DC Comics' Proposed "5G" Initiative: What are Your Thoughts?

While we don’t know exactly who’s pushing what behind the scenes, it seems that he was at least partly responsible for the diverse title lineup of New52, and the smaller initiatives since to push new characters, mostly to no avail. I think you keep trying and you’ll find a few that will pay. He also is reportedly responsible for turning Heroes in Crisis from a PTSD story into Wally kills people and has been tagged with wanting to kill off Nightwing more than once. And clearly editorial has let the line lose the focus it had following Rebirth.


Like the idea-but have the same worries. With the multiverse-these should be able to be done to check viability-or maybe just try 5G approach exclusively via digital on this site.

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If it’s a New 52 style reboot, I’m hugely uninterested. If it’s just giving new characters a chance to don the mantles of the greats, I’m fine with it. It will be temporary. The stories will either work or they won’t, and it will probably be over within a year certainly within three. I’m old enough that three years is not too long to wait.

The reason I don’t like the New 52 style stuff is that it was poorly executed and threw out older continuity. I believe continuity to be a strength of the medium not a weakness. I’m skeptical that any of this would be likely to bring in new readers in a meaningful way.

Why don’t they just set aside a couple of kid friendly and/or less continuity focused books for characters like Batman and Superman. That seems perfectly reasonable.


@msgtv After all that and more, I’m baffled by people still giving him the benefit of the doubt. I guess if they don’t pay attention to the business side, one announcement is as good as another. I’ve heard that the “old Dan”, that wanted Grayson dead and all that, is “gone”, but I’m keeping skeptical on that. There’s a lot that needs to be done to win back my trust and patronage. The fact that their timeline so far includes “Cassandra Cain as Batgirl” gives me a little hope maybe they’re making smarter decisions, but those are few and far between in the Didio era. Cass is also a character screwed over by Danny-boy (it’s not confirmed, but I suspect he ordered her turn to evil), so I tend to keep my expectations low when it comes to DC and smart decisions.

@BatWatch It seems they’re just passing mantels for the time being. If they’re smart, they’re going for a more short-term basis for now, gauge reactions and all that. Kind of like how they’d have a 4-6 issue mini to an obscure character to test the waters for their own ongoing. They’d be fools to expect worldwide icons to be instantly forgotten for some relative newcomers. The New52 was their chance to do a separate continuity alongside the post-Crisis one, actually use that Elseworlds label on a monthly basis, but they went in a different direction, and it was a long time before any of them, Didio in particular, even entertained the idea that the fault was theirs (and not old readers or digital options or whatever).

I wonder, if they set aside a line of comics that were $1.99 and aimed at younger readers, but not belittling, with a kind of “take it or leave it” approach to the mainline continuity, if that would improve sales?


I mean, supposedly says he gets Nightwing now, but if the reporting is true that King pitched Heroes in Crisis as a self contained PTSD story and DiDio insisted it include Wally West of all flipping people as a mass murderer you kinda loose the benefit of the doubt. And for me, it was such a powerful book before that.


Haven’t read HiC, but it’s my understanding that King said it’s all him. It’s possible that it’s mostly him, and he intended some hero to be the killer, and Didio suggested/demanded it be Wally because “hee hee, Crisis story means dead Flash”, or he again wants to screw up a character her doesn’t like. Maybe there’s some kind of NDA that prevents writers from pointing out the dumb idea they wrote was actually Didio’s (that would explain a lot).
Yet, thinking on the matter from a different perspective, I could see it being King’s idea, if he wanted the revelation to have serious impact. If he’d created a new hero to be the killer, it may’ve been too obvious, whereas Wally’s fall from grace is meant to say something about PTSD.

That having been said, I don’t think it was a good idea, unless it happened to an Elseworld’s Wally, where I think it may have the same effect King intended. They’ve basically created yet another problem to fix, and even DC’s attempts to fix things can be troublesome.

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Wally did loose the most. His entire family didn’t even exist. But, he’s such the wrong character to completely go off the rails like that. Even if they don’t have to sign an NDA, you want to keep in-house stuff in-house. I recommend you check the series out as it drops here. Parts of it were very impactful to me, but the landing was a miss.

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I’d think you could easily tell stories in these gateway books that are just continuity neutral. Most things in Gotham and Metropolis are pretty constant, so just tell simple stories that don’t require an in-depth knowledge of an ongoing story arc. The medium existed for forty years without much ongoing stories; it can be done again.

I would never have been a fan of replacing the mainstream post-COIE continuity. I just don’t see the value in it. I could have been less critical if it had been better executed, but I’d never appreciate throwing out characters stories. I much prefer little soft reboots to tweak problem areas rather than the elimination of decades of past storytelling in the vain hope that non-comic book readers will suddenly flock to the comic book stores to start buying 52 new titles, and of course New 52 didn’t even really succeed in a clean slate since they split the baby by never even clarifying what has and has not happened. It was just all dumb.

One thing that really annoys me is that the few successes of the New 52 didn’t really come from the New 52. All of them could have been done just as well or better with past continuity and minor tweaks. It added nothing.


