This seems to be a thing that comic fans go through. Just mainstream fans, people who lean to one of the big companies. They got your favorite heroes that you want to read but the output is just disheartening. I’m in that right now with DC comics as is a number of DC fans. Not that DC really cares, they are happy with most of their sales figures even though they have given up ground back to Marvel. They are happy with their output even if people argue that quality wise they have taken a back seat, not just to Image whose have a renaissance, but also Marvel who have some of the most acclaimed superhero titles out right now. DC comics is happy, me and others are not.
So is the reboot that pissed me off? Truth be told even before the reboot I was a slowly growing weary with DC as a whole. Thinking back the comics I most cared about was Grant Morrison’s Batman, JT Krul and Nicola Scotts Teen Titans and Batgirl with Stephanie Brown, There were some other books I cared for but I had hope things would turn around. no such hope exists anymore. I gave post-Flashpoint a shot, I’d argue a fair shot, and after reading half of Trinity War I am honestly looking at cutting my DC list to probably less than what I buy from Marvel (not counting Vertigo). Reading Trinity War and watching a bunch of costumed heroes be idiots, or just generally being without the ability to step back and really analyzing the situation, shows me that DC is on;y concerned with presenting what they think to be edgy excitement. Its not edgy. Edgy would have been them doing more talking and trying to get to the heart of the situation. Punching each other repeatedly is old school and other superhero comics make fun of that.
Let me list some of the stuff that I did like in the New 52. I liked Catwomans reboot. I liked Action Comics after rereading it. I like Morrisons Batman too. The current Green Arrow is entertaining and Batman/Superman is a very pretty book and while I’m not sold on the story I’m sticking around. I liked Frankenstein’s first several issues.
What I don’t like? Many of those opening books I tried just felt bad. A rush to get everything out there in the open. I believe in running with the ball from the opening salvo but Mr. Terrific or Stormwatch felt like there was an opening missing. Justice Leagues first arc was, to use a wrestling term, a spot fest. Spot fest means a match that’s more concerned with creating large moments then it is in creating an actual story or rhythm to make those moments even more savory. Green Arrow is good now but man did it take them a while to get it going and I still dislike young Ollie. I want old Ollie. Old Ollie is funny. Young Ollie is a bit annoying. Superboy was cool but DCs connectivity drove me away. I don’t want to have to buy two extra books I don’t want to buy to find out how the story works. Hell, even the books that got good reviews I couldn’t even get into. Demon Knights was another book that it felt like an info and character dump that gave me a headache and Animal Man was interesting, I just could not get into what was happening.
I also have been back and forth with Wonder Woman. I’ve said it before, its frustrating being a Wonder Woman fan.
That’s of course the stories, looking now I also don’t like how the picked and chose what goes where. I didn’t mean Fairchild in Superboy, but I mean they seem not to care about Gen 13. Way to miss the boat on a property that at its height was more buzzed about. By the way, where is Roxy Spaulding, aka Freefall? She’s my favorite. No we get a few of the characters splintered around. Of course DC hates Wildstorm, look at how they integrate them without giving a fuck. Also, I prefer Barbara Gordon as Oracle. Just saying. Some of the costumes-what the fuck? Whats wrong with Raven? Wonder Woman dating Superman? Bull shit. DC changed certain characters I loved, splintered characters from teams I have some interest in, then gave me team books and solo titles most of which I shrugged. I liked Geoff Johns Green lantern, but not enough to buy GLC or Red lanterns or anything else from that franchise. I just bubble with a profound “who gives a fuck?”
Yet I’m being amazed by other books now. I’m not a Marvel guy, I only stick with the X-men and I’m buying three X-Men titles. I actually like books written by Brian Bendis right now, I’ve never liked Bendis. Damn it All new X-Men and Uncanny X-Men are my fave mainstream comics. Bendis is writing two Cyclops characters I enjoy. Stuart Immonen is killing it on All New and his fill ins are good. Uncanny is the same way. Where as sometimes with DC comics their fill in artists are just pale imitations. Very pale. DC doesn’t really feel like they care if the books look good as long as they hit the stands on time. I’m reading Hawkeye in trades. I don’t like Hawkeye but damn if that book doesn’t feel head and shoulders above the competition. The stories are a perfect match with the art. DC comes off as a company whose goal is to provide 50 odd superhero titles with a hard PG-13 seriousness with the promise of some grimness and “surprise deaths” in the future. If all your books read with the same tone, its not edgy or surprising but rather boring and predictable.
Image comics is the buzz about town. Walking Dead of course is their big business but you got Fatale, Saga, Lazarus to name a few. The books I buy from them seemingly get better and better. Fatale is one of my faves and Saga is always good. Lazarus is building up and I’m looking forward to other titles in the near future. I’m enjoying these books not just because of the entertaining stories they tell, but because them seem fresh. So different. I’m picking up a little more than just Image books from the indy scene, Rachel Rising is constantly entertaining.
There are so many good books out there, good alternatives, that it makes me even more angry at DC for some reason. Like I know they could be doing better, that they could compete with quality, but they rather just let five Batman books pretty much sale themselves. Not to say any of the Bat books are bad-but it is Batman and a terrible written Batman book would still sell fine. I think DC could work to be more quality. I definitely think they could work to put more effort in diversity. Their my favorite superhero company, and right now I hate them.