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DC Comics Projects for 2010 – The Hype and The Gripe

First, THE HYPE… If you missed it, last week DC Comics announced a bunch of projects for 2010.  Simultaneously, DC had the propaganda machine turned up to 11 as they had other media lined up to cover each project.  Here is a quick recap with links:

  • EARTH ONE: A series of original graphic novels featuring Superman and Batman on a new Earth with an all-new continuity.  Superman: Earth One will be written by J. Michael Straczynski and drawn by Shane Davis, while Batman: Earth One will be written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Gary Frank.  These stories will cover their first years and earliest moments in this new continuity.  Ain’t it Cool News spoke to writers Geoff Johns and J. Michael Straczynski about their respective original graphic novels.
  • BATMAN: RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE is a six-part mini-series featuring Bruce Wayne time traveling his way back to the present. Writer Grant Morrison spoke with USA TODAY about this upcoming mini-series starting in April.
  • WAR OF THE SUPERMEN launches on Free Comic Book Day in May and promises to be the culmination of years of Superman-related stories.  The Techland blog spoke with Superman Group Editor Matt Idelson about this project.
  • THE RISE OF ARSENAL and THE FALL OF GREEN ARROW: The aftermath of Justice League: Cry for Justice will leave the Green Arrow family of characters in chaos.  If you are reading the series, you already know some of what’s going on.  In March there will be a one-shot called Justice League: The Rise and Fall that bridges Justice League: Cry for Justice with the current monthly title.  Additionally, there will be a four-issue mini-series entitled Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal.   Finally, starting in Green Arrow #31 will be a storyline entitled, The Fall of Green Arrow.  All three of these projects are being written by J.T. Krul and he spoke with IGN about them.
  • LEGACIES, HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE, and WHO’S WHO: DC celebrates its rich and legendary history with three projects.  Len Wein will write the Legacies 10-issue mini-series starting in May, with each issue focusing on a different era of DC history.  It starts at the dawn of the Golden Age and runs right up to the moments before Countdown to Infinite Crisis begins.  The other two projects are new editions of The History of the DC Universe and an all-new Who’s Who 15-issue series, profiling some of the best and lesser-known characters populating the DC Universe.  Dan DiDio and Len Wein talked with Comic Book Resources about the Legacies project.
  • WONDER WOMAN #600: Because the fans demanded it (and I mean that literally), Wonder Woman will publish her 600th issue in June and continue the numbering from 600.

Now, THE GRIPE… with the official news out of the way it’s time to share some of my opinions.  I apologize in advance for my negativity.  Normally I try to be upbeat and positive here at ONCE UPON A GEEK, but some of these projects get under my skin.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love comics.  I’m just becoming increasingly more selective as time goes on.

