Posts tagged DC reboot

In Memoriam: Damian Wayne

This week has a central theme: Mourning Damian Wayne. Or does it? I glanced through Batgirl in my comic shop, because we’ve all seen the sad cover:

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See? Babs is crying big, sad, boo-hoo tears over a character who, to my knowledge, she had no direct interaction with in the reboot. I mean, they were in the same place during Death of the Family, but did they talk? Don’t think so. The actual issue involves James Jr., a character I really do find interesting! But not right now. There is a single scene consisting of two pages that deal with Damian, and they’re a complete write-off. Babs isn’t sad about Damian, she’s sad for Bruce.

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Lovely. In any case, we’ve got two more Requiem issues, the main Batman title, and Batman and Robin. I’m girding my loins for feels.

Harper Row is back! Remember her? Awesome hair, nose ring, adorable brother, idolizes Batman? I feel like I’m going to be less sad, and more pumped! This issue of Batman deals mostly with her following Batman around, trying to figure out why he’s sad. Damian isn’t mentioned at all. This seems familiar to me. A Robin dies. Some smart teenager starts following Batman around to help him when he needs it. Batman refuses to throw the teenager a bone, and continues lashing out at everyone around him. Eventually allows the teenager to train with him and…oh my god, Harper Row is being set up to be the new Robin. We’re being Tim Drake’d! Still, think about what this means. We’ve been denied Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain, in order to bring in a new female member of the Batfamily. That’s…wow, no? I mean, I’d love to see Harper as the new Robin. I’d love to have a canon female Robin in the main universe that makes up the majority of the DCnU (sorry, Helena Wayne). But that’s exactly like when James Robinson made Alan Scott gay in Earth-2. Making that character gay caused his gay son, Todd Rice, and his son’s boyfriend, Damon Matthews, to essentially be erased from existence. So, we got one and lost two, the same thing that’s happening with Harper Row now. Still, it’s not an unusual practice, as far as DC is concerned. We can have four Green Lanterns from Earth (now five, with Simon Baz)…so long as they’re all men. Sorry, Jade. But we can only have one Atom, and that one is going to be Ray Palmer, goddamnit. We can have three white, male Flashes, no problem. But throw a female Robin or an Asian Batgirl in the mix? Nope! Not possible! This sort of thing just annoys me, and I know I’m not alone.

Did someone say ‘set phasers to feels’? In this special, completely silent issue of Batman and Robin, well…I can’t say anything. I’m not trying to make a joke at all, I literally cannot say anything about this issue. The panels all speak for themselves. From Alfred’s grief, to Titus’ confusion and sadness that only a dog can have, to Bruce’s despair-fueled rage, everything is painted perfectly.

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That was this week in comics. Come back next week for absolutely nothing depressing in Batwoman, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, DC Universe Presents featuring Starfire, and possibly the first issue of Constantine!

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Don’t worry, this is comics-related. And no, I’m not taking a break.

I’m doing National November Writing Month!

However, instead of writing a novel, I’ve decided to officially spend the month doing what I’ve been doing basically every day since the reboot; I am going to redo the recent DC reboot so that it appeals to everyone, even those outside that huge, huge, planet-spanning 18-35 white male demographic.

30 days, 30 (or more) titles, 30 characters and/or teams getting a jump.

Follow it all day by day on my Tumblr, http://www.touchofgrey37.tumblr.com

Uh, or just follow the tracked tag NaNoWriMo: DCU re-reboot. Because my Tumblr was recently invaded by Rogues, and you all don’t need to be subjected to that.

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It’s just so rebootylicious, I can’t handle it.

This is the first real week of the reboot, with a new universe to explore. I’ve got five of the books here, the ones that interest me personally, and I’m going to see if they’re worth the paper they’re printed on.

Hawk and Dove is not terrible. It honestly pains me to say that. The art is godawful, but the writing is actually very good, even if the plot so far is sort of odd. Some things from Brightest Day are still intact, too. For instance, Dawn and Boston are still dating, and yeah, he’s still dead. Crisis on Infinite Earths was referenced too, surprisingly. But Hank’s characterization is just…weird. He’s really, really angry all the time, and he seems to hate that Dawn is Dove. And apparently, Dawn used to date Don? Why she’s telling Deadboyfriend, I have no idea. Further the plot, I guess. Ah well. Still, this book has science politics and zombie monsters! That’s always a big plus for me.

