CBR has posted a write-up of the DC Nation panel at Bristol Comics Expo last weekend, and Dan Didio has (as usual) some interesting things to say about the Flash.
All modern concepts of The Flash stem from the Silver Age Barry Allen version of him, and ‘The Flash: Rebirth’ does not negate the all of the stories that have gone before, it merely brings back the star character of the franchise in order to revitalize and expand the Flash universe, using the core concept as the foundation.
Well, sure, it doesn’t negate them…except for the stories that have been negated. For example, anything that involves Barry’s parents being alive during his career as the Flash, like the Identity Crisis tie-in, “The Secret of Barry Allen.” Hmm, I wonder who wrote that one?
Undoing Crisis on Infinite Earths
He also explains that since the “pillars of ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’” — the deaths of the Flash and Supergirl, and elimination of the multiverse — had long since started falling, they might as well knock them all over. I’m not sure I’d consider those “pillars.” Things that happened, sure, but the key purpose of COIE was to combine DC’s multiple universes’ worth of characters into a single, cohesive history — and that still stands. There may be alternate realities, alternate timelines, hypertime, a multiverse, whatever you want to call it — but they’re all variations on a theme.
There’s still a main DC Universe which is home to all the Golden Age DC characters, all the Silver Age DC characters, all the characters DC bought from Fawcett, Quality, Charlton and other companies, even the Milestone and Archie/Red Circle characters that they just licensed last year. They’re all part of “The DC Universe,” which itself has become a brand name.
Just adding a multiverse that contains worlds for the Tangent characters, popular Elseworlds concepts, and new alternate realities? That doesn’t undo the Crisis. Really undoing it would mean splitting off groups of characters into separate universes, and at this point DC couldn’t do that without a much more substantial reboot than they did with Zero Hour or Infinite Crisis.
Waiting for the Trade
One last note: Didio’s perspective on trade-waiting, and DC’s focus on periodicals:
We have to make it feel like you can’t wait for the trade. I hate the expression ‘wait for the trade.’ It’s the thing that upsets me the most, because it means in my opinion that what we’re creating isn’t worth reading now. ‘I can pick it up a year from now.’
It’s an interesting take on the issue. It reminds me of a remark someone else made about how if you wait for the trade, you might not remember to pick it up a year from now, whereas if you’re buying something every month, you’re a lot less likely to forget. I suppose there’s some truth to that, but I’ll say this much: when it comes to prose authors I follow, if I’m following a series or really looking forward to their new book, I’m going to either pre-order it or go straight to the local bookstore the week it comes out.
I mean, how many Harry Potter fans forgot to pick up the last book when it came out?