Wednesday, June 1, 2011

DC Comics to Reboot Its Entire Lineup?

The internet has been buzzing over the announcement that DC is rebooting its universe after the Flashpoint series concludes, starting each title over with a new issue #1.

So what do I think?

It's brilliant.


As I wrote in this review of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths series, I thought DC missed a good opportunity to give its universe a fresh start at that time, but they only rebooted certain characters when it would have been better to restart the whole magilla.

Since the '60s, DC has labored under a convoluted and confusing continuity (before that, readers didn't much care about such things). The creation of alternate Earths (Earth-2, Earth-3, etc.) explained away certain problems - but there were always annoying questions that required some contortions to explain.

Who is Donna Troy? How are the Justice Society members able to function today, when they're in their 80s or 90s? Who is Power Girl? And so on.

Of course, others have tried rebooting. Marvel did it with Heroes Reborn, to initial success and then howls from the fans. They were forced to "take it back" a year later.

The beauty is, DC always has that option. If the fans don't buy into it, they can easily revert to the status quo.

My prediction is that the reboot will work initially - for a few months, DC will see stronger sales. After that, it's going to depend on the creative teams. If they can provide strong stories, great art and capture the interest of the fans, it just might succeed.

But if the stories don't deliver, or the characters are changed too much from what the readers expect, or the fans are just overwhelmed by the sheer number of "number ones," then DC may have to kick it in reverse quickly.

I hope it works - comics in general could use some new ideas and new energy - but of course, only time will tell.


Eyz said...

Well said!
And for a change, someone with a positive view on this reboot.

Chuck said...

Eyz, thanks! I've been surprised at the amount of online anger over the reboot. Shouldn't we wait and see how it works before deciding if we hate it or not?