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Tag Archives: DC Comics

Batman and Robin Post DC Reboot

There has been a great deal of confusion regarding DC Comics and the line wide reboot/relaunch of all their published comics.  One of the biggest points of confusion is that in the comics everything has only moved 5 years forward from the origin.

Here’s how that gets confusing for Batman fans.  In 5 years Bruce Wayne has had four, maybe five Robins.

  1. Dick Grayson
  2. Jason Todd
  3. Tim Drake
  4. Stephanie Brown (maybe)
  5. Damien Wayne
That’s a new Robin each year which really doesn’t make sense when you consider that fact that pre-reboot Dick was Robin for many years before developing his Nightwing persona.  How does DC explain the fact that there has been a new Robin nearly every year?  Simple just check out the ‘New 52 FAQ‘ that has been made available to comic book retailers.  Here’s how the FAQ explains the existence of so many Robins in such a short timeline.

Q: If super-heroes have only existed for five years, how has Batman gone through so many Robins?

A: Robin is an intern program -and a very intensive one at that.

What the hell?  An internship?  We are supposed to expect that the bat family that has formed against all odds is instead an internship that brings in employees?  If this is an internship what has happened to the father/son relations ship between Bruce and Dick not to mention Bruce and Tim?  Is that just going to go away?  The sense of family that formed between these men with such troubled pasts is part of what makes their story so compelling.  To get rid of years of history and family for this reboot is ridiculous.

Look at all the animated Batman products there is always a familial relationship between Batman and his sidekicks, just as it has been in the comics.  That is all being thrown out the window right now and for what?  To try and make more money and bring in new readers?  The fact that DC is so willing to get rid of this back-story and history is upsetting to say the least.  I don’t know what DC is doing but its not looking good right now.  This reboot/relaunch might backfire horribly.

The Return of Nightwing and Batgirl [DC Reboot]

As I’ve mentioned before, the DC relaunch has the capability to shake a lot of things up.  It would seem the Bat Family is no exception.  Lets start with a few of the big news pieces.

When the relaunch comes into effect in September, it has been reported that Bruce Wayne will be the only man to wear the Batman cowl.  Logically, we can assume this means Dick Grayson is out as Batman.  I was a fan of Dick as Batman, but I never expected to see him remain the Bat forever.  What does this mean for Dick then?  Nothing official has come out stating Dick’s name, but DC has announced that one of the books to be released is Nightwing #1.  That, and the cover has been released (pictured below).

Nightwing #1 Cover

As you can see, Nightwing is one of the DC heroes that has recieved a redesigned costume.  This costume includes gauntlets very similar to those on the Batman suit.  Notice, that I said Nightwing and not Dick Grayson.  Nothing has been announced in regards to Dick wearing the Nightwing mask.  With the color change from blue to red and the slightly more aggressive looking suit one could question whether Dick Grayson is in fact Nightwing.  It has been teased in the past that Jason Todd would assume the mantle of Nightwing and the new costume looks much more like something Jason would wear than Dick.  Factor in the fact that Jason has acted as the Red Hood and Red Robin and its enough to cast doubt in my mind as to whether Dick Grayson has returned to being Nightwing. (Update: When I wrote this post there had been no official announcement as to the identity of Nightwing.  Currently DC has stated that Dick Grayson is Nightwing.  Therefore my conspiracy theory shown above was just a mental exercise.)

Next up, is Batgirl.  IGN has a cover gallery of all the upcoming first issues in the DC Relaunch.  One of which included Batgirl #1, pictured below.  If you look close you’ll see some differences from the current Batgirl Stephanie Brown.

Batgirl #1 Cover

As you may have noticed, this Batgirl does not have blonde hair like the current version portrayed by Stephanie Brown.  With Batgirl now having red hair, it would be a reasonable guess to say that Barbara Gordon, the once original Batgirl, will be re-donning the cowl.  Needless to say, this could be one of the biggest changes yet with this reboot.  One last fact that lends a big more credence to Babs coming back as Batgirl is that longtime Birds of Prey scribe Gail Simone will be writing the new Batgirl books.  Arguably, she is the writer most associated with Barbara Gordon over the last few years.  Of course, one other thing to bear in mind is that much like the possibility of Dick Grayson becoming Nightwing once more, DC has made no announcements regarding the new Batgirl.

