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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34 Comments

  1. BigPapaRama
    June 30, 2011 at 12:29 pm — Reply

    Well, at least THEY seem excited about all of this.

    • Mike5399
      June 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm — Reply

      I don’t know if they are really excited – or if they are then I am even more disgusted than before! I think this is merely a desperate attempt to provide soundbytes to either con or attract readers and cover up stupid butchery of 75 legacy!!.
      It really pissses me off when I hear the Didio and cronies saying that there are lots of characters and titles to attract readers – implying these 52 a re somehow ‘better’ than what we have now!!
      So what about what we have lost, huh?!
      It looks very much that the JSA and all the Golden Age characters/history is to be erased – and if that is the case – then DC has nothing of interest for me.
      I will give up my 50 years of loyalty now!
      Why should I read new c titles that I don’y like or want – especially when I have lost the one’s I liked most?!

      • Jimmy
        June 30, 2011 at 1:04 pm — Reply

        If you don’t like the titles that come out, don’t read them, but it’s hard to develop a reasoned opinion about books that aren’t out yet.

        • StanTheMan23
          June 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm — Reply

          They are gonna SUCK AND U KNOW IT!!!

          • July 1, 2011 at 10:36 am — Reply

            They are gonna SUCK AND U KNOW IT!!!

            Don’t hold your feelings in. It’s not healthy.

            Also: “U” is a letter. “You” is a word.

            That is all.

        • websnap
          June 30, 2011 at 3:14 pm — Reply

          Thank you!!

          Anything that has the potential to fail could suck but how about we deal with that when it happens.

        • Obsidian
          June 30, 2011 at 6:55 pm — Reply

          I firmly agree, Jimmy. If people don’t like what they’re doing, they should walk away from the company. A rant like Mike539’s does nothing except make comic readers look like petulant spoiled children. Instead, those who don’t agree should make a statement with their dollars. If those who believe it’s a ploy are right and this is just a money grab, the fact that people aren’t spending money on their books will speak volumes more than any expulsion of anonymous interweb bile could ever do.

          And frankly, we haven’t “lost” anything. It’s not like the stories that have been written cease to exist. Those who don’t like this initiative can go back and read those stories again. Hell, even those who do should be doing that. Either way, a fresh start may give the company the opportunity to create new and interesting stories without being bogged down by decades of frankly tangled and confusing continuity.

          If you don’t want to get on board, don’t… but everyone who feels slighted by DC, please don’t bother trashing something before anyone has a chance to experience it. You’re not clairvoyant, Mike5399 so you can’t possibly know how bad or good this honestly risky move will be.

          Honestly, I’m not thrilled to bits with the line up we’re being afforded but I’m intrigued by the possibility of genuinely NEW stories. In my opinion, there’s only two ways this can seriously fail:
          1) The stories aren’t good.

          or (and this is the worse of the two in my mind)

          2) The stories are just re-imaginings of older stories.

          Bottom line: give it a chance or walk away. The comic book geek giving an angry, poorly punctuated, self-indulgent, thoughtless rant is really played out and is one of the main reasons many people don’t take comics seriously in the first place.

          /rant.

    • websnap
      June 30, 2011 at 3:12 pm — Reply

      They do, and so am I. Can’t wait for this.

  2. Jimmy
    June 30, 2011 at 1:05 pm — Reply

    I’m on board. Hopefully some good work will come out of this; based on the creative teams, there are quite a few books I’m very excited about. I’m still a bit miffed at how lopsided the JLI cover looks without the mystery woman though.

  3. Ashen
    June 30, 2011 at 2:00 pm — Reply

    Eddie Berganza, Executive Editor, says “Everything is new. Everything is fresh. The origins are fresh.” And yet, in an earlier post, Didio says DC will continue the storylines for Batman, Green Lantern, and the Legion. So now I’m confused.

  4. TaZ
    June 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm — Reply

    Confused….but curious. I avoid any “hype” that Dan “I Want To Be The Man That Stan Was” Didio puts out there. The comfort of DC is that it has such a long history of characters that if this “Flashpoint” relaunch turns into “new Coke” then it won’t be too hard for them to go back to “Coke Classic” if that’s what buyers want.

