The DC Universe Timeline Is Getting a Reset…Again

author img
BY January 10, 2020

With this the upcoming Wonder Woman #750, we’ll get our first look at the next timeline reset in the DC Comics universe—and it’s starting with a pretty significant change. For most of DC Comics’ history, Superman was always the first superhero. That changed in a major way with the New52, which established Superman operating for five years along with all the other heroes…except for Batman. He had ten years of activity. DC Rebirth muddled things up even more, revealing that Dr. Manhattan of the Watchmen altered their reality…so Superman had been around longer than Batman? None of that matters anymore anyway. In the new DC Universe Timeline, the first hero has been reset to, as you might have guessed, Wonder Woman. But there are still a lot of questions about this shakeup.

Why Is DC Going to Reset the Timeline Again?

Doomsday Clock #12 Dr. Manhattan Eyes Except for Reboots. (Image: Doomsday Clock #12, DC Comics)

Let’s go right to the source—Dan Didio, the Co-Publisher of DC Comics. “There’s been a lot of chatter, myself included, about our timeline,” DiDio said in a Facebook Q&A with retailers. “The purpose is to bring in a baseline of storytelling that brings a level of consistency and more uniformity in the interpretations of the characters. We are looking to build a series of books that will re-tell the history of the DC Universe. In some ways, that will become our bible for the DC Universe.”

They’ve been saying it since Crisis on Infinite Earths in the early 80s. But this is the third time in a decade that someone from DC Comics explained why they need to reset the timeline of heir universe. It’s a tactic meant to bring in new readers, but it’s actually detrimental. All the other stories “still happened,” so if a new reader wants to go back, they’ll see several reboots of the timeline. Luckily, sites like Comic Book Reading Order try to make sense of it all, but so far, they have just under 200 narratives complete. There are 200 narratives a year for a comic book publisher.

This Won’t Be the Last Time DC Resets the Timeline

Big spoiler if you haven’t read Doomsday Clock. Dr. Manhattan gives us glimpses at the future of the DC Comics Universe timeline, which will be reset again…and again…and again. Apparently, Superman is vital to the multiverse, so his origin keeps getting pushed forward, but this doesn’t mean that everyone else’s timeline shifts. So, now, Wonder Woman is the first hero. In the previous incarnation of the timeline, Batman was the first hero. In the future, it might be someone else. Here’s how Manhattan explains it:

Doomsday Clock, DC Universe Timeline Reset, Geoff Johns, Dan Didio (Image: Doomsday Clock #12, DC Comics)

Doomsday Clock, DC Universe Timeline Reset, Geoff Johns, Dan Didio (Image: Doomsday Clock #12, DC Comics)

And if you didn’t catch that—yes, apparently in 2030, Superman will fight Thor and the Hulk, who will kill Doomsday. Maybe Johns sees another bubble bursting soon?

But How Does Doomsday Clock Fit Into the New Timeline?

Doomsday Clock #12 Reggie and the Rorschach Mask Same with the readers. (Image: Doomsday Clock #12, DC Comics)

Since Dr. Manhattan decided to play god (or maybe be God?) to the DC Universe superheroes, how will his confrontation with Superman in Geoff Johns’ Doomsday Clock work when the timeline is reset? According to Didio:

“The schedule on Doomsday Clock made it very difficult to align a lot of product into it. You’ll see a reflection of Doomsday Clock on the timeline. A lot of what’s on the timeline has been driven by story beats that came out Doomsday Clock. It is truly affecting the line in that fashion. It doesn’t line up completely, but the sensibility, the purpose, the introduction of the JSA, the introduction of the Legion of Super-Heroes; those are key aspects of what the timeline is. Once you’ll see it on paper, it’ll all make sense.”

So the answer is…yes? So the story that reset the DC Comics Universe timeline doesn’t fit into the reset DC Comics Universe timeline. But if—

Looper, DC Comics, Bruce Willis, Time Travel, Geoff Johns. Totally understandable, Bruce. (Image: Looper, Tristar Pictures)

I guess we’ll have to wait for the fully revealed timeline to know how things shake out. And by the time we do understand how DC Comics reset their Universe timeline, they’ll have reset it twice more.

Ah, comics. We love you even when you make no sense.

(Featured Image: Wonder Woman #750, Artgermcollectibles.com exclusive cover, DC Comics)

COMICSDC

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.

