Wednesday, June 1, 2011

DC To Reboot With New #1's In September

The news hit the comic world yesterday like a meteor strike.

DC Comics will reboot the universe in September with all comics being renumbered to #1 ... 52 #1's to be exact. The news is all over the place and pretty easy to find although and have been spearheading the coverage.

I won't go into the releases at length but here are a couple of statements that stuck out to meand some quick comments followed by my bigger thoughts at the bottom of the post. As usual, I may ramble, so bear with me.

From the USA Today article that was the opening salvo of news: 

The first book to be released under this new era: Justice League No. 1, out Aug. 31. The series by writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee reunites the famous lineup of Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman.

I feel bad for the Martian Manhunter fans out there. While it was clear the Cyborg was going to be playing a bigger part in the DCU based on Flashpoint, I would think their could be room for Vic and J'Onn.
In September, an additional 51 first issues will make their 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.

No red shorts for Superman I see. And Wonder Woman has a sort-of take on her new costume. For some reason the choker stands out as a bad element. 

"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."

 If the Trinity are younger, do the younger characters become even younger?

From CBR:

A new title starring Superman written by Grant Morrison.

Birds of Prey #1 - This new ongoing series will not feature the work of longtime "BoP" writer Gail Simone. In fact, many tried and true approaches to books will be getting a second look at DC in September.

Teen Titans #1 - The new start for the teen team will be written by "Red Robin" scribe Fabian Nicieza.

Justice Society of America #1 - Only one of a number of current titles that will welcome a creative team shift, the future of the original superhero team will apparently not involve current writer Marc Guggenheim.

Wonder Woman #1 - Don't expect the recent changes from writer J. Michael Straczynski to stick when the Amazing Amazon sees another new #1 hit.

Green Lantern #1 - Even with a new #1, Green Lantern remains in Johns' hands, and readers can expect the effects of major crossovers like "Blackest Night" to stay in place moving forward.

Hawkman #1 - While fans have known a "Hawkman" series by James Robinson has been in the works since the writer mentioned it on a panel at New York Comic Con, Bleeding Cool's Rich Johnston has been reporting the rumor that the book will be drawn by "Batman & Robin" and "Outsiders" artist Philip Tan.

Aquaman #1 - No surprises here. The already announced series featuring the sea king by Johns and Ivan Reis will be part of the relaunch wave.

And Bleeding Cool again has a list of other possible including a an Omac book, Legion Lost book and Adventure Comics starring Deadman.

So sign me up for the Morrison Superman, the Robinson Hawkman, and the JL book. I will have to look at the other creative teams and new books before committing further.

Okay, enough regurgitating news everyone probably knows.

I have to start off by saying that I am not averse to universal reboots. I am a child of Crisis on Infinite Earths. I understood why the Crisis needed to happen and applauded it. The universe that came out of that series was a better universe (outside of the lack of Supergirl). I even loved the 'new' Superman by John Byrne as it reinvigorated the character, made him relevant again. I am not a curmudgeon demanding a return to the Silver Age.

COIE was released in 1985. The next reboot was Zero Hour, released in 1994, 9 years later. And Infinite Crisis rebooted the universe again, 11 years later in 2005. And now we get another reboot  a mere 6 years later.

Is something so broken with these characters that their histories simply cannot last for more than a decade? I don't think so. Instead, there must be something wrong with the stories, something that hasn't grabbed enough readers.

I understand that DC is a business, has been running second to Marvel forever, and might feel like they need to shake things up. But doesn't this have the feel of a 'Hail Mary' pass, a last ditch effort to try to bring people back to the table? I hope it works ... I do. Because I want DC to go back to prominence.

Unfortunately, this also shows just how off DC can sometimes be when it comes to understanding their fans. Let's look at some recent events effected by the reboot.

They just 'listened to the fans' and renumbered Wonder Woman to the 600's. Now they are rebooting to #1.

They listened to the fans and rebooted Birds of Prey with Gail Simone back at the helm. Now they are rebooting with a new #1 without Simone.

They listened to fans and brought back the classic Legion with Paul Levitz at the helm. Now they are rebooting with #1, 15 issues later. (How many Legion reboots have their been??)

They just celebrated Action Comics #900, and then they (supposedly) renumber the granddaddy of all comics.

None of that matters moving forward, I mean it ...

