Finite Crisis on Single Earth
May 31, 2011 4:11 PM   Subscribe

DC to reboot entire universe. Will debut same-day digital distribution of 52 new #1 comics in September.

It's only a few years since their last universe reinvention, Infinite Crisis and 52.
posted by crossoverman (393 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yet one more reason to feel pretty good about not buying any comics. Unless they're by Grant Morrison, because I'm just weak like that.
posted by Ipsifendus at 4:15 PM on May 31, 2011 [9 favorites]


Justice League #1, launching August 31st and starring Batman, Superman,Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman.

WHERE THE FUCK IS THE MARTIAN MANHUNTER
posted by Greg Nog at 4:15 PM on May 31, 2011 [63 favorites]


Eponysterical.

Also, *headdesk*.
posted by kmz at 4:15 PM on May 31, 2011


1994 is going to be even better the second time around!
posted by griphus at 4:17 PM on May 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


AN UNPRECEDENTED COMICS EVENT!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:19 PM on May 31, 2011 [8 favorites]


What could possibly go wrong?
posted by hippybear at 4:20 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


This changes everything.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:20 PM on May 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Surely this...
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 4:20 PM on May 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, good. The one thing holding back DC was not enough reboots.
posted by Zed at 4:21 PM on May 31, 2011 [46 favorites]


Yet one more reason to feel pretty good about not buying any comics. Unless they're by Grant Morrison, because I'm just weak like that.

There's plenty of comics out there outside DC and Marvel and their editorially driven nonsensical douchery.

That said, I recently started buying X-Men comics again because I liked the creative team. Aiie! I'm sure some overload of crossovery bullcrap will remove my interest in it soon enough though.
posted by Artw at 4:21 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Re-boot." In my day, we called these "Do-Overs," as in "NO DO-OVERS".
posted by Hoopo at 4:21 PM on May 31, 2011 [12 favorites]


Your favorite crisis sucks . . .




Wait a second, they all sucked.
posted by anansi at 4:22 PM on May 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Proof that multiple copyright extensions still can't save storylines that are played out.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:22 PM on May 31, 2011 [11 favorites]


"more modern and diverse 21st century"

Does this mean no more "Ape controlled Africa" and "White Power" Rings? And maybe less people freaking out when Batman trains some Muslim superheroes how to fight crime? And hopefully a few less women in refrigerators?

All that aside, it makes sense to do a relaunch and kick out the old continuity - after a point, it becomes a minefield and an anchor, not a foundation from which to build. Sadly, the problem is to avoid all the problems of the endless crossover mess, you'd need to commit writers to your series for a long term- to totally fulfill their story arcs and not just switch them out when you feel convenient. (And also, to give them some kind of benefit so they don't decide to jump ship to something more lucrative that lets them keep their copyrights first chance they get..., but hey.)

One of the strengths that manga has had over American superhero comics has been consistent creators allowed to take their story from beginning to end, without switching out every year.
posted by yeloson at 4:22 PM on May 31, 2011 [8 favorites]


DC reminds me of myself at age 10: the computer wasn't working fast enough, so I just jabbed at the reset button until I ran out of patience or the computer borked out completely.
posted by Slackermagee at 4:23 PM on May 31, 2011 [12 favorites]


You know. I'd probably sign up for this. IF THE MAJOR COMIC PEOPLE COULD BE BOTHERED TO SELL THEIR SHIT OUTSIDE THE US.
posted by seanyboy at 4:23 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm wondering how long you'd have to search to find someone who thinks this is a good idea and an exciting event.
posted by Artw at 4:23 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


The day real history becomes less complex than comic books is not a good day.
posted by GuyZero at 4:24 PM on May 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


One of the strengths that manga has had over American superhero comics has been consistent creators allowed to take their story from beginning to end, without switching out every year.

I am by no means a Manga fan or anything even close. But my kids like it. So one day I skimmed through "Bleach". I hear it's big in Japan.

Never has so little action taken so many panels to draw.
posted by GuyZero at 4:25 PM on May 31, 2011 [10 favorites]


I can't wait until Batman has a big showdown with The Joker for the first time for the thirty-ninth time!
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:27 PM on May 31, 2011 [16 favorites]


So this will be a good time to start reading DC right? The few I have attempted ( All Star Superman) I was baffled by what seemed like 75 years worth of references to shit I had never read. Now is my shot to be as big an expert as anyone else. If anyone tries to trip me up with minutia and trivia from those decades I can just be like "whatevs dude, Superman totes never had a dog, a horse or a machine that could see into the future, and Batman always rode around on a black Segway"

Im psyched.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:27 PM on May 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


Obvious snark aside, how many do-overs does this make since Crisis on Infinite Earths?
posted by Trurl at 4:29 PM on May 31, 2011


Artw, supervillains think it is fabulous ... they always did like watching trainwrecks.

This won't solve comics' problems in any fashion. It's just another install of Windows 98 over a malware-ridden box: you know they'll be calling you again in four months.
posted by adipocere at 4:29 PM on May 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is unfortunate but badly needed. Comics probably should reboot themselves every ten years or so, unless you plan on the characters aging as well.

There is absolutely no way for people to keep up with 70+ years of continuity for hundreds of different characters. There's just no way.
posted by Avenger at 4:30 PM on May 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm hoping DC allows more diversity into its cast of characters and maybe Batman's leather fetish will lead to a very special issue set in an underground B&D club, where the Joker is the Master of Ceremonies.
posted by crossoverman at 4:31 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yup the Ultimate universe was good for marvel, but the status quo will always prevail.
posted by NiteMayr at 4:31 PM on May 31, 2011


Maybe this time they don't have to wear their underpants over their tights. Because that's sort of silly.
posted by condour75 at 4:31 PM on May 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


First off, reboot? I do with they'd just do one of these and mean it. Or just spin off a line like Marvel does with the ultimate books.

But renumbering Action and 'Tec? Goddamn blasphemy, that's what that is. (and made even worse that we know it won't last.)

As for digital distribution, at what cost? Has that been stated anywhere? By the time they realize that one dollar is totally the sweet spot and the path to crazy riches, it'll be too late and they'll have missed the chance to pick up all new readers.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:33 PM on May 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Buying new DC Comics just isn't worth it anymore. They've become far too event-driven for me... I don't care about rainbow colored Lanterns, I don't care about New Krypton, and I won't care about Flashpoint. They may attract some initial attention with this stunt, but within two years, people are going to lose interest, sales will erode and then what?
posted by MegoSteve at 4:33 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Protip: Marvel and DC have been circling the drain for about a decade now. The old heroes need to die. No matter the number of reboots, retcons and reinventions, people are not buying Hulk or Superman comics because there is too much material beneath their surfaces. Invent new heroes. Give them the same adventures if you must, but invent new heroes. Make comics feel like comics rather than glossy photoshop portfolios. Wolverine, the Green Lantern, the Fantastic Four, the Flash - they have had their days, their countless days. Their stories are told, dozens of times over. They are tired, hunched, broken, exhausted beyond time and space and reckoning. Time to go to sleep, old friends. We have longboxes of memories. We have more memories of you than we do of our own lives. We won't forget you, but you need to be forgotten. We don't want you to die, we just need you to end.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:34 PM on May 31, 2011 [47 favorites]


I guess we can all agree that the important thing here is that Geoff Johns and Jim Lee are writing the Justice League. I know that comics fans everywhere are saying, "Geoff Johns? Jim Lee? Thank god we won't have to put up with the same old shit! These guys are constantly creating totally new things that aren't at all the same old shit! They have a proven track record of not recycling the same old shit over and god damned over again! Whew!!!! Geoff Johns and Jim Lee? No same old shit here, no sir! I'm so excited for this new Not The Same Old Shit comic that I'm scrawling the words 'to heck with the same old shit' onto a jagged broken lightbulb and repeatedly jabbing it into my eyes while I shriek about how thrillingly innovative GEOFF JOHNS and JIM LEE are! Hot damn!"
posted by Greg Nog at 4:34 PM on May 31, 2011 [20 favorites]


What will the digital downloads cost? I've said many times, the problems of the comics industry begin (began?) with price, and will end with no more comics industry.


Anyway, I feel strongly that editorial staff driven characters/stories/universes can be very compelling. Creator owned comics certainly have a place, but the mythological characters we all think of are the result of the sequential collaboration of many creators.
posted by Chuckles at 4:35 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Invent new heroes. Give them the same adventures if you must, but invent new heroes. Make comics feel like comics rather than glossy photoshop portfolios.

Please allow me to introduce you to Invincible, my favorite contemporary superhero comic.
posted by MegoSteve at 4:38 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm hoping DC allows more diversity into its cast of characters and maybe Batman's leather fetish will lead to a very special issue set in an underground B&D club, where the Joker is the Master of Ceremonies.

I'm reminded of that time Batgirl ( Barbara Gordon ) chased Catwoman into a private club, where the bouncers demanded that she remove her clothing to comply with the club's rules, but of course she could keep her mask, since that's part of the... um... atmosphere.... apparently of those sorta places.
posted by mikelieman at 4:38 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


What do comics cost these days, anyway? I quit buying back in the early 1990s when it seemed like they were more expensive than I wanted to pay, and I'm sure they've only gone up since then. And what are they on? A new comic every 3 weeks?

It's like crack with a storyline.
posted by hippybear at 4:38 PM on May 31, 2011


They better not demote Dick again. I love Dick. I love Dick SO much.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:38 PM on May 31, 2011 [13 favorites]


I'm actually at a loss w/r/t the fan horror/outrage over this. The success or failure of it really comes down to the creators, but let's say they're good people who are given free rein -- if these books lose their baggage, how could that possibly be bad? And if the comics don't work, so be it; nothing in comics is ever permanent anyway, for good or ill. I don't see the problem here, honestly.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:39 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hippy, they're holding the line at 2.99. Or whatever.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:39 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


They better not demote Dick again. I love Dick. I love Dick SO much.

Thank you, Justice Scalia.
posted by The Bellman at 4:39 PM on May 31, 2011 [9 favorites]


Would it kill them to bring back mad scientist Lex Luthor, frustrated genius? Will Kryptonite not have its own section in the Pantone book? Is it possible that the characters might be a little bit more ... fallible? Would it kill someone to have Batman lighten a little? Will the writers establish some kind of reasonable limits on their powers? Will the publishers let them? Will anyone be allowed to wear pants?
posted by adipocere at 4:40 PM on May 31, 2011


I love Dick. I love Dick SO much.

I've thought of getting this as a tattoo.

Oh, wait. We're talking about COMICS???
posted by hippybear at 4:41 PM on May 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm reminded of that time Batgirl ( Barbara Gordon ) chased Catwoman into a private club, where the bouncers demanded that she remove her clothing to comply with the club's rules, but of course she could keep her mask, since that's part of the... um... atmosphere.... apparently of those sorta places.

Um. wait. What?
posted by device55 at 4:41 PM on May 31, 2011


Kittens, for me, I'd agree except it's a boy who cried wolf situation. Every time they do this it just muddies the waters, pisses people off, and just reverts back to the status quo anyway.

From me, the hostility isn't what they say they will be doing: it's that I DON'T BELIEVE THEM.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:42 PM on May 31, 2011


RIP local comic shops

.
posted by nzero at 4:42 PM on May 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


If it's all along the same lines as the recent Wonder Woman reboot, colour me uninterested.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:43 PM on May 31, 2011


So September... fuckton of origin stories?
posted by Naberius at 4:43 PM on May 31, 2011


They are tired, hunched, broken, exhausted beyond time and space and reckoning. Time to go to sleep, old friends. We have longboxes of memories. We have more memories of you than we do of our own lives. We won't forget you, but you need to be forgotten. We don't want you to die, we just need you to end.

So, um, this might be a bit awkward, but who's going to break it to The Simpsons?
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:43 PM on May 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


What do comics cost these days, anyway?

Over here, the answer is $7 an issue, despite the strength of the Aussie dollar. About 15 minutes of entertainment if you're reading carefully (or as carefully as certain comics will deserve). Others will think differently, but that isn't a worthwhile investment for me, and I fucking love comics. Luckily I have spent the past few months discovering dozens and dozens of older titles and securing their complete runs for at most a buck apiece. Even the really shitty old comics are miles ahead of the fair-to-middling newer comics.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:44 PM on May 31, 2011


Um. wait. What?

I had to go -- check -- on that after I posted it.

Batman Confidential #18 ( Safe for comic book, but some of you might work with douchebags so.... )
posted by mikelieman at 4:44 PM on May 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Joking aside, I really do wish they could reboot everything but the bat books. Dick as Batman has been incredibly interesting, and Damian as Robin even better.

It'll be a shame if Dick gets demoted back to short pants, though again, I don't really believe them anyways.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:46 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


WHAT ABOUT KYLE (only the best Green Lantern ever, at least when he's in Morrison's hands)? WHAT ABOUT THE JSA? AND THE LEGION? REBOOT THIS SHIT RIGHT OR I'LL SIC ZATANNA ON YOUR SESSA!
posted by PapaLobo at 4:46 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Batman Confidential #18 ( Safe for comic book, but some of you might work with douchebags so.... )

Well then. Carry on.

(did superhero costumes create fetishes or did fetishes create superhero costumes?)
posted by device55 at 4:46 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


for contemporary superheroes, I like Timothy Hunter from The Books of Magic.
posted by jb at 4:47 PM on May 31, 2011


"more modern and diverse 21st century"

Does that mean they're starting up White Hating Coon again or was that published by Marvel comics?
posted by Talez at 4:47 PM on May 31, 2011


You guys remember when Marvel did Ultimate? Which at first was like, oh hey, all those characters I love except they're not all stuck ankle-deep in the mud of continuity, and it's like getting to know them all over again, and if you DO love the continuity there's also a bunch of injokes for you, and by the way we're not cancelling the original runs so you can have them both. Remember how refreshing that was at first? And then eventually they call got so stupid and demanding about everything being New and Different and Shocking and not about the experience of a new, non-calcified continuity? So you started hating them anyway and most of them got cancelled. All because Marvel treated the symptoms and not the disease, all because they couldn't turn around the aircraft carrier in time.

And that happened like, what, 10 years ago? Good job, DC. Good luck with everything.
posted by penduluum at 4:47 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


The comic book industry has to be the least consumer-friendly media segment of all time, and I say this as a videogame enthusiast. I've pretty much resigned myself to buying only the occasional 25 year old omnibus because the new release model is entirely broken. Only young men would put up with the cheaply printed issues "when we feel like it" model.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:48 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


I must concur on the Dick/Damian thing. Awesome.
posted by mikelieman at 4:48 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


DC

YOUR UNIVERSE IS NOT A ROUTER

YOU CANT FIX IT BY TURNING IT OFF AND TURNING IT BACK ON

THAT IS ALL
posted by hellojed at 4:49 PM on May 31, 2011 [53 favorites]


Please allow me to introduce you to Invincible, my favorite contemporary superhero comic.

I've been tempted, but considering my experiences with Irredeemable and Incorruptible, which started out interesting and promised to be finite, and have subsequently devolved into the same old clusterfuck we've seen a hundred times before, I'm not sure if I am willing to make the investment in something else starting with "In".
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:49 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


(are we sure it isn't just renumbering for a single issue, by the way?)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:50 PM on May 31, 2011


Maybe this time they don't have to wear their underpants over their tights. Because that's sort of silly.

It's because they have to change their underwear every half an hour. They have to wear it on the outside, so they can check.

Also, all children under 16 years old are now 16 years old.
posted by Capt. Renault at 4:50 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


What in the goddamn.

This reminds me about the time I was talking to a friend and I said, "Dude, seriously? DC is starting to turn into the Kelly Rowland of comic publishing, man." Seriously, just think about this. It makes way more sense than it should.
posted by kkokkodalk at 4:51 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Sorry -- forgot the italics on condour75's quote there. Oops.)
posted by Capt. Renault at 4:52 PM on May 31, 2011


They should completely kill off the old continuity using Lobo. He's so pissed off that he can't make heads or tails out of the existing history he resets all the old universes. Possibly by hitting a large red button. I vote for this.
posted by adipocere at 4:52 PM on May 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


WHERE THE FUCK IS THE MARTIAN MANHUNTER
NO JUSTICE NO J'ONN! NO JUSTICE NO J'ONN! NO JUSTICE NO J'ONN!

Who's with me? I got signs and everything. I SAID WHO'S WITH ME?

Hello?

::crickets::

Who the fuck is J'onn?
posted by PapaLobo at 4:55 PM on May 31, 2011


Obvious snark aside, how many do-overs does this make since Crisis on Infinite Earths?

A lot.
posted by valkyryn at 4:55 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Back when prices first went to $4/book we had a discussion about it (as well as some changes to Diamond's distribution system).

I started to look at price vs. inflation there, but then in a thread on the rise of digital comics, I made a more detailed table:
			Inflation	
	Issue	Cover	Justified	
		Price	Price	
Mar-62	3	$0.12	$0.12	
Jan-69	82	$0.12	$0.15	
Jan-71	106	$0.15	$0.16	
Jan-74	142	$0.20	$0.20	
Jan-76	166	$0.25	$0.23	
Jan-77	178	$0.30	$0.24	
Jan-79	202	$0.35	$0.29	
Jan-80	214	$0.40	$0.33	
Jan-81	226	$0.50	$0.37	
Jan-85	274	$0.60	$0.43	
Jan-86	286	$0.65	$0.44	
Jan-89	322	$0.75	$0.50	
Jan-92	360	$1.00	$0.56	
Jan-94	384	$1.25	$0.60	
Jan-96	408	$1.50	$0.63	
Jan-00		$1.99	$0.69	v3 25 (actual price 2.99)
Jan-04	507	$2.25	$0.76	
Jan-05	520	$2.99	$0.78	
Jan-06	533	$2.99	$0.81	
Jan-07	543	$2.99	$0.83	
Jan-08	551	$2.99	$0.87
Finally, from that first thread, a little speculation about what prices are possible based on numbers provided in a dead link that Fairytale of Los Angeles dug up.
posted by Chuckles at 4:56 PM on May 31, 2011 [9 favorites]


I've been tempted, but considering my experiences with Irredeemable and Incorruptible, which started out interesting and promised to be finite, and have subsequently devolved

Awww. I liked the first couple of Irredeemable collections and was looking forward to getting to the rest of it some time.
posted by Zed at 4:56 PM on May 31, 2011


The old heroes need to die.

