Screw character rebirths, let’s reboot the entire universe! No characters are safe, no series will continue, run for the hills, this is an all out massacre of the entire DC catalog! As I’m sure you know, DC Comics has recently announced that, after the summer, all of their series will come to a close of some sort or another. DC plans to relaunch 52 brand spankin’ new books from issue #1, offering a crap-load of fresh story lines, new origins for some, and hundreds of modern costumes. Though our beloved heroes and events will lose much of their historic values, this DCU reboot probably isn’t a bad thing at all.
I knew something big was going down when DC hadn’t announced any plans after Flashpoint (sneaky bastards!). On top of this, so many new series, which were supposed to be released earlier in the year, were pushed back several times (I’ve waited a long time for Batwoman). “Great Merlin’s beard!” I said to myself in the depths of my bedroom as a read the news. Followed by an immediate silence (probably because I was alone at the time). At first I didn’t really know what to think, I thought it was an decent enough idea to get new readers, but what about fans who have been reading Superman since the first issue? Then panic set in. What the hell? What about Brightest Day, Battle for the Cowl, Infinite Crisis, and Batman Incorporated? Is there going to be any continuity? What about everything that has happened in the last fifty years? Who’s going to be Batman? Is Flashpoint going to be the new Universe!? After the questions hit, I needed time to think.
Based on the titles DC has announced, it seems that continuity is not going to play a major part in the reboot. I suspect, at least partially, that one reason for the relaunch is to make the job easier for writers and readers, because let’s face it, not everyone knows as much about DC history as Geoff Johns. The reboot should make things easier to follow for people who don’t know every detail of DC Universe. On top of that, DC will be able to plan new events that don’t rely so much on all the shit that’s gone down in the past.
While I believe this reboot is good for a number of reasons, and I encourage DC’s effort to grab new readers, there’s still a lot that worries me, and outright pisses me off. The absolute worst part of this whole thing for me is that Dick Grayson is no longer going to wear the Batman cowl. Don’t get me wrong, I love Brucey and all, but I thought it was time for a change and Dick was just coming into his own. Dick was shaping up to be a different Batman, not what we wanted but what we needed (sorry, I had to). His relationship with Robin (Damian) was strengthening and he was just figuring out how to deal with Gotham his own way. It really doesn’t make sense why he’d want to return to being Nightwing, it feels like a bit of a cop-out to me on DC’s part. Though my feelings towards this are not as strong as THEoDEAD’s are for Red Robin, it still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
Another thing that bothers me about the reboot (which I’m sure bothers a lot of you, so I won’t dwell on it) is that all the effort Geoff Johns went through in Green Lantern might as well have never happened. Seriously, why go through all the trouble of making masterpiece events, only to have them be erased in the end.
On the other hand, let’s not kid ourselves, Bruce Wayne, Hal Jordan, and the rest of the heroes at DC are old as fuck. Maybe bringing them into the modern age isn’t such a bad idea. Having read over the plans announced by DC so far, my confidence is as high ever in DC’s ability to maintain diversity, originality, and greatness in their comics. The new line of DC titles offers a ton of variety and personally, I’m so excited I just can’t fight it. The DCU relaunch gives a chance to up and coming writers to start fresh, with their own ideas, allowing them to bring characters into contemporary times. The writers, most of whom weren’t even alive when DC started, can now craft their own myths without being restrained by ball and chain to DC’s past (maybe it will even shut up the fanboys for a while).
Both the Batman and Green Lantern titles announced sound awesome, but they’re not what I’m most excited for. When I heard about the new horror tales coming out from DC I almost expelled all of my bodily waste. Two of my favorite writers at DC, Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire, will now have more prominent roles. Almost everything these two have done tickles my fancy, toots my horn, floats my boat (you get the point). In September Snyder will be reworking Swamp Thing (one of my favorite monsters ever), while Lemire will be re-exploring Animal Man. This is proof alone that DC doesn’t intend to ignore their past, but rather wants to bring back legends of old and shine a modern light on them. Giving younger writers and artists more creative freedom should result in some of the most innovative and imaginative books we’ve ever seen. From this standpoint who really cares about continuity, let’s see how ground-breaking DC can be. Set fire the house, tear down the walls, rip out the foundations, and build it all from the beginning.
I think that the news initially came to me as more of a shock than it did upset me. Having thought it over and seen some of what DC intends to do has made me more excited than ever to be a DC fan. Although I’m still pissed about Dick returning to hi Nightwing role, I’m willing to put my anger aside. I see a lot of people on both sides of the fence right now, but I’m fairly certain that when these new books hit the local comic shops, everyone will be wetting their pants. Hell, if anyone can reboot their entire catalog, it’s DC (no offense to Marvel fans).
The DCU relaunch not only offers a chance to rewrite history, but also gives the opportunity to reinvent comics as a whole. All jokes aside, comic books are one of the most misunderstood art mediums in the world, and the potential for creativity in comic books is nearly infinite, as evidenced by writers and artists who continually redefine them. This reboot will provide the opportunity to writers to be as imaginative as they can be, there are no expectations, no real rules, and the possibilities are endless. I must say that DC’s got balls for revamping their entire catalog, and with 52 new books set for release this fall, I warmly welcome the dawn of a new age in comic book history.