I agree with all of the above. Edit: With Cain, that is. Beaten to it.
The only thing I'd want to add to that is the S - I don't think they should mess with the S, at least for Superman. To be honest, I don't mind other Ss (oh wow) for other members of the Super family, it associates yet differentiates them, but Superman's logo is a [censored]ing icon. It'd be like if the Doctor ever fixed the chameleon circuit (I believe there was a Tom Baker story in which he tried to?), it just... wouldn't be right.
I say all this in relation to the Blue Superman you posted, rather than to the reboot Superman. Was that Blue Superman actually the mainstream Superman for a while?
For thirteen months, after which he reverted back to normal.
The S emblem in the Superman costume I linked to (the fan-made one, that is. Not Superman-Blue) is actually the one used by Superman in Kingdom Come, so its design is not exactly without precedent. I just really like it, since it's an S without actually being an S.
So I hear Power Girl's getting cancelled. The only non-Batman Family DC comic I read, cancelled.
Guys... I think I might be done with DC and it doesn't feel good
Power Girl? Why don't you just read some goddamn knitting magazines! Stop being a lousy sissy girly man and read a mans book!
He's a man's man! He's a man's man's man! Women want him, men want to be him, government organisations want to control him! But they can't tame the raging hellfire in his heart!
And if, even after reading all that manly, you still need more testosterone, try these guys!
When the Goon swings his mighty wrench, made with cutting edge technology from the twenties, zombies and extradimensional monsters know to fall down! He'll devour pies like there's no tomorrow! Extort money from small children! Make zombies eat bricks!
^^ What are they going to be doing with Ultimate Marvel? I understand that they killed off a lot of name characters in Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum (which I've heard wasn't very well received; I've not read it myself, though, so I imagine it can't have been that bad), so is the universe being rebooted?
Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum were poorly written and horribly received (and pretty much were that bad) - but the line's been going pretty well for a while since. In fact, the mini-series' in the new 'Ultimate Comics' (post-Ultimatum) have all been fantastic, really. Ultimate Iron Man Armor Wars, Ultimate Cap and Ultimate Thor have all been fantastic runs (and are all available in TPB form now, IIRC) and I'd definitely reccommend them all to anyone vaguely interested in those characters or the Ultimate line. (Ultimate Thor does a pretty good job of providing Thor's entire backstory prior to the first Ultimates).
Ultimate Avengers and New Ultimates have both been alright runs, but nothing on the level of the first Ultimates book, or most of Ultimates 2. Post-Ultimatum Spider-Man hasn't been this good since a couple of years before the relaunch, either.
All in all, I'd say the post-Ultimatum stuff has actually been mostly on form, given that the run up to Ultimatum was the weakest the entire line had been (even on the Spidey side).
Of course, now the Ultimate Death of Spider-Man 'event' is closing up at the end of the month, there is going to be another relaunch of sorts this summer - with a new Spider-Man, a new X-Men book (following on from the delay-crippled, but actually quite readable given that it's written by Jeph 'I wrote Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum' Leob) and a new Ultimates team - plus a Hawkeye miniseries.
But, no, the universe itself isn't being rebooted. Just like when they relaunched after Ultimatum, they're selling these as a great jumping in point for new readers, and they kind of are - if you're the least bit familliar with the characters in question anyway. Though I'd still always recommend going right back to the start, especially since it's not exactly a difficult thing to do with the Ultimate line. And even moreso given that the strongest volumes of all their series are still right at the beginning.
A lot of people seem very quick to write the Ultimate line off, but it's still selling consistently well, and is still putting out what I consider to be much stronger, much more integrated stories than what the mainstream books are putting out. The beauty of the Ultimate Universe is that everything is connected in it, and that - unlike the mainstream books - it's actually still pretty easy to follow everything too.
I recently started picking up the individual issues instead of just the TPBs, and at its busiest point (when the Ultimate Doom mini, Ultimate Thor, Ultimate Avengers, New Ultimates and Ultimate Spider-Man were all running), I was still manging to pick everything up in the line and spending less than a tenner every other week or so doing that.
I'm probably the biggest Ultimate Marvel fanboy there is, because it's unquestionably what really got me into comics outside of a passing interest - pretty much just because of how accessible and easy to complete it was - so my opinions on the line may sound like a hard sell, but honestly, I've found the good in the line to far, far outweigh the bad and I can't encourage enough people to actually give it a serious look for once. Even if you only pick up the first Ultimates TBP and, say, the first 10 volumes of Ultimate Spidey, you're still going to be reading, what I'd easily consider, some of the finest modern comics you'll be able to find.
