DC Rebirth - there's no stopping us now. Again. Hopefully...

DC Rebirth is on the horizon, a revamp of the comics line to reflect a changed editorial approach. 

It's hard to believe it's nearly five years since DC Comics crushed the old continuity in a Flashpoint and gave us a revamped line. Since then we've had cancellations, new titles and the DC You project, which loosened the reigns of editorial fiat. 

The initial DC New 52 sales were great, but soon tapered off as it became apparent the line-wide revamp was in large part a rush job. Storylines turned on a dime, creative teams were wafted away in the dead of night, and readers deserted in droves. While there were some good series here and there - Batman has been consistently worthwhile, Batgirl turned into something fresh, Justice League 3000 was surprisingly great - too much of the output was reheated Nineties generic pie. 

And the good things came at a high price - the history of the DC universe. The heroic legacy stretching back to the 1930s, which had led to fourth generation heroes, was eschewed as DC drove forward into a very 1990s refresh. Last year, though, DC dipped its toes into the waters of course correction, bringing back characters from the pre-Flashpoint continuity, and even letting a couple of them - the Lois Lane of 'New Earth' and her Superman - appear regularly. 
And now DC has gone further, announcing that come May, there'll be a Rebirth. Creative Director Geoff Johns is overseeing a spring cleaning of the line, hoping to recapture some of the magic of his Green Lantern and Flash Rebirths. He won't be writing everything, of course; after the $2.99 80pp DC Universe Rebirth kicking off the project, it looks like he won't be penning anything regularly. But he is running a Writers' Room at DC Entertainment's new headquarters in California. 

He tells Comic Book Resources: 'So editors come in, writers come in, we sit down, we talk about "Rebirth." What it means, what our goals are, how to build up and forward instead of tear down. I have a whole wall that's a whiteboard, and an extensive comic library, and we talk about story, about what we love about the characters. Take "Birds of Prey" -- we talk about why we first loved the Birds of Prey; why we love Dinah, Barbara and Helena. The runs we loved. The characters then and now. It begins with that. And then where it all goes next. It can't be doing the same old thing. Or re-telling another story. It's got to be new. "Blackest Night" was new when we had the dead rise. So what can we build on in this case? What story can only the Birds of Prey tell? And I think there's a great one coming up.'

Sounds good. It doesn't mean everything that emerges will be to my taste - I don't see how 'what we love about the characters' led to Barry Allen's backstory becoming grimdark, with murdered Mom and jailed Pop - but it has to be good that discussions have been taken place. What emerges should be a mix of Johns' vision as a massive, longtime DC fan and whatever fresh ideas the writer brings to the table. 

Ah yes, 'the writer'. DC hasn't yet told us just what the creative teams on individual books are. Details will be given at Wondercon in Los Angeles on 26 March. We know that a few names have been signed as DC exclusive - Tom King, Clay Mann and Jon Timm - but not what they're attached to. Rumours say King is handling Batman, which is going bi-weekly, with departing Batman writer Scott Snyder switching to the still-monthly Detective. Given the novel work King has done on Vision, Omega Men and Grayson (with Tim Seeley), I'm definitely interested. 

I'm not so hot on the idea of bi-weekly books. Yes, DC is rolling back the line to $2.99, dumping the several books priced at $3.99 which contain just a couple of pages more than the rest of the 20pp books, unlike Marvel's twice-a-month $3.99/20pp cash grab. But still, following a few of these more frequent books will soon add up, and I'm wary that storylines will be artificially padded to ensure ideas don't run out. 

One thing I am good with is the return of the original numbering to Action Comics and Detective Comics, which are fast-approaching their 1000th issue. Sentimental? Yes, but it goes back to DC embracing its history, the legacy Johns says will be at the heart of the Rebirth project. To quote his CBR interview again - which is well worth a read - 'There's got to be an umbilical cord that goes all the way back to "Action Comics" #1, that connects the whole DC Universe.' That line made me smile broadly, I think of his umbilical cord as a beautiful magic lasso, pulling back the best of the past and placing it gently into 2016. 

