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Off My Mind: Will the DC Universe Be Rebooted Again After Flashpoint?

Is it really that crazy of an idea?

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Flashpoint has just begun and we know the DC Universe proper has been completely altered. Barry Allen awoke to find the world had changed. From what we know, he wasn't transported to another world, dimension or reality. He is in the actual main DC Universe. This was also seen in Booster Gold #44 when Skeets told Booster that they were in the same timeline.

Everything has changed. The heroes are different. Some of the heroes we know are actually dead and there are new versions of other ones. We, as comic book readers, know this isn't really a big deal. We've seen similar events with Age of Apocalypse, Heroes Reborn and recently Age of X. We know it's just a comic book event and things will eventually return to normal. We can sit back and enjoy this new twist to the characters we know and wait patiently for the return of what we've been reading.

There has been a rumor floating around about the fate of the DC Universe. In most of the regular titles, major storylines are approaching a firm conclusion (Wonder Woman's The Odyssey, Superman's Reign of the Doomsdays, etc). On August 31, 2011, there will be only one DC Comics issue released, Flashpoint #5, the final issue of the miniseries. Speculation has been brewing that after Flashpoint, the DC Universe might not revert back to its original form. Is there any way it'd be possible for DC to abandon all it's current ongoing titles in favor of the new characters and direction developing in Flashpoint?

== TEASER ==
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The quick response is, "No way!" How could DC possibly turn its back on all us loyal readers and simply do away with the decades of character development we've had? If you really think about it, it's not really hard to believe they might do that.

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How many times has the DC Universe been rebooted? First of all, we have the Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age and current continuity that are not connected. For example, when Alfred first appeared in Batman #16, Bruce Wayne was an adult and Dick Grayson was already his ward. Alfred mentioned his father hand worked for the Wayne family but Bruce did not know him and was not raised by him after his parents were shot. We also have the other stories like Supergirl making out with her horse Comet. That hasn't happened in the current incarnation of the character.

Heroes Reborn rebooted several characters.
Heroes Reborn rebooted several characters.

The DC characters have had their origins tweaked many times over the years. What's to stop DC from doing it one more time? It's not a completely unheard of idea. Marvel sort of did the same thing with Heroes Reborn. The Avengers, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Captain America and Iron Man all had new origins. Anything that happened before didn't matter...until they made their way back to the regular 616 universe. Heroes Reborn lasted a year. There might have been a slight uproar over it but the books did sell.

If DC decided to continue the world of Flashpoint beyond the five issue miniseries, it would be easier for new readers to jump into the books. People may know everything about Superman's origin but if you were to think about picking up Action Comics to read about him, the fact that the issue is now in the 900s could be intimidating. That's 900 other stories that have gone by and the new reader might feel overwhelmed by the fact that there's a lot of history and events they've missed.

The sad fact is comic books don't sell the incredibly high numbers they used to. It was mind-boggling that Jim Lee's X-Men sold over 7 million copies and today's major books barely crack 100,000. Despite this, superheroes and comic books are becoming more popular in Hollywood. The truth is you can have millions of people that will see a comic book movie but less than a hundred thousand will actually read the comics. With a reboot of characters, DC could create new franchise after franchise. The success of Marvel's THOR shows that even characters that aren't as mainstream as Spider-Man or the X-Men can still make a lot of money.

What about the Batman movies? We're pretty sure that The Dark Knight Rises will be Christopher Nolan's final Batman movie. When the inevitable next movie comes out, it will be a reboot just as Spider-Man and X-Men are getting rebooted. The Batman movies could easily be rebooted to fit more closely to the Flashpoint version. The same could happen to Superman and Green Lantern. There's room to bend a little.

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What do I honestly think? I don't believe DC would completely wipe out the 75 years of the characters we know, even if they have gone through changes over the years. What I can believe is that they could try to stretch out Flashpoint beyond the fifth issue in August. If this is a major event, we're getting five issues in only four months. The big comic events usually last much longer than that. Sure the Flash may be involved but why is there a need to rush this along?

