Saying Goodbye to the DC, While Waiting on the DCnU

28 Aug

Saying goodbye is never easy.  I particularly have never found it an easy concept to deal with but this week I will be saying goodbye to some friends or the last 24 years.  This is the week that DC retires much of their continuity to modernize their characters.  I have read and loved the adventures of Superman and his friends for almost as long as I can recall.  Still, this isn’t like most goodbyes, because this features the promise of a new beginning. 

Not a lot is known right now and in fact, we can’t even really say what will be in the DCnU and what will be out.  We do know that as of right now “Identity Crisis” is still part of this DCU.  Although I enjoyed it from a story perspective, and would personally love for Brad Meltzer to return to write more comic books, the loss of Sue and Ralph Dibney has always bothered me.  They represented a special part of the DCU.  Likewise, Blue Beetle II, Ted Kord, my second favorite character ever is still apparently dead or never existed at all, as his replacement Jaime Reyes will be the Blue Beetle of the new DC.  And it looks like my all time favorite run of the Justice League, the Justice League International, will not have taken place, as a major part of this initiative is the start of the JLI.  Maybe they will be reforming, but to me it sounds like this is a new start for these characters as a team.  And though I think Dan Jurgens will do the concept justice, it won’t be my Justice League. 

I could go on and on about the things I will be missing, but instead I want to focus on the potential in this concept.  Many fans are (rightfully) upset that their favorite characters or runs are about to be undone.   Long ago, DC’s World War II characters all but retired as superheroes went out of vogue.  During the 50s and 60s when heroes became popular again, DC didn’t return Alan Scott and Jay Garrett as the stars of books, but instead replaced them with newer versions of the characters that have since become famous, Hal Jordan and Barry Allen.  New concepts and characters soon were developed, like the Legion of Superheroes and the Justice League of America. 

And it didn’t end there.  In the 1980s, DC decided to do their first major reboot.  The “Crisis on Infinite Earths” allowed DC to merge the many different universes they were publishing into one succinct universe, with one history.  Supposedly, this was done to clean up continuity and help stop confusion about the characters.  Barry Allen was retired and replaced by Wally West, as the first sidekick to make it to the big leagues.  The Legion of Superheroes was rebooted, several times over the years, before settling on a major restart after “Zero Hour,” yet another time when DC decided to modernize things.  Just a few short years ago, DC had the “Infinite Crisis” which allowed various other changes to the DCU.  Superman was once again a member of the Legion and soon the classic Legion returned.  Wally was briefly replaced and then returned with children.  Finally, in “Final Crisis,” Barry returned to become the Flash just in time for DC’s second company-wide reboot. 

DC’s history has constantly changed.  Through each of the many reiterations, some parts of the stories have been appreciated, while others were quickly dropped.  Some characters modernize and some are dropped off for a while.  I plan on pointing out a few thoughts I would recommend for the DCU over the next week, but I can’t wait to see what happens.  In the end, I know I will be disappointed with some of it and excited about other parts.  DC has never completely let me down.  I recommend that if you have ever read, planned to read, or thought about reading comics to give it a shot.  It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but it will certainly be fun.


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