Thursday, June 16, 2011

The new DCU

As anybody following me on twitter or facebook will know, I am somewhat saddened by the plans for the new DCU.  It's not that I think bad stories will be told, they will by all account probably be good stories, there's a lot of talented writers and artists there, it's more that I think there's no need to change some of the stories, because I, and here I am employing fan entitled arrogance, think a lot of the teams and stories are just fine the way they are at the moment thank you very much.

(all blurb and covers taken from Comic Book Resources btw)

Oh yes, I know there are problems with DC's output, it's too white, too male, too straight, but I honestly felt like they were getting better over the last few months.  Take the Teen Titans title.  Solstice has just been introduced.  She's fabulous.  She promises to be be great character (she's pretty good now), she's Indian, she's got great powers and Nicola Scott is drawing her wonderfully.  But why go to the trouble of introducing her if you aren't going to continue?  She'll only have been in 6 issues.  Instead we get this team:
Ok, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that this is not my sort of art, seeing as it will be the same art  the book, I'm crying a little inside, right now.  I actually think Tim has come off best here.
The solicit says:
"Tim Drake is forced to step out from behind his keyboard when an international organization seeks to capture or kill super-powered teenagers. As Red Robin, he must team up with the mysterious and belligerent powerhouse thief known as Wonder Girl and a hyperactive speedster calling himself Kid Flash in TEEN TITANS #1, by Scott Lobdell and artists Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund."
I don't know these creators.  It looks like Lobdell did some Buffy issues but mostly has done Marvel stuff.  Wonder Girl's info concerns me...stroppy Cassie wasn't liked by many people before..  If Kid Flash turns out not to be Bart I think I'll cry.
And who the hell are the other two?  Why (seemingly) get rid of Solstice for them?  I want to keep reading about Cass/Con/Bart/Tim but I'm not sure I get past the art.. :(

As for Supergirl...
Nice cover, nice suit (apart from the boots which should be below the knee) and the cover artist is doing the inside too, which is good to hear, but..
"Supergirl’s got the unpredictable behavior of a teenager, the same powers as Superman and none of his affection for the people of Earth. Writers Michael Green and Mike Johnson (Smallville, SUPERMAN/BATMAN) will team up with artist Mahmud Asrar to give a new take on the teenager from Krypton in SUPERGIRL #1"
This sounds entirely different to the Kara of the current comics.  I want to read more about the current Kara, not this new one. :(  The writers are good so I'm sure they'll produce good stories, but, I don't want to read about a new Kara, I want to see the current one develop. :(  The solicit sounds like she'll be a typical 'edgy', stroppy character, more like she was in the first 18 issues or so, but the art tells me this will be a more grown up Kara, an idea I find quite interesting.
Supergirl Comic Box Commentary has a good debate about this solicit.

So, my two favourite, iconic titles I am least excited and slightly miserable about.  *sigh*  I'll def get Supergirl, but I'm not sure about TT.

I'll now go through the other new titles and give my thoughts:
Alphabetical list filched from SallyP.

Action Comics - " This momentous first issue will set in motion the history of the DC Universe as Superman defends a world that doesn’t trust their first Super Hero"
It's by Morrison.  I'm sure he'll have fun with it.  I may buy it.   I wonder if 'first super hero' means actual first metahuman or if it means first icon.

All-Star Western - Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray are writing.  I'm sure it will be good, but it's not my thing.
Animal Man - This cover (right) makes it seem like it will be close in flavour to his last ongoing, from Vertigo.  In which case, I will probably put this on my pull list.
Aquaman - Fuck yes!  I'm that desperate for Arthur Curry goodness and so used to different takes on him I'll grab anything I can get.
Batman - do not care
Batman: The Dark Knight - also do not care.  Why can't Wonder Woman get the same number of titles Batman does?  *snark*
Batman and Robin - well, at least Damian is sticking around.   Though I do wish he had never left the Teen Titans.
Batgirl - It's Barbara Gordon seemingly out of her chair and back in the cowl.  This really upsets me.  I know it will be good.  I know Gail Simone has a lot of good stories to tell about Babs.  I know we don't know if Babs is cured or not.  For all we know she may be wearing a suit with nanites in that allows her to walk.  But I can't help thinking that we've lost a great disabled superhero, whose powers weren't linked to her disability, whose powers didn't overcome her disability and was nevertheless awesome and badass and could beat all of you in a fight, one hand behind her back.  Do you know how rare that is?  Daredevil is blind, but he's so gifted with other abilities he may as well as owl vision.
Or maybe it will be a younger Babs set before she got shot.  Which, well, it's easy to write stories set in the past about babsgirl, couldn't we have Babs as Oracle, adult wheelchair user, and another series of Babs as young woman, roof running crimefighter?

