Robot 6

DC D-Day Plus 7: What we know (and don’t) about the DC relaunch right now

Green Lantern #1, by Dave Johnson

1. For Batman and Green Lantern, if it ain’t broke, DC’s not fixing it. In 2010, you had to go all the way down to the Direct Markets #109 bestelling title, the debut of J. Michael Straczynski’s abortive tenure on Superman, before hitting a DC book that wasn’t part of the Batman line, the Green Lantern line, or the Green Lantern-spawned Blackest Night and Brightest Day events. DC has rewarded the creators behind these franchises’ success by keeping them more or less in place, albeit with some title-swapping and artist-shuffling. Geoff Johns, Tony Bedard, and Peter J. Tomasi are still writing the three main Green Lantern series (along with the previously announced Peter Milligan on Red Lantern), while Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, Tony Daniel, David Finch, and Tomasi are still handling the books with “Batman” in the title (with long-time Gotham Citizens like J.H Williams III, Gail Simone, and Judd Winick filling out the line).

2. DC’s rolling the dice big-time on an I Can’t Believe It’s Not Vertigo-verse. Today’s big announcement of new “dark” titles features such Vertigo characters as Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Shade the Changing Man, John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, as written by such Vertigo creators Peter Milligan (Hellblazer), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), and Scott Snyder (American Vampire). That’s quite a vote of confidence in Vertigo’s taste in creators, characters, and tone, especially given that many industry observers saw the line as an afterthought for the new regime. Of course, how this will impact Vertigo itself has yet to be seen. It’s also worth considering that Vertigo’s biggest and most durable hits over the past decade or so have tended to be creator-owned titles existing in their own worlds and straying pretty far from the imprint’s horror-magic roots, so launching eight shared-universe horror-magic books — over one-sixth of the new DC Universe line — is a gamble in and of itself.

3. Characters and concepts, not creators, are key. Green Lantern titles. Batman books. “Dark” series. Big bright hero books. By now the pattern is clear: DC’s structuring its publicity, at least, by grouping comics by their in-world characters rather than by their behind-the scenes talent. So instead of, say, a big roll-out for the multiple titles being written by established superstar (and DC CCO) Geoff Johns, key supporting players like Tomasi and JT Krul, or up-and-comers Snyder and Lemire, the focus is on franchise. In the writer-driven superhero-comics industry, that’s a strategy that bears noting.

I, Vampire

4. Talent-wise, DC’s keeping it all in the family… When DC announced its plan to launch 52 series with brand-new #1 issues all in one month, much of the speculation centered on who’d be drafted from outside the publisher’s existing pool of talent to help reach that goal. The answer seems to be “Not very many people at all.” Johns, Morrison, Simone, Winick, Krul, Tomasi, Bedard, Lemire, Snyder, Milligan, Paul Cornell, Brian Azzarello — these are all familiar figures for DC readers, as are most of the artists with whom they’ll be working. Ron Marz and the Abnett/Lanning team may not have done much work for DC lately, but they’re hardly unknown quantities either. Of the currently announced titles, I think recent Marvel vets Paul Jenkins, who’s contributing to the anthology title DC Universe Presents; Josh Fialkov, who is writing a revived I, Vampire; and Duane Swiercynski, the writer for the new Birds of Prey are the biggest, and possibly the only, surprises.

5. …and they’re using artists as writers to do it. In practical terms, staffing up for 52 series without bringing in a lot of new blood means giving many creators best known as artists a shot at scripting as well, whether they’ve got an established track record with it or not. You can count Tony Daniel, David Finch, Francis Manapul, Ethan Van Sciver and Dan Jurgens in that number. That has to be a uniquely appealing selling point for the publisher versus Marvel, where you’ve seen less and less of that sort of thing over the years. On the other hand, anyone with memories of the ’90s’ scheduling and storytelling debacles can tell you there’s a hefty potential downside to this kind of move.

6. Some creators and comics aren’t making the jump. Chris Roberson, whose job it was to pick up JMS’s Superman pieces and who by most accounts acquitted himself admirably in that task, tweeted today that he’s done with the DCU (but not iZombie, in case you were worried). Brian Wood, himself a Vertigo mainstay who recently said he was working on some company-owned stuff for someone, saw a projected Supergirl run make like the matrix version of that character and disappear. Brian Clevinger was in and then out on Firestorm. Michael Alan Nelson was in and then out on…something. The Batman announcements were mum on the future of Red Robin, its star Tim Drake, his one-time girlfriend and current Batgirl Stephanie Brown, and longtime Bat-writer Paul Dini. The “Dark” books didn’t include Xombi or Zatanna, which you’d think they would. On the road to the New DCU, there are casualties.

7. The diversification of the DC Universe has had mixed results so far. DC’s PR has touted a diversity that reflects its readership as one of its primary goals. How are they doing on meeting it? Mister Terrific, Batwing and Voodoo get solo titles, Jason Rusch is one half of Firestorm, Cyborg joins the Justice League’s Big Seven, John Stewart anchors a GL title, and four female-starring Batman books are in the offing. At the same time, Xombi appears to be gone, Cyborg was already in the Justice League briefly, and most divisively, Barbara Gordon’s restoration as Batgirl has people who’ve come to care about the character in her paraplegic incarnation as Oracle (I don’t think this is an exaggeration) heartbroken.

We’ll see what the back half of the announcements bring!

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Comments

76 Comments

Roberson’s out, and Lobdell gets three books. Embrace the future!

Ahem.

Agreed. Roberson showed great promise in cleaning up the stinking pile of crap that JMS left behind, and this is his thanks?

Bah.

Again: What’s the status of BATMAN: ODYSSEY? Is the second half going to be coming out or not? And if so, when? How about telling us the truth, DC?

What sucks is Lobdell is writing the one kinda fun looking Bat book. I have long disliked Scott Lobdell’s writing, I have to bury that as well as my Ron Marz hatchet, too? This isn’t NEW. Both guys have been around forever, they’re journeymen. What’s next, Chuck Dixon writing Tim Drake? (Wouldn’t surprise me) Judd Winick? Oh yeah, he’s writing that Batwing book.

The Batman and GL books having virtually the same teams doing the same books annoys me. They get protected and Superman gets handed over to Grant Morrison’s crazyass whims?

