Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: What On Earth Is Going on with DC?

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Monday, March 25, 2013

What On Earth Is Going on with DC?

I realize that people always have and always will, have disputes about how the Big Two in Comics, conduct their business.  It IS a business, after all, and although you and I may want to have things a certain way, that doesn't mean that it is ever going to happen. 

That being said...Seriously, what the hell is going on with DC? 

I like Marvel, and I like DC, in that they publish some of my favorite entertainment.  They have provided me with hours and hours of happiness.  But lately, that happiness seems to be in dire jeapardy.   I have been basking for the past few years in the warm glow of being a Green Lantern fan.  Geoff Johns was firmly at the helm, Peter Tomasi was there right along with him.  We were blessed with the work of some really fabulous artists.  We were doubly blessed with some amazing stories, such as Rebirth, Sinestro Corps War and heck, even the Black Lanterns.   All kinds of interesting things were going on. 

Now, Geoff Johns and Pete Tomasi are moving on to other things, along with Bedard,and others, and I am no longer quite as serene.  Consternation has entered into my love of  all things Green Lantern.  Will the stories be as good?  Will there be wholesale changes?  Will the characterizations be the same, or will the new writers turn everything upsidedown?  Or should I simply be happy that Winick isn't involved? 

And then came the rumors that one of the new writers for Green Lantern Corps has already quit, because he wasn't happy with what Editorial wanted him to do...and the rumor continues that DC was contemplating killing off John Stewart.  DC has of course, denied this...but only after a rather vehement backlash. 

John Stewart.  They wanted to kill off John Stewart.  The bedrock of the Corps.  The reliable one.  The SMART one.  The one that was on the Justice League, and therefore is the Lantern of choice for a crapload of kids, who are now older and buying comics themselves.  And incidentally...the black one.  Because DC doesn't have that great a track record when it comes to treating heroes of color the same way that it treats white heroes. 

Man, I am sick of this.  If it is true that DC never ever had any such intention, and that they are shocked...SHOCKED by this accusation...then I humbly apologize.  But I don't really believe that in my heart of hearts.  Because it is a monumentally STUPID  idea.  In fact I am sick to death of...Death.  Can't the writers or the editors or whomever come up with something new?  Death has become such a goddamned cliche!  Can't think of a new way to cause angst, or at least get a mention in the media?  Kill off yet another beloved hero!  Granted, it IS Comics, and just about everybody comes back from Death sooner or later.   But that isn't the point any more.  Not to mention the fact that there are a whole LOT of my absolute favorite heroes who HAVEN'T come back from the dead!

Katma Tui.  Ralph and Sue Dibny.  Ted Kord.  Dmitri, Damian, Lian, Doctor Polaris, Captain Boomerang Jr.  Mace Gardner, Ma and Pa Kent, Boodikka and Kreon and Chaselon and Tomar Re and Hal Jordan for pity's sake!   And lots lots more.

Granted, I'm pretty sure that Hal is coming back.  But if Death is such a revolving door, then what is the point of it all?  Do the editors at DC, and probably Marvel too...simply sit around and think of ways to give their fans heart attacks?  All I want, is to read about my favorite characters and their adventures.  I would like to have a good story and good artwork.  I would like the characters to be written reasonably in character.  Talking Gorillas, Nazis on Dinosaurs, flying Cats, Alien Invasions are perfectly fine.  Angst is allowable, along with copious kicks to the face. 

A little bit of joy and humor wouldn't be missed either.  I'm so sick of nothing but dark and grim, and decapitations, and loss of limbs, and the gratuitous killing of children, and the destruction of happy marriages, the fridging of girlfriends and so on and so forth. 

So...Knock it Off, DC.  I'm getting awfully cranky here.


At 1:38 PM, Blogger Shiraste said...

Well said!

Mind, I don't yearn to go back to Silver Age.
But! Do they think we have become so jaded that only death, blood, mutilation, lewdness and sex makes us keep on reading comics?
A bit light hearted fun, witty exchanges, quips and facetiousness offered in stories that don't necessarily involve the end of the world in gore and abject tyranny would be nice!

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Erin S. said...

I keep hearing bad things about Winicks' Kyle run. Was it really that bad?

Yeah I feel the same way about new writers coming onboard especially one coming up. I even feel the same about old writers changing things I like (the Giffin/DeMatteis BG run.)Yeah I recently heard about the John Stewart thing and the idea they would kill off another Earth lanterns pisses me off but John? They'd be killing off one of their most iconic black heroes! WTF DC?!

From what I hear DC is still trying to sort out their house with the new 52. As jerky as Liefield has acted he's likely right about the frustrations the writers face.

Well the good thing about the new 52 is that a lot of those deaths never happened. Of course some of those characters never existed now. All of my favorite books, the ones that I stick to, have a fun element to them. Sure they have bad things happen but it doesn't overwhelm the series. There's always a sense of hope.

You know what I'd like to see? A happy possible future. Sure that means it's not strictly canon but it shows that it's possible for heroes to have a happy ending.

At 12:00 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Would an occasional happy ending be such a bad thing? It would be nice for everyone to have a chance to catch their breath for an issue or two before launching upon the next interminable cross-over for a change.

If they are looking for something bold and exciting to do, as opposed to the same old, same old...how about NOT killing everyone?

Someone pointed out that they would love to see a cover that read...Nobody dies!

At 12:17 PM, Anonymous r duncan said...

Hal's dead? When did this happen? I guess that's why he's MIA in JL.

At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Bryan L said...

I agree with you too, Sally, but I honestly don't know where to point the finger any more. The only thing that sells now is the rolling head of Pantha, so the writers keep chasing after that elusive detached cranium.

Do we blame them? Well, yes, some of the fault is theirs, because they just aren't skillful enough or in some cases, they've abandoned skill to hare after Pantha's head (looking at you, Geoff Johns, 'cause I remember Stars and STRIPE and you haven't hit that level in YEARS).

Do we blame us? Well, not us personally, 'cause I don't buy crap and you don't either, but readers in general (the scant 100,000 or so of us left). Let's face it, they definitely follow the siren song of blood and gore, but then they lose the scent just as quickly (mixing my metaphors now) and the book's sale drop to below its previous levels.

Do we blame DC? Well, obviously, because they can't come up with a sustainable sales strategy and that's THEIR JOB. So yeah, I can point to one problem. But I feel a little sorry for them because it's got to suck thinking the only thing they can do is stunt comics that don't stand up long term.

I don't know. Are we getting the comics we deserve? Man, I hate to think that. But good comics fade away, and we get "event" crap and reboots and deaths and ... ugh. Now I'm getting depressed.

You know what I'm going to do? Reread some Atomic Robo. There are still fun comics out there. Just not necessarily published by DC or Marvel.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Bryan, there ARE good comics out there! And I can always go spelunking through my long boxes.

But still...there are so many many characters that I am incredibly fond of...that aren't being used, have been used poorly, or have been gratuitously killed off. You don't have to ruin the toy box for everyone else you know...it is possible for a writer to tell a story and still leave the toys for the NEXT kid to come along!

I'm beginning to wonder about the editors. Are they too obstrusive? Not enough? If a writer has a story to tell, then let he or her tell it...but I want the editors to also point out such blatant problems with characterization or continuity. Because yes, I am that anal. ON the other other hand, I don't want the editors to come in an completely redo the story that the writer has proposed...which seems to be the case lately, with writers coming on, and then leaving after one or two or even NO issues!

Look at the insanity with Gail Simone! Is nobody running the store? Not that Marvel is a beacon of sanity either.

At 6:20 AM, Anonymous Brandon said...

I don't think it has to be an either/or choice. DC has spent so much effort on diversifying genres they've forgotten how to diversify tone.

As for the deaths, I don't know why anyone is surprised. This is Classic Dan Didio. The guy has a gift for drawing people's attention to DC's line. But he NEVER has a plan. People show up, and he desperately juggles balls in the air until he drops them all. Doesn't anyone remember the build up to Infinite Crisis? For the first time in years, the DC line had momentum and then it imploded. Didio keeps going to the same shallow bag of tricks:
- death (remember when he killed Superboy? Martian Manhunter?)
- randomly throwing new books out into the market and hoping something sticks
- "villains" (the Secret Society, Faces of Evil, Salvation Run)
- "continuity" (repeating scenes from one book in another in lieu of actual world building)
- random editorially mandated changes that never amount to anything interesting. Can anyone think of one great story that emerged from all those One Year Later changes?
- trotting out Jack Kirby creations (while I've enjoyed Orion in WW, did we really need Brother Eye so soon?)
- ridiculous fixations on tangential matters; remember when Didio was convinced the way to fix Wonder Woman was put her in glasses as Diana Prince? His hang up over Dick Grayson's age? This time it's clearly an antipathy toward DC's fictional cities.
- no clue how to play out their "big ideas" (the disaster of Bart as the Flash; compare how well Marvel handled Bucky's return to the dramaticalky inert return of Jason Todd). Now it's the Superman/WW relationship.
- getting political (DCU Decisions; the Movement/Green Team)
- over reliance on a couple of superstar writers who are given a free hand while editorial runs everyone else out of town. Morrison and Johns propped DC up while Didio pushed creators like Mark Waid, Dwayne McDuffie, and Greg Rucka away. Now Johns and Snyder are doing the propping and everyone else seems to be running.

At 12:36 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Brandon, I could not agree with you more.

Just...just hire some good people and let them do their jobs!


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