Sunday, May 22, 2016


Well, we certainly are about to have a lot to talk about, thanks to "Rebirth".

Wally West

DC (I'll say it: that really means Johns because his fingerprints and name are all over this) is being especially clever this time around.  While a generation of fans were squealing, "WHY FOR YOU BURY WALLY WEST IN THE COLD COLD GROUND?!", DC was busy behind the scenes making red-haired Wallace the central character and narrator of Rebirth #1.  Nice one, DC.  

And that certainly makes ME happy. Not because I care about red-haired Wally.  I don't.  Frankly, I always thought he was kind of an insecure, dim, screw-up with codependency issues.  With Barry first and then with his mom and then with Linda "The Beacon" Park.  Especially do I not miss Linda, who was never anything more than an arbitrary Ultimate Love interest for Wally as some sort of latter day compensation for the man-whore days of his early run, and who never had a personality of her own beyond that.  She had more personality/job/look/outfit changes than a Captain Action doll.  It's really hard to get a bead on a character like that.

God knows I tried.

Sure Iris West was terrible, but at least she was CONSISTENTLY terrible, you know what I mean?

Anyway, seeing red-haired Wally return makes me happy simply because it gives me hope that all the thirty-somethings can please shut up now and stop whining.  Particularly since the Wally they are missing is actually the wise-cracking one on Justice League Unlimited and has very little to do with the hapless fool in the comics with that same name.

It won't stop their whining, of course.  Because Rebirth Wally is not The Flash, but the Kid Flash...which is what he was created to be.  I'm glad that DC finally, instead of forcing us to want what they are giving, has decided to give us what we want.  But within reason.  I mean, start giving it to chunks of irate fanboys holding their breath until 'their' version of a character comes back and before you know it we would have Hal Jordan back as Green Lantern. And nobody wants to live on THAT earth.

And Wally West

Me, I'm perfectly fine with singing, dancing Wally West from the teevee show, who somehow magically makes Iris less annoying just by standing in the same room.  And his comic book counterpart, although we haven't had a lot of time to get to know him.  Seems we will have more of him; he's clearly in the new Teen Titans.

Not the best hair-cut for guarding your secret identity, Wally.  
I'm guessing Clark Kent gave you the ball cap.

This is good news.  I don't want the resurgence of classic versions of characters to squeeze out the new more ethnically diverse cast of the DCU.  Speaking of which...

Jackson Hyde

Jackson Hyde -- who had a brief stint as Aqualad somewhere during the last few reboots -- is back, black, and getting no slack.  At least not from his mother, who provides the currently de-rigeur Parental Issue by being uncool with Jackson's having a boyfriend.  I do appreciate DC making Hyde gay (no reason not to, since he has no backstory to the contrary).  But I wish they would leave off with the "Anti-Gay Parent" schtick.  Are there people still like this? Sure.  But, increasingly we (and the DCU characters) live in a world where, well, being gay's not really a debatable issue.  Characters like Mrs. Hyde are already seeming pretty dated, and that's going to get worse going forward.  There are other ways of showing The Gay Struggle without a token condemnatory parent. Or just consider not showing Struggle at all and just showing The Gay; give that crazy idea a try, DC.  To his credit, Jackson seems to just shrug it off with, "Um, yeah, whatever, Ma, that's quaintly old-school, but I'm just a tad more focused on the fact that I seem to have aquatic superpowers for no reason I can fathom and wait I think the fish are trying to tell me something,"

A Surface Custom

Yeah, I'll confess: I teared up when Aquaman gets down on one knee before Mera (and not to find her comb), and explains that "it's a surface custom".  It sure is.  

Now we know why DC seemed to have backpedaled on Aquaman having been married to Mera; it's so we can see them get married.  Very nice one, DC.  There really has never been a cooler romantic couple in all of comics.  It's not just that they deserve to be happily married; WE deserve for them to get married.  Who knows? Maybe she won't say yes, at least not right away.  Mera's not one to do something like that lightly.  But Arthur is a nice quiet Maine boy and it's exactly what he would do. 

If she does say yes, Mera doesn't have a lot of gal pals to be bridesmaids; Batwoman maybe?  I could really go for a full underwater wedding with Batwoman et al. wearing classic fishbowl helmets on their heads.  Does Aquaman have any human relatives? Maybe a cousin named AJ?  

