Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How To Fix DC Comics!

(A series wherein I propose the sweeping changes necessary to salvage these once-beloved characters)

Language is a funny thing. In this day and age of political correctness, many are the mutually agreed-upon terms used to describe distinct groups of individuals. But what happens when no such societal rules exist for proper nomenclature? It's especially troubling when one wants to avoid an impression of discriminating against others based solely on differences in appearance. How, then, might one best proceed?

In this instance, I sought out the advice of just such a person – and she assured me that there was, in fact, a phrase which is both representative and non-hurtful.

I'd like to therefore talk today about “big girls.”

Amanda Waller - Just because a change would be easy, and entirely cosmetic in nature, doesn't mean it's any less important. Quick – name all the big girls in comics (at least half of which belong to Marvel). I'll note the issues present with each.

1. Granny Goodness – Look, there's a reason her voice is always provided by Ed Asner.

2. Anaconda – Look, there's a reason people call her Man-aconda.

3. Big Bertha – Doesn't count! In her normal form, she's actually a supermodel.


4. Amanda Waller – The only true representative thereof.

...or at least, she used to be. By presenting audiences with a reality wherein all women conform to an unattainable level of feminine beauty, DC does everyone a disservice. Why cater to such unrealistic male fantasies? I mean, how does “The Wall” even make sense anymore as a nickname for her?

So while changing Waller back would necessarily render said character incongruous with recent live-action depictions, that's an unfortunate dilemma of the company's own creation. And the results – another big, beautiful woman in comics (a strong African-American woman at that!) – are too important not to.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How To Fix DC Comics!

(A series wherein I propose the sweeping changes necessary to salvage these once-beloved characters)

In Iggy Pop's immortal ode to Hollywood, "Butt Town," there's this line: "But the girl with the hair flies by in her underwear."

I always joked that it was a reference to Starfire.

Starfire - Loathe as I am to defend any aspect of her portrayal therein, there's this run in Red Hood and the Outlaws wherein Koriand'r wears a sci-fi style flight suit. Form-fitting? Sure! But at least it covers her up...

Why can't she just wear something like that?

Look, I'm no prude; far from it. My all-time favorite show is MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head - and I'm a huge horror movie enthusiast (which often contains copious amounts of both sex and nudity). But this is too much.

Especially when you consider that not one, but two animated series - aimed largely at children - have been based on the Teen Titans.

People, we live in an internet age. If perverts and pubescent males want to see stuff like that, they don't have far to go. Get this girl some clothes.

While we're on the subject, what's with the ongoing sluttification (is that a word?) of the character?

1. She's a princess;


2. In my proposed reboot, she's a married woman (having gotten together, and actually been allowed to stay with Nightwing - not once again split up by editorial fiat)!

So you're not just offending women everywhere - you're providing a terrible role model for young girls to look up to. And that's just got to stop.

Monday, November 11, 2013

How To Fix DC Comics!

(A series wherein I propose the sweeping changes necessary to salvage these once-beloved characters)

Aztek - Look, Grant Morrison, I get it. DC wouldn't let you write one of Superman's solo titles, so you were mad. Still, was that any reason... to blow Aztek's frickin' head up?!

Just strikes me as a bit childish, is all I'm saying (especially in light of the fact that you've actually since written a solo Superman series)...

If you were Hispanic and looking for a superhero with whom to identify, who would you choose?

1. Vibe - His series was cancelled due to poor sales (and I mean, c'mon now - Vibe? Seriously?).

2. Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) - His series was cancelled due to poor sales (although admittedly, he perhaps works best as part of an ensemble - personally I'd put him with Young Justice).



Gentlemen, I rest my case.

(Incidentally, if the New 52 wasn't the perfect excuse for bringing back characters like this, then what was the point of the whole reboot in the first place?)

Robert Venditti Destroys The DC Universe

As a result of "Lights Out," the Green Lantern Corps is abandoning Sector 2814 (aka Earth).

And Supergirl's becoming a Red Lantern.



Ya know, I never thought I'd say this... but I'd rather they cancelled every single Green Lantern-related title than allow this rampant bastardization to continue.

DC: Done Collecting.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

How To Fix DC Comics!

(A series wherein I propose the sweeping changes necessary to salvage these once-beloved characters)

Batman allies:

Dick Grayson - is Nightwing. Leader of the Titans. Married to Starfire (sorry, Babs!). Back in black-and-blue.

Jason Todd - is the Red Hood. Just like he is at the end of the DC Universe Animated Original Movie, Batman: Under the Red Hood. Countdown/Infinite Crisis no longer having happened means that Superboy-Prime played no part in his resurrection. He's not an anti-hero, he's a villain.

