I spotted this while reading the comments on an article about Moore's aborted Twilight of the Super-heroes crossover, and I think it has a pretty prescient analysis of the New 52.
"...the fact remains that by far the larger part of DC's continuity will simply have to be scrapped and consigned to one of Orwell's memory holes along with a large amount of characters who, more than simply being dead, are now unpeople.
I believe this is dangerous for a couple of reasons. Firstly, by establishing the precedent of altering time, you are establishing an unconscious context for all stories that take place in the future, as well as for those which took place (or rather didn't take place) in the past. The readers of long standing, somewhere along the line, are going to have some slight feeling that all the stories that they followed avidly during their years of involvement with the book have been in some way invalidated, that all those countless plotlines weren't leading to anything more than what is in some respects an arbitrary cut-off point. By extension, the readers of today might well be left with the sensation that the stories they are currently reading are of less significance or moment because, after all, at some point ten years in the future some comic book omnipotent, be it an editor or the Spectre, can go back in time and erase the whole slate, ready to start again." - Alan Moore
So, obviously, that happened. Stephanie Brown? Does not exist (yet). SHE IS AN UNPERSON (whatever that means). She's a victim of the "unconscious context" which means that much of what we believe occurred did not, and everything that is to come will be haunted by the events of Flashpoint in not all good ways.
Many readers DO feel that their years of involvement with the characters of New Earth was wasted. I don't, but many did and do. The oft-heard "I'm switching to Marvel!" threats are testament to this, though they are easily doubted.
Likewise, there were several books (like JSA) that ended up with plot lines that were never resolved because of an "arbitrary cut-off point." And again, unless we take a very lax "any DC comics are good DC comics" approach to reading comics, there is always the threat of another shakeup or reboot. Julius Schwartz said often that a shakeup like his Silver Age reinventions of the Flash and Green Lantern, is necessary every ten to twenty years. I don't necessarily agree, but then there are compelling arguments to support him that I probably don't even have to make... so I won't.
As the comment which drew my attention to the quote pointed out, most of us probably wouldn't care so much about having continuity rebooted, if the writing had been good enough to support that reboot.
If I may name some names, I have been highly dissatisfied with the work of Rob Liefeld, Ann Nocenti, Scott Lobdell, J.T. Krul... Even Judd Winick isn't writing up to snuff (and now, off he goes). Fortunately, the majority of the key players have solid writing on their books, but the extremes are far too binary. It is either good or it is awful. There are fortunately those books like Batman which rise up above even the good books, but the bad books are very bad, and they erode away at the trust we give DC in reading their books after they have demanded a significant amount of that trust in rebooting the continuity we have grown to love over the last 20 to 30 years, in some cases.
I will stick with DC invariably, but I can certainly understand why others haven't, and Alan Moore has perfectly explained why.
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