It’s a new year and with it comes something I never thought I’d be saying on Crushing Krisis:
Yes, really. Each guide comprehensively covers the issues of their era, with every comic listed and every collection linked.They’re available thanks to my supporters on Patreon. If you find them useful, I’d love it if you’d chip in $1 a month.
Why DC? Why now? And, what is DC Rebirth, anyway?
That’s a slightly longer story.
I get a modest amount of reader mail. It’s always extremely generous and kind and makes me obscenely happy. I try to respond to every message.
The vast majority of the questions therein can be classified into two categories. One is “Will you extend your X-Men Reading Order into Marvel Now?” (The answer is: “I’d really love to, but it would take a very long time.”)
The other is, “Would you ever consider creating guides to DC Comics?”
For the past year I’ve been responding with variations on the same “no” answer. I don’t know DC even 10% as well as I know Marvel. DC’s continuity and character versions are confusing. DC doesn’t have as many official resources on character chronologies. DC hasn’t collected old series as comprehensively as Marvel. Et cetera.
There was also the little matter of DC’s New 52 in 2011 (of which, you may recall, I read every launch issue). New 52 began as an inviting clean slate reboot, which disinclined me from detailing any pre-2011 collecting guides while it was ongoing. What was the point? Some of that old material might be referenced obliquely (especially by Batman and Green Lantern, who were left most intact), but much of it never happened!
New 52 launched with a big splash of sales and new readers, but as the years wore on fans abandoned many of the titles. The word on the street was that storytelling was lackluster and editorial direction was lacking. As a result, in 2016 DC did something incredibly bold – as bold as their historic 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths, which cleaned up their continuity and relaunched some of their biggest heroes.
That bold move is DC Rebirth.
DC Rebirth goes way beyond being a comic event or a catchy name. Rebirth is actually DC Comics, born again. It ended every series from New 52, though they were allowed to run their course if they were in the middle of a story. Then, it launched 21 new comics from a single DC Universe Rebirth one-shot in July crammed with continuity and character reference – and each character got their own subsequent Rebirth one-shot prior to their ongoing series.
Rebirth reestablished a logical, high-quality, carefully edited line of DC comics with connections stretching back past New 52 to post-Crisis series and beyond. It provides a narrative context for New 52 while negating few (if any!) aspects of its stories and thrusting all of DC’s major characters forward – many with a lower $2.99 price point and an accelerated twice monthly publishing schedule to keep fans coming back for more.
Sure, Rebirth turned a few elements of New 52 into a long con conducted over five years – especially Superman! Yet, isn’t that what we older readers miss about comics – long range stories that don’t neatly resolve in a year or two? Rebirth doesn’t retcon New 52’s Superman so much as turn him into a giant riddle that will be solved, adding new characters like Superwoman and New Super-Man as part of the mystery. That’s a better than three years of [redacted] being a Skrull leading up to Marvel’s Secret Invasion.
As 2016 pressed on and the Rebirth accolades continued to piled up, I became more and more tempted to jump in and read. But, we’ve all met before – you know I don’t just jump in and read things. Oh, no. If I’m going to enjoy a comic, I’m going to enjoy it by obsessively organizing every aspect of its existence to make sure I’m not missing out on any context.
Thus, my DC Rebirth Guide was born. And, since New 52 not only explicitly counted in this new era of storytelling but also connected with past stories, I felt compelled to create a New 52 Guide as well. (A compulsion that resulted in over 30 hours of research and work, but hopefully you think it was worth it).
I could have easily just added these two guides as additional links on the Collecting Marvel Comics table of contents, but you, me, and OCD Godzilla know that nothing is simple here at Crushing Crisis. Instead, I’ve sketched out a series of DC guides – 52, to be exact – that will continue to launch throughout 2017 and beyond! If you want to speed up the guides or have a say in which ones I attack first, you should contribute $1.99 a month to CK via Patreon today!
You’ve got two weeks to enjoy this initial pair before the first character guide arrives – a comprehensive look at collecting my favorite character of all-time from Golden Age to present day: Wonder Woman.
Welcome to 2017 on Crushing Krisis.
(Don’t worry, I’m not going to theme my year “Rebirth.” I’m already repping the Crisis/Krisis angle pretty hard, and I’m not looking to get sued by DC Comics.)