As seen here at MajorSpoilers, DC is making changes or updates to their history/continuity. I’m conflicted about whether this will be a good thing or not.

WHAT’S HAPPENING?

DC, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Generation, DCU, Lucius Fox, King Faraday, Marvel, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Rob Liefeld, Man of Steel, House of Ideas, Next Generation, Dick Grayson, Starfire, Their new event called Generation (insert issue number here) will outline the history of the DCU. Here’s an important paragraph from Generation One’s description:

In May, DC launches a series of special one-shots that detail the history of the DC Universe starting with the debut of Wonder Woman, DC’s first superhero, and leading all the way to a bold new era unlike anything you’ve seen before.

This all begins on Free Comic Book Day this year with Generation Zero and is followed by the aforementioned Generation One and several other issues.

Here’s one more bit of necessary info from the same description:

The secret history of the DC Universe unfolds before us as seen through the eyes of Wonder Woman, Lucius Fox, King Faraday, and more!

HERE WE GO AGAIN

DC, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Generation, DCU, Lucius Fox, King Faraday, Marvel, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Rob Liefeld, Man of Steel, House of Ideas, Next Generation, Dick Grayson, Starfire, I’m a big DC fan, but every so often they do something that honestly baffles me. We’ve explored DC’s history before, including a series literally called The History of the DC Universe. It came out after Crisis on Infinite Earths, and it updated readers as to what were the results of that event.

George Perez provided the absolutely stunning artwork in that series, as he always does. It functioned as a guidebook for readers new and old.

Granted, that was years ago, and DC might want to update their history to reflect modern sensibilities and changes that have happened over time.

But I’m not sure all of them are going to be wise choices. For instance…

WHY CHANGE THE FIRST HERO?

DC, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Generation, DCU, Lucius Fox, King Faraday, Marvel, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Rob Liefeld, Man of Steel, House of Ideas, Next Generation, Dick Grayson, Starfire, It’s no secret, in fact they’ve been promoting it extensively, that the initial character who ushers in an “age of heroes” is being changed from Superman to Wonder Woman.

I just have to ask, Why?

I get that we’ve had decades of stories in a universe founded around the Man of Steel. I also understand that they may want to tell new tales from a different perspective after all this time. I also realize that the industry is attempting to attract female readers, something I heartily applaud.

I know that DC has to look to the future, and a lot of us fans who have been reading their product for decades are simply not going to be the main target in their attempts to move forward. They have to attract new audiences or die. As much as we’d love to stick around as long as we can, we’ll only be buying their books for a much more limited time than others around us. That’s understood.

I guess my biggest concern is that the DCU is shifting from being centered around a very moral character to one who has been portrayed as a barbarian at times, at the very least. The gender shift isn’t a concern, really. It just feels like we’re going to lose something in the new translation.

I’m concerned because I remember Marvel’s attempt to “upgrade” their books several years back. Rob Liefeld and company tried to “Image-ize” the House of Ideas. That lasted maybe a year or two, maybe. Then we went back to reality. As much as I loved Crisis and the many events that have promised “universe-shattering” happenings, that’s not why I buy comics.

DC has been struggling with what some fans have seen as a darker turn. The popularity of Batman as a grim character seems to have influenced others because, if he goes over well as a sullen, darker person, maybe others will catch on more if they follow suit.

My problem with this is that I want them to let Batman be Batman, and let others be their own selves. I’d rather see variety in my reading. Comics used to sell in the millions back in the day, and I think one of the reasons they don’t sell as well as that is because we’ve been trying to appeal to adult comics fans as well as those younger readers with less experience in the world.

Back when the New 52 started, Catwoman and Batman, well, “enjoyed themselves” on a rooftop. Famously, many parents pointed to that sequence as why kids shouldn’t be reading comics any longer.

I’m sure that took place to illustrate a connection between the two characters. It’s not the first time that happened. I remember Dick Grayson and Starfire obviously getting back to real life after they shared intimate moments.

The point is, do comics have to be dark or more “adult” to be successful? In my opinion, the answer is clearly no.

MAYBE IT’LL BE A GOOD THING

DC, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Generation, DCU, Lucius Fox, King Faraday, Marvel, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Rob Liefeld, Man of Steel, House of Ideas, Next Generation, Dick Grayson, Starfire, I always like to give creators I trust the benefit of the doubt when they go places we haven’t been before. For instance, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo explored parts of Batman’s origin I didn’t expect, and I enjoyed that immensely.

So, with Mr. Snyder and many other creators who tell stories I seek out behind this sea change, I’m hopeful this will help propel DC back to numbers at least close to Marvel’s sales figures.

And the stories could be great. After all, that’s what matters most to me. The art can sparkle, and the books can be collectible, but if I can’t dive into what I’m reading and live there for just a few minutes, then what’s the point? I could buy posters and hang them on my walls, but it’s the storytelling that keeps me coming back to my local comics shop each week.

DC has set the bar high by promising a “bold new era unlike anything you’ve seen before” of comics. I hope they accomplish that, so I’ll be buying their “Next Generation” comics to find out.

What do you think? Will you be buying DC’s Generation comics? If not, what would they need to do to attract you? Please share your thoughts in the space below!


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About Author

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

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