Survey: To Reboot or Not to Reboot, That is the Question

Discussion in 'DC Comics' started by Lorendiac, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. Lorendiac Registered

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    First: Here are two questions about what might happen right after Final Crisis; each may be answered with a simple "Yes" or "No" -- although if you want to type out lengthier answers, feel free! :)

    Question 1. Do you think DC should do a reboot of most or all of the Post-Crisis continuity of its big-name superheroes? (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the JLA in general, the Titans, etc.?)

    Question 2. Do you think DC probably will do a reboot of most or all of the Post-Crisis continuity of its big-name superheroes? (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the JLA in general, the Titans, etc.?)



    Now that you've seen the questions, if you actually want to know why this is on my mind, I'll talk about them a little. (Or you can skip the rest of this post and just post your answers, if that's all you feel like doing!)

    In the last few months, on various forums, I've seen fellow fans speculating about whether the upcoming Final Crisis will be "Really Final" in the sense that it will be the "Final Appearances" of the current versions of most or all of the mainstream heroes of the DCU -- Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and other big names, as well as their various friends and teammates and sidekicks and so forth, including all other past and present members of the JLA and the Titans . . . you get the idea.

    One possible argument in favor of this idea rests upon the following fact: Grant Morrison reportedly said the following (in a panel discussion in San Diego a few months ago):

    "It's like Lord of the Rings in the DC Universe,” he said.

    The meaning of that is not terribly clear, even when you follow that link I offered and look at the context, but I'll offer one possible interpretation.

    One key point about "The Lord of the Rings" is that it's a great big epic, with lots of characters, and battles between Good and Evil, and all that fun stuff . . . and then it has a real ending. Saruman dies . . . and doesn't come back. Sauron dies . . . and doesn't come back. Gollum dies . . . and doesn't come back. Gandalf and Frodo and various others "sail off into the West" . . . and don't come back. Things have permanently changed for all and sundry between the first and last pages of the narrative, even for those who are still alive and well when last seen. Tolkien never wrote -- never even considered, as far as I know -- any sequel trilogies in which the main characters, years later, would have to reorganize the Fellowship and sally forth on a quest to defeat Sauron (or his long-lost son, or whatever) all over again!

    The way I look at it, the only way an epic set in the modern DCU could ever rival "The Lord of the Rings" in that sense of grand resolution would be if it was, in fact, the final appearance for the key characters in their current continuities, including any heroes (or villains) who got themselves killed dramatically in the course of events.

    Otherwise "Final Crisis" will end up looking like just another dose of the same old, same old. Imagine this dialogue!

    "Gosh, Batman, we managed to Save the Universe from Dire Peril, but in the process, Superman died again . . . and Lex Luthor died again . . . and Wonder Woman died again . . . and Darkseid died again . . . it sure is tragic and sensational, isn't it?"

    "Yes, Robin, it is. For the time being. Now we just have to start up a betting pool on how many months will pass before Superman comes back from the dead, again, and Lex Luthor does the same thing, again, and Wonder Woman is resurrected, again, and Darkseid somehow reconstitutes himself and becomes ruler of Apokolips, again . . . "


    P.S. Way back in March 2006, I solicited help from my fellow fans in drawing up a list of the times, beginning in the aftermath of "Crisis on Infinite Earths," when DC has basically Rebooted the continuity of a particular hero or entire team -- without bothering to Reboot their entire universe at any given time. I posted my results at DC's Reboots in the 20 years since COIE if you want to go examine them. In it, I also offer more details on how I define a "Reboot" and what does or doesn't qualify for that label.
     
  2. Aristotle Registered

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    #1: I think a reboot would be great, but I would like to see a tight sense of continuity and the passage of time adopted.

    #2: I don't think it'll happen, but it would certainly be nice, wouldn't it?
     
  3. antonydelfini Strange Tales

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    I'm all for reboot. Not slight rebooting, total rebooting of the whole universe. Let the Batman and Superman and all th other titles (except detective and action) go back to the #1 numbering with all-new origins for each hero. No more confusing stuff like how many flashes came before wally, or how many robins there were before tim drake. That kind of stuff makes things confusing and inaccessible. With a total reboot, all the lessons learned from many decades of DC can be applied. We all know that Wally is the best flash, so with flash # 1, wally is the flash already. we can have barry allen be a supporting character in the flash title. you know, so that we'll have a universe even tighter and more concrete than marvel's.
     
