I weighed in on the "One Year Later" matter over among the good folks at the inestimable "Comics Should Be Good" blog, but because the internet is abuzz with this Philly gossip, I feel this need to post about it here, too.
Starting the DCU's storyline one year later is a technique called in medias res, pioneered in Classical epic poetry. Its goal is to engage you immediately by starting in the middle of the action and arousing your curiosity about the sequence of events that lead up to it.
It's a basic literary technique, one that many individual comic book stories use. Its use on so large a scale may seem "gimmicky" to some. But let's remember why Crisis and Zero Hero failed: they were more focused on what they were leaving behind than where they were leading.
While those reboots focused on getting rid of dross, they (it seems) did not have a clear enough plan as to what would come after. As a result, the DCU spun out of control almost a-reborning. I live in Washington DC, where this sort of thing happens all the time. Legislators often pass laws designed only to remedy past problems with little thought to the new problems they will cause. This is what comes of "negative legislation" and its focus on what it doesn't want instead of what it does.
I think Didio and DC have a plan for their new world and the fact that we'll be tuning in a year into it confirms that. This will give them the chance to establish the new status quo and spend some time catching us up to it. Since we, and the writers, will have our hands full talking about how we got where we are, I think editorial will have the opportunity to make sure that any new developments in any one title fit into the overall plan for the DCU.
And I'm on board.