Wednesday, June 01, 2011

I'll Bet This Somehow Ends Up Making Donna Troy EVEN MORE Confusing.

Well, Action Comics almost made it to #1000 uninterrupted, but those manics finally pulled the trigger. I've long despaired of this renumbering-mania that publishers are obsessed with, but Action and Detective Comics are two of the most venerable runs in comics, and seeing them go down is painful. If you've no idea what I'm rambling about, DC Comics is relaunching their entire line in September with a renumbering of all DC Universe titles at #1, and yet another continuity reboot. I'm assuming this includes Action and Detective, though they might be canceled outright for all I know. I would almost prefer that, since they could always be quietly brought back later with their original numbering, no bizarre deviations and no one the wiser. Yes, I actually worry about things like this.

Apparently, all of this involves more continuity tinkering, and tweaking of a number of troublesome story points. Rumors include new origins for some characters while retaining others, undoing Superman's marriage to Lois Lane, restoring Barbara Gordon to the Batgirl role, and a number of other claims that, if true, would require unwinding hundreds of recent stories from continuity, while apparently trying to keep others. In other words, they're opening exactly the same can of worms they opened 25 years ago with Crisis on Infinite Earths.

It is also meant to reset the characters to younger, fresher and newer versions, which to me implies that a lot of recent works, Morrison's Batman, Inc. for example, may be swept under the rug in favor of a younger, hipper Batman who doesn't constantly remind you that he's old enough to have an adult "son" with the same job. How many very recent works will fall down the memory hole this time I wonder? Then there's the whole 'married Superman issue, and the legacy/generational aspect of the DCU in general that obsessives like myself enjoy, but theoretically are a turn-off to new, young audiences that DC hopes are waiting on the digital frontier.

A few problems, however:
If Jim Lee draws ten full issues of Justice League -on time and in a row- I'll eat my Justice League longbox and all of its no-longer-in-continuity contents. I don't believe for a minute that DC has the talent pool or the editorial competence to pull off FIFTY-TWO launches in September or any other month. This digital day-and-date thing could be a disaster for retailers; allowing customers to bypass the brick and mortar store entirely, and presumably download comics before they could physically make it to the store. How many stores will go down when Marvel inevitably follows suit?

And oh yeah, the last thing the DCU needs is another continuity hiccup. I'm sure I've mentioned this before.

For my part, I'll pick up whatever my favorite creators are working on. I would have purchased a Grant Morrison Superman book regardless of whether or not it came hand-in-hand with a crazy stunt. This just seems like a super-crazy stunt at a super-crappy time in the market, so I hope (more for my local retailers' sake than DC's) that they know what they're doing.



MetFanMac said...

I'll wait until the Big Day arrives to pass final judgment, of course, but at this point it seems (to paraphrase Yahtzee) "pants-on-head retarded".

Duy said...

My thoughts exactly, Brian.

joe bloke said...

ah, crap.

Lord Spathington said...

I echo the sentiment that the most disappointing aspect is the loss of legacy numbering for Action and Detective. I keep hoping it's just some sort of "Age of Apocalypse" run that returns to normal after a few months...

John said...

On the one hand, if this somehow simplifies continuity and ends the requirement that you have been following every single DC title for the last ten years in order to understand anything, this might be good, and I might start picking some of these books up again.

On the other hand, I had already grown so tired of Geoff Johns's fingerprints on everything that I dropped every DC book and surrenedered myself fully to Marvel. Am I alone on the Johns backlash thing?

I think maybe I'll just pretend that the Bruce Timm continuity is the real continuity. The old "Adventures" back issues are pretty cheap now, I bet.

Lee said...

Dude, I so want to see you eat the long box. Be careful what you print, Hibbs had to eat a bug!

But, I think it is safe to say Mr. Lee will never get 10 issues in a row.

V. Fournier said...

I have never understood DC's continuity-reboot fetish. Something more akin to Marvel's 'let's just not talk about the stupid stuff that happened in Iron Man #17' seems sensible to me.