I’ve made it clear that I think the people behind DC and Marvel these days have no clue what they’re doing. If they have a good story they use the wrong character. They don’t care about their current characters. DC wants to make everything darker and grittier, and seem to be more overjoyed with the villains than the heroes. Marvel is now selling itself as a “lifestyle brand” when the only thing being done right with the characters are the movies that remember they’re superhero tales.
As part of the traditional new decade look back at the old decade WhatCulture Comics put out an article listing what they thought were the “10 Most Important Comic Book Moments Of The Decade” (meaning the 2010s) and while I would ordinarily link to the article at this time it’s one of those articles that has to make every entry its own page, a cheap ploy to get more ad revenue while we have to sit there loading 16 different ads (two of which are pop-ups) that slow the computer down unless you have something more powerful than most sci-fi starships. Maybe it’s because I don’t make any money on ad revenue (it is all run by the site host and I don’t see a penny of it) but to me that’s a shady practice. I have on occasion used a second page or third page but that’s because the article was so long I though it would be better off and I haven’t done that since my Top 10 kaiju list. Luckily a video version exists on their YouTube channel so I’ll post that and just give my thoughts on how all but one of their choices just added on to the reason I don’t like what DC and Marvel has done to their comic universes.
- 10: The Dark Knights: Because a story involving mostly evil Batmen (heavens forbid a GOOD Batman besides the main one sneak in) is just what I wanted to see, as if the evil Supermen analogs haven’t made me sad enough.
- 9: The Reveal: Bendis! Why does DiDio’s DC run keep including Clark dropping his superhero identity? Because he apparently buys into the bull@#$@ that Superman is a god and brings in writers who agree with him that the secret identity, the part that helps him keep the MAN in Superman, needs to go. A huge part of the character was tossed out, as if damaging the super-marriage and aging up Superboy, Son Of Superman wasn’t already bad enough. I’m pretty much feeling about Superman and this identity drop the same way Linkara feels about Spider-Man’s deal with Mephisto–until it’s undone the character I love is gone and I don’t care anymore. You’ve ruined Superman for me, Brian Michael Bendis and Dan DiDio. I no longer care about my favorite superhero period, not just my favorite DC hero, so congratulations and @#$# you! (And it’s rare for me to say that even censored on here so you know I’m pissed off about this.
- 8: All-New, All-Different: Yeah, right, more of the same really. Gender and race swapping characters? Seen it. Heroes turning villain, even if they’re a long time hero? (More on that in a moment.) Seen it. Creators who don’t care about the heroes people who aren’t them grew up with and love? Seen it too. The heavy-handed political leaning is slightly new only because it hasn’t been this extreme before, more like propaganda than just the views of the writers seeping into their work naturally.
- 7: The Death Of Wolverine: Hate that guy. Wish he stayed dead. That out of the way, given how popular the character is with everyone else, especially after Hugh Jackman’s portrayal in the movies, why the heck would you do that? Oddly not on the list (maybe it would have been #11) was Marvel trying to replace the X-Men with the Inhumans because at the time Fox held the characters tight and wouldn’t let them go to the MCU so Disney threw a fit. Now that they have the movie rights in their control along with the Fantastic Four (who were shoved off into the multiverse to not promote those movies–when the movies should be promoting the comics) they’re all back and for some reason they kill Logan off, then bring him back with burning claws? You confuse me, Marvel!
- 6: The Joker’s “Face Lift”: If I have to explain to you why this is stupid we will never see eye to eye. I’m not sure if that qualifies as a pun or not but it wasn’t intentional. How insane are they going to make the Joker?
- 5: Hail Hydra: No, I don’t care that they used the Cosmic Cube to create and undo this. Nothing good came from this. Nothing! Any wrestling fans remember when the then-WWF thought having Sgt. Slaughter, so pro-US military that he was the face of the G.I. Joe toyline and cartoon in the 80s, turn pro-Saddam Hussein during Operation: Desert Storm was a good story idea? This was even dumber. Also note that by this point Nick Fury turned planet-slayer and made Dum Dum Dugan a series of Life Model Decoys to push towards the MCU reuse of the Ultimate Nick Fury was also something they did. Also Tony Stark turned evil (again), cyber-Tony turned evil (again), and Spider-Man has his body stolen by Doctor Octopus. And I thought DC was becoming pro-villain. On that end…
- 4: Cyclops Turns Heel: Some X-writers hated Cyclops for a long time. I think they were just waiting to get rid of him. Although I though they killed him off at some point? You need a daily newsletter just to keep track of whose alive and whose dead in comics this hour.
- 3: The New 52: I think I’ve spoken my hated of the New 52 enough that finding my thoughts on that should be really easy. The host does give us a handy search engine.
- 2: Miles Morales: Here’s that one good thing I mentioned. Miles did it right. Sure, he was created for “representation” (or so Donald Glover could play Spider-Man) but he replaced Peter, who had a noble death, in an alternate universe, the Ultimate Universe. When they ditched that series Marvel pulled a Static and dragged Miles into the main Marvel Universe, and he’s a good character. I still think they should let him out of Peter’s shadow and give him his own identity (I nominate “Shadow Spider”, like how Spider-Gwen gets the better superhero name “Ghost Spider” outside of comics) but he’s the only good thing on this list because he’s a character first and a black Latino second. It may be only good thing Bendis did…so of course he’s from a universe outside regular Marvel continuity.
- 1: DC/Watchmen: I saw a Comicstorian summary of the “Doomsday Clock” miniseries (that took so long to come out that those changes were already tossed out by DiDio and Tom King’s Heroes In Crisis) and the fact that Superman basically reformed Doctor Manhattan just by being Superman and proving how important the Man Of Steel is to the multiverse is something I’m totally behind. Using him to explain the New 52, Flashpoint, and all the nonsense that came from it only works because it deals with that garbage which is now back in the post-Rebirth era. Otherwise it seems to be a pointless way to keep Alan Moore from getting the rights back and I really don’t care overall because Watchmen unintentionally ruined superhero comics and Doomsday Clock did not undo that damage.
The biggest problem is that Dan DiDio, Axel Alonzo, and CB Cebulski keep trying to bring readers back using lame gimmicks while still continuing the practices that pushed longtime fans out of their comics while not bringing in enough new readers to replace them with their darker, socially aware dopplegangers, counterparts, and replacements. And I don’t see this changing at least in the early years of the 2020s. They refuse to understand the concepts, characters, and continuities they’ve been given to play to the cool kids who don’t care about comics because they themselves don’t see comics as important as other media. Until they either fix their thinking or get replaced we should prepare for more of the same as the characters and universes we love continue getting the shaft from publishers, editors, and writers who don’t care about these characters and refuse to understand why we do.