Friday, November 10, 2006

Is It Just Me?

I'm trying to get over it but it just won't go away. My friends and myself know all too well what the symptoms are but we're all a little afraid to ask one another for fear of being "that guy." We're kind of quietly trying to help one another work through it, though.

For Infinite Crisis' seven issues, we got to look over Golden Age Superman's shoulder and the view was wonderful. It absolutely looked like possibility.

Myself and my friends, we're all of us suffering from "Post-Traumatic Infinite Crisis Disappointment Disorder." After spending two years on the Identity-DC Countdown-Infinite Crisis-52 Rollercoaster, we're all coming down from the rush and asking ourselves....

"Was that it?"
  • "Alexander Luthor nearly killed comics' original sidekick Dick Grayson (Nightwing) just so he could become a male model?"
  • "Superman, Wonder Woman & Batman are still sitting at that table?!?"
  • "Why would you remove the fun from the DCU by turning Bart Allen into another circa mid-80's New Teen Titans brooding young adult?"
  • "When are we getting a new issue of Wonder Woman or Green Lantern?"
  • "Holy crud, The Outsiders could get worse."

This was not the world I envisioned. Do not get me wrong there have been many gems unearthed from the mines. Quite a few books have totally taken advantage of the "New Earth" landscape and fashioned something beautiful in its wake...

  • Books such as Green Arrow, Secret Six, Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters & Checkmate has totally taken advantage of the DCU's new greyscale.
  • Superman is Superman all over again and in a good way.
  • Batman has become a superhero again and less a force of nature.
  • Despite a rocky start, Supergirl has become a comic about a displaced alien girl and in a good way.
  • Shadowpact is led by Detective Chimp. No more need be said.

All great books but something's lacking, a sense of urgency that was there before. For a while now, my comics brethren have been asking the hard questions and the answers seem to neither be forthcoming or have left a little something to be desired.

"Nightwing should be dead. We're working on it."

"Trust us, there's a good reason we replaced Wally with Bart!"

"Allen Heinberg's working on Grey's Anatomy and will deliver the scripts as fast as he can."


Look, I appreciate Mr. Heinberg's work as much as anyone and it is worth the wait but dammit, I am tired of writers from other media professing a love for the comics medium and their utter disregard of one of its oldest tenets: Comics are a monthly medium.*

Somewhere along the line, momentum was gained and lost, nearly simultaneously, some good will along with it.

How to fix it? I have no idea but I do know that I'm ready for some kind of payoff so that we all can simply just move on to the next thing.

...and that, my friends, is my rant for the day.

*I'm looking at you too, Lindelof.

15 comments:

The Fortress Keeper said...

I totally agree with you and have dropped Green Lantern and TT because the payoff hasn't been worth the long delays.

At the risk of incurring wrath, I'm also disappointed that Kurt Busiek is leaving Aquaman. I loved the world he was building, and now it's going to be abandoned before it was ever really born. (Nothing against Tad Williams, but it wasn't his original idea.)

Happily, there's still books like Batman & The Mad Monk out there to keep me excited!

Anonymous said...

I agree with your frustration on Wonder Woman..but its still one of the better re-launches. I was a bit ambivalent about Nightwing..
but the Flash..DON'T GET ME STARTED..

Gahk!! Although the Flash now sucks less than what it did at issue #1..I don't know why they did away with happy go-lucky Wally west in exchange for boring, brooding, Peter Parker Bart Allen Flash clone guy.. Love seeing Jay Garrick around..but ultimately, we want to see crazy races at faster than TIME speed!!

DC ARE YOU LISTENING??? Let me say it again:

THE BART ALLEN FLASH SUCKS.

give us back Wally and the fun Science fictiony Flash please!

dr. M

Mark Engblom said...

AMEN! The more time that goes by, the more I realize how much of Infinite Crisis, its lead-ins and spin-offs have largely been poorly planned and executed "could have been cool but weren't" strike outs. Yeah, some definite gems (especially the Superman books), but many more misfires. Add that to Marvel's foot-dragging on Civil War, and I believe the industry's got more professional apathy than it knows what to do with.

Ivan said...

You guys too, eh?

I have also been thinking much of the same. Was that it? Really, was it? After comparing the IC hardcover and issue #7 at my comics shop, I noticed many "corrections" in the hardcover, i.e. things we later saw in JLoA #0 and in 52 among others which DiDio & co. probably didn't think of when #7 shipped.

So yes, I also think IC was poorly planned, and could have been planned a whole lot better.

SallyP said...

But...but Green Lantern just came out (admittedly a month late) and it was FABULOUS! It is very hard to wait though.

