September 10, 2011
On Thursday I asked for help on Twitter listing the most successful original (non-legacy/revamp) DCU characters created since 1990.
My original thought was to look for characters who had solo series lasting at least 5 years, and all I could come up with was Hitman. Maybe Impulse, depending on how you defined original. I asked on Twitter, and @JCorduroy suggested Harley Quinn, whose solo series didn’t last that long, but who has undoubtedly had a huge impact on the Batman corner of the DCU, and I realized the criteria might be a bit too tight.
Thanks to everyone who’s helped me come up with this list so far:
Characters/Teams with long-running series:
- Static (Milestone)
- Stormwatch/The Authority (WildStorm)
- Birds of Prey – new team with pre-existing characters
*I’m not 100% certain Impulse and Steel qualify as original. They’re spinoffs of existing characters, but they’re new roles and identities, so they’re certainly more original than, say, Kyle Rayner as Green Lantern, Cassie Sandsmark as Wonder Girl, Tim Drake as Robin, or Linda Danvers as Supergirl.
Characters with less successful or no series, but who have made a major impact:
- Harley Quinn – import from Batman: The Animated series. Solo series was short, but hard to imagine the Bat-verse without her.
- Renee Montoya – I’m a little less certain about her than Harley.
I’m not counting Young Justice, since there’s so much overlap with the Teen Titans in concept and membership that I’m not sure you can really consider it a new team. A couple of people suggested Resurrection Man, but his series only lasted about two years, and he basically disappeared afterward. We’ll have to see how well the new book does. Chase was also suggested, but sadly her series crashed and burned despite being made of awesome.
So…who am I missing?
Again, I’m looking for original DCU characters created since 1990 that have had a long-running series or made a huge long-term impact on the DCU.
I know there are more Milestone and Wildstorm characters or teams with long-running series, but I’m not familiar enough with them to be able to say which have been the most successful.
September 1, 2011
Flashpont #5 is out, and we now know how history was changed to create the Flashpoint universe, and how it was changed again to create the new DC Universe.
Well, sort of.
Obviously, spoilers for Flashpoint #5, so stop reading if you don’t want to know yet. Read the rest of this entry »
July 25, 2011
At Comic-Con’s Sunday “The New 52″ panel, Dan Didio stated that he’d wanted to reboot the DC Universe for five years, since Infinite Crisis*, but that the time didn’t seem right. Why not? And why is it happening now?
It makes more sense to tie it to Infinite Crisis: follow up a classic universe-changing event with a new universe-changing event 20 years later and usher in a new “age” of DC comics.
It seems clear that his plans morphed into One Year Later. Like the New 52, it was an attempt to establish a new status quo and provide a new jumping-on point for the entire line.
Something else Didio wanted to do with Infinite Crisis was bring back Barry Allen. He was coy about it for several years, but in the DC Nation column that ran the week of the last issue of Wally West’s Flash series, he explained that he’d wanted to bring Barry back with Infinite Crisis, but things didn’t work out, so they set up Bart instead. Then he’d wanted to bring Barry back in The Lightning Saga, but again, things didn’t work out, so they brought Wally back instead.
So what does it mean that things didn’t work out? Read the rest of this entry »
May 12, 2011
DC keeps reminding us that this week’s The Flash #12 is the final issue of the series. But we all know that the series is coming back, one way or another. The Flash is one of DC’s foundational* series that only ever gets canceled to pave the way for a relaunch.
So we know The Flash will be back in some form after Flashpoint. But how?
Most likely it’ll be called The Flash, and as long as Dan Didio and Geoff Johns are in charge it’s a safe bet that it’ll star Barry Allen. The question is, will it be…
- Flash vol.4 #1 (a straight relaunch)
- Flash vol.3 #13 (picking up where they left off)
- Flash with some sort of combined numbering.
For that last option, I added the series up a while back and came up with ways they could launch at #625 or #630. There’s also the Flash #351 approach some people have suggested, which is odd, because it includes both the Golden and Silver Age numbers but skips over the last 25 years of Flash comics.
If Flashpoint is a big turning point for the Flash, they might go for a new title, maybe All-Flash vol.2 #1 (Gotta keep those titles in trademark!)
Who will write it? Geoff Johns could. He’s said he can do 3 monthly books, and with Brightest Day over, he’s committed to Green Lantern and Aquaman. But he’s also busy with his job as Chief Creative Officer. Could it be time for someone else?
How about art? After the way things went with this run, it probably won’t be Francis Manapul on the next ongoing. Scott Kolins seems to found a niche as the go-to-guy for “quick draw” Flash books, so he might return full-time. Or we might see someone entirely new.
When will it start? Most likely it’ll launch right after Flashpoint (or 3 months later to keep spoilers out of solicitations), but DC might run a miniseries first.
Secret Origin. Geoff Johns has said on several occasions that he wants to do Flash: Secret Origin, and at last year’s Baltimore Comic Con it was suggested that it would follow the second story arc on The Flash. (At the time, my guess was that Secret Origin would run through the main title while Flashpoint ran in its own miniseries, though that obviously isn’t happening.) I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he and Francis Manapul started working on this behind the scenes during Flashpoint, with Flash: Secret Origin launched as a miniseries after Flashpoint concludes. If that happens, I’d guess that DC will wait until Secret Origin is finished before relaunching The Flash again.
