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June 1, 2011


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It's not as if completely rebooting the DCU hasn't happened before. To be honest, I think trying to maintain continuity over thirty or forty or more years is a creative straightjacket that DC would do well to get rid of permanently, as a matter of policy. We need to think of our superhero stories as legends rather than continuities. Legends can be reshaped and retold over and over again, changing each time as the teller and the listeners change.

So for my money, I think DC should establish a policy that every 'continuity' gets 15 years (10 would be even better). After that, there should be mandatory rebooting, with writers and artists moving to new projects where they get to breathe new life into something, create something fresh.

They should certainly take the core of what makes each character or franchise as their starting place, but if Elseworlds and the Ultimates line have taught us anything its that giving creators plenty of room to flesh out our heroes around that core leads to much more vivid and evocative storytelling than the inevitably disappointing attempts to do course corrections amid the quagmire of Lost-like plots and events that build up over the years.

(Not to mention that its a good idea from a publishing standpoint. You've got clear, regular points of entry; a strong incentive for those who jump in the middle to buy back-issues beginning at the last reboot; and aside from publishing back issues in TP form a few issues at a time, at the end of a run you can market a multi-volume maxi-book suited for the shelves of the true connoisseurs. Since the beginning and end dates are sharply defined from the start, a 10-year maxi-book that maintains a truly consistent continuity and one-ups the graphic novel could be thought of as a goal for each full run.)

L G Boex

DC: by the time they're done retelling the character's updated origins story, they reboot the universe, and here-we-go-again with another updated origins story

Mark D. White

Thanks for the comments - Norman, I see your points, but I tend to look at it differently. DC has never gone through such a radical reboot (to the extent of de-aging its characters) - even the original Crisis and then Zero Hour kept most of DC history intact while consolidating the multiverse and the timeline (respectively). The post-Crisis revamps of Superman and Wonder Woman are more isolated (thought major) examples, but only the latter was a direct result of COIE. Marvel's "Heroes Reborn" debacle was the closest comparison, and even that didn't cover the entire Marvel line--and happily it was reversed a year later (we can hope for the same with DC now!).

I appreciate what you say about legends, and that the broad outlines of the characters is what matters the most (rocket from Krypton, parents killed in Crime Alley, etc.). Even though I am a continuity nut, I don't mind when creators sweep some inconvenient details under the rug in the interest of telling good stories--or leaving continuity altogether, such as the alternate lines like Elseworld--but I don't think that necessitates a radical reboot like DC is planning.

And "jumping on" is always a problem with serial fiction, but I tend to think that problem is overestimated. While I would welcome shorter story arcs and more "done-in-ones" (such as Paul Dini's One Year Later Detective Comics stories), even the standard, trade-ready six-issue arcs, embedded in continuity, are not that hard to catch up with, especially with resources like Wikipedia and GCD at your fingertips. (Granted, you can argue that one shouldn't have to do research to read a comic book, but again, that's true of any serial fiction.)


I have to admit that I have not been happy with the idea of DC's concept of as another said "tossing the baby out with the bathwater." Yet I can and do understand the idea of trying to grab at new readers and I believe the main people at DC expect to gain a younger generation of readers but I expect that what they will find out is with the cost of comics what they are today along with cost of everything else. Not only will they be lossing a majority of thier older readers (those who really can afford to buy comics today) and find that they didn't really add that many if any younger readers.
Now if they were to do something along the idea of pulling thier main universe (earth-0/New earth) more into what the original earth-1 was like before the original Crisis I'd expect that a lot of the older readers would continue buying comics.


I am a younger reader of DC (17 yrs old, :D). Just got into it the past year or two.

The DC reboot is a real turn off. There are somethings that I understand and others that don't. Theyre changing harley's back story and costume. She hasnt even met the Joker yet, which is stupid because he made her.

They're making Nighwing red. Red. And Spuerboys getting a tat. Most of the costume designs suck (excepts Red Hood and Red Robin, though Tims is still gay, it has feathers.

Theres no Lois Lane. Or Stephanie. Or Cassandra.

Theyre killing Wally before he even becomes Flash.

Before they had a varation on characters and their personalities, now it feels like theyre all the same, just with differant costumes. Theyre all getting the whole angsty loner persona, which isnt awesome.

They released a version of Young Justice on cartoon network which caused a huge invasion of fans (a whole bunch of people I knew who were into anime liked it and got into DC because of it), but it didnt ruin canon. I think if it was more along the lines of another earth or something like that itd be ok.

I think alot of the original creators would be very disappointed, especially Supermans.

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