Tag Archives: Earth One

SDCC: JMS to write Flash: Earth One

J. Michael Straczynski announced at Comic-Con that he’ll be writing The Flash: Earth One graphic novel. As CBR reports:

Straczynski told a packed room of around 300 fans at Comic-Con International in San Diego that “Flash: Earth One” will focus on the Barry Allen version of the speedster. The graphic novel, he said, should be on shelves in 2016, and will feature the fourth franchise to make the leap to the OGN line which JMS helped launch with “Superman: Earth One.”

“It’s a very different take on the character,” he promised. To convince the audience of his enthusiasm for the character, he described how when he was a kid he repeatedly used to practice catching a falling glass of water because he saw the Flash do it in a comic.

No artist has been announced yet.

The “Earth One” series is built around original graphic novel series instead of monthly comics. The current DC You books are mostly set on Earth-Zero (with a few obvious exceptions like Earth-2: Society, Prez and the recently-announced Superman: Lois and Clark series. Two volumes of Superman and one each of Batman and Teen Titans are available now, with Wonder Woman and now Flash on the way.

Update: Also announced at SDCC: Francis Manapul will be writing and drawing Earth One: Aquaman!

Wanted: The Flash: Earth One

Today’s guest post is by Brandan of Speedster Site.

What does it take to make a character memorable? Is that what it takes to make a character iconic?

When DC Comics announced that writers Geoff Johns and Joe Michael Straczynski would be writing 100+ pages each about Batman and Superman respectively, I couldn’t have been happier. I immediately thought that this “The Perfect Chance”. Johns and Straczynski are writing Batman: Earth One and Superman: Earth One. Two original graphic novels that have their own unique spin on DC’s icons. Why was this the perfect chance though? Simply because DC Comics has about 7 specific characters that could thrive under this type of release.

Of course the most important of those I’m speaking of is our favorite hero, The Flash! Let us look at the math of this perfect chance. One of the most recognized characters in comics, plus a symbol that’s known to many outside of comics, subtracting the monthly wait and occasional artist deadline rush, adding a highly capable artist, and to top it all off, its over 100 pages of new content. I was never good at math, but I am pretty sure that equals a sure fire success story.

But why The Flash? I know what you’re thinking. “Surely you must be happy with the relaunch of the series, and excited about the upcoming Flashpoint event. Why waste time on 100 pages of Flash?” Why? Because while that first issue of Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul’s The Flash may be new comic reader friendly, its not going to bring in more readers like The Flash: Earth One could. Still not convinced? Well how about the idea of a Barry Allen story that defines the character you have come to love and respect? Yeah, I thought that might change your mind.

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DCU in 2010 – Reactions

So, DC is finished with their week of announcements for 2010. I figured I should jot down some of my thoughts.

Superman: Earth OneEarth One OGN Series: I like the concept, but I’m not particularly interested in the Superman or Batman books. I’m mildly curious about how JMS will approach Superman, but my real interest is in what happens when it expands beyond Superman and Batman. Give me a series of Flash graphic novels and I’m there. More thoughts on the concept and the name.

War of the SupermenWar of the Supermen: Sorry, I can’t get enthused about this one.

Wonder Woman 600Wonder Woman #600: While numbering is trivial compared to story and art, there are very few characters who have been in near-continuous publication for the last 70 years. It’s nice to acknowledge that.

Of course, then there’s the question of how The Flash should be numbered, considering that they’ve relaunched several times with new characters.

Bruce Wayne: Batman PirateBatman: The Return of Bruce Wayne: I was kind of hoping they’d take a little more time with Dick Grayson as Batman before bringing back Bruce, but they seem to be treating it like the Death of Superman, Knightfall, or Artemis as Wonder Woman. (And yet somehow, today’s readers detest the 1990s. I don’t get it.) Still, Batman lost in time sounds like fun. I’ll probably pick this one up, though I might wait for the trade.

Marc Guggenheim on Action Comics: I think he made the best of a bad situation on Flash: The Fastest Man Alive, given that he was brought on board to do one thing: kill Bart Allen.