Tim Drake - is Robin. Leader of Young Justice. "Red" Robin? That's Dick Grayson in Kingdom Come.

Stephanie Brown - is back! But she's the Spoiler. She and Tim are still dating. And just because she was never Robin doesn't mean she can't still be friends with Cassandra Cain!

Damian Wayne - Sorry, who? Robin is Tim Drake. Ibn al Xu'ffasch grows up to be a villain in Kingdom Come. Additionally, this means that his mother - Talia al Ghul - never killed her own son.

Carrie Kelley - Robin from The Dark Knight Returns. Stop trying to be cute with her turning up in the current books! Having her as a teen in the modern day makes no sense. And, seeing as how this is as good a place to mention it as any: The Dark Knight Strikes Again? Never happened.

Barbara Gordon - is Oracle. Leader of the Birds of Prey. Just as it should be. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Cassandra Cain - is Batgirl. She is as she was before "One Year Later" - i.e., mute and non-villainous. Sort of makes Strix from New 52-flavor Birds of Prey largely redundant - but if we have to choose one over the other...

Kate Kane - J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman are back - starting with what should have been their version of Batwoman #26. Anything they say and do is considered gospel from that point forward.

Jean-Paul Valley - is alive! Seriously, why did they kill this guy off? Was it just a knee-jerk overreaction to 'Nineties excess? The only thing I'm personally undecided on is whether he'd be better off as Azrael (original costume), or as Az-bats in a new incarnation of Batman, Inc. Probably the former.

Calvin Rose - If one good thing has come from the New 52, it's the work Scott Snyder (no relation!) has done on Batman (for the most part - still not a fan of the whole "Joker wearing a mask that's made out of his face" thing). So I whole-heartedly approve the integration of the Court of Owls into any hypothetical new continuity - Talon included.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

How To Fix DC Comics!

(A series wherein I propose the sweeping changes necessary to salvage these once-beloved characters)

Jack "King" Kirby - Everything Kirby ever created for DC is back - exactly the way it was when he last wrote it (i.e., if the man himself killed off one of his characters, then they stay dead)*. The goofier, the better! He was a literal creative god who strode upon this earth, and one would have to be a fool to reject his gifts.

That said, the following exceptions do apply:

1. Whereas Neil Gaiman's Sandman would hereafter be considered in-continuity/canon, nothing from Kirby's title of the same name should be allowed to contradict it.

2. The Newsboy Legion could be updated ever-so-slightly to better reflect modern times (for example, gathering intel for internet-based media outlets rather than shilling papers out on the streets).

3. The world of Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth, and its titular character, is still Earth-51. However, where Countdown got things wrong was in erroneously assuming that there should have been - or ever needed to be - an explanation of the "Great Disaster"/the way things got to be that way in the first place.

I mean, if we all readily accept an Earth where things are (roughly) the opposite of how they are here, with little-to-no explanation given, can't we just accept Kamandi's world as-is?

*EDIT - Exception: Having literally just finished reading Cosmic Odyssey for the first time (12/1/13), I've decided that the events of this miniseries should still stand (the contributions to John Stewart's characterization, for example, are just too important for it not to count).

Friday, November 8, 2013

How To Fix DC Comics!

(A series wherein I propose the sweeping changes necessary to salvage these once-beloved characters)

J'onn J'onzz - The Martian Manhunter was once the heart and soul of the Justice League... and so he shall be again. I've never bought this paranoid, xenophobic (hypocritical much?) nutjob we've got now - what with his random fits of violent anger, and all...

So J'onn ought to be in the Justice League, while Cyborg is supposed to be in the Titans. Seems a simple enough solution, right? Why not just switch them out? Ah, but then you'd lose that diversity, you tell me. The answer there is easy, too.

What if Dr. Erdell - the man responsible for first bringing J'onn to Earth - had been African-American? And, in honoring that man after his death, the Manhunter takes on his appearance literally anytime he isn't in full-on superhero mode?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

How To Fix DC Comics!

(A series wherein I propose the sweeping changes necessary to salvage these once-beloved characters)

First thing's first: The explanation ain't half as important as the results. I'm afraid another reboot's in order - with the following caveats:

1. Some stuff should directly follow continuity from before the New 52 (i.e., Teen Titans picking up after the events of The Titans vol. 1 #25).

2. Some stuff should integrate all the aspects of the character(s) that have worked best up until this point.

Beyond that, I'm just going to be throwing out suggestions to see what works. No particular order - and frequently brief, so as not to run out of material. For instance...

Top 3 Explanations For The (Aforementioned) Reboot:

1. No explanation given - nor is one necessary.

2. The New 52 was really just Earth-52 all the time!

- or (my personal favorite) -

3. The New 52 was a mass hallucination created by the Black Mercies!