The announcements from DC Comics are far from over, and following yesterday’s Intardwebz cracking announcement that the company is relaunching its titles with new number ones, and new creative teams, many are still shocked, angered, and dismayed over the news.

It’s a new day in America, and here’s what we know so far.

Keep in mind, this is the news we know about as of this writing.  I half expect more news and clarification will come out in about 20 minutes… so consider the following part rumor, part fact, and part wild speculation on our part.

In all of the announcements and stories we’ve seen so far, we have yet to find anyone at DC who says the company is rebooting the DC Universe.  Instead we are simply being told, “We really want to inject new life in our characters and line,” says Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC with (Jim) 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.”

So does this mean, the company is stepping back and simply allowing new creative teams to lend their unique talents to titles, and simply retconning here and there?  One of the masterminds behind this project, Geoff Johns, has been doing this to the DCU for years, without anyone getting too up in arms about everything.

And what about those titles and characters?  We know there are 52 series involved in tis event, which in itself is interesting, considering the last really big DC event I got behind and loved the hell out of was 52 – which if you’ll remember reintroduced the multiverse and opened the door for Flashpoint to begin again.

While we don’t know all the titles and all of the creative teams, we’ve pieced together the following:

Grant Morrison and Superman.  While I totally hated what Morrison did to the Bat-titles when he first came on board, time and distance have given me a better perspective on what he did there, and if he can shake things up with the Superman books, then I say go for it.

Birds of Prey – Unfortunately, Gail Simone won’t be writing the relaunched Birds of Prey, and that appears to be okay by her, according to her Twitter feed yesterday.

“The news is true. I WILL be making two sandwiches starting later today. Fantastic, creative sandwiches! Is that what we’re talking about?.. I am psyched about working with the ingredients in my new sandwiches. A delightful mix of new and old meats and cheeses. Mmm. Old meats!… I don’t know what the other chefs are making, but my understanding is that some favorites will still be on the menu…. Holy crap, that Hawkman sandwich by Phillip Tan looks DELICIOUS! Wow!….It’s time for an adventure. Yes, we are walking the high wire. But I suspect the view will be amazing. Come walk with us.”

When I had the pleasure of meeting Gail at the Kansas City Comic Con a few months ago, she said she was working on an exciting new project with Ethan van Sciver, but couldn’t say anything more…

Of course we already knew Philip Tan and James Robinson were working on a new Hawkman series.  That news was announced last year at the San Diego Comic Con.  And with news that Hawkman is looking to get the movie treatment, now is as good a time as any to bring the winged hero back from the dead/alternate universe/Thannagar/whatever…

Teen Titans #1 will get a new start from Fabian Nicieza.

While the Blackest Night/Brightest Day/War of the Lanterns thing is still having an impact in the Green Lantern titles, it looks like Green Lantern will get the number one treatment as well.  And with a movie coming out, I don’t expect too many drastic changes will occur.

Also, Aquaman by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis shouldn’t be a big surprise, that book was announced a while ago as well.

Since Booster Gold’s renumbering hasn’t been affected by Flashpoint (yet), I’m wondering if the effects of Flashpoint will somehow be a central point in this number relaunching.  A few people have speculated that the better part of the next year will feature everyone trying to reset the status quo…

While it may seem like a rash decision, one that hasn’t been thought out, some of the numbers, characters, and titles that have been tossed around the Intardwebz these last couple of days indicates that DC has been thinking about this for a long, long, time, and they are doing their best not to screw it over in a way that alienates the current reader base.  At least that is what Jim Lee is hoping.

Justice League was my favorite book as a DC Comics fan- Fave era was the 100 pages for.60cents w/art by Dick Dillin. I won’t F*#K this up.

In June DC solicited 58 superhero comics.  52 are getting the relaunch, which means some things are going to change and some things are going to have to stay the same.  What might change?  Rumors are already floating around that the relaunch will undo Superman’s marriage to Lois, which has more than likely put a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of people.

And it is the fan reaction that is most interesting to watch.  Some have already declared this stunt the end of DC Comics, while others are taking the more pragmatic “wait and see approach”.  I say, let’s see what happens. It may certainly tank, but what if it doesn’t? What if this news ushers in a brand new age of comics just like Showcase #4 did way back before most of us were born? DC made the claim that yesterday’s news was historic, and it just may be…

Keep watching the site for more information as it spills out – and believe me, it will spill out over the coming weeks and months leading to the San Diego Comic Con in July.

 

 

 

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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38 Comments

  1. June 1, 2011 at 9:06 am — Reply

    “Excited” is too strong a word to use what I’m feeling about this. “Intrigued” fits it better. I will be watching this with cautious optimism.

