DC Comics: I’m Done

Before I begin, I apologize for nothing new in booking WCW or TNA.  They are both work in progresses, and they will eventually be posted.  But until then, I’m going to write something about one of my other passions: Comic Books (I’ve posted a bunch about them before).  This is really just me complaining about DC Comics and saying I’m done with the company for now.  I just needed to write down my thoughts, so I figured I might as well post it here. Now, let’s get started:

You know DC, I was finally enjoying you.  For years, I was really only a fan or Marvel Comics.  I enjoyed DC’s animated shows (some of my favorites being Justice League, Batman Beyond, & Young Justice.  But I’m getting off-topic) and the Batman movies (with the obvious exceptions of Batman Forever and Batman & Robin), but I never really read a lot of actually comics published by DC other than the occasional Batman comic.  I eventually learned that DC had revamped/rebooted their universe with The New 52 in September 2011.  I didn’t learn about it until the following March (I didn’t really follow comic news).  I was curious about it, so I went out one day and bought a few of the recent issues.  I was only able to find Superman, Batman, & Wonder Woman, and I was REALLY impressed with how good Batman & Wonder Woman were (and Superman was okay).  I continued to buy the comics monthly and eventually was able to get a lot more DC books monthly when I found a comic store near my house (I also started buying Marvel books monthly, but that’s irrelevant to this).  I also started buying the trades from Barnes & Noble and other places (both New 52 and Pre-Flashpoint stuff, my favorites being Batman: Hush & Geoff Johns’ epic run on Green Lantern), and I really got into DC Comics, to the point I seriously thought they were about equal to Marvel (which I’ve always said was the superior company).

Now, sorry for the long pointless introduction, but I just wanted to give a background with my history with DC.  While I was reading their books, I discovered a character named Stephanie Brown, Spoiler, the fourth Robin (and first in-continuity female Robin), and the third Batgirl.  I’ve seen mixed things towards Steph (some love her, some hate her, some don’t care about her, etc.), but I love her and she’s one of my favorite comic characters (and probably my favorite DC Character).  I realized I hadn’t seen Steph in any N52 books I read, so I looked online and figured she was in some book I hadn’t read like Teen Titans.  I learned that she hadn’t appeared in ANY New 52 books or even a mini-series.  This really annoyed me, but there really wasn’t anything I could do.  Plus, I knew other people were going through the same thing with characters missing like Wally West, Donna Troy, Ted Kord, Cassandra Cain (whom I am a fan of, just not as much as Steph) and others.  But while some characters like Wally & Donna make sense not having them storyline wise (If Wally’s Aunt isn’t dating Barry, why would Wally be meeting Barry?), Stephanie isn’t here simply because of certain people not liking her (Dan Didio).  Several writers have expressed interest in using her, but he hasn’t allowed her to be used.  At one point, Brian Q. Miller, the writer who wrote the awesome Batgirl ongoing when Steph was Batgirl, was planning on introducing her as Nightwing in Smallville Season 11 (Yes, after writing the incredibly great Batgirl series, Miller didn’t even get to write a canon book).  It was a non-canon series, so it wouldn’t have had any impact on the main DC Universe, and fans would be happy to see her back, especially written by Miller.  What happened?  She was replaced by Barbara Gordon.  Miller was forced to change Steph to any other character, so he chose Barbara.  WTF!?!  You’re telling me that DiDio won’t even let fans of the character be happy and read her in a non-canon book!?!  This just seriously annoyed me.  I was honestly thinking about dropping all DC books after reading this, but I just decided to keep going.  But don’t worry, there’s more that DC has done that’s annoyed me that we’re about to get into.

Also, don’t think that if DC reintroduces Steph that I’ll be jumping back to them.  If and when she’s finally reintroduced, I know what will happen.  She’ll reappear as Spoiler, with no prior history as Batgirl, Robin, or anything.  Thus, all her great character development over the years will be gone and we’ll have to witness people butcher trying to recreate it.  Ugh.  Plus, I already know her & Cass will already be made to look awful simply so that way Barbara looks good compared to them.  Yeah, cause that’s what we all want to see.