How can you freshen things up when you’re using writers who’ve been around for decades and to be honest aren’t all that…I don’t know, well known for turning out fresh material?

And making artists writers like this, without ANY previous experience, kinda pisses me off. JH Williams and Ethan Van Scriver had the decency to bring in writers to shore them up. But Tony Daniel and David Finch writing BATMAN books annoys me. You don’t hand novice writers Batman. You hand them Nightwing, or Robin maybe, but not frickin’ Batman that’s a book for solid writers who’ve earned a shot.

Jeff Lemire’s Frankenstein book looks fun. I’ll give Swamp Thing a go, Snyder’s pretty good and Paquette seems to be taking a chance on the book.

But I’m not happy about a lot of these books.

I’m awaiting the Superman announcements before I get really ranty. The idea of Grant Morrison being given full control of Superman is disturbing.

Simon DelMonte

June 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm

I love the Vertigone books, like that some things are being left alone, thing DC is dead wrong with Batgirl, and not happy that Red Robin and Xombi seem done for.

In the end, I expect to be as happy or unhappy as I have been for years. I love DC beyond what it deserves, but sometimes it really does earn that love.

Also among the missing writers are Sterling Gates, James Robinson, and Fabian Nicezea. I can’t imagine that these workhorses all will get no assignments. And what about Kurt Busiek, who is still sort of aligned with DC.

>You don’t hand novice writers Batman…I’m not happy

Perhaps DC is allowing artists to write in order to prevent them from jumping to DC.

That said, I agree DC should reserve their major books for creators with proven track records. (Although to give Tony Daniel his due, he wrote and drew his own stories at other publishers for years.)

LL

>Perhaps DC is allowing artists to write in order to prevent them from jumping to DC.

Oops, meant to say, “jumping to Marvel” there.

LL

DrunkJack: “How can you freshen things up when you’re using writers who’ve been around for decades and to be honest aren’t all that…I don’t know, well known for turning out fresh material?”

Good question! The answer would seem to be “redefine the term ‘freshen’!”

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

knightphoenix2

June 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm

“… Barbara Gordon’s restoration as Batgirl has people who’ve come to care about the character in her paraplegic incarnation as Oracle (I don’t think this is an exaggeration) heartbroken. ”

While I can sympathize with Ms Pantozzi’s desire to have a handicapped characted that represents her in the DCU, I can’t sympathize with the fact that, given a chance to be restored to what Barbara Gordon was before that misiogynistic story was written, she wants to keep her heroine a physical cripple. Especially when you consider how quickly Bruce Wayne was restored to normal after Bane *broke his back* – and the YEARS Barbara spent in that wheelchair.

Let Barbara Gordon fly and soar again as Batgirl – while still using her Oracle cyber-skills.

And, perhaps, we’ll get a *new* Oracle. Someone who was originally crippled, but decides to jump into the fight between Good and Evil anyway. As it should’ve been in the *first* place …

Andrew Collins

June 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm

A little sad that Secret Six and Zatanna have been MIA so far from the listings, and some of the creative teams have left me cold, but overall, I’ve been more pleasantly surprised than disappointed. It will be nice to buy a Firestorm AND Captain Atom comic book at the same time for the first time since 1990…

I know the whole point of this post is speculation based on limited information, but I think it’s premature to imply that titles or characters like Zatanna won’t be represented just because they haven’t been mentioned yet. We should at least wait until all the titles are introduced at least before we start mourning the loss of Tim Drake or Oracle.

Pff. Forget DC D-Day, if the 1959 deaths of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens was “the day the music died”, then the day of DC’s relaunch announcement is “the day the action died”.

“perhaps, we’ll get a *new* Oracle. Someone who was originally crippled, but decides to jump into the fight between Good and Evil anyway. As it should’ve been in the *first* place …”

Because it’s not fair for anyone to become crippled. It’s only fair to people born that way. Mmhmm…

No matter your opinion on the Killing Joke, Barbara Gordon grew into a great character by overcoming great obstacles in dealing with her disability. Let’s even say crippling her was cruel, mean, and unnecessary. Tell me about how that’s different from life. You think Bab’s was screwed over? Most people who become paralyzed probably wouldn’t say they had it coming. She was an example in strength that no one had done in comics. That’s being chucked away now. No token new cripple with 0 history is going to make up for that.

Hopefully Chris Roberson’s built up as much goodwill with other fans as he has with me– he performed so well after having gotten put into what from the outside looked like it might have been a tough gig. A lot of people talk about how much they love “the toys” or whatever, but Roberson’s affection seemed very genuine and infectious.

Apollokid9000

June 7, 2011 at 9:01 pm

So far, the announcements have been more of a reshuffling than revamp.
For this thing to work to level that DC ( and the industry as a whole) hopes, they will have to give books that are not their bread and butter a solid chance.

I hope they have a marketing plan to promote a lot of the off the beaten path books that is not simlar to how they promote their Justice Leaguers books.

So things of note:

Scott Snyder on Swamp Thing is a smart move. Even smarter when paired with those 2 artists.

Not enough new blood in terms of writers. Nothing against Lobdell at all but with all the talent out in the industry, DC should be able to bring in some diffrent writers.
Flash Fact: Marvel is still better at finding new talent.
( What they do with them is up for debate.)

The slew of sci fi/ horror titles have had the most solid/ interesting group of creators since Azz and Chiang were announced as the team on Wonder Woman.

Hopefully, this isn’t the extent of the more diverse DCU.
Superheroes and Supernatural only equates to the old DCU and most of Vertigo with a fading line to divide them.

While others could and have made a laundry list of what’s wrong with the revamp, I only see one error.

The regression of Barbara Gordon back to Batgirl.
Many on both sides of the aisle have stated good arguements.
The reason why I don’t agree with the decision is that it doesn’t help accomplish the goal that DC is look at.
People say that Barbara as Batgirl is the best way to sell the character.
Sure, if you plan on only selling it to those in the know of Barbara as Batgirl, those who want to buy superhero books.
Barbara as Oracle is ( was) a triump of character progression. ( Dick Grayson can also be labeled as such, sans return to Nightwing mantle) A shing example that can be used as a rebuttle to the thought of a character being “damaged goods” or “radioactive” due toa mishandling in a previous story.

