The New 52 has been quite a departure from previous DC work in many ways, but I feel that one way it really stood out is that the New 52 finally removed CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS (in any form) from the present mainstream DC continuity. For a quarter century, DC's internal continuity scheme was essentially built around the framework of COIE. Until September, 2011, all DC Comics stories that took place within its main continuity occurred within a timeline that started in the mid-1980s, and no subsequent tweaks or rearrangements (e.g. ZERO HOUR, INFINITE CRISIS, FINAL CRISIS) could remove COIE's indelible stranglehold on continuity.
Then came the New 52, which finally accomplished what everything else didn't: it removed COIE itself.
How do you feel about this? I ask not about the universe that crew out of COIE (so please, folks, no complaints about Wally, Stephanie, Cass, etc.; this really isn't about that), but the very idea that the first great DC crossover event that defined twenty-five years of DC's continuity from 1986-2011 is now truly of no consequence on the present (New 52) continuity.
My thought: I think it's liberating. COIE was my favorite DC event of all time, but after a quarter century of stories that existed in its shadow, I thought it was really refreshing to start off in a new DCU that was not touched by COIE.
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