Leave a comment

Related

DCMovies
The Final Joker Trailer Debuts Ahead of October 4th Premiere

It has been a busy year for comic book movies, from the biggest movie of all-time to Spider-Man’s swan song in the MCU (maybe). Yet, there’s one hotly anticipated film from Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix left on the 2019 slate. The final Joker trailer dropped today, showcasing the burgeoning Clown Prince of Crime’s origin […]

BY Joshua M. Patton August 29, 2019
MarvelTV Shows
Marvel Television to Be Closed Amid Marvel Studios Takeover, Layoffs Expected

Like Thanos, this was all but inevitable. Marvel Television will be closed down and all remaining projects will be rolled into Marvel Studios. This is not a surprise. First, Marvel’s Runaways will end with its third season, and the Ghost Rider series got canceled before production began. There remains only a live-action Helstrom series still […]

BY Joshua M. Patton December 11, 2019
COMICSMarvelMovies
X-Men: Dark Phoenix Review: Good Movie, Imperfect End

The final film in the 20-year X-Men film series debuted. Dive into our X-Men: Dark Phoenix review to see what the film gets right, wrong, and what’s next.

BY Joshua M. Patton June 7, 2019
Left 4 Dead 3 Rumors Ended in Valve Statement

It’s funny to think about the state of gaming rumors today. On the one hand, it’s wonderful having so many people looking into the latest news in gaming. Of course, this is going to come with a number of false rumors and unfounded speculations. Here at Comic Years, we try very hard to not report […]

BY Taylor Bauer January 18, 2020
The Witcher Voice Actor Joins Efforts of Gaming Mental Health Charity

There are a lot of perks to working in Hollywood, or at least the entertainment industry as a whole. In our society, wealth and fame are sort of like a superpower. If you have this power, then you can choose to use your powers for good, or keep them to yourself. In a world brimming […]

BY Taylor Bauer January 16, 2020
Bioshock Collection for Nintendo Switch is Likely Coming Soon

In what seems like a no-brainer, 2K is set to publish a fresh port of the Bioshock Collection for Nintendo Switch. The Bioshock series is one of the most popular franchises of the past 15 years. The games are timeless, heavy on narrative, and a ton of fun. I think I’ve purchased these games on […]

BY Taylor Bauer January 16, 2020
Final Fantasy VII Being Delayed One More Month

If there’s one thing gamers respond well to, it’s a meaningful delay. No sarcasm here at all: if a game gets delayed to make the game better, fans are cool with it. Last year, Doom Eternal got delayed months. Likewise, Nintendo regularly keeps an open dialogue with fans about the status of their games. Almost every […]

BY Taylor Bauer January 14, 2020

Trending

Oscar Isaac To Produce And Star In ‘The Great Machine’ An Adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan’s Ex Machina

An adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan’s ‘Ex Machina’ series of graphic novels is in the works. The film will star Oscar Isaac, who will also produce the film. The title of the film will be The Great Machine. Legendary opted to change the title in order to avoid mixing it up with the sci-fi film Ex Machina […]

BY Emily O'Donnell January 18, 2020
Left 4 Dead 3 Rumors Ended in Valve Statement

It’s funny to think about the state of gaming rumors today. On the one hand, it’s wonderful having so many people looking into the latest news in gaming. Of course, this is going to come with a number of false rumors and unfounded speculations. Here at Comic Years, we try very hard to not report […]

BY Taylor Bauer January 18, 2020
Christopher Tolkien: Master of Middle-Earth

JRR Tolkien is often credited as the father of modern fantasy…because he is. There’s not a single fantasy book today that owes something The Lord of the Rings. Even the fantasy books that are “anti-Lord of the Rings” still can’t exist without what the former. Yet as much as JRR Tolkien’s stories changed the face […]

BY Roman Colombo January 18, 2020
Joe Manganiello Schools Patients in Dungeons and Dragons at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital

He’s been a sexy werewolf, a sexy dancer, and (arguably) a sexy Deathstroke in Justice League. Yet, Joe Manganiello is also a big-time fan of tabletop role-playing games, as well as a board member for hospital for children in his hometown. Last year, Joe Manganiello donated a bunch of Dungeons and Dragons starter kits to […]

BY Joshua M. Patton January 18, 2020