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The DCnU and You

Ahoy, Comic-Nerdists and the people who love them.

Do you love DC comics but lately you’ve been out of touch and the weight of years of continuity and the volumes of back-issues it would take to play catch up are so over whelming that the very thought reduces you to tears and soiled undies?

Well, I have great news for you…

Do you love DC comics and have been collecting every title since “Crisis on Infinite Earths”, buying two copies of each issue (one to read and one to store with acid-free boarding in a hermetically sealed, temperature controlled vacuum chamber) and the thought of having your computer-like knowledge of all things continuity undone or at least altered, reduces you to tears and soiled undies?

I’m sorry, but I have some terrible news for you…

This September, DC Comics is “restarting” the universe with a soft reboot lovingly referred to as “DCnU.” The new universe is spinning out of events in the currently running mini-series, “Flashpoint.” Basically the Flash’s arch enemy (aptly named, “Reverse-Flash”) effs the timeline and boom goes the dynamite… DCnU.

Get prepared for 52 (DC’s magic number ever since the very successful weekly book, “52” back in 06) titles starting at issue #1.  In a nutshell, DC is de-aging their most popular heroes by a few years and starting them out earlier in their superhero careers than where they are in current continuity. They’re sporting familiar but modernized costumes (no more panties on the outsides). Plus they seem to have incorporated some of their other imprints into the DCnU, with characters from the Wildstorm, Milestone and Vertigo lines getting their own books. We’ll have to see once these books start in earnest just how much of their history remains intact.

The 52 (in no particular order):

Justice League • Wonder Woman • Aquaman • The Flash • Green Lantern

Green Arrow • Justice League International • Mister Terrific • Captain Atom

DC Universe Presents • The Savage Hawkman • The Fury of Firestorm

Green Lantern Corps • Green Lantern: The New Guardians • Red Lanterns

Batman • Detective Comics • Batman & Robin • Batman: The Dark Knight

Batwoman • Batgirl • Catwoman • Birds of Prey • Nightwing • Batwing

Red Hood & the Outlaws • Swamp Thing • Animal Man • Justice League Dark

Demon Knights • Frankenstein: Agent of Shade • Resurrection Man

I, Vampire • Voodoo • Legion Lost • Legion of Superheroes • Teen Titans

Static Shock • Hawk & Dove • Stormwatch • Blackhawks • All-Star Western

Sgt. Rock & the Men of War • Deathstroke • Grifter • Omac • Blue Beetle

Suicide Squad • Action Comics • Superman: Man of Tomorrow

Superboy • Supergirl

For a listing with creative teams and cover images, check out:

My take? I’ve been following comics for more years than I care to share with the general public. I think the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” mini series in 1985 was a real growing up point for comics as a whole and one of the best things DC comics ever did. So… I’m game.

DC, show me what you got.

Thanks for reading,

Your Pal, Arnie

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  1. MJ says:

    Thanks for that Arnie. T’was a big help, now I can focus on what to buy.

  2. Arnie Ross says:

    Hey MJ,
    Good question.
    In this New DCnU (pun intended) there will be one Batman, one Superman, one Wonder Woman, etc. Some of these characters are so popular (Batman most of all) that DC will release multiple titles to feature different aspects of the same character. For example, “Batman & Robin” will focus on Bruce Wayne and his relationship with his biological son, Damian, who’s also the newest Robin. “Detective Comics” gives you a more gritty, man-on-the-street type of story and might feature some lesser used supporting characters. Justice League will put Batman in straight up super-hero, world-crisis adventures. And so on.
    So yes, all books feature the same Bruce Wayne Batman and they all exist in the same continuity.
    Hope that helps.

  3. MJ says:

    I apologise for my ignorance but I’d like to ask anyone who knows (as I am interested in buying some of these books) why there are four Batman books. In my limited knowledge of comic books I know there are different universes etc or just different versions of the same character. With that in mind, will it be the same Batman? The same timeline? The same continuity?

    Will I be reading the same character in Detective Comics #1 as he is in Batman#1 as he is in Justice League #1 and the other books in which he features?

