Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's Comic Book Day #4: I Call Shenanigans!

DC Comics sent out a press release explaining their post Flashpoint plans for the company, as well as sending out a letter to distributors.  The news has run with this, and DC Comics is getting non-geek media attention for this particular move.

According to DC they are rebooting the franchise to make some of the heroes younger, redesign the costumes to be more modern, and focus on interpersonal relationships as well as rooting their stories more in the real world.

While I don't doubt they are floating some trial balloons to see if a few items added or subtracted to various characters will be appealing to fans, I call shenanigans.  I don't this this is a real reboot.  I don't think this is a Crisis on Infinite Earths style reinvention.  I think this is a post Flashpoint gimmick in the vein of Brightest Day following Blackest Night, and except for a few things that DC identifies as working for them, the whole thing will fade in a year or less.

I could be wrong.  DC may really, honestly be planning on sticking with this continuity for more than an year, until they do Son of Infinite Final Crisis 2.  But I think they have done too many recent groundwork books to reboot permanently  (why reintroduce Swamp Thing and John Constantine to the DC continuity that is getting rebooted, when you can just reintroduce them after the reboot as part of the new continuity, for example).

I'm honestly thinking DC is much more likely keeping an eye out for some streamlining of origins, especially for the purposes of future movies, and trying out new costume elements to see how they are received, but other than that, the press release reads much like the "Superman is dead, and he's never coming back" press releases, or the "Batman is no longer Bruce Wayne, seriously, he's going to be Jean-Paul Valley from now on" press releases of days past.

In the meantime, I'm hoping Green Ronin's DC Adventures sourcebooks and even DC Universe Online keep some of the more classic elements alive until this thing Zero Hours out.


  1. Just madly discussing this with my wife, right now. How big a change is this going to be? What about Dick Grayson - is he going to be Batman, Robin, or Nightwing? Did Superman still die in this new continuity? What about everyone else? Power Girl? Lex Luthor?

    I know this won't effect our DCU RPG. Which I still intend to type up at some point. :) "May you live in interesting times", eh?

  2. Well, I have to say, if this is the same "deal" as things like the Death of Superman and Knightfall, they've got an impressive collective poker face, given all of the articles I've been reading.

    So somehow, either they put this plan into high gear in a short period of time, or then intentionally decided to give Wonder Woman three costumes in a year's time and redesign Batman's outfit twice, especially when the new one is pretty much the Jim Lee "Hush" Batman with a little more armor to it.

  3. Yeah. I'm not really a fan of Hush - overrated IMHO.

    I guess for the sake of diversity, as they seem to be stating this has something to do with it, why didn't we end up with a Black Superman, or an Asian Batman? Even though I know it isn't going to happen, I wish that they had made Bruce Oracle and Barbara into the new "core" Batman as Batgirl/woman. Interesting thought; someone else raising Dick/Jason....

    The Death and Return of Superman (plus World Without....) were awesome to me, as a kid. I still love them, even though they're vilified for the whole "no really dead" thing. Waay better than Knightfall, and that is coming from a bat-fan. I remember watching Superman Returns in the cinema, seeing the headlines of "Superman Dead!" and getting all excited, thinking they were going to lead into a sequel based on the Four Supermen.

    It remains the biggest tragedy of my life that they didn't. ;p

  4. To be honest, while I was referring to the press releases talking about how Superman was dead "for good," and Batman was JPV "for good," the Death of Superman was, at least at its core, a pretty good solid Superman story.

    Superman was the stand up guy we know he is, and is willing to die for his city, and when he first comes back, without his powers, he's still ready to go after Henshaw and Mongul. Its distilled Superman, pure heroics, and it has an overall inspirational feel to it. Heck, in the end, even the most "90s" of the new Supermen, the Eradicator, realizes that Superman is the one true Superman.

    Yeah, there are a few too many filler issues, but that's true of just about any crossover event.

    Much as I love Batman, Knightfall wasn't my favorite. I really liked Bane, but Bruce was a mopey wreck going into the story, and a whiny lost soul at the end of it, which, unlike the Death of Superman, wasn't really the "core" Batman experience.

    Not to mention, there is no explanation out there that anyone could give me that would explain why Bruce would trust JPV with the mantle and not Dick (even if I really wish poor Dick could get OUT of the cowl these days).

  5. Any idea if JPV/Azrael is going to be in the reboot? I couldn't care less, but my mate Mo is really into him.

  6. I've not heard anything about any version of Azrael, only Batman (Bruce), Nightwing (Dick), Robin (Damian), Batgirl (Barbara), and Bat Wing (African Batman Incorporated member).