No, they just need to stop having a regular continuity with them and do only Elseworlds. I'd lay out for a lot more of that or things like the black and white Batman they did in the 90s a lot faster than I would for this reboot.
posted by immlass at 5:00 PM on May 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


When I was a kid, I hated the little footnote references at the bottom of the comic book page, saying something like *See Issue 47 - Ed., not only because I had no idea who Ed was, but because they were on something like Issue 124 and there was no way I would ever, ever be able to know what happened in Issue 47. Ever.

That's the problem with continuity. Such a curse. Continuity only works when something is finite; it simply cannot work for something that is intended to continue on forever.

The reason Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns comic did so well wasn't because, ooo, it was all dark and moody; no, it was great because we saw the ageless characters age. We saw the end (or beginning of the end) of a piece of comic lore.

Rebooting the universe is only stupid because DC made it stupid. Had they done so with finesse, knowing they would finish the story of, and reboot a character, after a set period of time, then it wouldn't be stupid; it would be something we all eagerly looked forward to.
posted by jabberjaw at 5:00 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's an idea - COME UP WITH SOMETHING NEW! CREATE, DAMMIT!

No, let's just recycle everying forever! It's postmodern and ecofriendly. Or something.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:03 PM on May 31, 2011


I know it's Marvel but I read a Spiderman one shot where it was set in the 30's Aunt Mae was a commie and parker used a high altitude pilot mask, no spidey uniform, and a gun. And he killed the shit out of some people. I would have gladly embraced that spidey reboot.
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 5:04 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the idea of rebooting the entire DC universe every ten years or so is a good idea, but doing it all at once with THIRTY KAJILLION #1s is a bad idea.

Look, DC has the History (ie, Superman) on its side. So why not roll out the universe slowly over time? And by slowly, I mean, spread it out to more than "June."

Okay, so here's my pitch. Every ten years or so, reboot the setting. That clears away some of the continuity and makes the titles more accessible to new fans. While Morrison's Batman Be Trippin flashbacks are great for a nerd like me, I'm sure some kid picking up the comic after seeing the movie on DVD will have no idea what the hell is going on.

So plan the roll out. You have 10 years to play with 75+ years worth of content as inspiration.

We'll start small. Three #1s, the Trinity. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman all step onto the setting's World Stage at roughly the same time. Superman catches the world's attention first (because, well, he's first), smashing a car while gangsters flee. It's all caught on CCTV, gangsters flip out worldwide that holy shit now they have to deal with this? Seeing how the criminal element is all het up by a dude in a cape, Bruce Wayne decides to upgrade his one man vigilante spree to a costumed crusade. Word travels to a mist-shrouded island that a hero in red and blue is doing Great Things and a princess decides that she wants to be involved too.

Over the next several months, if not years, DC rolls out its other headlining heroes. Green Lantern would probably be next, owing to the movie, but that's fine. He gives a nice way to open up the stars to alien threats and heroes.

You can play with time too, so just because 10 years pass in publication, that doesn't mean you are limited to a ten year window in the setting. Robin can show up in three years. Supergirl in four. Titans in six.

But after a set amount of time, you have to roll things up. These characters can age fine, but they don't work aged. A Superman who does not feel like he's been at this forever is much more interesting than the one you have to listen to because, well, he's Superman.

But what about all issues that need to ship each month in order to keep the studio profitable? One shots and what-ifs are fine. They're more geared at the hardcore fan anyways, and since they are out of the current continuity, you can let your writers go nuts. More Gotham By Gaslight? Sure! New Frontier makes it to the 70s? Please!

By framing the whole endeavor that yeah, you will be rebooting every generation and a half or so, you can bring some of that same experimental freedom to the main continuity. After all, if you screw it up with Green Arrow (Olivia Queen) and Black Banshee's interracial romance, no worries, you can undo it all in 2017.

Just plan things out, dammit!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:08 PM on May 31, 2011 [15 favorites]


Come on DC, John Byrne tried this with the Doom Patrol, and it DIDN'T WORK. Though if the new DC universe had fewer four armed telepathic gorillas I think this can work.

Also, does anyone else find comics really tough to read on a computer? I stopped reading comics when I realized 3 dollars for 15 minutes of (shoddy imo) entertainment was a bit much. I downloaded a cbr of The Runaways just to check up a while back and found it very difficult to read.
posted by catwash at 5:10 PM on May 31, 2011


No, let's just recycle everying forever! It's postmodern and ecofriendly

Here's the thing, The foundations are pretty sound, there is just a lot of cruft. Batman and Superman are great characters, so great in fact that many new characters are basically updates, like Apollo and Midnighter. I just want to be able read the books without having to know why the hell Superman can shoot tiny Supermen from his fingers. Maybe they should just introduce an Earth XJ-273 where everything is fresh and new. Or stagger everything like RIB suggests, but they gotta do something IMO.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:12 PM on May 31, 2011


Also, does anyone else find comics really tough to read on a computer? I stopped reading comics when I realized 3 dollars for 15 minutes of (shoddy imo) entertainment was a bit much. I downloaded a cbr of The Runaways just to check up a while back and found it very difficult to read.

iPads are to comic books what gloves are to hands.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 5:12 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's right — Can't wait for the new Doom Patrol #1. Let's hope those lovable losers finally get the marquee treatment they deserve!
posted by klangklangston at 5:13 PM on May 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


Okay, so here's my pitch. Every ten years or so....

Make it 20 to give more room to breathe, and I'd be on board for that like... some... comics metaphor I can't think of.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 5:15 PM on May 31, 2011


This is going to be so collectible they should only sell them in Mylar. They need to offer heavier paper weight for such substantialness. Or only offer the issues in flat, uncut sheets, already pre-framed in UV-proof housing, along with a large, nondescript shed or barn in up-state New York to house the collection. Anything less would be sacrilege.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:15 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Avenger: This is unfortunate but badly needed. Comics probably should reboot themselves every ten years or so, unless you plan on the characters aging as well.

There is absolutely no way for people to keep up with 70+ years of continuity for hundreds of different characters. There's just no way.


And that's why mainstream comics are weaksauce. 70+ years and hundreds of different characters? That's real life, bub. Flub a bit of continuity in the dialogue? Ask someone to remember that much detail in their lives for decades.

As for aging characters: let them retire in peace (except for some comeback specials), or kill 'em off and let the new guns come in.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:17 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, David E. Kelley!

Yeah, you.
The result is a Wonder Woman who is more like Kelley’s Ally McBeal than the feminist superhero who stands side-by-side with her fellow DC icons Superman and Batman. This is a woman whose feelings are hurt by people commenting on her breast size, who is looking for love in all the wrong places, and who wants to have it all! (No sign of a unisex bathroom yet but other Kelley tropes seem liberally scattered throughout the script. Fortunately, there’s no dancing baby.) But the stilted dialogue and bizarre narrative conceits pale in comparison with some of the sacrilege being committed here.

What follows are eight of the most head-scratching moments from the pilot script...
YOU FUCKED UP.

posted by Trurl at 5:17 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


That, or consider characters stuck in time, forever living in the same time period. It works for the old dailies, right?
posted by filthy light thief at 5:18 PM on May 31, 2011


This is the creative equivalent of some third-world country with rampant inflation rebooting its currency.
posted by mecran01 at 5:22 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


BRING BACK EARTH C-MINUS
posted by Flunkie at 5:22 PM on May 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is the creative equivalent of some third-world country with rampant inflation rebooting its currency.

something something Invader Zim something
posted by cortex at 5:23 PM on May 31, 2011


for contemporary superheroes, I like Timothy Hunter from The Books of Magic.

For values of "contemporary" that equal "twenty years ago".
posted by Legomancer at 5:24 PM on May 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


So this will be a good time to start reading DC right? The few I have attempted ( All Star Superman) I was baffled by what seemed like 75 years worth of references to shit I had never read. Now is my shot to be as big an expert as anyone else. If anyone tries to trip me up with minutia and trivia from those decades I can just be like "whatevs dude, Superman totes never had a dog, a horse or a machine that could see into the future, and Batman always rode around on a black Segway"

Im psyched.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:27 PM on May 31 [1 favorite +] [!]


Apparently the central title to this entire reboot mess is supposed to be Booster Gold, so if you want to start reading again, this best place (I guess) to jump in. I think BG #44 is the official start of this Flashpoint disaster, and from what I read, it will be up to Booster to play "time cop."

On the down side, from what I can tell, they're going to draw out the initial story so slowly, molasses flowing uphill in the middle of winter will look speedy by comparison.

On the plus side, creator Dan Jurgens is back at the helm of Booster Gold.
posted by sardonyx at 5:28 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


I read the Watchmen when people told me it's the best comic book ever written. I read several online comics, especially xkcd.

Is there any reasons what-so-ever that I should give a damn about DC deciding their comics should copy existing movies instead of playing storyboards for future movies?

I trust there remains a market for comic authors who're secretly writing their hollywood screenplay but lack the clout to get it produced. I felt 300 justifies that approach.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:29 PM on May 31, 2011


DC to reboot entire universe.

And Aquaman will STILL suck!

*ducks*
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:30 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hi Chuckles,

That chart is pretty awesome. It'd be pretty cool to also compare the following things to inflation and comic book cover prices as well:

- Artists' pay
- Printing costs
- Shipping costs
- Distributor costs

My guess is the distributor costs probably climbed steeply, while artists' pay has not.

Mind you, this isn't a defense of paying $4 for 20 pages of comic, more an observation on the fact that comics have had sweatshop pay for a long time, and the distribution system is deeply broken. Webcomics aren't the future because the internet is magical, as much as the fact that from distribution to retail, the paper model is dying for a lot of reasons.
posted by yeloson at 5:31 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


The result is a Wonder Woman who is more like Kelley’s Ally McBeal than the feminist

I don't know much about the book but after reading that article it sounds like something out of The Brave and the Bold where Wonder Woman and her peeps go out dancing.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:33 PM on May 31, 2011


In a stunning turn, Aquaman will be a cat in a wheelchair.
posted by boo_radley at 5:34 PM on May 31, 2011 [12 favorites]


Yeah, no thank you.

Make Mine Marvel. At least there, the obnoxious Perpetual Reboot is confined to the Ultimate line.
posted by EatTheWeak at 5:34 PM on May 31, 2011


for contemporary superheroes, I like Timothy Hunter from The Books of Magic.

For values of "contemporary" that equal "twenty years ago".
posted by Legomancer at 8:24 PM on 5/31
[+] [!]


I'm old. Other modern superheroes I like include Night Owl and V, and I'm not talking about the movies. Never did read any Hellblazer (I only know Constantine from BoM), but I probably ought to as I like Moore's other stuff.

on preview: Watchmen is one of the finest comics ever made; it had it's own episode on prisoners of gravity.
posted by jb at 5:35 PM on May 31, 2011


In a stunning turn, Aquaman will be a cat in a wheelchair.

I would read that comic book.
posted by cortex at 5:35 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I haven't read the article or any of the comments. I feel pretty safe in saying:

FUCK THIS SHIT
posted by marxchivist at 5:36 PM on May 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


There is nothing I love more about Metafilter than coming into a comics post and finding a multi-paragraph awesome proposal by robocop is bleeding that I would happily pay money to see realized.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 5:38 PM on May 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've been buying a lot of back issues of the old 1960's comics Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane. Is this reboot going to make it like those stories never happened, like they're not true or something? So all the money I've spent on these comics, and the time spent reading them, will all be for naught because the stories never really happened? Like they were made up to begin with or something?
posted by marxchivist at 5:39 PM on May 31, 2011 [8 favorites]


Never did read any Hellblazer

I spent a couple bucks buying all the out of print trades of Hellblazer, and a lot of them were kind of a slog. I liked the Garth Ennis trades but the Jamie Delano trades left me kinda cold.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:40 PM on May 31, 2011


For some reason I thought Hellblazer was written by Alan Moore - but I see that I mixed it up with Swamp thing, which is the other comic I know John Constantine from.

Yorick is also a great contemporary comics hero, but not exactly a superhero - his ordinariness is much of the appeal of the character. (Warning: spoilers in the Wikipedia plot summary, for those of us who got as far as issue #55 but have to pick it up again).
posted by jb at 5:51 PM on May 31, 2011


This could be good if they are trying to make the new comics more accessible...

Wikipedia entry on Flashpoint: Consisting of a limited five issue run, the series will also crossover with time-travel comic Booster Gold, sixteen 3-issue mini series and a number of one shots with four having been announced for release in June.

... except I need an excel spreadsheet and a few hundred dollars to find out what's going on.
posted by Gary at 5:56 PM on May 31, 2011


but I see that I mixed it up with Swamp thing

John Constantine was introduced in Swamp Thing. Moore's Swamp Thing was great, which is why I started reading Hellblazer, and I just couldn't stop.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:58 PM on May 31, 2011


So is this all new origins and no remaining continuity because honestly speaking that could be okay to live with.

IIRC we are currently under the post Crisis Year 1- Byrne Superman continuity, with some bleed from other rival continuities. Basically even though they have universe shattering events every year we are still operating under the same basic timeline that was established in the mid-late 80s.

I think it's actually okay to do a complete reboot and reimagining of the DC universe. Many potential fans are put off by the decades of continuity and actually like dealing with comics from the ground floor.

The ultimates universe was a decent hit for Marvel prior to Loeb shitting the bed in it so I think a similar take on DC core would be worthwhile. Further if you do it with the core titles instead of a rival titles you don't completely inundate your few remaining loyalists with a shit ton of new titles to purchase every month, which simply doesn't work anymore as a sales strategy.
posted by vuron at 5:58 PM on May 31, 2011


I used to love comics as a kid, but they got way too confusing. Next time I have some free time and money though I'm going to order all of Grant Morrison's Batman comics and just binge.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:59 PM on May 31, 2011


Tom Spurgeon: "Overall, this sounds to me like that time when the older, dependable brother in a respected family gets sick of always being the source of stability and flips the fuck out and does something slightly nuts, with the knowledge that ultimately the family money takes care of him even if his crappy decisions goof up a few sets of lives tied into his own."
posted by MegoSteve at 6:00 PM on May 31, 2011


Let me guess. They'll be even Darker And Edgier.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:01 PM on May 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


I usually skip over comic-book-related posts, buuuut:

If you don't like certain story-arcs or characters, delete them from your universe. On EARTH-BILL, Hal Jordan never went insane, Spidey doesn't team up with vicious killers like Venom, etc., etc., etc..

These are all fictions, you know. Pick the ones you like and run with it.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 6:03 PM on May 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


Which Green Lantern? It has to be Hal Jordan.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:06 PM on May 31, 2011


There is absolutely no way for people to keep up with 70+ years of continuity for hundreds of different characters. There's just no way.
And
When I was a kid, I hated the little footnote references at the bottom of the comic book page, saying something like *See Issue 47 - Ed., not only because I had no idea who Ed was, but because they were on something like Issue 124 and there was no way I would ever, ever be able to know what happened in Issue 47. Ever.

That's the problem with continuity. Such a curse. Continuity only works when something is finite; it simply cannot work for something that is intended to continue on forever.


Continuity can be an albatross but you can make 70 years of back story work just by keeping things consistent. Any story that is really popular or critically acclaimed becomes part of the canon, everything else can be referenced for five years and then is never mentioned again. (The Death of Gwen Stacy can be referenced or retold in flashbacks forever, Torment is completely ignored.) The editor notations would never be so old a kid doesn't have a shot at finding the issue referenced.

Don't tie character's origins to specific times or places (say Tony Stark was injured "in a war" instead of "in Vietnam") unless there's a good reason your WWII character is still 30 years old in 2011. Even then Captain America should have been fished out of the Atlantic "about a decade ago". Always "about a decade ago". Peter Parker can be in high school, take some college courses and work freelance for the Bugle at the same time; he can do all three forever, it's part of the Parker luck.

These universes are broken because the companies don't know what they're doing. Resetting everything isn't going to change that.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:07 PM on May 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


cortex: "I would read that comic book."

"You have to steer that pod of whales away from the shore, Aquaman! If you don't, the Atlanicians will be doomed!"

"nyanyanya? prrt nrrrmrnrrptrnmnnrrnmnr?" * drives off in wheelchair *

"Is he going to help... or ... ?"

"I... don't know..."
posted by boo_radley at 6:07 PM on May 31, 2011 [13 favorites]


Just plan things out, dammit!

Actually, robocob, lemme take your idea and run with it a little. I've been absorbing comics at a depressingly/disturbingly fast rate since January (Hi, jedicus!), and I've noticed that comic book stories are, for good or ill, products of their times. The original Iron Man and Fantastic Four stories were explicitly Cold War stories with Communists--mostly Russian but some Chinese--as primary antagonists. That doesn't really work anymore, but Marvel has never really rebooted its continuity, so those things are still running around in the background somewhere.

But I've also started to think that comic book characters are a lot more like the Greek pantheon than like characters in a novel. Trying to line up all the stories about Zeus into a single continuity would be silly. That isn't the kind of story being told. Each story is intended to relate a different aspect of the Zeus persona, and I'm sure that if we knew more about the origin of each story, we'd see pretty clear connections to then-current events.

So here's my suggestion. Yes, "reboot" the characters every ten years, but instead of just telling a story for a while, have it get completely out of control and then require a reboot just to maintain sanity, go ahead and make your superhero stories relate a little more closely to world events. But have a more-or-less defined ten-year plot arc. Beginning, middle, end. Then start over and tell the story again a different way. Incorporate new cultural phenomena, historical events, political shifts, what have you. Instead of trying to make the stories timeless, which they never really were, double down on making them reflections of current society. That way you stay relevant and interesting. And by restarting the story every decade or so, you can have your characters reflect on things that happened last decade without having to worry about what they were doing then, because that was before they entered the scene.

Because really, the minutae of Superman's relationships or the chronology of his fights against the Fifty Foot Whatever aren't really the point. Superman is Superman, and he's timeless not because his stories age well but because he's an archetype that can be applied to everything.
posted by valkyryn at 6:09 PM on May 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


robocop, dammit.
posted by valkyryn at 6:09 PM on May 31, 2011


A cyborg that is also home to several pigeons: eight letters.
posted by boo_radley at 6:10 PM on May 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wah! I can't even... No time! Definitely going to look into this later.
posted by Kevin Street at 6:16 PM on May 31, 2011


You've got to admire how effectively DC have shat over the goodnews that is the day and date thing.
posted by Artw at 6:19 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think people who want comics to reboot frequently are people who don't really like comics. I'm a huge fan of recent batman continuity and I am kind of horrified to think what this will mean for characters I've been following for years.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:21 PM on May 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well technically valkyryn Marvel 616 universe kinda operates like what you are saying.

It's pretty much assumed that Fantastic Four #1 happened around 10 years before the current day and the occasional flashback handles stuff like Iron Man's origins not being the same as what happened in Tales of Suspense (or is that Astonish I can't ever remember my Silver Age origins).