All in all, I’ve been enjoying the rollout of the 52 titles and I’m interested to see how things pan out.

Still waiting for news about POWER GIRL, HUNTRESS, JSA, TIM DRAKE and ZATANNA. I think DC is crazy to just let these characters go.

Other than the comic booky name Justice League: Dark, the most recent announcements are the only ones that show any promise.
Still holding out for the official word on Grant Morrison and Superman. Having produced the best (or only good?) Superman story of the past 25 years, that comic could literally make or break this whole relaunch.

Seeeecreeeetttt Siiiiiiixxxxxxx =(

Steven McMullan

June 7, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Batman Beyond?

No Booster Gold title announced yet either.I know he’s in JLI but still no ongoing?

The rendering on that Green Lantern cover is perfect.

I’m digging on Flashpoint .. they smashed the DC universe real good .. Eobard beat it with a hammer and it’s a world of drama and conflict .. Aquaman and Wonder Woman are brutal .. Thomas Wayne too .. stuff is a shaking!

however .. the relaunch after Flashpoint.. that is looking real weak .. and wimpy ..

which is real odd … first you break the DC world in a brutal adult way .. with blood and guts and mass murder and Women of Mass Destruction ..and then you put it back together in a way that looks like a children’s line of books ….

two different markets here, DC .. those that like Flashpoint ain’t gonna like this new high collar PC DC ..

Diversity? Not really, as of yesterday. Today’s batch doesn’t make it much different either.

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2011/06/dc-comics-relaunch-diversity-not-really/

I’m relatively happy with this so far. As someone whose heart is just getting broken by Marvel’s gauging, lying and neverending monopolizing, I’m really seeing this as an opportunity to make a break from them and, for the first time in 20 years, really diving into DC’s well. The only DC book I was getting before this was Booster and it looks like I’ll still be getting him and Jurgens in JLI. I can see current hardcore DC fans getting upset, and, yes, Babs not just walking, but jumping and kicking again is ridiculous and borderling insulting, but people like me can really take the opportunity for what it is.

That’s BS that Roberson is out. What a bunch of crap.

Comes on board to work on one of his fav’s – Superman – and is forced to follow JMS’ outline, which is TERRIBLE. Man, I feel for that guy.

Thanks DC!

A lot of people are hard on JMS… and they are right! He helped ruin Spider-man and made the book unreadable and made the good guy Marvel character in a schizoid Magic mama-s boy with no morals. Plus, not a damn thing can ever happen in the book again. Dan Slott’s tenure is doomed to obscurity. Spider-man Island is their big event, but most the time all people talk about is the horrible disolving of the marriage and how insulting it was.

I can see myself buying Superman #1, but not Amazing Spider-man #700 or 700.1 or whatever numbering Marvel gives it next year.

DC has put out some good stuff in the last few years and I hope to read some of it next fall.

First off the renumbering of the books at this point in the game is a mistake. Action Comics hit 900 a RECORD the longest running comic in the biz, second was Detective Comics at 877. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it? i think that’s the problem there, they are fixing it until it is broke.

A Quick Question. In comics where you can heal some one in 20 ways from Sunday why has it taken 20 odd years for the Barbra Gorden get a part on “dancing with the hero’s”? long over due as far as story goes. Do i like the idea of forgetting what Alan Moore wrote (not like it’s the first time ol’ DC) and making her scrappy and flying high again. The franky book looks like a hellboy rip off. Killing Batman Inc. , Wow all we need now is for there to be a a few clones running around and one would think Bob Harris is in charge of this.

For the record, I’m looking at the following books so far (though I’ve been liking spending $3-7 a week lately and really don’t want to get back into overwhelming habits):

Justice League (this is just going to be huge..even IF Lee can’t pull it off)
JLI (just finished #12 of Gen Lost and am really excited by this…sad there’s no Cap Atom, though)
Justice League Dark (my least likely, though it sounds just wild)
Teen Titans by Nicieza (is this official???)
Batwoman (really dug Rucka’s first 7 issues and really liked Chase, so this might work out….)
Red Hood and the Outlaws (why the Lobdell negativity…go read Manifest Eternity)
VooDoo (sad that DC is mining Top Cow for talent, as I don’t know where that will leave them, but this should be good)

I guess everything else is just up in the air, but this is what is really getting me excited.

All of this relaunch stuff is leaving a horrible taste in my mouth. I really am truly broken-hearted by some of their choices. I mean, if Batman Inc. is still going on, why in the hell regress Dick Grayson back into Nightwing? Why? Hasn’t all the bat-books with Grayson been selling pretty good? (I’m just a fanboy, I don’t study sales figures). Plus, wasn’t the last few YEARS of Batman stories leading up to this current status quo? Now, it seems like a huge waste of time and effort. (Which sucks cause I absolutely LOVE what Grant Morrison has done with Batman over the last few years – hell, he made Bruce Wayne a mythical being instead of just a guy with a cape)

Also, what about Stephanie Brown and Tim Drake. Red Robin is WAAAAAYYYYY better than any other books i’ve read about a ‘Robin’ and the newest Batgirl book has had this quirkiness that is truly hard to find in grim and gritty comics. Same goes with Power Girl. Now, what’ll happen to these quality books? Creative teams will get shuffled and all of the time those creators did to make good books will just get flushed down the drain.

And one last thing, and i’m sorry for ranting so long.. but the Dick Grayson/Damian Wayne dynamic was truly truly refreshing to Batman. Hell, those early issues of Batman and Robin got me back into DC (when for years I always thought Marvel was better). Now, that awesome odd couple will never see the light of day again.

I saw this on tumblr, and felt it best described how i felt about all of this:
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lmeh47nv6D1qglciko1_500.png

No book for Roberson and Xombi is cancelled? Well, I guess I’ll be reading…one DC book in September, at least if Grant Morrison is announced on something. Roberson was the best non-Morrison related thing to happen to Superman in recent memory.

Additional thought: Is there ANYONE ON EARTH who wants to read a PG version of John Constantine? It’s outright blasphemous.