In the video DC released of Johns - notice, not Dan DiDio or Jim Lee, the faces of the New 52 and DC You - confirming the rumoured changes - he says the first line of the DC Universe: Rebirth 80pp giant will be:  'I love this world... but there's something missing'. It's a lock that the unknown character - likely Barry Allen, given DC is as obsessed with putting him at the centre of revamps as it is with the number 52 - is talking the heroic legacy. Bleeding Cool, which has been pretty accurate with its Rebirth rumours, says the Justice Society is returning. I don't know if the younger Earth 2 heroes who debuted in 2011 are sticking around, but it seems unlikely that if, indeed, a more classic, Golden Age group, is to the fore. BC has heard that 'not only will this active team of superheroes be revealed, along with an explanation as to why no one remembers them, but they will be brought forward, young, to the present days, fishes out of water, fighting alongside the Justice League of America'. 

Oh, and indeed, gah. The man out of time thing is interesting, but it's been Captain America's schtick, off and on, for decades. Heck, Marvel have already done it with a group of heroes in The Twelve, a very underrated series. I hope BC is only half-correct, and that a Titans Hunt-style 'the world forgot everything' conceit isn't coming. I like the JSA either as heroes in their prime in the 1940s, or as veterans mentoring a new generation. Still, it is, as they say, only a rumour. 
What could this publicity image mean? It looks to be, from left, post-Crisis Kon-El Superboy, Jay Garrick, Green Arrow, Bart Allen, Jessica Cruz Green Lantern and Supergirl - but why together?
I'm pretty excited by the presence of a Legion of Super-Heroes image (that's an extract from the cover to #300 from the Eighties, trivia fans, a superb story) in the Johns video. But will they be monthly or semi-monthly? The idea of a twice-a-month Legion has me retrenching on my 'monthlies only' preference. Let's find out which it is via the list of announced titles and dates from DC: 

Rebirth Specials:
New #1 Issues (Shipping twice monthly):
New Issues (Shipping twice monthly):
Rebirth Specials:
New #1 Issues (Shipping twice monthly):
New #1 Issues (Shipping monthly):
Rebirth Specials:
New #1 Issues (Shipping twice monthly):
New #1 Issues (Shipping monthly):
EARTH 2 #1
Oh. No Legion. Am I downhearted? I am not. These lists are notorious for omissions and amendments. I remain optimistic - obviously, the Legion news is SO massive it needs its own press release. 

Yeah, that's it. No Doom Patrol, either, which seems weird, given the team is one of the concepts DC continually returns to. OK, it continually cancels DP series, but there are enough fans out there, surely, to merit it being given a shot. 

Cyborg is surprising as a twice-monthly, given the current monthly hasn't set the sales charts alight. DC must really be expecting Vic Stone to prove a breakout character so far as the Batman Vs Superman film is concerned. 

I'm delighted to see Supergirl regain a monthly, though with the success of her TV series I'd expect her to be given a chance at a bi-weekly, a la Flash and Green Arrow. 
The announcement of a Blue Beetle series makes me smile, I hope it's a mix of Ted Kord - who has appeared a few times in the New 52, and needs a haircut - and Jaime Reyes. Both were great characters prior to the 2011 revamp. They're both in the video, which augers well. 

Super-Sons? Presumably not the return of the Bronze Age's hopelessly hip teenage sons of Superman and Batman, it's more likely a teaming of Damian Wayne (who's seemingly losing his current solo title and rumoured to be leading a new Teen Titans, despite being about ten) and Jon Kent of the excellent Lois and Clark mini. All of which sounds decidedly non-organic so far as concepts go - and if Damian's in charge, where does that leave Tim Drake? Hopefully as anything but the terrible Red Robin - give him back the lead Robin status, DC, and a solo book written by Chuck Dixon. 

Superwoman? Bleeding Cool, in one of its off moments, were fooled into believing this was Lois Lane with superpowers, but the faker came clean. Could it be Power Girl with a new name to follow the awful costume with S-shield she adopted a couple of years back? I hope not, Power Girl is Power Girl; making her an official Super character would be as daft as Marvel making Falcon Captain America, and you don't see them doing that, do you?
As for The Superman, Lex Luthor with powers seems a safe punt given the cover of Justice League #52, the last issue for Johns and the excellent Jason Fabok. Plus, a bald Super-Man ties in with the legacy notion by evoking Siegel and Shuster's pre-DC Reign of the Super-Man story. Unless the creative team are un-favourites, I'll give it a try, though I'm almost as tired of Luthor as I am of the Joker - it's only a few years since Luthor headlined Action Comics, I'd rather he appeared only a couple of times a year and spent the rest of his days in prison greys. 

Nightwing makes sense, given King will be very busy if on double-Batman, Grayson never felt like a longterm thing and Dick is already back in one of his old suits in Titans Hunt. 

