DC Comics has been around in some carnation or another basically since your great grandfather was your age. It all began with the introduction of the first super hero, SUPERMAN in Action Comics #1 and the rest is folklore for another blog. Suffice it to say that DC is home to some of the most iconic characters in modern American mythology, an entire pantheon of reimagined gods!
When you have an ongoing, never-ending series like say BATMAN, which has been going on since give or take 70+ YEARS since his first appearance in DETECTIVE COMICS #27 (the title DC took its name after) you’re going bound to get some weird storylines thrown in… especially during the sixties. Back in the day, a writer would be dishing out issue after issue for a paycheck (can’t blame them) and would occasionally have to pull a rabbit out of their ass (poor rabbit) to make it happen, and you’d get some piece of shit like ‘Batman and Robin in Space fighting mutant communist ant-people from the fourth dimension!’ (there are just certain things you can’t un-see, and therefore can’t easily retcon). Problem is that other writers would later have to make sense of this… and so cam the first of many a CRISIS, in which the status quo of the multiverse was balanced (see ComicZombie’s summary of this in “5 DC moves I Hated”).
Every time a ‘Crisis’ came along the universe would be tinkered with, backstories were edited, plot holes filled with cement while the audience was distracted by the pointless death of a beloved character (cough cough Barry Allen). The point is, they did it again, but this time they began with a clean slate, mostly, and there were understandably mixed feelings about some of this modernization, but sometimes change is good.
Sales have definitely proven that DC made the right move by re-launching their entire comic book line, renewing interest, and reinvigorating the comic book industry itself!
Originally I sat down contemplating 52 reasons to read DC’s “New 52” (named for the 52 new #1 titles), but came to the conclusion that if you were willing to read through that list there’s a good chance you didn’t need convincing to begin with. Much like the re-launch of the DC Universe I cut down that convoluted mess, narrowing it down to what really mattered. I also decided it was best to focus on the positive aspects, rather than the negative, disappointing, and infuriating changes / completely mishandled characters (Green Arrow).
We’re now heading into Issue 7 of each of the monthly titles, which means a lot of the initial story arcs are wrapping up, and so far they’re still going strong! If you’ve never read comics, now’s a great time to jump in, but for anyone who hasn’t been following the new DC comics I’m going to throw it out there that There Will Be SPOILERS!
In honor of month 7, the following is an opinionated list of SEVEN changes to the DCU continuity that were my personal favorite, starting with…
#7 – ‘The Fastest Man Alive’! (Exclusively!)
As I mentioned before, part of the reason behind this reboot was well because it was getting hard for potential new readers to jump on board, or for older, out-of-the-loop, fans to get back into their childhood champions. It’s tough enough for someone to jump into the middle of the action and keep track of everything without randomly throwing in multiple characters who just so happen to go by the same exact alias. I am of course referring to the multitude of ‘Flashes’ (no, not the hot kind). It kind of challenges the whole “Fastest Man Alive” thing when you’ve got three, or four dudes who can fit that very same description. I’m of the opinion that there should only be one Flash
Before the reboot, Wally West had donned the mantle after Barry Allen’s death and he eventually was even replaced by his sidekick (not to mention the kids!), but the real problem came the day Barry came back (Check out Geoff Johns acclaimed run on the character… pun-intended). In the new continuity this has been remedied, and Barry Allen is now the one and only, THE Flash. That’s it, no more, no less, simple as that.
Just like how Barbara Gordon Is Bat-girl (once again).
Sidekicks don’t really count, so I have no problem with Kid-Flash (see ‘Teen Titans’). Now with the Green Lantern Corps it makes sense to have multiple Green Lanterns, there’s a galactic army of those guys (but don’t even get me started on Batman Incorporated , or the myriad Robins), however there’s not much need for more than one Flash… at least at a time.
I’ve always felt that Jay Garrick (the original version of the character from the Golden Age) works great as a Flash from the PAST, but he should be retired, or better yet Dead (time travel aside that is) and fill an Uncle Ben-type role for the current Speedster. Now, Wally on the other-hand is a cool cat, no denying, but I honestly think they should make him like the Flash of the FUTURE, or something (Batman Beyond style?) whereas Barry Allen IS and always Will Be ‘THE FLASH’ … of the Present. (Now let’s get a Flash movie in the works already! Chop Chop!)
Continued in Part 2: Not your grandma’s heroine!
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