But here is the bottom line for me ...

I want good stories!

It is that simple.

That is all I ask for. If this reboot brings good stories than I am all for it. It is that simple.

I don't want this to simply be a gimmick. I want more than a new number on a cover. I want quality. And lots of it, if I am going to have to learn my 3rd DCU in the last 7 years. I don't want 'superstar teams' that can't meet monthly deadlines. I want heroes to act like heroes. I want Superman in Metropolis, fighting villains, hanging out at the Daily Planet.

And I hope that DC doesn't take a step backwards with some characters. I don't want Dick to be Robin. I don't want Barbara Gordon to be Batgirl. Because Nightwing/Batman and Oracle are great characters that don't need a reboot. I don't want Donna Troy to be Wonder Girl again, she has come too far.

And what of Supergirl? The elephant in the room of this blog.

Well, there goes the chance to see Supergirl #100. We have no news on the status of the title or the new creative team. Does she have a book? Will her history be changed to accomodate a younger Superman? Will she suddenly have to be 15 (rather than 18) if he is now in his mid-20s? What direction will character go? Will the excellent work of Gates and Igle be erased as part of the reboot? Or will the growth her character has gone through recently continue on?

Artistically, will Lee change the costume to make it 'more identifiable'? Does that mean a Matrix style? The variant full blue dress we have seen everywhere? Or is Turner's costume the most accessible costume for Supergirl these days.

Let's face it, we have lived through a bunch of Supergirl reboots, both hard and soft since 1985. I guess I can withstand another ... if ... if ...


Alas, the saddest part of all this is I have to realize I am not the demographic that DC necessarily cares about the most. I am on the upper end of the spectrum of the 25-40 yr old demo. They don't want to cater to my dollars, they want young dollars.

But I have 3 supergirls at home (the oldest is 11)  that are interested in comics, that like superheroes, that watch Young Justice, and hope on Wednesday that I come home with a new comic for them. I hope this reboot also has those readers, the youngest readers, in mind somewhere.

I hope that Didio, Johns, and Lee are up to the challenge of bringing DC back to number one. I promised optimism here. And I don't want to reboot my optimistic viewpoint.


Coloman said...

As strange as this may sound, out of all of my favorite characters, Supergirl is the one I'm least fearful of post-Flashpoint. Considering the troubles she went through in her current series, the way DC has been talking they could streamline her storyline. Keep the Heroes Journey, the Batman/Superman intro the brought her back, the character development, a villainous Superwoman, her new secret identity, etc. Hell, if they were so interested in making her a 'leader of the next generation' I wouldn't be surprised if she got membership into the Titans. They can take what works and leave the rest. Plus, the way the issue right before September's solicit sounds... they might be setting us up for a universe where she's in college like Stephanie Brown.
Stephanie's the one I'm really concerned about. Her and Damian. One of the comments from DC name checked Batwoman and the new Blue Beetle as still being current in the new universe, so the newer characters aren't all in trouble... but I would assume the reboot would make Bruce Bats, Dick Nightwing, Tim Robin... and that doesn't leave room for Damian. As for Steph, they could end up not changing her at all, so long as they keep Barbara Oracle, or they could bring back Cass. Or they could use the oppurtunity to make 'Batgirl' 'Batgirls' and have the three of them.
Strangley, the more I think about what they 'could' do, the less stressed I am. They also did mention that books that are doing well with their current creative teams will stay mostly unchanged. Hopefully that means things like Batgirl, Detective Comics, and Zatanna. Saleswise they're not too hot (but not much else is) but critically they're doing rather well.
That's my 2 cents, at any rate.

Ayhe said...

I don´t mind the reboots as long, as you said, we get GOOD stories.
Honestly, after reading the news I felt puzzled, I didn´t know what to think all about it.

It shocked me especially the BoP anouncement!

Well, today I visited the Bendis Board forum, where she´s a moderator and I am going to quote a member´s comment:


Fabian Nicieza just went on the DC boards and told people not to trust the creator announcements from Bleeding Cool. He said without a doubt, he is NOT writing Teen Titans.

So the rumor about Gail leaving BOPmay be b***t too.

Whatever happens, I still remain hopeful :3

TalOs said...

