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DC’s Plans for Post-Flashpoint | Comic Book Fury

DC’s Plans for Post-Flashpoint

May 31, 2011 by
Filed under: Editorial 

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Recently, we came to learn of DC’s plans to have the end of their Flashpoint event be their ONLY book coming out on August 31st. The reasoning was because what would happen then would be so big that all of the other DC books would need to step aside to tell this ground-breaking story. We’ve heard this talk before, but looks like we’re getting more insight into their plans after the DC Source blog and USA Today released their respective posts.

We’re looking at a heavy amount of titles being re-launched, but the biggest one that will now be on people’s radars is Geoff Johns and Jim Lee taking over Justice League with issue #1, now being released on August 31st with Flashpoint #5 as well. What’s making this more impressive and ambitious is all of these re-launched titles will be released day-and-date on digital apps as well.

Jim Lee is personally looking to revamp a good amount of characters in each of these series, both in costume design and in making them more relevant with real-world themes and stories. Not sure how the comic book world will react what with Lee’s last attempt at costume revamping being Wonder Woman’s new pants last year, but the man has enough credibility to withstand that backlash.

No doubt about it, this is a big move for DC. Say what you will about how many times DC likes to revamp their continuity with a new “Crisis” event – DC is trying to get back market share that Marvel has owned for the last 10 years and if creating a buzz like this does the job, more power to them. I do give them a thumbs-up for the day-and-date initiative – with all the struggle to get digital right, this is a good approach. How long they commit to it remains to be seen.

NOTE: This will change some things in the CBF podcast I’ll be putting up soon with myself and Gary talking about the post-Flashpoint world. I’ll denote it in the post when it goes up tomorrow.

Comments

  • Hate it, hate it, hate it. I’ve never been on-board with the idea of relaunching existing series with new number ones just for the sake of generating sales – number ones only excite speculators, and speculators have a history of screwing up the industry. We’re seeing a repeat of what happened in the mid-90’s with the glut of relaunches, variants and a focus on rock-star creators instead of characters (and when they do turn to the characters, we get crap like Wonder Woman’s “new” costume, which was a rehash of her 90’s costume with pants instead of spandex bicycle shorts).

    The worst part about it is that it’s all temporary. Sure, let them relaunch Action Comics or Superman with a new number one… they’ll just go back to the old numbering in time for the next big milestone. Like they’ll miss Action #1000 for a gimmick like this? Yeah, sure. It’s unnecessarily confusing for new readers – quite the opposite of what they say they’re trying to achieve, bringing in new readers.

  • Anonymous

    There’s something you’re missing here though, Dan.  The comic book world is talking about DC again and that’s all that matters to them.  No different than when Marvel decided to destroy and Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s marriage with that dumb One More Day storyline a few years ago – love or hate it, it got the eyeballs on them and in doing so, it gave Spider-Man great storylines post-One More Day.

    Execution, of course, is going to be the difference maker in all of this.  I’m all for it if done properly.  And I believe DC is looking at this in a sense that they’ve been only able to satisfy the hardcore fans, so to get new readers, let’s get our main line re-launched and up to current status quo.  Almost similar to what Marvel did with their Ultimate line of books 10 years ago when they realized how bad their main universe was then.

    And you have to give them props for the day-and-date initiative for their new books.  For all our problems with how digital is being handled by the publishers, this seems like a bold direction.  How long they commit to it is another story, but it got them buzz.

  • True, they’ve got some buzz… but they’ve had lots of buzz moments in the past ten years that have all failed to translate to long-term gains – Marvel has led in market share since 2002. Off the top of my head… Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis, Blackest Night, 52 (and to a lesser extent, Countdown and Trinity), Generation Lost/Brightest Day, Wonder Woman killing Max Lord, Max Lord killing Blue Beetle, Superman’s Grounded storyline, Wonder Woman’s costume change… what else… well, what I’m trying to say is that they get a lot of buzz for all their events (Crisis x3, BN) all their gimmicks (52, JL:GL/BD) and character-driven things (Grounded, WW’s costume)… yet DC still fails to capitalize on them long term.

    Marvel made one buzz-worthy change to Spider-Man, like you said, and look what it’s done for the line! It was a huge deal, and it resulted in strong *stories*. Superman goes for a walk, that gets buzz, and… nothing.

    So really, the question is… how long will we be talking about DC after they launch their number ones? And how long will it be before each main title (Action, Detective, Batman, Superman, etc) gets renumbered back to the way it is now?

