There’s been a dramatic shift within the comic book industry these past three months. Marvel’s stranglehold in the sales has weakened to DC’s newest relaunch, “Rebirth.” The relaunch is a return to form for the company’s most famous superheroes and other IPs. So far, the initiative has been a huge success as reflected in both the sales and the recent marketshare. But, how did this happen? DC is usually considered the Pepsi to Marvel’s Coke in most facets, including comics. While their current dominance might be temporary, it’s hard to ignore their recent decisions to attract buyers. So, without further adieu, here are five reasons why Rebirth is a success.
*Note: All the pictures you see are just there for aesthetic purposes and are merely recommendations of books I like in the Rebirth line. There will be a more official list later.
5. It actually wasn’t a reboot.
Like just about every comic fan, when I heard the words “rebirth,” I thought reboot. It wouldn’t be the first time the company has done one, and most fans are pretty polarized about The New 52, and what consequences it brought. So, there was a lot of skepticism toward what this event. However, to everyone’s surprise, the poorly named initiative was not a reboot. Instead, I would consider it something different, a jumping on point for new and old readers to familiarize themselves with everything DC. Rebirth is respecting pretty much all of the DC continuity that’s ever been published. We’ll go back to some of the books and why they work, but overall it created an accessibility the company was lacking these pass few years.
4. A tried and true formula.
One of the main focuses on Rebirth was getting to the core of these characters. Why we love them, why we feel for them, and why we want to read more adventures about them. The focus on each book is on the title character, and what they represent: Batman is the detective, Superman saves the day, Wonder Woman is searching for the truth, etc. The New 52 was plagued with overarching conspiracies, confusing premises, and a focus on deconstructing the character rather than building on them. Some (like Monkeys Fighting Robots contributor Gary Maloney) may argue that some of the stories can be cliche and by the numbers. However, I argue that one must create a status quo before it can be destroyed and played with. Also, as a side note, I personally haven’t found a single comic in Rebirth to be downright awful. There are plenty that aren’t great, and some that aren’t very good, but nothing terrible.
3. The price and quality of each book.
Whether the comic is twice-monthly or monthly, all DC Rebirth titles (with the exception of one so far) are $2.99. We’ve come a LONG way from the days of comics being less than two bucks, but the 2.99 pricing certainly allows more affordability for customers. While the twice-monthly shipping does raise a concern that you’re actually spending $5.98 a month on a series, the $2.99 per book is an easier investment for single issue. It gives fans a chance to try out a book, and make a decision on sticking with the series. All the titles are printed on a quality paper, have the same amount of story pages, and are bounded well. The staples aren’t obnoxiously sticking out in the middle of the issue. Plus, as a fan, I actually prefer twice-monthly, because I can follow the stories easier.
2. Returnability on all titles.
A lot of comic books collect dust when they aren’t sold. Often retailers can’t return them, so they’ll find ways to get rid of them through sales and what not. DC has been offering returnability for a lot of their issues. This is great for stores, because it allows them to decipher which comics are worth keeping, and which ones aren’t for their customers. DC will buy the comics that aren’t selling back and this creates a stronger dialogue between retailer and company. When both entities are working together in harmony, this creates a happier experience for all parties involved.
1. DC Rebirth #1 was fantastic for new and old readers.
Regardless of the story’s quality, which was a damn good story by the way, DC Rebirth #1 was a great comic for any level of DC fan. Whether they’ve been reading the company’s work all their lives, they’re fans of the movies and shows, or they’re just casual fans of the character, everyone could read this. It brilliantly explained the DC Universe, it raised good questions that made fans want to know more, and it was accessible. For $2.99 fans got an 80 page comic that contained zero ads. That will always be a more favorable option for readers. And I personally believe that Rebirth has been a great step for the company. The comics have been fun and affordable, the company is making smarter choices, and it’s exciting to see where they go next. Hopefully, DC keeps this momentum going, because right now they are on fire.