Over the next couple weeks, if the Flashpoint miniseries are successful, I could totally see DC 'announcing' that the world will carry on this least for a little bit longer. They may try to convince us that they are going to cancel all their other titles and replace them for another month or two or three. After everyone has their say whether they love the idea or hate it, DC can decide what they will do next.

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I don't have a problem with change. Spider-Man changed his costume. Superman died (and later got electric-based powers). Iron Man was replaced by Rhodey. Captain America and Batman both died. Eventually things return to the status quo. There is no need to get in an uproar when a character goes through a major change. They always return to what we know because it's what we know. Do people really want rehashes of the same old stories over and over? There's nothing wrong with trying to mix things up once in a while. Let the publishers experiment a little and give us fresh takes on characters and go in different directions. Then after it's played out, the characters will go back to their old ways. DC most likely will not reboot their entire line of comics and characters but if they did for a little bit, I would be totally okay with that.

154 CommentsRefresh
Avatar image for trizetacannon
Posted By Trizetacannon

I can't wait to see what they decide to with this great concept and opportunity.

Avatar image for jcj145
Posted By jcj145

Good article and very well explained, bravo

Avatar image for doomsilver
Posted By doomsilver

nice thoughts

Avatar image for sawcesome
Posted By Sawcesome

In Flashpoint #5, Flash gives up his marriage so Neron can set the world right.

Avatar image for evpraksiya
Posted By Evpraksiya

I'll be glad to see this WW and the odyssey one no more. But it's a shame in a way. 

They can do it, just to tell people hey now you can buy and be able to understand everything without reading 75 years of comics before. Follow us. You've seen our movies now buy more than 2 issues from us we're taking down everything. So that's a possibility and in the main time people fan or not  will talk about it and read it just to see. Since it's a mini série and not one where we've to run after 50 # from different series etc...
Avatar image for nightfang3
Edited By NightFang3
@Sawcesome said:

In Flashpoint #5, Flash gives up his marriage so Neron can set the world right.

Oh please not another "One More Day"!!!
Avatar image for jordanstine
Edited By Jordanstine

Hurray for reboots!

We get 2 to 3 continuity reboots from DC every 10 years so this was LONG OVERDUE.

The new reboot should be called:

Thumbs up or toes sideways if you like!  Oops... this isn't facebook.
Avatar image for raven575
Posted By Raven575

Throughout all of the Crisis mini-series' the DC Universe has changed dramatically, back and forth, good and bad. Personally I am just tired of all of these super long over-arching storylines that take a year.

Countdown, 52, One Year After...come on! Give the public a break for a minute. Sinestro Corps, Blackest Night and Brightest Day have taken up a couple years now, we need regular stories for a bit. Something that we can pick up a book understand that there is a beginning and an end. Something that we don't have to buy thirteen other titles just to see all angles of the story. 

I get that these big company-wide stories are good money makers and they introduce us to characters that we might not normally see, but nows the chance to give them a run at their own title. See if people want to continue following the story of Deadman...see if Hawk and Dove deserve their own long-running title again.

I would much prefer a break and keep these big blockbuster, multi-comic stories for a company's summer line. Three to four month runs and then back to delving into the individual characters.

Reboot if you want, that doesn't bother me. Give us a couple months of a alternate timeline acroos all But stop with the "Final, Final, (no we're really serious about it this time) Crisis" stuff.
Avatar image for theblueangel93
Posted By TheBlueAngel93

Eventually things return to the status quo. There is no need to get in an uproar when a character goes through a major change.

Can we be in an uproar BECAUSE things always return to the status quo?
Avatar image for perry_411
Posted By perry_411

This is a great article. It creates a rough feeling of what the future may hold, but doesn't spoil any ongoing information. BIG THUMBS UP! Tonight you put the man in G-Man.

Avatar image for eyz
Edited By Eyz

Noo! Don't reboot now, the current status quo was perfect in my eyes!
Be it the Bat-characters, the relations between characters, the various teams like Secret Six, Shadowpact (they need a new book- quick!!), Birds of Prey, etc..

