As anyone who knows me well could tell you, I'm a big dumb nerd. And that's not a bad thing! I love comic books for their artwork, storytelling ability, originality, and big-titted women. And personally, I think you should too! But the truth of the matter is, comics have made a drastic change in recent years, which may actual benefit you, if you're not already a comic book efficienado like myself. If you are, you're probably going to post in the comments with debates on how all my points are wrong, as we nerds often do. But for the rest of you, buckle in! Because you're in for an educational joyride. Don't that just sound swell?
So, in my last entry I talked a lot about changes made to the DC universe, through a fun little shenanigan known as The New 52. But Alex, what is this New 52? What does it look like? Does it cause cancer?
Well, the New 52 is DC's way of officially resetting their universe to make it more accessible to new readers. They did this through an event called Flashpoint, in which The Flash used his powers to travel back in time, to prevent one single murder. This caused a sort of Butterfly Effect that fucked with the entire history of the universe in some groovy ways. Rather than just changing events AFTER what The Flash had prevented, his time tampering sent ripples backwards in time as well, slightly altering the events that would have occured. Through this end, Earth was placed in a state of war, nearing the end via a nuclear showdown- led by Aquaman of all people! Anyway, Flash then ended up going back in time a final time, preventing himself from preventing the initial murder in question. While this set the timeline back the way it should be, time travel still distorted the fabric of time, causing things to wind up slightly different. And hence, we have an entirely new universe to explore!
So, why'd they do it? Well, this allows DC to have more creative freedom with their characters. We've reverted to a point in time where we don't need to recap everyone's origin story and TOTALLY start over, but can redo mistakes of the past better, or retell classic stories with new twists. As such, all the main comic runs went back to issue #1, because picking up Batman #790 may seem slightly daunting to a new reader, and make it hard for them to jump into the fun.
This also allows them to take old things that needed a kick in the teeth and spice them up. One of my favourite characters ever is Cyborg Superman. His origin is a bit doofy, but we got a really cool character out of him. In the New 52, MY Cyborg Superman is gone, and was replaced with a reimagined one that makes more sense! Can you believe it? I'm actually really happy with what they ended up doing. And it's not just him, either. Characters who had begun to slip into mundane comic book messes have re-emerged cooler than ever, like Red Hood, Starfire, Cyborg, Zatanna, all the faves! Reverse Flash has an entirely new spin on things, which actually gives him reason to antagonize The Flash.
My final point is that it also allows them to seperate themselves from the stupid plots from the Golden Age days. You know, like that time Superman broke up with his girlfriend to go be a mermaid, or when Batman and Superman cried of the solem beauty that is tentacle sex. Or my personal favourite, Green Lantern becoming the main antagonist of the entire DC universe! Yeah... all that shit has totally been scrapped, and we're only keeping the cool stuff.
So, that's DC's side of things. On Marvel's end about a year later, a reboot seemed like a good idea. However, Marvel handled everything differently.
DC actually went back and majorly altered history, where as Marvel... just moved on. They started a bunch of new series and wrapped up old ones, leaving the new stuff to pick up where they left off. They decided to go with a newer, darker, edgier attitude, and instead of re-writing or un-writing characters, they decided just to kill off the ones they didn't like and ignore all of the hiccups they've made before. This is a gigantic difference, and honestly, the Marvel universe has lost a lot of appeal to me as a result.
So that's a brief explanation of what's happening in comics right now. Honestly, DC's stuff is much better written (usually, anyway), and you may find some gems you may not expect. Don't count out Aquaman until you read his book. Seriously. You'll be shocked.