Thursday, June 02, 2011

DC Reboots (Again? Maybe?)

So, if you didn't hear, DC Comics - in-tandem with the current big Flash event "Flashpoint" - will soon be resetting EVERY major character's book back to "#1" with new continuities that will (supposedly) render them slightly younger, possibly with different races/genders in some cases as well, and with "streamlined" backstories that place their origins in contemporary contexts and do away with the decades of baggage. People are flipping out, I'm not, here's why...

Firstly, this is all kind of old at this point. Yeah, when the "Silver Age Fanboy Regime" (Morrison, Johns, etc) at DC first started in on a "take two" of The Crisis (re: Infinite Crisis/52) it was a lot of fun... but at this point, they've now pulled this "whoa! massive continuity shift!!!" thing SO many times in events and even individual books (see: JMS's Wonder Woman) it's lost all impact for me on a conceptual level.

Secondly, I'm not buying it (in either sense - I can't afford it right now) - the guys running DC right now are in looooooove with ultra-dense Silver Age-style storytelling, it would be NUTS for them to suddenly junk all the work they've done making the DCU more hardcore-fanboy-friendly for this. I've seen a few people theorizing (BAD's Devin Faraci, for one) that this is actually a "stunt" that'll wind up like a DCU version of Onslaught/Heroes Reborn (or "House of M") - i.e. the "rebooted" universe will only be around for a little while, then someone will "realize something is wrong" (possibly Flash, since "Flashpoint" involves ANOTHER alternate-DCU where he never existed apparently) and will escape-back-to/bring-back the "original" universe, leaving the rebooted universe to become a DC version of Marvel's "Ultimate Comics" line. This theory is bouyed by the fact that the whole thing is tied-in to a much more significant event: Releasing all of the "rebooted" lines day-and-date for tablet-viewing downloads - the REAL big gamble of attracting new readers.

Either way, it's the DCU: Don't like the coninuity? Wait a year...


Nick said...

I thought something smelled fishy about this. Thanks for explaining.

Drunken Lemur said...

Quick question: Has Marvel ever done anything like Crisis on Infinite Earths? As in everything actually was permanently changed with some worlds fusing into one? Or just even just a major crossover between parallel worlds, bringing together lots of different versions of the same characters.

Rob said...


Oh boy... Marvel doesn't stop doing it!

Simple explanation, in DC, the main world is called Earth-2 (out oif 50 or so). In Marvel, the main world is Earth-616, there's thousands of alternate universes. (

The Fantastic Four visits Alternate Realities all the time.

Amazing Spiderman Annual 38 (1 or 2 months ago) did it in a story crossing over to Hulk and Deadpool as well.

Then there's Ultimate Marvel. A complete reboot 10 years ago, making the characters more modern and edgy so that new readers could come in without reading 40 years of backstory.

Huh, sounds familiar... is DC trying that now? Whichever writer gets that is going to have his name as cemented in comicbook history as Brian Michael Bendis, who made virtually all of the Ultimate Marvel comics.

I could go on for a while, but you get the idea.

Mads said...

the biggest crossover marvel has done, so far as I can figure, is the onslaught event...which mainly involves xmen, fantastic 4 and a group of avengers, I think... But marvel has a lot of brand-based characters that rarely meet up, so that's not really a cuntinuity crossover I don't think...

I do believe marvel zombies actually does crossovers using richard reeds portal devices, which can warp things to different realities...marvel zombies is a number of similar or same continuity limited series where our beloved characters from something like a "zombie" dimension turn into flesh-eating undead. It's generally worth a look if you're into alternate looks on things and, duh, zombies.

But marvel is chock-full of crossover series....but cross continuity?... I think it's rare to involve _everybody_ in a way crisis on infinite earths did, for example, across many universes.

Also, I agree with you bob. No way dc would throw out their entire continuity. It wins them annual comics awards all the time, and the fans really, really like them some elaborate continuity.

But the flash _is_ used to being able to dimension-warp, so yeah, he'll probably be tied into it.

Also...were you ever that psyched about the crisis series? Maybe I'm jaded...I've only read some of the classic crisis stuff...But a lot of it is just tomfoolery and pandering, elaborate what-if so-and-so met. Crisis of two earths and all the crisis' until infinite really fall into this category of, uh...fanservice, I guess. Silver age dc comics just weren't generally that spectacular, read with modern eyes. And when you think about it, even the big one was just lampshading for a major simplification.

Chris Cesarano said...

I'm actually partially curious to this "reboot", though if it is somehow involved in The Flash's current storyline about alternate universes then it really isn't a reboot.

Then again, that just leaves it open to go back, as you say, which is something that occurred to me.

Still, being able to start at a #1 DOES make me interested. Though I'd still have to wait until volumes are complete, as I prefer graphic novel collections. I know they've got collections of Ultimates and such, and I've been curious about grabbing any of those. From what I read of comics, though, I'm just afraid it'll be loaded with "grim and gritty" bullshit.

