Trading Short Term Gains, For Possibly Long Term Problems
An edited version of my part of a conversation taking place in a different forum.
Today's comic industry is on a recycle spin like never before in its history. Many of the most popular comics today are little more than retelling, through foggy lenses, of past events or to set up stories of the past.
For DC this is things like the Kara Supergirl, Hal as Green Lantern, Bart becoming Kid Flash, Brubaker retelling the first Batman and Joker meeting and many others.
Marvel is not only retelling their stories, they are doing it 2, 3 sometimes 4 different ways a month. With multiple versions of their lines like the regular Marvel U, Marvel Knights, Marvel Age, Ultimates etc.
Right now it is a smart business move in the direct market since the audience is salivating for that stuff.
Yet long term I wonder what the business of just reworking the past will lead the comic industry to. There are only so many times you can retell Superman's origin or reintroduce the same group of characters before all but the diehardest of audiences gets bored.
For the superhero genre to truly survive it needs to find new concepts, stories and characters that can take the genre in new exciting directions. Yet instead I see an ever growing disdain for anything new by both the audience and creators, and a move back to making the superhero lines even more insular.
Not all mystery novels only feature Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and Sherlock Holmes. Yet in superhero comics that's what it amounts to, with little window for anything that hasn't been done many times before.
Which I think could eventually spell the doom for the genre for a good long while in the not too distant future.