Monday, June 6, 2011

The DC Reboot.

So I just recorded a vlog about the DC Universe reboot, sat down to upload the video onto my PC and... saw more news about the reboot. And everytime I decide to tackle a blog entry I come across more news about it all, much of which is frustrating to me.

I was originally pretty laissez-faire towards the whole thing. DC has done this sort of thing before. Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour, Infinite Crisis to a lesser extent. DC has messed with its own timeline and continuity whenever it saw fit. And the occasional shakeup is not a bad thing. I like continuity, I like it when they reference it, it seems like a reward to fans and I think it's less of a barrier to new fans as some make it out to be. That said, this kind of sucks.

As more news leaks, the less this seems as a shakeup, and more as DC giving the loyal fans the bird. Great titles like Batgirl by Bryan Q. Miller being replaced with the return of Barbara Gordon to the role, written by Gail Simone. Now I like Gail. She's a fantastic writer and seems like one of the nicest people in comics, but I have no desire to see Barbara become Batgirl again. She's far more interesting as Oracle, the wheelchair-bound computer goddess to the superhero community. Also Miller has state that he's not been asked to write any of the 52 new titles coming out this September. The man is a fantastic writer and I fully intend to do a Stephanie Brown Batgirl CAA at some point. DC, if you're not taking advantage of him then you're wasting his potential.

I dunno. this coupled with 52 titles flooding the market place seems like an invitation for retailers to either not carry certain titles or carrying less of each meaning that if you go to your local store and they didn't order any copies of Mr. Terrific or sold out of JLA than you have to go somewhere else. Luckily DC is offering same-day digital delivery. Now I'm all for digital distribution, those of you who saw my Digital Comics editorial will know that, but the cynical side of me sees DC taking out the knees of the retail market, and I think if they're not careful, taking out the brick and mortar stores before the digital readership is firmly established might do serious damage to the industry.

I dunno folks. This might work. There are some books I'm curious to see and maybe DC has some further surprises for us in store, but either way I think we've hit a pivotal point in comic book history, one that will alter the playing field forever.


  1. A good question is "Will DC *stick* with the reboot, or will they revert to the status quo in a few months?"

  2. That's a good question. They recently announced that Batman Inc won't be relaunching until sometime early next year. To me, that means one of two things: Either Grant Morrison's plans for the book have been upset by the reboot and he needed more time to plan everything, or the reboot is temporary and will be ending right around the time Batman Inc #1. Could be neither, of course, but that was my immediate reaction.

  3. I am a comics fan, though not a scholar or historian, but I remember Marvel doing something similar in the 1990s... and giving up on the project after only a few months of fan backlash and sales which were weaker than anticipated. I doubt DC will stick with this reboot if the same thing happens in terms of response.

  4. I'd be all for it if it were a complete reboot and a DCU 2.0.

    I'd be all for it if it were one calculated jumping-on point across the board retaining all of the old continuity but finally making every issue accessible again just like it's supposed to be.

    Now I still haven't figured out every detail about this re...launch, I guess, but from what they've leaked so far, this seems like the worst possible mix of those two approaches.

    The books are still following most of the old continuity - but not all of it. Yes, Bruce Wayne has been active as Batman long enough to wear out a handful of male Robins, but Barbara Gordon has never been in a wheelchair and Stephanie Brown seems to have never existed at all. The four Green Lanterns from Earth have been through the Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night and all that jazz, but Hal Jordan is just joining the newly formed Justice League for the first time (which is featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg, because the last green-skinned Martian alive wasn't enough of a minority).
    The Teen Titans are now Red Robin (who might or might not have worked with Batman), Superboy (a... cyberclone of Superman with a barcode tattoo and a post-it on the back of his t-shirt), the Bart Allen version of Kid Flash (and besides being worried about Wally West, I'm betting that Bart's never been Impulse in this new continuity), Wonder Girl (a... thief... from Themiscyra?) and three utterly unoriginal and forgettable y-list characters that look like they were designed for Heroes Reborn.

    This is what every moron who didn't understand Spider-Man: Brand New Day claimed was happening after One More Day. Readers don't know which stories are retroactively wiped out from continuity and which stories are still canon, and of they are still valid for the current issues, how those events actually played out.

    Coupled with atrocious costume designs, this might backfire horribly and serve as a massive jumping-OFF point for readers instead.

    The only title I'm interested in is Resurrection Man, because I loved that book back in the 90s and they got the original writers back: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. And I fully expect that title to be cancelled before it reaches its 12th issue. It just doesn't seem reasonable to launch a book like that together with 51 books mostly starring familiar characters.

    Yes, Grant Morrison on Action Comics starring robotic-armor-boots-Superman will probably be great. And that Justice League Dark title by Milligan sounds interesting (even if they revealed that the John Constantine in that book is NOT the character from Hellblazer, neither is this Shade the character from Milligan's Vertigo book, but rather their equivalents from this undefined new parallel universe that the DC books are in now, which makes the whole concept a lot less awesome).
    But I think I might take a break from mainstream DC for a while. I'm just not interested in this universe anymore.

  5. You didn't mention one other thing about the Reboot. DC is integrating the Wildstorm universe into the mainstream DCU. I think that goal was one of the reasons for the reboot, similar to the way the Charlton comics characters were integrated after COIE