Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Big News

So, DC's renumbering all of their titles at #1 post-Flashpoint, and doing a firm reboot of the universe, to make the characters younger and give them snazzy new Jim Lee-designed costume.

Says my snarkiest side: "Because it worked so well in 'Heroes Reborn'."

The less snarky side of me feels at once cynical and jilted by this. Sources apparently decline to comment on how this will affect Grant Morrison's Batman epic, which has already kind of been off in its own corner of things. As someone who's been buying status quo shake-up books like those involved in "War of the Green Lanterns," I have to wonder why anyone would care. For that matter, what of the people who stuck around through "Brightest Day"? I somehow doubt that Johns is going to throw his own story there under the bus, but I also wonder how keeping Swamp Thing's already-complicated backstory--plus the additional complications of tying him in with the expanded Lanternverse--isn't a shot in the foot to the stated goal of "mak[ing] characters more identifiable and accessible."

On one hand, I'm impressed that DC would do something this ballsy; gaining new readers means shaking things up and possibly stepping on some of the long-term fans' toes, and this genre is in desperate need of new readers. On the other hand, this isn't going to last. Marvel's learned that the flipside to a new #1 is that you jettison the history and gravitas of a large number (and conversely, that large numbers--even without reason--have some kind of appeal), and Detective Comics is rapidly approaching that #900 milestone that Action Comics just hit, meaning there will be, at most, 19 months of this "renumbering" nonsense (Detective #881 ships in August) before we see some high numbers again.

The costumes make me shake my head. There's only four so far, but it seems like post-Flashpoint DC is "the universe where everyone has high collars." Are Nehru jackets to become the '10s version of the '90s leather jackets? Only time will tell. Lee has 'streamlined' Superman's S-shield the way he did for "For Tomorrow," basically meaning "it's slightly more angular and sharp in places." That'll be great for any comic he's drawing, but I suspect that most other artists will stick closer to the version that's copyrighted. It also seems that he's jettisoned the red underpants, which I think is not merely totally unnecessary, but also a bad move from a design perspective, since it leaves an awful lot of unbroken blue in that costume. But I'm not an artist, and Jim Lee is, so I could be totally off-base.

If nothing else, this might get me to check out the Geoff Johns JLA; I liked the book the last time he wrote it, for all three issues or whatever. I hope this works out super-awesome for DC and that it nets them bajillions of new readers. And I hope they use this opportunity to get some really top-notch creators on their top-notch characters (Superman, Wonder Woman), and give some kind of spotlight to the second- and third-tier.

Taking the opportunity to un-kill Ryan Choi would be great too.

1 comment :

Maestro said...

I just take the best Superman stories from Byrne,Yu,any prequel stories and Smallville and make that a definitive version. Every Year One version of Superman has minuses to it but I admit to liking John Byrne's "World of Krypton" the most.