Tuesday, May 31, 2011

DC Reboot: Fact, Rumor & Opinion

I think it's safe to say, if you've been on any comics news website or blog, you've seen the announcement that DC Comics will do a reboot of the DCU this coming September.  Now I can imagine that this has garnered some reaction from a lot of people.  Some good reactions, but from what I've scanned through this evening and earlier today, the majority of people have the gut reaction of, "Oh god, oh god, we're all going to die."

Well, maybe not that visceral, but certainly that it's a good time to stop reading DC Comics.

That's a pretty harsh reaction.  I can sort of understand it, but I thought it may be prudent to sit down and sort of go through the announcement, tackling the facts and the rumors.


1)  The same week that Flashpoint #5 hits stands, the week where that was to be the only book to come out, DC has announced that Justice League #1 written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Jim Lee will hit as well.

I see this as a damn good move, both for comics and for retailers.  Not since Grant Morrison have we seen a Justice League that has starred the big guns while at the same time providing fantastic action and good stories.  Geoff Johns knows how to put together a great story and if his run on Green Lantern is proof, he knows a thing or two about plotting action as well.  Also, this seems like a no-brainer for Johns.  He is one of DC's highest profile writers and Justice League is a great way to push that to even greater heights.

Jim Lee is a whole other thing.  I'm an assistant manager for a local comic shop and not a day goes by that someone doesn't come in looking for something drawn by Jim Lee.  We still constantly sell Batman Hush and people have been clamoring for something new by him.  To have him on something that sees him drawing the best of DC should do quite nicely.  Now I know a big issue with Lee is his speed.  It seems, if rumors are to be believed, that he has had a lot of lead time with this one, which should hopefully keep the book on pace.  Still, Lee won't be on it forever.  There's no way that he could.

2)  Day and Date Digital Initiative.

Yes, Justice League, and all of the new #1's seem to be slated for a Day and Date release.  No price point has been stated, but one can assume the $2.99 price won't be too far off the mark.  Beyond that, if some people on the Internet (with a capital I) are to be believed, Digital Comics will be the death of all retailers everywhere.  Sure, it's going to have an impact, that's to be expected as new technology will draw people.  It's new and different and cool, what's not to love?  Truthfully though, I haven't seen Digital Comics make a huge impact.  In fact, there have been several times where people have come into the store because of a comic they picked up online and they wanted to try more.  I think this can be the scenario more and more.  I don't quite know exactly how it can happen, but there should be a way for Digital and Retailers to work together.

3) All DC comics will be relaunched with a new #1.

Truth.  It seems that every DC comic will be relaunched with a new number one.  There will be 52 new Number Ones, each one starring a "new" version of a pre-existing character or team.  I don't think everyone is going to make it (i.e. Damian Wayne, Red Robin, etc.) but the characters that we see are said to have retooled origins, are different ages and things along those sort of lines. But there will be a Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman in the DCU, that is for sure.


Honestly, there are a ton of rumors running around out there as to book titles and creators.  I'm going to do a rundown of the ones that I've heard so far.  Some might be true, some not, but the ideas behind them are pretty cool.  DC has a lot of talent to draw from, and I think this will be the time to unleash them and allow them to go for broke.

Aquaman - This one is fairly on target for truth.  Seems after Flashpoint is finished up, Geoff Johns and artist Ivan Reis will be taking the reigns of Aquaman and reinvigorating the character.  Will he have some of the Conqueror in him, the role that he's now filling in the Flashpoint Universe?  I don't know.  The image of the Justice League that's been released certainly didn't look like it.

Hawkman - Seems that rumors are pointing to James Robinson taking the helm of this one with art supplied by Phillip Tan.  While I do think Robinson has hit some low points recently, he's been mostly on team books.  That really feels like a weak spot for him, so the chance for him to focus on a singular character could be quite cool.  Really, just the idea of reigning in the craziness of Hawkman would be a great idea.

A Superman Book - Grant Morrison has apparently been attached to some Superman book.  Since Morrison was the guy behind the best Superman story of the decade, this is an easy sell for me if it's true.

Omac - Yes, the Jack Kirby version of the character.  It seems that Scott Kolins is attached.  I know that Kolins has a love for all things Kirby related, which should make this one a really fun affair.  I can't wait to see what's done.

Birds of Prey - Don't know a ton about this one, although details are saying that Gail Simone is not involved with the book, which is kind of sad as I think Simone has really made this book her own.

Green Lantern - It seems that you can't pry this one from Johns, as he shall continue telling the tale of our favorite hero in green and white.  It also seems that large events, namely Blackest Night, will not be ignored.  Curious.  Since I've been a fan of the Green Lantern stuff since Johns first took over, I'm excited for this one.

Multi-Colored Lantern Squad - No creators, but a book that has a member of each of the Lantern Corps.  I think it could be quite interesting if done right, especially if they go back and say that every Corps has been around for as long as the Green Lanterns.

Adventure Comics - Don't know creators, but it seems that it will star Deadman, which I think is awesome. Deadman, done right, could be fantastic.

Legion Lost - I know people are saying that DnA aren't involved, but I hope that that is a red herring and this is their book.  They're on Wonder Woman and the Furies and Lois Lane, and we know that they can write the hell out of Space stuff with their handling of the Annihilation series for Marvel.  I would be all over that.

Justice League - Already sort of covered this one at the top, but it seems that they will be slightly younger versions of the characters and it seems that Cyborg has been elevated to Justice League status.  Makes sense with his role in Flashpoint, and I do think he has the ability to be an A lister.  If the action is there and Johns' story hits all the right notes, I see this doing amazingly.


I'm a bit conflicted.  A part of me will miss some of the characters that I've grown to love.  Still, I think that rebooting things is a great idea.  Things have really become a mish-mash of stuff, even convoluted to some extent, so starting things fresh makes sense.  It also means that a new generation can get in on these characters and experience them from the ground up.  That right there makes me a giddy with the possibilities, as I want comics to be something for everyone.  Seeing kids on Free Comic Book Day pile in and get comics, and actually be excited by it is one of the best things ever.  The opportunity for them to get Batman #1 and stick with it is such a thrill.

However, I doubt that they will ignore everything that's happened in the original universe.  To do that would really alienate their current readership, but hitting the reset button brings a lot of new potential.  I would kill for a Gail Simone and John Ostrander written Suicide Squad or a Peter Milligan Doctor Fate or a Mark Waid written Green Arrow.  I'm just truly amazed that the lid was kept so tight on this thing.  In this day and age, that's fairly impressive.

I guess, while I do understand people's gut reaction that this could be a horrible thing to do, I think we have to reserve judgement until the actual product hits the shelves.  For all we know, this could be a great thing that will lead to some amazing stories.  And in the end, isn't that what comics are all about?


  1. I am a long time comic book fan--I've been reading them for decades. But I don't care the stories conform to a convoluted and outdated continuity. I care about whether the stories are good.

    I'm subscribing to a number of Re-boot comics, but I doubt DC can put out fifty two high quality titles. What they should have done is have a small number of titles for their superstar characters while introducing new heroes and teams in an expanded number of anthology titles.

    But hey, if the reboot makes geniuses out of all the writers and artists at DC, I'm all for it. On the other hand, if the writing is dull and the art is perfunctory, make mine Marvel!