Well, this is going to be a fun few days.
Let’s all be honest here. We know this is 5G with a better name and we know why it exists. Dan DiDio tried time and again to get his Darker DC to make contact with fans and while it drew in a few people who like that kind of story it wasn’t able to replace the lost legion of fans who loved what the DC Universe already was and what it stood for. I like Star Trek and I like Star Wars but I don’t want one to imitate the other…or continue in the hands of the current creative teams but that’s another argument. DiDio stopped DC from doing what DC does best while trying to be Marvel and I wasn’t surprised to hear he was responsible for doing the same thing to Transformers when Beast Wars became Beast Machines. It was a warning and we didn’t heed it until it was too late.
When DiDio left we hoped that the 5G idea was going to die with him. Unfortunately his departure happened during the 2020 plague, where Diamond shut down all operations and DC decided to make everyone stop creating instead of using the opportunity to come up with a better direction for the DC Universe and working on stories closer to Rebirth than the New 52. So when comic stores opened up again and Diamond resumed sending stuff out (though still asking for solicits when nobody could order anything…have I mentioned Diamond is run by idiots?) DC had nothing new in place. So the best they could do was tailor this into an event rather than DiDio trying to replace everything in the foolish notion he could draw in more of his kind of people by tossing out everything iconic about the DC Comics brand. We are so better off without him.
At best “Future State” is a retool so they can put something out on store shelves. Whether this leads into the third reboot in the past decade (though Rebirth was more of a fixed direction until DiDio was put back in charge and refused to acknowledge it because he’s obsessed with his vision…just start your own comic company!) or a Zero Hour style tweaking has yet to be seen but we can comb through the announcement and get an idea of what’s coming. I am not hopeful.
DC FUTURE STATE GIVES FANS A LOOK AT THE FUTURE OF THE DC UNIVERSE THIS JANUARY!An All-Star Lineup of Writers and Artists to Introduce Future DC Super Heroes and Terrifying New Super-Villains in This Two-Month, Line-Wide EventFans to Discover a New Status Quo for Their Favorite Super Heroes and Super-Villains
BURBANK, CA (October 15, 2020) – DC is starting 2021 off with a bang, giving fans a glimpse into futures both near and far, full of current and new characters as the publisher announced plans today for DC Future State, a two-month, line-wide event beginning in January. Through February 2021, the full title lineup will feature a combination of monthly and twice-monthly oversize anthologies, as well as a monthly schedule of miniseries and one-shots.
So either the regular titles are going to be cut off in favor of these new versions, which we saw in Convergence, Forever Evil, and to a lesser extent Flashpoint, or these titles will be going on alongside the current books. The next paragraph in the press release suggests the former, with the regular titles resuming in March. So if your favorite character isn’t in the list we’ll be going over the next few days (it’s a long list and I also want to review the covers and logos, which is why this is only part one) it doesn’t matter because these will be new versions of most of the characters we’re getting anyway.
In DC Future State, the Multiverse has been saved from the brink of destruction, but the triumph of DC’s heroes has shaken loose the very fabric of time and space! The final chapter of Dark Nights: Death Metal (on sale January 5, 2021) brings new life to DC’s Multiverse, kicking off this glimpse into the unwritten worlds of DC’s future!
Well, at least it isn’t Doctor Manhattan’s fault this time. You know, I wasn’t a fan of Dark Nights since it’s just another “everything is Batman” event that went on way too long and I couldn’t care less about a “dark multiverse” when the regular DC universe already needed a flashlight. So we can blame this on that even too. How long will it take to remove the DiDio stench out of the DC Universe anyway?
“The DC Universe has always been fertile ground for new and refreshing takes on our characters, and DC Future State definitely contributes to this legacy,” said DC Executive Editor Marie Javins. “When the event begins in January, some savvy readers will not only pick up on some of the breadcrumbs that have already been tossed out in our current titles, but they will also find new hints and clues of what’s to come in 2021.”
Nice spin given they were trying to ditch 5G entirely. I’m not against the concept. I still want to see the DC One Million books because I like the concept. I was not happy with 5G being intended as the new direction, tossing out the classic and iconic heroes for kids and inspirations. I like Batman Beyond…well, the original show anyway, but I don’t want the whole of the DC universe turned into that. Maybe if the series had evolved, with old characters aging out and new characters coming in like Sesame Street or Doctor Who or even soap operas way back in the Golden and Silver Ages this might work, but since that didn’t happen you can’t toss out characters beloved since before your parents were born because you can’t write iconic heroes.