Which brings us to Titans and Teen Titans. Having grown up with Dick, Donna, Lilith and co, I'm all for them having a regular spot, but I do hope Donna and Garth are de-savaged, I'm not at all keen on the New 52 versions. The Teen Titans need serious work if they're to gain me as a reader, the adventures of Red Robin, Brickboy, Oysterface and co have been a consistent lowlight of the New 52. 

As for Earth 2, to quote the Cybermen, delete, delete! I've had enough of the updated JSA in doom-laden stories. And while the loss of an Alan Scott who happens to be gay is a blow for diversity, DC could always, like, invent some new folk - the new Alan always felt like a stunt anyway. 

Trinity would be Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, the World's Finest trio - depending on what characterisations shake out of Rebirth, this could be fun. 

Barbara Gordon gets two books, her eponymous title and a Birds of Prey revamp. Well, I've been a fan of Barbara's recent exploits, but upcoming solicits seem to have the Burnside locale and approach ending, as the creative team departs. That's a headscratcher, as the Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr Batgirl seems to have been one of the few genuine critical hits of the New 52. And while good press doesn't always equate to sales, I'm pretty sure it was doing OK. Still, let's see what's coming next, it's not like anyone saw Burnside coming. 
As for Birds of Prey, it's never flown without Babs-as-Oracle; I can easily see DC slipping Batgirl's computer expert roommate Frankie into the role, but at its core BoP was always Oracle and Black Canary in defined partnership roles, and I'm unsure it can work with a different dynamic. I hope so. 

I'd like to see Wonder Woman completely de-New 52-ed - no sword, no Olympian family and definitely no rapist Amazons. Current writer Meredith Finch and artist hubby David are rumoured to be off the book but on different, separate projects, which is a good start. 

If Scott Snyder does land on Detective Comics - and I'd not be surprised to see him on a Superman book after his Superman Unchained limited series - it'll finally stop being seen as the skippable Batman series; with Batman as the lead of the line, Snyder is free to go weirder places. And weird Snyder is the best Snyder. 

Superman and Action Comics need to adopt a consistent approach, with Clark as the world's favourite hero once more, the man who deserves to be DC's best-known figure (Batman has the better sales, but kids come out of the womb knowing Superman). I'd love to see Nineties stalwart Dan Jurgens writing and 'show running' the books, Lois and Clark showed he still gets the character. 

As for the rest of the line, there are no big surprises, and nothing that provokes particular thoughts. What do you think? 


  1. Cool analysis Martin - thank you. I'll know that Rebirth is working for me when I look forward to the books as much as the TV shows, something I'd never thought I'd say. I'm keen on seeing a likeable speedster back in the Titans somewhere but lament the lack of Doom Patrol and the Question.

    Azzarello/Chiang WW was a shining light in the new 52 for me but that run stands on its own; I don't necessarily need to see Diana back in that space after Rebirth.

    Cheers !

    1. And cheers to you too! I forgot about the Question - I liked the original, Renee Montoya seemed a bad fit... she's another character who's great as themselves, and shouldn't be shoehorned in to fill a space. See also the tragically named Crispus Allen.

  2. How many times have DC pulled this one already?

    After fifteen years of saying they don't do things like Marvel do, their big idea is to do what Marvel does, so thank you but no.

  3. Great analysis Martin. Thanks. I have mixed feelings around this. With the same team in charge of the company I don't know if a fictional rebirth is as necessary as different leadership. That said? I'm glad Johns has been the voice of this. It gives me some measure of hope that some of the worst elements of the post Flashpoint world will be cleaned up.

    1. Ah-blooming-men! Given the shark-like nature of massive corporations it's surprising the higher-ups at DC are still the higher-ups at DC.

    2. From what I've read, this is their last chance. They've been given notice because of being two million dollars off target, hence "Rebirth." I think because of how drastic their market share has dropped and because DC is making a real presence on big and small screens, WB is finally taking notice of their comic book company and the money they can make and lose compared to the pop culture phenomenon that is Disney/ Marvel/ Star Wars.

    3. Worrying times for DC. Did you see Dan DiDio being interviewed on Comics Vine, he looked really uncomfortable.

    4. I didn't! I try to avoid all interviews with them. That's interesting. Why did he look uncomfortable? Like he knows this is "it" for DC? For him?

    5. I don't know. Maybe he just needed the loo. Perhaps I'm imagining it. See what you reckon:


      (Love the new gravitar ... do they still call them that? Icon picture thingie.)