It truly is amazing how varied in ethnic/national background their artists are but not their writers. So yeah, diversity not so much. It would come more naturally if the writers weren’t all white American men. I’d just be happy to see more women writing comics.
The talent pool really is the same, so DC is probably right that this isn’t a reboot because that would imply actually changing something. I am still stubbornly optimistic, and some of these books do look interesting, but less and less they look interesting and I’m less and less interested in the books they’re announcing. Just put them all out already.
And I wouldn’t worry too much about Detective & Action comics numbering, honestly, since they’re lying to us about diversity, and this not being a reboot, and Barbara Gordon not ever walking again. They’ll change the numbers when its time if for no other reason than the publicity of having the longest running comic on Earth or whatever and getting in the Guinness World Book. DC isn’t going to pass up free advertising like that. Mark my words …
*yawn* So enough already, where’s Tim? DC (and Marvel honestly) like messing with the fans waaaaaaaaay too much.

Right now, I’m just feeling heartbroken in general. While I’m trying to give DC the benefit of the doubt in regards to this reboot, the more I’m hearing about what they’re planning the more depressed I’m becoming.

I mean, its hard to get excited about these books when it seems all the characters I REALLY enjoyed reading about might very well be gone. Tim Drake AKA Red Robin seems to be completely absent from the reboot as no mention has been made of him regarding him or his book in the Bat-titles. Stephanie Brown has been kicked out of her role as Batgirl in exchange for a younger Barbara Gordon. Conner Kent is unlikely to exist due to Superman being made shiny, and new and thus in no need for a clone. The books involving these characters (Red Robin, Teen Titans, Superboy & Batgirl) are honestly the only books I’ve been buying regularly lately, so the fact they appear to be gone… well… like I said, its hard to get excited when all the books are about characters I’ve never really been as interested in.

And yeah, I occasionally would be buy an issue of Batman & Robin, or Birds of Prey, but the problem here is I bought B&R because of Dick Grayson’s fun brother relationship with Damien and I bought Birds of Prey because of Barbara Gordon AS Oracle. And even then, I didn’t buy them regularly because I was more interested in the previously mentioned books, than these ones.

This is the part the kinda sucks about the reboot. All the characters and/or books I bought and REALLY enjoyed reading don’t seem to exist anymore (as far as we know). I’m not saying I’m jumping off the DC Comics boat because of this, but if all my favorite books/characters are gone, and if the reboot books don’t really grab my attention… well, I might find myself forced off the boat. After all, I’m not going to spend money on something I’m not entirely interested in.

Well, like I’ve said before: I’m hoping for the best.

Those ‘Vertigo Lite’ books sound great! And have me intrigued the most out of everything announced so far. Snyder, Lemire and Cornell. Plus Recurrection Man. I will be checking all those 4 – plus maybe even the JL Dark.

im excited with some of the books but was hoping for freedom fighters and what about thunder agents thunder was one ofthe best “new” books dc has done in ages.

those who gripe about jms screwing up spiderman lets not forget he ruined squadron supreme and the red circle heroes too

tho some of his brave and the bold was good

NO kamandi was hopng for that one, jsa who is doing it whose in it?

george perez writing and drawing superman is going to be great
what i hate about marvel is they dropped all the real pros for new people in the industry i feel we need both but not ignore the best dc is giving us some of the best with these new books

what is going to happen to legion is levitz still doing it. this book was so much better after he came back to it

oh just saw on bleeding it cool zatanna has something to do with justice league dark

>No matter your opinion on the Killing Joke, Barbara Gordon grew into a great character by overcoming great >obstacles in dealing with her disability. Let’s even say crippling her was cruel, mean, and unnecessary. Tell >me about how that’s different from life. You think Bab’s was screwed over? Most people who become >paralyzed probably wouldn’t say they had it coming. She was an example in strength that no one had done in >comics. That’s being chucked away now. No token new cripple with 0 history is going to make up for that.

That was some serious marvelous answer there, Mr. Johns. Would you like an oreo?

Wondering… I have a daughter that thinks Tiny Titans is the greatest thing ever and is worried, Since Wildstorm semms to be part of DCnU, is there hope for Planetary?

Tim Drake got me into comics in 1992. I can’t say no more.

What puzzles me is if you are going to revamp/start from ) or 1 and otherwise grow-up the entire line and reduce continuity burden, WHY NOT DO A SEPARATE LINE LIKE MARVEL HAS DONE WITH THE ULTIMATE LINE!
At least for the first year and let people stick their toes in the water and allow DC Creatives to slowly regrow and establish new character connections to their new universe and each other. The Ultimate line worked because it was rolled out slowly and deliberately with much thought in what would be different if these characters were created and written for originally in the 21st Century AND what would be the same. And this new DCU should have a consistent more grown up, real stakes tone. Leave the current DCU in place and running during the new Universe experiment.
Start with Batman and tackle how he would maintain his secret id in the ‘rea; world’ and what lines he would or wouldn’t really cross. Would he be more secretive (no one but Alfred knowing his secrets or having a partner or network ala Batman Inc. from the get go? Would the Amazons be more like a modern European country, part of our world for decades since Atomic weapons testing removed Paradise Island’s veil. How would being another nation, say the size of New Zealand, with trade relations make their culture different (and more importantly, make Wonder Woman more accessible to readers)? If Thymesscera has been present in the new DC Universe for some 60 years, having stayed someone isolated after a conflict with another nation (similar to the birth of Israel and subsequent attack from Arab neighbors), but are now considering being more open starting with Ambassadors (not just one) to survey the State of the World. Make Wonder Woman about a fitting into the modern world while having political intrigue between the Amazons and the ‘World of Man’. Make the Amazons tough like Israelis, but only slightly superhuman…only some as powerful as Diana (more pure bloodline from the Greek Gods). Internal Amazon conflict over purity of breeding (before becoming part of our world, any children were basically baster babies using Seed from the Gods in urns kept at their temples. The weakening of Amazons closer to human level abilities due to some natural breeding with normal men. And each Ambassador would fashion their formal and combat wardrobe to reflect the Nation they are appointed to; when not in combat would wear native Amazonian wardrobe at political functions (maybe more blended as seen by members of UN mixing native wear and Western fashion).

All I san say is that there’d better bloody well still be a Batman Beyond title when the dust settles.

This is getting ridiculous, DC. Fire the warner’s bosses, would ya?