Kid Flash. At SDCC 2009, Geoff Johns announced plans for a Kid Flash series by Sterling Gates, launching in 2010 alongside the Flash relaunch. This was eventually scrapped, though Gates is writing the Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost miniseries. If it sells well, I would not at all be surprised to see a Kid Flash ongoing spin out of the event.
Speed Force. At SDCC 2010, Geoff Johns announced plans for a second Flash series, Speed Force, featuring Wally West and Bart Allen, launching in 2011. Most likely this would be a rotating cast like JSA Classified. It’s only occasionally been mentioned since then, and unlike Kid Flash, it doesn’t have as obvious a hook from Flashpoint…that we know of.
Chances are that we’ll see Speed Force or Kid Flash spin out of Flashpoint, but not both.
Flash: Secret Origin sounds like a good bet, though, whether before the new ongoing series launches or side by side with it.
*To use Grumpy Old Fan’s term for those books that are essentially cancellation-proof, since they’ve been in publication almost continuously since 1960 or longer.
April 20, 2011
Following up on the retailer perspective, here’s what DC wants the reader perspective to be:
I’ve always been kind of ambivalent about this sort of thing. On one hand, it’s nice to have a complete list. On the other, calling it a checklist does sort of imply that you should be getting everything. And while I’m sure the publishers would be thrilled if we all did that, it’s just not feasible for most of us. And I’m sure most DC Comics fans don’t want to read all of these books, just like they don’t want to read every comic that DC publishes.
I’ll give Geoff Johns props for stating up front that it’s a central story with a lot of side stories, and that you only need to read the main miniseries to get a complete story. That’s much better than, for instance, The OMAC Project, where the most important event in the book — the one that continues to have repercussions to this day — happened between two issues of the miniseries, in another comic book.
But it’s still a struggle between the creative team saying, “Read what you want, and I hope you’ll want to read a lot of it,” and the marketing department saying, “Read it all!”
At least it’s not presented as an actual checklist (as these often are), or worse: an ordered list that implies that you have to read the books –all of them — in a particular order to understand what’s going on.
April 19, 2011
April 1, 2011
Spoilers if you’re trade-waiting Flash: The Road to Flashpoint, but if you’ve read The Flash #9, you know that…
Read the rest of this entry »
March 22, 2011
It used to be a joke, “As long as you keep buying late books, we’ll keep making ’em.” It’s not a joke anymore: you stopped buying ’em. We need to get our schedule under control.
– Dan Didio at DC Nation, C2E2 (as reported by CBR).
January 25, 2011
Amazon is running a serious discount on Paul Levitz’ massive tome of comic-book history, 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking. The 720-page coffee table book weighs in at 16 pounds and normally sells for $200. Amazon initially listed it for $126, but it’s down to $109.66 — a 45% discount cutting $90 off the price!
I finally ordered a copy.
I doubt this discount will last. If a huge, detailed art book about DC Comics’ history appeals to you but (like me) you’ve been holding out because of the price, now’s your chance!
January 6, 2011
Sometimes, a new character or team just clicks.
This was the case with the Rainbow Raiders.
During his 2000-2005 run on The Flash, Geoff Johns killed off the Rainbow Raider, a Bronze-Age Rogue who could shoot colored energy beams and could drain or add color to people and objects, changing them based on the characteristics of that color. Red would enrage someone, yellow would make them afraid, etc. He was killed by Blacksmith in the prologue to “Crossfire” (Flash #183, 2002), presumably with the thought that he had less potential alive than as an example of how tough the new villain was.
Ironically, a few years later, Geoff Johns would introduce the concept of the emotional spectrum to the Green Lantern mythos, on which he built Blackest Night and Brightest Day. The Rainbow Raider’s powers would have fit right in.
Comics publishers never like to leave a name unused, and a few years later, Johns introduced the Rainbow Raiders in the pages of The Flash. They didn’t do much other than introduce themselves at Captain Boomerang’s funeral (Flash #217, 2005).
As far as I know, the villains have only been used once since then, just one month after their initial appearance: in JLA: Syndicate Rules (Kurt Busiek), Johnny Quick and Power Ring of the Crime Syndicate are impersonating the Flash and Green Lantern while they stumble upon an attack in progress by the Raiders. They have to fight or else blow their cover, but they don’t have the heroes’ restraint with using their powers, and make brutally short work of the Raiders.
That was pretty much it, and even I forgot about them until last week, when they showed up on a list of characters killed during Blackest Night.
Lia was kind enough to point me to relevant posts on The Rogues Kick Ass from a couple of months ago (page 1and page 2). It turns out a two-page sequence in Untold Tales of Blackest Night revealed their ultimate fate: On discovering that the dead are rising, they decide to be on the winning side…so they kill themselves. They don’t even rise as Black Lanterns, though, because no heroes actually care about them enough for the rings to re-animate them.