Thursday, August 18, 2016

I can't complain

I haven't written here lately because frankly...

there's nothing to complain about.  In fact here's a partial of a list of all things that I can't complain about, just off the topic of my head.


Wonder Woman is being written by a writer who really gets her, who understands how to balance the many elements of her character; well done those are sources for dynamic tension and development, and poorly done they can make her an inconsistent tonal mess.  The recent retelling of her origin story retains ALL the elements of her classic origin (down to there being three contests at the end of the 'Wonder Woman' competition, how they are eliminated, and even their HAIR color) and yet is still modern in tone.  The parallel backstories of Diana and Steve finally make their relationship seem sensible, and when the two finally meet...well, let's just say, if you can get Steve Trevor to make me cry, then Wonder Woman is in good hands.


I can recognize Batman again because he is finally a superior and wise person, not a deranged damaged loner.  His sensitivity in handling the difficult issues in the "Gotham/Gotham Girl" storyline has been exemplary and it was expertly capped by his willingness to sacrifice himself to save the city (which is how the story began) and to do the sensible thing and call in the Justice League when things got too much for him to handle.  Similarly, he did the right thing in partnering with Batwoman to help train his proteges. He was awesome enough to have the military create an entire program to copy him, human enough to be capture by them, awesome enough to escape, and human enough to be rescued by his teammates.  DC seems to have figured out Batman again.  Oh, and Alfred dressed in a batman costume driving the batmobile. You have me again, DC.


Flash's storyline is MOVING. Sudden lighting storm, bunch of people getting speed powers, including some  bad guys who get killed by a BADDER guy, and Barry gets a new super-partner and  finds a new love interest to whom he reveals his secret identity.  Not only does Barry, serving as mentor to a bunch of new speedsters, seem like Barry again, he's now in the Fastest Comic Alive, which is how it should be.


Speaking of fast, Supergirl's writers cleared the decks in almost record time.  By the end of Issue #1, they've already hooked her up for sensible reasons with the DEO, put her in National City, placed her with the Danvers as adoptive parents, given her a civilian high schooler identity, hinted at future work at CatCo, and given her own deeply disturbing "Two-Face'' character in her own father as the Cyborg Superman.  Oh, and they shot her into the sun and a Kryptonian werewolf escaped from the Phantom Zone. Which is exactly the kind of Silver Age crazy that is actually needed to make a Superman-related comic work.  Also of note is how she successfully used sympathy and support as part of her arsenal of superpowers. THIS is the Supergirl we have been waiting for and whom our daughters deserve.


Superman's titles are also full of Superman being supernoble.  I just wish the two concurrent stories (Doomsday threatens to kill Jon and The Eradicator threatens to kill Jon) weren't nearly identical.  But it's full of some great Silver Age crazy, including a powerless Clark Kent showing up out of thin air, Kryptonian ghosts, and the throwaway reveal that there is A BATCAVE ON THE MOON. Because of course there is.


Aquaman is the most awesome of them all, what with being cut-clean and reasonable and so CLEAR in his priorities and goals in the midst of international crisis and still hilariously bad-ass. Finally we have heroes who seem like the ADULTS in the room, rather than the adolescents.  Plus his relationship with Mera is very real; they love each other but they do NOT always agree. Plus, just...Mera.



Add to that, the building story of a modern "O.G.R.E."-like world organization of pirates which includes an updated version of Black Jack the Pirate in its ranks.  This Aquaman alone is enough to justify the DCU's existence.

Oh, and thanks to Grant Morrison, the CW will have a gay superhero (The Ray) headlining a show.  Thank you, Grant Morrison; I'm appreciate what you have done.  


And you know when I'm saying stuff like THAT, that the DCU is going well.


P.S. And Hal got a haircut.

15 comments:

Joshua Roots said...

"A BATCAVE ON THE MOON."

I bet it's on the Dark Knight Side of the Moon.

ba-dum-tishhhhhhhh


Ah, never gets old....

Anonymous said...

Overall I'm lots happier with the "Rebirth" titles too; apparently Geoff Johns want around to the various creative teams and made sure they had a good vision for their characters. That's why Green Arrow is busy fighting human traffickers right now, for example, rather than getting turned into a werewolf so he can overcome white privilege. (So just remember: to be a minority is to literally be a savage monster, and it's contagious. Cultural sensitivity in the year 2016!)

I'm not sure I like the Got Ham and Got Ham, Girl! storyline. While Batman shouldn't be a crazed loner, he ought to be at least wary of new Superman-level heroes in his town, and I haven't seen nearly enough skepticism in him. And Batman ought to demonstrate vastly more concern that, apparently, you can buy Superman powers with enough money; Duke Thomas ought to be tracking that down, not doing sudoku puzzles with army tags. (Also, if Batman wishes there were a Superman protecting Gotham, why not call upon the actual Superman? I grant you that nu52 Superman has been kind of sketchy, but at least he's been a known quantity.)

cybrid said...

?

