DC Comics has never shied away from exploring multiple versions of its biggest heroes and villains. From its classic multiverse continuity which remixed characters from the Justice League to the Justice Society across parallel earths to its popular "Elseworlds" series, some of the publisher's best-known projects grew out of exploring its iconic building blocks in new settings.
This morning, DC got back into that game in a "back to basics" manner as the publisher announced a new series of original graphic novels under the banner of "Earth One." Starting a new thread of continuity starring the classic DC superheroes, the "Earth One" books will develop an ongoing serial adventure for both Superman and Batman within the pages of new stand-alone graphic novels, as announced today on the DCU Blog The Source.
The program starts with "Superman: Earth One" by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis and "Batman: Earth One" by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. In an interview with Ain't It Cool News, both writers acknowledged the challenge of presenting such well-known stories in a new light but had faith in the format and their collaborators to offer something new.
"This is probably one of the most often told and re-told stories in comics history, so you have to be careful to preserve what's established while trying to find areas where you can bring a fresh approach," Straczynski said. "In the case of Superman, you take all those elements that work, and infuse them with a modern sensibility, how it would be written today, this minute, if it had just been created for the first time."
Johns explained "'Batman: Earth One' is more in line with the European idea of releasing chapters of an ongoing series in graphic novel form. We're planning on doing two novels a year and set in this new universe, we're getting unlimited creative freedom that we couldn't have in current continuity."
And while the Source did not mention the exact launch date of the first "Earth One" volumes, the news was accompanied by the label "DCU in 2010" foretelling a string of similar announcements for next year's full publishing plans. Be sure to check back to CBR throughout the rest of the week for more info on both "Earth One" and all the news on "DCU in 2010!"