In today’s entertainment landscape what was old is now new again. You see it everywhere, from Transformers and G.I. Joe to Marvel’s new old idea, Secret Wars. It’s a simple formula really, X+ 20 years = something new. In this case X being some thing that makes you nostalgic, adding just enough time for the newer generation to have no memory of X. Then, presto! It’s something new. Well, it seems the folks at DC had this great idea to have X = Alan Moore’s 1988 classic, The Killing Joke. Only this wouldn’t have been a reboot, but a sequel instead.
According to original Killing Joke artist Brian Bolland, DC actually approached him with just such an idea, asking if the artist would be willing to throw in with popular writer Brian Azzarello to produce a sequel to the famed book. Bolland claims to have turned DC down as he felt he was a too advanced in years to be able to complete such a large project. He also suspects DC may have ditched the idea altogether as he states DC is not looking to actively replace him.
Or, it could just be that DC has decided to go in another direction, recently announcing that Frank Miller’s classic, The Dark Knight Returns, will see a second sequel released in the near future titled The Master Race (here). I don’t know why DC is not content to leave well enough alone, especially after spawning several titles from another Moore classic, The Watchmen. Most of those books were poorly received, but then again, releasing several titles based on one property seemed like a blatant money grab. Having a single contained story in a graphic novel seems less like a ploy to separate us from lots of dollars, instead shooting for separating us from some dollars.
The real question that should be asked though is, why?
This seems to be another prime example of the stagnation that is seeping from every pore of the big two publishers. Marvel and DC LOVE to announce rehashes of old stories to much gala and fanfare as if they are the new thing. All it really shows though is that there is an extremely deep lack of creativity going on in the corporate world of comics. The cliche is that there are truly only seven stories to be told, it’s all in how you vary your version to set it apart from the rest. Marvel and DC seem to believe that there are only two stories, and variation on them isn’t needed, because they believe we will buy it anyway. So enjoy your Secret Wars Again, The Dark Knight Strikes A Third Time and your reboots of universes that change nothing and everything at the same time. I’ll be over here reading The Walking Dead.