Flash Secret FilesFrancis Manapul & Geoff Johns on Flash: No really new info here, but I’m definitely liking Manapul’s art. (Covered here.) Overall, I’m still in wait-and-see mode. I had hoped to have a better sense of what The Flash post-Rebirth was going to look like by now, or that Flash: Rebirth itself might have won me over.

Legacies: Crimson AvengerLegacies, History of the DCU, and Who’s Who: If they had only announced one of these three, I’d definitely be getting it. With three, I’m not sure…especially since Legacies is going to be 10 issues (the initial post only said 7) and Who’s Who will be 15 (the initial post only said 12). Though it’s not clear whether The History of the DC Universe will be a new book or simply a “new edition” (i.e. reprint). Legacies looks like it could be very interesting, as long as it doesn’t get too hung up on explaining things. If I could only choose one, I’d probably get Who’s Who and pick up the issues of Legacies that cover the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths era.

Fall of Green ArrowThe Rise of Arsenal and The Fall of Green Arrow: I’m sure there’s an audience for this out there, but it’s not me. It looks like everything I don’t like about today’s DC in one place. At least it’ll be easy to avoid.

So, there you have it: My take on the DCU in 2010. How about you? Which projects do you find appealing?


I went back and looked at the comments on the Earth One announcement at The Source. Big mistake. There’s an argument over whether it’s the same as Earth-1 in the 52 Multiverse, what Earth-1, Earth-2, Earth-0, etc. all are in this universe or the previous DC Multiverse, etc.

In short, the title alone drags the new, streamlined books into the realm of continuity-heavy fanboy debates.

In general, I don’t like numbering alternate realities. It can be useful for cataloging, but it’s much clearer to refer to “the Smallville version,” “Mainstream DC,” “Ultimate Marvel” or “Tangent Universe” instead of tossing around terms like “Earth-616” and “Universe Designate Zero.”

And isn’t the point of this new line to make things less confusing?

DC needs a banner they can put on these books, so that readers can look for “XYZ Superman Volume 1” on the shelf. But “Earth One” is already causing confusion, just hours after it was announced.

Thoughts on Earth One

This morning, DC announced the first two volumes in Earth One, a new series of original graphic novels set in a new continuity. The first two books will be Superman: Earth One by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis, and Batman: Earth One by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank.

It’s being discussed all over the place, so I’ll just state my initial thoughts.

The Positives

First, I love the idea of a series of OGNs. There’s a huge potential audience out there in bookstores, and while collected editions help meet that audience, there are drawbacks — particularly pacing (when read serially) and the fact that waiting for the trade means missing out on the fan conversation. It works for prose novels, it works for Scott Pilgrim, it works for manga (even if it was originally serialized in Japan, it may as well be OGNs as far as the American audience is concerned), and it’s good to see DC taking the concept seriously.

Second, an Ultimate-style reboot of the DC Universe is a good idea. 80 years of continuity, multiple “soft” reboots, heroes who have been replaced, then come back, major events based on short stories from 25 years ago…the modern DC Universe is a complicated place. A project that reaches out to a new audience is a good opportunity to streamline things without messing with the monthly continuity.

Third, I like the Batman redesign.

The Negatives

It makes sense to start with Superman and Batman, because these are two characters that everyone is familiar with, even those who don’t read comics. But they’re starting with the origin stories. Who doesn’t know Superman’s origin? Or Batman’s? With any other character, I’d say it would be worth starting with an origin, but with these two, it might be better to jump in at the deep end and fill in the backstory as they go along.

If they keep the series going, it won’t be a problem, but I can see it being a problem for the first volumes. It reminds me of the choice for the movie of The Golden Compass to rip out the ending and move it to the start of the second movie. It definitely hurt the first movie, and probably contributed to the fact that there won’t be a second movie.

It also makes me worry that, like so many rebooted series, they’ll eventually turn to retelling older stories instead of telling new ones.

The Earth One branding seems…a little obtuse. It means nothing to the new audience, and judging by comments I’ve seen, it’s already confusing the existing DC audience. [Edit: expanded a bit more in that link.]


I can’t reach the AICN interview, but CBR’s article quotes Geoff Johns as saying that the plan is for two novels a year. Two total? Or two per character? If these take off, two per character would be a much better approach, especially if they expand it to Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, and beyond.