So Professor X was injured in Vietnam now instead of Korea, etc.

The only solid parts of the timeline are the Invaders in WWII. Stuff in the intervening period is handled with 1950s Avengers.
posted by vuron at 6:24 PM on May 31, 2011


The only constant in DC Comics is big sweeping changes...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 6:24 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


First, I paid for my first year of college with a trunk full of comics that I as a 14 year-old wisely started collecting when I saw what was happening with my X-Men Giant Size #1(s). So I'm ahead of the game that way. They were great to read, I bought ten of each thing I thought would be bank for years, and then I let them go. So I look back fondly at that little mutant I was.

Next, hard-copy comics are grossly too expensive and should cost from $1-$2 dollars, tops. I can buy full-color magazines for that price all the time. And I know the publishing game so that's the first problem and solution. You want to cut out the distributors, sell direct and pre-sell and sell subscriptions. That will increase the bottom like enormously.

But "digital" comics for $3? Please. It's a complete failure to understand the scale of digital economy of selling five thousand comics with a profit margin of $2 per unit verses selling fifty thousand with a profit margin of .25¢ per unit. The latter is a both far more profitable in both a short-term and long-term prospective. One are rabid fanboys, the other is a formidable and mobile customer base with considerably more buying power for collateral goods and services. Duh.

Next, until I see more:
-Christianity/Musilm/Judaism/Scientology-obsessed superheroes who believe their powers are the work of divine intervention;
-very femmy gay characters who use there powers for fun and good;
-business-obsessed superheroes;
-physically-obsessed superheroes;
-anti-gay superhero;
-lots of young LGBT superheroes;
-more depictions of superheroes like the DC Milestone "urban" superheroes (a closeted gay black ghost? Heavy solid brick woman who is also tender and sexy? Asian guy whose nanobots devour his own girlfriend to save his life? (Wow!)...oh hellz yeh);
-obsessed superheroes;
-special needs superheroes
-traditionally-unattractive superheroes
-superheroes who are sort of boring;
-superheroes who are into consumerism;
-Republican-conservative-jerky superheroes;
-well-intentioned bleeding-heart superheroes;
-dope-smoking superheroes;

...then I'm not buying comics. Because the above is how the world is. I know so many people. The ones who are most like traditional depictions of superpeople are what I call lacking depth.

Along these same lines, comics are a problem for me because while they are escapism and can be fantastic, they are typically not escapism or the fantastic most of us these day can relate to.

Superman? Batman? Wonder Woman? Aquaman? As a new reader, there origin stories alone would keep me from reading their stories. At least Martian Manhunter is weird. Of course he is, he's from Mars.

Think of video games. When it comes to video games, there really are engaging narratives for almost everybody. But when it comes to comic books, well, the myths are weak. Often, I'm thinking, "Seriously?" As in the suspension of disbelief requires me to be in fact dumb. Or unimaginative.

If I was going to be a superhero, I'd be someone who could go into the delusional world of the mentally unwell and sort it out. Now THAT would be challenging. For instance, sufferers of schizophrenia have some really horrifying and fantastic delusions which must be dealt with and the challenge is that where ever in their personal headspace their delusion are take place 1) they are their without allies, 2) but they are not alone. That is some heavy, scary shite. A superhero who could deal with some of that is someone I'd like to read about.

But someone whose parent is an alien or was struck by some spacebolt or who finds some special thing or who learns some special thing or is from another dimension? No.

No no no no no. It's been done a gazillion times before and cliche is what is killing comics.

Some people see ultimate evil as another country or a dictator or secret force or freakishly huge ambition.

But for those of us who see evil as no specific thing or being (?), we are left behind as costumed moron after costumed moron does battle with cliche and hackneyed depictions of bad guys who fail to address larger problems.

Like why does 1% of the US nation control 40% of the wealth? I mean, as a superhero I'd have to actively work on doing something about that.

You want to reboot DC? Get rid of bad-corp Wayne Enterprises, get rid of Superman aka America's proto-facist lapdog, and start dealing with the problems instead of creating them.

We know what the X-Men are like. We know superheroes have personal problems too. Now get involved and start calling out the real world problems, and maybe you'll find your superheroes will become more real than you could possible have ever imagined.

But what am I thinking. It's corporations that own these properties. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: At the end of the day, superheroes are brands.
posted by humannaire at 6:25 PM on May 31, 2011 [17 favorites]


Geoff Johns promised USA Today "a focus on the interpersonal relationships within DC's trademark superteam." "What's the human aspect behind all these costumes?" he tells the publication. "That's what I wanted to explore."

The revamp will reportedly involve "introducing readers to stories that are grounded in each character's specific legend but also reflect today's real-world themes and events."


Laying aside the uber-reboot concept this sounds really really really fucking awful. Like those scenes in NuWho where people's families sit around the kitchen table and have history at each other.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:26 PM on May 31, 2011


What, again? And I'm taking bets on how long before the sereis start to return to their old numbering systems.

On the other hand, day-and-date digital releases actually does make for a serious change. Hope that works out.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:27 PM on May 31, 2011


... except I need an excel spreadsheet and a few hundred dollars to find out what's going on.

That's my pet peeve right now. Too seldom are these crossovers enumerated in any way for you to have any clue to know what issue of what title do you need to read in what order. I think X-Men did something like "Chapter 1 of whatever arc", then in uh... I foget... Ultimate X-men or X-men Legacy #whatver, they had on the cover Chapter 2 of whatever arc...

That helped. Of course, the story arc was so damn riviting I don't recall exactly what was going in, or exactly what titles it was.

But it was nice to have a hint.
posted by mikelieman at 6:30 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Haven't read the article yet, but - what's this mean for the awesome Morrison Batman stuff? BATMAN INCORPORATED is the first cape comic I've been this excited about since... the last thing he wrote?
posted by jtron at 6:31 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


on, not in.
posted by mikelieman at 6:31 PM on May 31, 2011


aven't read the article yet, but - what's this mean for the awesome Morrison Batman stuff? BATMAN INCORPORATED is the first cape comic I've been this excited about since... the last thing he wrote?

Remember what Marvel did after his run on New X-Men? I'd expect that.
posted by Artw at 6:36 PM on May 31, 2011


FOR GOD'S SAKE, JUST STOP GIVING THEM MONEY!

Seriously, I feel like the guy on the lower left corner of Action Comics #1.

Also, I hear comics are all played out. Tulips are the new hotness.

Also, what's a Nubian?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:42 PM on May 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


If they reboot Earth-Prime, what's happens to Metafilter?
posted by wittgenstein at 6:46 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


I had my year or two of reading comics (Marvel, though) around when X-factor #1 came out (1986, apparently). My parents were recently divorced so my dad would pick me up on a weeknight or Saturday and drive me to the Comic Carnival in Broad Ripple and trade dirty jokes with the guy who worked there while I made some selections. Mostly X-Men, New Mutants and related, plus Daredevil. I stayed with it for long enough to fill up one longbox, still moldering in a closet at my mother's. I tried reading a few CBRs back when OINK (miss you!) was around, but never really got into the interface.

My story is anything but unique. There are tons of people who read comics for a year or two and left it (for me, the C64 took over my free time and paper-route money). I bet a significant subset of those folks have an iOS device and would pay a reasonable monthly subscription to have ongoing access to everything. Everything being published, all the back issues. I'd put it at $12.99/mo. Don't include back issue access if it breaks the deal. Just what's published from now going forward.

I guess $1/issue for iOS would work too, but the subscription-based recurring revenue model would be much sweeter for the the publishers. God, any geek who rides a train to work would buy it. And, yes, optimize the comics for the small screen. It will be unlike trying to read a CBR on a screen. The physical interaction with the device, even just to swipe to the next page, is going to increase the reader's emotional involvement.

And, yes, this wouldn't be good for the comic book stores. Sorry. I know folks have fond memories of them, but, just like record shops, they aren't going to make it.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:47 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


that should be what happens to metafilter .....
posted by wittgenstein at 6:48 PM on May 31, 2011


Being serious, though, will this mess up Paul Levitz's Legion, which I am really enjoying? (Go Quislet!)
posted by wittgenstein at 6:50 PM on May 31, 2011


Protip: Marvel and DC have been circling the drain for about a decade now. The old heroes need to die. No matter the number of reboots, retcons and reinventions, people are not buying Hulk or Superman comics because there is too much material beneath their surfaces. Invent new heroes. Give them the same adventures if you must, but invent new heroes. Make comics feel like comics rather than glossy photoshop portfolios. Wolverine, the Green Lantern, the Fantastic Four, the Flash - they have had their days, their countless days. Their stories are told, dozens of times over. They are tired, hunched, broken, exhausted beyond time and space and reckoning. Time to go to sleep, old friends. We have longboxes of memories. We have more memories of you than we do of our own lives. We won't forget you, but you need to be forgotten. We don't want you to die, we just need you to end.

Sorry, but no. The characters are ICONS. Batman, Superman, Spider-Man - they are bigger than us, and the represent ideals that still inspire humanity. At this point the individual content of the stories doesn't matter but I'd be a much worse person without Spidey's example.

OTOH, I think the best representations are continuity light. Batman: The Brave and the Bold and the Arkham Asylum game are polar opposites in terms of tone but I love them both because they have an essence of Batman in them. In his Chaos Magick essay Grant Morrison talks about using Kirby's New Gods as glyphs - hyper-potent, compressed symbols. When I first saw The Dark Knight, The Joker was infecting my brain. But on the way home I passed a tree that bats lived in. I passed it every day, but that Bat snapped me out of my disordered thinking.

Can new heroes have that power?

Probably. Scott Pilgrim does for me. But the old icons still need to remain potent.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:57 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


If Barbara starts walking around, I'm going to be pissed.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 6:57 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


RIP local comic shops

This will be a nothing in that. I have friends who lament not having a close shop (the closest is the awesome Source in the twin cities, half an hour away), but then make fun of me for buying the books there. They either download them from torrents or buy them from a mail order place after selecting the ones in previews, like a half to 3/4 off in price. Pretty much wholesale or less from what it sounded like. No brick and mortar store can compare to that. With the internet, it's harder for any brick and mortar to survive, much less a specialty store.

Back to the subject, i actually really liked Blackest Night, i had basically ignored any DC book other than Hellblazer, and picked up an issue on a whim, and then got sucked into it and went and got the trades back to the Green Lantern reboot. One thing i love about Green Lantern, it's not one guy, it's a lot of different people/aliens, and the story telling in there is pretty varied with possibilities. I also have no problem with the 'skittles', as it also opens up more motivations and character details. I did have a bit of a problem knowing who some of these people were, but they were pretty well written.

I don't see why people don't want DC or Marvel to make the books they want, having it work the other way is no good either. The more variety the better i feel, having Green Lantern and X-Men, and then more odd ones like Gloomcookie or Blue Monday is a good thing. If i only had "indie" comics to read, i'd probably stop, they can be good, but tend to go 'off' too much, and lose me at some point.

I also want to say how funny it is people complaining about this, but loving the 'reboot' of Dr Who with moffatt, who seems to have stollen the idea right from infinite Crisis and other comics (cracks in time rewriting history = the punching of time retconnning things).
posted by usagizero at 7:02 PM on May 31, 2011


Probably. Scott Pilgrim does for me. But the old icons still need to remain potent.

It's an interesting notion, but if Batman or the Joker tap into some kind of archetype, then other characters should be able to fill that void as easily. I mean, we don't refer to the Joker as Dionysian for nothing.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:08 PM on May 31, 2011


(If I could just make a dollar for each time someone proclaims the death of comic shops and/or comic books in general... we've been open for 23 years now, and that would be a nice pile of moolah.)
posted by Ron Thanagar at 7:17 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Probably. Scott Pilgrim does for me. But the old icons still need to remain potent.

It's an interesting notion, but if Batman or the Joker tap into some kind of archetype, then other characters should be able to fill that void as easily. I mean, we don't refer to the Joker as Dionysian for nothing.


But these characters also represent archetypes or clusters of archetypes. I DON'T see The Joker as purely Dionysian, since my view of that archtype is more of a 'healthy' sexuality/drinking. Sure, it can get dangerous, but the 'danger' is like a good party that gets out of hand. The Joker is your sketchy friend who has all the best drugs and knows all the hottest people but there's something very 'off' about him, and you know that you shouldn't spend any more time around him than is absolutely necessary. He's the life of the party, but he's also fucked up from the start.

And yeah, new characters can do that. Alan Moore did it with John Constantine. Neil Gaiman with... everyone. But it's good to have the old icons around. Batman MEANS so much to people. The Joker is so powerful he killed a real human being.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:20 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I also want to say how funny it is people complaining about this, but loving the 'reboot' of Dr Who with moffatt, who seems to have stollen the idea right from infinite Crisis and other comics (cracks in time rewriting history = the punching of time retconnning things).

Isn't a character who dies and gets reborn as someone else every few years basically a walking reboot?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:21 PM on May 31, 2011


They do this every few years now. Lame. On Earth 4, they did it last week. Just ask Golden Age Flash.
posted by littlerobothead at 7:22 PM on May 31, 2011


The Joker is so powerful he killed a real human being.

I'm really not trying to wet blanket your ideas here, Lovecraft, but the Joker didn't kill a real human being. A nasty drug combination did that, and probably unintentionally. I don't think you quite mean to romanticize that death, but that's sort of how this comes across, and not only is it unromantic, but I don't think it's even an accurate way of looking at what happened.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:33 PM on May 31, 2011 [8 favorites]


We have about ten thousand comics from our old store... if anyone is interested make an offer for it. Me I read digital now, downloaded, on an iPad.
Death of the local comic store? That happened already twice like a nasty reboot.
posted by mrgroweler at 7:36 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


It seems along with renumbering, there will be some re-suiting. Supes looks like he has ditched the red shorts.

I never understood all you people who poo-pooed continuity. As a kid that was part of the appeal -- knowing that I was becoming familiar with a world that had deep long history, and becoming familiar with the back stories and the obscure characters. Sure the odds of me getting my hands on Detective #35 (pick a random title and a random issue number) were pretty much slim to none -- especially in those pre-Internet days -- but that didn't matter. Eventually you would begin to pick up what you missed, and you'd start to feel like you were a part of something, if only by the process of reading the current issues and speculating on future story lines based on your understanding of older stories.

Maybe they were minor accomplishments, but being able to look at splash pages depicting the items in Bruce's cave or Clark's Fortress and knowing that you could identify them and understand their significance and identify their origins, were important milestones for the comic readers I knew.

Looking back at it now, it seems to me that those were early lessons for young kids in understanding contextuality and in history, and I don't see that there's anything wrong in letting readers (especially young readers) learn those lessons on their own outside of a classroom setting.
posted by sardonyx at 7:44 PM on May 31, 2011 [7 favorites]


Make Mine Marvel. At least there, the obnoxious Perpetual Reboot is confined to the Ultimate line.

I draw your attention to Infinite Deal with the Devil Crisis as a rebuttal, your honor.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:55 PM on May 31, 2011


Also what happened with the X Men after Morrison left, as mentioned above.

What's The Human Torch up to these days?
posted by Artw at 8:01 PM on May 31, 2011


These are all fictions, you know. Pick the ones you like and run with it.

Said the self-loathing Christian.
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:21 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


If they reboot Earth-Prime, what's happens to Metafilter?

It's still there, but it's purple instead of blue, and has a heroin addiction.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:41 PM on May 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Put me in the "reboot every 10 years" or something. I think part of the problem is that authors get bored with 'small' stories and want to write big stories that change the whole world. The problem with that is if you do it too frequently, you end up with a screwy continuity.

Ultimately the problem is due to a desire to create profitable comics, not literary works. That's not going to go away, and the result will suck.

Anyway, I don't really care either way.
posted by delmoi at 8:52 PM on May 31, 2011


I also want to say how funny it is people complaining about this, but loving the 'reboot' of Dr Who with moffatt

What some of us like about Moffat is that this "reboot" reminds us of previous reboots of the show that we liked better than the last one. What some of us don't like about the DC reboot is that we have no confidence that the outcome will be stories we like. The issue isn't whether or not a storyline gets rebooted; it's whether the stories that come out of them will be any good, or at least fun for those of us reading/watching them. I'm not upset by the DC reboot, but I have no confidence that it's going to result in comics I want to read.
posted by immlass at 9:02 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


I actually like this idea.

Go ahead, throw rocks at me. The DC universe has become bloated, but there are lots of little gems, and the animation division has been nothing short of kick-ass. There's something there there, so here's hoping they do all the right nips, tucks and polishes.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:04 PM on May 31, 2011


One of the biggest problems I have with superhero comics isn't one that they can get rid of through a reboot like this — it's the endless inflation in powers that comes from the endless accumulation of competing myths. Superman can't ever fight gangsters anymore — he can end worlds. I don't think just rebooting would solve that, as the audience has too much expectation built up (I mean, I engage in it too — this is all pretty much a thread of adults bitching that adolescent comics are now too juvenile for them and blaming the comics for it) for the kinds of things that Superman should be able to do. It may be just stoner spitballing, but I feel like the constant availability of all the back issues differentiates these from Greek myth, which didn't tend to get written down until there were many competing "origin stories."
posted by klangklangston at 9:15 PM on May 31, 2011


I DON'T see The Joker as purely Dionysian, since my view of that archtype is more of a 'healthy' sexuality/drinking. Sure, it can get dangerous, but the 'danger' is like a good party that gets out of hand.

All the best parties end when your mom tears you apart limb from limb.

posted by dd42 at 9:32 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


DC isn't going to fix its problems with this reboot, because they've never fixed their problems with a reboot. Crisis on Infinite Earths was supposed to do that; Zero Hour was supposed to fix the problems that CoIE didn't; and Infinite Crisis was supposed to fix the problems that still weren't fixed. Part of the problem is that it really just becomes an internal referendum on which characters live, which die, and which get rebooted, and I really don't see this turning out any different. Part of the problem is that, contrary to robocop is bleeding's plea, they don't have a long game and probably never will--like any standard corporation, they're obsessed with the bottom line and the quarterly report, and the people at the top are biding their time until they can move up the ladder. (If anyone thinks that Jim Lee will last on this new JLA book for more than a few issues--or, for that matter, will finish All-Star Batman and Robin with Frank Miller--now that he's a co-publisher, well, I've got some bad news for you, sunshine...)

