CA Convo: What Will Happen to the DC Universe in September? [Poll]
There's been a lot of discussion and speculation recently about what's coming in the DC Universe this September, sparked by some curious news coming out of the August comic book solicitations and DC's blog The Source:
IMPORTANT NOTE: Because of its impact on the DC Universe, FLASHPOINT #5 is the only title that DC Comics is currently soliciting to arrive in stores on August 31.
Long-time readers may remember, of course that all of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again; in 1994, the final issue of DC's Zero Hour event shipped alone as well, the conclusion of a mega-crossover that altered or rewrote significant parts of DC Universe history. As we previously noted, this single issue shipment in late August also coincides with the end of nearly every significant storyline in the DC Universe. So what happens in Flashpoint #5? And even more importantly, what happens afterwards?
Secrecy surrounding the post-Flashpoint DC Universe is tight, even for a publisher already known for being tight-lipped about spoilers. As Vaneta Rogers explained at Newsarama, the first rule of Flashpoint for comics creators is that you DO NOT TALK ABOUT FLASHPOINT:
It's not just a fun saying, but a policy DC has enacted with its "people in the know." A few creators have even admitted to Newsarama that they've signed a legally binding "non-disclosure agreement" that prevents them from even hinting about their work after August.
Noted grumpy old fan Tom Bondurant floated a few different possibilities at Robot 6, from relaunching titles with new #1 issues to a line-wide reboot to going right back to where the DCU was before Flashpoint. In the end, though, he leans towards the idea that like most crossovers that declare they will change everything forever, the changes Flashpoint makes will be more like a controlled burn than a slate-cleaner:
Ultimately, if Flashpoint does leave a lasting mark on the superhero books, I suspect it will be more of an expansion of storytelling possibilities - again, like the infinite Earths returning, or (more likely) a troop of new-to-new-ish characters - than an array (no matter how sweeping) of detail-oriented changes. I've mentioned a couple of blow-it-up-and-start-over possibilities, but that's all they are. While Flashpoint has the potential to shake up the regular DC timeline in radically new ways, especially with a few of its key characters, the practicalities of a shared superhero universe don't leave it much room to operate.
CA's own David Uzumeri, however, looked into the tea leaves of the exact same solicitations and saw much bolder moves in store for the DCU:
DC couldn't be clearer that Flashpoint is going to rewrite the entire landscape of the DC Universe, and the solicitations for August back that up massively, as almost every single storyline currently going on in the DC Universe comes to its conclusion or is buffered by fill-in issues to kill time until the relaunch in September...The last time DC did any sort of coordinated linewide reboot like this was the One Year Later initiative during and after Infinite Crisis; this looks to prove just as transformative.
Graeme McMillan had a few suggestions for DC, like returning characters to their more iconic roles, explaining any major changes in books to the readers, and in our opinion, the most important suggestion of all: making sure that the post-Flashpoint books are jumping on points for new readers. Except that unlike relaunches that just rewind the odometer to #1 but just keep on writing for people that have been reading DC Comics for decades, they should actually be jumping on points for completely new readers. That means, as McMillan says, "everything the reader would require in order to become a fan of the series should be present in the September issue."
He also drops a quick laundry list of other to-dos he hopes DC Comics will keep on their post-Flashpoint whiteboard, and it's hard to disagree with:
Give Some New Characters A Chance, Don't Invent Things You're Not Going To Do Anything With (Hi, new Global Guardians in Green Lantern), Try And Ensure Your New Creative Teams Don't Bail On Books A Couple Of Months In Where Possible, As Far As Humanly Possible, Try To Have A Better Shipping Schedule Than One Year Later Did, or even Seriously, Killing People Off For Shock Value Is Over, Please Don't Have A Sudden Death or Two To Make A Point.
So what do you think is going to happen after Flashpoint (and what are you hoping will happen)? Will it radically change the DCU like Crisis on Infinite Earths, tweak aspects of it like Zero Hour, or just take everyone on a tour of a radically different reality before returning to the status quo like Marvel's Age of Apocalypse? Or something totally different?