    However, after reading Justice Society of America #52 today that featured the return of one of my favorite “non-powered” teams, the Challengers of the Unknown and the continued Monument Point storyline I am regretting the “benching” of those characters “for now” even more.

    • June 30, 2011 at 5:16 pm — Reply

      The difference this time that if this fails, and there isn’t some huge influx of new people there won’t be a comics industry to speak of in 10 years. The attrition of the audience is too high with zero signs of a come back.

  5. eric
    June 30, 2011 at 5:01 pm — Reply

    I agree with Mike. I have been a long time reader of DC. I got away after the first Crisis ended but the second Crisis brought me back. I love the history of Dc. I wont do the single issues at all. They may get some of my business in trades, but they have lost a lot of my dedication and money by tossing the baby with the bathwater. Sorry DC you have left a long time reader at the station and pulled off. I dont want to get on your train again. I understand the numbering but saying all this is new. I have a bad taste in my mouth and it wont leave.

  6. brenton8090
    June 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm — Reply

    Guess what guys: It’s not about us. This whole thingis not for comic fans. They can’t spend all their time trying to please us.
    1. No matter what they have tried, the “fanboys” always hate on it.
    2. No matter how much we whine about events, the top selling books are still big event books.
    3. Comic fans aren’t enough to support the market. Sales are in a downward spiral.

    This reboot is all about NEW readers. We may hate it, but my little brother (who doesn’t read comics, but just saw Green Lantern and won’t stop asking me about him) is super excited when I told him about it. Even my dad is a little interested in trying some new Superman out on his iPad. So we can whine all we want: DC really won’t listen much. Because the comic fanbase is impossible to satisfy, we buy whatever they put out regardless of how much we whine, and as a market, we’re diminishing. For comics to succeed in the future, they can’t pander to us anymore. They have to move on to some new readers, who don’t care about “75 years of legacy.”

    • June 30, 2011 at 5:14 pm — Reply

      Exactly. I’ve had people in my life that are not comic people asking me about this thing.
      DC is going for the Blue Ocean user that the Wii targeted so well. And it will be fun to see this blossom!

    • Rob
      July 1, 2011 at 2:27 am — Reply

      Your third point is the most important one and one that so many fans posting on forums simply aren’t understanding. Comic book sales are falling and comic book fans aren’t enough to support what is becoming a shrinking industry. The definition of stupidity when things aren’t working is just to do more of the same. At least DC has the guts to try something different.

      I’m sceptical about some of the new titles but intrigued to see how the books will turn out when they actually arrive.

    • ilad
      July 17, 2011 at 1:49 am — Reply

      Agreed. I happen to be one of those folks. I really wanted to read about all the cool stories from DC but don’t even know how to begin, what to read first, etc. I have asked fans on various forums but they are always busy chatting with other fans and often reply with rude posts and treat us noobs like dirt. We are just trying to learn from the experts i.e the fans. Even DC does not have a reading list. The whole thing just gives me a headache. Especially when i figured out that to read the whole story you have to pick up several issues of different comics . The storylines are all twisted and not straightforward. They keep changing the story. Its like watching “Twin Peaks” or Vanilla Sky or LOST, where the story gets so convoluted and confusing that you want to stab your brain with fork but at least you know where to start.

      I’ve never been a Marvel fan apart from the spiderman and fantastic four but even then i don’t know much beyond the basic storyline. Marvel has done really well introducing me to their characters through tv cartoons, movies and toylines and all working together so it makes sense. This has not lead me to be buy marvel comics but i have bought more toys and have watched their stuff and paid to see their video and cinema releases. The more i learn the more i get excited. I was considering a Marvel comic subscription but i want to read that digitally on all mobile devices but from what i have tested its hard to read on those devices not like a paper comic. Personal i rather have volumes that bind together the whole story. so i can pick it up like book and read and understand the whole story line chronologically. If they did that i would buy these volumes.

