And so the 52 stand revealed... And the importance of that number to the DCU has been solidified. I feel a strange sort of excitement for what's to come, and a large part of me wonders if this is how DC fans felt when the first Crisis hit. We're rapidly approaching a new DCU -- one both comfortably familiar and refreshingly new. Is this what it felt like in 1985?
The biggest gamble coming along with this, of course, is DC's attempt to grab that elusive creature known as the "new reader." Apparently they're giving it a real go: there are rumors that DC intends to run national television ads to support their new DC Universe line. And while it's impossible to capture a new audience through the direct market, it may be doable via digital comics.
There are some, of course, who don't think that this will work. I've heard people say that the general public doesn't want to read about super-heroes. But I think that's ridiculous. Everybody wants to read about super-heroes. They just may not know it yet.
Kids, of course, love this sort of stuff. Brightly colored costumes, action, and excitement. But comics aren't geared towards kids anymore. Right or wrong, good or bad, they haven't for a long time. So who can we get to read these new comics?
Here's the problem: as people get older they often convince themselves that they need to give up "childish" things. They set aside toys and games and pay attention to the things that society expects them to pay attention to as they become adults. That's a tragedy, if you ask me.
One doesn't need to be a child to hold onto a sense of wonder. To ability to believe in heroes, heroism, and a world where they are possible isn't limited. Myths and legends have spoken to people of all ages for millennia. And even in a world where the gods of old have largely been forgotten, we can still believe in them.
But I don't need to convince any of you that. And neither does DC. It's everyone else out there -- the people who have told themselves that they don't believe in gods or heroes -- that need convincing. That is DC's challenge. I hope they're up to it.