DC Relaunch: Extreme Makeover Comics Edition
06/06/2011 - 7:41pm
Cosmic Book News welcomes guest columnist Andrea M., as she shares her views and opinions on the news of the DC Relaunch. Take it away, Andrea!
It’s been well over a week since DC officially announced that they will be relaunching their entire shared universe. So what could I say about it? I could spew hate as many have. I could write a mediocre middle of the road article. I could even go the pacifists wait-and-see approach.
However, I think there is another fork in the road to take; explanation of what is actually happening. Ever since this was announced, one word has been used to describe it by people discussing it online, "reboot."
I just want to say, now this is not a reboot - let's clear that up. DC is relaunching all their books, starting with new #1’s, and opening an updated slightly altered DCU. A large part of currently existing continuity will be retained; some elements will be altered to differing degrees. From drastic changes, like the rumored changes to Superman including dissolving the Lois and Clark marriage, to rumors indicating that Geoff Johns and Jim Lee plan to introduce a romance between Superman and Wonder Woman, to minor changes to characters origins and costumes.
With the statements that have been made over the past week from DC, we know a lot of stories people have invested time and money in, will remain in continuity. "Blackest Night," "Brightest Day," "Flash Rebirth," "War Of The Green Lanterns," will remain in Geoff Johns cannon for his continuing books. Which to date seem to include Green Lantern, Justice League and Aquaman. So, it can be assumed that other writers will also be retaining large portions of current continuity, and carrying it forward into this revitalized DC Universe.
This is something I think DC should have done back in 1985 when they finished "Crisis On Infinite Earths." If this kind of relaunch had been done then, with the characters being altered and updated, the other changes seen in the characters though the 90’s up to today might have been easier to take. And lets face it, while the 90’s had a lot of awesome - it also had a lot of crap. Some of which we are still suffering though; yes I’m looking at you Rob Liefeld.
As it is, with DC having gone though so many universal reboots since "Crisis" in '85, a lot of people seem to be taking this as just another gimmick. Many I have seen, have convinced themselves that this will last a year at most and then reset to the way things are now. I really have to disagree with that.
One major reason is because DC is also relaunching their two longest running comics, Action Comics and Detective Comics, which are both currently nearing the #1000 issue landmark. Both titles have been consecutively published since the late 30’s early 40’s, resetting both of these titles to #1’s is a drastic step for them. Including these two books in this relaunch shows a dedication to not only make this a lasting change, it also shows their willingness to forego the events they could have built around the #1000 issue being published.
None of this is happening in a vacuum, either. Many people still have not heard that this Relaunch will be as a result of the currently being published "Flashpoint" event book - again, another Geoff Johns project. For those not in the know, "Flashpoint" is a time travel story; a villain has traveled back in time and has drastically changed so much of history that nothing was left the same. Only the Flash, Barry Allen, knows things have been changed and can hope to fix it.
Flashpoint #5, the final issue, will be one of only two DC comic books published August 31st - it will be the final book of DC’s current universe. The second book to be published that week will be the new Justice League #1 that will be the launch point for the new DCU. Then, over the month of September, thirteen #1 issues will be released each week.
So far as of this writing these are the books announced:
Justice League #1
Justice League International #1
Detective Comics #1
Teen Titans #1
Green Lantern #1
Green Lantern Corps #1
Green Lantern : The New Guardians #1
Swamp Thing #1
Green Arrow #1
Mr. Terrific #1
The Flash #1
Dc Comics Presents #1
(Editor's Note: The list is being updated in the CBN DC Relaunch: News Hub - Super Matt)
More will be announced both this week and in the weeks to come. Rumors have talked about an incorporation of many characters from the WildStorm universe including Grifter getting a solo title, a new WildC.A.T.S book, and The Authority all being folded into the DC Universe with this relaunch. Not something unheard of. Blue Beetle and many of the Charleston Comics characters were made mainstays of the DCU after "Crisis On Infinite Earths" ended.
So hold your anger and skepticism tight, and don’t judge before you have the books in hand to see exactly what has been changed. Given the information we have to date, I can honestly say I’m interested in what they are doing. While some elements do seem to have a "One More Day" side to them (Joe Quesada: we will need to talk when we eventually meet - you have some explaining to do there), I feel overall, that most of what we see in September will not be as bad as fears seem to say they will be.
So I hope my ramblings have helped you understand exactly what is coming, as well as why. This is a Relaunch not a Reboot. We will not have to start from scratch come September. It’s more like coming home after a major remodeling, a lot is different while a lot is still the same.