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The Future of the DC Comics Timeline is Uncertain—But that Might Be a Good Thing

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BY May 13, 2020
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On February 21st, just a few weeks before the country shut down due to the Coronavirus outbreak, Warner Bros. ousted DC Comics co-publisher Dan Didio. At the time, Didio was gearing up for the release of yet another relaunch with Generations, which would establish a new timeline for DC Comics. In fact, the new timeline debuted in a backup story of Wonder Woman #750, establishing her as the first known superhero. But Didio is gone, and because of the pandemic, comics were placed on hold until just recently. In the new solicitations, however, there’s no mention of Generations. So, what’s happening at DC Comics?

The Coronavirus Shut Down Was a Good Thing for the DC Comics Timeline

DC Comics Timeline, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, DC Comics, DC Generations, Dan Didio, Coronavirus, Lockdown, Quarantine, Comics, The Batman Who Laughs, Dr. Manhattan, Doomsday Clock, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Free Comic Book Day (Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal, DC Comics)

When Didio exited DC Comics, the first thing I thought of “oh, those poor editors.” They weren’t just starting to build the new timeline for DC Comics; they were at the launchpad. How could they possibly come up with a way out of Didio’s latest relaunch? They needed time. And then, mid-March, that time came. All comic shops closed. The entire world closed. For some productions, however, this was as much of a blessing as it was a curse. And DC is probably in that boat. Starting this week, Scott Snyder’s sequel to Dark Nights: Metal, the event Death Metal debuts. Originally, Generations ran concurrently with Death Metal. Now Death Metal is the summer event, and DC seems to have buried Generations. The lockdown allowed DC to reevaluate their events and priorities.

Forget the New DC Comics Timeline; Death Metal is Much More Exciting Anyway

Wonder Woman, DC Multiverse, Batman, Superman, Justice League, Green Lantern, Flash, Cyborg, Green Arrow, DCU, Dark Nights: Death Metal, Coronavirus, Lockdown, Quarantine, Comics, The Batman Who Laughs, Dr. Manhattan, Doomsday Clock, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Watchmen, Generations (Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal, DC Comics)

In a recent interview with our friends at Newsarama, Snyder’s excitement was more than palpable—it was exploding. He describes Death Metal as a dark but fun story that’s perfect for the times we live in. “It’s meant to say, we’re all in it together,” he said. “The only way through it is together.” He also clarifies that Death Metal makes sure that every DC Comics timeline matters. “ addresses where some of the ideas in the first Metal came from,” Synder explains. The series “ties into really classic DC history from Crisis on Infinite Earths to Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis – all the big, cataclysmic events in DC history.”

And it seems like DC Comics want Death Metal to steer their 2020 line. “DC changed first. Dan left, and on top of that, the line changed in terms of what we were planning after 2020,” Snyder told Den of Geek. “Everything has been fluid, but has stayed what it was. The only thing that changed is the context.”

Where Will DC Go Instead of Yet Another Reset?

DC Comics Timeline, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, DC Comics, DC Generations, Dan Didio, Coronavirus, Lockdown, Quarantine, Comics, The Batman Who Laughs, Dr. Manhattan, Doomsday Clock, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Justice League, Green Lantern, Flash, Cyborg, Green Arrow, DCU, Dark Nights: Death Metal, Dark Nights: Metal (Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal, DC Comics)

Will we see Generations? Maybe. But for something that was supposed to be a significant event, starting on Free Comic Book Day, DC’s been very quiet about it. However, canceling those plans, even if they were ready to print, is the best thing DC can do. With the end of Hell Arisen, the last thing DC needs to do is go back. Death Metal pushes forward while celebrating the past. Every DC Comics timeline reset was just a way to relive the past while claiming everything is new. Marvel might love their #1s, but their timeline doesn’t reset every time they go in a new direction. So, where can DC Comics go next? Anywhere else besides a timeline reset. Even if it isn’t good, at least it will be new.

(Featured Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal, DC Comics)

COMICSDC ComicsBatmanClark GreggDan DiDioDark Nights: Death MetalDark Nights: MetalGeneration FiveScott SnydersupermanWonder Woman

Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.

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