DC Reboot

17Apr12

I’ve been casually following the DC Reboot news for a little while, hearing and reading interesting things to come (Barbara Gordon is Batgirl again!, etc.), and there’s lots of talk over this stuff, as the internet says there should be. But the more I’ve read, the more it seems like this isn’t exactly a “reboot.” It’s more like a “renumbering.”trans.gif

To wit, the Batgirl thing. Many fanboys have wondered if the events of Alan Moore’s “Killing Joke” (where — SPOILER ALERT — the Joker shoots Barbara “Batgirl” Gordon through the spine, paralyzing her) won’t matter. And the editors of DC have been semi-animate in saying (paraphrased), “Some of the major events of past comics still happened. This is more of a clean house.”

OK. You can do whatever you want, I suppose, but that’s not exactly a reboot. When the Batman film franchise was rebooted, Christopher Nolan didn’t build to any of the events of the Tim Burton movies. He didn’t make the Joker an up-and-coming gangster who fell into chemicals and rose out white skinned. He started from scratch. Those movies effectively said, “Everything you saw in those previous movies doesn’t really matter* to this story.”

Now comes the DC Universe Reboot, which sounds like a promise to excise all of the extraneous baggage from 70 years of publishing and just start fresh. I may be a fool or an idiot or a hopeless optimistic, but I assumed that a reboot meant that, for example, “Batman #1″ would start near the origin of Batman. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT AN ORIGIN BELONGS. That also meant that if there was a Robin, it would be Dick Grayson and not Jason Todd, Tim Drake or anyone. Those characters would re-appear as the years went on and as stories ran aground and demanded their arrival.

But it doesn’t seem like that’s the case. When last we left Batman, Bruce Wayne had come back from the dead to take back the cowl and start the whole “Batman Incorporated” plan, wherein he lead Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Batwoman, Batwing, BatyBatBat and every other Bat person as a group, utilizing Bruce’s corporation-running skills to crime fighting use. If this was a reboot, wouldn’t all of that go away?

“Not with a little imagination,” says DC. It seems like nothing has really changed except for the look of the books and the fact that DC is entering the realm of digital publishing. So all the baggage really is still there, but it’s being ignored. I get it, but I don’t get it. Maybe I need to follow less casually, which means I won’t buy and read every issue, which is not what DC was hoping for.

 

*I qualify “this story” because of course they “matter,” in a cosmic sense. Anything that someone cared about matters, I suppose. Aaaaaannyway…

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