DC Comics have decided that September will be a reboot of sorts of their entire universe. Creatively that seems to be a cool thing for fans of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the like. It’s not quite a full reboot, but more a streamlining of continuity. Still, a whole month of #1s will be quite the sight and a great opportunity to rebrand DC comics for the future.
Creatively, the DCU reboot is going to be a good thing for DC Comics for three reasons: 1.) Streamlined continuity makes it easier for new readers to jump on board. 2.) More diversity in comic book offerings and characters. 3.) Creative opportunities abound.
The DCU is being recreated for the 21st century. Old continuity can be abolished and a new status quo established which keeps the essence of the characters and ignores the rest. For example, Batman = Bruce Wayne. Parents murdered. Alfred. Batmobile, Batcave. Utility Belt, Robin, Joker, Commissioner Gordon maybe and that’s it. Nobody cares if Joe Chill or the Joker shot his parents. Streamlined characters and settings means an easier introduction to DC Comics for new readers interested in learning more and getting in on the ground floor, especially with regards to digital downloads (which I’ll talk about in Part 2).
DC can now promote more demographic diversity without looking like “Hey, we’ve got a lesbian and a gay guy and an African American character that doesn’t have ‘Black’ in his name.” Batwoman will be first and foremost, but I expect Static will be a star of the Teen Titans book. Cyborg already is being pushed as an A-Lister and I wish DC luck with that move. Additionally, this is an opportunity for DC to add more diverse choices in titles and characters such as Sgt. Rock, Kamandi, Checkmate, Jonah Hex, Swamp Thing and OMAC.
Having titles get the #1 reboot all across the DCU is a bold move; one which prompts a million story ideas. There are plenty of questions unanswered and past storylines to mine for inspiration. It frees the writers to explore areas they could not do with the existing continuity. Superman and Wonder Woman hooking up? Sounds good. New versions of the New Gods? Bring it on.