-Oh, hey Hal…
Yes, imaginary voice of Scott that I hear in my head when I’m alone?
-You know October is more than half over. You have… obligations… Comical obligations…
I know, it’s just…
-Look, I understand you’re busy, but life can’t be all space-loss equations and microwave amplifiers. DC is, so you TALK!
<snorts, as if waking from a daydream> I, huh(?), yes. Welcome back to Comical Musings. I’m Hal and I talk about DC comics, among other things.
I’ve been at somewhat of a loss for words lately, regarding the current state of DC Comics. To be honest, September provided a tough act to follow, in terms of reporting on DC’s corporate silliness. DC survived “Villain’s Month”, despite depleting the world’s supply lenticular cover material. (Let’s hope the aliens that supply us with this precious resource from the blackest depths of their asteroid mines, can send us more before the Villains’ Month omnibus has to be published in December) DC – i.e. Didio – finally acknowledged that the “Draw Harley Quinn committing suicide naked” contest might have been a misstep (maybe), and they publicly admitted that they were sorry that so many narrow minded people took offense at what should have been seen as an outstanding opportunity to display unbridled creativity if only this were a era of rational thinking. (They begrudgingly withdrew the contest.) The Justice League narrowly escaped the government shutdown by moving to Canada. (Actually, I’m not sure this has actually happened yet. Last I checked, they were all dead, except for the survivors, and the DCU was going to be FOREVER EVIL… duh duh duhn! But I’m sure Jeff Lemire can explain that they were revived by the healing powers of maple syrup and the warm embrace of flannel, eh.) We (finally) posted DC on Trial, and we got some great feedback from readers, as they tried to peg just how far down the stupidity spectrum DC lands…
So, I thought I would start there. When one rebuttal isn’t enough… <sigh> So I wrote my defense of DC so many months ago that I would have to dig through my emails to give you an exact date. (It was somewhere around the time that I responded to the prompt that put event books on trial, Scott. <ahem – he cleared his throat judgmentally>) It was so long ago that my defense looked rather weak, and exceptionally out-of-date given the incredibly fluid climate of DC’s poor decision making. Nevertheless, I still stand by DC. I’m not sure I do so proudly, but for better or for worse, I stand by DC. (As soon as the laughter and the taunts die down I’ll continue.)
Look, DC is very much the other major publishing house. Marvel is clearly doing a better job recasting some of their longstanding characters into new storylines, marketing their titles across various forms of media, and providing readers with access to their content in both physical and digital form. Marvel is doing an outstanding job, and some of their titles are worth picking up; Fraction’s Hawkeye is great, and from what I hear, so is Thor, or as I like to call it Less-interesting-Male-Wonder Woman. But DC is doing stuff, and it makes me want to keep reading. Undoubtably, (yes, I know that’s not a word) they have made some mistakes, but that’s part of their charm, when it doesn’t get in the way of the story-telling. DC hasn’t managed their universe as well as they should have when they rebooted, but I can see some-what of a method to their madness. They are managing their universe, it’s weird now, and that’s what I really like. They are a completely untethered cannon, and in some respects, I like that I have no idea where they’re going. I can only hope that people would say the same about me.
So now, allow me to highlight a few of the things that are going well in the DCU. Forever Evil – it’s cray (that’s short for crazy, if you’re not hip to the lingo.) Despite some objections to the physics involved, I really like the fact that the entire universe has been up-ended and the villains are running the show. Some of the Villains’ Month issues were confusing and/or left much to be desired, but some were rather well done. I think they finally did an admirable job explaining the Creeper, and the issues that tied into the Forever Evil storyline (i.e. Rogues, Black Manta, Secret Society) were actually very interesting. For further analysis I invite the honorable Tim J. to weigh in; since last I heard, he was attempting to read all of the Villains’ Month issues.
And Forever Evil isn’t just a tangential spin-off. Its repercussions are leading to some interesting parallel storylines. For instance, without Batman, Gotham City is currently up for grabs, and a civil war is brewing between armies from Blackgate Penitentiary and Arkham Asylum. If you’ve ever played the game Chaos Overlords it’s like that, only with more familiar characters, and more crazy.
At the same time, Earth 2… Despite my own post complaining about them doing too much, *expletive* just got real. Highlight for SPOILER, because that’s what we do now: no, go read Earth 2 issue 16. It is totally worth it. Really, it will be much more satisfying.
Oh, alright, Superman is alive, he killed Steppenwolf, and he works for Darkseid.
DC may not be doing things better than other publishers, but they are innovating, and they are taking risks. (No, I don’t consider 90’s style 3D covers innovative.) But other publishers, i.e. Marvel, seem to be following their lead, albeit more skillfully, and it has lead to more interesting storylines throughout all comic book existence. DC has made some poor choices, and alienated some of their best talent, but this has opened the door for new talent, with their own unique styles, and given them a shot within a major publisher, even without salacious drawing contests.
I don’t know. DC’s still weird, and I’m still glad to talk about it. My biggest complaint is that Killer Moth has not re-emerged in the New 52. So I’ll keep reading, and hopefully you will too. At least keep checking here to find out the latest news from across the comics spectrum. If you think I’m dumb, feel free to say so and enumerate the reasons why in the comments section below. Until next time, I’m Hal and I fulfill my obligations. Right, imaginary voice of Scott?
-Yes, you do. Now hug me like you mean it!
I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited to imagine you saying those words.