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Opinions on the DC Relaunch?

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Initial post: Jun 2, 2011, 10:53:02 AM PDT
S. Kelly says:
I just read an Associated Press article that says DC will be relaunching their comics line this year. They say they will publish "52 separate new series" !!!! How is that possible? Is this a joke?

Posted on Jun 2, 2011, 11:40:50 AM PDT
gambitrmp says:
I've read about this on the heroclix realms as well. I have a feeling the Green Lantern stuff where so many heroes ended up with some sort of power ring made them decide to reboot so they could go back to Wonder Woman being Wonder Woman etc, etc but I don't read comics so that's a "wild" guess on my part. Sounds to me like the Green Lantern events were awesome but they left the universe with a "problem" to solve & it sounds like the solution is to reboot. Just my personal theory for now.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2011, 4:25:50 AM PDT
WolfPup says:
I can see how you might think that from the "outside" so to speak, but I don't think they caused any sort of problem or that this is trying to change the basics of how the corp works. There are SUPPOSED to be thousands of them, so that's fine (though there was a period of 6+ years where there was basically just one...Kyle Raynor. I liked that, but I guess I like the story telling possibilities having the core back gives us).

I don't know what to think of this relaunch/reboot/whatever-it-is though. Most of DC's books have been pretty great for a long time, making this seem pretty gimmicky. And will it actually stick? I'd assume not. And I don't like when they renumber books lower...I mean Detective Comics and the like, it's awesome that it's so high. I liked when Marvel did something like this, but then slowly started switching things back to the numbers they'd be on with the original system, a few years later.

I'm annoyed that Dick's back as...what? A kid? Nightwing? I'm not even sure...but it sounds like he won't be Batman anymore. Superman...well, it could actually be good if this gets rid of Lois, since does ANYONE actually like Lois, or think that makes any sense? But of course I'd rather just see them get divorced or something.

I don't know...I had more random thoughts on this last night, that aren't recurring to me right now. The more I think about it though the more I'm thinking this is just a short lived gimmick anyway.

Posted on Jun 4, 2011, 10:12:26 AM PDT
Raul Vito says:
Guys take a deep breath and just think of this; a dozen years ago Jim Lee was involved in Heroes Reborn to try to kick start interest in some of the best Marvel characters that where in a slump. Captain America was pretty good at the time (with IMO the best run of the character by Mark Waid and Ron Garney) and Thor was not bad too, but the powers that be decided to sacrifice them for the greater good in the relaunch. This is pretty much the case right now in DC; Batman and Green Lantern are great (alongside Thunder Agents & Secret Six) but the other main franchises are in a really bad state (Superman, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Teen Titans etc) plus Supes legal problems and the sorry state of his titles give them the perfect opportunity .
From what I have read so far the Hawkman (Indiana Jones with wings!) Firestorm (DC answer to Spiderman´s teen woes) and Superman (written by Grant Morrison and based on the superb Superman Now proposal from the early 2000s) revamps, seem like winners and I fully support those. Green Lantern and Batman might prove to be really problematic to sort out with the real evolution these titles have had, but as long as they get Scott Snyder writing Detective Comics and Johns writing Green lantern I think everything will be ok.
I have the feeling that they will give the project a year (just like Heroes Reborn) and if things are looking good this revamped universe will stay as the main DC universe, if things don't look good they will do an Age of Apocalypse where the heroes restore the universe, but maybe some of the new concepts will stay in continuity.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2011, 12:34:15 PM PDT
WolfPup says:
Oh wow, seriously? I was thinking of that "Heroes Reborn" thing, didn't like it, and didn't know Jim Lee was involved in it!

Your idea about what they may do makes sense to me.

I hope they let everything go back to the real numbering regardless...

I do NOT really trust Grant Morrison with anything anymore though.

Also I don't think you need a reboot of anything to fix writing problems-just hire better writers. Don't know that I agree with there being a problem with most stuff though, but I haven't read all the latest stuff yet.

I also don't get the "you need a low number to attract new readers" thing. On the Comic Vine podcast two of three of them said that though, so I guess it's a thing? For me though, I've always thought having a high number was pretty cool, and constantly relaunching things with 1's has gotten more and more gimmicky to me.

And where's J'onn J'onzz? I continue to LIKE him, more than the (to me weird) character of Wonder Woman, or Batman for that matter...

Posted on Jun 4, 2011, 1:57:57 PM PDT
W. Siler says:
Yes Heroes Reborn was all right, it was Jim Lee's version of Fantastic 4. It was all right. Someone else did Avengers and Iron man.