    6. I will check it out, thanks! And, again, thanks. I have no idea what they call them these days. It's an image of a pin-back button - too much for me to buy, so I saved a pic of it instead. I think it suits me. :P

    7. So, I finally looked at the video. Possible reasons he seemed uncomfortable: 1. Like you suggested: "I really have to pee!" 2. The interviewer: had bad breath/ his face was melting ... 3. Off camera a WB executive had a gun to his head. 4. He was trying to convince himself and viewers that he wasn't partly responsible for taking away DC's greatness, core, legacy, etc. 4. He's just jumpy when he has to stand in the middle of a comic-con floor instead of sit down for an interview. 5. He's jumpy when he has to stand in the middle of a comic-con floor with the potential that someone is going to come up and deck him for his part in wrecking DC and his treatment of veteran customers/ fans. :P

    8. I suspect he might be uncomfortable because this new reboot was foisted upon DC by higher-ups in the corporate chain and DiDio wasn't entirely in favor but has to be the face of selling it regardless. I think he knows that it's coming too soon since the last reboot and many characters integral to the DC line haven't found their feet yet - I still see a lot of griping about bringing back Barry Allen and Hal Jordan, for instance, while a lot of bat-family characters just seem to be constantly in flux (I sure wouldn't like to be a Spoiler or Cassandra Cain fan).

  4. I think Birds could work pretty well with Frankie (is that her name?) in the Oracle role. It won't be the same, but what ever is? The friendship between the characters is one of the things that makes the series so appealing, but I think the real driver of the story (and what makes a Birds story different from a JLA story, say), is the separation of the team, the tension of one or more people investigating on another's behalf. The problem with the new arrangement is that with Babs in the field, the brilliant mind is right there, as opposed to at a distance. (Not that Canary & Frankie are slouches, but Babs is in a class by herself. Well, her and Holmes.) The original Birds setup called to mind books like The Bone Collector and even a movie like the underrated Zero Effect -- or hell, maybe even their granddaddy, Rear Window! -- and I don't know if a new setup with Babs and Dinah in the field with Frankie monitoring is going to necessarily be as compelling. At the same time, I think it's worth a try -- better than having to retraumatize Babs, at any rate.

    As for the JSA, if they're lost in time, so be it. Maybe they were lost in time, woke up in say, 1990, and retired, feeling that it'd be best not to interfere in a world they didn't fully understand. That way they'd still be older than the JLA, and could serve as mentors for the current generation, but would still be vital enough to have present-day adventures of their own. (That said, I'd rather see WWII adventures, but at least we've got Bombshells!)

    1. That's a great observation about The Bone Collector, Rob, that never occurred to me - it's so, so obvious now that I'm grinning madly. And I love Rear Window, it's my favourite Hitchcock. Off to look up Zero Effect.

      And your idea of the JSA waking up in 1990, and retiring, that's great - they're probably on the next farm to post-Crisis Clark and Lois...

    2. I think you'll really like Zero Effect -- Bill Pullman plays an agoraphobic Holmes type who sends Ben Stiller out as his go-between with the world. The movie's good fun, but I absolutely *love* the character.

      And Rear Window's my favorite Hitch, too!

    3. I don't know how they can capture the dynamic with the original BoP because even though they have B.C. and Babs have a relationship again, it's not the same relationship. New 52 Black Canary is the "Golden Age" Dinah. All the history that was with Dinah II was lost - the angst and responsibility of carrying on as a *legacy* hero. The dynamic between two women that were strangers and then became partners in more ways than one, platonic or otherwise. While I'm happy there isn't the same baggage across the board anymore, Dinah II also had physical/ emotional/ mental scarring which bonded them. You also had Huntress who may not have had the original *legacy* she originally had but still had to struggle from under Batman's shadow, who for a (very) short time was Batgirl, who had a traumatic past, and who was another woman trying to find her place in the world. An unofficial charter member was Catwoman. One of the reasons, I think, that BoP originally resonated so well with readers was that you had an all female non-team/ team that was presented in a way that wasn't the typical presentation of female characters at the time. Through years, the characters history together were built upon. I kept reading that New 52 BoP had no point in really existing together as a group. However, I suppose with the intention of *legacy* being reinjected into DC, perhaps Batgirl can be allowed to build a team much like she did back when she was Oracle.

    4. I'd almost forgotten Selina did a bit of Birds business - interesting dynamic there. I'll be interested to see who gets pulled in. Maybe their first mission could be investigating who ran down Starling with her own car...

