DC Comics released teaser art regarding the ending of Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths. Evidently, Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 coming our way on December 20, 2022, is going to lead directly to the “Dawn Of The DCU.” What exactly is the Dawn of The DCU? Is it a full reboot of the DCU? Is it a soft reboot of the DCU? Nobody knows for sure. However, what we do know is the information that we can glean from the teaser artwork from DC Comics.
First up is the promo art for Dawn of The DCU that has Nightwing in a Jesus pose with several red multiple Earths behind him. This would lead us to believe that Nightwing plays a critical role in the return of the original Multiverse that existed before Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1986.
I like the idea of Dick Grayson getting some time in the spotlight and heralding the return of the original Multiverse. Dick Grayson is the only legacy character who gets solid and dependable sales numbers and who is popular with a wide cross-section of comic book readers. Dick definitely deserves this moment.
I also love the idea of the return of the true infinite Earths Multiverse. DC Comics did return a limited version of the Multiverse at the end of 52. This Multiverse was limited to 52 different Earths. While this was not as satisfying as the original Multiverse, I did think that the new 52 Earth Multiverse was a big step in the right direction.
However, nothing beats the original Multiverse composed of infinite Earths. It certainly appears that we are headed in the direction of getting the infinite Multiverse once again. This is a smart move as it enables DC Comics to come up with easy explanations for their convoluted continuity and the ridiculous different versions of the same character that they have running around their universe. These multiple Earths would also give a home for characters who are holdovers from different versions of the DCU like New 52 Wally West or Jon Kent from Convergence.
The infinite Multiverse would also allow newer characters and numerous duplicative characters to exist on their own Earth free from the long shadows of the iconic versions of the DCU characters that we know and love. This way these duplicative characters and newer characters can be free to grow and blossom on their own Earth and gain some true agency.
On top of all of that, an infinite Earth Multiverse allows writers the freedom and flexibility to write any story with any version of any character that they so desire without breaking the continuity of the main DCU. All the writer has to do is set their story on one of the infinite Earths and then they are off and running with their story.
The next teaser art that we get is four panels with various iconic DC superheroes. First, this art by Dan Mora is gorgeous. Second, the characters that I see in this teaser art make my heart sing. It looks like DC Comics is set to return all of the iconic characters that we know and love back to their rightful places within the DCU.
We get Bruce Wayne looking grim as Batman. We get Clark Kent as the classic Superman. We see classic Arthur Curry sans long hair and beard as Aquaman. We get Diana Prince in her classic Wonder Woman outfit. We have Barry Allen as the Flash. We get the most popular Green Lantern of all time in Hal Jordan. We get Billy Batson in his Shazam form. Lastly, we get a panel of our three Marvel Wolfman/George Perez Teen Titans all together: Nightwing, Starfire, and Cyborg. I love it. I love everything about this teaser art.
Of course, am I surprised that DC Comics is set to return to us all of the iconic characters of the DCU? No. This had to happen at some point. The fact is that all of the new replacement characters in Jason Fox, Jon Kent, Yara Flor, Jo Mullen, Jackson Hyde, and Mary Marvel were spectacular sales failures over the course of the past two years. You can check out our detailed reports on the monthly sales rankings. The numbers do not lie. It was unrealistic and unsustainable to expect DC Comics to take such huge losses each and every month. It got to the point where just making the Top 200 was a struggle for these characters. It only made sense that the beloved and popular iconic characters had to make a return at some point.
So, as someone who has been clamoring for the return of all of the popular iconic characters, I am extremely happy. I am a long-time DC Comics fan. I have always liked Marvel Comics, too. But, DC Comics has always been my favorite of the two publishers. However, I have not purchased a DC Comics since Future State. I would love to be able to start reading DC Comics once again.
Having said that, I am still not ready to jump back in bed with DC Comics. I have been burned and abused one time too many by DC Comics. This is the biggest problem that DC Comics faces with their latest desperation play. DC Comics has a terrible reputation with their long-time readers given how poorly DC Comics has treated them over the years.
DC Comics has always had the problem of creating off-ramps for readers. These are moments where DC Comics is making it easy for their readers to simply stop reading DC Comics altogether. The first off-ramp was the original Crisis on Infinite Earths back in 1986. DC Comics essentially wiped away their entire continuity as they compressed their Multiverse and all of its various characters into just a single Earth. This was a horrendous idea that created continuity issues and fan resentment that has continued through every decade up until the present. This also started a doomed path where DC Comics would create more off-ramps for readers in obsessive-compulsive picking at their continuity every decade since.