Posted on Jun 4, 2011, 5:39:18 PM PDT
Grant says:
I think it's probably a good idea, especially since DC is preparing to put out some more superhero movies. Green Lantern this year and new Batman and Superman movies on their way. And DC never had as much invested in their "continuity" as Marvel did. Marvel was smart in that they started the "Ultimates" series when the first Spider-Man movie came out. The Ultimates started everything over from scratch in an attempt to get new readers in without having to school them in 60 years of stories. But Marvel still kept the regular continuity going in their other books. So they had the best of both worlds. Is this DC reboot going to be like that? I don't think so.

I think this will be similar to what they did in the aftermath of Crisis on Infinite Earths back in the 80s. They rebooted a lot of characters but over the last 20 or so years, the stories seemed to blend and mix back into the old continuity. You no longer see them reference Byrnes Superman reboot. In fact, they have several "Origin" stories for Superman that have come out in the last few years. The latest one was that Secret Origins. Wonder Woman has also had her origin fiddled with over the years since Crisis.

With Batman, there's really no room to change his origin. He was a kid, saw his parents get killed, that's it. All they do is change little details to make it current. Supermans origin is similar. Parents put son in rocket and send it to Earth before Krypton goes boom.

Whenever they do a reboot it seems like the more obscure characters change the most rather than the more iconic ones. For example, after Crisis they did a major origin change for Captain Atom. But I doubt anyone remembers what his old origin was or his new one for that matter. They also changed Catwomans origin quite a bit. She was a rich society girl who went cuckoo and started stealing for thrills. After Crisis she was a hooker.

So I'm wondering how big the changes will be. I've heard that they're hitting the reset button on Batgirl and that we'll see Barbara Gordon back in the costume. Will this simply be a story that takes place in her past before the events of Killing Joke put her in a wheelchair? Or will they change that all together and not have her be disabled and not have her be Oracle? And how does this change the situation for the other "Batgirls" like Cass Cain and Stephenie? It's things like this that I'm curious about. The "degree" to which this reboot will change the characters.

Posted on Jun 4, 2011, 7:43:58 PM PDT
Raul Vito says:
I agreed with you Mr. Watson, I am guessing the silver lining of all this is that obscure or niche characters like Hawkman (who for some strange reason I have always loved) might get some extra time to shine. The Superman proposal in particular seems to be the most interesting to me by far, since it will take an approach similar to All Star Superman. I happen to LOVE Grant Morrison (and I specially enjoy the fact that he looks exactly like Spider Jerusalem) so I could not be happier, plus it might actually work for DC in attracting new readers but rebooting every few years show a real lack of vision; look at Marvel, they don't reboot their characters they do updated origins. For example check out what happened with Iron Man, his origin is that he was wounded in Vietnam (or some fictitious eastern country) and now because of the movie and recent events he was revamped with his origin taking place in the around the middle east. I there is always this crap about comic books having too much history and being daunting for new comers but I think it is a problem is that the somehow along the way started adding stuff that simply did not matter.
Take a look at Batman: almost anybody (comic book fan or not) can tell you his origin, main characters and at least a handful of his main enemies; everything else is just added on stuff that in the long run does not matter because if one writer develops something and 5 years latter another writer comes in and decides to ignore what happened before there is no big deal (unless it is something as dramatic as Batgirl being crippled by the Joker) as long as a new reader can pick up a book and recognize the main characters and ideas of the Batman mythos it going to be alright. All this rebooting is simple a marketing strategy (I own a market research company so I would know) to jump start their products and create some interest, but in the long run it will not be that drastic.
I remember clearly when the whole Harry Potter craze started going really strong in the early 2000s and every parent I knew was running around buying Harry Potter books for their kids. I thought it was great because if that managed to get them reading they would stay with the hobby and start looking to read some more perhaps some Tolkien, Lovecraft or Fitzgerald or Hemingway for the pleasure of it. A cousin of mine disagreed and thought that it was false hope because he thought 10% of those kids would read something else after that, the rest would "outgrow" the Potter books and return to play their Playstations. I have no hard data but from what I have seen it was not even close to that...but at least I know 2 or 3 kids that would come up tom me and ask about Tolkien or borrow a Dragonlance book...without the Harry Potter books I am guessing those kids would never have turned to reading books, perhaps this will be the same, if this manages to get a solid 10% increase in their readership it will be great success for DC. I would like to comment some more on the idea of having the digital versions of comics cost the same as the real thing but all I would say now is that if they offered those for say half price it would be a good deal for "cue in the Joker voice" those me that that would like to have digital copy for not touching too much their physical comic books.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2011, 10:40:56 PM PDT
WolfPup says:
So what are the original and new origins for The Atom?