They'll get a sales bump out of all these new #1s (not the first time they've tried that gimmick, either), long enough for key people to either move up or move on to other media. Then they'll be back to the usual business of charging more per issue to a shrinking readership. Turn to Kate Beaton instead, to Jeph Jacques, to Lucy Knisley, hell, even to Chester Brown and his advocacy of sex-for-hire. Your costumed heroes of yesteryear are yoked to a cart being driven off a cliff.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:41 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know how the whole Knightfall saga was basically DC saying "okay, you want Batman to be Wolverine? Here it is!" and it was so awful people shut up about that? They should totally do a Superman story where he's an emo mopey Batman clone who is completely unlike Superman bar the costume, and doesn't do any cool superpowered stuff, in an effort to shut up the "Superman should be just like Batman" crowd.

Oh wait, they did, and it was called Superman Returns. Guess that didn't work.
posted by Artw at 9:42 PM on May 31, 2011 [3 favorites]



Oh wait, they did, and it was called Superman Returns. Guess that didn't work.


Also Smallville, which literally was going to be a show about young Bruce Wayne.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:45 PM on May 31, 2011


Next, until I see more:

[Bunch of stuff that I could totally point out if you hadn't added the unfairly subjective qualifier 'more']

...then I'm not buying comics.

I think Morrison's hit almost all of those notes at one time or another - Ennis, Ellis, Milligan, and Moore, too. But a heck of a lot of those things are absent or at the very least treated dishonestly in our popular culture, let alone a niche genre in a boutique medium like superhero comics.

Now get involved and start calling out the real world problems, and maybe you'll find your superheroes will become more real than you could possible have ever imagined.

Unpossible, at least in a serial storytelling format.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:16 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


[Bunch of stuff that I could totally point out if you hadn't added the unfairly subjective qualifier 'more']

I like how one of those is "FOX News not freaking out about Muslim Batman" - Er, that's to do with FOX news being idiots, not comics.
posted by Artw at 10:18 PM on May 31, 2011


DC to reboot entire universe

... and will continue to do so until this list of random numbers is sorted in constant time!
posted by Afroblanco at 10:22 PM on May 31, 2011


If you're following Andy Diggle over Twitter he has some intersting and largely positive thoughts on the matter (usual warnings about twitter feeds being fiddly and hard to follow apply) - he's mainly seeing this as an oportunity to reposition the comics for newer/younger readers - which I'd probably grudgingly admit was a good thing, If that is what they are going to do and if they do it well.
posted by Artw at 10:22 PM on May 31, 2011


Will Grant Morrison Be Writing Superman? Creative Rumors For Post
posted by Artw at 10:28 PM on May 31, 2011


No matter what the old stories you liked will still be there. New characters, new stories is what should happen. I don't read any Marvel or DC comics set in their main continuity, I tend to get the graphic novels of some of their smaller labels.

Stories should end.
At this point the DC Universe is like a television show on it's 80th season. Do you really expect there to be ANYTHING new to say about the same old characters?

They may be icons, but the old stories will still be there. You can still read them anytime you like, they will never make a new story that will make you feel exactly the same way anyway, so you may as well reread the old stories if you're so attached to the characters/ They don't have to keep making new stories with the same characters, retreading the same ground, and trying to update characters to match the current setting of the real world. Let them be set in a specific time and place, let them live and die.
posted by TheKM at 10:31 PM on May 31, 2011


I do hope Gail Simone comes out of this okay; out of the few superhero comics I borrow from the library, hers are generally the funnerest.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:33 PM on May 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


What's The Human Torch up to these days?

Are you sitting down?
posted by Superfrankenstein at 10:34 PM on May 31, 2011 [7 favorites]


Of course, I'm still sore about Morrison not getting a continuing ZOIDS comic.
posted by Artw at 10:36 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Doctor Who reboot was completely different, as while there were a series of stylistic changes, they all followed in the already-established continuity of the show's universe.

Comics don't have the luxury of regenerations, though, so you do wind up needing to reboot every once in a while. I don't see how this is inherently a problem. It's important to keep comic characters ultimately eternal as far as their iconography is concerned, although there are bad ways to reboot and good ways to reboot.

The clarion call to bring in new superheroes is a good one, but the comics companies are stuck between a rock and a hard place. For every new character who really takes off, there are dozens more who don't. It's hard for the companies to get behind a business model where they have to eat more than a few failures every business quarter. Say what one will about mediocre Hulk titles, but at least they're consistent revenue streams, especially amongst lowest-common-denominator comics fans.

That said, I bet the industry would improve if there was more of a push to make the comics industry a bit like the HBO/AMC model of show development. Put your rubles behind a few very mature proposals for something new. Commit to new ideas and execute them well. Don't release mediocre comics that exist only to reassure some neckbeard that Marvel will never give up on Gray Hulk, or whatever.

Consolidate the "legacy" characters into a few prestige runs and consider some new titles that will each develop a niche following on their own.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:36 PM on May 31, 2011


Will Grant Morrison Be Writing Superman? Creative Rumors For Post

Thanks for posting, that's exciting. I'm a big fan of most of Morrison's work but I far preferred his Superman to his Batman.
posted by Lorin at 10:40 PM on May 31, 2011


I'm a fan of both, and I'm still going to be pissed if current Batman storylines get cut short by this.

To be honets that's pretty much the root of my negativity towards this: Previous bad experiences of good creatiove teams and storylines being swept away for some editorially mandated event that's ultimatly turned out to be a bit crap. That and, let's face it, the press release sounds like a bland mishmash of every reboot speech ever and "#1" titles are silly.

Of course, other than the current Batman I'm not really sure there's anything DC has running currently that it will be a shame to see go - nothing I'm reading, anyway, and I think everyone will agree that teh quicker the damage wrought by JMS can be swept under the carpet the better, but I'm sure for every comic SOMEONE is going to be sad to see it go.
posted by Artw at 10:49 PM on May 31, 2011


Seriously, DC should just release a comic of J. Michael Straczynski being repeatedly punched in the face - it'd be a huge seller.
posted by Artw at 10:53 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Count me as another who thinks this is a good idea. The Marvel and DC Universes have pretty much concluded, so now I want decade-long company-wide What-If/Elseworlds stories. It seems like that's the only place that these comics can go, and this is a first step in that direction.

Marvel's effectively been doing that anyway by rotating through a bunch of different big bads in the past decade (Tony Stark, Norman Osborn, Reed in the Ultimate universe). It's kinda been like a big string of What Ifs. Instead of just effectively rebooting a universe by making a hero the big villain and providing a new setting in which you can tell new stories, you might as well explicitly reboot it. Making it so continuity doesn't matter is essential. The difference between Civil War and, say, 1602, is pretty minimal in terms of how much continuity you need to know to understand what's going on. Marvel's events have been self-contained and easy to understand on their own; DC's have been choked with past continuity and are too confusing for me to want to follow.

The press release stuff does make it sound pretty terrible though. Cyborg as "the modern-day, 21st century superhero"? Ugh.
posted by painquale at 10:57 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's a frequent add-in to the Justice League in Early Reader books, for some reason.
posted by Artw at 11:01 PM on May 31, 2011


Cyborgs's been getting a push lately in in DC titles, including the current Flashpoint storyline. I think Geoff Johns is positioning him as the new A-List Varsity Squad Token Minority Superhero to replace the John Stewart Green Lantern, because Hal Jordan is the one and true Green lantern forever and ever, amen in Geoff John's eyes. Never mind that there's a generation of kids who grew up watching an African-American GL on TV (Justice League/Justisce League Unlimited) who are going to be shocked to see the GL movie this summer and find out that GL is smirking white frat boy.

(I need to stop now; Geoff Johns and what he's done to DC gets me into a face-punching rage)
posted by KingEdRa at 11:28 PM on May 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


Along these same lines, comics are a problem for me because while they are escapism and can be fantastic

I'm not ignoring the ending of your statement (that it's not a escapism you can relate to). For me, though, honestly, as a comic reader, both when I was an avid teen collector and now, when I check out TPBs to see what's been happening, I'm not looking to get involved with the real world.

Superman, Batman, et. al. are heroes. They're larger than life archetypes at this point, and while there have been some excellent stories where real life forces its way into the stories, the successful ones are few and far between, and there are many, many heavy handed failures.

Yes, the world is horribly unequal. If there was a Superman, perhaps he'd try to actually right that problem, and more than likely, he'd still fail, even though he's Superman. The comics give us problems that are, in the final analysis, solvable. There's a bad guy, and there's a good guy, and nine times out of ten (or statistically less as comics go through 'darker' phases), the good guy will beat the bad guy. Order will be restored, and there will, with any luck, be a brief moment of happiness (aside from Batman or the Punisher) before the next crisis pops up.

The 'real world' you want comics to deal with? Unending, unsolvable problems that don't believe in waiting in an orderly manner so they can be dealt with one at a time. Lots and lots of bad guys, but seriously, how many good guys are out here in the real world? How many of them have even the slightest chance in hell of really improving things for the better, rather than just trying to make sure that "holy shit, things are bad" doesn't become "how the hell are we supposed to go on" levels of bad?

Comics have already gotten dark. The real world? It's pitch black at this point, and at least reading comics gives people something else to think about. It's escapism, which is pretty much the foundation of the style. If you want the real world to permeate your comics, if you want to see Superman fighting against income inequality between developed and developing nations, I honestly don't think comics about a perfect being from another world here to save us is what you're looking for.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:28 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's funny - For the most part I've only really experienced non-Hal Jordan versions of Green Lantern, so I cannot for the life of me figure out what's supposed to be so great about the guy.
posted by Artw at 11:41 PM on May 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Gah, I've known about this all day long and it's still so. fucking. stupid.

So much bugs the shit out of me about this. It's by the little things that you can tell that this is going to be a disaster. Have a look at that Justice League image. Have a look at Superman's borked "S." Why in the living fuck would they have Jim Lee redesign a logo that was already perfect. Not iconic, not established, but fucking perfect? There's no good reason for any of this. Especially since it's just gonna be another bunch of origin stories again. That's not worth giving up Grant Morrison's amazing Batman megastory. Losing decades of legacy isn't worth trying and failing once more to make Aquaman work. Gaining the mythical "new readers" the Big Two are always prattling about isn't worth giving existing readers the finger.

This is Spider-Clone stupid. Heroes Reborn stupid. Super-mullet stupid. It doesn't need to happen.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:50 AM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


What am all this fuss about? Everyone here on Htrae think DC am doing fantastic job!
posted by No-sword at 1:52 AM on June 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


I keep trying to get into comics and just getting confused. This creates an entry point for me that wasn't there before, so I'll probably check it out.
posted by NoraReed at 2:14 AM on June 1, 2011


Well technically valkyryn Marvel 616 universe kinda operates like what you are saying.

Sorta. But because they don't actually go back and retell the stories, they're still sort of encumbered by what's gone on before, especially when the relationships of the characters are concerned. Comic books have a big soap operatic component, and figuring out who's slept with whom can be problematic (especially if we're talking about She-Hulk). An honest-to-goodness clean start, particularly a scheduled one, could be good for both universes.

But you're right: Marvel has never been quite as insistent about the continued relevance of their older material, which has given their universe more of the kind of plasticity that the Greek myths have.
posted by valkyryn at 2:40 AM on June 1, 2011


The clarion call to bring in new superheroes is a good one, but the comics companies are stuck between a rock and a hard place. For every new character who really takes off, there are dozens more who don't.

A few years ago when I followed comics (mountains of fail took me out with Spider Man selling his soul to the devil being the last straw for Marvel* - and Gail Simone leaving the Birds of Prey and Blue Beetle being cancelled for DC), I had a think through the new heroes who had actually caught on from DC.

Impulse - 70 issue run. Dead
Kon-El Kent - ?50 issue run. Dead.
Cassandra Cain (Batgirl). 70 issue run. Dead.
Stephanie Brown (Robin). Character assassinated and dead.
Linda Danvers (Supergirl). Don't even ask. Probably ret-conned out of continuity. (Should have been a Young Vertigo title anyway).

Young Justice: 55 issues. Members included Impulse (dead, as above), Superboy (dead, as above), Arrowette (AWOL), Wonder Girl (lobotomised by Geoff Johns from a nerdy and smart archeologist to a pretty and brainless cheerleader type), Secret (Lost in the same limbo as Arrowette), and Anita Fite (miscoloured with white skin).

And then there was Blue Beetle. Seriously, Blue Beetle vols 1-4 are probably the best origin and early development story I've ever read in comics. (vol 1 starts slowly by comics standards but is needed for v2-4).

And then they were sidelining characters to make way for the return of Barry Allen (far more interesting dead than alive) and Hal Jordan. Plus there was the inanity of bringing back the Robin so unpopular that people voted to have him killed. "No one ever stayed dead in comics except Bucky, Uncle Ben, and Jason Todd." Two of whom are back and one had an AU clone walking around. If comics continuity is a selling point, stop undoing everything that matters!

As for price per issue, DC's holding the line at $2.99. Doesn't sound cheap? Marvel's gone up to $3.99 for Spider Man (IIRC at 22 pages of content in the issue). And right now Spider Man has ... issues. Like Carlie Cooper - Peter's supposedly perfect girlfriend who no one even knows what she looks like. Eye colour apparently changes within the issue. And fiascos have included her almost getting a Green Goblin tattoo.

As for this reboot, meh. Stunt issuing. But then I've long had the theory that Dan Didio and Joe Quesada are each plants by the rival company.

* And from everything I hear, things have gone down hill from there.
posted by Francis at 3:19 AM on June 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


"I never understood all you people who poo-pooed continuity. As a kid that was part of the appeal -- knowing that I was becoming familiar with a world that had deep long history, and becoming familiar with the back stories and the obscure characters... Eventually you would begin to pick up what you missed, and you'd start to feel like you were a part of something, if only by the process of reading the current issues and speculating on future story lines based on your understanding of older stories.

"...Looking back at it now, it seems to me that those were early lessons for young kids in understanding contextuality and in history, and I don't see that there's anything wrong in letting readers (especially young readers) learn those lessons on their own outside of a classroom setting."


What you said. I loved the continuity! It didn't put me off comics, it made the comic world seem more complete and interesting, and I read more (and found older issues when I could) to fill in those gaps.

But what do I know -- I was just a fan of a comic with nearly 40 years of continuity (Legion of Superheroes) that was unceremoniously dumped by DC in the 1990s to make it "Fresh and New!" and to bring in the ever-so-important "new readers!" But in the process they lost me, because the characters I had been following since I was a kid were gone, replaced by noobs with similar costumes and names.
posted by litlnemo at 3:51 AM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Would it be silly of me to suggest that DC and Marvel simply RE-PRINT some of their most popular stuff, like the Spider-Mans, Batmans, Supermans, Hulks, X-Mans, etc. Exactly the same as the originals from decades ago, on the same cheap paper, for two bucks apiece, released weekly, starting at #1. I would start a pull list of about a dozen titles that I can immediately think of at my local comic shop. $24 bucks a week to commence a full run of amazing comics from their original creators? Brilliant, I'd be in that. Or if a weekly schedule is too much, have an omnibus edition every month, three issues or whatever, for a fiver. Yeah they have archive editions but those are bullshit. They don't NEED to reboot this shit, it's all right there already!
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:21 AM on June 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


So this is the new diverse DC universe with more minorities, LGBT and strong female leads and less women in 'fridges, right?

Right?

s i g h.
posted by FunkyHelix at 4:39 AM on June 1, 2011


Thank goodness we have copyright terms that are effectively infinite, since it encourages so much new creation and has absolutely no down side!
posted by blue_beetle at 5:30 AM on June 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Thinking about the digital distribution, I would be really, really, really interested in some sort of subscription access model rather than paying per digital issue.

I would buy exactly 0 single issue digital comics, which is exactly the same number of single issue paper comics I currently buy. Instead, I buy maybe 2-3 trades or omnibus reprints a month. Usually less. And those trades are split between the Big Two (and Change) in a mental pull list: Hellboy, BRPD, Booster Gold, Hercules, Powers, Invincible, and Conan are the only still living titles I buy and they come out in trade, what, once every six months each tops? There's a slew of mental second tier comics, stuff I'll get eventually, like Chew or Astro City or Atomic Robo, but I don't tend to keep my eye on the release date for those. Same thing for plumbing the back history of characters. I like those wacky Silver Age titles and will pick stuff up here and there.

I don't buy singles, so I tend to miss the big cross over events. By the time The House of Siege Infinite Crisis Secret Civil War Against The 52 Black Lanterns' Brand New Day comes out in trade, I've already digested the gist of the story and more than likely been turned off by negative reviews (Oh man do reviews matter. Chris Sims cost modern comics a lot of money when he stopped updating his blog.). Since I don't buy singles, this probably hurts the chances of new comics establishing themselves to even make it to trades.

So how about this. I would be happy to pay, say, 4-12 bucks a month for a subscription service that works like this:

- You sign up for the service via your digital reader of choice. The Base Service costs 4 bucks a month. These 4 bucks get you 100 Kapow Points or whatever. You can spend more money for more points allowance per month. 8 bucks gets you 250 points. 12 bucks 400.
- You then spend your kapow points on titles you would like to subscribe to. To get access to the most recent title of a current run is 25 points a month.
- If you come in late to a title, say after you hear a lot of good things about the run, you can pick up back issues of that run for a reduced price after subscribing. Say 10 points each. So if I'm 4 issues behind, I can spend 65 points and be all caught up going forward.
- For some of the bigger titles, there's an option to spend 25 points a month for Archive Access. This will be stuff that's, say, 10+ years old. Think of it like Showcase or Essentials. You get unlimited access so long as you pay the monthly points. Like a certain issue or run from the archives? You can buy'm and "keep" them just like you keep the current stuff for 5 points an issue.
- For more recent, but not exactly current titles and one shot series, you can spend points on the individual issues or buy trade collections at reduced prices. Want to read 1602? It was eight issues, so you can either buy each by itself for 20 points/issue or get the set for 140.
- Got a movie or a reboot coming up? Put together some collections on sale. So Green Lantern: Rebirth would come out to 80 kapows for a limited time, down from 140.


The numbers here obviously need some fudging, but you get the idea. The goal for the publisher would be to become a virtual comic shop, thus providing a smoother income stream. Currently, if I wanted to read 1602, I could either acquire or torrent a copy. I'd rather not do the latter as that's a hassle. It's cheapfree and fast, sure, but there's no guarantee I'll get it in a format that optimized for my reader. Since my goal is just to read the comic, my next cheapfree option is to borrow it from a friend or library. If I don't have any comic reading friends or a decent library, my next option is to buy it used online or in a comicshop. Finally, I could pay full (well, Amazon) price for the trade.

Of all those options (pirate, borrow, used, new) only one of them gets the comic publisher (and artists) any money. I'm sure they would rather the cut on the reduced digital price than a cut on the goose egg. Hell, why not tack on a link at the end of the digital comic that says "Like this so much you want to have it in print? Click here to order the trade for 14 bucks!"

