I want to admit right off the bat, I'm the product of a reboot. I was a "Crisis" kid. I picked up a DC book here and there at the dawning of my comics collecting of the early 1980s, but nothing really stuck. It wasn't until the masterpiece that was "Crisis on infinite Earths" changed my comic collecting heart forever. I was on the ground floor of a generally well thought out reboot. Even though the origins of most of their characters were modified and modernized, the characters at least looked and acted the same as always for both old readers and the integrity of the characters.
And though as the years went by, that "Post Crisis" continuity did get convoluted at times, the characters always seemed to find their way out. I collected DC exclusively for quite awhile, and while I would buy the occasional other books they interested me, DC had me.
That was, until FLASHPOINT.
What happens in a reboot, good or bad, is that something about a character you liked, goes away. A clean slate is established and can then be built upon. But comics nowadays, especially corporate ones, are preoccupied with the idea of "diversifying and becoming more modern." Instead of bringing out what makes the character unique, the focus is how to make it different than other versions that have come before. This is, no doubt, due to no one under a certain age having any attention span whatsoever. We leave in the wake of the "instant." Instant news and communication we bring up on our phone (attached to our hands at all times). Everything is so instant, the current generation is quickly bored and ready to move on to the next thing. Add that to the fact super-heroes are hot right now in film and TV. Which means more money for the corporates than those paltry print booklets.
So then, older readers that have devoted (and spent quite a bit of money with those characters) are left out in the cold. The ownership we felt we earned during our time with those characters is challenged by our familiarity with the past and the alienation of the current. I chose to walk away from those characters. Obviously my time with them had ended because I couldn't see a shadow of the ones I knew in the new versions.
But this dissatisfaction with corporates, I believe, helped me want to get my comic produced after being stalled for years. It freed me from the "big guys" grasp and allowed me to see what else was out there. In addition to producing my own book, I'm trying my best to only buy creator owned indy books. I finally can see that their ownership may keep them from following the corporates into marginalizing their readership.
As of writing this, Marvel has just announced all new #1's with new versions of their characters. But it's not a reboot. It's just another chapter of their publishing story. I stopped reading the HULK when Peter David left. But in trying to find new, familiar things to read, picked up Gerry Duggan's HULK run and have been immensely enjoying it. Part of the news release says there's going to be an all new HULK that's not Bruce Banner.
A lifelong comics fan, Mike W. Belcher is the writer/artist of MAN IN THE MASK. A story he's had with him for over 20 years.