From DC’s Source blog:
Starting next year, DC Comics will unveil SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE and
BATMAN: EARTH ONE, two graphic novels spotlighting the most powerful
heroes of the DC Universe, with their first years and earliest moments
retold in a standalone, original graphic novel format, on a new earth
with an all-new continuity.
Return to Smallville and experience the journey of Earth’s greatest
adopted son, as he grows from boy to Superman in SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE by
J. Michael Straczynski and artist Shane Davis.
Watch from the darkest corners of Crime Alley as a young boy is
struck by unbelievable tragedy that will forge the greatest
crime-fighter to ever stalk the rooftops of Gotham City in BATMAN:
EARTH ONE, by writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank.
…huh. DC’s calling this a very big announcement, but I admit I’m a bit confused. Is this finally DC’s version of Marvel’s “Ultimate” universe? I guess it is, since it’s both a brand-new continuity but both titles are set on Earth One and can theoretically crossover. If so, I think it’s pretty telling that Wonder Woman isn’t joining Bats and Supers on this little endeavor, since her character is so screwed up no one knows what to do with her even if you start from scratch.
But wasn’t DC’s All-Star Comics supposed to be DC’s answer to Ultimate Marvel? I’d say Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman is the definitive
Superman comic, and worth handing to anyone who doesn’t understand how
Superman can be awesome (including me until I read it); sure, Frank Miller’s Batman was the least definitive take on Batman possibly ever, although it was hilariously entertaining. Sure, All-Star was different from Ultimate, but it worked — and I’d have been interested in reading more of ’em. But will DC let Stracynski and Johns play around enough with their two beloved characters enough to make Earth One more than just another retelling of their origins stories?