Let’s look at Robin, the monthly that is the impetus of this post. For like a year and some change now Robin has basically been one story, “Who is behind that mask?” First we had who is Violet followed by who is Spoiler and now, before we have even digested all this new info, we get who is Red Robin. It’s boring and distracting from the larger “Batman R.I.P.” storyline.
Take a look at Justice League of America; rehashing the storyline that Meltzer kicked the series off with less than three years ago. Amazo? Check. Vixen’s powers on the fritz? Check. Red Tornado without a body to really call home? Check. Some people might call this cleaning up dangling story threads. I call it played. Hell, the Teen Titans have been on a membership drive since before Johns left.
Even more startling, is this developing trend of retelling origins or taking people back to where they were in the beginning and watching them develop all over again. I bring up Green Lantern and the whole “Brand New Day” event in Spider-Man. Comic companies are so worried about the new and the untested that we expect the status quo at the end of a plot arc.
But the status quo does not get a person excited, or at least me excited. It’s hard to maintain a weekly medium with the same stories over and over. Yes, it’s true soon we will have a dead Batman and Darkseid making everyone bow to the Anti-Life Equation, a world of Gog and a Starman again in the Justice League. Yes, we have the X-Men on the West Coast, Red Hulk and Iron Fist dead by 33 (supposedly). Despite all this my sense of wonder and excitement is not being peaked. After all, unless all the hype and solicitations are lying to us – Superman will not be dealing with Final Crisis fallout; he will be dealing with the residents of Kandor. Didn’t we just have a storyline with a ton of more super powered Krypotonians?
So you say, “Ben, what are you expecting? These are comics. Stop being naïve.” The thing is though some comics are changing things up, a scant few companies are giving us those drastic events that leave everything different. These are titles that have moved to the top of my must read list. They might not be the best comics out there but they are taking familiar characters and jacking them up. What are these titles?
Wild C.A.T.S, The Authority, GEN 13, and Stormwatch P.H.D.
This World’s End arc, following the superb Number of the Beast, has changed the face of the entire Wildstorm universe. Those catastrophic events that occur in the Big Two with little repercussion happened here and now everything is different. Least of all many people now have beards, which I love. It is what I hope for from my comics, drastic change and growth even if it means that the stories take turns that don’t make me happy. At least I can honestly say I don’t know what is going to happen next.
Same thing goes with Fables. If you believe the hype the series will have a dramatic new direction after issue #75. The war with the Empire will be over. That’s huge. The driving force behind the series gone in the span of one arc. Time to take the same characters and start them on a new path. Love it.
However, I think I am minority here. I think my want to truly alter a character’s life, as long as it a step forward so Brand New Day doesn’t count, is not the want held by most comic fans.
What Do You Think?