Friday, April 10, 2015

Frustration with DC's handling of Characters since 2006

I'm somewhat doing this inspired by this article.
But I'll be more about DC in general here not just Superman, so plenty I'll say has little direct connection to anything Bailey said.

I too have been displeased by most everything since Infinite Crisis, but the details are different.  Like Bailey I became a DC fan during the Crisis to Crisis era (the name of the Podcast he co-hosts) however to a large extent I started much later in it.  But the first comics I read were old when I obtained them.  World Without a Superman was the first Story-line I read, via the trade paperback.

The new Costumes for DC's big Three which are superficially the starting point here don't bother me much because I know they're temporary, a brief publicity stunt to tie in with Convergence.  But there is no way once they start the Cinematic Universe in 2016 that they'll have those characters in the Comics in costumes unrecognizable as what potential new fans are seeing on the Big Screen.

I'm ok with the idea of less emphasis on the Shared Universe in the comics.  I'm excited to finally see one on the Big Screen, but I hate how comics over do it sometimes.  I'm also pissed that Batwoman's marriage was canceled because of some anti heroes getting married policy at DC.  But well before that it just seemed random to me that Batwoman's OTP wound up becoming a Superman supporting character, I like Maggie Sawyer being in Metropolis, interacting with Turpin and Superman and sometimes the Daily Planet cast of characters.

I'm hoping that an emphasis on "Canon rather then Continuity" means they try to be consistent without worrying about constantly writing themselves into corners.

I'm also tried of them over doing big crossover events, I loved Infinite Crisis, and it's build up going back to 2003.  But it should have ended for awhile after Infinite Crisis.

I was not bothered by the notion of Superman being gone from Action Comics, Action Comics can't go back to being a true Anthology since comics have less pages now, but I kinda dislike it being a Superman solo title effectively when Superman does have several titles for his own world, same with Batman and Detective Comics.  But Superman being gone from his own Title for a year was indeed stupid.

I hate New 52 on several levels.  It's handling of Superman I have no direct knowledge of, from what I've heard......  I like that according to some sources they've tried to go back to Superman's rebellious personality from the Seigel and Shuster stories.  Even in the Crisis to Crisis era with the CEO Lex, it still did not result in superman returning to his anti-Establishment roots.  Characters like Luthor and Westfeild and Vinnie Edge represented Corruption within the system, but never the System itself being corrupt.

Particularly in how the early Post-Crisis years defined Superman and Batman's relationship, it wasn't going in the direction of DKR but clearly using that perceived difference as the starting point.  To me Batman is a Lawful good character, being Lawful can apply to a personally imposed code as much as it can an external one.  So that he works outside the Law of Gotham city doesn't change that he's about Law and Order.  To me if Superman and Batman are gonna disagree it should be the other way, Batman is fare more likely to become a totalitarian, however I don't believe he canonically ever fully would, he's learned how things like War Games and Brother Eye backfired.  But if someone wants to make an elseworlds tale that inverts the concept of DKR's last act, I'd read it.

Back to New52.  What I do not like is that recent comics seem to rarely use Clark Kent, if we're going to do a rebellious Superman well, his time working as a reporter is a key part of that.  And Clark should be who he really is, and the Kents the reason he is who he is.

DC's problem of late hasn't simply been their courting of New Fans over pleasing old ones.  It's that they also have no idea how to court new fans.

I'm someone for whom the first Superman Comics I read were those following the Death of Superman, while he was still Dead.  There was all kinds of Continuity lock-out, but that didn't bother me, the things I didn't get only made me more curious, and fellow Christian Nerd Rob Skiba expressed the same feeling about becoming a DC fan when that was going on.

They are also not appealing to potential new Female readers in the way they insist on treating their female Characters, constantly forgetting about Stephanie and Cassandra Cain.  And continuing to define Barbara Gordon by The Killing Joke in-spite of the protests of the people writing her current comic.

And you can make female characters look Sexy without looking completely objectified.  I as a straight male don't even find that controversial Spiderwoman cover titillating.  Even most men who are "ass men" (which I'm generally not), aren't turned on by the crack, they like it looking round.

What every good take on Superman has in common, whether they make him rebellious like the early Golden Age stories did or not, is that he is a truly Selfless character, which is why his Antithesis Luthor is the embodiment of Selfishness and Narcissism (that is what all good takes on Luthor have in common,, the Robur knock off, the Mad Scientist, the amusing Hakcman-Spacey version, but especially the CEO who becomes President).  Superman has godlike powers but sees himself as Human, Luthor is all too Human but sees himself as a god.

So I agree entirely with Bailey that Superman should never see himself as apart from Humanity.  I mostly agree that people in general shouldn't fear him, but there should be some who do, and Lex should seek to make himself the voice of those, even though his real objection to Superman is different.

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