Since kapow points accumulate, with the help of some creative Xbox Live style pricing, people will eventually have some reserves built up. It's from that bankroll that they will be willing to give new comics a shot. "Hey, we've noticed you have a subscription to Thor and Hercules. Want to give Lady Sif #1 a chance? Only 15 points." Cross overs become more palatable for the reader as they can easily follow the storyline as it winds its way through their various subscriptions. So after Thor sends off Thanos from attempting to kidnap Hela thus throwing Asgard into mystic unbalance, you'd have a note saying, "What to see what Thanos's Master Plan is? Check Avengers #345 to pick up the story!"

Hell, if you get sophisticated with your tagging, you could have people subscribe to storylines and just follow them through the various titles. If they read something they like while, say, Flashpoint touches on Teen Titans, they might spend some points to check the title out further.

Local comic book shops would probably hate this as it takes out the casual reader, but remember that's the casual reader who is tote'n a 600$ iPad, not the kid spending his lawn mowing money. Nor does it impact the collector - hell, it might make certain runs more valuable. Imagine titles designed to be mainly digitally consumed with smaller print runs.

Basically, you want to keep people reading comics. I think this idea does so, plus there's enough Xbox Live style jiggery-pokery that you could trick nerdy suckers like me into spending more than they need to with the illusion that they're actually saving money. Ever hold on to a Netflix DVD too long? Yeah, we were paying 10 bucks a month to hold on to a copy of The Losers for like 3 months. We didn't send it back because we might watch it soon! Now imagine that mentality combined with Archive Access subscriptions! "Of course I'll keep spending 25 points a month for Tomb of Dracula access! You can't expect me to be without immediate access to the King of All Vampires, can you?"
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:40 AM on June 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


What they ought to do is reissue the original comic books with the races switched as make it in some alternate universe where the black people are the white people and vice-versa. The dialogue could remain intact also.
posted by Renoroc at 5:52 AM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The problem with "continuity" is that practically everyone wants to do something "new," "different," and "edgy" as soon as they take over an established title. They prove they are serious about writing "adult" stories by tragically removing a character, and they prove they know better than you about the universe by pulling a dead or maimed character out of editorial limbo and retconning them as not really dead.

Then they rewrite how the super powers of flagship characters work, give Wolverine yet another dead girlfriend in a history-tinted flashback, and present it all in a cross-over event where key developments could happen as a footnote in two dozen different titles published in the month, and the whole thing becomes a big fucking mess.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:02 AM on June 1, 2011


But what do I know -- I was just a fan of a comic with nearly 40 years of continuity (Legion of Superheroes) that was unceremoniously dumped by DC in the 1990s to make it "Fresh and New!" and to bring in the ever-so-important "new readers!" But in the process they lost me, because the characters I had been following since I was a kid were gone, replaced by noobs with similar costumes and names.

If I had a dollar for every time the Legion's been rebooted or retconned or pocket-universed or time-paradoxed or otherwise restructured in a hamfisted manner, I'd be eating filet mignon for lunch.
posted by delfin at 6:03 AM on June 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


@Sticherbeast

whats a neckbeard
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:14 AM on June 1, 2011


They should completely kill off the old continuity using Lobo. He's so pissed off that he can't make heads or tails out of the existing history he resets all the old universes. Possibly by hitting a large red button. I vote for this.
posted by adipocere at 7:52 PM on May 31 [5 favorites +] [!]


Make it Black Adam and I'll pay for the whole thing myself.

Honestly, speaking as an outsider, the whole looming specter of impenetrable continuity is what keeps a lot of people out of comics; Aside from some Punisher and Batman trades, COIE is the first storyline that intrigued me. My comic-knowledgeable friend let me borrow it, but with all sorts of warnings about how confused I would be, and maybe I should start with this this and this first. I ended up just reading it and I loved it. Would I have gotten more out of it had I known, say, Adam Strange or Psycho Pirate's backstory? Maybe, but it wasn't hard to follow what was going on. Plus, maybe it's the style of the times or the writer, but you don't really have to do much research when every single character who shows up announces a. who they are b. where they're from, and c. what their powers are ("Great scott! These Eggs Benedict will be WORTHLESS without Hollandaise sauce!" "Lucky for you The Sauce Boss is on the scene! I'll use my powers to summon any sauce imaginable!" "Thank you Sauce Boss, you are truly the pride of your home planet Sausalito! *See Sauce Boss #85! --Ed.)

I fully admit that I'm a recent convert, as I've been consuming all the Crisis-related stuff over the last few months (I still haven't made it to Final Crisis, which makes this announcement EXTRA frustrating, but whatever) but I find that once you get past the fact that everyone wears silly costumes and has super powers that aren't always consistent or make much sense, you can get into the story.

I know a lot of people panned "Countdown" and yeah, it wasn't anywhere near as consistently good as 52 was, it had some good moments. My favorite aspect of the story was the misadventures and relationship between Trickster and Pied Piper; Broken down to its component parts, it's two very different people who don't really like/trust one another, chained together and forced to work together as fugitives, becoming the most unlikely of friends, leading to some of the most emotionally charged moments in the series (in my opinion anyway). It's a simple story that anyone can understand, in fact, might even be a little cliche, but it's done really well, and more people might be into... except when you have to explain that OK this one guy dresses like a jester and has magic boots that let him walk on air and a bunch of goofy gadgets, and the other guy is literally a Pied Piper with a magic flute, except it's not magic, there's a handwavey scientific reason why he can control reality with music and... oh, everyone's stopped listening at "magic boots".

I don't know, maybe it takes being more of a comics fan, but when continuity gets flubbed, I either don't notice, or I go "Oh, that guy got his powers back? Huh. Ok."

Plus, comic fans are pretty out and about these days, I'm friends with a few (chances are you are too), and they're more than happy to explain (and explain and explain) any inconsistencies or why a weird storyline is important, or why it's the result of so-and-so and their horrible writing KILLING THE FRANCHISE I MEAN COME ON.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:15 AM on June 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Every major character should have two titles. One title would be the ongoing, metaplot-following continuity title and the other one would essentially be one shots and short stories (no more than 3 ish) that would be both in-world but metaplot free. So for the first one, you'd get you stories about how Superman deals with whatever the current crisis is, but for the second, you'd get a story about that one time Superman stopped a sentient comet from falling in love with the moon.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:28 AM on June 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


for the second, you'd get a story about that one time Superman stopped a sentient comet from falling in love with the moon.

You've basically reinvented Batman: Black & White, except maybe with color art. And again, I'd subscribe to that.
posted by immlass at 7:46 AM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


So for the first one, you'd get you stories about how Superman deals with whatever the current crisis is, but for the second, you'd get a story about that one time Superman stopped a sentient comet from falling in love with the moon.

That's sort of what they tried to do with Legends of the Dark Night and Legends of the DC Universe. I don't know if those books and others like them do poorly because readers want the stories to 'count', but they often end up infected by current continuity anyway.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:04 AM on June 1, 2011


whats a neckbeard

They were a sub-race of the Cybermen; in Doctor Who episode 463 (The Voided Caverns), one of them takes off his metal neck-plate to reveal a mass of bushy auburn hair. The Doctor suddenly gets really compassionate and says "I can help you with that," and a mouth emerges from among the hair, and whispers "It is too late for me now." Then there's an explosion (from two vortexes colliding) and they have to run outside before everything collapses, so you never get a sense of what their backstory was. There's a rumor that Moffat might be bringing in a bunch of neckbeards in the new season, though.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:04 AM on June 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


What gets me is that they consistently chase an imaginary audience, seemingly, of teen-to-twenties straight cis guys. The kind of guys, I assume the reasoning goes, many of the decision-makers were back when they got into comics themselves. The guys who go to see movies with their characters in. I can see the meetings where they puzzle over why, if these guys loved the Batman and Superman movies, they don't buy Batman and Superman comics.

Guess what, DC? You had actual new readers. Recently, too! Lots of them! They came through scans_daily, associated slash and fanfic communities, feminist comics blogs, and so on. Shitloads of them were female and/or queer, and they brought tons of guys who'd never read a superhero comic too. They loved campy old comics, and the Superdictionary. They peaked in enthusiasm a few years ago. They (to generalise, admittedly) wanted books like the early Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle - smart, funny but capable of drama, self-contained with few or no exploitative buy-em-all crossovers and largely free of beloved character death as spectacle. Character-led stuff, not EPICs. And with memorable, stylish art that didn't fall into the sort of generic, doughy look both big companies seem almost to have adopted as a house style lately. Books with the overall feel of a season of Buffy or Doctor Who or Firefly, I guess. Certainly books with more female, racial and sexual and social minority characters included as something other than tokens or titillation, and books whose casts wouldn't be scythed through when the yearly Event came around.

Thing is, the books they liked didn't sell in great numbers, because these aren't people who have any desire to become regulars with an arm-long reservation list at a local brick-and-mortar comic store, and there was literally no other way to obtain comics except piracy. They're not collectors. DC were competing with 0-day scans for the affections of an audience who wanted to pay them, to ensure more of the stuff they liked would be made. Digital distribution with sane prices then might have gotten them somewhere, if it came alongside more books like Blue Beetle. Instead they chased this eager new community of comics fans around the web in the name of copyright infringement, and the characters these people had fallen in love with were either killed or passed off to geekbro writers who used them in generic, po-faced book-long fight sequences. I don't think this was an intentional slap to these people: I honestly think DC editorial didn't know or care they existed. DC as an entity seems almost blind to criticism or discussion outside of conventional forms and venues.

I may be wrong, but it looks to me as if an awful lot of that community's enthusiasm has fallen away in the last few years, which I can understand given the way DC's served them. Maybe this reboot will include a few awesome books that'll bring them back, but I suspect it's too late. I can promise right now that making Superman younger and changing the colour of Wonder Woman's costume aren't going to persuade the guys coming home from the new Batman movie to start reading comics. Standards of social acceptability within geek circles aren't what they were when DC editorial staff were young and first discovered comics, and I'm not convinced liking superheroes is socially flat across different media.
posted by emmtee at 8:08 AM on June 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


TCJ rounds up some responses from retailers and suchlike: "FUCKING insane," "a bit early to enter panic mode," as does The Beat.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:11 AM on June 1, 2011


My current pull list is "everything written by Gail Simone or Grant Morrison or David Lapham, and Deadpool so long as Daniel Way is writing it." Hopefully the first two will still get the chance to tell interesting stories in the DC sandbox.
posted by jtron at 8:45 AM on June 1, 2011


Everyone is going to buy CRIMINAL tomorrow, right? That's where the real action is.
posted by Artw at 8:49 AM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thing is, the books they liked didn't sell in great numbers, because these aren't people who have any desire to become regulars with an arm-long reservation list at a local brick-and-mortar comic store, and there was literally no other way to obtain comics except piracy.

On the one hand, DC was behind the times in not having digital downloads sooner. DC was also making a huge mistake in targeting only the mythic "30-year-old single white guy who's been reading comics for the past 70 years" demographic, as that is not an inclusive or expanding fan base.

That said...if people weren't buying the comics, then why should DC care about that line or what that line's audience thinks? What was so difficult about marching into a comic book store and saying, "yes, I'd like to buy Blue Beetle?" One could even split the difference by reading 0-day scans when those come out, while also subscribing to the titles, picking them up whenever it's later convenient, canceling the subscription when the run goes bad.

I'm not targeting this against you personally. I'm just generally baffled that there were apparently people who liked it when DC was doing something better and different, but then they also rationalized not paying for that something better and different, so then the sales figures were in the tank, so now that something is gone.

Some of my best friends are comic book editors. They have their frustrations with slow-moving, conservative, etc. comics companies just as much as anyone else, but at the end of the day, the industry is extremely sales-conscious. The companies, even the big ones, are usually pretty willing to give creators leeway as long as their books sell. They also cancel books when they don't sell. Not buying good books is exactly how to kill those books.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:54 AM on June 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


for contemporary superheroes, I like Timothy Hunter from The Books of Magic.

For values of "contemporary" that equal "twenty years ago".
posted by Legomancer at 5:24 PM on May 31 [4 favorites +] [!]


What are you talking about? There were just a ton of Timothy Hunter movies that came out over the last few years - Timothy Hunter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Timothy Hunter and the Prisoner of Alakazam or whichever... They're really popular with the kids, so I hear.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:17 AM on June 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


I suppose this is good news to tiny slice of the comic book readership who want things just so. At last everything will look right. Green Lantern in the comics will look like Ryan Reynolds.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:23 AM on June 1, 2011


The best selling DC book in April sold 75,780 copies. Wonder Woman sold 31,002. Trade sales are hard to tell because they may do better business at places like Amazon, but through comic shops the superhero trades are lucky to sell a few thousand.

While this move reeks of desperation, they have very good reasons to be desperate. From a business standpoint, they probably should be aiming for limited continuity and hope they can turn the better stories into movies or cartoon episodes.
posted by Gary at 9:24 AM on June 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Which Green Lantern? It has to be Hal Jordan.

Old nerds think this. Kids my sons' ages are confused by the upcoming GL movie because GL is supposed to be a black man. Like, I've heard this in the schoolyard.

This is why Geoff Johns sucks, by the way.
posted by mobunited at 9:47 AM on June 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


My favorite aspect of the story was the misadventures and relationship between Trickster and Pied Piper; Broken down to its component parts, it's two very different people who don't really like/trust one another, chained together and forced to work together as fugitives, becoming the most unlikely of friends, leading to some of the most emotionally charged moments in the series (in my opinion anyway).

Other than both the Trickster and Deadshot coming across as homophobes through the story arc, character traits that neither one had openly expressed before.
posted by delfin at 9:53 AM on June 1, 2011


This is Spider-Clone stupid.

I thought Spider-Clone was stupid until they did Brand New Day, and I hated BND but I read their reasons for it and understood what I wanted for the character was not the same as what the character needed and then I realized that the clone story was an attempt to do the same thing in a much better way. But everybody raged against Spider-Clone so they backed off and shut it down and the problem persisted. So...maybe appreciating the difficulty of writing mainstream comics with their treadmill realities should make us more tolerant of them trying to change things? Or accepting that our own personal attachments to particular things is like some sort of strangling kudzu growing over the characters and sometimes the kudzu needs to be trimmed?

figuring out who's slept with whom can be problematic (especially if we're talking about She-Hulk)

I have never read a She-Hulk story and don't know what this means, but I am definitely intrigued. Is she like super-promiscuous or something? Is that her power?
posted by neuromodulator at 9:56 AM on June 1, 2011


What was so difficult about marching into a comic book store and saying, "yes, I'd like to buy Blue Beetle?"

I'd guess price, distance (comic book stores being something of a dying breed in a lot of places), regional/national availability, perceived and/or real hostility to women/comics newbs/whoever in stores. I'm not saying I necessarily feel any of that stuff myself, although prices in the UK are stupid high and I've definitely seen examples of the hostility in passing. I think DC's mistake, if it was even aware of the numbers of new fans, was to say the same thing: why don't they just come into stores and buy the books? They obviously weren't willing to use that distribution system, but here were people loving DC's characters and worlds who'd never even thought about superheroes as something they'd enjoy before. Attracting new fans appears to be DC's biggest goal in the entire world. It seems like they sort of went, 'well, treating them like our traditional readers hasn't worked, clearly there is NO MONEY TO BE MADE HERE' and gave up.

I'm not really who I was talking about, though, so there's only so far I can guess: I hung around in those online spaces for a while, was introduced to a few comics I loved and bought through it, but I never really went crazy for the stuff the community tended to. I think DC's got me as a paying customer as far as it possibly can, which is to say I can't envision a situation where I'd pick up more than the work of a few favourite creators and the occasional impulse buy of something that looks neat or I've seen online, as I do now.
posted by emmtee at 10:07 AM on June 1, 2011


Old nerds think this. Kids my sons' ages are confused by the upcoming GL movie because GL is supposed to be a black man.

Superfriends was definitive. End of story. When they say they "diversity will be a key theme" they are talking about Apache Chief.
posted by Gary at 10:07 AM on June 1, 2011


Superman needs to be old enough to be an icon. A beacon for other heroes to look up to. Mid-20s emo Superman won't be that icon.

Grant Morrison is no longer the Grim Avenger of the Night. Now he's the Father of Protectors. This was a needed change to the character and has been gradually built up over the last few years. This change cannot hold under the new direction; Batman being a 40-year-old with three costumed sons and a half-dozen assorted 'family' members is intrinsic to the Batman, Incorporated concept.

Post-Flashpoint, that's done. Finito.

Unless, of course, the plan is, post-Flashpoint, for Superman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg to be in their mid-20s and for Batman to be 40. Problem is, that makes it impossible to respect any kind of pre-Flashpoint continuity.

Cyborg couldn't have been a member of the Teen Titans if that's the case, which eliminates the beginnings of his career and makes his status as a major hero completely artificial. In fact, there can be no Teen Titans, because only Batman is old enough to have a teen sidekick.

No early Batman-Superman teamups are possible in the new continuity.

There's no role for the JSA.

The gap between the heroic ages becomes even longer. Superman is no longer the first hero of the new heroic age; Batman is the first, working for 15 years or more before the rest of these kids show up.

Aquaman is too young to believably maintain the conflict between him and Black Manta; Arthur Jr.'s death doesn't fit well in that scenario.

A mid-20s Flash means that Wally has to be a teenager, with no wife or kids or backstory. Bart doesn't exist.

Donna Troy is gone. Hal was never old enough to believably go grey from the influence of Parallax -- so that never happened. So no Kyle, either.

Anyhow. De-aging the League and their contemporaries absolutely fucks up past continuity.

We can expect to see the DCU "starting from scratch" with a few nods here and there to events that need to shade the new continuity. The Sinestro Corps War, War of Light, Blackest Night and War of the Green Lanterns? They don't fit in a DCU without an extensive backstory, so there needs to be some handwaving. Superman was never killed by Doomsday. None of the Crisis events happened.

This is gonna suck ass.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 10:22 AM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Grant Morrison is no longer the Grim Avenger of the Night.

I mean "Grant Morrison's Batman is no longer...", of course.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 10:23 AM on June 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


robocop is bleeding: Currently, if I wanted to read 1602, I could either acquire or torrent a copy. I'd rather not do the latter as that's a hassle.

