So how poorly is this one going to end?
Recently DC took the path away from the New 52/DC You storytelling. “Rebirth” was a return to what made the DC Universe work and why many of us became fans of DC Comics. You could nitpick an individual writer or two which is nothing new in fiction overall but for the most part it was the DC Universe we all remember, even if this is version 3.2 at this point. Or was version 3.2. With Dan DiDio back in full control it looks like he’s steering back to his dark and gritty nonsense in a version 3.3 DC Universe, bringing in Brian Michael Bendis to ruin the advancements Rebirth made to Superman, , Tom King psychologically destroying Mister Miracle and now Batman, the killing of sidekicks and legacy characters (and whatever DiDio and his crew can get away with doing to Nightwing) he and DiDio hate in Heroes In Crisis, and they still haven’t finished Doomsday Clock, the event that from what I’ve heard ends the Rebirth period. Just when things were getting good I have to break out the “Death Of DC” category yet again.
In the interest of keeping an open mind, Tom Taylor’s teased “DCeased” story could be an alternate universe tale, something set in one of the “unused” 52 universes because Dan is obsessed with the number. Oddly because the only time a comic called 52 came out was the only time that number was lucky for DC Comics. The New 52, trying to keep the comics to 52 main DC Universe titles a month…all failed to ignite fans. And now we have a new strain of Eventitis unless it is an alternate universe. However, it’s still the returning trend of torturing DC heroes and I’m getting tired of seeing my favorite superhero comic universe getting trashed like this. Will anything quell DiDio and friends’ quest for blood? Or Taylor’s since his big claim to fame right now is continuing the story from the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us and giving us a nightmare form of DC Universe. I don’t know if the game makers are planning to continue that universe so it might even be set there if NetherRealm Studios is not going to make a third game. I really haven’t cared enough to check, but even then DCeased is another symptom of both Eventitis and a hatred for what make the DC Universe great the way it was.
Actually Tom, that’s the fans screaming things like “stop torturing our heroes” or “Doomsday Clock is taking as long to finish coming out as All-Star Batman And Robin“. Ever since Cry For Justice, if not as far back as Infinite Crisis, the torture and murder of heroes, their loved ones, and anyone else they can get their hands on (relatively little of this happening to the villains but it happens if the right writer hates the right villain for not being dark, edgy, and “kewl”) writers seem more interested in tormenting heroes than challenging them. Cry For Justice‘s writer, James Robinson, even stated that he was having fun torturing the heroes, which will forever scare me. Not that I think they would do this to actual people, I mean scares me as a storyteller. The point is to give your hero or heroes a challenge he/she/they can rise from and show how great they are and lead readers by example or serve as catharsis for their crappy day. Instead they remind me of Sid from the first Toy Story, which doesn’t really show a love of your craft or the characters you’re writing.
I’ve seen people theorize that these are zombies, and DC ripping off the “Marvel Zombies” series isn’t out of the realm of possibility. However, I not completely convinced that’s what’s happening. DC has their own take on zombies, the Black Lanterns, and while DC Comics often claims that they aren’t zombies (“they don’t eat brains, they rip out hearts, totally different”–so they’re zombies fused with the Heartless from Kingdom Hearts?) the only way they would do this is to say “this is how we’d write actual zombies neener neener so stop calling the Black Lanterns zombies”. Granted Dan “this is your Flash now” DiDio might be immature enough to do that and he’s shown a willingness to bring in writers who share his vision or force good writers to make his kind of stories (Dan Jurgens and Future’s End is a good example of good writers forced to make edgy crap). Still, I’m not getting a zombie vibe from these teasers.
First off zombies don’t scream. Comedies and whatever that was Disney put out recently aside, zombies tend to either growl or mumble loudly but not at screaming level. Then there’s the line up there, “…there’s a monster inside of all of us”. While I couldn’t find an exact quote, the metaphoric concept of a “monster inside us” is nothing new, and making that metaphoric monster reality is also a sci-fi/fantasy horror staple. Even Miraculous: Tales Of Ladybug And Cat Noir, a superhero show for kids, uses the idea as its premise as the people are turned into supervillains based on their greed, obsessions, jealousy, or just plain anger. This could be something closer to I Am Legend or the extended Resident Evil franchise where people are turning into monsters, obviously painfully given the teaser art and the way DC operates now. Darkseid did something like that in Final Crisis, when he finally cracked the Anti-Life Equation and subjugated the universe. And then he was killed. For the second time as memory serves. Third time’s the charm?
Unless this backfired, I don’t think old stoneface is behind this one. Darkseid doesn’t have the pile of death certificates Optimus Prime has but he’s had his share of trips to the grave himself. Further supporting my mutation monster theory is the last teaser brought up by Newsarama.
It’s Batman punching a monster because of course it is. I wonder if this image inspired DCeased? It wouldn’t be the first time a random drawing inspired a full story, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to my own Jake & Leon comic to Jim Lee getting the Transformers license for his Dreamwave project, it’s something we’ve seen before and probably will see again.
Whether this is another spot in the Multiversity or another Futures End scenario doesn’t matter. It’s more stories of hopelessness and hero torture and I want nothing to do with it. Rebirth seemed to be the DC Universe getting back on track but I was among the people warning that since the same nitwits were running DC that it wouldn’t last and might return to the New 52 style DC-In-Name-Only. Evidence seems to be confirming that. The DC Universe we knew and loved had a gasp but it looks like Rebirth has been replaced by a “Redeath”. Is anyone really surprised at this point?