Thursday, April 18, 2024

Comic Book Revamps Are A Mixed Bag.

December 12, 2020 by  
Filed under Comics, Mainstream Comics (Marvel/DC), News

( Ah yes, comic book revamps. DC and Marvel are known for revamping their comic book lines when things are starting to get a little stale. It also happens when sales across the board suffer. This often takes the form of starting from the beginning and just going forward with the series. With the internet and social media, fans usually get a heads up about big story events or comic universe events.

If it’s going to change everything, it’s best to give a heads up. Me, I hate surprises with a passion. Surprises in comics can be anything—making it a double surprise. Personally, I don’t need that.

When Comic Book Revamps Work

Everyone is over the moon when Marvel or DC hit it out the park. In DC’s case, they should be hitting it out the park at minimum 90-percent of the time since the company isn’t scared to hit reset. Marvel also hits reset when it needs to but of the two Marvel tends to be up-to-date on culture more often and implement what’s going on in the real world regularly.

That’s not necessarily freshening things up or shaking it up but if the product stays fresh do you need to hit it with some Febreeze? The back drop for comics is an exaggerated version of life. Politics, social movements, advances in consumer technology—all of this tends to be reflected on the pages.

There might be times when fresh new writers come in and get a world of heroes that is years behind. Well, they’re tasked with writing this book and they really can’t just progress things here and not the rest of the comicverse which might be stuck in 2008-2010. Revamping things from the start or even from a pivotal moment and going forward works.

Well, it works only if there’s no revamp to that in the next ten years…and that’s too much like right.

When They Fail

There’s always a mild degree of failure in each revamp because the larger publishers can’t commit to a timeline. Both have characters who debuted pre-World War II who would either be deceased or in super retirement by 2020. Of course, most of these characters have powers that—when combined with others—slow their ageing dramatically.

If it just clicked that “This is why there are so few turnover in roles” you get a gold star! Yes, both the slowed aging and the wonky timeline where everything seems frozen in time defeats the purpose of doing revamp. Also, if Marvel or DC aren’t going to do a full-on revamp, readers will get hit with some sort of time traveling weirdness.

By this, I mean that after four-five years of an initiative, readers pretty much gather when these stories are set. Now the publisher has three things up its sleeve. They can revamp the whole thing, have some time altering cop out which throws things off, or have that big summer event from two years ago disrupt the dimension and thus the universe.

Literary instruments are fun and flexible. My favorite with timelines is that everything we’ve read between 2010-2020 took place in just a few years. Of course, failure to have a concrete timeline is just one element and not even the biggest failure for a comic book revamp.

It’s just the foundation of what would make a revamp worth doing at all.

Never Mind A Revamp, Here’s A Rolling Series

It’s kind of rare to find long-running series that have just rolled along with new publisher-wise comic book revamps. Image Comic’s superhero side kept soldiering on from the early 1990s and have made some retcons to story elements, powers, and individuals. It also has a lot of series that actually end, something that has become more commonplace in comics.

That doesn’t mean that we can expect Tony, Steve, Peter, Clark, and Ollie to all die, stay dead, and new heroes take up their mantles. That would smack too much of progress.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!