Blog Article

Reboot Blues

June 1, 2011

Today it was announced that following the ‘Flashpoint’ crossover event that DC will be completely rebooting their continuity. That means they are ditching 75 plus years of stories and starting from scratch with their characters.  While this concept isn’t entirely new it has never been done to this extent before.  Both DC and Marvel have published stories outside the main continuity of their shared universe, a conceit that allows for the freedom to go anywhere with a story.  They have also made a couple of attempts to streamline their continuity with “The Crisis on Infinite Earths’, “Zero Hour” and “Infinite Crisis”.  But never before have they decided to just start the entire story from scratch, with every character and over 50 new #1 issues.  It could work. But I admit the idea has made me agitated.  I mean, if you are starting the whole thing from scratch then why buy the current ‘Flashpoint’ crossover?  Nothing that happens there will have any bearing on the ongoing story.  And this takes the punch out of the big changes DC has made.  If they are starting over then it no longer matters that Lois Lane died or that Batman had a son who is now Robin or that Blackest Night saw the return of zombified deceased heroes or that Alec Holland is the new White Lantern or Dick Grayson is Batman. None of it matters.  All the good done building the Green Lantern and Batman universes is down the drain. Who knows what characters will be lost? I love Stephanie Brown (the former Spoiler) as Batgirl. I like Bart Allen as Kid Flash.  I like the cloned Superboy.  But these are characters steeped in backstory.  If they reboot will they remain?  Can you tell the story of Stephanie Brown with her as Spoiler and with the ‘War Games’ arc? Can you tell the Superboy story without the death and rebirth of Superman?

The official line is that the reboot will serve as a jumping on point for new readers and make the characters more accessible to the modern world.  I don’t know how they intend to do this. Maybe Green Lantern can update his Facebook status with his power ring.  Maybe the Reverse Flash will get his powers from human growth hormone.

So far only one piece of good news has trickled out of this potentially devastating announcement. The first title to launch will be Justice League #1 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. This is good news. I love Jim Lee’s take on DC characters so much that I would buy a diaper if he drew Harley Quinn on it.