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  1. #1
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Default Has a full reboot ever been successfully accomplished in the DCU?

    The only ones that could be judged as success stories were John Byrne & George Perez's reboots of Superman and Wonder Woman, both of which brought in a lot of new readers and creativity, but neither really sustained themselves for very long before requiring another reboot, and caused countless headaches with other characters (Donna Troy & Legion of the Superheroes being prime examples). It didn't help that most of the stories following the departures of the reboot's creators were preoccupied with bringing back elements of the pre-reboot mythology.

    They tried rebooting Warlord. That flopped.

    They have just rebooted Ragman.

    They rebooted Hawkman, twice.

    Legion has been rebooted three times.

    Virtually every character that was rebooted during the New 52 has since reverted to their former incarnation.

    So, why does DC think that full reboots are the way to go when they have never proven to be a path to sustainable success?

    This is not to say that retcons and revisions should not be regularly employed to get rid of the barnacles that build up around these decades old characters, but why does DC keep going back to the full-reboot well when it keeps failing to deliver results?

  2. #2
    Super Spy Carabas's Avatar
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    There is no such thing as a proven to be a path to sustainable success.

    Reboots are not particularly more or less successful than other means of keeping a franchise fresh.
    "One may be intelligent, and a Nazi. Then one is not decent. One may be decent and a Nazi. Then one is not intelligent. And one may be intelligent and decent. Then one is not a Nazi"
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  3. #3
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    Perez WANTED to begin his Wonder Woman in the past, so as to include Justice League involvement and Donna Troys rescue. DC editorial demanded he begin her as he did, which created the two biggest flaws in the run.

    DC needs a reboot where editors stay in thier lane.

  4. #4
    Mighty Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRaymond View Post
    Perez WANTED to begin his Wonder Woman in the past, so as to include Justice League involvement and Donna Troys rescue. DC editorial demanded he begin her as he did, which created the two biggest flaws in the run.

    DC needs a reboot where editors stay in thier lane.
    Same thing with Hawkworld I heard. That was supposed to be a 'year one' version of the alien Hawkman from the silver age... but editorial wanted to run it as a present day reboot...

  5. #5
    Spectacular Member TruthAndJustice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRaymond View Post
    Perez WANTED to begin his Wonder Woman in the past, so as to include Justice League involvement and Donna Troys rescue. DC editorial demanded he begin her as he did, which created the two biggest flaws in the run.

    DC needs a reboot where editors stay in thier lane.
    This doesn't surprise me but I've never heard it before. Is there a source online where Perez says this?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthAndJustice View Post
    This doesn't surprise me but I've never heard it before. Is there a source online where Perez says this?
    I spent the last 10 minutes googling to no avail. I want to say it was in a expanded conversation with the author/artist about his work on Wonder Woman's reboot, specifically the War of the Gods debacle, and the fallout before, during, and after.

  7. #7
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthAndJustice View Post
    This doesn't surprise me but I've never heard it before. Is there a source online where Perez says this?
    It wouldn't surprise me either. As one half of the creative team behind "Who is Donna Troy?" and the wedding issue, I can't imagine Perez was thrilled with Donna's history and the stories he worked on being screwed with. Wolfman has also gone on record, I believe, as saying he hated everything that happened to Donna after the Crisis.

  8. #8
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carabas View Post
    There is no such thing as a proven to be a path to sustainable success.

    Reboots are not particularly more or less successful than other means of keeping a franchise fresh.
    Fair point, but it seems that full reboots within a shared continuity only lead to more reboots and stories explaining the reboot or more stories about bringing stuff back that the reboot got rid of, rather than simply telling new stories about the characters.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    Fair point, but it seems that full reboots within a shared continuity only lead to more reboots and stories explaining the reboot or more stories about bringing stuff back that the reboot got rid of, rather than simply telling new stories about the characters.
    I agree. I think worrying less about continuity and what still "counts" is the way to go. Not totally throwing out the history, but making the primary and overriding focus telling good stories. You can never please the Kontinuity Kops anyway, and they make up such a small segment of the desired customer base that it doesn't make sense to keep catering to the same few tens of thousands of fans who really care about the far-past continuity. It makes the barrier to entry so high when everything is self referential and requires detailed knowledge of decades of history. Throw in things to keep the older readers happy but keep the focus on accessibility and creating bonds with the characters based on current events.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member Trey Strain's Avatar
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    A reboot should do two things.