I love the Ultimate Universe as well. Like Alex it is probably what got me into comics but I think the DC reboot is a horrible idea. There is a difference with what has happened with the Ultimate universe and what is happenind in DC is vast. DC have explicitly stated they are going to be creating young versions of the characters. Unlike in the Ultimate Universe where despite the deaths it was business as usaul effectively they are regressing their characters as opposed to progressing them and letting them evolve. Oracle is Batgirl again, Dick Grayson is Nightwing again. These characters have evolved and now we are told they are going to be returning to their traditional roles. This simply isn't on in my opinion. I loved the Nightwing solo series but do you know what I loved more? The defining moment when Dick Grayson became Batman. It showed a natural progress that has been developed throughout the characters long history.
This isn't just a redesign or a revamp or simply relaunching the entire line up as issue 1's. They are changing core fundamental parts of the DC universe and essentially saying to hell with a character's development.
The comics will still be there. So long as the characters get a good send-off, I fail to see the problem. Character development doesn't automatically become irrelevant because something ends.
I know what you're saying, that this is the universe and these are the characters you have come to know. But on the bright side, at least some of the more crappy decisions are no longer canon!
It's not the fact that it is ending that annoys me. This reboot is weird as it is both a reboot and a continuation. Essentially something is going to happen in Flashpoint that causes the characters to revert back to their previous roles. What annoys me is that storywise this achieves nothing. There is no actual reason for them to do this with regards to the stories there were telling.
I know the business reasons behind this. DC wants to find a new audience. They want to provide them with a perfect "jumping on" point. But they risk alienating their current audience in the process. They are essentially saying that everything up to this point doesn't matter. I think a company whose business plan is centred on essentially ignoring their own history is doing something wrong.
To be fair Shay I don't think retconning is ever the solution to crappy story decisions. You don't fix sometime by trying to say it never happened. That's like Frank Miller making excuses for All Star Batman being stupid because he was writing it as "satire" even though everything both he and DC said up to that point said otherwise.
I will fully admit being wrong if they can provide us with a proper reason for the characters de-aging and reverting back to their previous roles. At the moment though it appears it is going to happen by simply because of editorial mandate.
Really? There's an actual in-universe reason given for the reboot? As a non-reader interested in getting into it, it doesn't affect me, naturally, but if they're actually going to say "this is going back to the same-universe day 1", that is [censored] for those who are currently reading. I thought it would have been a really nice opportunity to get some writers to write a story that otherwise couldn't be done, and/or provide some closure on the characters. But resetting everything (if that is indeed what they're doing) does seem... crap, really.
From what I understand of recent news about the whole relaunch, everything that has happened before is still canon and still happened, but now it's all been retconned to have happened within the past 5 years alone (somehow) - since the time of Nu!Action Comics #1 and Superman's reveal as the first super hero in the DC universe. So, Killing Joke still happened and Barbara Gordon got paralysed - but now she isn't. Batman Inc still happened/is happening but Bruce Wayne is all of a sudden Batman again. All of Superman's adventures still happened, but after Nu!Action Comics #1 and before Nu!Justice League #1 - except he's not married to Mary Jane Lois Lane any more.
Between this massive cluster[censored] of continuity and the fact they're launching with fifty two [censored]ing books, this is massively off-putting for new readers (as I would be, never having purchased any DC comics before) and a terrible mess for existing ones.
Who is meant to profit from this confusing nonsense? The way it's going, I can't see it being DC. It certainly doesn't seem that it will be existing readers and I - as one of them - can't see where new readers will find any solace either.
"He will pass heroically, but he will die at the hands of the Green Goblin," Bendis said, recalling his nearly 11 years writing the title, which debuted in October 2000.
At the show, DC told retailers that they have a seven figure marketing budget to spend on the Relaunch, which includes everything from the previously Bleeding Cooled TV ad campaign, including the Cartoon Network ads to USA Today, Facebook,?* movie theaters ads, conventions and promotional materials. The target audience are men age 18 to 34 though they do realize that they have readers in other demographics.
They also confirmed the Bleeding Cool story, not just that Batman Beyond would continue, with Superman Beyond but also Justice League Beyond.
As to other creators, James Robinson is already working on a new comic project with several issues written, Amanda Conner has a project in the works as does the previously mentioned Nicola Scott. Phil Jiminez and Scott Kolins are also still working for DC.
You won't be seeing Donna Troy yet in the new DCU, nor the Stephanie and Cassandra Batgirls. They haven't been killed off though, just benched.
No news on Steel, Black Lightning or other Milestone characters, though DC did emphasise that with Mr. Terrific, Static, Blue Beetle, Bat Wing, Voodoo and the new Omac, they do have more titles with ethnic minority leads than ever before. And, yes, that is Katana in the new Birds of Prey.
Many of the new 52 books will have six issue story arcs, and Dan DiDio states that if sales are bad on a title, they won't wait very long to cancel it. He wants strong sales across the line.
DiDio also mentioned maybe getting to a total of eighty titles published company wide, including kids comics and Vertigo.
He also wants comics to ship on time and even mentioned that he is very willing to replace a writer or an artist if they fall behind.
DC seem to be missing the point with their own reboot, in more ways than one. Another bump, for me, is that they've decided to retain truly obselete and unnecessary characters such as "Animal Man". Now, I know all about Morrison's run on Animal Man and how it's amusing and self-aware and everything, but here's the thing: no one's going to read a comic about a guy called Animal Man.
That's just one example, obviously. They're even attempting to get kids to read Swamp Thing which just...well, it's not going to work, is it? They should've dumped/re-worked all of their outdated baggage, not just outfits.
In regards to the Ultimate Marvel relaunch, is it going to continue with the current characters (somehow) or is it a complete reset from day one?
It's a relaunch, not a reboot. Continuity remains as it is, but the loose ends of the past couple of post-Ultimatum years will be tied up.
Spidey gets the biggest refresh by having a totally new person behind a totally new costume. X-Men hasn't had an ACTUAL on-going since before Ultimatum, so the new book launching in September is as new a jumping on point as you could get without a reset (though the team makeup is rather obviously drawn from Ultimate Spidey and Ultimate X's recent runs - so those will explain why those particular characters are there, especially the seemingly oddly placed Human Torch), and the new Ultimates book features a new team line-up too.
It's pretty much the same situation as it was post-Ultimatum. All the current on-goings (which is just Ultimate Spidey now, really - Ultimate X can just be considered a mini-series when/if the final 6th issue lands, and both New Ultimates and Ultimate Avengers ran on the pre-Ultimatum Ultimates format of 12-book 'seasons', 'cept they brought it down to 6 this time) are canned and a bunch of new on-goings will start up afterwards - likely with a few months of a gap between the events of the aftermath of Death of Spider-Man and what happens in the first issue of these books in August/September.
Long story short: no, it's not a DC-style cluster[censored] of a canon reset. It's just a refresh for the line itself, reflecting the huge world-changing affect that Spidey's death (or 'death' - I dunno yet, and refuse to read any spoilers about what actually happens in tomorrow's issue before reading it myself) will have on pretty much everyone in the Ultimate Universe.
I'm actually really looking forward to it. After Ultimatum, I was really concerned - not least of all because Ultimatum was awful and killed off a bazillion people completely unsatisfactorily. It really left the question of how they can come back from that. Recent stuff has been good though - just not on the level of the beginning of the line. This relaunch should give the line a much-needed kick up the arse to correct that.
Aside from 2 big examples - one of which was just the result of awful, awful writing when Ultimate X-Men was at the whim of some pretty poor writers, so far the "dead means dead" mantra has stuck.
There's no way they'd just reset the Universe as DC is doing - but I always live with the concern that one day Marvel will feel they've gotten all they can from the series and they'll scrub it entirely. It's still quite financially sustainable, though - moreso than most of mainstream Marvel - so that's safe enough for now. This relaunch will help them manage that sustenance both financially and creatively.
I'd definitely recommend looking back to the very beginning if you want to get into it, but the relaunch is as good a place as any if you can't be bothered with that. It's probably safe to say, though, that the best quality across the board in the line is still right at the start.
Vaughn and Kirkman's Ultimate X-Men is incomparable to how strong it was under Millar. People seem to enjoy giving Mark Millar a lot of [censored] in the comic industry, but I found both his Ultimate X-Men and Ultimates runs to be superb. Some of the stuff under both runs are ok, but as a whole, they're both really lacking. It's notable that Vaughn was the one that outed Colossus, a move I can only heartily be behind. It never seemed tacked on or sensationalist and was dealt with as perfectly as anything like this can be in a comic book.
Spidey and X-Men were the first books, yeah, and some time after Ultimate Marvel Team Up (available in a handy collected form), which sits around Ultimate Spidey #12 or so, follows the Ultimates. Everything from then on is relatively closely intertwined - especially centring around Nick Fury's involvement - but still understandable from an independent stand point of just one series.
There's also Ultimate Fantastic Four, the other major pre-Ultimatum on-going, but honestly, it doesn't compare to Spidey, X-Men or the Ultimates in terms of character, story or development. It's as good a take on the Fantastic Four as you're likely to get, but outside of the fantastic Ultimate Galactus trilogy or their various cross-over involvements, it's ignorable enough. That said, there is one good arc towards the end where they cross over with Marvel Zombies. Seeing that world connected to the Ultimate one was pretty sweet.
