Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston is suggesting that one of DC’s post-Flashpoint series will be titled Justice League Dark – and that it’ll just be one of multiple titles to be retitled with Dark somewhere in the new name. Ignoring, for a second, the “Wait, didn’t Marvel do that back in 2009?” thing (Because the answer is “Yes”), this rumor made me wonder something that sounds ridiculous, but not exactly impossible, for DC’s much-anticipated September relaunch for the DCU line.
What if the DC Universe doesn’t get re-established at the end of Flashpoint?
We’ve all assumed that it would, and have all been thinking that everything we’ve seen in Flashpoint is an alternate timeline story that will have some kind of effect on the regular DCU afterwards. But what if that effect is that the DCU can’t be restored, as such, and that we’re stuck in the Flashpoint world, or some other, midway point between the regular DCU and Flashpoint DCU, for good – or, at least, for longer than expected?
There are many, many reasons why this wouldn’t make sense (It completely ruins Grant Morrison’s larger Batman plans, it makes the groundwork for Aquaman, Firestorm, Hawkman and Swamp Thing from Brightest Day, and the JLI from Generation Lost, entirely worthless), but it would be the kind of resolution that would genuinely surprise – and anger – fans, and potentially give Flashpoint the “Today, Everything Changes” gravity that the series has been promising since the hype really started up.
Plus, we know that DC loves to follow up event crossovers with long-running “aftermath” books: Infinite Crisis begat 52, and Blackest Night begat Brightest Day. What better long-term story hook is there than having your characters know that their reality is wrong, and have to work to restore everything to the way it’s supposed to be? Admittedly, that’s what we all think Flashpoint is going to be about, one issue in, but we could be wrong about that (What if Flashpoint is actually all about getting an alternate Justice League – a Justice League Dark, if you will – together? We know that Project: Superman will introduce Kal-El, after all – What if he’s the key to bringing the team together, a la The Nail?).
I’m not convinced this is anything that DC would seriously consider, if only because it feels like it kills the licensing/merchandising of popular versions of characters for as long as the story runs. But it does make me wonder whether Flashpoint‘s speed – five issues in four months – is less of a quick self-contained event, and more just the launching point of something much, much more long-term.