Wednesday Comments – Mourning the DCU

I’ve been reading DC Comics for decades so the whole DC Comics Relaunch is very bittersweet for me. I’ve invested thousands of dollars and hours in the continuity. I remember the original Crisis and it’s subsequent relaunch. I’ve got very fond memories of exploring what was then the brand new DCU, seeing characters introduced and reintroduced. It was thrilling.

There are many things that I’m going to miss as the current continuity ends today.

Firstly I’m going to miss Wally West. No one at DC has kept it a secret that they’re focusing all of their creative energy on Barry Allen and that they’ve no plans for Wally West.

Wally West is one of my favorite characters. I’ll never forget seeing him take on The Flash mantle at the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths or my excitement picking up my copy of The Flash #1. And I remember seeking those issues of Teen Titans Spotlight that preceded the debut of his title, because I wanted to have all of his adventures as The Flash.

The Flash was the first book that I collected from the first issue forward and have a complete run. Wally will always be my favorite Flash, because he was my first Flash. And while it strikes me as absurd that there’s no room for Wally in the DCnU, I’m optimistic that it’s a wrong that will be righted at some point down the line.

Speaking of speedsters, I’m going to miss Impulse and Max Mercury. Reading that final issue of Kid Flash Lost and witnessing the death of Max Mercury made me genuinely angry. I was angry enough that I actually had to force myself to finish reading the issue before I allowed myself to react.

And Impulse was just a fun character and title to read. At the recent Baltimore Comic Con I stumbled across issues of Impulse a couple times at various vendors long boxes, and I contemplated picking them up for my best friend’s daughter. She’s into comics and I think she’d really like them. It’s just annoying to have to explain to her that the character no longer exists in the current DCnU.

I’m also going to miss the sense of the legacy in the DCnU. The DCU had legacy because of the Justice Society starting off the entire costumed adventurer craze. When you have the Alan Scott and Jay Garrick inspiring Bruce Wayne and Barry Allen who in turn inspire Dick Grayson and Wally West who in turn inspire Tim Drake and Bart Allen you’ve got an impressive lineage of heroes.

I’m going to miss how Ted Grant was sought out for training by various heroes, like Batman and Catwoman. I’m going to miss the impact that Garrick and Scott had on the DCU. The sense of legacy, as exemplified best by Starman, is one of the things that really made the DCU special.

And I understand that DC will always want Superman to be special and making him the first “super-hero” means getting rid of the Justice Society. It just feels like a “cut off your nose to spite your face” type of situation. I think that to make that one character special, DC is sacrificing the thing that made their entire universe special.

I’m also going to miss the little flourishes that added color to the DCU. Things like Martian Manhunter: American Secrets a mini that shed light on one of J’onn’s adventures in the 1950’s. Or the Justice Experience, as seen in Chase, which showcased heroes from the 1970’s.

And there’s Son of Vulcan and Chronos, two books that added or touched upon corners of the DCU that weren’t ever really highlighted. Those are two book and characters that are likely to swept away with the DCnU. And I’m sure there are other examples of books and characters that I’m forgetting.

Yes, the DCnU will be exciting. It will be fun seeing how pieces fit together and witnessing characters being introduced and reintroduced. The inclusion of Wildstorm elements and characters is sure to spice things up considerably. So it will be fun to watch everything unfold.

But right now, I want to remember the things that I’m going to miss. I want to give them the respect they deserve and mourn their exit from continuity.

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