Wednesday, May 25, 2016

52 Suggestions/Notes for DC on What Rebirth Needs to Do

1.      Metamorpho has already been fixed and if you don’t already know that, you haven’t been reading “Legends”.
2.      The Metal Men have already been fixed and if you don’t already know that, you haven’t been reading “Legends”.
3.      Firestorm has already been fixed and if you don’t already know that, you haven’t been reading “Legends”.
4.      Fix the Phantom Stranger.  Lordy, did Didio screw HIM up.  It’s the **** Phantom Stranger.  How do you screw up the Phantom Stranger?!?! All he needs is: no origin, no clear agenda, no name or personal details, no defined or consistent powers, no long-term allies, no relatives, no supporting cast, no particular enemies, no home city or base of operations, no--- for pete’s sake, all he needs is a consistent outfit and speech pattern.  He’s a literary cactus, STOP OVERWATERING HIM.
5.      Ditto the Question, who is a snoopy guy/gal in a mask, not an otherworld being.  Did somebody lose Denny O’Neil’s number, or what?
6.      I’m very happy that DCU characters will be smiling again!
7.      I am, however, utterly terrified that Gary Frank will be drawing them doing it.
8.      The Martian Manhunter. If Dr. Manhattan wants a fixer-upper project on Mars, we’ve got a beauty for him.  Either make him part of someone else’s dynasty (like on the Supergirl teevee who) or actually give him one of his own (with a city and a supporting cast and all that).
9.      Vibe.  If you are going to return characters to the recognizable forms…. Either let Vibe be a breakdancer OR let him be Cisco Ramon from STAR Labs.  Or BOTH, because the two are not incommensurable.  But don’t try to make him into something ELSE that just smells like Blue Beetle Del Norte.
10.   Actually Vibe has been mostly good in the New52.  But trying to make characters like Vibe stand on their own just dooms them to failure.  Let these free-floating literary particles bond with a more stable molecule.  The CW’s Flarrowverse is smart about that.  Make Vibe part of some icon’s extended dynasty (three guesses whose) and do the same with most characters.
11.   So, too, with  many VILLAINS.  This is an idea rarely explored (except in the animated film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, where every villain was in a mafia of the members of the Crime Syndicate).  Don’t condemn characters like Killer Moth or the Human Flying Fish or the Human Squirrel or Mr. Moth of the Octopus to being pathetic comic relief.  Fix them by making them lieutenants in the forces of a more established villain. Or just have them fight Green Arrow.
12.   And so… give Green Arrow’s a real rogues gallery of his own.  Even if they are goofy losers, it’s still an essential element of making a character iconic.  Frankly, if you can’t find a way to make ridiculous characters like Leapo the Clown (a.k.a. Bulls-Eye) or The Octopus work, then maybe you shouldn’t be writing comic books in the first place.
13.   If want to fix Green Arrow, stop trying to make him darker than Batman. Make him BRIGHTER.  If Green Arrow starts fighting Killer Moth and the World Public Enemy gals and the Bug-Eye Bandit, I PROMISE you I will read it. 
14.   Let Lady Cop find the Killer in Boots. It will let lots of us sleep better at night.
15.   FIX LOBO. How? By omitting him from existence entirely. I can’t tell you how many disturbed psyches I am detecting on line by reading the comments on coverage of Rebirth #1 and finding people whose priority is restoring this horrible character to the status quo of his floruit.  Yeah; no.  Lobo (even when treated as comedy relief) is a prime symptom of the PROBLEM; he is not part of the solution.
16.   Have a moratorium on face removals and decapitations.  As much as I enjoy those, they do tend to set a certain tone.  

