Today over on the DC Comics Blog, DC announce a major publishing initiative for 2010 – Earth One. An all new series of graphic novels, featuring DC Comics' biggest characters: Superman and Batman. They'll be publishing two graphic novels for each character. Superman: Earth One will be written by J. Michael Straczynski with art by Shane Davis, and Batman: Earth One will be written by DC superstar Geoff Johns and his long time Superman collaborator Gary Frank.
This announcement is interesting for a few reasons:
- This is the first time, as far as I know, that Geoff Johns has tackled Batman in a dedicated fashion
- These projects are NOT monthly books, rather graphic novels, and the line of Earth One books is described as a "Series of OGNs" – could this be the beginning of a format shift at DC Comics?
- Finally, for you continuity nerds, this is a NEW Earth, with a NEW continuity – no messy history to bog it down
Now obviously this is an attempt to reach the book market, as well as casual comic fans, which I cannot criticize at all. Self contained stories by some great creators with characters that we all know and love? That's not a bad thing. If the history of the DCU and the continuity of each character is important to you, then that's okay too, as far as I can tell those aren't going anywhere.
But I can't help but to think and wonder if this isn't the second attempt at what they originally planned/hoped to do with the All-Star line, which ultimately gave us Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's epic run on All-Star Superman, but All-Star Batman with Frank Miller and Jim Lee was riddled with lateness and there has yet to be another All-Star book since. Maybe DC has learned from those books and this graphic novel format with complete stories is what they came up with.
Check out some art from the books:
So what's the verdict? Does this mean the death of the monthly at DC? Are you up in arms over ANOTHER series of continuity to follow? Or are you psyched just to see Geoff Johns take on Batman?
UPDATE: Check out the official interview about these books with J. Michael Straczynsi and Geoff Johns at Ain't It Cool News.