Nerds of the Round Table

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The Great Reboot of DC Comics

Hearing or seeing the word reboot when it comes to comics generally sends a cold chill down my spine.  Mostly because I’m old school and like to respect the past storylines that have been told.  That being said, sometimes a reboot can be a good thing for refreshing iconic characters.  DC recently announced that starting on August 31 they will be rebooting the entire line of DC Comics and going down to 52 series.  Additionally Jim Lee has redesigned and/or tweaked the costumes of about 50 major characters in the DC Universe.

Starting in August DC will release 50 first issues, their intent is to create “a more modern, diverse DC Universe.”   DC’s Senior Vice President-Sales Bob Wayne provided some more information about the reboot.  He stated there will be “some character variations in appearance, origin and age. All stories will be grounded in each character’s legend — but will relate to real world situations, interactions, tragedy and triumph.”

DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio was interviewed by USA Today and provided more information about the reboot and its intended effects on the DC Universe.  This is one of the interesting parts of the interview:

In September, an additional 51 first issues will make their debut, introducing stories that are grounded in each character’s specific legend but also reflect today’s real-world themes and events. Lee spearheaded the costumes’ redesign to make characters more identifiable and accessible to comic fans new and old.
“We really want to inject new life in our characters and line,” says Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC with Lee. “This was a chance to start, not at the beginning, but at a point where our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today’s audience.”

It seems as though Flashpoint is the mechanism that will allow the bulk of these changes to take place.  The DC Universe has already been changed leading up to Flashpoint and my guess is that when Barry Allen tries to make things right it will cause the reboot of the DC Universe.  Everything will seem familiar but there will be minor changes, all as a result of Flashpoint.  It’s  a smart way to make the changes, I have to give them credit for that.

The question is what kind of things will be rebooted?  Are major plot points going to go away, and if so how will fans react?  An example of some of the defining moments of the DCU that could be changed are:

  1. The Death of Superman
  2. The Marriage of Superman and Lois Lane
  3. Bane breaking Batman’s back
  4. The inclusion of Robin in the Batman books.
  5. The crippling of Barbara Gordon, the first Batgirl.
  6. All of the Crisis stories, specifically the death of Barry Allen
  7. Barry Allen’s subsequent resurrection
  8. Blackest Night
  9. The fall and eventual redemption of Hal Jordan

These are just some examples, but it seems like DC has made just about everything fair game for the reboot.  The question is, where do you draw the line?  How do you remove some moments of DC history that fans love but not others?

DC has provided a preview of the new Justice League and in the preview, pictured below, we can see some of the minor costume changes that have taken place.  Jim Lee was give free rein to make changes an on whole they look pretty good.  There are two costume redesigns that stand out to me.  First, Wonder Woman is keeping a costume very similar to the one Lee just created.  Next Superman’s costume has been tweaked some.  He now has a high collar and the S shield has been modified some.  Purists might not like it, but I can live with the change.


It seems to me there is a lot of potential for ‘fanboy rage’ to come out of this reboot.  I guarantee rage if they retcon Bane breaking Batman’s back.  It sounds intriguing to me, but if I were a big DC fan I would be scared.   However, this reboot does serve as a good jumping on point for me to read more DC books.  I’ll probably be checking out the Batman books to see how everything has changed.  Realistically, I’ll probably pick up some other books as well because I’m just too curious to see what is going to change with the entire DC Universe.  My hope is that DC is able to pull of this reboot much better than Marvel did with the Spider-Man books in One More Day/Brand New Day.  Those have turned into a mess and turned me off on a character I have loved since my childhood.  Good luck DC, I’ll be watching to see how this all turns out.

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