Flushing the Flushpoint

Category: Flushpoint
Last article published: 19 October 2019
This is the 86th post under this label
What was the Flushpoint tag all about? Well, it's the name my dear, departed blogger friend Snell (of Slay, Monstrobot) called Flashpoint, the event that heralded the coming of DC's New52. If he took it from someone else, I don't know, but I adopted it and made a meal out of it. While I've used the label since the advent of the New52 to tag articles about New52 versions of characters, most of the 85(!) posts so labelled were about the transition itself, the end of one version of the DCU (retcons and Legion reboots aside, essentially an unbroken timeline since the Crisis on Infinite Earths), and the dawn of another. Can you believe that all happened almost nine years ago?

Not to say the New52 lasted nine years and counting. Maybe some stuff has (and indeed, there were holdovers from the previous continuity like DC Editorial darlings like Batman and Green Lantern), but it wasn't very long before DC backpedaled with their Rebirth initiative, what seemed like a big "OH SHIT WHAT HAVE WE DONE AND CAN WE POSSIBLY HAVE OUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO?!" moment for them. Arguably, they were trying find ways to bring back the babies they'd throw out with the bath water as early as Convergence, and started the ball really rolling with the perpetually late Doomsday Clock, which put the blame of the New52 on Doctor Manhattan's back (DC: The House of Giving Alan Moore the Finger). And because DC couldn't wait for Doomsday Clock to end, it launched Rebirth without any kind of resolution there, and characters just started to come back, or perhaps it's closer to the truth to say the pre-Flushpoint DCU came back, but with some New52 elements staying in... and who can follow DC continuity anymore?

DC Comics in the last decade or more has been typified by one mood and that's IMPATIENCE. Impatience that its movies couldn't gel the way the MCU captured lightning in a bottle. Impatience that books weren't selling. Impatience that a bold new initiative wasn't embraced fully by either new or old fans. Impatience with series that sold less than expected. Directions keep changing, series get cancelled before they can tell even one full story, and a lot of readers took that as their cue to leave, sometimes after just coming back to see what the hoopla was about. Between the New52's launch and the first Rebirth one-shot, there are less than 5 years. And now they're talking about "5G", yet another universe configuration, and it's only been 4 years since Rebirth hit the stands. We'll soon be at the point where the DCU is rebooted every couple months.

So my question then is, what HAS survived from the New52's initial launch? Anything? The long-running series that had controversially reset to #1 have all re-adopted their old numbering scheme the better to hit the 1000 mark or some high hundreds. It's all "event comics" now. It won't sell unless there's a press release attached.

I thought I might make a census of New52 books vs. current books, but it's all been renumbered, the stupid Jim Lee costumes are gone, none of the Wildstorm properties have titles... It was just five years of false starts and cancellations, and for the most part, even the changes that stuck (Batgirl getting the use of her legs back, for example), could all have happened in the former continuity, as they apparently have in the new one. So by all means, skip those five years and it'll actually be easier to get your bearings and jump into the new stories.

Whatever I might have initially wanted to do with this article, it's turned into a belated funeral for the Flushpoint label. Goldfish style.

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