Why Revamp?

GL Alan ScottThere’s an interesting (and well researched) article on Comic Book Resources by Greg Hatcher. Inspired by the new Star Trek revamp, or relaunch, or reboot, or whatever you want to call it, Hatcher examines all the major revamps that Green Lantern has had, beginning in the 1940s. It assumes some GL knowledge, so mostly readers familiar with the DCU over the years will get a kick out of it, and it is littered with covers from the different eras. If you’re curious as to why characters in comics get a fresh new approach so very often, you’ll want to read the article. Here’s a snippet.

Why do people keep tweaking a perfectly good concept? Why mess with a good thing?

 The best I can do is a guess, and here it is: times change and audiences get bored. Sooner or later, even the most popular series runs out of gas. So the only reason to do any kind of a revamp or a relaunch is because you think you can get a bigger audience. The only reason.

 However, and here’s the part that drives us all a little nuts — unlike other entertainment franchises, superhero comics are aimed at an audience of hobbyists who regard these stories not so much as light entertainment, but rather as historical dispatches from an alternate universe. What I see when I look at the history of all these different versions of Green Lantern is this — the common factor to all of them is writers laboring under the lunatic misconception that this fictional entertainment really is history.

In July the new animated GL film, focused on Hal Jordan’s origin debuts, and the Martin Campbell directed live action feature is underway too. It’s also the 50th anniversary of  Hal Jordan’s debut, plus the Blackest Night epic, penned by Geoff Johns is just around the corner. It’s a good time to be a Lantern fan.