DC Generations event returns reimagined with the homecoming of "the original" 1939 Batman

(Image credit: Ivan Reis/Joe Prado (DC))

DC's Generations event is finally getting a proper start this January but seemingly reimagined in Generations: Shattered #1, an 80-page one-shot priced at $9.99.

The original event was put on hold due to comic book distribution delays due to COVID-19 and a major change in DC's executive ranks in the late winter and spring. 

"A threat of cosmic proportion to DC's newest (and oldest) universe compels one of the most unusual groups of heroes ever assembled to take on the most mysterious foe they have ever encountered," reads DC's description for the one-shot. "Join the original Batman, Kamandi, Starfire, Sinestro, Booster Gold, Dr. Light, Steel, and Sinestro in their quest to save the universe before time runs out!"

(Image credit: Ivan Reis/Joe Prado (DC))

The mention of "the original Batman" and the throwback Dark Knight featured on the cover point to the usage of Bill Finger and Bob Kane's Batman as originally designed-and-debuted in 1939's Detective Comics #27. That costume has been tweaked numerous times over the years, as has the continuity of the character. So by using the word "original," DC seems to be inferring the modern Batman is not, continuity-wise, the same as the original from 1939. 

Holy retcons, as Robin would say.

Generations: Shattered #1 is written by Dan Jurgens, Robert Venditti, and Andy Schmidt, with art by Ivan Reis, Bryan Hitch, Kevin Nowlan, Aaron Lopresti, Fernando Pasarin, Paul Pelletier, and unnamed others. It's scheduled to come out January 5, 2021.

While this is the first standalone part of whatever 'Generations' has become, Scott Snyder and Bryan Hitch's short story in Wonder Woman #750 was considered a prelude to the event in its original form.

And September 15's Detective Comics #1027 will include a short titled 'Generations: Fractured' written/drawn by Jurgens (with an art assist by Nowlan), which appears to be the first chapter of the event in its new form. 

"[This story] pits Batman against a would-be gang of museum vandals, led by Calendar Man," reads DC's description of that short in Detective Comics #1027. "As the Dark Knight tries to stop him from torching priceless artifacts, a mysterious flash of light appears to break reality, and Batman finds that everything is different in Gotham, as he's transported back to 1939!"

Excerpt from Detective Comics #1027

Excerpt from Detective Comics #1027 (Image credit: Dan Jurgens/Kevin Nowlan (DC))

Originally announced in February for a May 2020 debut as part of Free Comic Book Day, Generations was then described as "the charge towards DC's future" and would "spotlight DC's superhero heritage, while revealing secrets that will shape its future!" 

Planned as a series of five monthly specials, the publisher announced Generations was intended to retcon DC continuity into one streamlined timeline and add new elements to DC's mythology.

"The Generation series of specials are built to bring the new DC timeline to life," DC's then-co-publisher Dan DiDio said in mid-February. "....we’ll be shining a spotlight on the 80-plus-year publishing history of the DC universe while charting the course for the bright future of DC's characters. All of our greatest stories and events will create the backdrop and context for the great new adventures we have planned. Everything counts, and we guarantee there’ll be surprises along the way!"

(Image credit: Dan Jurgens/Kevin Nowlan (DC))

Overseen by Didio, his departure in late February, followed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, led to a recalibration of DC's plans according to Death Metal writer Scott Snyder.

DC has not announced a revised overall plan for Generations including whether it will exist beyond this December one-shot but Newsarama will keep you informed as news develops.

And stay tuned to Newsarama for DC's full December 2020 solicitations, coming later this month.

Generations is intended to make a big impact with the DCU - read our list of the 10 DC events which did actually make a big impact when they were released.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)