I think most of us agree, throwing out continuity (instead of addressing it) basically gives a big middle finger to all the people who actually read and care about the characters.

DC’s logic is for new readers to have a super easy entry point. But let’s look at that theory for a moment. New readers don’t have the excitement about entering into a larger world. For example, if Doctor Who launched without the original decades of back story, it’d be a really stupid story about some alien riding around in a police box that hasn’t existed since the 60’s.

Without back story, James Bond is just another action movie. The MCU took a decade to build (not a six month miniseries) - try watching Endgame without knowing any of the characters. The latest Star Wars movies don’t stand on their own; they’re standing on the original trilogy.

Every successful franchise is built on continuity. Why would DC throw away the most important ingredient?


My theory? It’s easier on the likes of Didio and certain writers. I won’t deny the possibility some people are turned off by the “years of continuity”, but as has been mentioned previously, there are ways around that. However, if Didio can relaunch a title or two with a “#1”, which do see high sales most of the time, if I’m not mistaken, he can make just enough money that Warner Bros. doesn’t fire him.
As for some writers (not all), I’m convinced there are those that think their takes are more special than it is, and sometimes ditching continuity is better for them, even if things really were written better before.


I completely agree on certain writers (not all). I personally think it smacks of lazy writing (“I don’t know how the previous writer was going to tie off the loose ends, so screw it.”).

As far as #1’s and how the market reacts to such things, I totally get it. But look at something like Hellboy (I’m not a reader, but it’s a good example). Mignola produces one storyline at a time. He’s constantly starting over with a new #1. But he never jettisons the past continuity. And his stories don’t necessarily come out in chronological order. So it’s relatively easy for a new reader to join in without the burden of all previous continuity.

And if you don’t like that example, look at TV. Most seasons are relatively self contained. Sure, there’s some links to the past. But on the whole, new viewers can join in easily at the beginning of a season (which is a new #1).

So if DiDio is to blame, it appears he’s not a smart man. He could get the high sales, new readers, and keep the existing fan base happy.


I think Didio is largely to blame. Jim Lee and Geoff Johns, fellow architects of the New52, get to share in some of the blame, but Dan was the EIC at the time, and reported had wanted to reboot everything for a while. There is a lengthy essay I recommend reading, if you already haven’t, called “The Case Against Dan Didio” that delves into many issues that arose from him being placed in charge. It paints quite a picture.


I’m not a fan of replacement for previously stated reasons, but I especially don’t want more “hero steps away to live life until they learn who they really are and being a hero is their true calling”.
I would rather something like this be a long form Elseworlds (which really needs to come back). I’m not saying it’s original, but do it like The Leftovers but take time to flesh it out. I was intrigued by HiC and thought the idea of exploring ptsd was excellent. Since that never really happened, let’s try it again but focus on the perspective of humanity like a Marvels approach. As I get older I’m more interested in people before after these events. Just imagine how many times the average John Doe has had his history reversed and altered. “I was adopted in Connecticut but now I live in Russia? I was married to my childhood sweetheart but now I’m a single gay man with a prosthetic rocket leg? Wait, didn’t I use to be German but now I’m from the Philippines? Where did my kids go?”
Just bring Elseworlds back. Make it monthly, yearly, anthology, whatever. Then you can replace and have diversity with legacy. Just tell stories outside of continuity instead of constantly shattering continuity for a short lived experiment. Some of the most highly regarded stories are acknowledged as (mostly) out of continuity.


I agree with this approach. Dark Knight Returns was originally a “possible future.” And The Killing Joke was originally an Elseworld (before they had adopted that term).

If these titles were flops or the fans hated them, DC could easily say, “Chill out. It’s not part of our regular continuity.”


7.99 a pop for the old characters, superman batman etc moving to black label

I’ve been following The Year of the Villain (Including Metal, Batman Who Laughs, Batman/Superman and Infected) book by book and I’m confidant this is a universe ending Crisis.

What @dahfh said makes sense…

Mostly adults buy comics these days, so I can see our heroes going to a more mature Black Label while DC reboots or reinvents the Charicters…maybe doing something with Legion…

I just hope they don’t screw up appealing to the younger crowd with the same Try Hards that crashed with Leto’s look and destroyed the looks in Birds of Prey.

I love the legacy and generational aspect of DC, but there seems to be a concentrated effort to hang on to the silver age versions above others, Barry & Hal in particular. I feel like there’s a lot of recycling going on at DC (villain focus, Batman replaced, Superman’s identity revealed) and not enough forward momentum. No judgement on 5G yet, but Rebirth was working so well-I was picking up double what I am now-it seems a shame to have moved away from what was working.


I am hoping your right I really do but we shall see

Indeed and you’re right about that

Like you said in the original post, Marvel tried this and it failed. I don’t get why DC would want to do the same. I’m perfectly okay with new characters taking on roles of established heroes, but not when it doesn’t feel organic. A line wide event where most heroes will be replaced to push sales? That’s not a good way to do this…