    On the plus side: *awesome* that they’re committing to digital the way they are. Now, if they’ll just make some pricing changes, they can really do something revolutionary.

  • Anonymous

    I won’t deny that DC has a bad rep of not capitalizing on the buzz they give themselves with their events.  But I think with the way they restructured their organization as of late, I sense a much clearer plan and direction for where they want to go post-Flashpoint.  

    And yeah, of course you got to expect that they’ll go back to the old re-numberings for Action and Detective when the time comes to celebrate their milestones – Marvel did just that for Iron Man recently and they’ll do it real soon when Fantastic Four reaches 600.  But I think we’re too focused on the numberings and not so much on the plan, which while yes, we don’t fully know what that will be, but I at least think DC has a good one in mind. 

  • Gary

    Honestly I think this will all come down to one thing…

    Does DC have the guts to touch Batman, Superman, GL, Flash and cart them along with the rest of the DCU because if your going to make things flow and work then you need to take an all or nothing approach to it. Going at it with somethings off limits is only going to leave us all where the last crisis did…no where new. I’ll be watching and picking up some of the issues but I think it will all come down to are they willing to go as far as they need too in order for this to work.

  • DC and Marvel both have always had an incomplete philosophy when it comes to stuff like this… with the exception of the first Crisis, there has never been a company-wide reboot of the entire universe – and even with Crisis, it wasn’t perfect and wasn’t respected by all the titles. So… do they have the guts to go all-in? I hope so. If they do, the results could be amazing. I’m wary, though.

  • Anonymous

    They better be serious if they want their market share back (and not completely tick off the hardcore fanbase – you should see how some of the comic book community is already writing this off as an abomination…)

  • Tim, I wanted to respond to what you wrote on Twitter a few minutes ago, kind of a side-conversation to what we were talking about here in the comments earlier. You wrote:

    “We’re really bashing this whole DC reboot thing tonight, aren’t we, some of my Twitter feeds? Can we let this play out and see what happens?”

    There are some that are bashing it because they’re Marvelites and bashing DC is like a PC fan bashing Apple (or vice-versa). There are some bashing it because they just like to be contrary and bash anything regardless. Then there are some, like me, that are sort-of-not-exactly-*bashing* it because we’re DC fans and we’re nervous. 

    Honestly, I’ve been a DC guy for 25 years, they got me. I’m in. Stuff like this is nerve-wracking because we worry about the company and anything that comes across as a gimmick is highly suspect. So, to me, it’s not so much bashing as it is… a nervous lashing out at something that’s worrisome.

    And given Jim Lee’s history with Wildstorm (i.e. it no longer exists) I’m justifiably (I think) extra nervous about gigantic, sweeping changes that he’s involved in.

    But yeah… let’s let it play out and see what happens… the sun will still rise tomorrow.

  • Anonymous

    Definitely understand where you’re coming from, Dan.  It can be nerve-wracking when a company has done these re-boots 10 times over and has never really shown what kind of drastic changes came out of it.  I wrote that tweet earlier because I was getting flack from other users about how this was a disgrace to the 50+ years of history that most of these DC characters have been around.  And my response to them was:

    1) You don’t know anything yet until Flashpoint ends
    2) It was never really confirmed that was a full re-boot.  Updated articles seem to indicate that some are getting the hard re-boot, while others are just getting minor updates to their origins.

    What makes this ultimately nerve-wracking for hardcore followers like you and me is because of the fact that we’re hardcore followers.  Much as we want DC to honor their current fanbase, I think they’ve come to realize that continuously catering to their 30-year fanbase is slowly not going to work any more.  They need new blood and the only way that’s really going to work (in their mind, at least) is starting fresh.  Probably something they should have done 10 years ago like what Marvel did with their Ultimate line, but what can you do.

    Overall, we can all agree – exciting time to be a comics fan…

  • Gary

    My biggest fear is the talk of de-ageing some of the heroes. Which I understand is needed but I have seen a few rumors that the basis for many is going to be rooted in smallville. That has me a bit worried now.

    I like smallville….but I don’t like the idea of a DCU based all the way around smallville. So those notions I have read on a few boards have me nervous and I am hoping it is just wild speculation from the writers.

    I have heard inside some of the friends who are die hard all marvel all the time, that a reboot has them curious to snag a few of the new DC #1’s for the simple fact if this is what DC says it is, then it might be more accessible to them. So if they can man up and do this right, the pay off could be big as there are alot of people unhappy in marvel-town, largely in the X-camp of fans who are just looking for something good to invest in.


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