I’m in love with Jeff Lemire’s Animal Man. I wasn’t even born during Grant Morrison’s run on Animal Man, so when I finally found issues of the title, it was from the Vertigo run, from the mid-90s. I didn’t like those issues much, so I never got an affinity for the character. I liked him well enough in 52, Countdown to Adventure, and the Rann/Thanagar minis, but he never really stood out. He was a guy with a family that happened to be a superhero, that was it. Hoo boy, was that the tip of the iceberg. I don’t have any kids, I doubt I ever will, so I can’t really understand the I-would-do-anything-for-them attitude a lot of parents are portrayed as having, but this is just…the ‘villain’ of this issue is a man driven mad by grief after the death of his own daughter, who takes a children’s ward in a hospital hostage. Buddy, who has been pretty inactive as a superhero, takes him down and saves the kids. But that isn’t the main focus of this issue. That’s not even the focus of this arc. Maxine, Buddy and Ellen Baker’s little girl, has animal powers, too. Only, unlike her father, her powers affect animals themselves. She brings them back from the dead.
Like I said, I’m in love with this book.

You know what I have to say about Justice League International? It could have been worse. It pisses me off that Blue Beetle was passed over for being ‘a rookie’ and that apparently, the entire JLI history has been stricken from the record, but this wasn’t terrible. Booster, while showing his trademark shallowness from the early days, still seems to have retained the credibility he had from his own, recently ended series. Gavril is just as ridiculously cute as ever, though they’re really playing up the ‘addled foreigner’ with him, and Guy and Ice seem to know each other, which may mean that they’re back together? This is a wait-and-see book for me. It’s pretty good, for a first issue. We’ll see if it holds up over time.

Oh my god, I’m smiling so hard. Three good books in a row?! What did I do to please you, oh comic book gods? Static Shock is hands down my favorite book so far. It’s just…holy crap. He’s talkative. He’s a science nerd. He’s got a good relationship with his family. You guys don’t understand. I own Rebirth of the Cool. I’ve read nearly every issue of his Milestone series. I’ve seen every episode of Static Shock. I loved him in Teen Titans. Static is hands-down one of my favorite comic characters of all time. And this book…I can’t even. It’s fabulous. Virgil is going to high school and interning at S.T.A.R. Labs in New York City by day, superheroing by night. His sister has apparently been…cloned? Eh. All I know is that there are two Sharons now, and that it hasn’t been explained yet. Also, for some reason, it looks like the Power Rangers are the bad guy for this first arc. What’s up with that? Anyway, odd villain choices aside, this book has me happier than anything else today.

I have mixed feelings on Batgirl. The new book, I mean. I’ve always loved the character, but my Batgirl? That was Cassandra Cain. I’ve read, and own, every issue of the first Batgirl series, as well as the second, starring Stephanie Brown. To me, the woman currently in the Batgirl costume will always be Oracle. Batgirl is a step backwards for Barbara Gordon. But…this issue was actually sort of good. Babs has some questionable dialogue, and a line a villain spouts, about her ‘spoiling’ everything, was sort of a twist of the knife to those of us who love Steph, but it really wasn’t terrible. There’s a Renee Montoya lookalike cop that shows up near the end, name of McKenna, but I have no idea where that can go. Oh, speaking of the ending, that pissed me off. Yes, it showed that Babs was traumatized by guns in a way that most people can’t even imagine, but at the same time, it was a kick in the face to the strength that makes her who she is as a character. And as for this new villain, Mirror, he’s sort of…dull. He hunts down people who survived accidents that ought to have killed them. That sounds sort of familiar, kind of like the plot of a Final Destination movie. I can’t really go and say I like this book just yet, but I don’t hate it.

That was this week in comics. I’m not going to give up and say I like the reboot, especially since two of the four comics I read could have existed in the old DCU. Heck, even the JLI book could have worked without a reboot. But what I’m trying to say is, I’m giving it a chance. I don’t love it, and I’m probably never going to like it as much as I did the old universe, but I can’t deny that it has its moments. This is Touch of Grey signing off. See you next week, same place, probably an earlier time.

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Beware, rage and tears lurk within

So this is it. The reboot. I don’t feel very different. I’m still Touch of Grey, still a huge Flash fan, still a DC rather than a Marvel. And yet, everything has changed, supposedly. I’ve only got two books this week, let’s see just how different this new universe is.

What that fuck.
No, seriously. What the fuck? The Flash series ended just before Flashpoint began, and none of these events that supposedly took place actually happened. Are you just making it up as you go along, Geoff? “Well, I’m basically the god of DC now, so I’m allowed to say events that were never shown, referenced, or even suggested happened exactly as I say they did.” I can’t. I just can’t even. And what the hell was with the ending? Barry wakes up in his own timeline, goes to see Bruce, and gives him the letter from his father that magically survived the condensing time lines. The only thing that made this issue even vaguely salvageable was the conversation between Barry and his mom. It referenced the Flash’s need to have a ‘lightning rod’ loved one to ground them to their own reality, and it showed that his mother actually has some common goddamn sense. She also seems to be a fairly selfless human being, willing to trade her life for the lives of millions. I guess we know where Barry got it from, then. At least, the Barry that died back in Crisis on Infinite Earths. As it is, Flashpoint was a terrible event. It had too many minis, wasn’t very well thought out, and as endings go, this one was pretty weak. I’ll rate it a two of five, if only because Andy Kubert’s art is ridiculously gorgeous.

