Thursday, 26 May 2016


Images copyright DC COMICS

Well, something had to be done, and DC COMICS have
now decided to do it.  What the result of that something will be
yet remains to be seen, as DC has a history of making changes to
their universe that succeeds only in turning off readers in droves.
Some elements of the first CRISIS weren't that bad, but all sub-
sequent tinkerings have left many long-time fans feeling confused
and angry.  The NEW 52 was a pile of poo, and now DC are in
full 'back-pedal' mode as they seemingly seek to distance
themselves from that step in the wrong direction.

This issue is intriguing and shows promise, but only the
final result will tell whether this 'rebirth' of the DC Universe
is alive and kicking or sadly stillborn.  There's talk of new cos-
tumes, which suggests that DC still don't quite realize that part
of the problem is the absence of the original, iconic outfits,
with which most people are familiar.

Any Criv-ites read the above ish?  Thoughts, theories
and observations are most welcome, so get typing.


Gerry said...

Disappointed. They seem to be trying to steer all the blame for DC's terrible comics on Watchmen. Geoff Johns who wrote this was responsible for most of the dark and depressing stuff DC has came out with over the last 10 years.

Kid said...

It certainly looks like DC is incorporating The Watchmen into the mainstream DC Universe, G. (That should please Alan Moore.) It's understandable, because The Watchmen heroes were based on Charlton characters, and other Charlton properties were swallowed into the DCU. (Blue Beetle, etc.) However, in my opinion, it's vital that DC picks a continuity and sticks with it. All these reboots are extremely tedious and only result in chasing readers away when the initial interest has waned after a few issues.

Paul McScotty- Muir said...

Well its about time the New 52 was just an awful idea full of awful character reboots - I swore off picking up any new full price DCs apart from Swamp Thing and the obligatory 5 for £1 "grab bags" (because their title don't sell that well) but I may pick this up after reading that the Legion of Super Heroes and JSA may be coming back - For me I would simply re set it all back to 1970/5 and start again with a more grown up story line but not mega dark you know add a bit of fun to the comics- that's when DC was really good (have the NEW 52 as one of those "Dallas dream sequences") - no doubt in 5 years they will re boot it all back to the New 52 era forgetting how much of a disaster that all was.

Kid said...

What worries me is that the new Superman title seems to be about him bringing up his son. That aspect (Supes having a son) was touched on in the Superman Returns movie, and was one of the reasons why (despite some good moments), overall, it was a pile of sh*te. I want the Superman I know - not the U.S. equivalent of Superdad that used to be in Whizzer & Chips. It concerns me not a jot how Superman would bring up a super-son. Do it as a one-off 'imaginary story' if they must, but as a regular series? Forget it. It's not what superhero stories are about.

Paul McScotty- Muir said...

I wasn't aware of that re Superman - I agree I don't like that idea - why have the characters "move on" like that just keep them "frozen" as they are if they are trying to be be more "real" then 90% of DCs heroes would all be dead or in an old folks home dribbling into their soup - The 70s did it right with the sons sons of Superman and Batman (not a raging success) appearing in imaginary or future tales only.

Kid said...

It seems that DC regard the 'imaginary story' idea as juvenile, PM, and as we're all too painfully aware, current-day writers have aspirations towards turning comicbooks into 'literature'. If they'd continued to aim them at the same group as in the '60s & '70s (all ages), the readership would renew itself every few years; when you aim them primarily at 'adults', the readership eventually moves on to something else - hence declining sales.

Anonymous said...

I was actually willing to give DC a thumbs up for at least taking a risk with the "New 52", but they went for a soft, rather than hard reboot, and what they published made little to no sense in terms of the timeline they were supposed to be adhering to. The "changes" in this don't seem all that significant. Wally's back, but now has to be shoehorned into the timeline, and the Titans apparently existed, but we all saw Cyborg's origin in Justice League, so when was he a part of the team, or is that being skipped? The Aquaman/Mera marriage could just have been "understood" between them. I'm assuming Mera has no driver's license or birth certificate. Just random fodder to appease fans I guess. Personally, I would read the heck out of a title that took place on one of the many Earths and was based upon an "imaginary" idea like the "sons of" theme. They almost did that with Earth 2 and whiffed.

