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The internet fanbase is in a blaze today as DC just announced the ramifications of their current big event storyline, FLASHPOINT.
Speculation right now is that it sounds like all signs might be pointing to a rebooted DCU. The simple question to ask here is maybe: why? The last half decade DC has been doing what feels like an endless supply of Big Life Changing/status quo shaking event storylines, and yet I feel like they haven’t had the interest in sticking with anything they’ve established. How can I get excited with a new status quo if they keep changing it?
So, here’s my silly take. This is coming from pure speculation and guessing. It feels like DC has been doing alot of big status quo changing series, but only to find out that what they came up is either not working or not sticking with the fanbase.
Example: They tried making Bart Allen the new Flash, only the book wasn’t selling and fans couldn’t accept Bart as the Flash. So they brought back Wally, but they wanted to try a new take on Wally. So now we’re reading the adventures of Wally West, super-powered father with super-powered kids. Except, that also didn’t connect with fans, so they decided to try out the concept of bring Barry Allen back (it worked when they brough Hal Jordan back right?) That’s doing a bit better…except now they have TWO Flashes (three counting Jay Garrick) two speeders kids (Impulse and Kid Flash) and way to many other super-speedsters clogging up the DCU. How could anyone new try out a new Flash book if they have to go through all that clutter?
So, maybe DC’s newest answer is….lets clean up fully. Lets try to stop pleasing old fans by trying to keep all their characters around and just make this universe SMOOTH.
It makes a bit of a sense. Much like how it was PRE-Crisis on Infinite Earths, the DC Universe is a bit cluttered. Two Batmans? (or many if you count all the guys in Batman Inc.) Two Robins (Red Robin and Damian Robin)? What’s going on with Wonder Woman? Why are there so many redone/reboots versions of Superman’s origin? There are other colored Lanterns other then green? What’s GOING ON!?
Personally, I don’t know if this is the best idea. While I’m not crazy for everything that’s going on with DC, I still love a lot of the new wrinkles that were created recently. I love the Morrison era Batman stuff. I love the added mythology in the Green Lantern universe.
BUT, who knows if DC is really going that far in the reboot? We’ll wait and see, but if it is a reboot, I would kinda hate the idea because it would be a shame to see these things go away for purely business reasons.
I wished they just focused on making the individual books as strong as they can, and letting the books breath so that they can be their own thing. Let the standard Batman/Superman books be their own books for a few years, keep the events to a minimum.
The reason I love Robert Kirkman’s Invincible so much is that it is such a focused book. It’s now got 9 years worth of stories, added mythology, and new added wrinkles to it’s characters, but it never feels cluttered. It’s not interrupted by a crossover, mega-event and a forced continuity shake up. It’s clean, even with the added history to the character. The characters feel like they’re growing, and I still feel comfortable of telling people to give the book a shot, not feeling like they really need to read the previous 60 plus issues to understand what’s going on.
Look at a series like Doctor Who. That’s a show with 32 years of continuity, with added depth and layers to it’s characters every season….yet they never feel like they have to reboot the whole thing, even when the series is not good. They roll with the punches, make improvements, but they actually don’t ignore the bad elements, they run with it and try to make it work (or just ignore the bad elements completely.) I have friends who just started watching the series very recently, and they never felt lost while watching it. They got it, the shows is about an Alien time traveler who saves the universe in a little blue box. Easy, just as easy as getting a alien super-powered man born and raised on Earth and who’s life mission is to protect it.
While I know comparing a independently run comic and a long running television show to a major corporation comic book company is unfair, but maybe it just shows how the current mainstream system is a bit broken.
What I’m going to say next isn’t ground breaking. In the end, I wish DC (and Marvel while we’re at it) need to not focus on making the next big hype comic book events, but…surprise surprise….tell good stories. Tell good stories, the people will come, I truly believe in that. Hell, I must believe in that. Why else would I be into this stuff if the stories weren’t good in the first place, right?
I hope this works out for DC, I really do. While I feel it’s unnecessary, if we get great stories out of it, I’ll forgive it. If it doesn’t work out…then I guess we have to wait for the next reboot then, don’t we?