17.   Booster Gold. Not as an idiot, or even as a junior time lord.  Superman deserves some allies to help him look after Metropolis and Booster is a perfect candidate.
18.   Krypto. Period.
19.   Watch “Batman, Brave & the Bold”. That show knew how to do it right.
20.   Embrace the narration/caption box.  These aren’t movies, they are comic books, it’s okay.
21.   Let the Wildstorm characters alone. Or give them their own earth.  Because they do not fit the tone we’re aiming for.
22.   Don’t waste the Marvel Fam--I mean, the Shazams. 
23.   Fer pity’s sake, let Batwoman get married. IF she wants.
24.   Bring back the Hawks. Every other medium has no trouble making them work, why should their native one?
25.   Amerindians are people, too.  DC’s got a stable of such characters (e.g., Owlwoman, Black Condor, Saganowahna, Sky Alcasey) just waiting for a new context.
26.   No more full-page spreads.  Comics got by for many decades without them.  If I wanted pinups I’d be at conventions buying them.  I just feel like you are cheating me.
27.   Enough with decompression in general.  When I watch superhero teevee, I usually feel like they are trying to cram as much as possible into an episode. When I read comic books, I usually feel like they are trying to drag a story out into as many issues as possible.
28.   Spend some time getting the lay of the DCU’s administrative land in order.  SHADE, ARGUS, the DEO, SPRYAL, et al.; way too many government/spy organizations that have no clear lines of authority or purpose
29.   Amanda Waller is a fat lady.  And that’s okay. Please let her be.
30.   Which reminds me: GIVE ME ETTA CANDY. I mean REAL Etta Candy.
31.   Bring back the Penguin.  And as something more than a Peter Lorre-esque weasel who gets roughly up monthly for information.  I want a Penguin that might have a super-robot to battle Superman with, or who might just fight Firestorm to a standstill.  He should at least be more than enough to give Batman a run for his money.
32.   Classic Catwoman is not a hero or even a vigilante.  She’s a self-interested crook, who avoids murder.  If Batman’s needs a love interest there are PLENTY of people he can go out with other than her.  In general, stop making popular villains into heroes as a way of getting more traction of out them; this is not Marvel.
33.   Kids in comics – people like Robin and Billy Batson and Speedy – they used to be BETTER people.  Not petulant brats.  That’s WHY they were heroes and other kids weren’t. Please remember that.  Except for classic Aqualad, who, of course, was a cowardly purple-eyed big-headed freak.
34.   If you haven’t already, set down some editorial rules. It’s really not that hard.  Exceptions can be made if truly needed, but guidelines should still be in place.  If Abner Sundell can do it, so can you.
35.   As Abner Sundell would advise, please remember that the private citizen is the REAL person.  Their costumed self is their secret identity, not vice versa.  Forgetting that is part of what led us in the deconnecting , dehumanized DCU we are fixing.
36.   The first things superheroes do when they meet is TALK. Period.  THEN they join forces, if possible.  Cops don’t fight fireman and EMTs in the streets, so I expect at least that much from my SUPER-heroes.  In fact, occasionally they should bring each other ice creams cones, just because that’s a nice thing to do and makes people happy.
37.   The Red Bee.  That’s a bellwether.  Because of the DCU doesn’t have the ability to incorporate the Red Bee somehow, then something is wrong.
38.   Invest some more time in fleshing out the fictionopolises where these heroes live.  It’s a lot easier to see a hero risking his life for his/her city if we care about it too, and have some idea why they do.
39.   More generally: I need to know where characters live.  It doesn’t HAVE to be in a fictionopolis or even in a city at all.  I see Jaime Reyes talking to Ted Kord.  Do they live in the same place? Did Jaime have to travel to meet him?  Where does the Martian Manhunter live? I mean, Apex City, obviously, but SHOW/TELL that.  The only character I don’t want to know where he lives is the Phantom Stranger because MYSTERY. 
40.   You know what villains used to do? Steal stuff.  I miss villains who steal stuff rather than just mass murderers, world-conquerors, and vengeance seeks.  Let’s bring back the crooks.
41.   Try a moratorium on new characters. Of ANY kind (hero, villain, or supporting cast) for a year or two or ten.  Really, there’s only about 10,000,000 of them lying around unused in the DCU already. TRY to make do with those for a while and you’d be amazed at your own creativity.  In fact, in a further post I may just try to LIST them as a way to drive myself crazy.
42.   Let Deadman rest in peace.
43.   The hell with Etrigan. I mean that it in a loving and supportive way.
44.   Apply the previous two items to Rob Liefeld.  Except for the loving and supportive part.
45.   No one hesitated back in the day to bring Superman’s cast (Lois, Jimmy, Perry) from one medium to the other.  That’s how they became iconic characters in their own right. Stop being afraid to do that with OTHER heroes, like Teevee Supergirl, whose cast should be imported in comics.
46.   Find a way to make Miss Martian happen.
47.   And give J’onn J’onnz a proper civilian identity. “Proper”=”not a cat”.
48.   Does Cyborg HAVE to be a rock’em’sock’em robot with a sonic cannon?  Can’t we just have him be the “Oracle”?  Because everyone thinks ‘we need an Oracle” and nobody knows what to do with Cyborg. Have him work with…
49.   Mr. Terrific. And Steel.  Black people don’t always have to be the tokens in someone ELSE”s story, you know.
50.   Abandon the use of forced mechanisms for metahumor (e.g. Ambush Bug, Bat-Mite, Bizarro) and embrace character-driven humor (“Oh, Clark!”).
51.   Give Kirby’s creations a rest.
52.   Please write comics that I’m not embarrassed to give to a child as a gift.


King Beauregard said...

All sage advice. A few thoughts:

- Barbara Gordon should be Oracle; he's got the mind for it. The question is, does she need to be put back in a wheelchair to do it? I like Barbara Gordon so I want to keep her intact, but I have to admit that the wheelchair is central to the concept of Babs-Oracle. If she were returned to the wheelchair in a heroic way, I think I'd be much more fine with it than I was in "The Killing Joke".