Like was mentioned earlier, this could be one of the biggest changes to come from the DC Relaunch.  I have enjoyed Bryan Q. Miller’s work on Batgirl.  However, I do think Barbara Gordon returning to her role of Batgirl could be pretty cool.  There are a couple of questions though.  Firstly, is The Killing Joke being retconned?  In 1988 the Joker shot Barbara in the spine leaving her paralyzed in what is quite possibly one of my favorite Batman books.  I would hate to see this awesome story retconned, and I’m sure the Batman fanboys would agree with me.  Second, if The Killing Joke isn’t retconned how will they give Barbara back the use of her legs and in effect unparalyze her?  Finally, what happens to Oracle?  With Babs out as Batgirl will someone else assume the role of Oracle or will it just go away?  Hopefully someone takes over Oracle’s responsibilities.

There are a lot of questions left to be answered in regards to both the Batgirl and Nightwing relaunches.  Hopefully some facts are cleared up between now and September, but I have a feeling that DC is going to leave fans guessing as long as possible.  I can tell you this much though, if DC is screwing with us and having Stephanie Brown, the current Batgirl, dye her hair red just to mess with the fans I’m going to be really annoyed.

Update: When I wrote this article there had been no official announcement that Barbara Gordon was becoming Batgirl once more.  Since then it has been announced that Babs is returning as Batgirl.

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.

Superman Reboot News

It seems the current trend with superhero movies is to reboot them as soon as something goes wrong.  We’ve seen it with Spidey and Superman.  News is starting to come out about the possible storyline for the Superman Reboot.  This is completely unconfirmed as of now, but you might want to consider it a spoiler.  Consider yourself warned!

Begin Possible Spoilers

The script written by Batman Begins and The Dark Knight writer David Goyer will supposedly follow Clark Kent as he travels the world.  During his travels he will be considering whether he actually wants to take up the mantle of Superman and be a hero.  Not only that, but General Zod is rumored to be the main villain of the story.

If this is the case I have my own concerns.  Do we really need another origin tale where Clark Kent becomes Superman.  This has been covered and origin movies are notoriously boring and considered to be not as good.  The only exception is Batman Begins which Goyer was also involved in.  Make that will carry over to Superman Reboot…. but I doubt it.

End Possible Spoilers

One of the other factoids starting to hit the web is that the current draft of the Superman Reboot is “a bit of a mess” and this is feeling that has been rumored to be shared by the movie director Zack Snyder.  Is anyone really shocked by this?  DC is rushing this movie way too fast in an effort to retain the rights to the Superman movie franchise.  In order for Warner Brothers/DC to keep the rights to the character, there must be a new film in production by 2011 or the rights revert back to the estates of the original creators, Joe Shuster and Jerry Seigel.  The takeaway here is that we will get a new Superman movie… it just might not be very good.  Good thing I’m a Marvel fanboy.

Pirate Batman… Seriously!

With covers like this I might actually have to read DC’s Return of Bruce Wayne books!

Marvel Sticks it to DC

Last week Marvel announced a new promotion that would allow comic retailers to mail in covers from unsold DC comic.  In return they would receive a 1:50 special edition of Marvel’s Siege crossover.  The catch is that it takes 50 DC covers to receive the 1 variant.   And just to stick it to DC further the only titles allowed in this exchange were those from the Blackest Night crossover.  Many retailers had bought a lot of these issues to receive freebie Lantern rings to give to give out with their orders.

Marvel recently unveiled the cover for this limited issue and its Deadpool wearing a lot of gaudy jewelery… specifically rings.  Coincidence?  Seems unlikely.  However its Deadpool so I must have the comic pictured below.

Batman and Robin #1 Review

I don’t know how much any readers might have been following the recent Batman Comics from DC.  After the Batman R.I.P. arc and the Battle for the Cowl arc things have been shaken up to say to least.  Bruce Wayne, as many might know, was killed in Final Crisis and upon his death Gotham City was left without the Batman.  Gotham remained without Batman until the end of the Battle for the Cowl arc where Dick Grayson assumed the role of Batman.  That wasn’t the only major shift though, Damien Wayne (Bruce’s biological son) has assumed the mantle of Robin and Tim Drake/Wayne is now the Red Robin.  Simply put, there is a new Dynamic Duo in Gotham City.

Batman and Robin #1

Batman and Robin #1

Batman and Robin #1 reunites the team of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.  This is the same duo that relaunched the X-Men in the early 2000s.  Needless to say, I think they are up to the task of showcasing the new Batman and Robin.  Keep in mind, however, that Quitely is only penciling the first 3 issues before taking a 6 issue hiatus.  Its been mentioned by others online, but I think this part bears repeating.  It will be very interesting to see Batman and Robin in opposite roles.  When Bruce Wayne was the Batman he was always serious while the Robins acted in a much more laid back manor and interjected humor into situations.  This is going to be a role reversal now with Damien Wayne’s Robin playing the straightman to Dick Grayson’s Batman.  As a Dick Grayson fan I’m excited to see how things turn out.

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