Rich Johnston, British ne'er do well and bandage enthusiast, is at it again. Johnston has been reporting on an upcoming untitled DC Comics event that will be released as the company's staff moves from New York City to Burbank, CA. Bleeding Cool has dubbed the event "the Band-Aid Project", probably because Johnston secretly gets the jollies everytime he peels a bandaid off. But when you consider that the Band-Aid is covering the Festering Wound of the New 52, it makes a little more sense, and this latest development makes it all the more apt!
Johnston's latest Band-Aid update claims that the event will see several New 52 characters interact with their pre-New 52 counterparts, marking the first time that many of these characters have appeared since they were erased from existence. Many disillusioned DC fans have long claimed that these older counterparts are superior characters because they have history and wear their underwear outside their tights. DC is probably hoping to attract many of the old readers it alienated by bringing back these characters and that these fans will rejoin the flock regardless of the actual quality of the story or creators involved, because that's what superhero fans do.
And yes, they're right, but they're wrong at the same time. You see, most of those fans never stopped buying the comics in the first place. There's really only a couple of tens of thousands of dedicated comic book readers out there who actually care about anything that happens in the industry, and they all buy mainstream superhero comics no matter how brutally DC snaps the neck of their childhood. So while DC may see a sales bump thanks to all the gimmick variants and number one issues this event will bring, temporarily (or even permanently) bringing back the Old DCU characters isn't going to suddenly turn them into the market leader. Hell, fans probably won't even skip a beat in their bitching about DC online.
People will buy these books, but that won't solve DC's problems. If DC wants to increase their audience in a meaningful way, they need to start making more good comics that appeal to a wider audience and stop churning out so much gimmick-driven garbage.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go put in some pre-orders.
What? You don't expect me to miss the long-awaited return of the post-Crisis era Alfred Pennyworth, do you?! I'm a comics fan!