BTW, as I’m writing this, I found out Geoff Johns is leaving Aquaman.  Thanks for making my decision even easier DC!

Aside from Steph & the other missing characters, DC just honestly doesn’t seem to care about fans.  Why do I say this?  A couple different reasons that I’ll get into.  I’ll start with this: Canceling beloved series that weren’t selling poorly.  I haven’t read I, Vampire or Demon Knights, but I’ve heard they’re some of the best books in the New 52.  Both were highly acclaimed by fans, and while they weren’t selling as well as books like Batman or Justice League, they were still having decent sales.  So, why would DC cancel them?!?  You take two books that are some of the ONLY critically acclaimed books you have, both of which have decent sales, and you cancel them!?!  Why?  And if your argument is sales just weren’t doing well enough, DC kept several other books around that weren’t selling well.  Worlds’ Finest, Batman: The Dark Knight, Red Hood & The Outlaws, Red Lanterns, Legion of Superheroes (which HAS been canceled finally), & Stormwatch (to name a few) were all selling lower than Demon Knights & I, Vampire and none of them were very well-received.  Why would you keep all those books going but cancel better selling and more critically acclaimed books?  Are you just trying to troll your fans?

Speaking of trying to troll fans, why are so many characters butchered in the DCnU?  I understand it’s the NEW 52, so things will be changed, but why are very few of the changes good?  Since the New 52 started, DC has butchered several characters they tried to reintroduce.  There are MANY, but there’s two major ones I want to talk about: Static and the Teen Titans.  I only know of Static from the old Static Shock animated series.  It was a great show, and I don’t care if it was accurate to the comics, it made me love the character.  I was finally able to find all 8 issues of his New 52 series, and I was excited.  It died down after one issues, and it was completely gone after issue three.  Now, Static Shock (the comic, not the show) wasn’t too awful, but it wasn’t anywhere near as good as it could be and they just really didn’t handle the character well.  Static is a character fans like, why would you ruin him so much?  I won’t go into too much detail because this isn’t a review of the comic, but the book was just below average and didn’t make it clear how much of Static’s history was still in-tact.  Also, the Static Shock animated series was watched by non-comic fans and is still a loved series, so wouldn’t the smart thing to do is base the comic off of the animated series?  It would have been much more well-written and could have appealed to old fans of the show.

Now, my Static stuff was more nit-picking, but let me ask this: WHAT THE HELL DID THEY DO TO THE TEEN TITANS!?!?!  Now I admit, I haven’t read Teen Titans.  It’s gotten awful reviews, plus I’m not a fan of the writer.  I have however read summaries online, and what were they smoking when they wrote this?  It’s written like bad fan fiction.  The story is atrocious, the costumes are awful, the characters BARELY resemble who their suppose to be (don’t get me started on what they did to Tim Drake), and to make matter worse, they can’t even explain whether the old incarnations of the Teen Titans exist or not.  Some things imply this is the first group, while other things imply the past history is still canon.  And if it’s still canon, how much of it is canon?  What’s the story on Cyborg, Starfire, & Donna Troy?.  Just, ugh.  They just really ruined the Titans here.  Again, I understand it’s the NEW 52, but why ruin characters THIS much?  I could go deeper into this and talk about how Power Girl, Starfire, Helena Burtinelli, Vic Sage, and MANY more were butchered, but I’m too tired.  There is one more character I’d like to go into though…

Alan Scott.  For those who don’t know, Alan Scott was the first Green Lantern WAY back in 1941.  He did not relate to the Green Lantern Corps or the Guardians of the Universe, it was a different Green Lantern.  Alan existed on Earth 2 (while Hal & the Corps were on Earth 1 or whatever it’s called).  I’m honestly not sure his status after Crisis on Infinite Earths, but I do know he showed up again at some point and still wasn’t connected to the GL Corps.  I could research this myself to give a full history, but you can easily go elsewhere on the Internet to find out (I recommend Comic Vine).  After the New 52, he didn’t appear for a while until Earth 2 came out in May 2012.  What did they do to the character?  They took Alan Scott, who was always straight, and turned him into a gay character.  WTF!?!  Now, I have nothing against gays or DC having a gay character, but you do not change a character’s sexual orientation!  You just don’t do that!  I’ve never been a huge fan of Alan (him not being connected to the GL Corps always just made me uninterested), but I just found this insulting.  If DC wants a gay character, fine.  To me, it’s realistic.  But create a new character!  Don’t be disrespectful to a character like this!