“While I can sympathize with Ms Pantozzi’s desire to have a handicapped characted that represents her in the DCU, I can’t sympathize with the fact that, given a chance to be restored to what Barbara Gordon was before that misiogynistic story was written, she wants to keep her heroine a physical cripple. Especially when you consider how quickly Bruce Wayne was restored to normal after Bane *broke his back* – and the YEARS Barbara spent in that wheelchair.

Let Barbara Gordon fly and soar again as Batgirl – while still using her Oracle cyber-skills.

And, perhaps, we’ll get a *new* Oracle. Someone who was originally crippled, but decides to jump into the fight between Good and Evil anyway. As it should’ve been in the *first* place …”

I’m surprised more people didn’t tear this idiot a new one.

I don’t understand why it is assumed that every title is being cancelled. DC’s output a month is about 85 – 90 titles – the relaunches are only making up 52. Say 20 (?) for Vertigo. There should be about 10 – 15 ‘leftovers’. The titles that arn’t in the DC Universe – Xombi, Thunder Agents, Batman Beyond, the twice monthly DC online book and I’m sure there will be others.

Why is there only one minority being catered to in these new titles? Where are the Hispanics, the italians, the greeks, the British, the jewish… And where are the gays and Lesbians characters? Except for Batwoman (lesbian and Jewish), which I’m sure will turn into a quarterly title. So far it looks like you can only be a black or white straight person in the DCU. But then Geoff Johns IS in charge, isn’t he. The guy who only used Obsidian eyes in JSA…..

Thats where DC have to take some tips from Marvel.

Honestly, I kind of feel like buying a non crippled Barbara Gordon Batgirl comic would make me an asshole. For every issue made a real life handicapped girl is denied a great roll model. You don’t like being in that wheelchair, little girl? Why don’t you go jump in the Lazarus pit? Oh wait, you can’t, sorry. Back to your depressing life then, we’re too busy basking in silver age nostalgia to worry about you.

Surely there’s more to this book than they’re letting on. Like that’s a robot on the cover or something. Fixing Barbara’s legs is in such bad taste that I have trouble believing that Gail Simone would agree to write such a thing. Surely she has more integrity than that. I sure wouldn’t want to be the writer that took a roll model away from handicapped little kids. Imagine having a little kid in a wheelchair roll up to you at a convention as you’re signing Barbara Batgirl #1. Look that kid in the eyes, I dare you. “I like Barbara Gordon because she’s in a wheelchair like me,” the kid will say. Then the kid’s eyes will tear up. “At least she used to be…”

Sign that comic, Gail.

Just a thought….

SPOILER…..

They killed Boston Brand again, so who’s to say they don’t cripple Barbara Gordon again?

The only thing that annoys the fanboy in me is the renumbering of Action & Detective. There are actually some pretty cool concepts and I love the risks DC is taking in launching some pretty “out there” books that wouldn’t normally stand much of a chance if they had just been dumped into the market without the line-wide renumbering, as it draws disproportionate attention to the entire line. Xombi would have probably done better had it been held back and launched as part of this innitiative.

The only other thing that sort of annoys me is how quickly the Dick Grayson / Batman storyline is wrapping up to go back to status quo. It feels like it had a much more organic arc happening (and I don’t doubt for a moment that it WAS going to happen eventually…Batman is a too massive a franchise outside comics to introduce confusion in who wears the cowl for too long). But, understanding the objectives of the new numbering system at least a little, it makes sense to do it here. Let’s just hope nothing strange happens in the next year and Grant Morrison does indeed come back to finish his epic.

For some things it’s not a change, it’s a regression.

The whole notion of Barbara as Batgirl will be a hot draw? She’s been Oracle for just about as long as she was ever Batgirl. It’s been over 20 years–seriously, it’s time to get over it.

I’ve been collecting since 1985. Barbara was Batgirl. Granted I didn’t have the attachment to her that guys reading since the 60s had to her, but she’s become a fully unique character as opposed to just another person in a bat cape and cowl.

And replacing her with “Proxy” if they do, or another handicapped person is like saying, “Eh, they’re interchangeable. See what we did? We got rid of one girl in a wheelchair and put in another girl in a wheelchair. Aren’t we diverse? You’ve still got your cripple quota intact!”

@Red Robin
Are you my clone? I could have written that post myself :-)

@John Jones I think you’re exactly right. In Wendy/Proxy’s case, Gail seemed to be going in a different direction. The last issue seemed to indicate that her paralysis was as much psychosomatic as physical. Steps were already taken to make sure she wasn’t “interchangable cripple” with Barbara.

So far, I’ve gone from 7 titles (Batman, B&R, Red Robin, Batgirl, Detective, Teen Titans, Superboy, Justice League) to two (Nightwing and maybe Demon Knights) As much as I love Gail’s work, I can’t support Barbara’s demotion. She’s not a ‘girl’.

I’m also worried about Donna, Cassie, Connor, Mia, Wally, Bart, and Rose. If any villian needs a reboot it’s Slade, and that will affect Rose. With all this Flash mess, what happens to Wally, Bart, and Jessie? What will they do to Donna, and what will they do with Cassie? We see Roy got his arm back, can we hope he got Liam as well?

Ed (A Different One)

June 8, 2011 at 5:37 am

My impression is that this “reboot” is not going to have an effect on the “stand alone” Vertigo books – but I haven’t gotten confirmation on that one way or the other. All I’m saying is they better damn well let Jason Aaron finish telling his story on Scalped in his terms and on his own timeline. If they mess with Scalped, there’s going to be hell to pay, I tells ya! (I’ll, I’ll . . .I don’t know, post a scathing comment on a blog or something . . . )

Diversity? it’s the same ol’ same old. No new non-white characters. seriously…

“Especially when you consider how quickly Bruce Wayne was restored to normal after Bane *broke his back* …”

Yeah, but he’s a magic Bat; they already brought him back from the dead as well, in a thoroughly ridiculous story arc. But I suppose more of this kind of idiocy is better than DC really pushing for diversity.

Wait, we could have had Brian Clevinger on Firestorm? No offense to Gail but… man, that sucks.

I’m still desperately curious if the Legion will have any place in the DCnU….and a bit afraid of what that place might be. After all the work that has gone into reviving the classic Legion, while utilizing some of the best characters and ideas from the reboots and integrating the LSH to reflect the current DCU….if all that gets flushed for YET ANOTHER FRICKIN’ LEGION REBOOT, or simply cancelled because of some idiotic perception that Joe Average has no idea who or what the Legion is, I’m pretty much done with DC.

