As anyone who pays any attention to comic books already knows, this month DC Comics relaunched its entire line of comics, restarting them all from number 1. Well, not all: Some titles were discontinued, and a number of new ones are starting that weren’t there before. But in one month, DC is restarting from scratch with 52 new series. Even Detective Comics–which was the longest-running comic published in the United States, introduced Batman and gave the company its name–ended at issue #881 and now starts over. Action Comics, which introduced Superman in its #1 in 1938, similarly goes from issue #904 to square one. So on that level alone, it feels like the end of an era.
I don’t make much of a secret of my lifelong love of comics, but I haven’t really talked about it much on the blog because I have a hard enough time keeping up with all the theater I’m seeing. But I just ran across something that captures so much of what I love about comics.
I recently checked out Rodger Langridge and Chris Samnee’s Thor: The Mighty Avenger series from the library, which is a great, light-hearted all-ages comic. In recent years both DC and Marvel have put out comics ostensibly for younger readers that are just much more fun than their mainstream lines (Marvel Adventures Avengers, Jeff Smith’s Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil, X-Men: First Class, Mini-Marvels, etc.), and Thor: The Mighty Avenger certainly fits the bill. They don’t worry about fitting into decades’ worth of established continuity, just about telling fun, accessible, amusing stories that take the characters back to basics.