Reboots

So, I’m a little later on writing this post than I anticipated. Moved this week, and spent some time hanging out with family and friends I’ve not seen for a while. Journey for PS3 hasn’t helped matters much; it consumes me, and I love it. More on that later though. I will talk about reboots in this post, and save Journey for another post.

Anyway, reboots. The last decade has seen a lot of reboots of classic franchises. The first that I remember happening is actually the re-imagined He-Man series that debuted on Cartoon Network in 2002. After that came the second Ninja Turtles cartoon series, and it seems like the reboots just keep coming. Everything from the Batman film franchise to Star Trek, and most recently the entire DC comics universe and Ninja Turtles comics with Spider-Man and Superman film reboots just around the corner. We live in an age of franchise reboots and it doesn’t appear that will change in the foreseeable future. 

But what exactly constitutes a “reboot?” The term is pretty ambiguous and refers to everything from a new entry in a long dormant franchise, parallel stories to a previous story, complete re-imaginings, and new beginnings. But they all tend to have some things in common. First, the goal of the reboot is to reignite interest in a particular franchise and to draw in a new fanbase. Doing so helps to keep the franchise lucrative by creating new fans as well as giving older fans something new to anticipate…at least ideally. They also tend to feature new actors, visual styles, storylines, and so on. From what I can tell, they seem to be really successful, because every time a favorite franchise of mine is getting a reboot in some form I’m usually interested. I have to be honest, I’m super excited for The Amazing Spider-Man coming this summer. On the other hand, there have been a few that leave me wary and suspicious, such as the new TMNT cartoon coming in Fall on Nickelodeon and the upcoming Michael Bay TMNT film. 

Though I can’t deny that a part of me loves the fact that some of my favorite franchises will never die as long as reboots keep happening, I have to admit that I do wish that producers and parent companies would devote more time to creating new material rather than relying on stuff from the 80s to keep their companies afloat. I guess in a way, they are simply playing it safe; they know that old franchises are cash cows so they keep relying on them. 

Really, I can think of only one type of media that really does require an occasional reboot: comic books (or graphic novels if you are so inclined). DC rebooted their entire comics universe with the New 52 last fall. At the same time, the TMNT received a new comic book reboot that, while more cult than DC’s, is still just as exciting for me. I’ll talk about my thoughts on both in my next post, and then maybe I’ll talk about Journey.

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  1. A Year of Anniversaries Part 1: Ten Years of Rurouni Kenshin | Jimmy's Pop Culture Blog

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