(Not that I might have any choice….I have no interest in the rebooted Birds of Prey or regressing Barbara to Batgirl, and I have yet to see anything about Connor-Superboy or the Secret Six. DC is doing all it can to make the call for me to drop their books.)

@ Pennyforth, they just announced two Legion titles and they look pretty good, especially since Levitz is still on one.

Thankfully, DC had the sense to drop Henderson from Static. She was the worst comic writer I’d ever read since I started reading comics in 1985, and that includes Austen’s Uncanny X-Men run!

PS: Red Robin looks like the love child of Black Condor and Marvel’s Falcon.

I think this change in the DCU boils down to a couple of different factors. The first factor is that for the last nearly ten years DC has consistently been ranked below Marvel in sales, with the exception being the trades. DC obviously wants to reclaim the top spot, and the way things were going that wasn’t going to happen. Marvel was beating them month in and month out. Gradually more DC books started to take over the top 10, but DC still wasn’t beating Marvel. They realized that in order to beat them changes would be needed. We’ve all heard “doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results,” is the definition of insanity. SO, it was time for DC to do something different. The other major factor is that young kids are going to grow up reading comics digitally. We need to face it, its reality. I’m a purist and love the feel of a comic in my hands, but hell I’m 36 years old. Our “paper” generation isn’t going to last forever, we just have to accept it. For DC to remain viable in the future, they are going to have to go digital. Will it ultimately kill comics shops? Probably. Does that suck? Yes, but the music stores and video rental shops also had to close. That didn’t spell the death of good music or movies. Its reality, and ultimately its going to smash you in the face. I know its going to kill the value of back issue comics in the future, but that was never what comics were created for anyway. To keep pace with the next generation of readers, you have to hit them where they like to go, and that’s on the internet. Love it or hate it, that’s the future. Congrats to DC for being the first to make such a ballsy move. If we want comics to live on another 75 years, we have to accept reality and step into the 21st Century,

The more I hear about DCNu (hate that abbreviation too) the less I care. I’m at the point where I’m only going to buy the Morrison monthlies and buy trades after I get positive reviews. There is no way I can keep up with all the new books and frankly, I don’t even want to.

Last year I was buying nearly every DC book then it was one disappointment after another. It seems Didio, Johns & Lee don’t get it… As long as you have good stories, the books will sell. If you keep peddling disappointment after disappointment, you’re destined to fail.

One more thing… How funny is it the Jim Lee’s name was on a memo to artists and writers demanding 3 completed issues of the new line by August 31st? Really? Stupid.

The more I see of this “relaunch” the more of a 90′s feel it seems to have. Artists as writers? Check. Spiffy new “modern” costumes? Check. Younger “edgier” characters? Check. Claims of “diversity” while still shuffling out more aliens and robots than human diversity (in race, culture, and sexual orientation)? Check.

If DC wanted to go down this road, I agree with those who say it should have been a separate “Ultimate” line that really started over from scratch, allow characters to be reinvented out of whole cloth, and establish a set of rules for time progression/character development in that universe. Sales would then dictate which titles continued on and, eventually, maybe the DCnU titles would replace the old ones. With DC’s concept of Multiple Earths, this would have been extremely easy to do.

This approach feels like they are trying to have their cake and eat it too.

DC is thinking like a business! Kudos to them. Too many stagnating titles and a niche section of fans trying to whole some franchises to ransom. I can’t wait for September.

First off.. I’m drinking the kool-aid that DCU is giving me. I’m kinda excited. I have been away from comics for a few years and his event has me interested. I’m nervous about spending a couple hundred dollar on the first day when 52 issue 1#. I want to try them all ( minus Hawk &Dove, I can’t stand Rob Liefield) . I’ve been out of the loop for a while but isn’t Voodoo an Image character? I know that they have crossed over a couple times from the DCU to Wildstorm, but is this reboot going to blurr the line further. Are we gonna have Wildcates and Team 7 in the DCU?? Weird. Anyone want to field this question?

I must say – even though i don’t read DCU stuff (just Green Lantern and an occasional Batman) I really could care less about this whole DCnU reboot. All one has to do is look at the numbers from ICv2 or the Comichron monthly sales numbers for the last 10 years and you can plainly see that the state of the comic industry is fast approaching oblivion. (anyone remember Heroes Reborn/Return?)

Aside from Fear Itself #1 having a 127,000 of “estimated sales” it is an Event book after all. The #2 book for April is 46,000+ less copies sold! The 100th ranked book only had sales of 17,000+ books!!!

No matter what these companies try and do to get readers to either read their books, bring old readers back or bring new readers in – it isn’t going to happen plain and simple. Nobody want to pay $3.99, or even the invisible standard of $2.99 for an issue. Day and date digital is too new a concept and probably too late in actually making a dent in actual issue sales. And with DC releasing 52 new #1 issues for the new DCnU reboot in one month is just simply asinine. Are readers really willing to spend $150 in one month for a whole universe reboot? Of course not. Sure there will be those select few that will buy all 52 issues, but that’s probably 1% of all DC fans.

It also doesn’t help that the economy is in a state of shock, unemployment is around 9% and gas is $3.85 on average. What makes DC or even the new Valiant coming out next year think they can even make enough money to break even? Much less think they’re going to get readers to yet buy MORE comics from a by-gone era (even though the mid 90′s Valiant wasn’t that long ago.)

My crystal ball (based on simple sales numbers) simply shows that within 10 years at max, the average comic will only sell 50,000 copies or less. The companies we see now will be gone and i wouldn’t be surprised it Marvel, DC, and Image are the only ones left standing…

Kevin: Ten years?! The average comic sells less than 50,000 copies NOW. If you look at the sales figures for the top 300 titles each month, there are hardly any now that break 100,000 and only about 20 to 25 that even break the 50,000 mark. That means the VAST majority of comics currently being published sell far less than 50,000 copies per issue — and still dropping. This reboot by DC isn’t going to make one bit of difference in the long run. It’s still the same abysmal fanboy shit, just with a new coat of varnish. The industry as we’ve known it for the last thirty years is going to be completely gone within the next two or three years.