    5. I never followed NuBoP, but I read the recent DK "The Batman Character Guide" which mentions Starling being a traitor to the team. I had no idea she was killed off.

    6. Thanks Rob, it's weird I've never heard of Zero Effect, as I love Bill Pullman and have a lot of time for Ben Stiller. It goes on my Amazon Greedlist right now!

  5. I'd probably be unbelievably annoyed if Tim Drake returned to lead Robin status, because, while he was indeed "my" Robin for years, he was supplanted by a character that's a hell of a lot more interesting - Tims code name at this point might as well be Wonder Bread - and he doesn't even really fit in the Bat family dynamic that well anymore. Honestly, I think they really ought to just have him retire from heroics. That was his character for years; he was doing this because Batman needed a Robin, but he always intended to move on. It would piss his fans off, but, well, they get pissed that he's punked out to other characters now anyway, so there's no stopping that. At some point DC could figure out what to do with him and then bring him back.

    1. Hi dl316bh, I like Damian a lot, even if he is a little one-note sometimes. I'd be happy for both him and Tim to be around, but I hate the Red Robin name and the wings so very, very much, and loved Tim's original costume... let Damian be Kid Robin or Shorty Robin or something!

    2. I totally agree about the wings. Lobdell gave them to him because he felt it was emasculating for Tim to be carried by Starfire, in other words, that a male should be carried by a female - which says something about Lobdell. I've come to like Damian but overall I'd love to have him disappear. DC de-aged characters and "divorced" them to "appeal" to a younger crowd and yet Batman has a son and multiple MALE Robin's. Tim Drake has been associated with Batman so long that he should be Robin. They'll not get rid of Damian now, but in the spirit of legacy, they could always call him Batman Jr. Or, dare I say it, we have a Batboy.

    3. @Martin: Hey, how's it going. Been reading the blog a while. Always liked it.

      I will say, just to clarify, that I don't dislike Tim - well, I will admit that I kind of grew to dislike him in the 2000's, when he essentially became mini Batman - I'm just not even sure what the point of him really is right now. Like I said, he was my Robin for a long time, since he was Robin as I grew up. But I also kind of feel like he's a flatter character than any of the other Robins, honestly, which makes him easily replaceable. I feel like he could have used the Cass treatment; just let him lapse into limbo and bring him back when you think you have something for him. Acknowledge he existed, but he retired. He just seems like the hardest to give a hook, if I look at it objectively, and he kind of needs one, because it's become apparent that being Robin might have been all he had going for him as a character.

      The wings are stupid, though, that I agree with. I don't even so much hate the Red Robin name. He's just had some bad costumes.

      @Uncle Screensaver: I feel like that kind of logic falls apart, because while Tim has been around longer... Dick and Jason were around for longer still, so what makes Tim special, necessarily? Actually, that question in general points to the problem. What makes him special? Damians personality is dynamic and creates interesting conflict, while he also has deep ties to the League of Assassins and an interesting background. Dicks the older brother, the original Robin, one of the most popular heroes in the DCU and a natural born leader. Jason is the outcast, the black sheep of the family and the overall rebel. Tim's just... a nice kid? Who is smart and pretty good at detective work, I guess.

      That's kind of what I mean by "he doesn't fit in anymore". It's being advocated to make him Robin basically because he's irrelevant otherwise and no one knows what to do with him when he isn't. Which seems more like the problem, I think. I don't know. That's my opinion, of course.

    4. I'd not heard that business about Tim and the wings, Incle Screensaver! Just, wow. It's not like Red Robin and Starfire were on the same team.

      Dl316bh, it's a shame that we now have to find a tag for Tim that makes him special. He wasn't created to be one of several Robins, he was THE Robin for the longest time, and that made him worthy of late space. But if we have to justify him among the Robin gang, I'd say he's techie Robin, the brainiest though not necessarily the best - that'll always be Dick - and a guy with his own fighting style. And a great costume, the original one. And hair gel.

    5. :P On John's Teen Titans, Starfire was originally a teacher/ mentor there, and Tim as Robin was team leader. I'm not sure how long it went on through the series but I do remember seeing it in at least one issue early on. But, one issue or several, it's still, as you say, "just, wow." If anything about it was mentioned in story, I imagine Tim wouldn't have found it emasculating, and I bet others would be jealous he was that close to her. I saw on Amazon the original Robin mini-series being collected in trades. It hit me how big Tim was back then. Three mini-series and an ongoing for a "Robin" for the first time. With New 52, Dick should have been made Robin again, or just erase Damian and have let Tim drop the "Red" from his name. I always loved Earth-2's Robin costume, the one that actually was in Crisis, unlike what Convergence had.