- Oh that reminds me: "The Killing Joke" should be removed from continuity, or at least many of its details should be changed so DC is no longer wedded to rapey fanfiction from the late 80s.

- J'onn J'onnz is the only superhero who eats cat food by choice. I say that makes him awesome.

- J'onn as the kind, sensitive, principled character please. (Side note, does anyone else notice that David Harewood wears a wedding ring on "Supergirl"? Maybe it's because David is married in real life, or maybe it's because J'onn J'onnz is commemorating his wife via earth custom. That breaks my heart.)

Bryan L said...

"Please write comics that I’m not embarrassed to give to a child as a gift."

Thank you. We just had a superhero day at my wife's library. More than 100 kids showed up, with costumes, and toys, and parents. It was far and away the most successful event we've ever had in pretty much a decade (I say "we" because I'm pretty much the unpaid comic consultant because "wife").

Sorry, where was I? Anyway, it's damned hard to find comic material that's appropriate for younger ages. The good stuff (like Batman Adventures and so forth) is either out of print or only available in softcover (which doesn't hold up under library conditions). I am constantly vetting trades and graphic novels and having to put them in young adult or adult, because of content.

I can guarantee at least one institutional customer for all-ages material. And I have to believe there are more of them out there. Sorry to rant, but it's a sore subject with me.

Greg said...

20a. Please stop using thought captions in place of thought balloons. Using caption boxes doesn't automatically raise the quality of the story being told because Alan Moore and Frank Miller decided not use them in stories told 30 years ago. No other medium provides "real time" access to characters thoughts as comics do through thought balloons. Thought captions don't provide the same access, as the sequestering of the thoughts in a box separates thought from thinker. Thought ballons are a tool of the medium. Why would anyone deny a creator use of all the available tools or why would a creator not make use of all the tools appropriate to the story being told?

Regarding the embarrassment of giving current DC comics to children, the problem is that the creative side and the licensing side aren't in agreement. My prime example of this is the week during the New 52 relaunch the Joker skinned off his face, the Fisher-Price catalog that featured Little People versions of the DC characters including Batman and the Joker for the first time arrived at my house. I can't think of a time when the vision of corporate characters varied so widely. I believe that if a company licenses toys that are obviously created for children (including all action figures unless the phrase "Intended for adult collectors" is on the package or television cartoons shown between 6AM and 7PM on Cartoon Network or Boomerang, that company is providing shorthand to parents telling them these characters are for/also for children in all forms . DC Entertainment needs to make a choice: write comics for adult fans who want the characters from their youth to age along with them (guaranteeing I won't buy the comics) and stop lcensong the characters for children-centric prodiucts OR admit you want the money stream from licensing and provide comics that can be read by a child, as well as an adult (guaranteeing I will buy the comics).

Anonymous said...

About not wasting the Marvel Family, and also making comics that are kid-safe: that's a solution neatly divided into two problems.

If you look at old Captain Marvel comics, the tone is cartoonier. When IBAC threatened people, it was never quite as "real" as when one of Superman's enemies did, because Superman is maybe one step removed from our world, and Captain Marvel a step beyond that.

So, use the Marvels the way they work best: in kid-oriented comics. They can briefly appear in "normal" superhero comics, and vice versa, so we know they're in the same universe. But by and large don't try to mix and match them, or pretty soon you've got Captain Marvel in the JSA hitting on Stargirl and it causes problems because everyone thinks Captain Marvel is into way younger women. Yes, that happened.

Scipio said...

20a. Please stop using thought captions in place of thought balloons.


CobraMisfit said...

I would buy the crap out of any title with Booster and/or Red Bee.

American Hawkman said...

I thought Simone implied that the Killer in Boots was Dwarfstar before he got powers.

Bryan L said...

"that company is providing shorthand to parents telling them these characters are for/also for children in all forms"

Better believe it. We gave away free stuff supplied by local comic shops, and I had to have several awkward conversations with parents explaining that the free issue of Batman was not really appropriate for little Johnny or Susie, and I was really sorry but we blew through the all ages stuff in the first 45 minutes.

What?!! Batman isn't for kids?!!

Uh, not this particular Batman, no, featuring a gruesome and bloody murder. Sorry. Sorry, sorry, sorry.

Steve Mitchell said...

"24. Bring back the Hawks. Every other medium has no trouble making them work, why should their native one?"

A big plus one on this item. Although I assume the Hawks will be bundled up with the Justice Society whenever they are found/restored/saved.

And 53. Never, under any circumstances, bring back Superboy-Prime.

SallyP said...