  2. TaZ
    June 1, 2011 at 9:10 am — Reply

    “A reboot by any other name would still be as confusing…”

  3. June 1, 2011 at 9:14 am — Reply

    I would classify my present state of mind as “less pessimistic.”

  4. Antonio Sanciolo
    June 1, 2011 at 9:17 am — Reply

    I think this is the right kind of move to shake up the industry. Combine it with their current Day and Date digital comics push, and DC actually seems to be saying “We’re not keeping up with the times; the competition aren’t really keeping up the times either; let’s go all in and if we go down in flames, at least everyone will be watching!”

    Though not a devout DC reader, I support this show of big, brass ball-ness and look forward to reading about a Batman and Superman not written as an exclusive indulgence to 40 year old men.

  5. June 1, 2011 at 9:19 am — Reply

    “… and then Lois Lane wakes up in bed with Patrick Duffy to realize the entire past few years have actually been a bad dream.”

    • J_Michael_T
      June 1, 2011 at 9:51 am — Reply

      Awesome.

  6. June 1, 2011 at 9:28 am — Reply

    I really like the idea of Booster Gold staying outside this Flashpoint and being the only one who remembers the old timeline. And since Batman is the only one who remembers him, there’s going to be some pull back and forth between old and new (Thomas Wayne is obviously going away….)

    That would be cool. BG has been really good, and it would be good to see that happen.

  7. June 1, 2011 at 9:31 am — Reply

    In for a 299 pennies, in for a pound.

    I have changed my POV on this “thing” a few times already. But as of now I say, just pull a Julius Shwartz and take the character concepts, and hard relaunch, no mercy style. You are going to get fan ayre anyway, why not shake the cobwebs off, and start new? Screw the fanbase’s reaction. Just produce GOOD ACCESSABLE comics, and fans will be there. Stories that have a beginning, middle, and end. DC can’t even properly identify their TPB’s and HC’s with numbering info, or what issues they contain, and if it’s shrink wrapped, good luck buddy talking your LCS into breaking into it.

    Just give me good stories, with artists that won’t be late *cough-“Jim Lee”-cough*.

    • Kevin
      June 1, 2011 at 10:48 am — Reply

      Excuse me, but I don’t think they have too many writers who know how to tell “Stories that have a beginning, middle, and end.” The reboot is changing the characters, but what I’ve read so far does not address the type of storytelling.

  8. Scott
    June 1, 2011 at 9:50 am — Reply

    I’d kind of be surprised if they undid the Superman/Lois Lane marriage because a) it would tick people off; and b) it would look like DC was aping Marvel’s Spider-Man/Mary Jane thing.

    • June 1, 2011 at 10:10 am — Reply

      Except then they could tell “new and exciting and different” stories, just like Marvel said when they kicked MJ to the curb.

    • E. Hobbs
      June 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm — Reply

      Only if Superman make a deal with the devil, making him a non-hero like Peter.

      • @lantis
        June 1, 2011 at 9:43 pm — Reply

        Peter didn’t make the deal with Mephisto, MJ did.

        • June 1, 2011 at 9:51 pm — Reply

          So either Peter’s not a hero because he made a deal with the devil, or he’s so weak, cowardly, and indecisive that he waited around the devil until someone made the deal for him. Awesome. Thanks, Marvel.

  9. J_Michael_T
    June 1, 2011 at 9:50 am — Reply

    My theory is that Flashpoint will give DC an opportunity to restart (I don’t want to say “reboot”) the DC Universe at a slightly different point in time than today. The series will culminate with a “flash” and the timeline will restart at a point slightly back in the past from where we are. That allows DC to make some subtle changes to some characters, and allows them to also “erase” some things, like Superman’s marriage, that may not be wanted going forward.

    The comics industry has to deal with the challenge of an aging audience while trying to attract a new audience. It is obviously not very easy… but if age has given me some perspective, it is that DC & Marvel have survived all of the multiple reboots/restarts/crisis/etc and have moved on. At the end of the day, most fans hang in there to see what happens to their characters, and every once in a while things do get better!

    It’s not a bad idea. I mean, it could be worse… like a deal with Mephisto or something …

  10. litanyofthieves
    June 1, 2011 at 10:47 am — Reply

    Dang, and just when I was thinking I should get back into Birds of Prey… well, at least Gail is still writing Secret Six.