I haven't liked that they keep undoing stuff done in Crisis :-/

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2011, 5:38:44 AM PDT
gambitrmp says:
My point wasn't how many Lanterns there are, my point is they made Lanterns out of major characters:

Wonder Woman - Violet to White
Flash - Blue to White
Superman - White
Green Arrow - White
Luthor - Orange
etc, etc

How do you continue to even call Green Arrow, Green Arrow when he's white? Do you just strip them of thier rings? Or do you do a reboot & forget they were ever Lanterns in the 1st place?

Yeah my knowledge is mostly off of heroclix cards & heroclix realms talk so I totally realize I could be wrong. For all I know they solved that problem BEFORE the reboot.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2011, 11:16:31 AM PDT
Raul Vito says:
Uh Gambitrmp, that was only during the Blackest Night event...they returned to their regular status after that was over

Posted on Jun 11, 2011, 7:35:42 AM PDT
Esgaldil says:
WolfPup - To further confuse you, Watson was talking about Captain Atom, who has nothing in common with The Atom. If you want synopses, Wikipedia works pretty well.

Posted on Jun 11, 2011, 3:00:58 PM PDT
Grant says:
Thought I'd post a couple links to some information about the big DC reboot. Here's an interview with Gail Simone. She's unable to talk about story details but she does have some interesting things to say about how she feels about the reboot and the realities of the business vs what fans want....

And here's a list of solicits for all the "number ones" coming out....

Posted on Jun 12, 2011, 11:09:42 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 12, 2011, 11:44:00 AM PDT
Raul Vito says:
Thanks for the links! Oh my! Rags Morales doing Action Comics with Morrison...Deathstroke! I have always wanted a new comic book of old Slade in the Spinter Cell/Metal Gear style... Swamp Thing...this is too much! I am almost dancing in geeky delight...sad to see that my 2 favorite DC series are nowhere to be found Thunder Agents and Secret Six, and what is the deal with those LAME wildstorm series I give them 6 issues each, the only guy who has a chance with me is Paul Cornell with Stormwatch

Posted on Jun 12, 2011, 12:30:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 12, 2011, 12:30:27 PM PDT
A. Greene says:
I think this is a good movie for DC. I hope they do their Digital Comic model right, cause if they do they may be able to open up comics to a whole new market. The big thing is they can't please everyone, and if they try they will fail, so they need to do what is best for them. If it pisses off some people, then so be it. I tend to buy more Marvel comics then DC, but I will be adding some more DC comics to my pull list come this Sept. JL Dark and Frankenstein: Agent of Shade are the two I'm looking forward to the most.

Posted on Jun 12, 2011, 12:51:25 PM PDT
D. Maulding says:
The reason they've done the reboot is because the comic market isn't in a great state. The movies are successful, toys and cartoons are everywhere, and millions of people claim to love heroes to the point that they'll get tattoos to show it (Superman symbols and whatnot), but the source material isn't doing great in comparison to those or even to what comics used to do in sales. DC has been second in sales since 2002 no matter how acclaimed Blackest Night was or how well The Dark Knight did in the box office. They aren't getting those crossover fans from the larger mediums to buy and read the comics. Comic piracy sounds like a joke, but I know a few people who have offered to put torrents of comics on discs for me and I've declined on principal.

Economy makes people spend less, I've had to make cuts myself, and with this reboot, DC is hoping to generate a wider interest for new readers, but not drastically change things to the point that they alienate older readers. The people who will have the most problems are the ones who just are absolutely resistant to change. The day-of digital release of their comics is a new idea, too, since a lot of people use e-readers of some sort, iPads, Kindles, Nooks, whatever. I have seen someone put the sales numbers of iPads up alongside the numbers of (maybe just DC) comics sold in a single month. If one percent of iPad users buy the digital DC comics, then total comic sales will have doubled. That can't be ignored, either.

People have a hard time trying to figure out a good place to start, look at some of these forums, well, DC is providing that jumping on point. Seeing a title with #1 on it and it being a fresh start is a lot less intimidating than Action Comics #900 with decades of history behind it.

