DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

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DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby JME2 » 2011-05-31 05:52pm

Let's do the Time Warp Again!

A fully revamped DC Universe for a "more modern and diverse 21st century", over 50 new #1 issues, a Geoff Johns-Jim Lee Justice League, and the first of the major comic book publishers to fully embrace "same-day" digital distribution...

That is the breaking news DC Entertainment Tuesday afternoon, finally and officially breaking their silence about their post-Flashpoint plans for their flagship line of comic book titles.

The center of intense rumor and speculation for months now, DC confirmed today that the fictional shared universe of Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lanterm and more will undergo a revamp of their oft-rewritten 76 year-plus history of shared continuity.

Geoff Johns promised USA Today "a focus on the interpersonal relationships within DC's trademark superteam." "What's the human aspect behind all these costumes?" he tells the publication. "That's what I wanted to explore."

The revamp will reportedly involve "introducing readers to stories that are grounded in each character's specific legend but also reflect today's real-world themes and events."

Jim Lee reportedly "spearheaded" the redesign of more than 50 costumes to make characters "more identifiable and accessible to comic fans new and old."

"We looked at what was going on in the marketplace and felt we really want to inject new life in our characters and line," added co-publisher Dan DiDio. "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."

Along with the revamp, and sure to cause uproar among those who buy comic books as collectibles, all DC Universe titles will also be renumbered with new #1 issues, including the industry's two longest-running titles - Action Comics, the birthplace of Superman - and Detective Comics, the home of Batman and namesake of the publisher - the former of which recently published its 900th issue, with the latter in the 880s.

The first officially announced title and creative team of the new era was revealed as well. DC Entertainment co-publisher Jim Lee and Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns will be teaming as artist and writer, respectively, on Justice League #1, launching August 31st and starring Batman, Superman,Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman.

Finally, DC also announced they plan to make all of their titles available for sale in digital format on the same day as their publlished counterparts, starting with Justice League #1. While the decision could probably be described as inevitable, the announcement will still likely be poorly received among some segments of "Direct Market" comic book retailers, whose stores account for the current backbone of monthly comic book sales.

DC has previously taken steps to ease the eventual move to fully same-day digital distribution, announcng in March a partnership with digital distributor comiXology allowing individual retailers to sell digital editions of DC comics through their websites, for a share of the online retail price.

The publisher also sent a letter directly to direct market retailers addressing their announcement. In it, SVP, Sales, DC Entertainment Bob Wayne told retailers, "DC Comics will support this initiative with an innovative mix of publicity, promotional efforts and retailer incentives designed to maximize your opportunity to increase your DC sales. We will discuss additional details of these incentives when we get closer to solicitation later in June."

"We're allowing people who have never bought a comic book in their lives to download them on portable media devices and take a look," Lee said. "Having the ability to give people access to these comics with one button click means we're going to get a lot of new readers."

Lee told USA Today what makes this plan so ambitious is that it's not just about changes in characters or costumes but setting the stage for how comic books will be consumed in the future.

"We're trying to set the table for the DC Universe's future success and health."

More information, including other creative teams, titles, and character changes, is expected with September 2011 solicitations, which should be released Monday June 13, 2011.

Reached for any immediate reaction to DC's new digital publication policy, Marvel Comics declined to comment Tuesday afternoon.


I'm at work, so I'll post more thoughts on this tonight.

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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby Steve » 2011-05-31 08:00pm

I'm of two minds on this, especially the renumbering. On the one hand, throwing away decades of background and history is going to alienate a lot of fans and feels like a cheap marketing ploy. Not to mention the fact that you're junking all the ongoing arcs and stories that writers have been telling.

On the other hand, a lot of comic fans are whiny morons who take this stuff way too seriously, and a fresh start is a way to bring in new readers. Not to mention a reboot can be used to junk lots of old continuity that is just embarrassing to have around (I'm sure Marvel would love to reboot Spidey to get rid of the Clone Saga, for instance). Now a new writer no longer has to worry about accidentally contradicting stuff written 20 years ago lest he incur the wrath of continuity-minded editors or the epically-unpleaseable fanbase this genre has.

In the end, this sounds like DC admitting it can't just do what Marvel did and run a separate continuity alongside the long-established one, so it's taking the big step of hitting the big reset button and hoping it doesn't blow up in their faces. Marvel's still in the lead on them, IIRC, so DC's trying to get back in the game. Time will tell if this stunt works as planned or if it's going to send them even further into the hole.

