DC Relaunch: This is Not Good-Bye

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


On the occasion of the end of the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe, upon the publication of Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1.

Wally West will be back.*

Believe it or not, he'll be back. In five years, maybe, or ten, or twenty, when Wally's finally back, come see me. We'll talk about it.

They all come back. Anything can happen.

Barry Allen came back. Kara Zor-El came back. Jason Todd. Booster Gold got a series again, written and drawn for a time by Dan Jurgens. Swamp Thing is back from limbo. Animal Man. Resurrection Man, though maybe the name should've tipped us off.

I remember wondering if Ultra Boy would ever find out that Phantom Girl hadn't died, but was living in the twentieth century as Phase. Ultimately they met, but Phase, it turned out, was really Phantom Girl's cousin. The couple was finally reunited just before Zero Hour; now that whole storyline's no longer in continuity.

Hal Jordan came back. Oliver Queen. Hank Hall. Dawn Granger. Connor Kent.

One of the great (in my opinion) unresolved storylines of the pre-Death of Superman era was that head of Newstime Colin Thornton was really the demon Satanus. When the creative teams changed, I figured Superman would never find out about that; he finally did, in a story by Gail Simone just before Infinite Crisis, over ten years after the original revelation. Simone hadn't even started writing for DC when the original story came out, but she finished it. Anything can happen.

Ronnie Raymond. Rex Tyler. Max Mercury. The Peter David-era Linda Danvers showed up in a miniseries for a few seconds, a couple of years back. Bart Allen. Will Payton, a bit, though he was actually Prince Gavyn.

John Stewart left the Darkstars and went back to being a Green Lantern. Boddika's back -- Arisia, too. Some people wouldn't believe Guy Gardner was once a Vuldarian. He's going to appear in a new Justice League International title, alongside Fire, Ice, Booster Gold, and a Rocket Red again, and that's good news. A lot of what's to come is good news.

Jericho. The Superboy of Earth-Prime. Kal-L. The Kingdom Come Superman. Stephanie Brown. I read a comic the other day where General Glory cameoed. Blue Devil headlined Shadowpact for a while.

When Barry Allen died during Crisis on Infinite Earths, Geoff Johns was a teenager; over twenty years later, he helped write Barry's resurrection. Who could have guessed, at the time?

JLA/Avengers, rumored for so long, is even a little dated now. The New Teen Titans: Games is scheduled to arrive next month.

Jack Knight will be back; maybe James Robinson will write it, or someone else, maybe someone we've never heard of. Ambush Bug will be back, whether by Keith Giffen or another writer. Just a few years ago, DC published a new Captain Carrot miniseries(!). Wally West will be back. Someone will write it -- maybe even you.

When John Byrne recreated Superman after Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Justice Society was in limbo; they came back. A Superman origin without the Justice Society in existence seems so foreign, and yet it worked before. That Byrne origin was my favorite, but it's long since been replaced -- by Jeph Loeb, in part; by Mark Waid, for a time; and by Geoff Johns, lately, though it's about to be replaced again.

Do now what we we did then -- remember the classic Justice League/Justice Society team-ups. Tell new readers about them. Buy the New Teen Titans and the Flash (Wally West) Omnibuses. Put them on your top ten lists and treat them as vaunted aspects of DC Comics history. Barry Allen came back -- in Return of Barry Allen, in "Chain Lightning," in Rogue War, in Infinite Crisis, in Final Crisis -- because it excited the fans, and it because it sold books. If you want it, and you wait for it, and you keep the faith, Wally West will be back.

Krypto. Holly Robinson. Tora Olafsdotter.

Wally will be back. They all come back. Anything can happen.

* Written prior to reading Flashpoint #5, so disregard if Wally secretly takes on Barry's identity or something equally unforeseen happens.
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15 comments:

  1. Great points all. Reading comics for more than a decade gives you perspective on change. Continuity is fluid, not rigid. Buy the books you enjoy. If you're like me, the trade waiter is the one who intends to enjoy these stories many times over.

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  2. I recently re-read some of my early 90's Flash issues (as I was buying the Mark Waid trades that followed) and I would often glance through the letters columns. How many times did the editor(s) insist that Barry was never ever EVER coming back!

    I think I agree that Wally will return, at some point, in some form, even if it's not as "The" Flash. The fact that the JSA is going to be on Earth-2 certainly opens the door to other parallel earths having a regular presence in the new DCU. I wouldn't be surprised if there are more alternate-earth series to come out after Grant Morrison's "Multiversity" project is finally released.

