Dan DiDio's Big Red 5G Reset Button: The 5G Files Chapter Sixteen

5G was the attempt by DC Comics to refresh their entire line with a new Batman, a new Superman, a new Wonder Woman and more. But there was an out.

For the last three days, Bleeding Cool has been publishing The 5G Files, looking at the aborted-but-not-quite relaunch/reboot planned for DC Comics in 2020 dubbed 5G or Fifth Generation. Planned by then-publisher Dan DiDio, it would have seen the main characters of the DC Universe, Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne and more, aged up and replaced by newcomers to the roles of Superman, Batman and more, the fifth generation of DC superheroes. But how permanent would this have been? How final? Was there a planned reversal to the original line? Well… yes. Welcome to The 5G Files and The Big Red Reset Button: Chapter Sixteen.

The Big Red Reset Button Planned By DC: The 5G Files Chapter Sixteen
Photo by włodi from London, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

I've told you how 2024 would have seen the original Superman and Batman fighting against the DC Universe, for Clark Kent Superman to get too powerful and for Bruce Wayne Batman to have had to kill them both, leaving the Earth saved and protected by the New Superman, the new Batman, the Justice Alliance and the remains of The Authority. And from this point, telling new ongoing stories starring these characters, with series about Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent reserved to stories set in the past or in non-continuity projects such as the Black Label mature readers like, or the YA and MG graphic novels, animated series spinoffs and kid-aimed titles.

But there was a way out. In the original 5G plans, 2025 would have been the moment where DC Comics and Warner Bros would have judged whether or not 5G had been a success and what response to the new line was. If it was seen as a success, it would continue, But if not, there was a planned Big Red Reset Button in the plot, around the final death of Batman and Superman, which could have wiped out 5G in its entirety and returned Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent to their original roles. Right from the beginning, there was the suggestion that this might not work, it may not be accepted and that DC Comics would have a plan for that,

But, in the end, 5G was dumped, Dan DiDio was fired, and the line continued. Many of the 5G innovations such as the New Superman and New Batman continue, just not as lead books or lead characters. The Justice League is no more, we've had a Batman Vs Robin – just a different one, and characters such as Yara Flor and Jo Mullein are prominent in the current line.

Keep checking the 5G Files tag for more… I was planning to conclude the 5G files today with this piece but there are still a few odds and ends to mention for tomorrow. And for Lying In The Gutters fans of old, consider this story having a green traffic light.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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