You've written plenty of material without complaining. It's just that most of it has been about stuff prior to Crisis on Infinite Earths. The Human Flame, the Octopus, Joe Coyne, Starman, the space pirate ship from World's Finest or whatever the heck that was. THAT was great material. I myself individually personally couldn't care less about anything DC's doing RIGHT NOW. I stopped buying DC as of New 52 and never looked back. When I discovered your site however many years ago, your material on 1940s-1970s stories made me laugh more in that one day than I had in the preceding month. THAT'S what keeps me coming back, in hope of reading more stuff like that.

"Grandpa...tell us 'bout the good old days..."

Anonymous said...

For you, Scipio:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDSOJFHzq1Q

I get the feeling Aquaman would listen to this and chuckle good-humoredly.

Mr. Preece said...

Aquaman's pretty good, except for #2 being the worst ending to a comic since the Death of Superman. Black Manta II, from greatest-threat-ever to wuss in two pages. And Mera is definitely not one of the "adults" in the room. Thinks/acts like a thug.

Can't tell from the comic that this Barry Allen is the REAL pre-FP Barry Allen or just the New52 Barry with an added memory of Wally. I am supremely LET DOWN by the lack of movement regarding the Rebirth event story. All these new memories and no impact on their lives?

And adding a Speed Force plague on Central City, creating endless clones, does nothing but dilute the franchise even further. Remember when these characters were special? DC doesn't even care. I guess their philosophy is drown your audience in sameness, maybe then they'll love it? I dunno. "Xerox Pollution" is killing Marvel and DC.

And I am already bored to death with "Super-Dad and his Super-Kid."

Scipio said...

"ALL YOU SPEEDSTERS! GET OFF MY LAWN!"

John said...

I realize that they might revoke my Internet access for saying this, but finding and pointing out the good is always worthwhile, and there's nothing wrong with a happier blog. That's especially true when the subject of interest is DC, that for so long has dragged its feet on producing stories about characters people would look up to and trying to be everything except what they are at heart. This could actually get me reading comics again, rather than checking the occasional review and deciding it's not my thing.

Of course, it's telling that they're mostly trying to play catch-up to their TV universe, but at least it's better than trying to synchronize with the movie universe...

On the point of the speedsters, though, it's not like we haven't been here before. Wally's first run as the Flash was packed with speedsters, and a similar formula has been the same principle for producing "new" Green Lantern villains since Sinestro.

cybrid said...

Has there ever been a Ray story or cover with the title/proclamation: "You Can Call Him...RAY!"

Because if there hasn't, there should be.

Either you get the reference or you don't, don't worry about it. ;-)


Mag said...

This almost makes me sorry I barely read any current comics...

Scipio said...

Mag,

You deserve to read comics again.

Good ones.

Do.

Anonymous said...

I didn't care for Green Arrow Rebirth, but issues 1-4 had me riveted. I liked the Lemire/Sorrentino issues, but they felt like Arrow more than Green Arrow, if that makes sense. As a longtime Green Arrow fan (stop snickering!), I'm happy.

- Mike Loughlin

Anonymous said...

Agreed about Rebirth GA. I liked the Lemire run, but yeah, that didn't feel like it was Oliver Queen, so much as another archer with the same name.

But Benjamin Percy seems to be nailing it now that it's less about werewolves and more about Green Arrow taking down fat-cats and people traffickers, the sort of thing that is right in the "real" Oliver Queen's wheelhouse.

Scipio said...

Good to hear from you, Mike.

But I keep reading this sentence over and over again, like some kind of logical paradox....

"As a longtime Green Arrow fan, I'm happy."

SallyP said...

Hal may have gotten a haircut,(thank goodness!), but he's still an idiot. Which is perfect of course.

But being happy with your comics is...a Good thing to be.

Sr. Favo Posso deixar vazio sim said...

I find strange that Mera suddenly became so wary of the surface world, when she was quite well in it before. Are we sure Arthur is not unknowingly sleeping with his sister-in-law again? Bigamy is a crime in some countries, don'tcha know?

Wonder Woman is going great. Except the Cheetah's changed appearance and motivations, it makes her look like a beast on the outside, when the whole point is that she is a beast on the INSIDE, even if she looks like a beautiful werecheetah woman on the outside. She's not cursed to be a animal, she CHOOSE to reveal in what she believes is the inherent animality that human beings try to deny. She's not rejected by a society that hates her (because she's smokin), she rejects the society SHE hates. She's not a victim but of herself.

(I liked the new origin where she was the one who corrupted the god who gave her the powers, not vice-versa. You know you're evil when a god takes over you and its the one that comes out tainted by it, not you)

Superman is doing well so far. I wish we had a Lex monthly.

Flash is great, and like you say, that comic is FAST! I hope we keep Meena and August after this tale, because I like them, even if August seems a bit... extreme sometimes.

They should bring Manta's goals of undersea conquest back. I feel that's where they are going with him. Remember when he used to recruit black dudes and other people discriminated by society into his conquest attempts, because in exchange they would a get a society where they rule? That's helluva cool.