Thursday, December 27, 2007

Why I Felt Betrayed by DC Comics...

This is an old post from my old Yahoo 360 blog (May 5, 2006) but it still rings true today...

With the publication of INFINITE CRISIS #7 this week, DC wraps up it's intricate, mega-crossover event. For over a year, DC has been working towards this issue. Starting with the vicious mini-series IDENTITY CRISIS, DC has continuously pushed this event as one that would clean up continuity and bring their characters back from the violent and 'dark' universe they were inhabiting.

More than once, DC and Dan DiDio (DC VP and Executive Editor) have given the impression that they were going to turn their backs on the current version of the characters and return to a more noble time. For many older fans like myself, we were led to believe that this would culminate in the return of the Multiverse and a reaffirmation of these character's heroic ideals. True, no one at DC ever said that the Multiverse was definitely coming back or that Barry Allen would come back from the dead. Their answer was always a political "wait and see". In such ways, DC kept the hopes of older fans alive.

Those hopes were not only crushed with INFINITE CRISIS #7, but also ripped apart, stabbed, bludgeoned, shot, shoved into a blender, baked in an oven, and generally smashed into bits with all the glee an evil toddler takes with a helpless fly. That the Multiverse was STILL not coming back was more or less established by issue #5 of IC. The mutliple Earths were recreated, only to be smashed together once again into one single Earth. The ultimate villain of the series ended up being Superboy-Prime. Now, maybe it's just me but I do NOT find enjoyable the sight of ANY Superboy killing and otherwise mangling other superheroes. In IC #7, Superboy-Prime goes on a rampage murdering more heroes, a whopping big bunch of Green Lanterns, AND the original E2 Superman.

THIS is a kinder, gentler DCU? The E2 Superman, the first and BEST superhero, is beaten to death by Superboy-Prime?? Rather than embracing the desires of many fans (older AND younger), DC and DiDio spit on the characters and concepts of the Golden and Silver Age. There is no clearer evidence of this than the wholesale slaughter that has occured throughout this series. Is it not significant that many of the characters that are killed or disappear are from DC's Golden and Silver Ages? The Freedom Fighters (characters from the Golden Age that DC purchased). The Wizard Shazam. E2's Superman and Lois Lane. Wally West (a character created during the Silver Age). Psycho Pirate (Golden Age bad guy). The only significant death of a modern character was Conner Kent (today's Superboy) in IC #6. And how did he die? In battle with Superboy-Prime!

Even after all this death and destruction, all this pain and woe, the DCU is no better a place than it was before. When the world is in it's greatest need of heroes to remind people what it means to BE a hero, where are Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman? MIA, apparently. Superman is depowered after the fight with Superboy-Prime and has to recharge his batteries. Wonder Woman and Batman leave to 'find themselves'. Well, why not? Not like there's any superheroing to be done, is there?

To capitalize even more on this event, DC has jumped all their titles ahead one year to the point where the big 3 have returned to action. So, is the DCU that we see One Year Later (OYL or "One Yawn Later") any better than the DCU that existed before the Crisis? Not much, apparently. Batman is still on the other side of rational, Jason Todd is running around in a Nightwing suit, the Teen Titans are trying to keep each other from going into rages and the Outsiders seem to exist solely to 'kick butt and take names'. What has improved? How is this better than what we had before? I could almost forgive not bringing back the Multiverse (which, creatively, I think is a big mistake as the MV allowed for SO much more imagination in stories) if the DCU appeared to have been rebooted in that 'kinder, gentler' universe.

Shame on you, DC, for playing with my hopes and dreams like that. Shame on you for delighting in the wholesale slaughter of beloved characters for no good reason. Shame on you for making comic books that I wouldn't feel comfortable showing to any child younger than 18.

And shame on ME for buying into all this and giving you my money. Rest assured, you won't get any more of it in the future.

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