Robot 6

The New DCU may be many things, but don’t call it a ‘reboot’

Green Lantern #1, by Dave Johnson

The sweeping line-wide retooling of DC Comics’ superhero titles that will see the debut of 52 first issues introducing “a more modern, diverse DC Universe” has been referred to in a number of ways — a renumbering, a relaunch, a revamp. But what it isn’t, apparently, is a “reboot.”

“This is the launch of the New DCU,” DC’s Senior Vice President-Sales Bob Wayne explains in a letter to retailers. “It is not a ‘reboot.’  I think you will soon discover why that is.” Note also that it’s “New DCU” and not, thankfully, “DCNu” (so cut that out).

What differentiates Tuesday’s announcement, with its across-the-board No. 1 issues, promises of new origins and new (younger) ages for some characters and minor changes for others, from a reboot, of course, remains to be seen.

DC revealed the first wave of titles yesterday — 10, plus the earlier announced Justice League by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee — including Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, The Fury of Firestorm by Ethan Van Sciver, Gail Simone and Yildiray Cinar, and Aquaman by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, followed this morning by the four Green Lantern books. That leaves 37 more series and creative teams to be parceled out between now and Tuesday, June 13, when the publisher’s September solicitations will be officially released.



Clearly it is a “reboot” and clearly DC knows there is a stigma against it because they have done it so often, therefore the talk of “it isn’t a reboot” by them. When you change the origins of characters, their ages, etc, you are “rebooting” the entire character.

The vague descriptions from the GL books sound like they are continuing with what has been developed over the past few years in those books, while other descriptions such as Firestorm sound like complete reboots. This is starting to feel more like Zero Hour than Crisis where not everything is being rebooted to day one. I don’t think each issue 1 will treated like its the first issue for the character ever. I’m sensing that the writers will pick and choose what to keep from the past and what do lose. Overall it feels like most characters will go through a retcon rather than a reboot.

I_Captain Blanco

June 3, 2011 at 7:46 am

@EdW: that makes sense, considering this whole change comes about as a result of a time-travel storyline.

I was more excited about this when it was a “reboot.”

I don’t care about anything that happened before, I want comics that stand on their own and are relevant NOW.

Have some balls to go with that initiative, DC Comics.

Seems like Barry will be able to return a limited status quo to the DCU. Maybe with a limited knowledge of how certain characters come to be, a different means of origin is used to restore the characters to their proper place. Could be that Barry as the Flash goes back into time to reverse the changes that Eobard Thawne enacted to create the Flashpoint continuity, and encounters difficulties. Barry Allen and Hal Jordan are close, so the Green Lantern continuity is easier to restore; Barry and Ronnie Raymond – not so close, so Firestorm is back, but the origin story has been altered. Anyways, just a thought.

Planned on picking up probably 10 to 20 of the new DC books when I thought it was a reboot.

Now that it’s just a bunch of retcons, I’ll probably even drop the couple books I was still picking up depending on how bad they are screwed up by this.


Zero Hour was a bunch of minor retcons to the characters.

COIE was not a line-wide reboot, no matter how much they wanted it to be. Several characters did not completely reboot. This is how it sounds.

Then WTF is it?

I got it, it’s a facelift.

Never mind the origins look at the costumes. Is that a collar on Supes? Ridges on Hawkman’s helmet? Tats on Mr Terrific? Very edgy… in 1990.

so its more of a retcon then hmm
but i wonder what is happening with the dc earth one things because it seemed easier to use that as a jumping point for new readers coming on after the movies.
i wonder if bat and supe is being restarted as well.

ill tell you one thing, announcing something like this months ahead of time is making me lose all interest in any current DC book right now. seriously, i read about 10-12 DC books a month.

if in 3 months the stories and characters and continuities all are gonna be starting off from scratch then i dont really care about what happens now at all.

>> Note also that it’s “New DCU” and not, thankfully, “DCNu” (so cut that out).

Yes. Please.

I’m not sure how to feel about the revamp. I’m mostly a trade reader, so aside from Secret Six & Birds of Prey I’m several months to a year behind “current” depending on the title. This sort of change is as likely to drive me away from a book as it is to get me to join one.

Simon DelMonte

June 3, 2011 at 10:02 am

I’m just calling it either DC2011 or the JohnsVerse. It’s pretty much like DC in 1987, a mix of reboots, retcons, new concepts and More of the Same. Given that I consider the post-Crisis era to be DC’s best, I am willing to give DC the chance.

i think it’s fair to say this isn’t a reboot, after all the events of Flashpoint have shown someone or thing has changed things, so when it’s all over and the dust settles, it’s not a stretch to figure many of those changes are going to stick or at least linger in the memories of all involved. THAT could be interesting, seeing the entire DCU deal with the memories of what happened and what they did as different people in a different world. using that asa springboard for a whole bunch of stories could be VERY COOL. Also, this isn’t the first time DC have pulled something like this, after all cleaning up mythology was the predominant reason they did Infinite Crisis in the first place.

@Darryl Ayo – I agree. A reboot had my attention. What this is turning into feels like a massive gimmick to me.

I really want to know how the Batman books will be affected. All the time spent establishing Batman Inc, Batwoman, etc seems wasted if they ignore it.

If it quacks like a reboot and screws up iconography like a reboot, then chances are it’s a duck.

Six months from the ‘reboot’ or whatever it is, sales will be no better than they are now. This is just rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic. DC should be looking to issues like wider distribution, viable formats and prices, adequate promotion and sales initiatives. The problems with the industry are far wider than the creative.

…..I’ll give them a chance. I won’t pick these up, but I’ll give them a chance. But this smells too much like George H.W. Bush’s so-called “No New Taxes” thing from 1992 (even though at the time I was 2.)

it should be obvious at this point that they are trying to address issues regarding distribution, what with all this day and date digital stuff. From where i’m sat it looks like the gears are turning. I look forward to a reboot or whatever it is, its obvious that aspects of the big sellers are going to stay the same or similar and its cool that they’re pushing b and c listers like deadman et al. I’ll save my grumbles till i read the books

I still think this is going to be like Marvel’s Ultimate universe, which I might be interested in reading. If it’s not, and they want to push characters back to their youths and sort of start over continuity-wise, then yes, that would be a major reboot (or recon or whatever you want to call it). Considering that kind of reboot would basically say, “Forget about Final Crisis, the “death” and return of Bruce Wayne, Blackest Night, Brightest Day (with its Swamp Thing push), and Batman Inc,” I have a hard time believing they would do that.

They want the new audience they’re trying to attract to think it’s one thing and the audience they already have o think it’s another. Serious amounts of doublethink at DCs head offices.

DC is trying to attract new readers.

Anyone and everyone heard about it with Jim Lee’s redesign of Wonder Woman accompanied by a media onslaught that informed millions of people what’s going on with DC (of course, they did that with Infinite Crisis, OYL, Final Crisis, Batman RIP ad nauseam). So, DC reached out to new readers, complete with (again) a JIM LEE redesigned look.

That went over very well with the new readers, eh?

It went over so well, they decided to have the same genius who attracted all those new readers with his new WW, redesign the entire line.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.

PS. That Green Lantern #1 cover?

It looks a lot like the cover to the #1 of the Legion of Super Heroes relaunch they just did last year.

That went over well too.

Same bozos who have been making the old bad decisions, you can see how hard at work they are on the new ones and how well this is going to go over. But again, they’ll find some way to blame the ‘hater’ readers for all this when DC collapses next year.

Leo Spampinato

July 4, 2011 at 9:20 am

@dnwilliams— I think that you have summed up the situation quite well.

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