Kid said...

I guess we'll just have to wait until it's all done and dusted to see how it all pans out, Kenn. By the way, used the link on your profile page to take a look at your blogs, but the image on your first one scared me right off. To each his own I guess. And mention of Donald Trump on your second one had the same effect. Do you do any blogs about comics? Thanks for commenting.

Phil said...

Why all the reboots? Lack of imagination. Stunts which temporarily boost sales then chase away fans angered by the changes to the characters. The genius of the silver and bronze sge writers is that they added to the mythologies of the characters by creating new villains and building worlds, creating new friends and allies. New writers want to destroy the existing worlds and don't want to create new villains, they want to recycle villains and when they run out of ideas have heroes fight heroes. I suspect this is because creators don't have favorable royalty deals so they are quite happy to get a paycheck reusing exiting ideas and tearing them down instead of creating new worlds.
As en example I give you Spider-man. We remember that Green Goblin, the Rhino, Doc Ock, the supporting cast of Gwen, Betty Brant, Flash Thompson etc. Do we fondly recall the time Peter Parker was killed and his mind replaced by Doctor Octopus?
We recall the different colors of Kryptonite, the zany adventures of Lois and Jimmy, the bottle city of Kandor. Brainiac and the Parasite, the Legion of Super- Heroes. Do we love the new 52 Superman with his t shirt?
My point being, please build on the existing comic book mythology. Don't destroy it. Don't recycle it.

Kid said...

That's what I think it is as well, Phil - lack of imagination. The writers can't think what to do with the characters as they are, so they change them. That move might bring in a few new readers, but it probably loses more 'older' ones.

Warren JB said...

Several months late (I just discovered the blog and I'm browsing back through the archives) but I have to pipe up in agreement with Phil. DC might see this as 'fixing' the timeline, but wasn't that what aaall the other reboots were supposed to do? It's just more of the same. Just sit back and wait for the next reboot. There'll be one along in a minute.

'Recycling villains' strikes a chord with me. My big bugbear obsession is the Red Hulk. His intro was mishandled, but to me it was honest-to-goodness character development in a comic, and a new direction for Thunderbolt Ross. (Also, having someone who could smack green Hulk around appealed at the time. I'm one of two or three people who didn't like Greg Pak's 'green Conan' obsession) Then Jeff Parker's rehabilitation of Rulk (on different levels) made him one of my favourite characters, at a time when almost every other superhero comic seemed more lacklustre.

I started reading Hulk comics near the end of Peter David's run, where Ross wasn't the one-note 'Captain Ahab' of earlier years, so I didn't miss that aspect of the character. It seems other writers did, 'cos once Jeff Parker was taken off the character, he almost immediately went back to the pantomime villain that people loved to hate (my favourite bit was when the Punisher and Elektra whispered between themselves about what a murderer he was. The Punisher and Elektra.) until his inevitable depowering. I think that was the last time I bought a Marvel comic. No great show of flouncing off in a huff: they just had nothing new - no titles, no story concepts - that appealed to me anymore.

Because the point is that it IS nothing new. Rulk isn't the only reformed bad guy to be suddenly and inexplicably wrenched back to swivel-eyed villainy, and it irritates me because I enjoy a good heel-face turn or redemption story, but also because it's rarely done with any reason, logic, style, buildup or whatever. It's done because some ascended-fanboy writer thinks they know what the character's all about, from some long-past incarnation, and how they 'should' be written. Subsitute 'reformed villain' with anything else - heroes, events, reboots. Most changes these days just seem shallow and temporary, and cynical attention-grabbers, before some form of the tired old status quo returns. Again, it's as Phil says - they're only building up puny little sandcastles, to kick them down again.

Kid said...

Extremely pertinent comment, WJB, thanks for taking the time to type it. I pretty much agree with most of it. I don't think I want much from comics - I just want to read entertaining adventures about the characters I grew up with in the '60s and '70s. The only reboot I could take was the first Crisis On Infinite Earths, although I still think they didn't need to kill off Supergirl and Barry Allen's Flash in the process.

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