These days there are plenty of people who can tell you with certainty when the world will end. DC Comics is going one better: It’s telling residents of the comics world who ask the question, “When will the DC Universe end?” exactly when to expect it – Wednesday, August 31st. Not only that, but DC has also revealed that the DC Universe will effectively re-set all its comic lines and begin anew the very next day – Thursday, September 1st.
DC Destroys Universe, Restarts Universe
When that happens, DC’s entire line of 52 superhero-themed comic books will all start over. Comic book characters like Superman and Batman will suddenly find themselves in new first issues, after more than seven decades of appearing in sequentially numbered issues. Each title will begin again from Issue #1 forward. All of your DC favorites will remain in place (no layoffs are expected at this time), although its been rumored the superheroes will be outfitted in different costumes and gear. Fans are lukewarm about the announcement. Marvel Comics did the same thing a few years back and then went back to pick up where they left off. Will DC’s decision to reboot the franchises pay off? The jury’s still out.
Another huge new DC development involves the way the comic books are distributed. Coinciding with the August/September reboot, DC’s entire comic book line will be available digitally on the day of each issue’s retail launch. In other DC-related news, filming is moving forward on the next installment of director Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” series, “The Dark Knight Rises,” with Christian Bale again reprising his role as the caped crusader.
Box Office God of Thunder
Superheroes are presently ruling pop culture. Hot off the success of “Iron Man 2,” over at Marvel Comics, movies are also the order of the day. “Thor,” directed by versatile actor/director, Kenneth Branagh, brought down the hammer on the box office, earning an estimated $163 million domestically (and a whopping $254 million internationally) – in just 26 days of release. Next up, Marvel Studios “X-Men: First Class.” Expectations are already running high for “First Class.” Many who have attended advance screenings have called it the best film in the entire X-Men series.
Fans are extremely excited about this next X-Men film, calling it a return to classic comic book storytelling. But by doing a prequel story, it also helps to refresh characters that have been overexposed. The new take on X-Men is a surprisingly successful movie sequel formula and one that will be repeated when Sony reboots the Spider-Man franchise next year.
“Captain America: The First Avenger” will follow “X-Men: First Class” and introduce the leader of “The Avengers,” a Marvel Studios film releasing in 2012 starring “Thor’”s Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr. (as Iron Man), Samuel Jackson (as Nick Fury) and Mark Ruffalo (as Dr. Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk).
Comic books have been intersecting with pop culture for years, more recently dominating TV, music, and specifically, movies. Today’s most cutting-edge blockbuster films and TV shows (“The Green Lantern,” “Smallville,” “The Walking Dead”) had their start in comic books, or graphic novels. Even video games are often based on comic book characters and their exploits.
Creating Your Own Comics
Today comics earn real respect and are a thriving part of the world of visual arts. If you want to work in the exciting world of comics, why not spend a week this summer and learn how to make comic books? Summer camps like Digital Media Academy offer an interactive summer camp experience for creative 6 to 12-year-old youngsters who love comic books and cartoons.
Adventures in Comic Creation is one of Digital Media Academy’s most popular programs. The week-long camp lets students create the comic book of their dreams, and the companion course, Adventures in Cartoon Creation lets students create their own drawings and then bring them to life as animated cartoons on the computer. Both programs foster creativity and can lead students on a path of discovery that ends in a career in the digital arts industry. Let your imagination run wild this summer at DMA.
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