Comics Creators

DC Comics - The Rebirth is Here


Yeah, they so need to finish it - it could be a big seller for Vertigo but it needs a conclusion.


From Warren Ellis’ Orbital Operations that he sent out today:

I was talking with a friend in publishing about comics the other day. Which is fairly unusual for me, because I think most people have forgotten I ever did comics. But this person kindly remembers that I used to be micro-famous in a second-division way, and occasionally picks my brain and tests notions out of me.

We got talking about the difference between SERIAL and SERIES, in the framework of an ongoing monthly comic book. A SERIAL is telling a complete, structured story with a set end-point conclusion. A SERIES is not. A series will run for as long as it runs, and any end-point will be either accidental or formulated well into the run as a way to eventually close it out for its audience due to economic or human events requiring its cessation.

When I started out, everything was a series and there weren’t enough serials. And I wanted to write books, with beginnings and ending, whose production was supported via serialisation. Things have changed.

And now my friend misses series . When you start with an idea and just strike out for the territory with no plan. Nothing but some notes and themes and intents and a vague sense of where true north is.

My friend is concerned that some energy is leaking out of the medium, either that we’re all pipe-smoking novelists now or that too many people are doing serials as proofs of concept for tv or movie pitches. I don’t pay close enough attention to know. I do know that comics should always have a scattered coterie of nomad lunatics who are just running towards the horizon, leaving little signposts and monuments on the way, all about the strange pleasure of the journey and putting off the destination for as long as they want to.


He sure about that? I’ve always thought it was the inverse… u_u


No, that’s just about right. The writing-for-trade phenomenon, on the one hand, had its considerable benefits. DC Rebirth took that idea across its entire line. But now it might be at the point of overkill. When you’re asking yourself where the fun went, why kids don’t want to commit, it’s not because of the approach but the ridiculous amount of commitment necessary. You have writers routinely writing arcs that go on for years across multiple titles. It’s not about taking superheroes too seriously, but forgetting the appeal of incidental pleasures. And you can obviously see this play out in TV shows, too, where the idea, I think, originally came from.


I don’t know, Tony. I think one of the best things DC Rebirth did was bring back the “Series”, and they reaped dividends from that for a year or two. Now we’re firmly back in “Serial” land, lead by DiDio and his pop idol du jour, Tom King. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that much of that initial excitement from Rebirth has worn off now.


I still think he inverted the meanings… can’t find a conclusive answer, but what I did find seemed to point to that… :smile:


What do you call a Warren Ellis serial that never finishes though?

There’s a question for him to answer.

I’m enjoying a lot of books Ellis is writing just now, but with his track record he seems awfully oblivious to what most people will be thinking while reading what he has to say on that subject.




A Warren Ellis story.


So, been rereading the entire current Flash volume, and while I enjoyed parts of it, there are two things that bother me a little:

  • How a lot of characters react, closer to angsty teenagers. Kid Flash is kinda of excused, but it gets annoying.
  • The continuous focus on Barry Allen, LIAR, taken to absurd degrees.

Sometimes I think I should read this comic with this on over and over:

Oh, and poor Wally West, really.


Does he have a lot of unfinished stuff?

Also: Wish he’d gone back to Black Summer at some point…


A. Desolation Jones
B. Anna Mercury
C. newuniversal
D. Fell
E. All of the above


So I’ve been making my way through the Tomasi/Gleason Superman run and, I must say, it lives up to the rave reviews it got here. It’s smart, funny, sweet and…genuine. Like, this Superman is earnest and good and it celebrates that fact. Great stuff. The only bit not available on Comixology Unlimited is the final trade, but hopefully that’ll be there soon. 45 issues seems not enough for a run of this quality.

I will say, though, that I was and somewhat still am utterly baffled by the continuity. Since when was Superman dead? And since when did a not-dead Superman have a son?? Aside from the final volume there’s also one trade missing which I think sort of explains the continuity stuff, though even after reading what that arc is about, I remain confused.


This Superman is, fundamentally, post- Crisis (DC 1990’s Superman).

That continuity ceased to exist post- Flashpoint. And DC replaced him with a younger, angrier New 52 Superman.

Despite initial buzz, the New 52 ultimately fizzled out. And, no one really liked the new Superman.

When DC moved their offices to the west coast, they published a two month event called Convergence. Which was basically a fill in event, pandering to their old fans - lots of guest creators came back and told short two issue “final” stories with characters from pre- Flashpoint continuities.

Dan Jurgens used this as a chance to say goodbye to the post- Crisis Superman. In this story he was temporarily depowered and managed to make Lois pregnant. They had a son in the closing pages of the issue.

Then some weird, nonsensical continuity shite happened. TL; DR version - post- Crisis Superman sacrifices himself to save the universe.

In reality, what was intended as a throwaway gimmick ended up being quite buzz worthy with fans growing disenchanted with the New 52. This Superman mini in particular was quite popular.

DC brought Jurgens back to continue the story, of Lois, Clark and Jon living in secret on the fringes of the big events of the New 52. It continued to be a more popular version of the character than the New 52 version, who DC frankly didn’t know what to do with by this time.

A few months later, DC Rebirth happened. They killed New 52 Superman off and officially replaced him with post- Crisis Superman. There was much rejoicing throughout the land.

Eventually though, in a move to cement the idea that “it was never a reboot, and we had this planned all along”, they came up with the idea that post- Crisis Superman and New 52 Superman were the same character, somehow split in two via the machinations of Dr Manhattan. An updated take on Superman Blue and Red.

Nonsensical continuity shite happened, once again, and the two characters and their supporting characters were merged together. Everyone got younger. Superman and Wonder Woman were never a thing. And, soon after Bendis happened.


It’s the DC Comics thread, this goes without saying.


It’s funny. DC continues to push Barry in much the same way as Marvel pushed the Inhumans, to similar levels of success. This insecure, uncertain, amateur Barry seems a far cry from the Silver Age version of the character (although, to be fair, I’ve never really read any of those stories so I could be off with that assessment). He just seems like Wally, with different coloured hair, and a job in the CCPD. It doesn’t help that every single notable thing that happens to him seems to be taken from Wally’s time as the Flash (the Speed Force, the united Rogues, etc.). There’s very little unique about him. It’s pretty telling that they needed to bring the real Wally West back in order to kick start DC Rebirth. And, more recently bring Bart back too (another Wally era staple). I don’t get it.


Thanks! Sounds like a mess, but I guess they got there in the end…


Also Doktor Sleepless. That sucked because it was a very intriguing story.


You know, I keep rereading Heroes in Crisis 5 trying to make sense of the whole

RNA half-life/birthday comparison to check if you are “cheating” via time travel and Wally being five days too old and still doesn’t make sense.

So Wally is five days olders to what he is supposed to be compared to his birthday? But Wally has been time travelling for… years at least, so all that time travel only equates to five days, including whatever happened in HiC?

And that’s not taking into consideration the whole trapped in the Speed Force and erased from existance thing, which I think may throw any such calcuation off charts.

Head hurts.


Try not to think too hard. It’s all made up. :wink: