The New Age of Heroes, DC Comics newest publishing initiative, kicks off this week in the pages of Damage #1. The new lineup of comics, currently consisting of EIGHT announced titles, will spin out of the pages of Metal and introduce a variety of new heroes and teams linked to the new powers and storylines associated with that big winter event.
While this line isn't a pop-up imprint like Gerard Way's Young Animal, it bears some resemblance. All of the comics are focused on telling stories without precedent within the DC Universe, with a special focus on the artists involved in each collaboration. The New Age of Heroes is opening new chapters within the sprawling superhero continuity to accompany the successful ongoing Rebirth series that emphasize the true classics at DC Comics.
Based on the preview pages, titles, and creative teams announced thus far, there's a lot of reasons to be optimistic about The New Age of Heroes line. We've reviewed all of the facts and come up with 10 key points that DC Comics should focus on in order to make this launch the next big thing in superhero comics.
One great thing about The New Age of Heroes is that it has the potential to appeal to both brand new readers and longtime DC Comics fans. Most of the featured heroes are brand new, and even new teams can offer a great starting point. Writers have to be sure that each #1 is a true #1 -- requiring as little context as possible to enjoy. While the line is spinning out of the events of Metal, these new series need to leave Metal behind and embrace their own beginnings to capture every reader they can.prevnext
Reimagining Old Ideas
While many of the creations are new, there are some classic DC heroes in the mix, including the entire lineup of The Terrifics. DC Comics needs to tap into what has helped these characters stick around for decades and refine it into a version that any reader can enjoy. While someone like Plastic Man has been around since the Golden Age, it would be better for his appearance in The Terrifics to be a fresh reimagining of what makes him great.prevnext
Lots of Brand New Ideas
While it's exciting to see some classic B-list heroes being given a new series, it's the many new heroes of this line that can make it really special. DC Comics is going all in on their best creators making the best new heroes, and that's an idea deserving of follow through. These series shouldn't just contain new heroic concepts, but complete arrays of new villains, settings, and supporting casts. It's a great opportunity to expand the DC universe.prevnext
Commitment to Ongoing Series
All of the eight series composing the New Age of Heroes have been announced as ongoings. DC Comics has remained committed to the concept that an ongoing series should last for more than six or 12 issues since the Rebirth relaunch, and we hope that continues here. Readers have appreciated seeing most of the Rebirth line last for upwards of 24 issues. It provides a sense that new ideas are worth taking a chance on as they will get some mileage no matter what. We hope that continues here.prevnext
Commitment to Price
The initial lineup of series have also been announced with a price point of $2.99. That has remained the price for the many bi-weekly series of Rebirth, and it's even more necessary when enticing readers to take a chance on a new concept. The difference between $3 and $4 can be steep when planning a comics budget, and could make all of the difference in giving these new heroes a shot at lasting.prevnext
A Diverse Array of Artists
The New Age of Heroes has emphasized artists above all else since its initial announcement. Having great artists doesn't just mean top names, but a set of contributors who show off the wide array of storytelling and styles within superhero comics. The initial lineup certainly commits to this concept with artists like Ivan Reis, Kenneth Rocafort, and John Romita Jr. As new series are announced or creative changes made, DC Comics needs to remain focused on recruiting the best artists from all aspects of the field.prevnext
Quality on the Covers
A cover is worth a lot more than 1,000 words in comics. Covers sell a new idea, especially when the new idea is focused on quality artists. That's why it's exciting that the New Age of Heroes won't be utilizing variants. These covers emphasize what is inside the comic, and some will contain vertical gatefolds, providing an excellent poster for the walls of young readers. The quality of covers will have to remain consistent in order to keep luring new readers and showing off what these comics are about from start to finish.prevnext
Wild Adventures and Villains
DC Comics has set the current bar for superhero adventures in their Rebirth line. Fans are consistently receiving some of the best Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman stories -- among others -- of the past decade with all of the villains and adventures they could want. That's why this new initiative has to really stand out. The antagonists and escapades these new heroes engage in have to be fresh and innovative to offer strong alternatives to what's already out there.prevnext
Teams Outside of the Norm
That idea of being different applies to teams as well. Both Justice League and Justice League America have almost perfected the standard superhero team concepts, so groups like The Terrifics and Immortal Men must be something entirely different. That could come in the form of more familial dynamics or goals outside of combating crime. However they pull it off, these teams have to stand out as being unlike anything else in the DC Comics lineup.prevnext
Variety Above All Else
The real key to the success of The New Age of Heroes will be variety. DC Comics currently has two great lines of superhero comics in the forms of Rebirth and Young Animal. This new set of series has to offer something entirely different from what has come before in every way possible. That means new artists, new superheroes, new teams, new ideas, and all of it marketed in a way that sets these comics apart from the crowd. Everything that has been released in advance of the first new series has been very promising. We can't wait to see what the #1 issues deliver and hope this new age of heroes lasts for a very long time.prev