But they can retcon anything that happened to Roy Harper or Ryan Choi recently.

Avatar image for redmanta
Posted By redmanta

 i know one thing will happen for sure deathstroke will have both eyes back

Avatar image for gbrutality
Posted By GBrutality

I super hope they don't because I've been crazy digging almost all the batman books lately. reboot everything else if you want, i don't particularly care. but those have been doing very well to the point it makes zero sense.

Avatar image for jonny_anonymous
Posted By Jonny_Anonymous

Yea I think it would be good if some of the changes made in flashpoint became permanent, but not all of them

Avatar image for dorsk188
Posted By dorsk188

Forget DC, when am I getting my full-scale Marvel reboot?

A cosmic cube fueled comic universe-wide reset would coincide well with the cosmic cube centered Avengers movie...  Come on, Joe Q, you know you want it.
Avatar image for doctortrips
Posted By DoctorTrips

I would like to see the DC universe get a reboot if they do it to fix a lot of mistakes and continuity problems. Also if they applied rules like "Death means dead" and "Actions have lasting un-retconable consequences" you know things like that. They'd even get my full support if they just said "Nothing's really changed except we got rid of the sliding timescale and given characters their secret identities back! Now shut up we have to go back counting our money."

However this is just a rumor one that's really getting irritating. So I'm hoping that they throw a curveball and do something completely different. Like have Jonathan Kent wake up and it's revealed that he'd dreamed everything that has happened in the DC universe the night after finding baby Kal-El in his ship, it'd be so ballsy I'd have to applaud it.

Avatar image for knight_train
Posted By Knight Train

Maybe they could reboot the old series and make this new dystopian end of the world world its own universe and continue to show the rebirth of civilisation etc and continue the adventures of our heroes, but still show events before flashpoint.

Avatar image for comicman24
Posted By ComicMan24

I hope they won't do anything like this. I am sure there will be a few changes after it is over but not a total reboot.

Avatar image for sevangrim
Posted By SevanGrim
@raven575: Dc has been doing a great job of making the events easy to digest. Blackest nights tie-ins didnt matter and barely effected the individual titles. 52 was stand alone (minus the mini-events that you didnt have to read), and the One Year Later tag was just so people didnt think it was right after the Crisis. And the current War of The GL's doesnt even effect any titles outside of the GL ones. DC has made it very easy for you to sit back and ignore the events for a couple months, then pick up the trade to see what was going on. Easier than Marvel, whos events have been all-encompassing as of late because almost every corner of their universe is represented in an Avengers team.

 any way i think we're only looking at Minor changes here. I can imagine were loosing some Flashes (that space is getting a little cramped), and perhaps Cyborg (they like to ditch criminally under appreciated characters in these. Pantha, Wildebeast, Elongated Man...). or if  they really hate me and want to mix those, well be loosing Bart Allen.
 but i think all and all this is just going to be another small clean up. At the end, some characters will be younger, some will have never existed, and some limbs will be lost and/or found. But i dont think DC plans on doing a solid reboot, just a little update.
Avatar image for out_of_space
Posted By Out_of_Space

They need to change something but not rebooting the whole DC Universe.
Avatar image for ahmed_sherif
Posted By Ahmed Sherif

I see this a very great idea. This is good!

Avatar image for tdk_1997
Posted By TDK_1997

Nice thoughts but they don't need to reboot the whole universe
Avatar image for gambit1024
Posted By Gambit1024

I wouldn't mind a reboot. I just wish Marvel would take an opportunity to reboot.

Avatar image for airdave817
Posted By deactivated-579fe0ae58107

This kind of thing is one of the reasons I don't read a whole lot of DC books anymore. I don't consider myself a "hater" or overly pessimistic or negative. It's not so much the change issue. I read Green Lantern all the way through Blackest Night and picked up the first issue of Brightest Day. My problem is - still - that there is one event/coming/right/after/another. With no/break in between. To me, that's like eating breakfast, then lunch, then dinner all day long. Now, I liked Blackest Night, but, Brightest Day was 26 issues long. Following an eight-issue mini series that tied Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps - plus, there was that host of Blackest Night "Dead Issues" that came out, too. I get the feeling that after 900 issues and three-quarters of a century...DC might just have run out fresh ideas. Or they're scrambling for a novel approach. I'm not sure if that's a marketing, editorial or creative failure. I have a hard time believing that writers and artists are coming up blank...but that's just me... 