  11. Seneca
    June 1, 2011 at 10:48 am — Reply

    You know at some point you have to stand on the bricks that you’ve laid in a foundation, even if you decide the bricks from the last attempt were not quite right and needed to be replaced. If you keep replacing the foundation over and over again no one is going to believe that your actually going to build the house. How hard would it be to create a new foundation and then just build on it with continuity?
    I thought DC had a lot of great things going on for it recently and thier stories had miles to go. Making everyone a twenteen doesn’t interest me any even though I know its a bad attempt to bring in Smallville fans. Smallville fans that don’t buy the comic still won’t buy the comic. Its SuperMAN not SuperYOUNGGUY.

    Not a fan of this move.

  12. June 1, 2011 at 11:21 am — Reply

    I’m detecting a little bit of sarcasm, some pessismism, a hint of optimism and just a little ‘meh’ in the comments so far. Like most things, some will like the changes, some will not. Print media companies need to keep things fresh and interesting to bring in new readers and keep existing readers coming back. They can’t depend on a core group to keep their business viable. If making a big change like this (albeit for the nth time) is what they do, and it works for a few year, then they’ll do it as often as needed.

    Having big events is like having a cliffhanger ending in a TV series. It excites you for what’s coming next and gets your ass back in the seat when the show starts again a few months later. OK so it’s not a perfect analogy but you get the point.

    I’m sure DC fans won’t abandon the company for shaking up the DCU and some might even buy a few extra titles. I’m looking forward to seeing what DC has coming. I get back into comics (I’m over 40) after reading Hush and haven’t looked back. Granted that’s not an event on the same scale but it was an important milestone.

  13. June 1, 2011 at 11:25 am — Reply

    I almost feel like this is what both DC and Marvel should do every ten years. They seem to only have so many stories to tell and aren’t interested in letting their characters change and evolve, so why not do a reboot/restart/relaunch every ten or so years?

    It’s like with DOCTOR WHO right now. If someone’s never seen the show, I’d tell them to start with The Eleventh Hour. It’s a great introduction to the character and the story. If they like it, they can always go back. If they don’t like it, then the show is probably not for them.

  14. ikdks
    June 1, 2011 at 11:52 am — Reply

    “While I totally hated what Morrison did to the Bat-titles when he first came on board, time and distance have given me a better perspective on what he did there…”

    That’s a pretty stand up thing to say. I think many of us in the comic book community would be happier people if we allowed ourselves to change our minds from time to time.

    Thanks for setting a good example.

    • Slappy
      June 2, 2011 at 5:17 pm — Reply

      If they stuck with Morrisons take on the X-Men, I would still be reading it.

  15. brainypirate
    June 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm — Reply

    I’m very happy to see Dick Dillin mentioned by Jim Lee! Dillin’s JLA was the one I grew up with too, and I liked that it had a revolving cast of solid A and B list characters. That would be nice to see again, especially if it means less focus on the “trinity”.

    I wonder how many months Simone has had to craft that response? Is any DC employee really going to say, “this sucks and I hate that I lost my main book”?? (Other than the guy who just bashed Frank Quitely’s All-Star Superman cover?)

    I’m not sure about Booster being unaffected–a couple of announcements have said they were renumbering the ENTIRE line (including Action!), but they could have simply been generalizing.

    As for Lois and Clark, wasn’t there an announcement that Superman and Wonder Woman might have a hook-up. Of course, that could be something that is now revealed as having happened “in the past”, before he married Lois.

  16. ed
    June 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm — Reply

    Didn’t i read all this in Heroes Reborn? We all know how well that worked.

    • Slappy
      June 2, 2011 at 5:19 pm — Reply

      I liked That series, except for the RL crap.

  17. June 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm — Reply

    For those who are nay-saying this new initiative, why exactly are you so against the change? What they’re describing is honestly not much more than what happened at the end of Infinite Crisis. Sure, things stayed mostly the same, but DC took it as a chance to rewrite many of the backstories of their characters.

    I for one will be excited. This whole event will only be what we let it. If too many people act like the stereotypical nerds and geeks that give so many comic book fans, roleplayers, con-goers, etc. a bad name then of course it’ll be crap.

    Another thing to consider is the new push for digital comics. With these books being more accessible to people through all their different digital devices, why would DC choose to isolate their new readerbase by forcing them to go through countless back issues of continuity?

    It’s a new age for comics, and I think DC has their head on straight when it comes down to how to best take advantage of all they have available. Just my .02$.

    • GrandHarrier
      June 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm — Reply

      You just had a 24 issue run of Generation Lost finish with the “BIG REVEAL” being the reformation of Justice League International… oh, except that continuity is being rewritten so none of that matters in the slightest. I feel hoodwinked and like DC basically stole $73.76 from me. Not even 3 months after it finishes and it means NOTHING.

