I was going to do a rant about Marvel NOW! that I’d toyed around with for a week or so, but then DC went ahead and pissed me off beyond all rational comprehension, so my fair and unbiased view on Marvel’s relaunch will have to wait. For those dieing to know…I actually think that Marvel is making a good decision here, and I’m excited to know more.
At the same time, I’m begging fans that agree with what I’m about to say to hit twitter or facebook or whatever their ranting method of choice is and voice their displeasure. Just like this time last year when the battle cry was about a lack of female creators working on DC’s relaunch, and just like I cried foul about when X-23 was cancelled and Marvel was without any female characters in the solo spotlight, it’s the same sort of deal. The problem now? DC burying fan favorite characters from the modern generation in favor of their ‘iconic’ name brand counterparts.
Hal Jordan really was the first with Green Lantern: Rebirth, and while I wasn’t exactly blogging about comics at the time, it is something I would have torn to shreds in concept. Really, I HATED it. I grew up with Kyle Rayner, he was my Green Lantern, and I didn’t want to see him shelved in favor of Hal Jordan. Now, at first it was a bit painful, but it didn’t take long for Kyle to be established in Green Lantern Corps and essentially still have his own monthly. At the same time, I grew to enjoy the Hal Jordan based core Green Lantern title, and the rest really is history for me. However, had Kyle simply been killed off to make room for Hal, I’d have left and never looked back. Same goes if he had been wiped out by the New 52.
Next up is Flash: Rebirth and the return of Barry Allen. While Hal had long suffering fans that hated the less than ideal way he met his downfall, and there was a loud clamoring for his return…Barry died a hero. Barry had one of those iconic deaths that fans will remember forever, he died saving the universe in a supremely heroic way. On top of that, he was replaced by his former side kick as Wally West grew into his newly acquired role of The Flash. For the next twenty years Wally was THE Flash. There were instantly made classic runs by Mark Waid and Geoff Johns, both of whom really blossomed writing the Scarlet Speedster, and Wally was the Flash of a generation. All the way up until someone decided we need Barry Allen back.
Now, I’m a fan of Geoff’s, and I actually liked Flash: Rebirth, but the Flash series that followed it in the year before Flashpoint was hot garbage that did nothing but reassure me that DC Comics cared deeply about catering to the over thirty crowd of the fanbase. The people who grew up pre-Crisis and would know the Superfriends before they’d know the Justice League. There was no vocal uproar demanding the return of Barry, hell, I’d wager that people wanting Wally back have been more vocal over the last two or three years than the Barry fans had been in twenty five!
So what next? Who else gets changed? Do we get rid of Damien, Tim, and Jason and just say that Dick Grayson has always been Robin? He’s the most iconic one, after all, he was in Superfriends, and he was on the Adam West show, and that’s not even counting that modern audiences would undoubtedly remember him from cinematic master pieces like Batman Forever and Batman and Robin. Nightwing? What’s a Nightwing? Dick Grayson should be Robin! Everyone would know him!
I’d say make Barbara Gordon into Batgirl again, but DC beat me to that, so how about Superboy? Screw having some clone of Superman with a unique powerset, Superboy should just be story about about Superman. When he was a boy. Because what’s more iconic: a teenager in a leather jacket or a black t-shirt with an S logo, or a teenage boy dressed like Superman? I bet most fans would take that second one!
Now, sarcasm aside, sometimes these sort of moves work. Supergirl was a hot bloody mess for years, and while everyone tells me Peter David’s run was spectacular, I haven’t read it. But an Earth Angel that is also a clone or a Matrix or some purple people eater…Kara Zor-El makes more sense. I am completely fine with Kara Zor-El, just like I’m fine with Hal Jordan.
Why did I go back to Hal? Because in some cases, like with Kara, you are stuck with only being able to have one version of the character at the same time. Multiple Supergirl’s would be awful. However, you can have multiple Green Lantern’s, just like you can have multiple Flash’s, and just like you can have multiple Robin’s.
In the current run of the New 52, we have four Green Lantern’s from Earth across three books. We have three Robin’s, two former, one current, and a Red Robin with an explanation (that I don’t hate) for why he wasn’t Robin. So where’s Wally? Why can everyone fit but him?
At the same time, why can’t Steph appear in a book that has no bearing on the New 52? Why is Babs Nightwing? What makes her so damn iconic that anybody is going to buy that book now who wasn’t before just because she’s in it? Is it because her book sells better than Steph’s did? Well, I imagine if there was any sort of actual promotion by the company to draw eyes to that gem that it would have sold better. Instead it was a hidden treasure that part of me seriously doubts the companies own co-publishers have gotten around to reading.
Otherwise they’d be smiling and happily signing off on Steph in Smallville. Instead of having her edited out at the last minute for, what will probably be, a rename and that’s it. I don’t know how much time Q has to go back in and completely re-characterize Nightwing so compensate for her being Barbara Gordon now. So I imagine some name edits, maybe a different hair color, and to rage at how one of my favorite characters was so interchangeable to an editorial office that is only getting more and more out of touch with their target audience as they get older.
So what’s the answer? Really, there isn’t one. There is no right way to go about this situation as a fan. Sure, the obvious thing is what I spent the weekend pushing on Twitter out of rage.
The problem there is that…Smallville is currently the best Superman title DC puts out. Unlike Action Comics it actually makes sense, and unlike Superman it actually feels like something is happening. On top of that, it’s written by one of my favorite writers and despite my rage…I will always support Bryan Q. Miller. He’s too talented, and really, too nice of a guy not to. At the same time, despite that I REALLY don’t like the current Batgirl series and haven’t bought it since…somewhere early on, I also absolutely adore Gail Simone. Gail is one of the nicest people in comics, and I couldn’t in my right mind tell people to boycott her work.