When it comes down to it, my big issue with the genre is, well. the comic book medium. The art can be awesome, and so can the stories, but the way the medium is published, and developed, makes it into a soap opera too much, and there's simply no guarantee that "world-shattering" events won't be retconned or ignored by future writers.... as, heh, is about to happen on an epic scale.
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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby TimothyC » 2011-05-31 08:44pm

This might actually be a good out for me :P If they are going to reboot the continuity then I can just stop reading and pretend the stories are over.
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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby Drooling Iguana » 2011-05-31 10:35pm

Eh, after all the various crises that they've had over the last 25 years DC continuity has become such a convoluted mess that they'd probably be better off just setting each issue in its own little universe.
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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby JME2 » 2011-05-31 10:36pm

Okay, so my thoughts...

Steve wrote:I'm of two minds on this, especially the renumbering. On the one hand, throwing away decades of background and history is going to alienate a lot of fans and feels like a cheap marketing ploy. Not to mention the fact that you're junking all the ongoing arcs and stories that writers have been telling.


That worries me a lot, especially in regards to Green Lantern. They've put so much effort into expanding the mythology over the last 7 years; is this reboot going to invalidate it all?

I doubt it, given Johns' cache. But I don't see how they'll continue the ongoing saga if they're rebooting their continuity. "War of the Green Lanterns" might well be the end of the Johns-era.

Steve wrote:On the other hand, a lot of comic fans are whiny morons who take this stuff way too seriously, and a fresh start is a way to bring in new readers. Not to mention a reboot can be used to junk lots of old continuity that is just embarrassing to have around (I'm sure Marvel would love to reboot Spidey to get rid of the Clone Saga, for instance). Now a new writer no longer has to worry about accidentally contradicting stuff written 20 years ago lest he incur the wrath of continuity-minded editors or the epically-unpleaseable fanbase this genre has.

In the end, this sounds like DC admitting it can't just do what Marvel did and run a separate continuity alongside the long-established one, so it's taking the big step of hitting the big reset button and hoping it doesn't blow up in their faces. Marvel's still in the lead on them, IIRC, so DC's trying to get back in the game. Time will tell if this stunt works as planned or if it's going to send them even further into the hole.


It probably had to be done sooner or later -- and not on a soft-scale ala Zero Hour or Infinite Crisis

Now I know how the fans in 1985 felt -- which I also find amusing given I was born midway through COIE. I'm a child of the Post-COIE DCU. :)

Anyway, let's hope DC learns from the mistakes of the previous reboots.

Steve wrote:When it comes down to it, my big issue with the genre is, well. the comic book medium. The art can be awesome, and so can the stories, but the way the medium is published, and developed, makes it into a soap opera too much, and there's simply no guarantee that "world-shattering" events won't be retconned or ignored by future writers.... as, heh, is about to happen on an epic scale.


This is one of the reasons I've become tired of mainstream comics. Nothing matters because writers will inevitably want to play in the sandbox with toys that were taken out, regardless of the impact on characters or past concepts. This has been a staple of the Didio-era, with the resurrection of the 'classic' heroes, from Ollie and Kara to Hal and Barry.

This is actually one of the reasons I prefer the DCAU over the mainstream DCU. It's done and finished and no one can go back in and change it.

TimothyC wrote:This might actually be a good out for me :P If they are going to reboot the continuity then I can just stop reading and pretend the stories are over.


Yeah, this is probably a good thing. I've had concerns about continuing this hobby long-term and this might be a good jumping off point.

I am curious to see Johns on the JLA -- though I seriously doubt he'll dethrone Morrison's run in my book.

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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby JME2 » 2011-05-31 10:49pm

And now we have a new rumor courtesy of Bleeding Cool.

Okay, out of all the post-Flashpoint stories I’m running, this is the one on the least firm foundations. But, if true, will have the biggest multi-media implications.

I’m told that Superman and Wonder Woman will be getting together.

In a very media friendly fashion, indeed.

Or at least it will be a plot point. A possibility. And why?

Because this may be as a result of DC Universe/Flashpoint merged continuity, with a non-married Superman and a non-married Lois Lane. Without a messy divorce, without a deal with the devil and without some kind of memory bomb. That aspect is on more firmer footing.