      • June 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm — Reply

        Yeah, I was thinking about Paul Cornell’s run on Superman and how cool it could have been if Lex chose differently. If he chose to give up his fight against Superman, what would it have mattered come this fall? It could have been a cool finale for his character.

      • Jimmy
        June 3, 2011 at 12:28 pm — Reply

        Except continuity ISN’T just being lopped off whole-sale; many of the major books that were announced as “coming soon” (ie. Batwoman, Hawkman, Justice League International) ARE coming out as part of the 52 relaunches! DC didn’t lie to you.

        Did you not enjoy reading Generation Lost? If so, then you shouldn’t have kept reading it. DC didn’t steal a penny from you; they told a fantastic, well-written story that was (in my opinion) a very enjoyable read. Then they said they’re bringing back the JLI. While I would’ve enjoyed seeing the JLI reformed within present continuity with all the ramifications that would’ve had, having the JLI reformed in a continuity reboot is going to accomplish most of if not all the same things!

        If you’re only buying comic books so that you can be in the know about what’s happening in stories, then you’re missing the entire point of comic books–they are fun stories that are meant to be read and enjoyed.

        (Note: While, upon re-reading, my tone in this seems a bit on the heavy-handed / argumentative side, I’m not really trying to yell at you or anything; I just think this is a problem with today’s comic readership)

  18. Matt
    June 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm — Reply

    Upon hearing the news my gut reaction was essentially “screw this”. I was really bothered by the whole MEGA-EVENT feel I got from hearing of 52 all new #1 issues …. but after considering the move I gotta say if you’re going to do something to change your universe forever why not just start over? If ever other event your company has had in the last years has been designed to retcon character histories or remove the circumstances from other events … well, just clean the slate. I think the biggest factor in the success/failure of the relaunch is going to be catching new readers. And I don’t mean just getting more comic book guys to buy DC … I mean really pulling new people into the universe – people that have never read comics or are only vaguely familiar with them from film/tv properties. The friends I have who are not comic book readers were actually pretty excited by this news, seeing it as a place they could start their reading … but would they have really heard about this unless I told them? If DC can step up their game and really pull in those new readers this could be a home run.

  19. Woolf Man
    June 1, 2011 at 5:13 pm — Reply

    Being a person who is just starting to get into comics I like the idea of starting back at square one with the stories. With my personality I wasn’t okay with jumping into the middle of a story line, knowing that I wouldn’t understand the depth of the story without going back 5-10 years and reading issues up till this point. When I did start reading comics a few months ago, I went back to the reboot of Green Lantern instead of jumping into the middle of the many different stories going on now. However, I do understand why those who have been reading for a while would be upset and skeptical of this restarting. As for me, I will read Flashpoint this summer and grab the new titles when they arrive this fall.

  20. Kmack
    June 1, 2011 at 10:03 pm — Reply

    Change is good. Why must we look at this as a bad thing. I give D.C. Major kudos for stepping up to the digital comics plate and licking it clean. The goal here too is business, and to get your medium in front of as many people as you can. This to me better force the hands of the other companies to look hard at their digital marketing. If it accomplishes that, it is revolutionary. Can it fail? Sure. Anything can on any given day. But they are trying, and not stuck in the status quo. How do you know if you do not try? This ain’t the atomic bomb killing off millions of peeps in a major US city! Besides, if it does not, they can just Rey on it all out with another event. Embrace change :)

  21. Oldcomicfan
    June 1, 2011 at 11:18 pm — Reply

    Change isn’t a bad thing. That said, I don’t know why, when Superman went basically unchanged from the 1930’s to the 1970s and The Bat-Man from the 1940s to the 1970s we suddenly “need” to have a reboot every ten years. What always seems to happen when they reboot is that they really don’t. Beginning with “Crisis on Infinite Earths” for DC and “Secret Wars” for Marvel, the publishers attempted to restart their franchises, streamlining their books and bringing them up-to-date for modern audiences but it always seems like not everybody gets the memo about this. So while one version of Flash is dead in “Crisis” to be replaced by the original version, a not-dead version of the Flash is still featured in his own comic. And while Peter Parkers costume is destroyed and replaced by a black symbiant in Secret Wars, in one or two of the spider books, published concurrently, he’s swinging around the city in his red costume but in his other books he’s wearing black. And these “permanent, universe altering changes” only seemed to last until some other writer or editor comes onto a title and decides he’d rather do a Hawkman with a bird’s head or Aquaman with a skeletal hand, or make Peter Parker a Clone, etc. etc., etc. My final response is “Ho Hum”. It’s funny how the in Manga, the artists and writers are able to tell stories where the characters grow, go though permanent life changes, get married, have kids, die for real, etc. but American publishers can’t seem to figure out how to do it. I had high hopes, at the start of the Indie Age of Comics, in the early 80s, that we’d finally get some really great comics. American Flagg, The Badger, Captain Quick and a Foozle, Groo the Wanderer, the Savage Dragon and uncounted other titles promised great things. But then publishers vanished, writers and artists got bored with their work, others got hired up by the Big Two and some few got so caught up in their own fame that they forgot that comic books were supposed to be about the stories and not a form of ego masturbation (I quit buying The Savage Dragon when Eric Larson’s letter pages and commentaries started outnumbering the pages of art and story). About the only indies to survive that era are Groo and Usagi Yojimbo – or at least they are the only ones left that are still worth reading, in my opinion. So, in closing, I’ve seen the DCU and Marvel Universes rebooted so often now I sometimes wonder if I’m stuck listening to the “Boot to the Head” song. If they tell good stories and have good art, I’m there. But if they’re just going to churn out the same old drek with the word “new” on the cover and lower numbers in the corner, meh. I got stung by that trick too many times in the past. I’ll just go read a good book instead.