(PS: Sorry I keep writing essays on this stuff. I just don't often get a chance to go on about these comics. :x)
John Rood began the presentation with some slides showcasing the excitement that the announcement has already generated. He quickly turned the microphone over to Dan Didio and Jim Lee who talked about the fresh slate of books. Dan started out explaining why DC was doing this. DC had taken a look at the comics industry as a whole and felt that the industry needed a shot in the arm. They felt that the stories had gotten stale and too talky. Dan recounted a book he read recently from 'another publisher' that had 15 pages of 9 panels of exposition. He felt comics used to be able to do stories that movies couldn't. Lately, comic book movies have been doing comics better than comics have. Dan felt that DC needed to work harder across the board to improve the product. DC wants to publish books that are fresh and exciting that can compete with the level of action that fans are finding on TV, in movies and video games and elsewhere. It was decided that changes needed to be made from top to bottom to achieve this. As an example, Dan emphatically stated that he was embarrassed, really embarrassed about late books. He said that some times because of the their love of the medium, talent would treat their jobs like it was a hobby and not, well, a job. Editorial has been tasked with delivering books on time. Dan even went so far as to use the G word. He guaranteed that the books in the new 52 will come out on time.
Another change DC is making is that they won't be 'writing for the trade' anymore. Writers have been told to write the story they want to write and not worry about the trade collecting. If they can tell a well-paced story in 4 issues, they've been told not to pad it to make it 6 issues. Editorial can worry about how it's going to be collected. Going forward, books will be trade-collected depending on how the story fits. If a book has a 4-issue arc followed by a 3 issue arc, the trade will collect both. If it's 2 4-issue arcs or 3 2-issue stories, those will get collected. As a side note, DC is looking into a new trade dress to represent the New 52 and a better spine design to call out information for fans.
DC realized that some things were working fine. Based on sales, critical response and fan comments, they knew that Green Lantern and Batman weren't 'broken'. In approaching the re-launch, DC didn't want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. They knew some things needed to be changed, but they didn't want to lose the excitement behind what was working. Instead of a re-boot, they opted for a sliding re-launch. Continuity would be preserved and only where things weren't working would there be changes. As such, there are are little to no changes in the Batman and Green Lantern books. When they re-launch in September they pick up right where they were in August. Green Lantern #1, Dan stated, picks up dealing with the repercussions of the ending of the War of Green Lanterns. He said he would love to say more, but that people in Editorial would kill him if he spoiled the ending of War of Green Lanterns and the aftermath books.
Based on sales, fan interest and a desire to branch out and try new things, DC has broken the New 52 into 7 distinctive families. Those families are: Superman, Batman, Justice League, Green Lantern, Young Justice, The Edge and The Dark. Dan and Jim went through title by title and gave quick little blurbs about them. I've included the most pertinent of them below.
Justice League Family Justice League- The flagship title of the New 52. Jim Lee joked that if Geoff Johns had been there, Geoff would have said that he had always wanted to work with Jim. The three keywords here are Heart, Humor and Heroics. The first arc of this book takes place 5 years in the past and serves as a Year One story for the Justice League. In story, up until this point, there have been no 'super-heroes', just super powered individuals who have sometimes been viewed with suspicion. By banding together, the Justice League wants to show the world that they are deserving the moniker of super-hero. Justice League International Aquaman Wonder Woman- Brian Azzarello is really capturing the warrior aspect of Diana with this book. Flash Captain Atom Fury of Firestorm- Dan Didio said Ethan Van Scriver is a huge Firestorm fan and is bringing that passion to the story. Green Arrow- Talking about his costume tweak, Jim Lee said that more people are familiar with the Smallville version of Green Arrow, so they decided to incorporate some of the elements from that costume. Savage Hawkman Mister Terrific- While they decided to rest the concept of the JSA, they are going to be using the characters elsewhere. DC Universe Presents- This anthology title will feature revolving creative teams on characters as a testing board.
Action Comics- The only other title (along with Justice League) that will start out in the past. The first arc will detail Superman's public debut. At this point, Dan Didio went on a tangent to explain that DC wanted to let go of the past and move forward. Any changes in continuity would be addressed in-story as needed, but that they really didn't want to get bogged down so these reveals would be gradual and as they make sense in the story. There is a document in the DC offices that fleshes out exactly what has and hasn't happened in the New 52 Universe. As an example, the Death of Superman storyline has occurred. See Batgirl below for another example. Superman Superboy Supergirl- Another area of improvement DC is looking for is characters to sound true. Supergirl, as she has been written, sometimes comes across as mature and responsible as a 40 year-old adult. She shouldn't. She's a teen who is still finding herself and her character should reflect that.
