Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Hitting...........the button

It's all coming out of....

This summer Geoff Johns (he of the misspelled name) launches his alternate-timeline opus to the Flash. June is the month when it all really gets going with over twenty books being added to the DC offering. Over the course of the summer? Schedules for Flashpoint related books I've seen put the overall number of comics written as a part of this event at almost one hundred (the number doesn't include any regular series tie-ins.)

I honestly can't remember the last time that a summer event introduced that many books into my monthly order. It's almost obscene. Yet while I'm anticipating Flashpoint, I'm not exactly looking forward to the fallout. As all of you no doubt know by now, following Flashpoint, DC will press....

....the button!

Now, this isn't the first time that DC has taken steps to revamp their universe. There have been all manner of Crisis stories, Zero Hour events and the like designed to allow the DCU to transition from its apparently heavy and cumbersome history into a smoother, tighter, more user friendly mode. Well, apparently none of them worked, because here we are again.

Naturally people who don't read comics on a regular basis have extolled the virtue of this decision, pointing to the difficulty following the continuity heavy backstory of comics as a reason why they don't read them now. Pardon my french but....

Spoken like a person who doesn't read comics. I don't read X-Men, but when I have cause to pick up issues (usually in graphic novel format, and usually at trade shows where they're dirt cheap) it takes me all of half a book (often about 2 - 3 issues) to get my bearings, understand what I've missed and get the general gist of what's going on. And if that ever proves too daunting, I've discovered this marvelous new thing; it's called the internet. I look up the answers I need to give me context in about ninety seconds, and then I get back to enjoying my book.

Do you want my opinion?

Too bad. You're getting it anyways. First of all, Spider-Man sucks. Second of all, the value of a character is in the development that's taken place, because that development has often added depth and breadth to the character you're interested in. Wiping it away makes the character less vibrant and interesting. Effectively it makes them Peter Parker.

The good news is that DC says that none of the core cannon will change, even with the updates. That's some relief, of course, but does it address everything it should? I mean, what do you consider core canon?

Is Clark Kent married to Lois Lane?
Is Barry Allen dead?
Did Hal Jordan betray the corps and become Parallax?
Is Superboy a clone of Clark and Lex?
Did HUSH ever happen?
Is there a Batman Inc?

With some of the leaks coming out now, we can guess at some of the answers. Some will win fans over, and some, I suspect, will alienate fans who are pissed off at investing into a character to have it all wiped away. I know I won't be pleased to see the cowl torn off of Dick before he got a chance to really own it. Or will I? After all, few of the writers have done a good job with him under the cowl.

Still, out of this will come something that does excite me.

Geoff Johns and Jim Lee on JLA.

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