This is the face of the DCnU:
In a way, this image sums up the DC reboot (Sorry Grey): Firstly, it’s hilarious, I laughed for five minutes straight after seeing this picture. But it’s also slightly confusing, a little frustrating, but all in all, intriguing. Sort of like that smart girl in your class who seems really nice, but not your type, until you see her fall-down drunk at a party being hoisted away by her friends while singing “Come On Eileen.”
Above all else: I’m interested. And I think that’s the most important thing, I think it’s the thing DC was absolutely hoping for. Everyone is talking. Firestorm, freaking Firestorm was a trending topic on Twitter when it’s creative team was announced. So was Teen Titans. Of course the reaction towards one of those things was almost universally positive and the other was oh-so-very negative, but I’ll leave you to guess which was which.
Now of course there are some things about this move I’m not a fan of, but they’re almost always tempered by something I do like:
I don’t like that Dick Grayson is no longer Batman, but I do like that Bruce and Damian are finally teamed as Batman and Robin.
I don’t like that Barbara Gordon is Batgirl again. Other than The Animated Series, I have no real connection to Barbara Gordon in that costume, as far as I’m concerned, Cassandra Cain is Batgirl. I’d have loved to see a Blackbat book, or the continued adventures of Stephanie Brown or even a Barabara Gordon Batwoman book, but they’ve got Gail Simone on the book and she’s no longer wasting her talents on Secret Six and Birds of Prey.
I don’t like the fact that everything is getting a new #1. We’ve all heard the jokes about David Finch’s Dark Knight series, and it seems equally pointless to give one to Batman Beyond as well, but I love the diversity of the #1s DC is launching, literally and figuratively. Voodoo #1? I don’t know who the hell that is but I’m surprised DC is giving her a book. Mr. Terrific, Static AND Batwing getting titles? That’s pretty ballin.
I like that Superman’s underwear are finally on the inside. How did that take 73 god damn years?
More than anything else, I don’t particularly like the timing and things that move insinuates. I went to the comic shop yesterday, despite, y’know, the hotness of the world and incoming solar storm, and I saw the new issue of Red Robin on the shelf and, well, I didn’t see a point in picking it up. I like Red Robin, it’s a book I really enjoy. I love the writing and the characters, but more than anything else, I love the fact that since launch it’s been building towards a larger story. With this reboot, that larger story is never going to come to fruition.
I also don’t see much of a point in picking up Batgirl either, and maybe that’s just me having a bad attitude, but that’s really how I feel. There really aren’t that many DC books I’ll actually be reading until September. Of the first issues of the Flashpoint minis I’ve read, I don’t really plan on picking up the #2s, most of them are pretty atrocious thus far, and other than S.H.A.Z.A.M. Agents there isn’t a single aspect of the Flashpoint world I’ve really given a damn about.
Part of me wishes this had gone down after Final Crisis, the way DiDio seems to have wanted it to. It just seems like a tease to have given us Stephanie Brown as Batgirl, Dick as Batman, infuriated us with Superman walking, tweaking the Wonder Woman book like what, three times in the last few years?
I think the most telling thing about this entire linewide move is the fact that the books that seem to be having their storylines carry over are the ones that haven’t, y’know, sucked: Batman & Green Lantern. The franchises getting the biggest tweaks are the ones that have been fucking terrible since, I wanna say, Final Crisis (and in some cases, OYL). Superman, Wonder Woman, JLA, Teen Titans, Aquaman (and I guess maybe Hawkman and the Flash) All of those are important franchises for DC and they’ve tried very damn hard the last couple of years to make them matter and most of those efforts have been for naught.
But those are franchises featuring characters that I love so I’m hopeful for their futures, and I think in some cases (mostly with Hawkman & Superman) DC is making a smart move to make those titles/characters enjoyable and popular again.
The only question that’s really lingered in my mind about this reboot: How many of these books will make it to 12 issues? Maybe I’m being negative, but all us comic fans know the pain of getting attached to a book only to have it snatched right the hell out from under us. I think we all also know the slight smug feeling of seeing a book announcing and just knowing it won’t make it a year and wondering what the hell the publisher is even thinking.
JLA #1 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee
Batwoman #1 by J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder
Batwing #1 by Judd Winick and Ben Oliver
Swamp Thing #1 by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette
Wonder Woman #1 by Brian Azzarello #1 and Cliff Chiang
Mr Terrific #1 by Eric Wallace and Roger Robinson
Captain Atom #1 by JT Krul and Freddie Williams II
OMAC #1 by Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen
Batman: The Dark Knight #1 by David Finch
I, Vampire #1 by Josh Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino
Voodoo #1 by Ron Marz and Sami Basri
Sgt Rock And The Men Of War #1 by Ivan Brandon and Tom Derenick.
Those are the books I don’t see making it to 12 issues – and I mean absolutely no disrespect to any of the creative teams involved. With some of them, mainly JLA, Batwoman, The Dark Knight, and Wonder Woman, I either just don’t see those books actually making it to 12 issues in a year or I see a creative team shakeup (As Grey said to me the other day: “There’s no damn way Jim Lee is gonna 6 issues, much less 12”) I just have no faith that Batwoman and The Dark Knight will come out on time
I’m positive we’ll see another Wonder Woman tweaking. That’s just the way of things at this point. I mean, for real, Brian Azzraello? Does no one else remember For Tomorrow?
There are some other books I’m not positive about, but I think their creative teams or starring characters will be enough to stave off cancellation for at least a year. I’m looking at you Red Hood & The Outlaws. No disrespect to Scott Lobdell but that book is going to be coasting on people’s love of a non-smack addicted, bi-armed, Roy Harper.
And I’ve also got serious doubts three black characters can carry books. I’m going the logical route and assuming the most popular of the three manages to hold it down (Sorry Mr. Terrific, I love you but being “the world’s 3rd smartest man” doesn’t really inspire confidence.) I think Jason Rusch should be able to, if some of ya’ll would let go of your Silver Age boners, but I digress.
Regardless, it’s a mildly exciting time to a DC comics fan. Unless you’re my cousin who’s still waiting on bated breath to see what going to happen to Power Girl.
Oh, add Green Arrow to that list too. Because I just noticed he’s wearing his Smallville costume.
Tags: DC Comics, DC Comics Relaunch, Firestorm, Fury of Firestorm, reboot, Teen Titans