In September, everything in the New 52 universe will go back to ground zero.
In an event that has been rumored for a while now, all of The New 52 ongoing titles that are published in September will be numbered issue #0 in an event DC Entertainment is calling "Zero Month."
Timed to the one-year anniversary of DC's massive reboot of its entire fictional universe, Zero Month will feature stand-alone stories that tell something from the history of the team or character — from before the relaunch.
"[Zero Month] is not just about origins," co-publisher Jim Lee told Newsarama. "It's really about reveals, and it's really about sparking continued interest in new storylines. So it gave a lot of freedom to the creative teams to either do origin stories that they hadn't done before, or plant seeds for future storylines."
DC Universe Presents #0 will feature four 10-page stories that focus on the untold history of Hawk and Dove, O.M.A.C., Mr. Terrific and Mother Machine, which were all central characters in comics that were canceled in May.
Among the #0 issues released in September will be four new series that will replace four canceled series. (One of the series that is ending after its August issue is Justice League International, but the other three have not been announced.)
The four new series are Talon, written by James Tynion IV and co-plotted by Scott Snyder with art by Guillem March; The Phantom Stranger by co-publisher Dan DiDio with art by Brent Anderson; Team Seven by writer Justin Jordan with art by Jesus Merino; and Sword of Sorcery by writer Christy Marx and artist Aaron Lopresti (with back-ups by Tony Bedard and Jesus Saiz).(See our separate story for more details on the new series.)
In October, the four new series will continue with issue #1, while the original New 52 series will return to their previous numbering from August. October will also presumably see DC kick off some of the events that Newsarama outlined last month, including the Green Lantern "Third Army" event.
That will start the road toward DC's upcoming event Trinity War, which Lee said will start a "year and a half" after the launch of The New 52 — meaning it should start soon after the beginning of 2013.
Lee also indicated that Trinity War will impact the entire DCU, and September's Zero Month is part of the publisher "getting all the ducks in a row" before that "major" event begins.
Newsarama talked to DiDio and Lee about the Zero Month event and why DC is taking this step upon the one-year anniversary of its line-wide relaunch.
Newsarama: Dan, what was the thought behind all of these different series taking this major break after 12 issues and going back to something in the characters' past?
Dan DiDio: When we started The New 52, we started on a different footing with so many different characters. Some characters started into their careers. Some started at a brand new starting point. Some characters were a complete reboot. And some characters had threads of storylines that might have been reminiscent of things that occurred before relaunch of the series.
And in doing so, we wanted each character and story and series to find its own footing and its own way. But we also knew there might be questions asked about how these characters came to be, especially when we started in the middle of their story.
So what we wanted to do is create a month where we basically put everything on equal footing and reviewed everything on the same level, and be able to either tell an origin or reveal something that is integral to who that character is and what that character is about in that story.
Newsarama: Jim, as you thought about how to mark the occasion of the one-year anniversary of The New 52, why did this event make sense?
Jim Lee: Because it's in keeping with the idea behind The New 52, because Zero Month is all about revealing new things about these characters, and keeping the storylines fresh and exciting. What I like about the Zero Month is that it's not just about origins. It's really about reveals, and it's really about sparking continued interest in new storylines. So it gave a lot of freedom to the creative teams to either do origin stories that they hadn't done before, or plant seeds for future storylines.But again, the main theme of it is new, new, new. It's about creating excitement to keep the fans coming into the stores week after week. Keeping that excitement level is one of our primary missions behind The New 52.
Nrama: There are also a lot of hints being dropped for upcoming events, and they look like they might begin in October. We're also getting close to the start of "Trinity War." Is Zero Month the calm before the storm?
Lee: Yeah, in a sense. We have plans. New 52 wasn't the only thing we had planned when we were putting together the New 52 initiative last year. We had this planned out for two to three years.
So yeah, I guess you could say Zero Month is the calm before the storm. But that was by design.When you do something as big and as potentially seismic as The New 52, we knew we didn't want to make it an event where everything was tied together where readers were forced to buy every single book. It really about, hey, these are all stand-alone concepts and characters that exist in the New 52 and show off our diversity and the breadth of the genres we tackle with these characters.
And I think once that was established in the first year, the seed that we planted with Pandora and the Phantom Stranger, leading into "Trinity War," takes us into our first major, big event that impacts the entire DCU.
So it's really about "getting the ducks in a row" and setting up this awesome storyline, and paying it off. And that's been the plan from the start.
So I think your assessment of it is correct. And ultimately, I think people are going to be very, very pleased with "Trinity War" because we took the time to set it up over the course of a year and a half.More from Newsarama:
- Piecing Together DC's Mysterious FREE COMIC BOOK DAY Issue
- DC's September: ZERO Issues? THIRD ARMY? JLA Shake-up?
- ALAN SCOTT is Gay; Other Gender, Race Changes Coming to DC
- GEOFF JOHNS Takes GREEN LANTERN Toward THIRD ARMY Event
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