When something catches on, even for a while, it’s not unusual to see that come back in one form or another. That’s often referred to as a “revival.”
Star Trek is a good example of this. It did well on television and movies, so now there’s a new series of films … oh, and comics, too!
There have been a few examples of this in comics recently, so I thought I’d discuss them!
GOODBYE AGAIN, ‘BATMAN BEYOND’
As a long-time fan of Batman: The Animated Series and its several follow-ups, I was thrilled when DC Comics revived Batman Beyond, a sequel set in the future with Terry McGinnis as Batman with Bruce Wayne acting as mentor and “mission control.”
Adam Beechen scripted the first comics reviving this concept before the New 52 debuted. After the New 52 was underway, it wasn’t long before Batman Beyond returned. It graced the DC Digital offerings and made Saturday downloads a regular thing for me.
Then came the news that Kyle Higgins was taking over the reins of writing the series. I continued to enjoy the book, sometimes “double dipping” by purchasing both the electronic and paper versions. (I’m sure DC loved that!)
Sadly, word came out late last week that Batman Beyond 2.0, as it had been renamed, is coming to an end this Fall. In fact, on Saturday, November 1, the final chapter will be released via DC Digital. The last print issue will be on shelves later that month. Apparently, there are a LOT of projects coming down the digital pipeline at DC and Mr. Higgins and company have reached a good stopping place, so that’s it for keeping up with Mr. McGinnis and company.
It’s tough saying goodbye again to Batman Beyond. Still, the door is open for the series to return in the future. I hope it does. Still, we’ve seen Terry in the weekly Futures End book, so maybe that’ll help reduce the sting of it.
THE BLUE AND THE GOLD RETURN
One of my all-time favorite versions of the Justice League was the one written by Keith Giffen and J. M. deMatteis, and drawn by Kevin Maguire. One of the best things about that book was the creators’ ability to shift between serious action and comedy effectively.
It was also pretty smooth to see friendship in comics. Yeah, I said it – a relationship that wasn’t sexually based! And that one was Blue Beetle and Booster Gold.
They were silly, they were funny, they were sad at times, and they were fun. When Blue Beetle was shot by Max Lord later on, I really grieved. Booster Gold hasn’t been the same ever since.
Now that Justice League 3000 is being written by Giffen and deMatteis, “the Blue and the Gold” will be returning to comics, likely “bwah-ha-ha-ing” their way back onto comics shelves around the world. The word is that these two will be on their own Earth, and not in the New 52 continuity. That works fine for me!
How long will they be around? There’s no word on that, but it could be they’ll be seen for a specific storyline, then go away again. I hope not. It would be nice to see a little more comedy in my comics reading!
SPIDER-MAN AND THE X-MEN
The webslinger met the X-Men back in Marvel Team-Up #4, for example, then teamed up with the mutants in a Sega Genesis game some time later. And he has taken on several X-foes as well!
Given Spidey’s popularity and the ongoing fame of the X-Men, it should come as no surprise that Spider-Man & the X-Men will take over when Wolverine & The X-Men comes to a close.
We can probably expect a lot of comedy in this book since the head writer for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will be scripting it. Elliott Kalan has said online that Spider-Man will be the “special class guidance counselor” for the Jean Gray Academy. He’s mostly going to interact with “a select group” of students, including Rockslide, Shark Girl, Glob Herman, Eye Boy, No-Girl, Hellion and Ernst.
“It’s a vehicle for high-adventure, fast-paced fun, and unexpected character dynamics,” said Kalan during a recent interview. “If you ever wanted to see the X-verse and the Spider-verse collide in surprising ways, then this is the series for you!”
I remember Spidey teaching briefly at Avengers Academy, so there is a precedence for this. With Peter back in his own body again, this should be a lot of fun, too!
IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT!
It’s good to remember that not every comics series or incarnation ends because sales have fallen. Sometimes the creators who have made it great want to move on and tell other stories. I can’t blame them for that.
When something has worked well, I have no problem with a company bringing it back, as long as they can revive the magic it previously had. If these three “revivals” don’t fly well, then they should be shelved until a better version can be made.
Once again, it is show business, so what’ll matter is what you and other readers think when you pick these up. If you don’t buy it, there’s no point in making it, after all!