I’m not sure how it fits what I’ve seen of a rejuvenated Superman. But hey, would a Superman that young expect to be tied down? To Lois or to Wonder Woman? Not counting use of a Golden Lassoo…

Okay that’s it. That’s really it. By the time you read this I’ll be in bed.

Tomorrow, Post-Flashpost.


...

I swear to God, if Didio pulls a OMD with Superman and Lois' marriage, I'm never picking up another Superman comic again. :banghead: :finger: :evil:

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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby Darksider » 2011-05-31 10:58pm

They're retconning supe's marriage?

What kind of brainless moron looks at the train wreck that was OMD, the fan backlash to it, and says "yeah, that's a great idea, we need something just like that?"
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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby JME2 » 2011-05-31 11:15pm

Darksider wrote:They're retconning supe's marriage?

What kind of brainless moron looks at the train wreck that was OMD, the fan backlash to it, and says "yeah, that's a great idea, we need something just like that?"


Just a rumor and one I hope to God isn't true.

Also, it's confirmed that Johns will remain on GL and that the saga will remain ongoing. So, yay.

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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby Ahriman238 » 2011-05-31 11:29pm

Just a rumor and one I hope to God isn't true.

Also, it's confirmed that Johns will remain on GL and that the saga will remain ongoing. So, yay.


Least there's a ray of sunlight.

I'm sorry, at it's very best a reboot can be a necessary evil, you've lost your grip on the story so you need to go back to the start. Occasionally, reinventing a franchise can work wonders (see: Chuck's recent Dark Knight review, and resulting discussion of Burton/Nolan Batman vs Adam West Batman.)

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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby TimothyC » 2011-05-31 11:35pm

JME2 wrote:I swear to God, if Didio pulls a OMD with Superman and Lois' marriage, I'm never picking up another Superman comic again. :banghead: :finger: :evil:


:shock: :evil:

Yeah, if this is what they are going to pull I'm jumping off. I like the current Superman, I like the fact that Johns and many of the recent authors (other than JMS, who just had to go out and write his own origin story) have added depth to his character - he had to destroy the last remnants of his origin and his people (The Army of New Krypton) to save his home (Earth).
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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby JME2 » 2011-05-31 11:36pm

Ahriman238 wrote:Least there's a ray of sunlight.


Yeah. But I am curious about one thing.

This is supposed to be a clean entry for new readers, yet GL is still going to reflect the fallout of "War of the Green Lanterns". How is Johns going to handle this? It'll probably be clear once we see the ending in a few weeks.

Ahriman238 wrote:Anytime you begin with concern your characters aren't "hip" enough ends poorly.


Stargate Universe? :)

(I kid, I kid :wink: 8)

TimothyC wrote: I like the current Superman, I like the fact that Johns and many of the recent authors (other than JMS, who just had to go out and write his own origin story) have added depth to his character - he had to destroy the last remnants of his origin and his people (The Army of New Krypton) to save his home (Earth).


Yeah -- not to mention finally giving Zod some depth and making Brainiac scary as hell.

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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby TimothyC » 2011-05-31 11:47pm

JME2 wrote:
TimothyC wrote: I like the current Superman, I like the fact that Johns and many of the recent authors (other than JMS, who just had to go out and write his own origin story) have added depth to his character - he had to destroy the last remnants of his origin and his people (The Army of New Krypton) to save his home (Earth).


Yeah -- not to mention finally giving Zod some depth and making Brainiac scary as hell.

Everyone has gotten deeper, even Lex, who Action and Adventure have in the past few years shown to be even more evil than Darksied. The scene in Adventure where he cures his sister, only to take it away (in an effort to manipulate Connor) was excellent foreshadowing of the bit with the spheres in Action where he could be the most powerful being in the universe, only to not be able to use it when he can't help but try and destroy Supes.
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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby Mr Bean » 2011-05-31 11:54pm

