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Thoughts on DC’s Latest Continuity Update in Generation Zero

February 19, 2020 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
DC Generation Zero

Welcome back! I’m Steve Gustafson and if you enjoy discussing anything comic book related, you’ve come to the right place. Each week we cover something in the industry and I always enjoy your input in the comment section below.

Previously on…

Last week we asked Are Fewer Comic Book Titles the Answer?. Here’s what some of you had to say:

Steed: “In this stage of my life I’d be happy with less. 20 years ago I used to go crazy for buying multiple titles in my teens, however that was more quantity over quality and a lot of those issues I gave away or sold. I tend to buy TPBs these days. I find not only far too many titles are available (as well as lack of time to keep up with them all), but that it’s so costly hence the occasional story arc graphic novel instead.”

redhotrash: “There’s a number of issues plaguing the comic industry. Enough that, after being a lifelong collector, I really only follow the movies anymore. Trash writers, mishandling of characters, and blatant pandering have all contributed to a lackluster product. I have more disposable income today than at any point in my life, but still I’d rather watch a quick story recap on YouTube than actually force myself to endure these endless “super crossovers”.”

null2099: “It’s a continuation of the “only number one issues sell” mentality. Yes, fewer titles, make sure they continue long enough to develop a readership, stop using the same characters in title after title, and enough with the huge crossover events.”

D2Kvirus: “I remember about fifteen years ago there were at least three Spider-Man titles on the shelves at the same time (The Amazing Spider-man, Spider-Man’s Tangled Web, Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man, Spider-Man: House of M, plus various crossovers) and that’s the perfect example of too many titles, because that’s spamming the market just as bad as…MCU movies, now that I think of it

On the other hand, remembering to publish something on a regular schedule would be a vast improvement on Aspen’s current business plan…”

Scott: “I used to collect comics back in the 80s and a little into the early 90s. I’ve tried a few times to get back into it but every time I enter my local comic store I get overwhelmed with the number of new comics on the shelf. Do we really need 6 titles with Deadpool in them? Which one do I choose? And at $4-$5 each I think to myself I can’t afford to try them all. So I leave with nothing or maybe a back issue I was missing.”

Travis Homewood: “It depends on how you do it. Looking at the Avengers or Justice League the best way to cut it down would be make the team book, but don’t have the big 3 be apart of every issue. Have an Avengers line up, say have Pym/Antman/Giantman/Yellowjacket, Vision, Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Black Panther, Hawkeye, and Falcon. Then Panther can dip in and out as Wakanda needs, and you can always have Cap, Thor and Iron man dip in and out on a rotational basis.
For major events have all 3 of the big 3 plus the full team line up. Then you only need to have the big 3 with their own books. The rest of the characters can develop in the Avengers title. You can also go back to the Tales of Suspense/Journey Into Mystery type, have Thor’s stand alone title in JIM like it was back in the day, with Dr Strange or Antman and the Wasp as the back up book so you are getting 2 books at once. Tales of Suspense goes back to the Cap and Iron man, both books getting put out in one and keep it at the $4-$5 price. People will absolutely flock to the 2 for 1 combo. And again you can have a once a year team up where in Tales of suspense spend 2 issues where the full book is Cap and Iron man teaming up. If they team up you can treat it like one giant sized issue and that’s how you get a 4 issue team up in 2 purchases.”

cardflopper: “if big characters (like Batman) got reduced to 2 titles a month and the creators could pour all their effort into them… It would be a dream for readers and collectors.

More people would be loyal to the title because collecting a complete run would be simpler.

Comic book stores wouldn’t be overwhelmed with product and could focus on better customer experience, employees could once again confidently recommend things instead of saying “meh” for 80% of what’s out there.

Right now I’m sure there are plenty of potential customers that walk into a store and see a sea of numberings (legacy numbering huh?) and the same character on 12 titles (harlee Quinn again???). It’s too confusing so instead they buy a pop vinyl and call it a day. Shame.

Marvel and DC need to work WITH shops if they want to keep things afloat. Right now comic books function like a pump and dump financial scheme.

I mainly stick to fringe characters that do one book a month or a mini series… Domino, multiple man, dr strange, daredevil, antman. Etc. I’m not touching X-Men with a 10 foot pole. Theres like 30 spinoffs and titles. I would love to join in but I can’t make sense of it.”

Too many great comments to share. Go back and see for yourself. Also, as always, thanks for the input!

This week we discuss…

DC’s Latest Continuity Correction

At this point, I can almost set my calendar to when we get a press release from DC about a project that promises to fix continuity. 
DC is updating their continuity timeline in a series of five numbered Generation one-shots that showcase various eras of DC history following its Free Comic Book Day release Generation Zero: Gods Among Us.

These five one-shots will be written by a team that consists of Brian Michael Bendis, Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt, Robert Venditti, and Joshua Williamson, with art by Doug Mahnke, Bryan Hitch, Mikel Janín, Ivan Reis, David Marquez, and more.

May will see the release of Generation One: Age of Mysteries from writer Andy Schmidt and artist Doug Mahnke. The 48-page one-shot will feature covers from Jim Cheung and Gary Frank, and will focus on Golden Age characters such as Wonder Woman, Alan Scott (as Green Lantern), Jim Corrigan (as the Spectre), Terry Sloane (as Mister Terrific), Lucius Fox, Alfred Pennyworth, and more.

DC’s official announcement describes the mysteries in Generation One as

“-What was the previously undocumented “big bang” of the Age of Mysteries?

-Which character truly ushers in the dawn of Super Heroes, inspiring all the rest?

-What was the real reason behind the Justice Society of America’s retirement?

-Which Golden Age hero will become history’s greatest villain?

-What contentious alliance kept the Wayne family dynasty alive after Thomas and Martha’s deaths?

-Who are the new, never-seen-before wildcards that will be instrumental in fashioning DC’s push to the future?”

Then we get four more Generation one-shots following Age of Mysteries, with one releasing per month: Generation Two: Age of the Metahuman, Generation Three: Age of Crisis, Generation Four: Age of Rebirth, and Generation Five: Age of Tomorrow.

“The Generation series of specials are built to bring the new DC timeline to life,” said DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio. “With Generation One: Age of Mysteries and every subsequent volume we’ll be shining a spotlight on the 80-plus-year publishing history of the DC universe while charting the course for the bright future of DC’s characters. All of our greatest stories and events will create the backdrop and context for the great new adventures we have planned. Everything counts, and we guarantee there’ll be surprises along the way!”

This “new DC timeline” DiDio refers to officially began with Scott Snyder and Bryan Hitch’s short story in January’s Wonder Woman #750, retconning her to be the first established superhero in the core DC Universe.

So here we go again. Again. 
What do you think?

That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!