It’s long been said that there really aren’t any new ideas out there, and that, for the most part, creative vehicles are nothing more than rehashes and combinations of stuff that has come before. In comic books, especially, this isn’t a new concept. For years heroes from the “Big Two” (DC & Marvel for you non-geek types) have been killing off characters left and right, reinventing characters and flat out replacing characters by putting new people in old costumes to keep the drama and continuity going.
In the early 90s, Marvel upped the ante and launched their 2099 line. It was basically a couple of books (Spider-Man, X-Men, Punisher, Dr. Doom, Hulk, Fantastic Four and Ghost Rider) set in 2099. The people behind the masks were all new (for the most part), but the banner and basic premise were familiar to comic fans. This amused people for a couple of years, but got old. The 2000s roll around and Marvel was back at it with the Ultimate Marvel line. The Ultimate line differed from 2099 in two major ways: character reboots and serious writing firepower.
Now it’s 2009 and DC is jumping into the Ultimates-styled pool with Earth One. As mentioned yesterday on DC’s The Source blog, Earth One is going to be the vehicle to reboot Batman and Superman (like it hadn’t already been done with their All Star titles) with DC’s answer to Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar: Geoff Johns and J. Michael Straczynski.
Normally I would just roll my eyes and read some of the story hightlights to see if I wanted to jump on with this, but I can’t really see how yet another Batman and/or Superman title is going to do much more than dilute the property. I’ve been lucky enough to have avoided titles from the Last Son of Krypton since the early 90s: he just doesn’t interest me. I am, however, currently reading about 250 Batman or Batman related titles. Hell, I’m not even sure who is behind the cape and cowl in half of them (spoiler alert, Bruce Wayne is supposedly dead) and I’m really not interested in following him to a title that will likely be destroyed in “Insert Modifier Here Crisis” when the storylines start to get a little tired in three years.
What I really wanted from this “major publishing event” announcement was that DC was going to commit themselves to getting their damn titles out on time (something Marvel has a way worse problem doing). They can keep their Bat-One and Super-One.
Besides, didn’t Elseworlds address all of this?