Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Return to the Silver Age?

Today, Pierre gives his thoughts on the news that the JSA will be coming back in the DC relaunch (or DCnU as he calls it) and what that might mean for the whole DC Universe.

I am one of those who had a fun time reading Flashpoint even before the HISTORIC announcement that it would be the starting point of the DCnU. I loved the main series… and most of the tie-ins. Citizen Cold has to be my favourite…. And I loved the Flash issue before that that was labeled as The Reverse-Flash Rebirth (The Flash issue #8). I really got a kick out of it. Many compared Flashpoint to the Age of Apocalypse at Marvel…. or worse… House of M (yuk) but I think it was better than both of those events.

But then DC threw us a curve ball…. and announced that Flashpoint would lead us into the New DC Universe…. or DCnU. One question that keeps on popping up since then…. “What do you think of DCnU??” Although for non-comic readers… the question is more like… “I hear they are going to change Superman?? What do you think of this??” Well… once more… I think we see history repeat itself. I have this sense of déjà vu like when DC had their Crisis 25 years ago. And it seems like they are still repeating some of the same mistakes they made 25 years ago.

Since they are re-launching the whole line with new #1 issues…. They should also reboot the entire line. By rebooting most of the line… but not the Batman or Green Lantern comics…. They are asking for trouble. It will be a mess to keep track of what comics are still part of continuity… and what comics no longer matter. Since they are renumbering the whole line… why not reboot the whole line so that the continuity can start fresh in every title?? But the answer is quite simple…. money. They do not want to re-launch comics that have strong sales for fear of risking losing those sales.

So let’s restart those comics that don’t sell as much as we would like…. And keep those that do sell as they are. It makes sense not to fix what isn’t broken…. But now the continuity will be a mess from day one. So just like with Crisis…. They will keep on needing to try to fix/explain all the contradictions that there will be in their new timeline. So be prepared for more attempts to fix the timeline like Zero Hour…. Or tales like Who is Wonder Girl/Donna Troy? to try to explain stories or characters that no longer match within the DCnU.

Heck… as an example… from what we understand so far…. Nightwing will be almost as old as most of the Justice League members… and especially Superman. What does that make of all the tales where Dick was a kid and met Superman as Robin?? Did those tales happen?? And did Superman… this kid barely older then Nightwing… still inspire him to take on the name of Nightwing?? Or will DC need to come up with a new tale explaining how Nightwing got his name?? Will we end up with a new “Who is Nightwing?” tale… like the mess with Donna Troy?

That would have been so easy to avoid that mistake by simply rebooting everything… and starting every series fresh from day one… and move on from there. Oh well.

As for re-numbering Action Comics with a new #1…. not too crazy about that. This close to reaching the venerable number of #1000 issues?? Could they not have Action Comics and Detective Comics skip the re-launch?? Have them skip being published the month where DC has all their shiny new #1 issues… and have them continue in October on their way to their #1000 issue.

This way… DC could have had their 52 new #1 comics in September…. and Action Comics and Detective Comics could have kept going in October until their 1000th issue. Would that have been so hard to do?? Oh well…. I have no doubt that by then… they WILL renumber both Action Comics and Detective Comics so that they can have their sales boost from those magic 1000th  issue numbers.  But it seems that DC threw us another curve ball this week-end by announcing that we would get more tales of the JSA…. on Earth 2. And now…. It all makes sense.

We knew that there was an event in the works called “Multiversity” (or something like that by Grant Morrison)… having something to do with the Multiverse. But now that the Earth 2 announcement has been made… it fits perfectly within what seemed to be the game plan at DC for some time. Ever since Green Lantern Rebirth…. It has been clear that DC was trying to return their comics to the status quo of the Silver Age. First the return of Hal Jordan in Rebirth… then the return of Barry Allen… the return of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl… etc… and now the return of the dynamic between Earth1 with the Silver Age heroes, and Earth 02 with the heroes of the Golden Age. I predict that there will be some sort of Crisis on 2 Earths tale before long. Mark my words. If it was me… I would start things off with a new Flash of 2 Worlds tale… but that is just me. ;)

Although we don’t know what the DCnU Earth will be called yet. I doubt that it will be Earth 1 because they already have their line of Original Graphic Novels that is called “Earth One”. So what will they call it?? Earth Prime?? Earth 00?? We don’t know yet. But it does illustrate a desire for DC to return to the Silver Age status quo.

Strange since the DCnU reboot was to streamline their line to make it less confusing to new readers… but they are bringing back the Earth 02 that was removed because it apparently was too confusing to new readers 25 years ago. Personally… I never bought the excuse that it was too confusing to begin with. I was 10 years old when I read the tale “Flash of Two Worlds”… and if to was not confusing to a young 10 year old like me… I fail to see how it was too confusing for anyone else. But maybe that is just me.

And heck… I did not even mention the digital angle… the costume designs… the new logos of the re-launch yet… but I will have to keep this for a future blog… because this one is getting long enough as it is.  So as I write this… we are still waiting for the conclusion of Flashpoint… and the start of the DCnU with the new Justice League comic. Will it open up fresh new story possibilities?? Will it increase sales/readership and make DC tons of money?? Will it save comics as we know them??

It could be.

Or will it be a mess?? Will the Doomsayers be correct?? Will it be a disaster of EPIC roportion and put not only DC comic… but the whole industry out of business??

We will have to wait and see.

Until next time.



Joe said...

Hey, I remember when Marvel did, 1997...this is Heroes Reborn Revisited, only the DC characters are getting re-IMAGEd, this time. With luck, something as good as Thunderbolts will come out of it. I ain't lining up to buy all new number ones, however. So far, I haven't seen anything previewed that would make me care.

MattComix said...

Other than a number one on the cover and the WildCats cosplaying as the Justice League it looks like business as usual to me, complete with the same ol grimdark BS with the same cooks in the kitchen. D. Diddy, Johns and the rest. If there is a return to the Silver Age it will only be so they can gore it out the way this regime has done many times before.

In terms of effect this will either be a sequel to the infamous DC explosion/implosion of the 1970's. Or sadly, they'll have just enough of the Wednesday-warriors and maybe a handful of next-gen speculators on board to support things like Wonder Woman as a horror comic for the time being.

JP Cote said...

So we still have Batman Incorporated? I guess that was hoping too much.

Pierre Villeneuve said...

Joe; Yes... like Heroes Reborn... Dc has a few fail safe devices in place to switch back to the pre-Flashpoint era.

I guess we will have to wait and see if they end up using it.

Pierre Villeneuve said...

Matt; I guess we will have to wait and see how this turns out.

It will take some time to see how much is actually changed... and how much is business as usual.

Will have to keep an eye open to see where this is going.

Pierre Villeneuve said...

JP; I must admit that I was not too crazy about the Batman Corps at first.... but I kind of got used to the idea... and it does not really bother me right now.

I guess until DC adds a Batman Oath to his Corps;

"In Blackest Day...
In Blackest Night...
Let no gunmen shoot my parents in Crime Alley when I was 10...
Let those who are a cowardly lot...
Fear my pointy ears...
Dark Batman's light!!"

Or something like that. ;)

Until they give them such an oath.... I don't mind the Batman Corps.

JP Cote said...

Wayne Industry Powers, ACTIVATE!


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