Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fun Sexy Times with DC Relaunch

The New 52 relaunch by DC was a big gamble--the company risked losing longtime fans--but fortunately for DC and the sluggish comic book industry, it received quite a positive response and was met with great success in terms of sales. So the big question was it done, and what was changed (or rather, sacrificed) in the process?

This article titled "Truth, justice, and plenty of violence" that I recently read from the Boston Globe sums up the variety of responses the comics have been receiving and focuses in on how the comics seem to be "aimed at a more mature readership than ever" with their darker and more risqué content. Cases in point: Starfire and Catwoman, also covered in a previous blog post.

Quoted from the article, DC Comics copublishers Jim Lee and Dan Didio said in a statement, "We needed to energize our existing fan base, reconnect with lapsed readers, and introduce our storytelling to people who know our characters from films and TV but have never read a comic book.’’ In other words, in order to get sales up again, beloved superheroes (and superheroines to an even greater extent) were given a "modern" makeover, complete with more sex appeal, violent tendencies, and shinier spandex. This wouldn't be a big deal if the "sexy" makeovers didn't work, but they have proved to be effective at attracting attention over and over again, whether in the music industry, film industry, or comic book industry. But think about it--doesn't the whole "increasingly risqué content" idea feed into itself, forming a racier and racier cycle? After all, as each new generation comes and goes, society as a whole seems to grow more used to the culture of violence and sex, and therefore different industries and the media know what to turn to to get more attention.

Knowing that comic books were once geared toward children, is this a goodbye to the childhood heroes and heroines with "clean" and golden reputations?

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