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Recently on tabloid website Bleeding Cool, chief rumormonger and general no-goodnik Rich Johnston has begun his campaign to spoil next year's big September DC Comics event. You may remember that Johnston was spilling the beans about Villain's Month in vague articles months before DC actually announced the event, and, if you don't remember that, you most certainly must remember the dozens more articles Johnston wrote bragging about predicting it and being right. In any case, after the reboot, Zero Month, and Villain's Month, it's obvious that September is going to feature a massive DC super-mega-ultra-crossover-gimmick event every year from now on, and, eight days into October, Johnston has already kicked off the cycle of rumors and boasting again.
According to Johnston, DC's plans for next year are to have all 52 books skip ahead five years in time, and just as DC's post-Infinite Crisis One Year Later gimmick launched the weekly book 52, so too will this event launch a weekly book. It's unclear whether the time jump will be permanent or temporary (Johnston says it's for "one month only," but if that were the case, what would be the need for an ongoing weekly series that, presumably, will fill in the space just like 52. Johnston makes sure to point out that plans can change (so he was right, whether or not he was right), and encourages readers to start looking out for clues:
Also watch for references in upcoming comic books to that date “it isn’t ready yet, but it will in five years time”, “you are to serve time in jail, five years, no parole”, that kind of thing.
So yeah, that might be happening. It might also be complete bullshit. Johnston claims in his article that Greg Rucka, who left DC on unpleasant terms a few years ago, will be involved in the weekly book part of the project along with Brian Azarello, Dan Jurgens, and Robert Vendetti, and Rucka quickly responded:
@TommyD I am not involved in that project, man. I'm just not. I don't know what else to say.— Greg Rucka (@ruckawriter) October 8, 2013
So who knows? Bleeding Cool gets rumors right, but they also get things wrong (usually right though). So this could be completely baseless speculation, and is in no way a confirmed story, so don't go trying to reset any counters or anything. Nevertheless, we know that people want to talk about it so, Ol' Jude Terror, that stalwart defender of DC Comics and its executive staff, is here to give you the top five reasons why, if this rumor does pan out, it will be awesome:
The Top Five Reasons Five Years Later Will Be Totally Awesome
5. DC will beat Marvel in the sales charts for another month.
As a fan of DC Comics, nothing gives us more pleasure than DC's yearly trouncing of Marvel in the sales charts. Sure, Marvel wins the other eleven months out of the year, but we know in our hearts that if DC put out a line wide crossover event with 3D variant covers that gets allocated to shops creating an artificially inflated demand every month, then they'd win all year round.
So that's why, whenever we see Marvel fans celebrating Marvel's sales charts victory during any month between October and August, it doesn't bother us. They only win because DC lets them, for now, but when Bob Harras finally ushers in the Gimmickpocalypse, there will be a reckoning.
Oh, there will be a reckoning.
4. It's a new opportunity to get the reboot right.
DC has never had it easy with their continuity. When you have to have a super-mega-crossover event every couple of years, from the first Crisis to Flashpoint, for the explicit purpose of rearranging your continuity, it's safe to say you may have a continuity problem. DC seemed to recognize this when they decided to reboot their universe, throw all the continuity out, and start over from scratch. But before the reboot even occurred, DC was already sending out confusing messages to readers about what parts of the old continuity still happened, what parts didn't happen, and what parts happened, only differently.
Even a few years into this new Universe, DC still can't seem to keep things straight, having to retcon in things like Tim Drake never literally being called Robin or Lobo actually being a skinny reject from a Final Fantasy video game. The fact is, they blew a great opportunity. But now, by skipping ahead five years, they can introduce five more years of vague, off-panel continuity that not even they understand clearly. Then everything will be so fucked up, DC will have no choice but to reboot it again.
This time, I'm sure they'll get it right.
3. It will set new records for creative team longevity.
Think about it. Five years worth of stories that happen in a single month means that all the creative teams on these books will set a new record for staying on a DC comic without being driven off by editorial interference. Sure, most of them might not be the regular creative team on those particular books, but so what? Who follows books for creative teams?
And yeah, there's always the chance that creators could walk off these books in the middle of the month, but that probably won't happen with more than three or four creators, tops. With fifty-two books coming out that month, that's less than 10%, and Scott Lobdell can pick up the slack.
2. It will silence the haters.
Come on, bros! DC is constantly getting hated on on the internet. No matter what DC does right, like put out a bitchin' contest where artists are asked to draw a totally hot babe, Harley Quinn, naked in the bathtub about to off herself, dude, all those whiny nerds on the internet are always getting outraged for no reason. The comic industry has always been like this. The problem is social media and snarky internet blogs are calling attention to it.
But, this time, DC has got the upper hand. By leaking this rumor to Rich Johnston a year before the books will actually hit the shelves, they've made it impossible for tweeters and tumblrs and bloggers all the other ers to talk trash. Could you imagine how it would be received if a snarky blog took this rumor, which is extremely vague and completely unsubstantiated, and wrote something like a top five reasons why it will suck? No one would take that seriously!
Instead, DC will only get good press from this rumor, like this article, and by the time it's okay to write bad things about it, it will be old news. Check and mate, losers!
1. This event would require DC to commit to something for five years.
Sure, it's five years that takes place in a fictional universe, not real time, but let's face it, DC is afraid of commitment. Just look at the Batwoman fiasco, or the dozens of other times in the last few years prominent and talented creators have stormed off DC books or been removed while loudly complaining about DC's constant editorial interference. The company is pretty much as famous for last minute, editorially mandated changes that drive creators off books as it is for making Superman and Batman comics. If DC pulls the trigger on five years of stories, even if those stories all occur off panel, they're going to have a massive case of buyer's remorse.
Just think about it. All of the things that DC would normally force a creator to change at the last minute before a book is printed will just be made real, in an instant, no takesie backsies. The continuity will be written. So when DC suddenly decides that, whoops, it would be bad for cross-branded marketing synergy if character growth is allowed to occur on any of their properties, they're not going to be able to just bully some poor creative team into fixing it before it sees print. They'll have to stick with it, and see where it takes them.
Unless they decide to bully them into fixing it AFTER it sees print. Hmm. Maybe we should rethink this.
Coming up next week: The Top Five Reasons Why Five Years Later WIll Be The Worst Thing in the History of Comics (Hashtag: #BaitAndSwitch)