Batwoman - yep, gonna get this.
Birds of Prey - Where goes my Helena and Zinda?  The blurb sounds similar to the current BoP, but the writer is new.  I actually quite like Dinah's new suit.  I hope that's Katana on the right.

Blackhawks - how the effin hell do you do the Blackhawks, picture women on the cover and NOT have one of them be Zinda?  *cross*  This sounds very similar in theme to BoP, but with added murder and possibly less sexy ladies.
Blue Beetle - Jamie's back!  One up for those of us anti the whitewashing of superhero comics!
Captain Shinypants - I mean Atom.
Catwoman - I like Winick.  I like Guillem March.  But together?  Oh hells no.  I am staying far away form this book.  interviews with Winick have only confirmed my opinion.
DC Universe Presents - Bernard Chang is drawing the first story.  For that reason only I am inclined to pick up issue #1.
Deathstroke - Fucking hell he's got an impressive sword.  I hope Rose turns up in this.  I'm rather upset she isn't in the new TT solicit.  I may pick up issue #1.
Demon Knights - I cannot imagine anything more dull than a series in which Etrigan is the main character.
Detective Comics - Enough with the Bat love already.
The Fury of Firestorm - I will try this.  Gail Simone is writing, and I did enjoy Firestorm's story in Brightest Day,
Flash - If Wally, Irey and Bart show up in this I will buy it.  If it's all about Barry I'll leave it.
Frankenstein: Agent of Shade - does this sound similar to Shadowpact or is it just me?  I won't be getting it.
Green Arrow - undecided as to whether I should buy it.  I hated the post Blackest Night run of GA but that's mostly to do with the art.  This might be better.  High tech weaponry has been mentioned.  I hope this means trick arrows and not that Ollie is going to start using a tank or a gun.
Green Lantern - Yawn.  It's Hal.  This will hopefully be a good jumping on point for fans of the film.
Green Lantern Corps - Guy and John eh? Could be interesting.  But unless Guy is a dick I'm really not interested.
Green Lantern: The New Guardians - Now this I may want to get.. Kyle Rayner leads the emotional spectrum...
Grifter - I really have no opinion on this.
The Savage Hawkman - Angry, feral Carter.  Nice cover.  I'm very tempted.  The book would be improved with Sheria or Kendra.
Hawk and Dove - Love these 2!  An Sterling Gates is writing!  But Liefeld is drawing! Gates vs Liefeld, help....what do I do...
I, Vampire - Um, what is this vampire doing in a DCU book?  I want superheroes, not bloody vampires.  Unless it;s the Scream Queen, who isn't in these solicits.  Not that I'd ever expect her to be.  It was a very pleasant surprise to find her in the latest Superman/Batman story arc.
Justice League - John's out, Kara's out, all the sidekicks are out.  Arthur's back in, Diana has a nice new suit and Cyborg is in.  Arthur and Di might convince me to buy this.
Justice League: Dark - I'm sure this premise was already done in JLE and Cry for Justice.  Not getting.
Justice League International - erm, I'm half tempted, but I think I won't be able to afford it..
Legion of Super Heroes - If XS is in it I might get it.
Legion Lost - If XS is in it I might get it.
Mister Terrific - Fuck me a black guy gets to headline a comic.  He's got a stupid suit though
Nightwing - I'm tempted, I really am. I know it will revisit old territory and I know Dick has moved on but I kinda like him nonetheless.  And I don't own his old series.
Omac - erm, what?  No.
Red Hood and the Outlaws - Why does Roy have to be rejected by Ollie?  What does that say about Ollie?  And is Lian still in existence, even as just a memory?  Oh please bring Lian DC, please.
Red Lanterns - I guess this will angry, violent and bloody. Do you reckon Dex Starr will have a big role? 
Resurrection Man - This could be fun.  I only know him from that Supergirl cancer storyline.  it is a possibility to buy.
Sgt. Rock and the men of war - ugh, so not my cup of tea.
Static Shock - I am undecided about this.  I may buy it just to review on New readers.
Stormwatch - enough with the dangerous team son dangerous missions stuff.  With this I expect mind control and gay relationships.
Superman: the Man of Tomorrow - If they've split Clark and Lois up I will be furious.  Someone on twitter suggested that should make Clark or Lois gay.  In theory, great, in practice I love Clark and Lois too much together for them not to be with each other.  if one of them turned gay they would no longer be a couple and their romantic relationship would be ruined.  So what DC should do is make one of them transgender.  Then they still get to love each other and we get a premier LGBT couple.  As that won't happen I don't think I'll buy this.
Superboy- Why he is suddenly a cyborg?  Fuck sake.  I am not sure about this, but the art is better than Teen Titans so maybe I should get my superteen fix here instead?
Suicide Squad - motherfuckers.  what the feck have they done to Harley?  I didn't even recognise her when I first scanned through these new covers.  harleyquinnaid has a great post up about the slut shaming among the HQ fan contingent and why the costume is all wrong for Harley.  I think the costume is insulting to women and to Harley because the designer clearly didn't think about Harley's character when he came up with it.  Instead it looks like what would commonly be termed edgy and sexy.  It's objectifying and foul.
Swamp Thing - I don't give a fuck about this.
Voodoo - This looks like an odd book to be on DC's roster.  It looks like an IDW one.  Not for me.
Wonder Woman - "Written by Brian Azzarello, Art by Cliff Chiang, Cover by Cliff Chiang".  This looks great.  Then again, I haven't minded the reboot from issue 601.

