Thursday, June 09, 2011

DC Relaunch/Retcon/Retread thoughts:

Sooooo...this is the big one. But first, some thoughts on DC's other in-comic changes.

Now, everyone has their own tastes, which means everyone has their own things that they would like to see in DC's new 52 number one issues. I personally would love to see Doom Patrol (previously cancelled five or six times), Warlord (cancelled three times and a miniseries), the Creeper (cancelled three times and a Vertigo mini where he was a French chick?), the Vic Sage Question (Um, once, then a quarterly, a limited, and other stuff), and the Ted Kord Blue Beetle (geez, I think Ted got cancelled a couple times at Charlton...). Maybe it's just me, and maybe those characters didn't set the sales charts on fire before, but why the hell not? DC's rolling back the odometer on a bunch of other stuff, and they're giving another shot to Firestorm (cancelled four times?), Captain Atom (one prior series and a mini, but he gets the shaft every big event they can shaft him in: Armageddon: 2001, Kingdom Come, Countdown: Arena...), Grifter (at least twice solo), and Hawkman (yeah, you tell me).

That's why I'm a little disappointed in some of DC's choices for new number ones. (So far, there's still a few left to be revealed.) A lot of these have had books before, and I'm not sure they'll do any better this time around. I wish all the best to Resurrection Man (28 issues), OMAC (depends what OMAC you mean...) and Aquaman (guh) but trotting them out like they're going to save comics this time around is just dumb.

Now, they were a few that were surprising choices, and by surprising I mean baffling. Mr. Terrific gets his first first issue ever, and that name's been around for over 70 years. I, Vampire is another interesting choice: I know that was a J. M. DeMatteis scripted series running in House of Mystery in 1982-83. Of course, now it looks like Twilight: the Anime, and if I'm the first person to make that joke I'll eat an issue of it.

Then there's Batgirl. Man, this is a tough one. There's no denying that Gail Simone is probably the best choice for the book, and is legitimately excited to be writing Barbara Gordon. But, she's back as Batgirl, not Oracle...and apparently, no longer in a wheelchair. (Jill Pantozzi has a great piece at Newsarama on this.)

Now, comics have a tradition of bringing characters back from the dead, of rebooting them, taking them back to their root; and yeah, Professor X has been in and out of his wheelchair more than a couple times. But...Barbara getting to walk again doesn't feel right, really. Like she shouldn't get out...unless everyone else does, too.

And Barbara as Batgirl has the unfortunate consequence of displacing Stephanie, who displaced Cassandra: I think Bully's suggestion of Batgirl, Inc. may have been the right track...and J. Caleb Mozzocco of Everyday is Like Wednesday pointed out that with Batwoman (who is newer, and possibly younger?) and Barbara both in costume, that's two red-haired Bat-femmes tearing about concurrently.

But, that is going to be the trouble with an undertaking like this: someone's favorite character is always going to be left out, altered, short-changed, or otherwise burned. Some have noticed the absence of Tim Drake as Red Robin, so far. Some would prefer Damien be removed--if Batman's being made a little younger, when did he have him? There's the possibility Lois and Clark will get the Mary Jane/Peter "One More Day" treatment. And that's just the big ones.

DC did get people talking, that much is true. Even if a lot of that talk is "...why?" or "...really?" Still, it's a start.

One last thing: I don't know about bringing Grifter, Voodoo, and possibly the whole Wildstorm Universe into the DC Universe; since they already have folded in Charlton, Quality, Milestone, maybe Red Circle and the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents and who all else in there. Hell, I'd rather they gave one of those slots to a Milestone book, anyway.
(EDIT: And of course, since writing this, Red Robin is going to be in Teen Titans, which looks...yeah; and Static will be back.)

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