updated 08:55 pm EDT, Tue May 31, 2011
Change prompts renumbering of Universe books
Starting on the last day of August, all subsequent issues of DC Comics' 52 Universe titles will be renumbered, starting from number one, as a "reboot" of the entire DC universe, as well as launching a new simultaneous digital release of ongoing titles. DC comic titles will henceforth be available for download on the same day as print publication, kicking off with a re-designed Justice League #1. DC is the first of the two major comics publishers to move to simultaneous digital and print releases.
DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee has re-designed over 50 costumes for the various super-beings across the titles, part of a result of the just-beginning Flashpoint mini-series that will bring major shifts to the entire line, causing the "universe reboot."
The story centers around Barry Allen, also known as the Flash, waking up in an an alternate timeline in which many key events in the conventional comic universe chronicled over the last 40 years did not happen -- for example, Bruce Wayne is not the Batman, rather it is his father Thomas -- Bruce and his mother having died at the hands of a gunman. Superman has been detained by the government, Aquaman and Wonder Woman (and their minions) are at war, and even Barry's wife Iris Allen is, in this timeline, unmarried and in a relationship with someone else.
DC and other publishers have used the "new first issue" trick as marketing ploy many times over the recent decades, but rebooting and renumbering all titles, right down to the costumes worn by the superheroes, is a new gimmick that may not sit well with long-time collectors but gives a new generation of digitally-oriented comics fans a new starting point.
The company's online blog, The Source, will continue to roll out information about the reboot this summer. Apps such as Comixology will be able to feature same-day releases as in-app purchases starting August 31st, when just two titles will be published -- the last issue of Flashpoint, and the "first" issue of the revamped Justice League, the latter being written by DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and illustrated by Lee, in their first published collaboration.
Flashpoint issue one goes on sale tomorrow, June 1st.