With DC done with it's Convergence event and Marvel right in the middle of its Secret Wars event, reboots and continuity-shakeups seem to be all the rage these days. While many people tend to choose one side of this argument and don't really take a good look at the other side of the argument, in this article, I will weigh the pros and cons of reboots and shake-ups.
So without further , here I go!
Pro: They Can Give Us Different Takes on Classic Characters
When it was announced that Jim Gordon would take over the mantle of Batman it was met with a less then ideal response. Many fans said things like:
"This is just a cash grab."
"Bruce'll be back back by issue #456"
And most famously???
"HE LOOKS LIKE A BUNNY!!!!"
And while many, if not all, of the complaints can be justified, they miss the fact that this allows for a different version of the character. This means that we can see a beloved character go on different adventures, feel different emotions and have new partners. In many cases, the new versions (like Miles Morales as Ultimate Spider-Man) can differentiate themselves from the original characters and be awesome in their own right.
Even some of the most popular superheroes around started out as a new version of a classic character, such as Barry Allen, Wally West, Carol Danvers, Barbara Gordon, Cassandra Cain, all the Robins after Dick, and every Green Lantern after Alan Scott! So next time you moan about a new character taking on the mantle of your favorite hero, you should keep those guys and gals in mind!
Con: They Make Fan-Favorite Characters and Stories
One of the problems many fanboys and fangirls had with the New 52 (and Barry Allen's resurrection in general) was how Wally West was pushed to the side. Over the years fans learned to love Wally (thanks in part to the JLU cartoon), and many people still consider him the Flash. However, Wally was still a Flash, right? RIGHT? CORRECT!! After Flashpoint, Wally West once again became a kid who helps Barry from time to time. I feel that the New 52 completely butchered Wally. He went from being the main character in the Flash comics, to a supporting character in Flash comics, to being a recurring character from time to time.
There are other examples, but this one still seems like the most important one to me. Also, some reboots and shake-ups also erase beloved character traits and friendships (such as Batman and Superman in the wake of COIE).
Pro: They Give New Readers a Jumping on Point
With nearly all reboots (comic book or otherwise), their main reason is to bring in new fans. And publishers do have a point. I mean, if you were a new reader, wouldn't you feel daunted about buying Action Comic #1021? Many people (myself included), were able to start buying comics because of a reboot.
Another comic trend in recent years are the the growing similarities between comics and movies. This is because many new fans were introduced to comics through movies. An example of this is Vision (see title picture) looking a lot like the version we all saw in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Con: Nearly All of Them are (Somewhat) Pointless
A counter point to pro number one is the fact that as much as people love characters like Miles Morales and John Stewart, ask yourself this: were they necessary? I mean, they're great characters, but both Hal Jordan and Ultimate Peter were doing just fine, weren't they? As much as readers have grown to love these characters, most (if not all) of them were just an attempt to boost sales.
This argument essentially follows the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mentality. Many people agree with this argument because, at the end of the day, characters such as Batman and Thor are fan favorite characters and many fans don't want them to be messed around with.
Weel, those are my pros and cons, hope you like them!