      As for the new 52, i’m interested but they said that they are going to stick with some stuff from the past, so that means if i pick this up i’m in for a world of pain as i don’t know these stories lines or what they will be referring to, thus creating confusion for me. So from where i sit this venture is not good for the noob or the fan. Personally i would prefer a complete reboot i.e starting totally fresh i.e #1 means #1 then i could follow chronologically and don’t have to worry about past stuff. But that would be horrible for the fans who invested for years but not great for noobs like me. Right now if they are trying to get me in, i’m like no way i’m wasting my money if i have to rely on past stories. From doing some google research, and i dont know if i understood correctly but i have to read flashpoint 1-3 whatever that is to read the new 52 and ther might be some other comics i need to pick up too…..it’s not clear. So maybe i will try a digital edition to see if its for me first.

      What i do love above the digital venture is that i will never have to worry about them selling out and i can download and read whenever i feel like. The downside is you can’t resell your comic. 50 cents is still 50 cents and adds up (yes i watch the news and know some resell for way more).

      • Traci
        August 3, 2011 at 7:12 pm — Reply

        I agree. I have always been interested in comic book characters, but I’ve never been able to really find a starting point. I absolutely despise starting something in the middle, so I haven’t really read any comic books. With this I know I won’t be starting from the beginning, but it’s close enough for now. I can look for ways to start the stories from their actual beginnings, but I can at least read the stories that they’re putting out. It will give me, the casual/new reader a chance to enjoy this material in ways we were unable to before.

      • websnap
        August 4, 2011 at 10:14 am — Reply

        From everything I’m reading about this (and, unfortunately, its pretty scattered) the #1s ARE the best place to start. Back stories that are making the jump with the characters (i.e.: Batgirl — Oracle, Killing Joke, Birds of Prey) will be recapped and walked through. The goal is that you could pick up, say Swamp Thing #1, and know right from there where the character “is at” and roll forward with the new stories.

  7. June 30, 2011 at 5:12 pm — Reply

    HUGELY excited for this. And even more excited that someone is trying to save this dying industry that I’ve loved for decades. If we lose some fans along the way, so be it.

  8. Capt_Magellan
    June 30, 2011 at 5:45 pm — Reply

    I haven’t been interested in buying DC books since “Identity Crisis” made everything all weird and dark.

    I’m going to be trying out a lot of these for at least the first 6 months.

  9. Nordberg
    June 30, 2011 at 6:42 pm — Reply

    I’ll give them one this with this clip: Grant Morrison makes me want to read Superman.

  10. June 30, 2011 at 7:01 pm — Reply

    Every single time DC decides to do some event or some other big thing, people line up to bitch and whine. I really only have one thing to say to those people:

    Shut the f*** and go the f*** away.

    Seriously. You propel the needless negativity and fanboy elitism right after you’ve criticized others for feeling the exact same way. The 3 Major Spoilerites (as opposed to us minor spoilerites) talked a few weeks ago how comic industries are NOT in the business of selling comics, but rather selling the brand.

    brenton8090 said it best: “It’s not about us. This whole thing is not for comic fans. They can’t spend all their time trying to please us.” It couldn’t be more true. Yes, they may be cutting out some old stories that have been going on since the 30s and 40s. Yes, you may be not able to read any new issues of some books that you’ve liked. But guess what? They aren’t trying to please you.

    The fact of the matter is that the fan boys and gals do not mean as much to DC as the enticing the general masses into reading their stories. If this means they need to make the characters younger or start their stories earlier in their timelines, then they will without any thought to what current continuity is.

    Now, while all that is undebatable and unchangeable, I find it incredibly ridiculous how vehemently opposed to this new relaunchboot some people are. Plain and simple, some of these stories will be awesome and some of these stories will suck butts; much like current DC books do now.

    I for one am excited. Am I excited for every book? No. But that isn’t making me say that this entire relaunchboot is dumbtarded like many OG fanboys are essentially doing.

    I know this is a harsh nerdrage-infused geek rant, but it needed to be said. When I get flamed for being an inconsiderate ass, at least make sure the flames are fanned well.