I don't like some of the redesigns, some look a lot like early Image designs, which makes sense with Jim Lee doing most of them. Some of the redesigns don't seem to make sense. Why would Superman need armor as seen on the cover of the upcoming Superman #1? (Personally, I'm hoping that's Superboy Prime as the opening issue villain and not Supes himself.) I'm not happy with some titles getting the ax, especially Secret Six. Gail Simone knew about it for months and couldn't say anything about it, which she says killed her. Her last issue of Birds of Prey came out this week, too and both titles have a pretty rabid fanbase. I hate to see Secret Six go and I'm not that thrilled about the Suicide Squad title that is essentially replacing it. The GL and Batman titles are mostly intact with the history that has been built, meaning the different Lantern Corps and Batman, Inc. still exists, but Dick Grayson will be Nightwing again and Barbra Gordon won't be Oracle or paralyzed anymore, which was heavily covered in the article Grant posted the link to. Some of these changes caused a stink with fans, but that's inevitable. That site,, has some pretty good coverage of the whole thing on it if you are interested in checking it out. There are some good people that work on, and run, that site. I talk to a few of them on a regular basis and they have mixed feelings about a lot of this, too, but they are genuine fans.

Carla, I'm excited about Morrison and Morales on Action Comics, too. Both have done great work in the past and some of my favorite moments with Superman were written by Morrison in JLA or All-Star Superman. Morales blew me away in Identity Crisis. That image of Ralph Dibney in so much emotional pain stays with me and I haven't read that in quite a while. I'll give Stormwatch a chance because I've heard great things about Paul Cornell and also, Martian Manhunter. A lot of these Wildstorm characters I never gave a crap about, but integrating them isn't any different than what DC has done in the past when they've acquired Fawcett Comics (Capt. Marvel) and Charlton Comics (Blue Beelte, The Question, Captain Atom, etc.) so I'm reserving judgement until later on that. Deathstroke in his own title is a great idea, too. I'm just afraid I'll miss his pirate boots. haha.

Posted on Jun 12, 2011, 5:26:52 PM PDT
Raul Vito says:
I think I will give the Frankenstein title a shot too, it sounds a bit like the movie Hellboy monster style comics bok, and the Flashpoint Franky comic was pretty good. I am pretty broken up about Secret Six, but I think the best title DC has going on is the least appreciate one, even less than Secret Six, and that is Thunder Agents. It seems it is not even getting a collected edition! The Super armor didnt seem that big a deal for me, since it looks like instead of ebign made of cloth it will be some sort of spacesuit, but if there is someone I trust in doing things right is Grant Morrison (NOT that hype daddy Johns). As a side note, the Nightwing uniform looks cool, but why not have his logo blue? in red it looks like a Red Robin (now that is one UGLY nineties design with all those belts and pouches)

Posted on Jun 12, 2011, 6:27:42 PM PDT
D. Maulding says:
The Frankenstein title does sound like it has that Hellboy or B.P.R.D. feel, but I don't think I'll be picking it up when there are so many other that appeal to me a bit more. I haven't checked out Thunder Agents, but I've heard a lot of good things about it. I'm sure it'll get collected at some point. Everything is these days. The thing that is confusing about Superman's armor is that in the art for Action Comics, he is wearing just a t-shirt and jeans. Maybe that one is set earlier and will focus on his possibly new origin. If he retains the same power set, the idea of armor seems pointless, but we'll see what's going on with it or if it's even Superman himself.
You don't like Geoff Johns? I like most of what I've read from him. Morrison can get either really out there and have stories that aren't fun to read (Final Crisis) or he'd have stories that are some of the best that I've read (Much of his JLA run). I think that Johns has some stories that are pretty massive in scope, but he still keeps things easy to relate to in a lot of his stories, especially JSA. His stories have more of that big 80's feel. I preferred his tie-in to Final Crisis (The Legion of Three Worlds) to the actual miniseries. Johns run with Superman where he brought in Braniac was pretty good, too.
When I look at the new Nightwing costume, I see the Batman Beyond costume. I don't think having the red hurts it or changes much from when it was blue, though. To be fair, the Red Robin costume WAS created in the 90's for Kingdom Come. haha. The utility puch made sense with the Batman connection, though. Belts, not so much. It looks more like Dr. Midnite's costume, too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2011, 8:48:52 AM PDT
WolfPup says:
I DON'T trust Grant Morrison anymore. Really haven't in a long time.

I don't have a ton of experience yet with Geoff Johns, but judging by 52 and a few things I've read so far, I like him a lot better.

Grant, thanks for posting that interview with least if I've got problems with all this, it's nice to know that the authors may too, and that they're still taking things seriously.

I have to admit, I'd love to read her Batgirl book!

Wish they'd drop this "Comixology" company or whatever and publish stuff on...well, really I want graphic novels, for cheaper, on color eInk devices or Myrasol or whatever it is that works...

Posted on Jun 13, 2011, 12:50:56 PM PDT
Has it been stated as to whether this means that the character's won't recall \ make reference to anything that has gone before it? I know they're resetting it all to #1 but I'm not sure if that means the characters are complete reboots in the sense that they are all 'new' to being heroes.

