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Do You Really Love Me, Baby? Let Me Know

Certain things have not changed in the DCnU.

For example, Dan DiDio can still cause an Internet storm with a simple Tweet.

Someone asked DiDio on his Facebook if the Superboy Prime from Final Crisis was still around, because he thought it would be funny to see him turn up and see how much things have changed.  Didio's response?



Well, this is certainly good news.  No.  Really.  Barry never died.  A regular mutliverse instead of the goofy 52.  Dr. Light isn't a rapist, Sue Dibney never died, and Elongated Man never offed himself (of course, the last two could simply not exist.  The only reason Elongated Man was invented was they didn't know they had the rights to Plastic Man).  No continuity errors explained away with a Superboy Punch (one of the best metaphors to pop up in modern times).  No Maxwell Lord bullshit, so Wonder Woman isn't a murder (at least, for him, she has in fact killed at least two people before that). 

We're going to conveniently ignore Hawkman mentioning the death of Don Hall not three weeks ago.  Not to mention the Green Lantern titles retained their continuity, so Zero Hour did, in fact, happen, as well as the death and resurrection of Maxwell Lord in Blackest Night.  Not to mention The Road Back for Bruce Wayne.  Right.  No talking about that, m'kay?

This illustrates a potential problem.  Lot of people were wondering how DC was going to maintain the three separate continuity lines in the series.  And more are coming.  There's a new Justice Society coming, set in a completely different universe.

My guess is that the continuities are delineated by readership.  Batman and Green Lantern have always had the highest, most consistent readership.  They were left untouched.  You had some people following certain titles like Hawkman after Brightest Day.  So those stayed there for those consistent readers.  Everything else?  They didn't have consistent readers, so let's bring in new readers.  These books and continuities are for them.  In other words, DC is accepting that no one buys and follows every single title they put out, so they've broken it up into chunks by market to give those readers what they want.

This is not a problem.  Do I want to see all the books in a shared continuity?  I don't care.  I don't read many DC titles, so their interconnectedness doesn't mean dick to me.  I mean, the whole "How do you explain this in this book if it never happened in this book?" only matters if they interact.  And given that each of the three lines has representations of each character, "crossovers" will simply be within their lines without the pesky backstory to get in the way.  Speaking as a writer, this actually makes sense to me (and is also a relief, since I wouldn't need to know a ton of backstory just to make characters interact).

Still, comic fans (who proudly brag they quit reading DC long ago, so why they still care about books they've sworn off is a mystery to me) are screaming that this is proof that DiDio doesn't know what he's doing.  To some extent, DiDio's "success" is still unproven.  The success of the relaunch can be attributed more to marketing than editorial.  As the months go by, we'll see which titles are still selling, which aren't, and at what levels.  That will be when we see what DiDio is doing.  How does he maintain the momentum he started.  It's only been one month.  It's too soon to tell.  As K-9 says, "Insufficient data."

Longtime comic readers need to accept that these books are not made for them.  And if they don't like it, all the pissing and moaning in the world won't change anything.  After all, if complaining worked, Peter Parker wouldn't have made his deal with Mephesto, it would have been undone by now.

I've complained about continuity violations before.  But there comes a point for me (eventually) where I either accept what is happening and move forward or quit the book.  The comic book fans seem to be locked in this little time loop, wishing books were more like the ones they quit reading in the first place.  They aren't comic book fans.  They are armchair editors.

Besides, if the books start wiping out, they'll put things back and everyone will have their favorites back.  I'm patiently awaiting the return of the Supergirl I admired and the exploitative hypersexualizations of Catwoman, Voodoo, and Starfire to become distant memories.

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