Wonder Brother

Wonder Woman has a twin brother. I don't know any more about that and I don't need to.  This idea is so ridiculous that I support it 100%.  Sure, "previously unknown twin" is a trite soap opera twist.   But long before 'separated at birth' was a trite soap opera twist it was a trite mythology twist.  And Wonder Woman is, at heart, a figure of mythology. The time(s?) they gave Barry Allen a separated at birth twin was achingly stupid;  it was just another way to create an anti-Flash for him to fight (because Flash writers almost never know what to do with the Flash if there's no anti-Flash for him to fight).  But for Wonder Woman it makes a lot of sense.  First of all, Zeus is her father and "Zeus fathers twins" is a pretty standard trope.  Second, it's already been established that when the Amazons had male children that they didn't keep them on the island; no further explanation for his disappearance is needed.  Third, Wonder Woman's dynasty has long needed a anti-distaff member; a missing brother will fit the bill rather nicely.  

This is concept I could get behind. So to speak.

Baby Darkseid

Darkseid, who died, is now reincarnated as Superwoman's baby.  Another "so ridiculous = 100% support from me".

I demand at least fifteen years of Baby Darkseid back-ups stories.  Baby Darkseid versus Sugar 'n' Spike. Baby Darkseid meets WonderTot, Baby Batman, and Superbaby.  Baby Darkseid. The Joker is hired as the party clown for Baby Darkseid's birthday.  Baby Darkseid's omega-beams chase the neighbor's cat.  Baby Darkseid's babysitter puts him in the microwave.  Call me, DC!


Johnny Thunder is living in a nursing home.  Again...that's all I need to know.  The Flash story (Flash V2 #134) where Johnny Thunder, addled by senility, gives Jay Garrick his pen and tells him to look after his dog is one of the greatest DC stories ever told; it still makes me cry and gives me chills.  [If I agree with these guys, it must be true.]

The fact that we know Johnny exists is the ONLY thing needed to bring back the Justice Society of America, because, while JT has always been a confused and incompetent half-wit, he also happens to have the ability to bring back the JSA with a single wish.

Joker(s) Wild

Apparently, there isn't a Joker; there are three of them.  Again, another concept so ridiculous I support it, well, 300%.  I'll take any out given from the corner into which Scott Snyder has painted the Clown Prince of Crime.

As long as this is one of them.

Nemo custodiebat

Apparently, we may be learning that the all-powerful being who's lost touch with all humanity and has a badly confused sense of reality who is responsible for screwing up the New52 universe by recreating it without the essentials of love and legacy is...

Dr. Manhattan.

Close enough!  


Anonymous said...

I admit, I wasn't sure I approved of a black Wally West, because the shock of red hair seemed so central to the character's visual. A shallow objection, I freely concede.

But you know what? New Wally looks good in the yellow costume. I'm satisfied with new Wally.

Just so long as they do away with how Wally was introduced in nu52 "Flash" comics, as a troubled black kid who needed the guidance of a white guy to help him overcome his congenital tendencies towards crime. That's not exactly how they phrased it in the comic, but that's sure what it looked like they were saying. Tone-deaf as hell, DC!

Scipio said...

"because the shock of red hair seemed so central to the character's visual"

I hear you on this. When live-action versions don't care about these things it annoys me. Three live action Barry Allens...not one of whom has a blond crewcut. Comics are a visual medium and one where, frankly, characters often look a lot alike and are drawn a bit abstractly, distinguishable only by a few signature flourishes and colorings.

Bryan L said...

Oh, man. A new Joker? Any new Joker? Please, please, please don't let them screw this up. I'm so sick of psychotic, spree-killer Joker I could scream.

I'm well beyond 30-something and I vastly preferred Wally over Barry. Except the TV Barrys. Comic Barry was just so -- dull. I always liked the TV Barrys, though, right from the start, on both shows. Yes, John Wesley Shipp. I also preferred Kyle to Hal. Same reason. That said, both of these are dynastic hero lines and there was no need to kill and or debase then kill, the originals. Simple retirement will always suffice. Stupid, stupid DC.

Look at how well Max Mercury worked mentoring Impulse or Jay Garrick mentoring Wally. That's how you "retire" a hero while retaining goodwill, along with the ability to quickly reset to the old status quo without needing the Spectre and Parallax.

Wonder Man? Isn't that trademarked? But yes, twins have a grand history in mythology. So I'll allow it, too.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

Oh man Baby Darkseid opens up so many possibilities. The whole Fourth World as toddlers...look, I love the Fourth World and am a Kirby fanboy, but come on, that would be THE BEST. The transition would be easy. The 4W stuff is bizarre and laden with strange-ass symbolism that tracks well with kid logic. The difference between Armaghetto and a daycare on a bad day is very slim. And oh man if you gave Li'l Darkseid that annoying "kid-talk" it would be comedy gold.

