Time To Reflect
Well, it is that time of year again...New Year's Eve, and we all stop, take a breath, and look back over the Year that Was. And it was certainly an...interesting year. I'm not even going to go into the election, the Olympics, Sandy Hook, the Hurricane and all the myriad other things that happened this year. There are plenty of other and better sites for that sort of thing. Personally, we lost my Father in Law, whom I adored, and two of his sisters, whom I was also very fond of, had one kid get engaged, and another one is pregnant, and a third is buying a house, and well...life goes on.
But in the world of comics, we all continued to be awed and amazed by the new 52 Universe from DC, and the Avengers Vs The X-Men at Marvel.
As much as I love my comics, I have to say this was a pretty mediocre year. At the Big Two that is. There were all kinds of cool offerings from the OTHER Comic book companies out there, and although I don't buy a huge number of indies, I am thrilled to pieces that they exist and have an audience. Plus, Saga is awesome.
Marvel continues to drive me nuts. On the one hand you have crap like the whole Avengers vs X-Men idiocy, and on the other, you have things like Journey Into Mystery, Thor, and Hawkeye, which have been pretty fabulous. Plus, the Avengers movie really was fun.
DC continues to drive me batty as well. Literally. 900 Batman comics on the shelf every week? I'm exagerating of course...but not all that much. Batman still isn't my favorite character, but I can understand the appeal of course. And he has one of the greatest supporting casts in history. I like Alfred, Barbara, Tim and Commissioner Gordon all a lot more than I like Batman. Hell, even Damian is growing on me. But it is getting to the point where the only books on the market are Avengers, or Batman books. Talk about putting all of your eggs in one basket!
Justice League has been a rollercoaster ride, one month it is pretty decent, the next abysmal. They cancelled JLI, which depresses me. Vertigo is pretty much kaput. I still don't like all the new origins of all the DC characters, and I terribly miss all of the sidelined characters. To me, DC's strength all of these years hasn't necessarily been the Big Three, but all of the secondary characters, of which they have an enormous number of strong, well-fleshed out actors in the game. I STILL miss Ted Kord and the the Dibnys, Wally, and so many many more.
If the DC writers want to take a year or two off and write what is essentially fan fiction, I suppose it is their right and privilege, but it is getting pretty tedious for the rest of us.
And let me touch upon the Green Lanterns.
Oh, my beloved Lanterns! I loved Rebirth. I loved the Sinestro Corps War with a deep abiding passion. I liked Blackest Night. War of the Green Lanterns was pretty good. The Rise of the Third Army, and the Evil Guardians has been a train wreck.
There. I've said it. I really like Geoff John's and I wish that he could maybe write fewer books so that he could concentrate on MY favorite books. Because as usual, it's all about ME! But seriously, this whole Evil Guardian story has been dragging on for a pretty long time now, and all of the wonderful things that he built up for the Green Lantern Corps are now being tossed away, and it is depressing. He's killed off Hal and Sinestro (sort've) he's put Guy through the ringer, killed Mogo, killed a crapload of anonymous Lanterns, split up Kyle and Soranik, split up Kyle and Guy, John is angry all the time, Kilowog hasn't been around much at all, and then we got Simon Baz, the new Green Lantern.
He's...well, he's pretty dull actually. He is an American Muslim, whose family has faced a great deal of animosity and hardship since 9/ll, he managed to put his own brother in the hospital racing cars illegally, he became a car thief, and inadvertently stole a van full of explosives, so the government thinks that he's a terrorist, leading to still more heartache for his family. When Hal and Sinestro went to Limbo or whatever, he got their combined ring, and with it, he managed to make idiots out of the Justice League, which was actually a HIGH point for me, and is currently trying not to be killed by the guy who originally planted the explosive-filled van, and the Third Army zombie guys.
In all of this, he has only acted for his own selfish desires. He certainly hasn't done anything to help his family or his fellow Muslims. Granted, this has all happened in a relatively short period of time, but he just doesn't seem to have any personal characteristics that seem all that admirable. Granted he isn't a terrorist, but he STILL does steal cars for a living! He's not a Robin Hood kind of character, he's keeping the money. He seems pretty cranky most of the time. He's not altruistic in the least, and I haven't even seen anything particularly heroic about him.
And I have this terrible fear, that Johns is going to dump all of my beloved Lanterns and all I will have is...Simon Baz, Cipher. Granted, he has a pretty decent behind, but that IS a requiremen to be a Lantern after all, and it just isn't enough. At his most obnoxious, Guy was still a hero. At his most callow, Kyle was still a hero. John can be a bit self-righteous, but he's a hero. Hal's an idiot most of the time, but he's still a hero. So far, Simon Baz hasn't proved that he's a hero to me, nor that he deserves that ring.
Sorry, got off on a little rant there.
So for the New Year, I am hoping for a return to normalcy for the DC Universe. I want the Guardians to get theirs. I want Superman back with Lois. I want Hippolyta back in Wonder Woman. Stephanie Brown is not a character that I go out of my way to read, but hell, a whole lot of people like her a whole lot, and DC's hatred of her is a little weird. Same thing with Cass. And Wally. I want the JSA back. I love those old farts. You have all these wonderful toys, DC. USE THEM!
And Marvel, keep up the good work with Hawkeye and Thor and Loki. And for God's sake, can we lay off the giant crossovers for a while and just tell stories for a bit? Sheesh!
What sort of things would YOU all like to see in the upcoming year, or what did you hate over the year past?