The pitch, titled To Infinite Crisis and Beyond, laid out the long term plan for the DC Universe and it covered the proposed direction and tone of the universe, the five storylines leading up to Infinite Crisis, the Infinite Crisis mini series, the One Year Later jumps, and the All Star Comics line. The opening two paragraphs of the document sell it best;
"Welcome to what we in Editorial are calling, "The Grand Plan." Our goal here is to build on the sales and creative achievements of 2004, further redefine our comic line by bringing into focus a distinct vision and direction for the DCU while we re-establish ourselves as the number one comic publisher in 2005.
Throughout 2004 we have concentrated on working through the challenges of improving our books in the current market. After strengthening our creative teams on our series we will now begin to build a more cohesive universe for our characters. It is our belief that it is the sense of community and continuity is the missing piece of the puzzle for achieving sales dominance."
Now, since this is 10 years later, we all know how this turns out. The five storylines become four mini series (Amazons Attack being pushed out due to concerns of it being anti U.S. Army at the start of the Iraq War), the One Year Later jumps are met with mixed success, the All Star line has its success as well but never reaches its full potential and while we never achieve total sales dominance, 2006 was one of DC's best years on record.
So, this plan, unlike the previous, was accepted completely, and any changes that occurred, were more part of evolution and the creative process. Editorial field marshalls were assigned to each of the storylines to maintain pacing and continuity across the line and, all in all, everyone was excited and ready to go. We sold the story inside the company and all departments were lining up their support. Now it was time to sell it to the outside world.
Which made me want to go back to 2004 myself and see what I wrote at the time…
Next year, DC is planning a new "Crisis" series for the 20th anniversary of "Crisis On Infinite Earths," by Geoff Johns and Phil Jiminez. I hear the antagonist is a character who wants their old version of Earth back again.
I've been told the whole of the DC Universe will jump forward by a year. All the titles will have completely new setups as a result, and the new Crisis series will gradually explain what happened to leave all the characters in the state they are after the year gap.
And that the first books to launch out of that will be the previously mentioned Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely in August, Batman by Jim Lee and Jeph Loeb, and Wonder Woman by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver.
But despite the story being well sourced, someone else equally well sourced is throwing water over it. And not just over the possibility that the new books don't spin out of Crisis 2, but that the book is about something else entirely. Or am I just hedging my bets?
The Crisis 2 saga continues. Written by Geoff Johns, drawn by Phil Jiminez, it appears that "Identity Crisis" and other events across the DC Universe will provide plot points that will all tie into next summer's extravaganza at DC. Look for a number of books to start kicking things off.
An early indicator will be in the "Adam Strange" series. Keep your eyes open over there for something that will kick off Crisis 2… whether in the book, or on a spinoff series entitled "The Rann/Thangar War."
I'm told other events contributing to the overall revamping and adrenaline injection of the DC Universe include "Day of Vengance," "Villains United" and "Amazons Attack."
Can something be cancelled before it's announced? It seems so. "Amazons Attack," a DC Universe mini-series previously greenlit is now changing colour due to an altered editorial direction.
Not too bad…. though not everything on those links stands up quite as well!