  • EARTH ONE: I won’t be buying them.  I don’t mind stories being told about iconic characters using the “classic” trappings (i.e. Lois, Daily Planet, Jimmy Olsen, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, etc) as was done with All-Star Superman, but to go out of your way to create a new independent continuity is bothersome to this old school fan.  I understand the hope is to allow new fans to get in on the ground floor.  Perhaps that will work, but I feel its just DC’s attempt to create a new, separate universe similar to Marvel’s Ultimate line.  Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’ve always felt the clock is ticking on the Ultimate universe anyway. It’s just a matter of time until all the series are canceled and it becomes a memory (i.e. Marvel’s New Universe, Marvel’s M2, Marvel’s 2009, etc).  On a positive note, I will say that I find DC’s efforts to publish original graphic novels rather than monthly comics very interesting. This is a HUGE change for DC. Maybe they see the future coming and are trying to make a new model work for them. Good idea to try this now.  Finally, given that Johns and JMS are writing the stories, they will probably be very good. I just refuse to get sucked into a separate continuity; I spend enough money on the current continuity.  It also makes me wonder how the Superman titles in the prime DC universe will hold up without Johns involvement.
  • BATMAN: RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE: I won’t be buying this.  Bruce Wayne is time traveling his way back to the present?  Didn’t Captain America just do the same thing?  Seems poor planning for DC to announce this series after Marvel already plowed this road so recently with Cap.  I’m sure the story will be different and interesting, but it’s just too much of a coincidence for fans to ignore.  Also, given how much of a promotional push DC gave Dick Grayson as the new Batman and the reorganized Bat-family, it seems unfair for Bruce to come back so soon.  Poor Dick Grayson, always a Bride’s Maid…
  • WAR OF THE SUPERMEN: I won’t be buying this.  It actually sounds interesting, but I dropped the Superman books about a year ago and don’t plan to get sucked back in.
  • THE RISE OF ARSENAL and THE FALL OF GREEN ARROW: I’m considering picking these up.  While I’m not thrilled with all the inconsistencies in Justice League: Cry for Justice (don’t get me started on Firestorm in that book), these aftermath books sound good.  Also, J.T. Krul is GREAT!  I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read of his (all Titans related).  I dropped Green Arrow back when Judd Winick was writing it.  I’ve been looking for a good reason to come back to the character.  This just might be it.
  • LEGACIES, HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE, and WHO’S WHO: I’m DEFINITELY in for a new Who’s Who!  Without Who’s Who all these years, I’ve been devouring the Secret Files comics and the DC Encyclopedia (both editions).  I about flipped when I heard a new Who’s Who was coming!  Hooray!  I’m on the fence about Legacies.  I’ll probably give it three issues to see if it grabs me.  There isn’t enough information about The History of the DC Universe book to make an informed decision yet.
  • WONDER WOMAN #600: Good for her and good for her fans!  Way to go Wonder Woman.  You deserve a numbering that’s up there with Action Comics and Detective Comics.

With all that said, I do have to admit I’m impressed with DC Comics PR folks right now. They are doing an impressive job getting the word out on their new books.

So now that I’ve mouthed off… what do you all think of these upcoming projects?

7 thoughts on “DC Comics Projects for 2010 – The Hype and The Gripe

  1. Too bad we cannot go back to when DC and Marvel let their flagship titles run their course in the normal progression of the character, then have mini and maxi series which treated us to other aspects of their lives. Now they just want to go into each main book and shake things up and have mini series about sideline characters we could care less about. What I don’t need right now is another mini series on Arkham Asylum. Can’t wait until DC puts out a mini series on each Green Lantern color, Not! To get off the subject, Kick-Ass one the better books right now. Where is #8? Coming out 6 months late, that’s where? Purposeful delay by Marvel? Which they will probably ruin by having Kick-Ass 2 with the appearance of Wolverine….

  2. Funny, the main reason I might buy the Earth-One books is BECAUSE they’re free of continuity!

    I like DC dipping their toe in the water with books in a sort of manga-esque format (thick books instead of floppies), and I hope they can get them in front of non-die hard fans. (I have my doubts)

    One thing we do agree on Shag–I’ll definitely be picking up the new Who’s Who!!

  3. This is the first time I’ve read your blog/column and I really enjoyed it.I agree with you on what to follow and not follow in 2010 DC titles.One caveat with the Return of Wayne is speculation among local fans is that he will return but not pick up the cape and cowl. Some other role similar to Batman Beyond may be the course of events. If that is the case then why bring him back at all? The Green Arrow/Arsenal arc sounds a lot more interesting to me.I just wish I had picked up Cry For Justice this summer. Extra copies are non existant in this neck of the woods.All three shops have cut way back because of the economy.Arsenal’s role has been on the back burner for too long.

  4. Alton – Thanks for the comment. I like that suggestion of Bruce Wayne taking on an adviser role. At least Dick Grayson wouldn’t lose his job that way.

  5. on the return of bruce wayne story: i think you are being unfair on DC, they did plan this story prior to Captain America Reborn – so its more fair to say that marvel took the idea.
    plus Morrison did allude to the idea of Dick still staying as batman in his CBR interview recently.

  6. Who cares who came up with what first, is what I still say.It is a dumb idea either way and Bucky should remain Cap and Dick Grayson should remain Batman.Actually it was entirely unfortunate that Grayson couldn’t continue as his own man as Nightwing.The time traveling/ it was all a hallucination nonsense just perpetuates mediocrity at both publishers.War of the Supermen has potential only if New Krypton continues to be a source of some Superman adventures.Enough with Metropolis already.

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