Well slap me silly, but I cannot disagree with any of these!

Except... please bring back Big Barda, and Scott Free, and Fire and Ice, and Jaime Reyes's real supporting cast, and...!

Except Snapper Carr. God I hate Snapper Carr.

Dave said...

If you think "Legends" has fixed the Metal Men, I'll meet you by the school flagpole at 3:00.

Doc Magnus is a middle-aged guy who wears a checked coat and smokes a pipe. None of them - Tina excepted - has "hair."

The only thing this version has gotten right is that Mercury never lets go by a chance to mention he's the only metal that's liquid at room temperature.


Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm reading various takes on "Rebirth", and I'm getting a sinking feeling.

Geoff Johns is great when you need him to fix your hero. He's the wrong guy when you need to fix your universe.

Geoff is the guy you want if everyone has forgotten what made your hero interesting in the first place; he'll find that inner core and build it up properly. But when it comes to building a universe -- which kind of by definition cannot have the problems that individual heroes can -- he tinkers and he builds connections that don't need to be there when what he should be doing is leaving things alone. Why are there three Jokers? Presumably to explain three types of Joker characterizations. Did anyone anywhere ever have a problem with how the Joker is kind of inconsistent? No.

As a wise man once said, "19. Watch “Batman, Brave & the Bold”. That show knew how to do it right." That extends to how to set things right: just position the heroes at a point where they're in good condition for storytelling, make the editorial pronouncement that some but not all of past continuity is still in continuity (to be later clarified where essential), and go out and tell good stories. Don't screw around trying to explain why the nu52 had so many jerkish heroes; just stop making them jerkish. Don't embed their jerkishness deeper into things.

"Rebirth" is another round of fixes to repair Geoff's last round of fixes. It feels like when someone starts with a small fib, and has to keep telling bigger and bigger lies trying to account for every detail, and after not long you've got this unwieldy mass of nonsense that is doing nobody any good at all, and wouldn't it be better just admitted you forgot to mail the cable bill? Admit you made a mistake, everyone moves forward, everything is good.

Jeff McGinley said...

Great list, but honestly, I'd be happy with just 19 and 52...which would be implied by 19 anyway.

cybrid said...

Hey, golden age panels. How long's it been since you gave lengthy attention to golden age characters? Trick question because I already know the answer: too long.

"It’s a lot easier to see a hero risking his life for his/her city if we care about it too, and have some idea why they do.'

Heroes risk their lives for everybody. That's why they're heroes. They tend to do so more often for "their cities" because that's where they are in the first place, that's all. They step outside and BAM there it is. In real life, plenty of people HATE where they live but ideally they'd still want to help the rest of the people who live there. Last I heard, Gotham City has plenty of heroes. I'd be very surprised to learn that as many as half of them even LIKE Gotham City.

"Bring back the Penguin...who might just fight Firestorm to a standstill"

Wasn't that in just that one panel in Crisis on Infinite Earths? Aren't you obsessing over that just a bit?

cybrid said...

btw, who are the World Public Enemy gals ? I can't find them anywhere else on the site.

Anonymous said...

Continuing my thoughts about Johns and universe-fixing ... didn't Johns already fix the DC Universe once, in "Infinite Crisis"? How'd that turn out? He turned Superboy-Prime into the biggest menace in the multiverse and he killed off THE ORIGINAL SUPERHERO. People lost arms, people lost heads (which made for a catchy tune I still sing, but still ...), boy way to dispel the grim and gritty that had infected the DC Universe.

And then there was "Blackest Night" which was supposed to do something about death in DC Comics. How did THAT work out? Well I think we ended up with more characters dead than before, and via horrific grim and gritty means no less.

And then there's the meta-commentary that makes things worse. Fanboys ruined comics therefore Superboy-Prime was the ultimate fanboy? "Watchmen" ruined comics therefore the new threat is Dr. Manhattan? I shudder to think of the meta-commentary when Eddie Berganza is is shuffled off the Superman titles.

Scipio said...

"Aren't you obsessing over that just a bit?"

World Public Enemies:

Scipio said...

"which made for a catchy tune I still sing,"

That warms my heart.

cybrid said...

Oh, okay, thanks. They're World Public EnemIES but you said World Public Enemy so that's what I searched for. Search engines can be so persnickety.


spur-of-the-moment aphorism:

You don't have to be crazy to live in Gotham City but, frankly, no other explanation suggests itself.

Anonymous said...

You may be pleased to know, I still sing "Ceeeeeeeeen! tral City / where the Flash comes sweeping down the lane!" when I'm in a good mood. I haven't mastered all the lyrics so people around me hear me mumble about gorillas and agorophobi-yay and so forth ... if they don't like it, they should move somewhere where "near me" is best measured in miles.