Batman- One of the titles showing incremental growth has been Detective Comics. Based on this, DC moved Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo to Batman to continue the strong work. Detective Comics Batwing- Based on fan interest in this character from Batman Incorporated, DC wanted to give the character an ongoing title. Batman: Dark Knight Batman & Robin- The title will concentrate on the dynamic between Bruce and Damian Wayne. Batgirl- Barbara Gordon is back as Batgirl. The events of Killing Joke and her tenure as Oracle have occurred and this title addresses her return to the role. Batwoman- Yes, Dan Didio said to much applause, it will finally be published. Nightwing- Every Dick Grayson fan should pick this book up. Catwoman- The sexy side of Batman. Birds of Prey- Barbara Gordon will still be part of the book. Red Hood and the Outlaws- One of the most requested characters for a book is Jason Todd as an anti-hero.
Green Lantern Family Green Lantern- The image (of a bloody fist thrust upward) associated with this book is not the cover. They are holding the actual cover back pending the conclusion of the War of Green Lantern. Green Lantern Corps Green Lantern: New Guardians- Again, the image associated with this book is not the cover. They want the identities of the New Guardians to remain concealed. Red Lanterns- Fan interest in the Red Lantern Corps has been huge leading to DC giving the Corps an ongoing title.
Young Justice Family Teen Titans- All four Robins star or co-star in a book. (I know, what about Stephanie Brown? It was hinted that we would see her in Batman Incorporated. Dan Didio said she worked better as Spoiler) This book is Tim Drake's showcase. There will be some synergy between this and Superboy. Static Shock- They are taking Static out of Dakota and putting him in New York City and letting him interact with the heroes of the DCU. Hawk and Dove- Jim Lee talked about how much passion Rob Leifeld is bringing to the title. Blue Beetle- One of the titles they are hoping benefits from the excitement behind the re-launch. Legion of Superheroes- Another title that is not changing it's status quo, with the exception of the characters who are... Legion Lost- Set in the present day DCU, seven Legionnaires are stranded after a mission to the 21st Century goes awry.
The Dark Family Justice League Dark- The argument could be made to put this book into the Justice League Family, but any book that features John Constantine, Deadman, Enchantress, Madame Xandau, Zatanna and Shade, the Changing Man is going to be dark. Swamp Thing- The best stuff that Scott Snyder has done. The flora of the DCU. Animal Man- And the fauna of the DCU. Hearkening back to Grant Morrison's take on the character, Jeff Lemire has some great things planned. Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE- Dan Didio's favorite book. Drawing on Grant Morrison's portrayl of the character in Seven Soldiers of Victory, it will also feature the Creature Commandos. I, Vampire- Tongue firmly in cheek, it was mentioned that vampires aren't really that popular right now. Resurrection Man- Another fan favorite request, DC has decided to resurrect the character. Dan Didio's words, not mine! Demon Knights- One of the things they wanted to do was show the breadth and depth of the DCU. This title highlights the DCU in the Dark Ages.
The Edge Family Stormwatch Voodoo- A sexy, spy thriller. Grifter- Imagine Sawyer from Lost mixing it up with the heroes of the DCU. Deathstroke Suicide Squad- Combining elements from previous iterations of the Squad and the Secret Six with Harley Quinn's fashion sense from the Arkham games. O.M.A.C.- Dan Didio is working with Keith Giffen on this. Dan says this is Keith's best work since...ever. Blackhawks- They wanted a book that had a G.I. Joe feel to it, so they went out and got a G.I. Joe writer to work on it. Men At War-This book will tell modern war stories and is tied into the DCU; most notably by making the main character the grandson of Sgt. Rock. All-Star Western-This anthology book will star Jonah Hex in Gotham City in the 1880's working aside Amadeus Arkham, a criminal psychologist. Back-up features will spotlight other DCU Western heroes.
All 52 books will be solicited in July's Previews out this coming Wednesday. Each title will have it's own full page write-up. 48 of the 52 books will 'hold the line' at $2.99. The remaining 4 books (Justice League, Action Comics, Men of War and All-Star Western) will retail at $3.99 and feature added content.
So, the majority of the books will be holding the line, the one's that don't are bigger. Fair enough.
The rejection of decompression is interesting, though. Me and Smithy had a big back and forth a few years back on that, it's not something I particularly like, and here's a major company saying "forget it."