Don’t worry, this rant is almost done.  Just two more things I want to cover, both a bit more recent.  The first one I’ll do is the recent Batwoman thing.  For those who don’t know anything about Batwoman, here’s her quick origin (credit goes to Comic Vine):

After being dismissed from the military for being a lesbian, Kate Kane lived a directionless party-girl heiress life until, on a dark night, a chance encounter with Batman inspired her to find a new calling in life, later adopting the mantle of Batwoman.

I could go into more detail, but I honestly don’t know a whole lot about her and feel I would get something wrong.  I honestly don’t know much about her, but she seems like a cool character from what I’ve seen.  I’ve wanted to read her New 52 series, but I just haven’t bought it yet (I forget to look for it online, and I always pass it up for other books when I see it in stores).  However, I was looking through recent comic news and I came across something about the writers of Batwoman leaving the comic.  I had already seen it happen with many N52 books, and since I wasn’t reading it, I didn’t care.  After hearing a little about what happened though, I actually went around the Internet and read several articles about what happened.  Basically, here’s what happened (from my best understanding.  It might be slightly in accurate): DC approved a story arc for the series, so the creative team (I forget their names) started writing the issues.  Part of it involved Batwoman having a lesbian wedding with her girlfriend (I don’t know her name) whom she proposed to in recent issues.  DC ended up forbidding them to write the story and change it at last minute.  The creative team was furious over this and ended up quitting DC, planning to leave once the current arc (which already started) ended with #26.  It was assumed that DC didn’t want to have a lesbian marriage, but according to DC (not sure if it’s true or it they were just trying not to sound anti-gay) they’re against superhero marriages in general (Quick question about that though: Why are Aquaman & Mera married then?  If they’ve removed several marriages in the N52 and wouldn’t let one happen in a comic, why is that one still going?).  I get what they’re saying since a lot of superhero marriages happened in the past (especially the 90s) and were boring, but I have to disagree with them on it for a few reasons: 1) If the writing for Batwoman is a good as I’ve heard, this could have worked, 2) DiDio said two very stupid things.  He said that heroes shouldn’t have happy personal lives (he does realize that not all heroes are Batman, right?).  He also said fans don’t care about heroes’ personal lives, they just want to see them fight the bad guy.  Where do I even start?  Yes, a good guy fighting a bad guy is the main idea for what should happen in comics, and it’s mind boggling how many comics have screwed this up (I’m looking at you Marvel!).  But, I like a deep story to go along with the good guy & bad guy fighting, and I care about their personal lives.

Also, I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but I heard there was going to be a fight between Batwoman & Batman which would have ended in a stalemate.  But of course DC won’t let Batgod look weak, so they didn’t approve.  I would complain about this, but I really don’t want to go on a rant about Batman in addition to the rest of this,

I got really off-topic there, but the whole marriage thing isn’t my main problem with this.  My main problem is with DC being absolute a-holes to the creative staff.  They forced them to change or remove several things from the arc.  And I wouldn’t even be as annoyed over this, if the arc wasn’t ALREADY APPROVED BY DC!!!  The arc was approved, the creative staff began writing it, and DC decided to be complete [insert bad name here] and force them to change stuff.  And to top it all off, DC isn’t even letting them finish the arc.  They were originally planning to stay on the book until issue 26.  DiDio announced that some guy whose name I don’t know will be taking over starting with issue 25.  So the script for 25 was written (and 26 was started on), but DC won’t even let them end their arc and they’re bringing someone new in?  Yeah, that’ll help sales.  And to end this whole section of my long rant, I want to point out something DiDio said:

“Batwoman’s going to become an integral part of Batman’s universe, just the way we always wanted. She’ll be starting with a Year Zero story arc and from there she’ll be an important part as she always is.”

