Wednesday Comments – Questions About the Great DC Comics Relaunch

So by now everyone’s heard the news that DC is completely relaunching the DCU with brand new #1 issues in September. It was news that nearly broke the internet in half yesterday with rumor quickly become fact.

I’m happy for a couple reasons. Firstly I’m happy that my theory about the impact of Flashpoint paid off spectacularly. Flashpoint is going to deeply impact the DCU. But I’m also happy that the news broke on a Tuesday that I didn’t have to work. Not only was I able to watch it unfold, but I also have something to write about for this column.

Sweet.

As a comic fan, I’m a bit apprehensive about the news. I like the DCU as it is right now. I’ve been reading it’s adventures for 26 years, so the notion of a reboot makes me anxious. I’m worried that the characters I love (Wally West, Bart Allen, Dick Grayson) will cease to exist, as I’ve known them. And of course I’m worried that the stories that I’ve cherished over the years will be written out of continuity.

But it’s going to happen. It’s a done deal, so that apprehension is wasted energy. I do have some questions though.

How much of a reboot is this? According to Dan DiDio this isn’t a start from the beginning reboot, it’s a point where the “characters are younger.” That seems to rule out the notion of full-grown sidekicks like Donna Troy, Dick Grayson, Wally West and Roy Harper running around. It also seems to sadly jettison Bart Allen into a limbo of sorts given that he’s Barry Allen’s grandson. Nothing makes a character seem older than having a grandson.

Plus Bruce Wayne has had four different Robins (not counting Damian), which doesn’t exactly scream “younger characters.”

Since it won’t be a “Year One” type reboot, perhaps it’ll be around “Year Three to Five?” That certainly gives Dick Grayson time enough to go off on his own and become Nightwing, right?

Which events have happened? Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour, Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis and Blackest Night have all had huge impacts on the DCU. From character deaths to altering the status quo, the ripples of those events are still felt today. Again, you’ve got Wally West, Dick Grayson, Guy Gardner, Captain Atom and Superman, among others, who were all were directly affected by those epics.

For instance if COIE never happened, how did Guy Gardner get his Green Lantern ring?

If I’m putting on my speculation hat, I’m guessing that none of the huge events have happened. But I’d also bet that we’ll see one around the end of the first year.

What’s up with Milestone and Wildstorm? It seems to me that September would be the perfect time to toss Milestone properties (that aren’t Static) into the mix. Could we see Icon or the Blood Syndicate return to prominence?

And what about Wildstorm? They folded up shop late last year, but DC claimed to have plans for them. Is this the plan they were hinting at? Could we see The Authority in the DCU?

What about legacy heroes? I’m talking Jaime Reyes and Renee Montoya who became heroes after the deaths of Ted Kord and Vic Sage, respectively. Or even Superboy who was created when Superman died.

There are a ton of continuity wrinkles that need to be ironed out. I’ve got faith that this will work, mostly because I believe this has been the plan for quite some time now. But I am curious to see how it all gets sorted out.

Why should I keep buying DC titles from now until the last week of August? It’s clear that DC is rebooting the entire line, which I’m taking to mean that current stories are soon to be retconned. So, as a comic fan, why should I continue buying books that I know aren’t going to “matter” by the summers end?

Obviously I’m a collector, so I’m going to keep reading and buying, probably. But isn’t the announcement sort of a slap in the face of fans who are enjoying current titles?

Like I said, I’m apprehensive about things, but they’re going to go ahead if agree with them or not. So there’s no point in wasting energy on it.

I’m sure that this will still be a huge story next week, so I’ll probably be writing about the books that I think are likely to get #1 issues and which ones I think will get the axe.

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