Anonymous said...

That picture confused me.

Why is Robin riding on Bizarro piggyback? That is a Dangerous Game.

Why is Jay Flash hitting Wally Flash? Every other fight is hero vs. villain.

Why is Sinestro's shield pink? I thought his gig was yellow stuff.

Seriously, what's the deal? Anyone know?

Diamondrock said...

Chance,

1. It's just too fun!

2. That's Zoom, miscolored.

3. It's miscolored.

As for the content of Devon's post, I have to say (and I never thought I'd say something bad about the DCU) I AGREE.

I've been largely disappointed with OYL. There have been bright spots (All-New Atom, Secret Six, Birds of Prey, 52), but there has been a lot of confusing drivel as well (Martian Manhunter, Robin, some of Teen Titans).

I was expecting something glorious. I didn't get it.

Allan said...

Wow, comic book fans expressing their displeasure with a company's attempt to go in a new direction.

Whodathunkit?

I keeed, I keeed.

The truth is that DC going into Crisis mode was what actually got me back into buying monthlies again, so I'm actually quite happy with what I'm picking up these days. If anything all the tumalt was worth it if only for SECRET SIX and THE ALL NEW ATOM.

As for the delays on WONDER WOMAN...well, I'd rather wait for a good comic than get a bad one right away.

Ununnilium said...

Personally, I've really enjoyed OYL. That said, add me to the list of voices clamoring against what they've done with Impulse. Sigh.

Big Mike said...

How could OYL not be a letdown after all the craziness the last two years of the DCU have given us?

But allow me to pose a retort to many of the rantings. After Infinite Crisis, don't you think it makes sense to chill out and concentrate on telling good stories for a while? Let's say that in the grand narrative arc, we introduce, have rising action, a climax, falling action and a denouement. Well, from the whole IC cycle, 52 is our denouement, and one year later starts from the ground up, and does so with some really entertaining and good stories. When was the last time Detective, Batman, Superman and Action were all this good? I too lament the mediocrity of the Flash, but there's only so much great writing to go around. I'm a silver lining kind of guy, and I understand the letdown effect of something like the end of IC. But keep in mind, New Earth, for all its faults, is far superior to 616 and all the mangled Disassembled-House of M-Civil War stuff. In many ways, DC did its job with IC because it kept us wanting more

Anonymous said...

wow..ask and ye shall receive

guggenheim replaces bilson on the flash!

http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=90882

Martin said...

It's not just you.

Part of the problem is that the whole runup to "Infinite Crisis" broke things that were fine as they were. Superman was deliberately turned into a spineless wuss, just as Batman's more dickheadish qualities were exaggerated, just so Geoff Johns could break the Trinity. Now they're acting not much differently than they were before (albeit better written), and we're supposed to accept that it's all NEW AND DIFFERENT!

I don't mind the idea of Bart being Flash, but Bilson and DeMeo literally siphoned off everything that made Bart interesting and turned him into a boring, angsty generic post-teen superdunce. Not to mention taking six goddamn issues and filling them full of the Griffin. :)

Busiek off Aquaman will probably make me drop the book. I have no problem with them bringing back Orin, but I was loving Kurt's new take on the mythos, and Arthur is full of potential. No idea what Tad Williams plans to do with him.

JLA? Three issues just to get the Trinity away from playing their CCG. Morrison would've blown up the Earth by now. :)

As others have said, there's been some good stuff for me, like "Secret Six," the Superman books, and so on, but the whole thing just seems sloppy and ill-thought. I've dropped so many DC books from my reading roster it's nuts, and I see more coming.

Sigh.

OldDemon666 said...

Another interesting question is which Wonder Woman is which? Diana Prince in JLA or Donna Troy in Wonder Woman 1 & 2?

Is this an Infinite Crisis in Continuity?

Is Dan Didio an really Anti-Moniter?

Is it time to breakout the Way-back Machine?

Is it time to hire Lobo?

Is Streaky the Super Cat coming to the rescue?

Caffeinately yours,

OD666

Fanboy said...

It's funny, in retrospect, I really disliked Inifinite Crisis. I am, however, eating up Uncle Sam, Checkmate, Shadowpact, Villains United and even OMAC (which I would have been ashamed to admit until the most recent issue.

Amy Reads said...

Hi Devon,
I miss Wally. Like the way I miss cigarettes*: utterly and completely.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. DC should hand the reins of WW over to some plucky unknown with stars in her eyes for the Amazon Princess....

I don't think they have my number, however ;)

Ciao,
Amy

*I quit three months ago, so utterly *and* completely.