Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The DC Universe reboot

So the big news in the comic book world yesterday was the DC comics was 1) rebooting all its books at #1, and 2) going to make all of its comic books available for digital download the same day it becomes available in print.

I know this makes me a blasphemer among comic nerds, but I've thought for ages that characters should be rebooted every ten or twenty years. Let me explain why...

About two years ago in the world of Batman, Bruce Wayne was presumed dead, and the new Batman became Dick Grayson (the former Robin). His chief rival was Red Hood, aka Jason Todd... the SECOND former Robin, who was presumed dead and recently returned with huge grudge. So the original Robin, now Batman, selected Bruce Wayne's son, Damian, to become the new (fifth) Robin. Tim Drake (the third Robin) was miffed to no longer be part of the dynamic duo, so he redubbed himself Red Robin, and went off in search for Bruce Wayne whom he had a hunch was still alive. Did I leave a Robin out? Oh, yeah... Stephanie Brown.. briefly the fourth Robin before being killed in action... but she got better and is now operating as Batgirl.

Yes, Gotham City has a Robin infestation. Get my pellet gun.

I truly don't know what the state of Gotham City is now, but the reality is that the books I got my hands on were actually pretty good. The team of Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne was pretty interesting to me, because I liked the reverse dynamic of Robin being the darker one of the pair, being that Damian was raised to be an assassin, and Batman trying to lighten the kid up. 

The point that I've spent way too long getting to is that continuity just gets too convoluted as time goes on. I think it does more to hinder storytelling that help it. Complete reboot sits better with me than retcon, which has turned the history of many DC characters into an absurd mess. Dead characters can stay dead, at least until the next reboot. And less baggage in general if, say, I just saw the Green Lantern movie and want to pick up a book for the first time.

And a new digital era is a great way to do it. The biggest reason I don't more consistently follow comics is how expensive they've gotten.... they haven't announced pricing yet, but I'm hopeful that it will be something like a dollar a book. Or let me subscribe to the entire line for $20. And maybe books that don't do enough sales to stay in print can still continue digitally.

On the other hand... I'm tired of origin stories. The first month there will be 52 first issues. If it's 52 origin stories, this may kill my interest before it even begins.

There is one thing I hope they do...and that is, at least for the time being... let the current universe live. DC has 52 universes, after all. Why not just say that universe continues on, while shifting the focus to new universes?


  1. waw can't believe they're rebooting everything

  2. I can see this as being something that could be great, but yet terrible at the same time..

  3. That seems like a hit or miss idea, something that could revitalize their franchises, or maybe kill them all together. I hope it works out though.