I’ve been absent from my blog. From much of online, in truth. There have been Things. But there will always be Things. So it goes.
Here’s some stuff I’ve been saving up to talk at you about.
I’ve been watching TV lately. By that, I mean watching programs within a week of when they air. As someone whose natural proclivity is to TiVo an entire season and a half before I bother watching (if I bother watching), this has been an exciting time. Of course I do this right when the main programming season ends so well done me. But I did catch some finales. Mostly I’ve just been wanting to say that I was disappointed in Community. I really wish they hadn’t gone back to paintball, and I think the finale may have actually been the only episode of the entire season where I didn’t laugh. Don’t feel the need to keep the paintball thing going guys, don’t ruin a good thing. Luckily taking a dump on TV conventions is one of the things you do best. PS: The D&D episode was brilliant.
Also, So You Think You Can Dance just started up again and I’m surprised by how much I’m looking forward to it. I mean I actually watched the first episode this season while it was airing; I kept trying to fastforward through commercials and only got TiVo BONGing angrily at me for my troubles. Too early to say anything yet of course, but there was that one girl, the really crazy short-haired blonde from Atlanta? Predicting Top 20.
Last TV comment of the post: Sarah Michelle Gellar is returning to a series and my tummy does a happy little flip whenever I hear her in promos.
Mike is playing Dead Rising 2 for me, because I suck at playing Dead Rising 2. I’d feel bad about this but I go through and get him achievements for the games he’s not so great at either. I mean, I sat through an entire second play of Guitar Hero Aerosmith just for him, and that’s love right there. Meanwhile I continue (slowly) with my Renegade Shepard replay. I still have to pick up Dragon Age 2 (seriously, despite all my raving about it at PAX) and the feedback I’m hearing about L.A. Noire has me interested, but I think at this point I’ll just wait for the inevitable price drop/game of the year bundles. I’m cheap.
As you guys know (or should know) I’ve been a devoted comic book fan for pretty much ever. When it comes to DC though, not so much. I’ve never been into the DC Universe, and besides the fact that my much beloved Legion of Super-Heroes (which I only just managed to catch up on again, thanks guys) is undoubtedly going to get shafted in all this mess, I don’t actually care that much. But if there’s one thing a comic book fan knows how to do, it’s talk expertly and at length about things you don’t really care about.
I’ve made the comment a few times today that DC seems to be terrified of its own history. I don’t understand that. When I think DC what I think is “legacy”. They have some of the most iconic characters in all of pop culture with a rich history that DC seems almost constantly to run away from. As pointed out above, this continuity reboot thing is getting regular enough to where you can mark it on your calendar. So is this the answer? It hasn’t worked for them thus far so my gut says no. That legacy comes with a metric fuckton of baggage, yeah, but it also comes with 70 years of loyalty. These are characters that mean something to people – not just comic book fans, but to our collective consciousness. Messing with the perfectly good, tried and true icon that is Superman to … create a new and inevitably less-resonating icon that is Superman? To my eyes it would make so much more sense to go the Ultimate Marvel route. Create your own separate universe to relaunch these characters however you see fit, bringing in new readers to a recognizable but completely malleable world while still maintaining the legacy that DC alone can claim.
You don’t tug on Superman’s cape is what I’m saying.
But people who make far more money than me have the reins, so okay. I get that they want to shake things up, that they need to shake things up. DC has been losing to Marvel in just about every significant way for decades. Not only that but the comic book industry as a whole is in desperate need of attracting, cultivating and maintaining the next generation of comic book fans if the medium is to survive. Agree with it or not, I don’t fault DC for taking drastic action.
But here’s the thing: even if they do this, I don’t trust them to not turn around and put it all back again.
I’ve talked a bit about DC’s fearhate of its own history, yet at the same time it seems unable to leave it behind. It’s like the Lockhorns, doomed forever to stale jokes and loathing, yet you know no matter how many times Mrs. Lockhorn crashes the car and Mr. Lockhorn gets drunk and skeevy, they’ll be back to hate again next week.
DC’s much-discussed “whitewashing” of its superheroes really tells us all we need to know about this. Ryan Choi, anyone? We’ve seen it in Green Lantern, in The Flash, and very much in my own beloved and needlessly rebooted Legion. DC has shown repeatedly, demonstrably, that it cannot break free from the orbit of its own nostalgia.
Check that image up there. We can joke about the v-neck collars and the “it came from the 90s” style that is Jim Lee, but what I see in that image is not “fresh and new and exciting”, it’s the exact same stuff we had before with some window dressing. You want to show me fresh and new? Show me a black Batman. Show me an Asian Green Lantern. Show me a Superman with a pink triangle on his chest. But no, it’s Wonder Woman with silver instead of gold in her outfit and Superman without red undies.
Now I back up what I said in the beginning: I really don’t care all that much, at least not in a personal sense. The DCU is not where I play, and aside from the fact that early rumours are saying Gail Simone is off Birds of Prey, this will impact me in relatively minor ways. If this were talking to me directly however, I don’t really see anything here, or in DC’s previous track record, to excite me.
(Okay except Grant Morrison on Superman and Fabian Nicieza on Teen Titans. That excites me.)
Prove me wrong, DC.