Ok confession time! I actually knew of this coming to be (thanks to a couple of specific really close comic professional online friends of mine through facebook at the time) but you all just don't know just how truly dang hard it was for me in knowing what i now knew that i wasn't allowed to share it with anyone aside from 'those in the know' (i.e. pros working for DC Comics) themselves. I'm SO glad PTB up at DC finally announced it. "What does this mean for EARTH ONE: SUPERMAN sequel and BATMAN graphic novels" you may ask, from what i've been told DC intend for JMS to still release the sequel regardless only the Batman one depends on whether or not Lee can keep up with the JUSTICE LEAGUE monthly so Geoff can just fully concentrate all his efforts on kicking off EARTH ONE: BATMAN as well as GREEN LANTERN, AQUAMAN ongoings. JMS should be set to officially confirm via either The Source blog, Newsarama, CBR or another site that he's still working on the sequel to EARTH ONE: SUPERMAN anytime now.

PS: Yes there are 52 titles coming out, no to EARTH ONE titles being part of the Post-Flashpoint continuity (they'll co-exist along with the 52 titles as a separate entity) and supposedly ACTION COMICS as well as DETECTIVE wont be rebooted back to #1s either.

Anj said...

Thanks for comments.

Bleeding Cool says Babs is back to being Batgirl, which is a shame I think. I love Oracle. And I like Steph quite a bit.

Of course, these are all rumors as you say Ayhe, so we'll wait and see.

And glad to hear from you Talos! I hope you are right about Action's numbering, although I have heard the reverse in other places.

TalOs said...

Seems like JMS has already officially confirmed the status of the sequel to EARTH ONE: SUPERMAN yesterday up at Newsarama (be sure to scroll down to the near end of the article) it just managed to slip by my radar:

UPDATE: Question answered (or at least 1/2 of it)! Take it away J. Michael Straczynski:

"No effect at all," JMS told Newsarama asked if the reboot would effect the second volume of Superman: Earth One. "The book is already a re-imagining of sorts, and DC is very happy to leave that alone in its own separate arena. The changes affect the monthly books, not the Earth One line, which operate outside that continuity.

"Oddly enough, the only effect kind of works in the opposite direction, as Superman Earth One was a bit of a proof-of-concept that you could reconsider and remake the characters with a contemporary thrust and it'll work. It did.

"What Dan[DiDio] is doing is correct, massively gutsy and long overdue. More power to him."

Thanks JMS.

PS: Always a pleasure to participate on your truly kick ass blog here, bro! =D

Anonymous said...

This news took me by surprise, and I am curious to know how it will affect Supergirl overall. As long as she is treated well with good stories then I will not be losing sleep over this reboot. I'm disappointed however that we won't see Supergirl #100 sooner than later.

I wonder who the creative team for Supergirl #1 will be?


Diabolu Frank said...

I'm not super upset about the absence of Martian Manhunter, because he just got a decent new costume that doesn't need a dog collar, pouches or any other stupid, dated Jim Lee elements. Also, while I like Geoff Johns fine, he'll already have plenty enough to juggle without making time for J'Onn. It's just that however much one likes or dislikes Lee's art and designs, the one element that feels universally wrong in the preview image is Cyborg. He's like the Martian Manhunter of the Teen Tiitans-- the reliable workhorse with a negligible fan following. It's like if Chloe from Smallville joined the cast of True Blood. Cyborg better show the goods in a serious way, or everybody's going to laugh at him.

I don't mind Flashpoint coming so soon after Infinite Crisis, because nothing much happened in IC. Yeah, there was One Year Later and 52, but those just advanced the narratives that had continued for years. Restoring the Multiverse and most of the other changes were deboots, not dramatic changes to the characters as we knew them. This looks closer to falling between COIE and Zero Hour, balancing massive alterations with tweaks varying from franchise to franchise (example: Green Lantern largely untouched once again, but Lois is about to be retroactively single.)

I worry about Supergirl, but she'll be back (in shorts apparently.)

Anonymous said...

Supergirl in shorts= 1985 "New Coke"
-Good for the Hype!
-lasts three months in the shelf!!
wanna bet?

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of Superman no longer having the skimpy red panties... as you said, little kids buy these comics. I'm not a fan of switching Supergirl back to short shorts. The Matrix costume is a much better idea.

Anonymous said...

