DC Unashamedly Mocks Its Own Habitual Reboots and Character Inaccuracies
Published on March 9th, 2023 | Updated on March 9th, 2023 | By FanFest
Although fans may never have access to a stable iteration of Aquaman, this inconsistency is all part of DC Comics’ remarkable 85-year legacy and adds an element of excitement.
DC Comics’ recent Aquaman story hilariously addresses their tendency to continuously reboot characters, especially our beloved King of the sea. Even though other superheroes have been subject to this treatment as well, it would appear that no one has changed more with each new decade than Aquaman – something his fellow superhero Harley Quinn is quick to point out!
Since the 1980s, DC Comics has established a reputation for its willingness to reboot its continuity – an inclination that has become even more extreme over the years. DC’s continuity reboots have given rise to a plethora of classic stories, spanning from the iconic universe-wide crossover Crisis on Infinite Earth — revolutionizing superhero comics for generations — and beyond. In 2011, DC Comics delivered a sensational story arc known as Flashpoint. This iconic tale radically rebooted their universe and ushered in the New 52 era – an alternate timeline where beloved heroes were reimagined from their very beginnings. These constant reboots have resulted in a myriad of different personality changes for DC’s most well-known characters throughout the years.
Aquaman is a prime example of this phenomenon, and Harley Quinn cleverly alludes to it in “Splendor in the Foam” from DC’s Harley Quinn Romances #1 by Ivan Cohen, Fico Ossio, Sebastian Cheng, and Carlos M. Mangual. Harley Quinn has an interesting and unique encounter with a group of superheroines, who each have their version of the story regarding their past relationships with Aquaman. In each narrative, Aquaman not only sports a new costume, but also an entirely distinct persona. Harley inquired if their tales were referring to the same individual: “Do these stories date back before Crisis? After Flashpoint? Related to Dark Crisis somehow? That’s a big deal.”
Although Harley Quinn doesn’t always appear to be paying full attention, she’s rarely mistaken in her judgment. This duality is a cleverly subtle joke that also carries real insight. DC has had a history of joking about its reboot and inconsistencies in the past, however, this Aquaman narrative is an ideal opportunity to showcase just how amusing those inconsistencies may be when framed with the proper perspective. By using phrases familiar to both fans and trade professionals when referencing DC’s various eras—including the just-concluded Dark Crisis event—DC is sending out a clear signal to its readership.
Even though fans may never get to experience a consistent Aquaman, inconsistency is all part of DC’s ongoing 85-year legacy – and what makes it so thrilling! Not only has this long history impacted numerous characters’ stories over time, but it also influences the female roles within this amazing storyline. When a publisher has been in business as long as this one, with many creative minds and characters involved, it can be difficult to keep every character consistent over time. With DC Comics embracing its chaotic past, readers and creators can both revel in the entertainment of this convoluted history and make it part of their timeless journey.
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