You can get the whole run on the Marvel app for 16 bucks, and access doesn't expire. That's pretty close to the same price as the physical version. Digital comics pretty much all cost 2 dollars each, making content cost about the same as it would if you bought it in TPB form. (And Marvel tends to release comics in runs of 6 or 12, meaning you can buy the comics as if they really were TPBs.) The pricing seems totally reasonable to me. I think it'll probably go up to 3 dollars soon though; I'll save my rebellion for then.
posted by painquale at 10:24 AM on June 1, 2011


One of the common threads between gamma-radiation mutates in Marvel is that the mutated form's personality tends towards the human form's subconscious traits and desires. Bruce Banner was a timid guy who suppressed his emotions consistently, so the Hulk was rage personified. Sam Sterns envied his brother's intelligence, so he mutated into the super-intelligent Leader. Leo Samson always wanted to be a super-hero, so he became one as Doc Samson.

Well, Jennifer Walters was a shy, mousy lawyer. Going Green boosted not only her strength, but her proportions and her freedom from inhibitions as well. You can do the math.

(In fairness, she's not a complete anything-that-moves one-joke character, but in a comic universe where most heroines are married, insane, dead, incapable of human contact or some combination therein, her healthy appetite stands out like a sore thumb.)
posted by delfin at 10:27 AM on June 1, 2011


No comics character is a bigger slut than Wolverine.
posted by Artw at 10:42 AM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


She-Hulk went all Hulk-ragey and destroyed a town (but didn't kill anyone, of course) in a storyline in the Avengers that I didn't read. The latest incarnation of the She-Hulk title comic, by Dan Slott, alluded to her sleeping around (which I don't recall having ever heard of before, but I don't read everything) and also portrayed her as being flighty and irresponsible (which I found out of character.) It later explained that these things were part of her trying to distract herself from the guilt she felt over the town-destroying thing, and the early part of the series is substantially about her working through that.

The Dan Slott She-Hulk was really, really good stuff, and I was very sad when it was cancelled (oh, wait -- technically, it was continued with Peter David as writer) to put Slott on Spider-Man.
posted by Zed at 11:05 AM on June 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I realize that it would be terrible from a money perspective, but one of the best storytelling decisions Marvel could make would be to kill off Wolverine for a good ten years.
posted by klangklangston at 11:09 AM on June 1, 2011


I think Deadpool has kind of replaced him as omnipresent "cool" character anyway.
posted by Artw at 11:11 AM on June 1, 2011


I mean "Grant Morrison's Batman is no longer...", of course.

Somewhere by an open window that overlooks the sleeping city, Grant sighs and gives up his vigil for another night. There will be no Grant Symbol tonight, nor will there ever be.

He waters his scotch with a single tear.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:46 AM on June 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


You can get the whole run on the Marvel app for 16 bucks, and access doesn't expire. That's pretty close to the same price as the physical version.

Yeah, I won't pay more than 75% of the cost of a physical trade for a digital comic. I loan my trades out too frequently to give up that ability for the same price. It's weird because I love my Kindle, but at least with that my wife and I are on the same account so we can share and discuss.

But who knows, maybe I'll get into the rum one night and fire up the digital comic apps on my iPad and go nuts.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:51 AM on June 1, 2011


Somewhere by an open window that overlooks the sleeping city, Grant sighs and gives up his vigil for another night. There will be no Grant Symbol tonight, nor will there ever be.

He waters his scotch with a single tear.


"Oh well, I guess I could go back to fucking arpund with Animal Man's life."
posted by Artw at 11:58 AM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


No comics character is a bigger slut than Wolverine.

You obviously haven't met his son.
posted by PapaLobo at 12:12 PM on June 1, 2011


I try to forget.

I actually I know and quite like a writer that does Daken stuff - I've mostly not mentioned that I consider Daken to be the worst thing about comics ever. Mostly.
posted by Artw at 12:16 PM on June 1, 2011


Guys, GUYS. Grant Morrison is definitely not a wizard. It's time that slander was laid to rest.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:21 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


klang - They're trying the Dead Wolverine thing over in the Ultimate line.

PapaLobo & ArtW - Daken is fully whipass. Fact.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:24 PM on June 1, 2011


Oh, I'm totally pulling that next time I'm late with anything.
posted by Zed at 12:24 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


my comment was in reference to EatTheWeak's Morrison link; would have made more sense had EatTheWeak not sneaked in a second comment first...
posted by Zed at 12:25 PM on June 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Steve Dillon-illustrated WOLVERINE: ORIGINS story with Wolverine, Deadpool, and Daken was quite good.
posted by jtron at 12:37 PM on June 1, 2011


The comic books still exist, the stories have been told. All stories are real.

This reminds of the big 85 reboot. I'm everything will work out fine. Remember the last Superman story before the reboot. The one Alan Moore wrote?

This is how he started it:
This is an imaginary story (which may never happen,
 but then again may) about a perfect man who came from 
the sky and did only good. It tells of his twilight, 
 when the great battles were over and the great miracles 
long since performed; of how his enemies conspired 
against him and of that final war in the snowblind wastes 
 beneath the Northern Lights; of the women he loved and 
of the choice he made between them; of how he broke 
 his most sacred oath, and how finally all the things 
he had were taken from him save one.

It ends with a wink.

It begins in a quiet midwestern town, one summer afternoon 
in the quiet midwestern future. Away in the big city, 
people still sometimes glance up hopefully from the 
sidewalks, glimpsing a distant spec in the sky…but no: 
it's only a bird, only a plane--Superman died ten years ago.

This is an imaginary story…

Aren't they all? Alan Moore

posted by Bonzai at 12:38 PM on June 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


He waters his scotch with a single tear.

This is my new drink.
posted by neuromodulator at 12:47 PM on June 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Arthur Conan Doyle got tired of his superhero. He tried to coup the grass. But noooooooo...

Do I suspect some of these people would like to cut the surly bonds of Earth? But ... but ... think of the Faaaaaaaaaans!!
posted by Twang at 1:26 PM on June 1, 2011


Since a couple of people have already mentioned the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle, I thought I'd link to a couple of blog posts by John Rogers, co-creator of that character (and of the TV series Leverage):

- Womb Crazy!!: how DC and Marvel more-or-less simultaneously threw two long-established female characters under the bus, by making them the surprise villains of two "events" that led to big crossovers.

- BLUE BEETLE: We Don't Need No Stinkin' Floppies: on the cancellation of the title (the last ongoing book from DC that I bought from #1 through to the end), which has my favorite summation of why I hate these big crossover events: "Wow. It's almost as if basing your entire business model around a series of must-buy big event crossovers in a market with limited purchasing resources hurts your midlist."
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:33 PM on June 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Rich Johnston is reporting that both Nightwing and Batgirl series will star with first issues. Batgirl will be Babs Gordon.

So Batman will be older than Superman and his contemporaries, and much pre-Flashpoint continuity will be written off.

I'd really be a lot happier if they assigned one of the unassigned Earths to this new era. Earth-11?
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 1:35 PM on June 1, 2011


Batgirl will be Babs Gordon.

Dear Stephanie Brown:

You know how you used to be Robin, but then we had Batman fire you? And then there was that arc that ended up with you being tortured to death by a minor-league villain using power tools? And we refused to have a memorial for you in the Batcave? And then we said that you were really still alive, and made you Batgirl, and that was supposed to make up for everything?

Yeah, well. You know how it is.

Regards,

The DC Creative Team
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:44 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jack,

Thanks for that link. One of the articles I read mentioned five Robins, and for the life of me I couldn't figure out who was on the list besides Dick, Jason, Tim, and Damian (who I've only come to know about in the past little while, although I was familiar with Bruce and Talia having an offspring in Son of the Demon). I though maybe they were counting Carrie, but that didn't really make sense to me.

When I stopped reading, Stephanie was still the Spoiler. You link filled in the (really complicated, pretty silly-sounding) backstory.
posted by sardonyx at 2:23 PM on June 1, 2011


Speaking of Blue Beetle, they going to bring Ted back? Given that he seems to come back to team up/hassle Booster Gold every three issues or so, Jaime better start getting his resume in order.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:27 PM on June 1, 2011


Halloween Jack: "Dear Stephanie Brown"

Yeeeeeah, if they give her the boot that's going to win them no favours with the scans_daily crowd.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:32 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's hoping Batman's parents are a little luckier this time around. Maybe Spiderman's uncle too?
posted by rtimmel at 2:44 PM on June 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I predict that Jaime Reyes stays as the Blue Beetle. He's the iconic Beetle now, with all the coverage in B&tB and Smallville.

Post-Flashpoint there's probably no reason (or possibility) for Ted Kord to ever have existed. Booster Gold and Barry Allen may well be the only ones who remember the pre-Flashpoint universe.

Booster can be (allegorically speaking) the new Power Girl, last survivor of his universe. Or Barry can play the role of Psycho-Pirate, doomed to remember the former reality and cursed with visions of a grandson who no longer exists.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 3:06 PM on June 1, 2011


Like why does 1% of the US nation control 40% of the wealth? I mean, as a superhero I'd have to actively work on doing something about that.

Ellis' AUTHORITY was an interesting take on this, but it demonstrated the problem with this - what do you do next? Eventually - and presumably not all that eventually when you have nuclear flame-vision make-a-volcano level powers running around punching each other - you have a world that shows no resemblance to the one your readers live in.

So what was the point of addressing reality? Now you no longer have reality. Best it be something you do in a self-contained world. Which folks do not, like BOOM and the IRREDEEMABLE comic. It up-ends an entire world and that's fine because you're then telling stories in that world. But you're not placing super heroes in the real world.

(There's a short column that (I think) Bill Willingham wrote about the super man who sits around, witnesses & ignores all the injustices in the world and swoops in to save a little boy from an escalator. If anyone knows what the hell I'm talking about I'd love to see it again. Pretty sure it was in a comic back in the late 80s)

As far as the reboots, why bother? Either continuity is super-important and you can't ever violate it or you can't. And if you can violate it - and the near-annual history-gets-rewritten or everyone's-powers-change even sure violates it in every worthwhile way - then just violate it! Write your story and knock off this everything-needs-to-mesh-up. If you tell me a good tale then I won't CARE that oh no that's not really what fuscia kryptonite does!

Which of course also is another reason why continuity doesn't matter. Much of comic continuity is about these baloney one-off things someone pulled out of their ass as a deus ex gadgeta to solve a problem created by bad storytelling. When we have a conversation that starts with "no no, that's not How That Works" you know we're getting into one-off crap.

Of course I know nobody's gonna listen to me on this. Continuity is hot because slavish attachment to it helps drive massive crossovers. Which drives sales, at least among the remaining folks who make up the ever-diminishing buyer pool. Too bad it results in the rest of us buying less and less.
posted by phearlez at 3:11 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, someone take my keyboard away. What a garbled mess. Note to self: no more Metafilter when sleep-deprived.
posted by phearlez at 3:13 PM on June 1, 2011


I'd really be a lot happier if they assigned one of the unassigned Earths to this new era. Earth-11?

Fully. This idea grows significantly less stupid if they try to make an "Ultimate DC" go of it.
posted by EatTheWeak at 5:13 PM on June 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does the Justice Society have a place in the DCNu?

They'd fucking better. The JSA is better kick-ass than ANY version of the JLA. Except maybe Morrison's.
posted by PapaLobo at 7:23 PM on June 1, 2011


Gee, I'll stick with Craig Ferguson's Aquaman for my DC needs.
posted by dragonplayer at 9:16 PM on June 1, 2011


I am curious what they will do with the JSA. I really liked the concept when it is a group of veteran superheroes mentoring a few younger superheros. Even them having families consisting of more than a wife in danger can lead to some interesting stories. But I gave up on it when they passed 20 members, and Ma Hunkel was getting more lines than Green Lantern.

Surely they'll have to update their origin story a bit. It's getting a bit creepy how they all have young kids despite being 90. I'd be really happy if they could be a period piece more along the lines of New Frontier. At least then they could hold off on the JSA/JLA crossovers for a little while.
posted by Gary at 9:38 PM on June 1, 2011


Great summary of reactions from across the Internet by Robot 6
posted by Artw at 8:26 AM on June 2, 2011


Titles and creative teams for Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Firestorm, Hawkman, Green Arrow, JLI, Mr. Terrific, Captain Atom, and DC Presents revealed.

I admit I'm interested in the Firestorm reboot. Never really got into that guy before.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:13 AM on June 2, 2011


Oh god, they've Wolverined Hawkman.
posted by Artw at 10:20 AM on June 2, 2011


I admit I'm interested in the Firestorm reboot. Never really got into that guy before.

Firestorm is one of those superheroes, like Nova at Marvel, which I was obsessed by as a teenager because they clearly didn't realize their own potential; imagine Dr. Manhattan somehow being stymied by a were-hyena or Madrox the Multiple Man. Visually, the new design looks like a cross between the old Firestorm(s) and Holocaust, a Marvel villain.

As for the rest of them, I like the Wonder Woman cover--I've liked Cliff Chiang's stuff ever since he worked with Azzarello on the Doctor 13 mini--but we've been teased by Diana being more of a kick-ass, blade-wielding warrior woman before. And I know some people that will be happy to see some version of the Giffen-era Justice League back.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:59 PM on June 2, 2011


I think Tony Daniel must have nude pictures of someone at DC.
posted by Artw at 2:25 PM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Predictably, the only ones that sound really interesting to me are basically miniseries (the Jenkins/Sook Deadman story in DCU Presents) or doomed to early cancellation (Mr. Terrific). But there are big shoes yet to drop here.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:27 PM on June 2, 2011


Love that Wonder Woman's costume is in the ballpark of practical for fighting. No barely contained boobs or the like.

No Bats or Supes info?
posted by middleclasstool at 6:36 PM on June 2, 2011


I have no idea if this is in Flashpoint continuity, a glitch in the continuity while it is resetting itself, some "what-if" that they're managing to cram in before Flashpoint continuity sets in, etc. but it appears that Bruce is no longer (and never was) Batman. In fact Bruce died in the alley and his father took up the cape and cowl.

And no, I haven't read it. I've only seen the review.

It seems they're also doing something similiar with GL Abin Sur.

The same site offers reviews/summaries of the first two issues of the main Flashpoint title.
posted by sardonyx at 7:25 PM on June 2, 2011


Oo! I am intrigued by the Batman story! Also, that Green Arrow cover looks like it stepped right outta 1996. Brett Booth, what on earth are you doing man.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:34 AM on June 3, 2011


sardonyx: "it appears that Bruce is no longer (and never was) Batman."

I've read it. Like everything I've seen of Fleshlight so far, it was sort of meh.

I don't have high hopes for this.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:57 AM on June 3, 2011


Green Lantern Titles Announced. Hal is in the Green Lantern title, Guy and John are in the Corps title, Kyle is leading the skittles squad in a new title, and the Red Lanterns now have their own series.
posted by Gary at 9:57 AM on June 3, 2011


News on pricing here under point 2. Digital downloads are the same price ($2.99) but drop by a dollar after 4 weeks. For JLA #1, you can also pay more to get a hard copy of the book with a code to get the digital download as well.
posted by Gary at 11:00 AM on June 3, 2011


I hope that pricing scheme becomes industry standard. I've been happy with the 2 dollar issues, but there have been signs that it might climb. A premium on just-released issues is fine by me; I'll just wait a month.

It'd be nice if the price continued to slide as issues got older, but realistically, that's not gonna happen. Anyway, Marvel and DC both have pretty frequent sales where a bunch of issues are a dollar each.
posted by painquale at 11:16 AM on June 3, 2011


Oh wait, where did you get the 2.99 information? Your link suggests they start out at 3.99 and then will drop a dollar a month later (but it doesn't actually assert this, it just uses it as an example of what the price drop would look like).
posted by painquale at 11:19 AM on June 3, 2011


The first issue of JLA is oversized which is why it is $3.99, but most should be $2.99. I'll try to find a link.
posted by Gary at 11:25 AM on June 3, 2011


It was IGN that was reporting $2.99 issues (except for oversized comics).

Charging an extra dollar for the digital download seems a bit greedy. Even movie companies tend to give that away with DVDs.
posted by Gary at 11:44 AM on June 3, 2011


Charging an extra dollar to get a download code when you buy the physical comic, I mean... Charging the same price for a digital book as a hard copy is another issue altogether.
posted by Gary at 11:49 AM on June 3, 2011


Charging an extra dollar to get a download code when you buy the physical comic, I mean... Charging the same price for a digital book as a hard copy is another issue altogether.

You're thinking about this logically from a distribution&production cost standpoint. That's not the concern here. Not even the primary concern, I'd say.

Comics are facing the same issue as print books - pricing digital according to distribution simplicity and ignoring the competition that digital presents for physical product has the potential to harm the existing physical book market. And the people in the physical product business have the power to really hurt them, either out of anger/malice or simply by causing the market to change too rapidly and cutting off that side of the business before they can live without it.

It doesn't do DC any good to add this digital day-and-date to try to increase total sales if it tanks the market in the short run. If they suddenly add 30,000 new digital buyers and cut 50,000 physical buyers off a book that normally sells 70,000 issues. They might make identical money when it all totals up... till that drop in business kills some LCS businesses, resulting in a further sales drop... for a LOT of books, not just that one.

So we're going to see the increased prices for print turn into increased prices for digital. And probably vice-versa if the matter ever came up. It's an artificial binding of the two markets but it's seen as necessary. I'm not sure I trust businesses as chronically mis-run as DC and Marvel to do smart analysis of the best way to go but I can understand why they are behaving that way.
posted by phearlez at 12:37 PM on June 3, 2011


Holy Bat-tastrophe! That new Bat lineup is bat-bollocks! And WTF, Catwoman? I think I'd prefer it if they just had Batman making her eat petfood on the cover.
posted by Artw at 8:01 AM on June 6, 2011


Here's that Catwoman cover. Such a great thing that DC is taking advantage of this reboot to reform superhero comics' image as a boyzone.
posted by Zed at 9:06 AM on June 6, 2011


Not only does that Catwoman cover manage to not-so-subtly imply a 'money shot' but they managed to draw a belly-button despite the zipper being closer over it. Impressive.
posted by phearlez at 9:16 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, I've read the whole of the previous Catwoman series (since the previous #1 relaunch, when it had absolutely beautiful art), and while I really loved the series, it honestly never occurred to me that OH MY GOD GUYS CATWOMAN HAS BOOBS! BOOBS GUYS! SHE'S GOT BOOOOOOOOBS!

okay so adam hughes did covers way boobier than that, but his covers adorned books that were actually good whereas I have no such hopes for this
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:59 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's all about story.
posted by Artw at 10:01 AM on June 6, 2011


Also: Where the fuck is Morrison?
Also: Tony Daniel TOTALLY has some dirt on DC editorial. Or something. Does anyone actually like and look forwards to his shitty art and bad writing?
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oracle > Batgirl, right? One is a character who uses her (librarian) skills to lead the fight against crime despite her disability. The other has multiple comics wherein she does not fight crime for fear of messing up her lipstick.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:17 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gordon's paralysis smacked of Women in Refrigerators -- a bad thing happening to a female supporting character just to provide angst for a male lead character.

