format we will somehow make sure we get them for the kids to read.

At this moment in time I am just finalising my own personal list of titles that I am going to give a try, although I am not sure I can afford to keep on buying all of them. The list I am still trying to shorten a little is below and I would be interested in what your thoughts are, and whether there are any I really should be buying:

Justice League #1 (drawn by Jim Lee - how exciting!).
Batman #1
Detective Comics #1
Batman: the Dark Knight #1
Batgirl #1
Batwoman #1
Nightwing #1
Green Lantern #1
Wonder Woman #1
The Flash #1
Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1
Suicide Squad #1
Justice League Dark #1

PS Jim Lee - if you ever read this and fancy writing a short piece about DC comics for The Book Zone then please get in touch (hey.... you can't blame me for trying!).