  4. yahman Registered

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    I definitely prefer a re boot aswell. I like Mark Millar/Warren Ellis doing a Bryne esq reivigoration of Superman. Id wan't Brubaker on Batman, and keep Simone on Wonder Woman. Geoff Johns can be in charge on Lantern Continuity and Morisson needs to return to the JLA.
     
  5. SouLeSS Registered

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    A new universe rebooted so it's the "easy reading" universe, keep the rest of our **** the same so we can laugh at people who think general DC is confusing.
     
  6. Anubis Sup?

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    No.

    and

    No.
     
  7. Aristotle Registered

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    The generation heroes aren't so much of a problem for me, but it needs to be concretely defined, ONCE, and never ****ed with again.

    You say that as if Marvel has a tight and concrete universe.
     
  8. Aristotle Registered

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    Keep Warren Ellis out of mainstream superhero universes. His stories don't play well with others in that particular sandbox.

    Tell me that the continuities of Hawkman and Supergirl aren't just a little bit confusing.
     
  9. Anubis Sup?

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    Not really all that confusing to me.
     
  10. Reboot.... continuity is a mess now.
     
  11. PhotoJones Registered

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    I'd vote for not rebooting. One of the main reasons the DCU is confusing to begin with is the constant rebooting. Just let it be.
     
  12. Anubis Sup?

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    ^Now that is confusing.
     
  13. Anubis Sup?

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    Or they'll do it perfectly, then in ten or twenty years a new generation of writers will show up who really loved the 90's, and reboot everything again to fit better with the stuff they grew up enjoying. Endless cycle.
     
  14. Spike_x1 Get off my bandwagon!

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    Reboot the **** out of it! :cmad::up:
     
  15. Lorendiac Registered

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    Well, I'd put it differently. I'd say: "One of the main reasons the DCU is confusing to begin with is the partial rebooting that they do, without rhyme or reason, first to one little piece of the larger universe, and then to another little piece, and then to yet another piece . . . never having the guts to make a clean sweep and reboot everything at once to make it all fit together smoothly!"

    For instance: After COIE, someone decided it was time to give Wonder Woman a full Reboot and have her start over in a new monthly series as a rookie who was just now visiting Man's World and calling herself Wonder Woman "for the very first time!" This was at a time when Superman, Batman, their friends in the JLA and the Teen Titans, etc., had already been around for years!

    This meant that Post-COIE, Donna Troy, the original Wonder Girl, had been a founding member of the Titans and now had (I estimate) at least 6 or 7 years of superhero experience . . . whereas Wonder Woman was the inexperienced rookie who was barely getting started!

    This, of course, made absolutely no sense, but that didn't stop anybody! It remained the situation for about 20 years, near as I can tell, until just recently, when -- as Infinite Crisis was finally ending -- we were told that now Wonder Woman had been a Founding Member of the original JLA, way back when, meaning that she had probably started her career around the same time as Superman and Batman, and before anyone had ever heard of a bunch of kids called "The Teen Titans."

    But if the Titans and everybody else had been Rebooted at the same time Wonder Woman was, in the mid-80s, that ridiculous situation of "Wonder Girl came first, and years later, Wonder Woman started imitating her" would never have arisen in the first place.
     
  16. Aristotle Registered

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    That whole Wonder Woman as rookie thing has never made an ounce of sense to me. There is just absolutely no possible way that it was a good idea to do that. I want to find out who decided that was a good idea--no, who came up with the idea--and beat the living snot out of them.
     
  17. thejestergod6 One Hungry Ronin

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    Should they? NO
    Will they? Heres hoping NO
     
  18. Spike_x1 Get off my bandwagon!

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    :up::up:
    Very well put demonstration.
     
  19. antonydelfini Strange Tales

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    Well that's what I meant about a total reboot. The only way to make the DC universe more coherent and accessible is to completely reboot everything, not just bits and pieces, but disregard everything in the past and make a damn new universe and say this new universe is the start of everything! This is where the writers and editors can put everything they learned from the past universes and put what they believe is the best from the characters into a brand new universe.
     
