With last week’s release of Flashpoint we have seen the end of the old DC universe. I can’t really comment on the New DC Universe yet as the only book out is Justice League. So let’s look at how the DCU of old ended.
Remember that we only heard about this change back in June. At that time the DCU was chugging along and none of us knew the end was nigh. What I wonder about is how many creators had advanced knowledge.
Zantanna was a title that was still relatively new with issue #16 being the final issue. During its run there was the set-up of a new mystic villain Brother Night and a new love interest Dale Colton. At around issue 12 the series was I would say midway through the Brother Night arc. I assume the plan was to go on with this story for a while.
Then we get the relaunch. Rather than accelerate the arc, the writers ignored it, Brother Night and Dale. The last issues of Zatanna were all stand-alone stories. To be fair they were good stories, but they did nothing to resolve the hanging plot threads of the series.
Zatanna will still be in the new DCU. She is a member of Justice League Dark. Maybe these threads will be picked up there, but I personally doubt it.
Wonder Woman was different in that the story already was dealing with an altered timeline. In this case the final issue resolved the storyline restoring Wonder Woman to her proper self. In a nod to the coming change Wonder Woman herself said she felt another change was coming. At least in this case there were no major plot threads left hanging.
This leaves the final story of the old DCU, Flashpoint.
Here is a case where I wanted to like this story, but in the end it just left me a bit cold.
Had this been just a simple Flash story line I would have been fine with it. But it isn’t, it is the catalyst for the new DCU.
When DC did its first major reboot in 1985 with Crisis on Infinite Earths it was a story on a grand scale. It incorporated the majority of the characters in the universe, was played on a cosmic scale and took place over the course of a year. Basically DC earned the reboot.
With Flashpoint it was in the end a Flash story dealing with time travel. While it could be argued that it dealt with major characters of the DCU, they were in unrecognizable forms, with half the heroes being turned into villains. None of the mini-series that went along with Flashpoint have any apparent impact on what is to come and were really nothing more than a sales ploy. Some of them were good stories, but they do not add to the relaunch in any way that I can see.
The whole thing leaves me with the feeling that this is reboot feels soft and that at any moment the powers that be at DC (Dido, Lee and Johns) can say “Ok, done with that, fix the timeline and return the DC Universe to normal.”
So in the end the DCU went out not with a bang, but a whimper.