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Wednesday, June 01, 2011 

DC relaunching and rebooting everything

Their latest publicity stunt is to relaunch just about everything with a new No.1 issue, probably including Superman's and Batman's series, and not only that, it looks like they're rebooting continuity too:
Starting this summer, the publisher will re-number its entire DC Universe of titles, revamping characters such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and others from its 76-year history for a more modern and diverse 21st century.
But what do they mean by "diverse"? Will it mean more respect for conservatives? Unfortunately, there's every chance it'd only be more cliches involving race, gays and lesbians, and other things that got tired years before, yet no chance they'd ever come up with a variation on Mannix with an Armenian background to add to the cast of characters.
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.

Johns promises a focus on the interpersonal relationships within DC's trademark superteam. "What's the human aspect behind all these costumes? That's what I wanted to explore," he says.
Just like he allegedly did in the Flash years ago. That the same people minding the store are behind this too should tell that there's little chance this'll be worth our money either.
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.

"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."
That's pretty rich coming from him. Speaking of which, interesting that DiDio still gives the interviews for the press, yet Bob Harras doesn't figure much into the picture despite supposedly being hired as EIC a year ago.

And what do they mean by stories being told for today's audience? I sadly doubt they'll be telling about the Justice League going to battle with allusions to terrorists, and I won't be surprised if overly liberal bias will sink into their storytelling too. (By the way, notice how Justice League seems to be without America in its title this time? Does that suggest political correctness at work?)

There may be some good news in this: if they abandon the setups used for Identity Crisis and Cry for Justice, for example. But the bad part is that, with Johns at the helm of some of this, there's not much chance it won't lead to a new dark-laden background for the cast, done only for the sake of darkness and violence.

And that they may be relaunching their whole universe - a scenario that brings to mind Heroes Reborn from 1997 - just shows they don't know what else to do with their cast. Besides, it's clear this isn't driven by sincere wish to offer enjoyable storytelling, but rather, sales without true meaning.

Interestingly though:
In an even more important move in the competitive comics industry, DC is making all of the re-numbered titles available digitally via apps and a DC website the same day they arrive in comic shops. It marks the first time that a major comics publisher has done so with its popular superhero titles.
Umm, didn't Marvel already do something like that with their own output? And it doesn't make what they're selling any more worth it. Not with DiDio and Quesada pulling the strings behind the scenes.

Here's another USA Today article where DiDio said:
"If we can convince the people here we're doing something brand-new and fresh, we have a good chance to really get the people outside on board," DiDio says.
If they didn't succeed for long before, do they really think it's going to work out now? My estimation is that this could end up the same way as the Wildstorm line: a few years ago, they rebooted it, but it lost interest - and sales - faster than you could fry an egg. (Example: Gen13, which, upon restarting, may have taken to insulting some of the costumes featured in the original run; most likely a very bad move.) Finally, the line was discontinued altogether. I sadly guess the same will eventually happen with DC mainstream.
DC will re-number its entire line of superhero titles, beginning with all-new No. 1 issues starting Aug. 31 — 52 in all, including a new Justice League No. 1. Fittingly, the publisher put its creative superteam on its trademark superhero superteam.
Translation: nobody else can serve as good a sales draw as they can, and even that's becoming uncertain.
Guided by writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee, Justice League will begin its first year with an updated secret origin reflecting DC's new initiative, giving the group a reason for coming together that it lacked when the league first appeared in 1960. And while it will ultimately boast 14 members, at its core will be DC's A-list do-gooders: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman.
Huh? I thought the reason they teamed up back in the Silver Age was in order to battle Starro the Conqueror. He was the menace that first brought them together for battle, and what led them to form a team. How typical of them to obscure the old in favor of the new. I guess they don't think much of Gardner Fox either, do they?
"You're trying to have your cake and eat it, too," Lee says. "You're trying to keep the iconic elements there, but at the same time freshen up the look so that people are intrigued by what they're seeing and hopefully come and sample the wares."
Well that's certainly admitting something: they're only being self-serving with this reboot.
The recent emphasis on diverse characters such as lesbian superheroine Batwoman, Hispanic hero Blue Beetle and African-American adventurer Cyborg (who will be a core member of Johns and Lee's new Justice League) also will continue.
Well that pretty much answers my question of just what kind of "diversity" they're going for, which is not nationality or being descended from Armenians, like Mike Connors and Mannix are. But what really stuns me here is how they're taking Cyborg and apparently reworking him as a Justice League member instead of a Titan. I think he fits better in the Titans, and certainly wouldn't expect him to be written well under Johns.

If there really needs to be a reboot, it should only be a decade's worth of storytelling, because it was at the turn of the century that they really began taking one for the worst. Instead, they're taking more divisive steps and tossing out tons of continuity that could only alienate more fans as they keep on with their "teflon tactics".

Now that they're doing this, don't be surprised if Marvel soon follows suit, all in order to further justify their erasure of the Spider-Marriage, among other bad moves they made.

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Oh goody

It's like every bad idea of the past decade rolled into one.

The readers didn't like them recasting a lot of the classic heroes as minorities? Now they look to be doubling down. Wonder if they'll bring back the new Atom from the dead.

The retconning of Flash and Wonder Woman's backstories? Hey, let's do that to everyone!

Didn't they used to be the Justice League of... something or the other? Oh, well. Not important.

The frequent use of Johns to start a title, then jump off? Let's do that on a dozen or so titles - at once!

And so on. I'd expect these 52 titles to be down to 15 or so in 6 months. Assuming almost all of them aren't miniseriess.

Flash is gonna change his name to Chaz now. I just know it.

I suddenly want to listen to the Who's "Don't Get Fooled Again," or whatever the song title is.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

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