  11. Obsidian
    June 30, 2011 at 8:11 pm — Reply

    +1

  12. Erik Waddell
    June 30, 2011 at 8:20 pm — Reply

    I gotta say I’m looking forward to this relaunch/reboot. I stopped buying DC not long after final crisis as i found the characters were getting dull and even my more favourite series just were not enjoyable any more. I think the superhero genre is hard to keep fresh and exciting these days, particularly for the big establishments like most of DC’s stable of heroes.

  13. Oldcomicfan
    June 30, 2011 at 9:51 pm — Reply

    It’s not that it’s hard to keep characters fresh and stories exciting. It’s just that it’s hard to do it the way DC and Marvel have been doing it. They’ve got characters that are between four to eight decades old, and you can only tell so many stories about Hero X or Hero Y when you insist of doing things they’ve been done the last fifty plus years. Take a look an manga. Few manga series last more than a few years, but the stories are fresh, the characters grow and change, and few of them follow “formulas”. And for American comics, you only need to take a look at something like “Irredemable” to see what American comics could be like if Marvel and DC mended their ways. I am excited about the DC reboot, even if DC refuses to call it that, but I remain skeptical. If the comic book industry is in decline, Marvel and DC have themselves only to blame. You’d have thought they would have learned after the crash of the comic book industry in the late 80s, where too many “Alternate Foil Enhanced Flood the Market” Books drove Marvel into bankruptcy. Did they learn? No, the big Two just switched to different forms of the same bad ideas. This time is was “Put Wolverine/Batman into every title” or “Make everything a Big Event” trap even though previous big events like “Crisis” and “Secret Wars” weren’t as spectacular as they hoped. So if history tells us anything, it tells us that DC will probably botch this reboot, also. Hey, you know, why don’t you try this idea on for size? How about just telling good stories for a change?

  14. Steamblade
    June 30, 2011 at 10:24 pm — Reply

    My only wish is that DC had literally “gone back in time” with the characters. Have the original Teen Titans as their mentors’ partners again; Dick as Robin, Wally as Kid Flash, Donna as Wonder Girl, etc.. Perhaps even setting it early enough for them to be actually introduced in some of the new series. I think that would have been much more of an iconic take on the universe and removed much of the chaff (i.e. Damian, et al.)

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m on board with what they are doing. I just think they didn’t take it as far as they should have, a total reboot.

    • Obsidian
      June 30, 2011 at 11:53 pm — Reply

      Actually, I REALLy would have enjoyed seeing that. The idea of the kid/teen hero in today’s world would have been a very different thing–and something I’d very much like to explore. Even the teen heroes of today don’t really reflect today’s youth. But I don’t want to see an adult’s interpretation of the mentor/student dynamic… if we tried that, we’d just get more of the same “teen” drama that permeates books like Teen Titans and Young Allies/Avengers

      Steamblade, that’s an awesome idea. I hope someone somewhere listens to you and starts a new book.

    • July 1, 2011 at 12:40 am — Reply

      That would have been an awesome idea. It would have opened the doors for better development of Speedy to Arsenal, Robin to Nightwing (that reveal was bleh…), Kid Flash to Impulse (or maybe Wally, whatever), etc.

      I’m actually looking forward to the 90s Titans Teen Titans though. As much as the costumes are just WAY over the top, it still looks fun, especially Tim staying in his Red Robin getup.

      • Steamblade
        July 1, 2011 at 2:06 am — Reply

        Thanks, guys. The only reason I can figure that they didn’t is because of everything Johns has done with Green Lantern and the multiple “events” that were centered on Hal being negated so quickly after happening wasn’t an option. By the same token, I don’t know why much of Hal’s return and subsequent story arcs couldn’t just be retconned as happening much earlier. Erasing Emerald Twilight, as Superman probably didn’t die now, certainly wouldn’t be that painful for many GL fans (unless they’re Kyle fans, of course.)

        I’m worried, perhaps without cause, that the timeline is a bit slapdash and in DC’s haste to follow the WB edict things aren’t going to line up well when the dust settles. Which, again, leaves my longing for them to have implemented a more nouveau-classic approach to the new DC Universe.

