Haven’t written a blog in a while. A lot has happened since, but something significant demands notice; DC’s New 52 paid off. A lot. They ended the year crushing Marvel under their Batman-covered heel and seem to be rolling along without anything standing in their way. Avengers Vs X-Men be damned.
Now I don’t want to begrudge them their success. They had a problem and took a huge gamble to fix it, and it is paying off in spades, but it seems that in the process, they wound up alienating the very people that rallied behind their reboot.
I’ll start with the women. I don’t have much to offer because every time I read anything about the new 52, someone brings up the female talent issue, or the nerfing of female characters (depowered Karen Starr?), and the general mishandling of them, such as Wonder PantsGate, as I like to call it. I didn’t give it much thought because Gail Simone was still working, and I figured that if they did quality work like her, they’d get get an invite to the big kid’s table. As for the Power-less Girl issue, I thought that she was either hiding her powers, or would get them from a Mister Terrific-related accident. This I was willing to wait for. And for Wonder Woman in underpants? I’m still somewhat torn, but I was excited at the prospect of a more covered-up lead female character.
I have a bit of an issue with their promotion style. It seems a bit unfocused, and leaves a lot of the success of the books to chance. There were so many releases that I couldn’t keep up, and books like OMAC and Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E were left to fend for themselves while sharing the white-hot shelf space with books like Justice League and the Bat-franchise. I didn’t know about titles like the relaunched Blackhawks or Men of War, and it was just last month that I found Static Shock, which was one of their most popular (see: lucrative) properties in recent years.
What’s the big deal? Well, books like OMAC, and Static Shock and Mister Terrific (my personal favorite) were, up until recently, strong, inventive, creative, and original stories that didn’t have a bat in them. The latter two starred intelligent and stereotype-breaking black characters, but all of them were cancelled, plus two more. 100% of their black writing staff was fired this week. Think about that.
Then ponder this, DC’s first crossover event comic was to star Frankenstein and OMAC in their respective books, but OMAC just got cancelled. Who is asleep at the wheel on this? Who is throwing these perfectly viable books under the bus at the first sign of trouble?
When it comes to books like Firestorm, Static and Mister Terrific, I lament on the fact that there are so few characters that look like me that are given any treatment that isn’t reminiscent of an early-nineties skateboarding jive-talker with a laughable gimmick and a mountain of negative stereotypes. To see two of them gone on the same day makes me want to remove DC from my pull entirely.
I’m not going to even comment on Rob Liefeld working on a book in the 21st century.
No, I am going to comment on Rob Liefeld working on a book in the 21st century. Is it a surprise that it’s on the cut list? He hasn’t learned to draw. He hasn’t. He’s of sub-standard talent and still getting work, and somehow he not only got to work on a book in the hottest project in decades, but he gets to write and plot The Savage Hawkman and write Deathstroke? How does that make sense? He works on a book that no one read, so he gets three more books? Oh, that’s right, three. I didn’t mention that he is also going to start work on Grifter as well.
Did DC completely blow their creative wad in September? It seems like they ran out of good ideas already, and I am getting my jumping ship boots ready.
Marvel is out of the question; reading Marvel stories these days is infuriating- why am I buying the same story every 5-10 years? Why isn’t the story any better? The same three people are the focus, a few outlying characters get offed, and the most popular of the bunch come back three-to-six months later (It’s pretty obvious when their book doesn’t get cancelled). It’s insulting.
Well, Valiant’s coming back.