Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Paul's Predictions for a Post-Flashpoint Universe

Here's how USA Today covered DC Comics' announcement regarding the changes to the DC Universe after Flashpoint.
DC Comics has a new strategy to be No. 1 in comic books: all-new No. 1s.  Starting this summer, the publisher will re-number its entire DC Universe of titles, revamping characters such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and others from its 76-year history for a more modern and diverse 21st century.
The first book to be released under this new era: Justice League No. 1, out Aug. 31, a series by writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee that reunites the famous lineup of Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman.
Johns promises a focus on the interpersonal relationships within DC's trademark superteam. "What's the human aspect behind all these costumes?" he says. "That's what I wanted to explore."
In September, another 51 first issues will debut, introducing stories that are grounded in each character's specific legend but also reflect today's real-world themes and events. Lee spearheaded the costumes' redesign to make characters more identifiable and accessible to comic fans new and old.
"We really want to inject new life in our characters and line," says Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC with Lee. "This was a chance to start, not at the beginning, but at a point where our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today's audience."
It's hard not to be cynical about all this.  DC tried a softer reboot a few years ago after Infinite Crisis with their One Year Later scheme.  Sadly the momentum of One Year Later was ruined by delays and inconsistent creative teams.  Also, rebooting long running, popular titles to #1 has met with disastrous results in the past.  Remember Spider-Man:Chapter One? 

Marvel no longer speak of it for some reason.

But it makes sense for DC Comics to try and do something to get them into the mainstream press when all eyes are on the new Green Lantern film, they'd be silly not to.  Who knows, it may actually get some new readers.  I reckon it's pointless complaining about all this until we've seen the creative talent behind the new titles.  That's when I'll be getting excited/worried (delete as appropriate).

What will this mean for the characters?  Based on what Didio said about "a point where our characters are younger" I reckon we can make a few guesses as to what changes might be made.

  1. Superman will no longer be married to Lois Lane, and she probably won't know his secret identity.
  2. Bruce Wayne will be the only Batman again, no more Batman Inc.
  3. Dick Grayson will no longer be Batman, he may even be Robin again.
  4. Wally West will be Kid Flash again.
  5. The Justice Society of America will be back on Earth Two.
  6. Characters like Kyle Rayner, Conner Hawke, Bart Allen and Damien Wayne will exist on a parallel Earth where the original heroes have retired.  On this Earth Wally will be The Flash and Dick will be Batman.

Of course all this is still unfolding even as I write.  By the time I wake up tomorrow I might be proven wrong.  But I don't really mind what changes they make.  Just please, please, please give us some good creative talent who'll stick with the book longer than a few issues!!!

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