And now onto the new Justice League book. It’s the first issue featuring the new DCU. This should set the tone of the reboot for me.

Oh god it’s so bad.

No, this is terrible. I can’t even. I’m crying a little. This is so bad. The writing, the setting, the tone, the pacing, the character interaction oh god please tell me this is a joke. So the issue starts out in Gotham, with Batman chasing someone who looks like Killer Croc outfitted with a million dollars worth of tech. The government is shooting at him. Then Hal swoops down from the heavens to be a condescending dick, and frankly, I have never wanted to see One-Punch so much in my life. We then cut to Victor Stone, who is still a football player whose dad ignores him in favor of science, the bastard. The setting is now Metropolis, where Hal dicks it up, and then Superman punches him through a building.

You know what this reminds me of? All-Star Batman. Where Batman is gruff and scary, Hal is an idiot, and Clark is apparently unable to be trusted. The reboot is taking place int the ASB universe. The mystery has been cleared up. Everyone can go home.

To say that I’m disappointed with the comics that came out this week is an understatement. For all of the advertising, the hype, what I’ve seen so far of the reboot is embarrassing. And until I see something that isn’t poorly written, well, have fun without my money, DC. ToG out. See y’all next week.

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On #1’s and why I’m only sort of flipping my shit

Ever since the announcement that DC would be rebooting the entire universe and sending many titles back to issue #1, I’ve been chewing my nails down to the nubs. It actually hurts to type with my index fingers, tell the truth. I don’t like big changes, not where comics are involved. It took me a little while to adjust to the ‘everybody change identities’ upheaval within the Batfamily when it happened, but now, honestly, this is like a golden age of Gotham titles. Batman and Robin, Batgirl, Gotham City Sirens, Birds of Prey, Red Robin (to an extent), even the few Detective Comics and Streets of Gotham issues I’ve read with DickBats and Damian have been fab.

Then this happened:

– Nightwing #1: Dick Grayson is back as Nightwing!
– Batgirl #1: Barbara Gordon’s return to Batgirl!
– Batman and Robin #1 and Batman: The Dark Knight #1: Bruce Wayne, the One True Batman!

What? No. No, I don’t think so. What the fuck is this ‘One True Batman’ horseshit?! I mean, Bruce started Batman Inc so that he wouldn’t have to be the only Batman. He trusted Dick to carry on the mantle he’d been raised under. Hell, he trusted Dick to essentially raise his son for him under the guise of the ‘Batman needs a Robin’ principle. Dick graduated from his role as Nightwing. He grew up, made the final leap. He is Batman.

Besides, look at this costume:

No, this is Jason Todd, shut up DC

What the fuck is this? Nightwing is the fun Bat. He’s got the lighter colors pretty much painted on his body. No, this, my lovelies, is a trick. Obviously, Jason is back to his old identity-snatching games, having pulled Dick’s old Renegade costume out of storage.

Then there’s the matter of the Batgirl mantle.

Steph isn’t the iconic Batgirl, that’s Babs. Steph isn’t the most effective Batgirl, that’s Cass. Steph isn’t even the most badass Batgirl, that would be Helena (though to be fair, she was actually calling herself Batwoman at the time, I believe). But you know what Stephanie Brown is? Willful. Determined. A girl that will never give up. She pulled herself up Gotham’s vigilante ladder by the barest edge of her fingernails, going from Spoiler, to Robin, and now damnit, she’s made it to the big times. She’s not anyone’s sidekick. She’s made the mantle of Batgirl her own, and she rocks at it. Her book is a consistently good seller, well written, beautifully drawn, and entertaining as hell. Can I let y’all in on a secret? I’m not looking forward to a new Babsgirl book, even though it’s being written by Gail Simone. That’s how much I love Steph in the role. But if this reboot continues as planned, I at least hope we get a Spoiler/Blackbat ongoing out of it.

The new Birds of Prey book looks like it may be good. Do I spy Thorn in the background? Haven’t seen her in a while.

Why is Batman Inc getting a reboot? It just started. What the everloving fuck.

But on the up side, Jason Todd, Roy Harper, and Kory are going to have their own Ginger Squad book. It’s called Red Hood and the Outlaws, but hey, fandom names are more fun.

For more information on the Reboot, visit the DC Comics homepage and read the articles on The Source. Bring tissues and Red rings.

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