The following paragraph is why more people don’t read comic books:
When DC Comics rebooted all their superheroes in the late 50s and 60s, they decided that the previous versions - the Golden Age Green Lantern, Alan Scott, the original Flash, Jay Garrick, etc - lived on an alternate Earth called Earth 2. They were familiar to the folks on Earth 1 (where the Silver Age Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, and the new Flash, Barry Allen, etc, lived) because their adventures had leaked across the cosmic divide into the brains of comic folks like Gardner Fox. Then in the 1980s DC rebooted their universe again, and this time they decided there was no Earth 2 (or the myriad other Earths that had been established) and made the Golden Age characters part of the history of their prime fictional world. Now the original Green Lantern and Flash lived in the same world with, and could go for dinner with, the new versions. But wait! A couple of years back the guys running DC Comics decided they liked all those alternate Earths after all, so they brought them back. And there was an Earth 2 again. But wait again! Now DC is rebooting their comics for the THIRD TIME and they have decided that Superman was the first superhero, and that he appeared on Earth five years ago. So whence the original Flash and Green Lantern and friends?
You guessed it: they’re bringing back the very separate Earth 2, meaning that all of the Golden Age characters now once again live in their own separate universe. Which brings DC right back to the status quo it was trying to get out of via Crisis on Infinite Earths.
What’s interesting is that DC’s reboot, which is supposedly all about getting the characters to good places where new readers can jump on, is only making shit more confusing. Once again we have the multiple Earth thing, which ended up being a pain in the ass for writers in the 70s and 80s. But what’s worse, the company is going to have a Superman and a Justice League title that take place FIVE YEARS before every other title. Including other Superman titles.
The upside of this: while it’s not one of the launch titles for the new DC Universe (the launch begins tomorrow at midnight at select comic stores), there will be a comic book about the Justice League of America, the WWII-era supergroup. And it’ll be written by James Robinson, who had been writing the modern JSA book for quite some time.
I’ll be checking out most of the DC ‘New 52’ launch titles, mostly because they’re going to be available digitally day and date. But I find the whole return to a thirty year old status quo situation to be the exact summation of every problem I have with superhero comics.
Edit: it’s probably fair to point out that it’s not clear if this title will be set in WWII or will be a new version of Infinity, Inc., an Earth 2-set comic featuring the descendants of the original JSA. Either is plausible.