Another huge off-ramp was in 2011 with Flashpoint. With the end of Flashpoint, DC Comics trashed their entire continuity and history and established the New 52. Again, DC Comics was basically inviting their current readers to simply leave DC Comics and stop reading their comics altogether. Much like with the original DC Comics, editorial thought they would attract more new readers than they would lose established readers. That was a fatal miscalculation by the editorial staff.
The ill-fated 5G never materialized, but it did give rise to Future State in 2021 which replaced numerous popular iconic characters with new unpopular characters, thereby, giving established readers another off-ramp to leave DC Comics and stop reading their comic books.
With each off-ramp, DC Comics reduces the overall potential readership base that they can attract to their products. It is understandable. There are so many times that readers are willing to be given the middle finger before they decide that they simply are never going to return.
This certainly applies to me. I was just a kid during the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, so that off-ramp did not really apply to me. I was more than willing to continue to read DC Comics even though I did think that getting rid of the Multiverse was a dumb idea.
However, Flashpoint and the New 52 presented me with another off-ramp, and this time I took it. The New 52 was unreadable. I had no desire to read comics about the DCU delivered through the lens of 1990s Image Comics. I thought getting rid of the most storied history in all of comics was idiotic. So, I left. I did not purchase any DC Comics from 2011 through 2015.
Then Convergence came out in 2015 and DC Comics announced that the New 52 would be coming to a conclusion. Convergence then brought back multiverse characters from pre-Flashpoint continuity.
Then DC Comics rolled out Rebirth in 2016 which was a love letter to the pre-Flashpoint DCU and written specifically for long-time fans like me. Rebirth was basically an apology from DC Comics. This was DC Comics apologizing for the New 52. This was DC Comics reaching out and begging readers who had abandoned the publisher during the New 52 to come back. And I did.
However, a mere five years later, DC Comics looked at Marvel’s failed All-New All-Different MarvelNOW initiatives and decided they should follow that same blueprint that led to sales disaster for Marvel Comics. While 5G never happened, DC Comics still unleashed Future State on readers in 2021, and with that readers lost many of the iconic and popular versions of the big-name DCU characters. Readers like me who felt like DC Comics had given us the middle finger with the New 52 felt like we were being given the middle finger with Future State. Again. And only five years of being begged to return to DC Comics.
Being a DC Comics reader began to feel like being in an abusive relationship. I had been burned by DC Comics with the New 52. However, I accepted DC Comics’ apology in the form of DC Rebirth. And I returned and began giving them my money once again. However, just like a cheating spouse who promises to never cheat again, DC Comics just could not control themselves. DC Comics burned readers like me again with Future State.
Well, at some point the trust is gone. I was willing to forgive and return one time. However, twice? Now I simply feel like DC Comics thinks I am a fool. At some point, a bad spouse is just a bad spouse. DC Comics simply has not been treating their loyal readers with much love or respect.
So, here we are with DC Comics once again trying to reach back out to readers like me because their sales numbers are atrocious. Honestly, I am unsure if I want to return to DC Comics or not. I will say that I am open to the possibility of returning despite DC Comics’ bad behavior in the past. That is how much I love the DCU and its incredible characters. However, there are four changes that DC Comics must make to get my business once again.
Know Yourself And Be Confident
First, DC Comics needs to fully understand who they are and then be confident in who they are. DC Comics is not Marvel Comics and it never will be. And that is a great thing! The magic of the two comic book publishers is that they each offer something different and unique to readers despite that both are purveyors of superhero comics.
DC Comics has more classic superheroes. DC Comics has fictional cities. DC Comics, outside of Gotham, is a more positive and brighter world than Marvel Comics. DC Comics has more iconic aspirational characters than Marvel Comics. DC Comics is more modern-day mythology with larger-than-life characters.
Marvel Comics is more realistic. Marvel Comics is more grounded in our world and in our reality. Marvel Comics is usually more “adult” to “darker” and “grittier.” All of these things are perfectly fine and Marvel Comics understands this is who they are and they are confident in that identity.
DC Comics needs to understand who they are and accept it. Then DC Comics must lean into who they are and be extremely confident and proud in their characters, their universe, and their identity. DC Comics needs to stop worrying about who Marvel Comics is and stop copying Marvel Comics. DC Comics needs to simply focus on themselves, their unique qualities, their storied continuity, and their unique vision for a superhero universe.
Be Smart And Stay The Course
The second thing that DC Comics needs to do is pick a lane and stay in it. DC Comics needs a strong vision and a smart plan. Then DC Comics needs to execute its plan and stick with it. DC Comics must stop constantly making one panic move after another in a futile attempt to try and gain a quick sales spike.