But, yeah, after that happened, Gordon as Oracle became a much more interesting character than Gordon as Batgirl ever was. And it was nice to see a character in a wheelchair portrayed as a real human being with agency and all -- I'm having trouble thinking of any other examples of that since Professor X.

All undone.
posted by Zed at 11:54 AM on June 6, 2011


Well, this gimpy Birds of Prey fan is PISSED.
posted by jtron at 12:57 PM on June 6, 2011


To be honest I think the crippling of Batgirl was a crappy misogynistic act in the service of bullshit grim and grittyness worse than any of the crap complained about in the Refrigerators piece and I'm not all that unhappy to see it undone.
posted by Artw at 1:38 PM on June 6, 2011


Moore didn't go quite that far, but did express quite a lot of regret about "The Killing Joke." He admitted that he didn't have a lot to say and seemed to be saying he regretted having done it.

I'm of two minds. It was shitty and misogynistic, yes, but on the other hand Barbara really did flourish as a character as Oracle, in ways I doubt she would have as Batgirl.
posted by middleclasstool at 1:53 PM on June 6, 2011


IIRC Moore phoned up DC editorial to ask about the storyline and got the response "cripple the bitch".
posted by Artw at 2:07 PM on June 6, 2011


Batgirl Triumphant: The Price of Restoring DC Comics' Disabled Heroine
posted by Artw at 2:18 PM on June 6, 2011


I'm simultaneously in agreement with the sentiment that Gordon being kidnapped and shot in the spine as a pawn in a Joker vs. Batman game was shitty and with that Gordon as Oracle was a better and more interesting character than Gordon as Batgirl.

With a reboot, they had any number of options that could have kept Oracle without the shitty origin, like Gordon having been congenitally paralyzed, or paralyzed under circumstances having nothing to do with superheroes, and having chosen to use her mad library science skills in the service of crimefighting for its own sake.
posted by Zed at 2:22 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, let's say I was going to start following three of the new titles. What should I be looking at? It's early, but... any advice?

Also: Where the fuck is Morrison?

He's still here.
posted by painquale at 2:38 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The argument that it matches the cartoon version of the character that more people are familiar with would hold more weight if they were adopting John Stewart as their Green Lantern.
posted by Artw at 2:38 PM on June 6, 2011


As details emerge, this stupid idea just gets stupider and stupider. Dick Grayson demoted to Nightwing. Renumbering Batman Inc after only ten issues. Renumbering DETECTIVE COMICS cuz fuck legacy, right? Goddamn goddamn this shit is obnoxious.
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:06 PM on June 6, 2011


They should rename Detective to "Tony Daniels is totally awesome, love him you guys, love him!".
posted by Artw at 3:07 PM on June 6, 2011


Oh my christ, Tony Daniels, what the shit? Baffling enough that his Permanent Nineties art style is mutilating Batman on a monthly basis, but I read that on WolverHawkman, he's been hired as the writer. The writer. What in the sweet living fuck are you thinking, DC?
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:13 PM on June 6, 2011


On the plus side the Batman Inc. news means that they are allowing some ongoing storylines, and we're not going to be hit by the feared plague of origin retellings.
posted by Artw at 3:47 PM on June 6, 2011


Dick Grayson demoted to Nightwing.

At this point I'm surprised they didn't find a way to have Dick Grayson be Nightwing and a younger Dick Grayson also be Robin.
posted by Gary at 3:53 PM on June 6, 2011


Supergirl and Power Girl to merge, Firestorm-like.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:44 PM on June 6, 2011


Also: Tony Daniel TOTALLY has some dirt on DC editorial. Or something. Does anyone actually like and look forwards to his shitty art and bad writing?

Hmm. At the risk of enduring your scorn, I'm gonna say I've never really had an issue with Tony Daniel's art. I'm sitting here flipping through Batman RIP, Teen Titans and Battle for the Cowl and not really seeing anything to complain about. Are there particular panels or stylistic twitches that I should look for to see where you're coming from?

As far as writing goes I think the only example I have handy is Battle for the Cowl, which was indeed pretty bland but hardly strikes me as blackmail-bad.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 5:54 PM on June 6, 2011


I wonder if it would be a fun Summer Project to do some fan reboots of DC characters. When I actually had/updated my blog, I did that a few times (Deadman, Earth 2 Superman, etc) and it was pretty interesting in a "here's what I would do" vanity mode.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:29 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hope you will. If past experience is any guide, I'd find that about a hundred times more interesting than what DC is actually doing.
posted by Zed at 10:16 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would buy a leather-bound edition of that story.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:38 AM on June 7, 2011


Okie-dokie then. And y'all should know this time, it's serious. I bought a NOTEPAD.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:47 AM on June 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Your ideas are intriguing to me and I have subscribed to your newsletter RSS feed.
posted by Zed at 11:54 AM on June 7, 2011


Why Barbara Gordon should stay in the wheelchair
posted by Artw at 4:26 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


In a very similar vein, here's an article I read the other day addressing the same topic.

As a complete aside, I happened to read some really good reviews for the current team tackling Power Girl. Now I've never really had much of an interest in that character, but the reviews convinced me to take a peak. To my surprise, I was actually fairly impressed. Now I have no idea what's going to happen to the series as a result of this reboot, but the book has got my attention for the next issue or two.

And going in a completely different direction, D.C. made announcements about its occult/monster books, including what sounds to be a really, really bad idea: Justice League Dark. That's right Constantine, Xanadu, Shade and Deadman team up to solve crimes, stop baddies and save the universe.
posted by sardonyx at 5:18 PM on June 7, 2011


My first kneejerk impression - that sounds like the stupidest thing ever.

On the other hand, some good creative teams there.
posted by Artw at 5:26 PM on June 7, 2011


John Constantine, the hero known as HELLBLAZER!
posted by Artw at 5:47 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would read that comic in an instant.

But I am old and already read comics.
posted by klangklangston at 6:48 PM on June 7, 2011


Okay Artw, now you're scaring me with that Hellblazer picture!
posted by dragonplayer at 9:05 PM on June 7, 2011


I admit some interest in Resurrection Man. Croyd the Sleeper was always my favorite Wildcard. Plus, Abnett and Lanning, woo!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:01 AM on June 8, 2011


sardonyx: "And going in a completely different direction, D.C. made announcements about its occult/monster books, including what sounds to be a really, really bad idea: Justice League Dark."

Wow, Buddy Baker has gained the power to shrink animals.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:13 AM on June 8, 2011


Justice League Dark is stupid, but Frankenstein: Agent Of SHADE is just the right amount of ridiculous.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:17 AM on June 8, 2011


Damn, Jeff Lemire sure is getting a lot more work than I would've thought after reading the monumentally bad Sweet Tooth.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:46 AM on June 8, 2011


I kind of like Sweettooth, but it seems to have gotten into a bit of a rut and isn't going anywhere interesting particularly fast.

Okay Artw, now you're scaring me with that Hellblazer picture!

That's Doom Patrol 53, true believer, number 11 on The Most Insane Moments of 'Doom Patrol'.
posted by Artw at 9:59 AM on June 8, 2011


Time and Time Again: The Complete History of DC's Retcons and Reboots
posted by Artw at 10:03 AM on June 8, 2011


I'm trying to figure out how many teams formed to combat supernatural threats John Constantine has gotten all killed - so far I'm up to three (two in the American Gothic arc, then his mates in Newcastle as covered in the Hellblazer series) with an honourable mention for The Books of Magic which only strands Mister E at the end of time.
posted by Artw at 10:28 AM on June 8, 2011


Legion and Teen Titans covers are up at io9 today. I am increasingly confused about reboot vs. relaunch. At best I think this will make continuity equally confusing for new readers and long-time fans alike.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 11:51 AM on June 8, 2011


I'm confused the ammount of crosshatching, gritted teeth, wolverine claws, and Rob Liefeld going on in these covers, which are making me feel I traveled back in time to the 90s.
posted by Artw at 11:55 AM on June 8, 2011


‘There will be no escaping from the DC Universe’
posted by Artw at 11:59 AM on June 8, 2011


and Rob Liefeld

Someone needs to put together a youtube video of Standup Comics Comedian Jerry Liefeld. All doing brickwall observational humor bits about being pouches and shit.

"What is the deeeaaall with feet? Who has those?"
posted by cortex at 12:02 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


We are so far, at least, relatively free of pouches. Every other shitty 90s cliche abounds.
posted by Artw at 12:04 PM on June 8, 2011


ROB LIEFELD?
ROB FUCKING LIEFELD?

What in the hell? I'm completely baffled. I guess Tony Daniel isn't the worst creator on the DC payroll anymore.

Holy shit, guys, I think Darkseid won Final Crisis after all. At this point, only the Anti-Life Equation can adequately explain what's happened to the DCU.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:20 PM on June 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


LIEFELD IS
posted by Greg Nog at 12:24 PM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


PDF list of all the reboot title to date
posted by Artw at 2:20 PM on June 8, 2011


Not even fire can kill him.
posted by Zed at 2:32 PM on June 8, 2011


"I'm trying to figure out how many teams formed to combat supernatural threats John Constantine has gotten all killed - so far I'm up to three (two in the American Gothic arc, then his mates in Newcastle as covered in the Hellblazer series) with an honourable mention for The Books of Magic which only strands Mister E at the end of time."

See, and I would also read a book where it was a bunch of "dark" characters from around DC teaming up with Constantine and meeting their inevitable grisly deaths while he was just out of frame.
posted by klangklangston at 3:18 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would say we should pull a Sanjaya and all buy the Liefeld comic to save it from the inevitable December purge, but like hell am I ever paying cash money for a Liefeld comic.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:24 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wasn't Constantine quickly moved to the Vertigo-a-gogo quasi-canon imprint where writers could both drop in cameos of DC capes and not care about how their sorta-shared cosmology related to DC main continuity?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:55 PM on June 8, 2011


Well, not before he'd gotten Sargon the Sorcerer and Zatara killed and driven Mento insane.
posted by Artw at 3:57 PM on June 8, 2011


Didn't the Swamp Thing Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover have Constantine bossing around pretty much the rest of the DC Universe?
posted by Zed at 4:33 PM on June 8, 2011


Okay now this is just plain good news, at least in the short term.

The Wildstorm universe is being merged into the DCU, Stormwatch (the book that became The Authority) will get a new ongoing, Midnighter, Apollo and Martian Manhunter are the stars, and Paul Friggin' Cornell is in charge.

YES.

Also Grifter from WildCATS is getting another book, I'm less enthused about that. But who cares, THE AUTHORTY IS BACK.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:24 AM on June 9, 2011


Well, if you did The Authority properly in the DCU they'd be supervillains. Still, interesting.
posted by Artw at 7:44 AM on June 9, 2011


Argh. So many characters! While brainstorming the Batman reboot for the chinzy blog above, I realized there's like a month worth of characters to reboot from his supporting cast and villains alone.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:51 AM on June 9, 2011


Jack Hawksmoor and the rest of the crew look to recruit two of the deadliest super humans on the planet: Midnighter and Apollo. And if they say no? Perhaps the Martian Manhunter can change their minds.

Oh my.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:39 AM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's polymorphic!

Meanwhile, over at Marvel, The Uncanny X-Men will be ending due to some stupid fucking event, apparently meaning that the comicbook with the longest uninterrupted numbering will be... Hellblazer?
posted by Artw at 8:45 AM on June 9, 2011


From Artw's link:

X-Men: Schism will feature Scott "Cyclops" Summers and James "Wolverine" "Logan" "Patch" Howlett having an ideological disagreement in the wake of the return of Quentin "Kid Omega" Quire, the nihilist mutant punk from Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's "Riot at Xavier's" arc of New X-Men. He will presumably do something Very, Very Bad, which will lead to the confrontation between the two popular characters.

Dumb-as-hell question: Is Cyclops "popular"? I've never understood that. He's never held any appeal for me.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 9:00 AM on June 9, 2011


Dumb-as-hell question: Is Cyclops "popular"? I've never understood that. He's never held any appeal for me.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed


I don't know if he's popular (well-known, for sure), but written right, Cyclops can be pretty cool. Morrison had the best take (to be fair, I generally think Morrison had the best take on most X-characters), and Claremont had moments.

The key to Cyclops being interesting is the gulf between his being pretty good at leading the team and actually having very little self-esteem (or even sense of self) inside. He's kind of a hollow, repressed loser who's convinced that he's a terrible person and has to maintain white-knuckle control over himself at all times (writers who're hitting on all cylinders tie that, of course, to the lack of control over his powers). Morrison mined the hell out of this, and I really thought it was great that he had Cyclops slowly start to open up through an affair with a former supervillain. The "man under tight self-control doing something kind of crazy" is a pretty interesting direction, especially for people who have their own tendencies towards overdoing the self-control.

I haven't really read the X-books since Chuck Austen cured me of them, though, so I don't know if anything good's been done with Cyclops lately.
posted by COBRA! at 9:09 AM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Scott Summers is a jerk!

It's pretty funny, he's sort of a boring Mr. Responsibility type with a real stick up him but, but if you look at his history and the whole thing with Madelyne Pryor, and various abandoned kids - anyone remember Rachel Summers? Scott doesn't - conspire to make him seem like an utterly careless asshole.

So plenty of room to work in there. Is he popular? I dunno. Deadpool and Wolverine are what's "popular".
posted by Artw at 9:16 AM on June 9, 2011


Also, is it me, or is Kieron Gillen cursed? He's one of the best "new"*comics writers out there and every damn thing he starts gets cancelled or dragged into some editorial event and derailed before it can go anywhere.

* As in "been writing comics in one way or another for ten years or more"
posted by Artw at 9:22 AM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Chris Sims talks sense: Reboot Wishlist: 9 Comics We Want To See From the New DC

I would buy that all ages Wonder Woman for my daughter in a heartbeat.
posted by Artw at 9:35 AM on June 9, 2011


At least he's still got "Journey Into Mystery" to do awesome things with. And that book doesn't have Greg Land!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:36 AM on June 9, 2011


I would buy that all ages Wonder Woman for my daughter in a heartbeat.

Here are the facts, folks: Wonder Woman is a super-powered magical princess that can talk to animals. The fact that there's not a kid-friendly book out there based on that concept is probably the most ludicrous thing about comics

Agreed and agreed!
posted by Greg Nog at 10:01 AM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


My last attempt to dip into X-Men continuity (which seems to involve plotlines that retcon the retcon over the timey-weimey continuity problem involving the Summers clan as the mutant messiah/antichrist/Kwisatz Haderach with half the supporting characters either quasi-dead, quantum-entangled, or depowered) was X-Factor investigations. And it was pretty cool, self-contained, and had nice dramatic weirndness like Madrox getting drunk and sleeping with two of his co-workers on the same night.

Then of course, they had to do another crossover, which meant that half the cast suddenly disappeared with a three-page insert of Scott Summer's arguing with Professor X over something that happened in a completely different title.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:19 AM on June 9, 2011


Cyclops is great! I can remember the exact panel where I realized this, and it took Grant Morrison to make me dig the guy. He's controlled under pressure in a way that borders on a strangely useful mental illness. I wish I could remember the exact quote, but the gist was that Scott and Logan were in about to get in a plane crash in an early issue of New X-Men, Wolverine was getting tense and Cyclops says something to the effect of "Relax, Logan. I've survived more jet aircraft crashes than any mutant on the planet." I've been a Cyclops fan ever since. So badass.

I'm less nervous about the Uncanny renumbering cuz Marvel tends to snap outta foolishness like that after 30 issues of a new volume or so. The thing that bugs me, though, is that at least temporarily, it will have been Greg Land who draws (traces) the "final" issue of a series that deserves better.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:50 AM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


As someone who reads non-TPBs exclusively on the iPad and could use a few jumping-on points, I've gotta say that I'm pretty excited about this. Their ploy is working at least on me. I'll probably blow a bunch of money on the day of the rebootening. If they put out a package to download all fifty-two titles for something under a hundred bucks, I'd probably buy it.

I am really into Jonah Hex being around for the construction of Arkham.

If The Authority is being pulled into continuity, is Planetary? That does not seem like it would work at all. Although it would be neat for The Fantastic Four to have quietly been rulers of the DC universe in the background.
posted by painquale at 3:14 PM on June 9, 2011


Here's that Catwoman cover. Such a great thing that DC is taking advantage of this reboot to reform superhero comics' image as a boyzone.

Suicide Squad featuring Harley Quinn's updated outfit.
posted by Gary at 3:22 PM on June 9, 2011


FIRST REACTION: New Suicide Squad! Effing awesome!

REACTION AFTER SEEING COVER: Oh, you can go to hell.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:27 PM on June 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


I didn't know you could get sent to death row for excessive cleavage.
posted by phearlez at 3:45 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Harley Quinn's updated outfit.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME
posted by Greg Nog at 3:46 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


*headdesk*

As t increases, the probability of a female superhero comics character's costume getting a stripperiffic re-design approaches 1.

If The Authority is being pulled into continuity, is Planetary? That does not seem like it would work at all.

Considering that one issue alone killed off Superman, Wonder Woman and the Green Lantern...

it would be neat for The Fantastic Four to have quietly been rulers of the DC universe in the background.

Reed does spend time viewing and sometimes interacting with parallel universes.
posted by Zed at 3:48 PM on June 9, 2011


When I saw the Suicide Squad cover, I thought they'd decided that the Creeper would be a woman now. Of all the characters that really needed a redesign, I don't think Harley is one of them, and I gotta question the wisdom of that particular redesign for a character who's a fan favorite among a whole lot of women.

That said, I too am also a little surprised by how many of these books I want to read. There's about a dozen that have been announced so far that I'll at least test drive. Other than the Morrison Batbooks, I've read almost no DCU titles in years, and certainly not as pamphlets. But I'll be happy to buy singles in digital form, even at full price.* So I can say that this experiment -- which may well prove a complete bomb -- is definitely a success for, like...me.

*It's actually my belief, which I would normally keep to myself for obvious reasons, that the digital version of a print work is worth as much or more, when you factor in convenience. So I'm okay with $2.99, if that's the going rate (though three bucks for a twenty-page comic in any format still seems like highway robbery to your humble droogie, whose first comic book cost like forty goddamn cents or something).
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:49 PM on June 9, 2011


Harley is getting a similar makeover for Arkham City too.
posted by painquale at 4:00 PM on June 9, 2011


I never thought I'd say this about anything, but Harley's Arkham City outfit is way better than this thing.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:25 PM on June 9, 2011


1) DC wants more of the mythical "new readers" that are allegedly out there, just waiting for the right superhero book to come along.

