Someone hold my earrings, I’m about to do some jimmie-rustling.

I’m going to skip the intro and cut straight to the chase: I’m so sick of Death of the Family, I could hurl. Today, I went to my LCS looking forward to absolutely nothing, and you know what? Two doors down from the place I subscribe at, is a brand spanking new Alcoholics Anonymous rehabilitation center. I took it as a sign.

You see, in my experience, alcoholics are people with addictive personalities. They start out as folks who drink to take the edge off a hard day. Then they drink to forget. Then they drink because it’s the only thing that feels good anymore. Where am I going with this? I am an addict. I’m addicted to comic books and damn it, I’ve only been getting the bad shit, lately.

I bought one comic this week, and that comic is Batman. Do you know why? I still have faith in Scott Snyder to deliver an amazing story, even when everyone else he’s been collaborating with has failed. Sure, there have been decent individual issues (Suicide Squad #15 springs to mind), but the overall stories? In Batgirl, the Joker is obsessed with marrying Babs before he kills her. In Red Hood, Joker is angry that Jason didn’t stay dead. In Batman and Robin, Joker’s main goal was to have Robin die at the hands of Batman. In Teen Titans, Joker wants Tim to stop trying to prove that he’s better than everyone…by killing him. Detective Comics is filler, Catwoman has nothing to do with anything other than the Joker proving that he can still freak Selina out, Suicide Squad is less about killing and more about Harley finding herself definitively and breaking away from the Joker, whereas in Nightwing…shit, don’t even ask me to remember, because I honestly can’t. See where I’m going with this? The main Batman book, while frustrating, is the only one with a decently-penned, coherent story. And speaking of which…

There is a reason I only bought Batman this week. I flipped to the ends of both Batgirl and Batman and Robin in the store, and they ended the exact same way. Joker, standing before them in his purple suit, holding a platter. Now, all of the DotF books tie directly into Batman. You could not read a single one and still get the general story: Joker has beaten and kidnapped all of Bruce’s ‘children’, and he’s going to kill them unless Batman stops him. Keeping this in mind, I honestly cannot see a way for Death of the Family to end without Batman finally killing the Joker. I just can’t. He’s stabbed Dick, gassed Tim and Jason, and, to Bruce’s knowledge, beaten the snot out of Damian and Babs. And now he’s holding them all somewhere, somewhere that Bruce can’t get to. So he’s playing Joker’s game. He’s going to let himself be taken to where his captive children are, and then together, they will take the pale man down once and for all.

Going back to the epiphany seeing that AA center next to my comic shop gave me for a moment, I’m done. I’m so done. I read an article recently about not buying comics because they have your favorite characters in them when you don’t like the story or the way the characters are being handled. About not buying comics just because you’re so used to buying the series that you can’t remember a time when you weren’t buying it. About speaking to the comic companies with your dollar instead of your angry, ranting blog posts. So that’s what I’m doing. 

I’m not going to buy books out of habit anymore. I’m not going to buy books I hate. If I’m going to plunk down $3 or $4 a book out of my incredibly meager paycheck, I’m going to make sure I actually want it.

So I guess, this is my way of officially breaking up with Teen Titans and Legion of Superheroes. I’ve tried to adjust to the OL being back, but I can’t. They’re not my team. And I refuse to put another dime towards a book Lobell is writing. I may even start picking up Red Hood and the Outlaws again, as he’s off that book once DotF finishes. Blue Beetle ends this month, as well, which is another book gone from my pull list. Batman Inc is set to wrap up in May, or at least, that’s when Grant Morrison is leaving the book. Will it survive without him? It might, but I probably won’t be there to read it. My LCS was shorted Suicide Squad today, which is why I didn’t pick it up, but it has, amazingly, been getting better. I said once that I’d follow Deadshot anywhere. It’s a hard decision, especially considering my tumultuous relationship with the various artists that have cycled through, and Adam Glass’ less than inspired writing, but after last month’s excellent wrap-up of Harley’s personal DotF storyline, I think I can give Suicide Squad another chance. 

So, after this month, that leaves me with a grand total of nine ongoing DC titles. Nine. When the reboot started, I was reading twenty-eight.

That really sort of puts this whole thing in a new perspective, for me. You see, these nine books? I truly enjoy. Because they hit that comics sweet spot by weaving decent to excellent art, interesting writing, compelling story arcs, and relateable characters into every issue. I’m reading them because they’re good comics. And you know what? My list should be a lot longer. Comics should be good.

DC has the potential for good comics at their fingertips, but they refuse to utilize the resources they have. Even with the reboot shenanigans, they’re still a widely respected comic company. Instead of reaching out to new talent that already have devoted fanbases that would follow that talent anywhere, they snap up writers and artists that haven’t been relevant for over a decade, and even then they were only relevant because people enjoyed complaining about them. I think we all know who I’m talking about.

In any case, I’m free! Ish. There are two more DotF books next week, but I’m fairly sure I can sweet-talk my way out of having to buy them. Aside from that, Batwoman! Minutemen! Blue Beetle! Supergirl! Wonder Woman! Ladies week returns, and with it, my happiness. I’m Touch of Grey, and I bid you a good night.

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