And I still think the "I just abhor a Penthouse view" line from the Alan Scott / "Green Acres" song is inspired.

Scipio said...

LMFAO! I forgot "agoraphobi-yay!"

And YES that does please me.

I tend to sing "You're a Mean One, Iris West".

Anonymous said...

How -- HOW -- did I not know about the "Iris West" song until now??!? That may be my new favorite; it's real hard to tell how well it will wear, but it's got me singing.

I wish I could pay you to write an Aquaman comic. As an editorial mandate I would require that every issue have an eight-page backup story where Aquaman sings a musical number.

Bryan L said...

"an eight-page backup story where Aquaman sings a musical number."

Once again, a place where Batman: The Brave and the Bold got it absolutely right. The world needs the Music Meister. In so many ways.

Scipio said...

My REAL earworm favorite is
The Bronze Age Batman Boogie.

because that one Speaks Truth.

Anonymous said...

Eh, I'm not quite as hard on Bronze Age Batman as you are; this was before it was necessary to consider Batman infallible, and it was okay for him to make mistakes that a mere mortal might. And yeah, he made a lot of them.

Anonymous said...

I liked the book.

No one shouted "Hail Hydra," or pushed anyone out of an airplane, or anything like that.

John said...

#51, definitely. With the exception of Mr. Miracle (who never fit the Fourth World material and is one of the most DC-like characters DC has), I've never understood the interest in any of Kirby's DC stuff. I get that he was sort of "first," and that a lot of his Marvel creations are nice, but DC's use seems more and more desperate.

On the various ideas about families and franchises, I feel like DC's biggest stumbling block is "The Trinity," especially when Wonder Woman clearly isn't very important to them. If we're never going to move forward in time to a new generation of heroes (imagine a modern Julie Schwartz reinventing major characters!), what I would recommend is at least work to widen the second tier, maybe including some of the acquired characters that have a decent chance. Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, the Shazam franchise, Blue Beetle, Phantom Lady, Plastic Man, Icon, and maybe something not embarrassing or redundant from Wildstorm-land. That allows the "verticals" to expand without everything looking like it needs to be in either Gotham City, Matropolis, in space, or "elsewhere."

Though I think there's plenty of room for those minor, unattached characters. However, the space for them is in anthologies with short, serialized stories, rather than giving them a title and hoping for the best. DC has always been known for it's huge stable of great (but mostly unused) characters. An oversized title (Showcase Presents, Adventure Comics, whatever) that capitalizes on that (maybe with an anchor character) would let them see what characters are ready for the big time. That includes folks like the Martian Manhunter and Captain Atom, who I think are more popular in theory than in actual practice...

Anonymous said...

"I've never understood the interest in any of Kirby's DC stuff. I get that he was sort of "first," and that a lot of his Marvel creations are nice, but DC's use seems more and more desperate."

I could be wrong, but I blame "Superman: The Animated Series". They needed someone that Superman couldn't punch into submission, so they started throwing more and more of Apokolips at him. It was an all right short-term solution, but a bad long-term solution: Apokolips is something that can't be part of the regular world of superheroes without requiring resolution one way or the other. Either Apokolips wins (like the "Earth-2" comics in the nu52) or the heroes make Apokolips look laughably impotent (like Batman beating Darkseid whenever they meet). Indirect contact with Apokolips isn't so bad -- like Intergang, or Darkseid coming up with schemes to corrupt children -- but as soon as a single parademon shows up, the story is likely to take a turn for the worse.

I do really like the idea of Darkseid having designs on earth, but between his treaty with the New Gods and his desire for earth to become a place that welcomes him, he comes up with schemes to get people to reject goodness. He is, after all, the New God of Evil.

John said...

Oh, and yes! Thirty-ish years of proclaiming "comics aren't just for kids," what we've gotten is comics that are mostly just for extremely immature adults. The plots have become more childish and the situations have become more vulgar. Flip that and use comics to make complex ideas approachable to a wide audience, rather than easy ideas less approachable.

Really, my first introduction to the DCU was Crisis on Earth-Prime, back as a kid. A dozen characters I had never even heard of, four Earths, four decades, multiple timelines, and I loved it! That's what comics are for, not reading about costumed men work out their insecurities in the most archaic and toxic ways possible...

Steve Mitchell said...

"No one shouted "Hail Hydra," or pushed anyone out of an airplane, or anything like that."

But Batman is the Fourth Joker. . . .

Anonymous said...

No. I think he's probably the sixth.

John said...

Anonymous, that's definitely a big part of the path that got us here, but I feel like the problems run deeper than just overuse. The New Gods are too goofy to take seriously (especially the names), but too stodgy to be fun. They're all soap opera, all the time. Like you say, they're too powerful to fail, but can't ever succeed. It draws, at least in my opinion, far too much from Norse mythology alone, which...I'm not sure there's a point to doing that. It just doesn't work for me.

What I'd actually like to see is backgrounding them as "just" another pantheon. Show us the Female Fury cults or the superhero with (gimme a minute...) the swiftness of Seagrin, the wisdom of Himon, the compassion of Avia, and so forth, instead. But gods with standing armies that literally want to come to Earth from space to punch people? So boring and very non-mythological...

Slaughter said...

The problem with the New Gods in the DCU is too many people basing them off STAS and JLU.

Johns is guilty of it in his first JL arc where Darkseid is at his most generic - some lumbering, silent behemoth flanked by parademons, and is defeated by getting stabbed in the eye and thrown into a boom tube, which should have slowed him for like, one hour. At best.

Darkseid War does seem to be a redemption for it - in there, Darkseid is show as too big (literally lol) for any member of the league to fight and he's there to duke it out with the Anti-Monitor, the League only plays to Darkseid's plans as annoyances he weakens in the first chapter. The league engages his followers but rarely attack Darkseid head-on at once.

The New Gods, in a way, belong in the background of the earth-bound DCU. Its a far-away cosmic cold war that spills as far as Earth. But, because of The Pact (and human pantheons and entities like The Spectre, althrough the New Gods are not scared of them), both Apokolips and New Genesis should be skulking around Earth, using human emissaries. Remember - Darkseid is interested in Earth because he believes the Anti-Life Equation is somewhere inside the human mind.

The Godhead Crossover was actually cool in a sense because I can't believe it took this long to cross them both. But the failure of it is for other reasons - more in the next post.

Slaughter said...

Another problem I have with the DCU currently - this has started in the Johns era of GL, but seems to have gotten worse:

Namely, the fact that the average Green Lantern today is weirdly cannonfodder. Being a Green Lantern is the next best thing to being a Kryptonian, Martian or Speedster. But most GLs seem to use the power ring as a Legion Flight Ring with FTL capabilities and built-in laser blaster PEW PEW PEW! Some of them even create basic shield constructs, oh! Its not just greenies either. What happened to phasing (old school GLs casually phased through buildings), and generally creative constructs? Remember when the entire League had to go after Nero because he was IMMENSELY NUTS and had a ring that could split atoms?

So it seems that the bane of the average lantern today is enemies that can't be defeated by being blasted with a green laser. Which they meet constantly. Like, all the goddamn time. It got ridiculous in Godhead when they were fighting the immensely powerful New Gods, which was fine - but there were plenty of ways to harm them with a ring, and zero lanterns ever thought about it. At least with the Keepers they got some good ol' guns.

In a way, I think this is a good argument to bring back the Yellow Weakness. GLs used to have it and yet they did well even against all the yellow-coloured dudes they fought. Of course, that brings another problem - namely, that if GLs have a yellow weakness, then Sinestro can casually clean house.

Anonymous said...

As a lifelong Green Lantern ologist -- my first comic was GL/GA #120 -- I opine the problem is overuse of the entire GLC. It used to be that any team-up between two GLs was an event, and an entire GLC-wide action was as awesome as it was rare.

The GLC comic should be about smaller teams of GLs operating like cops in police shows, where there might be a physical confrontation at the end but most of the rest of it is trying to solve the mystery.

But since the entire GLC is being deployed as a matter of habit, the story requires them to be fighting foes that are immune to power rings or can drain power rings. Over and over. That's all the nu52 has been, the GLC fighting people with ring-draining technology.

Slaughter said...