Avatar image for decept_o
Edited By Decept-O

Is there a possibility DC may actually update and "modernize" the characters in many ways, like the costumes, motives, and characterizations?  
Avatar image for spectrumblur
Posted By SpectrumBlur

Okay, I've got 3 points to make:

1) In my opinion, if Flashpoint continues past the mini in any way, shape, or form, then I'll view it thusly:  DC's Flashpoint = Ultimate Marvel.

2) With all of the development Warner Bros. (DC's parent company) has put into marketing the various movie versions of these existing characters, I couldn't see them allowing the source material being changed so dramatically.  Let's face it, that's why Steve is back as Captain America over at the House of Ideas instead of Bucky.  Steve's the star of the movie, so he should be in the costume in the book.  Just makes good business sense.  And speaking of Marvel...

3) @dorsk188 said:

Forget DC, when am I getting my full-scale Marvel reboot?
A cosmic cube fueled comic universe-wide reset would coincide well with the cosmic cube centered Avengers movie...  Come on, Joe Q, you know you want it.

Don't give Quesada any ideas! ;)
Avatar image for bingbangboom
Posted By bingbangboom

I totally agree that DC could really benefit from a reboot of sorts. The problem for me, mainly a Marvel reader, is that it is very hard to get into. Say you are interested in Superman and you pick up an issue and he is just walking. WTF? Right?

There has been talk about "Ultimizing" DC before and we thought All-Star DC comics would do that, and it did to a point. Problem is that it is not really it's own universe. There is also a distinct disconnect from All-Star Superman's world and Batman & Robins. It is why I feel some of the best Batman and Superman comics are just out of continuity trades.

I say reboot the entire thing and have an "old DC" book that plays with these characters. Use this a s jumping off point considering the next Batman and Superman movies are roughly a year or so away, you want books to keep up with the hype. You want to build toward the Justice League movie, do it in the comics. Pretend you are doing that script and setup in the comics. Start from scratch and build these "new" characters up.
Avatar image for perry_411
Posted By perry_411

How crazy would it be if Bruce was gone?

Avatar image for johnny_spam
Edited By johnny_spam

Okay when I think about this I start to doubt DC will do a full reboot. Because based on multiple reports we have gotten from different writers. Also so much in the past year has been setting up new stuff.

The Batman Inc story is suppose to go on for another year I cannot find the article but somewhere they stated that Batman would be big all the way into 2012. Too much has happened to relaunch the Batman books. Not that report was on some site like the DC blog or CBR.

With Green Lantern Peter Milligan is going to launch a Red Lantern Corps spin off series and Johns said that there was going to be a story in his book called "Secret Origin: The Fall of Sinestro". Those two stories would not be launched or have any impact if there were no prior history.

On Comicvine's own podcast James Robinson said that the current Eclipso arc will set up his Shade series. He also is sorta rumored for a Hawkman series.

Johns' Aquaman is also coming he is one of those writers who likes building on his own past stories so much of Brightest Day set up new stuff for the character he would not start from scratch.

Bane, now this could just be hyping the Secret Six storyline coming up but it had been said he soon becomes a major DC Universe player around August  in the series it is just the end of that storyline and would be too soon for DCU consequences.

The Justice League International series that is coming up is based on Max Lord and Batman and Booster Gold starting a team to deal with him there would be no point in launching a Justice League International series if no prior continuity why not just a Justice League book?

I think we will see something more along the lines of One Year Later a new starting point for the books and maybe even the end of some titles (I hope Batgirl is not on that list). I can see how so many people think something big is going to happen and Johns and Jim Lee are suppose to have a major DC announcement on June 11 but I do not know if they would abandon the continuity just set up. Really putting all those title's stories at an end in August and putting out one DC book and staying tight lipped about post Flashpoint actually gets people talking about DC which may be what they want.

