There has been some debate again, as there was when DC Comics published Before Watchmen, with the publication of Doomsday Clock, as a sequel to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons‘ Watchmen. While with the Metal series, Scott Snyder worked with Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison about introducing elements of their DC Comics into the series, Alan Moore hasn’t wanted DC to publish a sequel at all and for Doomsday Clock, Dave Gibbons discovered the news by reading it on this very website.
It goes back to DC Comics’ decision to abandon its publishing plans originally agreed with Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and exploit the property instead. And receive the brickbats of criticism as a result.
But there was another way. And something that DC Comics could look towards.
First, finish Top Ten Season Two. The sequel to Alan Moore, Gene Ha and Zander Cannon‘s America’s Best Comics series, Season Two by Ha and Cannon, with Moore’s blessing, only had the first four issues published., The final six issues, and enough to give Top Ten a second decent-sized collection and fodder for a future Artists Edition, were not. Cannon has thumbnailed issues worth and will happily show off what was intended at comic conventions. But it’s still a long way from the real thing. So that’s one.
But there’s no Superman crossover. And DC Comics wants a Superman crossover.
So the second idea is Twilight Of The Superheroes. A pitch that Alan Moore sold to DC Comics for a multi-title crossover event, before he walked away from DC, and one that has been stripmined by Kingdom Come, the New 52 and the current look to the Batmen Of Tomorrow, but still remarkably fresh for all that.
Presenting a future of the DC Universe, with the Earth divided into Houses of power, it sees John Constantine negotiating his way around them all with a way to change the future. If he chooses.
The important thing in terms of Twilight is that the Time Trapper successfully sets up his fluke field, which effectively distorts a whole stretch of the timestream from, say, 1990 to the year 2010. With very few exceptions, nothing can get in or out of this Time Tangle. Furthermore, as a result of an effect of the fluke field upon a continuum already sorely abused during the reality-reordering of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, within this bubble of fluke time, numerous alternate realities again become possible, if only for a limited thirty year stretch. Although we won’t be exploring any of these realities save for one in Twilight, the possibilities there for story ideas in other books are limitless. Within the fluke, there are maybe worlds where the imaginary stories happened: what would the world of
Superman Red/Superman Blue be like if you were to visit it twenty years on? Or the world in “The Death of Superman”. Is there a world perhaps like the old Earth-Two or a world in which Dark Knight takes place? As well as opening up a wealth of story possibilities without opening up the attendant can of worms, it also provides a convenient trash bin for every story that DC ever published that didn’t fit in with the continuity. Brother Power? It happened in the fluke. Prez? The fluke. The Rainbow Batman? In the fluke.
Alan Moore considers that DC Comics’ regard to him is that of corporate stalking. Constantly trying to drag him back one way or another to working for them. But Top Ten Season Two and Twilight Of The Superheroes would be a league away from that. There’s no issue of a betrayal of creative intent. And everyone would make money.
Publishing the final issues of Top Ten would bring closure to ABC, and might bring some readers to the rest of the line in backstock, maybe even justify that Sideways Absolute Promethea once promised.
And Twilight Of The Superheroes might put a cap on all those futures of the DC Universe that different titles are warring about, and may help relaunch the Hellblazer title that still seems to be kept around for old times’ sake.
You never know. Dave Gibbons might even draw it.
Go on, DC Comics, at least think about it…