1. Is there any point to the Hawks, and do they bring anything to the table? I'm not a fan of the characters. Really, what's the point of the Hawks in the DCU?
2. The J'onn screwing going on since the whole "Cyborg as a League Founder" sillyness took place is still stupid.
3. Is Grail FINALLY Wonder-Woman's Opposite Number that everybody has been trying to create for years? By the way, I have a theory about his Justice League run, but I would rather send it to Scip by e-mail because character limit.
4. If you want to have a black founder of the league because DIVERSITY or whatever, send Cyborg back where he should be (The Teen Titans) and bring in Black Lightning. He's the first DC Black Super-hero, and there is a small army of expies and copies around - the most famous is Static, who could easily be his Kid Sidekick. Also he should never hang around The Losers, I mean, Batman's Bitches, I mean, The Outsiders. Ever.
5. Already said this in a comment, but Scipio never picked it up: Vartox is/should be Superman's Elder Statesman. Go look it up - in the Silver Age its said that Vartox has been doing the su-e err, Hyper-Hero thing since before Clark was a kid. And he's has a clear story-role - he's Superman's Always Somebody Better guy.
6. Black Canary: A golden ager, should she be Green Arrow's female counterpart or should she have her own dynasty? Seems that "both" are the answer.
7. Related: Zatanna? Great character, but her problem seems to be her horribly vague superpowers - she's one of those weird character that are immensely weak and immensely powerful as well - she's human durability, but she's pretty much a living Green Lantern Ring. Outside of that, please stop linking her to John Constantine (a jerk). She is a golden ager, she has bigger pedigree than that.
8. JLI: Reverse-Stormwatch? I'm imagining them being a mix of Stormwatch and the JLU. Except the members are well, you know, the lovable members of the JLI. See the tone of the series Generation Lost for an idea, but minus the bad stuff there (like Ice's Retarded Origin which we shall never mention again).
9. They really should get rid of the "Maxwell Lord is a badguy" crap somehow. A big point of his character in JLI was Max struggling with his morality - he may have been a douche and somewhat of a used car salesman, but he was ponning up money, HIS money, to help people, publicly.
10. To whom would you link the Metal Men to? Their story in LoT comic seems to be linking them to other robot characters - Red Tornado, Robot-Man, etc. They also seem to have been linked to Cyborg recently. Add in OMAC and Red Tornado, and you have a dynasty of robots and cyborgs? Seems logical these guys would hang together.
11. Related: Does Metamorpho fit in anybody's Dinasty? His powers say Firestorm (Firestorm alters the environment around him, Metamorpho alters himself), but AFAIK there's zero connection between the two characters. His whole story as a freak who changes shape seems to link him better to the Martian Manhunter.
12. Is it time for Katana to enter the Green Arrow Dinasty?
13. Captain Marvel/Shazam should have his own Earth along with other Fawcett character. Same for the Charlton characters. Maybe Blue Beetle can have an alternate in E1, because JLI and Silver and the Gold. Pre-Crisis was right when they did the classic division:
E1 - Silver/Bronze Age DCU
E2 - Golden Age DCU where STUFF HAPPENS
E3 - Mirror Earth
E4 - Charltonverse (the real one, not the Watchman-esque parody starring Captain Manhattan, a boring character nobody really cares about. Late 80s Cap Atom on the other hand...)
E5 - Thunderworld/Fawcettverse

Slaughter said...

Anom: Ah, that makes sense!

I think I read it somewhere that the concept quite changed from what was introduced in the original stories:

1. There was no "Green Lantern Corps". Green Lantern is a name Hal choose for himself. The others presumably called themselves whatever.

2. The Guardians and Oa were so far the rings could't reach there. Only projections.

3. Green Lantern was more Lone Ranger-ish. Current Green Lanterns seem to be closer to an army, or a special corps (marines?).

Seems like good basis for a Green Lantern TV series, btw.

Anonymous said...

In the original GL stories, the Guardians generally communicated with Hal via astral projection, but I don't think it was ever stated or implied that Oa was impossibly far away.

Abin Sur didn't identify himself as a Green Lantern, though. When other GLs started showing up, such as Tomar-Re, they'd often have oaths of their own (NOT one oath that the entire Corps used and was the basis for multiple crossovers) that would mention "Green Lantern" but maybe that's just a translation thing.

Hal would work great as a Texas ranger in the Old West, and when he's written like a space Texas ranger he does pretty well.

Steve Mitchell said...

"1. Is there any point to the Hawks, and do they bring anything to the table? I'm not a fan of the characters. Really, what's the point of the Hawks in the DCU?"

As opposed to, say, Damien Wayne, or Cyborg, or Talon, or the latest Donna Troy, or for that matter, Green Arrow or a Chinese Superman? Yeah, they bring a lot to the table!

(Proud Hawkman fan since 1961!)

Scipio said...

The New Gods are too goofy to take seriously (especially the names), but too stodgy to be fun. They're all soap opera, all the time. Like you say, they're too powerful to fail, but can't ever succeed."

This contains all the truth about the New Gods that ever needs to be spoken.

Anonymous said...

DC need to sell to new readers, not simply win back old customers. I would be delighted if this new attitude helps them do just that. Using Dr Manhattan as the impetus for the change is disappointing - it's just spiteful. That decision may be the indicator that the attitude is one more desperate thrash from a comic industry (DC and Marvel) in it's death throes...

Anonymous said...

I realize that there is some skepticism about all this, but I have enjoyed "Rebirth," so far. This week's comics included several things that I enjoyed:

1. Interaction between the pre-52 Superman and the new-52 Lana Lang that seemed to move the story along and explain how we would take on the "Superman" role, once again.

2. An extended scene with Bruce Wayne, mostly naked.

3, Interesting change for two very new Green Lanterns that might serve to make a book about the "Green Lanterns" readable again.

