DCU in 2010: Ultimate DC? Try ‘Earth One’- UPDATED

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Wow, big news yesterday: next year, DC is unveiling Superman: Earth One and Batman: Earth One, two original graphic novels set in a brand new continuity. J. Michael Stracynksi and Shane Davis are working on Superman: Earth One, while Batman: Year One will be by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, a.k.a. the creative team behind Superman: Secret Origin. These two graphic novels aren’t one-shots, mind you: they’re the first in a series of ONGOING original graphic novels, which I’m not sure DC’s ever done before. Ain’t It Cool News already has an interview with JMS and Geoff Johns, which you can check out here:

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/43302

Wow, and here I thought Earth-One was the pre-Crisis DC Universe (as I’m sure many people thought when it was reintroduced in Kurt Busiek’s Trinity series). I’m of two minds about this: on one hand, these graphic novels almost seem redundant; I mean, aren’t we seeing Superman’s origin being retold right now in Superman: Secret Origin? Yet on the other hand… this is Ultimate DC. This is what the All-Star line could have been if All-Star Superman and All-Star Batman weren’t self-contained stories. In other words… this could be DC’s chance to pick up a whole bunch of new readers like the Ultimate Marvel titles did in their heyday. Plus, look at the creative teams: JMS’ track record has been a little iffy lately, but for every “One More Day,” there’s a Thor. And you can’t go wrong with Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, who did a terrific job when they worked on Action Comics together. I mean, check out that Batman costume redesign! Not to mention their take on Alfred is certainly different from what we’ve seen before…

I think the only thing that could top “Earth One” is a continuity-free line where creators can virtually do whatever they want with the characters. But this is the next best thing. I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

UPDATE: Gary Frank and Shane Davis speak. The Davis interview has new art!

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2 Responses to “DCU in 2010: Ultimate DC? Try ‘Earth One’- UPDATED”

  1. davidry214 Says:

    Like you, I’m not sure how to feel about it. Does it have potential? Absolutely. I doubt I’d read anything by JMS these days — perhaps that’s unfair, but he’s definitely a gamble these days. The Bats team is very good, though; I’m a fan of Gary Frank.

    If this does end up essentially being “Ultimate DC,” then I don’t really see myself getting that into it. Ultimate Marvel was huge for a while, but has died down in popularity over the past few years. At the end of the day, it’s hard to maintain such a line after the initial appeal. People might be interested to see origins and such re-imagined, but once the characters are well-established, you’re left with two choices: 1. Re-imagine more well-known stories in the character’s past; or, 2. Be completely different just for the sake of difference. Both options are going to be very hit-or-miss. And in order to sustain the line long-term, if that is indeed the goal, you can’t mess things up too much (like an Elseworlds story), or you won’t have anything to build on.

    I hope it helps the company get some new readers, but I don’t think I’m onboard.

  2. Gokitalo Says:

    Hey, if the series are good, I’ll happily buy them for as long as the quality lasts. I just hope the graphic novels aren’t TOO expensive…

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