For the most part, I'd be interested in keeping up with Ultimate Spider-Man and maybe a couple of others, but is it actually going to be GOOD? After reading over some of the links you post, reading Cracked articles and having read a decent amount of Deadpool comics, all I can think is that comic book writers need to stop watching Soap Operas and read a real fucking book once in a while.

The Karligarchy said...

I kinda understand the flipping but... This. Happens. All. The. Time. At least once every decade, usually 6-7 years.

The Karligarchy said...

Bagley/Bendis run on Ultimate Spdierman is personally one of my favorite runs in comics. In fact, correct me if I´m wrong, but I think its longest run of an American team in the history of American comics. Really got me into comics in highschool at a time when I was only into manga and anime. got me through college. Bagely´s art style is perfect for a teen aged spiderman and doesn´t seem kinda out of place like it did in Trinity.

MovieBob said...

@Drunken Lemur,

Not quite as wide-scale, but mainly because they never would've "needed" to - the two publishers are in different situations in that regard.

Marvel has alternate universes, but they typically exist for singular events or one-off stories. Also, 90% of modern Marvel's "history" only goes back to the mid-60s.

By contrast, DC is juggling active-continuity where MOST of their big guns have roots in pre-WWII books. The "infinite earths" setup was originally dropped-in to explain how the "same" Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman - they're books never "stopped" during the 50s like everyone else's did - who knew the Silver Age versions of Flash, Lantern etc. could've also know the Golden Age versions.

In addition, some of the other-earth characters were so popular that by the end of the Silver Age DC was publishing entire regular series set in different universes, so it was a MUCH bigger puzzle to streamline.

Ultima Black Mage said...

I'm happy about the reboot because it will be an all new universe just for newcomers scared of the density of the current one. I see it living side by side with the current universe but never crossing paths like all the different TMNT series that come about... unless they do a Turtles Forever kinda thing...maybe I should have shut up at the start of my point.

Regardless I only just started buying DC's video game based comics and the idea of following newer iterations of Wonder Woman, Flash, Lex Luthor... I mean Superman and Batman from newer origins sounds good to me.

Kyle said...

I think the "tablet-viewing downloads" part of this is actually a huge deal AND a pretty smart move. People like updated content. They like it a lot.

You get into a daily routine of checking bookmarked blogs, webcomics, etc. Why not Comics then? My friend showed me the other day he had EVERY X-MEN EVER on his iPad. I was blown away. It looked gorgeous too and very user friendly (swipe, flip, zoom-in)

If they are looking for new customers, or for old customers to come back -this could be a very good move.

CraftyAndy said...

sounds like a good move to me. Start this shit from scratch. Don't bother with the origina parts either. Just maybe summarize it in a paragraph or two. Then you can make any story you want without any worry something stupid or ridiculous or asinine will happen like in the silver or golden age.

Arturo said...

no Big Picture for this topic, eh?

Dave said...

Hokay..... first off, Bob, this is OLD NEWS. Second of all, THE DC UNIVERSE IS NOT REBOOTING!!!!! This was confirmed both by Dan DiDio and DC's Senior VP Sales Bob Wayne. That is ALSO OLD NEWS.

Q: What's actually going on?

A: We don't know quite yet, but it's either a post-Flashpoint temporary shift in continuity turned into an event a la Marvel's House of M OR a new title a la Marvel's Ultimates forcibly shoved in post-Flashpoint because otherwise comic fans will wrestle with the nonsensical question of where a standalone series allegedly fits into continuity and/or the multiverse. From what we've been told so far, it is not supposed to impact currently on-going titles, so presumably it's its own thing.

Q: Why are people freaking out so much if it won't affect their current comics?

A: Because the Newsarama article which broke the news mistakenly referred to it as a "reboot" in multiple places, only for Dan DiDio, Bob Wayne and several articles on to do damage control after the fact. That didn't stop reports of a DC "reboot" from spreading elsewhere, especially to fanboy bloggers who shoot their mouths off before doing their homework on the subject, continuing to spread misinformation.

But hey, that's Bob's job description, isn't it? Mehhhh.....

Q: Why is this so damn important that DC do damage control for the fans?

A: It isn't for the fans. Retailers were spooked because - along with the worry that fans and new readers wouldn't pick up new issue #1s with no prior background - the Newsarama article (and others, which distorted information through a nasty case of "telephone" - for those of you who remember that game also alleged that DC was going to release its comics digitally.

WHAT exactly DC was going to release digitally and the way it came across from the article were two different things, and retailers flipped out because DC and Marvel books make up the majority of their sales and they flipped the shit when they were given distorted information because their businesses could be at stake if it were valid.

See, this is why I have such a problem with whenever Bob reports on a comic book franchise..... it usually serves no other purpose than the spreading of misinformation - whether or not Bob himself sees it that way - and promotes even MORE people to not be on the same page with the reality of things.

@Bob: While your conjecture happens to be correct, it's for the wrong reasons. The Bob Wayne article on Bleeding Cool broke after you wrote this blog entry, but DiDio and others have been trying to do it since days before. Way to be oblivious of the world around you.

Here's the Bleeding Cool article: