(Could this be the moments when comic books jumped the shark?)

        The Golden Age of comic books started in 1938 after the release of Superman by DC Comics. Some say the basic tenants of the Golden Age were the ideal state for comic books. Things were pure in those years, but they melted away and forgotten were the likes of Jay Garrick and Alan Scott as Flash and Green Lantern. They were set aside to make way for a shiny new Silver Age starring Barry Allen and Hal Jordan as Flash and Green Lantern. Magic was replaced by space for a time. But the innocence of the Silver Age tarnished into an adult themed Bronze Age. Robin was replaced by grim and grit in an age where sidekicks were replaced by heroin junkies. The Bronze Age ultimately corroded and eclipsed. And titles like The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen helped usher in the modern age. An age which continues even today, but has morphed into a different type of modern age. An age that some call, The Dark Age.

        While the 80's gave us a darker story tone, the 90's created a quite literal dark age in the comics business with the big two being overtaken by greed, preying on the morally ambiguous collectors by flooding the market with variant foil covers and sealed poly bags with bold lettering claiming "collectors edition" on the header.

         These elements really dominated until the turn of the century and things began to even out, however the overall tone of death and despair was still in the air, being beaten to death like a dead horse with a cracked skull and a baseball bat.

        Many people thought that Brightest Day was the banner to formally complete the cycle and thus, end the Dark Age. But now with that story ended, it is apparent that something more drastic is needed to bring things back to basics. Something like a reboot.


       
        Albeit a soft reboot, but still it's a little harder than the soft reboots we've gotten from DC with each modern age Crisis. Apparently Flashpoint, which I initially thought was just going to be a cool Elseworld-esque title, is going to be this years semi-hard/moderately-soft reboot. Thus far, in story, Reverse-Flash has changed the past to cause a present where Wonder Woman and the Amazons are at war with Aquaman and the Atlanteans for control of the earth. Only Barry Allen/Flash (and Booster Gold in his series) know the true present. This new present age is so dark, not only are two JLA-ers villains, but Superman and Green Lantern do not not exist (at least thus far). Oh yeah, and Bruce was killed in crime alley with his mother, not Thomas Wayne, who is this world's Batman...who kills people. Cyborg leads a group of rag tag heroes attempting to recruit Batman to join their resistance as earth's only heroes. Barry wants these heroes to help him fix time. Presumably, whatever time fix Barry has will change everything we know...in a flash (and I thought it was just lame catchphrase).


        On June 1, 2011 DC announced they are cancelling all of their titles, every single one, and rebooting every series to issue #1. August 31, 2011, the week after Flashpoint ends, Justice League #1 will debut with the dream creative team of co-publishers Geoff Johns and Jim Lee.

        DC seems to be very allusive on the whole reboot issue, speaking out of both sides of their mouth, in one instance stating that they are going back to the beginning and retelling the origins in a more modern and relevant setting, but in another instance saying that the new Green Lantern series will be picking up on story threads from this years Green Lantern War.

        This is why I call it a hard-soft reboot. It seems a lot of the recent key series, specifically those focusing on Green Lantern and Flash, will stay in continuity while concepts like Oracle will be thrown to the wind with the reintroduction of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl.

 

        So the past 25 years of Barbara Gordon history will be erased, who cares, she is going to be Batgirl again!. No, seriously, I do kinda care. Oracle is. And frankly, more original of a character than BAT-Girl. I wonder if the comic book version of Chloe will become Oracle in the rebooted DC.

Batgirl #1
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Ardian Syaf & Vicente Cifuentes
Batgirl’s going to have to face the city’s most horrifying new villains as well as dark secrets from her past…

        And oh how happy am I that Richard Grayson will be Nightwing again! Not only that, but he gets to keep history! Yes, so those three boxes of Nightwing comics in my corner are still relevant!

Nightwing #1
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Eddy Barrows
After a tenure as the Batman of Gotham, Dick Grayson resumes his mantle as Nightwing! As Dick embraces his identity, Haley’s Circus, the big top where he once performed with his family, returns to Gotham – bringing with it a history of murder, mystery and superhuman evil. Nightwing must confront friends and enemies from his past as he searches for the source of an even greater evil.

        Of course there will be 52 #1 titles in total (they're getting a bit obsessed with the number 52, don't you think?):
 

aquaman

Aquaman

Writer Geoff Johns

Artist Ivan Reis


wonder woman

Wonder Woman

Writer Brian Azzarello

Artist Cliff Chiang


the flash

The Flash

Writer/Artist Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato




fury of firestorm

The Fury of Firestorm

Writer Gail Simone & Ethan Van Sciver

Artist Yildiray Cinar

Covers Ethan Van Sciver


savage hawkman
 

The Savage Hawkman

Writer Tony Daniel

Artist Philip Tan


green arrow
 

Green Arrow

Writer JT Krul

Artist Dan Jurgens

Covers Brett Booth


jli

Justice League International

Writer Dan Jurgens

Artist Aaron Lopresti


mr terrific

Mister Terrific

Writer Eric Wallace

Artist Roger Robinson

Cover J. G. Jones


captain atom

Captain Atom

Writer JT Krul

Artist Freddie Williams II

Covers Stanley “Artfem” Lau



dc presents

DC Universe Presents

Writer Paul Jenkins

Artist Bernard Chang

Covers Ryan Sook


Plus: These recently released on a DC blog titled "DC Embraces its Dark Side"

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SWAMP THING #1

writer Scott Snyder

Artist: Yannick Paquette

For years, one man served against his will as the avatar of nature. And while he may have been freed of the monster, he’s about to learn the monster will never truly let go of him.



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John Constantine, Deadman, Shade the Changing Man and Madame Xanadu are Justice League Dark, a band of supernatural heroes united to stop the dark things the rest of the DCU does not see in JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1, by Peter Milligan and artist Mikel Janin.


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Buddy Baker has gone from “super” man to family man – but is he strong enough to hold his family together when Maxine, his young daughter, starts to manifest her own dangerous powers? Find out in ANIMAL MAN #1, the start of a dramatic new series by acclaimed writer Jeff Lemire and artists Travel Foreman and Dan Green.


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Set in the Middle Ages, the Demon leads an unlikely team to defend civilization and preserve the last vestiges of Camelot against the tide of history. Critically-acclaimed writer Paul Cornell and artists Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert combine sorcery, swords and superheroes in DEMON KNIGHTS #1.

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Frankenstein and his network of strange beings work for an even stranger government organization: The Super Human Advanced Defense Executive. It’s the breakout hero of Seven Soldiers as you’ve never seen him before in FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF SHADE #1, the first issue of a dark new series from acclaimed writer Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, The Nobody) and artist Alberto Ponticelli.


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A cult favorite character returns in a new series written by his classic creative team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Joining them is JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST artist Fernando Dagnino. RESURRECTION MAN #1 is the story of a hero who wakes up with new powers each time he’s killed.


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Vampires threaten to bring ruin to the DC Universe in I, VAMPIRE #1 by rising star Josh Fialkov and artist Andrea Sorrentino. Tortured by his centuries-old love for the Queen of the Damnned, Andrew Bennett must save humanity from the violent uprising of his fellow vampires, even if it means exterminating his own kind.


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Priscilla Kitaen has just found out she’s a monster. A half-alien hybrid, the woman known as Voodoo must confront the secrets of her past to make sense of the nightmare her life has suddenly become. VOODOO #1 will be written by Ron Marz with art by Sami Basri.


But wait.. there's more!!

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The highly-anticipated new series from the multiple award-winning creative team of J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder begins in BATWOMAN #1.


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Meet Catwoman. She’s addicted to the night. Addicted to shiny objects. Addicted to Batman. Most of all, Catwoman is addicted to danger. She can’t help herself, and the truth is – she doesn’t want to. She’s good at being bad, and very bad at being good. Find out more about what makes Catwoman tick in CATWOMAN #1, written by Judd Winick and illustrated by Guillem March.

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The Birds of Prey are Gotham City’s covert ops team, taking down the villains other heroes can’t touch. Mystery novelist ands comics writer Duane Swierczynski teams up with Jesus Saiz for BIRDS OF PREY #1, the first issue of the hard-hitting new series.

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In BATMAN AND ROBIN #1, the acclaimed creative team of Peter Tomasi and Pat Gleason will explore the family dynamic of the Caped Crusader as Bruce Wayne battles the Gotham underworld with the help of his son, Damian, in the role of Robin.

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In BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT, superstar artist David Finch writes and draws a twisted adventure that pulls Bruce Wayne deep into the halls of the famed Arkham Asylum, a jail for Gotham City’s most dangerous and criminally deranged. Finch will team up with collaborator Jay Fabok on pencils.

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DC Comics’ flagship title is relaunched for the first time ever in DETECTIVE COMICS #1 by acclaimed writer/artist Tony Daniel. Marking the first time Batman will appear in a debut issue of Detective Comics, the series will find Bruce Wayne on the trail of a dangerous serial killer known only as the Gotham Ripper.


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In the first BATMAN #1 since 1930, New York Times bestselling writer Scott Snyder teams up with superstar artist Greg Capullo in his DC Comics debut! In the series, Bruce Wayne once again becomes the only character taking on the Batman name.

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This September, join with us in this historic moment when the first black character to wear the Batman mantle will be the first to star in his own ongoing series. BATWING will be written by Judd Winick and illustrated by Ben .red_hood_cv1_r1

Batman’s former sidekick had put his past as The Red Hood behind him, when the reclusive Jason Todd finds himself unwillingly elected as the leader of an all-new team of outlaw vigilantes.

As The Red Hood once again, Jason Todd will lead this new team of antiheroes, including Green Arrow’s rejected sidekick Arsenal and Starfire, a former prisoner of intergalactic war.

RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS will be written by Scott Lobdell and illustrated by rising superstar artist Kenneth Rocafort.

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GREEN LANTERN #1

Johns reunites with artists Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy, as the series begins anew with GREEN LANTERN #1 with cover by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado. Together they will continue to thrill readers and expand the Green Lantern mythos.

Change is coming. But set aside your fear. It’ll be worth the wait.

Additional titles include:

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1

When deadly conflicts emerge across the universe, it’s up to Guy Gardner, John Stewart and an elite Green Lantern strike force to keep the peace.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1

 written by Peter J. Tomasi with art by Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna. The cover to #1 is by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy.


GREEN LANTERN: THE NEW GUARDIANS #1

Who are The New Guardians?

The power of Rage, Avarice, Fear, Will, Hope, Compassion and Love combine to be the most powerful (and colorful) team in the corps under the leadership of Kyle Rayner. Beware their power . . . and their volatility!

GREEN LANTERN: THE NEW GUARDIANS #1 will be written by Tony Bedard and illustrated with cover by Tyler Kirkham and Batt.


RED LANTERNS #1

Going solo. Atrocitus and his Red Lantern Corps return in their own series, battling against injustice in the most bloody ways imaginable. This Lantern Corps takes no prisoners, they are judge, jury and executioners!

RED LANTERNS #1 will be written by Peter Milligan with art and cover by Ed Benes and Rob Hunter.



Finally, Grant Morrison had this to say about Batman, Incorporated:

    “Batman, Incorporated will continue through to Issue #10 and August’s shocking season finale that changes the Batman status quo yet again. The series will take a brief hiatus while I work on a major new project to be announced shortly. Batman, Incorporated returns next year with me, Chris Burnham and Batman: Leviathan, the epic 12 part conclusion to my 6 year Batman saga. Don’t miss it!”




        Could the secret new Grant Morrison project finally be the highly anticipated Multiversity?... The story that could be the detailed road map of the new Golden Age?