Avatar image for EndlessKnight
Posted By EndlessKnight

I'm all for change, but DC reboots things WAY too often.  Good writers shouldn't have to resort to that tactic in order to get the results they want.

Avatar image for captain_shakespeare
Posted By Captain_Shakespeare

I don't buy into the whole big numbers scare people off narrative. If someone wanted to read Superman or whoever, they would. A new #1 every few years is not going to get a whole mess of people to finally get interested. I started reading comics in the middle of Infinite Crisis (05-06) and what attracted me was the endless stories and the interconnecting universe that never seemed to end. Yes it was a lot to take in, but I did my research. That means I used the internet and I wasn't confused after awhile. I started with Crisis on Infinite Earths and made my way through, making sure I read the first trade of a book first. A little research goes a long way.

I have also been to stores with friends who dont read comics, they seemed to just pick up whatever looked cool, issue number be damned. They were probably a little confused but I think the problem was that it was in the middle of a story, not that it wasn't a #1. I think comics should start advertising storylines on their covers. Superman #900, but here's the start of a new story and if you like it there are 4 more parts to get. 

Anyway, if Flashpoint is the beginning of an "Ultimate" DC line, awesome, but making these characters the main universe would just be confusing. "I know who Superman is, but who the heck is this?" This is not a new beginning, this is more additions to a longer story because to understand Flashpoint, like any alternate universe, you need to have knowledge of the original universe to really understand the weight of the story and the changes to the character. It's not like the Flashpoint universe is the Wildstorm universe or a completely unconnected world of characters, it is simply a darker version of the "real" characters. 

If DC has any sense they could build this out to be a new line of books, but not replace the old ones. Lets face it, 90% of comic book readers are the loyal nerds who know the ins and outs of continuity (myself included) this whole "every day person" thing is such a small part of the market that they are nearly none existent. Bring in new readers with tv shows, movies and cartoons, not slapping the majority of your readership in the face for the sake of some made up statistic the business uses to explain why people just don't read as much as they used to. That being said, I am excited for Flashpoint and I think the ending of storylines in August is just part of the gimmick.
Avatar image for thecheckeredman
Posted By thecheckeredman

Blurg....who cares...give it up DC (and Marvel)...these meag-universe-changing x-overs are boring, dumb and expensive.

Avatar image for thearmandoshow
Edited By TheArmandoShow
@War Killer: I'm with you. I'd love  to see the entire DC Universe rebooted. Why not? It's not like the hardcore fans will walk away.They may say they will but we all know WE won't. I would actually buy MORE DC Comics if this went down.
Avatar image for rarecheshire
Posted By RareCheshire

Depends on what they change, will they change the unnecessary death of Lian?

Avatar image for doordoor123
Edited By doordoor123

i would put 100 dollars on DC not rebooting.
If they were rebooting, what would happen to the new JLI series or the Red Lantern series geoff confirmed a while back?
You guys are going to hype yourselves up so much that youre going to be disappointed by the ending of Flashpoint.

Avatar image for redheadedatrocitus
Posted By RedheadedAtrocitus

I talked to one of the employees of my LCS this Wednesday and he was telling me that the series might very well be "reboot-ish" if not entirely a total reboot of the DCU.  In that case it just makes me wonder why they did not append "Crisis" to this whole event.  Yes I know, DC didn't wanna scare off loyal fans and pull another Crisis out of their bum and get people rolling their eyes, but with the world that is coming out of Flashpoint how could this NOT be a Crisis?  Plus, the scale of change that is being talked about here is phenomenal.  Frankly I think some things deserve a reboot and change, but I just don't know about DC's three eldest books (Action Comics, Batman, Detective Comics) getting redone.  Seems kinda disrespectful to finally bring those volumes to an end.  It will be interesting to see how things go though.  Once again I'm glad I'm not buying Flashpoint yet and will wait to purchase TPs later on.

