Sunday, May 17, 2009

Don't Call It A Comeback...?

It sort of feels like I've been here before.

The last time I felt this way was before they lied to me.

You see, I was a huge DC Comics fan. Devoted four years of my life to writing about just how much I loved DC Comics. Then, weird things started happening. The DCU started becoming a very busy place.

DC started testing my love for it. Somewhere along the time of Infinite Crisis and the "One Year Later" event.

The DC Universe had become a darker place following the death of Superboy.

Somewhere along the line they were going to kill Dick Grayson and lost the nerve. Instead, they chose to have him become a male model.

In the coming months, The pillars of the DC Universe, The JLA and The JSA were pretty much dismantled and re-organized into configurations designed to confuse readers, new and old alike.

Then they had the fastest and funnest teen alive, Kid Flash, with little to no explanation, grow to adulthood and become the sole Flash only for them to kill him off mere months later.

The promise of Infinite Crisis was within one year replaced by the confusing mess that was and forever will be Countdown To Final Crisis.

The breakout character of the SHAZAM! Family of characters was... Black Adam.

We sludged through it and got to Final Crisis where we were promised the end of the New Gods by Grant Morrison, only a few months earlier we'd been treated to the deaths of New Gods in not only Countdown but also, you guessed it... the non-Morrison penned The Death of The New Gods.

Final Crisis was widely viewed as a bit of a letdown.

Eventually, what happened was instead of DC providing us with a plethora of "Holy Shit!" choruses we were given near-perfect conditions for apathy.

That pesky ol' left hand was grabbing for balls while that good ol' right was trying to deliver a knockout punch.

Then, something weird happened.

DC started becoming interesting again. Now, we had some missteps like "Faces of Evil" but what it did do was give us a chilling new look at DC Comics' Kobra and more importantly, it introduced me to writer Ivan Brandon, someone we all should be looking out for in the near future. DC, don't pull an "Aaron" with this one.

Milestone Comics and former cartoon mainstay Static is in The DCU and has joined The Teen Titans.

DC Comics' Jonny DC suerhero line of "comics for kids" is consistently some of the best comics currently on the stands.

Instead of giving us yet another weekly series in the form of a Trinity, we're getting a Wednesday Comics, a refeshingly out of continuity look at the DC Universe by the likes of Joe Kubert, Kyle Baker, Jose' Luis Garcia Lopez, Dave Gibbons, Mike Allred, Paul Pope and Neil Gaiman. Good company to keep, comic book-wise.

Blackest Night is shaping up to be THE event of the year due to fine, consistent work from the Green Lantern team of writers Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi.

The co-feature, a mainstay of DC past returns this year featuring the likes of The Question, Ravager, Blue Beetle, Captain Atom and Black Canary written by some of DC's top writing talent.

Word just came down that DC Comics has one of the masters of comics noir, Brian Azzarello working on a mysterious comic featuring Doc Savage in some sort of project possibly thrusting him into the two-fisted past of The DCU.

Not too long ago was when I felt it. Again.

It looked like a nod in my direction. In truth, it felt like it did before a lie.

There it was the return of fun. Impulse. Kid Flash. Most importantly, Bart Allen, the child who drove The Joker crazy with his enthusiasm, was back!

The next month saw the return of Superboy, lawyers be damned.

Are we seeing a return to Infinite Crisis form for DC? Are we actually having fun again? When Didio was swearing up and down that this all was leading somewhere, was he actually telling us somewhat of a truth?

What I do know is that Keith Giffen and Kevin Maguire, late of Justice League, are working on The Metal Men. That alone is reason to believe again.

I'm feeling kinda good about you again, DC.

Don't let me down, again, DC.


Anonymous said...

The fact that "Blackest Night" seems to be designed to bring back tons of dead characters -- even going as far back as the 1980s -- tells us that DC editorial has made a crucial leap in understanding: it's better to keep your toys in working condition (if in a box somewhere) than to break them just to hear the snap. Resurrections make people roll their eyes, but take a step back and it's obvious that the resurrections aren't the problem; the problem is that some other moron killed off a character who had potential that the moron was incapable of appreciating.

We have gone from a time when DC was going to kill off Dick Grayson just to give Batman a dramatic moment, to a time when Katma Tui is (probably) going to be brought back to life just because there are still stories to be told about her. I think that tells us tons about a major shift in sensibilities at DC, and it's one for the better.

There's almost never a good reason to kill off a character in comics; that's a blanket statement, but given the nature of the medium (where there is always another story that can be told), it holds up. Any time writers feel there are too many characters cluttering up a story, there are dozens of ways to move them out of the book that are easily and sensibly undone when it's time to bring them back.

Graig Kent said...

Devon, you took the words right out of my mouth... all except for Blackest Night, which seems like all sorts of fan wankery gone wrong. How many times has Gar Logan had to deal with a resurrected Terra now? How can Ronnie Raymond Firestorm be a black lantern when the Firestorm powers went to someone else. The Flying Graysons and Pa Kent are crawling from their graves? This is hitting a lot of wrong buttons for me already.

Now Wednesday Comics... can't wait. Giffen's Doom Patrol? Yes please. Rucka and Williams on Detective with Batwoman? About time. John Rozum writing a Brave & The Bold Xombi story? I'll believe it when it's published.

word verification: "dersto"...
a "destro" anagram.