According to Bleeding Cool Comics, Females looking sexy, feminine, and even showing leg skin is not allowed anymore. Looks like more of the hypocrisies that ruined Supergirl... The Green Lantern movie is about how the hero looks with his shirt off, the males have impossible bodies and painted on clothing. The female body... DC considers that pornography. Hypocrites.

ArgoCub said...

I will say what i said on my facebook page

Its sad and pathetic that DC comics has decided to do this,It seems that DC has caught the "Running out of ideas" bug that has plagued Hollywood for a long time.I just hope they don't fuck up Supergirl and Wonder Woman Series,Superman i can care less,Batman,Eh what more can they do with him. I also hope they don't remake Crisis on Infinity Earths and then label it as a remake in order to fit with the rebooting of the DC Comics series

Anonymous said...

I have been reading and enjoying this blog since the month Supergirl #34 came out. Supergirl does not need a reboot, but here's what needs to happen:

1. After the long, long New Krypton crossover, 10 months of Lex Luthor in "Action Comics," and the even-longer Grounded story, Superman urgently needs a revision. Like Anj says, I want him in Metropolis, fighting villains, interacting with his amazing supporting cast that has fallen by the wayside these past few years.

2. Could this mean the end of 20 Bat-family titles a month? This is a great move by DC, if it's true. I miss the days of "Detective Comics" and "Batman" and maybe a cool mini-series, but that was it. I felt so cheated as a reader and consumer to have to purchase 15 titles a month just to understand what was going on.

3. Supergirl should not be rebooted, for the love of Rao. Fine, de-age her a few years if needed, but how would that raise sales? Supergirl needs to be active in the DCU. And if she isn't: oh, well, just wait five years for the next reboot. Sigh.

I just want to add: I am so disappointed that the Legion is once again being rebooted, if it's true. I enjoyed the main book very much. I am really going to miss Power Girl, and a new Birds of Prey without Gail Simone (if it's true) makes me sad. Especially since Jesus Saiz, one of my favorite artists was just announced as the new "regular" artist.

That's just my two cents. A character's history used to count for sonething. Now it's all about a sales gimmick of starting over.

Anonymous said...

This could end me following DC comics. Everything all the characters have gone through since year 1 etc. All those great story-arcs - gone, probably only to be repeated. I mean the DC mythology has NEVER been taken this far before (Superman reiuniting with Krypton, Mutliple Batmans, Bruce having a son and FINALLY being in love with Catwomen). ALSO This version of Kara is easily the best for me, I hope she more or less remains in tact.

Just a quick question - considering the fact that Bruce trained her and bought her apartment for her, that Oracle created her secret identity, Stephs her best friend and she has a close working relationship with Dick and Tim, and now even Damien - Is Supergirl closer to the Bat family than Supermans??? Is that the implication.

valerie21601 said...

I wouldn't mind a partial reboot on Supergirl rewrite the New Krypton story line, to where Kandor is still trapped as a bottle city in Superman's Fortress of Solitude. Where the Legion rescued all of the other bottled cities from Brainiac but left Kandor behind with Superman because history told them it was.

I wouldn't mind Kara's costume being modified to her old Silver Age hot pants or Matrix styled skirt would be fine with just cover her belly up.

Anonymous said...

This seems to be another stunt driven celeb writer masterminded uber-retcon EVENT.
JUST what DC doesn't need IMHO, but as I said somewhere else that if there is a bad decision hidden away somewhere DC won' rest until it is found and implemented.
I don't see how redialing everyone to zero helps storytelling at all, a lot of staple DC characters were in a good place as far as I can see. Moreover I am frankly appalled that Action Comics, the very prime mover of all comics everywhere is being reset to #1. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and spinning in their graves.
As for Supergirl in the words of Winston Churchill, "We must prepare ourselves for very heavy tidings". I am worried that they are gonna make her a 12 year old or something and thus obliterate two good years of strong character development JUST to give Kal El a leg up.
And that is if we get lucky, I am convinced some Junior College drop out with a slick rep is whispering to DC editorial "Can't I puh-leez turn Supergirl e-vil she is just plain superfluous as Kal El's heroic cousin!"
And if it comes to that, I serve fair warning, THIS TIME I'm not going down without some hard truth spoken to power.

John Feer

Gear said...

Yes, the stories must be good.

