Revamping the Justice League

DC Comics is getting the band back together, but they never really broke up. The publisher of Superman, Green Lantern, and Batman comics announced this week that it will renumber the entire line of the DC Universe with first issues, including the popular “Justice League.”

As a fan of all things superheroes, this caught my eyes and ears. Last year, DC tried a reboot with Superman and I wasn’t pleased. Casting aside my frustrations, I read DC’s news and got excited for two reasons. One, it appears (so far) they really aren’t messing with history. Two, they are making this relaunch available in digital form.

Courtesy DC Comics

“The publication of JUSTICE LEAGUE issue 1 will launch day-and-date digital publishing for all these ongoing titles, making DC Comics the first of the two major American publishers to release all of its superhero comic book titles digitally the same day as in print.”

Would I read a comic on, say, the iPad? You bet. This would appeal to a new generation of comic “book” fans, who could go the DC’s website, download and read without going to the comic store. There will still be some (like with newspapers) that want a physical copy of the comic and that is still possible, as well.

DC is already catching some heat from comic book fans, though. I can understand why. These characters are iconic and Marvel tried the same thing in the 90s. I was disappointed in the Superman re-imaging last fall, but I want to see what the “Justice League” revamp is like before I pass full judgement.

That said, the revamp of DC’s titles is a risk. But so is any PR or marketing plan that we put together. Not everyone will be satisfied, despite your hardest efforts. Remember “new” Coke or the new Gap logo? That didn’t go well, but I’m sure the marketing people thought it would.

Comic fans are a picky bunch. You don’t mess with Batman, Superman, et al because they are so iconic. Everyone knows Bruce Wayne’s parents were shot to death and that Superman came to earth as a baby from Krypton (and if you didn’t, now you do).

DC is aiming this revamp to younger readers, while hoping to keep the loyal fans.  The downside is this goes totally wrong and sales end up in the tank. If a groundswell of negative publicity hits this revamp, all bets are off. I don’t think DC wants to have their capes between their legs when backing off.

What are your thoughts on product revamps or reimaging? Let me know in the comments section.


About JasMollica

"It's never too late to have a life and it's never too late to change one." That's something I tell students, friends, and family all the time. After living and working in New York City, I took my own advice in 2004, switched my career from the television/radio industry and got into public relations. Now, I spend my days as a PR/social media marketing consultant and get inspired daily. It's been a good ride, so far. But the car has plenty of gas left. I hope you'll join along in this guy's journey!

Posted on June 2, 2011, in Branding, Hot Topic, Marketing, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I was once a fan of comic books, but as I grew up, I assumed it was one of those hobbies that you had to put away, right next to the Transformers.

    But you know what? I was wrong. There are no such rules for growing up.

    What does this have to do with a product re-launch? For one, it’s going to allow older fans the opportunity to get back in on the ground floor. Two, it’s a way for a huge company like DC to stay fresh. I’m interested in seeing how digital plays a role in all of this.

    But, overall, I’m excited.

    • Good points, Brad. I think old fans need to keep an open mind. In many ways, companies need to find a way to stay fresh while staying true to their history.

  2. Interesting take Jas. I wonder what this will mean to the collectible market. Do you see them going the way of Topps with baseball cards and only printing on demand on certain cards a la eTopps?

    Could also be a supply issue as they may be wasting money and paper by printing out 100K copies of issues and selling 10K and having to recycle.

    • I could see this move to digital as a way of printing less copies, definitely. Your Topps points is perfect, Jeff. DC may print more copies of the first issues of Justice League to keep up with demand. If this takes off, the first “re-issue” would be worth something.

      Thanks for leaving a comment, buddy.

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