4. An extended scene with Bruce Wayne, mostly naked.

5. Oh, my goodness! There can be a version of "Calendar Man" that is interesting!

6. An extended scene with Bruce Wayne, mostly naked.

7. Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance meeting again, for the first time. With Oliver agreeing (so some extent) that he can be a pain in the ass. In what was, ultimately, a fun story. Well, maybe largely due to the Ollie/Dinah interaction.

8. An extended scene with Bruce Wayne, mostly naked.

So, anyway: I respect others' opinions but do wonder why stories are being condemned before they even come out. If I wanted that kind of negativity then I'd be a Marvel zombie.

Anonymous said...


9. Apparently, Bruce has his company back. No more of this "Wayne-Powers" nonsense (for a while, yet).

The whole "three Jokers" thing seems goofy. Goofy enough to be a dismal failure if done badly, and an absolute joy if handled right.

Scipio said...

" An extended scene with Bruce Wayne, mostly naked."

I agree. This is the FIRST time in about 40 years that Bruce Wayne turned me on.

Slaughter said...

Here's one: Please get rid of domino masks. They're horrible for suspension of disbelief, especially in the age of facial recognition software.

No idea what to use instead tho

Uncle Cranky said...

The point is NOT to redo the Silver Age. Or EVEN the Post-COIE age. IF DC wants to make their comics great again, RESTART. No Justice League as the main team - Make it the Justice Union, the Justice Brigade, the Justice Titans - and put 'of AMERICA' back in there. Put in a DIFFERENT (maybe slightly, maybe drastically) different roster. The Justice League can be from a DIFFERENT Earth and have cross-overs, just like the JLA and JSA did back in the '60s & '70s.
The point to the Hawks was flight, archaeology, reincarnation, mysticism, and science SO far advanced it was like magic. If you have a problem with that, Sr.Favo Posso deixar vazio sim, you have a problem with comics and you probably shouldn't read them.
We need all new groups in the DCU. This is supposed to be a 'rebirth', not a 're-run'.
Give poor Barry and Hal a rest.

Sr. Favo said...

Steve and Uncle Cranky:

I never meant any disrespect to the Hawks, actually (well, maybe except for the ones in Legends of Tomorrow show. Especially Kendra). I just well, don't get them. Maybe its all the bad teambook appearances where Hawkman's role seems to be "that annoying team douchebag who goes shirtless* for no reason and I'm glad he went away".

*HATE shirtless characters. First because where I'm from, shirtless = Criminal robber/thief/general scum. Also because nothing says lazyness to me more than "we're so lazy with costume design we won't even give this guy a shirt".

Uncle Cranky said...

Actually, the 'shirtless' thing dates back to the first appearance of Hawkman, back in the 40's. He's ALWAYS been shirtless, although in the JSA, he was admittedly MUCH less of a jerk.

Uncle Cranky said...

Oh, and anonymous...
"Bruce Wayne, mostly naked" really does NOTHING for me. I'd far prefer "superheroes, mostly GOOD (the moral definition, and yes, as opposed to Captain Cold and Lobo)", or "superheroes, actually competent".

Mr. Preece said...

24. At this point, bring back the Sci-Fi Hawkman. give him his ship and his absorbascon and USE the damn thing! Hawkman with an absorbascon (a) makes Batman redundant, and (b) makes Hawkman the single most important hero in the DCU! Why? Because of "pre-crime." Hawkman wakes up every morning, hits the machine, BAM--knows tons and tons of plots and plans for crimes of all sorts--robbieries, terrorism, corruption, assassinations, anything premeditated. DC will have to work out some way to limit its effectiveness, but that shouldn't be hard. They've already found a way to make Batman omniscient without being able to prevent every crime in Gotham, let alone the world.

Besides, the "savage" thing got so out of control that it broke the character.

Mr. Preece said...

"Give poor Barry and Hal a rest."

Besides Aquaman, they're they ONLY reasons I still read DC comics. They began the Silver Age (Barry introduced it, Hal affirmed its legitimacy), they saved comic books, and they deserve their rightful place as icons in the DCU.

Meaning, they're THE Flash and THE Green Lantern!

When they're in print, I find I have a greater interest in the rest of the DCU. Buying them makes me want to buy others. When they're gone, I don't much care about the rest.

Scipio said...

10. To whom would you link the Metal Men to? Their story in LoT comic seems to be linking them to other robot characters - Red Tornado, Robot-Man, etc. They also seem to have been linked to Cyborg recently. Add in OMAC and Red Tornado, and you have a dynasty of robots and cyborgs? Seems logical these guys would hang together.
11. Related: Does Metamorpho fit in anybody's Dynasty? His powers say Firestorm (Firestorm alters the environment around him, Metamorpho alters himself), but AFAIK there's zero connection between the two characters. His whole story as a freak who changes shape seems to link him better to the Martian Manhunter.

The answer to both of these is: The Atom. The Atom is the icon-level centerpiece of DCU weird science.