“We had a lot of great ideas that we were floating around,” Lee continued. “And rather than dumping it all in one month and renumbering the line and going for that really short-term spike in sales, we just naturally gravitated to the story ideas and concepts we love and building them into the mythology – the ongoing mythology – in a very organic way.”
While DC has never been clear on what exactly 5G was, it was rumored to be an ambitious reboot built around the fallout of Watchmen sequel Doomsday Clock and the creation of a new, unified DC Universe timeline. Former Co-Publisher Dan DiDio had revealed glimpses of that detailed timeline in 2019, which organized DC’s entire, 80-year publishing history into four distinct generations, beginning with Wonder Woman’s public debut (Generation 1) and spanning until the present (Generation 4). 5G was reportedly the start of Generation 5, with traditional heroes like Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne aging out of their roles and a younger generation of heroes rising up to take their place.
However, between DiDio’s surprise departure from DC and the quiet cancellation of DC’s Free Comic Book Day 2020 release, Generation Zero, all signs have pointed to DC pivoting away from its 5G plans in 2020. Lee’s confirmation is merely the official death knell for 5G. As Lee makes clear, not all the stories originally planned for 5G are being abandoned, but DC is no longer setting up a widespread reboot of its comic book line. Nor does it sound like Batman and Superman will get to enjoy retirement anytime soon.
A History of DC’s Crisis Comics
That’s not to say we won’t see some sort of new reader-friendly DC relaunch in the near future. As we’ve explored before, a number of perennial DC books are ending in the next several months (Teen Titans, Suicide Squad, Batgirl) while Brian Michael Bendis is ending his runs on Superman and Action Comics and Joshua Williamson is wrapping up his nearly five-year stint on The Flash. At the very least, we’re expecting to see a widespread reshuffling of creative talent in early 2021 and a number of new series announced, even if Lee has previously indicated DC won’t publish quite as many monthly comics as it has in recent years.
Are you disappointed 5G isn’t seeing the light of day? What direction do you want to see the company take in 2021? let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.