Yeah, that’s great.  Except for the fact she has NOTHING TO DO WITH BATMAN OTHER THAN THE FACT SHE HAS A BAT ON HER CHEST!  I don’t even read the series and I know that!  Batwoman (as far as I know) was the only series that could be considered a Bat-Book that didn’t get sucked into the many crossover stories Batman had (even All-Star Western was dragged into Night of the Owls.  Just, why?).  That’s one of the things that made the series so popular.  Why would you change that?  Doesn’t Batman have enough mindless people following him that talk about how awesome he is (I know I’m exaggerating, but I don’t care)?  Why drag Batwoman in there too?  I think I’ve said everything I have to say about Batwoman (everything that’s went on lately with her, not the character herself), so let’s move on (finally).

EDIT: Apparently DiDio has tried to say Aquaman & Mera are not married and never were in the new timeline.  Do I need to explain how stupid that is?

Now, I could forgive the whole Stephanie Brown thing since I really don’t have room to complain when other fans have the same problem with other characters.  I could forgive butchering several characters since I don’t have to read the series I don’t like.  I could forgive the Batwoman thing since I wasn’t reading the series and it didn’t impact me.  But there’s just one thing that really got to me that I decided I was done with the company.

On September 6 (I believe that was the date, but I could be wrong), DC announced they were having a contest (or whatever) to find more artists for the company.  From what I’ve read, people can submit artwork and be hired for a new Harley Quinn ongoing.  Apparently in the first issue she’ll be breaking for fourth wall (or whatever) by criticizing the artists’ work (doesn’t sound as funny as Deadpool’s fourth wall breaking, but whatever).  There were four different panels the artists could submit.  The problem was, this was one of the panels:

Harley sitting naked in a bathtub with toasters, blow dryers, blenders, appliances all dangling above the bathtub and she has a cord that will release them all. We are watching the moment before the inevitable death. Her expression is one of “oh well, guess that’s it for me” and she has resigned herself to the moment that is going to happen.

This is the only panel that had the word “naked” in the description for the artist to work with.  DC, WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO ADD SEX APPEAL TO SUICIDE!?!  WHAT COULD YOU POSSIBLY HAVE TO GAIN BY THAT!?!  If this was for storytelling purposed, I’d be fine with it (I would find it a bit unnecessary, but I’d be fine with it).  But there’s no reason for this to be in an art contest.  If this is some fantasy from someone at DC 1) They need therapy and 2) There’s no reason it needs to be in an art contest.

That’s finally the end of my rant.  I’d also like to point out that I didn’t even go into detail of Sue Dibny’s rape and murder during Identity Crisis, Stephanie Brown’s sexualized torture during War Games (and other stuff involving Steph) (seriously, who the Hell sexualizes the torture of a teenage girl!?!), instead of killing Icewoman (one of the few bisexual characters you have), you had her skinned and left in a catatonic state and just forgot she existed, etc. DC Comics: I’m Done.  I don’t want to read comics where my favorite characters are either missing or butchered, creative teams are forced to change their original plans when they were already approved, and where sex appeal is added to suicide.  Marvel might not be perfect right now, but they have great comics right now and they aren’t as big as a-holes as DC are.  I will track down the Batwoman trades (though I’ll be buying those on Ebay so that way DC won’t get my money) and I might buy some old books at comic shows & antique markets, but other than that, I’m done.  DC, until there is a massive change in who runs your company, I’m done (I’d love for Bruce Timm & Paul Dini in charge, but that’ll never happen).  I regret giving you my money in the first place.  I don’t care what happens next to Wonder Woman, Aquaman, or the Justice League.  I’ve taken all those books off my Pull List.

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