"I am the tiguh-fowwce at the heawt of cweation!"

"Awww, look, he's trying to extinguish individual consciousness from the cosmos and replace it with his own, ruling all as a mad god. Isn't he adorable?"

Loneliness + Poopyheads + Fear + Fussiness + Naps ÷ Crankyness ÷ Farts ÷ LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU x Guilt x Shame x Uh-Ohs x Naughtyness, n=y where y=Hope and n=Boogers, Love=Lies, Life=Death, Self=DARKSEID


Anonymous said...

Darkseid Babies, they make your dreams come true.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's fair to make fun of someone for liking a character. It's fair to make fun of a character, but not the fans. We're all comic book nerds after all.

Anonymous said...

Other Anonymous -- for what it's worth, I'm probably the biggest Hal Jordan fan who never sent death threats to DC, and there's a certain amount of ribbing that comes with that in this place. But I don't think the intention is mean or cruel.

r duncan said...

Baby Darkseid??????

Just give Jeb Bush a call. He was the only candidate who was man enough to kill Baby Hitler. Sic him on Baby Darkseid. Problem solved.

American Hawkman said...

I hope to goodness that Wonder Woman's twin brother is a reboot of Jason's Quest...

SallyP said...

Are... are we getting the Justice Society back? Damn, but I love those old farts.

Steve Mitchell said...

DCU vs. the Watchmen. Well, basically that's about a 10-minute fight. 5 minutes for any three DC heroes you care to name to take down all the Watchmen except for Dr. Manhattan. Then 5 more minutes for Superman, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Dr. Fate, the Spectre, Firestorm, and Captain Atom to take down Dr. Manhattan.

John said...

You know what I really like about this Wally West? It smells like this might signal an end to everybody wearing suits of armor with collars. Those boots are horrifying, though.

Also, while I genuinely appreciate any sincere push for diversity from DC, I can't help but notice that it magically only ever happens on the fringes. I mean, you mean to tell me that Barry Allen or Arthur Curry couldn't have been black and/or gay?

I kind of need to disagree on Wonder Woman, though. Wonder Woman is not, at heart, a figure of mythology, or wasn't until after Crisis. At heart, she's a feminist character (with ties to Greece as strong as Superman's to Krypton, usually in parallel), and one that is currently being remade to tell patriarchal stories from a dead culture. Given how the title is being run (out of the Superman office, itself apparently having trouble with women), that's not surprising, but "Wonder Bro" honestly sounds like nothing more than yet another attempt to talk about how evil the Amazons are.

I'm probably "down" (the kids still say that, right?) with the other aspect, though. Using Alan Moore (by proxy) as a punching bag for the flaws in the gritty DCU isn't as good as using Frank Miller (not by proxy), but it's close enough, and my only problem with Baby Darkseid is that it means Darkseid is still around and won't go away, like, ever.

Mr. Preece said...

Re: Wonder Woman's "twin".... The reason pre-democratic cultures had concerns over twins is because they create a serious legitimacy issue. Authority was tied up in specific individuals, not offices, so the presence of a twin was a threat to legitimate rule. My question is what does this have to do with our culture? However, I agree wit the poster who mentioned WW's character was originally about feminism, now that does have bearing on us today. Is it possible that WW's popularity after 1987 is because she's NOT a feminist character anymore, worried about promoting womanness in a "man's world"? Do we only accept her now because she's been converted into a "male" character of war? Hmm.

Re: Classic vs. New Diversity.... leave well-established characters alone. Create new characters to fulfill the diversity quota. They will last longer that way.

Mr. Preece said...

Barry Allen could never be anything but a straight, patriotic White Guy. Barry represents the mainstream, the 1950s mythical American, hero of the American Dream.

That said, no established character should ever be "made gay." They're either created as gay or have an undefined background where the revelation of homosexuality doesn't alter the character.

Mr. Preece said...

I don't want DC to bring back the JSA of the 1990s/2000s. Too compromised, too many retired/dead characters during that era.

I want DC to bring back the original Earth 2 in its prime and go from there. We can debate whether "prime" refers to 1942 or 1952--I'd be happy either way. (I think an open-ended series set during the Cold War would be awesome, tho.)

But I'd rather they not be I their 80s (90s?) as Johnny Thunder appears in Rebirth. I *like* them 'old', but 50s kinda old. Bringing them back as octogenarians just means they're already past their sell-by date and there's no point in that.

And for he love of God, DROP THE LEGACY CRAP. I want the 'original' JSA, not their darn kids.