So what’s there to do? #boycottDCComics ? What good would that do? The only real loser when someone quits reading comics out of rage is the person who quit, because Marvel or DC or whoever is going to keep trucking forward whether you’re there or not, and you just rage quit something you actually enjoyed.
Stephanie Brown was is sitting in the number three spot for my favorite DC characters list. I keep one of these lists for pretty much everything, I live in threes. Blame my OCD. Over at Marvel it’s Jamie Madrox, Havok, and Nate Grey. Somehow they haven’t burned me in a few years (let it be known that Marvel was just as terrible with what they did to my former #1 character, Spider-Girl). At DC, however, it’s Kyle Rayner, Booster Gold, and, currently, Stephanie Brown (who pushed Dick Grayson to number four in the process).
So right now I’m in crippling fear that not only is Steph gone for good, but that DC is going to follow up that nut shot with the removal of Booster after JLI ends, and then go for the trifecta and kill Kyle during the Third Army.
Really, if that happened, I’d check out for good. Image has been kicking all kinds of ass lately and I wouldn’t mind reading more out of them.
What I read this week:
- Batman #11
- Grifter #11
- Legion Lost #11
- Resurrection Man #11
- Suicide Squad #11
- Superboy #11
- Avengers Assemble #5
- Avenging Spider-Man #9
- AvX: Vs. #4
- Fantastic Four Annual #33
- New Avengers #28
- New Mutants #45
- Scarlet Spider #7
- Space Punisher #1
- Spider-Men #3
- Uncanny X-Force #27
- Wolverine and the X-Men #13
- Buffy Season Nine #11
- Walking Dead #100
- Smallville Season 11 #10
- Masters of the Universe #2
- Legends of the Dark Knight #6
- Revival #1
- Batman Beyond #9
Top Five Books of the Week:
5. Batman #11
4. New Avengers #28
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #11
2. Avenging Spider-Man #9
1. Revival #1
What I Watched This Week:
- White Collar
- Necessary Roughness
- Anger Management
- Common Law
- Avengers: Earth’s Mighiest Heroes
- The Newsroom
- WWE Raw
The Worst Things I Saw On Shelves:
When I was fourteen the idea of a book where everyone was either naked or half naked and having to fight people, with the artist having to find clever ways to cover the characters up, well, that was awesome to me. Especially in books with classic 90’s female characters. Ravagers tried that last week and the end result was nudity for the sake of nudity. Sure, it looked good, but it wasn’t even funny that it happened. It wasn’t that moment in the first arc of New Avengers where Spider-Woman wakes up and sees that everyone is naked. That was great.
I didn’t hate the Fantastic Four Annual, but I don’t know know why I should care about or want to read about the Clan Destine. I read a mini featuring them once in the late 90’s and didn’t really get it, and I have no real opinion or care for Marvel UK so….was this just to make Alan Davis happy? If it was, I’m actually quite okay with that. I love Alan Davis.
The Best Things I Saw This Week:
I actually really enjoyed American Reunion. I mean, obviously, it wasn’t perfect. It’s a complete throwback to the original and is pretty much just one giant homage, but I loved it. American Pie came out when I was a freshman in high school and I’ve always related in one way or another. Also, really, let’s be honest. Seann William Scott reprises Stifler, and that was enough of a selling point for me.
WHITE COLLAR IS BACK!
The USA Network, unlike DC Comics, loves me. I have shows five nights in a row, that’s awesome. They handle all of my summer viewing in one location and I love them for it.
I read a single issue of Walking Dead for this first time this week. Now, that isn’t to say I haven’t read the book before. I’ve read the first three trades or so, but I never really jumped on board. Always wanted to, never got around to it, blah blah blah. Excuses, right? So I bought the new issue because it’s #100 and all I really can think the entire time is how much I would probably love this issue if I had any real attachment to the characters. Well, maybe not love, probably feel sick and want to die for a few minutes, but the point is that my lack of a connection hurt my enjoyment of the book to the point where I’m just going to have to buy the entire series and read it.
I possibly buy too many digital issues, but I have no regrets. I’ve read a lot of really cool stuff lately, like the Vengeance of Bane mini-series, and Chris Roberson’s Edison Rex. I keep finding new things to read and they keep addicting me more and more. I really need a tablet.
Revival was freaking sweet! Tim Seeley and Mike Norton? I was there without even reading the pitch and it’s on my digital pull list now. Well, digital alert list…I should probably configure my push notifications…
If The Newsroom isn’t the best show on TV right now I don’t know what is. Well, actually, I expect a lot of people to say Breaking Bad, but I’m not current enough to want to count that!
My Pissed Off Moment of the Week:
Seriously, I could deal with her not being used in other circumstances, but the complete and utter blow off nature of DiDio’s rationale is what kills me. I guess I should just be thankful that I still have Kyle and Booster. For now.
Top Five Moments of the Week:
5. Evil demon lawyers return! Wolfram & Hart is back! Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #11
4. Kaine is so much more badass than Peter. Pete hooked up with a cat burglar, but Kaine? He nailed a girl after she blew up a building! Scarlet Spider #7
3. Landing? Check. Tackle? Double check. Avenging Spider-Man #9
2. Ding ding ding, we have accuracy, folks! Avengers Assemble #5
1. You never want to tell a super powered blonde that you’re not that into her. Avenging Spider-Man #9
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The Gold Standard
Tags: Avengers, Avengers Assemble, Avenging Spider-Man, Barbara Gordon, Barbara Gordon (Batgirl II / Oracle), Buffy Season 9, Dan DiDio, DC Comics, Gold Standard, New 52 (DC Comics), Scarlet Spider, SDCC 2012, Spider-Man, Stephanie Brown (Robin IV / Spoiler / Batgirl IV), The Gold Standard