Also, does the whole premise of resetting lead from what will occur in Flashpoint?

Posted on Jun 13, 2011, 1:23:14 PM PDT
Raul Vito says:
I meant the current Red Robin costume that is set to debut on Teen Titans, the Kingdom Come one is great I dont hace the slightest problem with it. I dont like Johns because he is so hit and miss, while he has made some pretty good stories (mianly GL Reborth and Sinestro Corps War) his dialogue and latest take on superman left we really feeling slightly cheated. Check out my Review on Superman Secret Origin to see what I mean.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2011, 2:10:05 PM PDT
D. Maulding says:
Wolfpup, Geoff Johns wasn't the only writer involved in 52, though. It was a weekly book with writers that worked on others. No way could one person do that book by themselves along with multiple others, unless they had it written way in advance (almost a year). Judging by the interviews in the back of the four trades, some things were changed almost last second. The four were Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid, and Grant Morrison, and Keith Giffen plotting everything. Each handled a certain section throughout the whole process with input or ideas to help each other out. I know that Rucka handled The Question storyline because that crime vigilante stuff is his thing (He's writing The Punisher now), Johns handled the Booster Gold plot line (since he wrote the following spin off series for BG) and probably the Black Adam plot line given his time with the character in JSA, Giffen plotted out where the story lines would be in each issues and wrote the Ralph Dibny plot, and that Morrison at least created the mad scientist team as a whole, but other than that, I don't remember specifics of who wrote what.

Mr. E. Fogarty, some of the characters are being rebooted because of messy continuity, like Hawkman, or crappy past treatment, like Aquaman, and Superman probably will be because DC lost the rights to Jerry Siegel created, meaning his origin (rocket from Krypton), probably the costume, and anything else that showed up in the Siegel written issues. Really it's not too much, but it's enough to screw with what fans are familiar with for the character. DC still owns a lot of his power set, like flight, and a lot of the characters even Lex Luthor. Others, like the Green Lantern titles aren't really being rebooted, just the numbering will start over. There are some titles that have been said that they won't have hardly any tweaks at all. I'm guessing that Flashpoint will lead into it since the last issue of that mini will come out the first week that the new numbered titles will. I'm thinking most of the DCNu (as I've seen it called) will be at about the current timeline, but that Action Comics will cover Superman's earlier days to show us the redone origin.

Carla, I see what you mean now. Yeah, that costume isn't great, but I don't hate it. It's not as lazy as Superboy's black sleeveless V-neck with black pants. Jim Lee is a great artist, but I haven't gotten into much of his written work or a lot of his character designs. Him and Rob Liefeld have had some crappy designs in the past. Pouches everywhere! Looks like not much has changed. Liefeld is doing art for Hawk and Dove, why I don't know, but I'm amazed that they don't have a single pouch, belt, or gun on them. And their feet look moderately sized instead of tiny. Still scowling, though. Lee said he did nearly 50 redesigns for this and it shows. Ugh. He's responsible for the early 90's X-Men costumes when #1 came out. Cyclops had all those pouches on him even then, too. Also, don't forget the weird headgear on some characters like Gambit and Jean Grey. All him.
I'm not sure that I read Superman: Secret Origin, but I did read his Brainiac story and I thought that was great. Gary Frank's art made it even better, but the reimagining of Brainiac as something other than a robot or the scientist was cool.

Posted on Jun 13, 2011, 3:54:38 PM PDT
This is just another junk marketing scheme from DC. According to the writer of Batman Beyond, all storylines will continue, they're just setting the issue numbers back to #1. DC had a golden opportunity here to bring readers back with a sincere commitment to improving their product, but have instead gone with another gimmick.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2011, 4:21:44 PM PDT
D. Maulding says:
Derek, all storylines in Batman Beyond might continue normally. It's outside of the main continuity. Same for anything else that is, too. The main DCU is going to be mixed. Some changed, some not.

Also, no kidding it's a marketing scheme. They want to sell comics. That IS the business. What was the opportunity that you're talking about? The high numbers of titles intimidate new readers. Look at how many threads have to do with, "Where should I start?" Now they can just start with #1 on any given title without worrying about past story lines. Many of the older story lines that "won't count" are great and should be read regardless of whether they count or not, but it's at the reader's discretion now, instead of feeling obligated to learning the history of a title with a history that spans years or decades. This IS the opportunity to improving and expanding their product and readership. The film, cartoons, and toys sell well, but the comics themselves aren't.

Gimmicks are all over in comics and and business with marketing. That's the name of the game.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2011, 4:39:15 PM PDT
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