Saturday, August 1, 2009

Call me crazy...

... but I'm just not that into 'Darkest Night'. I know... heresy, right? The build-up has been nearly flawless. The 'Green Lantern' series have been consistently the most readable books DC has been putting out over the past few years. So what's the problem?

Sure, I'm not crazy about the gore and blood and guts, but I can look past it. The biggest part of it is that I'm just a little tired of supher-hero death obsession. Ever since they started bringing back Silver Age incarnations of characters, much of DC's mainstream body of work has been infatuated with death and resurrection. No major crossover event can seem to take place without a big death to kick it off.

Geoff Johns has never been my cup of tea... I respect him as an artist. No one this side of Grant Morrison uses DC history as a storytelling tool better than Johns, which is why his work has such appeal. But I'm a relative latecomer to the world of DC comics... Morrison's JLA is my true earliest exposure... everything else came in the re-runs, so to speak. And the idea that DC's best stories are in its rear view mirror seems really unfortunate given the wealth of amazing properties the creators have on hand.

Simply put, to one degree or another, the great DC crossovers of the 21st century have thus far been about past continuity rising from the grave to devour the present... 'Blackest Night' is just the most literal interpretation on the theme to date... I kinda want something new...

Am I alone in feeling this way?


Aridawnia said...

Yes. Yes, you are.

kingbeauregard said...

I think of "Blackest Night" as a means to an end. Let's consider "Green Lantern: Rebirth" and how it could be taken one of two ways: either it was a story about yellow bugs and heroes learning about fear, or else it was a way to bring Hal Jordan back and the rest was just machinery to make it happen. I lean towards the latter: if Geoff Johns could have gotten away with something simpler, he would have; but so much had been invested in Hal's turning evil, it was necessary to create something big enough to explain away / offset all that.

"Blackest Night", in my mind, is primarily a mass resurrection device, to bring back just about everyone killed in the Post-Crisis universe. Coming up with individual resurrections isn't always hard -- you can always have a nuclear plant explosion that causes Firestorm's nuclear matrix to reintegrate, or whatever -- but if you want to bring EVERYONE back all at once, you need a big all-explaining event.

Is it dumb to resurrect characters? Maybe, but it's less dumb than killing them off in the first place. If you don't have a good feel for Wildcat, nobody is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to write him; just ignore him and leave him for someone who has a decent story to tell.

Michael C. said...

Well, I agree with you to a certain extent. I'm not a fan of Green Lantern... or more specifically, I'm not a fan of Hal Jordan. And I'm not a big fan of resurrections for the sake of resurrections, particularly when so much effort is put in to creating legacy heroes. I'm mainly thinking of Green Lantern and the Flash right now. Neither of them died in throwaway manners, and both had successful replacements. Did they really need to come back? In my opinion: no.

If Blackest Night sells a whole lot of comics and helps DC to continue publishing books, I applaud it. I'm even going to read it to see if I like it. But I'm not all that excited about it.

Michael C.

CalvinPitt said...

I'm not interested in Blackest Night. I don't know why. Maybe it is all the dead coming back, or the rainbow corps, but it's not working for me. So no, you're not alone in how you feel.

kingbeauregard said...

I'm not saying that legacy characters can't and shouldn't exist, only that you don't have to completely remove their predecessors from the field. No writer kills off a character they have plans for (unless those plans include a resurrection), which is another way of saying, writers kill off only those characters they personally don't have any plans for. That's more than a little short-sighted, especially in a company where multiple generations of writers have been working with the same characters.

Barry and Hal were both disposed of because creative teams at the time didn't know what to do with them. People have since figured out how to make them interesting and engaging, which is really all the reason necessary to see to their returns. And as for Hal's death not being done in a throwaway manner ... while that's technically true, his turn to evil most certainly was throwaway, and his subsequent death was a mercy killing.

Hal's sales were in the toilet, so they got rid of him and brought in Kyle. Then Kyle's numbers slumped and so they brought Hal back. I have no interest whatsoever in Kyle (the poor man's Quasar) but I'm glad they didn't kill him off, because there are still good stories to be told.

Jeff said...

Sorry, man, but I am really REALLY enjoying all things Green Lantern right now.

Allan said...

Am I the only person who thinks that pointless resurrections of past characters are one of the key elements that make comic books so much damn fun?

I'd rather see a writer give new life to an old dead character he/she is excited about than watch them struggle to reinvent a living character that has absolutely no emotional resonance for them at all. But that's just me. I'm weird.

Adj said...

I don't think you're crazy, you pretty much mirror exactly how I feel about it. The manager of the local comic book store I frequent is a HUGE Green Lantern fan and a longtime friend of mine. Usually, I take his opinion seriously, and he's been saying nothing but good about everything that's been going on in Green Lantern lately, but likewise, I just cannot get excited about it despite the glowing reviews.

I'm a little tired of killing off characters and bringing them back (especially the Silver Age guys) and I'm not the biggest fan of Geoff Johns (I felt like I was the only person out there who didn't like his run on Flash. Heck, I hated it).

I may end up getting Blackest Night in trade, but I definitely won't be jumping onto the individual issues.

BIG MIKE said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I think my feelings have as much to do with my own cynicism as they do with the actual quality of the work. If 'Blackest Night' had come out in 2006, I probably would think it was awesome.

Nate said...

I'm becoming a raving GL fanboy. Damn you Geoff Johns! GL's aren't supposed to be cool, they're cops!

I'm wearing my Blackest Night ring right now too.

Jon Hex said...

If Blackest Night is meant to bring back every character that died in the past twenty four years, I would be truly disappointed. There is no need for two Blue Beetles, three Flashes, two sets of Hawkpeople or any version of Airwave. Raplh and Sue barely show up in their new incarnations and are going to brought back to do what, go back into obscurity or rehashed stories.

I'm hoping Johns is doing this to complete an epic, not an agenda. More than anything, I just want it to be good, and it's looking like that is 99% probable.

Graig Kent said...

Personally, I just don't care about the all-too-easy "How will so-and-so react when they have to face their dead loved one" plot element.
Gar Logan dealing with a resurrected Terra (has that not been done a few times already?)
Dick Grayson seeing his parents resurrected. Sigh. Pa Kent rising from the grave (too soon!). etc.
Plus zombies are getting really boring, even superpowered space zombies.

I'll wait till it all blows over and if I hear something that interests me (like if Johns is really doing Blackest Night to comment on the transient nature of death in comics) then it may pique my interest in trade.