It is vital that DC Comics stop picking at their continuity. It has become an unhealthy obsessive compulsion that is leading DC Comics down the road to ruin.
It began with the original Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1986. Then it continued with Zero Hour in 1994. Then it really amped up and the constant picking at their continuity amped up with Identity Crisis in 2004, then Infinite Crisis in 2005, then 52 in 2006, then Flash Rebirth in 2009, then Countdown to Final Crisis in 2007, then Final Crisis in 2008, then Blackest Night in 2009, then Brightest Day in 2010, then Flashpoint in 2011, then the New 52 in 2011, then Multiversity in 2014, then Convergence in 2015, then Rebirth in 2016, then Dark Nights – Death Metal in 2020, then Infinite Frontier in 2021, and lastly Future State in 2021.
That is a total of sixteen events that incessantly picked at DC Comics’ continuity in some form or fashion in just an eighteen-year span. Sixteen events in eighteen years that messed with continuity to some degree or another? That is pure insanity. It has to stop.
DC Comics needs to return the original Multiverse full of infinite Earths and then stop. Just stop messing with their continuity. From this moment forward, DC Comics should simply focus on telling excellent stories and making DC Comics must-read superhero comic books. The focus should be on entertaining escapist superhero tales that focus on action and adventure. DC Comics must stop trying to constantly reinvent and replace their characters and their continuity.
Respect The Fans
Third, DC Comics needs to begin to appreciate and respect their readers. Attacking the customer must stop. It must be made clear to all of the editorial staff and creative talent that attacking fans will no longer be tolerated. The toxic creative talent who continually go to war with the customer is nothing but poison to DC Comics’ business. No company ever succeeded by constantly attacking, belittling, and insulting their customers. If the creative talent cannot stop being toxic then they need to be replaced.
DC Comics needs to be in consumer acquisition mode all the time. DC Comics is so far behind Marvel Comics in the sales charts. DC Comics is in desperate need to gain more customers. DC Comics needs to make sure that everything they do from the executives, to the editorial staff, and to the creative talent is one of positivity and respecting the fans. The number one goal in mind with everything that DC Comics does from now on must be with customer acquisition in mind. DC Comics needs to be attentive to its customers. Attacking, insulting, or dismissing the customer can no longer be tolerated.
New Blood Needed
The fourth change that DC Comics needs to make is possibly the most important of the four changes. DC Comics needs to conduct reviews of all of its editors and writers. After that, DC Comics needs to fire the editors and writers who are constantly tied to poorly performing titles and are out of touch with what the consumer desires.
If DC Comics does not get rid of some of its current editors and writers then Dawn of The DCU will fail. Bringing back all of the iconic characters will be utterly irrelevant if the same clueless editors and bad writers are still employed and cranking out their usual garbage stories that get bad sales numbers and repel consumers.
We all know the writers at DC Comics who need to go. It is obvious when you look at the sales rankings every month. It is the same writers every month constantly failing to generate any good sales numbers. Those writers have to be replaced.
Next are the editors who thought those writers were good hires and then thought those writers’ ideas were good ideas. Those writers need to be replaced because they are clueless and are simply out of touch with what comic book readers want in a comic book.
When DC Comics brings in new talent they need to focus on writers who actually write comic books and, most importantly, genuinely love the superhero genre and the DCU. It is also important that the writers be genuine fans of superhero comic books since they were kids. The writers need to better understand the culture and the comic book readers who support DC Comics. That is it. These are the only items that DC Comics should be concerned with when evaluating new talent.
Nobody cares if the writer is a Hollywood writer or a big-time columnist. If the writer cannot write comic books and does not understand the genre then they are a pointless hire. These types of hires are nothing more than publicity stunts and they do not translate into good sales numbers.
I would definitely urge DC Comics to avoid hiring any YA novelists. That has ended in sales misery every single time. These writers obviously have never read superhero comics as kids. These writers clearly do not like the superhero genre nor do they understand the superhero genre. These writers also do not understand the comic book medium. But worst of all, these writers most definitely hate DC Comics’ customers. Nothing good can come from continuing to employ this kind of writer.
I hope that DC Comics finally finds the path to success. It is going to be a tough road to go since I do not think that DC Comics is prepared or willing to make the necessary changes in order to revive their business. It also does not help that there is so much instability and uncertainty going on with WB-Discovery at the moment. Hopefully, DC Comics makes some serious changes with this new direction for the DCU and once again make DC Comics must-read superhero stories.