    6. Gosh etc, I've no memory of that at all, well, I recall the concept now you bring it up, but yes, it must have gone pretty darn quickly.

      I like Damian, but yes, Tim was THE Robin for for so long, but he's been, well, not quite Wallied, but certainly usurped and treated shabbily. I really hope he gets a prominent role back post-Rebirth.

  6. Wasn't the New 52 supposed to be a "rebirth?" What about Convergence? What about the "DC You" initiative? It seems like this is a last-ditch effort to get some publicity and a short-term boost in sales. Unfortunately, in the current marketplace, regular series that don't involve Superman, Batman, or Justice League don't seem to last past 12 issues. That's a crying shame, because I am a huge fan of DC's B-list characters. "Starfire" is the only DC book I read now, and I absolutely love it, at least for the next three months until cancellation. I dropped all of the New 52 Superman books with issue 20, and it seems like all I have missed is crossover after crossover with no end in sight. Will "Rebirth" bring in the same new readers as the New 52 and keep them this time? Forgive me for being a pessimist, but the way things are going, I think not. Unless DC can keep creative teams together, cut back on the massive crossovers (which is unlikely, considering the $2.99 price point), and give the readers something genuinely fresh, we will be having this same discussion four years from now. My philosophy is simple: I love the DC Animated Universe and the current crop of DC TV shows. If you give me books like that, you will have a long-time reader. If you give me a line of books that tie in to the bleak, depressing world of the upcoming DC films, I and a lot of readers will be turned off.

    1. I'm so with you on Starfire, what a bummer that she's losing her book - it's refreshing, intelligent, sexy fun.

      Surely DC Comics will now have to take a lesson from the TV divisions and go lighter, more positive. Surely...

  7. I think what the New 52 should have been was the universe of the Young Justice animated series. It was fresh without decades of continuity and appealed to all ages, including the youth DC wants and needs. Justice League United also worked.

    In any case, while I have hope and excitement for Rebirth, there is a lot of apathy (and animosity) among readers toward DC (and the industry, I think) that aside from the initial burst of sales I wonder how well this will work out. I've read comments by new fans that they are upset and scared about a lack of diversity and stories they have come to enjoy, although I think DC dropped the ball on that as soon as The New 52 started. (So much of it was a publicity stunt, including Alan Scott. With every bit of added diversity, there was just as much lost. Black Bat, Obsidion, Connor Hawke, Aqualad, Ryan Choi-Atom and so on.) Hopefully Rebirth's legacy infusion will balance some of this out.

    I also have to wonder how a grimdark movie universe will appeal to families like the Marvel movies do. It's sad that DC is now the "gritty," "edgy," dystopian side of the comic book industry.

    1. I've still not watched more than a handful of episodes of the YJ cartoon. I'll be enjoying an episode, then Miss Martian will come out with her catchphrase and I'll want to smash the screen. I'll get to them, I will!

      Top point on the loss of old 'diverse' heroes. I've seen a lot of hand-wringing about Rebirth so far as Rebirth is concerned; I'm all for waiting to see what shakes out.

    2. I don't even remember Miss Martian's catchphrase. Don't smash the screen, just mute it. :P

      I'm excited about Rebirth's reveal, although why I'm getting my hopes up when they're constantly crushed by DC I don't know. I'm hoping DC will FEEL like DC again and somehow able to be successful with this nottareboot not alienating so many people across the board.

    3. lol. NOW I remember it. It suited her but now that I think of it, it is annoying. SHUT up Megan! :P

    4. It might help if you look at Miss Martian's catchphrasing as an attempt to recapture the feel of Starfire in the original Teen Titans cartoon.

  8. My emotional investment, in this specific order;

    a)TheFlash, whoever they may be, gets the classic look back without any of those silly day-glow lines all over it.

    b)That nothing happens at the expense of the Milestone comeback due to any and all superbook shenanigans.

    b2) Ditto those Hanna-Barbera comics.

    b3) That Scooby Apocalypse either sells well enough to/that it's impending cancellation and inevitable critical panning do not, encourage/discourage DC/WB to/from throwing it together with other weird genre ideas because the brands real strength has always been that that classic premise everyone is oh so busy making Clark Kent's glasses and "He talks to fish!" level jokes about is so simultaneously endearing AND bland that, much like Batman, you can dump it into virtually any set up and it’ll work. Perhaps even (Good lord choke!) be ABOUT something.

