When DC comics says they want to expand so everyone can have a book to read, I both question that commitment and wonder where they’ve been for the past few years. Those of us who preferred either pre-or post-Crisis were left behind. Women were tossed aside. Kids were, and after their latest announcement are still, ignored. So pardon me if I consider that a bill of goods.
DC Entertainment announced their upcoming lineup, to begin in June. As before, some titles that should have been good are being canceled. (I’m pointing at Supergirl, who by the way has a television show in the works right down to the casting of Supergirl herself!!!!!! This seems like a really stupid idea.) So what’s coming, what’s staying, and what’s convinced me that the new DCU is getting any better? (The answer to the last part is nothing.)
This summer, DC Entertainment launches a bold new direction for the DC Universe (DCU) that is even more inclusive and accessible to a wider group of readers as the publisher continues to evolve comic storytelling for its next generation of fans. Award-winning, critically acclaimed writers are headlining the June 2015 slate of DC Comics’ new periodicals and graphic novels, including Gene Luen Yang, Bryan Hitch, Garth Ennis and Ming Doyle.
Notice only one female creator. Look, I don’t believe in a quota system but the only big name they have among female creators is Gail Simone, and it took an internet campaign by her fans to keep her there. I’ve met Ming Doyle and she seems nice enough as well as a good creator and has worked on some big name stuff, so kudos to DC, but that’s really not enough, is it? She’s not even going to be on a DC title, she’ll be doing a new Hellblazer for Vertigo.
“This heralds in a new era for the DC Universe which will allow us to publish something for everyone, be more expansive and modern in our approach and tell stories that better reflect the society around us,” said DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Dan DiDio. “Whether you’ve been a DC fan your whole life, or whether you are new to comics – there will be a book for you beginning in June.”
Like I said, what took you so long? And we’ve heard this before and the DCU is still full of muscular power fantasies and sexy fantasies for one group of males. Not even all men, just one small age group and only if you only want boobs and blood with a heaping dose of angst.
DC Comics will be keenly focused on going back-to-basics with its legendary characters, like BATMAN, SUPERMAN and WONDER WOMAN, while also reinventing key characters, such as BLACK CANARY, BIZARRO, CYBORG and STARFIRE, with a new contemporary tonality to ensure a diverse offering of titles. Top writers and artists, as well as emerging fresh voices, are on board to help create an expansive lineup of comics that appeals to a broad audience of fans.
Starfire didn’t need reinventing, she needed restoration to when everybody liked her. I’m also worried about how this group will handle Bizarro. Look, I’m not all negative here. Have you seen Starfire’s new look?
Sure, she still has short shorts, but at least she has a decent top on. It’s actually an improvement on the Teen Titans cartoon they should have emulated at the start of the New 52 because she has shorts instead of a skirt. Could the shorts be a bit longer in the leg? Yes, but I’m still calling it progress and more than I expected. Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner can do sexy mixed with humor without being too perverted. (What chased me off of Palmiotti’s co-writing gig Power Girl was the bloody monkey sex with Ultrahumanite and his assistant but it was at least implied instead of outright shown.) And artist Emanuela Lupacchino is a darn good artist. Hopefully it will distance itself as far from Scott Lobdell’s interpretation as possible.
Speaking of which, it seems she’s leaving the Outlaws, since the new comic is called Red Hood/Arsenal. Lobdell’s still on it, but at least it’s now a character I don’t care about and one that was ruined some time ago. Dan Jurgens is doing Batman Beyond, possibly in the wake of Future’s End but I may enjoy his take better than I did the last time I read a comic with Terry. Also, Bat-Mite is getting his own comic. I think it’s a miniseries, but if that’s in DC continuity…that’s going to be bizarre. Modern DC doesn’t seem to like the goofier parts of DC history. Look what pre-52 Superboy-Prime did to Mxyzptlk…beat him up so bad he puked. Then there’s Doctor Rapey Von Raperape, aka the villain version of Doctor Light. I’m just waiting for the tortured backstory he’s going to get.
Then there’s We Are Robin, which we have nothing on except a cover of a bunch of kids with the R on their jackets and one of whom has a cape, with none of them being a canon Robin. This may not be in continuity. Robin, Son Of Batman is here as well and I don’t remember if that’s in canon or not, but since Hellblazer is a Vertigo title, not everything listed is in the DCU. I’m betting that includes Bizzaro.
Gail Simone is doing a new Secret Six comic, which will make people happy but I wonder what the lineup will be and what DC editorial will do to it. Martian Manhunter is being given a second chance at his own comic, having nowhere to go since he’s no longer a Justice League founder and Stormwatch went kaput. Midnighter is getting his own comic. I barely know Midnighter is part of Wildstorm, and I think Stormwatch, and it seems Jim Lee won’t stop trying to make those characters fit in the DCU. Did anybody care about Midnighter? Does anybody know who Midnighter is? This is what they canceled Supergirl for. I don’t get it.
So there are some potential good ideas but good ideas seem to die quickly under the weight of what Warner Brothers is doing to the DC Universe when they give comic book movies to directors who hate comic book movies or giving Batman characters to a TV producer who hates Batman. Could these be any good? I don’t know but DC’s track record lately isn’t making me positive for DC’s future.