So how many times can DC take a hint from Marvel before they understand what they are doing and not just read the crib notes before running off to kill everyone. If you want to do a reboot say a 2010 suddenly hero's start showing up(Or maybe Mayan 2012 superman leads a tall building in plane view of the public) you have at least thirty issues of nice easy storytelling from getting a job to fighting his way through his new rogues gallery. Then three or four plots in he has to chase someone to Gotham hellooo Batman, now you release your Bats/Superman setup then send him back to metropolis for a few months (issues) except now Lex's is doing something super nefarious and he runs into two or three other heros at the same time and you have a nice little (ten issue say) event where things are foiled and the day is saved. Now screw things up, having something major happen and some peril happen because no one was around to prevent it, lol and behold the Justice League idea of Hero's pooling their resources to fight villainy.That's four years worth of comics right there easy, more if your on the one every two weeks or once a month schedule. But DC is incapable of sticking to that kind of easy to understand time-line and sooner or later a new guy will get in and OMD the whole damn thing to "shake things up" or some other BS. And thus ten years later we will be back here as another reboot is ongoing.

That's the big deal with comics about dealing with sixty plus years of continuity since Bats and Superman have been fighting crime for eighty years now in various versions. I'd watch the movies for sure, if the catroons are great sure those as well, but I can't shell out the kind of money being a comic fan requires. One expensive habit at time thank you.

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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby Enigma » 2011-06-01 12:08am

What's OMD?

Personally, I wouldn't mind a relationship shake-up with Superman. This time around I wouldn't mind him going after WW. :)
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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby JME2 » 2011-06-01 12:12am

Enigma wrote:What's OMD?


A Spider-Man story from 2007 -- one that needlessly nullified and retconned the marriage and rebooted the Spidey line because Joey Quesada thought young men couldn't relate to a married Peter Parker.

No, I am not making this up.

TimothyC wrote:The scene in Adventure where he cures his sister, only to take it away (in an effort to manipulate Connor) was excellent foreshadowing of the bit with the spheres in Action where he could be the most powerful being in the universe, only to not be able to use it when he can't help but try and destroy Supes.


I really feel sorry for Lex. Like Superman, he has all of that potential and could represent humanity's finest -- but he just can't let go of his pride and hatred.

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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby Havok » 2011-06-01 06:28am

JME2 wrote:
Enigma wrote:What's OMD?


A Spider-Man story from 2007 -- one that needlessly nullified and retconned the marriage and rebooted the Spidey line because Joey Quesada thought young men couldn't relate to a married Peter Parker.

This is, despite what I may or may not think about the Spidey reboot, a very valid point. And IIRC, "young men" as a term wasn't referring to late teens or early twenty somethings, but to early teens and kids 12 and under. People who absolutely wouldn't be able to relate to a married man.

As for the DC reboot... so what. They do it every ten years and you guys keep reading. You are all basically full of shit, at least as far as not following what may happen goes. I believe you when you say you won't keep buying issues as most of you I can recall saying that you already basically stopped buying comics except for a few titles... what... $9.00 a month?

I like the idea, with the exception of letting Jim Lee design the new looks of the universe. They just let him do that with Wonder Woman and he figured that raiding Rouge's closet from 1991 was "hip". I am however looking forward to him getting on board The Justice League.

As far as the numbering, again, who cares. It's not like over 75% of those 900 or 880 issues follow any kind of coherent story line anyway. For the most part, they are mostly garbage as far as art and the stories go.

I just want an ACTUAL clean slate if they are going to do this because you can't have Superman be who he is if he just got here. He can't be KC Superman that inspires all the heroes. (P.S. The U.S. government isn't going to miss a meteor the size of Kal-El's ship landing in the middle of the country in 1987) And Batman can't be The Goddamned Batman. Wonder Woman can still be a misogynistic asshole if they want her to be, because her island is magic. Aquaman is gonna be super PISSED THE FUCK OFF at the world for fucking up his ocean for the last hundred years. Green Lantern can be the same retard, along with the Flash and Martian Manhunter.

I like it though because they, unless they are going to make some massive changes to basic timelines, are going to "kill" off a shitload of characters.
All the Robins die. We may never have to see Jason Todd or Damien ever again. Tim Drake for that matter, although I liked him.
All the Batgirls/women die.
All the Supers die. No more Steele, Power Girl, Super Girl, Cyborg-Supes etc..
All the Green Lanterns die.
Etc.

Hopefully, they take this chance to take stock of what worked and what didn't and are not afraid to cast aside the crap. They can also focus on fewer characters and get some better quality out there. AND they can take the depth that some characters have found and apply it from the beginning.

