DC Comics’ Issue One Renumbering – A Complete Reboot?

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Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston is reporting on the rumor (leak?) that DC Comics will, in September, be essentially rebooting their entire comics line (DC Universe titles that is; naturally the mature readers/creator-owned line under the Vertigo imprint will be exempt from this). I think this radical move is brilliant and much needed. Especially if you consider that the DC Universe has been so convoluted with timelines and Earths this and Earths that…in an industry that is a sad shell of its former self, hardly ever bringing in new customers, something like this, especially from one of its Big Two publishing houses, is just genius in my opinion.

What will this reboot entail? Well, all titles being re-created/restarted as an issue #1 (with little if ANY reference to what has come before…essentially an all new canvas). That’s right, folks. Superman #1. Batman #1. The Flash #1. So on and so forth. I love it (despite not being a huge fan of their superheroes and universe).

According to Johnstons’ Bleeding Cool report, this event will happen in September:

“With no current plan for the renumbering to reverse to any so-called “legacy” numbering. And with those issue one renumberings, will come a new rejigged status quo. And yes, characters will be changed. Some may no longer exist. There will be new books, new creators, new teams, new characters and new… new. With no current plan for the new status quo to be undone or reversed.


The current Flashpoint story running through the DC Universe and ending in August has rewritten the history of the DC Universe. How much of it, if any, will be reflected in the September titles?


“The first rule about FLASHPOINT is, don’t talk about what comes after Flashpoint” quotes Chief Creative Office of DC Geoff Johns. And I think we can take that literally. DC creators have been asked by their editors to sign rather restrictive NDA agreements to continue working on titles.


But Bleeding Cool hasn’t signed anything. More today on what this might mean for specific books. Some of it will be accurate. Some of it will be warped in the telling. And some of it will have changed…”

All the fanboys on the message boards crying foul and saying they will drop books and won’t support it are, in a word: fullofshit. They will pay attention. They will want to be on ground zero with something this huge and historic and like I said, I don’t think DC is playing around here because they absolutely have to do something huge and radical at this point–and their position–in the comics publishing game. Completely rebooting their universe, offering up a complete blank slate on which all-new stories and concepts will be created from that point forward…only a foolish comics fan would pass on that. I’m not even much of a DC guy and I am very interested and supportive of this. The main purpose here is and should be to get into the position to tell NEW stories un-anchored rather than continue to rehash on what has come before several decades before. The comic book periodical industry needs this kind of bold shakeup. Particularly prior to a full-on digital revolution which is still only in its infancy…maybe toddler-dom at best, but knocking hard on the proverbial door…lurking menacingly around the proverbial corner.

And to those who say this won’t last and that DC has always tinkered with things. Yeah, that’s historically true. But this is a new day with guys like Jim Lee now as co-publisher (along with Dan DiDio), Geoff Johns as Chief Creative Officer and president Diane Nelson as the new boss in charge for Warner. I just don’t think that DC’s parent company Warner Bros. is messing around, they’re tired of being #2 (by a considerable margin to Marvel), and I got the sense that it’s do or die before Warner decides to really start making wholesale cuts to the publishing end of this imprint further down the line (perhaps a 5-10 year plan in place).

And something I want to get into the thinking on this…if they’re doing a complete reboot, then you can bet your ass that Jim Lee’s WildStorm Universe characters will be fully integrated into this reinvention of the DCU. Bet on it.

This will be a slow boil, but something I will definitely be keeping my eye on over the next several months.

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