    Ditto with Superman, it looks like two different characters for Action Comics#1 and Superman#1 the latter of which looks like he does in Justice League #1.

    All in all I’m befuddled and hope someone can help so I can get a handle on which stories of the new 52 fit together and what to go with.

  4. Stenz says:

    The similarity between DCnU and Star Wars Galaxies: New Game Enhancements are particularly striking. Read this my fellow nerds and weep.

  5. Already called my comic store and cancelled all my DC titles for September, and cancelled all the titles that are doing ‘filler’ issues until the reboot (i.e. Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors). I did the math, and I will be saving roughly $300/month. I figured that is a nice monthly payment on a new motorcycle. Lee, Didio, Morrison and Johns can take their 52 titles and use them for fire wood, when they shut the power off at the DC offices.

  6. PapaFrita says:

    Maybe someone will die for real this time!

  7. Ben says:

    I’ve been a long time comic book reader, and I’m excited for the shake up. I’m not a comic book guy that constantly worries about continuity or things always making sense in a chronological way. I just like to read good stories. It doesn’t matter to me that Batman is kicking ass in Justice League while also kicking ass in Gotham. I just like to see Batman kicking ass!

    At my local shop, I’ve already pre-ordered about 24 of the new titles. I’m stoked for the possibilities. I think people will definitely dig on the digital side of the format, and I hope more people jump into the comic book pond.

  8. WillMcCoy says:

    ok Nick i got ya

    ‘Batman’ is the Flag Ship Batman Book, written by Scott Snyder, one of the great comic writers around today, if your only gonna read one of these books read this one.

    ‘Detective Comics’ is a book that usually stars Batman or one of his supporting cast in more of traditional Detective Story, well as traditional as you can get with Superheroes. The writer, Tony Daniel hasn’t been the greatest on BatBooks in the past so i’d hold off on this one for now.

    ‘Batman: Dark Knight’ seems like its gonna be a Batman VS the Supernatural book. Writer/Artist David Finch draws some great panels and tells a decent story but his books are usually are not on time. i’d say check it out and hope it comes every month.

    ‘Batman & Robin’ will feature Bruce Wayne finally teaming up with his son Damien Wayne since the character became Robin. Damien has become one of the most awesomely bad-ass characters in DC Comics has created in the past few years. he’s basically the male version of Hit-Girl from the movie Kick Ass. Writer Peter Tomasi, has done a great job recently with a Dick Grayson(as Batman)/Damien, Batman & Robin book so this should be pretty good.

    so there you have it dude the basics on the four Batman books. ‘Batman’ & ‘Batman & Robin’ are the books to watch…or i guess read.

    alright i’m done nerding out about Batman.

  9. Nick Jimenez says:

    I’ve been wanting to get into comics for awhile, and I’m excited that DC is giving a new readers a chance to jump in without worrying 52/Blackest Night complexities. That being said…why are there 4 Batman titles!? What’s the differencebetween Detective Comics, Batman: Dark Knight, Batman, and Batman & Robin? I’m genuinely asking here.

  10. PinkMnM says:

    It’s a great starting point for new comers.

  11. My comic book purchases have slowly dwindled over the past few years. I think I have finally found a reason to stop buying anything other than the tpbs for FABLES and INVINCIBLE. Adios DC universe!

  12. Luci Vaughn says:

    *headdesk* Can we please stop having giant massive all over the place events happening within the Universes (Marvel & DC) for just a little while? I’m still trying to figure out what the hell happened in Blackest Night/Brightest Day. That is a hot mess of a story arc.

  13. Bill T. says:

    I just can’t help seeing this all as another crossover “event”. I am all for taking advantage of the digital format and how that could net many new readers. However, part of DC’s problem (IMO) is all the mucking about they do in continuity. I don’t think they should change up the status quo as simply a marketing ploy. How well are Marvel’s Ultimate books doing at this point? Apples to apples? Maybe not. Proof that the current majority prefer the comic continuity status quo? Maybe.

  14. mattshow says:

    Err, turns out is actually a better link for seeing all the posts.

  15. mattshow says:

    For those interested, Tor (the publisher) has a blog which has been running a series of posts looking at each title individually.