My issue is in the first sentence of the OP article...
over 50 new #1 issues,
This means that none of what I hope for, and what should happen, is going to actually happen. If they are going to run with over 50 #1's, that means they are going to try to reboot WELL OVER 50 characters all at once, which mean, there will be no mass "deaths". So sad.

"Google Fu" I just did some checking and have found some of what is getting "rebooted". What a fucking joke.

Brand New Batman isn't going to strike fear into criminals in 2011. And there is no reason to look up to Brand New Superman as the best of the best, when you have someone like Brand New Captain Marvel around. And so like, how can you have Brand New Teen Titans around when you have Brand New Batman/Green Arrow, Aquaman, Wonder Woman early in their careers? How can you have multi colored Lanterns, with Brand New Green Lantern?!? Brand New Batman is just gonna make OMAC and the government isn't going to kill the shit out of him?!?

Fucking idiots.

I take it back. This is gonna be a cluster fuck. Might as well just let Grant Morrison run all of DC. It may end up making the same amount of sense.
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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby Thanas » 2011-06-01 06:53am

I really miss Ghost Rider, he always had the best commentary on things like this.

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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby JME2 » 2011-06-01 12:48pm

Havok wrote:I just want an ACTUAL clean slate if they are going to do this because you can't have Superman be who he is if he just got here. He can't be KC Superman that inspires all the heroes. (P.S. The U.S. government isn't going to miss a meteor the size of Kal-El's ship landing in the middle of the country in 1987) And Batman can't be The Goddamned Batman. Wonder Woman can still be a misogynistic asshole if they want her to be, because her island is magic. Aquaman is gonna be super PISSED THE FUCK OFF at the world for fucking up his ocean for the last hundred years. Green Lantern can be the same retard, along with the Flash and Martian Manhunter.


Right and we know it's not going to be a clean slate since Green Lantern is continuing its storylines.

I'm torn on the whole issue. The GL story arc and its themes are very important to me and I wouldn't want to see 7 years of world-building sacrificed like that.

At the same time, failure to clean the entire slate was one of the biggest mistakes of the post-COIE and caused numerous problems. So, we'll see if history had a problem.

Regarding Spider-Man -- I'm a DC guy so I really don't care. Quesada probably had a point, but it was the way it was done that irked me.

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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby Stofsk » 2011-06-01 05:15pm

Havok wrote:Wonder Woman can still be a misogynistic asshole if they want her to be,

Uh did you mean misanthropic here? Because the words 'wonder woman' and 'misogynistic' don't sound like they should go together. I'm not even sure if she could be described as a misanthrope anyway, but you'd know the character better than I.
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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby Batman » 2011-06-01 05:42pm

Let's face it, you can't keep that much continuity coherent, especially when it isn't particularly continuous. On top of the enormous amount of material you have to work through, there's the stuff that was written out, then written back in, then back out again but not completely, and so on. Nobody can keep track of that, not with that number of titles, some of which go back three quarters of a century.
A clean start-a really clean start-would clear a lot of that up and let them start from scratch. Clark lands once more, my parents get killed in front of my eyes again, Alan carves his ring once more, Jay has his little accident...
At which point of course a not inconsiderable portion of the fandom starts screaming because they want Hal and Barry, not the really original ones, at which point likely another part of the fandom starts screaming why not start with Wally and Kyle/John, if you're not really going back to basics why not start with the ones we grew up with instead of them oldtimers, and so on.
Given that either way they go they'd piss off a lot of the longtime fans they're not gonna do it (for starters, who really wants to read mine or Clark's origin story again?) but instead keep parts of established continuity, because we all know that worked out so well in the past.
As for them keeping what worked and throwing out the trash, given they did the exact opposite with Infinite Crisis and the general return to Silver Age hilarity I'm not exactly holding my breath. In fact I think I'll just stay in my drawer for another decade and than see what happened.
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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby mr friendly guy » 2011-06-01 06:37pm

I will stick to the GL storylines because I want to see what happens between the various lantern corps. I will also stick to Legion of Superheroes since they kind of already got rebooted - back to the classic silver age version no doubt, but getting two characters from the post zero hour reboot version to stay.

I have had a look at WW Godyssey, which seems to be as close to a reboot (unless they hit the reset button) and its only so far ok. If they do the same with the other DC characters I really can't see this as much better.
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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby SAMAS » 2011-06-01 07:07pm

I can't say I don't like the idea of just rebooting the whole thing every few decades or so.