Avatar image for starkiller809
Posted By StarKiller809

I've been worried about this. I haven't liked comics for a very long time and this is the first time while I was into comics where I feel that my favorite characters might become someone else. This article reminded me that in comics, everything will go to normal. So I'm okay for now but I wonder want Jim Lee and Geoff Johns are going to be annoucing on June 11, 2011?
Avatar image for billy_batson
Posted By Billy Batson

I hope not

Avatar image for tacticalsandwich
Posted By TacticalSandwich
@Jordanstine: you forgot Blackest ;)
Avatar image for neonnemesis
Posted By NeonNemesis
@Evpraksiya said:
I'll be glad to see this WW and the odyssey one no more. But it's a shame in a way. 
They can do it, just to tell people hey now you can buy and be able to understand everything without reading 75 years of comics before. Follow us. You've seen our movies now buy more than 2 issues from us we're taking down everything. So that's a possibility and in the main time people fan or not  will talk about it and read it just to see. Since it's a mini série and not one where we've to run after 50 # from different series etc...

They've done it about 25 years ago with CoIE leaving back 40 years of comics, so its not the 1st time.

And IMO with all these changes in continuity and contradictions that allmost make me believe that each writter does what he wants they probably need as much if not more than they did back in the 80's.

Avatar image for mbecks14
Posted By Mbecks14

I think that they'll return to the DCU but a lot of things will be fixed and use it as a way to reboot a few struggling franchises as well as launching a whole series of alternate #1s. Like they'll fix Wonder Woman and the JLA and then relaunch books like Aquaman and maybe an Atom or Firestorm mini-series.

I could also see them doing a World of Flashpoint maxi series thing, like how Marvel still makes Age of Apocalypse books. AND i think they might start an out of continuity reboot to franchises like new Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern #1s for new readers as alternate titles
Avatar image for doctor_____
Posted By Doctor!!!!!

they should just do it right the first time and then they would not be in this mess.

Avatar image for mbecks14
Posted By Mbecks14
@Eyz said:
Noo! Don't reboot now, the current status quo was perfect in my eyes!Be it the Bat-characters, the relations between characters, the various teams like Secret Six, Shadowpact (they need a new book- quick!!), Birds of Prey, etc..But they can retcon anything that happened to Roy Harper or Ryan Choi recently.
Have you read Wonder Woman, Deathstroke's "Titans" or the JLA recently? 

if they could wipe out Cry for Justice that'd be great
Avatar image for gravesp
Posted By GraveSp

I think the changes in Flashpoint, especially with characters coughBatmancough are a bit to major for them to keep with the change.  

Avatar image for marshal_victory
Posted By Marshal Victory

When was last reboot?Been so many kinda lost count.By count i mean intrest.I just treat the  whole dcu as one big elseworld.Just easyer that way.
Avatar image for nobodythere
Posted By nobodythere

Sure its been said somewhere else, thought Clairmont and Lee's X-Men number one sold 8.1 million copies not 7. That said, I don't feel DC will will totally reboot their universe. For one, Action comics being at issue 900 must be a point of pride for them. At least it should be. People who don't read comics really don't like change. Remember the death of Robin? Imagine the fiasco we'd have today if they did away with everything they've done up until this point. It'd be crazy.

Avatar image for lorex
Posted By lorex

No title if perfect and change in comics is inevitable but a complete reboot of the DC Universe to me seems to me to be a waste of time and an insult to the fans who have followed the various titles over the years.

That being said I hate when all these mega events occur but nothing changes at all. I think it would be cool if some of the new/altered characters get a little follow up in mainline continuity.

Avatar image for mbecks14
Posted By Mbecks14
@Out_of_Space said:
They need to change something but not rebooting the whole DC Universe.
Avatar image for hawkgirl96
Posted By hawkgirl96

of course only one issuse will be released on the 31st thats a tuseday
Avatar image for the_fallen11
Posted By the_fallen11

mark my words. this will be a reboot and the only reason they are doing this is b/c DC doesnt want Dick Grayson to be Batman anymore.