By feebadger 21 Comments
Back in 1985, there was no such thing as the internet and when you wanted to know something about a comic book, you had to (SHOCK! HORROR!) actually READ the comic book! Amazing, i know. There were no wiki's no Comic Vines, no forums, HELL, you couldn't even look at porn whenever you felt like and had to find some that others had discarded in a bush next to the local railway tracks (if you're British, or a Spaced fan).
But that's somewhat off the topic.
DC Comics answer to this lack of online, streaming information was to release the collosal WHO'S WHO: THE DEFINITIVE DIRECTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE. This was a 24 issue series that served, when combined as an exhaustive character Encyclopedia, featuring new art from favourite artists and tickling the funnybone of many a salivating comic fan.
Two year later they released a shorter update series and then a year later yet another. Marvel had made a similar series a few years previous though in recent years they have favoured an online approach. DC, on the other hand have been fairly lax with their updating of their own properties histories and origins.
So with the launch of The New 52 well and truly up and running, i was wondering if DC had considered releasing a new version of their Who's Who? This thought came to me while i was pondering whether Commisioner Gordon and Batman met under the same circumstances dictated in Batman: Year One whilst in the bath. It struck me that i had no idea and for that matter, probably no one else did either. As much as i love jumping in at the deep end with a title, i think at some point, it would be in the company and the readers interest to know what has gone before. There is a resounding hollowness in the New 52 titles that i just can't shake and for me, it comes down to the fact that these stories and these characters seem to have no historical roots.
I have no problem with DC changing the game plan completely, i think bold ideas should always be attempted, but i think that some time needs to be taken now to start building the foundations of these books and characters and that perhaps a Who's Who type comics series might be the answer.
Of course, this kind of series could only be created if DC had an actual and definite idea of what the foundations of their new universe are and laying out each characters history would involve them showing exactly how forward planning they have been all along. I mean, surely they wouldn't know their own characters new histories now, would they?
DC Co-Publisher Dan Didio has been seemingly forthright in answering questions regarding which events have or haven't happened in the New 52, but are DC willing to be even more forthright in stepping forth and telling us exactly WHAT has gone before?
The real question then would be , would we want them to?
What do you think? Do you want to know hte new history of teh DC universe? Or are you happier to just let it play out as it is?
Would you buy a new DC encyclopedia series or should it be presented as an online wiki made by DC themselves?