But what I would like to see them do, at least once, is an ending to a continuity rather than a reset/reboot. Say to each author: "You have one/three/however years to wind down your title to an end." Let them come up with their best way to "end" their heroes' stories, and maybe one final Crisis Crossover, and an epilogue chapter for each book, then the next year, start everybody off again fresh. The same concept with the writer's own twist.
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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby Batman » 2011-06-01 07:25pm

And come up with something completely new when the stuff they used before made them oodles of money? At best you'll get them using the same old franchises and taking them in a new direction, and if nBSG or SGU are any indication, that's not necessarily a good thing.

For stuff that has been in print as long as we have, people aren't going to accept that 'Terribly sorry, Batman is dead, no more comics about him.' I can-tentatively-see them switching to Terry instead, thanks to the popularity of BB, but you're never getting away with replacing leave alone eliminating the Big Blue Schoolboy. The best you can hope for is a redo from start and telling our stories all over again, and given those stories have been an old hat for half a century, I don't think that'll be received favourably.
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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby TimothyC » 2011-06-01 08:53pm

mr friendly guy wrote:I will stick to the GL storylines because I want to see what happens between the various lantern corps. I will also stick to Legion of Superheroes since they kind of already got rebooted - back to the classic silver age version no doubt, but getting two characters from the post zero hour reboot version to stay.


I have to say that given the ways that things could have gone wrong, the current LoSH stories (in LoSH and Adventure) are doing quite well.
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Re: DC Hits the Reset Button -- Again...

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2011-06-02 04:52am

DC losing control of part of Superman
Warner Bros. and DC Comics have lost a little more control over the Man of Steel.

In an ongoing Federal court battle over Superman, Judge Stephen Larson ruled Wednesday that the family of the superhero's co-creator, Jerry Siegel, has "successfully recaptured" rights to additional works, including the first two weeks of the daily Superman newspaper comic-strips, as well as portions of early Action Comics and Superman comic-books.

The ruling is based on the court's finding that these were not "works-made-for-hire" under the Copyright Act.

This means the Siegels -- repped by Marc Toberoff of Toberoff & Associates -- now control depictions of Superman's origins from the planet Krypton, his parents Jor-El and Lora, Superman as the infant Kal-El, the launching of the infant Superman into space by his parents as Krypton explodes and his landing on Earth in a fiery crash.

The first Superman story was published in 1938 in Action Comics No. 1. For $130, Jerry Siegel and co-creator Joel Shuster signed a release in favor of DC's predecessor, Detective Comics, and a 1974 court decision ruled they signed away their copyrights forever.

In 2008, the same court order ruled on summary judgment that the Siegels had successfully recaptured (as of 1999) Siegel's copyright in Action Comics No. 1, giving them rights to the Superman character, including his costume, his alter-ego as reporter Clark Kent, the feisty reporter Lois Lane, their jobs at the Daily Planet newspaper working for a gruff editor, and the love triangle among Clark/Superman and Lois.

While ownership of the Man of Steel is one point of all this legal activity, the real issue is money and how much Warner Bros. and DC owe the Siegels from profits they collected from Superman since 1999, when the heirs' recapture of Siegel's copyright became effective.

DC owns other elements like Superman's ability to fly, the term kryptonite, the Lex Luthor and Jimmy Olsen characters, Superman's powers and expanded origins.

In a statement, Warner Bros. and DC said, "Warner and DC Comics are pleased that the court has affirmed that the vast majority of key elements associated with the Superman character that were developed after Action Comics No. 1 are not part of the copyrights that the plaintiffs have recaptured and therefore remain solely owned by DC Comics."

The Shuster estate originally did not participate with the Siegels' case because Shuster has no spouse or children. But his estate later won a ruling of a recapture identical to the Siegels, which will be effective in 2013. At that point, the Siegels and Shusters will own the entire copyright to Action Comics No. 1. That will give them the chance to set up Superman pics, TV shows and other projects at another studio.

If they want to get a new "Superman" or even "Justice League" pic featuring the superhero, Warner Bros. and DC will be forced to go into production by 2011.


Hotfoot found this little gem today. Losing control of a large chunk of Superman may be part of the reason that DC is considering this reboot, so they can get it underway while they still have some control.
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