So, the only ones I'm really annoyed about are the two titles I have most affection for - Supergirl and Teen Titans.  I think a lot of the problems are with the blurbs accompanying each title, and really, how much can they truly tell us?  The other titles, well for the ones I like I'm either used to reboots and relaunches for the, or they haven't had an ongoing for years, so I'm excited about what I can get.

There are a lot characters and creators I'm gonna miss, but hopefully this list of titles won't be the be all and end all.  I have heard that more titles will be announced for October, so I'll be interested to see what comes out.

I don't know.  We'll wait and see.  I have updated my pull list to list those titles I will get from September and I just hope that Teen Titans and Supergirl will please me.


Eyz said...

I'm not liking this whole DCnU thing so far...

The only books I know I'll be getting are All-Star Western (been a big fan of Palmiotti/Grey Jonah Hex since issue 1! plus the "all-star" will allow to showcase some of the other lesser known western DC heroes like El Diablo, Batlash or the Trigger Twins) and Jaime Reyes!Blue Beetle.

I'm really disappointed by the chance DC had to reboot/renew/keep books like Montoya!The Question (which I love..well both Questions, her and the original), a new Gotham Central instead of a dozen of Batman books, the Shadowpact, not bringing back the Elongated Men with this occasion, not having Chase back (with her whole series getting TPBed finally) or Steph or Cassie Cain Batgirl rather than this treatment of Babs...

I really love Birds of Prey and Oracle. They can reboot/rejuvenate/cure/help Babs with a cyber suit, but this Batgirl book doesn't sound too good now. Plus it's such a character regression. I mean, she's not even DC's primer red headed Bat-gal. There's the much better Batwoman book around already. She's going from overseeing leader to little streetpunk beater, perhaps to get cancelled pretty fast...

And that new Birds of Prey book will probably next year's Titans-like series...ugh...

Super-Duper ToyBox said...

Personally, I don't care what they do- there's so much I haven't read, it would take a lifetime to catch up anyway, and besides- I'm more of a TPB man. I like the different costumes on Supergirel, Red Robin & Wonder Woman though! Change is inevitable- not always what we'd like, but it happens

Saranga said...

@Eyz: To be fair, we don't know what Babs' new role will be. She could remain a leader and be in the Batsuit. It's difficult not to make assumptions, cos the image as Babs!girl is so loaded, but I think we really will have to wait and see.
I think there's room for 2 Bat redheads in the DCU, there are very distinct characters after all.

@super: I think this relaunch/reboot is a very good thing for new readers. I am sure some excellent stories will come out of it though. As you say change is inevitable, some we like, some we don't, but it will always happen.