  20. fifthfiend M4J3ST1C L3G1SL4C3R4TOR

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    I would go so far as to say that DC should shutter the whole shared universe thing altogether, but that's just the kind of crazy extremist that I am.
     
  21. Lorendiac Registered

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    Last year I posted a piece in which I kinda-sorta advocated something very similar for the Marvel Universe. However, I posted it on April 1, 2006, because it was originally intended as nothing more than an "April Fools Day" joke in which I attempted to peer a few decades into the future and describe all the different Spider-Man-related titles that would be coming out at the time of his 75th Anniversary.

    The funny thing was, after I posted the silly thing, I found myself wondering more and more if I might really be on to something in what had started out as an elaborate gag! :woot:

    As I recall, my basic idea was that sometime in the not-so-distant future, Marvel will reach a point where every time they start publishing a new title (whether it's about an old-timer like Spidey or a brand new character concept) the writer will be allowed to "roll his own" continuity for that single title. So we could have one Spider-title where Peter Parker is still a high school student, and another where he's an unmarried college student, and another where he's been a grieving widower since the death of MJ, and another where he's single again after a sad divorce from MJ, and another title where Ben Reilly is still The Official Spider-Man in his own timeline . . . you get the idea.

    However, I didn't quite describe a total end to the "Marvel Universe" as we know it. I believe my general idea was that any titles that were already coming out regularly, and were set in the conventional MU (Timeline 616, as it's sometimes called) would still be continuing to describe events in that single timeline. So we'd still have the same global events affecting the plots in "Amazing Spider-Man" and "Uncanny X-Men" and "Fantastic Four" and so forth . . . but the writers of different, newer Spidey titles and Mutant titles and so forth would be free to gleefully ignore the nitpicking details of anything happening in the "old Marvel Universe" titles.

    A copy of the whole silly piece is available on my website at

    Notes from the Future: Spidey's 75th Anniversary
     
  22. Lorendiac Registered

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    It's been two weeks since I started this Survey, on several sites at once. I figure it's time to compile the data from all of them and bring you up to speed on the results, such as they are.

    Note: I didn't post this as a clickable poll, because I felt it was important to post both questions at once in the same thread -- what you think DC should do, and what you think they probably will do. Some of the forums I frequent don't allow automated "Polls" in a thread at all. The others only allow one question on the Poll, so I didn't try to create a Poll on any of those, since it was important to me to have both questions back-to-back. (Days later, it finally occurred to me I could have set up the possible replies as "YES and YES," "YES and NO," "NO and YES," and "NO and NO," so that you'd have just four options to choose from, and you'd be clicking on the line that contained the two-answer combo you agreed with, but I simply didn't think of that two weeks ago, when I started this! Live and learn!)

    At any rate: I figure I got a lot less answers than I would have if people were able to just "click" their votes instead of being required to type out "Yes" or "No" -- but I still got some answers.

    Here's how it breaks down:

    Question 1 -- should DC reboot?
    70 votes have been cast on that one.
    "Yes" got 21 votes, or 30%.
    "No" got 49 votes, or 70%.

    Question 2 -- will DC probably reboot?
    51 votes have been cast.
    "Yes" got 12 votes, or 24%.
    "No" got 39 votes, or 76%.

    There are some surprising things here when I look at all the data on an Excel spreadsheet. As you could probably tell, many of the people who voted on the first question did not bother to express a clear opinion on the second question! (One voter did it the other way around, by the way -- answered the second question, but didn't commit himself on the first one!)

    And among those who did vote on both questions -- several of the people who answered the first question by saying that Yes, a company-wide reboot would be a good idea, immediately turned around and answered the second question by saying regretfully that No, DC won't have the guts to actually do it!

    At the same time, there were a bunch of people who answered the first question by saying No, DC really shouldn't do that, and then sadly answered the second question by saying Yes, they probably will do it anyway!

    So although a solid majority thinks it would be a bad idea, and another solid majority thinks it won't happen -- it's not the same majority on both questions! A lot of us fear that what we want from Final Crisis is totally different from what we will actually get when it's all over!

    My Conclusion: Our faith in DC's ability to actually do "the right thing" with its "Final Crisis" is apparently rather weak. (Granted, this is a very small sample group, but it was the best I could do at the time.)
     

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