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  3. This is what I love about comics, the continual change of characters and the dipping into the history of the genre for other characters. You don't get that anywhere else. Except maybe soap operas:) Wally will be back. Stephanie Brown will be back and I can't wait to see how it happens.

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  4. Well, I don't know how long this post-Flashpoint DCNu timeline will last, but this is a great essay. All these characters who have been placed in limbo or died in the previous Crisis timeline will be re-introduced or return at some point.

    And yes, we won't have to deal with bad storylines like Amazons Attack, DC Countdown, Cry for Justice and Rise of Arsenal.

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  5. You just know that in a few years, when the current management at DC is not in control anymore, that Wally West will pop up out of nowhere to save the day.

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  6. I reckon Wally is working behind the scenes to become the current management :o) .... seriously, it took around 25 years to bring back Barry; no way is Wally going to be absent that long. I'd like them all back as one big happy Flash family (well, maybe minus little Jay and Irey) and am happy to have Barry back after all these years and working alongside Hal, for example. (The book that had the biggest emotional impact on me ever was Crisis number 8. Man was Crisis a wild ride in the days before Previews !)

    Nice note to farewell the post-Crisis DCU, CE, and to usher in the DCnU. I for one appreciated it.

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  7. Okay, so get this (oh, and a SPOILER warning I guess?): DC's The Source blog is stating that in the new continuity, Barry is a single man and has never been married to Iris (who is a supporting character, but he's dating someone else, ala Clark/Lois over in Superman). Yet, wasn't it already said somewhere that Kid Flash is going to be Bart Allen? Or was this confirmed? I guess they can explain it away as Bart is still Barry's grandson from the future, and omit the names of the other relations in between, including Bart's grandmother, or heck, even say "yes in the future Barry and Iris get married", but it just seems odd to me...why not just make Wally Kid Flash again? Although I guess either way, it still won't be "our" Wally; the same Wally West who stepped out of his uncle's shadow and became THE Flash. Whether Kid Flash is Bart or Wally, he'll probably still be written as Wally was/is in the Justice League and Young Justice cartoons, which is more along the lines of Bart's Impulse character anyway.

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  8. 'And yes, we won't have to deal with bad storylines like Amazons Attack, DC Countdown, Cry for Justice and Rise of Arsenal.'
    If you'd said Countdown, Death of the New Gods, Reign in Hell & Salvation Run - then I'd agree with you.

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  9. I find it amazingly humorous that you even have to point this out.

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  10. Point what out?

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  11. I really enjoyed this post, enough so that I wrote a response on my blog about digital comics, talking about how the existence of digital comics, along with trade collections, contributes to the continued existence of characters that appear to be gone forever.

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  12. You (and Hix) have touched upon something I think many of us trade readers have over our weekly reader counterparts: perspective. By the time we're reading a story in collected format, we've heard the hype, read the reviews, learned of repercussions...


    As a result, we can view the medium for what it is, a constantly evolving, serial form of storytelling. One in which writers and artists arrive, make their mark and move on. And a medium in which inspiration from the past is constant fodder for the future.

    So, as sorry as I am that characters I have a particular soft spot for (like Wally West, Donna Troy) won't appear immediately, as disappointed as I am that titles no longer exist as I know them (Secret Six, Birds of Prey) and as perplexed as I am at how it all fits together in a 5-year timeline, I am eager to re-discover the DC Universe.

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  13. I suggested all that? Huh. You make it sound much more intelligent ...

    Yeah, I guess the idea is if I can look over at my shelf and see four volumes of New Teen Titans Archives, then New Teen Titans isn't really gone, is it? And then when I see New Teen Titans, Titans/JLA: Technis Imperative, and three volumes of Judd Winick's new Titans series (including Jericho, forgoshsakes!), it's easy to remember nothing stays gone forever.

    Jason Todd's headlining a new series -- Jason. Todd. If you'd have told me in 1988 that almost twenty-five years after the last page of Death in the Family, Jason Todd would be headlining his own series, I'd have said you were crazy. So yeah, anything can happen.

    Thanks for the comment!

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  14. I agree. I think Wally will be back sooner rather than later. There are rumors of his return. Just don't take anything that DC editorial says. They have a history of, uhm, embellishing the truth. Don't believe anything until there's an actual published comic book.

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  15. Also, Wally is one of DC's most popular characters. Wouldn't be surprised if there are plans for his return. Didio said there were no plans for Barry's return as late as 2007. Seriously, I did hear one rumor of Wally's return, but just don't believe everything you hear from DC.

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