Agreed with various posters above about Batgirl (and Nightwing to a lesser degree). She was a fairly bland girl version of a character who was given a major amount of development over the years which is now being written off in favour of the old pre 80′s version (which I’m guessing the management think is the one most widely known about).

What’d depressing to me as a comics fan isn’t that it’s happening, but the implications it has for the medium I like so much. Essentially it’s a timely reminder that the status quo will always be returned to. Characters can be killed, changed, replaced etc and eventually, given enough time they’ll be rebooted back to their earlier core version. Don’t like spiderman knowing Kung fu and with no spider sense? Who cares? Wait a few years folks… it’ll be back. In fact chances are it’ll be back by the time of the next film – so new readership doesn’t get confused. Batman will forever be Bruce, Superman will be forever Clark (I’ll bet money now that at some point his marriage is written out so there can be some return to him lusting after Lois), and so on. None of you characters will ever really progress, their costumes will forever snap back to the most toy friendly ones and so forth.

Ultimately these things exist to sell toys and merchandising. Spider-underwear is far more valuable than the comics themselves. And you need that pure core vision to sell it.

Sucks but hey.

What frustrates me is the writers who seem to embrace this. At times, reading interviews I sometimes get the feeling that most of them are frustrated fan-fic authors, doggedly determined to return their favourite heroes to the state they remember from their childhoods. ‘When I was 10 Batman did x! So he must be returned to x as quickly as possible because that’s my batman!’. It’d be like Doctor Who eternally becoming Tom Baker because the writer mourns his or her lost childhood.

DC are launching 52 new 1st issues. The are 52 universes according to DC. 52 was also the name of one of DC big event not so long. Grant Morrison is supposed to be writing a series explore these 52 worlds for the longest time. Could September be that time?

Amen, Bartemis, as I hope that Liefield only has that one book. He’s the worst in the business….

Some excitement here, though I now regret buying Batgirl for the last couple of years.

And is some of this repositioning being done to reduce Superman in the DC Universe? It does appear that way….

Well, unlike most of the whiners and complainers, I’m optimistic about most of this. I can say that thus far, I will be buying roughly 90% of what’s been advertised thus far (not really a legion fan, so I’ll be skipping that stuff).

I’m interested in seeing what the rest of the line looks like, but It’s cool that the announcements have been spaced out. People are obviously panicking for no reason. Comic fans are THE most impatient bunch. DC hasn’t even done the full solicitations for September yet. Quit getting your thongs in a bunch.

I’m sure there’ll be a Power Girl, Zatanna, JSA, and something (else) involving Red Robin in the DCNU.

The only thing that I ask for, is some sort of SHAZAM series in the mix.

I’m admittedly happy to see Barbara as Batgirl again. No offense to anyone, but she’s ALWAYS been Batgirl in my mind, first and foremost. And just because she’s going to be back in the suit doesn’t mean necessarily that she wouldn’t also keep being Oracle. Honestly, I could see her doing both easily, and having a central conflict being if she can do more good on the streets or behind a screen.

A new Animal Man series sounds promising. I’ll withhold judgement, of course, until I see the first issue.

According to another article in CBR, Batman Beyond’s apparently continuing , so I’m very happy there.

So DC announces the the new titles in themed waves. We know one wave left is Superman, but will the other remaining titles be grouped in any way? I know we had the “dark/supernatural” wave yesterday, but there are still a few “magic” absences to consider — Shazam Family, Zatanna, Dr. Fate, and …. Blue Beetle? Jaime was referenced in early news about the diversity of the new line, but hasn’t shown up in the JL or teen titles announced yet — and the scarab has ties to Shazam now, doesn’t it?

Of course, the other big title missing is JSA. Would love if that turns out to be an historical title set in WWII, and be more like All Star Squadron. And that way, itspart of the “youtth appraoch” since they would be in their prime — and maybe that’s the Darwyn Cooke project rumored to be happening. With James Robinson?

Yeah, right, back to my old trades…..
.

It sounds like a lot of these comics are just being “Marvelized” a’la the 90′s but it won’t last. It kind of reminds me of how Age of Apocalypse should have been. I loved AoA but I felt they should have cancelled all the Marvel line not just the X-Men and ran with it for about a year but instead we got Heroes Reborn out of it.

Okay, looking at all the stuff going on.
First off- if you look at what happened to the comic industry in the 90′s it was ALL fluff and almost killed the industry since it was all flash and no substance in the writing. So DC going this route is a horrible idea.
Second- Rob Liefield, he’s a HACK!!!! I don’t know how he keeps getting work. He starts projects and constantly gets fired from them before it’s done (heroes reborn anyone). Not to mention he hasn’t had an original idea yet.
Third-If Wildstorm is getting integrated in the DCNU does that mean there will be, minimum, 3 different Superman characters (Superman, Majestic, Apallo) and 2 Batmans (Batman and Midnighter)?

Don’t get me wrong, I understand wanting to keep characters fresh but all this is going to do is make some quick money at the start for the number 1s then once the newness wears off sales will plummet once people see how crappy it goes.

I’ve been reading the message boards about this reboot for the past week… and I can honestly say that I am more than a little upset and cautious about this. Many people are crying that this is the “end of DC,” etc. which it probably won’t be… but it may mean the end of DC for me.

The proposed reasoning behind the reboot is to make the characters younger and accessible while telling stories that are relevant to a younger audience. Well guess what? Here’s a little Flash Fact for you- the comic audience is getting older, not younger. You want to entice new customers and a younger market? Great, just don’t do that at the expense of the audience you already have. The current audience is older, with different sensibilities and goals and values… which can and should be reflected in the entertainment that they purchase.

I personally enjoy reading about a married Superman… he’s the World’s Greatest Hero, but what about at home? How does he manage to juggle his career as a reporter, as a hero, and as a husband? I’m married with two kids and a full-time job and I know that it’s a very tiring thing for ME to do! LOL

And as for the commentators on the boards (here and elsewhere) who want to just flush away any dissenting opinions with a casual “well if you don’t like it you can just leave” or “c’mon we know you’re just full of it, you’ll still buy these new comics.” Let me tell you… I will indeed give these new books a shot for the first month or two… but I will let my wallet do my speaking for me. I was incredibly, INCREDIBLY upset when Marvel undid Spiderman’s marriage with a deal he struck with the devil. I was so upset by this editorial mandate that I dropped every Marvel title, have not purchased anything from Marvel since, and will not purchase any Marvel-related merchandise for my children. That’s right, there are no Spiderman toys for my kids, no Iron Man pajamas, no Incredible Hulk coloring books. If I cannot stomach something that a company does, then I will not support them with my money. It’s really that simple.

