Geekbuzz followers will certainly recall the breaking and quite controversial NY Comic Con story we published last regarding DC’s plans for retconning Wonder Woman as the world’s first superhero. Some purists interpreted this to mean Diana of Themyscira would soon occupy a higher station than Superman and Batman instead of the logical reason: The Amazon is centuries old and many already consider the events of the 2017 Wonder Woman film as canon. In that movie, she made her first appearance during World War I, decades before other heroes in the DC universe would appear.
When DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio offered a glimpse of DC’s new continuity last Friday, he (may have) unintentionally revealed 5G, DC Comics’ next relaunch of their superhero universe.
During his presentation during NYCC’s DC Nation panel, DiDio showed a blurry timeline split into sections he described as generations and called it the basis for all of DC Comics in the future. “While we won’t go into what the future is, we want to show you that what’s happening now is a high level of planning.” he remarked.
Essentially 5G will see DC’s most well-known characters retire and pass the torch onto a new generation of heroes with another crisis being the catalyst. We’ll also learn how superheroes who debuted decades prior managed to stay active for so long.
According to DiDio, the genesis of DC’s four past generations begins with Wonder Woman as the first “public superhero,” presumably during World War I and forward. The second generation begins with Superman’s ascendance, the third generation spans the time period between Crisis on Infinite Earths (1986) and Flashpoint (2011), and the fourth generation is the current DC timeline from today’s comics. The fifth generation is 5G, a new generation of heroes. What this means is anyone’s guess right now. It could mean newly created characters or characters that already live in DC’s future like the Legion of Superheroes, for example.
The online reactions from some fans have been expected. While the two major comic book publishers have a long history of unpopular retcons and reboots, Wonder Woman’s elevation to premier superhero status seems to be the focus of the perennially outraged this time around.
Retailers believe sweeping changes like this will hurt their already sagging sales, but it’s changes like these that are needed for DC, and the entire industry, to compete and grow.
Colleen Doran, New York Times Bestselling cartoonist and illustrator for The Walking Dead, Marvel’s SHIELD, and more, put it quite nicely:
People who go on about sales in comics, knowing NOTHING about comics history, not able to grasp that once there were a few publishers making comics with a lock on the industry, now there are HUNDREDS of companies, THOUSANDS of books, THOUSANDS of choices.
— Colleen Doran New York Comic Con Artist Alley J-4 (@ColleenDoran) March 3, 2018
For those who think publisher politics or continuity tinkering has had something to do with sagging sales, or for those who want to push back on those narratives, the twitter thread above is actually worth your valuable time.
Most fans are likely excited, or at least cautiously optimistic, about 5G, a thoughtful plan that actually restores some of DC’s pre-crisis grandeur.