Sunday, January 19, 2014

New "Secret Origins" Series Likely On The Horizon for April

Recently, I ran across an interesting news item on Bleeding Cool.  Although I've been unable to find any confirmation of this information from any other source on-line, let alone DC Comics itself, that really doesn't matter, at least as far as this post is concerned.  What is important for my immediate purposes is that I have an opinion on the matter that I wish to share with the world.
Secret Origins is a venerable title with a long and storied history in the annals of DC Comics.  It first appeared on a 1961 giant sized one-shot reprinting several then fairly recent origin stories, including those of the Flash, the Challengers of the Unknown, and Martian Manhunter among others.  
The first ongoing Secret Origins series appeared over a decade later in 1973.  This series, which lasted a mere seven issues, like the earlier one-shot, consisted entirely of reprints of previously published material.
After another decade and change, in 1986, following in the wake of its continuity altering maxi-series Crisis On Infinite Earths, DC launched a second regular Secret Origins  series.  Unlike the earlier editions, this series consisted of new material retelling the classic origins of iconic DC characters taking into account changes brought about by the Crisis.  In one instance, the series debuted a new character, the "Golden Age" Fury, meant to take the place of the Golden Age Wonder Woman, who was retroactively wiped from existence when Earth-2 ceased to exist as a result of the Crisis, as the mother of the Infinity, Inc. member also known as Fury. 
Anyway, as reported on Bleeding Cool, it appears that DC is set to launch a third volume of the venerable title this coming April.  Like its immediate predecessor, which existed to clarify and codify the changes of Crisis On Infinite Earths, this rumored new Secret Origins series would feature original material relating the origins of DC Comics' stable of heroes taking into account the changes brought on in the wake of Flashpoint and the re-creation of the DC Universe as the universe of the New 52.  I would assume that the series will begin, as the previous two volumes of Secret Origins have, with a retelling of Superman's beginnings.
This is, as far I'm concerned, a step in the right direction.  At this point, the history of the New 52 DC Universe remains somewhat unclear.  We have had a few stories, such as Grant Morrison's run on Action Comics, the initial storyline of the new volume of Justice League, 2012's spate of Zero issues, and the currently ongoing "Zero Year" in Batman, that take place approximately five or so years ago, at the beginning of the current age of heroes, and then a big black hole between those tales and the ones set in the present day.  A new Secret Origins series would go some way toward filling in that gap.
However, I really think that what DC needs is something more along the lines of 52.  I don't mean a weekly series, though if some anbitious creative team wants to give it a go, they're welcome to try.  You'll remember that in the wake of Infinite Crisis, DC bumped its timeline forward a year, and 52's ostensible purpose was to fill the readers in on what had happened during that missing twelve months.  Something like 5, though I hope DC could come up with a better title, is needed to fill in the missing time between Superman and the Justice League's early days and now.  Hopefully, the new Secret Origins, if it does indeed materialize, will go beyond the basic origin stories tell some of those heretofore unrevealed stories of the "lost" years.

1 comment:

  1. Smells like DC is still trying to milk the fame and notoriety over their New 52 makeover for as much money as they can get. I guess I can't blame them for their business practices, but it doesn't mean I have to drink the cool-aid and get on the bandwagon - to really mix my metaphors.

    Funny you should mention 52. Each issue of that series featured a two-page backup that retold the origins of significant characters,spotlighting some snazzy new artwork from an artist well associated with each respective character, as well as a bullet list of recommended stories for the newly initiated readers.