16 November 2014

DC to Feed Nostalgia for Six to Twelve Years Ago

DC Comics executive Dan DiDio told USA Today that the company’s “Convergence” crossover event for next spring will return to older versions of its primary characters. “We’re picking up at points of their lives where we left them and finding out what’s gone on with them since then,” he said.

Closer examination at Comic Book Resources confirms that these stories hearken back to the company’s continuity before the “New 52.” But each tale seems designed to return its hero to a happy high point popular with his or her following. Back in June, the gossipy site Bleeding Cool heard from a creator that the upcoming project would be “a love letter to DC Comics fans.”

Thus, Wally West is not only the Flash once more, but he’s married to Linda and both their kids appear to have superpowers. (After 2010, only their daughter had powers.) In another nod to the domesticity of about eight years ago, Superman and Lois Lane are expecting a child.

Stephanie Brown will be back at Batgirl, with Tim Drake in his first Red Robin costume and Cass Cain as the Black Bat. That also reflects their situation in about 2010 (though we didn’t see much of Cass back then). Damian Wayne, who appears to be coming back in some form in the regular continuity, might well show up in one of these miniseries without ever having died.

“Convergence” thus gives DC a chance to “correct,” at least temporarily, recent developments that many fans vocally disliked, such as the murder of the Atom Ryan Choi and Roy Harper’s loss of both his arm and his little daughter.

Indeed, in some way, these series “correct” the entire “New 52” as they show the heroes fending off attacks from “Flashpoint versions” of other heroes; Flashpoint was a 2011 crossover presenting dystopic versions of the world which led to the “New 52.” The characters or versions of characters that disappeared in that transition have, the summaries suggest, been living under a protective “dome.”

I have particular questions about the Nightwing/Oracle title, to be scripted by Gail Simone. The teaser for the first issue says:
Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon reevaluate their relationship under the dome (wedding!), but Flashpoint Hawkman and Hawkwoman attack, and everything changes.
For many fans, Dick and Barbara are meant to be together. But the last time they were talking marriage in DC’s regular continuity was back in 2006. So are they reevaluating from that perspective, or after all the events that happened between then and Flashpoint? If the latter, that means Dick has become Batman, and no one has successfully penned his decision to go back to being Nightwing. At least not yet.

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