  15. Matthew
    July 1, 2011 at 12:59 am — Reply

    Im really excited about this. im newer to comics than i would guess most of you are. and sometimes i get lost in the tangled mess of histories, deaths, revivals, ect.. i could go out and buy 75 years of trades or read wiki pages for a week to get the stories but there will still be parts of this web that wont make sense to me or that i wont hear about at all. i love DC, i love the heros and what they represent. i choose to buy DC over Marvel time after time. this gives me and people like me the chance to get in at the start. it allows for a DC universe that each book within fits perfectly with the others. it erases all the confusion i have regarding the multiple supermen, alternate batmen and robins, it makes it easy for the casual comic book geek to take those next steps toward full blown nerd. of course i understand how this would upset long time readers, but i hope they will give it a chance. do i expect things to change, sure, but some stories will be retold, and maybe just maybe these character will end up better in the end, with more to explore. i guess, as much as DC presumably loves their characters, they could royally screw things up with this. if this is the case a year or two from now the whole of the dc cast will punch the universe and shatter it back to some previous state. nothing in comics is permanent.

  16. Oldcomicfan
    July 1, 2011 at 4:36 am — Reply

    You know, it just occurred to me, but I wonder how much this “change” has to do with DC losing rights to portions of the Superman legacy during the legal battles with the Siegle/Schuster heirs? Maybe I’m just being cynical but I wonder if DC decided to simply “remove” the portions of the Superman history they lost the rights to, and that inspired the decision to reboot the whole DC universe? Then again, newspaper comics are undergoing a crisis right now, too, with newspapers disappearing and comic strips getting canceled, and artists struggling to find a way to use the internet to find a way to fill the void. So is the book publishing industry. It used to be that a popular author’s books were kept in print for decades – now the print runs are only what the publishers think will sell in a single tax year, and back issues of series are only reprinted if the series becomes a hit. Used to be you could go into any book store and find volumes of old Azimov stories, C. J. Charruth stories, and every single book Louis L’Amour ever wrote, but good luck with that these days. Personally, I believe the comic book industry cut its own throat when they took comic books out of drug stores, grocery stores and gas stations, etc. back in the late 70s and went “specialty shops” only. It’s just taken them this long to finally bleed out. My opinion is, of course, influenced by the fact that I live in a town with no comic shop, the nearest one being 75miles (one way) away. In the old days, you could find comic books any where, and parents could buy them for their kids on impulse, to keep them occupied on long car trips, etc. and kids would become fans of series and try to hunt them down in the stores, or buy subscriptions, etc. Nowadays comics have a diminishing fan-base, and I can’t help but thinking that it is a symptom of switching to the “specialty shop” sales model, where instead of being able to attract new readers who just happen to wander past the comic rack and find something to catch their eye, they are only “preaching to the choir” which has never been profitable a business model for anybody.

    • brenton8090
      July 1, 2011 at 6:08 am — Reply

      True, but maybe the digital release is the new drug store/gas station. Just look at bookstores. The whole ipad thing couldblow up huge for them: if it’s marketed properly. Unfortunately, DC doesn’t have any big movies coming out soon to capitalize on this. Imagine if Green Lantern came out in September, and DC could have a big cardboard cut out in evey theater, that was stocked with little cards with little codes that you could redeem for a free copy of GL #1 on your smartphone or tablet or computer. Just like Starbucks does with their song of the day stuff. (Heck, lets put some Comic Book of the Week cards in Starbucks, too.) You would triple the current comic readership with that one stunt, easy.

      Also, I wonder who owns the rights to Superman’s red underwear. Cause that would explain a lot.

    • July 1, 2011 at 10:33 am — Reply

      You know, it just occurred to me, but I wonder how much this “change” has to do with DC losing rights to portions of the Superman legacy during the legal battles with the Siegle/Schuster heirs?

      You’re not the first person that I’ve heard remark about this, but I’m not sure that it holds up under scrutiny. The things that the Siegel lawsuit specifically touched on were things like the blue costume, the s-shield, Clark Kent, Lois Lane and other elements that still seem to be present in this relaunch… Also: If DC was desperate to not pay Joanne Seigel, you’d think the changes would have come sooner, as the final decision was nearly 4 years ago now.

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