A stellar array of writers and artists are on hand to deliver this unique look at beloved DC characters, including fan favorites such as Mariko Tamaki, Brian Michael Bendis, Gene Luen Yang, Joëlle Jones, Joshua Williamson, Nicola Scott, Cully Hamner and John Timms, along with new voices such as award-winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years A Slave), Brandon Vietti (Young Justice), Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, DC Super Hero Girls), Brandon Easton (Thundercats, Transformers: War for Cybertron), Alitha Martinez (REPRESENT! It’s A Bird!), L.L. McKinney (Nubia: Real One), Paula Sevenbergen (Stargirl) and Siya Oum (Lola XOXO), among others.
You lost me at Brian Michael Bendis and while I’ve heard good things about some of the writers in this list I don’t know a lot of them. When did Brandon Easton write a Thundercats comic? Actually, look at this list. Most of them have worked on TV shows. Transformers: War For Cybertron might be the excellent game or the panned Netflix series. Alitha Martinez I hope has improved since her time on Iron Man but there was the occasional issue where I at least saw promise. So few of these people have DC credits if even comic credits and I’m not convinced they’re going to invoke the aspirational heroes that make the DC universe what it is. And in Bendis’ case I know he can’t. The only thing worse would be putting Tom King in there but he’s busy destroying Mr. Terrific. (That’s a video on YouTube so it will play when you click on it but it opens in a new tab. Pause it, finish reading this, then go watch it.)
From there the press release goes over the three “family” divisions, which I’ll go over in the other parts of this dissection in more detail, but here’s what’s coming.
In this future, Gotham City is controlled by the Magistrate. This villainous regime has taken control of the city, now under constant surveillance. All masked vigilantes have been outlawed and Batman has been killed. But led by an all-new Batman, a new assembly of Gotham’s guardians rise to give hope to all of those who lost it!
So it’s become the Marvel 2099 universe? Or the Digital Justice universe? Actually, I’d like to see that last one get another chance to better use the concept but I doubt they’d do it…no pun intended…justice. The thing is this is nothing new not only in alternate superhero stories but in alternate Batman stories.
Due to his involvement in an international crisis happening in the near future, Clark Kent has been rejected by Earth, causing him to focus his lifesaving efforts outside his adopted home. He travels to Warworld to rise through the ranks of gladiatorial combat in order to defeat Mongul with the help of some unlikely heroes. Back in Metropolis, Clark’s son Jon has taken on the mantle of Superman. After seeing the horrors that befell Gotham, he bottles Metropolis in order to keep it safe, putting him at odds with Supergirl.
Oh, I’m going to have a lot to unpack on this one. I will not be kind. Turning Metropolis into Kandor? Not a fan.
Connecting the two oversized Future State: Superman titles, Shilo Norman, the man known as Mister Miracle, finds himself caught between the city he grew up in and the battle-torn planet that could be his downfall.
Meanwhile in the Amazon rainforest, Yara Flor is chosen to be the new Wonder Woman. Years later, the new Superman and Wonder Woman join forces to save their cities in a new superhero team-up the likes of which the world has never seen.
This however I don’t really know what to think. Why is Wonder Woman in the Superman Family? The new Mister Miracle makes even less sense. I’ll probably ignore him but we do have to talk Wonder Woman.
Justice League Family
A thread of great change runs through the Justice League heroes: a new League is built upon secret identities (even from each other), but an old and evolved enemy will use these secrets to try and overthrow the world. For the supernatural heroes of Justice League Dark, the very fabric of reality has shifted, and heroes are being hunted.
My worry is that this will be an anti-secret identities story. The idea of the heroes keeping their alter egos secret from each other can work. It was a decent plot point in JLA: Year One, and that’s when Mark Waid still wrote GOOD superhero stories.
For Flash, Shazam, and the Teen Titans, it all begins when the four Riders of the Apocalypse unleash hell in a battle at Titans Academy, Barry Allen is cut off from the Speed Force, a Famine-controlled Wally West may be beyond saving, and Billy Batson makes a deal with the devil that will change Shazam forever. Off-world, John Stewart and the remaining Green Lanterns are stranded in the shadow of a dead power battery; Jackson Hyde and Andy Curry are separated across the galaxy; and Amanda Waller executes her ultimate plan with a new but terrifyingly familiar Suicide Squad on Earth-3.
Some of you may already see the problems I’m going to have with this one. Though I do see one…ONE…interesting idea here. Guess which one it is before we do the full breakdown.
At the end of time, Swamp Thing reveals its true intention, ruling supreme until a remnant of humanity launches a rebellion, and Black Adam looks to the past as the only way to save the future of the Multiverse.
Black Adam is not supposed to be a hero, please stop making him one. No, not anti-hero either. He is a villain. It’s kind of his purpose. He DIED in his first ever appearance and I’m starting to wish he stayed dead!
Over the next few days I’ll be going over these descriptions, the announced titles, the new costumes, and the new logos. It won’t be all negative but there’s a lot I’m not happy about. Looks like I found a discussion topic that will last the rest of the week.