If you've been trying to keep up with the evolving state of DC Comics continuity over the last few months, and you're a little confused, you're not alone. At first, things seemed simple: The publisher would release the crossover event Convergence, then new titles would spin out of that, and we'd discover the new state of DC Comics in the reading of those books.
Then things got a little more complicated with the announcement of "DC You," an initiative intended to diversify the publisher's lineup and bring in more readers of all demographics. That sounds simple enough, but its connection, if any, to Convergence wasn't made clear. Then came San Diego Comic-Con, when DC announced a series of books spinning directly out of the events of Convergence. Though we know there's a Convergence connection there (obviously), how those books might connect to the main DC continuity was hazy.
So, what's the deal? Well, we knew that Convergence restored DC's Multiverse after Flashpoint took it away, and we know that the publisher is using the Multiverse as a bigger sandbox in which they can roll out diverse stories and new takes on old characters. What we didn't know is how much of these new stories would "count" in DC's overall continuity. Co-publisher Dan DiDio didn't make that any clearer when he told Newsarama this on Monday:
"We just came off the convention trail. During that, I made the point to say that so many people are looking for definitive answers on, yes or no: Is it loose continuity or is it tight continuity? Is it going for diversity or is it going for the core line?
"My answer to all of that is going to be yes! We're going for it all!"
That didn't really answer any questions, and it likely irked some comics fans who really love keeping track of what "matters" in their stories and what doesn't. Thankfully, though, DiDio clarified in another interview yesterday:
"I describe it in three concentric circles. At the center, you have the core continuity that drives the story, drives the characters, that really defines what the universe stands for — basically, the films and TV shows strive for it too, that connective world.
"Then you move out from there and you have the stories that are associated with that core continuity but are able to move into directions where they stand alone, but they still feel connected to the core universe, because they share a lot of the basic conceits of the shared universe.
"And then you move out to the furthest circle, and that’s where you find a lot of the more fringe ideas, the more risk-taking, and different types of approaches — being able to try different things with different characters, with different artists, with different voices, different tones. And although they share the names of characters that you’re familiar with, they really take on a life and a direction of their own, and we let them move in that direction so that they can breathe and take their own form."
With the Multiverse restored, it sounds like DC wants to take full advantage of its many variations, and they're going to do it by telling stories with varying levels of continuity importance. What do you think of the new approach?