DC Comics (Sort Of) Admits It Reboots Its Universe Too Damn Much

DC Comics (Sort of) Admits They Reboot Their Universe Too Damn Much

"Reality cannot survive another crisis," says a character in the latest issue of Justice League. Dare we hope reboots are a thing of the past for DC Comics?

There's another cosmic editorial event coming to the DC Universe. No, not the Convergence that's happening now. Another one that they're calling The Darkseid War. Yes, they do that kind of thing a lot. Weirdly, the latest issue of DC Comics' premier superteam book holds a bit of meta-commentary that apparently concedes that they probably go to that particular narrative well too much.

DC Comics (Sort of) Admits They Reboot Their Universe Too Damn Much

Here's the relevant sequence from Justice League #40, where the all-knowing Metron — one of the New Gods created by Jack Kirby in the 1970s — talks to the Anti-Monitor.

DC Comics (Sort of) Admits They Reboot Their Universe Too Damn Much

As die-hard DC enthusiasts know, the word "crisis" became the primary branding for all the times that DC did important or multiversal story arcs. "Crisis on Earth-Three", "Crisis on Infinite Earths", "Infinite Crisis", "Final Crisis"... that kind of thing. That page above is preceded by Metron running down all the other times that DC's pushed the reset button on their fictional history.

DC Comics (Sort of) Admits They Reboot Their Universe Too Damn Much
DC Comics (Sort of) Admits They Reboot Their Universe Too Damn Much
DC Comics (Sort of) Admits They Reboot Their Universe Too Damn Much
DC Comics (Sort of) Admits They Reboot Their Universe Too Damn Much

One thing that's interesting about the pages above is that they're written by Geoff Johns, one of the three guys in charge of DC Comics editorial. Johns has been an important part of DC's creative ecosystem for a long time and has himself been chief architect of a few of the publisher's tentpole events. It's telling that a man in his position writes the words "Reality cannot survive another crisis", considering that he probably knows that they can be interpreted to read as either personal or institutional exhaustion with this plot trope.

The other thing worth noting about this chunk of expository commentary is the timing. DC Comics' entire line-up is going to be very different soon. The preview that the publisher offered a few months ago of their post-Convergence titles hints at radical changes in costumes, tone, and character and creator diversity. It's a big gamble for them. Which sure makes it look like Johns' words do in fact harbour some self-awareness about the diminishing returns of recurring cosmic crises. DC Comics might finally be realising that they can't coast on what they have done before. Or they might not.


Comments

    Oh hey another anti DC article from Evan, huge surprise...

      I honestly don't know why anyone would be pro DC apart from Batman.

      No, it is not, it is just an analysis of the crisis phenomenon in dc comics, which is a way for dc comics to use the reset button on all their series, which is, in my opinion, basebreaking, i mean pre 52 which started in 1986, didn't see its 20th bday, which was due to the writers wanting to start over, this series is about a crisis with a young dc universe that has yet to reach the decade mark. The fact is this: dc comics have been in the comics business since the 1930's & due to how things are now, they are trying to think about their future for their franchises, especially with the new movies coming out soon. This series is an editorial on how many times dc comics played the risk button with uncertain outcomes

        I agree, i prefer DC over Marvel generally (characters, teams, story lines), but the whole crisis thing so often is just really irritating.

    One day, if not already, it'll all go meta and we'll have a villain whose sole purpose is to 'reboot' everything.

      Wasn't that Superboy-Prime's deal in Infinite Crisis?

      Already done. Anti-monitor, Superboy Prime, kind of the Gentry. Reverse Flash also likes changing timelines.

    We need heavy metal pronto as 2 of thee most feared villians are going to have a deathbattle, darkseid: dc's equivalent of satan & anti monitor: 1 of thee most feared personifications of antimatter, both of these villians are going to decide which1 of them are going to destroy a relatively young comic universe, so let see what happens next

    It's just a symptom of poor editorial control and lack of narrative direction. Which was why there was the first reboot anyway.

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