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The New DCU – History in the Making | Comic Book Fury

The New DCU – History in the Making

August 30, 2011 by
Filed under: Thoughts 

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And so it begins. Tomorrow starts the close of one DCU in Flashpoint #5 and ignites a new one in Justice League #1, all brought together by the capable writing hands of Geoff Johns. From there, the rest of the new DCU unfolds in 51 other titles throughout September.

But you already know this. It’s been beaten into your head since it was announced back in June. San Diego increased the buzz when fans got a chance to visit the ‘New 52’ panels and address their excitement and concerns. Basically, if you’re a comic book fan, you knew what was coming.

And yet some are still hesitant to accept the change. They think all of past DCU history is wasted. They think there’s no “pop” to some of the announced titles and creative teams that would get new readers on-board. I’m not saying this is going to be a perfect re-launch, but there were some presumptions that people proclaimed were going to be fact. Be that as it may, let me tell you some reasons this re-launch will succeed:

1) People are talking about DC
Pass or fail, the real fact is people are talking about DC again. Look at how the market share has been for most of 2011 between DC and Marvel – if you find your share decreasing to 20% when you used to be neck to neck with your primary competitor, you would do something drastic too. Only the buzz is not only coming from the re-launch, but the commitment to day-and-date digital. They’re on the web sites and in the newspapers. We won’t know how well this will work long-term, but for now, the eyeballs are all on them for the next month or so, which means sales.

2) Digital getting some TLC
The Kindle. The Nook. The iPad. The iPhone. The Android. As soon as these touch-screen devices made their presence in the last few years, comic book publishers started thinking of ways to take advantage and generate more sales. But it was the sales model and what can be distributed on these devices that many had been struggling with. DC’s changing that making everything day-and-date for digital, still holding the line at $2.99 and decreasing it by a dollar if a newly released comic has been out for more than a month. I have yet to hear any negative feedback to this model from the fans. How could you when you’ve been offered another choice to buy?

3) A chance for a fresh start
I’m all for continuity to get the big picture of a certain character’s universe, but let’s face it – it makes for lots of headaches for writers to come up with new material that isn’t contradictory to that universe. People say DC does it too much and that Marvel evolves better (though they could really use some sort of reboot soon too), but the fact of the matter is this is a chance for writers and artists to put in their A game without the past holding them back.

4) A chance for rising talent
If you look at some of the books DC is putting out, you can see they are heavily pushing Scott Snyder (Batman, Swamp Thing) and Jeff Lemire (Frankenstein, Animal Man) to produce great things. Vertigo has always been the breeding ground for up and coming talent and DC imagines these two will continue that trend.

And if it’s not all up to par for you, you can always have this:

5) The past is still around
It was amazing to see the last 2 months of folks saying that the past 20+ years of DCU stories are now a waste. Are you a fan of story? Then Killing Joke, Death in the Family, Identity Crisis, and Blackest Night will still be fulfilling. No change in continuity should ever take away from what somebody personally feels about a story beforehand.

So let’s pick up Justice League #1 and enjoy this new ride. Let’s see how far it takes us and let’s be thankful we have something to look forward to in a world that hasn’t been favorable to it these last few years.


  • I hope it sticks, I really do. As weird as some of the character choices are, as bizarre as it seems trying to keep some of the old storylines intact despite superheroes only being around for 5 years in the new universe… I do hope it sticks. If DC goes back to the pre-Flashpoint universe in a couple of years for *whatever* reason, they’re done. Game over. Might as well quit publishing because they’ll have lost the respect (and dollars) of the long time fans and won’t gain any new readers.
    They have a lot riding on this.

  • And you’ve got a great point about the old stories still being available to read… anyone who thinks that Dark Knight Returns or Batman Year One are suddenly worthless are… let’s just say extremely myopic.

  • I’m looking forward to it. It is going to be odd though, knowing all the old stories. I’ll need to remember, “oh yeah, that didn’t happen now so this is the relationship Batman has with X here.” 

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