    And even if Apocalypse turns out to be recycled Scooby Snacks I could give a damn what most of the internet has to say about it because those same people couldn’t shut up about how bad Mitch Watson’s Mystery Incorporated was until they realized they’d look smarter for pointing out how complex it was and now wail and gnash their teeth about it’s absence at the expense of the current show BECAUSE YOU CAN’T BE A FAN OF SCOOBY DOO OR ANY OTHER CARTOON WITHOUT DOING A COMPLETE 180 YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO DO IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THE EXACT SAME CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS AS DC’S UPPET MANAGEM--

    c)Superman and Batman get their trunks back.

    1. I'm not sure which is worse, what DC has done to Scooby (at least the regular comic is still going) or what they've done to The Flinstones!

    2. "At least the regular comic is still going" illustrates my point. With Scooby Team Up we have two flavours of classic Scooby so yeah, if Apocalypse bombs who gives a shit? It isn't going to tank the regular series or mean an old school style Scooby cartoon never ever comes out again. What DC/WB could be doing is any infinite number of Scooby Elseworld concepts because, again, we don't have to worry about classic Scooby. At all. And if Apocalypse turns out to be the next Afterlife with Archie everyone will still make a big deal of which side of the divide they're on. I'm good as long as the publisher is still open to, like, a Coolsville by Gaslight or whatever. Scooby Apocalypse may or may not be terrible but people should be thinking about the opportunity it represents because it's not "at least" we still have the classic version, it's that the classic version never went away and is no danger of ever doing so. The "least" the publisher could do is actually trying to do something interesting with the brand.

      And what exactly have they done with the Flintstones' that's so terrible exactly? Had Amanda Conner design them? Because she isn't going to be the series regular artist. And what, the gags are going to be stone age adaptations of modern day stuff? Y'know, the thing the Flinstones always did.

      The rant was mostly facetious and if people genuinely don't like these comics then no problem, but to stick with the Archie comparison isn't it better to have a comics industry that can produce standard Archie AS WELL as weird side pieces like Meets the Punisher or Archie vs Predator? Both of which are entertaining because they're well done stories in their own right as well as out of left field concepts.

    3. RE: Scooby-Doo. That's true, as long as they don't decide to erase the classic Scooby-Doo if it succeeds.

      RE: The Flinstones. I'm just concerned that it will want to do what New 52 did to characters, make them "better," as well as erase the continuity and history, such as Pebbles and Bam-Bam being married with children. I hadn't wanted to see what Jim Lee had done with these characters, so when I finally saw the Conner art I instantly thought of the above, and that they were messing with designs that have been tried and true for so long. It also gave me flashbacks to the live-action Flintstones and that just wasn't pretty. :P

    4. Classic Scooby is going absolutely nowhere. I'm not trying to be aggressive about this but I really don't know how much clearly a point that obvious can be made. As for the Flintstones kids there have been plenty of projects after those (straight to home video) movies that depicted them as tots. Probably because, like Scooby, that's what iconic about them to people. And I'm not quite sure what the rest of that is supposed to mean. These kinds of projects are NEVER about erasing or making things better. The New 52 comparison doesn't really apply, especially since we're having this discussion over news of it being undone, and regardless, the series priority shouldn't be being just a reheated or alternate version of the show but decent piece of work in its own right. That's what makes or breaks anything.

      I understand trepidation but can we be honest for a sec? Hanna-Barbera is one of those things everyone loves (or talks a lot about how much they love once it comes up in conversation, and even then usually only the big names) but only really think about when it's in the news. And by think, I mean the exact kind of arbitrary complaining and hand-wringing that happens any time anything does anything.

      Like, if Conners' art isn't to your taste then that's your preference. Or at least I'm going to assume it is and not just a knee jerk reaction because God knows most are. But she didn't "mess" with anything. She just took what she thinks worked about designs and translated them into her style. For a completely different artist to draw. That's not the same as taking away superhero's trunks and replacing them with knee pads.

      But everyone treats it as though it is purely because that's what the internet has condition them to do when the reality is if people actually love, capital L love Hannah Barbera (or Milestone) the way they say they do instead of recycling the EXACT SAME talking points they always do, they'd be considering the fact that producing three types of Scooby Doo comics, to say nothing of, y'know, devoting an entire publishing arm to these other properties, indicates that someone up there is thinking about them. Which is the only way these properties can get ANY kind of opportunity.

