If DC Comics’ announced overhaul of its publishing line in the aftermath of Convergence took you back nine years to Infinite Crisis and “One Year Later,” you’re definitely not alone.
“To me, the similarities between the two are quite prevalent,” DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio wrote over the weekend on his Facebook page. “In terms of expectations and challenges, the lessons learned in the ‘One Year Later jump’ were applied to insure our June series (hopefully) don’t experience some of the same pitfalls (you can draw your own parallels after reading).”
Launching in March 2006, the “One Year Later” storyline pushed the narratives of all of the DC Universe titles one year after the events of Infinite Crisis, allowing creators to explore the ramifications of the crossover’s continuity changes (there were also numerous series cancellations, launches, relaunches and renamings). That time gap was then filled in with the weekly series 52.
Last month, DiDio shared some of the original plans for Infinite Crisis, and on Sunday, he turned his attention to what was initially intended to come after — major changes to continuing series, and which books would be relaunched.Because one of the early goals of the crossover was to dissolve the marriage of Superman and Lois Lane, that appears at the top of the “2006 flip notes” (as we pointed out last month, that wasn’t actually accomplished until 2011, with the New 52 reboot).
Also of particular note: plans for a financially broke Bruce Wayne and a Dark Knight Rising series focusing on young Bruce; Wonder Woman “forced to merge with Diana Prince (separate person) as penance for killing and to regain her eyesight”; Superboy moves in with Lex Luthor as his son; Jason Todd assumes the mantle of Nightwing following the death of Dick Grayson (which didn’t end up occurring in Infinite Crisis) only to be rejected by the Bat-family; Cassandra Cain sacrifices herself for Stephanie Brown, who becomes Batgirl; a revamp of Gotham Central starring Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock); and Barbara Gordon becoming the head of Checkmate.
However, most of those were proposed before the details of Infinite Crisis were hammered out, leading to what DiDio refers to as “Flip Notes, take two,” a list of potential relaunches that was “closer to what was actually published but still not exact.”
“Changes continued to be made up to the moment the books were solicited, but thoughts of getting ahead on the line where lost because of some creators being left on hold waiting on their character’s disposition,” DiDio explained from a hotel in Burbank, California, on the eve of DC’s creative summit. “We also had another unique problem. As we tried to shift the line one year ahead we were working from the same talent pool. Before and after the OYL jump, a number of creators were focused on wrapping up stories than starting new ones. But the time spent closing out stories took time and energy away from the new starts (and while we didn’t reboot the entire line, we did get to put big number 1’s on every book with the 1 Year Later logo), this lead to an unevenness in the line as some of the stories for OYL felt rushed while others thought out.
“This would come back to haunt us,” he continued. “Still, Infinite Crisis had some mighty momentum and with OYL, DC experienced a 15% sales jump across the line, and 2006 became one of our greatest year’s on record. Everything was going right, and everything seemed to be working. But now, looking back, you can see where we started to plant the seeds of our own undoing.”
Read more details on DiDio’s Facebook page.
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