I’m just going to come right out and say it: Crisis On Infinite Earths was a failure.
Not the comic itself. That still deserves its spot in the hearts of fans. I’m talking about the project it was created for. COIE was meant to reboot the DC Universe. At the time DC had numerous continuities going on at the same time and it was difficult to manage it all. While I would have done things a bit differently and treated each universe as a separate imprint I still understand their problem and they had a creative solution. It was the follow-up that failed.
If their goal was to make things less convoluted it did not succeed. The people in charge rebooted some things, but not others. Thus Power Girl’s origin was confusing and she appeared around the same time as Superman, since they restarted him completely. They also restarted Wonder Woman which has all but ruined Donna Troy and her origins as Wonder Girl (a character who was already the result of poor research by writers and editors).
Some have made the case that a long-established continuity can become convoluted. Not if it’s done right, I say. Other media franchises have done it. You just need a proper “bible” and respect for what came before rather than rehashing old ideas or outright ignoring characterization in favor of your “all-important” story. You don’t see soap operas “rebooting”, and that’s not why they’re falling off of the radar. Apparently the networks never heard of DVR.
I worry that Flashpoint will simple repeat the failing of not only the original “Crisis” but every Crisis since Infinite Crisis, mostly because the people being IC are behind the post-Flashpoint world. (Snell of Slay Monstrobot even noted that they’re pretty much admitting failure thus far. And that Flashpoint itself isn’t that bad.) And as I read the announcements of what is to come my concern is that they are making some of the same mistakes that they and their forefathers have done in the past.
Let’s look at some of the solicits. There are quite a lot, so I’ll only comment on what grabs my attention. A lot of it is about who is working on it, which seems to be the only way they can promote anything anymore. We know Johns is writing The Flash, anything with “Green Lantern” in the title or cast sheet, and who knows what else. While we all have our favorite writers and art teams I’m less interested in the name as what he or she is bringing to the table.
Welcome to a major new vision of the Nuclear Man as writers Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone team up with artist Yildiray Cinar to deliver THE FURY OF FIRESTORM #1. Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond are two high school students, worlds apart – and now they’re drawn into a conspiracy of super science that bonds them forever in a way they can’t explain or control. The cover to issue #1 is by Ethan Van Sciver.
This afternoon I retweeted a post by Bleeding Cool with another look at this design, without Ronnie and Jason in it. My comment was “this is the look you’re going with?” because he looked rather overmuscled for Firestorm. Now I’m wondering just how the new Firestorm works. Do they switch forms and control, like Ultraman Tiga? Do they act independently and then combine into a “Super-Firestorm”? I do have to admit either would very cool. Gail Simone is a fan favorite and although I don’t know how well co-writer Sciver does in this field I’m pretty sure this is in good hands. Yet I still have to ask why Ronnie is now a high-school student. Yes, I know certain characters are going to be de-aged but hear me out.
On Batman: The Brave & The Bold, Ronnie is a gym coach and Jason is a science nerd who are given the power of Firestorm while accidentally being involved in a supervillain raid on a nuclear power plant. Ronnie takes Professor Stein’s traditional place and Jason takes the forward control. This would have been great, with the graduated Ronnie taking his mentor’s former role as mentor to the new guy (since we lost Gehenna as a character–Alex DeWitt revisited). However, I never said I would never read new DC, just that I have concerns. I may check this one out.
The anthology series gets a new look in DC Universe Presents, a new series that will focus on multi-issue story arcs each featuring a different superhero from the DC Universe’s rich cast of characters, told by some of comics’ most exciting writers and artitsts. DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #1 kicks off the first arc of the series: a Deadman story by Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang. The cover to issue #1 is by Ryan Sook
Even I have to admit this is one of their better ideas. An anthology will allow “lesser” DC characters who can’t get their own title to remain in the spotlight. Perhaps with the team on it, it leads to a solo special, miniseries, or full series–either way selling potential at a non-comic version.
Some quick shots:
- Tony Daniel writing Hawkman: I’ve seen praise for his artwork and scorn for his writing. So I’m sure putting him on a character nobody’s been able to do anything with since the 90’s (if that) will be great fanbait. To Marvel.
- JT Krul is still on Green Arrow. The guy who killed his marriage to Black Canary along with any chance of Speedy/Red Arrow/Arsenal ever being taken seriously again. (That dead cat will follow him like a Black Lantern, mark my words.)
- Selling Mr. Terrific as “The world’s third-smartest man – and one of its most eligible bachelors”? Seriously? At any rate, it’s more bringing back the 80’s, which I would normally be behind. However, we’re telling everyone after that to kiss off and perverting the original concepts on top of it, so I’m not sure this will last very long.
- Captain Atom has “the potential to be a god among men…will he lose himself in the process?” Well, this was the original choice for Monarch.
Some good ideas, some not-so-good, but nothing that required a cosmic reboot if you ask me. Also, the wrong people are still steering this ship, so all the complaints and concerns I’ve made the past couple of days still stands. I dare DC to prove me wrong, but this is still more corrupted nostalgia, which is what the Bad Fanfic Brigade seems to thrive on.
Plus I still need proof that there won’t be anymore killing decent characters and supporting casts (who will actually be UTILIZED!) to make “better heroes”, and there still isn’t proof of that.
- More “point”lessness (bwmedia.wordpress.com)
- ShadowWing’s Flashpoint Theories (bwmedia.wordpress.com)
They also took Gail off of Birds of Prey just to let you know.
I heard. No word on Secret Six and considering its fans I’d be surprised if it was canceled, even if it didn’t come from DiDio and Johns’ childhoods.