On the off chance you thought I wasn’t paying attention during my sick leave (not counting the three days I didn’t even turn the computer on), of course I heard about what they did to Kyle Rayner.
And yes, my first response was “screw you, Johns”. But really, this is becoming a pattern at DC, and it started some time ago.
Fittingly, it started with Kyle, or rather Alex. Remember the sad fate of Alexandra DeWitt? When I picked up a back issue of Green Lantern #53, one of the things that I really liked was the interaction between Kyle and Alex. They looked like such a fun couple. (I later picked up the issue before it and still loved the interaction.) It made me want to check out this series and give this not-Hal GL a chance. My first opportunity to do so was Green Lantern #0, the “Zero Hour aftermath” issue, where I learned Alex died and Hal went all evil. And in researching this event, I just found out that it was the next issue after the one I “fell in love” with Alex that they killed her off. Dirty pool, DC!
But recently it’s been getting worse. Remember Wendy and Marvin? That one hit all the blogging sites. Wendy, Marvin, and Wonderdog were the “identifier” characters from the original format of Hanna-Barbera’s Superfriends series in 1973.
They’re the type of characters “adult” fans like to look back and tell all their “cool” comic geek friends that they hated as the “typical ‘kiddie-characters’ that nobody likes”. There was really no call to bring them back. They only lasted a couple seasons before the format was altered and outside of a cameo by Marvin in Kingdom Come, nobody really thought of them.
However, in 2006 they were introduced into the main DC continuity as the twin children of the supervillain “Calculator“, sharing their father’s above-average ID, but not his penchant for being a bad guy. They used their genius to aid the Teen Titans, and it seems they were becoming decent characters. Why Johns brought them into the DCU Proper I couldn’t say.
Then came Sean McKeever. Or as I like to call him, McCleaver.
As part of what I can only assume is a mission to turn Teen Titans into a bloodbath (maybe he hated the cartoon or something), McKeever introduced Wonderdog into the story. Not a bad thing in and of itself. It could be cause to celebrate as the trio was back together. However, McKeever’s Wonderdog is actually a monster under the control of Wonder Girl Cassie’s enemy, Lycus. Lycus’ “Hellhound” kills Marvin and events would put Wendy into a coma and later leave her paralyzed.
Why go through the trouble of making these characters likable (something I wish writers, both official and fanfic, would do with the likes of Scrappy-Doo and Daniel Witwicky, who are either the bad guy or the target of a “South Park Kenny” style form of abuse by both) only to treat them so horribly?
Oh, but why should they suffer alone. Other Kyle girlfriends, like Jade (who really suffered during this “Blackest Night” nonsense, including her treatment in the very issue where Kyle dies), haven’t fared well. Fans often (and with a heavy heart) joke that dating Kyle is practically an STD. In fact, girlfriends of Green Lanterns period suffer whenever Major Force pops up in a story.
The most famous character destruction (one of many in Infinite Crisis) is actually a supervillain, the goofy Dr. Light. You know, the fun one in the recent Teen Titans cartoon.
Yeah, forget that. Someone at DC thought it would be more interesting to have him be the result of superheroes brainwashing him into being a goofball so he could “wake up” from it and run around bragging about what a fantastic rapist he is and get killed off. Because nothing says character like being an &$sw#0!e, right? (sigh)
Oddly, that reaches to my final bit of evidence, Firestorm. Now the original Firestorm I first learned about thanks again to Superfriends, and I avoided the new version because it wasn’t the same guy, and even then I had a tight comic budget. Occasionally I flipped through an issue and second guessed my decision, but I still couldn’t budget it in. Still, the current Firestorm team of Jason and Gehenna came to my attention thanks to the recent Justice League of America 80-Page Giant.
Like Alex and Kyle before them, something about Jason and Gehenna clicked with me in this comic, and I’ve become interested in seeing more of them in action both on and off the “battlefield”. However, here comes Blackest Night to frag everything over again. And with the aforementioned Dr. Light to boot!
See, our old friends at DC turned Ronnie into a Black Lantern version of Firestorm, who went and turned Gehenna into salt. Which Black Lantern Dr. Light went after because that how DC likes people nowadays.
Then there’s the rather disturbing backstory for the Ultra-Humanite in the pages of Power Girl that ran me off of that title. It’s so hard being a DC fanboy these days, when the staff themselves don’t seem to be fans of anyone that didn’t appear on Superfriends. Except for Firestorm. He gets to be Scrappy-Doo. Is it any wonder I stick to the Johnny DC titles?