So for DC’s sake, I really do hope that this “reboot” is respectful to the long-time fans and done with taste…

On a side note… this whole thing does seem to remind me of Heroes Reborn. Now let me see… who was involved in that… oh yeah, Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld. And who is spearheading this new DCnu? That’s right, Jim Lee (and Rob Liefeld is involved with one of the new books.) And who was the EIC of Marvel at the time of Heroes Reborn? Bob Harras… and who is at DC comics now? That’s right… Bob Harras…..
Am I the only one who sees this connection? Nahhhh…..

The “pro Oracle” folks are too blindly impassioned to see the point. Guess they’re too busy justifying misogyny in order to keep a symbol of another kind. When a character is put on a particular narrative path due to lazy writing or bad writing or uncreative writing and becomes so badly handled by editors that someone says “lets have her quit, she’s not selling” and then a while later someone says “hey, can I use that character that no one is doing anything with and blow her spine out?” and the editors say “sure, go for it”, well, that’s not “evolving”. The passage of time does not make it “character development“. I mean, what choice did they really have at that point? Were they supposed to make her give up and sit in the disabled heroes home? Of course they had to do something with her.

Consider Amazing Spider-Man 101-102 when Morbius injects Spidey with a serum that gives him four extra arms. Lets say the editors, unable to come up with ideas to keep Spider-Man interesting with just 2 arms, decided to have Spider-Man keep those extra arms. Forever. Of course as time went on, the “shock” to readers of Spider-Man growing 4 extra arms would wear off. So lets say that over the next 23 years Spider-Man learned to live with those extra arms. Maybe he would reveal his identity and come out and “own” that mutation. Go on to have a great relationship with Mary Jane and be the greatest six armed hero ever. Lets say that people with mutations loved this new six armed SpiderMan and claimed the character as their own. Well, that would still make it a damn stupid idea. And whether or not the passage of time and placement in “cannon” made it more “palatable” and whether or not a minority of people felt the six armed Spider-Man “symbolized” something to them, it would still be a ridiculously stupid editorial decision that should have never been made no matter how heartwarming it was to see the six armed Spider-Man not be a “victim” of his mutation.

Putting a character on a stupid path because writers don’t know how to make them interesting anymore is not “evolving”. Keeping the character on that stupid path is not “character development”. And the stories written by writers trying to do their best to maintain the stupid status quo that editors mandate regarding that character aren’t any less ill conceived because the stories make the character “empowered”. A stupid and wrong idea for a character born out of lack of creativity and misogyny is still a stupid and wrong idea. Just because the character was trapped by an idiotic editorial decision and writers had no other choice but to go with it for the next 20 some years doesn’t make it any less idiotic. And retconning a character to avoid such idiotic decisions, starting over and doing something interesting with the character isn’t “regressive” storytelling or a “demotion“. It’s just an opportunity to get it right. You know, there has been many a year when Captain America was incredibly boring. But I’m glad they didn’t have him get raped and cut off his arms to make him interesting.

And I’d also like to add that all you Oracle fans who are all ticked off about the return of the Barbara Gordon to Batgirl and calling everyone “ableist” (or in Gail Simone’s case, “ableist sellout”) who doesn’t toe your line and live in that lovely little echo chamber of yours, your actions are far more disgusting and offensive than anything that Alan Moore and DC could ever do to Barbara Gordon. Enjoy.

Ollie By Golly

June 8, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Personally, I do think it is refreshing to get actual COMIC BOOK WRITERS with proven track records back on the job instead of DC bending over like a cheap whore for every marginal TV writer or novelist hack that comes knocking at their door and vomiting their garbage on the printed page just so they can pick up a paycheck “between jobs.”

This DUMBboot is unforgivable. Unnecessary and overkill.

Instead of relying on continuity to build strong stories, they´re just dissing the stablished fans.

Continuity matters.

MR –

Great post. I agree with everything you said and like you, have not spent a single dime on any Marvel merchandise for the same exact reason. I don’t buy my kids Spider-man toys either and believe me, they feel no loss. They’re actually happy as three clams with the other toys they get instead.

To the two guys who are boycotting marvel books and merchandise… Kudos to you… But seriously, are you telling us you are also boycotting the marvel movies? From iron man to thor to captain america up till avengers? Any decent comic fan wouldnt miss those!!

To the poster above who told a tale of a wheelchair bound little girl approaching Gail and tearfully lashing out at her for taking her role model away.. You might as well say kids who lost a parent in wars tearfully complaining that why is aquaman or flash or any of dozens of characters who died a hero’s death (just like their mom or dad) now suddenly alive? Why is their parent STILL DEAD? Its not FAIR!

Seriously, DEAD PEOPLE rise up all the time in comics , and sure some complain about it, but they learn to accept it. Whats the problem with barbara getting her legs back? In DC’s world of science and magic and advanced alien tech, its amazing Barbara was stuck in that chair all this time. And the most ironic situation of all is that with all her prowess and contacts in the DCU, she would have at least a) found a way to heal her injury from all the databases she has access two. Or b) a concerned friend would have helped “fix” her.. From dr. Fate to green lantern to john irons to doc magnus… To kryptonian science, atlantean science, amazon purple ray, plus all of bruce wayne’s resources… You’d think they could have given her at least an exo-suit or an armor or at least a cooler wheelchair with techs and gadgets… Heck, BATMAN designed OMACs which uses nano technology to transform normal humans to powerful metas.. The list of possible things that could have been done to help her out is endless… In fact id say the lazarus pit is such a cop out with no creativity if that is indeed what will be used. Let me reiterate: her lack of viable options is made even more ridiculous becaue of her position in the dcu as Oracle.

Anyway.. Rant off/. :-)

Having said all that, personally im not too keen on this reboot either.. But ill give it a chance..

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