  22. Jackalope
    June 2, 2011 at 8:29 am — Reply

    It’s a bit worrying since I’m a fairly new DC reader. I only get three books (Power Girl, Zatanna and Batgirl) and occasionally some others. PG and Zatanna since #1 and Batgirl since #15. It’s taken me a little bit of time to get my head around all the crisis stuff and then 52 so to hear it’s all changing again is annoying. That some titles won’t be returning is also a concern. Although they don’t want to upset older fans and also gain new fans, more recent readers like me may feel left out in the cold, especially if the book we’re only just falling in love with suddenly ceases for no other reason than some other unrelated books got messed up due to so many past big events.

  23. Nordberg
    June 2, 2011 at 11:07 am — Reply

    Based on the statements we’ve heard coming out of DC so far, it seems to me that this is going to be less of a reboot and more of a redesign. This won’t be “Ultimate DC” but more like the changes we saw in the DCU after COIE. Basically “unless we tell you otherwise, it’s still the same as you remember. We’ll let you know what has changed as it pops up” (ie: Batman and Superman have been around for a while, but Wonder Woman is a new hero no longer a founding member of the Justice League in the Post-Crisis DCU). Hopefully editorial can keep the creators on the same page this time around to avoid any Hawkman-style issues.

    That being said, I’m not necessarily opposed to a “reboot.” Last time I checked, the first example of a newly-rebooted “younger and more easily accessible” DCU came out a few months ago. And JMS’ “Superman: Earth One” wasn’t actually too bad, IMO. I wouldn’t mind a few years of “Earth One” stories as the mainstream. Maybe with Booster popping in every now and then to remind us that this is the multiverse and that the stories that we’ve been reading for years (good and bad) are still out there, but we’re just not seeing them right now.

  24. BlackEmerald
    June 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm — Reply

    You know, it took me a day or two to wrap my head around this, and why DC is chancing just a drastic reboot:

    Because it’s worked before. And recently. The problem is, it hasn’t been within the comics world.

    I believe they’re looking at the timeline-skewed, yet successful reboot of the “Star Trek” universe. I mean, it wasn’t perfect, but Paramount used a time-hopping Spock from The Original Series to completely relaunch a fresh, younger spin.

    So I can see them trying this with staid, 80-year-old characters and seeing if they can sweep in with a younger, fresher DC that fans of the WB and CW can get with. (They did love Smallville, after all.) I hope they can pull it off.

    Still, for me, I’ll pass. Just one too many eviscerations of comic history for me.

  25. Christina Anderson
    June 3, 2011 at 5:49 pm — Reply

    I agree. change is good. Hopefully with this the company may not have the crazy continuity like after BOTH Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis. I still want to know what the HELL is going on with
    Legion of Superheroes. I want to wait and see. (But if the continuity IS changed, just remember the Multiverse exists. perhaps your favorite story exists on some other earth.)

  26. Noobian74
    June 6, 2011 at 9:05 am — Reply

    Sadly, change is the only constant. Will check out the books in the store. If worth the price, fine. If not, money saved.

  27. joechill
    June 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm — Reply

    As a Superman fan, I’m torn. Is this motivated by the Siegal decision? (Yes, I believe the corp execs are that big of d–ks.) On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine anything worse than the Superman continuity of the last ten years. As many people have commented around the web, Superman’s problem is not the red underwear but terrible stories.

    But it’s bad business to have Jim Lee redesign all the costumes since no one is in a position to tell him his ideas suck. He’s in editorial now. He should vet ideas.

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