    First, it should eliminate the complexity from a backstory that alienates new readers. Second, it should eliminate all elements from a backstory that have made the protagonists look bad and thus have alienated both old and new readers.

    That's all.

    Instead, when many writers and editors hear the word "reboot," they rub their hands with glee and think, "Now I get to prove I'm better than the creator of this property and to leave my mark on it."

  11. #11
    Super Spy Carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Strain View Post
    A reboot should do two things.

    First, it should eliminate the complexity from a backstory that alienates new readers. Second, it should eliminate all elements from a backstory that have made the protagonists look bad and thus have alienated both old and new readers.

    That's all.

    Instead, when many writers and editors hear the word "reboot," they rub their hands with glee and think, "Now I get to prove I'm better than the creator of this property and to leave my mark on it."
    Yeah, those damn creative people, always wanting to be so infuriatingly creative instead of just being good little Xerox machines.
    "One may be intelligent, and a Nazi. Then one is not decent. One may be decent and a Nazi. Then one is not intelligent. And one may be intelligent and decent. Then one is not a Nazi"
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Strain View Post
    Instead, when many writers and editors hear the word "reboot," they rub their hands with glee and think, "Now I get to prove I'm better than the creator of this property and to leave my mark on it."
    I'm super cynical, but I don't think that's what their thinking. Their really thinking about future rights fees. If they change a big part of characters' origin, or introduce a new Wonder Girl/Aqualad/Killer Frost/etc, now they get to pick up residuals every time their version of that character is used in a future cartoon or movie.

  13. #13
    Death becomes you Osiris-Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    The only ones that could be judged as success stories were John Byrne & George Perez's reboots of Superman and Wonder Woman, both of which brought in a lot of new readers and creativity, but neither really sustained themselves for very long before requiring another reboot, and caused countless headaches with other characters (Donna Troy & Legion of the Superheroes being prime examples). It didn't help that most of the stories following the departures of the reboot's creators were preoccupied with bringing back elements of the pre-reboot mythology.

    They tried rebooting Warlord. That flopped.

    They have just rebooted Ragman.

    They rebooted Hawkman, twice.

    Legion has been rebooted three times.

    Virtually every character that was rebooted during the New 52 has since reverted to their former incarnation.

    So, why does DC think that full reboots are the way to go when they have never proven to be a path to sustainable success?

    This is not to say that retcons and revisions should not be regularly employed to get rid of the barnacles that build up around these decades old characters, but why does DC keep going back to the full-reboot well when it keeps failing to deliver results?
    Haven't the pretty much stuck with the Supergirl that got rebooted in New 52? They seem to have jettisoned the Linda Danvers version and the Matrix versions and are staying with
    the idea she is the Kryptonian cousin of Kal-El.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Jokerz79's Avatar
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    Honestly I don't know if the reboots failed but rather the leadership did Post Crisis even with it's hiccups was going strong into the 00 yeah they tried to fix some of the errors but DC continuity since the Golden Age has always been in a sort of flux but it wasn't till Jenette Kahn left that we started getting countless reboots I mean she left in 02 and since 03 Superman alone has had Birthright, Secret Origins, New 52, and Rebirth/Reborn.

  15. #15

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    It depends on your definition of successful.

    But my answer would be "no." I don't think they plan out their follow-through to reboots very carefully. Or, if they do, they quickly derail the plan.

    And with major retcons, it rarely seems that they think through the implications of the retcons. (Changing the history of a character in a shared narrative setting has ripple effects that affect the histories of other characters. If you care about this stuff, you need to work out what those ripples are, minimize them when possible, and somehow communicate them to the readers - and to the writers and editors!)

    Out of some impulse - nostalgia or fan service or something - when they enter a new continuity after a reboot, they frequently try to mash as much as they can from previous continuities into the new continuity. And really, I understand the desire to include favorite "bits" from previous authors you admire. But not at the cost of coherence for the characters or the setting. Older aspects should only be added when they contribute to, or at least don't disrupt or overcomplicate, the new versions you're trying to create; and they should be added as organically as possible. (Relatively speaking. Perfection isn't possible, but a good-faith effort is always nice to see.)

    It hasn't seemed to me that that has been much of a priority for DC after reboots or major retcons. Unless Roy Thomas is involved - and no Big-Time Editor overrules him.
    Doctor Bifrost

    "If Roy G. Bivolo had seen some B&W pencil sketches, his whole life would have turned out differently." http://doctorbifrost.blogspot.com/

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