ANJ, I think most of us aren't in the demographic that DC is trying to capture. I'm not sure DC understands why they aren't getting those younger readers, but that's a marketing and distribution issue I've ranted about before. If they're successful in pulling more of those readers in then comics might survive through another generation. If they fail then this might be one of the last major reboots we get to see.

We've seen various versions of Supergirl in the last 50+ years. The worst possible outcome from this for me is she's no longer part of continuity again, a victim of Flushpoint. The second worst is that she is, but is re-imagined dark and grim, or evil, or just badly. I don't want to lose everything that's been built up around the character, all that cast development and background and growth, since that story feels unfinished. But even more I don't want to lose Kara as a character again. And changing her basic hopeful and heroic nature is losing her, even if the name is the same.

(By the way - I only ordered them that way in deference to other fans. I'd rather not see Kara again than see her MaryMarveled.)

Make her younger, fine. Start over if necessary, I can deal with that and even enjoy it if I have to and it's done well. But not angry, or vengeful, or grimdark, or a villain, or filled with wrath. She's not Bruce Wayne, or Lex. DC, understand and embrace her character. Entertain me, take the money that I'm waving at you. Give me good stories, with a character I can like. I'm pretty easy that way.

Anj said...

Thanks for all the comments. It has been a great discussion here.

There is an opportunity to bring the heroes back to where they need to be ... no more WW pocket timelines, Superman not in metropolis, Bruce leaving Gotham unattended.

It is a chance to keep Supergirl on the right path. But also, sadly, a chance to make her simply disappear.

I will say this, friends of mine have looked at this as a jump-off point, a chance to trim their pull lists to a couple of books or no books.

What DC needs to know is that as fans we have an investment in the characters we love. To erase what has happened over and over makes us wonder why we should care.

Anonymous said...

I also appalled to a lesser extent that Barbara Gordon is resuming the Batgirl cowl. Much as I love the original her "Oracle" persona was a player in the DCU in a way that overshadowed the silver age Batgirl. Besides the character was a nice shout out to the handicapped that said everyone gets to be a super hero.
Gail Simone must be wondering what the point is to bringing her "A-Game" to a character if DC Editorial is gonna fall for every half-@ssed retcon proposal that gets tossed over the transom.

John Feer

Anonymous said...

At the moment I am very worried Supergirl is just going to be gone again. Has it been confirmed she'll be back in some form following this re-start?

Cause if she hasn't to quote Han Solo, "I've got a bad feeling about this..."

Anonymous said...

It's possible that she's the only property with the S shield they are guaranteed to own after the current lawsuits are resolved. That in itself might work in her favor.

Anonymous said...

UPDATEit's's official: Gail Simone IS leaving Birds of Prey to work on Firestorm!!!! Check out the DC blog to find out which artist she's working with. And, yes. I'll miss her on it, too. ^_^. -ealperin

Btw, I had the pleasure of defending her up on tumble when she was getting bashed by someone who posted a picture out-of-context of her superhero parody comic "Welcome to Tranquility". She called me her hero for doing that! SQUEE! ^_^ -ealperin

Anonymous said...

Typo Edit:

UPDATE: It's official!!!!!!: Gail Simone IS leaving Birds of Prey to work on Firestorm!!!! Check out the DC blog to find out which artist she's working with. And, yes. I'll miss her on it, too. ^_^. -ealperin

Btw, I had the pleasure of defending her up on my Tumblr blog when she was getting bashed by someone who posted a picture out-of-context of her superhero parody comic "Welcome to Tranquility". She called me her hero for doing that! SQUEE! ^_^ -ealperin

Anj said...

Nice work ealperin!

I wonder how BoP will work without an Oracle character (assuming the Barbara as Batgirl rumor is true).

I suppose she could be Batgirl and the leader of the group as well.

I don't know if BoP of just Black Canary and Huntress will work. Oracle was the glue of that team.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, Anj. Oracle MADE the Birds of Prey. I'm just on the fence about how she'll do it. Maybe we haven't seen the last of the Brainiac virus that made her walk again briefly. I also wonder how the rest of the Oracle fans will reac lt to her walking again. She's a role model to disabled fans as well. -ealperin

Lance said...

From this story, you can see a picture of the cover from Supergirl #1.

For me personally, there are some elements I like, but others (namely, the odd boots) that I don't. We'll see how DC handles this whole thing. I, for one, am hopeful...