2) Superheroes are consumed by a predominantly male audience - therefore, the richest supply of potential new readers exists among the 50% of the population which superhero publishers presently at best ignore and at worst actively repel.

3) DC releases preview images of Harley Quinn stripped down to a corset and Catwoman with a zipper that cannot possibly contain her cat-cleavage.

4) Profit?

I'm really not trying to be a fanboy hater here, but the depth of FAIL in this move deepens with every new bit of information that is released. It's already a shockingly poor storytelling decision, but it's becoming more and more clear that this will also prove to be a disastrous business decision.
posted by EatTheWeak at 5:10 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had gotten my hopes up after some of the things I'd read and followed links toward. The Harley costume reminds me of why I'm better off sticking with DC Animated. I liked Harley in B:TAS and in the places I'd seen her in the rest of the DC universe, but that costume is a total turnoff.
posted by immlass at 5:20 PM on June 9, 2011


That is... not good.
posted by Artw at 5:26 PM on June 9, 2011


Dear Ask This Thread:

I have discovered, to my delight and terror, that comiXology has since I last looked added a great big whopping pile of DC back catalog to their listings, and just looking at the Batman stuff there appears to be something like 100+ issues going back from current, and I would like to read the interesting bits of that without actually dropping several hundred dollars on the whole walloping run.

Which bits should I get? What are the most interesting runs in there in terms of interesting plot development or character study?

Also, my gay cat circumcised my Republican boyfriend, should I eat it?
posted by cortex at 6:02 PM on June 9, 2011


They had a big Batman day a couple of months ago (New Year's?) when they released 101 Batman books all at once for 99 cents each. I picked up all of Grant Morrison's stuff (Batman RIP and Batman and Robin and all that stuff with Damien) and Jeff Loeb's Hush storyline. All that stuff is pretty good; The Long Halloween too. I would just start following Batman with Grant Morrison at 655, I think. Or maybe start with Batman RIP. Purple Batman is a thing of beauty, and it's the beginning of the long saga he's been telling for the past while.

They recently did the same thing with Green Lantern and Superman. It is interesting to see the different way Marvel and DC release issues and have sales. DC puts out one issue of a series at a time, and occasionally has monster sales with a hundred issues for 99 cents for a weekend or so. Marvel puts out runs of 6-12 issues every week, and on Mondays reduces a 10 or 12 issue run to 99 cents each for the day. I prefer Marvel's release schedule. In either case, it's worth subscribing the emails they release to let you know when there is a sale for a short period.
posted by painquale at 6:31 PM on June 9, 2011


Grant Morrison has basically had unrestricted ownership of the Batman universe since issue 655, "Batman and Son". Anything from there on, which includes the "Batman RIP", "Batman and Robin", "Return of Bruce Wayne" and "Batman Inc." storylines, is worth reading.

Also, if the sale includes Detective Comics, the three arcs that started with issue 854, when Batwoman took center stage for a year, are absolutely friggin' fantastic. Best art I've ever seen in a comic, courtesty of JH Williams III, and some very good writing too.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:43 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Harley Quinn's updated outfit.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME


You can walk to protest the new design (warning: Facebook link)

One of my IRL/FB friends is a Harley Quinn cosplayer who takes this all very seriously.

I hated her design in Arkham Asylum. Degrading and un-sexy!
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:33 PM on June 9, 2011


Harley is getting a similar makeover for Arkham City too

That's basically the same slutty costume from Arkham Asylum. Which is obviously the source of the comic redesign.

Anything from there on, which includes the "Batman RIP", "Batman and Robin", "Return of Bruce Wayne" and "Batman Inc." storylines, is worth reading

I tuned out with the Zur-en-arrh thing and the endless crossover bullshit. I'm beginning to feel I need to go back and look
posted by middleclasstool at 8:32 PM on June 9, 2011


That's basically the same slutty costume from Arkham Asylum.

It didn't seem as striking to me in Arkham Asylum. I think it's because in Asylum she was dressed as a nurse, so it felt like she was just dressing up in a costume for the event, like she often does in all the other comics and cartoons. In Arkham City, it's clearly become her standard outfit.

Anything from there on, which includes the "Batman RIP", "Batman and Robin", "Return of Bruce Wayne" and "Batman Inc." storylines, is worth reading. Also, if the sale includes Detective Comics, the three arcs that started with issue 854, when Batwoman took center stage for a year, are absolutely friggin' fantastic.

Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman Inc aren't digital yet, and I wish they'd hurry up and put them on Comixology, because I hear nothing but good things about them. I also want them to digitize All Star Batman and Robin. (Oh, speaking of Frank Miller... Year One and The Dark Knight Returns are both available online, so if you haven't read those, cortex, they should probably be your first downloads.)

Detective Comics ends its online run at 853. That issue is the second half of a little two-parter imaginary story by Neil Gaiman which is worth a read.
posted by painquale at 9:00 PM on June 9, 2011


Don't worry, I've had copies of both of Miller's bookends for a good long time. Year One may have been the first Batman book I ever read, when I was probably ten or eleven, which was just about the perfect age to read it at to ruin me for the campier stuff for life.

I have Strikes Again as well, despite having been warned off it. I comfort myself by focusing on the fact that for all the problems with it, it's still better than Year Two. Everything is better than Year Two.
posted by cortex at 9:11 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I frickin' loved the Zur-en-arrh thing. Batman's preparedness goes so deep he... SPOILERS...

hypnotically implanted a back-up personality just in case the primary was compromised.

I mean, how awesome is that? I will tell you. That is extremely awesome, indeed.
posted by Zed at 9:12 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


cortex - For real, just snag any Batbook with Grant Morrison in the writer credit. It's been amazing to behold, this run - there are moments in the climax of Batman RIP for which I cheered out loud while reading. Not even kidding a little.

MIDDLECLASSTOOL - Oh my god, ignore the crossover shit, yeah, but you GOTTA read through the rest of the BATMAN OF ZUR-EN-ARRH story. Eisner's Inkwell, shit gets amazing - run away screaming from Battle for the Cowl, yeah, but you gotta check out the rest of Morrison's run. It's goddamn unbelievable the way he's managed to make 70 years of Batstories somehow hang together coherently.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:38 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Return of Ras Al Ghul is pretty skippable as well. BUT THAT'S IT! The rest of Morrison's run oughta be taught in schools.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:44 PM on June 9, 2011


It's gonna seem a little disjointed if you ignore Final Crisis, but you're probably going to pick it up from context. Morrison did a bunch of additional stories after the fact that filled in some of what happened as well.
posted by Artw at 9:45 PM on June 9, 2011


All of Batman and Robin is great. That's where Damien comes into his own. I like Damien, he's a horrid little shit.
posted by Artw at 9:46 PM on June 9, 2011


Yeah. I really never read much Batman and Robin with Bruce Wayne and any of the other Robins. But Dick Grayson and Damien as an insecure Batman and a sociopathic Robin -- that was some great stuff. (I've only read Vol. 1 -- that's about when I gave up on weekly comic book store visits and became a dedicated waiting-for-the-trade-er.)
posted by Zed at 10:40 PM on June 9, 2011


I read the Bat books while ignoring Final Crisis, and I turned out fine. It really was not that confusing. I kinda knew the general outline of it though. I guess you could read the plot on wikipedia or something if confused.

Damien is the best Robin. I'd like to see something juxtaposing Batman and Joker's sidekicks. They have their good guy/bad guy motivations all messed up. Damien's pretty much a villain, and Harley's only motivation has ever been love and friendship.
posted by painquale at 10:55 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seriously, there's just no getting enough Damien. I love that moment early in the run of Batman and Robin where Dick expresses some doubt as to his worthiness of the cowl and Damien straight up tells him to step aside then, cuz he's been ready for awhile. The backbiting and rivalry with Tim Drake is also a delight, and though I haven't read it, I understand there's a Teen Titans arc where he tries to be a member but is just too much of an insufferable little prick for the team to put up with - which sounds about perfect.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:01 PM on June 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


I just flipped through Batman RIP, and I don't think it'll make much sense without having read the earlier issues in Morrison's run. It alludes to too many things from the previous year. So start with 665, I guess.
posted by painquale at 6:57 AM on June 10, 2011


Plus you'd miss The Black Glove, which is a great story in it's own right.
posted by Artw at 7:51 AM on June 10, 2011


Solely because of this thread, I decided to catch up on the Batman comics I'd been missing for the few years, and received them via amazon just last night!
posted by Greg Nog at 11:25 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sort of off to the side of the main Bat-continuity, Paul Cornell's Knight and Squire is well worth a look as well.
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's a dumb question as someone who's just been nibbling at trade paperbacks for the last few years. If I were to use this as an opportunity to get back into some favorite titles with a fresh start, how does comiXology stand as a way to do it without an Android or iOS device? I'd rather not deal with a monthly load of paper anymore.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:21 PM on June 10, 2011


I'd say it would entirely depend on how you feel about reading comics on a desktop/laptop screen. For reasons I find hard to quanitify I've always found it deeply unsatisfying - and yet on tablets it just seems to work.
posted by Artw at 12:39 PM on June 10, 2011


I was wondering about that too. Are the comixology titles just cbr/cbz's, or do they have some kind of DRM / software platform I need to use to read them?
posted by whir at 12:40 PM on June 10, 2011


Comixology use a proprietry format to support their guided reading, and probably lock the files up a bit to stop you copying them. Though I beleive that if you buy a comic of theirs in one format you get it in all formats, much like Steam.
posted by Artw at 12:44 PM on June 10, 2011


I'm also thinking of questions like, "is this a company that's likely to take my credit card and lock me into a subscription via a weird ToS?" And what are the alternatives?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:49 PM on June 10, 2011


Well, like all cloudy things if you don't keep hold of local files and they go out of business you're pretty much screwed - on the other hand, they're pretty much kicking ass and taking names right now so I don't see them going away anytime soon. If anything they are so successful I find it a tiny bit worrying that digital comics may become a bit of a monoculture.
posted by Artw at 12:52 PM on June 10, 2011


Yeah, you need to use the app to read the comics (on iOS at least). You have no access to whatever file structure is hiding them. The Comixology apps don't offer subscriptions at all---all issues are purchased individually. I wouldn't worry too much about nefarious things happening with your CC. These are big corporations with a lot to lose if they are perceived as scammy, so they'll be meticulously pristine. And Apple is draconian about this sort of stuff.

Morrison's Batman stuff is something I wish I had read serialized. It looks like it would have been fun to buy an issue and savor it and reread it again and again for a month, while coming up with all sorts of crazy theories. Sadly I tore through the whole thing in one night.
posted by painquale at 12:59 PM on June 10, 2011


Thank you.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:03 PM on June 10, 2011


Comixology supports reading your purchased comics in-browser, but not for their entire catalog. Marvel titles are still only available through the mobile app, which pisses me off to no end.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:06 PM on June 10, 2011


Anyway, enough of that, the Superman titles are in!

The New Superman Titles Are Here, Grant Morrison on 'Action Comics'

Man that redesigned costume looks dumb, they can't ditch that one fast enough.
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on June 10, 2011


Also I have no idea what Supergirl is supposed to be wearing.
posted by Artw at 1:26 PM on June 10, 2011


EatTheWeak: "Seriously, there's just no getting enough Damien."

If Batman #666 were to be the canon future for the character I would, well, crap myself with joy. It's a concept for a future Batman I found a hundred times more interesting than Terry Whosits from DCAU.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:26 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the collar on Supergirl's outfit, but the costume as a whole is only somewhat better than the more recent belly shirt with microskirt.

Who cares, though? Grant Morrison's writing Superman!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:29 PM on June 10, 2011


Artw: "Man that redesigned costume looks dumb, they can't ditch that one fast enough."

I was expecting it after the Harley and Selina covers, but the new design for Supergirl's costume is just nasty. I suppose "the unpredictable behavior of a teenager" includes a willingness to super-shave up to the crack each and every day.

I miss the artist who drew her looking like a slighly puppy-fatted teenage Alicia Silverstone.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:31 PM on June 10, 2011


Per one of the commenters on the article, on close inspection those seem to be flesh-toned tights, not skin.

Which just makes the costume embarrassingly stupid instead of embarrassingly exhibitionistic, but it's still better than Harley!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:33 PM on June 10, 2011


Morrison's Batman stuff is something I wish I had read serialized. It looks like it would have been fun to buy an issue and savor it and reread it again and again for a month, while coming up with all sorts of crazy theories.

Good point. Too much stuff these days doesn't read well serially, being too much like a chapter of a graphic novel.* Morrison's Batman really did.

* Yes, I know I'm part of the problem by waiting for the trades
posted by Zed at 2:02 PM on June 10, 2011


Yup, looks like we're back to Earth-1/Earth-2. This is probably the second earth they were talking about in Meltzer's JLA run.

If Superman is the first hero, that means no golden age. It explains how all of these character changes can be made without it being a reboot, and explains why we haven't seen Power Girl at all and why Mr. Terrific has a rebooted origin and is a solo player. There ain't no Justice Society in this world.

And I wonder What this means for 'Earth-0'? Will it be destroyed at the end of Flashpoint as some have forecast?

And now that we know every title, of their choices have been questionable. "I, Vampire" instead of "Shazam" as one of the 52 titles?
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 2:21 PM on June 10, 2011


Harley's new costume sure looks great! Boy DC, I just can't figure out why you have so much trouble attracting and keeping female readers!
posted by troublewithwolves at 3:20 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


No Golden Age is a kind of inevitable consequence of the rolling "all the big name heroes started not more than ten years ago" thing that both DC and Marvel have done. The Golden Age heroes are all tied to WW II. To have both them and have the modern heroes getting rebooted to have careers beginning in 2011, you're missing two generations of superheroic history.

Which is a damn shame, 'cause Starman getting mentored by his father and Wally West getting mentored by Jay Garrick made for some good stories.
posted by Zed at 5:17 PM on June 10, 2011


I'd like to see the JSA age naturally in a different timeline and be replaced by legacy heroes who age naturally, too. I would read a comic about that universe, DC.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:25 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Have Marvel de-aged Frank Castle yet? Him and Joe Dredd definatly count as comic's best and scariest old bastards.
posted by Artw at 6:28 PM on June 10, 2011


I think Frank's magicalwhosits recovery from the Frankencastle thing counts a de-age for now.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:27 AM on June 11, 2011


I'd like to see the JSA age naturally in a different timeline and be replaced by legacy heroes who age naturally, too. I would read a comic about that universe, DC.

It'd be like a brand name Astro City! (Yeah, I'd read it, too.)

Also, the world would start to get kind of freaked out by Superman and Wonder Woman as they just kept on going while generation after generation died around them.
posted by Zed at 6:17 AM on June 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Enough with the mercenaries already!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:48 AM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, the world would start to get kind of freaked out by Superman and Wonder Woman as they just kept on going while generation after generation died around them.

That actually reminds me of something. Whence the assumption that Superman won't age / ages at a slower rate than other people? That seems to be kind of a standing idea about the character now (anybody else read that Elseworlds where he fought Nazis who were also mythological constructs, and Lois and Lana were both there but old? He stayed young forever there too), but I don't remember it ever actually being directly brought up. Why do we think Supes wouldn't get older? He clearly grew from being a baby to being a kid (with his same superhuman physiology) to being an adult. Obviously he would be protected from disease, I guess ... but there are some aging processes that all the toughness imaginable still won't protect against.
posted by penduluum at 10:53 AM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


There have been different ideas at different points. Earth-2 Superman was graying at the temples. But in the current, about to be demolished, DC continuity, it's both the case that Superman is hundreds or thousands of years old (he and Wonder Woman were off battling demons in some other dimension, after which they were returned to our world a moment after they left) and will be alive some 80000 years in the future (as revealed in DC 1,000,000.) But he was living full-time inside the sun at that point, which I took to be a suggestion that he needed that much yellow-sun radiation full-time to keep going (then again, it could be that he was just really determined to avoid solicitors.)
posted by Zed at 11:04 AM on June 13, 2011


Hm. Yeah. I get it for Wonder Woman. I'm not up on her current continuity but she's somewhere between a demi-god and a mystically animated figure of clay, right, so there's no reason that she would age. And I get why a writer would want Supes to not age. It fits his iconic status. And you avoid the whole heir-of-Superman issue which really has never been handled to satisfaction (and not for want of trying).

And I realize how absurd this sounds when discuss the details of comic book superhero physiology/continuity, but: I just don't buy it. It doesn't feel right to me. It doesn't fit all the other things we currently believe about the way he works. I dunno. I guess it's moot now anyway.
posted by penduluum at 11:19 AM on June 13, 2011


DC Universe: Year 1000.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:06 AM on June 14, 2011


DC Editors on the Relaunch: Cost, Female Costumes, and What's Still in Continuity

It's all built on characters. It's the stories that mean a lot to a particular hero or villain -- you have Death in the Family counting, Blackest Night, Brightest Day, The Killing Joke, Identity Crisis. These are important storylines that affected our characters' lives, and that will be part and parcel of moving forward.

Ah... Identity Crisis - as Chris Sim puts it: "Don't worry, folks: That rape comic with Superman on the cover is still in continuity! Now let's get some new readers in here!"
posted by Artw at 11:56 AM on June 15, 2011


So they reboot, but keep Ralph and Sue Dibny dead. Whatever you wanna do, DC. But whatever that is, it doesn't include me as a customer.

I'm done.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 12:13 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Infinite Crisis is the keystone of all their stupidest ideas! Letting it go would be an admission that they were crap!
posted by Artw at 12:20 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras

Oh my god ... it all makes so much sense now ... Bob Harras, the toolbox who oversaw nineties Marvel is now DC's EiC ...

Oh my god, those poor bastards ... this is gonna get so much worse before it gets better ...
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:24 PM on June 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I can't say I saw all of this coming when they promoted him, but stuff like the all-new, all-XTREEM Teen Titans wasn't really a big shock.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:44 PM on June 15, 2011


robocop is bleeding is already tearing it up. Love the idea of an ancient Lantern conspiracy.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:41 PM on June 15, 2011


Aquaman's Wife is in the Justice League.
posted by Gary at 9:14 AM on June 27, 2011


My league.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:55 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a solo character, he may be a second stringer, but dammit, the Martian Manhunter is the Justice League.
posted by Zed at 11:28 AM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


« Older Anatomy of a Mashup...  |  The Most Dangerous Place In Th... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments