Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Couple of DC Links

Tom Foss at Fortress of Soliloquy has a post analyzing what he sees as a lot of the current problems with DC Comics, much of it stemming from its current editorial direction (the inspiration for his insight was Dan Didio's recent comment about how superheroes can never have happy marriages, which is immature and pretty stupid). He points out pretty accurately a lot of the joylessness and homogeneity in comics right now.

(Foss is also doing a fantastic series on Ender's Game, reading the novel for the first time and summarizing/analyzing the chapters. I've never read the book, but a lot of people in high school told me I should, and just reading Foss's posts, I'm so glad I didn't. So far, six chapters in, it really just sounds like it's about a sociopath who's really good at video games. No wonder boys love this book. Also, please don't tell me for a second that Orson Scott Card didn't know what he was doing when he called the bad guys "buggers.")

It's interesting how DC has gone back to the 90s and created some terrible version of Image Comics starring Batman and Superman. Remember when Marvel tried that a long time ago with Heroes Reborn? They gave four of their flagship titles to Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld to reboot them, and they were really terrible because Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld are terrible. It was almost a six months before Marvel basically said it was meant to be an alternate universe the whole time and did an event to bring the Fantastic Four and the Avengers back into the proper Marvel Universe.

The funny thing is, Marvel's actually been a lot of fun lately. I'm not into their events anymore, but I'm also reading more Marvel comics now than I have in years. I still get a little fatigued by the sheer number of characters floating around constantly, and everyone and his uncle seems to be an Avenger now, but there are also so many characters that I feel like I can just pick and choose what I want to read without having to follow the entire sweep of the Marvel Universe every time Galactus or Thanos shows up. (Though a lot of the cosmic stuff has been kind of fun, too.)

Dan Didio has come right out and said DC Comics is for 45 year-old guys, and if that's the sort of thing 45 year-old guys like, I'm kind of pleased to not be in that cohort. Honestly, I knew it wasn't going to be for me when I kept hearing that Didio hates fun. Well, that's not necessarily a fair way to characterize it. What I mean by that is that he hates a lot of the things I treasure about the DC Universe--Justice League International, Plastic Man, Ambush Bug, a Billy Batson who isn't a smug little nihilist douche, a sense of heroism that goes beyond this being burdened to do great things but never be happy shit. What he seems to enjoy is bland, tasteless, and one-note. It's not for me. Never has been.

On that note, the other post I wanted to link to is at Stars and Garters. He's just giving up on DC altogether, except for Vertigo and a couple of their digital titles. This is what I've done; I now only read Fables and Fairest (and only in collected form when the new trades come in at the library), and their digital titles Batman: Li'l Gotham (a fantastic all ages Batman Family type of book by Dustin Nguyen) and the wonderful Batman '66, which really takes great advantage of the format. Otherwise, I'm done with DC.

The difference here, though, is that Stars and Garters, unlike where you are now, is a dedicated comics blog. That guy's giving up a lot of the new market. But hey, I don't blame him at all. He says he no longer feels an emotional connection to the characters, and I think that's something that Didio doesn't even care about going for. He's more interested in being cool and dark and controversial. What no one at DC really seems that interested in doing anymore is telling a good, memorable story.

It's an interesting day when the most relevant comic book publisher on the stands is Archie Comics.

DC and I don't talk anymore. I see more people every year who feel the same.


1 comment:

abc said...

Nodding my head throughout. The 3D cover fiasco is the final nail for me, really. While I think the covers are pretty, they would be better if they were covering comics I had an emotional connection with. Inertia doesn't seem like a good reason to keep buying Green Lantern or any other DC title I was previously reading. And DC sure hasn't been able to convince me to look at anything new. Pretty bauble 3D covers notwithstanding, this is making for a pretty good "jumping off" point.