With its upcoming DC Retro-Active line of nostalgic comics, DC is bringing back creative teams from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s and having them craft new stories featuring the characters that they’re not for having played with in the past. That DC isn’t looking further back than the ’70s is indicative of who the comics publisher’s core audience is: readers — mainly men — who first discovered comics in one of the three decades the imprint will explore.
From a sales and marketing perspective, I don’t know that DC Retro-Active will prove to be a boon to DC. It could create the impression that the home of the most recognized super-hero icons on the planet has run out of ideas. And when it comes to super-hero comics, who’s creating them — namely, the more popular, hot talent of today — is pretty important when it comes to moving product. After all, the most popular Batman comics of the past few years have been those crafted by writer Grant Morrison, not Batman: Odyssey, written and illustrated by Neal Adams.