      And if nothing else don't tell me "GASP, Amanda Connor drew the Flintstones like her version of real people!" is fair when Doc Shaner is essentially doing the same thing with his own style and people are making a titanic show of being behind Future Quest. Hell, the only remotely nuanced opinions I've seen of that book is someone who thought Johnny's world was too grounded to support characters like Space Ghost and someone else who thought the other characters were just being thrown in there because no one had faith in them performing on their own and that sucked.

      DC can reboot or rebirth itself anytime and they’ll be no real change to the fact we will always be drowning in superhero comics, quality or otherwise. Now it’s actually doing something with two of it’s imprints and Milestone’s getting ignored because everyone and their grandmother is rushing to make the exact same hysterical non-arguments over the non-issue of change they were the last time a Hannah Barbera thing did something. This ALWAYS happens when pop culture does something and you’d think we’d know better by now.

    5. I'm of the 'they're HB Elseworlds' view - they could be loads of fun, if not, new stories of the originals are either out there right now, or will be again. If Scooby-Doo can survive Scrappy-Doo, he can withstand anything.

    6. If Jessie Bannon isn't in it, it just ain't The Real Jonny Quest, but aside from that, many HB characters have been reinvented over the years, often for the better. Like Jonny Quest.

      All will be well just as long as DC don't try to make Birdman a regular superhero again - because reinventions or not, there's no going back from Harvey Birdman: Attorney At law. I suspect there may be no going back from Space Ghost Coast To Coast either.

  9. And there's another hole in my pop culture knowledge, Simon - Mystery Incorporated. I have a DVD, it's just finding the time to watch it. I'm always out solving mysteries myself. Anyway, great points. I see that Sugar and Spike in Legends of Tomorrow (I'll be considering them an alternate world's version, cos Sugar and Spike are still kids, talking baby jabber) will feature a Superman with trunks. But I want all comics representations to feature the classic looks A trunks for all and no stoopid armour!

    1. I couldn't agree more! Superman just should not be wearing armour. It takes away the whole "*MAN* of Steel" when he's wearing a tin can. Jim Lee had mentioned part of the reason for armour (that's conveniently skin tight) was that they didn't like the Byrne "one inch aura of protection" thing. Well, Pre-COIE his suit was indestructible because of it being woven (with Clark's help) from his blankets that were in the rocketship he came from.

      I realize that today TPTB are apologetic for tights, from Superman to Captain America going down to Hal/Green Lantern having armour shoulder pads. While some characters benefit from upgrades, and while I admit I had once been giddy for "more realistic" costumes with the advent of "X-Men," I believe that literature featuring characters that aren't realistic to begin with needn't follow movie or real-life realism.

      Superman had trunks for close to a century, and those who joked about his (and Batman's) "underwear" didn't understand the characters roots. Superman and friends have been marketed successfully as bright, colourful characters since Kal-L first appeared. There was no need to give heroes across the board nehru collars, matching (unrealistic) belts and knee pads, as well as linework that make the uniform/ costume busy. The fact that there is the brand DC Comics Originals which feature classic versions of the characters (even Debbie Domaine Cheetah) on clothing, mugs, plush dog toys, and so on, shows that there must still be demand for Pre-52 notions of the characters.

      Having Superman change into armour and then into Superboy's Rough Trade look haven't exactly brought in tons of sales for the comic books. Oh, I do go on, don't I.

      As for Sugar and Spike, I never thought of them living in the DC Universe proper, and are just like Dennis the Menace (British or American) they're always just kids. I'm not against the different take but I too think of them as alt-world versions.

    2. If I were giving out prizes for most right-thinking post of the day, you'd have won one easily! I agree with every word.

      I'd love to see UK Dennis have a scrap with US Dennis - surely he can't be as wet as he seems.

    3. :D Thank you, kind sir!

      I don't know. UK Dennis, from what I remember, was a major delinquent. My mom used to get the Beano shipped to Canada for me and although I loved it back then, I get kinda disturbed thinking that pretty much every main character was a juvenile delinquent. I remember writing a letter to the characters as a kid and telling them that I was like them. "I'm a menace and a minx and a dodger and a ..." :P

    4. That's brilliant. Did you grow up with a thing for spanking?

  10. LOL. I didn't have a thing for spanking, no, but I had my share of it. Of course, as much as a brat as I was, I wasn't all bad, so when I had showed my letter to my mom, she gave me a look that in part said, "who are you trying to kid?' At least that's what I can remember.


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